Saturday, October 3, 2015

Yester to Now

When I started this blog it was admittedly by (relative) force, as we were asked in a college course to start either a wordpress of blogspot page to "review" the usability, clarity, and aesthetics of website homepages. While this analysis of web ergonomics did yield its own form of unexpected positives, (most notably the opportunity to turn Dr. Propen on to Vusi Mahlasela and who can forget Denny Basens' burns-so-good Batman "sightings" remark, leaving the class in fits of laughter and me in a rare moment of speechlessness), I considered it largely just another means to a 3.8. A foot stone on the path to the vague, yet well regarded, BA in Professional Writing. Another note on a college epitaph to let atrophy much like my knowledge of the rhetoric of Voltaire. (I was always more of a Quintilian guy.)

Anyway, the point is, other than taking some pride in the name "Yesternow," plucked from Miles' "Tribute To Jack Johnson," I put next to no stock in the venture.

You don't have to be Francis Bacon to pick up on the appeal of the name. To me it implies a sense of reflection while living in the present. In a sense you're not so much dwelling on the past as you are trapping it in the amber for you to save for yourself. It's like a scrapbook, but what I think is cool about it is that in the blog post you're already kind of providing a commentary on past events. A blog, if handled right, is like a scrapbook of a scrapbook. I'm hard pressed to think of a more charming microcosm of a thought. I'm smitten with it, truth be told. Plus, given my overall lack of coordination with scissors, this seems like the only scrapbooking option for me.

In large part, it's with this entirely over-romanticized thought in mind that I picked up this blog again after the course was complete, but the other reason was a little more personal.

A great many things have been said about me over the course of my life. Fortunately, a lot of it positive. I have my family and friends to thank for that. I believe you're a reflection of the people around you. Two things said to describe me that I tend to cherish.

1. You're the kind of guy that if you pulled up in a parking lot with John Coltrane blaring out of your car you would seem like the most interesting and bad man on the planet, but if you pulled up with Jay-Z blaring out of your car it would look like one of the most uncool things ever.

Nobody covers the entirety of the suave - awkward spectrum quite as thoroughly as I do.

2. You're the kind of guy where if something in a movie is meant to make the audience laugh out loud, you'll chuckle and if something in a movie is meant to make an audience chuckle, you'll laugh out loud.

I admit I shared the first one mostly just to have it in writing, but the second one was really one of the most important factors in me starting this blog. I knew that I, like everyone, would have moments that I'd remember for the rest of my life. I knew that I'd remember high school theater performances, Rhapsody concerts, great days on the basketball court, good buzzes, first loves, successes, Dave shows, etc. but I was terrified of losing the moments that lead to those highs. Genuinely scared. It wasn't enough to remember the night Sean Taylor left his coat in the bar in Astoria in heart of the winter. I wanted to remember the bar we went to before it and what may have happened to set the whole night in motion. I didn't want my life, as active and entertaining as it was (is) to become a series of connect the dots with dots equaling memories. I don't want to remember moments. I want to remember what I thought and how I felt in those moments. I considered it very important to me.

So Yesternow became kind of a bi-weekly reflection on what was going on in my life. Through the blog I was able to connect the dots on my terms.

With that said, as weeks and, dare I say it, years have gone by, life's pace picks up and it becomes a little harder to summarize something as chaotic, monotonous, fun, depressing, uplifting, challenging, inspiring and, indeed, beautiful as life in four to five paragraphs of sometimes-clever anecdotes and Sean Taylor stories.

Since the last time I've written here I've traveled the world, laid roots for a career, or at the very least a hell of a stepping stone to one, met new people I've come to love, lost touch with some others, and grown to regard some old friends as nothing short of family. I have loved, I have cried, I have grown, seen concerts, sipped beers, seen friends get married, given toasts, planned trips, seen my first gray hairs pop up. I have laughed and been so grateful, and I have stared down demons I didn't know I had.

It's impossible for me to sum that up in any coherent way, but I've come to realize that I need this blog. I need the opportunity to connect the dots on my terms.

I want to re-open this blog on somewhat of a weekly basis, but I want to change up its format and tone a little bit. I want to share with you special times as they happen; those posts will still be there. I can tell you that next weekend I'm Gettysburg bound to see Sharnell and "B" get married and you know I'm going to have to share that experience with you here. With that said, I also want to treat this as a platform where I can share stories, be them from a week ago or fifth grade. I think it's no accident when we have these memories float through our minds. I want to document those as much as I do the current events, so to speak. I also want to post some more serious posts as well. I know that's phrased terribly and I don't want you all the think that I'm suddenly going to bring about a black cloud to this blog. That's not what this blog represents, but in short, life has its hurdles and maybe if occasionally I shared one of mine, it can help someone else get over one of theirs.

Thanks for reading.

Song of the Day: "Everybody Has A Dream" - Billy Joel
Jazz Song of the Day: "Embraceable You"- Bill Evans at the Montreux Jazz Festival