Quality Is Job One

Blogging is a funny thing, really. I like doing it, and it landed me a magazine writing job (which is also mostly fun) but I never quite get around to doing most of the requisite things that others do to boost traffic: getting all up in the MyFace and TwitSpace and BoobTube with quick ubiquity, and commenting far and wide like a tweaker cheerleader suffering from simultaneous Prader-Willi and exclamation point-specific Tourette’s syndromes. And God knows I detest banner ads, so this is not in danger of earning me beer money any time soon. (Have you seen the new purple Bar Of Death™ that lurches up the screen to occlude the text you might wish to read, requiring you to click it away? Whoever invented that should be waterboarded.)

And so I’m still trying to figure out why I spend so much time trying to take a decent picture of the food I cook and then write interestingly about it for a bunch of strangers.

But then a show intervenes, and I go away for a week, busting my ass to get it all just so, and schmooze, and deal with all the ancillary details, and only have a few minutes in which to even think about all this, and maybe snap a picture of a particularly good meal or bottle that happened on the trip. And maybe a phrase or two will unfurl and get filed away for use when I’m back in front of my very own computer. And I’m OK with it; this is a hobby, and that’s enough. I’m happy.

But then, say, I’ll find myself at Alinea, and Grant Achatz has come up to say hello, and he’s composing our dessert right on our table while we chat, and then I realize that it’s a little more than that.

You can read all about it in a couple of days when I get to writing.

14 comments to Quality Is Job One

  • genevelyn

    that pop-up thingy is intense–but I kind of like being made as angry as this thing makes me

  • Zoomie

    You're so right – it's a mystery why I/we continue to do it and yet it really is fun. Such a strange connection with people we (mostly) don't know, except through this invented persona that may or may not be real. Blog on!

  • The Spiteful Chef

    If you don't tell me about the Alinea experience RIGHT FUCKING NOW I'm going to blow an artery. Do you understand me??

  • cookiecrumb

    Did you ask him if you could look at his tongue?

  • Brooke

    Don't tell me you're feeling disenchanted with the blogosphere! Everyone seems to be taking time off to enjoy…I dunno, the outdoors…life…these days. Not cool.

  • MitMoi

    I've been thinking about the whole, "why do I do this" thing too. I've decided I don't enjoy commenting on blogs where there are 100s before me.

    And then I thought about MY blog – and decided maybe since I rarely interact with the commenters – it could explain the lack of numbers thing.

    AND THEN … I realized that really? I am writing for myself. 'Cause then I can say snarky-ranty-things that I can't say out loud.

    Anyway – I'm glad you're going to keep doing this. I like what I read here.

  • We Are Never Full

    LOL… holy shit, cookiecrumb. i'm dying laughing. so wrong, but funny.

    and peter, of course you have me laughing b/c i can hear you saying what you wrote. i mean, we kind of discussed it at dinner that night. sometimes i wonder if people have jobs in b/w blogging, tweeting, twatting, food styling, emailing, commenting all over the blogosphere. it's hard enough for me to try and check in on the few blogs i really, really like.

    this one's for you, peter: !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Heather

    Some people are professional bloggers and literally have nothing but time to try to garner that extra $0.0003 for your page view. To get it, they leave a comment at your joint just on the off-chance that you're polite enough to reciprocate. Ka-ching.

    Mainstream food blogging isn't about preparing or consuming awesome, creative food from interesting ingredients, taking care to visually capture with a tool other than a cell phone, and then taking 30 seconds to proofread or run a fucking spellcheck before sharing your insight with the world. It's about circle-jerking your way to sweet, sweet traffic and maintaining fake relationships with fickle strangers.

    I'd rather receive feedback from a small, mutual readership of truly excellent writers, photographers and cooks and bask in my relative obscurity than treat my blogging hobby as a social networking device.

    My "club" may be small and exclusive, but the members are worthy. I'm glad it includes people like you.

  • Jen of A2eatwrite

    Heck, if it ain't fun, it's not worth doing.

  • Chris Rywalt

    Dude, where's your show?

  • peter

    Genevelyn: Somehow that doesn't surprise me.

    Zoomie: What's the emoticon for goat horns?

    Kristie: How are you holding up?

    CC: Ew.

    Brooke: I know, right? What is with these people?

    Mit: I agree- who the hell wants to be commenter #63? But it's definitely good manners to reply to your own commenters.

    Amy: OMG!!! THANK YOU!!! :D

    Blanche: Aaaaww. But secretly you love the traffic.

    Jen: Amen to that. I do what I want.

    Chris: Dude, it's in Chicago. Aren't you on the MyFace anymore?

  • Chris Rywalt

    I am no longer on the FaceMyLiveTwit. I had to quit before everyone I'd ever spoken to stopped speaking to me for being a complete asshole.

    I saw your note about the show on your painter blog or site or whatever. It was a couple of days ago, I forget where I found it. Anyhow, I have no plans to be in Chicago…ever again for as long as I live. Nothing against Chicago specifically. I simply don't see the point in traveling anywhere. Bad bagels, bad pizza, no one can drive and everyone talks funny. Think I'll stay home.

    Good luck with the show, though. May you sell much to people with great taste and deep pockets.

  • Zoomie

    Damned if I know – I never use those things.

  • Chris Rywalt

    \m/ [bangs head]

Yours Truly



I'm a painter who happens to also spend a lot of time growing, making, and writing about food. I'm particularly interested in the intersection of frugal peasant cooking techniques and haute improvisation. And I have a really great personality.

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