Saturday, March 30, 2013
Jamie has her say on 10 Years of Blogging
Jamie and I have been together for over 17 years, married for almost 13. Of that, 10 years has been spent online. She really never has to wonder what I'm up to or thinking because: there you go. Just check the post in the morning.
She's been a sport about her supporting role in this endeavor, and her level of joy at participation waxes and wanes, depending on what's going on. I will say, I found it pretty hilarious (and telling) that we essentially end our posts the same way.
I have been extraordinarily lucky to team up with a partner who is as patient and understanding not just about my hobbies, but about this endless blogging business of which she's been a part. She's the light of my life, my north star, all that jazz... Love you, pumpkin.
When Ryan sent out a request for reflections on his ten years of bloggership, I immediately thought - "what better way to toast the League than the League's own words?". I decided I wanted to go back through League of Melbotis and The Signal Watch and select the most memorable posts from his impressive run.
Holy smokes, ten years. Do you have any idea how much material that is? That's a LOT of blogging. I would have regretted this decision had it not been a joy to comb through the archives in search of my favorite posts. The hardest part was selection. My first pass through all ten years netted no fewer than 50 entries. Fifty seemed a little too much for a "best of" tribute, so I have narrowed it down to 10.
I am well aware that everyone has different opinions and some of my selections may seem strange, but I tried to nail down those posts which I immediately remembered or to which I had a significant emotional response. So without further ado, in chronological order, I present to you:
10 Posts of Note: A League of Melbotis/ The Signal Watch Retrospective
When Ryan fist started League of Melbotis in April of 2003, we had lived in the Phoenix suburb of Chandler for almost a year, had yet to make any friends aside from one of the guys I worked with, and were gearing up for another soul sucking Arizona summer. The blog was a great outlet for Ryan's frustration and talent for writing. Some of the more common earlier posts took the form of relaying our outings in and around the Chandler area:
1. The Chandler Jazz Festival
Ryan had an early segment where readers could write in and ask Melbotis (golden retriever and blog eponym) questions and "Mel" would answer them. Here's one of my favorite responses:
2. Dear Melbotis
Never let it be said the League doesn't like a good taste test. Fortunately, his readers seemed to agree. Unfortunately, this was not a good taste test. Ryan brought the visiting Steanso into the mix and they were both so sick after sampling such holiday treats as "brussels sprouts soda" that we all just went to bed early that night. Meeeeerry Christmas:
3. The Jones Soda Holiday Challenge with Special Guest Steanso
It is no secret that Ryan is a bit of a Superman fan. There are currently 180 and 211 'Superman' tagged entries on LOM and Signal Watch respectively if you had any doubt. This post makes me laugh because at the time I thought Ryan owned a crazy amount of Superman paraphernalia. AHAHAHAHAHAHAHA *breathe*. Also, it's incredibly cute:
4. How to Have a Super Day
By 2006, our situation in Chandler had not improved. I no longer worked at the job that got us to Arizona in the first place and there wasn't a good reason for us to stay so we made the decision one day to up and move back to Austin. I can honestly say 6+ years later, it was one of the best collective decisions we've ever made. There were many things we missed about Austin, not least of which were the friends and family we had left behind. Here was the first post upon returning:
5. Moving Back to Austin
Remember that time the League unintentionally started a feud with a local restaura-teur? Good times. After posting this review, we got a call at the house (which...Ryan wasn't even home and I had to deal with the guy) from the irate owner. Look, yes it was a brand new restaurant, but the place lasted 5 years with heavy traffic in spite of an unfavorable review from the League. The first controversial post:
6. The Story of Clambake Jake's
Right before Melbotis's 10th birthday, the vet found a cancerous tumor in his mouth. The tumor was removed and Mel made it to his birthday, and the big guy made it another year before succumbing to another tumor in his back. Of all of the many posts about Mel, to me this one stands out as the most poignant:
7. Mel V. Cancer
The summer that Ryan was 16, he worked at Chuck-E-Cheese. This post detailing his time there, was extremely popular with readers. It started quite the discussion in the comments section, with many folks relaying their own work stories:
8. Me and Chuck E Cheese
Then there was that time Ryan posted an excerpt from his fake "novel" that, despite being completely ridiculous and composed in about 30 minutes, was actually well written and highly entertaining. While intended to be a joke and subtle dig at the current vampire/ young adult sci-fi craze it was also a highly entertaining read:
9. The League's Great American Novel Excerpt
Ryan wrote tons of reviews over the course of 10 years - comics, television, movies, books. His review of the conclusion to Batman Brave and the Bold stands out among a collection of insightful critiques as honest and emotional:
10. Farewell to Batman Brave and the Bold
Well, that about wraps it up. Sorry if I left out your personal favorite - that's what tags are for, they're over there on the left. Congratulations, Ryan! Ten years is an impressive achievement for entertaining the masses. Thank you so much for all of your hard work.