Monday, July 16, 2007




"Mel Torme Is Merely A Velvet Fog Compared to Me"

Move over, Bob Barker.

Step aside, Tony Bennett.

Outta my way, Bill Clinton.

Get another job, Oprah.

There’s a new Schmoozer in the business, and her name is Jaw C. Lin.

Yup, I recently discovered, a bit to my surprise, that I’m a schmoozer. Lone Grey Squirrel broke the news to me with a swift “tag, you’re clearly it,” based on a tag he had been thumped with by a blogger named Mike.

I must admit, at first I reeled back a bit, fretting, “Do I really wear that much hair gel? Did Lone Grey Squirrel notice that I like to walk around with a microphone and a martini in hand, over-emoting, assuring people I feel their pain and offering to give them a make-over or another chance to spin the wheel? Am I a slick weasel, and I just never knew it?”

As it turns out, however, I do none of those things, eschewing everything from microphone to gel. The only parts of me that satisfy the schmoozer definition are my love of a Lemondrop and the Big Wheel I keep in the bedroom (no details forthcoming, you voyeuristic preeverts).

Luckily, in his usual elegant prose, LGS elucidates the positive condition of being a schmoozer, as it exists here in the Republic of Blog (aka ROB). He explains, “Schmoozing as defined by Dictonary.com is the ability 'to converse casually, especially in order to gain an advantage or make a social connection'... If you look at the award logo, you will see that it is refered to as the 'Blogging Community Involvement Award'... I think the spirit of this award is best reflected by that thought...Through your blogging social skills, you have encouraged us, informed us, amused us and most importantly helped us to meet others and to expand our social circle in the blogging community."

And with that, I felt eversomuch better, to the point that I took Groom upstairs for a spin on the wheel (where he was subsequently heard chanting, “One dollar! One dollar! One dollar!”). Mos’ def’, the bloom is not off the rose, eight years into our gig.

Now, with renewed focus, I realize that it is my job to pass on the compliment and identify five bloggers who, in my estimation, are Big Ole Schmoozers. This, to me, means I need to find five writers whose blog cribs feel unusually hospitable, whose joints make readers feel welcome and impart a particular sense of togetherness and community, whose spaces make readers want to step up and participate and converse. Another way to cast this would be to identify five bloggers whose comment sections are comprised of more than a single response from the blogger’s mother which reads, “I guess I never really did understand you, JoJo. And if you think any part of this story you wrote about my wig falling into the basket of Body of Christ crackers during Communion is funny, then you’re grounded. I don’t care if you’re thirty-four. Get to your room, and no phone privileges for a week. And you can forget about chaperoning the Prom next year, too!”

Rather, the schmoozer blogger inspires comments with content, comments of reader interaction—you know, vigorous commenting simply because the blog’s visitors have been sufficiently moved by the writing on the site to put a piece of themselves out there.

At this juncture, you can start the drumroll and sound the fanfare. I would, *clears throat and opens envelope*, now like to award these five writers as some of the best schmoozers I read, and if any of you five are so inspired, you can grab the Schmoozer banner and pass on the tagging. Otherwise, just sit back and pat your backs in a gentle, soothing motion of schmoozage.

1. It’s gotta be Diesel. Diesel combines humor, fine writing, and shameless self-promotion into a most charming package. Where else can you read about the world’s scariest motel, buy a blog-specific t-shirt, and participate in captioning some excellent Photoshopped pictures? Nowhere, my friends. Nowhere but Dieselville. Plus, I’m pretty sure Diesel needs more stuff for his sidebars, so maybe the Schmoozer banner can help with that.

2. I have to shout out to That Chick Over There. Here in the Midwest, folks like the word “hoot,” and she is one. A hoot, I mean. Not a folks. Well, she is a folk, but that’s not what I’m driving at. Since Chick is a Southerner, though, I’m not sure “hoot” is the best description for her and her writing…I feel that more colorful phrasing is required, to acknowledge her life below the Mason-Dixon Line; so let’s just say she’s funnier than a two-headed dog do-si-doing at a clowns’ barn dance. However we put it, all I know is that her open letters (“Dear woman in the burgundy mini-van in the furthest left lane on Interstate 40,…”), her posts about her piss-ant neighbors, and her recent good-old-fashioned serial of posts about her meeting and marrying her husband…well, they’ve got a slew of us readers hooked.

3. The comment section of Hearts in San Francisco’s blog is a regular tupperware party. Hosts of folks check in to read Hearts' latest rousing messages about ethics and the right way to be in the world, or to roll their eyes at the latest sub-letters next door, or to admire her turns of phrase (a recent post ended with “Why does every errant hedgeborn canker blossom end up living right next door to me?", which pleased me no end). Pretty much, I think Hearts should go into politics. She gets me standing up in front of my monitor, pounding my fist in the air. One time I broke a picture on the wall doing that, but it wasn’t her fault. Now my computer and I go into an open, empty room before I jump over to her blog. It’s safer that way.

4. Because it would make any good Minnesotan blush to be publicly honored with anything, I have to say Dorky Dad. He tells stories of mishap while camping that make all of us readers certain he should never even utter the word “tent” again, much less get into one. Fortunately, he has a worthy partner in mosquito-bitten-tentpole-in-the-skullishness in his lovely wife, who occasionally has her input into this funny blog on Wife Wednesdays.

5, And finally, I must acknowledge that I get a special feeling—not just from the Lemondrop I’m drinking, either—when I visit Jen’s blog. The whole business of getting shivers while reading something? Jen’s writing does that for me. She mixes it up with posts about her work with the homeless, her hopes for an expat life with her family, and everyday slices of life, like getting a manicure. Everyone who reads Jen’s blog regularly ends up feeling inspired by her sense of social justice, but not because she’s preachy or self-righteous. She is one woman, following her choices in life, and her readers can’t wait to find out what comes next.

So thank you, Dear Schmoozers, for helping to create that really weird thing that is community with the land of the blogs. You not only make it a great place to visit; you also make Blogland a place many people want to live.


…which, now that I think about that, is kind of sad and scary. I mean, get a life already.



(warning: I’ll be cleaning out my Meme Closet in the next few weeks here; I recently noticed that I have about five of ‘em sitting in mothballs, awaiting a good dusting off)

29 comments:

MyUtopia said...

LOL, great post!

lime said...

yeah baby, that was schmoozalicious! and now i know what i have to doobie doobie doo to be a schmoozer ;) thanks for the leads on some new places to groove and congrats on your superior schmoozing

Keshi said...

hehehehehe :)

Keshi.

furiousBall said...

schmooza...wha? oh you crazy kids. now get off my lawn.

jen said...

ah...thank you. from you, it's a schmoozalectable delight.

Voyager said...

Schmooze on baby! You funny my world.
V.

Jazz said...

If anyone deserves this, you do. You are the queen of schmooze.

mist1 said...

I have an entirely new understanding of the word schmoozing.

mcewen said...

Oh I see! It's a muscle / biceps arm! Because of the black background I thought it was someone trying to make shadow puppets!
Maybe I should go back to bed for a while?
Cheers

Em said...

Congratulations to you with the big muscle-y arm! :)

Wizened Wizard said...

And a great big "ATTAGIRL!" for you, Jocelyn!

I had a Schmoozer once - actually a Miniature Schmoozer, I think... It was really cute. : )

So many great blogs, so little time...

Congratulations on your award!

Diana said...

No fair! I'm at my limit as far as blogs I can reasonably read. Now I'll have to cut into my sleep and TV time.

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

Great post. Your wonderful descriptions have me itching to visit each of these awardees. I think I'll visit dorky dad first cause I have an affinity with others who have camping mishap stories to tell. lol

frannie said...

I adore you and your blog!

HeatherAnn Fragglehead said...

Chick is a fabulous schmoozer. I love her.

And, of course, since you're incredibly witty and funny, I have to check out the other schmoozers you've picked.

Because they've GOT to be good.

velvet said...

Congrats, Jaw C. Lin! Yet another well deserved award.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Jocelyn,

Thank you so much for thinking of me!

My mother always said that I couldn't keep my mouth shut.

I was already awarded this one by Ian and Josie, who apparently agree with her.

I also thought that schmoozing was chatting up folks who could be of benefit, so I was relieved that the blog definition is a bit more gentle.

Your blog is one of my absolute favorites, partly because of your phenomenal writing skills, and partly because of the delicious salon atmosphere of your comment section.

Schmooze on, dude.

Top cat said...

I guess this means I can't nominate you.lol
I agree with Hearts, your wonderful writing style, sense of humor and subject matter are what bring me back time after time.
Congrats!
tc

choochoo said...

oh man, now I have even more blogs I have to check out. I might not get to bed tonight, after all. lol.

Claire said...

Squirrel did you right. I lovelovelove your writing style and choice of subject matter. Who else can make the mundane seem so damn funny?
I like lime's made up word - schmoozalicious, LOL.

tracey said...

I, for one, enjoy your smoozability. Did you know that Bob Barker grew up not far from me? In a little town known as Darrington. He's a vegetarian who practices the art of taxidermy in his living room. Weird, eh? But hey, he's from Darrington, so what would one expect.

Now that you know far more than you probably ever wanted to know about Bob, I'll be leaving...

CS said...

Congratulations - as you already know I had to heartless strike you from consideraion when I discoveed you'd already been awarded this one. I already follow three of these, but I will sure check out the other two. Oh, and I have to say that you are actually the opposite of a slick weasel. And i mean that in the nicest possible way.

Diesel said...

Is schmooze a good thing?

I guess it is if it generates more traffic.

Thanks, Jocelyn!

Dorky Dad said...

Aw, shucks, Jocelyn. I'm touched.

(Blush)

Glamourpuss said...

I wanna go on that wheel!

Good choices, m'dear.

Puss

That Chick Over There said...

Wiping the grin off my face would be harder than knocking a dog off a meat wagon!

Or something!

Thanks! :)

Logophile said...

As long as you continue to eschew the hair gel I'm sticking with ya.
Well, and just see to it you don't get handsy when you are serenading me.

urban-urchin said...

hey *side wink* come here often? you schmoozer you.

my4kids said...

Congratulations on the award I will have to check our winners out! I already know if Chicks and she is just to awesome!