The Velvet Café

A room for thoughts about movies

100 cups of coffee and now I’m a lamb

with 38 comments

On July 17, almost exactly four months ago, I opened the door to The Velvet Café. I didn’t have any clear idea of why I did it or what I wanted it to be. I just knew that I wanted a place of my own, where I could think aloud about movies I’d watched recently in full freedom.

100 posts later I’m still blogging, happier than ever.

Judging from the comments, a great deal of the readers of The Velvet Café are other bloggers, so you know where I’m coming from. But in case there’s a non-blogger out there I’ll give you a few reasons why I love to blog about films:

1. It makes the movies better.
Or at least it gives me a better experience from them. I watch most movies on my own, but I think they don’t reach their full potential until I’ve thought them over and preferably also talked about them with someone else, comparing our impressions. Something happens in this process. A film that would have been unremarkable if I’d just watched it like a normal person can become interesting since I’ve given it a proper examination while writing about it.

Blogging about movies makes them grow.

2. It helps me to get to know new people.
Before I started to blog about films I imagined that there might be quite a rather popular topic to blog about, but I had little idea of how popular it is. There are thousands and thousands of film blogs out there. It’s like Universe. So big that you can’t picture it and most of them I’ll never ever see. They’re like dark matter or unknown territory. But somehow bloggers have an instinct to clump together in clusters. Little by little I’ve gotten to know and tied bonds to a few of them in my neighborhood. Some of us are in the same galaxy, such as the bunch of fellows who also use to hang out in the forum connected to the Filmspotting podcast. Others are in the same nebula, such as the members of LAMB. I’ll get back to those later in the post.

3. It helps me to remember.
I have a terrible memory. I don’t remember early years in my life. I don’t remember names. And I don’t remember films I’ve seen only a few years ago. It’s always been like this. I tell myself that old stuff needs to be weeded out to make place for all the new impressions of the world around me.

It’s too early to tell since I’ve only been doing it for a few months, but I think blogging about films can stop them from slipping out of my mind so quickly.

4. I have fun.
I’ve been writing all of my life. I think I was about 13 when I did my first fanzine, a magazine about punk rock, which probably was truly bad since I later on was too ashamed to even keep one single copy of it for reference. For some years I didn’t have time or energy to write just for fun in my free time; the combination of a career and family life didn’t leave much space for this. But now I’m back at it. Running a blog is like printing your own fanzine, but in the digital era, and how I enjoy it! It’s writing at its best – completely relaxed and free from duties and expectations that need to be met.

Joining LAMB
After four months of blogging I’ve brewed 100 posts, including this one. Not every cup has been hot and some of them could probably have been stronger. European style coffee rather than that diluted brew they serve in the US. But on the whole I’m very happy with how the café has developed. I think I’ve found my blogging voice and place is pretty much the way I want it to be. The number of visitors is very modest, but those who have found their way here are friendly and talkative and the commenting activity has been far beyond anything I had imagined.

Now that I’m writing a meta-post about blogging issues, I could as well grab the opportunity to mention the little banner to the right that I recently added. It’s a medal to show that I’ve become a proud member of LAMB, the Large Association of Movie Blogs. My LAMB number is 1163. (Yeah, I told you there are many movie blogs out there, didn’t I?)

I don’t think my LAMB membership will mean that my blog is going to change. But I might I might participate in some of the common themes they run from time to time.  Most of all it’s a matter of group pressure. I joined the fun because almost all my blogging buddies are members already.

Finally: to all of you who have shared this 100d cup of coffee with me I just want to say: thank you!

Thank you for your support, thank you for your wit and insight and inspiration which never ceases to amaze me.


Written by Jessica

November 16, 2011 at 1:00 am

Posted in Uncategorized

38 Responses

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  1. I too, use my reviews as a memory bank as well. It helps me try to remember all of the films I’ve seen and gives me a chance to think about it when one asks if I’ve seen this or something.

    Steven Flores

    November 16, 2011 at 1:04 am

    • And what a bank you have Steven! Your blog is special in that way. I don’t know any other blog which writes about a movie so throughly, covering every aspect of it. And you’ve written about so many movies! It’s a bit like the blogosphere’s equivalence of IMDb.


      November 16, 2011 at 7:27 am

  2. Your first reason is the guiding reason behind my continual work in the blogasphere. I find I get so much more out of a movie if I take the time to think and write about it after the fact. And yes, it is a lot of fun to and if I get to meet some interesting people…well, I guess it won’t kill me.

    James Blake Ewing

    November 16, 2011 at 1:58 am

    • The only backside I can see is that it takes quite a bit of time. You’re writing on a post and before you notice it’s crazy late and any senisble person should be asleep since long. That’s where the coffee drinking comes in I guess. If I’ve written 100 posts, I’ve had far, far more real life cups of coffee during this time.


      November 16, 2011 at 7:25 am

  3. I still can’t believe you only started this blog on July 17th. It already feels like a mainstay in my daily web surfing. I look forward to your posts every day.

    Corey Atad

    November 16, 2011 at 2:35 am

    • Thank you Corey. Well, I look forward to having you here, so it’s mutual. (I hope that didn’t come out too cheezy…)


      November 16, 2011 at 7:23 am

  4. Obviously the memory function of blogging was the main driver for me finally starting up a blog of my own. I get the rest of the functions from the Filmspotting forum but it was that fourth one that was critical. But perhaps with a bit more time I’ll start developing the blog even further into its own thriving entity. And only a couple months until I could try for LAMB as well. Though I’m probably going to be too busy for heavy blogging next year 🙂


    November 16, 2011 at 7:32 am

    • I wouldn’t rule out that you could blog from South Korea. As a matter of fact it might become something that you’ll appreciate more with the distance from your normal, safe life. Something to hold on to in the midst of change and novelty and chaos.


      November 16, 2011 at 7:36 am

  5. I LOVE THIS BLOG! How did I ever live without it? OMG, this blog is the greatest, and I would just DIE if you stopped writing!

    That’s real gushing.

    But seriously, I think some amazing writing has come from The Velvet Cafe and it is currently my favorite blog. Keep up the good work!

    And I found that reading my blogs after a few years is fun. Sometimes I can’t believe what I wrote “back then”. Sometimes I am amazed that I would write exactly the same thing.

    Steve Kimes

    November 16, 2011 at 8:19 am

    • Oh dear, that’s real gushing! Thank you so much Steve, even though I can’t help feeling some pressure after all this love. I need to live up to your expectations!

      Yes, looking back at older texts can be quite an experience, covering all emotions from embarrassment to pride. This blog is still a baby, but I’ve run another one previously for years, and I remember how strange it could be to read posts that were two or three years old. “what was I thinking?” or: “oh, I remember when THAT happened”. While photos and videos can capture how things looked at a certain point of time, blog posts can preserve what our thoughts were.


      November 16, 2011 at 9:51 am

  6. Congrats on 100 posts! I’ve enjoyed reading your thoughts on movies.

    …I still miss the Pink Pigtail Inn, though. 😉

    Brian 'Psychochild' Green

    November 16, 2011 at 9:00 am

    • Thank you Brian! I’m afraid that PPI remains closed. I’ve moved on now. But I’m always glad to see those familliar faces popping by, even though we don’t have mana biscuits and moonberry juice on the menu.


      November 16, 2011 at 9:54 am

  7. Well Congratulations Jessica!!

    You have certainly made yourself a great little home here and I am proud to say I am one of your best readers. I love coming here for your jolly and down-to-earth posts. Please do not change!!

    You are great !!

    I wish I could write half as good as yourself!

    Here is to the next 100

    Scott Lawlor

    November 16, 2011 at 11:57 am

    • Thank you Scott! I’m so glad to have you here! And I can assure you that I have no plans on stopping blogging anytime soon. Or changing the blog for that sake. I’m very comfortable keeping it this way. There’s no need to develop or expand.


      November 16, 2011 at 1:07 pm

  8. 4 months but I’ve been reading your blogs for a lot longer. I’ve been watching a lot more movies myself since I stopped playing WoW, WoW just took up too much time.

    Keep on blogging and I’ll keep on commenting;


    November 16, 2011 at 1:05 pm

    • Yeah, same here. I’m so glad you followed me to this place. For your information, you top chart list of commentors at 45. I really appreciate your contribution! It would be a far more quiet and dull place without your voice.


      November 16, 2011 at 1:10 pm

      • Do I get an achievement at 50 comments? 🙂


        November 17, 2011 at 12:13 am

        • Wait and see. 🙂


          November 17, 2011 at 12:15 am

        • Just want to add that I appreciate you replying to most comments, it makes commenting fun.


          November 17, 2011 at 12:16 am

          • Well, I comment a lot on other blogs too and I just try to treat people the way I want to be treated. You don’t need to write an essay in reply. Sometimes you don’t have that much to add, but then it’s better to give a nod and a “thank you” than nothing at all. Because you show that you actually read the comment and cared about it. How else will people do that if they don’t see any response at all?

            It happens that I miss to reply to a comment. But I dare say that I answer at least 90 percent of the comments I get, even though it sometimes can take a few days if I’m very busy in real life. It’s just a principle I’m trying to stick to. Comments deserve replies. Period.


            November 17, 2011 at 12:20 am

  9. Congratulations on reaching 100 posts! On to a 1000!


    November 16, 2011 at 2:26 pm

  10. Congratulations!
    It´s always a ride to read the thoughts of the films you watch since they often are a bit philiosophic and a little bit out of the “ordinary box” in a way.

    And all this in english too! 🙂


    November 16, 2011 at 3:17 pm

    • Thank you! I honestly don’t know how to write a proper review so I just ramble about the thoughts that come into my head. But I’m glad you want to join me on that ride, even if I make it more complicated by insisting on writing in English.


      November 16, 2011 at 3:34 pm

  11. Your “rambling” makes for good writing. You’ve mentioned a few times that you’ve done writing elsewhere, I think you said you’ve been a journalist or maybe did some columns somewhere? Anyway, your experience shows through and also your passion for writing in general. I would actually love to read more from you.

    Grats on a hundred posts, but more grats for loving what you do.


    November 16, 2011 at 4:10 pm

    • I’m a trained journalist and I worked a local newspapers for a few years, but that’s many years ago. Sometimes I think of going back though. I miss the writing. But for now being I take it out on writing in my freetime instead, even though it’s in English, which makes it a little bit different than writing in my native tounge. I think I’m forced to focus on being simple and clear rather than creative and improvising.
      I don’t approach blogging in a professional manner though. I’m far more relaxed and careless than I’d be if I was trying to make a living on it.

      Thank you for your kind words! I appreciate it.


      November 16, 2011 at 6:07 pm

  12. Congrats Jessica. Just wanted to offer a virtual high-five and let you know that I still lurk :-).




    November 16, 2011 at 4:37 pm

    • Hey Matt! I’m glad you’re lurking. And yes, I actually might have a little bit of moonberry juice hidden under the bar disk. For special guests.


      November 16, 2011 at 6:02 pm

  13. Only four months?! I would certainly say that you have found your voice pretty quickly… I could have sworn that you hade developed your particular style over at least a couple of years. Now I’m even more impressed (if that is even possible;))


    November 16, 2011 at 9:35 pm

    • well you’re sort of right. I have run a different blog for several years. It was a little bit different in style though and in a completely different area. So it took me a little while to figure out what I wanted this place to be like. But I definitely think that my prveious blogging experience has helped me a bit.


      November 16, 2011 at 10:47 pm

  14. Congratulations!
    I’ve so enjoyed reading along and joining in the discussion when I can. Your blog has, indeed, done that – it creates a space for open discussion. Your ideas stimulate other ideas, and you present your thoughts with such warmth, nuance, and vigor that you invite people to join you. So thank-you for forming such a unique and wonderful place to hang out. Looking forward to 100 more great posts!

    • Wow. I don’t know what to say, more than a humble “thank you”. It’s fantastic to get such kind words, especially from you considering your profession. Thank you for coming here. Speak up whenever you feel like it – or stay quiet and just listen to the banter. I’m just happy to have you around.


      November 16, 2011 at 10:57 pm

  15. Not sure it’s good for the memory thing. Because I read my old posts back and either think a) wow, i wrote that!!? I’m a genius! or, b) What the fu*k???? I wrote that nonsense? I thought Forces Of Nature was a great movie!!!?? WHATTTT?

    Kid In The Front Row

    November 17, 2011 at 12:30 am

    • I’ve always felt a little double about the a) situation. In one way it’s nice when you actually can give yourself a nod, realizing that you’re not as bad as you think. In another way you may wonder: aren’t we supposed to GROW as writers? Become better over the years? What if I’m developping backwards like som Benjamin Britton character? About the b) situation it’s more fascinating than embarrassing and I think there are two factors at play here. Movies DO have a tendency to change over time in our memories. But our prferences for movies also change, the older we get and the more other movies we incorporate into our beings. And some movies and books maybe shouldn’t be revisited for that reason. We’ll be happier keeping the memory of something we loved than having our illusions smashed into pieces.


      November 17, 2011 at 7:09 am

  16. Congrats on 100 posts and your entry to the LAMB! You have done impressively much in four months!

    When it comes to our collaboration I have tried to find my Midnight Run dvd without any luck yet. I’ll scavenge through my archive this weekend again and hopefully get it in the mail on monday.

    Joel Burman

    November 17, 2011 at 11:47 pm

    • Thank you Joel! I’ll be waiting eagerly. And I’ll also pay a visit to a video rental shop in my city. I haven’t tried that option yet.


      November 18, 2011 at 7:34 am

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