... the journal

The Guest
Refrigerator Door

From  my cousin Donna's   fridge

DG-POET.jpg (14077 bytes)

She has refrigerator poetry magnets, so a lot of these magnets will be sayings she's made out of the magnets

* Discussion *

Talk about it here.


Deja Dead
Kathy Reichs

(not for the squeamish!)


Making slide shows today

Pictures from the Cincinnati are now up at Steve's Club Photo page.

Pictures from our Family reunion are on my own Club Photo page.

That's it for today!


20 August 2001

There are people who live organized, regimented lives. They know where they are going to be and what they are going to be doing at any time during the day. They know on which day they do laundry and on which days they vacuum, and how often they clean out the linen closet.

I am not one of those people. (I'm sure this will come as no surprise to anybody who has read this journal for more than a week!)

However, I do have some structure to part of my day. My mornings are always pretty much the same. Unless I have leftover work to do, I get up around 6 a.m., check e-mail, make coffee, wake Walt, and then sit at the computer for a morning IM chat with Steve or Peggy or both. I interrupt the chats to get Walt's breakfast and make his lunch. He usually leaves for work around 8 a.m.

When the chats are finished, I start reading journals.  Of course I read Steve's journal, whenever he updates it (daily, huh? bwahahaha), and it was really through him that I started investigating on line journals in the first place.

One of the joys of starting an on-line journal has been discovering how vast this community is and what a variety of personalities one meets on line. Some are people with whom I've developed a casual e-mail friendship. Others are people whose journals I read religiously, but whom I have never contacted. Some are friends in real time.

I use Netscape as my browser and I have set up a personalized toolbar with a button for "Journal," which is divided into "Morning," "Diaryland" and "Evening." (I set up a separate folder for Diaryland because the "Morning" list was too long and because I'd begun to read so many journals on Diaryland.) When I begin reading journals each day, I start at the top of "Morning" and work my way down to the end of "Diaryland." I thought I'd do my own little "blog" here and talk about some (not all) of the journals I read and why I like them.

The first journal on my list is Footnotes, though I don't usually read it in the morning any more, since Terri now has a notify list and I read her latest entry when e-mail tells me it's ready. Terri describes her journal as "an ongoing tale of romance, recovery, and uncomfortable shoes." In the past year and a half, I've watched her career angst, cried tears of joy when David finally gave her "the ring" and enjoyed all the wedding preparations (as well as the wedding photos and the jacuzzi shot from the honeymoon). I've come to know the "tots" and more about the former boss "Franz" than I knew about some of my own bosses in the days when I had an office job. We've even met face to face, which was a lot of fun. I find Terri one of the most enjoyable writers I've come across on the Internet and when she occasionally talks about giving up her journal, I feel a sense of impending withdrawal--long may she continue to enjoy putting her life on line for the likes of all of us.

Anna of Lucidity lives in Melbourne and not only has an entertaining journal (it's been fun watching the progress of the puppy) but occasionally sets up a web camera. We spent an hour or so recently exchanging e-mails while I watched her "work" via her web cam. I was able to meet her husband in person. He was passing through Davis a few months back, we met, and he did a big favor for me.

Saundra of Headspace is another on the "Morning" list. Hers is usually the first one I actually read in the morning. She's a struggling professional writer (is there any other kind?) and I was very surprised the other day when she said she was 28. Younger than my youngest child. It was a revelation about how journals can be ageless. There are, of course, some which are so completely youth-oriented, which have no interest for me, but when you read someone who speaks as eloquently as Saundra does, it doesn't matter if they're 28 or 70.

At the other end of the age spectrum is Doug, of The Wondering Jew, who is almost old enough to be my father and whose views on life and reminiscenes about a era to which I can sometimes relate are always enjoyable to read.

As a journalist, I belong to Diarist.net and have been honored with a few awards for my own journal, so I am always interested to check out the nominees for new awards. One of the best finds recently was Charlene, who writes Are We There Yet?. This journal only began in April, but go read her award-nominated "Faith and Horses" (itself the length of a short story) and you'll be hooked.

When I move out of "Morning" and into "Diaryland," the top of the list goes to nobody but Marn. Marn describes her journal as "The life & times of a woman who makes Emily Dickinson look like a party animal," but don't believe it. Her outlook on life is so wacky and she has such a talent for making the slightest thing entertaining that she is a delightful read. If you do nothing else, read about tin foil beanies.

A lot of my real life friends, like Diane, Tricia, and Lisa have started keeping journals on Diaryland. Mary was the first and it was fun discovering what a good writer she is. She's always been like a second daughter to me, so I enjoy peeking in at her day to day life with her kids--I remember when I was in the same place.

But the best of that lot is Ellen, of Under the Microscope, who writes not so much a "diary" as a daily column with observations about life. She's a public defender raising two children and a husband and her pieces are always just perfect. "Perpetual Audience" brought back a lot of memories.

Another Mom with a fun writing style is Kelli of Juggler Jelly Bean.  Her tales of her "three ring circus" with the Ringmaster and The Little Clown are always fun.

Two women whose lives I've been following for some time are Cubicle Girl and Gay Girl. There is a of of similarity in their lives right now and both express themselves very well. I even nominated Cubicle Girl for an award in the last quarter of Diarist Net awards.

Al of Nova Notes and I both belong to a club that neither of us wants to belong to (joined recently by Sandy of A Circle of Quiet).  Al's monthly "Lives on Line" has provided a wonderful introduction to new journals, and is always appreciated.

Bob of And If I Die Before I Wake doesn't write as often as he used to--I think he's busy trying to be a professional writer, or a Dad or something.  But I look forward to his updates.

There are others on my daily reads--people like Michael of Bunt Sign, whose daily links have introduced me to lots of wonderful new journals; or Nance of Dysfunction Junction, who is recovering right now from gastric bypass surgery. And wonderful journals like The Windmills are Winning, Inertia, Bitter Hag, Becky Says, Jim's Journal, and the ever-delightful Wilma's Word.

Before discovering on-line journals, I sometimes agonized about the future of the English language, since on-line forums seem to be riddled with people who wouldn't know a grammar book if it fell on their toe.  But in discovering the journaling community, I've discovered a wealth of interesting, witty, articulate people. It's a terrific way to pass the first hour of my day.

One Year Ago:
Theatre of the Mind

Some pictures from this journal
can be found at
Club Photo

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Created 8/19/01 by Bev Sykes