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Washtenaw Flaneurade
19 April 2013
ENDUT! HOCH HECH!
Now Playing: Appleseed Collective--"Mani"

"Enormous strides are made in star-measurement, theoretical economics, and the manufacture of bombing planes, but [the memoir-writer] doesn't find out about them until he picks up an old copy of 'Time' on a picnic grounds or in the summer house of a friend. He is aware that billions of dollars are stolen every year by bankers and politicians, and that thousands of people are out of work, but these conditions do not worry him a tenth as much as the conviction that he has wasted three months on a stupid psycho-analyst or the suspicion that the piece he has been working on for two long days was done much better and probably more quickly by Robert Benchley in 1924."

--James Thurber, "Preface to a Life" in My Life and Hard Times, 25 September 1933. 

Lying awake very, very early this morning, I was struck by the realization that my life wasn't really that eventful anymore. For some reason, my former habit of keeping a diary had crept into mind, and I remember thinking how thankful I was to have kept one more or less consistently throughout 2009, when so much went on in my life. There's much less need for a diary these days (I may try again next year, if just to mark my turning forty), and given how long of a hiatus this blog's taken already, there's an increasingly sound argument to be made that maybe it's time to draw the curtain shut.

My life in Ann Arbor used to consist of shows, movies, volunteering, socializing, and random occurrences on the street or at my sometimes inspiring, often lackluster job. All these really fed my inspiration and led to a great deal of writing in these here pixels (and a more erratic rate of production in my fiction). Some years after the height of this carefree lifestyle, I don't go out or socialize as much. No big dramatic cause or anything for that; people, myself included, are busy with various things, and I still see most of the old gang around once a month. I have a pretty good job for food service: fairly well-paid, with benefits, and no bosses treating me like I'm in preschool (some reading these words may understandably doubt that, but it really is different from my old job in all the good ways). I've actually started exercising regularly, outside of biking, by swimming a set number of laps a week at the city pool. Best of all, I've gotten into a consistent writing schedule, finishing stories more often than not, and though I haven't gotten any acceptances so far this year (though one last year), some of the rejection mails have been encouraging (however vaguely, and getting rejection mails in the first place is a considerable step up from where I was just a couple of years ago). The volunteering could use a revival; there are opportunities through work, but fitfully presented. Last but not least (actually, it is least, come to think of it) I hardly watch movies that much anymore, focusing instead on streaming TV, classic or contemporary, and--this year especially--reading a lot more. The latter trend has intensified with the opening of a new independent bookstore in town, whose inspiring trek to existence can be found in sprightly archive. There just doesn't seem to be time anymore to chronicle my various doings in the manner to which I've been accustomed.

Therefore, I've decided to put an end to Washtenaw Flaneurade, with this post the final entry. I'll leave it up probably until the end of May, or until I can figure out how to archive or save some of the stuff I want to preserve for whatever posterity has the curious fortune to find it. It feels weird, this, but I think it's the right decision. It may not be an end to blogging; I've had the notion in the back of my head to start a more focused commentary, the details of which I leave purposefully vague in case it never gets off the ground. It does, however, mark the end of an era in my life, a fact I don't think I've properly considered until typing these words. I always had some half-hearted urge to keep it going as long as possible, even if the entries shrank to once or twice a year. It would have been interesting to see the various transformations in society or culture reflected somehow in the same off-yellow background and black type, especially with my awareness of how many other blogs of my acquaintance have gone by the wayside over the years (especially with one's emptily snarky "blogs are so 2004, right?" still ringing in my ears). In the end, though, Washtenaw Flaneurade ineffably symbolized a part of my life that I sense is now passing (largely for the better), and I think it's right to let it go. My thanks go out to all of you who've read and commented over the years, especially those from the early days like Sara and Margot, enthusiastic later adopters like Tara and Shelly, and immaculate, bloggerly role models like Himadri. The only person I wouldn't thank would be that utter knob who tears down flyers from downtown streetlamps. It's been a real blast these eight years sharing my rambling thoughts on this movie, that album, or those loud office guys who probably thought I was there to rob their internet startup or whatever the hell they had going in the old piano warehouse at First and Washington on a Chateau Fluffy work delivery. I take leave of my former address with pride, and hope its relative longevity can serve as some kind of inspiration, however meager, to those still plugging away out there.


Posted by Charles J. Microphone at 3:55 AM EDT
Updated: 19 April 2013 7:05 AM EDT
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19 April 2013 - 7:18 AM EDT

Name: "Himadri"
Home Page: http://argumentativeoldgit.wordpress.com/

Sorry to read this blog is coming to an end, although I do hope this "notion" you have in "the back of [your] head" will soon bear fruit. I look forward to it.

19 April 2013 - 9:45 AM EDT

Name: "Wendell"
Home Page: http://www.angelfire.com/ct3/ortega/decline

Thanks! There is an idea gradually coalescing, and your own good venue has done a lot to inspire it. Hopefully I can get it together in the next month or so to make it happen. Thanks again for reading, and indeed for your own blog.

19 April 2013 - 12:37 PM EDT

Name: "margot"
Home Page: http://soursaltybittersweet.com

I've loved reading your musings on books, film, tv, and life in our fair county. But cheers to moving on when it's time to move on. Excited to see what's next!

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