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In Lieu of a Links Page

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I don't have a traditional links page. I do have a secret, hidden links page that I maintain so that I can reach all my favorite web sites no matter what computer I'm on. But as you might have guessed from the words "secret" and "hidden" in the previous sentence, I don't let anyone else see that page. Because along with all the journals and boards that I read there are some um... -cough- er... let's just say personal sites that aren't exactly fit for public consumption. It's not that I'm exactly embarassed by going to those websites, it's more that I'm doing a favor for friends and family that read this journal. It's kind of like that day when it hit you that your parents had sex. You understand that it happened, you just don't want to think about it. In that same vein, I don't want to tarnish the sterling image that my friends and family have of me. They know I'm human like everyone else, they just don't want to think about it.

Because of the lack of a links page, I thought I'd run down just a few of the sites that I read on a regular basis for you. Go to these sites. Read them. Then come back and tell me either a) I'm full of crap and bad taste, or 2) these are the best things you've ever read and you're not going to waste your time coming to LS Place anymore. Either way, I win. Oh, wait.... crap.

Randomly Ever After by The Gus. I defy you to find a more varied personal history anywhere on the Internet. Various versions of this journal describe living in a commune-like house in rural Virgina, being a cutting edge programmer during the final death throes of the boom, being unemployed in Brooklyn pre- and post-9/11 and settling down to simple living with his long lost girlfriend/fiance/soon-to-be wife in upstate New York. And that description only touches on about half of it. While I rarely agree with his politics, the Gus always has an interesting view on the things and people in his life. And, unlike me, is able to put those thoughts down in a coherent manner. Also unlike me, he updates nearly everyday.

Ceej's Black Book This was the first real journal I stumbled on. And I truly stumbled on it as I don't remember how I found this site at all. I was so fascinated by the whole concept of baring one's life on the Internet that I poured through all of her archives in one sitting. At work, no less. Again, her politics are radically different from mine and she has a love of all things Mac with the corresponding hatred of all thing Microsoft. But reading her has become a habit for me and I always like finding out about motorcycle trips and how the Giants are going to rule the National Leauge West every year. I remember exactly how I found this site. You know how every once in awhile, when you're bored with the internet, you enter random, vaugely obscene phases into search engines to see what comes up? I entered the phrase "blow me" into Google and one of the links on the first page was my employer can blow me. If you read nothing else that I recommend here, go read it now. I'll wait. Go on. Now go read this and this. And if you design websites, the for the love of God, read THIS. And then read it again. An interesting sidebar to this site is that after jwz departed the computer industry he bought a nightclub in 1998. Even though he bought an existing club, he basically had to start from the beginning, learning as he went. And being a good Internet citizen, he documented the entire process.

Shelleyness That's Shelley! With TWO Es! As a person who gets his name misspelled all the time, I can relate. Shelley has unfortunately pulled her archives and doesn't update frequently anymore. But hell, she's got a life! She's got an apartment full of animals and a new husband (who was the old boyfriend - which is kind of the way these things work). Caustic and sweet at the same time, how can you lose? Read about the Chaps Man and you'll be hooked. If you e-mail her, just make sure that you spell her name correctly. But come on people, it's in the URL.

Squishy by Pamie. She's calls herself the Pop Culture Princess, but she's my online queen. That sounds kind queer, but what I mean is that when I would read her website, it made me want to have one of my own. She made it seem effortless and funny. Of course, now I know better. It isn't effortless and I certainly can't be as funny as she can. Why, if I was that funny, then I would have a book deal like she does. And by the way, I don't. Also, the first version of her website included a message board that just took on a life of its own. It turned into a real community.

I realize as I look over this list, that I'm naming the "elder statesmen" of my links page first. The journals I listed are the ones I found first on the Internet. I'm also realizing that there are too many good sites that I read for just one entry. Go forth and read people. I'll list more in a couple of weeks.