December 12, 2007
The first online journal I saw was David Siegel's. This was probably in 1996, or even possibly, in 1995. I spent a lot of time at David Siegel's web site, with his crazy photos and graphics and new layout technique involving these really complicated things called tables. I had a regular fangirl crush.
Likewise, I'm not entirely sure when I started my own online journal, called chezxx diary, but I'm guessing it was probably 1997. It seemed like there was a large community of journalers. That's funny when you think about it; there were maybe 100 or 200 nationwide who were journalling, compared to the gazillions of blogs out there now.
One of the first journalers I met in real life, and the few I kept in good touch with, was Anita Rowland. Anita started journalling in 1997, and just about everyone who journalled or blogged in the early days has a story about how encouraging she was, how positive, how generous.
Unlike a lot of us who journalled, Anita was not shy. She was outgoing, and she really wanted to share: community, resources, information.
I wasn't close to Anita, but we read each others journals, and would see each other a couple of times a year. I was lucky enough to have her stay with me twice or three times when she was down for a swing dancing event, and she was such a lovely guest. I didn't think anything about it at the time; that was just Anita, you know?
She even seemed amused when the cops pulled her over a block away from my house when she had forgotten which house I lived in. Unlike many of friends, she didn't seem afraid of my neighborhood, or think that my house sucked, and if she thought the house was dirty, she sure didn't let on in any way.
Getting to hang out with Anita was such a pleasure. I once went to a very small SciFi convention on her recommendation, and I felt totally taken care of. She'd introduce me around, and let me know that sessions that would be really good.
Sadly, when I stopped journalling, I lost touch with Anita. But when I came back in 2004, Anita found me again, and we began leaving each other comments. Soon, she was in my flickr feed, and more recently, my twitter feed.
Her twits and posts have been coming less frequently, and I've been a bit worried about her. I knew that she had been fighting ovarian cancer off and on since 2003, and I knew her prognosis wasn't good. Last friday, I checked her twitters and her blog, and I tried to find the link to her husband's blog (but couldn't).
On Monday, I was chatting with my boss when I remembered her stories of the Santa Rampage, and I told him about it, and her. She died less than an hour later in a Seattle hospital.
Posted at December 12, 2007
I tried tracking down one of my best friends from my teen years when I found his older brother. It turns out that "Mike" starting having mental illness problems, and these days nobody in his family even knows where he's at anymore. These losses are painful.
Posted by: Fritz at December 12, 2007 6:48 PM