On hiatus

Well, I did my best to keep posting daily during the holidays, but I eventually just ran out of steam. I don’t feel any more inspired after a couple of days off.

The Council will be selecting a new president today, and tomorrow they will meet for the first time in 2009 (PDF) to decide on, among other things, new Committee assignments. But for whatever reason, I just can’t think of anything I feel compelled to say about any of it. Maintaining this blog requires a tremendous amount of energy, and I just don’t have enough of that right now to keep doing it. My interest in Oakland politics seems to be waning quickly. I don’t know whether that’s a result of frustration with City Hall or just being burned out, or what. In any case, I’m going to be taking a break from blogging. It might be only a week, it might be a month, it could be permanent. I really have no idea right now. Check back next Monday for an update.

18 thoughts on “On hiatus

  1. Patrick

    Wow, V. – I’m kind of in shock.

    Thank you for providing a forum that increased my interest in the inner workings of City of Oakland. Thank you for being honest, and providing us with detailed, researched and verifiable information for which we’ve had few other sources (if any). Thank you for the incredible amount of energy you clearly expended on our behalf.

    Your impressive efforts with this blog truly gave us A Better Oakland.

  2. Rebecca Kaplan

    Good morning V., and blogOaksphere,

    Thanks V., for all your work, I hope you find your energy again — nothing wrong with taking time off, or needing support!

    I will be sworn in this morning (11am, City Hall, Council chambers) followed by a reception at Geoffrey’s Inner Circle, 410 14th street.

    My first agenda request will be Oakland’s infrastructure funding proposals (I’ll post more about this later). Thanks for everything you’ve done to build a better & more informed Oakland!

  3. Erin Battlefield

    From reading this blog on and off for a long time, it seems like what you have been saying for a while now, V, is that more or less the entire city council needs to go. You’re phrasing it more in terms of “why won’t they all change and be different?” but essentially it seems that you don’t believe that the current council members, with their well-established rifts and bitternesses and calcified opinions, will be able to accomplish much of anything for Oakland.

    If that is true, then is it time for cleanslate.org?

  4. Paul Lindner

    Thanks for your blog. It’s provided inspiration and information for this new resident of Oakland.

  5. Andy

    Hope you come back recharged. I have learned so much about Oakland here, and really enjoy this on-line community.

  6. Coolhand Luke

    I understand completely. After a while, you just feel like you’ve said what you wanted to and don’t want to force anything. Take as much time as you need and post when you feel impassioned about something important. There’s no need to continue our bickering about reporting bias and minuscule scraps of news. We’ll try to pick up the slack while you recharge. Hope to see you back sometime soon. Enjoi your time.

  7. Jason

    Thanks for your work on this blog — you probably don’t hear the appreciation enough, but I’m sure I’m not the only one who reads more than I post — and [in general] complains more than I take action.

    I know it takes a lot of dedication to work on something as frustrating and sometimes not all that rewarding as local politics. Your voice is an important one and I hope you come back energized.

  8. Jennifer

    I can understand how much energy it must take to think about Oakland politics all the time . . . Take all the time you need to detox. . . but we’ll miss you.

  9. VivekB

    Ditto, thanks for all your work. As someone who has a tendency to get completely absorbed in my hobbies, my advice is to take a month off. A week isn’t nearly enough to get distance, and if you’re feeling tired a month or two is more like it.

    I started what turned into a very active blog 3.5 years ago about a completely unrelated topic (ie, not my current website, *very* different). I hit the wall after about 18 months of doing it, and decided to chill with my wife/kids for a few months. I jumped back in 3 months later, which was perfect as I had a fresh perspective on things, and took my topic in a completely different but very fresh direction. Most of the readers came back, a few who didn’t like the new me didn’t, but they were more than offset by the new folks. The readership wasn’t nearly as rewarding as the new direction & energy I felt.

    So…take some time. Take 1-2 months, or whatever you need. Oakland will be just as screwed up then as it is now, but perhaps you’ll have some interesting new thoughts about it. Or perhaps you’ll see who takes up the cause in your absence, freeing you up to do even more outrageous or innovative blogging.

  10. oaklandhappenings

    V, thank you, regardless if you decide to continue or not. Might we still see you with Oakbook??
    Do what is best, and who knows–maybe Jane Brunner as president will make a difference (…on second thought, maybe not). Rebecca K’s presence may not be the same as 8 new faces on the CC, but she will hopefully be a heluva lot better than lame-duck Henry C. Rebecca, if you are still reading this, do us all a favor, and help us put Oakland on the map under in a positive limelight. Your votes could be the difference in making our city “a better Oakland” “a sh*ttier Oakland”. Your call! :-)

  11. erocking

    Add me to the list of admirers of V Smoothe and count me as appreciative of all she’s done for Oakland via this blog (and Oakbook). Thanks, V!

  12. das88

    When I had to take a break from Oakland, I ended up moving to Los Angeles for eleven years. I certainly hope V’s hiatus is not as severe.

    Oakland seems to have this same effect on a lot of people that they vacillate from civic booster to harsh critic and back and again. I actually think this manic reaction makes a lot of sense. Oakland has a lot of great things going for it all in a fairly small package that is not so overwhelming. However, no matter how good things look or how strong the future looks, Oakland never comes close to its full potential. There is always disappointment for opportunity lost and squandered away.

    Still I have faith that civic conditions will continue to improve and that V. will be back to inform us on how they could have been better.

  13. Patrick

    What an incredible insight, das88, I’ve never thought of it that way. There is truly much to love about our city…and then our city government concerns themselves with censorship while at the same time making me responsible for the liability of the sidewalk in front of my house – which was installed in 1925 and never looked at by the city again.

    I’m still hoping that the FBI Edgerley investigation turns up many more rotten apples – and sends a decent portion of our government running for the (other side) of the hills. The scandalous way this city is governed is the source of many of its problems, but I guess its ultimately the citizen’s fault for the way we vote.