A Week in the Life of an Abhorrent Show-Off
Had a bit of a weird start to my week.
Let me start off by saying that despite all of this, by and large the staff of the Albany Times Union have all been wonderful, sweet, kind and supportive people. They’re the sort of openly complimentary folk that make me nervous to be around since I take compliments so terribly.
There is one, however, who has made it her mission from the beginning to make me feel unwelcome. Why I’m not sure; I didn’t help matters when I called her out for outright blocking me on Twitter (which I found out when I attempted to add her to a list of TU Bloggers for my followers to find – which I’m doing regardless of the fact that I don’t get paid for the blog). She claimed to have done so accidentally when she first started using Twitter, which didn’t fly for me since I had only started following her a couple days previous. When I pointed this out, she sent me a very curt, rude, and passive-aggressive reply.
Personally, I just wanted to know what I did wrong, and I didn’t get an answer.
I must have have handled anything else well, because a couple weeks ago I was alluded to as an “abhorrent show-off” on her blog. A lot of people texted and messaged me online to see how I was reacting to it. My first reaction, though, was to deny to people that it was about me, even though it obviously was.
Then, for some reason, she decided to make it part of her Sunday column in print. I don’t have the circulation numbers in front of me, but let’s just say it was a bit more than embarrassing and outright hurtful. No, she didn’t say “Kevin Marshall is an abhorrent show-off.” But enough people knew she was alluding to me that they knew who it was in reference to.
So I started off the week having my personal character assaulted. I licked my wounds, ignored it, and went about my week. Which was shaky; I’m having a lot of trouble focusing on the work I need to do for the play. I’m still in that early adjustment period of getting a rhythm between work, writing, and play rehearsal; I also admittedly haven’t put as much time into my line work that I should have. So of course, my Irish Catholic guilt was in full force the first three days of the week.
Thankfully, things got a lot better.
On Thursday, I attended a poetry reading at the behest of Daniel Nester, who is a contributor on We Who Are About to Die, a blog you absolutely need to check out. It was held at St. Rose and featured readings from Derrick Brown, and Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz. It was the first time I ever sat through a poetry reading and actually enjoyed it. I think because unlike other poets I’ve encountered, these folks actually went beyond the typical “woe is me” and pretentious pseudo-angst that is so prevalent in the genre…or at least in my exposure to it. I’m definitely going to pick up some of their work once I have the cash to spare, and suggest you do as well. They can be found at WriteBloody.com. Check ’em out.
I took the next day (Friday) off and wrapped up my week with the Social Media Breakfast (a gathering of what @kcampbell‘s significant other hilariously refers to as “the Twitterati” to discuss the impact of social media on local business and politics). It was a fascinating talk, even when it delved into topics that went way over my head.
I then went to the Times Union to do a photo shoot for a feature that will appear in the “Local” section of Monday’s paper. More on that to come on the TU blog, so keep an eye out!
I then had a luncheon with several of the other bloggers at the Times Union. It was a great time, and they are all great and wonderful people. Joining us were the “Blog Czar” (that’s the title I gave him; his real title is Interactive Audience Manager) Mike Huber, Naomi Seldin, Mark Ramirez, Amanda Talar, Teri Conroy, J. Eric Smith, and the Consumerist’s Laurie Northrup. It was a great time with some great people. Mike, Laurie, Naomi and Mark I’ve known for some time now and I was meeting the rest for the very first time. To say these are all wonderful and kind people would be an understatement, and I hope we can find a way to make this a regular thing.
Afterwards I did some writing, took a nap, had dinner with @AllThingsEllie and met up with the folks that I do the staged readings with: Tim O’Leary, Caitlin Bopp, Robert Rice, and Eric Ward. Again, I count myself lucky to know such consistently hilarious and kind people. They contributed to what was one of the better days I’ve had, and I hope I get to work with them again soon.
The bottom line is this: I have a lot of wonderful people in my life who provide me with a lot of great opportunities that I may not otherwise receive. I need to be mindful of that and show a bit of gratitude in both my words and actions. Because too often, I will let the opinion of one person override all the rest of the good I may be hearing and experiencing, and I can’t let that weigh me down. I can either sit and wallow in the fact that I’m continually having my character assaulted, or I can appreciate that I have all of these people (including but not limited to the people mentioned on this blog) come into my life in the last few months that have made it fuller, richer, and happier. For some reason, I’ll occasionally weigh things like this on a scale and the negative attitude and actions of one person will outweigh all the other positives I have going for me at that moment. When that happens, I have to try to check the calibration and give myself some perspective.
Maybe I am an abhorrent show-off. But I must be doing something right.