Lowbrow, Low Expectations and Lowland Darjeeling

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Several weeks ago – mere hours after posting a blog on “Tea Tact” – I learned of something disconcerting. A local blogging network had ousted me from, well, their entire network. I was never given an explanation as to why. Heck, I never even received notification. One day, while trying to post a comment on the group’s Facebook wall, I was greeted by an error message: “You are not a part of this group.

Dude. Harsh.

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I messaged the person that’d invited me to it but never got a reply. Several theories swarmed through my head. There was a case for me not being an active enough participant, but I’d only been a part of it for a month. Surely, there was a leeway period. Guess not. Perhaps I didn’t post frequently enough, or contribute comments to other blogs? There was a strong case for that, too. Eventually, I did the only tactful thing I knew at the time.

I took to Twitter.

Twit

That didn’t even get their attention. Morose, I continued on with my week – brewing tea by the pint and going to work. The most notable of them was a particular Darjeeling that handled abuse and neglect quite well. Most mornings, I don’t have the time (or lucidity) to pay attention to exact measurements or steep times. I put the kettle on, boil water, put leaves in, and let it steep. Forever. Usually until after I’m out of the shower.

This particular morning’s Darjeeling was a low-altitude sort – one from the Rohini estate. The tea in question was a sample of their first flush clonal, generously donated by Happy Earth Tea. Rohini was one of the first Darjeelings that had a first flush out in 2012. They kicked the Darjeeling season off in February.

Someone informed me that, while lowland Darjeeling estates often yield crops earlier than highland ones, their quality is often sub-par. When I brewed the Rohini up normally, however, I didn’t find anything wrong with it. In fact, it was on par with some of the best I had that year. I even reflected upon it in story form.

How did it handle one of my post-shower, ten-minute, forever-steeps-o’-neglect? Perfectly. In fact, if anything, its character was even more pronounced. I’ve treated scores of Darjeelings to forever steeps, and none held up well. They often spinached, bittered or grew vegetal after minute six. Whether it was the heartier leaves, the lower altitude or unicorn magic, Rohini was a MANLY estate.

For weeks, I’d wanted to reflect on this phenomenon, but I didn’t have a proper platform in which to do so. I wanted to compare it to something, and draw the point back to the earlier blog group ousting. What I didn’t have was a proper bridge. Every blog needs a damn bridge – burned or otherwise. One was finally provided…by my cat.

cat_wakeup

My Maine Coon mix rousted me from bed at the unholy hour of 4AM. I snatched her up by the “mommy”-scruff and rasped a sharp, “NO!” Then I tried to collapse back into the warm bosom of my ‘lectric blanky. It was too late. Thoughts swam in my skull. Finally, I gave up with a, F**k it, I guess I’ll write.

And there was my bridge.

Like a good lowland Darjeeling, even a lowbrow lad like me can exceed expectations when pushed. True potential can be squeezed at the oddest of times. Even friggin’ 4AM. I am a forever-steeped tea, sweating potential like a steaming kettle, and if other blog networks don’t see it…well…I raise my cup to ‘em…

And a middle finger.

fuckin tea

 

UPDATE: So, it would appear that the culprit behind my blogger group ousting was none other than…

*Drum roll*

Friggin’ Facebook.

Technical difficulties with the platform caused the kerfuffle. The group had nothing to do with it. FB me was the one that threw me out.

Damn you, Zuckerberg!!!

*Shakes tiny teacupped fist*

26 Comments

  1. Kamyria says:

    And middle finger they should get! You don’t need them. Your blog is amazing, your writing style is entertaining, I love it. Cheers!

    1. Hear! Hear! And nice to e-meet’cha, Kamyria. Thanks for stoppin’ by.

  2. Avatar of jackie jackie says:

    Can we take up your cause? I’d love to tweet to them. It’s disconcerting for any other PDX blogger, if things like this can happen with no notification whatsoever. I can’t help thinking it must be some sort of mistake. When do you think you were removed? In December? I don’t think it can be the frequency of adding to it, that just sounds odd.

    1. Raise the pitchforks!

      No, seriously. I’m sure they have their reasons.

      They just weren’t good reasons. *heh* Not sure why I was removed, but I’m sure it had something to do with my interactions.

  3. Yeah, to h&ll with those people, whoever they are. I’m loving your blog, so keep writing. You’re better off without them.

    1. Oh, I know that. I just had to rant in a passive-aggressive yet metaphoric sorta way. *heh*

  4. Mrs. Smith says:

    I think I can speak for the majority of the team over here at the Teaworks – we think your blogging is smart, funny and a great distraction from actual work. Keep it up! We adore you.
    The Teamakers

    1. Always happy to hear that I’m adored by a tearoom I adore. :-)

  5. Avatar of thedevotea thedevotea says:

    Nicely done. Whilst I suspect you transgressed in some way to be booted out – after all, you do at times try so hard to do so – it’s pretty damn rude of them not to give you a reason. And whilst you can look back over all the stuff that might have offended them, it will probably be something you don’t remember, like steeping an oolong grown on the north side of the mountain at 8000 feet at three degrees less than acceptable.

    1. Oh, I’m almost positive it was because I wasn’t active enough a participant on other member blogs. I’ll admit to having that as a fault. Sometimes I lag on my comment contributions on Tea Trade as well.

      Although, your oolong theory does hold weight…I’ve done some unholy things to an Ali Shan.

  6. Avatar of iheartteas iheartteas says:

    Meh…who needs them anyway? You have us after all and it doesn’t get any better than this. :)

    1. I can’t disagree with this point. At all.

  7. Avatar of xavier xavier says:

    Keep on being you and drinking tea, tea and more tea.

    1. A pot a day keeps the douchebags away.

  8. Avatar of jackie jackie says:

    @thedevotea – I don’t think fans of tea fastidiousness are to blame here. It’s a general bloggers’ site. Although I did see a discussion about breastfeeding. Err, perhaps Geoff didn’t express himself enough.
    On a more serious note, I tweeted to them. I think that it’s a matter of principle. If you’re not happy with someone for whatever reason, let them know why.

    1. Jenni says:

      Thank you Jackie for tweeting me directly. I had no clue what was going on as I missed the tagged tweet and we haven’t blocked ANYONE on Facebook.. I just triple checked. We have had a lot of problems with the Facebook feed (I haven’t event been able to post my links at times and I am an administrator) and it has been frustrating. We certainly didn’t know that this happened. Thank you for bringing it to our attention so we can figured out what happened and try to find out if it happened to anyone else.

  9. Avatar of thedevotea thedevotea says:

    Uh, @jackie , if breastfeeding is an issue, then a blog post Geoff and I are writing on BoB could possibly offend, though to be fair, we are leaving the ‘feeding’ bit out

    1. Speaking of which, almost done. Sorry for the delay. Busy week.

  10. Jenni says:

    Hello! I’m so sorry that we didn’t see your tweet… it is hard sometimes to keep track of all the tagged posts that are not addressed to one of the three members. The Portland Bloggers’ group is just a side project for all of us who want to build the community.

    But, no excuses there. I promise you were not kicked out or anything… if you’ll notice on the feed there were several people unable to post. Including me— and I am an administrator for the group. We have been fussing with the settings as much as possible and contacted Facebook. It *seems* as if the problem has been fixed.

    I apologize that this happened to you, but I do want you to know that we haven’t kicked ANYONE out of the group and so far welcome all Portland Bloggers. We do reseve the right to do so if the time comes that we feel the content is not representative of the group (ie inappropriate material). But, your blog is great and we certainly didn’t mean for that to happen!

    Hope to see you in the feed again soon. Please let me know if there is any errors for posting so we can contact Facebook again. The administrators of the group are all listed in the group and on the Portland Bloggers’ website. You are welcome to message, email, or tweet any of us directly.

    1. Hi Jenni,

      Thanks for your reply. That was a latent theory I had. That Facebook FUBAR-ing, possibly, had something to do with it. I guess I was thrown aback by it because I’d barely had a chance to connect with you all.

      Anywho…Updating post.

  11. Avatar of jackie jackie says:

    Along with @jopj‘s post, this put a big smile on my face. I’m so happy it’s resolved. I just couldn’t see why Geoff would be ousted. Thanks Jenni for replying to my tweet. While it was a bit bold, it seemed a good way to get to the bottom of this. I’m so glad it was just a “malfunction.” Communication is everything. Thanks for all your efforts PDX ladies!

  12. Avatar of iheartteas iheartteas says:

    Wow, a simple misunderstanding. I knew there was no way anyone would kick Geoff out. :)

    1. Actually, it did almost happen once sometime last year due to a risque tea post. Got a strong talking-to from the tea Facebook forum moderator.

      1. Avatar of jackie jackie says:

        If the moderator dabbles in yellow pots, I wouldn’t worry. If not well, then too bad too. It was an excellent post.

  13. Avatar of bram bram says:

    One moment you have a lot of friends, then FB decides you need some time on your own…

    1. Facebook is good at that, ain’t it?

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