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You can say that again.
By Dom Penfold ()

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Friday, July 30, 2004

After an unfathomable two-year hiatus, ReEntry returns, thanks to the unstoppable curiosity and incredible energy of longtime diarist Dom Penfold of One More Face in the Crowd. ReEntry may again entice other escribitionists to share their own tour through noteworthy sites someday, but for now Diarist.Net is proud to hand Dom the reigns of this storied corner of the web.

When I started journalling back in 1998 I joined a relatively small group of like-minded individuals who were sharing their experiences on the web. Since 1998 diaryland and blogspot have changed the face of online diaries forever, and these days you could say that journalling has become an epidemic of global proportions. So how, in these days when millions of entries are written every week, can you hope to find the best 100 journals on the internet?

Well, the Diarist Awards are certainly one way to encourage the best journals to recieve more coverage, but it's unlikely that even with 100,000 nominations (and there are far fewer than that) that we'd really be able to find the best journals on the web. Instead we have to be realistic and accept that while we find many great journals through the awards system, many great journals also go unnoticed.

Hence this column. Rather than searching the "Top 100" lists for various types of journals I'm just going to document an average surf across the internet looking for new journals that grab my eye. I'll list all of the webrings and journals that I discover in the process and give you a quick synopsis of why each deserves a mention.

For today's surf in the wilderness I'm going to begin over at the Clix sites hosted on this site.

As it's the first column I suppose it's only fair to start with the journal currently listed in first place popularity wise, which is of course, It Is What It Is  diary of a lesbian activist hippy chick with punk tendencies. I have to admit, that as a straight-laced heterosexual I'm not often one to enjoy the writing of militant lesbians, but chnacat seems to express herself well and visits some interesting places. Parental guidance is recommended.

"one second, she was talking about being afraid to get intimate while alone for fear of being discovered, and then next second she said, 'so i decided to bake a pie'... which in and of itself is a regular activity... but in the context of the conversation, it took on a different (and better if i do say so myself) meaning."

Chnacat proved to be a good starting point for branching out into other websites. The first link that caught my eye was Getting Naked by Molly. I guess the image at the top of the page is pretty unique in it's own right but Molly draws you in to her everyday life and gives you all the juicy details.

"I was mentioning my newest photography project to McTough Guy because I figured he might know of some women willing to take their shirts off for me. McReceptionist Woman said that the two of us should have a photo shoot of our own sometime. Score one for her. She had a migraine. I told her I could think of several solutions to the problem, but unfortunately all of them involved my bed. Score one for me."

Once again Molly seems keen on links and after a brief perusal I fell upon a diary by jesbohn. This was a quick relief from the heavily sexualised diaries that had come before and I found myself reading her political commentary with some relish. I like it when people comment on the outside world rather than getting obsessed by the internal. This entry querying the commonly held mantra "if the rich only paid their fair share of taxes" is a good example of her confrontational approach to subjects.

"... if you earned a dollar, after income taxes, about $0.75 would be left. Lets say you die and that .75 goes into probate. The state takes half. You now son has about $0.38. Lets say he wants to purchase a piece of property, and sell it later at a nominal gain (like, he made more actual one dollar bills) but suffered a real loss (because the purchasing power of the dollar has dropped). The state will tax that 'gain'. And you want to tax them more?"

Well, personally I don't mind taxing the rich. They all have good accountants that get them out of most nasty tax situations, but regardless, this journal will certainly get you thinking, and quite possibly shouting!

At this point I seemed to end up in a slight cycle of wandering around various diaryland journals. That can get a bit repetitive after a while so I decided to drop back to the start of my linking session and pick another route. In the process I discovered the excellent Rattys Ghost. It seems that Ratty is currently suffering from an excessive number of dreams about Hitler, summarised wonderfully in this entry about her latest run-in with the fuhrer.

"I stood still, then, not knowing quite what to do. Looking up, I saw thousands of birds flocking out of the downtown area. Sparrows and hawks flew side by side without quarrelling. I started running in the opposite direction, heading home. I hadn't gone but five paces when a shout came from behind me: 'There's nothing there!' I spun around, and there he was: bloody Hitler again, grinning from under that stupid little moustache of his."

Having spent some time reading through the horrors of numerous Hitler dreams and discovering that Ratty had been killed by Hitler on two seperate occasions I moved on to a site all about birdwatching called 10000 Birds. It seems that birdwatchers aren't all the boring bespectacled types, indeed these people have their very own version of the burning man festival... with a chicken.

"The birds of the Chicken Inferno were impressive, but none more so than the guest of honor itself. This year's chicken reached dimensions undreamed of by those with even a modicum of common sense. Our gargantuan galliform was a colossal 16' high, 36' long, and 13' high. It swallowed 80 bales of hay and a box of fireworks, and probably could have taken the tractor too. The structure was more sea vessel than barnyard fowl, but after days of drunken, dangerous construction, it went the way of all such chickens. That is to say, it burned."

Mike has a lot to say about many issues and I'd definitely recommend a visit. It's nice to see a niche journal that's presented in an approachable human way. From 10000 Birds I scanned through the links and discovered another excellently written journal by a med. student. It's almost like reading a journal written by someone in the middle of Casualty or ER. I'll give you a jargon-heavy quote to really get you in the mood.

"So with history not helping, an ashen patient apparently short of breath, the answers are quick and simple. Shotgun approach to SOB. Nebulizers & Lasix. BIPAP machine. Stat portable chest. Her lungs were a whiteout. No fever, sudden onset. She had ROPE. Rapid Onset Pulmonary Edema. We gave her sublingual nitroglycerin to offload the fluid in her lungs, a touch of morphine. The bipap seemed to do the trick. She looked more comfortable. Spoke several words at a time that I couldn't understand under the mask and noise of the machine. I carefully watched her blood pressure as I asked how she felt about a "breathing tube" if needed. She agreed if neccesary. I still didn't know if she'd turn the corner or not."

It's nice to see inside someone elses daily work and get a real feeling for the atmosphere of their environment. I think the thing it really highlights is just how much doctors need to know, and how automatic everything has to be.

Well, I think I'll call it a day with this surf through the journalnet. But I heartily recommend that you continue it. If you'd like me to start a surf from your website in the future then please drop me a line at .