Saturday, June 04, 2005

guest post 4

More from Kep:

So the day after she got back from Europe, I asked Nina what she was up to and she said that she was searching for a hole in the wall. Say what? That kind of answer just demands clarification.

She told me she had to be in France again in July to present a yet-to-be-written paper at a conference. The plan was to hide out in some rural hole for a few days before the conference and write like mad until something presentable appeared on paper.

I told her to do a no-show. Your heart’s not in it – screw the French and their damn homards and coquilles. They think just because they cook like there’s no tomorrow that they’ll have us running there at a snap. (Okay, that was transparent. I am enamored with all things French.)

But what’s with the hole in the wall?

Nina said that she had absolutely no cash to put up for this project, so she was looking at her voluminous Gault Millau, le guide, to find the cheapest possible room anywhere within a day’s train ride of Paris.

So any luck? She pointed to a listing – at 31 Euro per night it had to be a hole. Le Stasbourg. Sounds like crap, I told her (I was bluffing; I don’t read French). Is it at least in an interesting location? Her answer: There are many ways to view a location as interesting. There’s one thing about it that appeals to me. The name of the village* is a name I’ve heard quite recently, thrown out by a woman who clearly was displeased with my way of handling things. So maybe it’s a match. I sent them an email. We’ll see what they say.

The thing about being friends with Nina is that it gives you plenty of screwy stories to recount for the blog. One of our common friends said that she is a complete wild card. Oh yeah! Now, if I had to do this for my sister, for example, I’d be stumped after the first post.

*name of village: Bitche

guest post 3

More from Kep:

Nina’s still out, so it’s back to me posting here. I am told not to worry too much about what I write on a Saturday since it appears that no one reads blogs on the week-ends. Don’t you feel stupid, you few who are glued to the screen? And what does it say about me that I am both reading and writing on this great big beautiful day? I should be swinging a bat or building a shed or doing something manly and worthwhile. Instead I am dutifully typing away, trying to play the good guy here.

I like blogs. I’m new to them, but I like them. People seem to be chasing their dreams and fulfilling their creative impulse right there on the Net and I am all for it. Show us your closet artwork! Come on, post it and let us take a quick look!

But here’s the truth of it. We, the readers, are cheating. We give you just a minute, maybe two, and we walk away thinking – okay, we’re done. We can return to shed-building, duty to friend discharged.

I had the following happen to me with respect to Ocean and its author. Some weeks ago I sent Nina a message with a direct reference to a recent post, telling her that it was awesome how she was enjoying a spring walk or something to that effect. Hey, I thought I was being decent by going to the trouble of emailing, given that Ocean does not permit the easy route of commenting with a click on the blog.

I got a chilly note back with this little jab: “how little you know.” Holy Hannah (I was warned not to use curse words in posts here), open up your comments if you want a discussion of your internal state, I retorted (using a nicer tone; I know all about the fragile feelings of friends and bloggers). She said something like – if you can’t even go to the trouble of typing in an email address then obviously you do not have anything important to tell me.

She is right of course. Her post on the spring walk said nothing about her day really. I imputed into it stuff that wasn’t even there. And I wanted to be done with it quickly, before shed building and bat swinging.

So now I think that blogs kill the impulse to write an email or pick up the phone and ask “how’s it goin’.” I counted up the minutes I give to checking Ocean per day: maybe five, at most. And I looked at my saved emails and counted the number I’ve exchanged with Nina since she’s started posting. It’s down. And since I hate the phone and she hates the phone, that says something about what her blogging has done to the frequency of our contact. Even as I relish having a quick peak at the life of an Ocean liner every single day that she posts.

Okay, now I really want to go out and pound a few nails.