Oct
24
2011
The Versatile Blogger

Versatility

A mantra that became very familiar about starting a blog was “you need a theme.” I heard this from my blogging instructor (yes, I took a blogging class), when researching blogs on the internet, from my one real life friend with a blog, from random people on the street. This worried me and kept me from starting this blog for a long time.

You see, I don’t do themes. AT. ALL.

When Dave and I got engaged, several people asked me what the theme of our wedding was going to be. “Uh, how about getting married?”

So there’s no real theme to what I write about here other than “whatever the hell I feel like.” Sometimes this makes me feel lame, like I lack passion. But I don’t have a passion for any one thing; I’m interested in lots of things. This might negatively affect how many people read, but c’est la vie.

So when JT and Natalia both tagged me with the Versatile Blogger meme, I was verklempt. Although versatile is probably a euphemism for “unfocused.”

Thanks to JT and Natalia for tagging me. Reading JT is like having a thoughtful conversation. He says he likes thoughtful conversation (me too!) on his about page and it shows in his writing.

Natalia is a wonderful photographer. I wished she lived close enough to do our holiday card photo shoot. We’ve been doing it ourselves the past few years and it’s difficult to get the camera to focus on us when we aren’t all in frame at the time of auto-focusing. I blame the camera, but it’s probably user error.

Now is the time in the Versatile Blogger response when I provide seven random (useless?) facts about myself. I recently wrote 38 things about myself in honor of my birthday, so I’m going to have to dig deep here.

Seven Random Facts About Me

1. Having freshly groomed eyebrows makes a surprisingly big difference in how I feel about myself.

2. I feel naked without Carmex.

3. I suffer from early morning calf cramps more than I think is normal. They wake me up and I had three last week, two on the same day.

4. My house is decorated with several things from Pottery Barn Teen and (gulp) Pottery Barn Kids.

5. Perhaps related…I keep waiting to feel like an adult and it keeps not happening. The older I get, the weirder this feels.

6. I worked as a telemarketer for part of a summer during college. “Part of” because I walked out on a break one day and didn’t go back. I’m going to out myself as a snob now and say that I couldn’t deal with taking direction from people who thought “rebuttal” was a verb (“Rebuttal ’em!!!”). Also I sucked at telemarketing like I’ve never sucked at anything before or since. When the poor schmuck on the phone said “no,” that was good enough for me. My “superiors” were constantly berating my unwillingness to “rebuttal ’em.”

7. I love to step on and crack acorn tops, to an almost obsessive degree. As in, I will walk out of my way to step on one. Fall is a satisfying time.

Blogs I Love

Now I will tag some others, not because I want them to feel any pressure to acknowledge it or keep the chain going (I know some have been tagged already), but because I want to show my appreciation. I don’t do that enough and I want all of these people to know I’m glad I found their blogs and enjoy reading.

When I first stumbled across blogs years ago, Linda at Sundry Mourning was one of the first bloggers I ever made a point to follow. Her honesty and humor sucked me right in and I’m often astounded at how well she writes. She writes posts you wish you could write, like this post about genealogy. There aren’t many “can’t miss a post” bloggers for me and Linda’s one of them. She has more Twitter followers than Dave’s favorite band, but I’m giving the shout out anyway.

A newer favorite is Abby at Abby Has Issues. I was hooked after reading this post about work that gave voice to exactly what I was feeling (well, except for the Stallone love child bit). Her posts are often truly funny. I often find posts that are clever or amusing, but one of the only blog posts I remember ever making me laugh out loud was this one about Abby’s road rage. Loved the WWJD line.

I love Katie at Chicken Noodle Gravy because her blog has “no identity” either, but is inherently readable. She wrote about the identity thing here and it obviously resonated with me quite a bit. She occasionally shares recipes (check out the charming recipe on her blog header), but also writes poignant memoir and dark, clever fiction. Katie also is a founding member of the Lightning and the Lightning-Bug community of writers.

Kelly at Cordelia Calls It Quits just rocks at this blogging thing. Two of her posts have been featured on WordPress and with good reason. Her mission to live more deliberately and “quit” the things that “sap her time, energy, or money to no good end” is inspiring. She has a running list of “quit posts,” and it’s like she wrote this one about hitting the snooze button for me. She accepts quit posts from readers too. When I submitted my idea (which I still need to finish and submit, oops), she didn’t know me from a hole in the wall but got back to me right away and also visited my fledgling little blog and sent some much-needed encouragement my way. 

Jill at the Cinquecento Project recently said she fantasizes about the career stability I have while I’m totally enchanted by her current temporary Italian life. Proof that the grass is always greener. I love the upbeat theme to her writing. I’m amazed she can come up with five highlights for most days. Many days my highlights would include things like: “my couch is still comfortable” and “managed not to accidentally blurt out snarky thing in my head at work.”

Margaret at Figuring Out Fulfillment guest posted for me a couple of weeks ago and her posts are wise and calm and give me hope about, well, figuring out fulfillment.

Tracy at The Heso Project is also on a quest to do what she loves. I believe she will create a job for her heart and soul (heso, get it?) and I will enjoy reading about it along the way.

When I first found Half Empty For Now, I thought, “huh, that could have been my theme, why didn’t I think of that?” Ms. HalfEmpty is a super-pessimist married to an optimist and she writes about her quest for passion in a compelling manner. As someone who once said “I’m cautiously not pessimistic” at a staff meeting, her half empty yet hopeful point of view warms my cold black pessimistic heart.

Catherine at Inside Out certainly represents versatility. She writes everything from memoir to book reviews to recipes she’s tried. She writes with an honesty that makes me wish I could talk to her over some coffee. And I don’t even drink coffee. She’s even knowledgeable about fashion, which I’m hoping will rub off on me.

Cindy at Beside a Life tells a mean story. This one inspired me to speak my mind the next time someone insults me.

Scales of Libra is doing a music listening challenge inspired by the shuffle challenge I did. I was so honored she decided to do it. I’ve been enjoying her write ups of the experience. And she taught me how to play Tetris in my Mac’s Terminal. And she has a “Castlevania” tag. Awesome.

Kim at Let Me Start By Saying is a fabulous writer who I found through the Write on Edge (formerly The Red Dress Club) writing group. She had me at her beautiful memories of her Nana and her lilac scent. She’s since had her latest post about hemorrhoids explode (sorry) her Facebook likes and readership and she deserves it. And she doesn’t write about hemorrhoids all the time, not that there’s anything wrong with that.

Roxanne at Unintentionally Brilliant is another blogger I found through Write on Edge. She is truly versatile and I enjoy reading her funny stories about online dating, touching stories about her young son, and stunning fiction like my favorite, the Agnes series.

Last, but not least (these have been in no particular order), I want to take pictures like Rebecca when I grow up. I had trouble picking the post to link to, so I just went with her latest. The fall colors are astoundingly beautiful.

I know I’m leaving out many cool blogs I love, but I have to stop somewhere. This post is over 1,500 words and I’ve been working on it for over a week. Time to cut bait. My reader is full to the brim with great stuff I’m so happy to have found and I’m always on the look out for other great blogs to read.

Have any suggestions?

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25 Responses to “The Versatile Blogger”

  1. Abby
    Monday, October 24, 2011 at 7:17 am #

    What an epic post! Not only did I learn more about you, but you I also learned we like a lot of the same brilliant bloggers. Plus, you introduced me to a few more 😉

    If it’s any consolation–which it probably isn’t–my blog has no theme either. I think that’s the new cool thing, so perhaps we’re just ahead of our time. (And YOU have also been Fresh Pressed, something I’ve never had the honor of, so give yourself some credit!)

    • logyexpress
      Tuesday, November 22, 2011 at 11:55 pm #

      Thanks, Abby. It is good to see that others don’t have themes either, especially when the non-themed blog is highly entertaining like yours.

      My theme for year 2 might need to be getting my ass in gear and responding to comments in less than a month. Ugh.

  2. Cordelia (@CordeliaCallsIt)
    Monday, October 24, 2011 at 7:24 am #

    Hey Tracy! Thanks so much for the love! No rush on your post–I know they take time, and my readers will be thrilled to read it whenever it’s ready.

    Three similarities: I too adore Pottery Barn Teen much more than I probably ought to as an adult. This may partially be because I too have yet to feel like an “adult” at the age of nearly-30. I think this may be one of those well-kept grownup secrets, that no one *ever* really feels like they’ve reached that point of maturity, wisdom, and knowing-what-they’re-doing-ness…I also spent (way too many) years of my young working life not as a telemarketer, but as a telephone survey girl. I contribute my current thick skin largely towards having random people in the midwest curse me for several hours every night. :)

    • logyexpress
      Tuesday, November 22, 2011 at 11:59 pm #

      Thanks, Kelly (I always want to call you Cordelia). I have a feeling I’ll never feel like an adult, at least partially because I’m immature (!) and partially because I’m not having kids.

      I used to gauge people’s age by whether or not they had kids (and how many and what ages, etc…). That used to be a good marker of whether or not people were older than me. That’s not working very well for me anymore.

  3. Let Me Start By Saying
    Monday, October 24, 2011 at 7:41 am #

    This is probably the best response to a blog award i have ever read. Holy shmo! You deserved the award, I love this post, and really appreciate that I’m on the list. And that you told all your readers about my hemorrhoids & my Nana. What more could a girl as for?

    • logyexpress
      Wednesday, November 23, 2011 at 12:00 am #

      Kim, this is one of the nicest comments I have ever received. So good thing I’m waiting a month to acknowledge it! This blogging thing is time-consuming, eh?

  4. Tracy
    Monday, October 24, 2011 at 9:41 am #

    Hey Tracy,
    Thanks for the shout out! I love your versatile style, so don’t every change. I’m going to be really busy this morning read all of your links!

    • logyexpress
      Wednesday, November 23, 2011 at 12:02 am #

      Thanks, namesake! I’ve enjoyed reading about your journey (sorry that sounds like I’m on “the Bachelor,” which I probably shouldn’t admit that I watch).

  5. Lisa
    Monday, October 24, 2011 at 12:46 pm #

    I have seen your passion! I wouldn’t describe you as someone without it. Maybe it is not present on a daily basis, but it is there. When I read this, my thoughts immediately went to your passion for the color green and for Clinton. I don’t know if that still exists, I am pretty sure the green does, but I think you actually motivated me to vote whereas, as faulty as my thinkin was, I never cared before. I think it would be cool to read a blog about green. That is my suggestion. I even noticed in Dave’s birthday photos that you have green walls.

    • logyexpress
      Wednesday, November 23, 2011 at 12:09 am #

      Hey Lisa, thanks for the comment. You’re right, I can get excited about certain things.

      I was so excited the first time I was able to vote. But boy did Clinton’s “it depends on what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is” shit and working in our nation’s capital put that fire out quick.

      I love green so much I need increasing amounts of it just to notice it anymore. People at work who I’ve never mentioned my love of green to will comment that I must love green and when I ask them why they say that, they look around my office incredulously. I guess there’s a lot of green.

  6. Ms. HalfEmpty
    Monday, October 24, 2011 at 5:25 pm #

    Wow, I made your list! Thank you for allowing me to warm your cold black pessimistic heart. =)

    The reason I love blogs like yours is because they aren’t limited by a narrow theme. The theme is life. A rich life doesn’t usually have just one focus, and has many dimensions to explore. There are stories, joys, successes, problems, and disappointments. It’s all great blog fodder. Thanks for writing it.

    I think there are blogs that require a narrow theme like tech blogs or things people might follow for work or a hobby. Those might come up when searching for the answer to a problem, but I probably wouldn’t subscribe or enjoy reading them regularly. I prefer what I like to call “life blogs.” Happy life blogging.

    • logyexpress
      Wednesday, November 23, 2011 at 12:10 am #

      Thanks, I agree about life blogging. Those kinds of blogs are my favorite.

  7. Erin
    Tuesday, October 25, 2011 at 1:19 am #

    Tracy, May’s doctor told her that quinine helps with calf cramps. So maybe try having a gin and tonic at night and see if that helps. I had them when I was pregnant with Owen, and stretching my calves before I went to bed helped but didn’t stop them completely. When they started when I was pregnant with Cedar my midwife suggested I really up my calcium and magnesium supplements, and they totally went away. But the g&t would be the most fun, I think.

    • logyexpress
      Wednesday, November 23, 2011 at 12:12 am #

      You know, the gin and tonic nightcap is starting to sound pretty heavenly and not just to treat my calf cramps! Thanks for the tips. Each time I bitch about calf cramps, someone with kids will remind me that pregnancy brings them on too, so although it feels like I’m the only adult suffering from them, I’m clearly not.

  8. scalesoflibra
    Tuesday, October 25, 2011 at 3:01 am #

    Wow, thanks for the shout-out! 😀

    My blog didn’t have a theme when I started either–that’s why I cheated by using the duality of Libra as a framework, so that I could write about anything and still seem consistent. LOL

    • logyexpress
      Wednesday, November 23, 2011 at 12:12 am #

      You’re welcome! I pretended to have a theme for about 5 minutes and then said screw it. It is what it is!

  9. lisa
    Wednesday, October 26, 2011 at 3:25 pm #

    Congrats on your award! I’m proud to be a versatile blogger! I have a lot to say on a lot of different subject as I’m sure you do…why limit ourselves, right? 😉 I love your blog and while don’t often comment I read each post (I subscribe via email). Congrats again, you definitely deserve it!

    Oh and thanks for the lists of other bloggers, I’ve found some new really great blogs to follow! :)

    Lisa

    • logyexpress
      Wednesday, November 23, 2011 at 12:14 am #

      Thanks for following Lisa, I’m glad I didn’t lose you. Hard to tell who’s reading these days with readers and subscriptions, etc…

  10. besidealife
    Thursday, October 27, 2011 at 12:36 am #

    Logy! You put me in there with some very illustrious company. Thank you, thank you so much for that!

    As a new blogger, it really means a lot to receive a tip ‘o the hat from the pros, and your shout-out was just the boost I needed at just the right time. Now, back to busing myself reading all the links up there. And also, maybe, blogging 😉

    • logyexpress
      Wednesday, November 23, 2011 at 12:15 am #

      You are so welcome! Sometimes getting feedback, any feedback, is just what you need, right? For awhile I wasn’t even getting spam and even that was bumming me out.

  11. zoesays
    Monday, October 31, 2011 at 9:33 pm #

    I’m right there with you on numbers 1 and 5. As for number 6, I cracked up really hard at “Rebuttal ’em!” I’m going to start saying that to my law student boyfriend and see how he likes it. He’ll probably cringe with every cell in his body.

    I’ll definitely have to check you out on FB and/or Twitter and read a few of your blog recommendations – thanks!

    • logyexpress
      Wednesday, November 23, 2011 at 12:18 am #

      How did your boyfriend like “rebuttal ’em?” Ugh, that still bugs me even to type it.

      Even though I walked out on that job in the middle of a shift (and I totally sucked at the job), that company called my Mom’s house looking for me to try to get me to come back for YEARS after I left home. Guess telemarketers burn out quickly and it’s not just me!

  12. Aubrey
    Saturday, November 5, 2011 at 10:36 am #

    I found you today from the weekend linkup on Write on Edge, and wow, I am so glad I did! I love this post, and all of the links. I wrote a blog post on plucking my eyebrows, so I can totally relate, and the leg cramp thing…have you seen the infomercial about those funky leg contraptions that massage your legs? That image popped into my head as I was reading…just thought I’d share! :)

    • logyexpress
      Wednesday, November 23, 2011 at 12:20 am #

      Aubrey, thanks so much for visiting! I’m so behind on my comments and blog reading but I’m definitely excited to check out your blog. I’m intrigued by the leg massage machine, I’m going to have to look that up!

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