Monday, March 24, 2008

My first blog entry eva!

...I can't believe I'm doing this right now. Lol. You see what I did right there? I used an "LOL". All of the great authors of our time use those. Everyone knows this.

First off I wanted to say thanks for all of the responses. The people have spoken. It's great for me to hear what you guys really think. It's refreshing. I'd like to address some of the comments now if I may.

Yes Dr. Pauly, you'll find ample amounts of Phish references on this site. I drop them all the time. Some more subtle than others. Actually I drop vague references about all kinds of things. I love the idea that only a select few will get something. When you are one of those that gets it, you feel like your in some special club or something. As I said, I had no intentions of contemplating quiting prior to the Christmas story, but after it was finally done, it felt like how the boys said they felt about Big Cypress.

The advertising thing....Have been very much against it from the outset. This much is known. More recently though I've been hearing a lot more how dumb I am by not having ads. Maybe so. This thing was never about making money though. That said, if it gets to a point where I am actually passing up decent money by not monetizing this thing I may just have to take that plunge. I mean there is a point where you do actually do become a dumb ass. I just can't believe we are anywhere close to it. As far as the "tip your cabbie" thing: I've seen those on a few other cabbie blogs and I have nothing against them, I just personally find it in poor taste. I compare this to the guy who hangs a picture of his kids right next to the meter. It's like, c'mon bro, we know why you do that. It's cheap. I don't like to ask for things like that. The internet is a different medium however, and assuming people actually did tip their driver from time to time, it's a hell of an idea, it's just not my style.

ellopez said: "and whether you think they are interesting or not, they are interesting to me..."

This is an idea that I think all bloggers have to tackle. I don't think it's possible to be a good story teller without having a good sense as to what someone is or isn't going to find interesting. However it is no easy task. In fact, it appears I may have failed in this regard. I simply lived by the rule before that if I was going to err it would be on the side of saying nothing. What's that saying? "Better to say nothing and be thought a fool, than open your mouth and remove all doubt". Something like that. But, now as it's been shown, it may be time to hang loose a little bit.

Eric/Esub said: "Maybe you're talking about your own personal expectations, but I know I don't read new stories hoping it one will be better than the previous, I'm just hoping for something new..."

Well I wasn't at the time but it has since become clear that I actually was unknowingly, talking about my own personal expectations. Strange. As you and a few others have pointed out, you never thought of it in terms of the new one needing to be better than the last one. Apparently that only existed in my mind.

However I stopped you on the "new" for a reason. This one is a little less subjective. Reason being that through my time hacking, I've had many incidents that are so similar, that after you tell it once it's hard to make a similar version of it different enough to warrant another story. I've found that people who can't pay, and really any story involving tips fall into this category. They are all kind of the same.

Speaking of tips, perhaps you noticed already but I seldom even mention them. And rarely, if ever(?)complain about a lack of them. From the onset, I didn't want to come across as the complainer guy. (This is also why I avoided all the cabbie issues and the business bullshit) For many reasons, but mostly because it's just not entertaining in my opinion. Nobody cares if I got shafted on a tip. I don't even care, why the fuck would you? This kind of goes back to the TaxiCab Confessions show and the "between the doors" storytelling concept. That said, I do have some good tip stories that I am going to share at some point I think.

David said: "Glad to see you found your muse again."

I for one am not really into Greek Mythology but I suppose that's as good a word as any. The fact is, that I only write well when the mood strikes. This whole LVCC jazz odyssey thing is going to challenge this problem immensely I have little doubt.

Tom said: "I enjoy reading your blog because you are a good writer.... So I am pretty sure whatever topics you choose will be worth reading."

This kind of goes after another idea I had from the start which was...I wanted to take an outstanding event, and try and make it better with good writing. Not start with something dull, and try and make it interesting with good writing. In reality I think it might simply come back to capability. Which I'm not sure that I have. I mean, if you can take something uninteresting, and make it interesting simply with good writing, than you're a helluva writer I'd say.

Christina said:"You know, I've heard exactly the opposite advice about blogging: Write every day, even if it's just to say that you have nothing to write about."

I would agree with the writing everyday...publishing everyday is another beast entirely I think. Obviously, this represents the opposite of my blog being thus far.

highonpoker said: "Andrew, I started reading your blog a month or so ago, from the beginning. I read a couple of stories a day and print out a bunch to read on my train ride home. I recently read the story about the 2hr. 30min. wedding trip and liked it so much I printed it out for my wife. She read it on her commute and sent me a text message, "I want more cabbie stories!""

Awesome. Somebody telling me a story like this, that they got something from something here...that means a lot thank you. The image of a person, on the other side of the country, sitting in a train on their way to work. This person presumably hating life because they ARE on their way to work. But they are not. They are completely transported by an otherwise meaningless tale about a cab driver that helped a couple get married in Vegas. Nothing else in their mind. Just this story.....That sort of thing is light years better than any monthly ad-sense check I could be receiving.

And I guess I can say that because I can relate. I read a lot in the cab, and sometimes when it's really good, and the story is just right, and the words are just right, and the mood is just right you're kind of transported into this other world. Even if it's only for a second or two. I actually have a word for it. I call it, "the moment". These moments in life, are few are far between. The moment, and the search for it, are the reason myself and millions of others like sports, the reason you go to concerts, and the reason you read. You won't experience one every time. In fact, you seldom will. But I've found that these are the best places to find them. Unless of course you're lucky enough to find love. Then you're bound to have a few....

Lucky327 said: "Seems like the more readers one gets, the more one worries about what they owe the reader."

Certainly seems like a natural progression. When I started I didn't have any readers so this wasn't a problem. But yeah, I'd be lying if I said I didn't feel like I owed something to readers. Of course, I don't. But I feel that way anyway.

..and that was a copy're loud and clear over here good buddy.

Lastly I wanted to address an idea that was expressed via email.

Sully said: "One thing to consider is perhaps expanding what constitutes "your" stories. How would you feel about incorporating some interesting stories of your fellow cab drivers? I don't want you to go James Frey on us but, seeing as how the blog is about "Las Vegas Cabbies," I don't think it would be disingenuous to go this route."

I'll try and explain to you guys what I tried to explain to Sully. Although he was the first to bring it up here, this is not a new idea. This was mentioned about two years before the blog was even started, when I was just passing the stories on to e-friends. One of those people brought it up (sorry can't remember who). It's a great idea though. I've thought about it many times and dismissed it every time. There are many reasons for this...

The main one I will cite here is anonymity. Believe it or not, none of my co-workers are aware of this blog. I never told a soul about it. Save a few message boards the stories were getting posted on, my email contact list and whomever I handed a business card to, I never told anyone about the blog. I purposely wanted to remain anonymous at the yard and on the road in general. For many reasons. Mainly because I think I can write better like that. The idea of posting something and then a whole bunch of people at the yard asking me about it the next day irks me. I think for me, being lost in the crowd lends itself to being an honest teller.

That said, my anonymous days are numbered. I've already been outed once. Three months ago, by my boss of all people. Thankfully he seemed cool about it. In this vein you may have noticed that I have removed one of the few pictures on this blog and the crash videos also. These efforts are futile because it won't be long until the cat is out of the bag. To date, the desire to remain private makes it hard to ask other drivers to contribute stories. And I don't want to steal shit that I've overheard or whatever. That said, I had a "sit down" with the boss who outed me before two days ago. I requested the meeting specifically to discuss this blog and any potential problems I may run into from the companies perspective during the new LVCC free-form jazz odyssey approach. Plus I wanted to see if he had told anyone. ...The specifics of that meeting will be the topic of my next post so we'll save that.

I will say to close on this for now however, I have heard and overheard some really great fuckin stories over the years that I've thought many times that I would love to tell. I mean, a few tweaks here and there and there could be some quality stuff around here.

And always keep in mind folks that we're in the midst of a free-form jazz odyssey here. Sometimes it is going to suck. It just won't be right for some reason. The groove, it won't be happening. But there are other times. Sometimes the bass and the drums are going to get hooked up and the band is going to be so hot, the lights just perfect, and the buzz just beautiful. Hell, we may even have a moment or two.


Christina RN LMT said...

Can't wait...

You know, just about everyone at my work knows about my blog, but not everyone reads it. Of course, that means I can't bitch about my boss, or any of my colleagues.

I'm pretty strict about only posting stuff that I personally witnessed, but hey, it's my blog, so I do make an occasional exception...

Jordan said...

Speaking as a blogger who has monetized his blog, I simply place one simple rule on ads: They cannot influence or distract from the content.

If you follow that word of advice, then you should be able to monetize your blog without negatively affecting the blog for the readers. Blogs are not money-making ventures, but if you had another hobby like skateboarding and someone said, "hey, you skateboard well. let me sponsor you and buy you a new board." naturally, you'd jump at the opportunity. That's what monetizing blogs is all about, if you are more interested in content than the money. Take what you can get as long as it does not negatively affect content or the reader's experience.

Anonymous said...

Free form jazz.....

My jazz improv instructor once asked me "How many story lines are there?" I said, "Maybe 10-12 that we use." He said "Yeah, that's right. But there thousands a songs. Good ones, too."

Which is why I like guys like Miles Davis, Ornette Coleman, Michael Brecker, Charles Ives, ...
They did something different no matter what others thought and said.

NYC taxi photo said...

thanks, cheers