My First Blog

28 Jan

Waldorfia Tomosky               MY FIRST BLOG                                   11/30/11

Friday Night

He asked me out to dinner for a pre-interview meeting.

“It isn’t a date” he insisted. I needed the job and quickly agreed.

We made arrangements to meet in my hotel lobby. It was quite proper and the atmosphere was elegant. Besides, it added to my own elegance. The strapless little black dress should keep him from thinking too far ahead of me. Twitterpation is a good thing even though it is not a word. Guys are so easy to twitterpate.

He entered the hotel lobby as if he owned it. In reality, he did, I just didn’t know it at the time. His command presence forced all eyes in his direction. A tall stature and rugged looks caught everyone’s attention. The stride was purposeful but not military. His face may be more difficult to explain. He was not Hollywood handsome yet it had character deeply etched and visible for all to see. As he walked directly toward me I was pleased to share in the attention. It was a nice change to be noticed. My last two years in graduate school were spent in the lab. No little black dresses there; just sexless white smocks. Even when I left the top buttons of my smock open no attention was paid. Of course the birka-like protective headwear didn’t help either.

I had been out of grad school for a whole year but was not able to find a job. It seemed as though the whole world of research had dried up. My father was not much help. He destroyed my self-confidence when he shared his opinion about my neck tattoo and nose diamond.

So there I was, standing in the middle of an elegant hotel lobby, meeting a famous editor who was interested in my work.

He stretched out his right hand to me. Of course I responded. The handshake was friendlier than I anticipated but attempted not to notice. As we took each other’s right hands he gently folded his left hand so that my right hand was totally surrounded. It wasn’t threatening. It was gentle and seemed to imply friendship. This initial mannerism re-enforced my original opinion of him when I first saw him enter the lobby; strong yet sensitive.

We exchanged small talk about my flight into Boston and if the hotel was satisfactory.

He then said “What am I thinking of? My apologies. You are probably starving. The airlines do not offer much in the line of food these days.”

Without waiting for my answer he arose from the hotel sofa we had been sitting on and offered his hand to help me up. It was a nice but unnecessary gesture. He then offered his arm so that I felt more comfortable walking into the hotel dining room. This area was as richly decorated as the lobby and he made an excellent escort. I felt like a princess.

The Maître d’ greeted him by name and asked “The usual seating sir?”

“Yes Richard” answered my escort.

We were led to a very nice and secluded table that overlooked the Battery Wharf and North Bay. It was a perfect setting.

My escort spoke first. “This is my favorite spot in Boston. It is inspiring to think of what history has left for us in this bay.”

I answered courteously but truthfully. “It would have been devastating if I ever found out that I bypassed this scene and never knew about it.”

“You have good insight” he responded; quickly adding “I visited Greece when I was a young man and walked around the bay and seawall of Piraeus. It was a nice visit but a shame that I never knew until later that Socrates’ dialogues commenced there. I don’t know if I could have ever departed Greece had I known that.”

A waiter appeared as if from nowhere. He, like the Maître d’, addressed my escort by name. It was apparent that he was a good customer. My escort quietly told the waiter to give us a few minutes.

“Of course sir” answered the waiter. He disappeared as magically as he had appeared.

“The hotel specializes in Portuguese food” my escort said. “It is a result of the Portuguese people that make up a lot of the old families that settled on Cape Cod and in Rhode Island. Their food is delicious. May I order some for you?”

I responded positively without hesitation. I do love variety.

“Açorda de marisco” is my favorite he said, “Bread soup with seafood. It sounds like a strange mixture; however, it is delicious without being spicy or overbearing. We can follow that up with ‘bife a portuguesa’, a thin steak topped with egg. Is that too weird for you? It ends up being a light meal, just enough to fill.”

I then voiced my previous thought, “I do love variety. All right, I am in” I said enthusiastically.

He smiled kindly at me. It almost spoke out loud, “Thanks for being a good sport.”

After a few minutes of silence while we both looked out the window, both apparently lost in our own thoughts, he spoke. “The light breeze on the water almost makes it sparkle, don’t you think?”

In the back of my mind I had registered the same thought but in the front of my mind was the thought “This is too good to be true. An interview with a handsome man in a beautiful setting. When is this bubble going to burst?”

After a few seconds of all too obvious silence I was able to get myself back in the real world. “My thoughts exactly” I responded. I hoped it was more convincing to him than it was to me.

“I like your writing” he said. “I wasn’t too sure until I read that anthology that you put together for Barnes and Noble. There are authors who can write novels and those that can only write short stories. Not many people can put together an anthology that has a consistent theme while demanding the reader’s attention from beginning to end.”

“But it is an anthology” I apologized. “The articles were authored by others. I only introduced them and drew a conclusion for the readers.”

“Don’t sell yourself short” he said. “It was your work that tied the whole thing together. You put the ‘glue’ in between each article and then set the whole anthology within those bookends; Introduction and Conclusion. Your work was brilliant.”

I must have turned eight shades of red; I never have been good at accepting praise. “I really can’t accept all those compliments” I said as I tried to deflect the praise.

“Let me be the judge of that” said my escort. He ended that critique with a big yet soft smile.

We continued the discussion about my writing.

“When did you start writing” he queried.

“High school; on the newspaper” I shyly responded. It wasn’t a big badge that I could proudly wear.

“Did you write blogs?” he asked.

“No, just opinion pieces. There was no chance for people to reply; except in the hallway, which they did very often. We were just getting the idea of blogs at that time.”

”Didn’t your school push the new technical tools available?” he queried.

“No, they did not” I replied. “Our school was a small upstate New York school. We didn’t have the tools that the NY City suburbs had. Our science class consisted of one Bunsen Burner, two petri dishes and the old ring and ball trick where it was proved that things expanded with heat.”

He looked at me for a minute and then said “Well I don’t know where you learned to write but you have the gift; especially for short essays that tie together. That is why I have this interest in your talents.  Did anyone ever ask you to blog?”

“Why of course they did. One time the football coach came to see me and asked if I would blog the captain of the football team” I said.

“So did you blog him?” he asked.

“Of course not. I told the coach I hardly knew the captain.”

“What was the coach’s response?” he asked.

“He wanted me to get to know him a little better. The coach insisted that once I got to know him I would want to blog him. I had no intentions of blogging the captain of the team no matter how much of a hero he appeared to others.”

“That must have put you in a strange position” said my escort.

“Not really. I was OK with telling the coach where I stood on the matter. Guess what the coach asked next. He wanted me to blog the whole football team. I informed him that I was not a serial blogger or a backstage reporter.”

My escort then asked if I had ever blogged anyone before. I made it clear that I had not. I was starting to wonder where this conversation was heading.

The situation was defused when the waiter showed up at a most opportune time. Our ‘Açorda de marisco’ was served. It was as delicious as my escort had promised. It was loaded with flavor yet not to heavy or spicy. Our conversation was limited to commenting on the soup. My bowl was empty and I hoped that he had not noticed my scraping at the bottom to get the last delicious drops. We had just set our spoons down and utilized our napkins when the waiter appeared with a substantial glass of red dinner wine. It was heavy but not sweet or dry. I had never tasted a wine that seemed more like a heavy glass of water. I may have been a little over enthused with it because the glass was close to empty before the ‘bife a portuguesa’ arrived. The waiter asked if we needed anything else. I responded “No” and did not hear my escort respond with anything. I must have missed a little body language because the waiter immediately returned to refill our wine glasses.

Once again we limited our conversation to the food at hand. Once again it was absolutely delicious. I have to admit that the egg on top of the thinly sliced beef appeared a little strange; however, it was delicious. The meal was topped off with a nice serving of ‘Flan de Cabaza.’ It looked and tasted delicious but was an absolute mystery to me. My escort explained that it was a type of pumpkin or squash custard; he wasn’t sure of the exact translation.

The conversation took a turn towards business when he asked me “What do you have scheduled for the weekend? We will not get together again until Monday morning.”

I told him I had been looking forward to a drive out to Cape Cod on Sunday. A walking tour of the Old South Meeting House area was planned for Saturday.

“It is a nice evening and still early” he said. Continuing on he offered “Why don’t you let me show you around old Boston and the Meeting House. It really looks much nicer at night when they have lights trained on the old buildings. And it is great for people watching.”

How could I resist such an offer; especially after he had just treated me to the new experience of Portuguese food. “Sure, that sounds like a great idea” I responded. He told me to grab a sweater or jacket because it would be getting cold in Old Boston with all the stone buildings.

“I will meet you back in the lobby in fifteen minutes” he said.

“What a considerate man” I thought as the elevator took me up to my floor. “He knows that I needed a few minutes to refresh.” Once I was inside my room I located my jacket and hung it on the door knob so that I would not forget it when it was time to go to the lobby.

When I reached the lobby he was already there, waiting patiently for me. We took the elevator down to the parking level and he guided me to his CL S63 AMG Mercedes Benz. I thought it was a magnificent piece of work from the outside but when he opened my door the interior matched the quality perfectly.

Before I knew it we were going up a set of ramps and out onto the street. Old Boston apparently was not that far away because we seemed to be there in just a few minutes. He had a private parking spot and we were shortly out and walking about.

An hour of walking was all I could handle. “You know the flight from Buffalo to Boston, the excitement of meeting you and this walk has me bushed. I wonder if it would be terrible of me to ask you to take me back to the hotel.” It was more of a plea than a request. I was dead on my feet.

“Sure, I should have realized it” he responded. “It was selfish of me not to think about it. I was having such a good time showing you around that I became thoughtless. Let’s go up this side street, it will get us to the car a lot faster.”

The ride on the way back to the hotel was rather quiet. I didn’t have enough energy to initiate a conversation and he appeared deep in thought. He broke the silence.

“Look, since we did Old Boston that leaves you tomorrow with nothing to do. I would enjoy seeing you tomorrow. Maybe we could go into the office and I could show you how we make money operating a blog business. Do you think you would feel up to it?”

“Of course” I said before I even knew what I was saying. As we entered the ramp to the underground parking lot I thought “You lucked out with that answer. That is why you are here, to get a job in the blogging business.”

He walked me to the elevator and kept me safe until we reached the floor my room was on. When the door opened he said “I will watch from here until I am sure you are safely in your room. What time should I pick you up tomorrow?”

“How about nine thirty?” I asked.

“OK, nine thirty and save room for breakfast. We can eat and enjoy the view of the bay before we go to the office” he offered and informed me all at the same time.

I thanked him and gave his hand a squeeze to let him know I appreciated his gentle and caring manner. We said goodnight. As I entered my room I looked back and saw him watching carefully over me.

Saturday Morning

The phone rang promptly at 9:30. It was the front desk. “One moment ma’am” said the faceless voice.

My interviewer was on the house phone. “Good morning” he said cheerfully. “Are we ready for breakfast?”

“Of course” I answered. “I’ll be right down.”

He was dressed much more casually than the previous evening. He had a pair of expensive dress pants that worked very hard to look casual. A very nice green ribbed tee shirt with a finely hemmed neck was partially hidden beneath a casual sport coat. His hair seemed to float just the right amount above his head. And it appeared to feather above his ears quite naturally.

I was glad that I also had dressed more casually. I wore a nice yellow skirt that showed just enough thigh but not too much. A much lighter yellow printed blouse finished off the set. It was rather gauzy, almost like an Indian sari.

He asked the standard question “How did you sleep last night?”

I told him “Fine” and continued on with an apology for terminating the previous evening so early.

He said he understood and put out his arm to escort me into the dining room.

It was a standard breakfast except for the “Eggs Benedict” which I could not help myself in ordering. It is my favorite breakfast food. When he casually mentioned that he might order them I jumped on the chance.

We made small talk about the previous evening but he offered nothing about what we were going to do today. My anticipation level was high due to the promised visit to his business and its offices. I was excited to see where it was and how it worked.

The waiter brought our breakfast and my interviewer started discussing the plans for the day. He mentioned where the business was located but I had no idea of direction or the layout of Boston. He informed me of the banks of computer servers that helped keep the business running. Once again I was kept from entering into the conversation due to my ignorance of computer networks. The only computer I used was my PC at home and the more powerful one I used in the university lab. He shared some business data with me such as the number of bloggers that utilized his business, the number of blogs that the average blogger posts per week and the number of advertisers that use his services.

For the life of me I could not figure out why he was interviewing me for a bloggers job. With the number bloggers that contributed to his business he surely didn’t need another blogger. I needed a delicate way to broach the subject and decided to wait until a more proper time. I allowed him to take the lead for the remainder of the conversation.

We were finished with the meal and he asked if I wanted anything else. I responded in the negative. He rose from his chair and walked around the table to assist me. My mind, again, went to the thought of what a gentleman he was. It was only then that I thought about the charges for breakfast. It dawned on me that he had not paid for last night’s meal and was about to commit the same omission for this morning’s meal. I remained silent.

As we walked through the restaurant I expected one of the wait staff to stop us and gently remind him about the bill. No one did.

He made small talk about the hotel and how nice the employees were. He then said “I hope it is not because they work for me.”

I had a hard time absorbing what he was saying. I responded “Oh, do you own the restaurant?”

“No, I own the hotel” he answered. I almost collapsed on the spot. It took me a minute to realize that he owned two businesses in Boston; the hotel and the blogging site. I wondered what else he owned. I did not say anything until the doors of the elevator opened up and I realized we were on the lower level parking lot. He led me to a car. I was surprised that it was not his Mercedes but a bright red F430 Ferrari convertible.

“What happened to your Mercedes?” I asked quite naïvely.

“I like the Mercedes for chilly nights. The weatherman is predicting a nice day for us so I thought you may enjoy the Ferrari. Besides, I enjoy showing you off” he said, as a matter of fact. He was confident enough not to wait for any response from me professing false humility. Therefore I offered none. He opened the door of the Ferrari and I got in.

It was a nice ride to his office. I think he took us a little out of the way because I saw the same buildings several times. It must have been an honest remark when he said “I enjoy showing you off.” Why else would he be going in circles?

The Ferrari took an abrupt right hand turn and down a ramp. The underground parking lot was well lit and clean. He had a private parking spot by the elevator. The convertible top was raised and locked in place. Before I knew it we were getting on the elevator. He pushed the button to the 11th floor. The elevator neither lurched nor made any noise. If it were not for the lighted numbers above the door I would have thought we were not moving at all. The door opened and we had reached our destination.

It looked like the standard business office; almost-private cubicles, racks of computer servers and a bank of customer service cells, each with its own phone. The cubicles were relatively empty and the customer service people were busy talking to customers. We walked past all of that and went directly to his office. It was very well done in rosewood and birch. Off to the side was another room with a bar and a few easy chairs.

He immediately turned on a computer and opened up the blinds. The view from this 11th floor office was absolutely gorgeous. I swear that I could see Cape Cod. I was soaking up the views when he spoke. “Come over here I wish to show you something.” I walked over to where he was standing. He pointed to the computer screen and explained each section. I generally understood what he was saying but I hoped he was not going to test me on it.

He queried the computer for a list of the most visited blog sites. There appeared a long list; however, the top twenty bloggers had the highest number of visits. In fact they had the majority of visits with the remainder of the list tapering off sharply. So sharply in fact that we never did bother looking at the remainder of the list; this must have totaled in the thousands.

“These are the people that make money for me” he said. “These very few bloggers bring in most of the business. The interesting fact is that there are hundreds and hundreds of bloggers who are much better writers than these top few. But these few have stumbled on the secret of successful blogging. The one common element among them is that they have a consistent message. Each one has a common thread that ties their blogs together. Very rarely do they wander off their intended target.”

It was time for me to understand what I was doing there. So I asked. “What part do you want me to play in your business?”

“I want you to become my chief blogger” he said. “I want you to blog about blogs. I have the concept but I do not have the artistic and creative skills. You do!”

“How would you know that?” I asked.

He responded “I was impressed with your application cover letter and the portfolio of your opinion pieces from high school. Even though I was impressed with that it would have been foolish if I had based my decision based on such a small sample. I have to admit that I did a little detective work and looked for anything else you had written; whether in high school or college. Some of your graduate research papers were not only brilliant but elegant. I could not put down your thesis. I could not find a poorly written item in all of it. In fact I found your writing quite creative and exciting; even the ones about autoclaves and beakers. You seem to really love your work no matter what you are doing.”

I was speechless and I said so. “You give me too much credit. I am at a loss for words.”

“You never seem to be at a loss for words when you write” he offered.

“What exactly do you want me to do? When would you like me to start?” I answered enthusiastically; probably a little too soon. He had not even mentioned a salary yet.

“Let’s start right now” he said. “I have an idea of what I want my blog to bloggers to say. I know what I want them to take away after reading it. The problem is I just don’t know how to say it. I know how to blog but I don’t know how to generate enthusiasm about it.”

“Why don’t we work on it together then?” I asked.

“Have you ever been blogged before?” he asked.

“No, why would anyone want to blog me?” I answered with a question.

“You appear to be a desirable blog” he offered.

“OK then. Let’s make a deal” I countered. “We can blog each other.”

We wrote, we crossed out, we created files and deleted files; we took a break, we had a drink, we lost track of time and agreed to spend our whole weekend blogging.

And that is what we did. We rolled up our sleeves and blogged our brains out. He understood the moves that made a blog good. I knew the moves that made a blog exciting. Together we created one of the best blogs ever to enter this world.

I never did see Cape Cod that weekend; other than from the 11th floor window. I cashed in my return ticket to Buffalo and have not been back there since. We have a nice condo on the top floor of the building that the blogging business is in. He happened to own that building also.

And to add icing on top of the cake I now work from home so that I can watch the little blogger that we created on that magical weekend. We named him Swen; for he was the latest news.

    • © Copyright – Waldo Tomosky

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2 Responses to “My First Blog”

  1. URL February 10, 2012 at 10:52 pm #

    Hey there. I want to to inquire something…is this a wordpress weblog as we are thinking about shifting more than to WP. Also did you make this theme on your personal? Thanks. 402656

    • Waldo "Wally" Tomosky February 12, 2012 at 11:57 pm #

      I use WordPress as a place to put my stories. I write a lot and have some on Amazon/Kindle but may be pulling some of those stories off the market to put them here and in my other two blogs; “Adirondack Images and Tales” and the second one is “Waldo’s Short Stories.”
      “My first blog” is just a story I wrote to test how well I may be able to write from a woman’s perspective and also to test my blogging capabilities. Blogging is a new world for me. Seems like a good medium.
      Thanks for reading my blogs.

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