I still have to give my head a shake in realizing my blogiversary coincides with Valentine’s Day. And that’s about as deeply as I want to delve into that coincidence.
I looked back on what I wrote a year ago and much of it still applies.
Nelle Engoron’s Mad Men posts first caught my eye. I’m a big fan of the series and hers was the best commentary I’d seen. I stuck to commenting for the first few months until O’Really noticed one and encouraged me to blog. I didn’t think I had much to say but looking back over a couple of years, I’ve said it anyway.
Short answer – for the hell of it. I guess that makes it a hobby. I’ve no dream of getting published or working up to a book or anything. Eventually I’ll just run dry; nothing lasts forever.
What I most enjoy is that at its best, OS is like an intelligent conversation with a smart friend. I’m bowled over by the number of good writers here; I’ve learned a lot and grown to enjoy reading topics that I never expected to read. Like Damon Walter’s West Coast serial that at times reminds me of Kerouac or Hammett. Or Algis Kemezys’ photography. Or the quirky life incidents from folks I don’t know, who I didn’t know existed a year or two ago and whom I’ll probably never meet.
Partly it’s whimsical, partly by default, and sometimes there’s an interesting Open Call. Of the posts I read and comments I make, most are political; my main interest. But I seldom post because I usually find that writers like old new lefty, Kent Pitman, Steve Klingaman, Fay Paxton, Paul O’Rourke or Tom Cordle have beat me to it and done it better than I could. So I’m happy enough just commenting. I did have one serious post on the Obama voting decision (Not For the Republicans AND Not For Obama? - Not I) and I’ll revisit that in the fall.
From time to time I’ll single out a musician whose work I think is under-recognized. So far that includes Mercedes Sosa, Tom Robinson, Roxy Music, Albert Lee, Lhasa de Sela, Steve Winwood and Elis Regina. It’s a labor of love. If I waited till I could write about music to the standards of LuminousMuse or Various Artists, well, ‘nuff said.
A year ago I’d only just begun to write about my traveling days. There was one I struggled with for several months. As I wrote a year ago “there’s one travel story I’m wrestling with. It involves an ill-considered office romance that turned into a triangle that may have involved workplace sabotage that endangered my career and actually led me to the one time in my life where I thought suicide should be among the options under consideration.” Thanks to some tips I gleaned from Fusun’s Karma series, I was able to come up with my adventures with a femme fatale named Tamara. It was a relief to get that out.
Well, you can actually look it up. I’ve mentioned my political & musical favorites. Others I’d like to single out would be, Cranky Cuss, Scarlett Sumac, dirndl skirt, Fusun, Lea Lane, Mary Stanik, Margaret Feike, Linda Seccaspina, Lucy Mercer, Alan Nothnagle, LuminousMuse and Bellwether Vance. I find pretty much everything they write worth reading. And I wish that cartouche/O’Really, Emma P, Dr. Spud, Saturn Smith, M Chariot and Bill Beck (is he gone?) would post more. Of course there are several others whose posts I usually enjoy and comment on – scanner, daisy jane, Lezlie, zuma, Con, Joan, kosher, Oryoki, blu, jw, Sheila, OE, Nikki, Stim, Deborah, Brass, Beth, Persistent, AtHome, Kem, zanelle, Susie, Frank, Mark, Erica, Myriad, l’Heure, nana, Trig & Tink and that is not an exhaustive list.
You can see how it gets to be problematic, in a good way. There are more folks here worth reading here than I have OS time for. And I always feel guilty if I miss one of my favorites.
I was lucky enough to have two. In the early summer I was heading to New York for a few days and I was able to link up with dirndl skirt. She is every bit as charming and well-spoken in person as she is in her Hell’s Kitchen blogs. We met at the Barnes & Noble on Union Square and then took a brisk walk through some of dirndl’s old stomping grounds. Later we had a light supper at a Spanish tapas café in the neighborhood. Lovely evening out and I also have to thank dirndl for pointing me to Bellwether Vance. I’m hoping our paths will cross again in 2012.
A few months later an old friend of mine urged me to accompany her to the Shaw Festival in Niagara on the Lake. As its name suggests it’s near Niagara Falls and as it turned out, near Scarlett Sumac’s home. This meet-up was a little frustrating. None of it due to any want on Scarlett’s part. Much of the time was spent on a wine tour which limited conversation. No problem I thought as there was a tasting session afterwards. What I hadn’t counted on was Scarlett’s status as local celeb. The vineyard owner and several of the staff practically mobbed her. I felt like I should be angling for an autograph. Conversation again curtailed but her halo effect meant we got lots of free samples. And as with the samples, the too-short visit left me wanting more. By the way folks, her photos do not do her justice.
I have a few more travel stories I’d like to get into print, or whatever this is. Plus a few more music posts and some commentary on the presidential race. I’ really want to thank those who read and comment. I’m sure you all appreciate just how gratifying that is and I’m no exception.
I’ve never suggested one but I have a certain blog in mind and it seemed to embody a theme that I’m sure everyone has encountered. Roughly speaking it’s How Did I Wind Up Here, Doing This?
An innocuous example is when, in my teens, I spent a weekend at a Christian retreat. There’s a valid reason of course but as an unwavering atheist since I was eight, I wouldn’t have expected life’s pathway to bring me there. There’s a much more sordid example that I’ll try to blog about in a week or so. Surely some of you have found yourselves in unexpected situations. Do tell.
In closing, to honor the day, here’s another fave love song.