“I have learned throughout my life as a composer chiefly through my mistakes and pursuits of false assumptions, not by my exposure to founts of wisdom and knowledge.”
– Igor Stravinsky, Composer
Buenos Aires – Does blogging, or this blog in particular need, or even merit a defense? Is there any point to it? What am I talking about? I suppose this is geared, somewhat to newer readers of my near daily musings about life here. Actually, I’m guessing they’re newer readers since this has all started very recently. Maybe not, maybe they’ve just been lurking for months on end. You may remember my recent comments about a series of e-mails I received from an irate, and arguably loopy reader. The couple of on-blog comments I received were supportive, appreciated, though not necessary – I wasn’t feeling bad about this guy’s attacks, it was long in the past, it was more to illustrate a point. What is fascinating, however, is what isn’t seen on the blog – quite a number of e-mails from readers with their own agendas, opinions, vituperative commentary.
Here’s the thing. I don’t get it. If you don’t like what I write, or how I write it… go away. Don’t read my blog. Right click on the title line in your blog reader or favorite sites and select delete. It really is that simple. It’s like simply deciding not to watch Friends or Seinfeld because you don’t enjoy them. I don’t – really, they’re not funny. Just because other people do, doesn’t mean you have to. I won’t be upset, I won’t be hurt. Hell, I won’t even know or care. Amazingly enough, I’m not writing this blog for you, whomever you are, and that even includes the folks whose dialogue and commentary I’ve come to enjoy back and forth either on the blog or via e-mail – though admittedly, they/you have an influence on what I write about. Honestly, I write this blog for me, I enjoy it (even if this morning it may not seem that way).
What this blog is… it’s my thoughts, musings, speculations, what have you, on my daily life. When I write about a restaurant experience that I had, that’s all it is – an experience I had – good, bad, or indifferent. I don’t intend them as true “reviews” in the professional critic sense. There’s an element of it, since I do write professional reviews for local magazines, and when I do I often go the more traditional route of several visits, different times of day, etc., etc., etc. – and in those cases, perhaps my critiques are more reasoned and/or balanced views. But most of the time, I writeup a simple one time experience of dining somewhere. I didn’t make you go there, I didn’t orchestrate your experience, and, I simply decline any responsibility for whether or not you have an equal experience to mine. I hope that if I enjoyed a place, you will too. I hope, too, that you’ll look at when I wrote up my visit – one recent writer took me to task for “sending them” to a place where they had a less than stellar experience – a place I wrote about over two years ago and haven’t been back to since. I am, by the way, happy to hear about differing experiences – and often when I do, it does prompt me to go back and retry a place, for better or worse – I don’t, however, respond well to being told that I’m wrong and an idiot for my perceptions of my experience, among the lesser criticisms I’ve received. If you’re nasty about it – and we don’t even know each other – I’m likely to discount your opinion as the ravings of a disgruntled lunatic, as opposed to wondering if it’s worth going back to a place for another look.
Outside of the restaurant writeups, the rest is a mix of playtime in the kitchen – really, I don’t cook from recipes, at least not in the exacting sense – and I don’t scribble down the details as I go, and I’m sorry if you put too much salt in your soup… learn to taste things as you go, instead of blindly following a set of instructions. Yesterday’s bread post is a perfect example – were I to have continually followed the recipe that I used in New York without playing around with it to figure out why it wasn’t working, I would have continually had bad results. That said, I’m happy to try to give a sense of quantities and procedures, but even when I cook, things tend to come out differently each time as I adjust and change things.
Your ability to comment on my blog is subject to one simple thing, registration [edit: no longer necessary]. I know, lots of blogs don’t require you to register. Lots of blogs don’t moderate the comments. I understand. I even experimented for a little while with not requiring the registration (which is really simple, it’s just providing an e-mail to prove that you’re a real person rather than a spider, ‘bot, or whatever it is that generate automatic commentary on blogs all over). For me, it’s worth it for two reasons – it cuts down on comment spam – a lot. As in, when I tried doing the non-registered commenting a couple of months ago, the blog was getting as many as 150 comments a day that were ads for online poker, viagra, real estate, mortgages, etc. The other part is, that whether it’s a false sense or not, it gives me the feeling that I’ve somehow connected with you, that it’s worth that 30 second effort on your part to participate. The flip side is the number of people who send me scathing notes about my intrusion on their personal privacy by requiring it and therefore they’re not going to. Oh well. Here’s a tip. Don’t intrude on mine with your notes. And really, I’m not going to sell your e-mail address to some marketing company, nor even send you anything myself. You can use a one-time hotmail address and then delete it afterwards. I’ll never even know.
In terms of me writing about non-food stuff. Too bad. My life isn’t all about food and wine. I’m going to writeup visits to museums, concerts, walks through the city, or inaugural parties at gay hotels. I occasionally comment on politics or the red tape of daily living here. I’m not even sorry if one or more of those offends you. Not a bit. I’m not a professional photographer, and sometimes I don’t take great photos, though I hope they’ve been generally improving over time. I’m not going to take a course in professional food or statue photography. I’m not going to pay you to digitally enhance my photos. Really. Deal with it. Write your own blog. Take your own pictures. Get yourself heavily medicated. Seriously.