bottoms of trousers rolled


A few days ago was my 9th blogiversary, which means I started doing this before it was cool, continued to do it when it became cool, continued further when it wasn’t cool anymore, and will continue it until it’s retro and ironic.

To do anything for nine years means having constantly-shifting reasons for doing so, but one in particular stands out: Facebook can’t have everything. Some clubhouses you have to build yourself, with no prefab construction or Ikea dishware.

It being 9 years, I’d like to check in with absolutely everybody, even the lurkers: how are you? Is everything cool?


a few hours before I start this exercise in earnest, April 2002

25 thoughts on “bottoms of trousers rolled

  1. Bozoette Mary

    Marriage solid, kid doing well, still have a job, it’s spring, financially slightly better, and the Capitals made it to the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs. Overall, life’s good.

  2. Peter Rukavina

    Spring is here in PEI, deceiving us into thinking that summer is closer than it actually is (two months away!).
    Oliver is 10 going on 11 and has become addicted to Regis & Kelly, which is equally endearing and frightening. He’s been sick with a deep throaty nighttime cough for a week, which is annoying (to everyone).
    Catherine is back in her studio in a deep and serious way, working on an epic series of climate change pieces. Later today we have to go out and pick up 31 cinder blocks to feed this process. Small taste at
    I am as I have always been, with a new bevy of technical distractions to keep me entertained and the feeding of coal into the engine of America’s oldest continuously-published periodical to keep us in falafel and cinder blocks.
    Happy 9th.

  3. Salem's Little Sister

    Marriage, kid, job, house are all great.
    My 12 year old mutt puppy is great, but my 14 year old beagle that I bought in Chapel Hill after college, my first real pet on my own is failing. We just found out about 10 days ago and I’m absolutely gutted. There’s nothing we can do but make her comfortable and watch her for when the time is right to let her go. I can not imagine being a grown up without her and I don’t know how her sister-dog will survive either. We’ll adopt another dog soon after the inevitable, but for now, everything is on hold and I’m just enjoying my Parker snoring beside my chair.

  4. scruggs

    Pretty good start to the year. School year is coming to and end. Our 7 year old has transitioned to being a big Carolina fan this year and lives and breathes sports. Our 4 year old has one more year before she gets to “real” school. We’re getting ready for a Disney World trip in a few weeks.
    My mom’s in the middle of treatment for melanoma but odds seem pretty good at this point.
    My husband just bought tickets for an Archers of Loaf reunion show at The Cradle in August.

  5. litlnemo

    Ian, Ian, Ian. The timing of your question… well… I don’t know if you want the actual answer. Or if I really should be delurking to post it here.
    Had you asked about 3 months ago, I would have said that everything is wonderful, and the only problem I had is what to do with myself now that I have finished my MA. I was pretty damned happy.
    Since the end of February, though, everything’s gone wrong.
    I’m going to leave it at that for now. I don’t think I should post the rest here.
    Happy 9th — sticking with something long-term is a very good thing and something I really respect.

  6. mcnees

    Nine years ago I was fresh out of grad school: a newly-minted PhD about to embark on seven years of academic wandering. I finally settled down for a permanent job here in Chicago. In the meantime, I got married. And I saw Carolina win two national championships. I read a lot of books, too. Things are going pretty well.

  7. Amy S.

    My dog is not recovering as she should from her ACL surgery, and my car won’t pass inspection. Those two things together have wrecked my finances.
    Two of my friends, ages 34 and 37, have breast cancer. The latter tested positive for the gene mutation, so she’s having a double mastectomy on Friday.
    I think I’m done teaching fourth grade and need to find an alternate line of work.
    But yesterday I spent the most delightful time with my parents, siblings, nieces, and nephew, having a picnic and riding a carousel on a beautiful Tar Heel State spring day.
    (Nine years ago, I was living in Hell’s Kitchen with your brother and Jordana and had just gotten into the New York City Teaching Fellows program.)

  8. Greg T.

    It was just a bit less than 9 years ago that I did a search to find out how the author of Wednesday’s Child is doing. As good as those columns were, I like the blog better. Thank you for your persistence, insight, wit and eloquence – it has kept me coming back every day.
    Can’t really complain now as I just returned from a week-long visit with various friends and family in NC. We saw firsthand the devastation of the tornadoes in Sanford and Raleigh and feel lucky the we and our families were spared. We were reminded just how glorious a spring day can be in Chapel Hill but were also reminded that no good can come of a visit to the dook campus in Durm as our beautiful spring turned to low 50s and driving rain while we watched the Tar Heels lose their opening game of the ACC Lacrosse tournament in spectacular fashion.

  9. Tanya

    Ah, I can’t imagine anything more paralyzing than the “what’s going on with you?” question. Ask me about something specific, and I could go on and on. Instead, I can only say, things are good. They could absolutely be better, but they could also be much, much worse. So, I have the appropriate amount of perspective – I hope. I am thankful for your 9 years on this blog. I loved reconnecting with you when you started it, and I love being able to keep up with y’all every day. You have become a huge part of my daily ritual. :)

  10. littlerattyratratrat

    Nine years ago. Graduate school, happily married, kidney stones, son showing first signs of aspergery-sensory-autoimmune disorders that wouldn’t get diagnosed for another few years. First academic job lined up.
    Today. Boy doing well in public school, after years of home-schooling and Montessori. Still happily married. Eternal kidney stones. Wife for months now disabled with acute vertigo. Up for tenure in the fall. Playing guitars in clubs every week.
    Sometimes life gives and sometimes it takes. Not being a believer, I’ve no one to thank or curse as the occasions merit, but overall, still more thankful than curseful. Always grateful for friends, even anonymous ones on blog sites. Peace, y’all.

  11. Julie

    Wow nine years – that is an impressive feat! Nine years ago I was finishing up my first trimester with older son. I think I was either about to or just had told my boss and was apprehensive about the office reaction given that the office was 85% male and the long hours involved. But, it went ok, and everyone adapted.
    Nowadays, I can’t complain. Life is pretty good. The two boys will advance to the next grade, and our reservations about the younger one appear to be overblown. He just likes to keep his abilities to himself. We’ve decided to throw our life into complete chaos both physically and financially by moving. Keep your fingers crossed that our current house will sell (if anyone knows anyone moving to or in Richmond, VA, let me know). Hubbie’s health issues are status quo for now, so onward and upward we go!

  12. river otter

    Sometime in 2003 or so, I googled an old friend from Carolina (not Ian) and stumbled upon this blog. I was newly sober and had just started The Job that saved me. Since then, I’ve bought a house, stayed married, stayed sober, and still have a groovy gig. I’m grateful for terrific friends and family. Generally, I’m good and things are cool.
    But I’m dealing with a mysterious health problem right now that is kicking my ass a bit.

  13. michelle

    Nine years ago I was working mostly as a server at Union Square Cafe in New York, living in a hovel on Avenue B, occasionally dating one of my bosses (which was not allowed) and even less occasionally working as an actor. The only constant in my life was that I knew it wasn’t what I wanted.
    Nine years later, I live at the beach in California, have a strong career path as a nonprofit executive, am married to a beautiful man and am mother to a precious seven-week-old son. Much of my family was here for Easter weekend (including Ian and his fam) and all of our kids got to hang out together (even though Andrew Ian just slept most of the time and didn’t actually color any Easter eggs.) Things aren’t always easy, but I’ve often invited those close to me to kick me in the teeth when I complain about anything.

  14. monheric

    Yes! Cool beyond cool as far as the eye can see. Even better, it’s almost island season. Thanks for asking :-)

  15. Rebecca

    Congrats on your 9 year blog anniversary. What keeps you going? Is it simply cathartic for you, or do you feel an obligation to keep it going at this point? I’m interested in your motivation because I can’t seem to find any.
    As for me, all is well. Well, aside from a big medical drama last month – colonoscopy disaster led to emergency surgery and 7 days in the hospital. Before that event, I was starting to think I was invincible. I guess I needed to be humbled!
    My life is better than I probably deserve in many ways. Kids are 12, 9 and 6 and we’ve been in a really good groove for a few years now. However, I sense that’s about to change with middle school on the horizon. My oldest child is the most like me, and we’re emotional people, so it could get a little bumpy for the next few years. But when someone reminds me that he’ll only live with us for 6 more years, I start to hyperventilate.
    It’s hard for me to believe that in just 12 more years, my kids will be done with school and out of our house. How can I be halfway through with having them with me at home? It’s unimaginable for me to not have them here. Maybe the teenage years will rid me of these feelings.
    Alright, I’ll stop now. But thanks for providing me with a place to vent for years on end. For a long time, it helped more than you’ll ever know.

  16. Caroline

    Nine years – interesting. Nine years ago tomorrow I went on my first date with my husband. We are celebrating by going to see the Book of Mormon. Nine is a very fortuitous number in Chinese numerology….

  17. CM

    Awww, thanks for keeping me intrigued and happy and concerned and interested and for letting me be a part of this wonderful blog family for many of those years.
    I am doing great, although there are always little things to improve. I have the three things I wanted all my life: A baby, a marriage, and published a novel. I consider each of those a miracle. There’s no guarantee of any of them, even though they seem to happen to some people easily. After that, the rest is gravy.
    I just turned 40 and have been heavily considering what will happen in the next 40 years. I haven’t done enough to help other people, and that is going to be a priority. I’d like a few other things, but I’m pretty glad for what I have so far.
    And thanks for referencing my favorite poem in the title.

  18. Halsted

    Happy 9th! I do not know how I first found your site, but I have been a faithful lurker for some time now. Everything here is just grand. I’m gearing up for my *gulp* 13th next month.

  19. jp

    My it’s been an eventful nine years. Back then, I was living in western NC, where I moved about a year after graduating from UNC. I was finishing up a grad degree but otherwise had worked mostly for one company the whole time after graduating.
    But since then… I moved back to Chapel Hill for grad school, then moved overseas for a couple of years, and then settled out here on the west coast. I’ve gotten married and adopted two kids. I’ve also acquired and lost multiple pets. I’ve traveled a bunch and learned a ton.
    But my husband has been the constant: I don’t think I could have had any of these adventures without him. Even though I’ve had to drag him along on many of them.

  20. ally

    I can’t believe I’ve been reading this blog since so near its inception!
    My last 9 years have been filled with lots of loss, and really bad relationships, but it also had lots of creativity, family, friendship and laughter – so I can’t complain. Overall, though, nothing much has changed for me, except maybe my resolve to not get lost in the process.
    About a year and a half ago, I made a leap into something completely different, in hopes of shaking me out of whatever it was that needed shaking. These days, I’m feeling the need to move again and I’m scared, scared of making bad decisions, of regret, and of ending up in a worse place than I was before. But I know in my gut that it’s time. Wish me luck.

  21. Lara

    Things are good. Solid marriage, two healthy daughters and about to finally move into a real house with a yard. And of course, a great blog to look forward to reading every day! So even though it doesn’t stop me, I really have nothing to complain about. Thanks for asking.

  22. Paul G

    Hi Ian & Co.!
    Congrats on the blogiversary. Things around me and mine are cool, with positives and negatives flowing through constantly. Specifics: moving in with Jackie this weekend (I’ve never lived with a luvah before). Had the greatest, craziest midnight adult easter egg hunt at my house of 8 years on Saturday. My dad had a stress test today for a heart attack he might have suffered months back. I have a pretty steady job. Still want to make more money like we all do. :-)
    Would love to catch up with you and Tessa sometime soon!
    Cheers to all! Go Heels!

  23. Prunella

    Still reading. Have been since 2004. Your blog is what I look for from good fiction – the chronicle of a life very different from mine – even though it’s all true, as far as I know, anyway.
    Also, I’ve forgiven you for being mean to Hillary.

  24. Anne

    Me? My blog is an open book. ;-)
    Most recently: My shrink went on vacay and forgot to reauthorize my Concerta scrip. So, without it, I spent Friday, Sat. and Sunday falling asleep. The good news: My regular doc raised my Synthroid dose based on recent blood tests, and I can already tell it’s working. Even w/o the Concerta I’m feeling less depressed and more positive. O Happy Day!
    That’s the news from Anne’s World of Big Pharma.

  25. Scott

    Thanks for providing a window into the world that I almost joined – the UNC grad world – before opting to head north instead. Thanks for the consistency – not just in terms of near daily content, but consistency in writing excellence, thought-provoking topics and insight and the occasional nod to pop culture that otherwise would have missed me (Friday).
    The last nine years have brought me career stability, expanded family, new house and deeper responsibilities – at home, work and societally. I embrace the responsibilities, for if my shoulders can’t bear this load – then whose?
    Can’t wait to see what the next nine years holds.

  26. Lee

    I grow old I grow old
    But I actually like it. And have loved your blog.
    9 years ago I just didn’t know what I wanted to do and always had this grass is greener idea in my head that drove me nuts.
    Now, I like my life a lot. Love being a mom to a four year old. Love my job that used to be sort of dull but now it lets me do what I want to do since my brain is full of other stuff. I love Durham and love where we live. I love our house. Love my family. Love you and Tessa and all my friends! And am ok with being a little chubby. That took a while!
    Now I’m worried I’ve jinxed myself. But I’m grateful for time.
    As always, Go Heels and keep bloggin!

  27. John

    Wow. Nine years.
    Things have been unbelievably high and unbelievably low. Was a drunk and miserable, then got sober and started to get my life in order. Moved from LA to NY. Fell in love for the first time. Dad died. Grieved. Moved from NY to LA to be with love. Got engaged. Blissfully happy for the first time in my life. Relationship went sour. Broke up. Grieved (still grieving) for three years. Moved from LA to NC to clear my head. Got an opportunity, and moved from NC to NY to pursue my dream. Now feel like I’m starting a new life. What will the next nine years bring? I can’t wait to find out.
    Seriously, congrats on the longevity of this blog. You have entertained me and infuriated me, probably in equal measure, but I keep coming back.

  28. killian

    Good. Strange, but good. Moved back to NC and have been here for 7 years. Like a lot of my life. Hate parts of it. Trying to maximize the one and minimize the other. LOVE this blog and the people who respond. Thanks for all your efforts.

  29. Bud

    9 years ago, I was loving life. Living in NC, back in school studying computer programming, still trying to figure out what I wanted to be when I grew up, into trail running with my two hyperactive dogs, in the best shape of my life. Conveniently enough, I’d just gotten internet at home when Ian started blogging. Best of all was a crazy/wonderful long distance relationship with an amazing woman, then just into its 2nd year…
    Now, I’m loving life! Living in NJ, got a successful career of sorts – but still trying to figure out what I want to be (only now I’ve decided “growing up” is overrated and unnecessary), getting back in shape, down to one elderly dog. Still enjoying Ian’s blog as a very entertaining and thought-provoking touchstone. Best of all is a crazy wonderful marriage to the same amazing woman, now approaching the 4 year mark…
    No complaints – enjoying the present and looking forward to the future.
    Happy blogiverary, dude!

  30. Lisa on Maui

    Aloha Ian,
    I found your blog about 8 years ago while working at a cubicle job. Luckily, I met my wonderful hubby there and we’ve been married for almost 5 years now. We’re still striving to get pregnant–(Miscarriage on our wedding day was a definite low point.)
    Now riding the insanity fence between Western medicine (IVF) and Eastern medicine (Acupuncture & Chinese herbs) in our quest for a family.
    Loving my job as a wedding planner & photographer for the past 6 years here on Maui.
    Of all the blogs I read, I have been reading yours the longest and really enjoy when a new one is posted–love that the topics are so varied.
    Mahalo Nui,

  31. oliver

    S’alright. In Portland now. Only intermittently surfing by, but glad I caught this post. Three cheers for number nine, number nine, number nine.

  32. cluverc

    This blog came to me as a bit of an inheritance, when another wedding prevented me from attending Ingo and Jiff’s nuptials in Southern France. What a joyous gift it has been.
    Which should teach us all a life lesson: You never know the riches life can bring until the wife of your first boyfriend becomes one of your closest friends and confidantes. But that is a long story.
    All’s well in Boston. Love the job. Could use a boyfriend. Send me one if you have a spare.
    Happy Bloggoversary, Ian!!

  33. Kaarin

    Your question reminded me that, despite my umpteenth breakup since college, and this one leaving the poison particularly deep, that — yes — most everything is cool.
    I still have a job in journalism, it’s one I can be proud of, I own a condo and a car and a cat, my parents still walk the earth, the wrinkles are only now beginning to set in, I rarely feel lonely, and I am healthy enough to pursue dancing as a serious hobby.
    Yay for all that. Your blog is fun to check in on; please keep posting links on Facebook, as that’s where I connect with it.

  34. tim

    doing ok… needless to say, this week has been a nightmare here in north/central alabama. i’m fortunate that my neighborhood was spared while just a few miles away, the destruction is unimaginable. but i have been able to volunteer some and help with the relief efforts… the response has been remarkable.
    other than that, work keeps me busy.
    oh, and i’ve started coming out to my friends and family….


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