so, in working on a birthday entry for the journal, i decided to reread the entire year's worth of entries. over 300 entries, with an average of 1000 words each. whee ha... that's a lot of reading. and frankly, it's always more interesting to read about someone else's life than your own. ;)
it was a worthwhile exercise, tho. i realized a few things. i was struck by some themes and entries that are so blazingly obvious now, but at the time wasn't recognizing, even though i had written it all out in black and white (or tan and beige, or green and white... you get the idea). i got to revisit some of the writing that pleases me. i winced thru a few entries that seem overwrought and pretentious - a useful lesson in what i need to focus on. and some of the phrases made me laugh out loud. so (lucky readers) i decided to pull together a few 'best of' bits. :) and this would be the first bit.
i do wish i had screen shots of all my layouts... the presentation has evolved, just as i would like to think my writing has. first layout was a d'land pea green template, quickly modified to a Daria-themed sort of look. it was modest, but more personal. that stuck for a bit, then came the deep blue Magritte layout. in hindsight, it was clunky. i veered too far in the direction of 'a picture is worth a thousand words'. how was i to know that a picture of a door didn't mean a links page to everyone? ;) but it gave me a chance to play around with graphics and HTML.
then around the beginning of the year came the Zen layout. i'm most proud of that one, as it was the very first thing i coded from scratch with custom graphics and all. and i may go back to it at some point. oh! i very nearly forgot the rabbit one! the background was a little Charles Rennie Mackintosh graphic, if i remember correctly. it was... okay. sort of greyer than i meant it to be, for a spring look. and the latest is the purplexity you're looking at (word stolen from Madolyn, courtesy of a site she found the other day). i decided that the words really should be able to stand on their own. the next incarnation of the site will most likely have some small graphic touches... when i get around to it. ;)
and, thankfully, i have come closer to mastering the art of the paragraph break! rereading early entries - there's not much in the way of visual space. part of the learning curve is realizing you have to be kind to peoples' eyes.
so, of course, there's the obligatory first entry. if you feel truly inspired, you could go there and read from the very beginning. i'd recommend getting a large mug of tea first, if you do that. *g* hard to believe i've been doing this for a whole year. and i've been fortunate enough to only have had only one real run in over writing about my life, which has resolved itself. mostly, it's been lovely feedback from my readers.
it's been interesting to watch how people find this place. search engines are a big one. there is, of course, the infamous Bosnian Homer Simpson peanut butter porn page. i think that's my single most popular page. for the record, those were four discrete ideas. you'd be amazed at how many ways people can combine those terms. or maybe you wouldn't. and of course, the underwear exposition gets a fair number of hits.
now, why did i jump to this next on my little list? hrm. well, i've also jumped into running a few rings. seemed like a good thing to do. i run Every Damn Day, for people who try to write something substantial nearly every day. it also serves as a good kick in the pants for me. can't very well run that if i don't do the same, right? i've also got two fan rings - Cake or Death? for the fantabulous Eddie Izzard, and One Righteous Babe for the stunning Ani DiFranco.
those three i actually manage pretty closely. with nearly 300 people all told, it's a fair amount of housekeeping. it's worth it, certainly, for the chance to discover some wonderful sites. the other two i set up are self-maintaining, because i wanted the rings out there but couldn't take on much more. and they would be... Leonine and Gryffindor.
anyway, back to the journal... right. so this is a bit of a mish mash, me tossing together quotes and links. it's hardly a comprehensive review, but that wasn't the idea. it's just some stuff that i thought was worth reading (hope you think so too).
i've been worrying about my mom off and on all year. she's doing better these days, and has in fact been looking out for me. but that buzz of worry is always there for me. part of what that does is sometimes make the weekends feel like more work than the work week does. and the holidays have been a bit tough this past year.
there's really been a lot of family stuff. i've been struggling with my relationship with my grandmother. that one, i fear, just isn't going to get easier, largely because of who i am. she's a lovely woman, and i wish i could tackle the whole thing in a more positive way, because she deserves better.
and a few of the collabs have prompted me to delve into some other family stories. this one gave me a chance to get past the fact that my Aunt Sally died when i was very young. not that i'm ignoring that, but for the first time, i thought more fully about her as a person than as a sad story. it's not all sad, mind you. writing about my Aunt Nona was a lovely, sweet trip down memory lane.
i've also explored some kid memories, and gotten them down in words. i've found that the more things change, the more they stay the same. the beach has always been important to me. and i've been thinking about it a lot lately.
i stepped outside this morning, and there is was.
of course, there's the obligatory kid game - Punch Buggy. you probably had your own rules. we had ours. and we always played on road trips.
interestingly, i didn't really key into baseball until much more recently, even though it was always a big thing for my parents. my mom, when she was pregnant with me, would sit on the porch with dad drinking milkshakes and listening to the games. i've always loved milkshakes. (side note: she had lobster for dinner the night before i was born. i adore lobster. coincidence? she doesn't think so.) much to my mom's delight, i've turned into a rabid baseball fan. i love minor league ball, and try to get to see the Spinners at least once during the summer. and of course, i try to get to see my boys, the Red Sox, when i can. i still think that george's paean to baseball is the ultimate.
it also struck me that apparently, i've been fighting the fact that i am a Girly Girl for a very long time. it's popped up at least once a month, as i found out when i did a search on the phrase to confirm my impression. and i'm still fighting it. ah, but at last, i am approaching a sort of peace with the idea.
not a bad place to take a pause, i think. back with more later.