Saturday, July 04, 2009

1,000 Posts: A Retroblogtive

Picture it: Sicily, 1922 Fishers, 2006.

I saw a listing for a job that seemed right up my alley: director of development at a liberal United Methodist church in Indianapolis. As I was researching the church, I saw that many of its staff and members had blogs; in fact, they had a whole page on their website linking to members’ and staff blogs. I had been thinking about starting my own blog -- mostly as a way to keep my friends from getting 10 e-mails a day from me with the subject line “OMG! YOU HAVE TO SEE THIS!!!!” -- and so I took this as a sign to start ye olde blogge.

My blog’s first five days are actually a pretty accurate representation of what the blog would turn out to be overall. A little bit of God talk, a lot of funny videos, some news and current events, and a lot of randomness. Through the course of 2½ years, this blog has tackled everything from impossibly tall Chinese dudes to unelectable zebras, from livebloggable events to the inevitable zombification of the United States (which I will probably not liveblog).

Here are my Top 25 favorite posts over the last 2½ years, and why they’re my faves:
October 26, 2006: Divorce Shocka-Locka-Locka-Locka
Let’s face it – everything about Stephen Hawking is hilarious. But the most important thing about this post, I think, is that it forced me, almost immediately after starting the blog, to decide whether my posts were going to be rated G, PG, PG-13, or R. (My mind ran pretty far afield with the jokes.) I decided then to keep it PG-13 or below, and I think I’ve pretty much kept it there so far (except for one rant, in which the F-word is used clinically, if shockingly).

December 27, 2006: Worst. Lifetime Movie. Ever.
Despite the fact that no one has ever commented on this post, it is extremely popular in the search returns. It’s amazing how many people Google “Lifetime movies” – a significant portion of those are searching for “bad Lifetime movies” or “worst Lifetime movies.” So, I’m proud that this is a popular post, and I’m also pleased with my use of the word MadLibsian.

February 20, 2007: So THAT’S why I hate the Nazis so much…
By far my most popular post ever (at least in terms of Google image searches), this post is an illustration of how I kind of sleepwalked through my youth. Like, I had literally no idea there were Nazis involved in the "Wonder Woman" television series, despite my deep, abiding appreciation for the Amazon princess as she got us out from under by fighting for our rights in her satin tights.

March 29, 2007: I Wish I Knew
Looking back, there are a lot of things that I wish I knew, and the fact that this very inspirational post was inspired by the boss I would come to regard as unstable and de-inspirational (at best) is highly ironic. Yet, watching the video in this post still gives me chills -- in a good way -- and it probably always will.

June 25, 2007: Witty blogger, 33, seeks wedding date
I’m including this one as a favorite not because it has been helpful in communicating what I want/need from a wedding date, but because it has been a spectacular failure in communicating what I want/need from a wedding date. From those who overlook the “I’m voluntarily celibate” part to those who overlook the “Must be willing to dance all night long” part, recent respondents have consistently disregarded key components of this post. It is (now) a policy of this blog not to divulge personal identifying information about others; let’s just say there were miscommunications all around.

July 9, 2007: Babies, pets ‘n’ things
This was the kickoff of a wonderful series of posts about my adorable niece Madelynn, who is awesome. It also chronicles what a major cluster[handshake] the week of her birth was. Her brother Owen's birth was much less frantic for me. (And, really, it's all about the uncle, right?)

September 25, 2007: Liveblogging the [Name of Town Redacted] City Council Meeting
This was my very first liveblog. It made a hilariously unendurable Council meeting somewhat more hilarious and somewhat less unendurable. And it got some laughs from the folks who attended. Now, 22 months later, I am at liberty to disclose that this meeting took place in Longmont, Colorado.

November 10, 2007: Dentists Gone Wild
Because two people have actually Googled the phrase “zombie Joyce Brothers” and ended up at that post.

January 7, 2008: Made It Home – Finally!
The best part of this post is not the fact that I made it home. Rather, it’s the video of me dancing in the airport at Doha, Qatar. A classic, if I do say so myself.

January 22, 2008: Entertaining Angel(a)s Unawares
I like this post because it’s a reminder that we have angels all around us – and inside us, waiting to break free – all the time. This is actually an inspiration for some fiction I’ve been writing lately.

February 28, 2008: Part 3,231 of “I am, it turns out, an idiot.”
This post is about my awesome dad and his important work. I’m sad that it took me 30 years to realize it (that his work was so important; I always knew that he was awesome), but I’m glad I finally did.

March 2, 2008: “Wake up. She’s about to die.”
I just love that post title.

May 9, 2008: X = Y do I watch this show?
If you’ve been following along here on the blog for a while, you know of my love/hate relationship with NUMB3RS. It’s only gotten lovier/hatier as time goes on.

June 7, 2008: Wonder Witness? Well, wonder no longer…
Did you actually think that another "Wonder Woman"-related post wouldn’t make it into my faves? This one is about that time Lynda Carter “discovered” a dead body floating in the Potomac River. I like this post because it explores the intersection of boring reality with all manner of juicy "Law and Order" possibilities.

July 29, 2008: (Over?) Reacting
I used to work at a very liberal church. About a year ago, a man entered a Knoxville church and started killing people because of that church’s liberal teachings. When I brought this up to my supervisor and coworkers, nobody wanted to talk about it; looking back, this may have been the beginning of the end of my time at Broadway. But I post this as a favorite because the comments gave me insights into my brother, who is very cool. And because someone whom I have never met made a weird comment on this post, too, and I figure that’s something.

September 18, 2008: Snap out of it!
I used this post to pull up out of a nosedive of blog-malaise. It’s a fave because it helps to characterize my randomness. I’ve always been resistant to categorizing myself. Beyond stunningly handsome, Christian, white, and male, there aren’t very many labels I apply to myself, and I’ve intentionally kept from moving in any one direction in the blog. This post is just another example of the randomosity (which was my other choice for title, after “All I’m Saying…”) of this blog.

October 18, 2008: Carried away, a little bit
There are numerous instances in my life in which I’ve danced with abandon in the grocery store -- literally hundreds of stories, though few of them have actually made it into print. This is one of them.

December 23, 2008: Hallelujah
When I quit-slash-got-fired from my job at Broadway, I took the opportunity to play around with some writing, and mixed that writing with music. This was my second try, and I really like the story and how it fits with this karaoke version of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah.”

January 7, 2009: Fire in the soil, meat in mah belly and
January 8, 2009: Great meal, bring a towel
These two restaurant experience posts may be a clue as to why I’m built the way I am, but they’re also a lot of fun, I think. I’d love to be a full-time restaurant critic, or even just a full-time restaurant experiencer.

March 31, 2009: Profanity, updated
A lot of crappy things have happened in the last eight or nine months: I lost my job, my pet rabbit died, and a friend of mine decided we could no longer be friends. I kind of think this post had something to do with that last one, but then I wonder why it would have. Anyway, I’m including this one here as “significant,” more than “favorite” because, while I stand by what I wrote here, I’m really sad to have lost that friend over it.

April 24, 2009: It’s been a while – sorry!
This one’s a fave because it features a picture of One Feather Up, goose extraordinaire. You can also link to more about OFU from there.

May 22, 2009: Sermonizing, a little bit
This is the sermon I wrote for the Indiana Conference of the United Methodist Church’s annual Laity Sermon Manuscript Contest. You write a sermon and then they judge them, and the winner gets to deliver his or her sermon at the annual conference meeting. I didn’t win, but I got 2nd runner up out of 26 entries, which is pretty cool.

May 14, 2009: Why I Should Have a 24-Hour Camera Crew Following Me
This is, I think, the only time I’ve blogged about breaking and entering. I mean, it was legal at the time, sort of. I had the owner of the home on the telephone with me, but I’m still glad the police didn’t observe me doing what I was doing. On a positive note, I’ve decided that the shirt I thought I destroyed in this incident is actually wearable – if I tuck it in, you can’t see the large rip in the tail.

June 1, 2009: It’s a quiz! And there’s a prize!
This was the proto-Song! Challenge! And I’m proud to say that six weeks later, I’ve been producing weekly Song! Challenge!s for literally ones of people to play each week. I’ve run out of grand prizes, though, so I’ve begun soliciting additional prize sponsors. If you’re interested in providing one or more prizes valued at $10 or more, give me a shout! Let’s talk sponsorship deals! Also, I’m thinking about spinning the Song! Challenge! off into its own blog, to keep “All I’m Saying…” more about me and less clogged up with the contest…I’ll keep you posted on that move!

June 13, 2009: Shamless. Simply shameless.
This now-famous “Hoedown Throwdown” video of me is my most recent favorite. It’s now been viewed over 200 times on YouTube and also a good number of times on Facebook. While it is not me at my most elegant, it is definitely representative of my willingness to have fun and maybe look a little silly for others’ enjoyment.

So there you go! A walk through the first two and a half years of my blog. Was your favorite post in there, or do you have another fave? Tell me in the comments!

Whew! I’m exhausted! But I’ve had a blast and I hope you’ve enjoyed it, too. I’m looking forward to sticking around for at least another 1,000 posts – think you can keep up?


Rachel said...

Congrats on your 1,000 posts! I enjoy your witty insights. Might I just say that I'm pretty sure my favorite part of this one is your Golden Girls reference at the beginning. "Picture it: Sicily..." Hee hee! RIP, Estelle Getty. Keep up the great blogging, Scott.

Meana said...

1,000 posts...I don't think I even made 5 posts. Perhaps I'll go back eventually.

These are some pretty good posts. My favorites are the liveblogging and anytime you letter grade an entire day or evening.

My other favorite title beside the Evita reference was "Hi, I'm Rachel" as the title didn't do justice to the stop you in your tracks humiliation of the moment!

Amanda said...

I'm a little late in reading this, but I (like fellow commenter, Rachel) love the reference to the Golden Girls!

Scott S. Semester said...

I think "Hi, I'm Rachel" also marks the only time the word "vagina" appears in this blog (for a total of 3 times, if you're keeping track at home).