Yesterday was my tenth anniversary of blogging. I started the second month into my freshman year of college, which also would have been right after I joined Facebook. Away from home and beginning to learn new and exciting things, I think like most writers I desired an outlet that felt at once private and public: somewhere I could express ideas into the anonymous void of the internet, but also allowed for others to respond.
I’ve used a few blogging services over the years: first it was Blogspot, then WordPress, then temporary stints at Squarespace and Tumblr before becoming self-hosted with my own domain name. As I learned HTML and CSS I created a few simple designs along the way, but the constant fiddling got tiresome, so I just start using pre-made templates.
In honor of my ten years blogging, I went through my entire archive and picked out two posts from each year I thought were representative of my interests or writing style at the time. It was fun to see trends emerge and decline over the years: lots of Oscar-related umbrage early on, current events commentary in the middle period, and many more book and movie reviews in the last few years. I suppose that’s the fun/terror of keeping a blog or diary: it’s a living archive of where you’ve been, how you’ve changed, and what you’ve thought about at any given time. And it can’t lie.
These aren’t necessarily my best posts — just some choice memories, meditations, and meaningful mutterings from a decade of writing on the ‘net.
(I decided to exclude the posts that were originally published in my college newspaper; you can see those here.)
you’re coming alive to me — Just some freshman year philosophizing.
The Prestige — The first of many reviews I put online.
Soundtrack of the moment, part II — One of three “soundtrack of the moment” posts that provide a great snapshot of the music I was into and getting into at that time.
he’s very good — On my encounter with Henry Winkler.
Kristen Wiig = Hilarious — An appreciation of an exceptional SNL cast member.
Introverts: A Misunderstood Bunch — Still the blog’s most-read post.
Breaking News: Jesus Christ Registers As A Republican — My attempt at Onion-style satire. Definitely not as funny as The Onion.
The Ten Commandments Of Watching LOST In A Group — This was a thing at the time.
Sarah Palin is Not a Serious Person — She was a thing at the time.
On the River — A short essay on a kayak trip. If you detect a hint of Hemingway, it’s because I was reading a lot of him at the time, as overly introspective young men are wont to do.
7 Beautiful Movie Music Moments — Man, they all still get me.
Love And Illusion In Midnight In Paris And Me And Orson Welles — I’ve done a few comparative analyses of two films, but this one’s my favorite.
Bringing Old Orthodoxies to a Boil — A review of Fergus Bordewich’s Bound for Canaan and its modern implications.
Best For The Best: Nights of The Animal Years — Why I love one of my favorite albums.
Rutherford B. Hazy — In my ongoing quest to reading a biography of every U.S. president, Hayes has been my biggest surprise.
Silence is Beholden — Walking on silence in Shasta-Trinity National Forest.
Encountering Robin — On meeting Robin Williams and the burden of celebrity.
This Is Martin Bonner — A meditation masquerading as a movie review.
Wherein I Missed Third-Grade Field Day and Encountered Cosmic Futility — Exorcising some old demons as I walked through my grade school for the first time since leaving it.
No Quarter — I pillaged my U.S. state quarters collection for laundry fare, which my grandma would have found amusing.
The Shepherd’s Life — Some reflections on one of my favorite books of 2015.
How to Win My Vote — Still relevant on the eve of this terrible, horrible, no good, very bad election.