Monday, August 04, 2008

Brave New World

Today I had a delightful lunch with HistoriAnn, who is currently visiting Midwestern Funky Town. It made me remember the things that I like about blogging. Oh, sure, there are the fake personas and convicted criminals inhabiting blogland that scare me silly. But the blogosphere also provides really good opportunities to meet cool people. With only one or two exceptions, I have never been disappointed by meeting a blogger in real life.

Alas, though, my little bloggy has been far on the back burner to the Never Ending Research Project of Doom. It dawned on me the other day that I have been working on NERPoD in one form or another since my first year in graduate school in 1996. That is a long time. Let me put that in perspective for you:

    When I started NERPoD, Bill Clinton had just been elected to his second term.

    When I started NERPoD, nobody had ever heard of Monica Lewinsky or would have considered “Blue Dress” a punchline for a joke.

    When I started NERPoD, the Nintendo 64 was cutting-edge entertainment technology.



    When I started NERPoD, there was no such television show as CSI.

    When I started NERPoD, there was only one television show with “Law & Order” in the title.

    When I started NERPoD, George W. Bush was governor of Texas, a state that I swore to avoid for that and many other reasons.

    When I started NERPoD, Motorola had just introduced the first ever “clamshell” cellular phone.

    When I started NERPoD, TWA airlines was still flying planes.



    When I started NERPoD, McDonnell Douglas was still manufacturing planes.

    When I started NERPoD, it was possible for people with a lot more money than me to take a concord plane.

    When I started NERPoD, Barack Obama had never held an elected office.

    When I started NERPoD, Woolworth’s stores still existed.

    When I started NERPoD, George Lucas was known for his legacy of Star Wars rather than being known for trashing his legacy of Star Wars.



    When I started NERPoD, Princess Di was still alive.

    When I started NERPoD, all the Heaven’s Gate cult followers were also still alive.

    When I started NERPoD, they were still filming Titanic.

    When I started NERPoD, the Macarena was all the rage.



    When I started NERPoD, state “sodomy laws” were still considered Constitutional. Fourteen states, including Texas, still had them on the books until 2003.

    When I started NERPoD, I had a completely full head of dark, luxurious hair that I never imagined would recede (I partially blame NERPoD).

    When I started NERPoD, Exxon and Mobile were two different companies.

    When I started NERPoD, gasoline cost $1.27/gallon.



    When I started NERPoD, the Department of Justice still filed antitrust lawsuits.

    When I started NERPoD, you could still smoke in California bars and restaurants.

    When I started NERPoD, singer George Michael had never been arrested.

    When I started NERPoD, Charlton Heston had never been president of the NRA.

    When I started NERPoD, there was no such thing as “Google.”

    When I started NERPoD, it was not possible to clone mammals.

    When I started NERPoD, Netscape was the internet browser that everybody used.

    When I started NERPoD, I drove a Daihatsu – the best-built car that I will probably ever own. I miss that car.



    When I started NERPoD, Tony Blair had never been Prime Minister of Britain.

    When I started NERPoD, Jean Chr├ętien was the Prime Minister of Canada (Bonus points to non-Canadians who can name the current (evil) Prime Minister of Canada without an internet search).

    When I started NERPoD, Rachel Ray had not yet launched her master plan to become our new imperial overlord.

    When I started NERPoD, the only “reality” television show on the air was MTV’s The Real World.

    When I started NERPoD, there was no such thing as a “euro.”

    When I started NERPoD, I still used “Pine” to check my e-mail.

    When I started NERPoD, my waist was three inches smaller.

    When I started NERPoD, there was no such word as “blog.”