Twelve years ago today, 24 August 2009, a blog called The Squeee was created over on Blogger. It had to have three Es because somewhere (maybe even Blogger?) “thesquee” (two Es) was taken. As the main reason for starting the blog was to be able to get up to some unabashed fangirling without bothering anyone else in my immediate surroundings, it was a fitting name.
Then I started writing reviews about books, films and TV shows, and the more I did that and the less I did other things the less the name seemed to fit. I wanted to be able to do more than default to gushing, but had kind of painted myself into a corner by choosing that name.
I was blogging quite a lot 2009-2013 (for a good while posting one review a day Monday to Friday) but then I scaled back to Mon/Wed/Fri and after that still kind of hit a blogging wall in 2014. For months I didn’t write anything and eventually put the blog officially on hiatus. Part of the reason for this has been discussed elsewhere.
Then, in June 2018, I thought maybe I could try posting one review a month. Maybe that was achievable. If I can do that consistently, maybe I could up it to two posts a month eventually. Maybe even one a week, ideally, but 52 posts sounded a lot more daunting in my head than 12. Well, for the most part one a month has been achievable.
I’ve been toying with the idea of a rebrand for a while now, and a couple (?) of months ago I decided to finally go ahead with it. Since then I have gone through each and every single review posted here (upwards of 700, bloody hell! 😳) to check for spelling errors, dead links, weird phrasings and so on. Yes, content too – some were not representative of how I would express myself today regarding certain issues. A lot of posts have been toned down and/or have sentences or even paragraphs removed because they were hilariously irrelevant. (It’s only in the past year or so I’ve been looking at getting evaluated for ADHD, but looking back at the past 12 years of posts? Let’s just say that if someone asked “Tell me you have ADHD without telling me you have ADHD” I could give them a stack of posts and say “Exhibit A, your honour”. 😅)
The new name/URL have been kicking around for over a decade. I have been using the name since maybe 2000 or so (it used to be the name of my personal website back in the day, which is something we all had back in the late 90s before social networks existed), and the URL has been in use off and on since 2004 but for the past few years it’s been gathering dust. So, why not put it to good use? I have struggled to come up with a new name for the blog, which is part of why I haven’t done this a lot sooner, and here’s one I’ve already beein paying for for over a decade and a half but that isn’t being used.
Why Area 53, though? It’s a play on Area 51 because I spent a lot of the 90s geeking out over (read: hyperfocusing on) The X-Files and aliens and the paranormal, and 53 is a number of personal significance. It kind of looks like it would be familiar, but a bit twisted – which also fits. Plus, it feels more grown up as a name than The Squeee, and I’m going to be 40 next year, so …
The original fangirly posts pre-move from Blogger to WordPress can still be found on Blogger, as they’re no longer automatically redirected to this place as of today. I don’t think I’ll be adding many of them back here, as that’s no longer the direction I want to go with this site.
What are the plans going forward? Continue writing irreverent reviews so I can remember films/TV shows/books in ten years time when I come across them again and wonder if they’re worth re-watching/re-reading? Maybe write about some other things as well, I don’t know right now, we’ll see how it goes. At least it feels as if I have some more energy for it again, and this might get me the dopamine hit I need to kick-start the next stage of it all.
So happy 12th birthday, blog! 🥂 And to you, dear reader, a warm welcome to Area 53! 💜