Entries Posted in "Blogging"

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New Lifestyle Blog
May 7, 2009

As you'll see I added a new feature to the blog. The tab at the top right hand corner of the page that reads "Lifestyle" will take you to a new sub blog I started to help manage my random love of everything fashion, style, home, food, and all that other stuff. I'll still do Fashion Faux-Pas reviews here, because those are just fun, but the Lifestyle section will be more about me highlighting my favorite things!

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Correcting the Internet
April 29, 2009

Someone sent me this cartoon a few months ago and it most perfectly describes the average evening in my home. One of the things that's been made blatantly apparent to me in my nearly three short years of marriage is how different generations view technology. While I'm not entirely fond of the labels sociologists put on generations, I think there is a lot of truth that can come from observing the era in which a person comes of age.

Technically, I am a member of Generation-Y (also known as the Millennial Generation). My husband Andre, on the other hand is from the bunch known as Generation X. On most days, this means nothing in our home. After all, we're only four years apart. When it comes to the Internet though, those four years feel like dog years some days.

Like most in his generation, Andre has embraced much of what the Internet has to offer. He does the whole social networking thing to a certain extent, but views it as a necessary evil. Though he uses Google and many of their products like Gmail, Gchat, etc., he has all these theories about being watched online and doesn't trust that Sillocon Valley behemoth as he can throw them. Having worked for Google, I'd say his concerns are incredibly valid. For Andre, the Internet is purely a means to an end. He makes money on it, runs businesses on it, gets his information and entertainment on it, and stays in touch with friends and family on it. The difference between he and I is the level of seriousness with which we embrace the Internet. For me, the Internet is a way of life. It is a very serious matter and not something to be toyed with.

I can remember learning on Mac computers as early as second or third grade. We'd be whisked away to the computer lab where we had to endure "Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing" and got to play Sim City as a treat. Yes, Sim City has been around forever. I started learning Microsoft Office in elementary school and by eighth grade we were gathering research information on the Internet and presenting our history projects via PowerPoint. I am on right on the edge of being in Generation Y, but I am truly a child of the technology revolution. I have no qualms about putting much of my personal life on the Internet or transacting on the Internet and most of my peers can be found online on all the spots I frequent. In short, I trust the Internet far more than Andre does. I also esteem it a bit higher, sometimes to fault.

Within our first year of marriage, it didn't take Andre long to realize he'd married a bit of a monster. Who was this blogging, podcasting, IMing, social networking, website managing woman he called his wife? One night he pointed out to me that he could tell when I was debating with someone on the Internet by the level of intensity in my typing. I laughed at first, but he was absolutely right. There are few things that infuriate me more than something I've read on the Internet.

Weblogs, message boards and other online communities provide the opportunity to converse with people from all walks of life, holding all types of worldviews. Nowadays most media outlets, including major news sites allow user feedback. Even social networking sites like Facebook incorporate many opportunities for you the user to tell people what you think. In short, the Internet is a bastion of personal opinion. Got an opinion? The Internet is waiting to hear it. Even better, someone is also there waiting to telling you you're wrong.

If you've surfed around enough, you've surely read some type of boneheaded commentary that warranted a response. Maybe you've even read it here! The difference between my husband and I is that when he reads something he disagrees with, he puts it low on his priority list. He thinks very little of the opinions of people on the world wide web. Me? I usually have to say something and whatever I have to say needs to be said with a great amount of urgency. The antidote to this type of behavior is quite simple: start a blog.

Posted in Blogging, Life, Marriage, Technology | Permanent Link | Comments { 1 }
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New Beginnings
April 16, 2009

Right. Where to start? When you haven't been blogging for about a year and a half, it's hard to know where to begin. I'll start by saying my how I've missed this place! There isn't a whole lot about my life that's been as consistently gratifying as writing every day (or so). Though it was abundantly clear to me that I was burned out and needed a break. When I first began this website I was around 22 years old. I am now 27. It's amazing what five years can do to a person. I look back on much of what I've written here and I don't regret it one bit. Okay maybe a little. There are a few things I read now and cringe due to sentence structure or a mindset I held that I've now changed. But more often than not, I am forever indebted to whoever created the blog because I am fairly certain that there is no way I ever would have amassed 696 essays without such a phenomenon.

When I first began blogging it was a fairly new concept. Most of my friends, family and associates weren't well versed in what a blog was. Mass media was a bit threatened by the notion and was reporting on blogging with the same lack of understanding they're currently displaying in stories about Twitter. I kind of credit myself with launching my blog before blogs became the hotness du jour. Since I've watched the concept flourish and my daily online pit stops consist of visiting blogs more often than CNN or Reuters or even the New York Times.

I've tried for some time to pinpoint the moment when blogging wasn't as fun for me. I love writing and I love expressing myself so I couldn't comprehend why I'd burned out. Then one day it hit me. For whatever reason, this blog often found its way to politics. Understandably so seeing as how one of my chief passions in life is the discussion of worldview and how it relates to the political realm. That said, I realized that I am a person whose insights, discussions and revelations flow from my every day life. Simply put, I wasn't writing about my life. If anything I was trying to be as discrete as possible thanks to one too many loon bats emailing me with off the wall missives. You know who you are. So as my life began to enhance (with love, marriage, and some more fun stuff I'll share in the future), I found it more difficult to "be my whole self" in this space I'd created.

Continue reading "New Beginnings">>>

Posted in Blogging, Life | Permanent Link | Comments { 10 }
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To Subscribers
April 3, 2009

If you're a subscriber, I apologize. I'm re-launching my blog but I have to tweak the design first so I've thrown up a couple of dummy posts to help me with formatting. Most of you probably subscribed so long ago you don't even remember what this blog was about! I trust you made a good decision by subscribing. Promise I'll be back with REAL content very very shortly! Thanks for your patience.

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Excuses Excuses
August 8, 2007

I'm back again. The summer in Seattle and about 32 weddings to attend, along with my general distaste for much of the direction of this blog kept me away. Needless to say, I'm changing up the pace a bit and incorporating more freeform writing. Should be fun. I have some fun updates too. One of them involves being on national television. More on that later.

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Hello, Internet
May 14, 2007

Where to begin? I don't expect too many to be viewing this post just yet as I haven't made the official rounds or notified those who used to frequent this site that it's back up and running. In many ways that's a very good thing as I have a bit of time to ramp up, spell check, and flex my writing, er.. typing muscles. I don't want to spend a great deal of time discussing why the year long hiatus, but I am happy to report this blog will live on.

So much has happened in my life between now and the last time I posted. Good stuff, but granted nothing I could've anticipated would keep me from one of the loves of my life for such an extended period of time. I am now 25 (a young twenty five though dangit), married and still pretty much as rebellious as ever just perhaps a bit wiser, more mature, slightly darker, and most definitely humbled. Much of the last year off has been spent planning a humdinger of a wedding (approximately 400+ attendees and if you're thinking of doing the same let me spare you the stress and just yell "DON'T!") and trying my best to adjust to a new husband (still feels weird typing that) who vehemently insists on putting ketchup on his tacos. I mean honestly, have you ever heard of such a thing?

That thing my parents used to tell me about time and how quickly it flies when you're older; it's amazing how proportionately true that statement gets over time.

The thing that utterly blows my mind is that we're coming up on another election year. Where in the WORLD did four years go? This blog really first started taking off around the 2004 election. I donned my Bush t-shirt with the rest of 'em and honestly, I don't regret for one second casting my first and second votes for George W. Bush. I don't pretend to understand the entirety of what's taken place over the last four years. To be quite honest, it kinda gives me a headache and only reaffirms my deeply held conviction that I am no political junkie and this is not exactly a political blog; it's a worldview blog. What I can say is that the political climate has very much changed. The culture has changed. Dare I even say the agenda has changed as well?

I myself am interested to see what opinions and ideas once again take shape on this here blog. I've gone back to read some of the older posts and it's somewhat like a time capsule -- equivalent to pulling platform shoes and bellbottoms out of an old dusty chest. I mean, who the heck is talking about Alan Keyes anymore? Is he even still alive? What about Bill Cosby's pound cake speech? That was so two years ago.

Needless to say, I have some catching up to do and it's hard to know where to start. One thing is for sure, when you haven't written anything in well over a year, there aren't a heck of a lot of people who still subscribe to your feed or even stop by to see if you have anything to say. It's kinda cool because it's like starting this blog all over again. That's all from me tonight. Lots more on the horizon.

Hope you'll stick around (again). I'm glad to be back.

P.S. It's 11:15 pm PST on Monday, May 14th so I still made my deadline. Ha!

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Mark Your Calendars
May 10, 2007

Blog's coming back May 14th, 2007. I swear.

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Self-Indoocement
March 27, 2006

Yesterday I sealed my fate as a certified looney toon. Just a few months shy of my one year anniversary, I officially resigned from my perfectly fine job at Google in order to make time for writing and upcoming projects. Even now as I type this, I feel nauseous at the thought. What in the world am I thinking? The answer to that I do not know, but I am excited about the prospects of what lies ahead. I'm even more excited that I can finally use Google Adsense without conflict of interest. I hope this life adjustment will affect this site for the better.

And you guys thought I was kidding when I said I was making major adjustments...

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The State of the Blog Address: wherein the author subtly thanks you for your patience thus far
March 21, 2006

It's a funny title really, considering that in the last 6+ months I've probably posted 75% less than I have in my entire 2+ years of blogging. I've been grappling with the question of why blogging isn't fun anymore. One of the problems I've never had is a lack of things to say. In fact, throughout my time of blogging, I've kept a long list of topics to be discussed. It will take an entire lifetime to accomplish such a feat here in this forum and to be quite honest, I'm not entirely sure that I'm up to the task. Don't get me wrong. Despite the evidence, I have a very clear sense of direction when it comes to this blog. What I don't seem to have as of late is a lot of time.

I find writing to be very cathartic and to not have the time to do it is mentally exhausting. Is cathart a word? Probably not, but it needs to be. In my yet to be completed (or even fully fleshed out) Nyktionary, I would have listed the word "cathart" as a verb: "I very badly need to cathart. " I think I just created a new bodily function.

All joking aside, the harsh reality for me is that if I don't make drastic changes in my life to accommodate my writing and all things attached, I am going to be an unhappy and regretful individual. Sort of like the disgruntled public transportation workers who pass by women and children. Interestingly enough, this concept is at the core of the human experience. One of the basic questions of every person's life is "why am I here?" I am so incredibly blessed to have been raised by parents who forced me to answer that question at very early age. And so my struggle in adulthood has never been a question of knowing my purpose but more the nagging accountability of a conscience that knows the truth about Ambra's passion and is counting the months that she goes by ignoring such truth.

So I guess it really comes down to passion--knowing what yours is, and strategically making arrangements so that the rest of your life can be spent pursuing that end.

In my time away from this site, I haven't really been reading much online either. As a result, I've spent the last few weeks catching up on the blogs I used to read and love every day and for the most part, I've found that many have fallen victim to what I like to call, "The Soap Opera Effect." Back in my unredeemed days of junior high school mindless activity, I justified the show's title by watching "Days of Our Lives" every day for an entire summer. I immersed myself in the ridiculous story lines and unrealistic scenarios and found myself hooked on fake characters and their propensity for amnesia. As an adult, every now and then for kicks I'll watch 3-5 minutes of "Days of Our Lives." What I find is the same characters, dealing with the same issues, same ridiculous scenarios, and same bouts of amnesia. It's as though nothing has changed.

I'm not satisfied with that. For me, it is the lack of innovation and forward movement that marks my lack of pleasure with blogging.

For many, blogging is a hobby, an outlet, a place to vent, learn new things, and be a part of a trend, a community, or a fad. For a different segment of the population however, it seems that blogging as it stands simply isn't enough. I am of that variety. I want to impact the way people think about the issues I write about. It is my belief that a personality shouldn't drive a weblog any more than it should drive a church, a Fortune 500 company or a football team. I believe that the driving pulse of anything should be the ideas and worldview it represents. Personality is far out second. The more I see the blogosphere turning into a polarized conglomerate of politically charged rationale and personality-driven marketing, the less I want to be a part of it.

In my near 2.5 years of blogging there are a few things I somewhat regret (None of the below meant with any disrespect to the other parties involved. It's me--not you):

  1. Going on Republican Radio. I know my lane; I know my sphere. That ain't it. I felt grimey for that decision.
  2. Affiliating my blog with The Conservative Brotherhood. I don't like being a part of undefined entities. Sometimes you just need to fly solo and trust that your vision will make room for you. (But I still love you Cobb)
  3. Falling in lock-step and writing about what everyone else is writing about just because it seemed the thing to do. Enough said.
  4. Giving too much credence and time to the haters. Whether you are a nobody wearing one shoe on the subway or speaking to a crowd of millions, there will always be haters.
  5. Opening up comments on posts regarding Hurricane Katrina. I often fail to exercise the basic right I have as owner of this site.
  6. Not fully taking advantage of the opportunities afforded me by maintaining this blog.
Well that's all about to change. Not being satisfied translates differently for everyone. For some of us it will mean taking a leap of faith and quitting our full-time jobs to pursue the media market with full steam. For others it will mean getting together that book proposal that publishers have been waiting to see. For some it will simply mean bringing more honesty (first) and personality (second) to our writing or establishing a greater purpose for our piece of Internet real estate. Either way, I'm sick enough of being sick and tired that I won't even make any more promises about the future of this here little blog; I'll just "let it do."

Thanks for your support and lack thereof folks. Thanks for your mean comments and nice ones. Regardless of what you think of Nykola.com, I shall go forth and make you proud.

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Comments Fixed
March 9, 2006

I got a little overzealous in fighting comment spam this morning and accidentally banned everyone. Apologies if you've attempted to comment and weren't allowed.

{BTW, Comments are closed on this post, not broken}

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Why I'm Not a Republican Parts I, II, III, IV
Reflections on the Ill-Read Society
The ROI of a Kid
The Double-Minded Haters
Hindsight
Hip-Hop in Education: Do You Wanna Revolution?
Oh parent Where Art Thou?
Requisite Monthly Rant: the State of the Nation
College Curriculum Gone Wild
Walmart Chronicles
An Open Letter to American Idol
Gonorrhea and the City

I Have a Talk Show