In August 2013, with the help of my very good friends who make this site what it is, I started this site for two reasons: to tell my stories and musings about music, and to hang out with the handful of Van Halen fans I met by writing on another’s Van Halen site. I credit my love of Van Halen for these times, these friendships, but what always struck me were the stories, the stories of other people, the stories I liked to tell. Sometimes those stories are nostalgic, sometimes they are current, sometimes they are a mix. Indeed perhaps life is a mix of what was, what is and what will be.
As for what will be, even that requires a story. Because most of my contributors are more musically qualified than I am, I used to be apologetic about my conflicting opposites and about my lack of music street cred. But it turns out, over these past few years of writing, I no longer feel less street cred worthy than anyone else. I’ve taken up music from a player’s standpoint, and even though I’m not anything that could be considered good, my playing added to, perhaps changed how I view music as a fan. I seek new inspiration, both from current performers, known and unknown, and even from within myself. And I think that’s worth writing about as much as writing of the greats of prior years. I’ll try to do that on the main pages, and if y’all want to bring music to our attention, the Music page (see the pull down bar on the top left) is your opportunity. But there are no rules, so anyplace — main page or Music page, this site is to celebrate music, so write wherever you want!
I’ve called myself a host. Sure I love good party as well as the next person, but an actual Party page, something I had, is not something I still want to have because, to me, it symbolizes the corner my Van Halen friends were once relegated to, the place where my stories were quarantined and censored. So no more corner. Parties, general discussion and chatting, will be in the main stories. I can only hope the stories will have some theme that inspires, but if they don’t, please feel free to write whatever comments you like on them … because stories, and chatting, from the best and the worst of times, past and present, are what I always hope to bring.
And where exactly are we now? This is my second incarnation of this site, but seeing as I started in the world of another, it’s actually my third world. As the welcome story and the “About” page to my first incarnation of the site, my second world, I wrote of a 1986 computer game, the first I ever saw – a game where you typed commands and the game would describe, in prose, your surroundings. Those games would become fully visual later, but that game with its prose descriptions was so much better because I could see everything using the full extent of my imagination. An engineer I worked with told me the goal of the game was to get to these increasingly magnificent worlds, but he couldn’t figure out how to get to the second world. I asked if I could try.
One night my office friend and I stayed at work, determined to crack this game. We took out a piece of paper and drew the surroundings that the game described. In those surroundings there was a grass lawn. It became obvious that to get to the second world, we must cross the grass lawn, but every attempt to cross the lawn resulted in a nuclear explosion, described by the program in glorious detail of color and wind and sound. Hours in, using a throw-caution-to-the-wind approach, a decision borne out of sheer frustration, we combined articles in a crazy way — throwing a ball at a tree to knock down an umbrella, sitting in a perambulator (a fancy word for baby carriage), and then opening the umbrella. With the umbrella as a sail, the wind carried the carriage across that grass, with even more glorious prose detail than the wind and light and sound of the explosion, into the game’s second world. After, we pressed on exploring the second world — a world that was a triumph to reach, but which would take us the next four hours to draw onto the map, a world that was big and unknown, almost silent and definitely lonely so much so I was not certain reaching it was a win. Recognizing my own fear, I used our entry into that second world as a metaphor for my entry into this place – my second world, the uncertainty looming over me, feeling every bit the pressure from the lack of my own street cred, the pressure from my conflicting opposites, the pressure from everyone remaining in the first world. Nevertheless, as with the game, with everyone’s help, I pressed on with this site, mapping out the full extent of my second world – Whispergirl.net. Remember though, the computer game had a third world.
In one of my tries at that game, this time alone, I remember the prose drastically changing. Things were not at all as they seemed. Nothing was in the same place, completely ruining my attempt to use my map of the second world. The prose of the game was mysterious and almost accidental. There was a phrase that stood out, a phrase of opposites: “East becomes West”, the game said. That had to be the third world.
I can no longer remember why I stopped playing that night or why I didn’t save the game other than it was one of those horrible events on a computer like giving the command to “format B” (the hard drive) instead of “format A” (the floppy disk) and yes I did that … once. I never got there again, to the world of opposites, and I didn’t know the combination of what took me to that third world. It just seemed to me to be an accident from playing. But computers are not accidental. Programs have steps. Apparently, the step of playing this game, in some combination I can’t explain, puts one into the third world, a world where opposites are the goal.
In my prior About page, I wrote of pursuing writing as it is my dream, of embracing my second world as a way to write, of facing fears, knowing that nothing worth doing is easy. I wrote of my own personal opposites, the girlie side me that contradicts with the views most people have of rock music fans and players. Sure, I still believe in embracing dreams, but oddly, it’s the computer game metaphor, and even more oddly, it’s the opposite paradigm I wrote about before that serves as my lesson now.
Just as in the game, quite by accident, the accident of whatever is going on in my mind, I’ve entered the third world here. I’m no longer apologizing for my opposites: I truly am one part Sephora, one part Guitar Center. I can’t tell you how in this third world, my writing will change, I just think it will. And I have no idea if I’m playing in this third world alone as I did with the computer game when my friend no longer wanted to play after we mapped the second world or if people are coming with me. But I hope you come along with me, tell stories, play music, talk about music, rejoice, cry, lean on each other, party, dress and do our hair (boys, you too because they really do need to put Sephora next to Guitar Center), and map out this new world together.
East is now West…