Monday, March 3, 2008


It’s taken me so long to start a blog. I read my first one in 1998. At that time, the internet was new, I was on dial-up in Kitimat, and I was fascinated by the semi-weekly musings of this college student in Michigan who loved squirrels, was prouldly straight edge, and battled depression. She was a great writer, and she was describing a time in her life that I could hardly wait to experience: university.

My fascination with the site went beyond the style and content, however. The real draw is harder to pin down. It had something to do with her bravery in putting herself out there, and a lot to do with the thrill of being party to something that should have been so mundane, in the form of a stranger’s personal musings. Public personalities in other formats, like TV, radio, even my beloved books, had been packaged to meet what were supposed to be my interests, and my engagement as a young consumer. To be engrossed in a character who didn’t even know she was aiming at me, well, that was a thrill, and I was hooked. The thrill of the choice, I guess you could say.

I couldn’t have known it at the time, but the things that made that website irresistible offered a tiny taste of the attachment that would blossom into one of the most complex and important loves of my life: the internet.

That original writer still maintains her site, but she has discarded the open, engaging tone, and exchanged it for a grudging, curmudgeony kind of style, as when she states “This is not a blog,” and you feel like she's saying "Get off my lawn." She has become more guarded, and it seems to me that she might be a bit squicked out to think that although I only check in every 6 months or so these days, I’ve still been following her progress for over 9 years. That’s a long time. I hope the squick would be somewhat tempered by the fact that her musings meant a lot to me when I was lonely, 16, and not very nice to myself. Besides that unknowing emotional support, her website was also my door to a brave new online world, and a very steep learning curve.

All these years later, I’m not sure what I would read, who I would be in touch with, or what I would listen to (in terms of music or opinions) if it wasn’t for the internet. Sometimes I feel guilty that I give very little back. I know the internet is hardly lacking for content, but still: my ego says it misses me. Also, I know I should be writing more.

So, here’s the challenge. Two entries a week. Something besides what I had for lunch. Something besides these grandiose musings. Something in between, even if it’s moot.

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