Saturday, February 24, 2007

Blogger Journey

(All right, I realize I am shamelessly accomplishing my 2007 blogging goal #5 with this one post, but I promise that's not the reason I decided to write it.)

I (still being somewhat of an adventurous sort, although I’m finding I become more and more of a homebody every year) was thinking the other day what fun it would be to have the time and the money just to travel around and visit all my friends out there in the blogosphere. Think of all the places I’d get to go, and I could stay with people who wouldn’t think I was the least bit rude for saying, “You know, this afternoon, I just want to lie around on your couch and read some of your books.” And then, in the evening, we’d cook up a great feast together and sit around the dinner table discussing books and movies and philosophy and politics and…and…and…

Anyone want to join me on this little escapade? Here’s how it looks right now. I’m starting off in Connecticut with a farewell dinner with Hobs and Dorr (unless they’re joining me, in which case it’s an “off-we-go!” dinner). Hobs will have some really, cool, creepy rubber toy as a going away gift (or companion for our journey), and Dorr and I will stay up way, way too late for a night before a trip, because we just can’t stop talking about so many fascinating things.

I will get up relatively early the next morning, despite my lack of sleep, and before heading out of town, make a stop at Becky’s to exchange Persephone books and drink copious amounts of tea while musing from her sofa about the business we’ll start together upon my return. You have to understand: it's going to be the best-run business in the world, our having learned so much from all the mistakes made in other places we've worked.

Then I’ll head north for my first stop on the journey: Toronto. I hope it will be winter, so Ms. Blossom (whom I hope I can learn to call Heather) and I can go ice skating. Then, of course, we will head to one of her favorite cafes for hot drinks and poetry recitations. And we will, naturally, climb a few library ladders together.

I’ve been trying to figure out if I should head south next and visit Ian , so we can listen to music, eat lots of unhealthy food guaranteed to clog our arteries, make fun of Fox News, and compose some long posts together and Froshty for much of the same, but with a more feminine slant and with at least one evening gorging on sushi. Or should I head to the Midwest first? I think, since it’s winter, and I love snow, the Midwest makes more sense.

Court, you don’t mind if I come knocking at your door in Michigan with my family tree, some lemon ginger tea, and a pile of books I think you might like, do you? Since I’m going to be headed South eventually for all that unhealthy food, how about if you and I cook up some fabulous healthy dishes together? And then I’d love a tour of all your favorite places in your home state, a place I’ve never been, and which you make sound so beautiful.

Stefanie, I’m dying to return to Minneapolis, where I haven’t been in nearly twenty years. Could we go on a used bookstore tour? Then we can hang out and read the funniest parts of Three Men in a Boat aloud to each other with a good bottle of sherry by a roaring fire somewhere, staying nice and dry, unlike those hapless fellows on the Thames.

Cam, I’ve loved Indianapolis the couple of times I’ve been there. I bet I’d love it even more if I had an “insider’s view.” You’ve done so much to remind me how much I appreciate poetry. Maybe if I stay long enough, you can teach me not only to appreciate it, but also to write it (or at least give me the nerve to try!).

All right, then I’ll head south. Maybe it will be spring by then. As the Indigo Girls have so eloquently taught us, “There’s something about the Southland in the springtime.”

And then I’ll have another tough decision. Do I head east or west? I think I’ll go east and hit the shores of Ireland where I can stop by to give Fem a huge hug before deep conversation over a couple of pints. I promise I’ll bring you some of those “must-read great books for women,” as well as a list of others. Oh yes, and I’m sure I’ll have 3 things from Bob. Mind if I stay long enough for us to solve all the world’s problems?

Then it will be off to England to see Litlove. I want to hang out in your lovely office and attend some of your classes, if you don’t mind (let me know what to read beforehand). And inbetween our long philosophical and psychological discussions, will you teach me a little French?

I’m going to need that French when I cross the Channel to pick up Manderine. But first, before I head to France and get Manderine to give me some tips on the technological aspects of blogging, I have to make a stop in Scotland to visit Sophie. Sophie doesn't have a blog, but she found me through my blog, and she and I would have a grand time exploring my favorite city of Edinburgh and rhapsodizing about Rose Macaulay and Eric Linklater over tea.

Okay, now I'm off to France. Manderine, will they believe you at the office if you pretend to be telecommuting for a few days while we take the train to Germany to visit Charlotte? I hope we'll stop off for some chocolate for the ride (and to give to Charlotte once we arrive).

Charlotte, after you and I have spent enough time boring poor Manderine to death with long chats about all things feminine and feminist over bottles of wine, I’m sending you off for a “Mum’s Saturday out.” I’ll spend the day playing with your three adorable children. (Can you promise they’ll speak only English to me?) Meanwhile, you can go off and do anything your heart desires.

After all this time in Europe, I think I’m going to need to scuba dive. I’ll head to Australia and New Zealand. Ms. Make Tea , do you mind if I stop in to listen to music with you, and, of course, drink some more tea (I'm going to be drinking lots of tea on this journey of mine) and pretend to be a frog with dear DOTH? Perhaps you, like Charlotte, could do with a “Mum’s Saturday out,” but not until I’ve selfishly had you to myself for a few days.

When I’m done with the sharks at the Great Barrier Reef, I’ll head back to the States. In California, I plan to meet up with Danny (let me know when Wilco’s going to be in town, so I can plan my visit accordingly), stay in his movie-set-worthy home, and convince him (I don’t think it will be too hard) to engage in a week-long movie/DVD marathon with me. I can’t think of any other friend I’d rather have accompany me to the movies.

When I’m all “movied out,” I’ll head up the coast to visit dear Bloglily. I want to cook, bake, and maybe even sew a couple of Christmas stockings with her (I’ll embroider the initials on them, BL, if you’ll run the machine). Maybe we can read Ulysses together, and you can inspire me to do my own podcast (I don't have high hopes for the latter), and I want lots of time to have fun with your three boys, as well.

Then I’ll be heading home, but there will be many of you I’ve passed by, like dear Jordan , because I’ve managed to miss any allusions to your location on your blog, and I don’t know where you are. I promise you, though, that if you’ve been a regular visitor to my blog, and I’ve left comments on yours, then I’d love to visit you along with everyone else, before my trip is over, so just let me know where to stop.

And once I’m settled back home, is anyone interested in visiting Connecticut? If you don’t mind a huge mess, surrounded by plenty of reading material and lots of good food and drink, my door’s open.


Anonymous said...

Ack, what a great post! Of course you are welcome here. We will go to the John King Book Store which is seven levels of book goodness, and then to Hamtramick for Polish food. Only after Hamtramick will we return to my home for healthy fair the rest of the time...and of course, your visit won't be complete without a visit to the cabin on the lake - we'll read some Thoreau while there...

litlove said...

What a wonderful idea! I was thinking the other day how much I'd like to visit my blogging friends in the States. Even better if you come to me! The reading list will arrive as an attachment and I have a very nice sofa you can lie on and read while watching the punts go past.

mandarine said...

What a fabulous journey. The internet is really an amazing place.

You just gave me a fabulous idea: how about litblogger house-swapping? You know the people, you know their desks, and you know there will be fine books where you are going.

PS: it is Mandarine, with an a (as in Mandarin duck or Mandarin Chinese). It means a tangerine in French, and it is the name of my cat (because she's orange, and she looks like a Chinese princess or a Chinese dragon).

BikeProf said...

I see I must pick out the perfect rubber monster thing. I like the big squishy rats from the Tenement Museum store--I think I'll give it to you in a Taco Bell bag.

Emily Barton said...

Court, seven levels of books, oh boy! And the Polish food and cabin on the lake, most definitely!

Charlotte, "fantastique" is absolutely right. No better word for it.

Litlove, ahhh! Now can you arrange to have Anthony Hopkins in one of those punts?

Mandarine, I have no idea why I misspelled your name (it's not as though I'm not seeing and typing it all the time). Sorry! And litblogging house swapping sounds like a great idea with a couple of days overlap, of course, for conversation.

Hobs, yes the rat, and how perfect to put it in a Taco Bell bag!

Rebecca H. said...

What a delightful post! I'm so totally going on the trip with you -- you can't keep me away! And then when we get back home, I'll come by your place when all the litbloggers stop by ... or if you need a break, they can come to mine (which would make me clean, for once).

Amanda said...

Yes, you are welcome to drink tea and listen to music with me. I'll do my best to restrict DOTH's renditions of "Fruit Salad, Yummy! Yummy!" and "Bob da Builder" for her new friend Emily-- but she can be pretty determinedly incorrigible!

Anne Camille said...

What a wonderful trip. Can I come along with you?

mandarine said...

No grudge there, Emely.

It is a pity my brother does not live in Boston anymore, because I am very tempted by your Connecticut offer (I was in Massachusetts two years ago for the foliage season, and knowing you would have been a perfect excuse for a long drive in orange hues).

PS: I do not need to pretend I am working if we want to visit Charlotte. By US standards, I have an unhealthy amount of free time (175 days each year).

Anonymous said...

I'm excited about our film festival, Emily. We'll trade off DVD titles and eat plenty of popcorn with real butter. Then I'll take you to movie theaters in L.A. where you are guaranteed to run into Oscar-winning celebrities.

Emily Barton said...

Dorr and Cam, let me know when your bags are packed.

Ms. Make Tea, great. I'll bring along a few CDs of my own. DOTH will have a lot to teach me, as I'm very ignorant when it comes to such things as Bob the Builder.

Mandarine, I was going to suggest "Emilie," but "Emely" works just as well. Come back to New England. I'll be here.

Danny, and I promise to act completely unphased while surrounded by celebrities.

Anonymous said...

Oh Emily, I can't wait until Christmas!! But if it means you'll help me sew, I might be able to hang on until then.

As for Connecticut, I'll be there the last weekend in May, for my 25th college reunion in New Haven. So, maybe I'll be able to take you up on your invitation.

Love, BL

Emily Barton said...

Bloglily, how wonderful you're coming east! You, Hobs, Dorr, and I will most definitely have to get together. Bob and I have been told there's a fabulous new restaurant in New Haven we've been meaning to try.

Anonymous said...

Please do drop by. The guest bedroom is right next to our home library so you can snuggle in and read until you can't keep your eyes open. And a used bookstore tour is a must!

Emily Barton said...

Stef, now how did you know I'm a read-in-bed-until-I-just-can't-keep-my-eyes-open-another-minute sort of person? And how thoughtful of you to place your guest bedroom right next door to the library.

Anonymous said...

Well, I came to visit because I was at Mandarine's place and he recommended your blog so highly. I have been quite pleased with the ambiance here, amused, beguiled. I know you hardly know me, but while you are on your trip back East from Bloglily's place, you might want to stop in here for a break in your travels. You could walk my labyrinth, we'd make you a fine gourmet meal (well, Jim would, I'd pick the salad), and then we could fire up the sauna and get completely relaxed.

Emily Barton said...

HMS, that sounds heavenly! I will definitely add you to my travel map.

Anonymous said...

Best post ever! You wouldn't have to far to travel, either, because I'm in Virginia!

Emily Barton said...

Jordan,thanks, and no, not far at all, if you're only in Virginia.