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Friday, September 03, 2004

The voices in my head

No, the title of this post is not a hint that I’ve gone off my meds… It is a reference to [surprise] the Anglo-Israeli Blogger Bash last night.

You see, I am a slow reader… a really slow reader. I am an A.D.D. boy with mild dyslexia. Yes, that s l o w. Anyway, a long time ago I discovered a trick to keep my mind focused on any sort of written narrative: Giving a specific (and consistent) voice to the narrator.

Many of the blogs and journals I read are pretty easy to put a voice to… others, not so much. In addition to the blog crush aspect of most of my Good Readin’ list, there is the inevitable investment one feels in most narrators we ‘listen to’ on a regular basis. In the case of the Anglo-Israeli blog community, it especially tantalizing that these people to whom I feel such a strong connection are both close at hand, and out of reach.

One of the most frequently asked questions at the Blogger Bash was, “Why did you want to come?” My answer was simple: If I am going to hear a voice in my head while reading a person’s blog… it may as well be their actual voice! Secondary to that, I have such fond feelings (yes, blog crushes) for so many of my daily reads that I couldn’t possibly resist the opportunity to meet them in the flesh.

How was it, you ask? It was wonderful.

The evening started with Zahava and I (and of course Yonah) picking up Chayai Sarah and Michal (one third of Tone Cluster) at Teddy Stadium. I’ve known Sarah for a little while now, but it was great to have a nice car ride to let her get to know Zahava. Michal was charming as charming could be.

Seconds after parking the car outside the venue, a very pleasant voice from the sidewalk said something to the effect of, “You must be David”. And in this enjoyable way I found myself face-to-face with the charming Imshin. Hers is a voice that exactly matched the one I hear when reading her blog, but her appearance was a complete mismatch. Out of respect for her anonymity, I won’t delve into what specifically was different… but suffice it to say that her self-deprecating remarks about her advanced age are just that.

Once inside we made the rounds and were treated to a pretty nice representation of the Anglo-Israeli blogging community (including a talented vacationing Canadian who was invited to join the fold)

Many of the bloggers sounded as I expected (Adrian of Expat Egghead, Jennifer of Just Jennifer, Imshin of Not a Fish, Shai (although I somehow expected him to look like the guy on the left side of his banner), as well as Harry of The View From Here).

But others will require me to adjust the voices I hear in my head when I read them. Allison (of An Unsealed Room) sounds very different than I expected (For some reason I had assigned a Midwestern newscaster’s voice to her... maybe because of her journalism background). So did Dave of IsraellyCool (From his many Aussy references, I had assigned the most obvious voice for him; Crocodile Dundee). Gil Ben Mori (of If I forget Thee)has mentioned several times that he is a Brit… but he writes so much like an American that I had arbitrarily assigned him a neutral Northern California voice. In 'real life', he could be a narrator for Masterpiece Theater! Noa, of Jerusalem Revealed is someone I’ve met before, but her voice and sassy delivery always take me by surprise… I’ll have to work on that one! Brian Blum of This Normal Life was also a bit of a surprise. He writes with a very mature voice… but his actual voice and appearance are surprisingly youthful.

There were Many more talented writers there (please don’t take offense if I missed mentioning you… I wasn’t taking notes) - some who I read, and others who I hope to begin reading. There were also the inevitable (and sorely missed) absentees. Of these, I was most dissapointed to have missed the opportunity to meet Ashley, of Anglosaxy… maybe next time.

To recap: The conversation was lively, the coffee and food were great (thanks to those who suggested the venue), and I can say without hesitation that I would jump at the opportunity to do it again some time. However, now that I have gathered up the proper voices for many of the soundtracks that play daily in my head… the next meeting will be to simply sit and talk with friends.

Thanks everyone…it was grand.

Posted by David Bogner on September 3, 2004 | Permalink

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It sounds like it was a lot of fun. Blogging provides the opportunity to live vicariously, so it would be really interesting to assign a face/voice to people.

Posted by: Jack | Sep 3, 2004 7:03:38 AM

Now, that's a nice welcome back - not a week, and you get to meet a group of friendly people! Are there pictures, by any chance? ;)

As to your introductory line -- a glance at the recent 6 posts' titles could irritate me if I didn't know you better.

Posted by: mademoiselle a. | Sep 3, 2004 2:23:51 PM

Mademoiselle a... The last thing I want to do is irritate you!!! :-)

No, sadly there will be no photos since some of the Anglo-Israeli bloggers post completely anonymously.

Posted by: David | Sep 3, 2004 2:37:18 PM

David, I have to tell you that now I've heard that nickname of yours, I'm *never* going to get this danged visual out of my mind and IT'S ALL ZAHAVA'S FAULT! LOL ;-)

Really, what a wonderful time was had by all. Can't wait until we do it again.

(PS hope everyone is OK at your house!)

Posted by: Jennifer | Sep 3, 2004 4:39:12 PM

Jennifer... I'm wondering which nickname you're thinking of... depending on her mood, my wife has several for me (not all printable here). Feel free to let me know which one hit your funny bone.

Between my 'voices' and your 'visions' we're quite a pair, no? ;-)

Posted by: David | Sep 3, 2004 4:57:43 PM

>> since some of the Anglo-Israeli bloggers post completely anonymously <<

oh, what a pity -- couldn't you have brought them paper bags? ;) [ka-chinng, another handful angry stares added to the list]

Posted by: mademoiselle a. | Sep 3, 2004 8:51:10 PM

It was great meeting you. I understand the voices bit now.

Posted by: ExpatEgghead | Sep 3, 2004 11:58:34 PM

David, it was "A.D.D. Boy." The trouble is that I'm a huge fan of "Whose Line Is This Anyway?" where in one particular skit oddly-talented superheros show up all the time.

Posted by: jennifer | Sep 5, 2004 9:13:16 AM

Ah yes, A.D.D. Boy... to the rescue!

Posted by: David | Sep 5, 2004 9:30:00 AM

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