The Return Of The Delightful Blogroll: A Bit Of Snark, A Big Reveal

A Bit Of Snark

Not everyone you meet will be your friend, right?

Before I get to the real point of this post, here’s a memory from my early days of blogging. I occasionally think of this guy when the topic of blogrolls comes up and I’m still entertained.

From my point of view he was comic relief.

You see, there was this guy who considered himself to be an EXPERT on blogging. He wrote a weblog called something like Howard’s How-Tos. There was alliteration and that’s all I remember about the name of the weblog.

Howard [or maybe it was Horace?] was a mansplainer first class. In his bio he didn’t state any education or work experience to lend credence to his expert status, we were just supposed to accept that he was an AUTHORITY on blogging.

He knew things. 🙄

Welp, Howard [possibly Herbert?] loved lists– long rambling ones in which he’d repeat himself saying the same pieces of how-to advice, worded slightly differently, over and over. He was seemingly incapable of understanding that quantity is no replacement for quality.

So one day Howard [could be Homer?] announced that he’d put together a blogroll for us lesser bloggers. In his blogroll he listed the 300 weblogs he followed. Yes, according to this self-important knower of all things bloggy, these were the best weblogs out there in the blogosphere.

Being curious I went to look at his list of weblogs, presented alphabetically, and discovered that my sweet little bloggy wasn’t included. This made me laugh out loud. I mean, if I wasn’t on the list then obviously Howard [maybe Hiram?] wasn’t following all the best weblogs, now was he?

Hmmm…? 😁

A Big Reveal

And with that delightfully snide memory I present the updated crowdsourced DELIGHTFUL BLOGROLL, a list of weblogs organized BY THE YEAR in which the weblog began.

[To be clear, the blogroll isn’t on this blog post, it is on a tab. Keep reading & all will be revealed.]

Please note, this blogroll features FRIENDLY bloggers who write PERSONAL blogs. When given the chance these bloggers told me they wanted to be included on this blogroll so I included them.

Also, if I made any mistakes regarding your weblog, please forgive me. I tried my best to be accurate, but SO MANY BLOGS.

Thus without further ado I shall direct you to the blogroll. I’ve closed the comments here hoping that instead of chatting with me you’ll:

  1. Go review the DELIGHTFUL BLOGROLL by clicking on the capitalized bright green words you just read.
  2. Pick one new-to-you weblog and go visit.
  3. Leave a comment there IF you feel so moved.
  4. Introduce yourself by saying: “Ally Bean sent me.”

Enjoy!

Because I Please, I’m Answering Maggie’s Blogging Survey Questions

Yesterday Maggie asked the following 11 questions on her blog, FROM CAVE WALLS. With her permission I’m answering them below. You may go HERE to read her post in which she explains her reason for asking these simple questions. If you so choose, you may answer them there or on your own blog. 

Image added because this makes my weird little heart happy. See my answer to Question #10 below.

1. How many times per week do you post? Do you post multiple times a day? If so, how many?

I post about once a week, occasionally twice a week, sometimes not at all.

2. How many blogs do you follow? 

I actively follow about 80 blogs but I’m aware of maybe 40 more.

3. Do you read all the blogs you follow every day? If not, how often do you read other blogs?

I don’t read blogs every day. I don’t read everything that everyone writes on their blogs. I try to read at least one post per week by any one blogger who I actively follow, sometimes two posts per week if I have the time.

4. Do you seek out new blogs to follow?  If so, how do you find them?

I seek out new blogs to follow. I do this by reading the comment sections on other people’s blogs, often finding new-to-me bloggers that way. I also check out most new-to-me commenters on who leave comments on my blog posts.

5. Do you comment on the blogs you read? If not, why? Do you respond to all the comments left on your blog?

I comment on the blogs I read because that’s what personal blogging is about, a chance to connect with people. I respond to all comments left on my blog, never cherry-picking a few comments, ignoring the rest.

6. Do you ever close comments on a blog you post? If so, why?

I always close the comment section on each blog post after 21 days, sometimes before. I do this because spammers swoop in if I keep things open any longer.

7. Do you ever unfollow someone? If so, why?

I unfollow people who start out friendly + interesting but over time become pedantic, or whiny, or snobby. People change, not always in ways that I find appealing.

8. What content inspires you to follow a blogger?

I don’t focus on any specific content per se, I follow a blogger because they’re articulate, sincere, and clever. It’s all about their vibe. What they write about is of less interest to me than how they write about it.

9. What content turns you off from following someone?

I won’t follow someone who has a sloppy writing style regardless of my interest in their content or someone who comes off as condescending or someone who has a snarly point of view about everything. Or as I think of it: no slobs, no snobs, no blobs.

10. How important is it to you that you add a photo to every post?

It is important to me that I add a photo or image to each post BUT if I don’t have one that works with my topic that doesn’t stop me from posting.

11. Leave me a link for one blogger (other than yourself) that you think I should check out.

A group of bloggers, many of whom regularly comment here, have just this month started a new blog called The Heart of the Matter. Check it out!

THINKING ABOUT YOUR ANSWERS TO THESE QUESTIONS WOULD YOU, MY LITTLE BLOGGING SCRIBES, ANSWER THEM THE SAME, IN A SIMILAR WAY, OR DIFFERENTLY THAN HOW I DID?

Sorry, Not Sorry: The One About 3 Holiday Pet Peeves That Vex Me

It seems to me at this time of year everyone has at least one pet peeve that vexes them. Perhaps you’ve noticed this, too.

Now that we’re officially smack dab into the season of Forced Frivolity Rampant Consumerism  The Holidays, I want to tell you what vexes me the most. You’ll be pleased to know that I’ve narrowed it down to 3 pet peeves, succinctly explained below.

See if they resonate with you, my little fruitcakes, then you may share yours in the comments below. To get you started, but please don’t feel limited by, at the bottom of this post I’ve created a list of possible peeves* that do not bother me but I’ve heard about– oh. yes. I. have.

📷 ONE 📸

IF YOU SEND A HOLIDAY CARD that is a family photo or you put a family photo inside a regular holiday card, please I beg of you, tell the recipients of the holiday card who these people are.  Do not say a vague “Joyeux Noël from the Jones-Beauforts” BUT instead list the individual names of the people + pets in the photo. Do not assume we’ll recognize everyone in the photo.

You do know who they are, right? So why not share that information with the rest of us?

🌲 TWO 🎄 

IF YOU PUT UP A TREE to celebrate Christmas, do not overdecorate it.  Less is more.  There is this design concept known as negative space that, stick with me here, posits that an object is more noticeable and therefore appreciated if there is emptiness around the object.

I’m happy that you’ve invested in twinkling lights & colorful bulbs & tinsel & strands of pretty beads & personally meaningful ornaments, BUT do not cover every stinking inch of every branch on the tree so that all I see, anyone sees, is a big triangular-ish blob of shiny.

I want to see the details of your beautiful decorations, truly I do, so could you make that happen, please?

🍪 THREE 🍬

IF YOU’RE A BAKER OR CANDY MAKER, I ask of you to be forthright about what kind of sweetener you use. Some of us cannot digest artificial sweeteners while others avoid natural sugar at all costs. I don’t care how you sweeten what you make, that is not my concern, BUT for the love of all that is good, be honest about what is in the goodies.

You do understand that you can make someone sick if you lie about it, right?

~ 🔻 ~

~ 🔺 ~

* Here is a list of 10 holiday pet peeves that I’ve heard mentioned emphatically by other people:

  1. Reciprocity regarding the exchange of Holiday cards, obligation or opportunity
  2. Christmas music, yay or nay
  3. Party games that involve gift exchanges
  4. Incorrect use of the letter “s” when addressing a card or gift to an entire family
  5. Location of outdoor holiday decorations, near the house or out in the yard creating possible obstructions/distractions for drivers
  6. Appropriate day on which to take down the holiday tree inside your home
  7. Use of tissue paper or shredded paper inside a gift bag, yay or nay
  8. Hostess gift for an open house party shouldn’t be wine because you only take wine when it’s a dinner party
  9. Holiday newsletters, yay or nay
  10. Bow on holiday wreath goes at the top, the bottom, or the side

PLEASE NOTE: In an attempt to make our home connection to the internet reliable and faster, we’re changing our internet service provider tomorrow [Wednesday], going from coaxial cable to fiber optic cable. Fingers crossed this change goes smoothly, but if not… it’s been great knowing you I’ll see ‘ya when I see ‘ya. 

No Grimness Allowed Here: 1 Wonderful Quote + 3 Wacky Quandaries

David Oglivy is a businessman who is known as the Father of Advertising. More about him here.

ONE

YOU’RE STANDING IN FRONT OF YOUR REFRIGERATOR getting some ice from the freezer compartment. An ice cube falls out and lands on the floor at your feet. Do you:

  1. pick it up and use it;
  2. pick it up and put it in the kitchen sink to melt; or
  3. kick it under the refrigerator to melt there?

TWO

SHOPPING IN MACY’S WOMEN’S LINGERIE DEPARTMENT I overheard a woman telling her friend that she had to buy bras and undies that match because her husband insists that she wear matching ones. This baffled me in MANY ways:

  1. why is this woman in a relationship with such a domineering man– OR is she making this up so she can rationalize spending more money on unmentionables? [my guess is the latter not the former]
  2. if she wears black pants and a white blouse, does she go with all dark undergarments knowing that you’ll see her bra through the white fabric OR does she wear all light undergarments hoping there’s no indication of light undies under her black pants? [a decision tree for this would be helpful]
  3. asking Z-D if he knew what color bra and undies I wore each day, his reply was that he didn’t know, adding that he preferred to see me out of them rather than in them [ain’t he a pip?]

THREE

YOU HAVE ALEXA IN YOUR HOUSE AND every morning you ask her for the day’s local weather forecast. For months she tells you the forecast, then adds “have a good day, Ally.” She is your friend, until one day after telling you the forecast she unexpectedly stops referring to you by name, not even bothering to wish you a good day. Do you:

  1. take it personally;
  2. research why she’s stopped being friendly; or
  3. chalk it up to making your first disembodied computer voice frenemy?

+ + • +

FEEL FREE TO WEIGH IN ON ANY OF THE ABOVE QUANDARIES

or

TELL ME YOUR CURRENT QUANDARY SO WE CAN TALK ABOUT IT

+ + • +

The One About Remembering A Muse, Sharing Some Mundane Moments

INTRODUCTION TO THE MUSE PART

Today I’m going to share photos, but first I’m going to tell you why I’m sharing these particular photos. I have a reason.

A muse, if you will.

People influence you in life. It’s all about where you place your power, but you know that [or at least you should].

Getting to my point…

Many, many years ago when I was newbie blogger [mid-2000s] there was a blogger, Rayleen*, who was a professional portrait photographer. She was into poetry and musings and, of course, photos. The ones on her blog were informal & not necessarily of people.

Her vibe was mellow, her thoughts were straightforward, and her use of light when snapping pics was awe-inspiringShe had a positive influence on me and how I went about learning to blog.

On your journey to be a better blogger ultimately it’s NOT the people who tell you how to blog with their well-intentioned lists and rules, it’s the people who show you how to blog with their own style, allowing you to learn and grow from their examples.

THE MUSE PART CONTINUED

One autumn day Rayleen mentioned that she had begun to notice, and thought it was a shame, that people on social media were only sharing photos of perfection. Nothing messy was going on because it was all staged.

She was prescient on this point.

Have you seen Instagram lately? 

On that day she encouraged personal bloggers to occasionally share photos without deeper meaning or treasured memories. Instead, take photos showing imperfection, mundane moments in time that record the normal messiness of ordinary life.

Focus at least briefly on things around you that you tend to push aside, or ignore, when snapping photos for social media.

In other words, allow yourself to be vulnerable, to be real, by showing the world your own special messiness for no reason other than you can.

So today as a tribute to Rayleen and as a way of saying thanks for her guidance, I’m sharing photos of nothing much in particular. We were ships that passed in the night and because we did I’m a more authentic and open-minded blogger.

THE PHOTOS OF MUNDANE MOMENTS PART

Dirty dishes in the sink & on the kitchen counter

~ • ~

Assorted stuff heaped on the hutch

~ • ~

Piles of pillows on the screened-in porch

~ • ~

Old-fashioned time-wasters on the end table

~ • ~

Boxes of stuff destined for Goodwill in the garage

THE QUESTIONS OF THE DAY PART

Can you think of someone who came into any aspect of your life who influenced you then disappeared leaving you better off for knowing this person? 

Have you posted photos on social media that show the daily, often overlooked, messiness of your life?

Which of the above photos is your favorite? And why? 

~ ~ • ~ ~

* I think this is the proper spelling of her name, at least that’s how I remember it. Could have been Reyleen or Raylene– or Reylene, I guess. It’s been a loooong time. I shall not fret if I got her name wrong.