Friday, February 25, 2005

One year ago, two days early . . .

. . ., I started this blog. I'm jumping the ol' anniversary gun because on the 27th, Mrs. Meridian and I will be in Oklahoma City for a wedding. So, what follows are a few musings about the almost-completed first year.
It's been a good year for me, I have to say. A marriage. I continue to to call and see my children whenever possible. I still like my work, and/but on the side I still want to explore the ideas that produced a dissertation. This is the most settled I've felt in many a year. I would not say the blog is the cause of this contentment, but it does, in various ways, reflect it.
And as for the blog . . . 103 posts (despite what the counter on my Blogger profile says). I'm not sure of how many visitors I have had in all, since I've had the counter only since July. Pleasant meetings, via comments, with, true, not hordes of people, but certainly enough that they make me anxious to post about things that are interesting in themselves and/or to post about them in a substantive way. What's more, these people, on three continents and, in this country, various time zones, are people I never would have met in the Usual Ways. Google searches that have brought people here who are looking for information on topics as diverse as CV joints, High Noon, Vermeer, Rothko, Huckleberry Finn, Homi Bhabha, Vertigo, Barry Lopez, Arvo Part's Passio, Basquiat, the sign on the toll road in Oklahoma that says "Failure to pay toll strictly enforced," good ol' Wal-Mart . . . and I know I'm forgetting some others. That diversity of subject matter is both something I simply hadn't anticipated, and something that I'm pleased to see.
Maudlin alert: If you reread the first post (and the next couple as well), you see there a certain wondering about the audience for this (or any) blog. I still wonder about those of you who have become regular readers, whether you just visit and read or you choose to comment. That is, I wonder what it is that keeps you returning here. Perhaps it's better that I don't know. Whatever else I have wanted to accomplish with this space, one goal of mine has been never to pander to my readers, so it's gratifying to me that you occasionally find something of interest to you in stuff that happens to catch my mind's eye. I also assume that you find this a good place for you to return to, and I'm humbled that you find it to be that--indeed, given my recent posts on public space, I've even considered working that phrase into the description in some way. Anyway. If I had not found a responsive audience, I know I would not have kept it up, no matter how pleasurable I found the writing--otherwise, why not just keep a journal? So: thanks for reading, and for continuing to read.
Even more intriguing to me: a couple of you have told me that you have blogs now in part because of mine. I'll let you decide whether that decision has been a good or a bad thing as I have led you away from Hamlin, Pied Piper-like, into the blogosphere. But I consider your choice to havce blogs a sign that I haven't completely embarrassed myself here--and, because I do have an ego, stunted though it is, I'm pleased about that.
Thanks to all, again, for seeing Blog Meridian through its first year. It's been a pleasure and honor.

One last item, that shows that the various warnings about the dangers of smoking have been received in rather confused fashion among certain younger members of the American populace: last night I talked to my daughters' mother on the phone, and she related that C. was reading Bedtime for Frances by Russell Hoban. The Frances books, which are about a family of badgers, are among the very best children's books out there--they are funny and sly. Anyway, because C., were she older, would be a rather obnoxious anti-smoking advocate, her mom felt it necessary to tell her that in the book, Frances' father smokes a pipe.
"That's okay," C. said. "That was back when they didn't know smoking is bad for you--and besides: he's an animal."

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jennifer said...

Happy "anniversary!" I'm sure the blogosphere is a better place for your being active in it and besides that (more important to my mind) is that your blog is always interesting. I like the diversity of topics with which you engage in your posts and the booklist as well as the sort of "conversations" your blog inspires. So congrats! I raise my cup of organic fair trade darjeerling tea to you in a toast. Cheers!

René López Villamar said...

Been a regular reader of Blog Meridian for only a small amount of time, I can say it's one of the most engaging and toughtfull blogs all-around.
¡Muchas Felicidades!

John B. said...

A belated thank you to you both. And as a courtesy to Sabbatregent for commenting, I'll provide a link to your blog on my page.

fearful_syzygy said...

One year ago, four days late (or is it five, what with leap years and other things getting in the way?), fearful_syzygy finally gets his act together to wish JB and his blog a happy anniversary. Ah well, better than not ever, he figures, particularly considering that JB is at least partly responsible for his havign a blog of his own in the first place (the rest of the blame resting with the now defunct deliriumspeaks). Also, he figures, this brief show of good cheer and love thy neighbourish sentiment might earn him an equivalent, or preferably slightly less self-conscious and cumbersome congratulatory comment (and less alliterative to boot!) when his own blog's first anniversary rolls along in a couple of weeks' time.Happy Birthday, Blog_Meridian! It has indeed been a good year; make damned sure it's not the best, that's all I'm saying...

fearful_syzygy said...

Oh for goodness' sake! What the hell is the point of a preview button if the end result is nothing like what it shows you?


John B. said...

Thanks for the kind words. I certainly hope to improve things here, though I confess to being green with pixillated envy when I read your posts or, indeed, those of any number of really good blogs out there that plow roughly the same field(s) I do. Anyway, thanks again.
And is it coming up on a year for you as well?
And: if you're reading this, deliriumspeaks, you are missed. Continued best wishes.

zakalwe said...

Only started reading recently, of course, but there's much to enjoy here. Pray continue (not "prey, continue". That would be rude.)

fearful_syzygy said...

"Green with pixillated envy", eh? Dreadfully nice of you to say so, old boy, but you are too modest; your blog kicks major cybernetic arse. And yes, beware the ides of March, for they shall mark the first anniversary of The Original Waffle. You have been warned.

Raminagrobis said...

I always enjoy reading your blog, and you're a jolly nice fellow, to boot.

That's all I have to say on the matter.

John B. said...

Thanks once again to all of you.
It is strange, but since this blog turned 1, visitor and page-view numbers have really shot up. Well, okay: we ARE speaking relatively here. But still.