TheodoreSLaBarbera.com

Since 2003, the off-ramp on the Information Superhighway.

Tag: teejcee

Hooray for the Wayback Machine!

Geek Soap BoxI’ve been writing and publishing stuff on the Internet since, by my count, 2003.

It started with a humble, hand-coded HTML and Cold Fusion-powered site located at this very domain, followed by blogs on an array of platforms from LiveJournal to BlogSpot to WordPress to SquareSpace to Tumblr. One “Instalanche” aside, it was never about attracting an audience or making big bucks; I wrote for me, as a catharsis for my soul and to entertain the small handful of close friends from the real world that stopped by to read and comment.

I did also wind up with one major, life-changing thing happening as a result of my writing, of course. I can remember it as clearly as if happened yesterday, when a random, unknown girl (then residing in Pennsylvania) who went by the handle “Miss Understood” started frequenting the blog and leaving her thoughts in the comments. Over time we became e-mail friends, then moved to the telephone, and then finally met one fateful weekend in Savannah, GA. Today, you know that lovely lady as my wife, teejcee. The Internet owed me for a Catfishing-like fiasco (before that was even a word) back in college, and boy did it pay me back in spades.

Sadly, though, nearly all of my writings have since been lost to history. I used to be rather masochistic and self-destructive, and would occasionally delete my entire site and archives entirely purely to spite myself over some bout of depression or anxiety or whatnot. Believe you me, that is a terrible way to live, and I’m glad those incidents are at a minimum these days, as I’ve learned to better love and accept myself and be comfortable in my own skin.

But looking back, man I miss those posts. It ain’t Shakespeare, but a lot of fun was had each night trying to come up with new, interesting content, and in engaging with my buddies in political discourse and the occasional smack-talk. I’ve forever regretted my rash moves to wipe all traces of myself off of the grid, and wish I could have it all back.

Well, maybe I can, at least a little. As fate would have it, the famed Wayback Machine managed to crawl and index some of my sites over the years, and those posts are still up at archive.org in a limited capacity. So far, I’ve managed to find and save maybe 50 or more posts dating from 2006 and 2011, covering topics from the War on Terror to Transformers to Anthony Weiner (who, amazingly, is still in the fucking news for doing the same shit this many years later!).

(As an aside, how ginormous does the Wayback Machine’s servers have to be? It’s a comprehensive archive of whole swaths of the Web over the course of decades now, not to mention all sorts of public domain media such as books, music, videos, and more. The pure size and power of all that data and accumulated knowledge and history proves mind-boggling.)

So, what does this mean for today’s iteration of this site? Well, I think I am going to (very slowly) cut and paste and publish these old posts as I find them, tagging them with the correct dates and content. For some, history has taught us many lessons and the world is a vastly different place, so I might have a quick “TSL Update” at either the beginning or end to remark on what was and what has since come to pass. It will be a fascinating look back into my own personal history, as well of that of America, technology, and so much more. If you want to come along for the ride, you are always more than welcome, dear reader. If not, I’ll keep the new and fresh content up top like any good blog, so you won’t even notice.

What a ride it’s been! Let’s hope the journey in front of us proves just as fascinating and rewarding, if not moreso!

Loved and Accepted

A wonderful extended weekend and vacation was had for your humble blogger down in Charleston, South Carolina, featuring the best friend I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting via this very blog.  In fact, it was so magical and relaxing that I actually found myself sobbing at the CHS Airport last night when faced with the prospect of returning to my horrible, high-pressure life.

You see, in South Carolina:

  • Between five doggies, two teenagers, one brother, and one boyfriend, all universally accepted and welcomed me into their lives.
  • There was no judgment, no pressure to look your absolute best at all times; if you didn’t want to gel up your hair for the day that was totally fine.
  • Nobody sent me any accusatory or mean-spirited e-mail, or BCC’ed a higher-up to make me look bad.
  • If I offered up a thought, it wasn’t questioned or not considered, and nobody told me that they didn’t “understand” what I did or why I even worked there.
  • Even moreso, I didn’t even use a computer once for five days.  The unpluggage turned out to be pure bliss and freedom away from the hassles of the real world.

So, it hit me, as it should hit all of you: if you truly hate your life so much that you dread returning to the mundane routine to the point of tears, perhaps it’s time to to address the matter.  This doesn’t mean doing something radical — as much fun as quitting my job and moving down south would be!  Instead, it’s about addressing real, tangible ways in which you can look at your life and improve the little things.  Find a hobby, redefine your job responsibilities (even if just in your own mind) in a way that matches your overarching goals, eat different or better foods.  It’s your life, and you know how best to facilitate, dare I say, hope and change.  And that power, despite all it may seem, remains in your hands.  You control your own destiny.