I actually wrote an article -- well, not a real article, but a short item on a performer who's playing a festival that a friend's paper is sponsoring -- yesterday, which makes perhaps the third one I've done this year. Quiet? Disturbingly so. So quiet that on Sunday I cleaned my toilet. Don't get squicked out: anything that has this city's mineral-rich water running through it is going to get colorful deposits on it. And as I squirted the greenish-black deposit in an out-of-the-way part with some noxious chemical or another (a product funnier in English than in French called Canard Power) I remembered that it was these same minerals that give us the distinctive wines around here. Too bad I haven't been able to afford any this summer! On the other hand, I haven't heard anyone extolling the current vintage, either.
At any rate, I'm trying to keep busy. So today, I attacked the layout of this blog. Nothing serious, just rearranging the blog list, for the most part. The first change was, sad to say, removing the link to my other blog at realeyz.tv. They've had to suspend their bloggers because, in the great tradition of small European startup companies, they got burned by a larger company. I worked for a radio station in Berlin for several years when I lived there and this was always happening. In fact, I don't think a single one of the sponsors we had for our first year of operation ever paid us a nickel. I liked doing that blog, and I liked getting paid for it, however modestly. I hope they get back on their feet soon and I can re-add the link.
Some of the others I eliminated were simply because of the short life-span many blogs have. I was very excited when Raymond Sokolov started a blog, but it lasted two whole posts. Love That Languedoc Wine I cut because Ryan's off doing many, many new things and hasn't kept it up. Ben Perry's blog hasn't had any action in ages. Could the daughter he and Yuhang welcomed into this world earlier this year have anything to do with this? Just possibly... I keep the link in my bookmarks, though, because of the webcam showing me Berlin, live, which is usually so dismal it cheers me up no matter where I am. They're having the end of a lovely summer right now, so no need to look at that. (As are we here: the sky has been an unbelievable shade of blue.) A blog called Tales From the Languedoc Wine Country seems to have died. I know I haven't looked at it in a long time.
The one that really hurt was eliminating Doc 40 from the roll. It was loads of fun, even when Mick Farren, its perpetrator, let it lapse for a while. One reason was that his band, the Deviants, had sort of reunited and were playing shows. Another, which he didn't talk about, was that his respiratory problems were getting worse. Charles Shaar Murray (who must be getting sick of writing obits, but is very good at it nonetheless) penned a wonderful tribute after Mick stumbled off stage at the end of a set, reached for his inhaler, and dropped dead after 69 tumultuous, rabble-rousing years. I never met the man, but blogging really brought out the best in him, with the Frozdick Family and Marilyn Sez features, not to mention all those Gratuitouses just the icing on a tasty cake.
You'll notice there are a lot of blogs that rarely get posted to still on the list, but they're still alive, and their infrequent posts are really worth your time. Merle Torpitude informs me she'll be back soon, and Terry over at The New Point has another school year to teach staring him in the face, not to mention a Montreal winter in the offing and that house he's renovating still undone, so his lapses are understandable. I should also mention my old pal Nikki Zeuner, who was one of my first friends in Berlin, and who moved to the US for nearly 20 years, winding up in Silver City, New Mexico. Now she and her family have moved back to Berlin (she has the distinction of being one of the few native-born Berliners I've ever known, born within sniffing distance of the Wedding Krematorium), and her On The Fence blog promises to have a culture-shock index similar to this one. Oh, and if you haven't dived into Sorrywatch, let's just say you should.
There are a few newbies I'm watching that I suspect I'll be adding soon: Joe Ehrlich was looking for a job forever, and once had a nice blog about his taxi-driving days in San Francisco. Now he's become a long-haul trucker, and his blog about that is very well-written. Blogging may have taken a hit from the Twit, but for those of us who like good writing, and don't have any place to read it (or write it), it can be a nice place to hide out.
Meanwhile, don't forget the other gizmos over there on the right: the Amazon gizmo for cookbooks needs a tiny bit of updating, but it's one-stop shopping for the books I use every day, and I get a percentage of what you spend on anything you buy there -- as well as the other things you get on that same shopping trip, so pick a cookbook on your way to buying the Wolf range to use it on. My two Kindle books are still worth buying -- or borrowing, if you're a Premium member, since I get paid for that, too -- and recently a number of people bought some and I got a nice $20 check out of the blue. Keep it up, and I may well add to that with another volume of stuff I've written that most people never got to see. And as always, that PayPal button is a good way to pay me for work I've done -- or for the insanely generous among you to just make a donation because you like this blog.
Right. Now, about the kitchen floor...
1 day ago