Proof of life: Newsletter changes and other stuff

A grand reopening is necessary after major changes.
I guess this is what it is. (Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash)

Guten tag! Welcome to Semi-Online, issue #13.

Your eyes are working just fine. After six months of neglect, yesterday I decided to make some major changes to this newsletter. They mainly involve the name and logo (or what passes as a logo with my limited Canva skills ๐Ÿคฃ๏ธ). However, issue numbering will stay the same as I don’t want to delete what’s already here.

In case you’re curious, I have a few reasons for implementing these changes.

New name, hu dis?

As I said here, I’m obviously not as ‘online’ as I was in years past.

Being ‘very online’ isn’t just about staying updated with the headlines and hot gossip. It also means devoting much of my personal life and time to little things on the internet that shouldn’t matter to me; or reacting to and chiming in on various topics in real time as a form of participation, protest, public record, and performance. I’m not into all that anymore, nor do I have the speed and patience for it.

And as hard as I try to catch up, I still don’t understand the latest memes, jokes, and references; know the people I need to know; or get worked up over idiotic issues. My nieces and nephews have also called me ‘old’ and laughed at me whenever I tried to have them explain certain Gen-Z things. At this rate, I don’t think I ever will catch up. Some things should be left to the young who haven’t been eaten alive yet. ๐Ÿ˜œ๏ธ

Given those things, Very Online sounded like a lie, no? I hated that. So I did something about it.

The other side

Using a name that doesn’t fit anymore also meant I was looking too much at the ‘online’ aspect – and not much at the ‘offline’ part.

Sure, we’re digitizing more and more of our lives today, and we’re becoming more dependent on the internet for everything. Yes, the Philippines and Southeast Asia have always been overlooked and under-served tech-wise compared to countries in the Global North. And the ways we go online (and why) in this part of the world are different from everyone else’s. All of these deserve attention.

But I also think the opposite side’s equally interesting. If I’m turning over more of my life to the digital suck – for example, work, business administration and taxes, friendships, finances, entertainment, healthcare, relocation, and fitness – what would be left for me (and just me!) when the WiFi and data access are off? What do I like to do and see and spend my time on when I’m not online and not judged by people hiding behind screens? What’s my analog identity?

If you’re having as hard of a time answering those questions as I did…


This is the perfect cue to take a literal Millennial pause, and make changes here too. Instead of focusing only on the internet’s creep over everything, I should start reclaiming and doing more ‘analog’ detours, or at least do more low-tech or no-tech stuff to balance it out. Touch grass, all that. But still with a mask on because COVID-19 is now endemic because humanity is shit, and that will never change. ๐Ÿ˜ท๏ธ

I wouldn’t say this is an existential crisis; it’s more of a life assessment. But it could very well be a crisis of some sort. I don’t know anymore. ๐Ÿคทโ€โ™€๏ธ๏ธ


I made big changes to the newsletter’s name and logo, plus I tweaked its topic/focus a bit.

There’s nothing to worry about on your end, and I’ve been as thorough as I could be with the tedious digital housekeeping. (This isn’t my first self-hosted WordPress rodeo, LOL). But if you see any broken links, missing images, or other errors, please let me know and I’ll get to it ASAP! ๐Ÿ’—๏ธ

Also, yes, six months is too long for zero updates. But life happens, and one of the things I’m relearning as well is to stop apologizing for that. ๐Ÿ‘๏ธ

Still, thank you for sticking around, and I’ll do my best to write in here more often! If you have any comments or suggestions for topics I should cover here, or other changes I should make, please let me know.

Before I go…

Here are some of the reads, tunes, and videos that I’m loving these days – and maybe you would, too!

Yeah yeah yeah, they’re all online. I know. Give me time, OK? ๐Ÿ™ƒ๏ธ

A friend from my MFA Creative Writing days loves to send me social media content he thinks I’ll be interested in. Basically, he does what I’m doing to you now, only in private chats.

A couple of days ago, our conversation turned to pathography and autopathography, or medical patients writing about their illnesses and their life experiences with them. Aside from my intense envy that today’s MFA students now have pathography as an actual elective, it reminded me of this The Millions article from April 2023. I’m currently writing about my own experience with SSCD, so this writer’s book would likely be a great resource for me.

The downside of having digital nomads take over your town: you’ll be priced right out of it. As if we didn’t have enough life problems already. ๐Ÿ™„๏ธ

BTW, I highly recommend Rest of World! Its longreads are always ๐Ÿ‘Œ๏ธ๐Ÿ˜˜๏ธ. And as its name suggests, its stories focus on the parts of the world that get little to no attention.

I am so offended on behalf of my friends, former colleagues, and former grad-school classmates who love (and/or need to) publish in peer-reviewed journals. Pay to play? Fuck right off this planet.

This is not a drill. After a 24-year break, Everything But The Girl is back! ๐Ÿ’—๏ธ

Honestly, the only complaint I have is that this comeback album is just 35 minutes long.

I swear, the entire “There I Ruined It” YouTube channel must be treated as an international treasure.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. Social media ‘poetry’ is just a bunch of sentences cut up to look like art. Or as the pretentious would say, ahrt.

But sure, let’s call it ‘bad poetry’.

Lastly, I can’t get over the fact that Karen Gillan was just filming freely on set and they all let her. I suppose Marvel Studio’s infamous secrecy isn’t as strict anymore ๐Ÿคทโ€โ™€๏ธ๏ธ But I’m quite happy with this behind-the-scenes look at the last Guardians of the Galaxy movie!

Heyyy ๐Ÿ‘‹

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