Friday, March 24, 2006

Deep Thoughts, by Passionate Eater

Now that it is nearing the 1/2-year mark for my blog, I was compelled to look back and make a critical assessment about the status of Passionate Eater.

My moment of deep contemplation was spurred by an average evening of commuter angst, while riding the BART train home from work. (For those of you unfamiliar with BART, it is the mass underground transit system of San Francisco and its environs.)

Well, this day was like every other day. It started when I breathlessly reached the train station and saw my train departing from the tracks.

I hate it when that happens.

No no, what's worse, is when you run down the broken elevator (past the slow old ladies carrying huge plastic bags full of "you-name-it") and you barely get to the departing train just as the doors close in your face. That is the worst.

Well, being that I missed the train by a few seconds, I settled down into the line at the tracks, and patiently waited for the next train in 15 minutes.

Fifteen minutes later, as my train wheezed to a stop, I could see from the windows that it was "standing room only." Disgruntled passengers were packed like wriggling sardines with wrinkled and sweat-stained suits and crinkly newspapers clutched tightly in their hands.

Again, like every other day during rush hour, there were a grossly insufficient amount of trains. As I boarded, other stragglers forcibly squeezed their way in the closing doors. Steamy bodies pressed against me, and I rode with my nose inches away from the moist armpit of a fellow passenger wearing a threadbare suit.

As I stood there, for what seemed like an eternity, I got to thinking. What made me different from these hundreds of passengers who were also coming home from a long day of work on the Bay Point-bound train? Most importantly, what makes my food blog different from the thousands (or millions) of food blogs out there? Will my food blog slowly shrivel and dry up for lack of innovative ideas? Should I change my blog? I was at a crossroads.

The longer I stood inside the stuffy train, the more ideas brewed and bubbled in my head, and the more I realized what kind of blog
Passionate Eater needed to be. It was going to be a blog of learning about the impact food has on society! I want to incorporate posts about social justice, international politics, economics, and financial management! Passionate Eater would be revolutionary.

When I got home, I immediately logged online and reviewed the archived contents of
Passionate Eater. Hm. Sometimes, I sounded like a old, hardened, and angry witch. Okay. The tone was just how I wanted it. But the content, the content could be improved, just as I had envisioned.

I sat down and began writing. "Since the beginning of time, food has been..." Hm. Let me think about that.

An hour passed. The empty sentence fragment sat there, staring at me. I stared back. The cursor blinked at me, over, and over, and over again, almost taunting me to forget about my new vision for
Passionate Eater. But I wasn't about to lose this staring contest. I was going to revamp my blog, and revitalize the food blogging community.

After another hour, I broke down. I was tired, hungry, and had no idea what to write.

Okay, okay. I give up. I'll keep my blog the way it is.

Or... Any ideas?


  1. PE,

    Keep it as your mood likes it! Loyal readers like myself will come back to enjoy your entertaining perspectives on food, on life, and anything you feel like your stuff!

  2. Please...don't change a thing. I like your blog just the way it is!

  3. Aw, I relate to this blogging ennui, I really do. But I think things are great the way they are! There are days when I feel like I could do more, be more interesting, but when it comes down to it, straight up recipes and photos are what I do best so I stick to that.

  4. Don't change a thing. We like you the way you are! The nice thing about a blog is that you have the freedom to change it from day to day depending on your feelings--somedays, you feel like a witch, so be a witch and complain til the cows come home! (btw, i love bitchy posts b/c i myself am one)on days where life is a bowl of cherries, go out & celebrate! But no, don't change a thing. Please. =)

    BTW, I can totally relate to the BART thing. I grew up in the Bay Area and even worked in SoMa for a short period of time. Sometimes (and I mean only sometimes) I prefer standing to sitting b/c I can't stand how the seats on BART are covered with cloth. Eww.

  5. p.e,

    agree with the others, don't fix it if ain't broke.. and it ain't broke..

    p.e. your personality is very genuine and people can see that in your posts, thats why we come back for more... if you were a fake Prada carrying bitch trying to act all nice in your posts i think people would see it in a few and bail on you. but you aren't and we haven't.

    so, keep riding the bart with the weirdos and doing what you do best... writing about food!!!!

  6. Hi PE - What, you gotta' be kidding? I love your Blog just the way it is. After reading what EDBM wrote about meeting you, I'd say your blog truly reflects your personality. I had a friend who thought of Himself as a "Foodie - food critic", and I remember telling him once why everything he ate tasted so bad - He spent so much time looking and contemplating his meal - it always got cold before we managed to eat it!

  7. I find that on BART the people that cut in line in most are not the young punk kids but are actually the middle-aged women. I guess people should be nice and offer them seats, but it's rude for them to cut still, know what I mean?

    P.S. You should read "Salt" by Mark Kurlansky. It's an interesting account that traces salt's place in history and how it affected societies, trade, food, and governments.

    P.P.S. I like your food pictures!

  8. Thank you everyone, for your kindness and encouraging support! No one need worry though, I was never thinking about changing my blog into anything other than a food blog. I was thinking of adding some unique touches though, that might incorporate my desire to learn about other aspects of the world. Plus, I think that there comes a time in every food blogger's lifetime, when they look at what they're doing, and want to change it to reflect the changes in society and their evolving way of thinking. (Think of it as like how Madonna reinvented herself with each decade, and still managed to please old fans and new fans.)

    I appreciate you all so much Elmo Monster, Rachel, Ms. Canada, Daily Gluttony, Diet Chili Cheese Fries, Kirk, and Jeff L. It really means a lot to me to hear your reassuring and gracious words, especially when I have so much respect for all of you as people and the work you do on all of your wonderful food blogs. (Rachel and Jeff L, I consider you to have food blogs too! Jeff L, your blog refers to "dim sum" and therefore, it is a food blog.)

    Thanks again, and take care everyone. I'll see and talk to you soon, on your blog or mine! ;)

    In closing, I just want to shout, "Vive le BART"! (But I agree Daily Gluttony, "Death to the cloth seats!" They feel like they absorb the stink from every passenger, and when you sit on it, you then absorb the seat smell.) Peee-yew!

  9. I'd like to schedule a lunch w/ Miss Passionate Eater. Available as early as today or as late as the 2 wks from now. Email me. :)

  10. J and I enjoy looking at the pictures and PE's funny stories while salivating at the thought of the next outing with PE and PE's special someone.

  11. PE, why do you wanna change it? If you feel like talking about something else, don't feel restrained b/c you initially started this as a 'food blog'. you've entertained us with the kind of food that makes you happy and un-happy and given us a vivid taste of your personality. and as you can see from the previous comments, we admire it. don't you remember what i told you when we met up? on why i kept on reading your blog and not others? you're real and we'd love to hear what else is going on in your life. i love your posting on the Superbowl - you're down. how many girls will actually involve themselves in a Day of Testosterone AND buy football dinnerware haha.

    Just be the way you are. My two cents.

    PS. you better call when you're back in the San Gabriel Valley - we can go meet up with Pam or something and stuff our faces.

  12. Hey,

    No, the worst thing on bart is when some nimrod boards the train, wearing some overstuffed backpack or carrying their sharp brief case and just stands there. As though, they're in their living room, as though the damned train won't be making jerky move when it takes off. And as the train jerks and kicks away from the station, this moron comes completely unglued from their moment of stationaryism and careens in to some poor sot who had the forethought to hold on. I hate that.

    As far as questioning your bloggism, let me say this about that.
    MH is nearing its 3rd birthday and I believe it was 6 to 8 months in when I hit a wall. My schtick ran dry and I was out. Considered tearing it down and moving on. I hated being called a blogger (a 4 letter word in my little society I live and work in) and it was getting too popular for my taste.
    Obviously I simmered down a bit and carried on.
    The worst thing you could ever do is attempt to please anyone but yourself. People surely enjoy your content, but if a robot was spewing the same, they'd leave in a heartbeat. It's all about you, be selfish and have fun.

    So says Biggles.

  13. Great to see you here Goldfishy 526! We'll meet together this week as planned. Take care and see you soon!

    Hey Alf! Yes, we (also) have to meet up soon. Especially to try out that Thai place you were telling me about!

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts Eat, Drink, and Be Merry. I guess I have been feeling that there are a lot of things I'd like to pursue in life, and I wanted to fit those pursuits in with my food blog. (You know, like maybe taking some community college classes, volunteering, and even getting my finances in shape and starting to really pay off my loans.) Also, at times, I feel too busy to write "meaningful" or "insightful" posts, and that I am just talking out of my @$$. I don't want to sacrifice quality or not invest in my blog ideas wholeheartedly, but I feel like I have been doing that lately. Maybe it is just a mid-blog crisis, and maybe this moment will soon pass. I appreciate your welcome encouragement and advice Eat, Drink, & Be Merry.

    Ha Dr. Biggles! Now that you mention those people, I think I am going to have to change my "worst-case-BART-scenario" to what you said!

    And thank you for sharing your personal story with me Dr. Biggles. That is exactly what I feel like--that I don't have anything meaningful or "new" to contribute. I still want to maintain a food blog, and I agree with your sage advice, it is important to keep my goals in mind first and foremost, and to have fun. Thank you again for your reassuring words.


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