1. What is your name?

When I was a kid someone told me that we all have a True Name written on a gem in Heaven.  The idea of an eternal name has always been interesting to me. To think that we may all have a signifier of our existence that is devoid of all conceptions, and misconceptions, and prejudices that have accumulated over the years around our given names, que excelente! In some fantasy mythoi, knowing the True Name of an extra dimensional denizen grants one power over that being. So with that in mind, maybe you should just call me Monkeylover.

2. Tell us something about you, your background, and what you've been up to lately?

I am a Southerner. My earliest memories involve the greyed, wooden porch of my family home. At that time it was already 140 years old, and it sat on the north slope of a cedar and oak covered hill overlooking a very rural, very Deep South US farming community. Originally a one-room cabin, an ancient magnolia towered over the back yard, and its shadow still slides across the tin roof and clouded windows of the now empty house. My life has been one long contest between this Old South background and the New South world. Rural poverty, religious fundamentalism, and a subduing fatalism all played their part in creating obstacles for me to overcome. But through the vehicle of education and good fortune I have moved, both physically and mentally, from the simpleness of fish traps and shade trees to a world filled with LCDs, air-conditioning, and the invisible world of electronic signals.

Like most who share my background, I love a good story. And in the story of my life, I have more often been the bad guy than the hero. It is one of the things that getting older has helped me to realize.

Notable things I have done in the past include catching poisonous snakes for fun and profit, digging American Indian relics out of shelters in the woods, harvesting ginseng among the seed ticks and poison ivy, working in a bookstore, working in a university theatre, creating nautical maps of locations all over the world, getting married too early, obtaining an M.A. in history, teaching high school, completing several Astronomical League observing certificate programs, working as a survey crew chief, getting remarried at the right age, planting a tree, having a daughter, and becoming a team lead on a software project. More or less in that order.

Lately, my time has been spent being a father and husband. When I'm not doing that, I'm working on a career as a civil servant (let the demonization begin!). In the fragments of time left over, I play card games, and disc golf, and celebrate peculiar (i.e. non-Deep South) holidays such as Lebowskifest, Guy Fawkes Day, Burns Night, and Tanabata.  I watch a lot of movies. I poke around in my box garden. I do a lot of things to keep my mind on the here and now.

3. How did you discover Everything, and how did you become a noder?

If you've been following the Everything2 Decaversery Interviews, you know a considerable number of those of us from the first few years answer this question in the same way. I am no different, I bounced here from Slashdot one day. Because Slashdot was a common gateway for many of us, the "tech"iness or "nerd"ness level of early e2 was significant, more so than one might expect from a random writing site.

I don't remember exactly what caught my eye, but at that point I had been out of college for a few years and needed an outlet for my love of reading, writing, and learning about new things. More than likely it was an article by TheBooBooKitty or Pseudo-Intellectual or possibly Segnbora-t. After reading a little, I almost certainly became drawn into following the Catbox conversations of people like Fez and Yossarian. Much hilarity passed through that little applet in those days.

Unlike many of my cohort, I did not delay and silently lurk before becoming a noder. Feeling enthusiastic and ready to get involved, I submitted two quick, off-the-cuff nodes. Both immediately died. At that time I remember a lot of humor in the submissions and generally lower standards, but some of this was due to the sheer number of submissions each day.

In the intervening 10 years, my participation has ebbed and flowed with the current of my life. Several month periods of inactivity would be followed by spurts of almost daily activity.  Now I read the front page every day, but don't have as much time as I did earlier in the year to contribute. I have, at least, met almost all of my E2 New Year's resolutions.

4. What are your favorite writeups -- both your own and from other noders?

A small sampling of things I like from other users, each representative of what I consider to be the strengths of this place:

limp bookbinding by cbustapeck
Yossarian's School of Badassary by yossarian
What can you do this month that you couldn't do last month? by sunpig
57% of Americans think that Saddam Hussein had links to Al-Qaeda by mr100percent

and while not really within the original intent of the question, I'd like to also include: Blind Voting Booth (USE IT!)

As for myself, I was always partial to the following because of the time or thought or feeling I put into them:

Toyotomi Hideyoshi - Everyone's favorite peasant-to-military-dictator of feudal Japan.
September 12, 2001 - My daylog response to a terrible week, both for E2 and the world.
Ancient Egypt - Just a fun factual writeup before anything really lived in that spot.
El Greco - I wanted to learn more about the artist, and we did not have a node for this. I made a good one, for a time.

What's that? Can't find any of those by me? About as close as you could come would be the reference mauler had for a while in his bounty for El Greco, in which he referenced my original node. I'll explain in the next question. As for my currently existent writeups, I think both January 19, 2011 and February 8, 2011 explained how feel about things. For something even more personal, I put a lot into the cathartic writeup How to live with Thoracic Outlet Syndrome: Monkeylover's Story.

5. What are your favorite and least favorite memories from E2's history?

I hope that I defy many of the still prevalent stereotypes regarding Southerners (those US citizens from the southeastern States) but in one case I very much carry a legacy forward. If I get mad, it is not a slow boil, but an instant, hotheaded response with which I react. Age has tempered this in me, but from time to time a seemingly trivial event will set me off. Which leads me to my worst memory in e2's history, my own personal Asamoth event.

May 5, 2008. I logged in to check the feedback regarding some posts I had made that were very much in the theme of noding about noding. Some of those responses were antagonistic, and a conversation ensued in the cat box and message system that rivaled the worst of our infighting nature.

(At least that is how I remember it. Probably it was closer to:

Random young noder: "You suck."

Regardless, feeling miffed, I deleted all 70+ of my nodes. Sadly, I didn't stop at a simple delete because I didn't necessarily trust the management at the time, so I edited each writeup prior to its deletion to clear out its contents. Not an appropriate or mature response, granted, but very much a difficult one to undo. Many times since then (after a couple of months of cooling down) I tried to rescue them in some way (for example, the Wayback Machine) but always to no avail. It can be difficult acting like a child.

But good memories, there are plenty of those. Every time I have received a postcard. Every time a postcard has become written correspondence (looking your way Segnbora-t :) ). Sitting up in a silent house after my first marriage ended and talking to Lometa in the chat box for comfort. Every time I visit an interesting homenode and get a snapshot of one of your lives and personalities. Watching TheBooBooKitty spread discontent and anarchy among the masses. Finding out dannye and I put time in on the same campus without ever meeting (knowingly).  Talking to DylanDog about the state of PhD schools for history (decided not to go ultimately, really wrestled with that but I think the right decision in the long run). Checking my messages to find something from mauler (I still have the Johnny Cash CD for you, if you will send me your address). Being a fly on the wall. Getting older while the site stays the same. The people, fuck me, the people.  10 years ago I never would have expected that to be the answer to this question for me.

6. What keeps you coming back?

Tits and laughs.  Wait, that's 4chan. Seriously, E2 is a place where I'm not yet pinned down, not even after a decade. If I want to be serious, I can read or write something serious, or message someone with a message of comfort or condemnation. If I want to be manically immature, well, who's to stop me? No one really cares if I come or go. E2 is one of the last vestiges of myself before marriage and kids and career and adult responsibilities crowded out a lot of the whimsical bits. This place is still full of those.  Where else can I submit a review of 70s softcore pornography?

And also, even though I had one of the original entries in XP Stoicism that explicitly spoke against this, I still love to login and see that wonderful little message telling me I gained XP. Granted, this doesn't happen a lot since I destroyed all of my factual writeups from the early days and only sporadically posts now. But it is a good feeling, to have a record that someone read something I wrote, and it is something I doubt I will ever tire of while here.

7. What do you hope for E2's future?

More tits and laughs.  OK, more noders. More homenodes. More quests. And more nodermeets. Aside from nuking all of my old writings, this is my only other regret. In a decade I have never attended a nodermeet.  Now I have a young child, so I can't jet off to the middle of a cornfield in Indiana very easily. But I want to very much attend one of these, and drink my weight in Bourbons and White Russians and watch the stars swirl above my head with all of you.

I hope that it continues. There are only two websites that I still visit today that I visited 10 years ago, Slashdot and Everything2. Recently, I found a box of old check registers and found where I had sent $30 to this website back when that was acceptable. The fundraisers were fun. Now maybe the best we can do is just continue to participate, and whenever possible get other people interested in participating.

8. What does E2 mean to you?

It means that there are still interesting people out there waiting to be met.

9. Who are your favorite noders? Which ones do you miss the most?

I'm going to defy convention here and actually name names. The following users have stood out in my experience on this website. There are plenty of valid entries not included in this list (frustratingly so, when I finally began to list them, but I stopped at these), and in a decade this group has risen to the top in my esteem. They include:

Segnbora-t  -  Numero Uno. Supported me as a fledgling factnoder, gave a ton of heart and soul to this place in the early years, continues to write me regularly. Pure awesome.
Jet-Poop  -  One of the greatest, most prolific, friendliest, and supportive noders this place has ever seen or will see. Also, I believe we may be estranged horror fan brothers.
dannye  -  Seriously, I'm as surprised as you that you're here, dannye. More times than I can count, I have disagreed with something you have said in the chatterbox. And many times your curmudgeonly tough love approach has bothered me. But you continue to stick it out, and in the face of sometimes overwhelming opposition, state your case on political or social issues. I respect that, and I think it's great that this is a place where we can interact. Also, you're one of the only people here who I think could fully appreciate my own personal background. I hope one day to meet you, and possibly drink heavily together, if you do that type of thing.
Lometa  -  Another standout with noticeable differences of opinion from most users, although (at least in my experience) always positive and supportive. Years ago we had good conversations. I rarely see her logged these days, but I frequently think about her homenode quote, "A Cheerful Heart Is Good Medicine!".
Pseudo_Intellectual  -  Rowan, your presence here is greatly missed by me. I hope that wherever you have stopped in the Pacific Northwest, it is a place filled with happiness. Maybe one day you will come back and stay for a while. Wish we had met.
mauler  -  Factnoding for the win! Also responsible for replacing or having replaced several of my empty nodeshells, and with better articles to boot.
wertperch  -  'nuff said.  Recognize.

A second slice of awesome? Yes, please! Here's another group, many of which you will no longer find around, but who had a big impact on me sticking it out those first several years. Most of them still have homenodes that you should visit. Right now. Then come back to look at the rest of the list, as follows:

TheBooBooKitty - now passport
Cow of Doom

Say what? You prefer a slightly fresher taste of awesome? Check out some of these more regular folks:

Glowing Fish
androjen (I'm still not convinced this is a real person, because if in fact a young, attractive woman who loves Cthulhu and wears glasses does indeed exist then I am lucky I am already married, because otherwise I'm certain to have been implicated in some kind of crazy Jerry Springer-esque Internet stalking scheme.)

When I started putting this list together, the number of original users got out of hand, and many of the more active current users I have not had the pleasure of interacting with as much, so the omission of their names is a fault of my own, not theirs.

10. Who would play you in the Everything2 movie?

Sam Neill, please let it be Sam Neill!

11. Please fill in the blank: "E2 is to the Internet as _______ is to the world."

"E2 is to the Internet as marsupials are to the world." Did someone say this already?

12. Any questions that I didn't ask that I should've?

Several, in fact. Let me fix that for you.....

13. How do I get one of these snazzy, famed Monkeylover postcards?

Just message me with your mailing address. Simple as that!

14. How do I send my own *insert item here* to Monkeylover?

Postcards, handwritten letters, mix CDs, unwanted movies featuring copious skin, and drawings can be sent to the address listed on my homenode. If it is difficult to make out (hey, the Internet isn't the happy safe place it never was), just message me and I'll give it to you ASAP. Mail received will be responded to in kind.

15. What have you learned in the last 10 years of your life that you would like to share with us?

This is the only time we have to live. Every moment, every conversation, every laugh could be our last. This is important.

Everything2 Decaversary Interviews

If you have questions or comments, please contact Monkeylover or Jet-Poop.

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