just some ramblings about blogging and that time I went on a TD binge

In a moment – inspiration. In another moment – inspiration lost. But some remnant of it is still there, like ripples on the surface of a lake, hinting at something that’s passed.

Sometimes I wonder what I used to write about before I started writing so much about my holiday to Japan, and about this Meditations book I’m reading. Well, I suppose it’s easy enough to look back at my blog archives and see that it’s just a bunch of random ramblings.

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blog circle

In recent times (by which I mean, like, the last few months, maybe half a year) I’ve been noticing that I’m spending more and more time on WordPress and reading blogs. I think I went through a phase where I just kept following more and more blogs. There used to only be a few that I’d read with any regularity, but I reckon I’ve discovered a lot of new blogs through comments on other blogs. (Often the thought process is something along the lines of “Hmm.. that person wrote a well thought-out comment, which is also (mostly) free from spelling or grammatical errors. Perhaps this person has an interesting blog…”)

I hardly even look at “Freshly Pressed” any more. After all, I have enough blogs to read already! My daily internet routine has become something like this: (1) quickly check emails, and quickly respond or send necessary emails; (2) quickly check Facebook for messages and notifications, and maybe browse my newsfeed in case anything like-worthy has happened; (3) read blogs. (Yeah, usually I’ll only check emails and FB once per day – or usually not at all for emails on week-ends – so these are not great ways to contact me for anything urgent/important.) Depending on my mood and what sort of posts people are publishing, I might spend the rest of the night on WP, or I might go off and do something else.

(NB: Although I have a Twitter account, it is not part of the routine, and any activity that occurs on Twitter is sporadic at best.)

I find this shift in routine kind of interesting because I don’t actually know anyone in “real life” who still maintains a blog and publishes in a vaguely consistent manner. I think a lot of friends from high school, and maybe at university as well, dabbled in blogging for a bit, but then eventually gave it up or forgot about it. The first blog I ever read (that I can recall) was created by a friend during high school (can’t remember what year… maybe grade 9?). I don’t even remember what platform/site she used, but I do remember talking to her about it, and how she actually had to explain to me what a blog was.

Over the many years that have passed between then and now, I can remember her changing her URL, blog title, theme, content, etc, etc many times (probably not quite as capriciously as I’m portraying here but still fairly often relative to most blogs, I reckon). At one stage she had a hiatus in blogging, and I remember being a bit sad about it. I mean, we still talked in real life, but I suppose there was something special about reading her uninhibited thoughts on her blog. I believe that it was she who inspired me to start my own blog – mostly as a place for me to rant, rave and ramble about whatever I wanted, to my heart’s content.

Back in those early days – even in the early days with WP (my blog started out on “Windows Live Spaces” or whatever it was called) – I didn’t read any blogs that were written by people who I didn’t personally know. Now, however, all of the blogs I read are written by people who I’ve never met in person (except one, but she doesn’t post very often). And while I know that a few of my “real life” friends still read my blog (even if only very occasionally – I still appreciate it), I know that the vast majority of my readers are overseas (thanks to helpful WP stats). The majority of blogs that I read are also written by overseas people. And although we will probably never meet – or maybe because we will never meet – I think it’s incredible that millions of people can share their stories with millions of others.

This post was actually supposed to be a quick, short-ish post to mention that I’ve added the “posts I like” widget to the side-bar… I’ve been seeing it on a lot of blogs I follow, and thought it was a great way to, well, share posts that I like. I might write more on this whole blogging business another day. Stay tuned!

nice to meet you (?)

Ever since I changed my “About” page to an “About the blog” page (because I realised that it doesn’t really tell you anything about me specifically – just about my blog), I have been toying with the idea of adding an “About the blogger” page. The only problem is that I don’t really know what I’d put on there. If you’ve seen my Gravatar profile thing, you’ll have an idea of what I mean.

Well, I suppose I could probably write quite a lot, but where would I start? The first thing I think of, of course, is by introducing my profession: I’m a pharmacist. I love my job (mostly) and the people I work with (mostly – nah, I kid, they’re really awesome), so surely this is an important thing to mention? But part of me doesn’t like this notion of “being defined by my profession”. Most people will have preconceptions about pharmacists, but, like any profession, I’m sure we’re quite varied and don’t all fit the stereotypes.

I’ve pondered this previously because if you watch TV shows – whether it be reality TV or game shows or something else that involves people who aren’t famous – everyone is introduced by their name, age and profession. Even in the newspaper, in that section where they have a street poll of randoms, they print the person’s occupation alongside their name and suburb of residence. Is their occupation meant to affect my opinion of their opinion? I suppose it does, particularly if they’re answering a poll about something political or economic or whatever that affects people’s jobs.

On a side note, just wanted to say that, despite the seemingly large number of pharmacists out there in the world, I think I’ve only ever seen one actual pharmacist on a game/reality show before. Maybe we’re just not really the type to go for that sort of stuff…

Anyway, I suppose it’s pretty obvious from browsing my blog that I’m a pharmacist, or at least that I work at a pharmacy. I mean, I write about it enough, don’t I? Sometimes I worry that I talk about work too much to other people, and maybe people would find it boring… I don’t think anyone I work with actually reads my blog, so theoretically I could just ramble on about work here, and spare people from real-life rambling conversations about Pharmacy-related stuff. This is kind of touching on another topic that I was thinking of writing about: the fact that hardly anyone I know in real-life actually reads blogs. I know people on Instagram and Twitter, and everyone (almost everyone) has Facebook, but no one that I know in real-life still regularly maintains a blog, or regularly reads blogs (well, not that I know of, anyway).

I feel like this is becoming a very tangent-y sort of post…

I was also going to say that age – or even just an age range – would be something people might put on an “About the blogger/writer” page, but then I also suppose it’s not that hard to work out that I’m in my 20s, considering I graduated high school less than ten years ago… Although, I guess if all of this stuff was on an “About” page, it’d save visitors the effort of investigating and trying to piece the puzzle together themselves. But then where’s the fun?

Well, I suppose I don’t want people to have some sort of bias for/against what I write because I’m a pharmacist, or because I’m in my 20s. I suppose I also want to preserve some notion of anonymity, so I do not want to disclose my exact age or my location (pretty sure I’ve mentioned Brisbane in enough posts for it to be kind of obvious, though…)

Imagine if the TV world defined everyone by their hobbies or their favourite songs or their pets. What if, when some guy goes on a reality TV show, instead of giving him a little caption that reads “John, 31, journalist”, it reads “John, plays guitar, owns two cats”? He could be all of these things, but the two different captions portray him differently.

A colleague of mine is from Brazil, and he pointed out once that in Australia when you meet someone new, you ask each other about what you do for work. However, in Brazil, they’d ask each other about what they do for fun. I’m sure people work hard in Brazil as well, but, gee, they seem to have their priorities right on this one.

want to know a secret…?

Following on from my previous post, I wanted to share another blog that I’ve discovered recently: Post Secret.

It almost doesn’t require an explanation (if you visit the site, you’ll find out all there is to know about it) but, for the benefit of those who don’t randomly click on links posted by random strangers on the internet (and if you do actually know me, you should trust me enough to click on it), I’ll summarise the concept of Post Secret.

It’s basically a “community art project” that involves random people (perhaps even you!) anonymously mailing in their actual secrets on postcards so that they can be published on this blog and shared with the world. When I first stumbled upon the site, I thought it was a pretty cool concept, but I was a bit worried that it’d be full of depressing confessions about depressing things.

Ok, so there is a fair amount of sad/emotional stuff (and some disturbing stuff too) but there are positive ones, too. In a general sense, I reckon the more personal secrets are the best ones. Well, I would imagine it’s rather liberating (to a degree) for the postee to write down their secret and mail it off. And it may be comforting for others to realise that a lot of other people are going through the same/similar emotions, dilemmas, torments and so forth.

I suppose I like reading Post Secret more out of general interest or curiosity. I also suppose that I like the idea of being able to write whatever you want and sharing something with people, but those people not knowing your actual identity. A bit like keeping a blog, I guess.