Bananas and Chicken (Long, Pictures)

Actually, this post won’t have anything to do with bananas and chicken, but it’s something I say often, so it’s only fitting I’d finally use it as a subject heading.

Today, despite the 90 degree heat, we headed to Millennium Park so Aidan could play in the big fountains. We had promised him, and he was being pretty good, so we wanted to definitely follow through.

Playing at Millennium Park

Playing at Millennium Park

He had a good time, even though it was blasted hot! At one point, he had gotten so cold that he was huddled under the towel. I couldn’t believe it, not as hot as it was outside. Still, even when it’s like that and I know I can’t stay out there long because I’ll faint, I’ll take this weather over the dead of winter any day.

The cats are getting along great. Yesterday, Helena and Crookshanks spent a great deal of time cuddling on the bed. It was so sweet.

Cuddly Kitties

Helena is amazing. Once it’s bedtime, she follows me into bed and cuddles and purrs and rolls all over the place. When I have to use the bathroom, she comes with me. Sometimes, she gets adventurous. A couple nights ago, I kept hearing plastic bags. Nervous that she might get caught in a bag, I searched high and low for a plastic bag. No such thing. Turns out that she had gotten into the bread. I’ve lived with cats who loved bread. It’s an adventure keeping buns, bread, etc. away from them. So far, she hasn’t realized that I just moved it to the butcher block (AKA Carb City), and hopefully she won’t discover it.

I’ve been in touch with some old friends from my intermediate school days. My friend Jessica found me on MySpace a few weeks ago, but as I never log into MySpace, I didn’t know until she found me on Facebook yesterday. I found a couple of other people because of that. Chain reaction. A good one. It’s nice to catch up with old friends.

I’ve been rediscovering “Girl World” on the Internet. I remember when I first found it, late 1999, early 2000. I’d thought the Internet was dominated by geeky guys, and even though I’d have my site since 1997, I had found only a very few girls. Domain ownership was for the “elitist of the elite” and it was a great honor to get “hosted.” I remember Amy was the first person to host me at thesedreams.net. How awesome that was! As a result, we became good friends, and I even got the chance to meet her in September of 2005. Star was someone who I’d felt like was a billion years above me in design skills and therefore pure WIN. But getting to meet her as well in 2005 (the same trip where I met Amy) was incredible.

Anyway, virtue.nu and envy.nu, altern.net, all of those sites is what I think started the “Girl World” revolution. And there were trends. Oh Lord, there were trends. The “ME YOU WWW” layouts. Frames. Pop Ups. Iframes with the matching windows. UBBs. Blinkies. Pixels (Oh how I miss The Cutie Factory). Kaos. (I still like kaos and pixels, actually!) Surveys. Blogger to Greymatter to B2. Diary-X. Diaryland. Friendster. MySpace. Lots of interactive stuff. Some of that stuff carries over ’til now. Like imood. I totally still use imood. :) And there is the new stuff. Plurk, Twitter. Facebook. Netvibes. Flickr. What will be next?

Back then, I think it was a popularity contest, but at least it was based on skill. EVERYONE knew Star and Tash and all those people who still have awesome design skills. With one really cool layout, all of a sudden, Anywhere Is bloomed overnight in popularity. Having a cool layout, getting into the elite cliques (anyone remember woogoo?), posting on the right UBBs… that was the way to go!

Nowadays, I don’t seek cliques to join, or webrings, or affiliations. I couldn’t care less if someone decides to design her site to look just like mine (as long as s/he doesn’t steal my personal stuff). Nowadays, my site crossposts to Live Journal, because most of my friends are there now, having moved away from domains. (Although I’m seeing that many people are moving back to domains because of WP.) Nowadays, I use premade Word Press layouts because I don’t have the imagination, time, or energy to design a layout. And that’s OK. I like to see a pretty and well-designed site, but honestly, I’m a lot more interested in what the person’s writing about these days.

I met a lot of awesome people during those years, and I’m still meeting cool people. And that whole online friend vs. “real life” friend line is so blurred now–I mean, everyone has a Facebook or MySpace these days–that it’s easier than ever to actually meet and forge real, true friendships with people you meet through Live Journal or a message board.

One cool thing I’m seeing now is that many of the women whose sites I’d visited back in the day of cliques, awards, and all that good stuff, is that many of them are moms and wives now. They post about their day-to-day lives with their husbands and their kids. They post the pictures they take, and show us what they’ve knitted. They talk about their jobs and their families and I find that to be so fascinating. The past couple of days, I’ve been surfing site after site after site and feeling that sense of nostalgia for those days. Now, there is less drama because we’re simply trying to live our lives the best we can. We’ve all matured and started focusing on what’s important, but we’re sharing our lives with each other. And that is awesome.

And on that note, I’m going to try to finish reading Firestarter. I didn’t realize it was such a hard book to get through. Not because it isn’t interesting. It’s amazing. But it’s long and dense. Stephen King was and is a freaking genius.

(Originally published at Anywhere Is…)

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