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Update and Adieu (for a brief while) | blog.deanland.com

Update and Adieu (for a brief while)

Update and Adieu (for a brief while)





Taking A Necessary Break





After this update sort of entry (see below), I will be away for a while. A death in the family. Mourning. Time for some reflection and to offer support and love.

Death is a part of life, we know that. One of the less pleasant parts, despite the fact that we knew it was coming, feel all are better off for it being over, but still dealing with this very new hole in our hearts.






Jackson & Dean, and the Misbehaving Women





Last night there was a small confab of bloggers at The Oyster Bar in New York Cityís Grand Central Station. "A Landmark within a landmark." Halley Suitt was going to be in New York, as were a few others, so she (they?) and a few New Yorkers passed around some e-mail coordinating this somewhat last-minute get-together. Halleyís plan was to take her son, Jackson, to the rink at Rockefeller Plaza (yeah, the one near the Today Show, famous from all sorts of movies, including Splash, Ghostbusters ñremember the frozen pizzas?óYouíve Got Mail, numerous Woody Allen films, and at least one with Fred Astaire and one with Leslie Caron, titles of which I cannot recall), for a late afternoon spin around the ice.

Then the assembled group would meet at the Oyster Bar, for chowder, pan roasts, maybe some oysters, and, of course, scintillating conversation.

...in New York's Grand Central Station.  A veritable institution.  And the food is pretty good, too.  Overpriced as all get-out, but tasty, and this is where you are truly paying for real New York ambience.

When I arrived the group was already there. Despite some discussion in other blogging quarters about men linking primarily to men, women linking primarily to women, and some oddly genderpolitic assertions that women are more apt to link to men than men are to women Ödoes anyone really give a shit about this, and is it really an issue worthy of taking up the space or the brain energy?ÖÖ and various gender/links/whining arguments, let it be said that Jackson and I were the only males in attendance. Well, male bloggers. Hmm, no. Jackson is a bloggerís son, not necessarily a Blogger. Not yet, anyhow. And there was one fellow there described as ìMegís boyfriend.î

Suffice it to say that of the bloggers invited to this social event, I was the only male.

It was an interesting group. Mostly, actually, it was a NY meeting of many members of the Misbehaving Blog, with Jackson, Megís boyfriend, and yours truly also in attendance. Careful readers of Halleyís blog will recall her suggestion that the women of Misbehaving.Net actually have a meet-up.

Catarina Fake was there, talking about the Law and Internet Games seminar. Interesting area, and an unlikely sort of pairing: lawyers and Internet Gamesters. She and I also spoke about 9/11, and how the event was such a crucial point in the young history of blogging.

Blogs seemed to have come of age after 9/11 much the way Television News came of age after the assassination of JFK. Purpose, attention, communication, and sense of veracity and definition, place, were a byproduct of these events.

Betsy Devine (thatís "Devine - last name" not "Devine - shoulda starred in Hairspray") and I spoke a little about BloggerCon, where weíd met before, and Feedster. Betsy works at Feedster, and was happy to hear me extol the virtues of Feedster and how it does for me what I am unable to do for myself, vis-‡-vis permalinks.

I told Betsy to be sure to read my Friday post,where not only did I write about it, but I also included the line. "3 Cheers For Feedster!"

Meg Hourihan, aka in the Blogosphere as Megnut, was there. Sheís the one whose companion was described as ìthe boyfriend.î Of course, we wonít go into a discussion of how offensive it might be were the tables, er, genders turned, and someone described as such! She and I had only a moment or two to speak.

Meg did point out that Halley, the very fulcrum of this Oyster Bar meet-up, was the first to leave, before much time had really elapsed. But a tired 9 year old trumps a bunch of yakking bloggers anyday, so off Halley and Son went into the New York night, presumably to catch some zzzzís before heading back up to home in New England.

Deravala Hanley was also there. Check out Dervalaís blog, an excellent read. This woman has seen a great deal of the world.

Actually, most of the chat time was spent at first with Catarina until a guy (who sure seemed like he was her boyfriend, speaking, as we were above, of boyfriends)! showed up and they went on to other places.

Then Betsy and Dervala and I spoke about a variety of topics, including the techie-ness of RSS, of a great deal of software in general, and how much of the blogging tools and software are written in geek-speak.

Dervala had some interesting comments about the look of some user interfaces. It was quite interesting, and actually refreshing, to hear someone elseís opinion on this. And an eloquently expressed opinion, at that. Betsy spoke about the different RSS graphics (the coffee cup RSS, the not-a-coffee cup RSS, et al) and how even a visit to her home and her PC by none other than Dave Winer still left some of the linking and installation of these things an unsolved mystery.

We discussed some oddball things about blogging, including the fact that some items one posts seem like they will be major efforts, yet get minimal response. And yet other posts, sometimes all but throw-away items or quickly penned and published pieces, generate a great deal of traffic, discussion, e-mail, and subsequent posts and cross-posts.

I recounted how I felt an item I written as a story and sent to a bunch of people right before BloggerCon, ìGoing Ape For BloggerConî was perhaps the funniest and most entertaining item Iíd done in ages. And, alas, it has not yet even received 150 hits. Damn, I hate when that happens!!!!!

But there was solace in hearing from fellow bloggers (HmmmÖcan women be ìfellowî bloggers? Gee, one often hears the separation of ìfellersí and ìgals.î Will this get a bunch of gender-political-angry types, as mentioned above, all outraged??) that they, too encounter the same thing. And it remains mind-boggling to all of us.

Ominous and Foreboding

On the drive into the city I was in somewhat of a mood, a blue funk. I was a little concerned that Iíd started out a bit later than planned. But that wasnít it. I was just in a mood. And a little down, at that.

Yeah, yeah, thereís very heavy work pressure of late. And some other issues, too. And with the holidays coming I always seem to fall into a blue funk of sorts. But this was different. It was as though I felt something coming.

And I knew it meant a lot of car time, but had no idea how or why I sensed this.

When I got to the city my mood picked up a bunch when I got a legal space, using one of the cityís new Muni-Meters. And watching a bunch of kids doing some tricky skateboarding moves by the NorthEnd ramp of the entrance to Grand Central was entertaining. Despite being on crutches, I had no problem with the doors or the escalators, and made my way around Grand Central, down to the dining area and to the Oyster Bar. By the time I walked in and spotted Halley and company, my mood was improved.

I told Catarina, and then Betsy and Dervala how Halley had written a oddly foreboding fictional piece on September 10th, and Iíd received an e-mail alert the same day about the Taliban, and about my friend the artist who had been so overwhelmed on the night of September 10th with a restless, unpleasant energy.

This was covered in a blog entry this year, on September 11th.

The ominous, foreboding sense of something coming. Or just the artistic expression of discomfiture, or use of the word terror . . . it remains a very unsettling sensation.

What I didnít realize on Saturday night, and have come to begin to understand this evening, is that the reason this was so much on my mind, that I spoke to a few different people about it, was simple.

I was feeling it again. But I didnít recognize it.

After the Oyster Bar I drove to Susanís place, where we spent a little time. I got the late Saturday night edition of The Sunday Times, and drove home. Again, as I drove back, the melancholy feeling came back.

Something was just wrong. I could feel it.

And it wasnít some business or work-related issue. Nor was it any of a number of things on my mind just about now. Something else was going on, but I could not identify it or come to grips with it.

Then today came the call. A death in the family. Not unexpected, but not exactly so immediately anticipated.

This is not the place for me to go into it. But this is a major loss. So off I go for a few days, as it said at the top of this piece. Time to mourn.