January 27, 2019

The Web Thickens (Another Blogger Mystery)

(If you haven't seen the original post, I advise you do so: https://longlivetheprince.blogspot.com/2018/05/windows-are-eyes-to-soul-another.html)

Good day, subjects. Your little Prince has been hard at work during his hiatus. If you've read the original post, then I am sure you are quite aware of my fascination with the tangled web of mysterious blogs that I stumbled upon early last year. I have done countless amounts of research and I thought it would bring some closure to share a bit of it with you all. In the last installment of uncovering this mystery, I honed in on the first member of the elite blogger circle that I came across: Aurora.

Aurora was a young, Romanian debutante who moved to the Los Angeles area. She was rich, bored, poetic, and had little to do but contemplate her distressingly empty life and drown her nihilism in indulgent wines. I was fascinated with her blog not only for the beautiful photography and literary illustrations of her existentialism, but for the mystery of how she acquired so many peers with almost identical themes in their blogs.

At the time, I focused my efforts on finding Aurora because I thought focusing on a single detail may be the only way to find clarity in this jumbled web. It turns out that I was quite wrong and the way to see the whole narrative was to focus on the big picture. In that effort, I spent time combing through any/all of the relevant blogs. There is a lot to cover, but I don't wish to blather. I will share with you my notes. But I warn you; they seem as if they are the scrawlings of a madman. Here is roughly 35% of the research I have saved in my drafts:

1. http://awindowapart.blogspot.com/ (Aurora C.W., 09/09-04/10) (Romania, LA)


2. http://soonitwillbeme.blogspot.com/ (Signe Engis, 09/09-10/11) (LA, Sweden)


3. http://ice-age-heat-wave.blogspot.com/ (Kim, 09/09-05/10) (LA)


4. http://bellearmed.blogspot.com/ (Belle Armed, 09/09-11/11) (LA, Paris, London)


5. http://themostawesomethings.blogspot.com/ (Luke, 09/09-11/09) (LA)


6. http://posthollywoodcondition.blogspot.com/ (Winona, 09/09-11/09) (LA)


7. http://ratherlovelything.blogspot.com/ (Sarah Johnson, 09/09-08/10) (LA, Sweden)


8. http://belledehiver.blogspot.com/ (Victoria, 09/09-04/10) (Norway, LA)


9. http://mymotherfuckedmickjagger.blogspot.com/ (Avy Stanford, 12/12-present) (LA, NY)

Allow me to elaborate on the above list. This index contains all of the publically available blogs that were a part of this blogosphere of directly-connected, depressed Hollywood girls. Next to their links are their names/pseudonyms, the dates of their first & last post, and the geographic locations that they are associated with. If you pay close attention, you will notice that there is a common thread: All of these members started their blogs in September of 2009 and resided in LA at one point. (With the exception of Avy, who also started on Blogger in September 2009 but deleted/privated all posts before 12/12 sometime after 2012.)

Ordinarily, this would be no surprise. A normal assumption would be that these girls were friends and all decided to blog at the same time. However, that raises the question of how these girls came to meet. It's unlikely that they attended the same school as there are some decent age gaps between them. Also, not all of the members were directly connected with each other; so if it was a coordinated effort, it would have had to move down the line of friends in order to encompass all of them.

In addition to these nine members, there are some other influential players that do not have public blogs. Two of the members rendered their blogs private. Unfortunately, we can only speculate on their reasons for doing so as no explanation exists in any of the public blogs. Here are their private blogs & public profiles:

http://nevertheleona.blogspot.com/ (Leona [Mills?], 09/09-02/16) (London) [https://www.blogger.com/profile/16922964023568557690]

http://theaohthea.blogspot.com/  (Anthea Kiddo, 09/09-08/15) (LA) [https://www.blogger.com/profile/10007255616184361375]

Lastly, as far as the most influential members are concerned, there is still one more. Miri is a figure that is mentioned by almost every author. They speak very highly of her and she seems to be the primary link between many of the members. However, upon first inspection, one may think her blog was deleted. In fact, she changed the URL and rebranded her blog. First titled "California Noir", Miri's blog was retitled as "HOLLIDAY". However, all the posts have either been drafted or deleted as there are no visible posts on her blog. All the remains is the template, follower list, and view stats.

http://www.californianoir.blogspot.com/ (Miri A.K.A. Hannah Holliday, 09/09-?) (LA, Berlin)
http://hannahholliday.blogspot.com/ Miri changed URL and deleted all posts.
[https://www.blogger.com/profile/15795638565078579966]

After gaining and understanding of these primary players, (and several secondary ones), I began to cross-reference events between the different blogs. Seeing as those people of interest lead such fantastic lives, many of their followers scrutinized how much of their tales were real. With that being the case, I thought it best to search for any discrepancies between the narratives. So far, I haven't seen any inconsistencies. If this was some creative conspiracy, these gals would have paid incredible attention to detail.

Another point I mentioned in my original post was that the last known player in this circle was Avy Stanford and that she may be the sole key in finding anything about this elusive group. After months of piqued curiosity, I finally decided to make contact with the illustrious Avy. At the time, I only thought to seek her help in finding Aurora. She wasn't able to assist with much, but here is what she said:
-----
Sorry for not replying earlier, I'm on some sort of permanent vacation and don't check my emails as often as I should. 

Either way, thank you for reading my disparate words, I often wonder who it is that does. As I'm sure you understand it's a cheaper form of therapy, but I get these questions a lot from people that want to know more than I'm able to share. I wish I could say I know Aurora but I really don't, although I could probably put you in contact with Belle. The last I heard she was in Singapore but I will write to her and ask if she knows anything. 
-----
The trail ended shortly thereafter. It's no surprise that young Ms. Stanford is uncomfortable sharing details of her personal life. (Although I do hope to get her to consent to an interview someday.) It was clear that I wasn't going to be able to see behind the curtain of these blogs. But at least we have enough to construct a vague narrative of these Hollywood girls (and Luke) combatting life in the big city. I would love to retell the many stories I found on their blogs, but I don't think there is room on this ever-growing post to accommodate the archived adventures of a collective sixteen years of experiences.

Thank you for bearing with me on this long excursion. I'm disappointed that I wasn't able to bring you a conclusion to the mystery; but some things just seem destined to remain unknown. I hope that this summary and index of hyperlinks will be enough to get you started if you desire to browse these beautiful blogs filled with somber beauty. And if you have any suggestions to help solve the mystery, please let me know! I could really use a proverbial Watson.

Long live the King

January 24, 2019

Unfolding Old Notes

I have been sitting on one of my favorite blogs for a while now. It's yet another day-blog that was abandoned. But unlike other day-blogs, it wasn't merely the ramblings of some teen who got bored in the school library; This blog contains a small slice of beautiful thought, the likes of which I have found unrivaled. This is the blog of the Cautioner. (http://thecautioners.blogspot.com/)


Both the blog and the account behind it were formed in July 2008. The author, (an anonymous entity known only as "Cautioners"), published the only actual post. Almost two years later on May 30'th, 2010 the blog appears to have been hacked and a spam link was posted with no title. No other activity or content has appeared on this blog.


Based on a few context clues, I have reason to believe that the author is female. However, the author covered their tracks quite well. I have tried many different strategies for getting in touch with them, but to no avail.


I wish I had more to say about this blog, but any thoughts I have seem to be better summarized in the author's own words. Now, I'm not ordinarily one to repost someone else's work without some amount of commentary, but I have seen many blogs glitch, get deleted, or outright disappear. I wanted to share this author's work with you, and I wanted this to serve as an archive of its existence lest something happen to it. I hope that this will spark some interest. All credit to the author known only as "Cautioners". Thank you.
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we'll still have our stories


I'm looking for somewhere to stay. Somewhere empty, but with plenty of space that I can fill up. I've been around for more years than I'd like to admit. I've called places home and then left when things got too heated. But I'll start over here now, not completely ridding myself of every other place but really just treating them like childhood stomping grounds. I can walk past them and remember holding hands with new friends and never being able to "do" the monkey bars, but then as I leave, I'll remember why I always swore to never go back.

There was always so much more for us, but we knew we had to leave to find it. We said we'd never find it in that stuffy little town. Guess we never have, but when I look around, it sure makes sense. We've never left.

This isn't like me. This is open. Anonymous, I guess, unless you know me by chance. Congratulations (?) if you do, since I don't know how anyone would find me. I've always shown off my hiding places. Even that cluster of trees in that field; the one that was cleared ten or eleven years ago, and now it's an expensive neighborhood. The place I used to go to think and pretend is now somebody's bedroom. They might feel weird if they knew that one.

I want to say things and run the risk of them being seen. I guess it gives me a little rush after hiding it all for a while now. But I can't be tracked with this. It's as safe as I've ever been, and the letters on this screen just smile with that thought. Anyone can see it, but nobody will get attached enough to care. I'll be left alone, and if I'm going to keep living with my head the way it is, it'll teach me that alone is okay.

Hi. I have an imagination. It's the greatest gift of all. Sadly, everyone else lost theirs years ago.

This is a last ditch effort and I'm making it up as I go along.
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Cautioner said they don't think anyone could get attached enough to their letter to care, but evidently I have begged to differ. This blog will always have a place in my mind and heart, and if it ever becomes possible to find the author I will do it. Long live the Cautioner.

Long live the King

January 13, 2019

Finding The Resort

(Word of warning: This is gonna be a nerdy one, so buckle in and bear with me please.)

Please indulge my tale of a trip I took to a place called The Resort. The Resort is not like other realms I have visited as it does not reside in my Blogger Kingdom. It exists in a kingdom locked in the past and is a testament to the ingenuity of the early internet users. Allow me to elaborate:

The Resort (http://www.resort.com) was founded in 1992. It was one of many infamous "Geek Houses" at the time, but it quickly became one of the most popular and beloved. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the concept of Geek Houses, it was a term given to communal homes inhabited by students of UCSC (University of California, Santa Cruz) who were computer enthusiasts. At the time, the internet was primarily populated by self-dubbed "computer geeks". And since there were several homes being occupied by geeky roommates, the various groups began starting their own webpages using their school's web hosting resource ("UCSCB"). (Here is an archive of the other Geek Houses for those of you interested in vintage websites: http://www.geek.org/geekhouse.html)

The Geek House known as The Resort began to take off in 1994 when the original seven house members began to create lots of interactive content and push the boundaries of the internet's capabilities. The site continued to grow in activity until it's disbandment in January of 1997 when some of the members moved out and left to start new Geek Houses. The site itself serves as an archive and is quite archaic, boasting a simple, white background and a basic set of links that lead to the main pages. Many pages are not able to be found with searches and are not linked within the site's main pages, leaving a more manual approach to browsing different directories necessary. Also, many aspects of the site suffer from serious link rot as all but two of the directories seem to be inaccessible.

But aesthetics aside, the site's content is unique and humorous. The Resort is portrayed as a sort of faux-cult complete with hierarchy, history, rituals, and a creatively cryptic way of relaying the events of their real lives. To simplify, it was a house full of nerdy college students who banded together and started a website that operated under the sardonic guise that their home was a cult inhabited by aliens. It's quite entertaining; not only for the humor but for the charm that the early internet had when it was so open, empty, and left to one's whimsy.

Since the website was published somewhat anonymously, I was determined to solve the mystery of the Resort's identity. I had concluded that in order to claim I had conquered the Resort, I must track down the location of either the house it was founded in or one of its members. This was going to be difficult for several reasons: First, the descriptions I found of the house were not enough for me to narrow it down the search. Also, all the geeks of UCSC had pseudonyms that came complete with backstories, (resulting in greater difficulty tracking them out-of-character). I was at a loss; but I decided if I could just locate the founder of the Resort I could claim a victory.

The name of the Resort's founding father was Banshee. (You can see his 'lore' here: http://www.geek.org/login_lore/loginlore_book.html) Banshee's site directories were one of only two member's directories that still functioned. But through viewing the archived site usage I was able to find extensions that weren't accessible through other parts of the site. I eventually came across information that helped me track down the Resort's most prominent figure: John Michael Vinopal. From there, it was child's play to find out that Mr. Vinopal is now 50 years old and living comfortably in Berkeley, CA. I found more information, but I don't consider it to be worth sharing. What I will say is that I now possess the ability to contact Banshee. Perhaps I will make a follow-up post if I ever get an interview with him. Until then, I've cracked the mystery of The Resort. Thank you for tagging along on this uncharacteristically esoteric adventure.

Long live the King

January 5, 2019

In Memoriam of a Hopeless Romantic

Today we mourn the loss of a beloved contribution to the Blogger kingdom. Our dear Sarah of "The Life of a 25 Year Old Hopeless Romantic" blog announced on 12/02/18 that after an entire decade of blogging [since 05/22/08] she will be attempting to novelize the story entailed in her blog and then promptly delete her blog after achieving publication.


As you likely know, I absolutely abhor endings, which is one of many reasons why I archive dead blogs/websites; I hate to see them go, so I explore them and give them fitting tributes. In line with this sacred tradition of mine, I would like to archive just a little of Sarah's presence on this site.


The inspiration behind our hopeless romantic's blog started in 2008 when she fell in love with a boy she pseudonymed Ricky Bobby. They went to the same Western-US high school and lived under the presumption that Ricky Bobby did not tolerate Sarah. However, they eventually came to find some innocent affection for one another. She was only 15 at the time and Ricky Bobby was a senior in high school. She was head-over-heels in love with him when he announced that he and his family were moving to Pennsylvania after graduation. She was heart broken when the school year ended, and she started a blog to serve as a journal with which to unleash her many feelings.


Time went on and she never found a love quite like Ricky Bobby. She had a few, brief romances over several years but never actually had a proper boyfriend. All the while she still missed her high school sweetheart.


She eventually acquired her first real boyfriend in 2018 at the age of 25. Sadly, the relationship did not work out. So far, she has still not found love despite her obsession with it. But she-and her followers-are remaining hopeful.


Now with her new novel-projects underway, she seeks to render the blog obsolete by publishing a book inspired by it. I opted to copy the last bit of her final post to serve as an archive from the proverbial horse's mouth.


[Her exact words]:
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When I finish this book loosely based upon this hopeless romance life of mine, I'll likely delete this blog from the face of the websphere. I hope that enough of you see this final entry before I do, but don't worry, that may be awhile. (But just in case, if you wish to download an archive of my entries, or copy-and-paste or screenshot them, or what have you, I would do it ASAP.)

If 'The Life of a Hopeless Romantic' (title pending) appears on the YA shelves of a bookstore one day, I hope that some of you might recognize me there and pick me up to live on your bookshelves, so that you won't forget me.

Because I certainly won't forget any of you.

I love you. Adieu. The end.

And, for one last time: Happy Holidays, and happy New Year. Take care of yourselves, Internet. May your lives be full of love. And show love to one another, even if it's hard to find for yourself.

xoxoxoxoxoxo

Forever,
Your Hopeless Romantic
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If you are indeed interested in seeing her content, (and possibly her blog if she hasn't deleted it yet), included below are her various links. Feel free to show her some love.


Blog: http://myhopelessromancelife.blogspot.com/
E-Mail: xohoplessromantic@yahoo.com
Twitter: @xohplssrmntc


Long live the King

January 1, 2019

Hello

I'm back.


I'm not sure for how long, but I'm back. I hope you all kept the kingdom well whilst I was away. Come in and make yourselves warm; I have many more adventures to tell you about.


Long live the King
        Related image
[The key has been updated.]
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