Wednesday, September 7, 2011
A Double Milestone! 2 YEARS...500 POSTS!
On September 7, 2009, I started a blog....
It is hard to believe I have arrived at this, the second "Anniversary" of that first small post.
I wrote then about the closing of a long-standing and popular little amusement park called Kiddieland. Most kids who grew up in Chicagoland had been to this park. It was a rite of passage. And its closing seemed an appropriate beginning for a journal about a guy who had dreams of becoming a new individual.
All I had was my love of movies and dogs, an appetite for books and reading, a lot of opinions that I wanted to express, and a passion for writing. That, and some vague idea that the very act of building this blog, from scratch, was an act of reinvention.
I knew this 2-year milestone was approaching. So last week, I tracked how many posts I had entered since the first day. What floored me was learning that I was nearing post #500. I decided to pace myself, and commemorate these two magic numbers on the same journal entry.
And here it is.
I still can't believe it.
I went back and browsed through the journal. It was fun to re-live some moments, painful to be reminded of others.
This is a diary, and an op-ed page; a film-critic's record, a fledgling photographer's album. It is an experiment, a practice-ground, a canvas, a camera, an instrument, a voice.
And most incredibly, people read me. I am incredulous, and grateful.
So I lifted a few of the posts I thought were among the best that I could offer. I singled them out either because they were especially fun to write; or because they were a perfect expression of my feelings and thoughts; or because I felt the writing was better than average.
If you want to catch up, or re-live the excitement (grin), here are some of my favorite, non-film-related posts.
Tomorrow I will list what I think were this Journal's best Film Writing and Reviews. I consider them separately because they are, to me, a very different form of expression.
Click below on the links to read the posts.
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September 14, 2009: A Provincetown Journal A personal essay about overcoming fear...and where the idea for this first began. I received my first comment for this post, from Tom at Sophisticated Lunacy!
February 3, 2010: A Dog Shelter Story Dogs are a big part of this Journal...Maggie's memory will always be kept alive here.
April 23, 2010: Billy Elliott is Like a Friend's Embrace Writing about theater is still new to me. This was a fabulous play, and writing this gave me much pleasure.
May 9, 2010: Tagged for a Musical Meme! Walter from The Silver Screening Room invited me to participate, in one of the most fun posts I have written. I was proud to introduce The Shaggs to an unsuspecting audience!
June 22, 2010: Windy City Gay Chorus' Terrific Summer Concert Made Me Proud... Mark's first concert, in his defining moment of re-invention. He's still going strong, and I am still enjoying the concerts! Our friend Jillian, as always, was there to lend support.
June 25, 2010: Thoughts on Leaving my Old Home: A Friday Photo Journal Sold the condo of 16 years, and took one last look, before a new life in Mark's house in Mt. Prospect, Illinois.
August 14, 2010: Is the Blog in Decline? I was feeling insecure about the process, until I received some encouraging feedback. Even got a standing ovation from Ben at Runs Like A Gay.
November 23, 2010: A Great Time in the Valley The Chicago revival of the 1967 cult-classic film "Valley of the Dolls", with our friend Steve, a houseful of cheering gay men, and Patty Duke on stage. Unforgettable.
December 16, 2010: Blake Edwards: A Hollywood Party, and a Nameless Cat One of several remembrances of favortite Hollywood artists who died. Ah, "Breakfast at Tiffany's"...
December 19, 2010: DADT Repeal Clears Senate; A Guarded Celebration Political op-eds are outside of my comfort zone, but writing them forced me to be well-informed. This piece was one of my better efforts in expressing my views. My concerns have, unfortunately, come to pass.
December 20, 2010: Book Review, "The King's Speech", by Mark Logue and Peter Conradi One of my proudest moments resulting from the blog. I was invited to review this book, upon which one of my favorite films of 2010 was based.
February 4, 2011: Chicago Blizzard Aftermath, A Photo Journal A horrible day, but the pictures captured the odd beauty and exhaustion of it all. When we complain about summer heat, I go back to this....
February 8, 2011: Remembering Film Composer John Barry Another departed Hollywood favorite. His music graced a number of movies that influenced me for life.
March 5, 2011: Tina Fey Channels Joni Mitchell Joni is a profound inspiration to me, in my writing, my creative process, and world view. Tina Fey is an admired comedienne. The combination was irresistible!
April 1, 2011: My 1000th Post! Bening, Weinstein Latest April Fool! I had huge fun with this, soon after the Oscars.
August 13, 2011: A Tuscan paradise: Serenity, A Dog, and a Cooking Class The Italian trip was a life-altering experience. Of all the Journal entries I created about the visit, this was my most inspired.
July 16, 2011: Meditations About Quitting, Then An Act Of Kindness The post explains itself.
My thanks to all of you for your continued encouragement.
Tune in tomorrow for a look back at some favorite Movie Writing, and Reviews. Some of my other regular followers will rate mentions.....