I’m sitting here listening to Jen Robbins on The Web Ahead talk about GNN and early web design. (GNN being the first commercial website. It turns 20 this year. Cripes.) It made me curious as to whether or not I could find an archived version of the first website I ever attempted. Luckily for me, they have a whole website that archives things like that.
The year was 1999. It was a tripod-hosted site. A little bit of background: at the time, I was married to this other guy and was one of those born-again people.
Note the Jesus fish. And that awesome drop shadow. Each page was a different color. I positively loved gradients. That dove actually flapped its wings and there was a midi loop. Oh, and Web Rings! Who can’t forget Web Rings? Now I know what you’re thinking: Who are you and what did you offer? The Who Are We page was under construction. I can only hope that I had an animated construction guy on it, but a lot of the images are not archived. The offerings consisted of awful, horrible pamphlets that were heavily overcharged for. I was not the brains of the operation, funny enough, so I just went along with whatever my ex said. That also sums up most of our marriage. My brain checked out for a few years. (I was young and stupid, after all.) There was one pamphlet written by my ex that consisted of all the ways “men were dogs”. I couldn’t tell you the point of that pamphlet (or brochure, as my ex used to call them, like we were a damn tourist attraction). I think I wrote one, complete with cute ducks and a pacifier, on how having a baby really doesn’t need to change your life. (Again, young and stupid, what the hell did I know? Also, I would like to point out that at the time, I was not a party-type of person and I had pretty much no friends thanks to my stupid life choices, so of course my days of staying in and doing nothing had not changed at all.) My ex also wrote one about his life story, because no one has ever screwed up their life royally with drugs before, and thought that people would easily give up hard earned money to have it printed on a piece of paper, folded up and mailed to them. He’d make a really good blogger, come to think of it. Suffice to say, it really wasn’t a well-laid business plan.
Jump ahead to late 2000/ early 2001. By this time, I have divorced my ex, grew a backbone, and had a little bit of an anger issues. Not necessarily in that order:
THIS is more awkward and embarrassing for me to admit to than the first one, and I was on the fence about coming clean here. But hell, why not? So despite the divorce and my insistence that I did not want to talk to my ex any more, he seemingly refused to accept that we were no longer together. For several months, I was on the receiving end of all sorts of emails, calls, and letters from people I didn’t know telling me what an awful, horrible person I was for divorcing him while he was..er..uh..unavailable. (That’s another story for another time, perhaps.) See, if this stuff happened in these days, it would be strange people tweeting at me and poking me on Facebook, no doubt. My, have times have changed. Those were handwritten letters telling me that I sucked. How quaint. Anyway, so here is the result of a really angry 21 year old deciding to splatter the internet with this shit.
Yes, before MonkeyThoughts, it was “Home of the Nakie Monkeys”.
Dear god, I thought I was such a badass. I cringe just looking at this. At that point I was stepping far enough away from the church to throw in a “What the f***”, but not far enough to not censor myself. Oh and it’s complete with a winky face afterwards. I must have thought that was the pinnacle of edgy and that all those God-fearing people who came my way where going to be like “Wuuut!?!” and run away. Add the tattoo name drop, as my ex hated tattoos and this news would no doubt get back to him and make him rage (or so I was thinking). The most cringe-worthy moment comes here:
my tattoo doesn’t blink- I don’t think… I can ask my man about it..he sees it better than I do. *wink wink*
Not only did I wink-wink, I ADDED A WINKY FACE. Also, that particular tattoo is on the back of my shoulder, not somewhere explicit. And the man? There was no man at that time. I was clearly trying to get a rise out of people. Again, thank god there was no Facebook at the time cause who knows what I would have done to embarrass myself.
Just a few months later, I somewhat came to my senses and replaced the above with a cleaner, partially saner page:
I’ve removed the particularly passive-aggressive language or identifying markers. Look, I’m all for embarrassing myself, but that was little too shameful. The first paragraph was an explanation of version one of the site as told by an angry woman. Take note of this sentence:
We have a new addition to the family, so you will probably see pics of my new baby boy, Orion.
Orion was a dog, and I managed to make it sound like I popped out another kid and went hippy twee with the name. Why? Because I figured it would stick in someone’s craw, no doubt. I would have been a therapist’s dream.
Two months later, I really came to my senses and took it down for good. I went back to school, got my shit in order, and didn’t make a return to the personal web scene until 2004. While I’m sure that I have some cringe-worthy moments in the archives, none of them hold a candle to that site.
Let this torrid tale be a lesson to you, kiddos:
- Tiled backgrounds are horrible – especially of Jesus fish.
- Midi files should never, ever be resurrected.
- Never spew your personal issues all over the internet, especially if it would embarrass future, saner you.
- Tattoos are not edgy or shocking, unless you’re Amish.
- If you are trying to “shock” the one person who has never heard an expletive, don’t ruin it by censoring yourselves.
I need to find a way to sign off everything with “CRAZY MONKEY GIRL WUZ HERE”.