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24 hours in Lawrence Community stories

1/24th of Thursday, May 10th 2007

How do bloggers do it?

May 22, 2007

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Occasionally, a casual thought crossed my mind. "I should have a blog."

Simple enough. I had certainly read enough of other people's material to know the content, structure and simplicity of an online journal. So, when "24 Hours in Lawrence" presented itself, I saw an opportunity to get started. After all, I was only expected to document 1 hour of 24. How hard could that be?

Early in the morning, I treat myself to a properly made coffee at Dunn Brothers. I sit with other caffeine addicted Lawrencians in the suicide lane on 23rd waiting for the opportunity to dart across traffic and line up in the drive-through. One by one, we make our way in. The drive up is a civilized assembly line where the exhausted enter and the hopeful emerge, coffee in hand trying not get sideswiped by morning commuters.

A whole story could be written about the suicide lane on 23rd. Why hasn't this been done?

Anybody who has met a Burger King patron head-on in the designated left turn lane from 23rd to Naismith knows this. Burger King patrons are far too serious to tussle with. It's best to ignore the logic of the white arrow under their vehicles that point in the opposite direction. The Burger King driveway trumps that logic. And, a serious look of hunger from behind the glass will inspire the typical Kansan duty politely wave those cars by. Pretend it's your fault if you have to. Do not get between a man and his biscuit.

Instead look ahead for the green arrow. Stare at Priscilla's while the screaming hot Americano tucked neatly into the console cools. I hope there is no pile up while the Burger King guy finally gets to cross.

Does Pricilla's have hours before 8:00 a.m.? There is a man on his way to the door. I am around the corner before I see if he is successful.

Up Naismith and bang across the enormous pothole as I turn right on 19th. It's the deep one I've been avoiding for weeks. The coffee is safe, even in the stop and go traffic into the neighborhood bordering campus. This is where I'm going. Into the red lot, up the hill to work.

Nothing new there. Fast-forward a bit to the noon hour.

A mother robin and two babies sit proudly on the fence of my next door neighbor. This will turn out to be the only photo opportunity of the day and by the time I get my camera out I miss it. They spot me and bolt into flight.

More work, then the drive home. Kansas is so sunny; I wonder how anyone gets anything done here.

A construction site has erupted in the empty fields close to my neighborhood by Sunflower school. I see them as I turn left from 23rd onto Inverness. The whole neighborhood speculates about what will go there but no one can get a clear answer. The mystery will soon be solved. Dozers push dirt to level for a new development.

Is this it, I think as I pull into the driveway? This is my 1-in-24 blog? How can I possibly write about this?

Alas, it is true this is all.

My efforts to capture pictures and excitement downtown even fail. The same two homeless guys still search for Bobby Fisher. I hear acoustical guitar and a sensitive young man sounding mournful in the block by Milton's. The old Mass Street deli has not transformed yet. I pull into the first available space. All is not lost I take home a Jimmy John's as the sun sets. Nothing for MySpace, no news, not even a good joke how do bloggers do it?

Loren Bennesch is a fellow in the Citizen Journalism Academy.

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