Categotry Archives: Metablogging

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So, What Do 1,335 Spam Comments Look Like?

Categories: A Day in the Life, Just Add Photo, Metablogging, Tags: , ,

As we used to say in Risk, the attack continues!

Spam, glorious spam.

This picture actually does no real justice to the sheer volume of spam comments that have been incoming. Assuming this started at midnight (pretty sure it was later), the rate is about a spam comment a minute. After receiving maybe 300-500 spam comments in the six months of this blog prior, that’s slightly unnerving.

In other news, the APDA Forum was restored to full glory exactly 24 hours after crashing. Bandwidth can be bought, and fortunately this seemed like a priority to people. So if you have an APDAweb login and want to follow along at home, the action is here.

If you don’t have an APDAweb login, you should know that the future leaders of America have become suddenly very secretive about their summer activities, especially when they make reference to some of them being insurgents in Iraq. Suffice it to say that many of them hope to have political careers and that really might not be in their precise best interest.

At the rate things are going, though, you never know.

May Day?

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Bandwidth

Categories: A Day in the Life, Metablogging, Tags: ,

This blog is under attack!

As I speak (write), a few different URL’s have joined together to launch a coordinated effort to overwhelm this blog with spam comments. The comments function is disabled, so these comments are automatically coded to hit the moderation queue. While they’ll never hit the mean streets of the mainline Internet, they have flooded my Inbox with notifications and the queue is seeming pretty taxed. There were 334 this morning, then I cleared another 25 that I watched pile up in the following 15 minutes. 50 more have come in since.

Good thing my bandwidth limit for the BP is almost incalculably high. Thank you HostMonster!

Not so much luck for the APDA Forum. As discussed yesterday, it was taken down by another of my efforts, my now becoming annual summer game of Werewolf/Mafia, this time with 45 APDAites. The theme is the Iraq War. This is roughly the last thing I’ve had time for with the rest of my schedule, yet I’ve somehow managed to clear the decks for this and be very attentive. This is sort of how I operate. Flashes of manic motivation that push everything else to the side. Projects are best when they come like a tidal wave, leaving behind an equal portion of devastation and creative water. Of course, I’m still feeling the effects of tens of tidal waves before, many of which never saw FEMA come in and condemn the awkward structures left behind. Nothing ever gets condemned in my little world, except for in brief moments of wise severance that seem too far, too few, and too late.

Humans are so adaptable and I’m really self-aware. This combination has made me positively stellar at doing just exactly what is necessary to keep me afloat with the status quo. I don’t think I’m unique in this – most of us are breaking our necks to do everything we can to stay exactly in place. The world’s nature is to spin and change and twirl and tumble and the way most of us adjust to this is by getting whiplash by planting ourselves and hanging on for the ensuing torque of the changes around us. It’s devastatingly sad to watch so many people get so rigid and not just give in to the winds. We build our institutions as a society around resistance to the wind – we label things as passive or flaky or impractical. But I have my inspirations and my confirmations. There are people even braver than I, and I salute them for being windier than I.

Today I’m giving a culminative and momentous presentation on what I’ve been working on for the past month. I’ve been working with a consultant who is returning to Germany, carrying knowledge of America and a firm understanding that it’s not the best place (my interpretation of her perspective). We both deal in metaphor and illustration, getting along quite well to craft a story of what the last 40 years have brought to today. Our final analogy is a collective group of over a hundred people all frozen on thin ice, not daring to breathe (let alone move), hoping that not everything cracks through. Of course the only way to survive is to run across the ice as fast as possible before it breaks. The ice can’t handle the weight of the pressures already there – it is destined to fall through. There’s nothing anyone can do to prop up that ice. The only chance, the only solution is to run, to outrun the collapse, to forge a better solution on the other side after changing far, hard, fast.

But it’s scary. And people wonder if they have the capacity to do it. The “bandwidth,” as he who shall not be named might say. It’s his second-favorite phrase, right behind “proceed until apprehended.” That’s a fine philosophy for those who believe fundamentally that accountability will never come. That no one will ever have to take ownership of the decisions that they made. That no one is watching. But another person, one worthy of respect, said “I’m old fashioned – I believe in God’s judgment. And not in the next life, but right here on Earth. Right now.”

Today, I’m inclined to agree. People are throwing stuff at the wall and seeing what sticks. The capacity is taxed, the tubes are being jammed to a shut. Everyone’s scrambling, but when the lanes are full, everyone’s stuck. Everyone feels an undercurrent of the need to move, but it’s too scary and there’s nowhere to go.

We need to unplug, to free up the bandwidth, to clear the decks. More tidal waves. More Drain-o. More flushing of the whole system.

Night before last, the cable went down without explanation. Every time a button was pressed on any of the remotes, the cable would go up or down by one channel at a time, stopping on channel 96 if up or 963 if down. It was like a bad horror movie. It still hasn’t come back and I haven’t had the time or energy to call. Am I being passive by letting it go? Or am I listening?

I wanted to close this post with this quote from Jackie Greene, who Fish finally hooked me on in Chicago:

And I see through the windows like I see through the lies
like I see through every useless disguise that
everyone wears but everyone swears that they don’’t.
Ah but don’t mind me baby, I’m only dying slow.

There is an uncanny resonance to just this time, just this month, just this season. But we ought not be dying slow. We ought be living fast. Dying is a slow process. Even when one dies fast, that’s truly living.

Bandwidth is no excuse. There are no excuses. We will not be forgiven. What we do here counts.

Cold water is coming – either over the top or from ‘neath the cracking ice. How you get drenched makes all the difference.

52 more comments while I wrote this post.

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Vermont: Neither Green nor Mountain (discuss)

Categories: A Day in the Life, But the Past Isn't Done with Us, Metablogging, Tags: , ,

Emily and I spent the weekend in Vermont, with roughly 20 hours in the air (and airports) and 36 hours on the ground. We went to witness and celebrate the marriage of Stina (Robison) Gagner and Dav Gagner. Congratulations!

A wedding is precisely the kind of event that made cryptic, three-line blogging such a joy. Sometimes I would punctuate some occasion like this with a line of congratulations (see above), but often I would write some airy words of wisdom or brief observation that seemed poignant and lyrical. And that would be that.

Trying to do more – to break down the event and do some sort of play-by-play – seems oddly inappropriate for an event like a wedding. I don’t really know why. Maybe it’s because details can really make something mundane, or at least appear more mundane than it felt at the time. Since you weren’t there (unless you were), you may read a narrative about a wedding simply mining it for details. Dress? Cake? Location? And in that, you don’t see the glint of the reflection off the water or the gust of breeze carrying laughter across the grass. Of course, I could just write a bunch of lines like “the glint of the reflection off the water or the gust of breeze carrying laughter across the grass”… but then I’d really just be doing three-liners instead of telling a story.

But maybe that’s okay. I may never escape metablogging. Maybe I’m just not in the right mindset to navigate a story lyrically tonight.

Obviously, the foremost thing one feels at a wedding is happiness for one’s friend(s) who are getting married. I think this is almost universal, except when one doesn’t approve of the match or if one is one of those increasing number who don’t seem to approve of marriage at all. Though those souls tend to be the same type who dislike (or claim to dislike) judgment as a concept, so even if they consider marriage to be a laughable promise mired in mysogyny and hopelessness, they will still wish their friends the best. A bad match is trickier. Fortunately, I both believe in marriage and heartily approve of this match, so all is/was well. It was great to bear witness to such happiness and joy, and the expression of that with others.

The others were a fair source of the joy as well, especially for my own lens of viewing the wedding. I think I may have seen more Brandeisians who I like than I could expect at a class reunion (though still fewer, to be sure, than at a debate reunion). And not just ‘Deisians, but many who I had long neglected to contact… and we all came together like it was somehow the turn of the millennium again. But now the questions we’re expected to answer are “What do you do?” and “Oh, what does that mean?”

I think one of the most exciting parts of getting older is the idea that we will get to see what other people we know or have known do with their lives. Moments like this weekend give me a glimpse into the idea that a great deal is to be learned by how unpredictable the life that unfolded for so many really is. And yet, so many people feel so little control over what’s going on. I’m caught between feeling it’s self-imposed and that it’s an extension of the powerlessness of our generation. I think tunnel-vision trumps powerlessness most of the time, though. And debt. Mounds of debt.

These thoughts must seem very distant from the wedding itself and especially the people doing the marrying. The thing about weddings is that one gets very little time with the prime-time couple… it’s rather like going to a stage play. One spends all their time watching the characters on stage, but the real contact is with the other guests at the show. Whoever you go with, or see when you get there that you know… those are the people who really impact your experience of whatever came up on stage.

Of course, I’m generalizing profusely, and this last paragraph above didn’t really even hold true for this wedding. It was relatively small, and I was blessed to be part of a small cache of people who hung out with the happy duo long after everyone else had retired. A couple couples peeled off toward the end, but four couples remained and whiled away hours in the tavern, then in the lobby, right up till Stina fell asleep. Fortunately the laughing-fit preceded the sleep. Something about shared experience spanning the distance of nearly a decade to dominate twin thoughts on a momentous evening indeed.

The rest of Vermont was peripheral, of course. It was mid-fall, so the reputed verdancy of Vermont was replaced by a blaze of colors made all the more striking under the obliquing fog. And of course the alleged mountains are scant hills in a region of the world that literally attempts the old cliche with the moles and such. Ben & Jerry, long since sold out, sold us ice cream after a tour of their legacy. In America, you do what you need to in order to retire comfortably and start doing whatever it is you actually wanted to be doing. Even if it was something as fun as making ice cream, or mountains from molehills for that matter.

There must be a place, if only imagined, where there is less concern with comfort and more with doing.

But comfort comes with joy, and there is no joy like love. Back in Berkeley, days later, it has begun to rain against my window. The rain comes in at an angle hitting the eastern window, despite the source being ever from the western ocean. There was very little crying at this wedding. Laughter. Cheering. The unbridled wonder of fulfillment amidst a lake and walls made from equal parts of glass.

The cars drive through small roadside pools on University, kicking up the jetting sound of splashed water, carrying students and teachers to their rest.

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Assorted Thoughts Before Vermont

Categories: A Day in the Life, Let's Go M's, Metablogging, Pre-Trip Posts, Read it and Weep, Tags: , , , ,

All right. Turns out that this whole “keeping posts long and narrative” idea works pretty well, but seems wholly unfitting for times like the morning before I depart on a big trip. I have a long-standing personal tradition of firing off correspondence and/or public missives before departing on trips, of getting up a little earlier to do so. Deep down, I know that a large part of the reason for this is the heightened perception of the risk of death during travel. Even though it’s absolutely not true, human beings feel this elevated threat level on planes that in someone like me (even though I know cars are eleventy-billion times more dangerous and life-threatening) makes me want to tie up loose ends… or at least give people awareness of what I was considering on the final day. Truth be told, it’s really amazing how much of my life I spend anticipating and preparing for final perceptions like that.

What a wonderfully cheery thought for five in the morning. But hey, if anything, I’m opening up even more with StoreyTelling than Introspection, because long explanations sort of require back-story, and back-story often requires taking a can-opener to those rusty containers that long ago developed botulism.

Regardless, the point here is that I have all these leftover thoughts and ideas that, now that I’m back in the blogging spirit, would normally have found their home in delicious two-liners on Introspection’s format. But there’s no place to put them. So they’re about to go here… periodically I’m probably just going to have to do posts like this with relatively unrelated assortments. I don’t think any of today’s are cryptic… I already have a whole “Keepin’ it Cryptic” category/tag planned too, since there will be inevitably be times when some other person feels they have a right to privacy, or I don’t really feel like forcing the issue with some person I know right here on this blog. But not today. So this will be like the appendix post.

Speaking of which, they allegedly found the purpose of the appendix this week. Nifty, huh? There’s a reason for everything. The proof for God is in the logical purpose, people.

Baseball is clearly something I’ve still been paying attention to, since it’s October and that’s one of the things that makes October great. And I am blessed to be paying Comcast an inordinate amount of money to get channels like TBS, so I’m not missing out on the playoffs. Hosting the baseball playoffs on TBS makes about as much sense as putting Top Chef on the History Channel. Especially since it’s the second playoffs in 465 years to not feature the Atlanta Braves. You could sort of draw a link between the channel and the show (in the same way that APDA draws links to resolutions), but no one who normally watches the channel will want to watch that show, and everyone who wants to watch will be vaguely frustrated to have to find a channel they never watch. Maybe that’s the strategy though, TBS gets to spam adds for their bizarre shows at a whole new audience. In 20 years, the Anime Channel will bid for the baseball playoffs and we’ll be inundated with ads for the latest blend of medieval fantasy themed Japanese characters with crazy hair and soap opera interactions between innings. And I’ll have to debate with Em about the value of adding the premium Anime Channel for 2 months and whether Comcast will respect our right to cancel it even though they’re already taking $746 a month.

I tend to be exaggerative in the morning.

My only real point in bringing up baseball was to observe how completely unlikely it is that anyone could’ve envisioned a Rockies/Diamondbacks NLCS even a month ago, let alone earlier in the season. And yet it looks extremely likely that this will happen. Granted, the Phillies are in the exact same position as the ’95 Mariners in their Division Series … down 2-0 going on the road. And we all know what happened then. (Or maybe you don’t. The M’s won 2 games in NY, then came home and won the decisive fifth game in extra innings in the greatest game in Mariner history.) And given that the Phils basically are the Mariners from a few years ago (not really, but the pitching staff is… after all, Pat Gillick’s their GM), it’s all possible. But at this point, the Rockies will probably be winning the World Series, so I wouldn’t put much faith in a Philly comeback.

I’m also starting to believe that a 5-game series just might not cut it for baseball. Or if it did, you’d need to have a 1-1-1-1-1 schedule, instead of 2-2-1. But it’s way easier to just go 7 games instead of changing venues for every game. The first World Series was 9 games. You don’t play 162 contests to get ousted by a 3-game losing streak. It’s just too short.

(By the way, the paragraphs directly above will earn this post the category/tag “Let’s Go M’s”. This is not because the M’s were briefly mentioned, but that will be my baseball title in general. I’m trying to limit myself a little here.)

Ack! In finding the link to that series recap on Wikipedia above, I just realized that I’ve been incorrect in my memory about the ’95 ALDS for years! Apparently they used to do a 2-3 schedule for the ALDS!! Two-three?! So the M’s were down 2-0 going into 3 straight home games, which they won all of. I’ve been recapping that series incorrectly for ages. Wow. That really blows my mind. Whoever thought 2-3 was a reasonable schedule for a baseball series? See, this really proves that it needs to be longer than 5 games.

Hm. Now I’ve gotten myself so hyped up about baseball that I’ve forgotten most of what else I was going to say. So it goes. I should go pack and clean out the catboxes anyway.

I’m going to Vermont, by the way, for Stina & Dav’s wedding, which will be in Octobery fall colors confines near the borders with New York and Quebec. It should be beautiful, and a little chilly. Em and I are changing planes approximately 4,000 times on the way out, so we’re loading up the books. The next book I finish will put me over the top of last year’s total (21), which is right about the pace I’d like to maintain for a year. My commute has been very good for keeping me reading… and I don’t want to read much more than 25 books a year, because then I’ll never write. I can’t quite decide if I like David Foster Wallace or if he’s just messing with everyone (or, I suppose, both), but his imagery is some of the strongest stick-to-your-mind kind of stuff ever.

(Gah, now I have to add a book/reading category/tag too! This is getting to be too much. I’m now believing that the way I really should have approached this morning’s posting is to post 4-5 separate posts, all neatly categorized and separated. But that would sort of be like a strobe-light-blog, wouldn’t it? Hrm.)

Thank you, by the way, to everyone who has written me e-mails in the last few days about this blog and welcoming me back into the communication fold. I really appreciate it and I will respond to everyone individually soon, but sadly not before leaving. But I want to acknowledge how touched I’ve been by your reception… it’s good to know I haven’t alienated all my readers by taking a couple months off.

Also, to delve into the slightest metablogging, I can’t figure out why the second post I made here was labeled as the third, and thereafter all the numbers have seemed to be off by one. This is the kind of thing that really bugs me about using automated blogging software and what I was always afraid of. Having an accurate postcount is one of the things that I was excited about with automation, and the slightest inaccuracy (and what could be more slight than an inaccuracy of one?) drives me crazy. When I return (there’s no time now), I will have to delve into the actual files of this database and see if I can alter everything to restore order to the numbers. So be mindful of permalinking these few early posts. If I restore the numbers and they count properly, I’ll never change them again. As I look at it now, though, it’s possible that WordPress is just terrified of a sophomore slump – category #2 doesn’t seem to exist either. Don’t fear the deuce, WordPress!

Okay, now to clean Pandora’s box.

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From Cleveland, Tennessee to Orem, Utah

Categories: Blue Pyramid News, Metablogging, Tags: ,

This is the official announcement that the Blue Pyramid has moved from Tennessee to Utah. In the early morning hours of this very day, the Pyramid stole away from a state with an actual pyramid (though down the road in Memphis) to a state with… pyramid-shaped mountains?

The 1,808-mile journey took just a few hours (though it somehow took longer for these changes to be recognized in Chicago).

This post, of course, is referring to the actual physical location of the Blue Pyramid, which is a very small section of disk space on a server. The internet collectively likes to avoid open acknowledgement of the fact that it actually does physically exist somewhere. Indeed, the nature of the internet’s ethereality and widespread accessibility is one of the things I like most about it, both in reality and as a metaphor for the very lives we ourselves are leading. The physical is the least important of all dimensions, or at least the most overrated. But it is there, and worth noting from time to time.

If you’re wondering what’s in Cleveland, Tennessee, it’s Coastland Technologies, who I am even now (though that will soon be taken down) promoting on the BP’s front page. The BP has been on CoastlandTech since its inception in January 2002, and it’s really hard to let go of the relationship I’ve had with them. I would still recommend them to anyone who is just starting out and doesn’t need much space.

But I do need space, and space is so ridiculously cheap right now that it just doesn’t make sense to hold onto a 150 MB limit. CT starts you out with a 50 MB limit, and I was able to negotiate an extra 100 MB for only one extra annual charge in exchange for the link on the front page. I’ve spent much of the last month butting my head against that ceiling, and eventually I just had to break free. By contrast, I now have 300 GB (yes, with a G) for about $3 more a year (2-year commitment). For 1 GB at CT, I would’ve had to shell out $20/month, as opposed to $6 at HM for 300 (making CT literally exactly 1,000 times as expensive at the GB level). Please note that this does not mean CT is a bad deal if you don’t need much space, but it is if you want more.

I’m now with HostMonster, who I discovered when we were looking for a new high-bandwidth home for the Mep Report around this time last year. I used that year as a bit of a trial-run of HM and I’ve been generally pleased. One of my main reasons for picking HM besides the overall package and price is that I like Utah as a physical location. Not to live, but to be secure. You may think a website’s physical spot doesn’t matter, but when the chips are down, it really can. Dreamhost was looking like a great option until a heat wave sparked power outages that brought one of the most popular set of servers on the planet crashing down for days. (Remember the day MySpace was out? Yeah, that was Dreamhost. Not on MySpace? All you need to know was that this was a very big, expensive deal.)

Utah is about the best place I could possibly imagine for keeping a server safe. There are no earthquakes, no floods, no tornadoes, no hurricanes. It gets cold, but not absurdly so, and servers tend to like cold. It is extremely unlikely that Utah will get nuked in my lifetime. Pretty much the biggest threat to Utah servers has to be some sort of breakaway movement or revolution in the state, but they would probably quickly negotiate favorable trade agreements with the United States thereafter being, as they are, surrounded and economically dependent on the big country.

So now the only issue is how to fill this massive amount of space. I have become so accustomed to running web projects on the barest of byte-budgets that I can’t fathom how much room I have to grow (I have literally 2,000 times the space I used to). At the same time, budgeting byte-usage can be a good tactic on the web, since every byte has to be downloaded, sometimes by people on (gasp!) dial-up or other slow connections. Part of the BP’s ability to be user-friendly has certainly related to quick loading times.

In the meantime, please let me know if anything was dropped in the transfer. If any part of the BP is not functioning properly, an internal link doesn’t work, or something’s just missing, please give me a heads-up. Moving 1,808 miles is pretty seamless on the web, but it wasn’t necessarily perfect. And I’ll get to work on updating all the parts of the BP that aren’t quite accurate anymore…

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Introspection, My Worst Friend (2000-2007)

Categories: A Day in the Life, Blue Pyramid News, But the Past Isn't Done with Us, Metablogging, Tags: , , ,

After 2,681 consecutive days (take that, Cal Ripken!) of updating Introspection, my first-ever blog has come to a close. It ran daily (though yes, sometimes updates were actually typed and uploaded afterwards) from 13 March 2000 through 15 July 2007.

While there was no particular significance to the first day of updates, the last days were laden with noteworthiness. The last Introspection entry was just two days after my fourth wedding anniversary and just 9 days after the 10,000th day of my life.

It was never my intention to give up on Introspection. If you had asked me most any time during its seven-and-a-half-year run how long I’d be keeping up the blog, I’d have told you “forever”. But forever never seems to be around when it ends. So it goes.

At the same time, I probably never could’ve anticipated the rapacious appetite which I brought to blogging in the first place when Introspection started the morning after that strange dream of many teeth. It wasn’t even called blogging then. Prior to the project, I’d never been able to maintain a journal or diary past a couple weeks on a daily pace, or more than five days out of fifty at a more forgiving rate. I’d always aspired to the concept, but they had fallen down like so many “chapter ones” it paralleled. Somehow, Introspection was able to quickly transcend all prior benchmarks and capture my imagination. No doubt the public nature of the journal had a great deal to do with that, and the early reactions it got (most of them negative). It was a way to try to shake free of the doldrums of one of the worst years of my life, measure its rapid change, then return, and then just became a method to try to talk my way out of whatever I patterns I’d fallen into in a relatively lonely college existence. The rest, as they say, was history… for a while.

Like most things, Introspection didn’t just heave up and keel over, but it faded over time. It was starting to seem like a chore more than a joy, and there were a couple of large hauls where my updates had to be backfilled for weeks at a stretch. I knew it was a red flag once I’d let updates lapse for my own benchmark of 40 days… the fabled line for designating someone for “Italics Purgatory” on my own (now rarely updated) list of friends’ blogs.

Then I went to Oregon, and came face-to-face with a life lived long before Introspection or the internet. My life there (from 1988-1993, ages 8-13) was incredibly tumultuous and successful, with independent experiences coloring every individual year. Never before had I been able to look at this period of time as one unit, to (paraphrasing Jake) pull a string through it and reveal myself as I really was. The trip was ostensibly to celebrate our anniversary and show Em where I spent those (all too stereotypically) formative years, but I wound up showing myself much more. After a night at the Coaster Theater in Cannon Beach watching a delightful play, having run from a half-decade’s worth of ghosts all over Clatsop County (ghosts made more present by the absence of anyone who had actually been there from ’88-’93) for a week, I just about broke down. What would everyone then think of me now? Look at how little I had managed to accomplish! Whatever happened to the kid who skipped 4 grades, got beaten up, and then skipped 4 more instead? Who wrote for the paper, took first at the state fair in photography, starred in plays? Is that really all that became of him? He was going to be something…

That night, I didn’t know how to write about it. Nor the next. Nor certainly upon my return. I was rapidly faced with my “Ketchup Doughnut” of blogging – the writing piece to end all future writing pieces of that form. (Though at least in KD’s case, I had actually written the piece itself. Additionally, the irony of the setting of KD being in the heart of those Oregon days is duly noted.) Meanwhile, the whole experience was prompting a whole revival of questioning and self-doubt in my path in life. The echoes of my all-caps declaration on 10 June 2007 (echoed on the next-to-last day, 14 July 2007) about living by momentum instead of direction continued to reverberate. By the time a whole bunch of nonsense started breaking out at work – things I couldn’t really talk about in less than cryptic ways on Introspection – there was just too much to overcome.

Many people noticed, some seemingly calling my attention to the lingering lack of updates as though I myself had somehow missed it. Some said it was time to just “start it up again”, chalking up the days gone by as missing time and returning to Introspection like an alien abductee months removed and unaware that anything had happened. But I, it has been said, am an absolutist, and Introspection was always about the daily updates. That was as much the project as anything else. And it was broken.

Like so many other things, it was time for a change. This period of time after my trip to Oregon has been borne with a significance of changing that which needs to be changed, especially in how I spend my time and what my presence is online. I quit The Mep Report, my podcast with Greg & Russ (who are still continuing the project with Greg’s wife Clea). I have de facto suspended Questions for God, putting it in the category of many other supposedly frequently updated facets of the Blue Pyramid. I stopped using an Introspection-level requirement of daily updates for Duck and Cover, my webcomic, relaxing it to a looser weekdays-when-I’m-around schedule. More such changes and overhauls are probably in the works. I did manage not to quit my job, though it was probably close there for a couple weeks.

And now to blogging. (I have made peace with this term, by the way. I used to despise it in the early years of Introspection. It still sounds awkward and superficial. But there’s only so long one can resist a term that language has chosen for a phenomenon without just being resistant to the concept of language.) Much as I always thought Introspection would go on as long as my life, so I thought blogging would naturally be a part of it (this is tautological). My fervor for the concept of blogging, of a life lived in public, of communication with a broad base of friends and strangers about innermost perceptions and feelings, has not waned. But some things have to be different this time.

Change is naturally something that seems scary to most. But change is also rivetingly exciting, and gives us the opportunity to do things differently than we did them last time. This is as near a simulation as we get in this lifetime to doing things right the first time, something which most thoughtful people yearn for daily. So I’ve been mulling over the changes that need to be made, and hopefully this blog, StoreyTelling, will be a reflection of that.

The biggest thing that need(s/ed) to change is the length of entries. The tendency of Introspection to speak in quick cryptic bursts was dually the result of my primary (almost exclusive) original blogging influence, ‘Lisha, and my own inclination to write quickly and frequently. While it worked for a long time, it’s not the best practice for someone whose current writing projects almost all have targets in the hundreds of pages. As ridiculously corny as it sounds, I need to stretch my writing muscles. I have been a sprinter most all my life, and I need to work on being a distance runner. (Don’t quote me on this, folks, it’s a metaphor… I do not intend to show Miss Gatewood how fast I want to run.)

The other thing that has to go is the obsession with daily updates. It’s a good goal, a good target, but it’s remarkable the impact that relaxing about this has had on Duck and Cover. It’s incredibly difficult for me to not be an absolutist and extremist about everything, and to push myself to the limits of what a project will allow. But I’ve done that show, and I have 2,681 shiny days to show for it. I think I can be happy with that. (You have no idea that the fact that this number is longer than Ripken’s games-played streak in baseball really does make me feel better.) Now it’s time to start creating more space for myself. I really don’t do well when under a “sense of obligation” (I’ve had countless debates about this concept with a lot of friends in the last few months, so don’t get me too started). And no one puts more obligation on me than myself (though this sometimes makes me feel even more insulted when others do it). So maintaining projects like blogging openly, honestly, and without holding back without the burden of a daily drumbeat should be really helpful to making a better overall result. I will miss the ability to point to any single day in my life and know something I was feeling at that precise moment, but I’m hoping it will still be a rare day when I can’t do that.

Finally, there’s something to be said for all this fancy new blogging technology they have nowadays. Most all of my webpage is hand-coded and will probably continue to be. And this auto-blogging still feels clunky to me and I’m frustrated with how inexact some of the things are as the result of relying on a template (albeit one that I altered pretty significantly). But I can learn to work with these parameters. Meanwhile, I pick up the ability to automatically have an RSS feed, pinging, and (most exciting), sortable categories for my posts. This ability to cross-reference and sort information has always been among the best aspects of the web and the very concept of links, and it’s very exciting to think that this blog can be read exclusively for one facet or another of its content. (For example, it’s likely that someone could come here next season and read this only as a Mariners blog. Meanwhile, you non-baseball people won’t have to be overwhelmed by the quantity of Mariners content and feel disinterested.) I can easily see amassing an overwhelming number of categories (ahem, Helen), so I’ll have to watch that. But maybe it will be okay. These things are pretty flexible with all the quick-change updating and editing options.

Plus, I get more titles and endings. And if I know anything about what I value in writing, it’s titles and endings. Seriously.

Oh, and even though I can’t seem to get rid of them looking like they’re going to appear, there will be no comments. There’s such a thing as too much change. I welcome your e-mails and your own blog posts, but there’s never been any part of this project that has involved wanting other people attaching their comments to it. This is a stand-alone work. At their worst, comments are from random people and extremely negative; at best, they are the equivalent of permanent small-talk. E-mails and other blog posts rarely seem to have the same issues.

So I’m back. So keep checking back. Not all the posts will be as long as this one. At some point, I will fill in other missing details between July and October 2007 (it’s really not that long, is it?) in an effort to keep a pretty continuous narrative dating back to 1998.

There are times that I can’t believe that’s still less than 10 years. And then there are times where it’s hard to convince myself I’ve even been alive that long.

I don’t think either of those feelings will ever really go away.

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