new adventures in blogging

Don’t tell me that. I think of my blog as something nobody reads.

via Ruth Reichl Ditches the Wigs for a New Disguise: Fiction – NYTimes.com.

You see this a lot with both new online writers and older people newly writing online. It’s more than just a general misunderstanding of how the internet works or what “public” means. For some people it’s a subconscious ignorance bolstered by the anonymity of obscurity.

That’s why you see so many people take their ball and go home once their audience grows beyond coworkers, family or friends*. Comments from strangers, even positive ones, can be unnerving. You start to worry about what these people who you don’t know think of you. You hold back on things you fear may offend someone. You second guess topics, then sentences, then the whole enterprise becomes a frustrating hassle to keep up with.

*There is also the category of those who know full well they are not anonymous. People who are clearly writing for an audience, as long as it’s an adoring audience (c.f my old tumblr rage re: Chuck Lorre’s disingenuity). “I didn’t know anyone was reading this!” No, you just don’t want the wrong people reading it or to be subject to criticism. But that’s the internet—threats and bullying are never ok but disagreement is not bullying.

I blogged frequently (and mostly terribly) for years safe in my bubble of unimportance. But even without ever becoming popular or noticed on any level beyond real life friends I still found myself caught in a loop of rethinking everything, trying to outwrite any possible rebuttals. Ridiculous! And impossible. For a long time I’ve rarely bothered to add my voice to any online debate because my (self-imposed) standards of creating a coherent narrative or point of view were too high. I’ve had, at best, 140 characters to comfortably say about things. (Even right now I am reading this and thinking, how sad and dumb you sound! You have nothing to say? Then STFU!)

But blogging took off in such a different direction than I was used to. I can’t write a cogent analysis of current political or tech or social issues. I can just tell you about the time my power got shut off or enumerate the guest stars on each weekday rerun of Murder, She Wrote. Or I could; I don’t even do that anymore.

I see other people still doing it though, mostly on Tumblr. And maybe this is what Medium is supposed to be for. Anyway, I do miss it. I just don’t know exactly how to get it back when it’s extremely rare I feel strongly enough about something to come here and talk about it without caring who’s reading.

Although I guess if I get back to blogging about Murder, She Wrote or “hey, look at this crazy leaf,” obscurity through banality will keep me safe.

sunday night blues

I still get the old, childhood, Sunday night feeling. The end of playtime and the beginning of responsibility comes over you. The Sunday night blues. It never goes away. I’ll take a Benadryl maybe. A Benadryl and a dull book.
via A Farmer’s Breakfast, and Then a Wander – NYTimes.com.

This is the end of Michael Emerson’s Sunday Routine from the Metro section. I am torn between feeling comforted knowing even a rich, famous, seemingly nice and happy man shares not only my Sunday angst but also my Benadryl addiction/crutch or feeling OH MY GOD I MAY STILL FEEL THIS WAY AT 59?!

Good night, where’s my ‘dryl?

duck month

Every winter, usually in February when everything is cold and grey and sad, we like to go to the farmer’s market, get a few ducks and eat several delicious duck-based dinners. It’s not brain surgery or curing cancer but in the middle of a long, boring winter you take your pleasures however they come. In February they mostly come from ducks.

duck parts

In addition to a freezer full of duck stock and an alarming amount of duck fat this year we made:

duck breast with mushrooms, sauteed kale and polenta

duck soup! with duck stock, breast, bok choy and egg noodles

duck confit, butter lettuce and arugula salad with dijon vinaigrette and duck fat roasted potatoes

apartment hunt ’14 update

Wonders never do cease. I apparently am able to pull back from the anxiety abyss, see reality and make appropriate decisions.

We decided to pass on Option 2 aka the apartment we saw the other night. It finally became clear that the most compelling facet about the place was the parking space. It was a very nice apartment and a great building and I’d recommend it to you if you’re looking for a new place but it was not right for us. We managed to recognize it was really just the irresistible idea of easy, affordable parking that was luring us in. Sidenote: because I am not a monster I emailed the owner to give him a heads up on our passing and his reply was as friendly and gracious as our meeting. I really wish I knew someone who needed his apartment because as far as landlords go he seems wonderful.

So, next steps are to find out if renewing our current place will cost us more than we’re willing to pay for our Slanty Shanty and to research parking spots in the neighborhood. It’s not a necessity but spending a little tax refund money on not having to deal with parking for year sounds easier than moving. I know, I know, call me a wahmbulance but I can’t be the only one self-indulging my way through this winter. Hashtag blog lady problems.

days of wine and pasta

I rarely manage to stick to things (as evidenced by this long-neglected blog) but I have recently maintained a 60 day streak of something, a feat so rare I feel compelled to brag about it.

Since it’s me it’s not a streak of anything important; I haven’t exercised for 60 days or volunteered or even created something of note. All I’ve done is use an app, a language app I downloaded near New Year’s after seeing it on some end of year roundup. It’s called Duolingo and I’m using it to (re)teach myself Italian. Remember when I took all those continuing ed classes back when I was at The School? I can’t believe it was six years ago but that’s my excuse for forgetting much of what mia cara professoressa taught me.

After a while I convinced Chris to get it too and we’ve been dutifully going through our lessons a few minutes each day. Then, in an amazing miracle coincidence I am so excited about,  a friend who’s spending six months or so in Tuscany invited us to come visit and stay with him. Andiamo in Italia!

So Duolingo has been fun and easy and free but it’s possible I’m getting a bit more out of it than Chris since I had a few years of in person lessons. There’s a lot I already know that’s just getting refreshed. I’d still recommend it though if only for the somewhat ridiculous vibe of a lot of the sample sentences. It ranges from slightly silly to foreboding to existential: