Friday, November 05, 2010

Stuff I found in my e-mail, part 1

As I've mentioned before, I'm on a quest to find out who my first-ever friend was on Facebook. To that end, I scoured my earliest Gmail pages for any leads. I found a confirmation e-mail from "" dated June 5, 2005 (aha!), but no friend-adding e-mails follow for quite some time. I remember in those days that you wouldn't get a notification for a new message, so they must not have had them for friend-adding either at that point. The quest continues.

On a better note, having a Gmail account and being a pack-rat are good ways to uncover some hidden treasures from the past. I first set up my current e-mail address on Aug. 31, 2004. That was back when Gmail was in its beta phase, a curiosity that required an invite to join. I didn't use it much in the beginning, being that I had a Hotmail address that everyone had known for years. At the time, the Gmail draw was the nearly unlimited space you had for attachments. And as I got more intensely into writing and graphics, I found myself using the service more and more. And being that this was before Facebook and MySpace really caught on, I was on the e-mail horn with my friends constantly. (And given that 2004-2005 was a dense period of dating for me, lots of love and drama ensued online as well.)

So now, I share with you the first installment of stuff I found in my e-mail. This edition encompasses only the first two pages, from August 2004 to July 2005.

Sometime around late 2004, several of my friends and I hatched a serious plan to start an alternative magazine at the University of Louisiana. Most of us worked for the newspaper there, but others were artists and other friends who wanted to make their impact as well. We held meetings every Sunday afternoon for more than a semester, and at one point nearly secured financial backing. It didn't work out, though some of us still talk about our "air magazine" to this day, The Undermind.

I didn't design our logo, but I played with it a ton, integrating it into all manner of stoopid graphics. The one above, which probably took me two minutes to make, uses the photo from my first-ever blog banner (a flipped version of a photo my mom took of me in our hallway around 2002 — apparently I once considered this a good shot).

One week, everyone designed or conceived a dummy cover. This one, dated Dec. 31, 2004, was mine:

Ronja was the woman I was dating at the time, though she wasn't involved with the project. I used a photo I'd recently taken of her at an upscale ice-cream shop (and a cringeworthy Maxim-inspired pun) to make this mock-up. It mostly went over well, though half of our group objected to all the words on the cover. Turns out people alternatively envisioned The Undermind as a magazine, a literary journal and a comic book. Despite the rift, I held fast.

One of my friends, a fellow writer who shared my defiant streak, wanted to start a feature titled, "Where Not To Go." It would chronicle places with bad products and services. That would surely have cut down on our advertising, but I had a plan for that. Fake ads and PSAs such as this one:

Oh, and everyone insisted that our first feature involve me posing nude for a figure-drawing class. I was going to call it "Comic Strip."

In the back of my mind, I still think this (meaning the magazine, not that story pitch) is a great idea in some form. Who knows what the future will hold?

That's surely what was on my mind when either my parents or my sister took this picture of me at Joe's Crab Shack on our way to see a Saints game in 2002. I was thinking playoffs, and also that I had a major final the next day. The Saints would win against the Bucs on ESPN, but defy astronomical odds to miss the playoffs. At least I made an A on my exam.

I had sent that pic to a girl I'd met through my blog as an "old" picture; she called it "adorable."

These two blog banners are representative of a time when I'd change them for special occasions. They were part of an elaborate April Fool's joke that I will explain in further detail with the soon-to-be-released Not Right Best of 2005 collection. Long story short, the top banner is meant to resemble a fading, graffiti-strewn billboard layered with real banners I'd used up to that point (the idea being I'd abandoned the site), and the bottom banner is the one that signaled the new direction of the blog under my fictitious conservative cousin Jacob.

Who knows what I'll dig up next?

1 comment:

rhonda said...

1. these are some of my favorite blogs. i love the nostalgia, and i really love the old pictures. the one with the undermind license pic is how i remember you. that and the gray hoodie. the not right banner above is one i remember well- i remember the eeeearly days when it was still (and i hope this doesn't embarrass you) "not quite right." :-)

2. you walked up to me outside of barnes and noble in 2005, and although that memory is not a happy one because of the way you seemed during that time, i still smile sometimes about how you randomly quipped, "i dated a german woman whose name was almost rhonda. she was almost as cool as you." typical ian fashion, it was hilarious and it was out of nowhere. you actually came out with that while one of manda'a annoying friends was trying to convince me why kate chopin was the greatest attribute to feminism since the vagina itself, and why i was ignorant if i didn't agree. come to think of it, you probably stopped me from verbally karate chopping her.

3. it already feels more fun to know that we won't be seeing 100+ posts of abuse in response to blogs. don't even read their comments if they email you.