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Thursday, December 22, 2005

Making it up as I go along

Two  years ago today I ended the otherwise unremarkable inaugural treppenwitz post with the words, "Well, here we go: "Tap, tap, tap...is this thing on?"

I don't know exactly what I was thinking back then, but I remember feeling a little self-conscious... as if I'd had a few-too-many drinks and was climbing up on stage to make a fool of myself on 'open mic' night at the improv.

I really had no idea when I started this journal how long I'd stay up here... or what I might actually have to say to all those empty seats.  But I liked the idea of making myself a bit vulnerable... and I enjoyed the way it made me feel to put my ideas and opinions out where people could see them.  And before too long... slowly but surely I noticed a few people trickling in and taking seats in the back.

I honestly wouldn't have believed it if someone had walked up to me in high school and told me that in the future all I'd have to do in order to explore just about any topic or idea was to type a few lines into a little text box, and within hours, or sometimes minutes, smart, interesting people from all over the world would step up and share their opinions, life experiences and expertise! 

We really don't say this nearly often enough: "Isn't the future fantastic?" 

OK, so maybe we don't have flying cars yet... or those nifty metalic unisex jumpsuits.  But most of the other neat stuff the 20th century sci-fi writers promised us have arrived right on schedule!  The incredible communication tool of the Internet is indeed one of the great inventions of our time, and we would be remiss if we didn't occasionally pause to acknowledge the tremendous debt we owe to Al Gore.

I want to thank all of you for allowing me a safe place to test-drive my ideas, and for offering constructive (and often humorous) feedback based on your collective life experiences.  I have never met most of you, and likely never will... but I'm a better person for having had the opportunity to listen to your good-natured heckles... as well as your sound, well-considered advice.

The incredible value of the 'audience participation' aspect of blogging/journaling is something I could never have anticipated when I was first starting out. Anyone who has ever started a blog or journal has, by definition, assumed that he/she had something terribly important to say.  But I wonder how many of us consider the possibility that there are also terribly important things yet to learn? 

Keeping this journal has been a helpful reminder that what I have to say on any given topic is almost never as important as what I have yet to learn.

I still don't know exactly what I'm doing up here... or when I might eventually put down the mic.  But here at the two-year 'blogoversary' of treppenwitz, I wanted to stop and tell you all how grateful I am for the incredible interactive forum you've given me... and for your frequent gifts of humor and wisdom.

Good night everyone!  I'll be here all week... don't forget to tip your waitresses (try the veal).

221_16_5_109

Posted by David Bogner on December 22, 2005 | Permalink

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happy anniversary, honey! xoxo

Posted by: zahava | Dec 22, 2005 12:55:29 PM

Mazal Tov. No I really mean it. Two years of blogging is quite an accomplishment, and you've done more than just punch the clock.

Posted by: AbbaGav | Dec 22, 2005 1:33:12 PM

Mazaltov David!!!

Two years in blog land is like 86 elsewhere.

Posted by: Jeru Guru | Dec 22, 2005 2:07:10 PM

The imagery of stepping up to the microphone is very interesting, because when I first started reading blogs I assumed that most bloggers were basically introverts, like me, and that writing was a comfortable way of expressing themselves.

Then podcasts started, and I found that my initial assumption was wrong.

Congratulations on two years.

Posted by: westbankmama | Dec 22, 2005 2:09:29 PM

[screaming and slobbering all over myself]

Get dooooown from there!! We came to thseeeee Billy Crythtal!!!! You thsuuuuuuuuuck!

[throw up on myself and lose consciousness]

----------------------------------

Happy Bloggiversary. Coincidentally you started blogging on my 13th wedding anniversary. Because of you I've met psychotoddler and acquired, um, some hardware. Looking forward to the next year.

Posted by: Doctor Bean | Dec 22, 2005 2:28:18 PM

Happy blogoversary! I, for one, have gained a lot from your blog and I can see that others have too. Have a wonderful Chanukah!

Posted by: Essie | Dec 22, 2005 3:46:27 PM

"Happy Blogiversary to you,
Happy Blogiversary to you,
Happy Blogiversary to you,
Dear David,
Happy Blogiversary to you.
You look like a monkey and you smell like one too."

Sorry, for a moment I reverted to being a seven year old boy.

Say, do we get any party favors, and if so just what kind of party favor do bloggers give?

Two years. That is pretty cool.

Posted by: Jack | Dec 22, 2005 4:21:36 PM

Happy Anniversary.
You forgot to clink the wineglass with the cutlery at the start of the speech and omitted the polite, gloved handclapping at the end. But then everyones a critic.

Posted by: Lisoosh | Dec 22, 2005 4:57:27 PM

Happy Blogiversary. And as many more as you would like. :o)

Posted by: Tanya | Dec 22, 2005 5:10:11 PM

Wow! Two years! That's amazing! I can't even imagine two years of anything!

I certainly hope you aren't think of putting that mike down anytime soon, or else your audience will probably collectively go after you! : )

Happy anniversary and many more! :)

Posted by: Irina | Dec 22, 2005 5:42:19 PM

It is always a pleasure to read you, David. Always. Happy Blogiversary!

Posted by: Lioness | Dec 22, 2005 6:04:16 PM

Congratulations, David!

In honor of your blogiversary, I am delurking to say that I'm truly in awe of your blog. It's not only that you're stupefyingly prolific -- I don't have time to READ you most days; where do you find the time it takes to write these long, cogent, well-structured posts with perfect grammar and rarely, if ever, a typo? No, really? You do have a job and kids and a wife, right? How?? -- but also that you never fail to choose thought-provoking subjects on which you inevitably have some perceptive AND reliably kind things to say.

Plus, you appear to be a very nice guy, but you're no pushover.

Every blogger has their own style and their own goals (even if they're subconscious), and every reader is looking for something different, but from my perspective you have set the blogging bar very high. [makes sound of a grasshopper]

To quote one of my favorite poems from childhood, "You Are Old Father William" by Lewis Carroll, "Pray, how do you manage to do it?"

Posted by: squarepeg | Dec 22, 2005 6:13:38 PM

Two years, eh?

Mazal Tov. And thank you. Your insightful and intelligent writing, along with your unique perspective on what's going on in th'Eretz, makes my days a little brighter. Treppenwitz is a treasure, and I hope you get as much pleasure out of writing it as we all do reading it.

Posted by: Elisson | Dec 22, 2005 6:23:36 PM

Happy Blo-a-versary, ad 120 gigabytes!
Hey, will there be "I'm a Treppie" blog stickers in honor of this event??

p.b. why is the comment form switched back from Typad key options? I found that quite a solution.

Posted by: mademoiselle a. | Dec 22, 2005 7:07:18 PM

You may think you do not know what you are doing, but you do it so well! This blog is a guilty pleasure. I love the variety in the post topics; I am amazed at how consistent the quality is; often find myself laughing or moved or both by any given post; mostly I appreciate the intelligent, thought-provoking, balanced ideas you put out there. Very refreshing. Truly, a joy to be privy too.

Happy Anniversary...and many more (in whatever form). Thanks for the good reading...

Posted by: mcaryeh | Dec 22, 2005 7:44:54 PM

Happy blogday! (Gosh, those two years went quickly.)

Posted by: Alice Bachini | Dec 22, 2005 7:54:58 PM

David, mazel tov, on the 2-year blogiversary; it seems that several of the blogs I read started in December. My own 1-year blogiversary was a week ago.
Kol HaKavod on keeping us in the know, in your inner circle, on a regular basis. Yashar yashar kadimah! (onwards & upwards)

Posted by: Pearl | Dec 22, 2005 8:39:12 PM

Many combolations, Elizagirth.

(Sorry, I have to do that now)

Posted by: psychotoddler | Dec 22, 2005 10:07:18 PM

Happy Blogaversary.

Your blog is a treat to read and much less fattening than a sufganiya with my morning coffee!

Posted by: Shifra | Dec 22, 2005 10:51:42 PM

Congratulations, David. It's always a pleasure to read your insights and reflections. You have a truly unique voice that stands out in the cacophonous online world.

Posted by: Michael | Dec 22, 2005 10:52:01 PM

oy... after reading all these raves about my brother, it's REALLY gonna be tough being in his company when I visit him in March. sigh. thanks. ...But, in all honesty, I must agree with you all!

Posted by: val | Dec 23, 2005 2:59:55 AM

Well done, son!
The old saying is true: parents DO live vicariously in he achievements of their children. In your case, among many other things, the wannabe writer in me has thrived with a big smile in your blogs. Along with many others, I'm sure, I say, "You write 'em and I'll happily read 'em!"
Time for another year's worth--at least.
Dad

Posted by: Delmar Bogner | Dec 23, 2005 4:27:59 AM

Congratulations on 2 years of eloquent, thought-provoking and moving posts. I too am in awe of how you manage to write at such a high level on a daily basis. I think your readers would agree that it should be us thanking you, not the other way round.

Posted by: zemirah | Dec 23, 2005 4:55:41 AM

Happy Bloggoversary! I only recently found your blog and have been lurking for a bit.

I keep coming back because (as others have mentioned) you are quite eloquent, funny, and quite good at describing the many inanities in life.

And have been for two years.

Mazel tov!

Inna

Posted by: Inna | Dec 23, 2005 8:58:08 AM

Happy Blogiversary, David. All they said and more congratulations too! :)

Posted by: jennifer | Dec 23, 2005 10:58:27 AM

mazal tov, mazal tov! simchas by alle yidden! (yiddish)

"happiness by all jews!"

Posted by: Tonny | Dec 23, 2005 12:19:19 PM

oh, but what about that thing about your 40th bday driving from chi-town to LA on route 60 i think it was? i was exploring the treppenwitz archives, and i saw "june 2001" then december 2003 and im like hm...so i read it. whats with that?

Posted by: Tonny | Dec 23, 2005 12:20:51 PM

Congratulations, David!

(Please, will you let us know when you get up to 200 beehives?)

:-)

Posted by: Rahel | Dec 23, 2005 12:24:26 PM

Thank you one and all for your good wishes and embarrassing compliments. Rather than address each one I'll mention a few thoughts that came to mind while reading your comments:

* The image of the guy walking up to an open mic was carefully chosen. I think that just as many stand-up comics are able to say things into a mic they would never be able to say face-to-face... so too many bloggers/journalers (myself included) could not enunciate many of the things that are possible on the web.

* I may take credit for certain bloggers meeting here on treppenwitz and subsequently becoming friends... but I hope any 'hardware buying' was entirely self-motivated.

* Point taken... I really should have clinked a glass with a knife before starting my little speech.

* Two years isn't such a long time to do something enjoyable. If I was, say, banging my head against a concrete wall or wrestling with trolls for that period of time I could understand (and expect) a bit of awe. But this has been like eating sufganiot or honey.

* I spend no more than 30 minutes a day writing these things. Whatever I end up with at the the end of that time is what you see. In that time I usually write one, and sometimes two journal entries. If I end up with a lame entry or nothing at all... nothing gets posted. At least as many entries get the delete key as the publish key. I usually use a spell checker but I rarely do revisions. What you see is what I was thinking that morning when I woke up. I make lots of typos and grammatical errors and I'm never cross with anyone for pointing them out. If you haven't noticed a lot of errors it is only because helpful proof-readers have already pointed them out to me.

* I am trying to get typekey reinstalled. It has been working intermittently since the crash. Once it is up I may write a journal entry about it since it is a very nice way for commenters to preserve their privacy and security while interacting in the world of blogs and journals.

* Despite your compliments I feel I have taken the easy way out with my writing. One of my favorite professors in University used to tell me that hidden in each of my B or C+ papers was an A paper wrapped up in a thick layer of crap. If I bothered to make revisions and cut away all the fat I'm sure I would end up with a shorter and better finished product (and I'd waste less of your time), but I have no patience for revisions. Now you know why I graduated from University with a C+/B average.

* Yes, I am going to be impossible to be around come March. :-)

* As Mark Twain is purported to have said, "When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much he had learned in seven years" Thanks for waiting patiently for me to figure it out, Dad.

* Lurking is fine. I never want anyone to feel that because they have commented before that they need to do so consistently. I love the interaction but please don't ever let it come to feel like an obligation. Ever.

* Yes there are a couple of older things in the archives from before Dec '03. They are things that were kicking around on an old hard drive that needed a home. I really wasn't keeping an organized journal back then... and doing so online hadn't even occurred to me!

Posted by: treppenwitz | Dec 23, 2005 2:20:37 PM

Mazeltov on your second anniversary. I've been reading Treppenwitz for over a year, and it's never been less than engaging.

May you blog (and live) to be a hundred and twenty.

Posted by: Judy | Dec 24, 2005 8:52:00 PM

Give him a big hand folks! David Bogner! Give it up! Come on back Dave! Take a bow! You'll be hearing a lot about this guy! Come sit on the couch. Good stuff. Congratulations.

Posted by: rabbi neil fleischmann | Dec 25, 2005 8:53:07 PM

Judy... Thanks, although I honestly hope I will have moved on to another hobby well before then. :-)

Rabbi Neil Fleischmann... Wow, only my second year and I get invited over to the couch! I'm all farklempt!

Posted by: treppenwitz | Dec 25, 2005 10:36:22 PM

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