One Year of Everything

"You say it's your noder birthday (da-na-na-na-na-na-na-naaaaanh!)
It's my noder birthday too—yeah (da-na-na-na-na-na-na-naaaaanh!)
They say it's your noder birthday (da-na-na-na-na-na-na-naaaaanh!)
We're gonna have a good time!"—many apologies to the Fab Four


The addict's mind undoubtedly must often return to his first taste, even as the lover repeatedly relives the moment when first he chanced to gaze upon his beloved. It was five years ago, more or less, when a bored graphic artist wandered into the strange wonderland we know as Everything2. In the course of my ramblings across the fathomless depths of the net, I found this site, and thus was I hooked.

As a little boy, I dreamed of writing encyclopedia articles—of helping to catalogue the vast treasure of humanity's knowledge. Everything2 seemed like this grown-up boy's chance to realize that dream in an amateur kind of way. I hesitatedin my heart, I knew that I could never contribute the amount of time and work that I would want to. I never forgot E2 though. I came back often, and I readI read a lot.

After my mother shuffled off this veil of tears, I chose to mark this major life event. I started brushing up on the E2 FAQs and making lists of what to write about. A couple of months later, Hallowe'en 2004, I signed up.


When we are children, it seems to be a little easier to bundle our recollections into discrete parcels (Which grade was I in? What school was I at?) As we age, things begin to blur and we increasingly rely on our children or pets, significant others or jobs to provide landmarks with which our already overburdened minds may flag our past events. I recently came across someone's idea that we should do something completely novel each year for this very reason. It's a lovely idea, but pretty difficult in practice.

I suspect that I will cherish the memories of my initial year in this bizarre experiment for the rest of my life—the first tentative writeups, the generous assistance of some of E2's editors, the chance to correspond with some amazing writers ... maybe even to make a friend or two in the process.

It has been unlike any other endeavour that I've ever undertaken: I've seen crybabies come and go, enjoyed unsolicited praise, been frustrated, filled dozens of pages with ideas for new writeups, gotten C!s, given C!s, voted, read, wrote, chatted, argued, and learned. I've even attended a nodermeet and met some fantastic (if frighteningly erudite) people there.


I have received some benefits from my initial twelve months of noderhood: I have gained skill as a writer and grown in self-confidence. I have learned a great deal about a number of subjects and re-connected with my love of doing research and writing, sometimes scribbling three hours at a stretch, something I could scarcely do before.

In the course of doing all this cool stuff, I have slowly learned the subtle art of taking a compliment and taking a punch—as well as how to offer critique without seeming either fawningly effusive or unduly harsh. This is a skill I had long sought but which had eluded me. This rare ability may be the most valuable gift that I have received.

It's been fun! I can hardly wait to see what my second year on here brings.

"I would like you to dance (noder birthday)
Take a cha-cha-cha-chance (noder birthday)
I would like you to dance (noder birthday)"