I loved the concept of the Internet from the first moment I learned about bulletin boards and email in college. At that time I didn’t have a real computer at home, opting instead to write my papers on a portable Brother word processor which, as a JCPenney catalog associate, I bought for 50% off because it was returned merchandise. In 1994 we bought a real PC, a modem, and the Prodigy software which introduced me to the World Wide Web. My Prodigy username was KYFX39A, but I was Gypsy72 in the chat rooms.
I built a small web page on Prodigy, and when we ditched Prodigy in 1996ish for a local ISP called InterNET-GATEway (net-gate for short), I built another HTML web page on that platform. By then I was tired of telling people that I was a woman and NOT 72 years old, so I changed my username to LadyGypsy. My net-gate webpage was at www.net-gate.com/~ladygypsy.
In late 1999 I began work at the Courier-Post and before I returned home on my first day of work we had an appointment to switch from dial-up to broadband internet access through Comcast (now Xfinity.) The webpage moved to Comcast for a spell and then in 2001 I registered ladygypsy.net as my domain name and pointed it to the comcast page.
By then I was updating the site a few times a month with what I was doing, what I was listening to, and links to other sites that I read. But I was getting a little bored of all of the HTML-ing so I signed up for the Blogger service and on December 30, 2002, I wrote my very first blog entry.
That, friends, was twenty years ago tonight.
I would never select a username like LadyGypsy today – I wish I knew in the late 90s how sensitive the word was.
Over the decades I blogged about my meals and dieting (too much dieting), my job anxieties, television, music, politics, life, love, moving, video games, pets, and dozens and dozens of cookies. If you read between the lines, you’d see the slow decline of a local newspaper, the joy and stress of owning a home, the sad failure of a marriage, a broken woman, the whispers of new love, self-acceptance, and many courageous leaps along the way as our cast of characters changed and grew older.
Twenty years of blogging, by the numbers:
2 employers (Courier-Post and TNP, which we all know by now as SHM)
2 husbands (not at the same time, omg jeez)
2 domain names (ladygypsy.net and kimberussell.com)
2 blogging platforms (Blogger and WordPress)
3 website hosts (Comcast, Lunarpages, and my friend’s server)
3 last names (married name #1, back to Dowd, and then to Russell)
3 cats (Noelle, Misty, Charlie)
3 hair colors (brown, red, blonde)
4 cars of my own (Dodge Neon, Saturn Ion, Jeep Cherokee, Jeep Patriot)
4 dogs (Mickey, Max, Ollie, Murphy)
5 home addresses (Voorhees apartment, House #1, Dee-luxe apartment in the sky #1, Dee-luxe apartment in the sky #2, House on Literary Lane)
2,070 published posts
And most importantly, the many bloggy friends I met along the way, many of whom don’t even blog anymore but we’re still in each other’s Twitter feeds, Facebook friends lists, and Instagram likes.
While the days of blogging 4 times a day are far behind me and I can go months without anything important to share, this blog is an absolute treasure to me and I hope to be writing here for another 20 years.