Site News

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Welcome to Fish & Custard!

This is my first post here at the new domain, wannabegirl.org! In case you didn’t come here from wannabegirl.org and therefore didn’t get to read what I posted there, I did something impulsive yesterday. I registered a new domain and then decided to move my blog over because:

  1. I’ve always wanted a domain name with the word “and” in it because it allows me to use an ampersand in the logo and ampersand is one of my favourite things ever;
  2. I love Doctor Who and fish fingers and custard is the 11th Doctor’s favourite food so this domain is an homage to my most favourite TV show ever; and
  3. I feel like, after 14 years, I’m finally too old to be blogging under a domain name with the word “girl” in it.

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At Hvitserkur, Iceland (2013)

The Obligatory Fourteenth Blogiversary Post

Weblog Wannabe turned 14 years old today! Happy birthday, dear old blog! My god you’re old!

There have been times when I felt like pulling the plug on the blog but I just couldn’t do it. This is where I met my husband! I know this is only a virtual place and nobody cares about this blog other than me and perhaps my husband, but it’s staying for the time being, albeit in a somewhat comatose state. I did post seventeen updates to the blog last year, mostly before our trip to Iceland. My goal this year is to post more, even if it’s only one more update than I did last year. I think it’s doable. :-)

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The Big Red Lighthouse

Belated 13th Blogiversary Bloggage

Happy 13th birthday, my dear blog! Here’s a little birthday present: a new look!

Sometimes I’d think of something and thought, hey, that would be an interesting topic to write about on the blog. But then I’d sit down and start writing only to decide that the topic was boring, and even if it wasn’t, no one would care anyway because personal blog is a thing of the past, and I’d abandon the post. Can’t compete with Facebook where one can get tonnes of comments just by posting a line of cryptic Facebook status. Personal blog post: big effort, small to no gain. Cryptic Facebook status: zero effort, big gain.

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And Then We Are 12

No Parking

Twelve years ago, having decided to abandon my old Diaryland journal, I came across a list of weblogs in someone’s Pitas (remember Diaryland‘s supposedly cooler sister Pitas?). After visiting a bunch of them, I decided that I wanted to have one of my own so I could share all the cool stuff I found in my web meanderings, of which I did a lot because I had no life.

After researching tonnes of free web space providers, I dubbed Freespeech.org the winner. Free web space with no ads! Perfect! So I signed up for an account, set Blogger to post via FTP to it (Blogspot hadn’t existed yet) and voila! A new weblog was born. I named it Weblog Wannabe because I wasn’t really sure what a weblog really was but really wanted it to be a weblog. Not the most creative name ever but I thought it was catchy.

My first month of blogging is so full of name-dropping.

My second month of blogging is even more so with some bad pseudo-poetry written for other webloggers thrown in for good measure.

My third month of blogging… My god, people actually read this CRAP?!?

I think a lot of people used to visit my weblog only because they felt sorry for this poor Indonesian girl with no life. It’s the only logical explanation I could think of for the hundreds of visits I used to get daily. But thanks to my readers’ compassion and their generous offers of friendship, I managed to survive some of the toughest times of my life. It’s too bad that I no longer have most of the readers I used to have because I really want all of them to know how much their emails and comments meant to me. They meant a lot. They helped keeping me going.

And then along came Troy, the nerd with whom I ended up tying the knot. He wouldn’t have found me if he hadn’t been a reader of zannah’s blog and zannah hadn’t been friends with Bryan and Bryan hadn’t posted a link to my wee blog on his. But he was and they were and he did, and so he found my weblog several months after I started blogging and became a regular. The next year, he sent me a friendly email and we started chatting on ICQ and we continued to do so almost every day. I’m pretty sure he thought I was a psycho several chats in but he stuck around anyway. For years. Even after I pissed him off countless of times with my stubbornness. A man after my own heart. :)

TL;DR, we eventually met in 4D in 2004 and his first impression of me was that I was stinky. True story.

I can’t even begin to tell you how glad I am to have started this thing 12 years ago. It has improved and enriched my life in so many ways. Thanks, ye olde blog, for allowing me to meet so many interesting, kind, and generous people from all over the world and most importantly, for sending me a top-notch husband. You rock! Happy 12!

The Obligatory Blog Redesign Post

Weblog Wannabe - Redefining Random 2012-01-28 12-11-44

I know, the last design was only, like, two posts away, but I felt ready for some colour this grey albeit mild winter but was too lazy to come up with a new design from scratch. I checked out collections after collections of free WordPress themes but they all seemed to have this “slap a gigantic image on top and put a slider on it” attitude that I detest. Solution? Spend money on a premium theme that I really like! I didn’t even spend that much money. I didn’t buy from one of those design studios that offer a lot of themes with a premium subscription fee. I’m allergic enough to commitment not to want to subscribe to anything willingly. Sorry, web design studios, I just want to pay for one theme that I like without having to subscribe because I might not want another design from you ever again.

So yeah, I paid for a theme I came across that I really liked and had all the features I wanted, especially the ability to post multiple format entries a la Tumblr. The only thing I didn’t like about the theme out of the box was the colour scheme, but it was easy to change. One child theme and a few lines of CSS later, I got it to look just the way I want it. I’m still not sure about the header image that I made with a graphic from a CD that comes with an art deco book I bought last month from a reduced price bookstore in St. Catharines, but I’m sure it’ll grow on me. If not, all I have to do is come up with another one that I like better and slap it on. Easy peasy.

Resources I found useful this n-th blog redesign (don’t really remember how many times I’ve redesigned this blog in the last 12 years):

My god, this post is so boring I’m falling asleep writing it. Next post shall be more interesting, promise!

PS. Please send me a haiku?

Time For A Change

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Well, I finally caved in and abandoned my long-time blogging partner, Movable Type, for WordPress, for a few good reasons:

  1. The company that created Movable Type was sold to another company that doesn’t seem to be interested in its development.
  2. I’ve become too lazy to come up with a blog design from scratch for my blog and there are so many ready-to-use WordPress themes out there I could use.
  3. WordPress seems to be so much better than it was the last time I decided to switch to it, which was 6 years ago. That switch didn’t last very long. But this time, I think I’m keeping it.
  4. It would be nice to get myself familiarized with the way WordPress works in case I feel like going back to the blog design business again some day. Most bloggers seem to be using WordPress these days.

There is a pretty steep learning curve, which was expected, but I’m eager to learn. It’s a lot like having a new toy. Every time I figure out how to do something with it, I have to cheer a little. :) What I didn’t expect was how difficult it was going to be to find a simple but interesting two-column theme with nice typography considering the number of themes available out there. Maybe I’m just too picky.

I’m still trying to customize the blog a little more, trying to do some learning by doing. There’s still some wonkiness in the archive pages that I need to fix and my RSS feed is also very much wonky and need fixing (sorry for all the old entries showing up on your feed readers multiple times). Please bear with me while WordPress and I are learning to become BFF. :)

Newfoundland Trip and Giveaway Winner!

Window Seat

We haven’t gone on a trip outside Ontario since our trip to Winnipeg, Manitoba in February 2008 (Winnipeg! In winter!) so I’ve been super excited about our upcoming trip to Newfoundland, especially since we booked the flights this past Thursday. The trip is not until late this spring but WestJet was having a sale and the flights we wanted were roughly half price. Might as well get them. Also, it helped us decide when we’d like to leave. We weren’t sure before. We only knew it was going to be some time in June, but now we have dates. Progress!

I’ve been trying to decide whether to spend more time in Gros Morne National Park or in L’Anse aux Meadows. Both places sound just as exciting. One has fjords, the other has icebergs. Really, how do I decide? I just hope that we’ll be lucky enough to have some good weather while we’re there. From what I heard, the weather in Newfoundland is unpredictable at best. I don’t really mind some fog. It looks nice in pictures. Just as long as it’s not so thick that you can’t see a big moose crossing the road. That wouldn’t be good. And Newfoundland has a lot of moose!

I’ve been so busy doing research relating to our Newfoundland trip that I almost forgot to blog. I would’ve let this week pass without a blog entry if I weren’t trying to stick with my Operation Blog Revival mission. That and I need to announce the winner of my 11th blogiversary giveaway! Without further ado, the winner is… Dave2 of Blogography! Yay! I’ve won a couple of awesome things from Blogography blogiversary giveaways in the past so I’m happy to see the Random.org generator thingy picked his number. Congrats, Dave! I’ll be in touch with you. And thanks to all the commenters to my blogiversary post for your participation. Stick around, there might be another giveaway next year and it might be YOUR lucky day. ;)

Exciting Times, 11th Blogiversary, and a Giveaway

Balzac's

I’ve had people recognizing me in real life from reading my blog, but for the first time ever, I had someone recognizing me from my Twitter avatar this Friday and guess who it was? It was Rick Mercer! I’m not sure how many non-Canadians have ever heard of Mr. Mercer. Let’s just say that he is one of the funniest and most loved TV personalities in Canada. He has a weekly TV show on the CBC called the Mercer Report in which he visits unusual events and attractions across Canada and makes fun of politicians. You can watch videos from his show on YouTube if you’re interested.

Anyway, a friend of ours got us tickets to see the taping of the Mercer Report at the CBC studio last year and it was for this past Friday. Before Troy and I left, I posted a tweet saying that I will be spending today in Toronto and will meet up with friends for Indian dinner before heading out to see the taping of the Mercer Report. Fast forward to after the Indian dinner. We got to the CBC building at a decent time before the line got too long and after being transported to the 10th floor, we got seated on the second row, which was pretty good. The show taping went really smoothly, everything was shot in one take. We got to watch pre-shot segments for the next week’s episode on the many TV screens hanging over the studio and they recorded our reactions, claps, laughs and scoffs for the show. No laugh tracks here! When the camera wasn’t rolling, Mr. Mercer would interact with the audience and made us laugh. I loved it when he said that he encourages flash photography in the studio when the camera isn’t rolling.

The taping of the show was over in, I believe, less than an hour. While lining up to leave the studio for the elevator, I heard about there being two lines: one for the elevator and one for those who would like to meet with Mr. Mercer. We decided to join the latter. I wasn’t really sure what I was going to say to him when our turn came. Thought I’d leave Troy to do the talking for the two of us. When it was our turn, Mr. Mercer greeted us and shook our hands warmly before he turned to me and ask, “Did you have Indian?” He totally caught me off guard with that question. “How did you know?” “I read your tweet! You look Indian and you wear glasses in your Twitter icon.” “Wow. I’m not Indian but that is so cool! So you actually read all the @replies on Twitter?” “Not always but I had an hour to kill before the show and I like to see if anyone tweets about going to the taping.”

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Operation Blog Revival 2011

First Day of 2011

While willing myself to sleep last night, I came up with a 6-Step Program to Revive A Blog In Limbo(tm) or you can call it Operation Blog Revival 2011 if you will. It’s intended for slacking bloggers such as myself who wish they could blog every day like the cool kids do (or like they used to do) but find going from barely one post in two months to 7 posts a week just a wee bit drastic and a little hard to do. I figured doing it in 6 steps in a span of a year would be more habit-forming and would result in less chance of relapsing into blog slacktivity.
So without further ado, here’s the proposed 6-step program:

Step 1: In January, start blogging once a week.
Step 2: In March, start blogging twice a week.
Step 3: In May, start blogging three times a week.
Step 4: In July, start blogging four times a week.
Step 5: In September, start blogging five times a week.
Step 6: In November, start blogging six times a week. Unless you join the NaBloPoMo, in which case, you may want to take it a step further and start blogging every day of the week.

When January 2012 comes, in theory, you’ll find blogging every day a piece of cake. I said “in theory” because, well, I only came up with it last night! There is no proof or guarantee that it’s going to work but it doesn’t mean that it’s not worth trying.

What constitutes a blog post, you ask? Anything is fair game! A story, photos/videos, or even a link. Though if it’s a link, you may want to elaborate a little about the what and why. Nobody wants to click on a link blindly. Not in this era of web trojans and viruses (virii?) anyway.

Nobody is going to enforce the number of post a week rule but yourself. If you feel comfortable updating your blog once a week then by all means, keep at it! Only follow the whole 6 steps if your goal is to blog every day, which is what I’m trying to do.

So, who’s with me? I’ve started a Facebook page in case anyone would like to join so we can remind each other to post, share ideas for a blog post and other fun stuff. Happy blogging and happy new year!

Blogiversary #9

Anniversary

Weblog Wannabe turns nine years old today. Woot woot. And to think that I got my first period when I was 9. I know. Gross. See, I had an early puberty. By the time girls around my age hit puberty, I was already over it, with one conclusion: boys suck and are icky. (Strange that I get along better with boys than with girls.) I remember rolling my eyes a lot listening to the girls at school talking about boys they fancy. Similar thing happens in the blogging world. By the time people the world over went crazy about blogging, I was already over it. But why do I keep blogging, you ask. Well, I ended up marrying a boy so I might as well keep blogging!

That was one of the most nonsensical paragraphs I’ve ever written. Anyway, moving along. I should probably announce the winner of my NaBloPomo contest. I bet you thought I already forgot all about it, eh? Nope. Been planning on announcing it today. I don’t remember the exact number of comments made by each contenders but Tia posted the most comments, followed by Lance and Sarah. But since Tia said she wasn’t playing and she posted comments simply because she liked my blog (awwww!), Lance is the winner! Yay! Please send your mailing address to firda at wannabegirl dot org.

Oliver the Owl

But wait, there’s more! What’s a blogiversary without a giveaway? If you’d like to win a handmade owl plushie that looks like Oliver the Owl (my own original design!) but maybe made with different materials, just leave a comment to this post and I’ll draw a name out of the hat or something to that effect after the contest closed. Contest closes next week on February 27, 2009 at noon EST. In the meantime, I’ll make a cute little owl with love to send one to ONE lucky winner. So comment away! And here’s to another 9 years of blogging! Whoa, that sounds really daunting…