Friday June 28th, 2002
Click here to
read that thrilling last entry, all about my new best friend at work!
The main page is crawling with
more doo-dads and gee-gaws than a Fisher Price Busy Box.
The little animated feet alone
run 43,897,621 MB (and they're not even wearing shoes,
forcryingoutloud). In the time it used to take for this stoopid page to
load completely, most of the audience had finished their popcorn
already and were beginning to head for the exit.
I can't say that I blame them.
And then there's the infamous
MIDI File From Hell. My pal Feef described it once as "a calliope on
crack" -- which probably hurt my widdle feewings at the time, me being
this Serious Web-Page Designer and everything -- but hearing it again,
a couple of years after the fact, I've got to admit she was right. That
's exactly what it sounds like. Which of course begs the question: who
in her right mind would inflict this kind of gratuitous noise pollution
on her poor hapless readers, day after day? (Especially if she expects
those same readers to send her wedding presents/buy her a new
bicycle/put her in the Diarists Hall of Fame, someday?)
I don't know about you, but it
all sort of makes me want to go back in time and dangle four-years-ago
Secra out that third-story window of hers.
By her FEET.
In case you weren't wandering
around this little corner of the cyber universe, four
years ago this week ... this is what *FootNotes* looked like
when it officially debuted. (Or a close approximation, anyway.) Purists
will probably notice that there is no Happy Panda Toaster, anywhere to
be found. When *FootNotes* hit the cyber airwaves for the first time,
the HPT was still some months in the future.
So was David, for that matter.
So were sobriety, and
California, and Executive Assitude, and shopping for the perfect
second-time-around wedding dress. Toe-clips probably hadn't even been
invented yet. (Or if they were, four-years-ago Secra couldn't have
cared less. All she wanted was a ride to the store, a four-speed
oscillator and a box of Mountain Chablis. More or less in that order.)
In fact, pretty much none
of the stuff that you come here to read about these days is represented
here. Instead, what you've got is a weird, sprawling hodgepodge of
calculated clutter and accidental art, cobbled together with glue stick
and propped up with toothpicks.
Which -- come to think of it --
pretty accurately sums up the state of my life in June 1998.
When *FootNotes* was born, my
sixteen-year marriage was officially over. So was the affair that had
ended my marriage. So was the affair that had spawned the affair that
had ended my marriage. (Confused? Try living through it.) Two out
of three Tots didn't hate me anymore. I was working on the third ...
although it was tough from a distance of four hundred miles. Every
morning I got on the bus and rode to my job at The Knife Company, where
I answered phones and mailed catalogs for nine hours a day. Every night
after work I got on the same bus and came home to my moldy little
apartment and sat alone in front of my computer for another nine hours.
Oh -- and I was drinking like a
fish. A very, very THIRSTY and DYSFUNCTIONAL fish.
*FootNotes* was pretty much the
only thing I had going on.
In the beginning, the website
was fueled primarily by alcohol and love gone wrong. That summer I
threw all of my flimsy, limited *Time and Attention Molecules* into
building what I secretly viewed as the perfect revenge vehicle. It was
supposed to make me feel better. It wound up having just the opposite
effect ... at least for the first couple of months. All of that
isolation and self-pity weren't exactly conducive to good writing (or
good web design choices). After awhile, even *I* was sick and tired of
reading me. Fortunately, by the time the summer was over, most of my
anger had burned off (along with my oven mitts) ... I was making one
last attempt at getting my life back on track ...
... and suddenly I was writing
*FootNotes* sober. To a responsive audience. For reasons other than revenge.
It's pretty much been that way,
This past year, especially, I've
felt a real connection to a lot of the nice people who stop by and
visit *FootNotes* on a regular (or irregular) basis. You were there
when David and I got married last
summer, for instance. How could I have gotten through the day without
your advice and your good wishes and your waterproof mascara coupons?
You were there through job changes and Tot crises and cancer scares ...
through bicycle thefts and bicycle replacements ... through sobriety
anniversaries and ant infestations and tragic Q-Tip misshaps.
(We were all hanging by
the same slender thread here, I
It's sort of been like having
three or four hundred of your favorite people drop by to see how you're
doing, every single day. Except that I'm not required to feed you, and
I don't have to throw a T-shirt on over my sports bra before I answer
It's been nice. I've enjoyed it.
I hope we can do it for another four years.
But in the meantime, if you'll
excuse me I think I'm going to go wander around my weird, sprawling
hodgepodge of calculated clutter and accidental art for a while.
There's a lot of stuff here that I haven't seen in a long time. (Look!
There's Gary Coleman! Have they stopped making jokes about him yet? And
Linus McAllister! I had a reader write to me once and ask where she
could make a donation.) I'm thinking that I might flip through the old Tree House photos ... maybe take a look
at the cyber crayon stuff ... maybe
even drop my old pal Manfred a
line, just for old times' sake. [(I wonder if he's still working in the
international rescue?) I might even go back and give Night of the Prairie Squid a
re-re-re-re-re-read. (If you've never read this one, by the way, I
highly recommend it. It's the perfect summer "junk-read.")
But first ... I'm going to turn
off the goddamn calliope-on-crack. It's driving me nuts.
Have a great weekend, everybody!
p.s. i'm thinking of keeping the little animated feet,
though. they're sort of adorably nerdy ... don't you think?