I started blogging on March 27, 2002. And why not?
My old Blogspot site got hijacked back in Nov. '03 by a lying, cybersquatting piece of garbage, but a lot of the archives are still available at the Internet Wayback Machine. Here are my first few days. If you'll forgive me for quoting myself, I have to laugh at this early prediction:
...you can still make money off the Web, if you're willing to bust your ass for a few years first. And if you define "money" as "any amount of money, no matter how small."
Nostradamus, eat your heart out! Well, beats digging ditches.
Just scrolling through those first few days... God, what a nattering boob I was. Unlike now, ha ha! I was telling people about Achewood way before you'd ever heard of it, too. And I still don't watch much Fox News. (Especially not Red Eye, weeknights at 2 a.m. EST!)
So here's to 5 more years of talking a lot of horse apples. [clinks glasses with nobody] And now, since the traditional gift for a 5th anniversary is wood, I'm going to watch some porn (just picked up Wild Logs, Music and Rearlicks, and The Last Wring of Scott's Gland). While I'm taking care of that, go check me out at Blowing Smoke and the Daily Gut. Please?
Well, you may throw your rock, hide your hand
Workin' in the dark against your fellow man
But as sure as God made black and white
What's done in the dark will be brought to the light
It's a silly thing to take solace in, probably, but you just know she'd be loving it.
Does anybody know what this Furtick guy is all about? I tried reading a few of the Technorati links about him, but it just made me more confused. Maybe it's some sort of prank? (Take the "rti" out of his last name.)
In other news, Maia is a really smart, thoughtful kid.
Today's Self-Aggrandizing Fun Fact: Cathy Seipp used to call me "The Funniest Man in the Blogosphere(TM)." I say this not to brag, but to clear up the common misconception that she was always right.
Obits today at the Washington Post,
New York Times (will link when it's live) (or maybe not; their loss) (finally!), New York Sun, Associated Press, Village Voice, USA Today, and probably other places by the time you read this. And a mention on some Faux Noise Channel show called Red Eye, hosted by this dummy named Greg Gutberg. (Did you know he calls his mother every night? Exhibit A!)
Even if I can't go to Cathy's funeral today because it would involve exposure to sunlight and three-dimensional women, I'll be there in spirit(s). Although I'm half-convinced that this is all just an elaborate hoax to "game" Technorati into launching her to #1, and she'll have a hilarious column about it next week. "Greatly exaggerated," she'll gloat. And we won't stay mad at her for long, what with the universe making sense again and all.
P.S. Luke Ford: "What would be the right book to take to Cathy Seipp's funeral?" In his case, I recommend the DSM-IV.
P.P.S. When I look back at the nice stuff she said about me (as is blogger custom), I don't think I realized at the time what it meant. "Hey, that's a really cool thing to say. What a nice person. Okay, next dick joke." Thinking about it again now, knowing what I know about her life and career, reading all the amazing tributes over the last few days by all the other people whose lives she touched, it's staggering that somebody like that thought so highly of me. Completely humbling. I realize I sound like an asshole and I'm not really getting it out right, but I'm honestly trying to say something about her and not me. How about this: It's kind of like Clark Kent telling you he's a big fan, and then years later you find out his secret identity.
It's unbelievable that the whole time I knew this woman, she was living on borrowed time. (Not that a single one of us isn't, but she'd been given a specific return-by date. Which of course she ignored 10 times over.) I wish I'd appreciated her more. I wish she wasn't dead.
P.P.P.S. More thoughts on Cathy, this time from people you've actually heard of.
Jackie Danicki just pointed me to one of the very first posts at Cathy's World, where Cathy said something really nice about me* but couldn't link to me because she didn't know the HTML yet. So of course, being the self-Googling, link-whoring ass I am, I showed her how to do a hyperlink so she could give me the extra traffic and justify my bloggery existence. The rest is history! I'd forgotten all about that. Four years ago, man. Goddamn it.
And then there's a thing I wrote about her a few months later, back when I had this dumb idea that people would buy a monthly Paypal subscription to my blog in exchange for me writing a 100-word essay on the subject of their choice**. Cathy's chosen subject was, of course... Cathy!
This is helping, I think. It's helping me, anyway.
*And no, jimtreacher.blogspot.com no longer exists, for reasons I'm not going to go into. Especially not this week.
**The name of this experiment was "Treach-Whore," and it was not a big success. But a few people were nice enough to humor me, and Cathy was one of them.
I'm reading all the various tributes (she's #1 at Technorati, which is as it should be) and I forget who linked to it, but it's great to re-read her Jan. '06 slapdown of some pompous tool from the New York Times. Sorry if that doesn't narrow it down, but I don't feel like typing out his name. Anyway, I barely even remember what the dispute was about -- somebody at the NYT called Cathy about some story, and then Cathy published on it before that reporter did, and OH NOES -- but he arrogantly ordered Cathy not to publish his insulting e-mail to her, and here's part of her reply:
Yesterday's email: "This is NOT NOT NOT for publication, it is private. If that is not acceptable to you please delete without scrolling down to read."
Those are instructions, not a request, despite your claim that you "asked," despite the "please." You asked? Like in a question? Wouldn't that need a question mark? That thing down near the shift key and at the end of these sentences? In any case, I'm under no obligation to either obey your instructions or grant your request.
As you put it, after considering and then declining to invite me to one of your "well-attended lectures" because you realized I would "choose to learn nothing" (a rescinded offer that leaves me somewhat less than heartbroken with disappointment): "The reporter grants any confidentiality privilege to the source and does so at his peril." Right. Your emails to me made you a source, as I suspect you actually know. I did not grant you any confidentiality privilege.
My favorite part of your email:
"Seipp grades for honesty: F and F"
"Seipp grades for accuracy: F and F"
Gosh, Miss Brooks, I'm sorry I failed your class. The thing is, though, I don't remember enrolling.
She was the best. I almost hope St. Peter gave her some attitude on her way in yesterday, just so she could set him straight.
P.S. Bill Peschel says that somebody needs to publish an anthology of her work, which sounds like a damn good idea to me. Kill a Tree for Cathy!
She died this afternoon at 2:05 p.m. God had better cancel His dinner plans, because He's about to get an earful. If He knows what's good for Him, He'll just shut up and do as she says.
Cathy Seipp is still hanging on, and according to her friend Sandra Tsing Loh, she's doing it to mess with all the "firsties!" bloggers who've counted her out already. Yes, a few of the guest-posts on Cathy's blog have slipped into past tense when referring to her, but if you just concentrate a little bit, you'll notice that nobody's pronounced her dead yet. Try asking yourself "What Would Cathy Do?", and the most obvious answer is that she'd read more carefully. (And that's how she'd say it too, so don't yell at me!)
If you're wondering why so many people are affected by Cathy's declining health, here's an example of what kind of person she is: Several years ago she and I struck up an e-mail acquaintance (I forget how, but we'd send each other silly stuff and laugh at the stupid people), and at some point I asked her about how to start a career as a freelance writer. So she sent me a book called The First Time I Got Paid for It, made up of anecdotes from all sorts of famous writers on how they got started. Now, keep in mind that this was a freebie she'd gotten at some point in her enviable career, which I know because she told me. I'm not saying it was her most prized possession or anything. But here's this dopey blogger she'd only ever met online, and she went out of her way to offer support and encouragement like that. She didn't want to make a big deal of it, so I didn't. But it kind of was, so now I kind of am. Ask anybody who knows her and you'll probably get some kind of story like that. Cathy Seipp is a great lady.
I just reread her 2003 media year in review after Steyn pointed people to it (sort of), and I'd kind of forgotten how really, really mean and really, really funny she can be. That awful Dragnet remake, Tim Robbins, Howard Rosenberg, Jayson Blair, Tom Shales, all the stuff that sucked in '03 got royally Seipped. Shame on God if she's not allowed to do a 2007 recap.
Just to get real for a minute: No matter how "sentimental" (drunk) I might be feeling at the moment, there's no way in hell I'm heeding Cathy's entreaties to start watching One Tree Hill. It's just not happening, I'm sorry.
Unfortunately she's been struggling with lung cancer for 5 years (after being given 6 months by the doctors), and for the last few days things haven't been looking good. It's just wrong that she and her daughter and all her family and friends have to go through this. She's a funny, perceptive writer, and on a personal level, she's never been less than kind and encouraging to me. She's known for not suffering fools gladly, but for whatever reason, in my case she's always made an exception.
God bless Cathy Seipp.
P.S. Welch has some great photos.
P.P.S. I'm seeing notes here and there that she's already died, but until Maia or somebody else who's actually there makes some kind of announcement, I refuse to talk about her in the past tense.