Introducing Former ITP-Writer Paulie

Over the fourteen years that this blog has spanned I have had tens of readers. Yes, tens, at least those about which I have known since I stopped doing analytics many years ago. In that time I’ve poked fun at the people who stopped reading this space, many of which apologetically would tell me “Sorry, but I no longer read your blog.”, as “former ITP-Reader XYZ”. Now, I am declaring myself as former ITP-Writer Paulie.

When I started writing this blog on October 8, 2004 I declared my intent to have a voice. At that time my friend and blogging mentor Maigh told me that the key to building a following was to consistently produce content; with rare exception I heeded her advice. Maigh gave up on blogging years ago. Most other bloggers followed suit with the advent of other avenues for being heard such as Facebook and Twitter. I trudged on. In many ways I have succeeded doing exactly what I wanted to do — I published the trials and tribulations of my daily life, many photos, as well as sometimes-controversial opinions. I wanted to be heard, and now I want to be silent.

So you won’t hear about my inability to find love, or whatever crazy nonsense is happening with the ITP Estate here. And, the lack of a post in over a week will not have signaled my death. You’ll have to find out about these things the pre-digital way — through word of mouth, carrier pigeon, newspaper obituary (as long as newspapers exist), or not at all.

It turns out that quitting a daily blog is just as easy as quitting a daily pilgrimage to the gym.

After taking a week off from even considering posting a blog I’m uncertain if anyone will read this final post. I admit that it is important to me to declare this closure and not to let things just fade to black.

If you have made it this far, thank you.

If you have any need to reach me, this URL is mine and will be for as long as I there is an internet, I am alive, and live inside the perimeter. Or, if you don’t want to publicly contact me, I can be reached privately at

I guess this point at which I say “So long, and thanks for all the fish”.

All my best to you and yours.

Paulie [eatl/ga]

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25 Responses to Introducing Former ITP-Writer Paulie

  1. whiner says:

    WLB, I wish you all the best. I will miss all the comments from all the hashers I miss from my hashing days. All are welcome to contact me if/when passing through Greensboro, NC. You were/are a true friend when I needed one years ago.

  2. Steve says:

    Well. I’m sad. I understand the burden of trying to generate clever writing on a daily basis, and am thankful you were able to accomplish it for so many years. I will certainly miss our daily meetup but now that you are (for the moment) working nearby, I hope we will continue the occasional walking (or eating) lunch. You are one of my last strong connections to the hash and I would hate to lose that, as it would mean I would actually have to start hashing again!


  3. Debbie Brady says:

    14 years is an amazing run! I’ll miss my weekday dose of wit, whining and what have you. Don’t be a stranger.

  4. Barb says:

    wow Paulie – I know I’ve been too busy the past few weeks to really comment -but damn – we have our own little family here.
    I will miss reading this.
    I’ll text you……… I’ll still bother you.

  5. Barb says:

    AND – we all need to pick a hash & go………… so we will know someone there! HA!

  6. Ronnie, AKA Bill says:

    I’m not a fan of the ” not at all” updates of what’s going on with you and I would rather hear it from you than from Mom. A phone call from time to time will work for me.
    Don’t forget your older (much older) brother 😉.

  7. ITP Lurker says:

    It’s disappointing that you’ve chosen to dissolve what appears to be the one area of support in your life. I hope that I didn’t contribute to the end of the blog by shining a light on your challenges. Having lived in a parallel universe for years with the same thought patterns, negative self-talk, and paralyzing social anxiety, I had hopes of helping you escape. This appears instead to be you doubling down on isolating and bashing yourself to death and so the beat down will clearly go on and on.

    Here’s one last article for the road:

    Please give some thought to the section that discusses negative self-image feeds feeling demoralized, which just makes your vicious cycle spin ever faster. You can completely have a different life, when you’re ready.

    And finally, there’s this. I cannot begin to tell you how true this is:

    “Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.”

    ― James Baldwin

    • Steve says:

      Excellent article, Lurker. And for those of you who aren’t subscribed to Quartz, it’s a great source of wide ranging current topics from all over the world. Worth your time…

      • ITP Lurker says:

        Thank you, Steve. I’m going to miss your support and feedback. There may come a day where I’d like to meet you at that statue for a walking lunch. I imagine that if I comment on one of your past posts here that you’ll get the message. I think we’d have some interesting and wide-ranging discussions.

  8. As you may imagine, this decision was not made flippantly. I thought long and hard; giving up a fourteen-year enterprise is not easy.

    – I have a theory that time is like the air in a filled balloon; in order to get more of it at one end you have to squeeze it from somewhere else. I can no longer afford to try and get air into the blog’s end. This comment is a perfect example: it’s now 11:40 and it’s the first opportunity that I have had to respond.

    – I no longer believe that airing my dirty laundry in public is beneficial for me. ITP Lurker, I want to be clear that I am not giving up, I am shifting tactics.

    – There had to be an end. That end is today.

    I feel that I have used this space like a crutch, making me a less-successful friend. I hoped that people would come here to reach out to me. Now, I will be forcing myself to communicate using the techniques available prior to blogging, most notably texts and emails, phone calls are reserved for family members, 😉

    2018 will be a pivotal year for me. Feeling that I will probably be single for the remainder of my years, the number of which remain is debatable given my genetic makeup, has given rise to the possibility of (once again?) becoming “that person”, the one who no one with a “normal” life understands. It wouldn’t be far-fetched to believe that next year I will quit “XYZ Corp”, sell the ITP Estate “as is”, and travel. One can always dream, right?

    • ITP Lurker says:

      A change in tactics is clearly warranted. I appreciate you affirming that.

      Keep in mind that this blog can be anything you want it to be. Personally I’d love to see it be a channel for you to document your recovery. Since you’re shutting shit down here, let’s get it all out on the table. I think you’re walking around with undiagnosed PTSD from the car jacking you experienced. It’s then amplified every bad experience you’ve had since then. Which leads you to come up with a host of bullshit self-fulfilling prophecies like “single for life”, “about to die”, yada, yada.

      You need help from a professional. They’re trained to help you. This shit was visited upon you, it’s not a character flaw. You can get out from under it if you choose, or you can continue to rearrange the fucking deck chairs on the goddamn Titanic for the rest of your life.

      You can choose NOT to not air your dirty laundry, although I’m going to poke at you and say that all you’ve done over the last week is bitch even louder about your life on Twitter. You clearly have a need to be heard (as we all do, which is why I finessed my way in here).

      In short, this blog is much more than you, it’s a community. Given the trying times that we’re amidst, we all need more of that. That’s what brought me somewhat out of the shadows. I think I finally started truly speaking up once Trump got elected.

      You don’t have to write witty things, or anything, every day. Paradoxically, relieving yourself of that pressure and expectation would probably make it more like that you would write something fun, and also bitch about things from time to time, because it is your blog. Anything, including bitching, is good in moderation.

      This blog isn’t all about you, it’s become about us as well, whether you like it or not. A change in tactics could also involve you posting less in general. Scarcity has a way of leveraging the value of many things in life.

      • Stacy says:

        I felt a little selfish thinking this, but I agree. It’s as if you created a world for us and now taking it away. Now don’t get me wrong: you’re under no obligation to do any of this for anyone besides yourself. But in keeping this blog for so long, you really did create a community here. One that a lot of us really enjoyed. Do we have other avenues? Sure. And we’ll just be using them from now on, I reckon. But the fact that we had other avenues and *still* came here should probably tell you something. I would have hoped you might have considered posting less often first instead of quitting completely. But, again: totally your space and your choice.

        But since we’re laying it all out here, I don’t know what this means for our friendship. I really like you, Paulie. I’ve considered you a friend for oh so many years now…photo strolls, trivia, parties, plays and brisket sandwiches, random beers on patios, etc…but since none of that ever seems to happen anymore, and the only place we’re in touch with is here, ending the blog also make it feel a little like you’re ending our friendship too. I do hope time proves me wrong there.

        In a completely unrelated note to all that? If you find you don’t need to be loyal to the domain in the future, it may be one you can sell. It may not be as profitable as way back when, but I can see some swanky place maybe wanting the web address. Case in point: back in the day my friend sold his domain “par3 (dot) com” to — you guessed it: a golf course. His name was Perry Alan Reed the 3rd, which is why he had it in the first place. 🙂 That particular site is no longer being used (I think they went out of business) but gave him some extra dollars for sure. With gentrification and ITP living higher than ever these days, someone clever could really do something with it in a marketing sense.

        • Steve says:

          I do have to agree that we’ve all been part of the community and you’ve simply been mismanagement. Of course, selfishly, I don’t want the blog to end, but you have to do what you think is right. I also must agree with Lurker that it’s time for professional help. I’ve been there and I know others have too. Sometimes it’s a chore, sometimes it’s cathartic, most times it’s little course corrections or fine tunings that over time make a difference in your trajectory. I’d like to think we’ve been helpful and you’ve made progress, but there’s only so much amateurs can accomplish. Time for a professional.

        • ITP Lurker says:

          Stacy, I second your thought on it feeling like he’s ending your friendship. He may not be able to help himself though. When my trauma was running rampant over me for decades I became really good at alienating people. I look back in horror now, but then again, when we don’t know what we don’t know, we’re pretty well screwed.

          Clever stuff on the domain name, and since he has both the .com and the .net, he could sell off the desirable .com if he finds a buyer and keep the .net version to himself. It’s good to have options.

          Fingers crossed that the community stays together. With a bit more runway here I could be convinced to uncloak myself.

      • HamWithCam says:

        “This blog isn’t all about you, it’s become about us as well, whether you like it or not.”

        TTYL es 73 de JG/HamWithCam

  9. Steve, I need the exercise so in the near future I will contact you to see how your schedule appears.

  10. Debbie Brady says:

    I vote we keep this comment thread alive indefinitely. I’ll miss Lurker and Ham if we just disband. I also like coming to read Steve’s daily recap of what’s going on here in the sticks and Barb’s not safe for Facebook work woes. Paulie, you can comment when it’s convenient and not have the time commitment of coming up with content.

  11. bob says:

    Sad to see you go Paulie but I understand. It has to be tough to come up with stuff to say every day. I used this space to sort of keep up with you since you are not on the face book.
    I’ll try to be better about reaching out by other means so we can keep in touch.

  12. HamWithCam says:

    Ironic, isn’t it?
    Paulie created “a FB for us ITP readers” before there was a FB, for everybody.
    And now Paulie kills this and won’t do the FB.

    That’s heady stuff if you think about it.

    I don’t know why you’d want to keep doing this.
    But I do know spiraling and shutting down this blog (witness today’s activity) is cutting off something positive.

    Reconsider. Give it a few day, but reconsider.

    “Watch this space…”

    73 de JG/HamWithCam

  13. Jenka says:

    Very sorry to see this go. I don’t comment that much but I do read and find it, as well as everyone’s comments, very interesting. I don’t think keeping up with friends over the internet is a bad thing, it’s quite the opposite. If someone decides to keep up with people the “old-fashioned way” and then don’t do it, it’s not better than Facebook or this blog. I think I’m friends with most of you on Facebook, but if not, please friend me!

    That said, if anyone wanted to organize a get-together, I’d show up.

  14. ITP Lurker says:

    Another change in tactic could involve giving trusted individuals that tend to check in frequently anyway, like Steve or John (HamWithCam), the ability to create new posts, so that it’s not all on you. Since it’s a community, Tom Sawyer some of the work out. You chime in when you do.

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