October 23, 2001
For Better Or For Worse
the ISP crashed this morning, my e-mail was running 4-to-1 against the
I finally managed to get everything up and running again, just before
lunchtime -- at a cost of $39.95, two forty-minute phone calls to
sullen "Customer Service" representatives, four-and-a-half hours of my
life and my two best fingernails ...
my mail was still running 4-to-1 against the new design.
complaints seem to be pretty evenly divided between the stuff that was
missing -- Where are the cartoons? What happened to the index
list? Why did you get rid of the bottom links? -- and the new
stuff that had replaced the old stuff -- I hate the sidebar!
I hate the calendar! I hate the self-important blurbs! The
handful of readers who were complimentary were very, very
complimentary. The rest: not so much.
the way it goes.
upset about the negative reaction so far? Disheartened? Disillusioned?
Ready to pack up my pail and my shovel and stomp out of the sandbox in
Not at all. And I'll tell you why.
day -- or as close to "every day" as I can manage, given the complexity
and the unpredictability and the overall weirdness of my schedule -- I
upload the contents of my head and heart onto the Internet for your
reading pleasure. And every day, you reward me in kind by telling me
what you like, and what you don't like, and which things you would like
to see changed, and which things you hope stay the same forever, and
what sort of 'message' you've gotten from the most recent entry, and
what sort of 'message' you're sick to death of hearing about, and how
ridiculously self-involved and oblivious to the world you think I am,
and how you're thinking about dumping out that half-bottle of
Smirnoffs/quitting the job that sucks all of the joy out of you every
day/dragging your old Schwinn out of the garage and riding it around
the block this afternoon.
give: you give back.
sort of like a marriage. Except that we're not bound to each other by
law. (And except that you don't get to see me naked.) And the truth is
that I believe our writer/reader "marriage" has evolved to the point
where it can withstand stuff like ISP crashes, and temporary hiatuses,
and occasional journal-entry misfires (see: Sliding
Doors fiasco) ...
and the semi-annual design remodel.
in this thing together. For better or for worse. And I value that, and I value you, as readers and friends, more
than I can express.
of this -- and because I know that you know that
the writing is always going to be the most
important thing to me: layout is just window-dressing -- I know that
you'll indulge me while I satisfy my craving for creative change. I
know that you'll bear with me while I continue tinkering with the
design. (I haven't decided whether I like the sidebar, for instance. To
my eye it seems a little *busier* than I'm normally comfortable with.
Plus it's going to generate more work for me every day -- and seeing as
how I'm starting a new job tomorrow morning, and I'm already stressing
over how I'm going to find time/energy/motivation to write in the days
and weeks ahead -- adding MORE WORK to the journaling process may not
be a good thing.) I know that you'll be patient while I fix the stuff
that isn't working properly yet. I know that you're not going to hold
it against me if I eventually decide to go back to the old format ...
or if I decide NOT to go back to the old format ... or if I decide to
just scrap the old format AND the new format and go someplace completely
That's the beauty of this particular *marriage.* I get to do the stuff
I want to do, and if you don't like it ... I STILL
get to do the stuff I want to do! Just like my *other* marriage.)
all else, though, I want to tell you that I find it flattering and
life-affirming and lovely that so many of you would even give
three-fifths of a crap what *FootNotes* looks like in the first place
... or that you would take the time to write and tell me so. It's only
a website, after all. Yes, I have a lot of time and energy and *emotion
molecules* invested in it. Yes, it's important to me, on all sorts of
levels. But it is, when all is said and done, just a website -- a tiny
insignificant satellite in the vastness of the cyber universe -- and
knowing that people out there have an opinion about it, one way or the
other, is just about the nicest compliment any Internet journaler could