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dodo has been online for ten years

the other night i realized something amazing. i’ve been to the online world for ten years. i got my first modem at home when i was 16 and i’m turning 26 soon. TEN YEARS.. that’s a long time. a very significant part of a life. from 16 to 26, a person can change so much. so i started to remember everything that happened in this ten years. i became so emotional i couldn’t sleep. perhaps every generation has its own thing that’s bound to change people’s lives and the internet is the one for mine.

now please excuse my poor english. i can never express my emotions in english the way i do in chinese. therefore i notice when i get emotional, i speak in chinglish.

i was born in a very unhappy family. my father’s family never got along with my mom’s and til this day they still do not get along. after my mom married my dad, as chinese tradition, she started living at her parents in law’s home. they fought so much. but since that was i came to this world, everything was merely hearsay. then i came, the fighting continued. after my parents stared living on their own, they fought about everything. my childhood memories were full of fighting, moving, glass breaking, door slamming etc. the happy moments were very limited. my parents fought with themselves and fought with their parents. the fightings many times turned physical. my mother had chipped tooth and my father had bloody nose.

when i was in the second grade, my father found a job in the US and moved. my mother and i were left in china by ourselves. since she hated my father’s family, she forbid me from having any contact with them. i was seriously scared to see my father’s side of family. my aunt and uncle some time visited me at school, i would run away from them. one time my uncle insisted giving me ten RMB (about 1.25 U.S. dollar) and my mom found out. she took the money and threw back to their faces and said “who wanted your (insert your cuss word) money”. because of this, i really did not know anyone from my father’s family well. the last two times when i went back to china, i felt rather awkward meeting them. altho i know they are family, i have very little to share with them.

many things happened in the four years when my father was not around. i still don’t know til this day if my parents ever loved each other after they got married. it seems their lives were filled with abuse and hatred. my father stopped writing to us about six months after he left. i felt my mother had some mental breakdowns but i was too young to understand. then finally things changed around and i was told my father invited us to go to the US with him. but before he invited us, he first invited his parents for a short visit. when my mother and i arrived, my father’s parents were still here. at first my mother tried to get along with her parents in law. but that did not last. the fights turned physical and a couple of times even the police arrived. i was 12 at the time, i understood and got hurt a lot more. some of most dirty things i’ve witnessed as a human happened in that period. they seem vivid even now.

after my grandparents left, i continued my life in my parents’ constant fighting. they had separate bank accounts because they distrusted each other. then they fought about monetary responsibilities every month when the bills were due. this fighting continued to money i needed for school. it’s funny. it really does not cost much for a child to go to high school in the US. only a few times i needed money for math competition trips. when i asked my mom, she said to ask my dad. and when i asked my dad he said to ask my mom. as no one wanted to raise me. i remember i couldn’t come up with the money a few times and i was thankfully the teacher still let me go.

then came the emotional abuse from my mom. i loved my mom. i tried to protect her when she fought with my father only because i felt as a woman, i understand how easily hurt we are. but my mom didn’t feel the same for me. there are so many stories i could talk about. i will just tell one. my junior year the fighting between my parents escalated. at the time we lived in a 1976 trailer that cost $5000. it was in horrible shape. but since my mom paid for it (long story) she thought she had the right to drive my father out. of course she did not really want my father to move out, she wanted him to pay the utilities/or whatever she wanted him to pay. for many many days, my mom would get up at 3am and bang on my father’s door and yell from the top her lung “get the **** out of my house” and then continue yelling until the morning. i was sleeping in the next room with a sliding door. it really scared me. altho i was using to their fighting, this new style certainly could cause heart attack. one snowy day i came home from school, the house looked as if it was robbed. there was broken dishes and glasses everywhere and there was no water, electricity or heat. i left and stayed a night at a friends house. the next morning my mom called me. she said to me on the phone and i should come home and check out my dad. she said she gave him a bloody nose and he looked like a clown and it was hilarious.

unable to live under my mother’s rage, my father and i planned to move out. we did after two weeks and my mom went crazy. she wanted to find out where we lived so she could continue fighting. she started showing up at my school. i tried to avoid her but one time she caught me by surprise. two weeks earlier a teacher realized my problem and notified my counselor. they told me if my mom showed up again, i could bring her to my counselor. i took my mom to my counselor’s office and my counselor could not do much to help me. my mom cussed me out in chinese and accused me of persuading my dad to divorce her. i had to translate what she was saying and asked my counselor to give my father a call to verify my innocence. i know, how utterly funny. but that sorta things filled my life.

now i did not actually intend to write down all these when i started writing. but before i realize it the “i was born in a very unhappy family” led to such a long digression. i don’t usually fill my blog with my personal problems but sometimes i do feel like ranting a little. this is the only other entry i can think of where i went into some details about my mom. and i’ve also encountered plenty of oppositions in my feelings toward my mom. i used to be a part of a group called asian abuse and we went through a huge debate about abuse. the most touching part came out the debate was andy’s words.

because of my family, i thirsted for love while growing up. i did contemplate committing suicide because of my mom. i felt i was saved by friends and some of these friends came from the internet.

the first two things that changed my life when i got internet access at home was ICQ and the yuan club at sinanet. i met many other chinese friends on the yuan club. friends who helped creating my first website. friends who are willing to listen to my story and understand me. i remember my days were filled with email writing. they also called me long distance. i recorded my singings and greetings in chinese and sent the tapes all over the world. what a crazy 16 yo. but it was a very precious time.

and then i met my first love online. we loved so beautifully. full of poetry, dreams and touching moments. you can only understand the kind of romance if you’ve read qiong yao‘s books. it was the kind of love she writes in every book of hers. at the time i constantly have things to write about. i kept a chinese diary that addressed to him for two entire years. i’d write at least once a day and sometimes more than once a day. altho my family did not give me love, i still had a lot to love about. every little plant, scene or object would make me happy as long as it reminded me of him. he was someone i could close my eyes and dream about the universe with. some of those dreams were captured in our sky but much were not.

in our third physical meeting in two years, i broke up with him. i realized that the kind of love i had was not practical. some feelings have to happen in real life not just dreams. but i would never regret to have loved him. even if it was an illusion. it was the most beautiful illusion a person can have. i feel i’ve definitely experienced something most people couldn’t. the kind of out of body soul touching love that may last forever if we don’t have to worry about washing dishes, making dinner or paying bills.

aside from this love, i found another true love in my life. that would be my love for web programming. it led into something much more practical like a career.

i started my very first website in 1998. it was hosted on named dodo’s world. back then i used to use a microsoft graphic software, frontpage to make webpages. i used to own many projects like webrings, button exchange, cliques, group blogs etc. after my experience grew, i registered my first personal domain. that was this is the first layout for it’s a picture of me. version 1 version 1
it became a collective domain of mine and hosted many projects. one of the most popular sites was dodo’s new world. it had tutorials, games, fun stuff and services like cute graphical counters, voting system, alarm alerts etc. i spent pretty much all my spare time in college running my web projects. my message board which started by using UBB (cgi script) to then ikonboard (php script) and then XMB, devBB and finally a complete script written by myself has such a long history of amazing stories. some of these memories were captured by our 2003 and 2004 yearbooks. i remember the people on my board made so much beautiful gifts for my 20th birthday. it made me speechless. i regret i did not save that page as it was hosted by daynah.

Project Reminiscence

Dodo's New World version 1
Dodo’s New World version 1

Dodo's New World version 2
Dodo’s New World version 2

Dodo's New World version 3
Dodo’s New World version 3

Dodo's Ikonbaord version 10
Dodo’s Ikonbaord version 10

lil button exchange version 6
lil button exchange version 6

New Millennium webring version 4
New Millennium webring version 4 version 9 version 9

Unfortunately I don’t have a screenshot for every layout I have ever made. If only I knew better back then, I would have taken a screenshot for each layout. They are so precious.

Nowadays the internet continues to be a great source of entertainment. i can watch full chinese soap opera and entertainment shows on youtube. share all kinds of interesting stuff with friends and coworkers.

So what about the next ten years? I know the change for me as a person will be less significant. Now I spend less and less time on my personal web projects and more time on the projects I do at work. Unfortunately they do not feel as close to heart as the ones I created from scratch. But I believe I will not abandon my blog. Hopefully I will not abandon my message board either.

So how long have you been online and how has the internet changed your life?

12 thoughts on “dodo has been online for ten years

  1. aw, *hugs*. I’m so sorry you had to go through all that when you were a kid 😦 But I’m so glad you made DMB because I don’t think I would be where I am in web design now. Who knows if I would have the job I have if it wasn’t for what I learned from you guys and building my site.

    We had the internet when I was 8, but I didn’t go on much until they had the monthly payment plans when I was like 10. And then I made my first website when I was 12 and I found DMB when I was… 16? That’s when I learned about b2 and things kinda took off from there 😛
    The internet is like a huge part of my life, so I couldn’t even imagine, or remember things before it really. I wouldn’t have met Bryan and that would have been awful!

  2. Hahaha, actually – me too! (: But eleven years in my case, actually.

    Began with a site at Expage for the first two to three years before advancing to Angelfire and subsequently Geocities. Only in 2001 (seven years ago) did I finally get around to purchasing my domain, little-wonder which I’ve been using ever since!

    Basically, my online experience has been a series of ups and downs. Had to deal with cases of copyright infringement right from my early years and even till recent days. Not to mention online drama which I inadvertently get myself into. But safe to say, I think I’ve sort of found my stability already.

    Embracing the world of blogging and online friendship – and loving it!

  3. It’s funny how much I feel like I can relate to you, I went and am still sometimes going through family problems similar to yours. Thanks for sharing with us, I feel like I’m not alone. :heart:

  4. You are BEAUTIFUL, and I am very happy to have come across your blog, it too is beautiful. Your passion for webdesign shows and it rocks! Never lose faith in love, it is a very strong aspect in life, you can do anything if you believe. I wish the best for you in 2009-keep up the great work :biggrin:

  5. Ha! Today your website came to my mind, I’m glad it’s still here! I was a fan of Dodo’s New World, I remember all the layouts listed above! Was such a good internet era, back in the day. I remember that one of your sites had a music box that played Midi songs. And one of them I still have and think it’s so cute. It’s called Dodo Dragon, Dodo’s song, Dodo’s theme or something like that (sorry if I’m guessing too far). Not to mention all the geeky tips I used for my personal websites back then. xoxo from a brazilian living in Germany. 🙂 Ana

  6. My sister and I used to be big fans of you, I remember my sister (known as Mar I think) was always on your website and message board. I was 8 years younger and I don’t think she let me join the message boards (lol) but I remember you and wanting to be like you! 21 now and I am still online as well… had my first blog 10 years ago also… it’s crazy how much the internet has changed! Blogging was so different back then.


  7. Hi Dodo,

    I was so touched by your story,I didn’t know that you struggled so much in your life, your website and work is are so cheerful and vibrant i would never have assumed your hardship. I used to visit your website every day when I was a child, I used to have my own website and I looked at how beautiful yours was, and I used to listen to the midi songs you had on your site! It was so lovely, I still remember it now. Thank you for making such a beautiful website that has bought so many people together. Congratulations on all your years of being online.
    Thank you for sharing, best wishes!

    1. Dodo!!!! I remember seeing you on message boards and looking up to you! I loved your sites.
      I was super young on the message boards and always pretended to be a few years older for my safety as my mom had asked me to do and I had promised her I would. I was looking at a website archival and found your blog, I remember this also! I really really would love to see how your life is doing, I am so thankful that you have recent posts.. I’m trying to see what all the MB buddies are up to nowadays! I used your MB, kawaiiness mb, teahouse mb, harmonyland… and a few others that I cannot remember off the top of my head right now, but ahh I’d love to be in touch… You are a major inspiration and I want to take up web and graphic design again as I had been inspired by you before. Love your spirit!!!

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