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12.20.98

"All Good Things..."

To everything, turn turn turn. What goes up must come down. Every cloud has a silver lining. Don't shoot till you see the whites in their eyes.

And other assorted cliches of note.

I've decided that Xstasis must end soon. It's not a disinterest in the Web, it's not me shutting up and being coy.

It's just that it's time to grow.

Definitions

Xstasis is a pun on the Greek word ekstasis, which is the root of the word ecstasy:

1. The state of being beside one's self or rapt out of one's self; a state in which the mind is elevated above the reach of ordinary impressions, as when under the influence of overpowering emotion; an extraordinary elevation of the spirit, as when the soul, unconscious of sensible objects, is supposed to contemplate heavenly mysteries.

That's what Xstasis has been for me. Breaking out of myself. When I first had a web page, so long ago, I was stumbling around in the dark. I wasn't sure what to put up here. I tried emulating a lot of different people. It was confused and muddled, and thank God you still can't access it.

Once I figured out what I was doing, I started playing with sections. I didn't know Photoshop, but what the heck - I played with tables, experimented with color, and wrote nothing personal, except for a few poems. Actually, strike that - there was a section called "Raison" which was a direct rip-off of Lance Arthur's "Reasons". Other than that, nothing that could give me away.

Opening Up

Next came Elemental Mind. My first frameset experiments - whoopee! Of course, that was a collaborative site without any collaborators, so I was kinda screwed. (There is a host of unseen graphic and design work I did on Elemental Mind, which proves that you only learn Photoshop by stumbling around like a fool.)

So then, Xstasis. I make some rudimentary graphics on Lena's Mac, whipped up a quicky design format, and went at it. The spectrum, the stripe, and a right-aligned table. And thank God for Trebuchet font, huh?

It was also about this time that I found myself with oodles of time in front of a computer with a high-speed data connection. So I surfed. And surfed. And surfed.

And got hooked.

So hooked I wrote an embarrassing letter to Lance, Derek, Maggy, and Alex - you know, the Web Cabal that secretly controls the destiny of the Web - telling them that they had inspired me to strive for more. Which was true, but I didn't have to say it. But there we are.

At this point, I was in a very confused state. Having just received my master's degree in screenwriting, I was thrown into the Real World for the first time in my life with no viable job prospects. My relationship with Lena was (and is) the longest one I've been in. I had just completed an epic RPG cycle. I had moved twice in six months. My creative juices dried up.

In short, I was confused.

So I wrote here.

And I wrote, and wrote, and wrote. There was no rhyme or reason to when or what I wrote, I just did it. It was spontaneous, thrilling, and nerve-wracking. I just wrote, not thinking anyone would read it but secretly wanting them to.

I also started venturing out into the Web community. I met Lance in the flesh, and all I can say is never act like a total gimp the first time you meet someone you admire. Lena embarrassed me in front of Derek at the Smugdog Shindig. I met Maggy, and Leslie, and Jeff Veen (who, unbeknownst to me, was Really Famous), and Molly, and Michael, and Mouser.

And then God bless the simps at Yahoo who created the clubs. A hack version of a BBS, to be sure, but a groovy focal point for those who want to meet.

And I wrote. And wrote. And life grew weird, and everything was up in the air. I felt chained down by a million infinite possibilities. I was broke, unemployed, and running out of self-esteem. Things got to the point where I was willing to give everything up.

And at that point, the student was enlightened.

Outward Projection

I can't describe how I broke out without it sounding trite or cheesy. But, without a doubt, I did. And there's no looking back.

Honestly, I have to give credit to this website - this obtuse, minimalistic chalkboard in the ether that let me rant, rave, sweat, cry, laugh, and work things out. But more credit goes to the following people:

Lance, who probably doesn't know what an impact he's had on me.

Adam Rakunas, who I briefly met at the Smugdog Shindig (I forget which video game he was playing, but the bastard was blocking the men's room door), and who I wished I had talked to more, because he is one fucking helluva guy with so much passion, optimism, and faith it'll make you cry.

Rich Robinson, who showed me that people do listen if you have something to say.

Maura Johnston, just for being Maura. And for having the dubious honor of being the first person to publish something I wrote on the Web.

John 'Big Ass Booty' Soares, the best, sickest, and most loving friend anyone could hope for.

And Lena, for more than I could ever say.

So, now what?

This probably won't be the last update to Xstasis. I'll certainly write more in the time it takes to register a domain, set up a server, and design the new site. It won't be called Xstasis, that much I know. Once you leave the nest, you can never go back.

So here we are, free of constraints, looking for new adventures.

Which is just the way it should be.

-- sjc

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