Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Retrospective: Five Years of Aimless Ramblings

And now, the latest and greatest in all things Stu:

This month marks TV.com's unofficial fifth anniversary, and as such, the wooden jubilee of this blog. When I first joined the site on June 4th, 2005 I really had no idea what to expect of myself, or the episode guides that I edited, or even our new overlords at CNet. Our user profiles had a blog option that didn't exist at TV Tome, so my first entry was a dry run that merely served the purpose to introduce myself. I wrote two more of these before coming up with the weekly gimmick; if people wanted to know who I am and what I was up to, why not do it on a regular (read: semi-rigid) basis? I was skeptical about the new format, but at the same time I wanted to help out this new site.

For the last few weeks I wasn't sure what to do with my anniversary blog, but I knew for sure that I wanted to acknowledge the milestone in a special way. I was compelled at one point to write out a list of statistics, like the most frequent topic of the past half-decade (sports edging out current events, but barely) or the most frequent commenters (by my best estimate, a virtual six-way tie). I also considered a list of wacky fun facts; in five years I've only missed one week (it was in December 2005; I was on vacation), three Updates have been posted a day early (i.e. Monday) and six a day late. Otherwise, I've been fairly consistent about posting my latest missive on late Tuesday morning or early afternoon.

As the above links will tell you, the priorities in my life were far different than they are today. I was 20 years old and six credit hours away from earning my associates in arts at the College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn, IL. At the beginning of 2005 I was intent on transferring to North Central College in nearby Naperville, chomping at the bit to earn my bachelor's in radio communications. In either March or April '05, one of my bosses at WDCB suggested that I look a little further from home; I spent Spring Break glancing at other schools' radio programs, and I realized that Illinois State not only had an equal-size reputation than NCC, but it was a lot cheaper. Alas, I missed the transfer deadline for Fall semester at ISU, so I spent one more term of sorts at COD. What does that have to do with TV.com, you ask? Well, I had to do something with my time before leaving for Normal.

To be frank, I'm too modest to take all the credit for what my weekly dispatches have become, and I couldn't have made it this far without the support of all the wonderful people that made this blog (and the site, of course) what it is today. I typed 6,432 posts at TV Tome and nearly 26,500 so far at TV.com, none of which would be possible if I didn't have somebody to debate with. Individually, I want to thank:

  • TheDiamondDog, unofficially the most prolific blogger in TV.com history, and my oldest friend at the site;
  • algetrig91 and bry456, whom I've been acquainted with since the TV Tome era and continue to contribute to TV.com to this day;
  • ClevelandRocker, arguably the wittiest and most facetious user on this site, past or present;
  • millerem99, for balancing my left-of-center ramblings with a well-informed moderate-right rebuttal;
  • thecomedianky, who I met via my reviews on the old site and egged me into taking classes at the Second City Training Center;
  • Tapeleg247 and jmarsh89, for our regular chats on AIM, YIM, and Facebook chat;
  • Scopeless, who I met at TV.com and became my friend and collaborator at the Student Television Workshop at Illinois State University;
  • mtjaws and jokipper, for their consistent dissections of my monthly music blogs;
  • FlyingHellfish, fantasy commish extraordinaire;
  • Darth_Revan45, for his strong opinions;
  • BaronOne, whoaitsconner, and avmon, for their regular comments in the SNL forum;
  • RealityFan2686 and Pulch23, for enduring all my abuse in said forum;
  • mp34mp and Water78, whose banishments from TV.com I still question to this day;
  • and to anyone else that I might've forgotten, thank you for everything you do, and keep up the good work.

I don't want to end this on a dour note, but right now my life is at a crossroads. About six weeks ago I lost my job; I'm sorry for not mentioning anything sooner, but it's not an easy subject to bring up. I don't want to get into all the gory details, but it wasn't a particularly fair situation and in some ways I'm still smarting over it. That doesn't mean I'm canoeing without a paddle, though; I registered for unemployment to pay the bills, I'm e-mailing resumes out at a steady rate, and just to have something to fall back on, I re-applied to be a substitute teacher for the 2010-11 school year. As my friends, please keep me in your thoughts.


  1. I was never given a reason or any word on why I was banned. I was probably complained about by a few folks, and they looked at my warnings, which were all petty offenses & the majority were from a single period of lots of reporting & association. They also probably looked at my very low contribution numbers, which I had no inside sources of info & writing episode reviews was never my forte. So some cockmunch decided it'd just be easier to ban me. It wouldn't surprise me one bit if the people running TV.com were a bunch of loser out-of-work Hollywood actor wannabe's. Wouldn't be surprised if it was anti-Chicagoism or politics, either. One thing that petty websites don't like; whom that get their revenue from meager ads; is outspoken people with strong or uncomfortable opinions. Fuck to Almighty should somebody not like the Jonas Brothers or some phony. Water78 was an annoying teenager with shit for brains - not surprised he got his mother's account banned. They should really put age limits on the Internet. Nobody has ever benefited anywhere from the words & advice of a teenager.

    Quite frankly, the site being run by faceless cockmunches & rule with no explanation made it a shady place to post and arguing with a bunch of half-wits on other boards was getting old. Plus if a show wasn't making new episodes, the place was a graveyard. Then I thought, "who really gives a shit what I think of an episode of "Hell's Kitchen", not even me in a week or two".

    As for your losing your job, it happens. You're going to change jobs at least 5 times in your lifetime (probably 15 now), and best to keep your plots of revenge to your closest & private inner circle. They taught us that if you blow your stack, you WILL be blacklisted in the Graphic Arts community, since it's a very tightly run industry. You the da' substitute teacher, Senor Peggy Hill of Espunol?? Christ, with so many districts cutting staff, it's probably one of the harder careers to crack into, tho substitute teachers probably root on germs & pregnancies :P

  2. Best of luck with the job situation.

    I know that I said some things that may have offended people on there, but the things that got me in trouble were basically debating with people on the "War at Home" Board. And the Moderators have such a stick up their ass that the moderation's added up and I was struck with the Ban Hammer. Honestly, like Mark said with his moderation's, the stuff I did that I can think of was very minor.

    And I think they ruined that site with all of the changes that were done since I was banned.