September 23, 2007

Me, in a few dark places.

There was last night, doing the blogger meetup at Pete's Ale House:


I forget who took this picture, but we looked at it right then, and Palladian remarked on the Diana iconography.

Today, I was sitting in a nook, under a bust of Mozart, at the Caffe Reggio in the Village.


I say that I always avoided the Caffe Reggio, back in the old days when we lived near here. We loved the Caffe Dante. And later, walking back toward my temporary home, I stopped, alone, at the Caffe Dante, where we sat all the time, circa 1980.


No, there's no going back. And nothing can ever be the same.

There is no greater sorrow than to recall happiness in times of misery.


John said...

Ann that top picture is a great photo of you. You look fantastic in it. Seriously.

Maxine Weiss said...

Supposedly, some of the attendees were disappointed that they weren't invited back to your place--- to survey the Althouse living quarters.

It must have been quite awkward when you all said your goodbyes and went your separate ways.

(Watch someone chime in with how it wasn't awkward in the least....)

Ann Althouse said...

Maxine, you should have been there -- or were you? We talked about you.

But I knew you'd be the second comment here. And the truth is we talked for more than 4 hours. I think everyone was ready to go home and crash.

Gedaliya said...

I took the photo with Ann's camera.

It was a splendid evening.

Ann Althouse said...

Oh, it was gedaliya. I wasn't sure from the angle. I thought it might have be you or Kim.

Maxine Weiss said...

"I think everyone was ready to go home and crash."---Althouse

Ah, but I guarantee you, they'd have made an exception had you invited them in for a nightcap.

Who could resist the opportunity to find out how Althouse lives?

Of course I was there, hiding in the shadows.

Ann Althouse said...

It's okay, Maxine. We all know you're a man.

Joan said...

There is no greater sorrow than to recall happiness in times of misery.

There's a bleak way to end such a post, especially given the title. Everything all right?

Maxine Weiss said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ruth Anne Adams said...

Is it just the lighting or is your hair looking redder?

I second Joan's question.

Maxine Weiss said...

"We all know you're a man"---Althouse

Interpretation: A woman wouldn't be clever enough, or smart enough to engage in the kind of schtick I do.

Internet Ronin said...

No, perhaps it is because only a man can be so consistently insipid and stupid, Max.

Ann: I agree with John, great photo at the top! The other looks like some painful memories had surprised you.

Ann Althouse said...

"There is no greater sorrow than to recall happiness in times of misery." = quoting Dante.

Maxine Weiss said...

I'm pointing out the obvious: A group of strangers, with absolutely no other connection, other than a computer screen, meet up at a restaurant...

....Had I not been saying for weeks, how awkward that would be?

In any situation...these meet-n-greets are very disappointing, empty, and shallow. The connection is all online, and that doesn't translate to real life.

A neutral, sterile place like a restaurant....that doesn't provide enough of an ice breaker, the way Althouse throwing open the doors to her home would, makes it somewhat personal.

I'd been saying that for weeks...but as always....nobody listens.

George said...

Is that the same "Cafe Reggio" that the B side song on the "Shaft" single is named for?

mtrobertsattorney said...

Speaking of misery and how to deal with it,google "A Dying Professor's Last Lecture". I would link to it but my IT knowledge is limited.

Gedaliya said...

In any situation...these meet-n-greets are very disappointing, empty, and shallow.

"A scalded dog fears even cold water." - Randale Cotgrave

A neutral, sterile place like a restaurant.

"Drink down all unkindness." - Shakespeare: The Merry Wives of Windsor

Palladian said...

If there's one word I wouldn't use to describe the place where we met, it's sterile.

We had a much better conversation in person than is usually possible here.

It was Ann-tastic!

Here's a couple of my photos of Althouse.

kimhill said...

I put a couple shots of the meetup on flickr.

I didn't/don't get the sense that anyone had a privacy issue with this, but if so, just let me know...

EnigmatiCore said...

"A woman wouldn't be clever enough, or smart enough to engage in the kind of schtick I do"

In general, if one is doing a schtick online, it probably is not working nearly as well as one thinks it is.

Especially if one is merely a commenter and not the host of a website with high rates of traffic.

In fact, I can't think of a counter-example to the generality.

Maxine Weiss said...

Palladian: If the meet-and-greet really was empty, shallow, and disappointing, would you even have the guts to admit that?

I stand by my original assertion that a group of people who have nothing in common, and no apparent connection, other than an online blog....aren't going to click during a face-to-face public meeting.

And, Althouse has already proved me the only way she can refute this is to call me a "Man", which actually isn't an insult at all!

Palladian said...

We all agreed that you are a man!

Inspektor Friedrich said...

Stuck in the Schtick mit dir.
Oh dear.

Maxine Weiss said...

I love that!

You don't like someone. Someone bothers you, gets under your skin, tells the unadulterated truth. Holds up a mirror...

...and your only way to fight back is to call that person a "Man".

Inspektor Friedrich said...

You know, Mozart's last work he wrote for his own funeral.

He didn't quite finish it.  The pen slipped from his fingers as he died.

Some of it was used for the service.  But we don't know where the grave is.

He died too poor to have a headstone.  He had music, but no headstone.

He would have liked your picture.

Requiem æternam dona eis, Domine, et lux perpetua luceat eis.

Lux perpetua, Professor, lux perpetua.

Isn't that all there is?

Alan said...

Movie Quote from "You've Got Mail:

Kathleen Kelly: [in an email to Joe Fox] The odd thing about this form of communication is that you're more likely to talk about nothing than something. But I just want to say that all this nothing has meant more to me than so many somethings.

Maxine, to someone out there it may.

Internet Ronin said...

mtrobertsattorney: Not sure if you meant this Wall Street Journal video of portions of Pausch's last lecture, but here is the link to that.

steve simels said...

Annie sez:

"No, there's no going back. And nothing can ever be the same.

There is no greater sorrow than to recall happiness in times of misery."

Jeebus, what's wrong with you people?

Read that, look at the second picture, and tell me your hostess isn't having a nervous breakdown right before your eyes.

Inspektor Friedrich said...

The link to Professor Pausch's lecture above doesn't seem to work.

This one may be better.

Requiem æternam dona eis, Domine, et lux perpetua luceat eis.

We are born in eternal light.  We may return to the light when we die.

And some manage to live in a bit of it while here.

Inspektor Friedrich said...

...And then there's Steve Simels.

Internet Ronin said...

Sorry about that, Inspector - guess it only works if a subscriber to the WSJ. Thanks for the working link!

Maxine Weiss said...

Any meet-n-greet. I always wonder about the motives of the people that choose to attend. Are their needs met? Are promises extracted? Are future plans made and held to? Do people come away from it satisfied?

Or, as you depart and go your separate ways (sad) you wonder why you bothered?

It could have been very different had Althouse simply invited everyone over. Inviting them in would have made a personal statement, a risk. An act of vulnerability. Allowing strangers to penetrate Althouse inner sanctum...

Instead, she holds everyone at arm's length at a restaurant, where it's safe.

These people deserved to be invited over. I feel their frustration and resentment. To come all that way and not be invited in.....

Inspektor Friedrich said...

Am I awake or trapped inside
Somebody else's dream?
Oh Maxine
Is this all real or dope induced
Are things as they all seem?
Oh Maxine

—Pete Shelley, "Maxine," 1981

As somebody else's dream, Maxine, haunt somebody else's place!

Internet Ronin said...

Maxine, I doubt many of us really care if you are a man or a woman, but it sure stretches what remains of your credibility to contend that a "meet and greet" like this would be some sort of a social disaster. No way that was going to be the case, unless the only two there were the infamous Dave and yourself, and even then it might come off.

As for Ann not inviting everyone back to her house - how '50's of you Maxine! People regularly get together outside their homes these days: it is easier, the drinks are usually better, the food is sometimes better, the mood is much more relaxed, the invitees don't have to worry about what to bring their hostess, and are freer to come and go when they want. Far more considerate of the guests than you imply, IMO.

Maxine Weiss said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Maxine Weiss said...

Oh, I see Internet Ronin: because it's such a "burden" on a Guest to be allowed entry into a Hostess's private abode...and Guests everywhere lamenting such invitations.

Oh, the horror...I simply can't think of anything more distressing than being invited to peruse the private living quarters of the notorious Althouse.

Yes, let's all go to a restaurant instead and talk for 4-hours, because after all--- we never get the chance to converse, here original.


Doesn't anyone have the guts to admit they wanted to see what Althouse is her living space...???

steve simels said...

Maxine Weiss said...

Doesn't anyone have the guts to admit they wanted to see what Althouse is her living space...???

I don't know about you, but I would have wanted to see what's in her medicine cabinet.

Internet Ronin said...

Hmmm. I was about to wonder what's in good ol' "I'm not going to comment here again's" medicine cabinet, but it's probably crammed full of suppositories, a well-used anal douche or two, maybe a bottle of Ridlice.

Maxine Weiss said...

Correct me if I'm wrong, but hasn't Althouse been flaunting, online, her exclusive New York pied-a-terre for weeks now ??

She certainly had no problem inviting Cliff Kresge and 7-year-old Mason over.

Heaven forbid the Little-Lady might be forced bear the burden of actually entertaining readers, and providing homestyle succor to frazzled commenters, who've made her blog what it is today.

Love, Maxine

Inspektor Friedrich said...

Yes, the famous Pop Music Critic, Steve Simels said he was never going to comment here again.

But, Internet Ronin, are you sure you want to speculate about the contents of famous Pop Music Critic Steve Simels' medicine cabinet?

You mentioned "Ridlice."  But don't you think he's just run out of Ritalin, and he's hoping to score some quickly?

What else could explain his writing?

Inspektor Friedrich said...

homestyle succor

I don't think we want to go there, Maxine.

Palladian said...

We laughed about simels at the gathering as well.

All I had to do is say "simels" and everyone laughed.

Mark Daniels said...

This is a bizarre discussion. A blogger decides to meet up with some of those who regularly read her blog. It happens with some frequency. No one says that they had to all emerge as best buds and no one claims that they did. But there's no inherent reason for awkwardness, either.

I know that when I've met fellow bloggers with whom I've corresponded, there's always been an instantaneous connection, even when the bloggers are ones with whom I've disagreed on a number of things.

And I for one, would have no desire to see Ann Althouse' medicine cabinet.

(Nor do I care if she allegedly reminds Palladian of Diana, by the way.)

I hope that everybody had fun.

Mark Daniels

XWL said...

For all his brilliance, Dante was a bit of a bastard, and a mope.

(there, I said it)

And for all of "her" bastardly mopiness, there is a certain brilliance to Maxine Weiss' chosen comment persona.

(there, I said that, too)

Steve Simels on the other hand, is just a poo flinging monkey hoping to catch a passerby right in the eyes or mouth.

When will the Luckyoldson auto-response angry leftist artificial intelligence software routine chime in?

(must be down for maintenance, or still calculating how to insert a 'Boooosh is eeevil, Rethuglicans are stoopid' rant into this thread)

And if Prof. Althouse ever gets in the meeting mood while in the Los Angeles area, I'll be there.

Internet Ronin said...

Inspector, was that who I was talking about? Is that what he does for a living? I had no idea we had such a famous celebrity in our midst, a genuine public personality apparently.

Internet Ronin said...

Well, Mark: Your comment was proof positive that your divinity degree was well-earned. Congrats on a most gracious comment, a standard most of the rest of us fell far short of today.

Palladian: I can imagine that there were many times that all someone had to say was a single word in order to elicit laughs (or frowns). Goes with the short-hand nature of the blogging community, I think.

kimhill said...

iPhone posting test...

kimhill said...

Sorry for the extraneous post.

As an Althouse noob, I feel like I need a scorecard to keep track of what's going on here...

blake said...

Some archaic notions flying around, but fortunately none that kept people from meeting up and having fun.

A group of people can get around the momentary awkwardness that individuals meeting for the first time in person may (or may not) feel. I've done all kinds of meet-ups, one-and-one and groups, and they've never been awkward. Or if there's a momentary pause, it's usually dispelled by something familiar from the on-line experience.

Having a first meet at someone's residence creates all kinds of unnecessary baggage: A formal host-guest situation, for example, with a bunch of rules that many of us are vaguely aware of without really knowing. A neutral location is best.

Chip Ahoy said...

First photo is beautiful, Gedaliya, take a bow.

The second photo is breaking my heart.

Ann Althouse said...

Mark: "Diana iconography" refers to the way the light at the top looks like a crescent moon. The goddess Diana is typically pictured with a crescent on her head. The word "iconography" should make it clear that it's not a reference to my looking like someone. I wouldn't compliment myself like that anyway. I'm making a comment about the cool composition of the photgraph, which is a compliment to the photographer.

Anyway, I had a great time at the meetup. I'm not actually sad in the second picture. And the only medicine in my bathroom is a small bottle of Aleve. I'm doing just fine. And I didn't go back to my apartment alone.

Ann Althouse said...

The second photo reminds me of Picasso's Blue Period. Maybe this one.

Ann Althouse said...

And I am smiling in the second picture. It just looks sad because of the arms, the setting, and the writing around it. I joked in the caffe that it should be titled "Althouse, Despairing at the Caffe Reggio," only to be told "You're not despairing," which I conceded.

Mark Daniels said...

It shows you where my brain was. I wasn't even thinking of Diana, the goddess.

I was thinking instead that the blondness and particular bounce of your hair had suggested Princess Diana to Palladian. The overused word, iconic, is being thrown around her a lot these days. (As I look again at the photo, I wonder how I drew that conclusion in the first place.)

But I now see what Palladian meant.

My bad.

As Rosanna Rosannadanna might say, "Never mind."


Mark Daniels said...

Internet Ronin:
Thank you for your kind comments.


Maxine Weiss said...

"I know that when I've met fellow bloggers with whom I've corresponded, there's always been an instantaneous connection, even when the bloggers are ones with whom I've disagreed on a number of things."---Mark Daniels

Oh how charming.

So, you "instantaneously" become bosom buddies and joined at the hip with people that... you have nothing in common with, have no connections, and will never see again...

Yes, I guess that's exactly how it works at these meet-n-greets !

Trooper York said...

I know you were there Maxine, you were the greasy looking dude who came in late with the camera that you probably use in your stalking escapes....a suggestion baby.... shampoo... the hygiene product… not the movie..Ok there sweetheart

Maxine Weiss said...

BLAKE said: "Or if there's a momentary pause, it's usually dispelled by something familiar from the on-line experience."---Blake

A "momentary pause".....???

Or, do you mean...a glaring, deafening, shrieking silence !!!

Going from the online, to the's an uncomfortable, arduous journey, even in the best of circumstances.

Althouse welcoming reception into her home would provide the perfect ice addition to being a real eye-opener into how she acts when she's on her own turf.

Trooper York said...

The professor was a charming, personable lady and a good time was had by all...of course many angry misanthropic douches will be typing away in their mother's basements in their underwear with their own fire away and enjoy's only the internets...and nobody really cares dude...nobody really cares.

john said...

Kimhill, thanks for the photos, and glimpses. OK, so who are these people at the table? They are all men, except Ann. Do girls blog here? Maxine, I really beleive you are a woman, mostly because I want to. So you werent there, right. Couldn't the guy in the checked hat pass for Andrew Sullivan after one of his August vacations?

Two have indentified themselves. Now that the rest of you have been outed, please come forward with your names and place at the table, gentlemen.

john said...

Ah, the purse in the corner of the table! Would Althouse leave it there, so far, with strangers? No, I think it belongs to Kimhill. I should have figured that one out earlier. Kim - you are a she.

Maxine Weiss said...

Althouse can't exactly cherry-pick her fans. Whoever shows up to the table---shows up.

But there are certain things she could do to cultivate a more female fan base.

---Like the warmth and homestyle hospitality of having people over.

Most women aren't going to show up at a restaurant with strange men they don't know.

Had Althouse had this thing in her home, many more women would have shown get a glimpse of the furnishings, amenities, accutrements etc... Women are intensly interested in that sort of thing.

Trooper York said...

Well I am the guy at the far end of the table with only the top of
my ginormous head visible...that was a great shot Kim...I’m sorry I didn't get to talk to you much because I went off on a tangent as usual...and I couldn't get any real mischief started at the bar...except for that freaking monkey.

Craig said...

Wow, no women and that's a chunky bunch. And pretty old. So is this the sampling of the demographics of this blog:


Where are the thin and gorgeous fabulous people. I am disappointed. My eyes are flashing.

Craig said...

Those must be the 10 New York city residents who voted for Bush minus Norman Podhoretz and Midge Dector and Normy junior.

Mortimer Brezny said...

I'm doing just fine. And I didn't go back to my apartment alone.

If you were at the meetup, this is really funny.

Trooper York said...

Inside jokes are always the best ones, don't ya think Mort.

Hazy Dave said...

One of the minor pleasures of being middle-aged, overweight and balding is that so many of the young, liberal and "progressive" seem to have no qualms about judging you based on your looks, yet seem unaware of the bigotry, profiling and prejudice inherent in such. I've seen group photos with less diversity!

Surely, Maxine is joking that any sensible person would invite even one person they've met online into their home, sight unseen.

I trust nobody was hoping it would be a life-changing event - if so, staying in the background, snarking and impugning the motives of people willing to come out of the shadows is definitely the "safer" alternative.

Disappointment at some faceless voiceless character's actual face, voice, physique, dental work, aroma, personal tics, or whatever, may be inevitable, assuming one hasn't previously ordered a bride out of a catalog or experienced some other personal awakening that everyone else on the planet isn't there to meet your own private expectations.

Palladian said...

I'm not middle aged!

Trooper York said...

I did try to start some ball busting about how some commentators seemed very different than their writing style.....but nobody wanted to play a good old fashioned Brooklyn game of ranking each other out…..everyone was too well-mannered and polite....on the other hand….. some commentators were exactly as I pictured hey, waddaya gonna, do cheech except roll with the punches.

Maxine Weiss said...

HAZY DAVE: You seem to imply that it's somehow pathetic for me to hide in the shadows...

Yet, it's a much nobler endeavor to show up to the table, in a restaurant, of a Hostess who thinks you're not good enough to be let into her home...

I'm I'm not good enough to be let into someone's home, what makes me good enough to break bread with, and dine at a restaurant?

Dining out is far more intimate, in some respects...than a group of people gathering at someone's home.

Trooper York said...

Melvin Udall: Where do they teach you to talk like this? In some Panama City "Sailor wanna hump-hump" bar, or is it getaway day and your last shot at his whiskey? Sell crazy someplace else, we're all stocked up here.
(As Good as it Gets)

Hazy Dave said...

If I don't say the word "pathetic", I'm not implying it. Without calling you a liar, I admit I'm puzzled that anyone would attend such an event, observe, avoid contact with the participants, and then later claim to have been present.

Shyness is nice, and
Shyness can stop you
From doing all the things in life
You'd like to

So, if there's something you'd like to try,
If there's something you'd like to try,
Ask Me, I won't say no, how could I?

Coyness is nice, and
Coyness can stop you
From saying all the things in
Life you'd like to...

I don't see "nobility" here, though I'm not calling anyone "ignoble" either. If being "good enough" is a problem, I recommend Stuart Smalley. The rest of your post seems contrary to my understanding of the word "intimate".

Trooper York said...

I come home in the morning light
My mother says when you gonna live your life right
Oh mother dear we're not the fortunate ones
And girls they want to have fun
Oh girls just want to have fun

The phone rings in the middle of the night
My father yells what you gonna do with your life
Oh daddy dear you know you're still number one
But girls they want to have fun
Oh girls just want to have

That's all they really want
Some fun
When the working day is done
Girls - they want to have fun
Oh girls just want to have fun

Maxine Weiss said...

Well, once again, I'm trying to convince everybody what a lousy time they had...

...yet nobody believes me.

For the record: I wasn't really spying on you all, hovering up above, in the rafters. Although, now that I think of it....that would have provided more of a life-changing, transforming experience than, say...

...dining out with a woman who thinks so little of you, she refused to have you over to her place.

Love, Maxine

Pogo said...

Aw, I bet it was a blast. Wish I could have gone and met the Blogarazzi. Maybe Altapalooza will meet nearer to me next time.

I promise to bring hand puppets, tin foil, Cheez Whiz, and a note from my mother. As it is, I'll just yell Freeebird! from the cheap seats.

Maxine Weiss said...

Yes, there's a reason why God created what we call "Ice Breakers".

You always assume, in any gathering, there will be one or two socially awkward individuals who swallow a frog, or drink the fingerbowl.

Unlike me, not everybody's a Career Party-goer and/or Professional Conversationalist.

When I host a gathering I always assume everyone's a social misfit and throw in lots of icebreakers: scavenger hunts, charades, fortune telling, caricature drawing, contests, interesting centerpieces.....etc.

....Whatever it takes so that, if nothing else, incompatible people with nothing in common, and who wouldn't otherwise be thrown together.... don't have to talk to eachother!

That's how it's done, Althouse.

Love, Maxine

Peter Palladas said...

For sheer erotic potential it has to be the morning-after photo.

Can you imagine the love making that would follow from such an encounter?

Trooper York said...

Carl Denham: Throw your arms across your eyes and scream, Ann. Scream for your life!
(King Kong)

blake said...

In doing her performance art, Maxine has exposed something very profound. Day in and day out, we encounter on this site people who are probably perfectly normal when you meet them on the street, yet completely irrational here.

Most commonly here we see BDS and ADS, of course, but Maxine shows us another kind of derangement. Yet the symptoms are the same: An absolute refusal to accept any data that contradicts the deranged person's fixed POV.

OK, maybe it's not that profound. Maybe it's just trite.

Maxine Weiss said...

"One of the minor pleasures of being middle-aged, overweight and balding is that...."---Hazy Dave'll make Althouse look good by default. We all know there's a reason why Althouse chose to sit where she did, and who she sat next to.

The intricate seating arrangements are fascinating.

Althouse uses the heavy-set guy to make herself look oh-so-svelte. And the heavy-set guy doesn't mind in the least. He's perfectly happy to be used in that way. Much obliged!

Betcha thought nobody would have the nerve to bring that up, eh?

I keep telling Althouse....there's always someone who's got your number.

Love, Maxine

Ralph said...

The second photo looks like my wicked stepmother. Gak!

kimhill said...

"Ah, the purse in the corner of the table! Would Althouse leave it there, so far, with strangers? No, I think it belongs to Kimhill. I should have figured that one out earlier. Kim - you are a she."

Nope, I'm a guy. The pics don't show everyone, and the group was not all male.