Clockwise from upper left: The current blog’s dashboard; the original blogspot Out & About; the current Out & About at stenaros.com; the now retired–but still readable–house blog.
I’ve written 3000 blog posts for this blog. Three thousand posts! This blog started as kind of a lark. I was writing the house blog, which I started because we bought the house and I thought it would be a good way to not only keep track of what we were up to, but also a good way to loop in Matt’s side of the family, who live far away. I soon found I wanted to make blog posts about unrelated things and so I made my own blog.
I didn’t do any sort of introductory post. I just launched. In fact, the first post, is fairly typical of many of the posts to come. I was grumpy. I wrote about it. The next post included song lyrics and my memories of the song. The third post was an installment of the (now abandoned) Bike Project. The fourth included ample quotes from a book I had just finished reading. (Which are still really good quotes and worth reading.) I wrote four posts in the first month.
And that’s kind of what I still do today, except there are many more posts per month. I write book reviews. (First listed 11/2/07 Things I read, started to read and didn’t finish in October). I write three sentence movie reviews. (First one 2/7/08 Charlie Wilson’s War). I report on various projects. I wander around my life and take pictures of particular things. (First one 7/22/07 Porch Conundrum). I write essays. (First tagged 1/5/12 My Secret Resolution).
From May 2007 to December 2014 I used blogspot as a platform. After that I bought my own domain name and tried using Squarespace. I found it didn’t work well for blogging and moved things over to WordPress. Sadly, in the move I now have a range of posts without pictures. Someday I will put those back.
Blogging is fun for me. I kept a journal for many years, until my life became undramatic and there wasn’t much to write about. But blogging fills the journal niche. I rarely look back, but when I do, I usually find something that’s fun to remember, or something I don’t remember at all. Like (randomly) The time I got to tour the Art House, after chronicling the building process. Or when I didn’t like the movie Lincoln (this is one of those posts that needs its pictures put back). Or that time I reported on book check-out receipts I found in my library book.
Blogging is also work. For many of my years blogging, I’ve often been behind, sometimes several months behind. In fact, I’m writing this post in November, not September. (Though I set it up in January, not wanting to miss the day I would hit post 3000). The only time I wasn’t behind was the year I had the volunteer gig where I hosted teens in the library computer lab for two hours per week. Very few teens showed up, so that gave me two solid hours per week of blogging. Once that went away, I slipped behind again, and it’s gotten worse with the return to the 40-hour work week. But even when I’m behind, blogging is something that I still want to make time for doing. So I do.
I love comments. I cannot lie. Comments are the most awesome thing. Mostly, I write these posts for myself. But I dream someday of having more than two people comment on a regular basis. And maybe having random somebodies comments. My blog hasn’t grown into that kind of blog, but that means that the comments I do get are that much more wonderful. So if you are a reader and have commented, thank you. I really appreciate it.
Onto selected favorites in each category:
Books (221 posts):
Boise Public Library!
From individual reviews in 2007, to monthly review posts beginning in 2008 (the year I discovered Goodreads) I write a lot about other people’s writing. But the post I’m featuring was from 2013, when I went to Boise for my 20th High School Reunion. I went back to the place that made me a reader and delighted in the details and the memories.
CT Film Festival (45 posts):
Plan Your Own Channing Tatum Film Festival
In 2007, I had no idea I would fall in love with Channing Tatum. (“It’s a pure and true love,” a friend said once about my obsession). I had no idea I was going to watch every movie he had ever been in. I had no idea I would be quoted on a podcast about the CT Film Festival post being “a bit disturbing,” a comment which cracked me up. The video store clerk saying, “Are you the lady who is watching all of Channing Tatum films?” was still in my future. No, I had no idea this was coming at all. I analyzed my obsession in this post, but mostly I have just bowed to the inevitable. When Channing Tatum appears in a movie, I must watch that movie. Usually in the theater. Often on opening weekend.
Mail (198 posts):
Postcard from Singapore
Postcrossing was something I discovered a few years ago. Participating has meant that I have sent and received postcards all over the world. In one case, a postcard sent has meant a blogging friendship with Kathleen. (I’ll start reading your blog again soon, Kathleen. But in the interim, I’ve loved keeping up with you on Instagram.) When it seems like the world is a terrible place, receiving a friendly postcard from the other side of the world is maybe one of the best things about my day. Which is why I need to find time to start Postcrossing again soon.
Music (45 posts):
Power Ballads, A Blog Post
Music is something that fell by the wayside as I entered adulthood and I’m still working my way back to it. The Song of the Month posts help. But most of my music posts are about music I listened to growing up. Like the above retrospective of a time when bands could really write a ballad. And wear some amazing clothes while performing it.
Structures (451 posts):
Comparison Contrast two houses on Belmont Street
I love looking at buildings and houses. Love it. Hence the incredible number of posts about buildings and houses. I enjoyed writing this post because it not only got into the nitty-gritty details of two houses, but it also let me use PortlandMaps.com for some research, which was fun.
Three sentence movie reviews (788 posts):
With this many posts to choose from I was a little stuck as to which to feature. I went with this movie, not so much because I think it’s a fabulous review, but mostly because of the long aside sanctioned by the asterisk. Knowing my propensity to use many words, I wisely put a sentence limit on my reviews. But I do enjoy going around that limitation.
To Occupy My Time (1223 posts):
This is a catch-all category. 65 different tags feed into it. In the WordPress dashboard, there are 62 pages listing posts that chronicle things that occupied my time. I picked one randomly from page 42. Then I linked to the blogspot version of it because the current blog has no photos. If you are looking for a quick dinner, Egg Puff is your friend.
Writing (90 posts):
It turns out I have very strong feelings about the movie the Notebook
This essay still amuses me because I still feel very strongly about that movie. I hate to harsh on the Notebook-loving public’s mellow, but that is a terrible and creepy film.
So that’s it. 3000 posts. Good job me.