Thursday, November 12, 2009

London is drowning and I live by the river

I'm here. Hi. How've you been? Oh, I've been fine. Good, good really. Just... not blogging. Busy, you know? Working and being and all that. But not blogging. Not here and not at my site. Not anywhere.

I don't know what to tell you, really. I'm not sure what changed, or how it changed, or for how long it will continue to be changed. I'm just not blogging. And as such, because I'm not really participating in the circle jerk that is blogging (how many fucking times can I say that word in one review?), I haven't felt like I'd have much to contribute here, really. Who cares what a nonblogging blogger thinks of other bloggers who are actually blogging?

But dammit, I'm here. And last week, by christ, I managed to wrench three whole blog posts from my wriggling and fetid entrails, so lucky y'all who know my real fake identity. Read 'em and weep. No, really: Have your hanky ready because the staggering downfall of my online writing career is a tear-jerker.

And again, I'm here. And I'm raging, raging against the dying of the light. And I'm going to give you a review today if it kills me.

It's kind of a shame, really, that I didn't get a shitbag of a blog to review. In my current bout of ennui, it'd be nice to dabble in some truly vicious asskickery. And then maybe I could have pulled off that superior bit, you know? Oh, I'm a limp dick of a writer right now, but I'm still better than this turdlet. But no. I've got The Daily Smoke.

It's a quiet, unprepossessing kind of blog. Black and white with a little red, the template is fine. Basic, uncluttered, fairly well organized. I'd go for some tabs, of course, but what do I know?

Her posts are almost always bundled and wrapped up in pretty packaging and well-paced. There's nothing slipshod about it. There's nuance and detail involved, and, yes, quite a bit of navel gazing. But her vision, I'm pleased to say, is just the tiniest bit skewed, which makes that gaze rather charming.

As an ex-pat blog, it's interesting to read about her experiences in London, and she's very self-aware and writes with confidence and grace. She does these quick little observations, a brief vignette of who and what she sees through the smoke, and it's delightful, really. A kernel of time and thought with nice grammar and a clever ending.

Lately, there's been some depth added to the blog. Some darkness and reality that makes her already interesting voice that much more captivating. But even that edge is tempered with her dry wit and a self-deprecating awareness.

Also, Clive fucking Owen.

So, I really liked this blog. I felt like I could come close and get to know Ellie. But not right away. There'd be some idle chit-chat at first. Then she'd casually reveal something not-so-casual that would make me think, "Huh. Interesting chick, here. Not quite what I expected." And then, still later, after fun times and insightful conversation and maybe a drunken bitchfest or two and a shared appreciation for hot men, all of a sudden I'd realize, you know what? I fucking love her.


  1. I love, love, love Ellie and the Daily Smoke. It's been a daily read of mine for several months now. The next time I go to London I'm going to find her and drink at least two bottles, at least three bottles of wine with her.

    p.s. So glad to see you back, Calamity.

  2. Oh Cal how I've missed you here.

    Ellie totally kicks ass. I don't even need to go to London cause she tells me all about it.

  3. And another blog to add to the reader. Thanks for the great review, Calamity. :-)

  4. Your first four paragraphs cracked me up.

  5. Me again. The thing about Ellie is that she's smart and she writes like she expects her readers to be smart as well. Her blog is just elegant with its black and white photos and minimalist design. Her take on London is like Unbearable Banishment's NYC--you feel like you've been walking down the streets with them--seeing the city through their eyes.

  6. I am gobsmacked and a little bit afraid that I'm on the verge of a Sally Field moment. I actually tried finding other reviewees' reactions upon being reviewed to use as a model for responding appropriately ... then I figured my natural reaction should be just fine (and I got lazy).

    With that,

    Thanks for the great review. Sometimes I think my posts are a little obtuse. It's encouraging that you fucking love me! (*Feels all warm and fuzzy inside*).

    You lot at AAYSR are truly a bunch of kick ass writers. I fucking love this site.

    So, thanks again. xxxx

    And, oh, I love, love, love Franklin, and we're gonna get drunk together. Woohoo!

  7. I've missed you! Great review and great blog.

  8. I missed you guys, too! Group hug! It's ok. Ghost isn't in the room, so you won't be fondled unduly. Or duly. Kisses!

    And yes, Franklin. I think that's the word: elegant.

    Ellie, thank YOU for not sucking. Not even a little bit. Getting a crap blog to review might have been the last straw for me.

  9. I absolutely detest whenever people talk about why they haven't been blogging. I love this site normally, but please don't do that.


Grow a pair.