Anyone remember 45’s?
Long before downloadable songs, (and long before the internet where you could download them from) you could still buy single songs without buying the whole album. Back in my day (here I go dating myself again) it was either buy the album… in vinyl, or buy the singles, also in vinyl.
Back then we had something that you don’t see these days with downloads: The B Side. There was always a song on the other side – I suppose today we’d call it a bonus track. More often than not it was a throw in, one of those filler songs that really hindered the sale of albums, because you really didn’t want to have to listen through it (and back then it wasn’t so easy to skip a song, you had to lift the needle, move it over, land it just right and pray you didn’t cause a scratch). Most of the times, they were dogs, and you might play them once or twice, never to be tried again.
Every once in awhile there’d be a good one. Daytripper by the Beetles was a B-side. Queen had We Will Rock you and We are the Champions together, to this day they’re often played together on the classic rock stations. My favorite as a kid was one I had by Paper Lace.
Remember “The Night Chicago Died?” I loved that song. When I finally bought a copy with my paper route money, I was ecstatic when I flipped it over. “Billy, Don’t be a Hero.” The Bo Donaldson & The Heywoods version of that song was my original favorte-song-ever. I never knew Paper Lace did it first. The internet authority on everything (Wikipedia) tells me another song was on the B-Side, maybe originally it was, but I just know what was on the one I bought. I was in heaven. I think I wore out both sides of that disk.
Fortunately my tastes in music evolved since then.
I got thinking about B-Sides today when I was thinking about what I wanted to post. I just know that the more I knocked myself out, the more I concluded… I got nothing. Zip. Zippo. Squat. Zilch. (and you are saying to yourself, yep, he’s got nothing alright, he’s starting to write whole paragraphs of euphemisms for ‘nothing’). I started wondering if I should just write something, try to come up with anything just… becuase I should. And I realized, that’s kind of the B-side approach to blogging, isn’t it? You know, throw something out there for the sake of throwing something out there, throw it against the wall, see if it sticks.
There’s a big problem with that approach when you’re blogging. If you put out crap like that too much (sometimes even once) — people will not be too inspired to read anything else you write. And in the off chance anyone’s liked what you’ve written before, if they come back and see a B-Side post, they may never want to come back again. It’d be kind of like…
The Night the Blog Died.
See what I mean about posting crap? In fact, you probably aren’t reading this now. It was too much, too stupid. Brother what a bomb it really was. Glory Be.
I couldn’t help it. So here I am typing to myself now. But then, that’s pretty much what my whole blogging life has been for the most part. Maybe some day I’ll come back and read this. Maybe some day my kids will make their kids read it, just as a way of saying “see what I had to put up with?” You know, their version of walking up hill through the snow both ways to get to school and back. To which their kids would say, please, make us walk through the snow, don’t do this to us.”
And at this point in this post, if there were a soundtrack to it, it would be crickets, wouldn’t it?
And yet somewhere in the midst of all this, there might be a running point to be made. Or a life point. I hope so anyway. I would say you probably hope so, but that would imply that I haven’t driven you off by all that stupid stuff above.
There are times when I’m thinking about whether I want to write something and it’s just not there. There are times I wonder about whether to go for a run, and it’s just not there. There are times when I wonder about whether to do this, that or the other thing, and it’s just not there.
Sometimes, like when it comes to posting here, I have to look at it and say no, that’s crap. If it’s not worth doing, it’s not worth doing. (Okay, that’s good in theory. After all, here I am still typing this post, right?)
Sometimes, like when it comes to going for a run, ‘not feeling it’ isn’t always a great reason to avoid running. In fact, it may very well be the very REASON to run.
Not that there’s hard and fast rules. Sometimes I feel like I got nothing, and then some little spark comes to mind and next thing I’m prattling on and on. Which is not to say I actually ended up with something, And there are times where if your heart isn’t into it and you go and run and you get all sloppy or something and get yourself hurt, well… that did a lot of good now, didn’t it?
And maybe the question is, what am I trying to accomplish here? Am I doing something just for the sake of doing something? Then you get this blog post where no one’s reading any more and you have crickets as the soundtrack. Or you go out and get hurt.
I don’t know about you, but I’m not going out 4 times a week to run just because waking up at 5 AM and pushing myself out the door sounds like a party just waiting to happen. (Well, okay, this is kinda creeping me out a little that I’m having to check that statement already because I’m starting to find myself ready to go out and run just cuz I do like running. But for the sake of argument, ignore that for now, k?) I go because I think how incredible that’s going to be to cross that line after running 13.1 miles at the Bear Chase. I go because I see my future me looking better and weighing less. I go because I want to make those 50’s and beyond pretty awesome years. I go because I like the thought of being around when my future grandkids are looking at me funny after my kids have tortured them with my writings and they’re wondering if they really descended from me. I go because I know that when it’s all said and done, I feel good. And I know that going out gets me that much closer to all these things.
If I’m doing it just out of obligation, forget about it. Billy, don’t be a hero! (sorry, couldn’t resist) I might as well stop because eventually I’m going to hurt myself and I’ll have to stop anyway. But I’m thinking that if it’s getting me towards somewhere that I want to be, that’s not B-side stuff. That’s the A stuff.