Friday, August 01, 2008

The Self Help Center turns 4 (5 if you count the lost years!)

My stomach feels like I swallowed a pine cone and I am now trying to squeeze it through my intestines. I guess that is why I am awake at five in the morning and why I've decided I would get this post out about "how my blog turned 4 years old last week and nobody cared."

I started blogging 5 years ago on March 5, 20003. I was working for the local county at a self help center and library. I sold divorce forms and helped people get restraining orders. I used to save lives for a living before I bagged your groceries.

The court house and self help center (hence the name of the blog y'all) had a library inside it that was not staffed by a trained librarian. Instead I worked in it. People would get mad at me when they asked me to help them do legal research, and I would try to find them books and then even point at the page with the words they needed to read. They usually got pissed off at me when I told them they had to read and asked my why I just couldn't tell them what they needed to know.

I wrote a post about a funny incident where a woman screamed at me that, "she drove all the way down here just so she wouldn't have to read anything!" I enjoyed telling my early readers about those kind of patrons. I started the blog as a place where I could go to vent about my daily experiences.

I needed a place to vent because I wanted to tell my customers that I was not their lawyer, and they were in a library, and libraries have books, and when someone who worked at a library found the book you requested they were usually a little more thankful.

But the Internet is a lot like a legal library in a self help center- full of people who don't like reading. I guess that is why after 4 years of hard work this blog still only gets a hundred or so hits a day and most of those hits are searches for pictures of Kara Borden, and according to my stats those people stay on my site for exactly zero seconds on average which I guess means they never even look at the pictures they are searching for which when you think about it would really explain why 50% of the population of the United States supports off shore drilling because they believe that oil production can begin in less than a year.

There should be a law that states that every time someone on TV says they support opening Alaska or the beaches of Florida to oil companies that a little disclaimer should pop up and remind the stupid audience that new oil production takes at least 1o years and all that production would probably shave off only a few pennies from the cost of a gallon, and if the government had simply raised the mileage requirements on new cars by 2 miles a gallon we could save more oil than all the oil in ANWR Dick Cheney can get his grubby little hands on, but don't count on any such thing ever happening as we all know pop ups would not get read by the masses anyway, so I guess it is all a big waste of time registering to vote for Obama, because the Republicans have given up on trying to win the old fashioned way (with votes) and have instead decided that what this "democracy" needs is a little less voter turnout and a little more voter manipulation.

Let's get back to the story of my blog. I started blogging 5 years ago, but back then blogger really sucked. One day I woke up and I noticed that blogger had lost all my posts. I "rebooted" the Self Help Center a year later July 30, 2004 and I can't say which date should be used as the start date of this blog. I always hoped that one of my super fans would start a wiki entry about me, or this would become a topic in the forums I created for the podcast. That way maybe we could all decide what the "official" start date should be. I guess I would vote for July date as I have only one post from the year before.

Over the years this blog has taken on a number of incarnations. After my boss discovered that I blogged about my job I got fired. I never became the Internet icon the very first fired blogger did. I never got famous or a book deal like the flight attendant that got fired for posting so called "racy" pictures. But unlike either of those bloggers I did not have the foresight to be born cute and blonde.

Maybe I never got famous because my early blog writing was bad. I never used spell check. My grammar was terrible. I wrote in between customers at a very busy library. As much as I liked to brag that I never worked I actually was quite busy most days.

For a while after I got fired I tried to make this blog an aggregator of amusing news, interesting science and funny gossip. That idea never caught on even when I tried devoting a new blog (does anyone remember the romiustexis blog?) just for that purpose. I think a few people liked it. The idiot savant left me a comment on that blog. For a while he was like a big blogger.

The next phase in this blog was my attempt to create a blog devoted to news from the Surveillance society. I am confident that nobody ever gave a rat's shit about that.

Since then I have gone for mixing my real life with the fictional character we all know and love as Romius T. He likes to get drunk and look at pictures of Miley Cyrus. Me and t. have some similarities. I guess the reason I am not famous now is that you can't make snide comments about teen girls when you are in your 30's because all the soccer moms who read blogs (only you and soccer moms read blogs) get creeped out by how turned on I am by their daughters and how disgusted I am with their cellulite and bronzer. All the perverts who might like my sight get bored when they can't download any attachments with c/p in them. (That's child porn for those who are not part of the lifestyle.) And all the jocks who like misogynistic jokes prefer videos of crotch shots and less reading than this blog offers, so I guess I am just stuck with the 5 people who read me and most of them when it comes down to it won't learn a thing about and make my podcast popular by digging it.

Not that I am bitter or anything. I like reading your blogs. I have a few blog friends for life who have awesome blogs. Katie, D Cup, Frieda Bee, Monkey Muck, Freddy and the whole gang over at the Daily Brimstone. I have a really special love of two blogs who have been around since this blog got created and who have been more than supportive: The Drug Monkey (Master of Pharmacy and my hero) and my blog/internet crush Jezebels Riot. (I want to marry you when you get divorced and I won't care that you are in your mid thirties with a c/section scar from having 12 kids from another man.)

I've left out a few people. You know who you are and thanks for reading me and many thanks for the kind words and support over the year or years that you have read this silly blog. If you have never made yourself known but you read this blog maybe you want to add your story about why you read this blog, how long you have been reading it, and how you came across it in the comment section of this post.

I've half-assed this blog like I have half-assed everything in my life and I guess when it comes down to it that's why nobody likes me and nobody reads me. I was going to add all kinds of pictures and links in this post so that it would look real nice and professional, but that would be out of character for this blog and for me. I figure anyone reading this blog knows about Dooce and already has Katie and Frieda bee in their Google reader, so why should I go through the trouble of finding a photo of that flight attendant who moans to this day about getting fired and still can't get over it? Many of you new readers had no clue this stupid blog got me fired and I think that's about the only thing that makes me proud about this blog.

So where is this blog going? I have no idea. I keep thinking I want to write a novel. Only I don't know how to write novels. I am not any good at writing narratives. I don't have a grasp of the mechanics of novel writing either. The only thing I could do is gather a few of the anecdotes of my drinking along with a few of the more ridiculous pronouncements on the state of male/female relationships and try and package it as some kind of comedy spoof pop up book for dummies. I don't really see that happening either.

I will continue with bouts of regret and shame over the immaturity and awfulness that passes as commentary on this blog. I will record for posterity a glimpse at my life as it goes by. That way when I am 50 and dying of prostate cancer I can remember that my life was pretty empty and meaningless and I should not be so sad to see if leave so early. Maybe I can accept death with a little more dignity. I doubt it though. I don't believe in God, and I don't believe in an after life which you might think would make the agnostic/atheist in me a little more hungry for doing stuff in this life since it is all we get. But I tend to think that stuff doesn't matter since we all die in the end anyway.

I hope I didn't spoil the ending for you.

Good Nite and Good luck,
Romius T.


Anonymous said...

Hmmmm. Well, wherever this blog is going, I'm going to follow because I'm a suck up like that.

I want to be part of the inner circle when non-blond, non-cute bloggers make it big.

Freida Bee said...

Dearest Romius- Not that it matters what I write here, but I do appreciate your considering me a friend. I too am frustrated because I have a strong urge to write a book, a memoir, a novel, I don't care, but I have the attention span of a fruit fly. I've thought of a compilation of shorts, but it has not been forthcoming. I do feel a tiny bit closer to doing it, but I've been too busy petting our fluffy little bunny pet, and no, that's not a euphamism. Personally, I enjoy the oxymoron that is a blog called The Self Help Center which is often complaints and observations of the depressing nature and uselessnesses of our current state. I did know that you got fired from your blog. It's one of the things that interested me about your blog, particularly because the same fate is sure to meet me one day, though my employer's technique would more likely be to simply block access to blogs without saying a word. That's what happened with MySpace and YouTube and even Yahoo for a time, but that one was reversed. I personally think you should get credit for the lost year, but use the July date to do it. A sort of a lame ass compromise. Happy birthday.

Romius T. said...

Dear D Cup

Thanks I am glad you want to be a part of the inner circle. And I am glad to hear you want to be a suck up!

Dear Frieda

Thanks for all your kind words. I sure hope you dont get fired. I am thinking about becoming a security guard as a second job. I basically feel like since I have only posts for 4 years (I did not blog that much in the first year, that I should go ahead and take the 4 year anniversary. It is the biggest committment I have ever made.