It's not supposed to be about about how cool I am

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2008/01/05 10:01 -05:00, original URI:

There is a problem with posts like Burying the lead, aka A weekend perfected not by art but by mortality, which on the whole are quite well received.

I will describe the problem by way of a bit from an episode of The West wing, where Jed Bartlet had to write a toast for Abbey for her birthday and was having some trouble coming up with words:

Bartlet: Okay. Here we go.
Charlie: Time is tight.
Bartlet: That's when the juices get flowing.
Charlie: I'm not sure we have time for juices, sir.
Bartlet: I could tell the story of the ditch digger.
Charlie: Sir?
Bartlet: You know the story?
Charlie: I do not.
Bartlet: Abbey and I were walking along and we see a ditch digger, and I said, "Aren't you glad you married me? You could've married a ditch digger." And she said, "Jed, if I'd married him,
he'd be President." What do you think?
Charlie: Not so sure, sir.
Bartlet: Why?
Charlie: 'Cause it seems like a story about how cool you are.
Bartlet: It is.

You see where I am going with this -- the blog is indeed a sad story with some good, long-time friends, and it is hard to imagine not being moved by it. It pulls at heart strings even though it isn't trying to, even though it tries to be as mundane as one possibly could be under the circumstances.

But it just ends up being story that points out how cool I am. Which I'm really not, not nearly as often as I likely could be, or even as often as I probably ought to be.

Just looking at the example of that post, there are many things I could have done differently, several of which I in fact should have done differently. I think in the end it represents just about as close as I can get to a perfect description of a situation imperfectly handled.

I just don't want people to get the wrong idea. I can be a great guy, a good friend, a quality developer, an amusing blog author.

I even have one reader who once made the claim (and to date has never retracted it) of being in love with my blog.

But in person? The reaction is not nearly so dramatic and neither are the feelings (and she has met me so she knows what she's talking about). There are in fact many such people who find me to be quite resistible personality wise, but they love the blog.

In the aftermath of that post, I feel about like a [slightly modified ]bit near the end of the movie Talk Radio:

Dan: That was great. You pulled it off, champ. Congratulations. I'll read you tomorrow.
Michael: Dan. What if I don't blog tomorrow?
Dan: You'll blog tomorrow, Michael. You always do.
{Dan Leaves}
Stu: She left, huh?
Michael: Yep.
Stu: I don't blame her.
Michael: Her best line was, "Michael Kaplan's a nice place to visit, but I wouldn't want to live there." {Pause} The blog's a washout, Stu.
Stu: Give me a break, will you? We're going national, man. Besides, it's not that important. It's just one blog.
Michael: If it's not that important, why am I doing it?
Stu: I don't know, Michael. You don't like the heights, don't climb the mountains. You know what I mean? It's like that kid just said: "Man, this is your blog."

Anyway, my advice to regular readers is to just keep it all in perspective. And keep in mind that (as I have said before), my life reads much cooler than it lives.

For the moment, I'm just very very tired. And I miss Liz...


This post brought to you by(U+2615, aka HOT BEVERAGE)

Gedoe on 7 Jan 2008 11:06 AM:

Maybe you'r not cool (I dont know I only read the blog :) ) but the posting made a huge impression, if only because of the situation.

Liz seems to be a very courageous person, and I can understand her not telling you at first. I guess she just wanted to relive the drunk part, and if she had told you she was dying it would probably not have happened (at least I would not be able to get drunk under such circumstances).

To me Liz has made it to hero state, having the guts to go and visit everyone in person while she is still able. I fear I would not be able to do that I would probably be dwelling with self pity.

As for what you wrote it's a huge hommage to Liz, and to you

I hope she can do what she still wants to be done

Finally although I really dont know you or her (besides from the blog postings) I *will* remember this.


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