Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Happy Birthday, Blog!

last week, May 14, marked the 5th birthday of The Milla Times Journal. crazy, eh? five whole years of melodramatic ramblings and embarrassing gut spillage posted all over the interwebs!! and to think it all started with a post that read: “blah, blah, blah. testing, testing, testing.”

like many things in life, this blog started out as something very different than it ended up. five years ago, this website’s sole purpose was to satisfy a course requirement to maintain a dairy while i worked as a journalist in London. i had gone over for a six-week internship with Voice of America, courtesy of a work-abroad program sponsored by USC, where i was getting my master’s in journalism. the blog also served as a way to keep family and friends abreast of my happenings while i was overseas — first working that journalism job, then during a month-long hop on the Eurail that took me all over Europe.

i figured the blog would stop soon after i landed back in LA, but it just kept going and going, chronicling my last year in grad school, the graduation, a big breakup, three months of internet dating, the harem, finding a job, falling in love, then another big breakup, losing a friend, getting a puppy, and now owning my first home. mixed with that were recurring tales of drunkenness, depression, frustration and lamentation — sprinkled with some mighty bad photos of myself. in short, five years of self-obsessed drivel.

but why blog? why put your shit-stained laundry on the clothesline for all the world to see? i get asked this often, and while i won’t pretend to speak for all the bloggers in the universe, i think for a lot of us who keep a personal blog, its existence is as much for ourselves as it is for the readers. foremost, it’s a journal in the traditional sense so it’s fun for me to review older entries and see my evolution as a human. truthfully, i’ll read things i wrote five years ago, even one year ago, and want to barf. five years from now i’m sure i’ll be reviewing things i write today and feel the same thing. and that’s ok by me.

i’ve thought of removing some of the racier posts or deleting those with the most atrocious writing or even correcting the typos that burn my eyes and chip away at my skull, but i tend to leave them alone. i need them to learn from. i need them to keep me honest, to keep me comfortable with my imperfections. i need them to remind me that the world won’t end if i publish something against my better judgment. after all, this is only a blog on the internet. big whoop.

the public side of it is another matter. i understand that people will judge. they could find me to be a certifiable shithead, just as i could find those same people to be pathetic trolls whose only concept of love is rubbing peanut butter all over their bodies for their dogs to lick off while they eat their TV dinners and blast bloggers for having a viewpoint. see, i’m people. i will judge, too.

with that in mind, now seems like the perfect time to let y’all know that i plan to post some ads here, probably sometime this year. they’ll likely start as simple google ads and will hopefully not grow into those annoying ads that taunt you to catch a monkey for $20. i don’t anticipate making boatloads of money from these ads, but now that mama has a mortgage to pay, every little bit helps. i’d also like to give this blog the makeover i’ve been talking about giving it for ages. hopefully also this year.

i’ve begun to tag entries with a subject, a process that will take some time to complete as i’m rummaging through the archives so that every post gets at least one tag. so far, i’ve created 17 different tags that range from birthdays to holidays to music. to date, the tag with the most entries is dating, which has 19 posts to its credit, followed by whining with 13, and then breakups with 10. i know — how totally poetic. i expect the travel tag to pick up the most entries once i get around to tagging those early posts of my adventures in Europe. of course my favorite tags include the photos of the cuties, labeled with dogliness (seven entries), and Mo’s love notes (nine).

other blog oddities in case anyone cares:
  • this post is number 255.

  • the posts that have generated the greatest amount of comments, 36 total, are this one and this one.

  • the post that’s generated the greatest amount of emails was the one about my visit to the psychic in hawaii. i average roughly one email a month on that one. most just ask for her contact info — which is listed twice in the comments — but sometimes people share their own experiences of seeing her, which are usually interesting.

  • the posts i cannot bear to read are those that deal with Angela’s death, labeled with the death tag. always a buzz kill.

  • although i’ve broken this rule on occasion, i’ve vowed to never discuss details of my political beliefs or events that occur at my day job. the whys of this should be pretty self-evident.

  • to date, there have been two sorta stalkers, more like fans, who have emerged from this blogging experience. the first, of course, started out as commentator “Chris Knight,” who turned out to be my arch nemesis from high school, Marlin (aka Mo), now my spectacular boyfriend. the other (plexi, you still out there?) was a former coworker who sent me a sweet birthday e-card one year and asked me out for a drink. (never happened.)


last week i finally moved into my new house. it even looks new after all the work that’s gone into it. (photos to come in a few weeks once all the boxes are emptied). with the new house in tow, the blog turning five, my love of Mo growing by the day and a new position at my work that i’ll reveal more about later, i sense that this is the beginning of the next big chapter of my life. i know how absolutely cheesy that sounds and i wish i had better poetry to express it, but it’s a valid truth for me right now.

lately, i’ve been experiencing an intense blend of excitement, optimism, anxiety, tearfulness and wonderment — which means that i’m feeling like my usual self. i’m generally not a fan of big life transitions and emotional upheaval, but this one has been tolerable, even enjoyable as it’s engaged all my senses and propelled me into my future, which seems saturated with possibility. i feel alive, alert and so stupidly weepy that i could look at a flower now and cry.

the past five years have been sometimes terrific, sometimes terrible, and spilling their contents on this space has been greatly rewarding for me. plus, it’s cheaper than therapy. i can’t wait to see what the next five bring and only hope that you’ll continue to play along — leave some comments, click some ads, roll your eyes at my absurdity and maybe chuckle at my bad jokes.

thanks for reading.

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