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 It's been 6 years since I, in my previous incarnation as Liquid Engineer 0 (and a number of previous incarnations before that), posted anything of substance on my LiveJournal page.

I'm not really sure what drove me off, though I imagine it was  combination of things: grad school was reaching its hectic zenith, and I didn't have much time anymore to actively participate in fandom the way I wanted to. Half-participating was incredibly frustrating. It certainly didn't help that 2007 -- 2009 LiveJournal was a fairly disheartening place. The ripples of Strikethrough and Boldthrough--two names that will mean absolutely nothing to anyone who wasn't active on fandom LiveJournal at the time and surely induce Cranky-Old-Fan-Back-in-My-Day-Get-Off-My-Lawn phantom headaches and echoes of fandom rage in anyone who was (and who, like me, just now realizes just how long ago this all happened and oh my God when did I get old)--were still radiating out, unsettling everything, and half the people I knew had fled to InsaneJournal, JournalFen, GreatestJournal, and later, especially after those two sites ceased to be, Dreamwidth.

More simply, LiveJournal, at least in its role as a fandom meeting place, felt like it was dying slowly and wretchedly.

In that context, it suddenly became too difficult (and even unpleasant) to keep up with fandom in the face of the increasing pressures of grad school, and so, one day, I just stopped. Not that I dropped out completely; I kept reading in stealth mode, and consumed much, but I definitely stopped being a context producer or active community participant, which isn't something I'm proud of.

Given how I tend to write to relieve stress, and how stressed out and drained I became after that when I stopped writing, I can in retrospect say I made a mistake in going cold turkey.

That isn't to say I was completely out of the game. I likely would've gone totally nuts if I had cut myself totally off. But I needed something smaller and more manageable than LiveJournal and Fanfiction.net and the gateway into the entire fannish internet they seemed to provide.

(I should stop to mention that despite being born at the very tail end of Generation X and the dawn of Generation Y (or whatever we're calling it today), I didn't really start to develop any real enjoyment of music for its own sake until I was about 13, and Napster was happening. I wanted to play with this new thing called peer-to-peer networking and music was the thing being shuffled around, and suddenly I realized this whole music thing was pretty awesome, and it all snowballed from there. I've since become a huge music buff, but that's beside the point. I wan't--MTV was never something that was a huge part of my life, beyond my Nanny's daughter watching music videos at our house, which I didn't really get the point of at all, at the time. I always enjoyed Hammertime, though.)

The point of that digression, aside from dating myself for those of you paying attention, is I never once saw Daria, even though I was in almost every way the target demographic. I knew vaguely what it was, but really knew nothing about it in any detail. And now I can't rightly say what got my attention in the first place, though if I had to guess I'd imagine it was the friendliness, dedication, and creativity of the fanbase. (I still think the Dariawiki is the gold standard for such things, without compare. When I found it I knew I had to know more about the franchise that spawned such devotion.)

So, I didn't know these people or the thing they loved, but there was something irresistible about their little walled garden, that just existed on a half dozen websites that I'd imagine most people have never heard of. It was like Cheers--small, and self-contained, and friendly, and everybody knew your name. It was something I could keep up with when my schedule was crushing me, and more importantly it and the show it was built around looked like a lot of fun.

So, in February 2011, I jumped down Daria's little sanity-preserving rabbit hole, and I've been actively participating there ever since, making friends and reading great stuff and writing things people seem to like.

It was my lifeboat for a while.

Still, I've regretted falling out of contact with the wider fandom internet and all the friends I made there. That regret has been on my mind an awful lot over the last few months, and I've also suddenly found myself getting back into current, in-production entertainment and wanting to be able to talk about it with someone. And conveniently, in the last six months or so, life has reached, if not an equilibrium, a more manageable stat that has me feeling like I can focus on my creative hobbies again. So I wanted to dip my toes back into the community.

So, after much deliberation (procrastination), I decided to give up on the only blogging service I've ever used for fandom stuff and, as many of my friends did years ago, check out Dreamwidth. As frustrating as LJ could be, it was surprisingly difficult to leave. But I did, and here I am. So if you happen to feel like you've seen a ghost, don't call Egon and the guys. It's probably just me.

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Lord Yellowtail

July 2016

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