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.


*     *     *     *     *     *     *    

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.....


  1. I am forever grateful to you for introducing me to the Shaggs...for opening my eyes to the plight of animals...for your coverage of the Windy City Gay Chorus...and for bringing your wit, warmth and insight to my world. Two years! Congratulations!

  2. Congratulations on the dual milestones. Keep up the good work!

  3. Walter...I am sorry that I inflicted the Shaggs on you!! Thank you for noticing my various interests, and for your very kind feedback.

    Ben...I appreciate your good wishes...I hope to stay at it for a while, and always look for your encouragement.