Ten years ago today I celebrated my first full day in New York after moving to Williamsburg, Brooklyn with $400 and 98 pounds of belongings. Since then, these are some of the things that have happened:
Worked for Apple in SoHo
Worked for myself
Was told I needed to leave Williamsburg
Watched Sex and the City for a few months
Moved to TriBeCa
Worked for MTV
Moved to the Lower East Side
Worked for Tekserve
Moved to Crown Heights, Brooklyn
Worked for MTV again
Rode my bicycle
Spent time on the West Coast
Invested in Beer Table
Went to Italy
Got a motorcycle
Summered on Fire Island
Went to England
Summered on Fire Island again
Somehow made it through 2012 (but just barely)
Went to a lot of weddings and sadly, but thankfully, only one funeral
Worked for myself
Worked for NorthPoint
Went to Spain
Celebrated ten years in New York
Started plotting my escape
Recently I refactored almost all of the code that powers the backend of this site, a lot of which has been around for however long it's been since I built the content management system that powers it (and perhaps before - I had another blog that I ran on my Mac out of my apartment when I lived in Oakland whose code made its way into this site). Tired of being the cobbler whose kids have no shoes.
First, permalinks. They have always been something like evanrose.com/?entry=100 which I thought was cool back in the day (hey, I know PHP!) but long past their sell by date. I built a system that turns the blog post's title into a slug and am using those for permalinks (and being a good web citizen, should someone come into the site via a link to a post with an entry id, they will get seamlessly redirected). Secondly, I changed an .htaccess redirect that would, for example, redirect evanrose.com/work to evanrose.com/?section=work. This has been changed so that all requests end up on index.php and the non-query-stringed URL is split and used. Even the HTML templates I used before I entered blog posts in to a database work with this new scheme (for the most part, at least they're used in the virtual blog directory) for instance, my first month of blogging on evanrose.com (and not on my previous sites) in July of 2001 and without touching that templated file, it validates as HTML 5!
Finally, back in the day, I didn't know about how to deal with dates and math and whatnot coming from a database so my noob self saved date oriented data like so: insert "Tuesday" into `day name`, etc., which is just NASTY. I was young and I needed the money. Fixed all that garbage (and should have years ago). I also fixed a bunch of hacky crap to deal with page titles and whatnot which was also trivial. It was pleasant work cleaning this business up and by god it might last me another ten years.
Last month, I spent a week on a sailboat, bopping around from Florida Key to Florid Key and bopping around in Key West. I had no idea how much fun this would be, though a week was probably a couple of days too long. I took a bunch of photos and shot some really cool video. Check 'em out.
Yes, "corny dog." In addition, there was lots of driving, lots of meals with my mom, a Dale Chihuly show at the Dallas Arboretum, lots of catching up with old and making new friends and hell of fun in general. Though it was fun, I got stuck there while Sandy descended upon New York and couldn't wait to get home, which is exactly why I'm going back to Texas again tomorrow. See you Texas peops soon.
Did some more cleaning up around here. Even though those sites have moved on to greener pastures, I've put up links to some of my older freelance work that lives on my own server, Beer Table version 1, Beer Table version 2, Beer Table Pantry and Nikki Stager, the last being one, I really like but which never got used, though the images getting pulled in from Flickr can be a little flaky.
Today, I'm off for a long weekend of dinner, the nuptials of my friends Katherine and Jim, Katherine being one of the first friends I made when I moved to New York eight and a half years ago and Jim being one of the greatest dudes I've ever met, and a brunch in Connecticut and Massachusetts. I'm almost positive much fun will be had. Today also marks the date of a sad day a year ago, and I'll let my journal entry from that day speak for itself:
"October 5, 2011
"My mom wrote me an email talking about what she wanted to have happen if she suffered from dementia [she said she wanted me to take her to a place in Oregon where they euthanize people] and I got so sad I went into our freight elevator area and cried. Sobbed. Later in the day, left work... and went and saw Portishead, who were great. But right before the show, I looked at my phone and saw immediately on Twitter that Steve Jobs had died and I cried again."
I am so pleased for my friends. They are wonderful people, they are wonderful together, and we should all be so lucky. Today is a far happier day.
Now that I've gotten back in the swing with a new gig and have gotten in the habit of doing something productive with my life, that being productive has beget more productivity, though that hasn't yet extended to my yoga practice. It has, however, gotten me into a bunch of new cool web stuff I've not done much with over the past few years, given me some new ideas, and so I finally gave this neglected site some much needed TLC and added some cool stuff.
First, the site is a hundred pixels slimmer and have hidden the overflow of my Flickr photo stream and trimmed down some of the descriptions on the header links. I also got rid of the contact page (which at one time contained a contact form that I got rid of long ago) and moved the functionality that displayed the ten most recent (though infrequent) blog posts to the archive page which now contains the last ten posts by default, the ability to choose posts by month, or if passed a post ID, a permalink page. Some work under the hood included a bunch of changes to the site's date and time functionality, as when I built this site almost ten years ago, I didn't understand PHP's date and time functionality very well so cleaned up a ton of crappy date/time crap, deleted old deprecated code, and did a lot of general refactoring.
The new cool jam here though is the home page which has a bunch of new stuff. I built a script that, when called by a cron job every hour, grabs my most recent 22 Tweets (why 22 is the limit, I have no idea), my 15 most recent Tumblr image posts (which are 500 pixels wide, hence the site's new slimness), and the last ten evanrose.com blog entries (which are obviously way down at the bottom of the page as there aren't many recent ones), puts them all together, and then saves them in a separate file in reverse chronological order. This file is then included on the home page which, because it's just included and not requesting all this stuff every time the page loads, the page loads much faster. I know anyone who comes to this site probably already looks at my stuff elsewhere, but this was a fun project and I feel like this site hasn't gotten as much attention it's deserved.
Next up: taking those tweets and Tumblr posts and putting them into my database, downloading the Tumblr photos to keep here for safekeeping, and having that same script update my RSS feed on a daily basis with a digest of the stuff I've put on the internet that day. If you've made it this far, you are now an honorary nerd. Welcome to the club.