I started reading cpratt's journal late in 2001 and used it to follow him and danlmarmot on the months-long trip they made to Australia in 2002. By then I was also following the non-LJ blog of my friend Steven -- masoo -- which currently features an entry with a long quote from Will Bunch about the role that the war in Iraq may have played in cutting federal funding for flood control in the New Orleans area. And I was also reading around in other blogs, on and off Live Journal.
By the time 2003 came around, I realized that I wanted to write something about the blogging phenomenon. So in the spirit of all those path-breaking participant observers doing ethnography, I decided to experiment with a blog of my own. While I've never given the Live Journal vs. non-LJ divide as much emphasis as some people do, I did think about following Steven's lead. In the end, though, I decided that I liked the commenting feature I'd experienced reading cpratt and danlmarmot's journals too much to go outside the Live Journal fold.
Still, it took me the better part of the year to finally take the plunge. My first entry gives a pretty good sense of what was going on in our lives two years ago. Skylar was already one of the most intense people you'll ever meet. Those of you who now read me regularly might recognize the story I tell in that first entry from a reference I made a few weeks ago in an entry featuring the image of a Zip-Loc baggy with a tiny, green Christmas tree inside it. The differences between the everyday life of the Nicolini-Bertsch household as described in August, 2003 and the one as described in August, 2005 is not as great as one might suppose. Indeed, the biggest change may be that back then I was following the San Francisco Giants in a pennant race and now I can hardly bear to contemplate their horribleness.
Indeed, the biggest change between my life than and my life now is the fact that my partner and I both blog on a regular basis. Part of my motivation for starting De File was too show Kim that it was a cool thing to do. That plan worked, amazingly. She began keeping her own Live Journal in October, 2003. Blogging together has done wonders for our relationship, all in all, even if it has also been the catalyst for pretty significant changed within it.
Here's the tally for my two years on Live Journal:
• This is my 1200th entryKim is fond of saying that it's hard for her to read her early blog entries because she was so much sloppier and unsure of voice back then than she is now. I see less of a break than she does. And, when it comes to contemplating my own blog, I see almost no break at all. While my life has become more complicated over the past two years, with the exception of the self-conscious experiments I perpetrate from time to time my writing has changed very little since August, 2003. I'm less free now in my criticism. I name fewer names. I conceal my dark moods more artfully. But at the level of the sentence I don't seem to have made much progress. Not that I'm unhappy with that realization: I enjoyed rereading entries from my first year of blogging just now. If you're ever extremely bored, you might even profit from scanning them yourself.
• I've posted 2,436 comments
• I've received 2,702 comments
• The most entries I've posted on a single day was nine, on March 21st, 2004, the first of which features a poem that precedes my "mid-life crisis" poetic flowering of this past spring by a whole year
• The first person I persuaded to start a Live Journal and my first LJ friend was elizabeg, who followed right on my heels from her then new home in the City of Angels
• I didn't tell anyone about my blog at first, but cpratt had found out by the 5th of September and gave me a royal welcome.
• So far I've met four people in the flesh whom I got to know first in the world of Live Journal -- danthered, bitterlawngnome, _luaineach, and derdriu -- and several others whose names I'd seen in comments on my LJ friends entries prior to a face-to-face encounter, not to mention the inimitable Mr. D, who entered our lives as a reader of Kim's journal
• The last day for which I failed to post an entry -- I had to fix the date for one I posted from Washington D.C. in July because the time zone change made it seem like I had missed a day, inspiring mild panic in my family members -- was September 5th, 2004.
• I'm not sure which entry received the most comments, but I know that the total was around 25
• The first day I included a meaningful graphic in De File -- I used a tiny graphic of a soup can in the fall of 2003 for some reason -- was on February 1st, 2004, when I first extended my archival impulse to the realm of family photographs.