Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Resurrection Blogfest: I Am Not Unique

Welcome to the Resurrection Blogfest 2012, sponsored by Mina Lobo at Some Dark Romantic!  This is Mina's first blogfest and I'm happy to take part!

The specifics for this are pretty simple: Resurrect a blog post you created during your first year of blogging.

So, revived from 3/30/2011, just a short while after I first started blogging, I give you the post below -- discovering I am not unique.  

I hope you enjoy this blast from the past.  Be sure to see Mina's Linky-List to visit all the bloggers taking part in this blogfest!

Thoughts at Large: I Am Not Unique 
(Slightly updated -- originally posted 3/30/2011)

After setting up this blog and working with it for a couple of months, I've confirmed something I had suspected for a while: 

I am not unique.

Not in the "Hey-I-started-a-blog" way, or even the "I'm-an-aspiring-writer" sense -- those I already knew.  There are a multitude of blogs out there, and you can't kick over any Internet rock without a horde of wannabe-writers swarming out.

No, I mean in the way that a kid christened "John Smith" encounters very early in his life: 

What the Hell are all these other people doing with my name?!?

I grew up in a small town, and while I can remember a few other kids named 'Chris,' there weren't very many people named 'Fries,' and I was definitely the only 'Chris Fries' that I knew of. 

A one-of-a-kind. 

But now, after doing some research to see if anyone who knew my name but not my blog address could find this place, I've realized there are many other people named 'Chris Fries' out there.  A whole slew of them:

  • There's a guy who does professional voice-over production (HERE).  Looks like he does some pretty cool work, and he has a very impressive resume and client list.  But he has a picture of french fries on his page, and a "you want fries with that?" blurb, so I wonder if he pronounces our last name as "Fry-es" instead of "Freeze," like my family always did (the old-country German way, evidently).
  • There's a guy in Washington, DC who has his own blogspot blog (HERE) that he evidently regularly maintained for a couple of years, although it hasn't been updated since last May.  Not sure if that's because he just decided to quit blogging or because something happened to him.  Either one is a sobering thought about the potential longevity of this blog...
  • There's a guy in Cincinnati who does real estate, although it looks like his domain name ('') may have expired.  You can see the real estate site under the 'cached' entry in the Google search, but the live URL takes you to a 'domain available' blurb.
  • There are twenty-five other profiles for 'Chris Fries' or 'Christopher Fries' on Linked-In (HERE) besides the one I created and never completed.  Looks like I'm not even the only 'Chris Fries' who's an Engineer.
  • And I found at least thirty 'Chris Fries' pages on Facebook, and I know there are probably a ton of others, including all the versions of 'Christopher Fries'.  But I don't have my own Facebook account, so it won't show me the full list unless I create one.  No thanks.  Not today...


In some ways it's a little disappointing -- we all want to know that we're unique and special individuals, and it's a bit disheartening to realize I'm not as unique as I once thought. 

But still -- overall, it doesn't really bother me that much.  I know that what makes me special and unique is much more than just my name.  Every 'John Smith' had to learn that early in life, and it's probably a little easier for me to process at age 50 than it would have been at age 5.  So, despite being just one in a herd of people named 'Chris Fries,' I am still a totally unique person (and you can ask my wife -- she'll tell you just how frustratingly unique and quirky I can be).

Plus, in some ways it's kind of cool.  All these other 'Chris Fries'es and I may be related through some twists and turns of our family trees, and so having a sense of being connected to a larger, extended family is sort of nice. 

And I can't help but think that if we ever combined into a unified collective, we could probably conquer the world...


Thanks for stopping by and taking part in this Resurrection Blogfest!  Remember to go HERE to see more resurrected blog posts!


JoJo said...

Hey! Came here via Mina's blogfest! I only googled my name a couple times, back when I was married and using that name. I came across a disbarred attorney in Wisconsin which made me chuckle b/c at the time I was working as a paralegal. I have not googled my maiden name but I doubt there are too many, unless they are in South America or Portugal.

Stina Lindenblatt said...

I'm lucky. There's only one me. :D

Even if I used my full first name, there's only one of me. This definitely makes it easy for people to find me.

Suze said...

You're back! Cool.

I looked up my name once. Turns out there was a woman very close to one of the cities I lived near during my college years that had my name. Actually, my sister looked up all our names to see if we had some unclaimed cash or land to which we were entitled. Apparently, there's a database. Anyway, she found another 'me.' And she was owed something like $7 by the state of Texas. :)

Nancy Thompson said...

Hey, you are one of a kind to us! You think you're name is common, try Nancy Thompson. My name even appears in the original A Nightmare on Elm Street, for crying out loud. So I just stuck my middle initial in there and viola! Instant name recognition, thank you Hunter S. Thompson for doing all the leg work!

Anyway, I just wanted to let you know that you've won an ebook copy of my book The Mistaken, from by blog tour book giveaway last month. So hop on over to my blog or shoot me an email at and let me know which format you prefer, Kindle or Apple iBooks, and I'll send it your way. Thanks, Chris!

Nicole said...

Haha, isn't funny to see who else is lurking around with our names? Nice choice of a post for the blogfest.

Melissa Bradley said...

I love this post! I, too discovered how un-unique my name was when I became a published author under my name and tried to get a website going. There are MB's in Real Estate, Education, and even a non-fiction author (I'm fiction). Ialso had my eyes opened in a marketing class and discovered that there are thousands and thousands of categories and everything about fits into them. Yikes! I love your take on it, though. We are who are and we matter.

Wayne Assiratti said...

Hey Chris. I enjoyed this one. Now you would think that there aren't many Wayne Assiratti's out there, but it turns out that there are two others and one lives 15 miles from me, is the same age and went to school with a mate from my work. Bonkers. The other one lives in Essex which is the other side of the country. But still, Three Wayne Assiratti's in the same country? It's not fair... In the words of Kurgen from Highlander, There can be only one...

Elise Fallson said...

Names aren't too important to me. But if one day you really want to be different, I guess you could always use a pen name. But I like Chris Fries and I know only one. (:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I'm surprised there are so many. Your name sounds unique to me.
Last time I searched, there wasn't one person with my full name, although some guy with a different middle name was an actor hopeful.

Gina said...

Funny how this things affect us. I never met another Georgina growing up, and very few Morales. So, even to this day, I get pretty excited when I find someone with my name (because it is mine, you know? I just let them use it. Because I'm that grand). I guess I feel connected to them like you say... Funny indeed. =)

I'm so happy to be here again. I was a bit overwhelmed with a few things happening, but I'll be sure to be back more often.

Happy Resurrection! =)

David Macaulay said...

so true - and we all think we will make this unique name for ourselves in the blogisphere and sadly don't really - happy Resurrection blogfest.


Tonja said...

I wrote a very witty comment and then had a spazm and deleted it. Darn it.

Short version - my first name is unique for the US. My husband's last name is Greek - a big one. If I had changed my name when I got married, I would have a unique name (even without my weird middle name). Zero results on Google.

I don't like the idea of being that unique.

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

HA! I did a similar post shortly after I started my blog, and believe it or not, I'm not the only "Susan Swiderski". (Horrors!) There's even another one of me living here in my county! Sheesh. I mean, that's really too much. (Fun post.)

Mark K said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog and commenting, always good to meet new, fellow blogites :)

Sir, I can confirm, however, you are unique, as no other Chris Fries has me commenting on their blog or site. And don't forget that old saying, 'What's in a name?' ;)

Dani said...

I really liked your post! I've googled my name a couple of times. My maiden name is pretty common but my married name is more unique.

I'm sure your wife does think your pretty unique! lol

Chris Fries said...

@JoJo: Hi! Thanks for stopping by, and I really appreciate the comment! It's been a fun blogfest. ;^)

@Stina: You are lucky, and I love your name. Thanks for the visit!

@Suze: Yeah, mostly. Still pretty erratic on my schedule, but I'm trying to get things stabilized. Yeah there are those databases, and I've actually used them a long while ago after someone suggested it following my mom's death. I didn't even find $7.00, though. ;^) Thanks for the visit, Suze!

@Nancy: Aw, thanks! And I laughed at the 'Hunter S. Thompson' -- You may have a common last name, but I bet you're a bit more stable, LOL! And I hope to never see you with the cigarette holder sticking out of your mouth, either. And wow -- thank you for the ebook! I'm very excited about getting it and reading it -- it's been near the top of my TBR list! I'll be in contact about getting it as a Kindle version. ;^)

@Nicole: Thanks! It's been a couple of years since I first thought of Googling my own name, but it still strikes me as kinda weird that there are other, imposter "Chris Fries" people walking around out there... ;^)

@Melissa: Thank you very much! Yeah it's interesting and a bit mystical, isn't it? We're all unique and yet we're all the same...

@Wayne: Thanks! But, I hope you're not grabbing your sword for the showdowns with the other Wayne Assirattis. LOL! ;^)

@Elise: Aw, thank you! I only know one Elise Fallson, and I like her, too!

@Alex: I was surprised, too, And even if there were a thousand other Alex Cavanugh's out there, there is only ONE Cassa series creator, and he's the REAL Alex Cavanuagh! But, then on the other hand... Maybe there ARE 1,000 Alex Cavanughs out there -- it makes sense! How else could "he" be so prolific as a writer and a blogger and a commenter on the Web!? No one human could do it alone. Of course -- there HAS to be a whole army of them out there... ;^)

@Gina: That's funny! And a very generous attitude you have. ;^) ANd I hear you and I'm totally understanding -- my own blogging presence has been horrible, but I'm trying to get back to it. And I'm very glad to see you back, too!!!

@David: And Happy Resurrection Day to you too! Thanks for the visit!

@Tonja: But you ARE unique! Just like everyone else. Which makes you the same. In a unique way. ;^) 'Tis a paradox, isn't it? ;^) Good to see you!

@Susan: See -- just another example of "Great Minds Think Alike" huh? ;^) And regardless of what anyone else may be named, you're the REAL Susan Swiderski!

@Mark K: And thanks right back at'cha, Mark! I appreciate the visit and the comment!

@Dani: Thanks! And yes, she does -- sometimes a little TOO unique, lol!

Sylvia van Bruggen said...

Thing is, you are unique. There are some people who have some elements of what you do, but you have a mix that is unique to you :)

Just be who you are and be awesome at it!

Julie said...

Hi Chris! Thanks so much for coming by my blog, I'm so glad to have discovered yours. It looks like we started blogging around the same time. This post made me laugh, I am picturing the various Chris Fries taking over the world. :D

Great to meet you!

Heather Murphy said...

I wouldn't have thought you had such a popular name. It's interesting to see what the "other yous" do.
Take heed in realizing that although they might have the same name, you ARE unique. There is no other you, so celebrate it!

Camille Picott said...

Hi Chris! Thanks for stopping by my blog. I've never done a search for my name, but now I'm going to! Cute post, thanks for sharing!

Sandra Rose Hughes said...

I liked what you had to say about aspiring writers crawling out of rocks like so many spiders- it's so very true. We are an interesting bunch and we love to talk about it!

Azara said...

Growing up I always felt sad that I couldn't find my name on those "personalized" hairbrushes and mugs. But now I enjoy having a less common name (not my blog name). I do wish my parents had not made up the spelling. Having to spell it over and over to everyone I've met for the last 33 years got old pretty fast.

I like the idea of your Chris Fries collective. I think I'm the only one in my group (see made-up spelling above).

Tamara said...

Hi Chris! I loved what you said about Chris Fries taking over the world.

You are the first/only Chris Fries who's ever commented on my blog, which makes you awesome to me. :)

The Ranting Monkey said...

My real name is rather unique but, by complete coincidence, also the name of a famous spy. Still bugs me when someone asks me if I was named after him.

Since my blog sometimes involves my work and I don't really want to be fired, The Ranting Monkey was born and for years I was the only one I could find online. A few have popped up since and I dislike them all on principle.

Excellent post for the blogfest.

Siobhan said...

Good post! My name, 'Siobhan' used to be unique back in the day, but more people seem to have the same name these days. People still don't know how to pronounce it though. I've been called everything from 'Shin-oby' to 'Soybean.' New follower here.

Chris Fries said...

@Sylvia: Thanks. And as a unique person, I am both the best and worst me there is... ;^)

@Julie: Hi! You're more than welcome, and thanks right back at'cha for stopping by mine, too. Nice to meet you also! And yeah -- it would be an interesting spin on an "attack of the clones," lol.

@Heather: Thanks, and you're right, but I'm afraid I won't go that far. I mean, I just don't see how that has anything to do with being unique, and... Oh wait... You said "Celebrate," didn't you? With an "R." Oh, sure -- that I'll do! ;^)

@Camille: Thanks and you're also more than welcome! It'll be interesting to see what you find, but I'll bet you have a pretty unique name. Well, pretty AND unique. ;^)

@Sandra: Lol! Yes, indeed. We're all over the internet, aren't we? Thanks for the visit and the comment!

@Azara: I've known people like that, too. Having that unique name might mean you can't find personalized things in the store, but in these days of internet shopping and quick made-to-order products, it's much easier than it used to be to get that mug with you name on it. Thanks for the visit and comment!

@Tamara: Hi! And thank you very much! I think you're awesome to visit and comment on mine, too!

@Ranting Monkey: Hmmm... Mata Hari? Nathan Hale? James Bond? Austin Powers? Ok, I give up... But I do like your idea of the anonymous blog, and given what I sampled on it, I totally understand why you'd go that route (and I liked your blog and would have signed up to be a follower, but didn't see where I could do that). But with me, since I started this one with the thought of linking it to my (still unattained) goal of becoming a published writer, I used my real name and so that cat's pretty much out of the bag...

@Siobhan: Thanks! And while it's not too common in the US, I think 'Siobhan' is a great name. But you mean it's NOT pronounced "soy-bean"??? Well, then -- how about "shih-vawn" like the lovely Irish name it is? Thanks for the visit and the follow!

S.P. Bowers said...

I had to laugh at this blogpost. My name wasn't exactly unique (Hello, Sara) and my married name didn't really make it any better. In college there was someone with my same name. We often got phone calls for each other. I once went on a date with someone who thought I was the other person with my name. Yea, um, it was interesting.

Mina Lobo said...

Aw, poor Mr. Freeze. Well, there may be other fellas with your name, but there's only one YOU. And we dig ya, so that should be some consolation, eh? ;-)

Thanks for participating in my blogfest!
Some Dark Romantic

Chris Fries said...

@S.P.: Wow. Now that's weird -- almost like having a doppelganger or something, lol!

@Mina: Yes, indeed, Ms. Mina -- that is wonderful consolation! And thanks to you for hosting a fun blogfest. I met some great bloggers because of it!

Laura W. said...

I googled myself once...the results were interesting.

Scott said...

I've never met a Chris Fries. I like your thoughts and attitude. Whether you're unique or not. Nice writing.

Suze said...

Chris, I've been to one other blog that participated this morning and saw your comment there. I'm going to assume you visited all or most of the false starts and all I can say is that you really impress me. The time and attention that you give other writers online goes way above and beyond the call. I see how you have commented thoughtfully on every WRiTE Club post and that takes a lot of dedication and selflessness.

Thank you so much for making the FSF rounds this week. I'm very grateful.

Yolanda Renee said...

My name is too popular, I want to change it! ;)

Funny thing is I'm the only member of my immediate family that was not named after another family member, I was certain I was adopted. Not to be, I look like all the rest of them! :)

I've decided to use J.T. Rhome, as my pen name. Less judgement. We'll see.

Milo James Fowler said...

A great blast from the past, Chris. I may be the only Milo James Fowler, but there are other Milo Fowlers out there, believe it or not. And other Captain Quasars, too -- which is why he now goes by Captain BARTHOLOMEW Quasar!

Chris Fries said...

@Laura: LOL -- yes, I'd call the results interesting for myself, too. Thanks for the visit and the comment!

@Scott: Well, now you have -- nice to meet you, Scott! And thank you for the kind words.

@Suze: Thanks! I was back and forth, but I think I hit everyone who'd posted a False Start (at least I hope I did). And thank you very much for the kind words. I've known DL for a long time -- he was the first other writer I connected with on-line, way back on the old Writer's Digest forums, and I'm always happy to support his writing, his blog, and of course WRiTE Club, too. I think it's a lot of fun and I also want to support the writers who've thrown their anonymous entries into the ring -- it can be very scary to do so. I sometimes worry I've been too negative in my comments, but my intent is to at least try and pass on some of the type of feedback I've received in the many, many rejection letters I've received from editors, with the hope that it can help writers improve. I'm still working on it myself, so it's not like I'm an expert, but me comments are always offered with a spirit of helping.

@Yolanda: I like your name -- don't change it, lol! But it is a cool pen name -- it sounds like a great name for a mystery writer (although being a sports fan, it also makes me think of Jim Rome, too - lol!).

@Milo: Thank you, Milo! You've done a great job making yourself unique with all your great writing. And I don't care if there ARE other Captain Quasars out there, as far as I'm concerned, there's only ONE, 'Bartholomew' or not!

Lily Tequila said...

Would like to add my thanks to Suze's, for visiting all the false start Friday posts- your comments are thorough and thoroughly appreciated :-)

M Pax said...

It's interesting what comes up when you google yourself. I think we all eventually stand out as individuals.

Debra Ann Elliott said...

Love your blog post! Thanks so much for stopping by my blog Words are Timeless and your thoughtful comment.

Don't ever change!

Chris Fries said...

@Lily: Well, you're more than welcome, and thank you very much for the visit and the kind words!

@M. Pax: You're right and I agree -- we are all individuals. Just like everyone else... ;^)

@Debra: Thank you right back at you! And you're more than welcome.

Suze said...

'comments are always offered with a spirit of helping'

That is totally evident, Chris. Keep up the good work as long as you can! You're a star.