Monday, December 22, 2008

Get Your Helmets On, I'm About to Take Myself Seriously

I always get a little introspective at the end of the year.

Maybe it’s the deluge of Christmas letters, telling me who bought a house, who changed jobs, and the progress of Little Sally’s rehab. Maybe it’s the cold, and all the corresponding time spent indoors. More likely, it’s because I realize I’ve closed out yet another year without the faintest clue what I'm doing. So things get a little sappy while I try to sort out my messy little life.

That's also because the end of the year is my blogiversary. I began this site in December 2002, as a platform to rail against the blatant sexism and haphazard plotting of 7th Heaven. Since then, it’s had four names, 380 posts, nearly 100,000 hits (since I started keeping track in '07), hundreds of comments, one forced hiatus (the Great State Shutdown of ’06), and several voluntary ones. Those 380 posts correspond to six years of a life lived in the silliest way possible: bad television, an impulse marriage, a life of empty leisure overseas, a divorce, new beginnings, several jobs, multiple breakups, amazing friendships, and busting ass in front of a Popeye’s. This site has seen me at my most self-absorbed (er, like this post), philosophical, outraged, silly, unapologetically feminist, and, of course, happiest.

I am both pleased and appalled to say that this blog is my most enduring and intimate adult relationship.

I wouldn’t be who I am without this site. Part of that is my need for a creative outlet: I doubt I want to be a professional writer, as I would find that sort of life very lonely. But I have somewhere safe to go where I can mouth off. I can try out those meaty, fun words I love so much, like “ignominious” and “gawp.” (Sad piece of Shannon trivia: as my vocabulary comes from crossword puzzles and reading, I can’t actually pronounce the majority of the big words I use here.)

I’m even more grateful for my readers. You people who click over to see what I’m up to, whether they’re friends, old classmates, random Swedes, hopping in via DC Blogs, or folks who found me by Googling, “my boyfriend thinks I’m high maintenance.” And I’m even more grateful for those of you who comment, who choose to be active participants in this site. I’m amazed by your humor, your support, and your ability to be both classy and crass all within the same sentence. I still get a little thrill every time a new comment pops up.

Moreover, some of you have hopped out of my keyboard and joined my real-life circle of friends. Thank you for enduring my bad karaoke, endless chatter, and inability to hold my tequila.

I’ve had a few trolls, some hate mails, and some dramas. I’ve dealt with some people who, frankly, suck. I’ve had to pay a price, here and there, to speak my mind and keep this little corner alive. If I had to do it all again, though, I wouldn’t change a thing.

I realize this sounds like a commencement speech, like I’m about to hang up my blog hat and bid you farewell. Fat chance. I’ll be here as long as you stop by to see me. And when you’re gone, I’ll type alone in the dark.

I am filled with gratitude and thrilled by my fantastic luck. Thank you, and I'll see you in 2009.


Lemmonex said...

Shan, might I be just a wee bit sentimental here myself?

I read you for ages before I even started blogging. I always thought you were hysterical, witty as hell and keenly self aware. I am so glad I now know you "in real life". Not only are you a fab writer, but you are a supportive friend, a trusted confidant, and you make awesome gin and tonic shooters.

Now, hop in my purse, woman. I see an adventure we need to take together.

lacochran said...

Aw, shucks. That was sweet.

Now quit it and start yer bitchin'.

Anonymous said...

My life is better for knowing you and knowing this blog is a part of that. Thank you for being a sharp satirist, engaging writer, and better friend than either of those.

Isn't there a bar stool somewhere we should be holding up soon?

Shannon said...

Lem - Holy cow, you've been reading for THAT long? That's sort of sweet. And creepy. But mostly sweet.

Lacochran - More rage soon, I swear.

Refugee - Backatcha, and that reminds me to post about that time I got a concussion falling off a barstool.

FoggyDew said...

You're right, it did sound like you were gonna leave us hanging. Don't ever do that again.

Ahhh, I remember the days of emails telling us Shannon had updated her blog. How anticipated those were. And I remember the last one saying, "Hey, I update pretty much every day so this is the last one of these emails." Never had to watch an episode of 7thH, but I still know what went on.

Thanks for the sentiment. Now get back to the snark.

Malnurtured Snay said...

I haven't been reading you anywhere near that long, but I do sometimes think I'd like it if you posted more.

Shannon said...

Foggy - I probably have a few more years of bitching in me. And back in the days of the announcement email, friends were pretty much the only readers.

Snay - Thanks for reading! Up until November, I updated every weekday, and sometimes more. I took a break after I lost my job, and am still getting back on track.

LiLu said...

You know how people are always like, "You inspired me to start blogging!"

You almost inspired me NOT to start. Because you are so fricking funny, I knew I could never compete.

Which is my roundabout way of saying, You are wonderful, and thanks for making me laugh each and every day.

Katherine said...

Railing against 7th Heaven? Really? Why does that make me want to hug you?

Shannon said...

LiLu - But without you, we wouldn't have TMI Thursdays!

Katherine - Seriously - this website started as a forum for heckling 7th Heaven. You can find the old recaps in 2002-2003.

Brett said...

I MUST go read those recaps ASAP!

I'm so glad I got to meet and share drinks with you in real life. Thank you for your snarkiness.

Anonymous said...

You had me at tequila. Can we go get some soon? Please?

Shannon said...

Brett/Frecks - one day I'll figure out why 40 percent of the comments here are about booze, and the other 60 percent are about sex.

Marissa said...

"I am both pleased and appalled to say that this blog is my most enduring and intimate adult relationship."

That is why I come here. I GOL'd. Guffawed Out Loud.

Dana said...

I've known you, what, almost 10 years now? I've known you longer than my marriage lasted (although since Fox is still my friend, he's been around since '93.) And you are one of the few people who has been knocked as hard in life as anyone but is still the same in the basic ways. You always will.

I put a request in for an Inaugural ticket, although the Al Gore connection means crap to my local Congressman. Wanted to make it three Democratic presidents in a row. But mostly I wanted to drag you to the Mall to freeze our asses off for an hour for the boring ceremony and then go to the pub. :D

Shannon said...

Marissa - does GOLing hurt? It sounds like it would hurt.

Dana - Dude, I am spending Inauguration inside a blanket fort, hiding until the unwashed hordes get the hell out of my town. But you're welcome to the couch.

Justin said...

I don't know how I found your blog, but I'm very glad I did :) I've been somewhat MIA lately, and it's kind of sad (at least for me!). TMI Thursday was awesome, and I hope there are many more where that came from!


Tina said...

Shannon - been in a funk here lately and not blogging myself but I always check to see what you have to say. That way even in this crappy mood I get at least one smile a day.

Shannon said...

Justin - Every day is TMI Thursday around here!

Tina - Aw, thanks. Hope you're doing better.

The Pumpernickel said...

Thanks for blogging. DC blogs is what made me want to start one myself, and I hope I'm able to keep it up as well as you.

Happy New Year!

Darian Carmichael said...


Thank you for being an inspiration for me to blog. I know that sounds kinda like, "you've inspired me to talk about myself", but that's not it at all. What I'm trying to say, is that by reading your blog, you've taught me that this is a viable format to get things out of my head.

You've also taught me that this is a double-edged sword, and with this freedom also comes responsibility and accountability. You're like the blogging sensei, and you've taught me that your Kung Fu is stronger than my Karate! Cranekick!

Shannon said...

Pumpernickel - You're welcome!

Darian - Thanks for your kind words. My kung fu mostly involves falling over, though.

suicide_blond said...

who are you kidding?? if you tried to quit we'd hunt you down and squeeze blog posts out of you!
for welcoming us..and making us feel cozy here in your corner of the blogosphere!

bh said...

I posted something similar on Lem's site, but for me, ya'll formed a dou of funny that kept me smiling as I saw my own marriage disintegrate. For that, I will always be thankful. I look forward to your making me clean beverages I've spit on my keyboard from laughing in 2009.

Happy New Year.

Shannon said...

Blond - Right now, I'm picturing posts popping out of my eardrums like angry confetti.

BH - I do make a fabulous bourbon slush...which is HELL to get out of a keyboard.