Let’s Blog Again, Like We Did 15 Years Ago

Remember when everyone blogged? Here’s what I remember about it: I thought the audiences for these things were limited to the people who I personally told about them, so that was approximately 14 people. Things got out of hand during my early 2002 intern stint at The Taipei Times, where I reviewed nightclubs while underaged and more comically, when my LiveJournal was secretly being read by all my Canadian, British and American expat colleagues, who I was totally blogging about. I had a crazy crush on one of those colleagues because he was a brooding-yet-brilliant asshole. I never named said crush and instead just relentlessly wrote about being in lust with him. Unbeknownst to me, the men in the office started a pool over who it was. One night, while stoned at a party, one of these guys decided he wanted to end the office pool so he told me about it. I was so humiliated I didn’t go to work for a week. They never figured out who the dude was. I wonder what he’s doing. Probably being brooding/brilliant.

My college roomie Amy ran a blog called “Unsolicited Advice” and I checked it all the time even though we were always like, sitting right next to each other. I don’t think any irreverent person in the Missouri Journalism program lacked a blog, actually. Everyone seemed to write under pseudonyms (a sign of those times) and I chose “Jack Foley” after the George Clooney bank robber character in Out of Sight. I named my blog after a line from a different movie — Waiting for Guffman. Inside the crop circle in the film, it was weirdly always 67 Degrees with a 40% Chance of Rain, so that was what I called ye olde blog. Those were the days. Those blogs felt realer, maybe because we had more characters to use and fewer image filters to choose from. The internet wasn’t feudal and algorithms didn’t decide as much about which friends you kept up with and which ones you never read about.

That was a long windup to a point, which is that confronted with Facebook feeds and Tweetdeck barrages and Instagram and Snapchat and whatever the kids use these days, some people are returning to the old-school style of blogging. Mainly it’s the internet dude Dave Winer, and my friend Jenny (who I wanted to BE in 8th grade). And I think I want to try and do it more, too. As Winer notes, “Out here on the open web, as long as you stay away from the BigCo silos, there is no algorithm. Just people. No one but us people.”

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The 3rd of July BBQ Road Trip

We celebrated America with giant hunks of brisket and sausage and Dairy Queen.

I rounded up my friends-who-can-eat and we caravaned to Lockhart, TX, home of the best dad gum Texas BBQ you’ll find. (Also the filming location of Waiting for Guffman‘s fictional town, Blaine, Missouri.) Central Texans are split on their favorite barbecue place down in Lockhart. Some prefer Black’s, others like Kreuz Market, I’m partial to Smitty’s. Here’s my friend Brett and I’s suggested order to feed five at Smitty’s (if you are also good eaters):

One lb of fat (brisket)
One lb of lean (brisket)
Four hot rings (sausages)
Two lbs of pork ribs
One lb of pork chops
One brick of cheddar cheese
Two potato salad sides
Two cole slaw sides
Unlimited white bread and brisket

No utensils allowed.

That took good care of us. We had some lean leftover since the fat is so much tastier. Afterward, we hit up the local DQ, which Christopher Guest fans will remember the Parker Posey character working at in Waiting for Guffman. A great way to celebrate America, if you ask us.

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