The Return of the Liberal Maverick

Hello all, and welcome to my new site!  This is the new blog for me, the blogger formerly known as liberalmaverick, who used to write on a Xanga blog called Left Turn.  How did I get here on WordPress?  As usual, it’s a bit of a story.

I joined Xanga over ten years ago, on February 5 2004.  I remember it like it was yesterday… actually, I barely remember it at all.  What I do remember was that this was the height of the blogging craze, when everyone had a blog – and if someone had a blog, it was on Xanga.  Everyone had a Xanga, though few really put it to good use.  Most people posted mundane, this-was-my-day updates like, “Went to school today.  Kimberly is such a bitch.  Had boba after class.  It was okay.  Feeling bored…”

It’s kinda ironic that I was among the last to jump on the Xanga bandwagon, and probably the last to jump off of it when it went south.  As I wrote on February 17 2004, when I first joined, it was mainly so I can comment on other people’s posts, and I originally did not plan to write and publish my entries.  But soon enough, I named the blog “Left Turn” after my short-lived column of the same name in Monta Vista High School’s El Estoque, and started using it to post the unabridged versions of those columns.  Then I started writing new posts about politics, and then other topics, and on and on from there.  What can I say, I love writing, even if no one else seems to love reading my writing.

My last entry on Left Turn was ”The Great Hair Experiment II”, on July 25 2013, about what was, ironically, a non-political subject.  By then, the once-mighty Xanga empire had long been suffering in its death throes, as most people realized there was no point in posting three-sentence anecdotes from their monotonous lives every five months.  People deserted Xanga in droves, first in favor of other blogging sites like Blogspot, and then for even more mindless and low-attention pursuits (Twitter comes to mind).  I defiantly hung on in the face of confused queries and taunts (“you still have a Xanga?”) since I wanted to keep writing and, well, I saw no point in switching blog sites and abandoning all my accumulated work.  Which is why I stuck with Xanga even though it was far from a perfect, or even easy-to-use, blogging platform.

It all came to a head in the summer of 2013, when Xanga was *rumored* to be headed for imminent shutdown.  In a sign of how far Xanga had fallen, it couldn’t even manage its own demise competently.  There was no official notice posted on the site or emailed to me about whether or not it would shut down, and for a long time everything was rumor and hearsay about if, when, and how Xanga would shut down.  Supposedly it was going to shut down on July 1 2013, but that date came and went with my blog surviving, allowing me to make that last July 25 post.  Honestly, I don’t remember what date Xanga shut down (Wikipedia implies sometime in either August or September 2013) since I never got an email notification about it.  All I know is one day after July, I went to my Xanga site to find a shutdown notice and an offer to retrieve my archived blog posts (at least Xanga had thought to do that much) and upgrade to Xanga 2.0, apparently their new-and-improved incarnation.

I shrugged and went back to surfing Facebook or whatever, not really wanting to take the time and effort to deal with Xanga at that point.  I finally came around to revisiting the issue in February 2014, when, for the first time, I watched all the Academy Award for Best Picture nominees prior to the (86th) Academy Awards ceremony, and wanted to write about it.  Well shit, I needed a working blog site, didn’t I?  So like, yesterday, I went back to Xanga expecting to retrieve my blog archives and reactivate my blog under the new Xanga 2.0.  Got the archives, but attempting to upgrade to Xanga 2.0 resulted in nothing more than a long period of waiting followed by “The connection has timed out”.  Clearly, Xanga still has lots of issues to work out.

To its credit, though, Xanga offered a way out: it provided instructions on how to import the blog archives to WordPress.  I dutifully went to WordPress and decided to set up a new home for my writing.

First I had to decide on a name, though, an agonizing mind-wrestling bout that pushed the creation of my new blog to the next morning.  “liberalmaverick” was available, but I wanted to shed the “liberal” part of the name – not because I was ashamed of the word, far from it.  But I wanted to define myself as more than just a political junkie.  As I had grown older, so too had my range of interests grown – in fact, it was a non-political subject that was drawing me back into blogging in the first place.  “maverick”, too, was taken (though there’s been no new post for over three years) and “themaverick” was taken as well (though really, what a waste).  I toyed with the idea of numbers, but I thought “maverick1987” was tacky and “maverick17” (to match my email address’s kjhuang17) was taken, so I decided to try to not use numbers.

After a long time of mental fidgeting, I finally decided to maybe tack something on at the end of “maverick” (tacking something on at the beginning felt tacky to me).  My initials came to mind, but “maverickkh” looked weird and “maverickkjh” even more so.  Finally, I arrived at a relatively satisfactory solution: combine the k in maverick with the k of my first initial to produce “maverickjh”.  It has a nice flow to it, right?  Well whatever, I already made the site.

The blog archives are all uploaded, and thankfully they’re organized by month/year on the side – something Xanga never figured out.  Unfortunately, all the links to the original Xanga entries are dead now, redirected to that annoying and hopeless “We’ve saved your blog archives for you!” page.  But yeah, I’m glad everything was ported over. (I have all the original Microsoft Word documents for every blog entry so I could’ve reposted everything, but that would have taken forever.)

I probably won’t have much time to write extensively, but I do hope to write and post entries on a wide range of subjects every now and then.  I’ll try to have the Academy Awards post up before the ceremony tomorrow.  In any case, look around, enjoy yourself, and happy reading!

2 thoughts on “The Return of the Liberal Maverick

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