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September 2009

Closing Time

In the final days of August, I met Ian Rankin at the Oxford Bar, trying to conceal my fangirl glee. The Oxford Bar! Rebus's hangout! With Rebus's creator! I'm not going to lie, I felt pretty cool, although I know that Rankin, a gracious sort, has invited many writers to his favorite bar.

The same week, back home in Baltimore, the Brass Elephant closed its doors. The Brass Elephant - actually, the bar upstairs, Tusk Lounge -- had been Tess Monaghan's bar and, once upon a time, mine. But neither of us had been there in some time, which I guess was part of the problem. Tess has a good excuse; she has a new baby at home. My only excuse is that I no longer work near the Brass Elephant, but that's been true for nine years. The closest thing I have to a neighborhood bar is probably this, which also has the second best macaroni and cheese I have had in my life. (The best was here.)

As for the Brass Elephant, I feel I should be sadder than I am. The bar was a beautiful space, especially toward sunset, when orange-red light filtered through the stained glass window. But I am finding it hard to mourn for three reasons:

  1. I think it will return. It's a good location for a restaurant, a good building. And the economy will pick up eventually. Right? Please?
  2. I am trying to wean myself from nostalgia, a disease that is estimated to affect two out three Baltimoreans.
  3. Everything ends.

Rankin, in fact, ended his Rebus series and introduced a new one, with a different character. It's quite good, although reviewers seem obligated to tell us that it's NOT Rebus.

Last month, I made clear in the Washington Post how I feel about Tess Monaghan's longevity. For those too busy to click through, I'll sum it up this way: I'm not done with her, but I might be, one day. For now, I'm giving her some time off to sort out her childcare issues.

And I am giving myself some time off from this website. Which is to say: I'm no longer going to post on a monthly schedule. I'll post as I see fit, which may be monthly, bimonthly or -- when I'm in one of my hyper-writing fits -- biweekly. Maybe I'll blog a little more often. I have set up a fan page on Facebook, although I'm still dubious about this enterprise. Being a fan? Totally comfortable. (See the beginning of this entry.) Having a fan page? Seems grandiose. But please, stop by if you're so inclined. I hope to update it often - including updates on when I update this site, if that's not too meta.





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