Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Happy Birthday Eighty-Four Glyde!!!

It was a dark and stormy night. I had just taken a creative writing course.

God I love that line. As far as I'm concerned it's one of the best opening lines I've ever heard. Too bad I didn't write it. And too bad it has absolutely nothing to do with today's entry. So, let's just start over, shall we?

Today we are here to celebrate the one-year birthiversary of Eighty-Four Glyde. The blog to end all blogs. The blog that started off as one thing and completely got out of hand, tossing its leash aside and scampering freely in the warm sand and surf. A blog that began while I was still a soldier and which continues today to stand for the very same ideals and principles upon which it was founded: Loyalty, Honor, Duty, and Boobs.

Today we will dive into the long and convoluted one-year history of Eighty-Four Glyde. We're going to see what makes it tick, what makes it run and just what the hell Eighty-Four Glyde means. And by the end I think we'll all leave a little wiser, a little more experienced, and if we're lucky, with hearts full of love, (and bellies full of gas too, probably.) And, as an added bonus I'm going to change my profile picture in honor of this day. Below you will find a bunch of different pictures, because (in theory) this is such a great and free country I'm going to allow you wonderful readers to decide what ridiculous picture I shall use to represent myself to the rest of the world. Sounds fun right? Yeah, I didn't think so either.

Eighty-Four Glyde was born January 24, 2006. But that was not the date of its inception. It first started off as an idea in my head in the beginning of that month. I had deployed to Iraq (again!) in October '06. By December I was back in D.C. for leave. It was at home that I was introduced to Myspace. I returned to Iraq after having joined the site, and like the Johnny Appleseed that I was, I spread the word about that site to everybody out there. But that's all back story.

Eighty-Four Glyde was created because of a girl. Yeah, pitiful, I know. I found this girl on myspace and I wanted to impress her. It just so happens that I was a journalist in the army, (a pretty decent one) so I decided to display my writing skills much as a peacock will display his regal and august tail feathers. I've worked for a few newspapers in my day, and at each one I wrote some sort of humor column. I figured that a blog would be the perfect medium in this internet-addicted world. I could write a humor column without fear of it being edited and destroyed by an editor who just didn't get what I was trying to say. Thus Eighty-Four Glyde was born.

Did it work? Did I impress her? Ehhh, not really. I talked to her for a few months, to pass away the long, monotonous hours in Iraq, but then things petered off. She wasn't really feeling me, and she really wasn't worth all the wasted effort I put into things*.

The hardest part for me, when first starting to write was to figure out what I should name the damn thing. I wracked my brain for a whole day trying to figure it out. Finally I decided to go with Eighty-Four Glyde, (though it was touch and go for awhile, I almost called this thing Josh's Blog for Big Booty Hoes. Which I think is just as catchy.) I know you're all dying to know what it means, sadly, when I tell you, you're just going to feel super gypped. But I'll do it anyway.

When I went to college in Springfield, Ohio I used to make the 600-mile drive back to D.C. for holidays. Every time I drove on I-70 I would pass a sign. The sign simply said Eighty Four/Glyde, with an arrow pointing to an exit. Each time I passed that sign I would be gripped by curiosity. What lay beyond that exit? What would I discover if I took it? In the end I never found out because I never wanted to know the truth. Eighty Four/Glyde sounded like it could be anything, and I wanted to let my imagination tell me the definition of that odd phrase. It wasn't until after I started the blog that somebody finally told me, (yes, somebody had to tell me what it meant) that Eighty Four and Glyde are simply two towns in western Pennsylvania. In fact anybody familiar with 84 Lumber has already heard of Eighty Four. So now you know, Eighty-Four Glyde is part fantasy, part location.

Over the past year I have written dozens of entries, (and lost a few when a memory stick I had was accidentally blown up by some Iraqis) tackling topics that I wanted to be universal so that we could all relate. School, work, holidays, movies; I wanted Eighty-Four Glyde to be something anybody could read and say "oh yeah, that happens to me all the time!" Or something similar. Other than to tell people when I was getting out of the army, (which I did, months ago, but still I appreciate all those people who have sent me their love and blessings because they thought I was still over there. America knows how stupid this war is, but they'll never stop loving the soldiers who are over there doing a thankless task that they might not understand or believe in.) and about the time I was homeless, I really haven't talked much about myself or my life. Because I'm not important, I'm just the writer. It's what I write that should affect people, not how I live, (not to mention that my mother, father and sister all read this blog, so I keep shit pretty P.G.-13 rated. Do I have to? Nope, but they don't need to know what I've done until my autobiography comes out. If I wrote blogs about me, Eighty-Four Glyde would go in a completely different direction.)

In the end, my ultimate goal, (besides being rich and famous) was to write something funny that people will like. That's it. Pretty simple. And if you do enjoy Eighty-Four Glyde, then please tell your friends and spread the word. Repost my bulletins when I mention that I have a new entry, put my banners up on your page. Anything that will put people onto this. Not for the uber weird blog popularity contest that is going on on myspace, but just to introduce people to a new voice, one that has something to say. The question is, have I been successful so far? What do you think? Wanna hear something funny?

And now, as a gesture of thanks to everybody who has subscribed to my blog, each month I'm going to give a shout out to everybody who subscribed that month. This month has been both the first and last month I've written, so there shouldn't be too many names. I'd like to give a special shout out to the first person in this list, Lea, because she was my first subscriber ever. From day one. I'd also like to thank, in no particular order, Diane with the stars in her eyes, Manda – a Diva like no other, Fukendrinkin, Nunya/Ashley, Kristen, ~angel~ is it really???, Jennifer, Keith, Kanielle, Hillbilleechick, Reddz Voice, Mark and He who hits stuff.

I would again like to thank everybody who reads my blog. Sorry this entry was so long, I tend to ramble at times.

And now for the pictures. There will be a number above each one. Please leave a comment with your number choice. I warn you, these are pretty scary!


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Yes, they are all extremely scary and no I have no sense of decency. Enjoy!

*She is subscribed to this blog however, though I doubt she reads it anymore. Just in case she does read this I want her to know that my nickname for her is Lisa Simpson, because like Lisa, she's got too many opinions about things without considering their real-world application. She's got morals and ethics, but doesn't understand when to use them and how the world really works. It's not the people with morals and ethics who change the world, it's the people with money and power. If the rich people also have ethics, so be it, but it's money that makes the world go round. Sorry things didn't work out Lisa, I'm sure you don't even care.

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