Saturday, April 26, 2008

About blogging, some randomness and groups of four

In a land long, long ago there was a little girl who was always on top of things. She prided herself on her efficiency, her ability to be super motivated, to work long hours and be there for friends in need all at the same time. After the girl reached the ages in her middle thirties however, time in her life just seemed to disappear. Some invisible evil creature lurked in her shadow, drained her energy and stole those hours so that she had no recollection of where they had gone. So much time passed without things getting done, bags remained unpacked after travels to far away lands, a book manuscript was left untouched for many months, emails unanswered, plans to go to the gym deserted, business plans left waiting and blog tags unresponded.

One day, the girl decided that enough was enough and it was time to hunt down this evil beast. Hunt him down and banish him from her kingdom forever.

So here I go...

Firstly, the sweet Buttnaked Baby tagged me for seven random things...

1. I lived and travelled with a circus for a month. It was when I was in university and working on a photographic piece for my graduation exhibition. It was the most amazing time, living in a caravan. The performers were so welcoming and let me into their lives. I even went on the flying trapeze!

2. I'm allergic to fruit. Not all fruit, but a lot of it. Well, not actually allergic, but intolerant. The worst offenders are pineapple, any citrus, kiwifruit and berries. Basically, anything with a tart/tangy taste. It hit when I hit my 30s. If I drank a glass of pineapple juice, I'd stop breathing within minutes. I'm working on building my tolerance and from the beginning of this year, I've been able to re-introduce strawberries into my diet.

3. For much of my life, I've had a hatred for the colour yellow. Not a dislike, a hatred. The colour made angry. It also then bled to a dislike to colours blended with yellow, such as shades of orange and green. In the last couple of years I've come to like the latter two and now in my bid to buy neutral coloured baby clothes, I've finally accepted yellow in my life.

4. I first got engaged at the age of five. My fiance's name was Damien. He presented me with a red plastic, heart-shaped ring. I still have the ring. A few months later, he suddenly moved away when his parents separated. I never got to say goodbye. When my parents told me, I cried all night and swore I would never love again.

5. Around the same age, I had trouble deciding if I would marry Astro Boy or Kimba the White Lion (what a hussy I was!). In the end, I decided it would be Astro Boy. My Japanese friends still refer to him as my "first husband" and on my (real) husband's birthday last year, they presented him with an Astro Boy birthday cake.

6. Even though I hate violence and any conflict of any kind, I have nearly joined the Australian Defence forces twice. The first time, the Air Force as a press photographer and the second time, the Army as an English as a Second Language teacher.

7. I hate needles, pain and am not a huge fan of the gym. Yet, I married a man who is an acupuncturist, sports massage therapist (his massaged hurt! Until we moved here, he was the massage therapist for the Australian diving team) and personal trainer.

Then, the fabulous Joleo asked me some really interesting questions about blogging...

1. Why did you start your blog?

Well, I actually have two blogs, but I'll talk about this one. I initially started this blog to help support my kimono fabric store on eBay. I wanted to highlight different ways people were using the fabrics as well as give cultural information about them. The more I started to sew again, the more the blog evolved into me writing about my creative pursuits and inspirations. I much prefer the blog now.

2. How did you come up with your blog name?

It was a business name I thought of years ago and had always planned on using. It just came to me one day. I was probably in the shower, that's often when my ideas come to me.

3. Do your friends and family know about your blog? What do they think about it?

Yes, they do, though I don't think many of them read it... so I'm not so sure what they think. I know I have one friend that does and she tells me that she likes it as she can keep up a little with what's happening in my life between emails.

4. How do you write posts?

I actually am constantly writing posts in my head, but it's a matter of getting behind the computer with a bit of quiet around me to write them down. Many more posts exist in my head than on this page....

5. Have you ever had a troll or had to delete unkind comments?

Luckily, I've never had any unkind comments. I've only had to delete spam comments a couple of times.

6. Do you check your stats? Do you care how many people read your blog? If you do care, how to you increase traffic?

I have to confess, I do like checking my stats. I love seeing when the traffic is coming and from where. I'd love to say I didn't care how many people read my blog, but I do. I hope that I am writing things that people will find interesting or can connect with. I don't do so much to increase traffic, but I suppose I try to keep my writing real and that gradually over time, more people will come.

7. What kind of blogs/posts interest you?

Relating back to the last answer, I like blogs that are real. While of course upbeat, positive posts are great, life isn't always like that and I prefer blogs that reflect that from time to time. Being a visual person, one that looks great is always cool as well ;) I mostly read blogs with a creative, craft bent to them, or about other people living in Japan.

8. What do you like and dislike about blogging?

What I love about blogging is the community. I've said it a number of times, so please excuse me for repeating myself but... living in Japan, while full of inspiration, can also be quite isolating at times. I found myself seriously lacking a creative community here. With blogging, I've now found that community, one that is really supportive and friendly. It's been a great outlet for me to write and to get feedback on projects I'm working on.

As for dislike... I can't say there's anything I dislike, unless it's that I wish I had more time to devote to my blogs. One thing I find difficult though, is working out how to reply to comments. I really like to respond to comments. With blogger, you often don't have the person's email address, so can't reply directly to them. I will usually then visit the commenter's blog and comment on something there, but feel silly talking about something they wrote when it's completely off the topic to their post. I'm considering switching to Typepad for that very reason. I'd love some other peoples thoughts on this!

And finally, the very talented Moyou tagged me with some more randomness, this time in lots of four. I wasn't sure if I was supposed to use the same categories or make up my own... so it it was the latter, sorry for copying!

Four jobs I've had
Personal Assistant
Self-employed business owner (does that count as a job?)

Four movies I can watch over and over
Memoirs of a Geisha
Like Water for Chocolate
My Neighbour Totoro

Four places I have lived
Seki, Japan
Gifu, Japan
Konan, Japan

Four TV shows I love
Dr Who
Grey's Anatomy

Four places I have been on holiday
New Zealand

Four of my favourite dishes
Caesar salad with prawns and lots of anchovies
Fish and Chips
Smoked salmon and dill fettuccine with cream sauce
Any Thai dish that isn't spicy and has king prawns, basil and snow peas

Four websites I visit daily
and a random selection of people on my blogroll

Four places I would rather be now
Sapa, Vietnam
Yamba, NSW
At dinner with friends in Australia

In the spirit of randomness, I have randomly tagged some people who've left comments lately. Please choose which tag or combination that you'd like to answer.


Big Cat
Curly Pops
Leni & Rose

you're it!


flossy-p said...

Firstly, this was SO great, I laughed out loud for quite a while about your marital considerations for Kimba the White Lion! I had images of he and Astro Boy dueling for your hand in marriage.

Secondly, You ran off with the circus!!!? You're my new hero. Have you ever seen the movie "When Night is Falling"?

Thirdly, I'm so interested in your connection with Yamba. My partners family all live there, and we moved from Sydney recently to live closer to them, we're now an hour 20 from them, on the south side.

And Lastly (is that a word?), that's me! I'm tagged! Cool, thanks! I've done the 'random facts' sooo many times, and I'm pretty sure I've done the '4 things' one too, so I might opt for the blogging one. That's one I've never come across before.
Thanks again.

Jenny said...

I love reading about your thoughts and your interesting life:)

Cathy {tinniegirl} said...

Well I certainly feel like I know you a whole lot better now. That was a great post.

I was tagged for some random things lately so I might do the groups of 4. That seems interesting (and quick). Like you said, there never seems to be enough time for blogging and I always have a whole lot of posts going on in my head that I doubt will ever get written.

Thanks for tagging me.

teresa fsw said...

Wow! Those above are interesting!!! Especially you travelling with the circus! I'm sure it's a great experience! My mum and her sister worked and travelled with the circus in Malaysia when they were barely nine years old. They were really poor then so my granddad had the circus troup hired them and they had performed with them for almost five years!!!

Amy Kerr-Menz said...

You are so very sweet!!

I've finally made it back to catch up on weeks of blog land that I have missed due to a crazy schedule and assignments. I can probably only fit in some reading today...but if I'm lucky a post could be in order sometime soon! :)

I loved this post!! It's amazing how much you can learn from just a few questions. The circus!! Wow. The circus. That's incredible...I bet you're one of very few people who can claim to have done that!! x.


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