That's right, folks. Today is my E2 birthday. I have been a noder for one full year, with no signs of slowing. (Okay, well, maybe a little.)

My E2 history:

On Friday, February 9, 2001, my friend Jessica (a.k.a. winged panda) introduced me to E2, showing me some of her mysterious "nodes" (of which she still has only six, none since over a year ago). I groaned as she showed me the complexity of the place, and the community, and the utter rampant weirdness . . . because I knew it was only a matter of time before I ended up checking it out myself and getting hooked.

Usually when a friend shows me some cool Web site, I might go for a couple visits, maybe not even that, decide "it's cool but they can have it," and go back to my life. After all, I don't need all this stuff to be obsessed with, I have enough to do. But there was just something about E2. I fought valiantly against the inclination to come and look, and as you can see I was successful for about three weeks . . . but on February 28, 2001, my E2 hymen was broken, and I created an account.

As is the case with many new noders who are not idiots, I read the work of others, as well as scouring the appropriate beginners' documents. For my first node I decided to E2-ify one of the well-received essays on my Web page, making it a new writeup under ukyoCE's writeup I can hang out with guys without fucking them! I was pleased with the response; I got lots of immediate upvotes, a couple downvotes but then a couple messages, welcomes, et cetera. I wrote a couple more, two stupid ones called vendetta and moronitis, both of which were not very well-received (justifiably so) and one of which was looked at as a "don't make shit up" node. I didn't really care. At this point of course, I was still not sure how to treat E2 as anything more than a bizarre message board, so my first writeup was a glorified and well-received "me too!" writeup, and I didn't totally "get it" for a little while, but I kept my distance, read nodes, didn't take criticism too personally while taking it seriously, and kept noding.

I began collecting C!s from admiring people (my very first node was even C!ed, almost immediately!), and in the chatterbox a couple people mentioned to others that I had "skillz." I was flattered, and I had lots of respect for the group as a whole.

The community was tough. Occasionally I'd post something that apparently required more bullshit points than I'd earned, and got nuked, and got in a couple mini-arguments with editors and others. Nothing serious, since I can usually see other people's points. I was bowled over by the amount of variation I sensed in this nevertheless highly intelligent population; never had I seen a place with such high standards for being accepted which also valued intelligence and communication skills rather than social skills or physical attractiveness. Here was finally a place where most people thought being able to spell was important; where unjustified and unsubstantiated claims were laughed out of existence rather than given strength because of the number of people crying "me too"; where my anal-retentiveness for language, passion for ideas, and functioning frontal lobe would be rewarded with positive attention instead of "man u need 2 chill out n smoke a bud n get laid, u frigid nerdy bitch!" Hook, line, and sinker.

I added a few more well-received essays from my Web page, E2-ified. I noded fast and furious. I began noding some Pagan material since there was a lot I could add to the database. I noded some book synopses. I made Level 2 on March 14, 2001.

I noded my own prank metanode. I noded some Pagan holidays and went through a bout of noding Ween lyrics because they are my favorite band, yet more or less unrecognized except for a few popular songs noded on here. I made Level 3 on March 23, 2001. I discovered a couple of friends. I noded some recipes. I began to daylog once in a while. I wrote a few original essays that were posted on E2 first and later copied onto my Web page, instead of the other way around. I noded some more additions to other people's nodes. I noded some detailed uses for herbs. On March 28, 2001, I attained Level 4, and awarded my first C!.

I was pretty proud of myself for leveling that high that fast (little less than a standard month), but I recognized that a large number of Ween lyrics and uses of herbs do not necessarily indicate high node quality, so I slowed down a little and noded mostly when I felt like it. I noded some magickal tools. Some more lyrics. A couple opinionated essays. Some Pagan-oriented how-to guides. A bunch of stuff on Francesca Lia Block books. Er, more lyrics. Some funny stuff, daylogs, Lemony Snicket book synopses, slang phrases that didn't happen to be noded yet, some symbolism guides and some Pagan tracts that weren't there yet. I went through a phase where I daylogged my calorie intake when I was on a diet. And a bunch of nodes on types of faeries. Funny stuff inspired by working in a bookstore. Synopses of the Sandman comics. Recipes, grammatical stuff, Pagan information, daylogs, names of certain nationalities, et cetera. Somewhere in there I made Level 5, hardly noticed, and made Level 6, at which time I threw a picture on my homenode. I changed it not too long after.

I started with highly opinionated stuff, but found that controversial or opinionated nodes are usually answered not only with downvotes, but with messages and softlinks to the effect of "your radical opinion about . . . " such and such, even though I had figured as much and just wanted to say so. These types got the most attention, and probably the most votes, but I began to be more interested in contributing to the factual information of the database. Well, that and daylogging.

Since February 28, 2001, not a lot has happened, yet it has. I'm still in the same job . . . just being paid better for it. I've had about four different bosses, they come and go so quickly. I thought I had an eye infection or something back when I first started E2; in the months following, I tracked it down to being a chronic sinus condition that is easily controlled with over-the-counter medication. I finished writing a novel (and noded about that too). I had a lot of friends. I have a few more now, and even less time to work on the even more stuff I want to do; frustrating, but necessary. My Web page was stable. Now it's in jeopardy because of a bunch of stuff. I was an AOL chat room host for Hecklers Online. Now that's folded and I've just been hired as an AOL chat room host for SpeakEasy, a trivia gaming room. My sister was graduating high school and my parents weren't speaking. Now my sister's in college and my parents have agreed to get a divorce. And my mom's royally pissed at me for stuff I won't go into here. I kept a journal. I still keep a journal. I wasn't interested in sex or having a boyfriend. Ditto now. I was twenty-three. Now I'm twenty-four. I spent too much time online. I still do.

I hope I'm still here come February 28, 2003 to write another node like this one.