Happy 10th birthday, T&G

I have been blogging for 10 years this month. I can’t figure out the exact day I really started because I began “blogging” using Geocities-hosted web pages that I slapped up on my old (dead) domain, theology-and-geometry.com. The Wayback Machine used to keep a bunch of my content from that site archived, but I’ve noticed over the years the amount that it indexes continues to dwindle, and now you can’t even really get past the splash page for any of the dates.

I would write a post — with hand-coded html formatting — on a basic page, and then for the next entry, create a new page for the previous post so it would link behind the first page, cut and paste the previous entry and put it on the new page and then put my new entry on the splash page. And so on. God, it was tedious. And then that November, Blogger happened. And that, friends, sealed the deal. Blogger made it so incredibly easy. And I could dink with how the whole thing looked a lot more easily than in Geocities. Also, Blogger would work on a Mac. Geocities’ PageBuilder thingy wouldn’t. Can you imagine?

So that is why my archives here only go back to November 2003.

I was a student then, a year away from wrapping up my college experience and thrusting myself into the workplace. Ugh. “Thrusting.” I lived with my boyfriend in a small one-bedroom apartment — with a laundry room! — that we paid $425 a month for. We had two ferrets. We had a rule that at night we would only watch things on TV that were nonviolent, nonthreatening and nonaggressive. I played video games. I wasn’t speaking to my sister and I don’t remember why. My family’s political incorrectness was really novel and annoying to me then, and made me question my DNA origins.

I worried constantly about grades and assignments and all three of my jobs. “I am tired of working 51 hours a week” is a thing I wrote, and EL OH EL because if I could drop into my 2003 self’s dreams I would laugh in her face about thinking that working 51 hours a week in college was going to be the last time I would work so hard.

It was a sweet little life. Not without its trials, of course. I sort of wish I had used my time in college to break out of my comfort zone a little more. Travel more. Sleep around, maybe? Do a lot of mind-expanding drugs? I don’t know. I say I should have done those things but I am pretty sure I would have felt completely ridiculous even trying to have some kind of typical wild college experience. I’ve been middle-aged my whole life.

So here’s to 10 years of writing it down. Gonna aim for 10 more.

Existential crisis, party of whee

My mind is this great humming butter churn of a thing, moving unformed chunks of ideas around slowly and with great struggle.

I have nothing to write about. It is driving me fucking bonkers. I have been sitting here staring at this screen, trying to make it happen, trying to remember something, anything, worth sharing and I have nothing. Everything is extremely mundane. I can’t just write about my kid all the time, cool as he is. I can’t write about work, insane as it is. That’s it, though. I don’t have anything else. I’m not overly happy or overly sad about anything. I just continue to have absolutely nothing to fucking talk about and I think it’s time to pronounce the blog dead because maybe then I will get my mojo back.

I can’t keep writing about not writing.

*&^&^%#$#@$%#$&*^()((&*^%$%@#!#$@$#%$*&(

OK. Now that I got that out of my system, I am just going to write. Some stream-of-consciousness shit helps unclog the mind, doesn’t it? I swear I think I have done this before here and yes I did just search my archives for an example and I came up short.

You are going to think this is ridiculous but I just made myself cry up there, when I decided to consider killing the blog. I’m not even PMSing. I am that emotionally constipated and frustrated. This thing that is mine that used to give me such joy is such a point of stress now. Self-imposed, completely stupid stress! No one cares! Once Google Reader is dead, there might be four people who ever remember to come by here and they know how fucking crazy I am anyway and don’t expect anything from me!

I’m, like, three months behind on Holden’s month-by-month posts. I feel a ridiculous amount of guilt about that, which is sort of making me feel like I shouldn’t write about anything else until I get those out of the way. Stupid.

Is it living in Nashville that has sapped me? Because crazy shit used to happen to me and around me all the time in Memphis. Nothing happens here except sometimes I get irrationally angry at a song Pandora will play. I don’t ever see or interact with people except for the ones I live with or the ones I work with, and all those people are off limits from my (public) online smartassery. I want to tell stories about all you delightful weirdos, dammit! Middle management has taken that from me.

I was thinking earlier about how I have been a middle manager at heart my whole life. How I always wanted to do roll call at school and take names when the teacher left the room. I always wanted to please the authority figures in life so they would know that secretly, despite my age, I was one of them. This explains why I never snuck out of the house or blew curfew without calling my parents and letting them know I’d be a smidge late.

Being a manager, though, has been an interesting trip. I have always always always been nonconfrontational and uncomfortable with delivering bad news or having to provide discipline or critique. It’s the people pleaser in me who is crippled by the thought of hurting someone’s feelings or saying something that will make them like me less. Learning to be OK with people not liking me has been a lifelong struggle, even though I am POSITIVE that there have been plenty of people throughout my life who haven’t liked me. Because, as I discover every few years or so, I am a serious asshole sometimes.

So now I kind of have to get right with that asshole part of me and harness it for good. Harness it to keep people honest, to foster productivity, to pressure people to stay on track. Use it to provide a push but not too hard.

WHY AM I WRITING ABOUT WORK? OH MY GOD, NO ONE CARES.

I’m sorry.

Work is my life right now. I think about it almost obsessively. How can I be better, do better, cultivate better results?

Is it because I think I’m a terrible mother? Or do I think I’m a terrible mother because I am so focused on my career?

Ew, those feelings are sticky. Best not touch them.

I go to BSMF so you don’t have to

… although this year’s lineup is pretty sweet, so I really recommend that you make it down there if you can.

My colleagues and I will be posting updates to our live-coverage Tumblr tonight, tomorrow and Sunday — gomemphis.tumblr.com. Follow us there or on Twitter: @gomemphis. You can also watch the action at our Memphis in May info site, where lots of tips and tricks are posted for your perusal. We’ll be the first to know if the river decides to swallow Downtown, so stay tuned for that.

Happy weekend!

Thank you

I am behind on replying to comments and, I’ll be honest, some of that is intentional because I am reluctant to revisit some of the more painful things I’ve written here lately, but I want to say this to all of you who have reached out to me: Thank you. Thank you so very much. The positive energy you send in my direction makes a marked difference in my life and I will never be able to articulate just how precious that is to me. The internet can be such a cesspool of awfulness but then you all make it a source of strength for me. I’m so grateful to be connected to you in whatever ways I can be and please know that I am sending the best of thoughts to all of you as well.

<3<3<3

Shameless self-promotion: This time with more hot wet voting action*!

Okay. I am kind of squeamish about doing this, but the way I see it, the best-of-Memphis competitions have for too long been dominated by the same blogger, and it’s time to knock the tube-top obsessed off the leaderboard. Fire sale information and salacious and sometimes clandestinely taken pictures of tanned and tipsy women are great and all, I guess**, but there are other blogs out there that deserve some love too. And no, I’m not just talking about this one, although if you do vote for my blog, I will hug you so hard.

So anyway. Go here and vote! Be sure to fill out the majority of the ballot — write-ins are welcome — for it to count. I’m also nominated for best local Twitterer, so if you want to vote for me for that too, I will hug you twice and both times so hard, and then probably tweet about it.

Thank you. And may the best self-absorbed internet citizen win!

* Hotness and wetness may not be available in your region.

** Not really.

Now that my mom has a laptop

It occurs to me that some day she might decide to come read T&G. She knows it exists and has for years, and I think she may have seen it a time or two. But I don’t think she reads it regularly. She has said before that she would just as soon let me have my little private internet corner.

Now that we have gifted her with a portable computer, I feel like it may be only a matter of time before she finds her way over here and starts paging through all the things that I’ve written about my life and the family. And I hope she doesn’t take offense to my telling stories that may or may not be mine to tell.

I know she’s not going to like the cussin’. But, well, that’s just who I am. Filthy.

So, Mom. If you DO ever stumble upon my humble digital abode, do me the kindness of leaving a comment so I will at least know you’re around. There’s no need to lurk.

:)

Behold, yet another redesign

sayonara, T&G '09/'10

I should really stop redesigning my blog at 4 in the morning, but I can’t help it! I was checking up on all the Memphis blogs today — clicking through, not using my reader — when I noticed the lovely Ms. Lemonslush‘s snazzy theme and got serious theme envy. It is rare that I find a WordPress theme that I really, really like. And yet Bueno seems to be a solid, well-built, FREE theme with lots of customization options. WILL WONDERS NEVER CEASE. Designy bonus: These awesome Photoshop brushes.

I am considering installing new headers when the mood strikes. Kinda like Dooce does it, only amateurishly and without humor.

I’m still working out kinks, obviously. I’m not 100 percent sold on the Rockwell ChunkFive. I mean, I like it. But it’s the theme default, so I have a hard time letting it be the boss of me. ALSO, and this is a dealbreaker, it does not seem to want to let me use apostrophes or slashes in blog post titles. !!! and ???. There is a fix for this, but I can’t access it because I didn’t pay for the theme and therefore can’t get in to the Woo forum. Bollocks. Anyone know of a good fix? I am totally willing to ditch Rockwell if that is the issue. UPDATE: It was a cufon issue. And since I just learned what the hell cufon even means, I decided not to try to mess with fixing it and just disabled it.

I’ve got to give some TLC to the sidebar, which looks way more cramped than the proto version, since I expanded the main content area to be able to accommodate my HUGE FUCKING PHOTOS. I may need to take the entire content area wider since there is a lot of padding there on the left hand side. The sidebar just feels dumb when it’s this skinny.

I went through a brief but terrifying moment of panic at about 3:30 when, in the midst of FTPing the new theme via Filezilla, the blog starting giving me database errors and wouldn’t let me log in as an admin at all. Having accidentally killed my blog via Filezilla before, I was ready to vomit everything I had ever ingested. But, before I knew it, things were working again. Server reboot? Yeah, we’ll go with that.

So, sayonara, latest version of T&G with the hand-colored lettering. You were cute and quirky but you were built on a template I never could really get a handle on.

Let’s see what we can do with this one.