10 Years Later

By | birthdays, blogs, events, friends, lj, memories, milestones, ruling at life, technological enigmas, what have you been doing for the last 10 years? | 3 Comments

Screen Shot 2013-12-19 at 8.24.48 PM

In case you didn’t notice all the celebrating going on around here, this blog turned 10 years old today. Ten years ago to this very day, I spent about three hours configuring my first LiveJournal, wrote a pretty short, pretty pointless post, and rushed out the door to a party.

Then all of this happened. Plus some other stuff.

And here we are, a decade later. At first when I thought about the fact that I’ve been blogging for almost a third of my life, I was surprised. I’m kind of the most noncommittal person I know. But then I remembered that I started writing in my first diary on December 25, 1987 at the age of six. Really, the only difference was that I didn’t have internet access yet.

I used to carry around these little notebooks in my purse. I would write down funny things that occurred throughout the day and refer back to them later when I was ready to type out a post. Then along came MySpace and Facebook to start draining me of all my good ideas long before I could get around to blogging them.

As the internet, social networking and blogging grew up around me, I thought maybe I could make money off my site if I blogged about more products or material objects that people could buy. I was interested in clothes and photography, so I started a second blog to write about style and fashion. I tried focusing on a topic, growing my readership, and “writing for my audience,” but I felt so materialistic and fake. Plus, keeping up with a second blog was like having a split personality. Lots of times I felt like I couldn’t live up to the persona I created on the second blog, but other times I felt completely the opposite — as though that blog wasn’t really living up to me. So, I merged all my favorite posts over to this blog, shut the second one down, and proceeded to have an eight-month-long identity crisis about the name and subject matter. =)

It’s kind of incredible that after 10 years of doing it, I’m not a better, more “successful” blogger. I don’t have thousands of followers, millions of comments or any idea how to monetize this site. That used to bother me. I thought, “People must think I’m really stupid to just write in a blog for no reason.”

But the thing is, I’ve realized I don’t care about any of those things or what anyone else thinks. I’ve always loved my blog for exactly what it is — a random collection of thoughts and anecdotes I don’t mind sharing with the world. Concentrating on one topic is so not my strong suit. Clothes, food and vacations are not what defines me as a person. And as for my audience…no offense, but I don’t really care what you want to read. Because there’s no one on this earth that loves to read this blog more than I do. And if I could only read one blog for the rest of my life, it would be this one. Over and over again. I assume that if you come here, you want to read whatever I write, and I’m the best at writing when I’m writing whatever I want.

That being said, it also turns out having other people write my blog posts isn’t such a bad idea either. I had these grand plans about choosing my 10 favorite posts and sharing them with you, but then I realized I’m way too narcissistic to pick just 10 favorites. So, I delegated that task to some of my favorite friends/loyal readers. I’m getting better at that — delegating. =)

I’m so grateful for all of my guest bloggers over the last 10 days. All your posts made me feel like I was hosting the best party in the world, where my blog was the guest of honor and all my favorite people were in attendance. And since most of you are either expecting newborns, scattered around the country, or way behind on your Christmas shopping, having you all right here was the perfect alternative to celebrating in real life. Cheers to you, my friends. Your words are worth a thousand pictures in this case, and here’s hoping we’ll all be sitting around re-reading them for the next 10 years.

So, there you have it. Ten years, 722 published posts, 1,684 comments, and I have no idea how many views because there was no way to track that until 2010. Coming up next: the usual Year in Review, Final Resolution Update of 2013 and next year’s list. Oh, and whatever the f- else I feel like posting. =)

I hope you’ll stick around, but I’ll still be here writing either way.

Peace out.


This crazy trip has got me feelin’: working_sy accomplished
And I’m singin’ along to: She Will Be Loved – Maroon 5

10 Years, 10 Friends, 10 Days: The Catalyst

By | blogs, boys, dating, friends, guest posts, hot lead singers of bands, memories, milestones, photography, resolutions, school, what have you been doing for the last 10 years? | No Comments

Photo Feb 28, 9 43 02 PM
{the photo that always made me want to be a photographer}

Post #8 is probably the most unexpected, but there was no way I could invite a bunch of friends to post on this blog without including Mikey Q. Those of you who know us would probably be super surprised to hear we’re still friends, and those of you who don’t would never understand. We don’t do very well at keeping in touch, and we haven’t seen each other in years. But the fact of the matter is that there are so many things that just are the way they are because of the many series of events that all sort of happened as a result of our ridiculous relationship between the years of 1998 and 2008 — this blog even existing probably being one of them.

Mike and his lovely wife Stephanie are expecting their third child in just a few days, and I’m so grateful he took a little time to write this for me when he’s got so much on his plate at the moment. If you Quargs ever make it back to the east coast, I’d love to meet the rest of you some day. =)

Let’s get this out of the way early… I’m the ex-boyfriend from high school and most of College. I met Lisa during a history project where we made a Lego video called “Events of 1969″. We covered the Mets winning the World Series, Woodstock, the moon landing and more. I have to admit that it was one of the most epic history projects ever, and it brought Lisa into my life. Despite the roller coaster relationship we have had over the past 15 years, we owe each other a lot.

Admittedly, I had a lot of trouble figuring out what to write in a blog post about a girl I used to know so well, but have hardly spoken to in roughly seven years. My first thought was, “Why the hell does Lisa want me to write anything about her or her blog when there are many people who are surely more qualified than I am to speak about the last few years?” So I pondered…

What hit me was that we are still friends. We share a common bond from a period of life that was so fragile, so turbulent, so exciting, so frustrating, and so instrumental in who we are today that it’s not that weird for me to comment here. This was a lot of heavy stuff for a Wednesday evening. So I started typing…

Lisa asked me what my favorite blog post was. I have been so busy with my own ridiculously fast-paced life, I had really slacked off on reading it. Honestly, I lost a little interest when she started to blog heavily about fashion. The ironic part is that if it weren’t for her, I’d still be wearing green corduroys and flannel shirts. Lisa’s incredible sense of style helped me to transform my wardrobe from grungy teenager to respectable adult, and I still remember some of her rules today. She is bold and creative, and I know she has started more than a few trends with the people around her.

I figured I would go back and look for a good post that brought back happy memories. So I went to her page and did a search for “ex-boyfriend”. Some of the posts were good, but I was shocked that the 2008 resolutions post and updates showed up ELEVEN times in the results. Clearly this was a sign that I should focus on that post.

The best part is that the mention of me is a simple one. “Don’t call my ex-boyfriend.” While I cannot remember the details of why I deserved this, I am sure that I did. Thankfully, my deserved excommunication only lasted until February 18th and we were friends again by April 19th. I won’t say that this is my favorite post, but I will call it the most telling. We have both vowed not to speak to the other again, but obviously we have failed. I think we are finally at a point where we have accepted failure and realized that friendship is a much better arrangement.

Lisa and I have been unable to shake each other (despite a thousand attempts) through some of the happiest and most miserable periods of our lives. We are who we are today because of many of the lessons and experiences we have shared. Wall High, Virginia Tech, Virginia Beach, Florida, The Bahamas, New Orleans, New York City, and many other places hold memories for us. Her family is full of fantastic people who deserve the best life has to offer. They accepted me despite my flaws and I have absolute respect for them. I really look up to her parents, and I owe them for helping me through many tough times, as well. At the end of the day, we wanted different things out of life. That being said, the kind of connection we had at such critical points in our lives creates a bond that lasts forever. Lisa is an incredible woman. Her happiness means a lot to me even across the tremendous distance between us.

My favorite part of her blog is that I get to share in some of that happiness and it gives me comfort to know that her commitment to being awesome has only gotten stronger!

{April 19, 2008}

10 Years, 10 Friends, 10 Days: The Pen Pal

By | blogs, boys, friends, guest posts, links, lj, memories, milestones, new jersey, pineapples and palm trees, what have you been doing for the last 10 years? | No Comments


Post #7 from my old favorite pen pal, Richard Hicks. He and I used to keep an e-mail chain going that must have been a hundred pages long. Richard Hicks is the type of guy who starts a blog (or multiple blogs), writes a whole bunch of cool posts, and then deletes them, so you can never go back and read your favorite ones. Well, not this time, mister. This post is staying here permanently. =)

When Lisa asked me last week to contribute a guest post for her blog’s 10th anniversary, my first thought was: Holy crap, it’s been a decade since we started blogging?  And my second thought was: Wow, it’s going to be really hard to write something that succinctly captures how awesome Lisa is, and what a great writer she is.

First, a little history: Lisa and I first met when I was in middle school, and our mutual friend Chris Tamayo invited her to our neighborhood basketball court to shoot some hoops.  Chris had a crush on Lisa, and in our adolescent dude brains we thought it would be a winning strategy to invite her over and wow her with our nonexistent awesome basketball skills.  The plan was that we’d all get on the court, and Lisa would watch Chris sink a couple of 3s, recognize him as the next John Stockton and profess her undying love for him right then and there.  If you’ve met Lisa, you know that she’s not the most physically imposing person, and watching her shoot free throws on an eight-foot basket is a lot like watching two-year-old Trick Shot Titus gazing up at the 10-foot hoop at Wichita State.  Her height disadvantage notwithstanding, she schooled us on the court that day — in both around the world and the complexities of winning a woman’s affection.

Lisa and I continued to cross paths a bit in the years that followed — mostly, again, because of mutual friends.  In high school she dated a guy named Mike, and their relationship was about as serious as a teenage relationship could be.  Mike went on to Virginia Tech after high school, and Lisa went to JMU and ended up transferring to Tech after her first year so she could be with Mike.  Mike was a great guy, and all indications were that he and Lisa would get married after college.  While Lisa and Mike were in their relationship, I was in an equally serious relationship with one of Lisa’s best friends, Jamie, and it became just as sure a bet that Jamie and I would get married after she finished college and I got settled into my first assignment in the military.  Against all odds, both relationships ended, and over time and across the miles, Lisa and I drew closer as friends — at first to try to help each other get over the breakups, and then later because I kept seeing more and more what a great person she was.

In 2004 I transferred to Japan, and during the two years I was there I kept in touch with Lisa regularly.  Just about every Saturday morning I would trek over to the Internet cafe on base to do two things: call my family and write Lisa an email.  On a weekend trip up to Nago Pineapple Park on Okinawa, I gathered up a bunch of pineapple trinkets and sent them to Lisa (the inaugural name for Lisa’s blog was actually “Ramblings of a Pineapple Enthusiast”).  When I left the military in 2006 and moved back to NJ, Lisa and I would get together whenever she was home and go for a run on the Belmar boardwalk or the running track in our hometown municipal complex.  I drove down to Virginia Beach one weekend in 2007 to visit her, and we went to a Shins concert at The Norva and bought each other T-shirts (I still have mine, but since the only size available at the concert was small [not a problem for Lisa], it was converted into a dust rag a couple of years ago).  We hung out with a couple of her friends in Virginia Beach (in my usual way of remembering dogs more than people, I don’t remember the friends’ names, but I remember that they had a boxer), and one of the friends told me in a sidebar conversation that Lisa always got him an “A” when she edited his college papers.  We agreed that she was the best writer and editor we’d ever met.  To me, she still is.

I went back to her old LiveJournal to refresh my memory for this guest post (we both started LiveJournals in 2003 — Lisa kept up with hers, and I think mine fizzled out after post #2), and as I was clicking through her post archive, memories started flooding back.  I laughed out loud at these two conversations Lisa had with her brother, Stephen: (1) “An Intelligent Conversation With My Brother”; and (2) “An Update on Stephen Getting a Job.”  Her early 2004 posts about her little cousins are all great (the guest post that her little cousins submitted last week is a must-read).  I think my all-time favorite post, though, is one Lisa wrote on Memorial Day weekend in 2004.  It captures everything about summer at the Jersey Shore that I love and miss.

If you’re reading this, you’re probably a fellow fan of Lisa’s blog, and you don’t need to be assured that it’s worth your time to keep reading.  For anyone who hasn’t been fortunate enough to meet Lisa in person, and only knows her as a two-dimensional Internet person, please accept my assurance that the person behind the blog is just as smart, funny and awesome (and fashionable) as you know her to be here.  Happy 10-year anniversary, Lisa!  Keep writing!

10 Years, 10 Friends, 10 Days: The Partner in Crime

By | blogs, friends, guest posts, links, memories, milestones, music, what have you been doing for the last 10 years? | 3 Comments

Photo Dec 15, 7 28 02 PM

I’m so glad Stacey lied to me last week when she apologized said she couldn’t possibly find the time to write a guest post for me. Because last night when I checked my email and saw post #6 all ready to go, I was super surprised and super grateful to have such an awesome friend who took the time to do this for me even though she’s been under the weather and busy as shit. Thanks, Stacey! You’re the best. 🙂

Photo Dec 15, 7 32 54 PM 2

When Lisa first asked me to write a guest post for her 10 year anniversary, I panicked. First, I have been ridiculously sick and exhausted…would I have time to do it and do it well? Second, I am soooo not a writer. And definitely not a blogger. Lisa actually created a blog for me a bunch of years back. The best post was the one that Lisa wrote. I think I wrote only 2 more posts…which were resolution lists (that I copied from Lisa :-)). If I were to write a guest post for her, would I be able to do it the honor that Lisa deserves? And third, how can I just pick one post to talk about?!?!


I have known Lisa since high school, but as we went off to college, moved and grew up, we drifted apart. Lisa’s blog has been an wonderful way for me to see what is going on in her life. It also is a regular inspiration to me. Her resolution updates always motivate me to try something new or have something to aspire to.

Photo Dec 15, 7 31 09 PM

Her style photos help me see my clothes in a different way and find new ways to pair clothes together. Although that is nothing new. I remember in high school, always copying what Lisa wore. I still remember this long black blazer she had that I got to borrow. I felt soooo cool wearing it….because Lisa had worn it. Lisa is still my go-to girl for all things style.


I love when Lisa posts about music or includes music in her post. My love for all things ska/punk and my absolute favorite bands of all time (RBF & Goldfinger) were introduced to me by Lisa. I remember sitting in the high school cafeteria, sharing headphones and listening to Goldfinger for the first time. Or belting out RBF on our way to Orchestra. They are the only bands that I can honestly say I actually know the lyrics (I’m notorious for making up lyrics :-)). When Lisa posts about music – I just know that I’m going to love it.


My favorite posts though are probably the random, funny ones. While the stories are different, they way she tells them brings me back to high school and how much fun we had. Whether we were shopping at Nordstrom, skipping orchestra practice, creating some kind of fake club, or riding around in the Volvo, so much of my high school years included Lisa. She was my PIC (partner in crime). 🙂


Honestly, all of this blog is my favorite because I love seeing that Lisa is just as passionate, witty, hilarious and stylish as ever. Thank you for being an inspiration to me and I hope that in another 10 years, I’m still reading what you write.



10 Years, 10 Friends, 10 Days: The Mystery Person

By | friends, guest posts, links, memories, milestones, press, top notch communication blunders, weather, what have you been doing for the last 10 years? | No Comments

Post #5 was written by…well you’ll have to guess. But in case you still don’t know at the end, I’ll leave you a little hint.

My guest post looks back on Dec 29, 2010 and the creative writing that occurred as a result of that now infamous snow storm that hit the northeast.

Can you guess who I am?

Lisa took on the Governor of Pennsylvania and from that rant managed a quote in the Wall Street Journal. She was so excited to reach such stardom! Now for the side story.

I was on a business trip when the Wall Street Journal article hit the streets. I, along with my business associates, spent some time trying to get a copy of the January 4, 2011 issue because I knew Lisa was quoted, and I would be mentioned in the article; so excited, so proud. First, we read the blog; then we opened the paper, found the article and read with mounting excitement – this was a big day!

And we finally reached the quote where in an instant I became one of the “fearless, bumbling morons in pickup trucks who like to drink beer, go shirtless in the freezing cold for football, and drive in blizzards.” This was not the exact interpretation we had hoped for. Fortunately, I have a sense of humor when it comes to my business associates, and we all had a good laugh about it.

Can you guess who I am?

Now it’s 2013, and I am with the same business associates again. They don’t remember why we met in January 2011, but they do remember the laugh we had over the Wall Street Journal article and the original blog post.

Congratulations, Lisa, on 10 years. Your writing is creative, insightful and witty – always an enjoyable read.

I’m sure you guessed by now, but if not, here’s your hint.

Also, not to brag or anything, but that dumb fake letter to the governor of Pennsylvania was also quoted in The Economist a few days later. =)