Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Memoirs of a BUsha: Ten Years of the URI! Zone

2004 - 2005

When you leave hallowed halls of progressive education, you completely relinquish your frame of reference since you can no longer say things like, "That was when I was a senior" or "I got arrested the summer after I went to France". I actually had to skim over my old posts from 2004 and 2005 to remember everything that happened, which wasn't much. I know the order of major events, but no longer have a good impression of where on my timeline they were tacked.

I feel like I lived at the Elms in Centreville for two years, but it was actually less than one year. I feel like I bought my house in February 2005, but it was actually 2004. I moved fifteen miles up the road from Centreville to Sterling at the same time that my job moved from Sterling to Reston, and for a single day in 2004, my commute was only 1.2 miles long. Now it's 7.0 miles and sometimes I even have to refill my gas tank on the way home! I spent 2004 employing the free expertise of my parents to convert my fixer-upper house into a Pleasure Paradise to rival Biff Tannen's. Anna and Eric were guests at the Hotel AstUri!a and my web site once again became a daily journal -- which room I had renovated and painted electric orange or which homeless panhandler I'd pimp-slapped on the off ramp. The big change here was that I finally canned the incredibly flexible JavaScript system I'd written for posting updates and replaced it with a standard, simpler navigation scheme that Googlebot and other search robots could finally visit with some success. With the whole site open to search engines for the first time in eight years, I finally received an influx of casual visitors, many who ended up sticking around for a long time.

By the time 2005 had rolled around, the tone of the site had gone from being me to being a zany caricature of me, writing a daily column instead of a journal. Eric moved out, Kathy moved in, Kim appeared, Anna married off for two goats and a sheep and moved out, Kathy moved, and the harem moved in. I really picked up the pace on writing around July of 2005, figuring that if I have a website, I might as well turn writing into a daily routine / hobby to further enrich my already storied life. Using the momentum of that month's posts, I held a faux grand opening in August for the 10th year of the URI! Zone's existence and sent mail to everyone I'd ever known from the previous nine years. Many of the people who showed up as curious visitors are still here today, posting regularly in the comments section!

Ex-Roomie is obviously Anna who I first met when she was a freshman trumpet player in the Marching Virginians in 1999. I've lived with her for three of the seven years since then. Beavis (Dan!) was my roommate in 1997-1998 and rediscovered the site in August after my blatant attempts at spamming the entire Virginia Tech cadre. He came to Tech at the same time I did, and so did Doobie the part math-major part tuba guy who threw up in Kelley's sink the year before I lived with Kelley. The following year, Kelley moved in with Philip who transfered to Tech from some hick-town commuter school in 1997. Both Kelley and Philip were trumpet players who occasionally played trios with Shac. After college, Shac went to Canada so he could learn how to suck less at trumpet where he met Brianne. I've never met Brianne myself so I'm presuming she got here through Shac or decided to randomly stalk Virginia Tech alumni one day. With Brianne came John, Canadian lawyer extraordinaire, and another fellow I've never met.

From the Empire Strikes Back years of the URI! Zone come the Florida contingent, starting with Mike, who is notable only because he is Chompy's owner. "Mike's Apartment" is where we spent most of our off-hours in Tallahassee and is also apparently a porn site online, since I get tons of misdirected searches for that term. Kathy used to date Mike and now lives five miles down the road from me with her sugar daddy, Chris. Mark is a composer who lived on the side of my apartment complex bordering the loud raucous frat houses (my side overlooked a quiet cemetary and was a great sleep enabler). Rob lived just two doors down from Mark and played piano on one of my compositions in 2003. I don't have any tongue-out-pictures of the last two because they are always decorous and present themselves with a modicum of class at all times.

Finally we reach the end of the trilogy with folks who've been around for awhile but never came out of the woodwork until this past year. Paige went to Tech with me and moved to Texas to be an elementary music teacher before jetsetting to Spain with her playboy husband where she now learns Spanish, takes siestas, and plays with her dog. Jaood (Mike), I met through playing Warcraft III in days of yore only to discover that he lives right down the road from me. He's now finishing up his last years at Tech, following in the footsteps of the many intellectual giants you read about in previous paragraphs. Another person I met playing Warcraft III online was Rachel who is the only regular visitor that I still have no picture of. Rachel is from Australia and has the annoying habit of waking up when everyone is going to bed, or ranting about our dirty American habits in the comments sections. Gabe also played Warcraft, but is, more importantly, the brother-in-law of Anna. Kim probably never played Warcraft but did go to high school with me, did all the sports I did, and then went to Tech. I think she was stalking me, but that's okay because I have a lot of stalkers, being an Internet celebrity. With Kim came Sam but I haven't seen him comment here recently so he doesn't get a coveted picture slot. Finally of course, there is Mom who has been reading the page since its inception. There is Dad too, but he never comments, preferring to be the silent behind-the-scenes manipulator of the family.

Other than these regular commenters, there are still plenty of daily visitors who just like to read what I write, and I love them all as well. I would love them more if they did a little audience participation, like getting into an Internet argument with Rachel, or telling Mike (of Chompy and Mike) that U2 is great, or dangling their participles in front of Rob. Until then, thank you all for keeping the Zone alive!

Don't Date Him Girl!
Ugly bride derails wedding plans
New margirita kickers

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