All the world knows me in my book, and my book in me.

--Michel Eyquem de Montaigne

Monday, January 17, 2000

And so we arrive at the first anniversary of the start of Shmuel's Soapbox. (Actually, this is going up a day late, which seems oddly appropriate, all things considered.)

It's a bit hard to believe that I've been doing this for a year now. It's also deeply gratifying. I've never been able to keep an offline journal going anywhere near as long, so, in that regard, this has been a success.

Admittedly, I could stand to update more regularly. And I have way too many topics up in the air that I've promised to get back to. I still plan to get back to them, but the evidence suggests that it'll be awhile, and that, by that point, I'll have opened several more cans of worms.

This is not wholly bad. It does reflect the way my mind tends to work, having multiple projects in progress at any given time, putting ideas or trains of thought on the back burner for awhile, and then getting back to them later. Sometimes years later.

It probably doesn't make for particularly easy reading, though. Oh, well.

Anyway, getting back to the subject at hand... so, the mere fact that this has been up and running for a year is an achievement in itself. I do think the regular practice helps my writing in general, and I like having a record of what I've been up to. I've found myself occasionally consulting the archives to see when various events took place. And, of course, it's nice to have a soapbox upon which to rant and rave to the world at large.

And then there's my readers. I feel uncomfortable saying how much I appreciate the e-mail I get in relation to this site. I feel that I don't have a right to it, given how rarely I reply. I have an e-mail backlog the size of Mount Everest, and it only gets worse as time goes on.

That hasn't stopped a few of you anyway, and I do appreciate it deeply. While I'm not much concerned with how many readers I have, I'm happy that the ones I have are a bunch of great people. So thanks to all of you, whether we've corresponded or not.

Not that e-mail exists solely as feedback, either. Some of the entries and threads in this journal have been sparked by, or written in response to, reader questions or comments, and I hope that'll continue to be the case. At any rate, if it weren't for you guys, I wouldn't be writing this. Thanks!

In the past year...

  • My maternal grandmother died.
  • I was in a major van accident in which:
    • My maternal grandfather died.
    • My mother suffered some spinal cord damage.
        (Aftermath: She's still in rehab.)
    • I got a nasty head wound and lost part of one eyelid.
        (Aftermath: I may still need plastic surgery.)
    • Other siblings suffered sundry minor injuries.
  • As a result of the foregoing, and my mother's current wheelchair dependance, the rest of the family is moving a few neighborhoods over.
  • Oh, and I got mugged, but who cares about that?

I hope nobody minds if I say that I hope this year won't be anywhere near as interesting.

Not that I'm complaining, exactly. In fact, I'm not sure what happened; this was supposed to be an enthusiastic entry. I guess enthusiasm just isn't my strong point. I tend to do better with my usual attitude of cheerful pessimism.

Stay tuned for more of that -- with a side order of upbeat cynicism -- in the year to come. And thanks again.


Last Year