Last night, Uberjam and I joined some friends for drinks at the Stag's Head, a pub in the montrose area that we recently discovered. Between the 3 pints of Sierra Nevada I had (5.6% alcohol by volume, ahem) and all the smoke (yuck), I feel like a crapface today. What I wouldn't give for a nap.
Also last night, I got an email from my high school friend Jenn C (hi Jenn!). It was awesome to hear from her. Got me thinking about how difficult it really is to stay in "genuine" touch with folks you know. My friends-and-family address book (family, high school and college friends, former coworkers, band mates, etc.) has a couple hundred people in it. How do you regularly stay in touch with so many people in a genuine way? Mass emails are no good; I send my share, of course, but that isn't what I mean.
There's always blogs. I love it when my friends have blogs. It's like getting to spend a little casual time with them - the way you would at a bar, between classes, etc. - without needing it to be at any particular time, and without the pressure of having to get all the important, heavy stuff into one letter. I know what's up in, say, my friend Amber's life, but we haven't seen each other in years. When I jot off a note to her now, I don't feel distant.
But ... well ... blogs can only go so far, and they aren't the real one-to-one personal communication I'm talking about. When you get right down to it, it takes a big investment of time and energy to stay close with people who aren't close. I want to connect with people in the same ways that I knew them - individually, as friends. But writing a letter like that is an hour's work, and often gets lost in the flurry of more "pressing" things.
Yesterday, I had the pleasure of listening to my good friend Dylan do a radio interview / performance. (He was in Connecticut, but I got to listen, thanks to that new computer magic.) Uberjam and I have a copy of his new solo album, and have been listening to it non-stop. I talked to him on the phone for a minute afterwards, and he was happy to hear that I'd checked out the interview.
I hope that in our lifetime, we see a trend towards even more "human" ways to stay in touch with our friends who aren't physically close to us. Maybe I'm fooling myself, but I think it will happen.
(Aside: What I want right now is a program that combines email history and your address book, in a way that tells you more about the individuals in your address book. Like, showing how frequently you email them (both individually and in mass emails), how long it's been, etc:
At least that way, could could see who it is you're most out of touch with. Maybe someday I'll make me some software like that.)