The first of two nostalgia-laden posts. My apologies; I’m a writer in my 40s. I can’t help myself.
This morning I finally wrapped up my review of the old posts here on the site. I won’t promise everything is completely cleaned up. But the number of posts with unreadable HTML segments smack in the middle of a sentence should be fairly low.
I didn’t read the posts closely while going through this exercise. I’d still be working had I done so. But a few observations from reviewing 11 years of writing.
- I begin a lot of posts with the contraction “I’ve…”. I noticed this because in many of those posts the apostrophe had been converted to the code that tells browsers to insert an apostrophe. So I had to replace them often. Anyway, now I have a complex about it and will do my best to not begin posts with that contraction again.
- I watched a lot more TV in the first, say six years, of the site than I do. That’s not a surprise in many ways, given our current cable-less state. But even when we were still rocking the whole Uverse package, it’s been years since I sat and watched hours of TV the way I did back in 2003-08. Probably a good thing. Although not all those hours were with kids. S. and I used to watch a lot of TV together. We spend most of our evenings working on computers or reading now.
- I didn’t do a complex study of how the tone of the site has changed, but it clearly has. I think in the early days I was trying hard to be funny and carve out a niche as some kind of humorous social commentator. I imagine I was reading a lot of blogs that had that general tone and I was just mimicking it. And I wonder if some of my current tone is informed by writing for a paper and having to stick to the no-nonsense, all facts AP style. Granted there’s plenty of nonsense here still. I think the way I present said nonsense has changed, though.
- Another big change, and this is mostly on me, is a different feeling in terms of the site being a community or conversation. In the early days I referred to this site as an online postcard to my friends scattered around the county. Since I allowed comments in the early days, I think that often turned into a multi-person discussion, even if just one or two friends added their thoughts to a post. Blame comment spam and my annoyance with it. Also, though, our lives have all changed a lot in the last 11 years. Those of you working now often have fancy titles before or after your names, where you were just employees or “associates” a decade ago. And most of us have added spouses and kids, so free time outside of work can’t be spent coming up with witty comments for my silly blog posts. Besides, that time is taken up posting witty comments to Facebook and Twitter, anyway! We’ve all changed a lot, my friends.
- I write about politics a lot less than I used to. Many reasons for that, none of which we need to go into now. I would imagine even folks that see the world through the same ideological perspective as I do are thankful I’m not writing 3500 rambling words about this issue or that anymore.
- It amused me greatly to read my posts about the various changes in look or platform for the site. Always so excited about the fun opportunities the latest change brought. Always to be rehashed 18 months later when I made the next change.
Running this site is one of the most consistent things I’ve done in my life. I started it two weeks into my marriage, and in my first week living in Indianapolis. I didn’t become a father until a year after the site’s first post. I’ve known a lot of you much longer than that, but time, distance, and circumstance means I see you all way less than I used to.
I don’t know how many of you read this regularly. I always imagine a certain friend is reading a specific post and taylor it for them. But even if no one is reading, it still scratches an itch that I have. I imagine the next 12 months will bring another round of life changes for me, as the girls go off to school and I look for a way to become at least a semi-productive member of society again. Given what this site means to me, don’t expect it to disappear just because I’m not spending 90% of my time at home with a computer handy.