As the merry month of May begins, some of you may have noticed I’ve been giving myself a bit of a break around the blog. The fingers have been a bit taxed these days as my schooling enters the final phase. I spent a goodly portion of last week preparing to write two papers, one of which topped out at 25 pages (about 6,700 words) and the other at a relatively lean eight or so (around 1,800 words). Needless to say, writing about subjects other than movies comes a little less naturally to me, so when I finished at dawn on Saturday morning, I was feeling somewhat spent. So if it seems like I’ve taken a back seat of late, well, I have.
But in case it’s crossed anyone’s mind, I’m not gearing down and getting ready to say good-bye to blogging, as two of my esteemed colleagues decided to do recently. That isn’t to say that I haven’t thought about it, and not just since Matt and Ray climbed off the merry-go-round. But if I accept that I can no longer keep up the pace of prolific posting as if I was getting paid for it—a pace that seems to inevitably lead to either exhaustion or possibly madness—then I suspect that, as someone said in commenting about the retirement of the two aforementioned excellent writers, the blog will being to stop running me and I will once again begin to run the blog. I’ve never had any illusions about wide-ranging readership; that this blog has a readership at all still amazes me. Yet it is a wide-ranging readership, as far as it goes, and it came from not trying to be an all-encompassing site where readers can catch up on all the latest film news, or where they could indulge in a lot of deep-dish thinking about movies. This blog came from my desire to write about what I found fascinating, and never mind the sell-by date on the product. I have only hoped that those who would be interested in what I’m interested in would find their way here, and that seems to have happened. So I’ll continue in the same vein and hope that you, Dear Reader, will find continuing reason to stay with me, even though it might be four or five days, sometimes more, in between posts. Just know that if it takes longer than that, I’m still around and will soon return. When it’s time for me to go, you, my friends, will be the first to know.
Speaking of which, I want to spend just a brief moment, much more than he did himself, acknowledging the exit of yet another fine writer from the blogging scene. My good friend Larry Aydlette, the whip-smart, good-natured force behind Welcome to L.A., has, like Matt and Ray, called it a day. Larry, as most of you probably know by now, is the entertainment features editor of the Palm Beach Post, and will not suffer for an outlet for his writing by any means by exiting from his corner of cyberspace. In true hard-boiled journalist fashion, Larry issued not a long interview-style announcement of his intentions, nor a mysterious one-line kiss-off to the form; he simply flipped the switch, the room went dark and he walked away. Larry has never been one for looking back—he never even archived the material that made his blog such an addiction over the last couple of years. (His original incarnations, That Little Roundheaded Boy and The Shamus, have long been consigned to memories of ones and zeroes, as well as all the great pieces that gave them life.)
I don’t remember the exact circumstances of how we met—Larry seems to have traced it to my linking to his blog, and his subsequent comment on my piece on Jonathan Glazer’s Birth. That sounds about right. But however it started, our friendship would have never come about had one of the two of us not got in on this blogging adventure. (We have still never met in the flesh, but that minor formality doesn't make me treasure the friendship any less.) He has been a constant source of encouragement to me, and he’s never less than willing to say what’s on his mind, even if we don’t always jibe in our thoughts. He promises that his departure is not a departure from writing—he does have that newspaper gig, after all, and he will still be lurking and commenting as usual, here and on the many other blogs he has come to love over the past two years. As Mac Davis once sagely advised, Larry is simply taking advantage of the chance to more frequently stop and smell the roses, which means spending more of the increasingly dwindling amount of free time there is to go around with his beloved family. As much as I’ll miss his blog, I would never begrudge anyone, least of all him, the chance to do that.