I was going to write about a museum today, but when I checked my WordPress statistics, I noticed beneath the line graph of my declining popularity that I had posted 99 entries, making this little bugger the century mark here at Keeping the Bear Garden the Background.
The last few weeks have gone by in a bit of a haze. I’m in the stupidest, most juvenile sleeping schedule imaginable, staying up until the wee hours of the morning and sleeping until morning coffee must be accompanied by a “Good Afternoon.” I’ve always loved to stay up and sleep late. Even when I’ve had jobs that necessitated rising early on a daily basis, I never really got the hang of it. This natural proclivity is exacerbated by the fact that I live across the street from the loudest bar in all of Paris and the warm summer months means that the bar patrons are outside squawking until 4 a.m. and my windows must open or the apartment is stifling. I couldn’t sleep if I wanted to, because the minute I dozed off, someone would start singing a rousing Madonna number on the street. At any rate, I’ve been waking up everyday resigned to the fact that I have already failed at being a grownup.
Upon waking, I immediately check my e-mail, which allows me to troll the listserv for my academic department and read about the many accomplishments of people that I know, a group who has become annoyingly prolific in their acquisition of fellowships, grants, publications, and tenure-track jobs lately. By the time B has made the coffee, I’m convinced that I have become a withering failure. I’m a burnout, a wash-out, a hoser, a flop, a late-life lemon.
The most significant thing I’ve produced in the past year is this blog, which, if the WordPress statistical counter is correct, actually becomes significantly less popular on the days that I post something. My biggest Google hits are for kimchee, Sàlo, Aperol, and anchovies. Every day or so someone Googles “bear in garden,” which I suspect has more to do with a wildlife containment problem than my musings on Parisian restaurants.
Even so, this silly little blog is one of the best things in my life. For the first time in my life, I’m writing on a regular basis and putting that work out into the world for people to see. I’ve always wanted to write, you see, but have been crippled by the fear of not being smart enough, or serious enough, or avant-garde enough to deserve an audience. While cocktail recipes and Pasolini films are a million miles away from the kind of writing that I really want (and need, from a professional standpoint) to be doing, this blog has gotten me into the habit of sitting down on a regular basis and producing something with other people in mind. Moreover, having this blog has made my life more interesting, as I am compelled to try new things so that I can tell you all about them.
I know that some people probably think this blog is stupid, or a waste of time, or merely a symptom of my malignant narcissism. But a few people don’t, some of whom have been coming here from the beginning and a some who have joined me along the way. I guess what I’m trying to say, in my usual longwinded way, is thanks for coming here, for reading, and for commenting. I can’t tell you how much it means to me that you are supporting this silly project. This place is starting to feel like something that isn’t just mine anymore, as evidenced by the fact that I feel guilty when I haven’t been here in a while. To those of you that read regularly enough to chastise me if I haven’t posted in a few days, thank you for being the best friends and interlocutors a gal could ask for.