December 18th, 2011

Me 2 (B&W)

To keep track of my life

Even before starting this LJ, I was journaling, and otherwise communicating/taking notes. I was a letter-writer from at least third grade on. What made me a committed letter-writer was my dad's 1988-1989 cruise on-board the U.S.S. John F. Kennedy. I kept track: I wrote 40 letters and postcards that got shuttled to the ship over those six months that Dad and a few thousand fellow sailors were all over the Mediterranean. I found out during the cruise that Dad's crew in the Air Ops office liked hearing Dad read my letters: nice validation for a high school freshman's interest in words.

The first personal journal I can remember keeping, I started in spring 1990. Right around when I learned to drive (and soon before, er, my first of a few car accidents). Thick red spiral notebook. I still have it somewhere, plus the follow-up notebook (also red). I remember several years ago sitting in a booth in the now-demolished SW Park Ave. location of Virginia Café, looking back through it. Thanks for taking those notes, Then-Me!

I've run into other journals during this cleaning jag I've been on. There's a printout of my college-age diary that I'd kept on the laptop I used from Christmas 1992 to when the computer gave up the ghost in 1997. That log -- I always called it a "log," not a diary, maybe because "log" sounds more military -- I started in January 1993 and kept doing until sometime in 1994. The portion I printed out ends mid-entry May 30th, 1994, on Page 160. Why didn't I print out what was after that, slightly more recent Then-Me?

Spring 1997 got another notebook log: thin, tall, grey. And a period where I seemed to be writing around what I was dealing with then, taking a while to deal with them directly. Alicia and mine's break-up that summer got a quick, undated "moment of silence" note in the lower right-hand corner of a page. Took me a while to actually write about what I was feeling -- no, that's wrong. I wrote letters. I just don't have those. Other writing went off and, perhaps, disappeared -- like letters to someone now dead.

Other diaries happened sporadically. I got into it again Summer 2001. Just in time for 9/11. Yes, I needed to write a lot when that happened. I have those logs, too. I like my writing -- usually -- and so I've kept a good portion of it. And other words that I passed along, in letters, emails, cards: I'll imagine/hope that those words were appreciated, wherever I sent them to.

And then there's this, the blog, a place where I can go on about my life publicly. I got into the habit of blogging a few months after I'd started this blog; this blog became a serious thing sometime in 2005. I've only had occasional breaks since then. This is the longest single continuous written record I've kept of my random-ass thoughts: years and years. I don't write about everything I could write about, because my mom reads this -- *grins* -- but the habit of keeping a public record of What I Do and What I Think has been, overall, a good one. Keeps me thoughtful, I think.

Then-Me was sporadically good at keeping track this way. Now-Me and Future-Me? Keep it up.

Yes, Chris...

...writing that entry? It probably helped you.

Posting that entry? It miiiiiiiiiiiiight not help you.

Something not posted yet. Maybe I'll finish and post it, maybe I won't, but it helped me work through a few more thoughts that needed working through. (Edit: Now it's deleted. Seemed best.)

So, hey, I'm here, about a quick update? One I will post.

I've been productive today. Got out before 8:00 to Fred Meyer to buy groceries, as I'd meant to last night but had treated myself to a performance of Live Wire Radio -- finally, I got to it! -- that let out too late for me to go shopping with the Freddy's coupons I had. I wanted to get shopping done early today, and I was able to. Also today I moved still more recyclable stuff out of my place and into recycling bins -- disposed of properly, so I can breathe better -- and while out on my errands I also saw that the Bagdad is showing A Very Harold and Kumar 3-D Christmas nightly at 8:20, and that might be another treat for myself this week, depending on how it goes. Here's to cheap treats. ("Why isn't it showing at 4:20?" even I thought, and I'm not a stoner at all. I can't be the only one.)