On the road (foreshadowing)

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So I’ve kind of started pondering a pretty monumental road trip for this fall, the like of which I haven’t attempted in many years. No real details yet, but most of my ideas center around Winnipeg, and one of my drafts got me as far west as Alberta.

I know I have some readers in the prarie provinces, so if any of you want to remind me how boring I will probably find some of the vast spaces between all these cities (seeing as how I don’t much care for nature and the great outdoors) now would be a good time to rein me in a bit.

An alternate agenda would replace the western provinces with time in the US Midwest–specifically my first trip to Minneapolis in almost two decades. But I’ll probably still go to Winnipeg either way. It fascinates me. And after this year–what with the tenure process, all the teaching, and all the consulting work on the side–I deserve a big trip.

Inspiration includes this, which led to much geekerage and to this.

Otherstream at 20: 2013

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Despite an incredibly depressing start, 2013 turned out to be a really good year for me. I relocated to the house where I grew up, traveled a lot, and started having the slightest hint a social life again (which is about all I’ve ever really been able to stand anyway). And then there were the antidepressants–both the pills (which helped a LOT) and the cat with whom I had a brief relationship (which helped more than I might have thought as well). Music was a big help too.

The web stuff was maybe not some of my best ever, but that’s OK. Feeling like a human being again was nice.

January

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Otherstream at 20: 2012

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Let’s just say I visited some very dark places in 2012. I’d love to say I handled it with my usual good humor, but that might be a stretch. Maybe the best thing to say is that I lived through it. And lost weight. What i really hate is that the big entries on the site stopped being about anything other than me. The big anniversary comes on Wednesday.

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Otherstream at 20: 2011

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I thought this one was going to be harder to put together than it actually was. which says, I guess, that I’m finally over the worst year of my life. Or that I’ve gotten better at ignoring it. Or something.

In 2011, I lost two of the most important people in my life. Neither of them actually went away; they both just changed in ways that drastically altered our relationships. My ex and I split up after almost ten years, and my mom developed dementia. I’m not sure the website ever quite reflected how devastating this was to me. I actually wrote more about the latter than the former, but that doesn’t necessarily correlate with the proportionate effect of each. Sharing specific details about the breakup didn’t really seem fair or appropriate, although it is possible to read between the lines de temps en temps.

Despite everything, I was very successful at establishing my new career during 2011, and my October trip to Canada (the start of a new tradition) resulted in a lot of positive changes for me, not the least of which was the fact that i started listening to lots of new music again.

For the record, some of these posts were made public after the fact and did not originally appear in this same order (basically I “sneaked” them in retrospectively) so regular readers may have missed them.

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Otherstream at 20: 2010

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In 2010, I got my first tenure-track position (which is working out quite nicely, thanks), my ex and I recommenced living together full-time after five years of the bicoastal thing (that didn’t end well at all), and I didn’t write much of any consequence. Highlights follow on the march to the big anniversary on 13 January.

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Otherstream at 20: 2009

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In 2009, I got my master’s, got my first professional library job, thought a lot about cities, and bought a house in Pittsburgh. It was perhaps a more interesting year than I gave it credit for at the time. Anniversary in six days. Highlights from 2009 below.

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Otherstream at 20: 2007

 

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Past the halfway point now, and only eight days until the anniversary. Highlights and favorites from 2007 (the year I started grad school and actually started working toward having a real career) follow. I have to admit very little of it is especially entertaining or inspiring.

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Otherstream at 20: 2001

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Sorry for that delay. I didn’t create enough of these before I left on vacation, thinking I’d catch up on the road, but the “cut and paste” nature of these particular posts made that a major pain on the iPad. Twelve days till the anniversary.

So 2001 was the year in which I lost one of my oldest friends, had major health issues, and met the love of my life, among other things. And a surprisingly latge number of things still managed to annoy me. A pretty intense year, all in all.

Some highlights:

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Otherstream at 20: 1996

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13 January 2016 will be the twentieth anniversary of the site that became Otherstream. In a rather egotistical observance of that anniverasry, I’m focusing on one year per day in the twenty days leading up to the anniversary, linking to some favorite and important (or just inane and disposable) posts from each year. Today, we start with 1996.

Otherstream did not start as a journal/blog site–or even one named “Otherstream.” Planet SOMA was more of a static site with information about San Francisco neighborhoods, some dirty pictures, rants about annoying aspects of faggotry, and some biographical info about me. It was the early days of the web and frankly, any presence at all was was still much more than 99% of people had in that pre-Wordpress, pre-Facebook era when most people didn’t even know what a website was. i didn’t start doing personal updates till several months in.

Aside from the birth of the website, 1996 was pretty pivotal in other ways as well. It marked the end of traditional full-time employment for the next six years, the end of the car I moved to San Francisco with, and several interesting road trips. It was really the beginning of a new era for me.

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