Saturday, February 02, 2008

Leavin' the 'net plane...

It’s nearly 10am, and I’m once again ensconced in The Chair. I’ve been sitting here since about 7am, just sitting here quietly drinking coffee and cruising the Internet, catching up on some blog reading.

I used to read 2 blogs regularly – 'nabbalicious' and 'Look At Me, I’m So Important That I Have a Blog'. Nabbalicious was written by a young woman named Heather, and Look At Me by a young man named Darren. Both very talented writers. Heather is also an extremely talented photographer. I looked forward to the photos she’d post on her blog.

The story of the 2 of them was interesting and touching.

When I first began reading their blogs, they each were married, unhappily as it turned out; both went through ending their ill-fated marriages. Through blogging, Heather and Darren met and fell in love. Eventually, Darren moved from NYC to Richmond, I think it was, to live with Heather. Then they both moved together to Sunny California.

Their blogs were not all about the story of Darren and Heather; their blogs covered all kinds of topics, covering a range of emotions and experiences. Darren could be especially hilarious. They each had their own personal struggles, and they shared openly on their blogs. Like I said, both were very talented writers. Darren once posted a recipe for his hometown style chili… I wish I would have printed that post, because I’d love to have his recipe. I remember part of the recipe was the secret of frying the ground beef using a potato masher to get the cooked meat really, really fine, not clumpy. I’ve used that trick and love it. I always meant to try Darren’s chili recipe, and now, of course, since I can’t get that recipe, I really, really want it. (Hey, if you have it, please share it with me, ok?!)

Both blogs seemed to me to have had a good following, that is, many loyal readers. Reader comments, in my opinion, especially showed appreciation for the way both Darren and Heather discussed on their respective blogs their own personal demons. Like depression, fighting weight gain, and the like.

Then Look At Me was not updated for a very long time. Each time I checked, it was the same post with a photograph of a long highway in the desert. The photo was beautiful, and initially I liked it because it was taken by Darren on his way out to California to join Heather. The photo represented a new beginning, lotsa fun on the way, California here I come! But then as the days and weeks went by with no new post, the photo began to look like a long, lonesome highway. Then one day, when I clicked on my favorites link for Look At Me, I got the dreaded HTTP 404 - File not found.

During the time Darren was not updating his blog, Heather eventually explained that he had moved back to NYC to do what they should have done before, but now I can’t remember exactly what that was, something about really getting to know one another… I’m not sure. I know that Heather’s posts, when she finally discussed Darren, because loyal readers were asking, asking, and asking in the comments, was about missing him & both dealing with depression and other things.

Around Thanksgiving, Heather posted a photo of a baby in her family; it wasn’t a cutsie baby photo, it was a photo of a crying, tired baby, exactly how babies get at the end of big family holiday gatherings. It was an adorable photo, teary eyes, snotty nose and all, & it made me want to grab that sweet baby and hold her… But then that photo remained for weeks… no new post. And the photo of that sweet baby began to look so very, very sad. And then what I feared finally happened… HTTP 404 - File not found.

This scenario represents to me why blogs are, or can be, so interesting. It’s not just reading stories by talented writers, it’s not simply comparing other’s opinions to one’s own, it’s not only realizing how we’re all the same even though we’re all so different… oh, it’s all of that stuff, yes, and it’s also just plain entertainment. I read well-written blogs for the same reason I read books… to be entertained, to be enlightened, to be educated and to, hopefully, sometimes laugh out loud.

The blogs by Heather and Darren caught my interest well before the drama of divorce and found romance, but once that all began, of course I was interested. Who wouldn’t be?

I was happy for them. I was interested in their lives. Like getting immersed in the characters of a really great novel, I was interested. HTTP 404 hit home to me the major difference, of course… those 2 young people are not characters in a novel, they are 2 people making their way through life and that includes the difficult phases. Life ain’t all fun and games, we all know that. Sometimes life is HTTP 404.

As for Heather, it’s my guess that she’s discontinued her blog because she’s concentrating on her passion for photography, and I’m also guessing she’ll definitely make it as a professional photographer. It took a little Google diggin’, but I found that last photo she posted of the crying baby… it’s entitled, “Not Happy” – go have a look, it’s worth the click!

More Googling has led me to the conclusion that, as for me, Darren has done the Internet virtual reality version of leavin' on that ol' jet plane. Don't know if he'll be back again.

I miss reading blog posts by Heather and Darren. I wish them both well. I hope they are both continuing to write, even if it isn’t via a blog, because it’d be a shame for that talent to go unused.


  1. Darren (McLikeshimself)1:36 PM

    Thank you, JT. That was very nice (and very sad) to read.

    1 ½ lb. ground beef
    2 11 oz. Cans dark red kidney beans
    1 cup chopped onion
    1 clove minced garlic
    3 bay leaves (remove before serving)
    1 tbsp. white vinegar
    1 tbsp. olive oil
    1 tbsp. honey
    1 tbsp. un-sweetened cocoa powder
    1 tbsp. chili powder
    ½ tsp. ground cumin
    ½ tsp. cinnamon
    ½ tsp. all spice
    ½ tsp. cardamom
    ½ tsp. salt
    ½ tsp. pepper

    Brown ground beef, drain, chop in blender. Mix ingredients in crock-pot. Simmer on low 5-7 hours. Stir thoroughly once every hour. Sever over spaghetti noodles and finely shredded cheese. Hot sauce to taste.

  2. Darren! I hope you're doing good. Honestly, I was hoping you would one day find this post I wrote, so you would know I appreciated your blog during the time you wrote it. Sometimes it is true that 'all good things must come to an end' and that's fine. Whachagonnado, y'know. I just hope life is treating you well. Thank you so much for the recipe. It made me smile to see that you included it!