29

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So there's this meme going around on Facebook where you give someone an age and they write about their life that year. I was given 29.



29 ... 1996-1997. Probably one of my most transformative yet miserable years. It was my second year living in NYC, my second year out of the Mormon church, and everything about life in the city was exciting. I landed the job that year, at N2K Entertainment, that introduced me to some of the best friends of my life and set me on the path to success as a web developer. My desperate financial situation began to turn around. I was plowing like mad through books on Mormon history, gaining the foundation I needed to eventually write my memoir, and gaining as reputation as one of the angriest and most outspoken ex-Mormons on the web. But I was also living in Brooklyn with a sociopathic girlfriend who gave me none of the support I needed to get any writing done. That should have been the year I threw her out, but I was still insecure enough to think I wasn't going to be able to make it in New York on my own. The end of that year, my 30th birthday party at Mooney's Pub on Flatbush, was one of the best nights of my life that far, mostly because it showed me how many friends I'd made that year. You were there, and you, and you, and you. And you too!

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Gothamist today has a fascinating interview with wunderkind photographer Bill Wadman about his ongoing 365 Portraits project. Our own [info]steelbrassnwood gets a shout-out:

What's been the most interesting shoot so far? There are so many that it’s hard to single out one most interesting shoot, but there are a few that stick out in my memory. For example, back in February I shot a woman named Margot Stevenson on her 95th birthday, or the time I introduced myself to and shot Ken Ficara in Prospect Park, or this past Monday when I shot director Michael Kang in Washington Square Park. Each day is a different little story and I think that adds to the project. I've also become friends with a number of my subjects, which is a nice ancillary benefit.  [full interview]
(It's kind of funny that Bill says he introduced himself to Ken and shot him. Like a scene from a Brooklyn gangster movie!)

Besides Ken, friends of mine who've showed up on the site include Jordana Drell Rosen, Christopher Rivera, Nuno Santos, and the inexplicably controversial Nicki Bosch. (Oh, yeah, and there was mine, too, which I was very pleased with.) Laura signed up long ago, and while Bill and I both keep trying to twist her arm, she hasn't picked a date. Yet.

By the way, I think last night's portrait is one of the most stunning so far, simply in terms of color, composition, and the serendipitous appearance of birds.

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Boinged!

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How nice to wake up in the morning and discovered that one has been Boinged! And that the bandwidth usage for my site has pegged in the red.

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I like my size the way it is

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Remember how collective action killed the tag back in the late '90s? I'd like to kill another annoying Web practice from that era that seems to be making a resurgence: sites that resize your browser.

I'm sorry, but I've deliberately chosen browser dimensions that fit the way I work with my computer. If I surf to your site and suddenly my multiply-tabbed Firefox browser resizes itself to 800x600 pixels, I'm going to get so annoyed at having to fix this that I'm going to leave your site and never come back.

Come on, it's the Web. If you can't build a site that people can comfortably view no matter their browser dimensions, you should either 1) go back to design school, 2) put your content in a popup instead, or 3) just fucking live with it, chump.

I would cite examples, but I don't want 1) to hurt any feelings unnecessarily or 2) reward any of those sites with extra hits. If I were Stephen Colbert, I would put JavaScript-ed resizing on notice.

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This is old school

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Remember way back when the Web was fun? Scrabble-ize something and get the feeling back.

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A: No, but it would be cool to be the last!

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Cool shite of the day!

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Remember those heady days of yesteryear, when the Web was young and a shout-out as Cool Site of the Day could make your day for a year? (And why not? You got to put that cool little Cool badge on your site! How cool was that?!)

Those days are long past, but still I could not help but feel a frisson of pride when I realized that the sudden rise in visitors to Says God that started a few weeks back and still has not trailed off entirely was due to a front-page link from, no, not Cool Site of the Day, but National Lampoon! (Scroll about two thirds of the way down and look under "Best of the Web." No, the other "Best of the Web," further down.)

Yes, I can hardly believe it myself. The same comedic geniuses who brought you Vegas Vacation, Loaded Weapon 1, and Van Wilder think that my unassuming little site is one of the funniest things on the Web. Is that a lump I feel in my throat? And if so, a lump of what?

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The Accidental Terrorist 30th Anniversary Sale

Signed editions
that even a
missionary
could afford.

Order yours now!

William Shunn

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