Sunday, May 16, 2004

one year?

one of those things that bloggers do is note their anniversary. my only problem with that is practical. i don't know when exactly my anniversary is. i think it's around now, but i'm not sure

i guess it all goes back to my username, upyernoz, a name i chose because my first choice (mustafa) was taken when i opened my aol account in the mid-1990s. mustafa was the username i used on the college network when i was an undergrad (there's a story behind that name too. i don't want to get too discursive here, but the short answer can be found here) unfortunately, mustafa is also a real name so it's not to surprising that i didn't get to it first. so i went with upyernoz as part of my grass-roots campaign to bring "up your nose with a rubber hose" back into common american slang. later, i dumped aol but used upyernoz as my name at the new i.s.p. later still, i got afraid that someone else would take upyernoz from me from wherever i wanted to open my next email account, so i started cybersquatting--i opened an email account with the name "upyernoz" on every free email service i could find (don't try to email me at random upyernoz addresses, many have closed because of disuse).

my friend sarah is the one who first exposed me to the concept of blogging. i followed her site for 2 years, initially thinking that only my sarah and a handful of others were doing this blogging thing (sarah used to blog fairly regularly. but that was before she got eaten by her cats). slowly i discovered the wider blogisphere that went beyond sarah's diary-style blog--from political sites to sites with a more academic focus. eventually, i began to consider getting my own. i wasn't sure if i wanted to do it. i had a lot of rants in me, but i didn't know if i could keep it up. as i mulled the idea over, i realized in a panic that maybe someone would take my name if i waited much longer. (upyernoz is officially my username. it's like having a state bird). so i went on blogger's site, and grabbed just to make sure no one else did. that was sometime in may 2003.

i didn't even try to post for several weeks. and my first was not much more than a simple question. at that time i still didn't know if i even wanted a blog. every couple of days i'd post a little nonsense, still trying to figure out if i wanted to be posting at all. my first "real" post was in mid-june. basically, i wrote to try to get something that was bothering me off my chest. somehow googling up all the links and throwing my thoughts onto the internet really seemed to help. i still think i like that post better than anything else i've written here, though it probably means nothing to most other people.

actually, as i reread my first month's archives, there seems to be a lot of uncertainty about what exactly this blog was for. the funny thing is, one year later and i still don't know what the answer is. many of my entries are political rants, but not all. it really seems to depend on my mood. i see no point to commenting on every news story that catches my eye when so many others are doing a far better job than i could. i'm not trying to be the next atrios, but i'm not sure what exactly i am trying to do.

scout recently was kind enough to include me in his blogaround. he refers to my only in america entry as "lifestyle blogging." maybe that's what i do. i sometimes, but not always, include details from my own life to introduce rants. it seems only natural, i feel like i should explain why a particular issue bothers me, or at least, how it came up. also, when i use details from my own life i can be fairly confident that i am not repeating what everyone else has already covered. my life is safely mine. if i come up with some seemingly original political theory there is no guarantee that someone has already fully addressed it in some undiscovered-by-me corner of the internet.

the problem with "lifestyle blogging" is that i wonder if anyone would want to read it. my life may be safely mine, but, why would anyone else give a shit aside from a handful of friends? i don't have an answer for that. in fact, i find it easier to blog if i don't think about anyone ever reading it. at least while i am typing. afterwards, i ping trackbacks and check my hit counter obsessively.

so today is, quite possibly, the anniversary of the day that i cybersquatted this particular piece of the blogisphere. i don't know what i am doing here exactly. but, i suppose, i intend to keep doing it. maybe by next year i'll have this figured out.