A Celebration of Life: May 10, 2005-August 5, 2010
"I drank WHAT?"
Famous last words.
How about famous first words?
"Call me Ishmael."
"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times."
"This is the first post to my new blog. I'm starting this thing because it's better than doing nothing all day."
Tuesday, May 10, 2005 - the first day of Throws Left, Bats Right.
And today - Thursday, August 5 - is the last day of the entity known as TLBR.
Some folks called it Tilber. In fact, Tilber even called a few folks.
TLBR was part psychiatrist, comedic outlet, forum, inside joke, late-night activity, work day distraction, ode, tribute, slice and dice, and overall a life-changing experience.
Truthfully, I started writing (literally) when I went down to Australia in April of 2005. My Mom talked me into it. Handed me a leather-bound journal and convinced me to finally use my "talents" for writing.
So I did. Took the damned thing everywhere. And if you read the Oz Blog portion of TLBR, it's evident. But I took the thing EVERYWHERE. Trust me, when you're peeing and writing (and spraying off target as a result), people look at you funny.
But since that the three-week chronicle of visiting a beautiful place and reuniting with a beautiful girl, lots of things have happened - and most of them were typed into TLBR for some sort of historical account.
That account ends with me living with the aforementioned beautiful girl in the wonderful city of Pawtucket. It took a decade of wishing and and a solid three or four years of persistence (mild stalking), but here I am. And while there is a lot more living and experiences to enjoy, unfortunately, it won't be on TLBR.
A few events and trends have led me to this decision. First and foremost, time.
I said back in the beginning that the blog would be the enemy combatant of ennui. It was very successful in that venture. The blog would celebrate my muse, no matter how fleeing or flimsy. The blog would allow my inner thoughts to cruise on a seaside cabin with a balcony to the world of those who bookmarked the page and checked in every so often.
I can't thank you folks enough.
I never marketed the blog. I wanted it to be word of mouth, as it served as the mouth to many of the words and thoughts I never could possibly say. In some cases, it was the only way for me to say anything, because I was a few bottles of wine deep.
But now, I have neither the time nor the inspiration to blog on a regular basis. And if it can't be a regular thing, it can't be. It goes against the essence of what I wanted TLBR to be.
One thing I hate - almost more than anything in the world - is self-importance. Which is why this obituary for TLBR is so hard to write. I also loathe overly flowery and adjective-laden metaphors when describing stuff (see also: every press junket with actors talking about their latest movies).
I hate all that, yet, I find myself dipping the proverbial quill into the ink pot to write the same sorts of words.
TLBR meant so much to me - and hopefully all of you found some enjoyment from it - that it's hard to think that it will be no more.
Yet, when I really break it down to brass tacks, it's a celebration, bitches.
Not gonna lie, TLBR and the consequences surrounding it scare me.
Some dude - who works in the same field as me - got "outed" for his particular blog. Granted, he violated rule one in the TLBR Magnus von Magnussen Carta: don't shampoo where you eat.
(seriously, you're a compliance guy writing a blog about the NCAA and its rules? I found out - quickly - that you don't joke about the NCAA in a blog. They track your ass down and...well, I should probably stop right there. They're listening).
But that sort of thing, combined with the Jeffersonian moving-on-up-to-the-Associate AD-level makes me question whether or not I want to risk my deeluxe apartment in the sky for some throwaway comment on Lindsay Lohan, Rick Pitino, or how much I can't stand the Japanese pitching contingency for the Red Sox.
I finally got a piece of the pie. Don't need someone pooping on it.
When you tack on technology, TLBR didn't have a chance.
Facebook? Twitter? Four-square (still don't have a bleedin' clue what the hell that is)?
Folks are all over those applications. Reading 500-750 word entries, no matter how witty and brilliantly written (two things TLBR has been proud to never have been confused with...) just doesn't happen anymore.
I was more concerned with 140 character Tweets or 160 character texts. When I really had something to say, I'd BBM it.
And hell, if I had 10 free minutes at home on the couch with a few select beverages under my belt, I'm firing up Guitar Hero 5. Stuck on the last song - Rush's "Spirit of Radio" and cannot beat it, which is the 7th ring of Hell because there's probably only one or two bands I hate more than Rush and one or two songs that I hate more than "Spirit of Radio." I feel like my Wii is mocking me and the only way to win is to smash it with a didgeridoo, but then I lose like $300 bucks.
Talk about the circle of despair.
And that's what was great about TLBR. It was a forum for me to literally let the voices - the crowd of voices in my skull - have a semi-organized shouting match.
But I think I can confidently say that - maybe - I've outgrown TLBR.
I don't have nearly as much angst as I used to.
And while I'll always be bitter to my bones, it's not what fuels me anymore.
Gosh, the pressure...if this is the last post, it HAS to be the best one ever...right?
The site's not going anywhere - for now. I need to do a monster cut n' paste session, as to be able to save all the typing I did over the span of five good years.
I can't thank enough any and all of you who ever read TLBR and dropped a line, left a comment, or just quietly observed and chuckled at how screwed up things could get here.
I could get all Rodgers & Hammerstein on you, drop some "So Long, Farewell
" but that's not my style.
No. Not showtunes. That's not how we're going out.
Or, I could leave you with one of my favorite Simon & Garfunkel tunes: "Old Friends."
Old friends, old friends,
Sat on their parkbench like bookends
A newspaper blown through the grass
Falls on the round toes
of the high shoes of the old friends
Old friends, winter companions, the old men
Lost in their overcoats, waiting for the sunset
The sounds of the city sifting through trees
Settle like dust on the shoulders of the old friends
Can you imagine us years from today,
Sharing a parkbench quietly
How terribly strange to be seventy
Old friends, memory brushes the same years,
Silently sharing the same fears
In keeping with old TLBR tradition, I have a bottle of red and my iTunes flowing.
But enough stalling. It's time to go.
I used to sign off the blog entries in varied messages - apres moi, le deluge; one; it is what it is; whatever is whatever; your humble and obedient servant; que sera, sera.
And in true TLBR and iTunes karma, the one song I thought of prior to writing this obituary just came on.
Thank you all so much. Much love.