Okay, readers. I need your help.
My morning routine, Monday through Friday, goes pretty much like this. The alarm goes off at 4:45, I hit the snooze button twice and roll out of bed a little after 5. I make coffee, head over to the living room, and saddle up at my computer. I scan my Oakland-related RSS feeds looking for items to put in my news links here on ABO, then I open up my text editor and try to write a blog.
I make notes. I write outlines. I assemble lists of relevant links. Eventually, I come up with a couple hundred usable words plus a bunch of half-finished paragraphs full of lines like “[MAKE THIS LESS BORING],” “[FINISH THIS PARAGRAPH],” and “[WRITE SOMETHING WITTY HERE].” Sometimes I even get as far as making pretty looking charts to include.
But then, once I think I have something approximating a usable draft, I take a step back, light a cigarette, reread the whole thing from start to finish, and start nodding off halfway through reading it because I’m just so bored by the whole thing.
So I write, then erase, then write some more, then erase again, the write some more…well, you get the idea. But every day, after an hour or so of writing and erasing, I throw my hands up in the air and decide that whatever I’m talking about is either just too boring to be of interest to anyone or too depressing for anyone to want to read about, or (in many cases) both, and I promise myself I’ll come up with something more entertaining tomorrow, accept another day of defeat, and move on to real work.
Subjects I’ve started, then abandoned, posts about in the last three weeks include the budget, pensions, the taxes on November’s ballot, the Mayor’s race, other elections in November, the zoning update, explaining how redevelopment works, the Sunshine Ordinance, and…I don’t know, a bunch of other stuff.
But honestly, every time I start to write about any of those things, I feel like there’s just nothing new to say. I mean, there’s only so many things to say about the City’s looming financial collapse, and frankly, I feel like I’ve kind of said them all at one point or another over the last two years. On the other hand, it does often seem like a lot of people really don’t get how dire the City’s situation is, so maybe it is time for a refresher. I don’t know. Writing about the budget is just so incredibly depressing. I assume that reading about it must be too.
Same thing with the pensions, right? I mean, there’s been several occasions where I’ve started posts about some discussions about pensions at Committee meetings from the Spring, but there’s only so many different ways to point out that our system is unsustainable and only so many times you can say it before getting bored to tears. Or maybe that’s just me. Apparently, some people can talk about public employee pensions all day long without getting bored. Or, you know, all day, every day, for months on end or whatever. I don’t really get it, but each to their own, I guess.
There’s not a single candidate for Mayor that leaves me feeling anything beyond either “Eh” or “That guy seems unstable,” the zoning update is depressingly (and predictably) provincial, and I know I’ll have to go through all the ballot measures at some point, but that seems like something more appropriate to save for the fall. Same with all the other local races — I know I’ll be writing about them at some point, but I feel like I should wait for some forums or something first, because at this point, there really isn’t a whole lot to say.
Honestly, the only subjects I’ve felt at all inspired to write about anytime recently are the Council’s war on clean clothes (PDF), which isn’t timely, how excited I am about the opening this weekend of the DTO’s newest bar, Threefiftyfive, which seems kind of out of place here, and this Mayoral debate I watched the other night from February 2006, which I decided would just be straight up weird to be blogging about.
So I give up, folks. I have absolutely no idea what to write about or what people find interesting anymore. I have a ridiculous amount of information stuck up here in my head, and have gotten to the point where I’m completely clueless about what, if any, of it is worth sharing. If you guys want to know more about pensions or the budget or whatever, I can do that. If you guys want to talk about elections, I can do that. I you want to talk about something totally new — well, if it has anything to do with Oakland government, chances are, I can do that too. Except for the WIB. Don’t ask me to write about the WIB. Even thinking about it gives me a headache. I really just can’t deal.
Anyway, I do sincerely want to get back into blogging, so we’re going to do this choose-your-own-adventure style. Then I can blame my readers for the blog being boring. Mark what you want to read about in the poll below. Whatever gets the most votes is what I’ll write about next. Then whatever gets the second most votes, I’ll write about that. And so on until I think of something on my own that seems interesting enough to merit coverage. If you want to read about something not listed in the poll, write your request in the comments.
You can pick as many choices as you like, but for the subjects where there are options for both overview/summary and details, please only pick one. I’m trying to gauge how interested people are in different subjects — like, is X topic worth one post or five?
Oh, also. If you work or live in the downtown area, or even if you just pass through on your way home, pay ThreeFiftyFive a visit sometime soon. It’s at 19th and Webster next to Burger Gourmet.
I know it doesn’t look like much from the outside, but indoors, it’s beautiful and classy and OMG I am just so incredibly happy to see more things opening on my side of Broadway. Grand opening is this Friday at 8!