When I first started my blog, it was a way to keep in touch with my friends/former co-workers. I had five readers at the most, and only one regular commentor. And I didn’t care. It served my purpose…keeping them updated on the mudane events of my life, and also got me back in the habit of real writing. For six years prior, I had been a master at writing policy memos, proposals, and business e-mails. Going back to school meant I’d still be writing, but in a totally different way.
I’ve always been a writer. Not to say that I have the beginnings of the next great American novel somewhere; rather, I wrote as a means of comfort. Drama in my life? I’d write. Sometimes I was writing to the source of that drama, carefully crafting my opinions and feelings in a way that clearly expressed what I was thinking. Sometimes I was writing just to myself. I didn’t need anyone to read the end result, the mission was accomplished – I had gotten my feelings out and felt better for it. There is something extremely cathartic about putting pen to paper, finger to keyboard. It’s equally vulnerable to put it out on the internet for the whole world to see – a beautiful combination that keeps us all coming back for more.
I remember when I had a particulary tiring week at school, and hadn’t updated my site in over a week. My lone commentor left a comment that she missed me – she checked the site everyday and was getting bored at my former worksite with nothing to read. I replied to her that there was only one thing I did daily without fail – play poker. “Don’t make me turn this into a poker blog!” I said.
Of course I did. It was only natural that with poker playing such a large part of my life, that my writing would become about it. Writing about how you played a hand or the results of last night’s session doesn’t exactly soothe the soul the same way free expression does, but it did give me a way to analyze my play, and eventually exposed me to a huge community – many of which have become friends.
There were times, however, when I would get fed up with the whole poker blogging scene. I often compared it all to being back in high school – cliques formed, some people were recognized for things that didn’t really merit recognition…it could be discouraging to a new blogger just getting started. And like I sometimes felt in high school, I thought that I could probably just take my site offline and no one would ever even miss me.
Of course, be careful what you wish for.
This was not a planned downtime, I assure you. Long story short, my ex-husband was the lead programmer and IT director for a small local company. They had lots of servers, offered hosting to a few select clients, and one of the perks of being an employee was free hosting. I have (had) two sites – my jewelry design business site, and then, once a witty domain name was selected, my blog. Both were hosted by his company, and it was a great arrangement for me. Anytime I needed something done on the server-side, I only had to look across the kitchen table to find the person to take care of it. When we divorced, in a gesture of friendship, my ex told me my sites could remain. I was no longer getting any sort of customer service, but it was free, and as always you get what you pay for.
I noticed Tuesday night that my site was down. I didn’t think much of it, I was certaintly familar of the procedure when server work was needed – do it late at night so few people notice. When the site still remained down a few hours later, I called my ex just to make sure that he was indeed working on the servers. When I got the voice mail that said his company cell phone number was no longer good for him…I knew. When I did get in touch with him, he confirmed that he had quit, that it was his last day. File this under things I could have benefited from knowing earlier… (he always was the passive-agressive type though).
I had already planned on moving to a different server. During our long chat at Caesar’s in June, Joseph had offered to move my site to the same server LasVegasVegas is on. I wouldn’t have free hosting anymore, but I’d get service. I readily agreeded, and we planned to do the move once the WSOP was over and life was relatively calm.
Not knowing that this forced removal was coming, I didn’t get a chance to do what you normally do when you move servers – namely, back up all files. I’m told they are still there, and will be moved to a location where I can reach them once things get in order at my ex’s old company. While I certaintly understand the lack of urgency on their part (I was never a paying customer, they had always been doing me a favor; and for all I know my ex didn’t give them any notice at all and left them in the lurch tech-wise) I still feel incomplete. My words are gone. They’re sitting on some computer somewhere, unable for me to retreive them. I want them back – all the wonderful comments from everyone, even the trackback spam – they’re mine. All I can do though is be patient, and hope that we’re reunited soon.
I of course thank Joseph a great deal for getting my domain moved over quickly, so you didn’t have to see that ugly 404 page for too long. He also set me up on blogger, and did the redirect. I miss my Movable Type, I miss my style sheet, I miss my site. But this is better than nothing. And I thank all of you who checked in on me, offered to host me on your sites, and in general reminded me (again) of how great this group can be.