"Now here, you see,

it takes all the running you can do
to keep in the same place.
If you want to get somewhere else,
you must run at least twice as fast as that."

~ The Red Queen, "Through The Looking Glass" ~


as much as you need to know
... and less!

(i can already hear 'em screaming
in TicTac ...)

"Mom's 10 Commandments
of Summer"

archived journal entries ...
... including the epic
*Anniversaries From Hell*
(hint: the boat sinks)
also: some new/old stuff
that will doubtless
get me in trouble
all over again

photos of my beloved treehouse

yeah, it's still the German guy ...
no one has been able to
top that one yet

"Night of the Prairie Squid"
... a trashy, twisted
summer potboiler
written by (slightly demented)

proudly coloring outside the lines
since 1957

people who keep me breathing
on a semi-regular basis

My kid drew this

Daughter #2 drew this

visitors since June 1998

When 43,785,981,096 people have visited this site, I'll wash my feet

I always knew that one day
I would take this road but
I did not know today would be the day.

~ Nagarajuna ~

Friday June 28th, 2002  
Click here to read that thrilling last entry, all about my new best friend at work!

The main page is crawling with more doo-dads and gee-gaws than a Fisher Price Busy Box.

The little animated feet alone run 43,897,621 MB (and they're not even wearing shoes, forcryingoutloud). In the time it used to take for this stoopid page to load completely, most of the audience had finished their popcorn already and were beginning to head for the exit.

I can't say that I blame them.

And then there's the infamous MIDI File From Hell. My pal Feef described it once as "a calliope on crack" -- which probably hurt my widdle feewings at the time, me being this Serious Web-Page Designer and everything -- but hearing it again, a couple of years after the fact, I've got to admit she was right. That 's exactly what it sounds like. Which of course begs the question: who in her right mind would inflict this kind of gratuitous noise pollution on her poor hapless readers, day after day? (Especially if she expects those same readers to send her wedding presents/buy her a new bicycle/put her in the Diarists Hall of Fame, someday?)

I don't know about you, but it all sort of makes me want to go back in time and dangle four-years-ago Secra out that third-story window of hers.

By her FEET.

In case you weren't wandering around this little corner of the cyber universe, four years ago this week ... this is what *FootNotes* looked like when it officially debuted. (Or a close approximation, anyway.) Purists will probably notice that there is no Happy Panda Toaster, anywhere to be found. When *FootNotes* hit the cyber airwaves for the first time, the HPT was still some months in the future.

So was David, for that matter.

So were sobriety, and California, and Executive Assitude, and shopping for the perfect second-time-around wedding dress. Toe-clips probably hadn't even been invented yet. (Or if they were, four-years-ago Secra couldn't have cared less. All she wanted was a ride to the store, a four-speed oscillator and a box of Mountain Chablis. More or less in that order.)

In fact, pretty much none of the stuff that you come here to read about these days is represented here. Instead, what you've got is a weird, sprawling hodgepodge of calculated clutter and accidental art, cobbled together with glue stick and propped up with toothpicks.

Which -- come to think of it -- pretty accurately sums up the state of my life in June 1998.

When *FootNotes* was born, my sixteen-year marriage was officially over. So was the affair that had ended my marriage. So was the affair that had spawned the affair that had ended my marriage. (Confused? Try living through it.)  Two out of three Tots didn't hate me anymore. I was working on the third ... although it was tough from a distance of four hundred miles. Every morning I got on the bus and rode to my job at The Knife Company, where I answered phones and mailed catalogs for nine hours a day. Every night after work I got on the same bus and came home to my moldy little apartment and sat alone in front of my computer for another nine hours.

Oh -- and I was drinking like a fish. A very, very THIRSTY and DYSFUNCTIONAL fish.

*FootNotes* was pretty much the only thing I had going on.

In the beginning, the website was fueled primarily by alcohol and love gone wrong. That summer I threw all of my flimsy, limited *Time and Attention Molecules* into building what I secretly viewed as the perfect revenge vehicle. It was supposed to make me feel better. It wound up having just the opposite effect ... at least for the first couple of months. All of that isolation and self-pity weren't exactly conducive to good writing (or good web design choices). After awhile, even *I* was sick and tired of reading me. Fortunately, by the time the summer was over, most of my anger had burned off (along with my oven mitts) ... I was making one last attempt at getting my life back on track ...

... and suddenly I was writing *FootNotes* sober. To a responsive audience. For reasons other than revenge.

It's pretty much been that way, ever since.

This past year, especially, I've felt a real connection to a lot of the nice people who stop by and visit *FootNotes* on a regular (or irregular) basis. You were there when David and I got married last summer, for instance. How could I have gotten through the day without your advice and your good wishes and your waterproof mascara coupons? You were there through job changes and Tot crises and cancer scares ... through bicycle thefts and bicycle replacements ... through sobriety anniversaries and ant infestations and tragic Q-Tip misshaps.

(We were all hanging by the same slender thread here, I think.)

It's sort of been like having three or four hundred of your favorite people drop by to see how you're doing, every single day. Except that I'm not required to feed you, and I don't have to throw a T-shirt on over my sports bra before I answer the door.

It's been nice. I've enjoyed it. I hope we can do it for another four years.

But in the meantime, if you'll excuse me I think I'm going to go wander around my weird, sprawling hodgepodge of calculated clutter and accidental art for a while. There's a lot of stuff here that I haven't seen in a long time. (Look! There's Gary Coleman! Have they stopped making jokes about him yet? And Linus McAllister! I had a reader write to me once and ask where she could make a donation.) I'm thinking that I might flip through the old Tree House photos ... maybe take a look at the cyber crayon stuff ... maybe even drop my old pal Manfred a line, just for old times' sake. [(I wonder if he's still working in the international rescue?) I might even go back and give Night of the Prairie Squid a re-re-re-re-re-read. (If you've never read this one, by the way, I highly recommend it. It's the perfect summer "junk-read.")

But first ... I'm going to turn off the goddamn calliope-on-crack. It's driving me nuts.

Have a great weekend, everybody!

p.s. i'm thinking of keeping the little animated feet, though. they're sort of adorably nerdy ... don't you think?

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