It's mid-May, and high time to celebrate this blog's mysterious origins. Let's take it from the top. [Photo, left: Blog Birthday Cakes can be identified by their spontaneous appearance and splashiness.]
The genesis of this blog is shrouded in chronological uncertainty, as I proved that we can, in fact, tamper with time and thereby affect the formation of the universe itself. What we know for sure is that this blog was started in roughly five minutes one day in a public library by a naive writer who had no idea that he had just signed over a significant chunk of his life for the next several years.
The exact moment at which this happened is less certain, but evidence leads us to believe that the blog started its life in early May 2004, a fact that was later obscured by frivolous tampering with Blogger's post date options.
Due to the ambiguity here, BitterSweetLife's birthday is celebrated each year sometime in May on a date when nothing else important is happening. So as of today, the blog is four years old, and since being a blog is about twice as hard as being a dog, that makes BitterSweetLife approximately 64 in human years. 2007-2008 was a good year. Here are few milestones:
- An influx of "free" books to review, as I paid off several publicists to get my name on the right lists.
- Some record-setting traffic during March Madness, as I picked the Jayhawks to win it all--like I do every year.
- A spin-off blog, arieljvan, which is aimed like a telephoto lens at the topics of church planting and theology. As I get ready to graduate, I spend a lot of time thinking about church planting--the shape of the future.
- Two spin-off blogs, if you count the marketing and portfolio site for my freelance copywriting business, Words w/ Verve.
- Even more baby photos and juvenile captions, as we recruited a second baby, in October 2007, to help us fill our posting quotas and help with administrative functions like replying to emails and updating template code. Although they require frequent performance evaluations, these babies are hard workers! Good job so far, Asher. Keep up the humor, boyish good looks, and general air of efficiency.
If I had to pick out one distinguishing trait of the blog, I'd probably point to its stubborn commitment to eclecticism, best expressed in its book reviews, NCAA hoops explosions, baby photos with random captions, and invention of the genre, "creative theology."
In the months ahead, this blog may switch domains. It may get a newer and better-looking body (words being the blog's mind or spirit, if you will). It may become more punctual, and even work out a posting schedule. But have no fear, our commitment to writing about whatever the heck we want to will never change.
On a personal note, Lindsay, Aidan, Asher and I are looking forward with a bittersweet mixture of eagerness and trepidation to the next few months, as I'll finish up my "Master of Divinity" degree and make some major transitions, anticipating new freelance copywriter jobs, a new residence, and a new vocation. Big changes are ahead, and no doubt some of that craziness will be reflected here and at arieljvan.com as we do our best to keep everyone posted.
In conclusion, thanks for reading and commenting and throwing tomatoes at your local incarnation of the blog in the past year! We enjoy each and every comment, even the ones we make fun of, and have a lot of fun getting to know the readers and bloggers who stop by. We're looking forward to more good discussions in the year ahead. Onward!
* I think.