Wednesday, July 15, 2015

A decade of Afterglide

It was 10 years ago today that I wrote my first ever, extremly mundane blog post. I was vaguely familiar with blogs as a concept and out of boredom, I decided to try MySpace's blogging feature. Remember MySpace? Given the borderline "what I ate for breakfast" tone of that first post, I clearly didn't realize the creative potential of this platform at the time, but slowly I came to realize that I could make the same humorously profane observations online that I did offline with friends. Only here I could extend them, flesh them out, twist them, and add images and videos. Moreover, I could create characters, tell true stories of insane things that had actually happened to me, and even make up wildly tall tales of things that could (or should) happen. Most importantly, I reconnected with a love of writing I'd had since childhood but never managed to work into my adult life.

Of course, it's only fair to concede that halcyon years of this blog (and probably most other personal blogs from that time) are long gone. My core period of prolific posting was from 2005 to 2009. After that, offline interests and obligations took up more of my time, and my desire to spend countless hours on daily posts waned quickly. I realized in hindsight that my writing had shifted from being a purely fun, creative outlet to an exercise in feverishly crafting what I thought others would find funny or otherwise link to. The quest for hits and clicks had basically become a second full-time job.

What I'll remember and appreciate most about this site, aside from establishing an ongoing online identity, are the real world relationships that developed as a direct results of interacting with other bloggers (who can forget all those MNSpeak happy hours, Music Bingo Wednesdays at the Chatterbox Pub, and crazy drunken house parties?). While many of those connections have faded or disappeared over the years, a handful of those folks remain in my core group of friends to this day.

So is this a wistful epitaph for a blog whose prime is a distant memory? Given that I haven't posted in nearly a year, I think the "past its prime" part is certainly true. However, I intend to leave this site up for the long-foreseeable future and drop in from time to time if I feel the need to post some long-form thoughts on a topic or just get some bad photoshopping out of my system. Plus I still like to go back and read old posts (like last year when I commemorated the 10th anniversary of shitting down my furnace vent). Yes, from what I ate for breakfast to the gurgling high-velocity diarrhea that resulted, this certainly has been a truly end-to-end experience.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014


Here in Ye Olde Eagantowne, an outlet mall is opening tomorrow just a stone's throw from my home. I'm not thrilled about the increased traffic on the perimeter of my sleepy neighborhood (yet it isn't the end of the world). But I believe this accurately expresses my feelings.

Lyle Lanley: I've built outlet malls from Albertville and Grand Prairie to Forest Lake and North Camden and, by gum, it put them on the map!
Well, sir, there's nothin' on earth like a genuine bona-fide true and tried hundred-store outlet mall! What'd I say?
Ned Flanders: Outlet mall!
Lyle Lanley: What's it called?
Patty and Selma: Outlet mall.
Lyle Lanley: That's right! Outlet mall!
Townsfolk: Outlet mall... outlet mall... outlet mall...
Miss Hoover: I hear those things are awfully loud.
Lyle Lanley: It increases your tax base with a crowd!
Apu: Is there a chance they missed a consumer trend?
Lyle Lanley: Not on your life, my Hindu friend.
Barney Gumble: What about us brain-dead slobs?
Lyle Lanley: You'll be given cushy jobs.
Grampa Simpson: Were you sent here by the devil?
Lyle Lanley: No, good sir, I'm on the level.
Chief Wiggum: The ring came off my pudding can.
Lyle Lanley: Take my pen knife, my good man.
I swear, it's Eagan's only choice!
Throw up your hands and raise your voice!
Townsfolk: Outlet mall...
Lyle Lanley: What's it called?
Townsfolk: Outlet mall...
Lyle Lanley: Once again!
Townsfolk: OUTLET MALL!
Marge: But Yankee Doodle Drive's still all cracked and broken.
Bart: Sorry, Mom, the mob has spoken!
Townsfolk: Outlet mall...
Outlet mall!
Homer: Outlet—D'oh!