noasi

Six years of WTF?

Blog

Today marks the sixth anniversary of my blog. I started out at hodsden.org/s/ as a drupal install where I was just throwing up (sometimes literally) notes about what was going on with my life, then moved to kitthodsden.org where it is now. It'll be moving again in the next few weeks, but, well, that's a story for next month, next year, next decade (unless you're Keith, at which point the years don't mark the end of the year, but rather the beginning of the next year, and the decade doesn't end for another 389 days, and the site will move only in the next month and year).

In that time, I've had, to yes, everyone's surprise, only two jobs. Two jobs, two dogs, two houses, two passports, two wedding parties (though only one wedding), two cars, two sets of friends move away, and too many other exciting things to cram into lists of two.

This year, however, I kinda stalled. Not because there weren't exciting things happening in my life (well, okay, no there weren't any exciting things happening in my life, but really that's an aside), but for another every distinctive reason. I feel I've finally come to terms with that reason, and figure it's time to start spewing again.

But wait. Wait wait wait wait. Yes, I DO want to tell you about that reason.

Wanna hear?

Okay, but it's going to take some backstory.

When I was dating Guy Fenner, I commented to him at one point that all of his friends were amazing people. They all shared the same essence that he had, that of a good person. Or, as I write it, a Good Person™. I don't know exactly how to describe the characteristic otherwise, but it's something like the fundamental desire to be a good person, to do the right thing, to leave the world in a better state than when they came in, to see the good in situations, to want to improve as a person, friend, lover, spouse.

Guy commented back that he knew what I meant, and that he chose his friends with that in mind. He chose not to dwell on the negatives in life, but to concentrate on the positives. He chose to spend time with people that made his life better, made him a better person, instead of those who dragged him down. Which is not to say none of his friends had bad times or rough patches, they probably did. But the fundamental personality trait, to want all of this to be better, that helped them through the rough times.

Kris very much has that personality characteristic. It's part of his charm.

A long while I ago, I chose to follow Guy's way of choosing friends, and have some amazing friends in that list. Yeah, I thought about listing them all here, but my fingers started bleeding from all the typing before I was even close to being done, so, yeah, you're on this list. I have amazing friends. That I have so many incredible friends makes me want to cry with joy at how lucky I am. Okay, there you go. I'm crying now.

IMG_4773.JPG

Unfortunately, to the flip side of this was a poor decision on my part to become friends with someone who didn't fit in the Good Person™ category. If you go back through the various posts on here, you can probably figure out who it is (and if you do that, I assure you, you need a life. A real life. Go outside and play). Said person was the second true instance I've encountered and recognized (belatedly, in this case) as an emotional vampire.

I think I am more angry with myself for letting this person into my life. I was so desperate for a female best friend to replace the various ones who have moved away either physically or emotionally in the last few years, Lisa, Kate, and Megan, that I didn't really see the forest for the trees with the problems of her personality. And yes, the draining, tiring, depleting emotional vampire was a woman. Let's call her Eva.

When I spent time with her, the world became bleak.

When I spent time with her, she thought it was okay to lecture me on what I was doing wrong, even though I was doing things the way she wanted them done.

When I spent time with her, no changes seemed possible. Every problem was the end, no solutions were viable. "I can't do that." "That won't work."

When I spent time with her, the most common words out of her mouth were "I hate my life."

When I spent time with her, all she would do is complain.

It was so draining. It started getting to the point where I became the woman no one wanted to spend time with because all I would do is complain about HER life. It sucked. I hated her life, too. I'd cry to Kris on how this was not what I wanted, but I didn't want to give up on her, she was my friend.

At which point, Kris finally asked me, "Why? Why are you still friend with someone who has done this to you?"

Why indeed?

Around June, I broke off contact with Eva.

I blocked her on Facebook.

I blocked her on my IM clients.

I added a filter to send any emails from her to /dev/null.

I removed her information from my cell phone.

And, I stopped writing on my blog. She used to read my blog non-stop. And IM me when I hadn't updated on a day. I didn't want to share my life with Eva anymore. Unfortunately, I felt that posting here would give Eva fuel, for her to come back to me and say, "you said this, but it conflicts with this you said," which was a habit of hers: to point out every discrepancy that someone said. Becaus, you know, nitpicking is a sport in her world.

Sadly, by not updating to avoid Eva, I feel I lost touch with everyone else who read my blog. My grandparents don't know what's going on in my life, because I'm not writing. Heather's moved to the City (did you even know she was back with us from August through September? probably not BECAUSE I DIDN'T WRITE ABOUT IT), so she doesn't know what's up with Krikitt Downs any longer. I've probably completely fallen out of Mike and Kate's and Ben and Lisa's reading lists, because I've posted so infrequently. Doyle never read this (who has time?), but Steffi did. I feel like I've lost touch with most of the people who are so dear to me, because I stopped writing. Because, well, as much as this site is for me, it's been an amazing way to keep in touch with everyone else. And I miss those everyone elses. A lot.

So, hello everyone. I'm back. Year 6 was crap. I plan on having year 7 be amazing. Just you wait to see what I have in store for you.

Funny thing happened today

Blog

A funny thing happened today, while I was readying today's long winded post about something random that happened to me last night... I sidetracked myself and, as I do most days, googled for "kitt" A few weeks ago, I made it to page two (holy crap, that's awesome, page 2? WOW!), which had me so so so very excited.

Today, I found myself on page 1. I was so excited, I nearly peed my pants. Okay, right, I'm already ON page one for the search "old ladies pissing" because I keep pissing off old ladies, and page one for the search "sprint 8" (but you knew that, yay Andy!) and page one for "why did Rob Start have to die?", but, come on, none of them are quite the achievement as being on page one for "kitt".



I had Doyle confirm, and yep, I'm there.

I'm going to bask for these 10 minutes before the Google Dance happens, when the algorithm realizes the error of its ways and drops me back to page 5. Until then, OMG, I'm on page 1! WHOO!

Happy blog birthday!

Blog

Five years ago today, I installed a copy of Drupal on my server, and decided I was going to start writing about my days. Having spent most of my childhood, adolescence and early adulthood trying to forget my life, I decided that, no, I wanted to remember it. I could have kept all of my life in journals, paper bound books that I love so much, but that wouldn't have enabled me to search for entries very easily, nor cross reference them, nor delete them without ruining the book.

More importantly, even though this site is for me, it's helped me become closer to my friends and family. Instead of fumbling for answers to "so, what's been going on in your life?" they know what's going on. I often wish more of my family would keep journals so that I could know what's going on in their lives. I think I've managed to recover from the initial "Wait, how do you know that?" freak-out that bloggers have until they become used to the fact that having a personal blog means your life is no longer private, and have come to enjoy being able to relate parts of my life to the similar parts of my friends' lives.

So, happy birthday, blog. Here's hoping the next fives years are as memorable.

P.S. Yes, you should post a comment, saying hello. I'd love to know you're out there.

P.P.S. Holy crap, that's a lot of writing. Maybe I did have something to say.

I give up

Blog

So, I give up. I was trying to back post all of the entries since mid-August, but most of the entries were incomplete at best. At some point, you just have to say, "Hey, this is what it is" and move on. I might fill in the gaps, but really, I just wanted to post about my romantic dinner with Mirabelle from last week, and all the rest of it was just holding it up.

Well, that and a chat with James (of blog naming fame) last night. He commented that even though he knows about all the various details about things I've done over the last few years since working with him, he doesn't feel like he is really connected to me any more. Which is true, since I see him far too rarely than my like of him would suggest I'd see him.

Body language, too, is important in communication, he further commented. Sure, you can read what someone writes on a website, but without the intonations and inflections in the voice, and the facial expressions and body language that accommpany the words, you don't receive the full story. He needs that to be really communicating with someone.

I suspect that goes especially when talking to people who do full-body talking, as Paul has on more than one occasion accused me of doing. Like it's a bad thing that my stories require the use of arms and legs to fully tell, or something (it isn't, and you just missed my rolling my eyes when I said it, and the smirk on my face. Or maybe I did one of my "Vicki" faces, as Kris calls them. I am a woman of many communication styles).

Paul has agreed to work through the Yale Death class I've been a little slow to start, but haven't given up on completely, with me. I was hoping to find someone near by to "take" the class with me, but really, I don't have anyone whom I can do the all night b.s. philosophy sessions with the way that Paul and I used to in the wisdom of our high school years. The folly of youth, mixed with hormones? Yes, THOSE people know what philosophy can be. So much more than we adults pretend to know.

I'm oddly enthusiastic about the class. I wonder if I could get some local friends in on it, too. If I could, I'd be able to convince Paul to come up here for our talk sessions (bribing Gena, of course, with free babysitting and some sort of spa visit).

Of course, my friends might be mad at me for bringing in someone who can philosophize all of the rest of us into corners.

Year and a half

Blog

On my task list for over a year and a half was to move my photo albums from my old gallery host to http://kitthodsden.org/. Having finally finished writing up all of my notes for the Grand Canyon, I wanted to send my photos out, but wanted them on this site, not the other one.

Might have been longer than a year and a half. I'm happy to have finished it, as I can now integrate the gallery install with my drupal install. Whoo!

Now off to write my custom gallery code...

That didn't take long

Blog

All of what, two weeks after I started my quest to become the #1 Kitt on Google (oh, did I forget to mention that part?), I have not only shot up to the front page on such esoteric topics as waiter walks, dyson air blade phx (#1 baby!), and what do you do when you can't go outside (duh! read my blog!), but I've also managed to become the target of a whole bunch of blog spammers.

Whoo! What fun!

Now, I'm 100% sure I haven't managed to block all sources of spam into the site and out of the site, but I've been plugging when they happen. Thankfully, a craptastically large number of people have addressed the issue of blog spam. They've developed a few tricks that make blog spam considerably less of an issue.

So, if you're asked to freshen your arithmetic skills when you try to comment next, embrace the moment. I mean, really, how often do you have to add in your head these days?

Terrified

Blog

Okay, I've done it.

I've finally done it.

Though, I am, admittedly, still quite nervous about it.

Here's what I did:

1. Upgraded my old site from Drupal 4.7 to Drupal 5.5 (no big deal).
2. Enabled anonymous users to add comments to my posts (you know, without logging in, a big deal)
3. Removed the search engine don-t-search-my-website directive (really, really big deal - once you're in the search engines, you can't get out, even after you die).

Most people won't notice. Actually, 99.9999999841% won't care either. I do. I care. It terrifies me, like you wouldn't believe.

But, I've been wanting to do this for a long, long time now, and this is the way to do it.

I'm still unsure if I want to use kitthodsden.org or hodsden.org, so they both point to the same place. Hey, maybe you can help me. What's your opinion? You can actually post a comment now. Without logging in even! What a deal!

Happy 3 years!

Blog

Much to my surprise, I realized a day late that I've been writing (bah, blawgging) here for three years.

Three.

Years.

In those three years I've quit my job, married, had three children, bought four properties, built a dozen remarkably successful websites, started two companies, fought through one of the worst depressions of my life, won a national championship and earned my doctorate degree.

Oh, wait.

That wasn't me.

Screw the kids, didn't have any of those. Haven't bought any real estate. Not sure if the websites have been successful, but I built them. Started only one company. Did win the national championship, but I didn't actually play during that series. And, I haven't taken more than a class here and there for a long time.

But, I did win that depression battle.

And that's a victory in my book.

That, and I have a much better record of what the heck I've been doing these past three years than any other part of my life. Some of it bad, some of it good, some of it absolutely amazingly fantastic.

All of it me.

Happy three, NoaSI.

Fixed some site issues

Blog

Fixed a few site issues this morning. The problem with fixing one issue is that there are always a billion other things I can do with the site. I would really like to do other things today besides sit on my ass, though.

Today, I fixed the site contents link. I upgraded the alphaindex module to 4.7, before I bothered to track down the original source. I found it at urlgreyhot.com, which was indeed listed at the top of the module file. An upgraded verson is available on urbanfalcon.com, so I downloaded that, reapplied my additional features and installed.

Voila! A working site index. Yay!

Finally making progress!

Blog

Whoo! I'm finally starting to make progress on this site, both with installing already written modules and writing new modules. The site doesn't look exactly what I'd like it to look like (still having CSS issues) but starting to work them out.

I've installed the quotes module (you can see the rotating quotes in the menu/sidebar). I've also installed a few other modules to play with them (throttle, article, polls).

I also finally finished writing my first module: On This Date. Currently it displays older content that was published on this site "on this date" in the past. When a site has been around for a longish while, it'll display links to nodes (blogs, articles, book pages) that were created a some fixed time ago (ideally a year ago). A problem occurs when the site isn't old enough to have content from a long while ago. It currently has the option to display content from a week, month and a year ago, as well as limit the number of links to content on this date.

I think most people would want to add historical footnotes like, "On this date 100 years ago, the Wright Brothers flew the Spirit of St. Louis at Kitty Hawk." It doesn't do that. Perhaps I'll write that module, too. Call that one "onthisdate" and have a list of events that have already happened that are selectable, then rename my current "onthisdate" to "onthisdatesite". Maybe include them both on the same module?

Eh. <shrug />

Talked to Mike Gull about possibly using Drupal for a rewrite of the UPA site. If I get proficient at writing modules, it'll make pushing for Drupal a lot easier. Sometimes I think, "Poor Mike" - he has a lot of responsibility for work he's been roped into. Hopefully it'll all work out well.