Novice No Longer

Blog Introspection Challenge

13.) What have you learned from blogging?


That’s a broad question! I could either go the technical route or the more emotional/mental route. seeing as how the latter is ever-changing and I keep relearning things I thought I already knew, I’m going to focus on the former; the more boring of the two but the easiest to tie down. 

*not* easy to tie down
easy, you say? 

One of the first things I learned from blogging is what bandwidth is and why hotlinking is not always polite. when I first started this blog I wasn’t uploading the images I use to the blog’s storage area but using the url‘s from a picture-sharing-site instead. I wasn’t sure how much storage space I had on this blog or how quickly it would fill up, so by linking to the photos instead of uploading, I didn’t need to concern myself with the storage space. I soon found that the free account I had on the picture-sharing-site gave me a monthly allotment of bandwidth though, and if I ever went over that amount then all my pics would not be viewable until the allotment reset itself for the next month. ohhh, now I understand why some people bitch about hotlinking.

fe-fi-fo-feef, I smell a bandwidth thief!
fe-fi-fo-feef, I smell a bandwidth thief!

some sites and blogs have unlimited bandwidth through their hosting company (as I do, now that I’ve switched most of my images back over here) , but others have a set amount that they can’t go over. so if I use the url from a pic on someone else’s site and post it on mine, then every time it gets viewed on my site I am eating up their bandwidth. not cool, if they have a limit or pay for their bandwidth.  it’s something that I didn’t really understand and took for granted before I started running my own blog. 


Another thing that I learned through blogging is that it’s really annoying when someone (me) inserts actions into their sentences repeatedly, like *laughs* or *blushes*. it’s fine to do sometimes but not constantly like I used to do; that’s what smileys are for! but then again, one can go overboard on the use of smileys too. be a responsible smileys user.


[“responsible” smiley doing laundry–what I should be doing right now…]


this reminds me of when I found a handy dandy list (oh shit, another Blues Clues reference!) of how to make the various smileys while browsing through the WordPress help section one day. I was so excited to finally know how others were accomplishing this! I may have made myself a little cheat sheet.

now I'm ready for any situation. bring it on!
now I’m ready for any situation. bring it on!

Recently I’ve even dabbled in HTML code to better format my posts (the Matrix is real! ) when making a post, we have the option to use the visual editor- which essentially looks the same as it will appear in the finished post, or we can use the text editor- which shows the HTML for the post. every color, image placement, font, text size, alignment, etc. is part of a command that tells the computer how to display it. I’m sure it comes as second nature once you learn the language but I only know bits and pieces, so it’s slow going. it seems to use the same part of my brain that handles math, if that tells you anything.

math= temper tantrum
Math= Temper Tantrum x Infinity

it’s all an ongoing process. there are things that I already knew before starting my own blog that I’ve learned how to do better, and there are things that I always wondered about but didn’t quite grasp. I’m constantly learning and improving what little skills I have in the techie department. it feels good to finally be able to follow computer conversations that my husband has with me, without catching flies in my mouth. and it feels great when I know something that he doesn’t!

me, basking in knowledge

note to self: do not trust Urban Dictionary to give reliable definitions


Blog Introspection Challenge

12.) How- if at all -has blogging changed your life?


It’s given me confidence, helped bring my creative side back out again, and given me the freedom to express the funny side of my personality through the image choices and captions that I use in my posts. we tend to get stuck in the labels that were given us in our childhood, and I was never the funny one. I was the contemplative one, the mediator, the do-the-right-thing girl. my mother was the cynical one, my brother the witty one, those roles were already taken so I only showed those aspects of my personality to a select few. my style leaned more towards teasing sarcasm but all my pop culture references tended to get lost on those around me.

crash and burn!
crash & burn!

fast-forward to my early adult years when I was the first to have children in my circle of friends and extended family, which meant we generally did not share the same cultural references–like my crush on Steve from the children’s television program Blues Clues

I...don't know what to do with that information.
I…don’t know what to do with that information.

The people I came into contact with everyday were generally older than me and so I felt like I needed to work my way up, skipping the wandering post college years and heading straight into upright responsibility, since I was already married and having children. it wasn’t until I hit a low point in my life and found a refuge in the lighthearted atmosphere of the Twilight fandom that I started to let myself be me, instead of what I thought everyone expected me to be. it was an ongoing process but by the time I came over to this fandom, the metamorphosis had already begun. 

more butterfly than evil incarnate but both are pretty!
more butterfly than evil incarnate, but no less pretty!

It’s scary to put yourself out there in blog posts, especially in the beginning, and definitely when you’re still a newbie in the fandom. something unexpected happened when I did: suddenly my playful nature became an asset instead of something to explain away. I had readers who shared my sense of humor and got most of my references. this gave me a certain kind of validation in my off-line life as well, to just be who I am and to like what I like. 

Dorks 'R Us
Dorks ‘R Us

I brought the humor out into my everyday interactions more, instead of just saving it for home, and found that it builds bridges in ways I never imagined it could. You did that for me. every time you laughed along with me. every time you encouraged my uniqueness. every time you acknowledged that I had a voice. you made me real. and it has changed my life for the better.

once you are real you can’t become unreal again.

it lasts for always.


A Feel Good Place

Blog Introspection Challenge

11.) Your favorite aspect of blogging

When I see others enjoy, or benefit from, something that I made. while I primarily blog for me, as in the topics that I choose or what I say, it wouldn’t be nearly (if at all) as fun or meaningful without all of you. 

friends don't let friends fangirl alone
friends don’t let friends fangirl alone

As a commenter, I often feel a sense of relief when a blog post opens the door to talk about things that I have been pondering. as a blogger, I hope I can provide an atmosphere where others are able to do the same. the tone of this blog is generally light, but maybe things won’t seem as scary to discuss because of that– like we’re just throwing around ideas, instead of solving weighty matters. 

throwing ideas
weighty matter: how to discipline your child when he breaks your mother’s fine china

As different as we all are, we come together in our enjoyment of the characters that Richard portrays. some of them we relate to, bond with, while others leave us scratching our heads. the ones I see myself in may be the ones you can’t wrap your head around. in sharing our simple likes and dislikes we’re often hearing the other side without realizing it, considering things we may have never given much thought to before. comment threads that start out admiring the eyes, debating clothing choices, questioning story arcs etc. can transform into sharing personal struggles regarding failed relationships, body image issues, career changes, and any number of things that we wouldn’t normally offer up for discussion. 

all Mullets are not created equal
all Mullets are not created equal

I think the majority of the time we’re just having a laugh or a smile together, which can help free us from the stress that weighs us down on a daily basis. so when I see others say that they like coming to this blog because it’s a friendly place or that they look forward to my posts because they make them laugh and that makes them feel good, I’m like the Grinch whose heart grew 3 sizes, giving him the strength of 10 Grinches plus two! 

that sounds suspiciously like Math
that sounds suspiciously like Math…

The Facts of Life

Blog Introspection Challenge

10.) What do you find most difficult/challenging about blogging?

Well, I could say it’s finding topics to blog about, or finding the right gifs/captions to use, or learning techie things to better format posts, and all of that would be true. but what I find most challenging about blogging, is operating within the confines of a community. I feel shitty for saying that, but it’s true. 

excuse me while I crawl under this bench...
excuse me, while I crawl under this bench


I get along well with individuals or small groups of individuals but large groups become more difficult. in my off-line life it’s the crowd aspect that bothers me, too many bodies within one space with too much stimulation all at once (noise, touch, smell, sight,etc.). 

letting others go first is not me being polite, it's me guarding my personal space
letting others go first is not me being polite, it’s me guarding my personal space


online it’s similar somewhat in regards to stimulation but more that it’s harder for me to compartmentalize a large group, to place people into categories. I do this, subconsciously, so that I’m better prepared to deal with any given situation/conversation. I can better control my reactions to “stimuli” if I know what I’m going into beforehand. 

wait, that wasn't in the script...
that wasn’t in the script…

I generally have certain expectations about the fandom and it’s members, even though I’ve only actually interacted with a small portion of them and so when they don’t act according to how I expect them to act, it throws me off my axis. this causes me to pessimistically think the fandom as a whole feels the same way about certain issues, thinks the same way, i.e. the opposite from me. in individuals or small groups I relish the differences, I’m able to appreciate and learn from them, but in a large group the differences make me feel like I don’t belong or am in the wrong place. it’s a constant push and pull inside my head. 

come closer...that's close enough
come closer…that’s close enough


all of this makes me wary of “community”, how much of myself can I safely put out there around the fandom? how wise is it to let myself get involved with joint efforts, movements, continuing conversations and debates across various platforms, etc. I’ve come to these conclusions through much trial and error. this is why I say I’m pulling back but then I show up all over the place. I say I’m leaving the Army but then I organize a community project. I say I’m going to keep quiet but then I talk rather loudly. I know I contradict myself, it’s a trait of mine that I will freely admit to!


just know that it’s not you, it’s me. if you see me out there mingling and then I suddenly go quiet and never leave my blog for ages it’s just me destressing from too much stimulation. I might venture out again soon or I might not, there’s really no rhyme or reason to it most of the time. I don’t like crowds but I do like people, it’s just a fact of life.

When the world never seems 
to be livin up to your dreams 
And suddenly you’re finding out 
the facts of life are all about you.

On Second Thought

Blog Introspection Challenge

9.) Which post do you regret writing?

“Words”, because it’s stupid! It’s in line with the type of thing that I would send to those who have known me forever and are used to my dorky ways. I’m not sure some of my readers were ready for that yet.



Sometimes I will send e-mails where I only communicate with song lyrics, or I make everything rhyme. one time I sent my pen-pal a ransom note, complete with text cut from magazines, requesting payment in chocolate if he ever wanted to hear from me again. I’ve sent fake telegrams, memos, and corresponded through fake personal assistants–like Richard’s “Spooksperson”. 

MTB. I keep telling you...
MTB. I keep telling you.


so when I was experiencing writing block and feeling dissatisfied with the atmosphere around me, I reverted back to that way of communicating-without-really-saying-anything, including annoyingly long children’s song lyrics (with random words of my own thrown in) because I felt like I had to post something. I really just wanted to post gifs of Harry. next time I’ll try to listen to that first instinct. well, maybe not the first instinct; safer to stick with the second.



⭐ if you haven’t read Richard’s interview with Cybersmile yet, go dew it! it’s very much in line with my way of thinking and a welcome reminder of why I continue to admire this man.