Happy Birthday to Me

Apologies for the 'Bridget Jones Diary' style opening - what IS the appeal of that neurotic post-teen angst-ridden tripe, anyway? - but it seems an appropriate way to start, because one year ago, to the day, the TC web site opened for business. Since that day, I've written 48 editorials, 63 movie reviews and the site has expanded up to 3,323,525 bytes of information. According to the counter on the home-page, it has now been visited 13,913 times: of course, some people probably by-passed the front page, but on the other hand, a good few of those were probably just me logging on to see how many times it had been visited -- especially in the early days! Thanks to every one of you for the encouragement, and for all the emails to tell me that my links weren't working...

Generally, looking over the other ramblings which have been posted here in the past year is like going through a psychological photo album, as it brings back memories of what was important. And while occasional world events have intruded, largely this space has been occupied by smaller, less earth-shattering events: a medical, trips abroad, visitors, burglary attempts, and the gradually deteriorating atmosphere at work.

In some cases, such as pub bouncers, my opinions have mellowed slightly: last weekend, I spent a thoroughly entertaining afternoon down the pub, watching Charlton fans not getting served. Such is the inevitable result of the immediate nature of the Web; I can get pissed off on Thursday, write about it on Friday, and publish in on Saturday. This compares favourably with the, oh, eighteen months which could pass between writing for TC and the piece appearing.

Mind you, I may be mellowing across the board -- I stumbled across the file which contained all my Usenet postings over the past couple of years, and I can't believe TC Towers has not been burnt to the ground by an enraged mob of one sort or another as a result of my rants. I kinda wince on reading things like "American culture is all right in its place -- America". As one friend pointed out, now it's "when can I go back to Las Vegas?".

Way back in our very first editorial, I railed against the wave of Diana hysteria which was then sweeping the nation. Last weekend was the first anniversary of her death -- the necroversary, perhaps? - and so, inevitably, we were treated to a whole new slew of programs on her "saintly" life and "tragic" death. Me, I commemorated the occasion with a triple bill of 'Speed Racer', 'Lost Highway' and 'Crash'... However, I've been pleased to see how most people, save the real sad bastards, have had enough; in one poll, only 6% wanted to see any kind of official commemoration. Do I detect a fair bit of entirely justified embarrassment among those who let themselves get carried away by the tabloids last year?

But coming right up to date, my sobriety is now past the half-way mark -- and thank Christ for that. Last night was VERY strange: was out all evening, but consumption of 2 1/2 pints of Diet Coke, on top of a couple of coffees, left me feeling more wired on caffeine than I've ever felt [I rarely have more than one coffee per day, so don't exactly have a great deal of tolerance]. And it was not a nice feeling; if being drunk is like floating on a fluffy little cloud, a caffeine high is like someone scraping a razor-blade over your personality. I felt edgy, borderline paranoid, and distinctly twitchy. This was not nice, so for the remaining two weeks, I shall be sticking to the mineral waters.

And so, pausing only to raise a glass of cool, clear, caffeine-free Highland Spring: Here's to the next year!


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