The Lounge: Blogger’s Remorse

November 7, 2011 at 1:21 am (By Amba)

I heard from Randy! I will let him tell you whatever he wishes about how things are going, but what’s most important, he sounds good in himself.

In my answer to him I found myself expressing regret and remorse at abandoning my “innkeeper” role at this blog:

I haven’t been blogging hardly at all, and realize vaguely that this is like being “a bad hostess” — a blog can be a sort of gathering place. I’ve been posting little odds and ends on Facebook only because they don’t seem to make it to the blog post threshold in length or substance; but I think this is . . . inhospitable. I feel like an innkeeper who just walked away one day. I suppose I could post these little dribs and drabs on Ambiance just to form the nucleus of/excuse for a conversation. I don’t seem to have it in me to provoke serious discussions, so much. But Facebook is about as cozy a place for a conversation as an airport gate area. Still, I’m becoming very in-turned. I’m getting ready to write something about life with Jacques, I think, and this is preceded by a very long inhale in preparation for sinking down into the depths where such things come from.

I wonder whether, instead of writing those little conversational things on Facebook, I should just write them here in a kind of running post—call it “The Lounge.” We need a place to meet and hang out, to come in out of the cold November rain and dark. I would like it to look like the cozy, classy bar I passed last night on the way to nearby friends’ place. The lights were low, candles and tiny white Christmas bulbs; the polished oak wood glowed golden. I think it was called “One If By Land, Two If By Sea.” It just made you want to turn aside and go in. I don’t know if it had a fireplace but it felt as if it did.

By comparison, Facebook is a fluorescent-lit airport concourse. Every time I go over there I smell synthetic carpeting. It seems public, exposed, impersonal, and ugly. It’s partly the bad (nonexistent, airport-concourse-like) design, partly the boring, trivial nature of so many of the posts (including my own). Yet, as I told Randy, I don’t feel up to starting substantive conversations any more.

Sit down by the fire and make small talk with me.

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25 Comments

  1. amba12 said,

    A year ago today Jacques was less than two weeks from dying, and right now the husband of another member of our online support group is dying of the same illness, at the same time of year.

  2. amba12 said,

    (Note that after you leave a comment you’ll need to click to rekindle the fire.)

  3. Donna B. said,

    There was a major event in my life recently and I feel like I “must” blog about it before resuming the usual nonsensical stuff I blog about. That’s irrational, I think… but there it is anyway.

  4. amba12 said,

    Yeah, I know the feeling . . . maybe you’d like to tell us about it here? Then you could cheat, like I do, and copy your comment over to your blog and it would be done . . . through the back door. :)

  5. Donna B. said,

    I would like to talk about it here, but that’s one of the reasons I want to blog about it first. Now you just try to make sense out of that!

  6. Donna B. said,

    But, what it means is that I feel like I need to blog it first so that I can mention it elsewhere and anybody who wants can go there for details.

  7. amba12 said,

    Sense or no, let us know when you have blogged about it.

  8. karen said,

    I’ve been thinking of Randy every day. Wondering if the decided course of action has kicked cancer’s ass. Praying that Randy- who, i believe, has a gambler’s heart- is beating the odds like he did way-back-when(when?)- when he was given another negative and played the cards positive:0).

    It’d be great to hear from him.

    As for the quiet Ambience- well… that’s just how life goes, eh?
    Reminds me of when little Goldie- our Banty(frick-sp!)hen- disappears. It means nesting on eggs somewhere hidden, secretly bringing to life little leggy fuzzballs. So funny to see them all tucked up under her wings– all you can see are sets of stick(y) legs and maybe a face or two peeking between feathers!

    Can’t wait to see the face of your creation, amba.

    “… and right now the husband of another member of our online support group is dying of the same illness, at the same time of year.”

    I’m so, so sorry. They are lucky to have your strength, amba.

    PS “One if by Land– Two if by Tea”– reminds me of Rush’s anthem for the Tea Party- lol.

  9. Melinda said,

    The Lounge is a great idea!

    And I know what you mean about “too short for a blog post” and too deep for Facebook. A lot of my Facebook stati fall into that area.

    And yes, “One if by Land” has a fireplace. I had a lousy date there one night many many years ago, but the place itself was very nice.

  10. amba12 said,

    See you tonight then! :)

  11. wj said,

    Actually, I think that the fact that you are blogging much less is a postivie sign. While you were taking care of Jacques full time, you only had occasional brief moments where you could write to friends (i.e. blog post for us). But far more rarely had time to go out and spend a day or three seeing people.

    Now, you have the opportunity to go see people in person. Which both leaves fewer little bits of time where you can fire off a blog post, and less need to spend time on blogs posts because you can speak in person.

    So, the fact that we hear less from you actually means that you are rediscovering/reinventing your life. And that’s a good thing.

  12. kngfish said,

    I like the idea of the Lounge….it’s like the blogging equivalent of apres-ski fondue around one of those circular fireplaces….which means this could be a Pink Panther movie…or James Bond!

    More than the format, though, it’s the folks here that make it a ‘lounge’ or not…how we chat/write/blog as a group.

  13. Melinda said,

  14. amba12 said,

    Bingo!! No sooner said than Googled!

  15. kngfish said,

    [to amba12] S’more! S’more!

  16. kngfish said,

    My God! That was Amba at the start of that video! (just based on that “ridiculous” pic she posts of herself!)

    I’ll be the Herbert Lom here….

  17. kngfish said,

    Referring back to the video…Don’t you miss the days when someone would thrust a hip out and the soundtrack would have that cowbell ‘clank’ sound? Ah….

  18. amba12 said,

    I’m’a copy Facebook posts here for cozier discussion:

    * * *

    Very interesting approach to the aims of OWS, or any outward-directed protest movement by old blogfriend/co-centrist Rick Heller. And don’t miss his book: OCCUPY THE MOMENT. Great title!

    * * *

    Regardless of the merits of any of it, Gloria Allred’s wisecrack (she wasn’t someone you thought of as a paragon of humor) is pretty funny: alleging that in a parked car, over a job request, Cain offered his sexual-harassment accuser “his own version of a stimulus package.”

  19. karen said,

    Isn’t there a game online or something called ~Larry Leisure Suit and the Land of the Lounge Lizards~?… it’s the 40yr old virgin before the movie:0).

    IIRC.

  20. amba12 said,

    Oh, Leisure Suit Larry was a 1980s or early 90s videogame I played with some friends in Massachusetts. I still remember it nostalgically.

  21. A said,

    That’s a perfect description of the vibe of Facebook— for me, anyway.
    Younger people don’t seem to see it that way.

  22. Melinda said,

    I see it as a way to keep in touch with people without having to tie myself to a phone. Inevitably, somebody calls when my hands are covered in dough.

    Comic I enjoy from someone who is not from my generation:

    http://theoatmeal.com/comics/phone

  23. amba (Annie Gottlieb) said,

    Ohhhhhh, thank you so much . . . I needed that.

    I think the biggest problem I have with talking on the phone is the same as what I don’t like about being sent videos: it’s in REAL TIME. You know the expression, “. . . Wait for it.”? You have to wait for the exchange to plod along and play out at the pace it takes to form physical words and events one after another. Even though printed words also come one after the other, I can race through them at a pace I set, burn through information so much faster, and I seem to have so much information I either have to or want to burn through.

    None of this applies to face-to-face meetings. The rich sensory context of an actual conversation with someone walking beside you or sitting across from you means that plenty more is happening than just the words. All that is masked out by the phone.

    So can you explain why I don’t mind listening to the radio?? I would rather get news from the radio (because I don’t have to look at it) than from TV. I enjoy listening to interviews, too, especially if I can be doing something else (like driving or housecleaning) at the same time. On the radio, the voice becomes all the action, and following it can be engrossing.

    Maybe the ultimate problem with the phone is simply your revealing words “tie me to.” The device is annoying. Most phones don’t have cords anymore, but you do have to hold onto it (unless you have fixed up an elaborate wireless headset system for yourself, in which case you can walk around talking to the air and be indistinguishable from a psychotic homeless person). You are sort of tethered to it. If you could be completely physically free, puttering around in your kitchen, say, and talk with someone as easily as if they were in the room . . .

    But we’re tethered to the computer, too. So go figure.

  24. Melinda said,

    Ohhhhhh, thank you so much . . . I needed that.

    Thank YOU. Sometimes I feel so antisocial I wonder if I’m placing somewhere on the autistic spectrum. Or maybe I’m just a control freak. :)

  25. karen said,

    I think a phone call- listening to an actual voice- is so much better than texting!!! Not that i text(or even have a cell phone)i’m just so amazed by my oldest Daughter’s iphone and the computer and the camera, etc.

    Except when she’s talking to her boyfriend. When they text-fight– i hate that. Once when she lived at home she was carrying on, crying and i took that damned phone away from her and ran w/it– she chased me down(she’s a rugged gal, 2)i hid behind my husband and i wouldn’t give it back to her that night. Good thing she was there– something about her attachment to hr phone scares me for her. I told her that if i’d caught her ~cutting~ herself, i’d take the knife– this phone and the boytoy’s words were instruments of pain and i took it away.

    Are things that much more complicated in this day and age than they used to be– or do i just seem to have a much harder time w/everything?

    Mel(inda)(i call you Mel inside my head, sorry)- i loved the oatmeal boys:0).

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