Friday, March 27, 2015

My 11 Year Blogiversary

11 years ago today I published my very first blog post. It was on March 27th of 2004.  I had no idea that I'd still be blogging 11 years later. I didn't even know if anyone would ever read any of what I wrote. I can't recall if that post received any comments, but I do remember the very first comment I got. It was from Stacy the Peanut Queen. I was SO excited. Stacy blogged for several years before she finally called it quits, but I remember her blog like it was written just yesterday. I still talk to her on Facebook.

So many bloggers have come and gone. Several of them still email me. Some call me on the phone or text me. And some exchange Christmas cards with me via snail-mail.

I was so paranoid about letting anyone know who I really am, or where I worked or especially where I lived. It's crazy to think that now I exchange phone numbers and mailing addresses with some of my fellow bloggers.

Even more shocking to me is that I eventually met with a few fellow bloggers face-to-face.

I met Kami the Queen of Dallas while I was in Dallas for a business trip.

I had lunch with Sweet Britches/Hunny Minxy several times, too. She's a fellow Memphian so it seemed odd that we had never met before then.

I have spent hours and hours talking on the phone with Jen Lee and if I ever return to Dallas I intend to meet up with her. She's such a cool and nice person.

I've talked a lot with The Kept Woman, an Austin girl who moved to Wisconsin and then Dallas. If I return to Dallas I plan to meet up with her, too. We exchange Christmas cards and her Christmas letters are the funniest thing you'll ever read, which isn't surprising considering how funny her blog was.

I've exchanged packages with Ute in Adelaide, Australia. I've sent Christmas cards to AlleyCat and Ute and Unique Stephen, all Australians. The cards take FOREVER to get there.

I've had lengthy and drama-filled email arguments with Steph of Much Ado About Sumthin', another Australian blogger. I liked Steph a lot. She felt a bit less so about me, though.

I used to have lengthy chat sessions online with Leesa and Stephanie. Leesa was in Montana and Stephanie was in El Paso, Texas, where her then-husband was stationed in the army. Leesa's photos are legendary and she'd post them to her blog, Wild Vizionz. And Stephanie's blog was one of the most heart-rending I ever read. Things were rough and she had no other outlet except her blog. She knew no one in El Paso at all and needed someone to talk to. I could relate. Memphis was my personal hell. These days I send Christmas cards to Leesa each year. I talked to Stephanie just 2 or 3 years ago about coming to visit her face-to-face while I was in the state she is now living in. I never got around to it and I regret that. But I am friends with her on Facebook and I am so happy that things in her life have turned around so completely and she is now so much happier than she was then. But I wouldn't know that if I hadn't kept in touch.

I remember when Karina Halle was just known as Wanderlusting, the Canadian blogger who traveled the world and wrote about it when she wasn't blogging about fashion. Today she's a full-time author of books. And she's very successful. As I write this her latest book is ranked number 5 on the New York Times newly published e-book chart. And this isn't the first time her books have ranked up high in charts.

There have been so many really cool blogs and really cool bloggers that I've managed to interact with over the years. I'm very glad that I did this. It has been a lot of work at times. I remember when I used to be so excited to write here, I'd post 2 or 3 times per day on occasion.

But now, well, things have changed. I don't know why exactly, but I just can't seem to get to the Blog to write. And when I do I don't know what to say. My life isn't any less uninteresting than it was then, and yet somehow I managed to write about things then while I can't find anything to write now. I guess I poured a great deal of my writing energies into the book I never finished, the one that was lost over and over again with each new hard drive in my laptop computers after the old one failed. Those failures took a lot out of me. More than just losing my work, I lost my enthusiasm. I had distant dreams in years past that one day something I wrote might mean something  to someone, or at least be of some significance.

I guess I don't believe that anymore.

Most recently, President Obama has issued an Executive Order seizing control of the internet, and blogs were mentioned specifically as something he wants control of. I know what this means. Bloggers who say things he dislikes will be treated badly.

All of this is why I feel that it is time to say goodbye to blogging. I've really said all I can think of to say. I remember when Facebook started to pull people away from here and various bloggers would theorize that Facebook would one day kill the Blog. I know it did significant damage, but the Blog is still here even as Facebook seems to be growing old and stale. I don't even know what to say over on Facebook much anymore. That's when I first began to realize that I'm about done here, as well as elsewhere. I can't make the time to blog about current events like I used to. And no one is doing memes anymore. At least, no one who reads my blog does them or tags me to do them. Remember those? Yeah, I haven't seen one in a long time. They helped fill the gaps when we all had nothing to say. What do we fill those gaps with now? I don't know.

I want to thank all of you for having taken time out of your days to come here and read whatever I had to say at the time. I really do appreciate that. Its a sad feeling to talk to the emptiness and wonder if anyone hears. You kept this from being empty for me. And I enjoyed reading your blogs, too, those of you who chose to write. I never would have known any of you if not for the Blog. I have new friends today because of old Blog connections from years ago. I'm glad for that. But it is undeniable that it is time for me to go.

I may come by here every now and then to write something. I don't know what it might be. Or I may surprise myself and suddenly begin blogging with enthusiasm again. But that's unlikely.

If I ever finish that damn book I was writing I will be turning this blog URL into my book blog. But that, too, is unlikely at this point. The book has suffered too many setbacks.

Whatever happens going forward, thanks for reading my blog and occasionally leaving comments to let me know that you stopped by. It's been a great 11 years.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Questions about Life and the Answers as I see them

1.   If life is so short, why do we do so many things we don’t like and like so many things we don’t do?

Because alcohol costs money and you can't get money without doing lots of things you don't like. That's how you get the alcohol. Then you invite friends over and throw a party. Hopefully some of your friends are of the opposite sex, young, and good-looking and like to take their clothes off when they're drunk at your parties. That's something to like!

2.   What is the one thing you’d most like to change about the world?

I would like a world in which more supermodels are sent my way and are oddly and overwhelmingly attracted to me. Yes, this would require miraculous god-like powers to achieve, but we are talking earth shattering change here.

3.   Are you doing what you believe in, or are you settling for what you are doing?

I tried doing what I believe in. It doesn't pay anything and no one else much cares. Meanwhile, I have bills. And a book I'm trying to write. And Xenia Tchoumitcheva wants $7500 to pose for the cover of my in-progress book and that doesn't cover the photographer or makeup person. When I calculate my total budget for marketing this book, I don't know if I can swing this. Thus, I may be forced to settle for someone a bit less ... marketable. We'll have to wait and see how the stock market treats me in the upcoming weeks, cause she's ready to shoot now and I have to give a final answer.

4.   If the average human life span was 40 years, how would you live your life differently?

I would be considered old and my life nearing its end. I might take up skydiving and bungee jumping and start eating dessert first. One thing is sure, I'd drive a lot faster.

5.   To what degree have you actually controlled the course your life has taken?

I remember years ago when my then-fiancee dumped me for an asshole she met while working at The Mall. And then I was laid off. And then someone stole my cat. And then I spent 9 months looking for work while drowning in a horribly lonely despair, I gave up all hope for my dreams and just started letting the wind take me wherever it felt like blowing. I don't recommend anyone else do this, but it has sort of worked out, in a way. I mean, I was so totally without hope and yet I ended up working a good job, living in Memphis, and getting married to someone who actually stuck by me when times were rough, which I don't think my previous fiancee would have done.

6.   Are you more worried about doing things right, or doing the right things?

I seem to spend a great deal of time trying to do things right, to the point that I take too long. I do believe strongly in doing the right thing, but these days it seems to be increasingly illegal to do the right thing so perhaps I should keep that to myself in the future?

7.   What’s something you know you do differently than most people?

I see the world differently. I hear every word of every song. I see the big picture and how it will affect us individually. I yell when I see the Red Coats coming. I see the significance of what Russia, Iran, Cuba and Venezuela are doing and how they are working together. I recognize that most of the headlines in our news are just distractions from the real issues of the day, and intentionally so. I see a great evil rising, but I don't believe in running and hiding in the woods, aka going off the grid, like so many doomsdayers seem to. These things happen. We have to fight for what is right or else we'll endure what is wrong.

8.   Are you holding onto something you need to let go of?

Tons of them - old cars, books, guitars, various odds and ends that clutter up my life and just need to hit the road. Also, my hope that one day Elizabeth Banks will leave her husband and come profess her love for me.

9.   Why do religions that support love cause so many wars?

I have seen few if any wars caused by religions that 'support' love. But I have seen countless wars caused by manipulative, power-hungry politicians seeking glory, wealth, and fame for themselves ... even sometimes when those politicians are entrenched as a leader within a church or temple pretending to be a believer. If you research, you'll find most wars weren't started by priests or preachers, not among the Christian religions anyway, but lords and kings and presidents, all of whom will claim God's authority while living lives that show no faith or respect for God at all. In short, they're lying about their religious faith and their reasons for waging war. And then there are the Muslims, whose prophet never called them to love, but to wage war and slaughter everyone else. And that is an entirely different matter, but it has nothing whatever to do with any other religious faiths.

10. What would you do differently if you knew nobody would judge you?

It isn't the judgement of people that matters to me. Besides, look how many people voted for Tony Blair, Barack Obama, Hugo Chavez, Vladimir Putin, Adolph Hitler and worse? Clearly most people have poor judgement. But if there were one thing I would do, if I could do anything I wanted and not be judged at all, I'd probably jump Sofia Vergara's bones. And honestly, who wouldn't? She's beautiful!

Wordless Wednesday - Um ...

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