Happy Belated B-Day Whatever! - 10.30.00

Last week, I sat down to write my weekly 'whatever' piece as I usually do when I noticed something different. Although it should have been something that was apparent for several months, I had finally realized that with each piece I wrote, I was getting closer and closer to the number 200. While that in itself shouldn't be that big of a deal (as it's really just another number and shouldn't be any more significant than the rest), I also realized that I had completely let what was sort of the 'birthday' of the section pass me by without even thinking about it. Somehow, I'd been so busy and oblivious to things that I totally forgot that I'd been writing these pieces for three years. I'd made a big deal out of it when I'd hit two years, but I'd somehow completely forgotten about it after another 12 months.

Again, that was yet another number that I was tagging significance to, but for me the three years number was meaning a whole lot more than the number 200 (which is still impending). Although I was more ambitious during the first months of posting these pieces (I was doing almost 3 pieces a week for the first 5 months, and it didn't go weekly until nearly 8 months after I had started), I managed to kick out one thing every week over the course of 3 years.

I think that part of the reason my output has slowed down in the past couple years is because I've taken on different things with the site. When I first started out, I had only three different sections (music reviews, movie reviews (RIP), and this section). The site was hosted on Geocities and I knew that nobody was looking at it and tended to just ramble about anything and everything most of the time (even though the individual pieces were a lot shorter than they are now). While there were some reflectory pieces in the first year or so, I look back on them and see a hell of a lot more bitching and bitterness than I do now. Instead, I think I realized that instead of finding problems with things and people on the outside, I had a lot of things that I needed to deal with in terms of myself. Instead of whining about PDA or reminiscing about college angst, I started buckling down and finding the things I didn't like about myself and sort them out through writing about them. It was like a form of therapy for me to sit down and spill things out onto the page and while I'm not completely positive that it actually helped me to do this, I look back on my older writing and compare it to my thoughts now and I can't help but think it has.

Of course, there were times that I didn't feel like writing about anything that was too close and personal, so I'd write a story that took place during my childhood, or even just write something fiction if I was feeling particularly goofy. It was fun for me to try to blur the line between reality and fiction in the section and although I would usually let everyone in on the secret in the week following, I even caused some hard feelings with a couple pieces. Which was really not my intention, but a very interesting take on how people perceived me through my site and whether they knew me in real life.

Anyway, that's for another time and I should try to stay on task here. I should also admit that one of the first thoughts I had when I saw that I was nearing the number 200 in this section was that I should simply stop at that point. It would be a nice, even number and although it wouldn't be a nice even amount of time that I'd been writing them (something like 3 years and 3 months), I thought it would be a nice clean break. I've long thought that this section is getting to be a bit out-of-control in terms of size and there are things I've wanted to do with different pieces (like photo-illustrate them and put them into a nicer format like my story "The Window" in the In Other Words section.

I also thought that although it seemed like a good time to quit, I wasn't sure how easy it would be to actually do it. I'm so used to sitting down at my computer once a week with a clean slate and ending with a piece that it's still sort of a therapy for me no matter how much I get off course and ramble (which admittingly is sometimes the best form of therapy).

Anyway, before I close, I'd like to pick out my favorite pieces that I've written for this section in the last year, like I did in the piece I wrote about a year ago.

Hometown Folklore - 12.20.99 - Kind of a funny story about a Friday night from when I was in high school.

The Website And Why - 02.07.00 - I wrote this quite some time back, but it still sums up my feelings fairly well as to why I do the site and I've met tons more people since that time through e-mail, which is really the whole point.

What's In A Name? - 03.20.00 - This is the piece in which I talk about why I named my site "almost cool." It's not the best piece out there, but I like it.

Re:(Elation?)ship Thoughts - 04.03.00 (part 2, part 3, part 4) - I just dig all of these, mainly because I like their quick snapshot style and that I tried (in varying degrees of success) to capture humour, sadness, and seriousness in bite-sized bits with them.

Nerd Camp And A Girl - 06.05.00 - The one piece I've written that I got the most feedback ever on. I think that many people have gone through sort of a fruitless first-time crush like this and that's why.

I've Also Been Known To Ramble - 08.28.00 - I go back and forth on whether I like this piece, but I think it captures a moment well and I don't think I've ever ripped on myself more brutally in something I've written. Cleansing!

Looking back through the pieces (which has been quite fun, by the way, and one of the main reasons that I started in the first place), this last year has been by far the best one in terms of writing quality of the pieces, but those are some of the ones I enjoy the most. I still have yet to make a decision about to do with things when I reach number 200 in 4 weeks, but chances are that you'll see me back here the very next week after that with 201.