Looks like I am late to the party... Well I wouldn't be "me" if I showed up on time.
These meet and greet type deals always leave me with an awkward and vacant grin and a completely blank mind. Having to try and sum myself up in a few
bullet points or anecdotes is just not something I am good at - at all... Thus, where my norm is verbosity, this will likely be rather short and to
the point ( Remind me I said that in about 23 paragraphs ).
I realize that, thanks to my current and long running avatar theme, many of you see my name and picture this:
But the truth of the matter isn't anywhere near as compelling....
You may point or laugh - but please refrain from doing both at once
One of the major difficulties I find myself in right now, in attempting to write a "Meet me" dialogue is that, well, anyone who actively reads ATS
pretty much already knows me. I don't hold much back at all. It is my belief that what we leave locked inside is that which will poison us... So I let
it out. ATS is my chosen venue for these purges of personal pains. I know that people are much more intrigued by mysterious people. I just suck at
Still I will try to add some information to the well - while trying to avoid bacon jokes in the process.
Finding ATS was not a epiphany moment for me. It happened over time. Over the course of months One of my habits, when I am bored, is to start doing
Internet searches for anything and everything that comes to mind. Then I link surf from one site to the next until I can no longer continue finding
relevant or new information on whatever subject got me going to begin with. One day it just dawned upon me that I was ending up on one sight pretty
regularly. This sight. Abovetopsecret.com. From that point forward I pretty much skipped the search engines and came directly here whenever I was in
the mood to lose myself in reading and learning.
I will not lie. Creating a membership and actually posting was daunting to me. While I consider myself a smart person... the posters here seemed to be
so knowledgeable and possessing depth that I was fully intimidated. I felt like a goldfish who was entertaining dreams of jumping into the Pacific. I
cannot count the number of "first" posts that I tabbed back out of without ever saying a word. Eventually my undeniable need to interact overpowered
my doubts and I began posting some really, really forced
things to ATS. I think my first thread was called "The Stuff I Do Not Hate Rant" - or
something close to that. I even put on my profile all sorts of mentions about not having time for negativity.
I really, really, really wanted to be liked and accepted into this community.
Amazingly enough the great folks at ATS ignored my intitial, utterly pathetic attempts at winning friends and influencing people long enough that I
began to find my legs. I began to post what I really thought, and not what I thought others would like to hear. Once that happened? It all began to go
down like a Wes Craven movie. Next thing I knew I was in the ATS chat room interacting with interesting and potentially insane people from all over
the planet. If you've never tried ATS chat - I strongly recommend it. It can be a blast!
Before long, I was hooked. The rest of the Internet was just a distant memory and something I only accessed when I was wanting to source what I wrote
here ( On ATS sourcing is equal to "pics or it didn't happen" - I've even been tempted to source some of my general chit chat threads and rants just
to avoid static! )
Then it happened...
A few years back I found myself in the middle of a very emotional and heated debate in a thread. For two or three straight days I had been engaged in
all out war with a person who had very opposite views from me on a subject that I have some very deep feelings about. During that battle I honestly
logged onto ATS, each time, thinking I would find my screen filled with the infamous "You've been banned" page. I was absolutely positive that I was
not being civil enough in my posts and was sure it was not going to end well.
The third day of that
debate, I think it was, I logged in and was relieved to find that I could get in and was not staring at
the "You've been banned" screen. And to make it all that much more of a good day... My recent posts page was telling me that I had a
Nothing quite as exciting as seeing that doodad light up! I eagerly opened my inbox to see who might have messaged me. I was sure it would be another
member telling me that they agreed with my position in the "debate" and that I was an all around awesome person for taking the stance that I happened
to be taking.
My heart jumped into my throat when I saw that it was from Intrepid... The scariest moderator on ATS and the 17th scariest human being to ever live.
I was banned. I knew I was banned. It was over man... game over!
After about fifteen minutes of morosely staring at that name in my inbox, I finally got the courage up to click it... I was ready to take my medicine.
I was ready to read the words "As soon as you show as having read this message, your account will be terminated."
Only that's not what it said...
It was a message asking me if I wished to join the staff here.
This jacked me up so bad that I contemplated going to the ER to get a CAT scan to check for head injuries... because it just was not what I was
Shortly therafter I agreed and the rest is history.
As for how I feel about this place now? All these years later? I still love it. I'm a bit crankier these days than I used to be. The feelings of
insecurity are gone. But every single day I log on and I am always amazed by somebody here. Every single day. You people, be you staff, members, old
timers, newbies, lurkers, or whatever are simply amazing and I am unbelievably proud to be a part of this... to be associated with each and every one
As others have said before me... My inbox is always open! Just remember... you may point or
laugh. But not both.
edit on 7/25/13 by Hefficide because: (no reason given)