This began in 2017 as a Failing Memory? blog post that grew and grew for a couple of years. In 2020 I added a Stuff I Forget: The Sequel with notes from 2018-2020. Occasionally I noted the day when I when I was trying to remember.
Part III here consists of notes from 2021 and 2022.
I find this Un-Memory Book mildly amusing, but also intriguing and therapeutic. The stuff I can’t remember and strain to recall, or finally look up, doesn’t get forgotten again.
* = I had to look it up. Generally it was through internet search, but in some cases I had had to dig into old books and newspapers.
71. The expensive cupcake store? (*Magnolia)
72. The Less Than Zero guy. (Brad Easton Ellis)
73. Author of Little Women. (Louisa May Alcott)
74. Semitranny from Toronto that G. Eugene Pichler was hot after. (*Nina Arsenault. This took a bit of looking, first with image search, and then I forgot it again so came up with a mnemonic: Gore Vidal’s mother [Nina] has her head sticking out of the Central Park Arsenal.)
75. The Redmond lady, clinical psych, writes about bipolar and lithium? (*Kay Redfield Jameson, not Redmond. An Unquiet Mind was the book.)
76. Willowy Icelandic guy, long blond hair, was with CPTC for a while, running coach, may have worked for Jerry Macari at Urban Athletics. (Toby Tanser. Suddenly came to me after a few weeks.)
77. The Harvard institution up on the hill overlooking DC, where something was founded during WW2. (*Dumbarton Oaks.)
78. The Daily Themes guy. E R or Edward something. (*E. J. Gordon. Found a 2″ obit in the New York Times.)
79. I am confusing La Fontaine and Charles Perrault…one did fables and the other wrote the fairy tales. (*Looked them up.)
80. The jew harmonicist in The Singing Marine, later whined about Red blacklist, comeback on cable TV in the 1980s. (*Larry Adler.)
81. The sports broadcaster who became an anti-Bill O’Reilly political pundit on MSNBC and had a career meltdown, finally coming back with YouTube rants where he sat at an Ikea folding table and pretended he was back on TV. (Keith Olbermann…took a couple minutes.)
82. Who wrote The First Crusade? The GOOD one. Orwell knew him or his son. (*Stephen Runciman.)
83. Who is our junior senator, the blonde lady? Kristin? Went to Dartmouth? (Kirsten Gillibrand. Think I asked Michael for that one.)
84. The other 90s actress not Drew Barrymore. Freeway. Legally Blond. (Reese Witherspoon.)
85. General in Vietnam…northern county in England…(Westmoreland.)
86. Uncle to TR, head of Confederate intelligence. (*James Dunwody Bulloch.)
87. Murdered actress, married Roman Polanski. (Sharon Tate.)
88. Jazz pianist, Take Five. (Dave Brubeck.)
89. Spanish-named twin-tower hi-rise at 90th and CPW. (Eldorado.)
90. The controversial misreport that someone received a very costly set of jewelry. From whom, Baruch? And who received it? And what’s the French word? Paroir? (*Louise Macy, married Harry Hopkins, 1942. Gift from Lord Beaverbrook, sent in diplomatic pouch.It wasn’t a paroir, but jeweled clips from Beaverbrook’s mother. This required extensive search through 1943 news stories. Roald Dahl book mentioned the gift, I believe. It was Walter Trohan who spread the malicious tale.)
91. Those square waxy crayons, usually in black or brick red, made by Caran d’Ache. (Conté crayons.)
92. The type of sound technology in film that became standard in the 30s, with the imprinting of recorded optical lines next to the frames…? (Ah, optical sound.)
93. Redheaded Italian guy on SNL who got old and fat. (Joe Piscopo.)
94. Blonde in Octopussy and LA Confidential. (Kim Basinger.)
95. What you call emplacements of cannons in a fortress? (*Casemates.)
96. What was 1964 Rat Pack Chicago prohibition comedy? (Robin and the 7 Hoods.)
97. Movie in which aria from La Wally figures. (*Diva. Really had to squeeze my brain and hunt for this. The ‘Ebben’ aria is beautiful but the source was treated as something of a joke, since the opera was rather obscure, it’s the only one the composer ever did, and the name sounded silly. Film was flop in France, big splash in America in 1982 but I haven’t thought of it since, except perhaps for the garlic-bread scene, which I couldn’t identify.)
98. Campy interview writer whom NatLamp once listed as a Great Disappointment. (Dotson Rader.)
There was a season, long ago, when I started multiple blogs at MovableType, Typescript, Serendipity, Drupal, Blogger, Bloxsom, and some very very early versions of WordPress! Some of these still function, others can be read (only in part) via the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine. But most are dead and inaccessible, as are most of your 15+year-old blogs…unless you still own the database and are willing and able to painstakingly reconstruct your old site.
WordPress is the winner and perennial champeen in the blogware/CMS stakes, no doubt about it. However, 15-16-17 years ago it was about as secure as a papier-mâché bank vault. That’s one of the reasons why there are so many security plugins for it today.
Updates to PHP versions constitute the main reason old WP sites no longer work. For a few years you might have been able to view your old 2005 site, but with a lot of database and program errors logged at the top of the screen. Now you probably can’t see it at all. Your URL simply gives you a blank.
Coming across old blog posts might therefore be a rare treat. From a version 1.2 WordPress site set up in early 2005:
From a simple Blogspot site a few years later, 2010. Being from Blogger, and therefore not self-hosted, this site is still functional:
That’s Ella King Torrey in the photo. I think she’d recently died.
Moving on, these old MovableType blogs (early 2005) still work for some reason:
Serendipity, or Sy9, was one of the many also-rans in the blogware survey of 2005. It was just prominent enough for me to read about and install. Down near the beginning there, I x’ed out somebody’s surname because the late, lamented Sharlene Spingler did a Google search and found him there. Doubly embarrassing for me, because in addition to discussing his mutilated foot and life, I included a photo of him with his demipod. Ouch.
It appears I followed up that Serendipity blog with a new one in 2014, at almost the same address: http://nbnm.net/drood/s9y/ :
These old versions of Sy9, both v1.7.8, still work although Serendipity’s PHP versions are now 7 and 8. I suppose this is due to the simplicity of the platform, and the lack of plugins, which are what makes WordPress fall down, usually.
An ongoing scratchpad about my awful life. Which years were worst? Which best?
2020 *** Looking up. A little work with Census. A little stim. City closed down. Bizarre circumstance. Financial anxiety eases.
2019 ** Empty year. Two pieces in SD Reader, one big long reject. ‘Translation’ job turns out to be a scam. Job from TempAlt @ $17 in November falls to pieces. I bottom out on credit-card debt, nearly default on WF Visa.
2018 ** Try and fail to get temp work. Walk off a bad temp job downtown in January. My funds run out but Brian takes up the rent. The HP PC just fails. One trip: to DC in Jan for Paul Nehlen fundraiser. Pointless fiasco. Adam Parfrey dies, I do Zoo piece for SD Reader. A few pieces for ST.
2017 ** Some economic comfort; pension payout & SS. Little work. Think I’ll be a translator like Cushing. Mainly drinking, FB, and travel. To Seattle in May and August for NW Forum. To Matt & Anna’s for Inauguration & party in January, to Richard Spencer’s in Alexandria in December. Johnny wake, Moki tiff in March, NYAC set-to at Christmas. My last NY Forum.
2016 *** RHT fiasco, brief AA, some unemployment, apply for SS, the high of Taylor Swift and Trump. NY Forums, end of Double R Ranch.
2015 **** Writing, conferences, real work at PRH briefly, then short bad jobs. Jan.
2014 *** Same as ’13 till July. Collier Island. Then writing for AmRen and CC.
2013 * Listless, unmotivated, shitty job interviews, living on unemployment.
2012 * Tina through the year. Drop out of half-maras. DDP giving me hard time. 1st in Corp Challenge. Blow up and get fired, I’m too stupid to go away to rehab. Go to running camp instead. Anxiety through the year.
2011 *** Full-time hire but failing athletically. Penn Relays. 1st in Corp Challenge. Bad tri training. First and only sprint triathlon. Beginning of tina period.
2010 ** Schewe, DraftFCB, Gary Lucas, AmexPub.
2009 * Elisa Perks fiasco, GreenGap fiasco, terrible CDM job. Drop out of NYCM.
2008 *** Layoff and Millrose Games in Jan. Clermont-Ferrand, Paris, London, Boston, Spokane, Portland. Flash classes.Terrible McAllister job. Drop out of NYCM.
2007 **** Boston Mara, Riccione, Corp Challenge, CPTC benefit at The Space, Frank Shorter. Bye to Sonnekson.
2006 **** Lots of road and track and xc. Work with Chris Yerkes. Portland ME.
2005 ***** Paris, first mara; also, 2nd, 3rd, 4th. CPTC. Work promotion.
2004 **** Down to my thinnest, late ’03 to ’06
2003 *** Don’t really recall much specifically. Teen Time. Seriously diet. Drawing cartoons for Colin.
2002 ** Lots of travel to London and Paris but I realize I am fat. Uncomfortable meetup with Boylan in April.
2001 ** 9/11 brings some excitement but I am not succeeding at writing.
2000 ** England and then Paris for the first time. Sonnekson.
1999 * Australia, Falmouth, Nantucket but the difficulties with Moki. My share in Hoboken. That trip with Dee and Jimmy to NE Penn. Work is enjoyable.
1998 **** Move to Moki’s in January, difficulties with Laura, trip to California, later trip to Mississippi. SSB/Citi job for the next ten years.
1997 ** Seattle temp jobs: Midcom, C+B, the Blue Cross disaster. Graham piece in Punch. Nice visits to Vancouver and New Westminster. Nice trip to SD for storage, Laura panicking with truck. Public Storage in Burien. I go back to LA/SD, see Colin and Hulsys. Some Qualcomm work for Colin.
1996 ** Very difficult. London and Laura. R Fiore, R Mussolini in March. Murray Hancock. To Seattle. A few published pieces.
1995 *** Job security for a while at CTS. Twist my ankle wear a boot. That Jay guy.
1994 * Life pretty much craters because of GN, IHR, Laura, money runs out. Then we work hard at shitty jobs atthe end and I get sick.
1993 ** London. Simon Hoggart. Brighton, Tony Hancock. Persecution at the Reader. Holman gives me the boot. I start GN. Laura thinks it is a substitute for real work. Bluehnbach, Fred Koch.
1992 * Reader relaunch party in January. Roger Hedgecock. Briefly give up drinking. Aftermath of Mary disaster, rebound to Laura and move to OB. I fuck up on City Lights stories, fall out with Matt. Depressing Donner Party clock. Cover story on McKinnon. Visit to Seattle in November? Bad year, all in all.
1991 *** Bipolar year par excellence. Begin with move to SD and drop out of law school. Sickness unto death. The Flame. Decide to move back to NYC while you can. Start Prozac. Visit Glenn and Tani in March. Back in SD, all is well. Nice lez girls in Carlsbad. My confession. Abe Opincar. Jim Holman. Mary Lang. Matt Potter. I am suddenly a star, high on SSRIs. Crash end of summer, check myself into Mesa Vista Nov 2 (?). No trip to Paris.
1990 **** Pleasant till the last few months, when the jimjams kick in. Nantucket. Finish up with S/E Marketing. Temp work at NY Fed and RJR, later MSG. See Tony Randall whistling merrily in the RJR doorway during a sudden rain squall. To Fire Island (Robt Moses State Beach) with Dr John. Videocam. Mark Ludington. Move to 226 E 26. I find new owners for my ferrets. Trip to Santa Fe and SD, Santa Barbara, San Fran, drive back to SF via Flagstaff, Arizona. Rent First Ave apt in SD.Terrible falling out with Mars girl, after I meet up with her in Old Town. That terrible Cynthia MacAdams (is she dead yet?). Sad packing up from 226 at end of Dec.