Some of the reasons why Ipecac Aperitif has fallen by the wayside:
1. I hate the new "improved" version of Blogger, which streamlines/dumbs down the whole process so that few of the idiosyncratic details I once employed are still available.
2. I've been working on a four-year-old Mac, which is so slow (despite DSL) that trying to upload images from my camera is virtually impossible, let alone putting any of them on the site. That would be why I haven't updated Baby Pictures in more than a year.
3. I haven't been writing as much in general since I became a teacher/dad, and I'm about to become more of both.
3A. School starts next Wednesday and I'm back in high school after three years away, back in public education after two years in the tender care of a well-funded private school, back to classes of 30 kids instead of 16, back to a state-mandated textbook and one prep period a day instead of three, back to having to lock everything up and write referrals because I'm teaching kids who haven't had enough adults model empathy and intellectual curiosity for them. Got a beautiful classroom, and I get to teach drama for the first time in my life, and I think it'll be a good year; but it's bound to require a lot of work, a lot of time and a lot of energy. Teaching always does.
3B. Then there's parenthood. Genevieve is three and way more than a handful. Not in a bouncing-off-the-walls, destroying-everything, constantly-throwing-tantrums kind of way; more like in a not-being-able-to-be-parted-from-us-for-more-than-three-seconds, play-with-me-endlessly kind of way. The cute way. But relentlessly so. Guilt about neglecting this website can't compare to guilt over wanting to find the OFF switch on my daughter so I can have an uninterrupted conversation or a moment of intimacy with my wife. Cos, you know, she won't be three forever; she won't adore us forever; if we miss this it won't come back, and she's an actual person, not a concept, someone who'll bear deep psychological scars if we get selfish and ignore her because we're not in the mood for joyous innocence. Now take that and add a newborn girl, someone whose complete and utter neediness will make Genevieve look like Ayn Rand. Oh the love. Oh the exhaustion. Oh the demise of adult leisure time.
4. Even without 3A and 3B, I'd be backing away from the Internet. It's a solitary activity, however interconnected with the whole world it may be. Solitary and sedentary. That's easy for me; I've been doing that all my life, intellectual only child that I am. But apparently I want something more, or I wouldn't have structured my life the way I have. The trend seems to be away from the conceptual, toward the real -- though never absolutely, because there are no absolutes and besides reality is just a concept and what if the Matrix was a documentary and everything but me is an illusion designed to keep me docile while sentient viruses use my semiconscious body as an energy source? So there's that. Yeah, I'll keep frequenting the sites of my friends, a couple of saucy political weblogs, Homestar Runner and the Kingdom of Loathing, though probably less often than before. I'm looking for balance. Trying to feel less crazy. Letting go of some juvenile obsessions. Learning how not to live entirely in my brain.
Footnote to #s 1 and 2: I recently bought a new (cheap) PC, my first foray out of the Mac ghetto; it's a lot faster, and once I get my bearings I'll see about finding an alternative to the lameness of Blogger. It's time for new digs and a new name.
Those of you Faithful Readers whom I count among my friends will get an e-mail update when the new digs have been established; likewise, you'll get pictures etc. when the new baby arrives in October. If you're unsure of your friend status, feel free to drop me a line and let me know you'd like to be notified. I'll also post a link to the new site here, once it's up and running. Don't hold your breath, though. It might be a while.
Before I go, here are some recommendations of stuff I've enjoyed recently:
For all of you grammar nerds out there, the page of unnecessary quotation marks, and for all of you savage misanthropes, the page of passive-aggressive notes.
For fans of juvenile halfway-incomprehensible garage-rock humor, here's my favorite new band. My favorite track is "Good Girl Yes, Bad Girl No".
For those who have yet to accept Jesus Christ as their personal savior: The God Hatch.
For those who appreciate Rube Goldberg cleverness, a marble machine that almost makes me want to buy a Honda.
For those ready to tackle a sublimely creepy, subversively funny, disturbingly erotic, overwhelmingly complex, totally original novel, I highly recommend the astonishing House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski.
For those who either don't have an allergy to Michael Moore or are willing to consider the possibility of overcoming it, go see Sicko. He's not in it much; it's not obnoxious; it made me laugh and cry and grit my teeth in anger.
Okay, that's it for now. Um...yeah. I should end with a joke. Some of you -- those of you who knew Jared Gutekunst -- already know this one.
What's yellow and bumpy and swims in the ocean?