#501, the first post of the rest of my blog

The blogosphere, and especially this sector, are not an overwhelmingly sentimental bunch. I suspect it’s owing to the preponderance of shut-ins and socially stunted decor.

I’m super sentimental and I always have been. I’m one to suddenly become unbearably thoughtful and sorrowful upon the demarcation of certain numerical milestones. I’m all about one month, one year, five years, ten years, etc. This is probably owing to my ethnicity. Hispanics love that shit. We love indulging in the past’s unrequited sadness and loss, that which has eluded us and we memorialize it with loud brassy downbeat music and drunken vocals (while we become drunken ourselves…in fact, if we become drunken, the scene takes a turn for not only the sad, but the nasty). I am Mexican, hear me lament! I love lamenting. In the blogosphere there are hundreds, thousands, of milestones reached daily, but you don’t hear about them. Last week I noticed that my post count was in the 490’s and approaching the big 500. I braced myself and thought perhaps I might post a special recollection…and believe it or not, I forgot. In fact, it was completely scourged from my mind as I posted about my puerile under-aged sexual fantasies without the slightest clue it was #500 until last evening when I signed on to my dashboard. How can someone be simultaneously fixated on artificial figures but so deeply dismissive?

Since I sought to reclaim the virginity of #500, I sat back and pondered.
500 posts in roughly a 20-month span. That is a steady average of 25 posts per month, which is spot on. I rarely have posted more than once per day (early on when I still had gusto) and rarely gone more than 2 days without posting (no recollection). I’m like friggin’ Old Faithful man. You can count on me spouting some random plume of volcanic bullshit almost every day. You can set your watch or cell phone by it. I’m ultra ritualized and I’ve frightened many people with this avocation. Especially people I come in contact with daily. I suspect most of the people I read are similar to me in degrees of compulsiveness and linearity. But I don’t know which world they live in, or if they realize that there is another sodden, disorderly universe out there in which people can barely measure their next glass of Mickey’s much less their next post length. I’m a stranger in a very strange land and many times I have nowhere to go. This blogosector is a great respite from the ignorant deer-in-the-headlights mentality of my own world, but many times, it is the repressed and self-conscious herniated pipeline that my freewheeling cohorts represent which I seek to flee. Sometimes I wish for a little ignorance, a little intellectual desensitization so that I might enjoy the moment.

The moment is #501!
I wondered, how can I commemorate 501 posts?

Of course, when you are putting together a retrospective of 500 posts, what better way than to sum them up in an exercise proclaiming their prized glory!

I’ve composed a a short list of some noteworthy moments in my first month of blogging. Back when this was “Phoenixism” and there was no distinct style to the shit I wrote.

There are so many more, and so many less.
You decide.

Virgin voyage: From August 25, 2009. I came off a 1-year-long blog previously which dealt with nothing but news and politics. Toward the tail end of that blog, I slowly discovered the PUA and MRA spheres. By the time I kicked off “Phoenixism” I had fully integretated much of that perspective into my opinions and world view. I became anti-consumerist and anti-materialist, yet I had not fully evolved into my present incarnation. This opening post surprisingly touches on a much of where I was headed even though I wasn’t conscious of it. I would say this post preternaturally outlined what I intended for Phoenixism. I sharpened and refined it and now I talk about 15-year-old girls, but the ideas are the same. The photo was taken on New Year’s Eve of 2008 while looking for a header on the previous blog. Note the pre-construction Gold Line which now stretches from East L.A. to Union Station. The march of time.

Terrible blog ideas: OK, so initially this blog was about simplifying and “uncluttering,” of mind and body. An extension of that involved cleaning my apartment from the ground up. I dove into this project, called the “East L.A. makeover,” which shamefully warranted a few video posts of my shabby apartment and my vain efforts to “clean” it up. The only thing this project served to illustrate the fact that ultimately I was a lazy ass who would rather spend time in front of the computer than actually cleaning. This post died a still-born plunge into insignificance without so much as a token farewell. My son, on the cusp of the age where he enjoyed such stuff, loved to film these. Now he would just laugh at me if I asked…

The turning point: If there was a span of time, a “moment,” that I could pinpoint as the instance in which I made a choice and effort to steer this blog on its present trajectory, it was Thanksgiving weekend of 2009. This post showcases a feature I used at at the beginning called “moments in time” in which I described, in first person, a stream of consciousness present narrative, an amusing episode or scene from earlier in the day. I enjoyed this but for whatever reason, I stopped. When I started this blog I was full of fanciful notions and I suppose they died away, but the legacy remained. This Moment in Time was written on my birhtday in 2009, the day after I took my son to his first music concert. The post kicked off a philosophical evolution that occurred over the span of the next 4 holiday days, culminating in a hopeful but dreary Sunday night post in which I symbolically bid adieu to a personally momentous weekend. I can’t impress just how strongly those 4 days altered the voyage that Phoenixism/An Unmarried Man would lead me toward.

Hot air and balloons: One of the first blogging lessons you learn is to keep it simple. Stupid. You aren’t used to having your shit read by the world and you tend to overdo it. You use tired, endless descriptions and every other word is a redundant verb. But you feel like you are doing your part because no one is there to swat your fingers. So you keep typing and typing and writing and you should have finished like 3 hours ago, but that’s not enough. You keep going! You go back a 2nd and a 3rd time and add more bullshit! You turn a lame story into pure crap. In the end, you’re left with a long narrative that no one has the gall to finish, least of all, yourself. Such was this piece of crap I wrote recounting a drunken weekend I spent in San Francisco. What a verbal disaster! But alas, I have a self-enforced policy of not deleting anything I write, however pitiful or embarrassing. This should have been deleted immediately.

Wow, they might be reading: Every once in a while, early on, you might get a bunch of random comments for an equally random post. Inexplicable, really. Your motives for blogging are varied and indistinguishable. Why do you do it? To get shit off your chest? To sway opinion? To foment arguments? Who knows. When I started, I was all about comments. Comments described my popularity, which they do…but I began to take note of views and visits. This quantified just how many times people were opening this page. Commenting is an exercise of connecting power that depends on the blogger, and not all of us have it. I sure don’t. There exists a tone and a vibe you must exude if you wish to become popular. Pay attention to bloggers who are popular. Mimic their environment. Writing what you “feel” doesn’t mean a thing in and of itself. This post was great because it inspired comments from people who normally didn’t comment here. Comments serve a purpose. Just don’t hinge all your hopes on them.

And lastly.
Sometimes your regulars die.
Sometimes they announce their demise. So you aren’t left completely in the dark.
When I started Phoenixism, a regular materialized from South Dakota named Lana. We traded barbs and she poked holes in me all the time, which is really not very difficult. In July of 2010, she announced she had cancer, and within a month or two, she was dead. It was quite eery and I posted this pseudo memorial in her honor.

These are people.