Thursday, January 17, 2013

Still Doing It

On January 17, 1950, 11 men stole more than $2 million from the Brinks Armored Car Depot in Boston.

Twenty-seven years later, on January 17, 1977, convicted murderer Gary Gilmore stood before a firing squad in Draper, Utah and uttered his very last words: “Let’s do it.”

And 28 years after that, on January 17, 2005, I wrote my first post for the Luna Park Gazette.

All right, let's get this show on the road,” I wrote, back when I had brilliantly called the thing “Rob’s Blog.”

This is my first post on my first blog. I am 47, marooned in Brooklyn without a job, wife or children. Most of my big dreams have crashed and burned like the Hindenburg, but that hasn't stopped me from climbing on the next bag of hot air and heading back into the sky.”

Cheery little bugger, wasn’t I? A bit little wordier than Gary Gilmore, too, but then I didn’t have a firing squad taking aim at me.

Eight years have gone by since that first post. I’ve reached out for many bags of hot air, and I’m still here on earth. And that’s not so bad.

Back then I wouldn’t have seen daylight if you had shoved me into a rocket and fired me straight into the sun. I had no hope, no joy, and no plan—except, apparently, to be as miserable as possible.

I was a middle-aged man living in my parents’ house with my elderly father who had been recently been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.

George Bush, whom history will judge as the worst president in U.S. history, was occupying the White House at the time and gleefully destroying this country’s economy, credibility, and spirit.

American lives were being shredded in Iraq just so war profiteers could line their pockets and anyone who objected to this blatant abuse of power was immediately branded a traitor—not to our faces, of course. Those flag-waving hemorrhoids never had the guts for that kind of confrontation.

I'm Down Here!

I never thought anyone would read my posts, but gradually I started getting comments and making contacts. I got together with a bunch of Brooklyn bloggers for a series of great events.

“When I first started blogging,” I once told a roomful of like-minded individuals, “I felt like a man lost in the jungle who fires a flare gun into the sky in hopes of being rescued.”

And rescued I was.

I’ve racked up 545 posts over the years and I’ve made contact with people from all over the world: Israel, England, Dubai, and Canada.

I’ve met some great people, both online and in the flesh, who listened to my problems and offered me comfort and advice.

I eventually found a job—a couple of them, actually. My father died in 2007, we sold the house, and I’ve got a very nice apartment a short distance away.

No wife or children, but I do have two beautiful nieces whom I dearly love.

I still haven’t reached a lot of my goals, to be honest, but I’m in a better frame of mind now than I was back in ’05. At least I sure as hell hope so.

I’m not sure how much longer I’ll be blogging. I’ve got fiction to work on and it seems that blogs are being crowded out of the online picture by the likes of Facebook and Twitter.

Why bother trying to write something when you can tell the world about the most routine moments of your life in 144 characters?

But I’m going to stick with blogging until something better—and more lucrative--comes along.

I’ve still got more stories to tell, more ideas I want to share. There are people I want to stay in touch with and more people I want to meet. I've still plenty of flares that I'm just dying to light up.

And, look, there’s another bag of hot air up in the sky and its heading this way.

Come on. Let’s do it.


Walaka said...

Interesting that your conceit for this piece involves hot air balloons: the title and subtitle of my first blog, which had a contemporaneous start with yours, was "Hoodies and kilts and cons... A dirigible balloon tentatively exploring the blogosphere." I quit it with the 1000th post in 2008, but have always been drawn back to blogging and am on the cusp of some renewal in that area right now.

I think you're right that Twitter and Facebook have drained some of the moxie from personal blogging - it seems that specialty blogs are the most robust, those focused, single-topic sites about movie reviews or comic books or electronics or whatever. But I think there may be a renaissance of the personal blog; FB updates and Tweets are fine, but a bit insubstantial.

In any case, I hope you keep this up. Don't let it interfere with your primary writing, but remember you do have an audience out here that would miss your work.

Peace out.

Rob K said...

"A dirigible balloon tentatively exploring the blogosphere." I like that very much indeed.

Point well taken about the specialty blogs. I've seen some brilliant ones out there but I could never rein in my chronic need to navel-gaze and bloviate about anything that crosses my path.

I hope you're right about the resurgence of the personal blog and thanks so much for the support.

Take care.

Ron said...

Happy 8 Year Blogaversay, Rob!

OMG...I don't think I knew that you've had this blog since 2005!?! That's awesome!

It was so interesting to go back and read your first post because I had no idea you were in between jobs. When I have more time, I will peruse your archive and read more.

"Why bother trying to write something when you can tell the world about the most routine moments of your life in 144 characters?"

It's so ironic you said that because one of my blogging friends and I were talking on the phone last weekend about the same thing - Facebook and Twitter seem to be taking over blogging.

But hey, for me, blogging just seems like a much better way to socialize online and express my creativity because it's QUALITY time spent. FB and Twitter are just so much more about quick and immediate gratification.

Again, Rob, congrats on your anniversary, and I look forward to blogging with you for you next 8 years!

Keep on blogging, buddy!

Rob K said...

Hey, Ron! I appreciate your support.

I cringe at the thought of some of my earlier posts. They were so long and rambling!

Good point about the quality of blogging versus the "I just went to the bathroom" immediacy of FB and Twit, I mean Twitter.

Thanks as alway, buddy. Now let's blog on into the future!

Jay at The Depp Effect said...

Wow, you've been blogging a LONG time!!

You know, I suspect life would get pretty hollow if our goals were easy to attain. Imagine a point where you'd realised all your dreams. What would you do? Man was meant to strive, my friend. I suspect you'd search for, and find, some new dreams to dream.

I think you're wrong about Facebook and Twitter. I've never seen the point of Twitter - there are people many like me - and almost everyone I know who uses Facebook hates it. In fact OH predicted its downfall within the near future. He thinks people will get tired of it within three or four years. He's often right about these things, too!

Rob K said...

Dreams keep us alive, Jay, so I will keep dreaming and keep striving.

I sure hope OH is right about Twitter, Jay. It is so aggressively pointless.

The only time it makes the news is when some dimwit celebrity says something grossly offensive and has to backtrack.

Take care!

Calamity Jen said...

Your blog posts are always so well crafted, and your voice comes through loud and clear. It is easy to see the positive changes you've gone through in the past eight years. So much of the unfocused anger is gone, and a brighter outlook is obvious. It's good to see.

My own blog is sputtering to its death, although I have yet to pull the plug and let it go.

Rob K said...

Oh, thank you so much, Jen. You and your beautiful family are one of the best things that ever came out of my blogging experience.

You have your hands full raising that fabulous son of yours, but I wouldn't rush to pull the plug just yet.

It's not costing you anything, and you never know when the urge to blog will hit you!