let’s pretend i wrote this yesterday

Twelve years.

Including this one, 2,060 entries.

Because I was so prolific in the first few years, I’m still averaging nearly a post every other day.

Chronicling my 21st year seems like such a long time ago, but I still remember sitting on that ratty blue couch in the living room. It was sweltering in that house. We had an undersized window unit in that living room. It was already kinda dirty when we moved in. The wiring was faulty to the point I’m surprised it never burst into flames.

But it was our house.

At the same time, it feels like only yesterday. But that couch is long gone. The new owner has been struggling to renovate that wreck of a house. This blog is still here.

I just haven’t been ridiculous lately. I can’t remember the last time I jumped in my car and visited a random small town. I can’t remember the last time I jumped in my car and showed up at someone’s house just because. Oh wait, that was in February.

I mean, it doesn’t happen all the time anymore. Most weeks, I get up, go to work, go home, cook dinner and then putter around the apartment until bedtime.

Things are changing still, but it’s more gradual than it once was.

My head is still full of ideas but I still cling to the idea that a journalist is objective. Although it is great to sit back while people are foaming at the mouth about the outrage du jour.

But, at the same time, my writing overall has dried up. Sure, I write for a living, but I can’t remember the last time I banged out a short story. My drive to work on my novel died with LSWV. It’s so easy to blame my lack of writing on my laptop dying in 2013, but I can’t ignore the correlation.

The overall issue is that I promised myself the novel would be the culmination of all the stories I set in that particular universe and I don’t want to reverse that decision. But I want to write. I need to write. Something. Anything. I need to get back into it.

This dozen years can’t be all for naught.

Rules are meant to broken. Especially if they’re your own.

Stay tuned.

year eleven

Round and round we go.

Nearly every year, I’m partially surprised this blog still exists. It’s been more than a decade so it’s time to stop being in awe.

But, still. Eleven years ago, we were embarking on a chronicle of turning 21 while living in a fraternity house. When I was sitting on that couch at 210 Deep Creek Road, I didn’t envision it becoming it covering nine years in journalism, my highest highs, my lowest lows, countless road trips and adventures and, before this month is through, my first wedding anniversary. I didn’t expect this blog to last the summer.

I’m glad that it survived.

This is an auxiliary memory of sorts, for better or for worse. I was in a conversation about something a few weeks ago in which everyone couldn’t remember the date or precisely how something happened. I pulled out my phone and there it was: Read it and weep: It’s what happened, documented less than 24 hours after it happened.

In a way, because of that, I’m looking forward to presenting this all to my children and grandchildren. “I can show you how things were in 2005.” “Let me show you why Richmond is my favorite place.”  “If you read these entries closely, you can tell I was in love with your grandmother for a long, long time before 2011.”

I can’t wait to see what the next year brings and how I’ll bring it to you. I’ve already declared this the Year of the Trip, so there’s that.

Let’s do this.

viadecade

TEN YEARS AGO TODAY, I was a rising senior in college. As I was wondering where the road would take me, I decided to chronicle my senior year and my experience as one of the charter members of what was our fraternity house. When I started, I had no idea how long this would last. I definitely didn’t think I’d be reflecting on blogging for a decade. We’ve gone from the halcyon days of college to slouching through young adulthood and, now, marriage.

I nearly shut the viaduct down several times in its early years. There were a few points when this blog all but faded away (such as January 2013 when there were exactly two entries, as compared to 46 in the first month). The name of this blog went from Langley Park to the S p r i n g h o u s e to the viaduct. The viaduct endured some awful, awful designs along the way and migrated from LiveJournal to WordPress. Exit265c.com went from a blog to almost a website with a blog included.

Through it all, though, it’s always been what it’s always been: A blog for everyone and no one, a public collection of my private thoughts, a relevant way for those who know me to keep abreast of my irrelevancy.

As the countdown says, now that’s it’s finally ticked down to 0, it’s been a crazy 10 years. But you know that. We’ve gone from college to unemployment to eight years of journalism. We’ve been from Rochester to Miami, Boston to Baton Rouge, Nashville to Norfolk. I’ve had some of my highest highs and my lowest lows expressed in words on this exit265c.com.

And I don’t regret a single word. Except for that one time. Then I got over it.

But I digress.

It’s time for a celebration. A month-long celebration! Today is the start of Year 10. My wedding is in 21 days! The 10th anniversary of me turning 21 is in 22 days!  There are many more miles to go, things to experience and people to see.

As I’ve said nearly every year, I’m taking you with me.

We’ll end this, and start the next decade, with our first refrain, the last words of Entry No. 1, June 1, 2004: sit back, relax and vicariously enjoy the randomness that is me.

nine

I figured, at this point, I’d just smash everything together in a giant post.

First off, press play.

This is one of Falyn’s favorite songs. It was the last song to play at her wedding reception. I was in the wedding two weeks ago.

Before the festivities. Note the before.

I love these crazy guys.

Technically, I was a bridesmaid. The wedding was in Richmond and, because it was Falyn and Isaac, it was what was expected: Awesome.

But, before I got there, I visited one of our former reporters who now works at the Richmond paper. After we grabbed a late lunch, a state tourism truck ran a red light. Then this happened.

I kinda wish a tourist was involved.

Virginia is for Lovers … of fail.

No one was injured seriously.

I told him, “I bought you news; you’re welcome.”

This happened in front of Third Street Diner, which was a common theme of the day.

Afterward, we celebrated the upcoming nuptials with a tour de drink throughout RVA that ended at Third Street.

I love this place for some reason.

THIRD STREET!

I don’t have any photos of the wedding yet. I didn’t take any because I was kinda in it.

Also, this trip was brought to you by Alamo BBQ. That’s Alamo BBQ: 2202 Jefferson Ave., in the beautiful city of Richmond.

Also try the brisket!

Get the Texas Trainwreck. You’ll thank me later.

So, it’s Year Nine. Nine years ago, I was already drinking wantonly and preparing for more wanton drinking to herald my final year of college. And launching this blog. Now I have no more than 365 days to get my entire wedding settled. I think that’s going to be the theme of this entire year.

It’s been a ride, hasn’t it? When I started this thing, I had been officially single for a couple of years and trying to make the most of being a senior in college. Initially, this was supposed to chronicle senior year. Then it turned into senior year plus starting my first job. Then becoming a young adult. Then nine years went by.

The wedding side of this is about to blow up. Then we’ll prepare to find a place to find our home for the long haul. Then I’ll have to balance being a dad and not being boring. All of this is still odd to me. I wasn’t even thinking about being a real adult when I started this thing. Now I’m a rare breed: Almost all of my friends who had a blog in 2004 don’t have one anymore. I’m still plugging along somewhat. I’m still excited about what the future holds.

The next 365 days will find me gearing up to marry the woman I wanted to marry back in 2002; the next 365 days will more or less devote this blog to me prepping to become someone’s husband; the next 365 days will not be like the other years this blog has covered.

Let’s do this.

But first, seriously, I need everybody and everything to go away for like 24 hours or so. At least for one day. I really, really need a day where I don’t leave the house.

Let’s end with the two songs I hope are played at my wedding. Bonus points if they’re played live.