Plain Layne - The Ending
So, the people who lived in the Plain Layne comment box had it all figured out. Layne was a hoax. A huge elaborate hoax.
Odin Soli is the male writer behind Layne and as suspected, also the writer behind the not easily forgotten Acanit. He was bold enough to leave an empty explanation for us at Emitter
, another blog that was destined to be used for Layne in the beginning but wasn't. There is also an article
at City Pages that outlines the entire "investigation" with an added interview with Odin Soli.
How do I feel about the guy? I think he's an arrogant asshole. I really have no problem with the "project" itself. It was great writing, no one can deny that. If there had just been a blog and comments, I think that I wouldn't feel quite so shitty towards Mr. Soli. But, what really happened is he made up an entire person. He didn't stop with the blog. "Layne" had accounts at Hot or Not
. Those are just the few I know about. "Layne" also had instant messaging conversations with her readers, she exchanged in-depth, personal, emotional emails with them, she listened to people talk about their problems and she shared hers. It is these things that cause a problem for me.
Making up a fake person that becomes someone's friend or confidant isn't a release or an escape, it isn't a writing project, a marketing test or some whacked out version of vicarious living.
It is deceit.
Shame on you, Mr. Soli, for the people you deceived. We shouldn't feel like the fools, you should.
Have You Had Your Cheddar Today?
It's that time again, this weeks island themeCheddar-X
is up and ready for the chomping.
1. What shape would your island be?
My island would be round with a small indentation for a nice bay.
2. Would you be more at home on a deserted island or in a crowded city?
Initially, I would say in a crowded city, but I'm smart enough to know that after so many years of the hustle and bustle, I'd be ready for the peaceful serenity of a deserted island.
3. How would you keep yourself entertained on a deserted island?
I would probably learn to carve things from wood or some other type of crafty skill. I'd also constantly explore the island, learning the best streams and food locations and searching for that stunningly beautiful waterfall that is on every deserted island, you know.
4. Who would you miss most if you were on a deserted island?
I'm just going to say "my family", since it's impossible for me to choose just one person.
5. Who would you least like to be stuck on a deserted island with?
Someone who talked a lot and didn't know how to listen.
6. What would be the best thing about being on a deserted island?
Being "back to the basics" and providing for myself with what's available to me.
7. What one thing would you love to take with you?
My guitar, for endless hours of self-entertainment. Of course, then I'd have to have extra strings too, so I guess that's two things.
The Phenomena That Is Gmail
Being a blogger acccount holder, I suppose I was in the first batch of people to obtain a gmail account. Oh, and you know I was the envy of all of my friends (right). Not my friends, persay, but zillions of people nonetheless. A few weeks after actively using my account I obtained the ability to invite people to gmail. At first, the invites came sparingly, now, they are reappearing as soon as I use them.
Somehow, I stumbled upon the Gmail Swap
site. What a clusterfuck! People are actually willing to trade things for a precious gmail account. Sorry, but I can't imagine giving something away for an email account. Perhaps, before yahoo increased its storage size, but now, I don't understand the appeal. Don't get me wrong, I love my gmail account. The conversation and search features alone are quite attractive to me. I've heard all of the reasons I shouldn't love gmail, but frankly, I'm not hiding anything and don't disclose anything personal via email anyway.
Back on track to the Gmail Swap site. When I first visited people were giving away things like a good bottle of scotch
, chocolate fudge
, and an invitation to dine in one of the formal dining halls at Oxford University
Of course, you also had your run of the mill freaky swaps like a photo of a wife and girlfriend kissing
, a man dressing up on women's clothing
, and a burnette mullet wig
These days, people are offering orkut accounts out the wazoo, extreme thanks and friendship for life
, and a friendly smile
. People don't really want these things and most of them get ingored, but it doesn't seem to matter, the swaps continue to be posted and people continue to beg. There are the occasional swapworthy posts that the invitation holders jump all over, racing to be the first to offer an invite for the loot. I mean, can you imagine the greed level here?
I, obviously, swapped my gmail invitations on gmail swap. As stupid as I think it is, if someone wants to give me something for something I got for free, I'm all for it. I've received some really great things, too. 2 gigs of webhosting (on two different servers), some livejournal icons, an amazing print signed by the photographer and mailed to me, 2 mix CDs that are awesome, a funky knitted hat, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire ebook and James Patterson's The Lake House ebook. To try to justify the fact that I, too, am a tad greedy, I've also given away several accounts just because people seemed genuinely nice and really wanted one.
So, if you want a gmail account, send me an email
, I've got some to spare.
Did you hear that? I think it's the sound of some Cheddar-X!
Could my Cheddar-X titles get any more stupid? I'll work on it.
On with the show!
1. Describe how you saw yourself in high school.
Very friendly and resentful of my friends at the same time. I always felt less priveledged because I actually had to do chores and help with my younger siblings. It has made me a much better person in the end, though. I also missed out on a lot because I was in a very "serious" (ha!) relationship with a college guy.
2. If you could select the sex of your baby, would you? Which would you choose and why?
I would choose a girl. I love little girls in bare feet and pink dresses. I'm just a girly person in general and I think it would be awesome to have a girl someday. And if I don't? That's okay too, I love kids in general.
3. What would you name you child if it were a girl? A boy?
If it were a girl, probably Kendyll and Nikolas for a boy.
4. What are the best and worst pick up lines you've heard/used?
Best: Wow, your eyes really are green. (Because I happen to think I have great eyes and no one ever notices, he had me at hello) That's not really a "pick-up" line, persay, but hey, it worked.
Worst: Sex is a killer...want to die happy?
5. What's the worst break up line you've heard or used?
I've said "I don't want to be in a relationship right now" and was totally lying.
6. Heard any good jokes lately?
7. Is the glass half full or half empty or did the dog knock it over?
The glass is usually half full... and I miss that damned dog.
8. When was the last time you were tricked?
I get tricked a lot, because i'm guillible. But, most recently, was of course the Plain Layne saga.
I must encourage you, if you haven't tried the Cheddar
, get some!
It All Falls Down
I complain about my closest friends alot. I don't say bad things about their character or make fun of their hair or anything like that, but sometimes they irritate me. I work night shift and I get a lot of phone calls at two in the afternoon... my irritated voice answers and they act like I'm lazy because I'm asleep. Soon, I plan to start calling them at two in the morning, just to make my point. My point? Oh, right. So, I do complain often, but when it all falls down, my friend network is suberb.
It did all fall down.
Raven and I have known for quite some time that Krista's husband, Matt was "fooling around" with another girl. I say girl because she is just that, only 19. Hmph. We found out two months ago when Krista was 8 months pregnant and mutually decided that we should keep it between us. Krista and Matt got married a few weeks after she found out she was pregnant and their entire marriage has been a huge heap of a mess. He wasn't very supportive during her pregnancy and hasn't been very loving after the fact. He treats her like a buddy or kid sister at best, but mostly just ignores her. She deals with it, for Halie. I always knew that at some point she'd be done with him. She's a beautiful, kind hearted person and while she can put up with a lot, I knew he'd push her to the limit.
Last night, he did.
She showed up at the hospital where I work, the rims of her eyes red and puffy. I asked what was wrong and she offered only a shake of her head and a bite of her lip. I hugged her hard because I already knew. Limit reached. We sat outside and talked about how terrible he treats her and how he refuses to make any attempts at compromise, we discussed how long she'd been miserable and how hard she has tried. For the past few months I've only offered that I thought they should just keep trying, keep working on it. No one wants to see their friends go through a divorce. But, last night, I was done and I told her so. My heart can't take much more, I hate seeing her hurting so bad, all the time. Most of my friends call me when they have a fight or a disagreement with their spouse, Krista calls when they have a good day and they are few and far between.
Enter Raven, repeat hug sequence.
Raven looked at me and I nodded and we told Krista about "the girl". She didn't even cry. She felt naive and stupid, she'd never even questioned his fidelity even when he refused to make love to her or even kiss or hug her. She never saw the warning signs. Of course, why would you want to?
I was so scared that she would feel that we betrayed her, but she understood that we only kept it from her because we wanted to do what was best for Halie. Telling a woman who is eight months pregnant that her spouse is trying to get some 19 year old ass just isn't a good idea.
We continued to talk and squeeze hands until I had to go back to work. I hugged her and told her how much I loved her and she didn't even need to say anything. She has never had good friends like this. Her family is rather cold and uncompassionate and sometimes I think we overwhelm her with the level of concern and care we place within her. The thankfullness was all over her face as she smiled and laughed through her tears, "what the hell would I do without you guys?" I wonder the same thing about me.
So, in the end, she stayed with Raven last night, with her parents tonight and with me tomorrow. I love her so much and I'd give anything to save her from the pain and confusion that is only in its earliest stages right now. I want to protect her. But, I can't. All I can do is be there.
It sucks to be completely helpless like this.
P.S. Tons of google hits from "Plain Layne" and my blog is in the 100s on the results. People are OBSESSED!
I had 47 "unique" visitors today. That is unreal. While I know it's all over the Layne
saga, it's still pretty cool. Most of my clicks came from either Orkut
, Strip Mining For Whimsy
or Dave Grenier
I was also clicked from someone searching "chick fight" + blog
at google. Good times.
In regular news, my summer course is turning out to be quite interesting. So far we have played with a few types of pathogenic bacteria, we've surveyed our own hands, toothbrushes, hand towels, throats and noses to see what types of nasties are growing on said objects. It's not pretty folks, not pretty at all. Although I'm enjoying it, my exhaustion levels have reached new heights. I'm working until 6:30am, dashing home and catching a one hour nap before class, up at 8:30, guzzling a pot of coffee, showering, heading to class by 9:40 and back home at 12:30, sleeping again by 2:00pm and up at 6:00pm for work. Oh, and if you are smart you will never drink from a public water fountain again.
Best of all, I think I've made a new friend. She's a pretty 19 year old girl named Elisha and she is also in the RN program. Poor lass works at Long John Silvers so I'm trying to help her with gainful employment at my hospital.
We have purchased a house and will be moving in about 5 days. It's huge, four bedrooms plus a "sewing room" and a good sized sun room on the second floor. The sewing room is a little jewel of the room with maple cabinets and drawers built into all four walls. I've come to terms with leaving my childhood home and I'm very excited about moving. The convenience level alone helped me get over it. There's a bathroom right around the corner from my bedroom which means no more waking up, walking downstairs, doing business, walking back upstairs and being wide awake and unable to resume my slumber. There is also a two car garage with an apartment above. The dream is for some cute exchange student to rent it, but I'm sure I'll get a nerdy girl instead. Being able to park in a garage when snow season arrives is another dream in itself. Perhaps, though, the best news is that I am only four houses away from Krista and bebe (Halie). Frequent baby snuggling is sure to ensue.
Check my blogroll for the addition of Johann, a blogger with a quest. A gmail account. I happened upon him while researching gmail, gave him an account and liked what I read so I decided to keep him.
My Own Thoughts On Layne
A little history, first.
I once met a boy online from Alabama. We were the best of friends and we fell in love, online. Be skeptic if you will, we did. We saw each other in real life a couple of times and even though we've been nothing more than friends for a couple of years now, I think we'll meet again, sometime. Anyway, while we were together, he found this site called "Damn The Pacific" which was a couple's blog. She was in North Carolina, he was in Australia. They were awesome and they gave us hope that maybe we'd survive the distance. We didn't. Anyway, I went back to check their progress and they too, had split. But, she kept another personal blog and I kept reading her. I'm a lurker. I lurked at Layne's, Johnny's
for ages before I ever commented. Even those first comments were simply because I had linked to them and wanted to let them know and those are my four favorite bloggers ever. I'm off subject. So, here I am lurking at this girl's site. She gets a new boyfriend from San Francisco and I start reading him too. He works for google and blogger and he's a democrat, so I stayed in tune. One day, he posted about the phenomena that was Plain Layne. I clicked, I was hooked.
That was immediately after Layne returned from Barcelona, so I've been reading for awhile. Stupid as it sounds, it never even crossed my mind that Layne might be fake. Sure, a few times I thought, what a crazy life she leads. I mean, she's not the most exciting person, herself. It's her friends, lovers(characters), and writing style that really makes the blog. And believe me, this "girl" can write like a dream.
So, now, her blog is replaced by a message, written in polish, that says the blog will return, mid June.
In her absence, a lot of people started asking a lot of questions. It seems that Layne isn't real at all. The proof is undeniable, but I still want to deny it.
It hurts my feelings.
I know how idiotic that sounds, but after awhile, I started to care about this girl. I wanted her to be okay and I wanted her to find some happiness somewhere. How fucked up am I? How stupid is it to become almost attached to someone through their writing? Fiction writing at that? What can I say, I'm a sucker for a good story, I guess?
So, there you have it. I was duped. I was duped and I'm not mad, but a little sad that there's no real Layne.
I'll go on with the blogging and reading with the hope that most people don't get their kicks by making up entire lives. I still love reading Helen, her emotion and eye for detail, Ryan for his weird and witty humor and Johnny Huh? for his pictures of Nande. (Of course, i'm kidding, I love the Cheddar and the pregnancy posts and everything else too.)