Thursday, May 15, 2008

Three Years of HNT
(warning: mucho longo post ahead!)

"A blog I ran across awhile back (and I don't remember the name) had a wonderful feature called 'Half-Naked Thursdays', where the author would post pictures of her bare shoulders, her kids' behinds, her husband's belly, lots of arms, etc. Nothing remotely graphic, but maybe a little suggestive. I think all of you should do that too!"

That's how it started. An innocent comment amongst the others on a Saturday morning in May. Hoping that I might get a bare shoulder from Rachel, or a belly button from Moose. Not much more. Five days later, on Thursday, May 19, 2005, about six of us participated in the first Half-Nekkid Thursday. Including two bloggers that I'd never heard of before, but through that whole friend of a friend sort of thing, there they were! Here you have three of the original HNTers! Rachel, Moose and me. Not nekkid, obviously. A little tipsy, maybe, but not nekkid. (clicky~click!)

I could get into a whole history thing, but you can go to the "Guidelines" page for all of that. Or I could be really sappy and introspective, but dammit, it's a celebration, and I wanna have fun! So, first off will be (keeping with the theme) a list of three "threes" (none of which are in order):
My 3 personal favorite HNTs:
My 3 favorite HNT redheads (I'm gonna catch hell for this...):
My 3 favorite Mystery Guests
I suppose I should say something about the past three years. I'll try to do it without pontificating. (HA!) I've never really thought of HNT as "mine", as much as it is "ours". Our friends are posting HNTs. Our friends are going through tough times. Our friends are celebrating. Those who look at HNT from the outside will never understand the community that we are, or the relationships that are formed. We're sort of like the Borg. We are interconnected. We notice when someone leaves. We notice when there's someone new. We notice when someone's not playing nice.

That seems to be the new problem of the past year. It was blogged about within the past week by someone else. It comes down to a matter of respect for each other. HNT has weathered some nasty attacks in the past, but primarily from non-HNTers. We basically knew that "they" didn't get it. But the past year, more than ever (and in my mind, it's been a long-standing problem), certain commenters seem to be ignorant of "the line", or ignore it completely. And more and more HNTers are tired of it.

"The line"--that razor-thin place between flirty innuendo and vulgar comment. That razor-thin place between artistic photography and softcore porn. I got an email this week that said, "'s so easy to be crude. There's no challenge or pride in producing that..." I couldn't agree more. And it extends to the comments, too. Unfortunately, there are some of us who see a half-nekkid (or more) woman posed on a bed, and rather than complimenting them on their artistry, they go the easy route and make some crude comment like she was showing off her wares for sale. While some of us are OK with that, or just blow it off, at other times it's wholly inappropriate. It's a matter of knowing your audience, whether it's the person you're commenting on, or the others that will also read your comments.

I suppose that we'll always have those who don't know how to express themselves in non-juvenile ways. But still...a bit more respect would go a long, long ways! *steps off soapbox...*

I can't imagine what my life would be like if I weren't involved with HNT. Certainly alot more sleep. And I'd be getting off my butt more often. But I certainly wouldn't have the friendships that I have with many of you. Nor would I have the chance to show my half-nekkid self off with my three favorite girls: Michelle, Amy and Betsy. From all of us, we hope to see you again in another year! (wow--now I sound like the Christmas cards I didn't get out this year!)

(it's days like this when I wish I had a remote...)

The Anniversary Project - As mentioned over the past month, I've been working on a project for this anniversary. Through many hours of work and pestering, it's done! In giving this some thought back in January, I was stuck. But after chatting with some people, the same theme sort of came up. "I wonder what so-and-so is doing?" Those HNTers who have disappeared over time. That's when it hit me. A majority of the current HNTers have no clue who started this thing, or kept it growing in those first months. There's no sense of history. Or tradition. Or what passed as HNT pictures in the early days, when the first view of boy shorts caused a virtual audible gasp! There's no question that HNT has changed drastically over three years.

I had to tread gently here...who to include, and who not to. It's actually a lose/lose situation there. Someone was going to be forgotten. But it couldn't be a free-for-all, either. So parameters were set. Invite anyone who posted HNTs in 2005/early 2006 to submit pics and blurbs, and be treated like the MG. The limiter here--they have to have dropped out of HNT or blogging altogether. Slim exceptions--those who have quit HNT, but will, on rare occasion, still post one out of the blue. Emails were gathered as best as I could, and I sent out an invite to 100 former HNTers. The short story--46 answered the call! Actually, more answered, but to decline the invitation for one reason or another (time, spouses, professional reasons, etc...). I expected far less than that! Hence the immense amount of work that this has been.
At this point, it's highly important to note that there are many CURRENT HNTers who have been around since the very earliest days!! And their contributions cannot be dismissed! But here's where I really can't remember who all of them are. I feel I have to mention the following: Monkey, Jessica, Married In Ohio, Polt, Shumpy, and far too many others to name off the top of my head... You guys ROCK!!! If you started in 2005/early 2006, and/or have over 100 HNTs under your belt, PLEASE mention that in the "I'm up" comments, and as part of your post, if you can. We all need to know who you are, and recognize you, too!
They have their own URL (click on the button below). The participants have had access since yesterday so that they could tweak things as needed. They've been commenting up a storm! It's like a high school class reunion over there! Be sure to check it out, either by clicking on the random thumbnails, or by the list in the sidebar. And leave lots of comments--think of these people as your ancestors!

Wishing You Were Here
by Karen Suriano

Last night was wonderful making love to you
My fingers instinctively knew just what to do
If I could play piano like my hands played you
I’d be a hit anywhere, in any venue
Absolutely fabulous making love to you
Maybe next time you could be there too
But alone with the sunrise, I'll fire up the brew
God knows I need my coffee more than I need you
Our coffee sipping MG this week is the elegently lovely, caffeine-powered, fitter-than-90%-of-us Biscuit! Stop by and check out how she celebrated "three", if you haven't been there already. You won't be disappointed!

And we're not done yet!! "...the Other HNT" has a good supply of pictures this week, and not encumbered by that pesky "three" thing! But they are NSFW, as usual! It won't get posted until closer to midnight. Sorry!

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