Sunday, December 14, 2008

The Official 1,000th Post (Finally)

1,000 posts. I've been doing this for four and a half years, spilling my guts to strangers and family alike, fending off stalkers (and inviting one in), compiling a sort of verbal and visual record of my life. It's fun to go back and read, and at the beginning of each month I like to flip through the same month in previous years and see what I was up to, and how far I've come.

When I began this blog I was still doing the accounts at City Hall, which seems like an eternity ago. I was twenty-four. That was before Glen and Grandpa Bartley and Dad and Gram and Pete died. (I can't read through the posts from April and May of 2005 without being wrecked all over again, but it's getting easier, and I'm glad to have a record of it.) I hadn't seen the Statue of Liberty or a glacier yet, although plans for both New York City and Alaska were already in motion. Cordale and Kindra and Abbie and Britan were still children. Now Cordale is as tall as I am, Kindra's baby is due next month, Abbie's... well, it's a long story awaiting a satisfactory conclusion, and Britan's still a child, but not for long.

I didn't know when I began this blog that it would lead me to Brent. (How do you not see something like that coming?) I was still cleaning up the Oscar debacle. I intended never to buy a brand new car. I had no idea that in a few short months I'd climb the stairs in the water plant and know even before the interview began that I'd be working there. I only knew Jeff in passing and Bud scared me. Robbie didn't exist then and for almost three and a half years I had no idea what was missing at the plant. Now Bud's gone and Jeff's the boss and I won't be around much longer (which has nothing to do with Jeff, who's doing a positively stellar job). But there's a chance that next week I can retrieve my favorite sunglasses from the bottom of the sedimentation basin, which needs to be drained and cleaned. They've been down there for two years. Reunited!

In June of 2004 I weighed forty or fifty pounds more than I do now and my hair has been four different colors since then (oddly enough, it's back to the same natural dusty brown with grown-out highlights). I was almost $30,000 in debt between credit cards and student loans, and now I have no unwanted debt. Puck is so worth the car payment every month, and I'm already one-third done. I've driven him over 13,000 miles; by my estimation that's about 325 hours together, most of them alone, all of them fun. We've had our first accident together and our one-year anniversary is in three days. I can't even think about the clothing I've bought and discarded since then. I had to buy a whole new wardrobe twice. I've gone through several dozen pairs of shoes and I'm about to welcome home cellphone number three. I got this trusty, tiny Sony Vaio six months after I started blogging, but it feels like we've been together much longer, and he's been a soldier. His unnamed replacement will be along sometime in 2009.

It's hard to remember them all, but I've read at least 200 books since June of 2004, possibly half again that amount. I wouldn't say I always get through a book a week, but there are weeks when, ravenous, I get through three or four. I've watched far fewer movies and promptly forgotten 95% of them entirely, but they were entertaining while they lasted. Actually, I remember almost every frame of Amelie and I got ridiculously giddy watching The Amazing Quest of Ernest Bliss. And Cars, Ratatouille, and Wall-E were everything they should have been, too. I've seen a few live shows, but not as many as I would have seen if I had stayed in San Diego, what with Twinkie working the box office and all, and Kym being the star that she is.

I didn't know Tonetta had M.S. yet. She didn't either. There have been a few divorces. Mike Lake was still alive and was my favorite boss. We've lost a few family pets. Hope had the first baby of our crew, Faith Esperanza (and I may have been the first to lose a parent; I can't remember). Lenny and I didn't speak for a few years but fixed it and have managed to get along since even before he suggested this blog. That's right: this is all his fault. He even suggested the title, and because I didn't think a blog was something I'd stick with and maintain, I used it, and now I'm stuck with it and it's branching out. And I even kind of like it, because it reminds me of performance magicians, and who can't use a little more magic in their life?

So I've come a long way and I have a record of it, and it's incredible to me how big a difference something as mundane and ridiculous as a blog -- because there's no denying blogs can be real time-suckers -- can make in a life. Early on the blog was my private place to vent and ramble and pass the slow days at work. Then I remembered that I can actually write well when I want to, and I've done a little of that. I've shared a little artwork and some fun photos. I've argued with myself and justified things and come to conclusions. It's helped me mark milestones and keep things in mind, a living electric journal with people at the other end, helping distant family get to know me and keep track of me (or decide to disown me, but you keep sending cards). And since blogs are the kind of thing that are fun to network with, it helped me make important connections.

I neglect it something awful lately, but I'm hoping to rearrange my routine a little in the coming new year and include more blogging in it, because I miss it and I think I'm not the only one. I have stacks of note-sized pages torn out of the control room calendar, each scribbled with phrases and ideas or sketches and charts. They're waiting in a shoebox under the table and if I get through even a tenth of them we'll all be happy. Plus I might need this space in a new way soon (I might move, I might start a business, I might join the circus) and there's no reason it can't be everything I want it to be.

Because it always has been. Thanks for reading.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anytime I simply need a good cry to clear the air, all it takes is to read your April 25, 2005 post.

December 16, 2008 at 8:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congrats on the 1k post! I've finally finished Army training and move onto my new duty station in Ft. Campbell, KY then will be deploying in early summer.

youtube link w/ a video slideshow of all the training to follow in a week or two.

December 16, 2008 at 12:58 PM  

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