10

Egads!

So yeah, November’s sort of been a slog so far. For more reasons than one, but a conversation today made me miss blogging. And even if I’m not putting out the most quality content, as long as I can put out some sort of content about something or other, then I’m doing okay. Or so I think. Something along those lines.

Also, inspired to possibly start a sub-blog/companion blog to go with TSJ to detail my teaching adventures, both at the college and elementary school level…not with a That’s So title, maybe more like…oh, I don’t know…Teach Blanket Bingo? Goals Within Teach? Help, I’m Trapped in a Never-Ending Cycle of Theater Called Life as a Teacher of All Ages? Not With That Kind of Attitude You Won’t? Blog of A Selfish Individual Who Enjoys Inflicting Arts-Based Education on the Innocent? My Teaching Philosophy is Screw You All I’m Going to Do What I Want in the Classroom Because it’s Not Hurting Others? Peeing In My Pants Excited About Teaching? One of these is probably a winner. Something along those lines.

Anyway, glad you’re here and reading this because just like the United States of America, my blog-spiration has sort of hit rock bottom these past couple of weeks. I have been hearing your prayers though, so thank you for those, and I feel a post of good quality brimming at the surface.

Unless it’s just those fish tacos I ate for lunch.

Going to check up on some other blogs now, and maybe make some salad.

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14

How I’ve Changed Since Starting This Blog

It’s been a busy few days of selling jewelry, dancing, and writing my prelims, but I’m at 63 pages (including the maximum 25 pages for the one I’ve been spending most of my time working on) so it’s time to watch a little bit of the Olympics and do some blogging.

Once in a while, it’s a good idea to look back, mostly to see if someone’s chasing behind you, but sometimes just to see how far you’ve come. No special occasion, it’s not any sort of anniversary, but it was just something I was thinking about in the car today. So here are a few ways I’ve changed for the better since starting writing here.

1. Self-awareness. I definitely think that I have become more self-aware. I feel like since I have a place on the Internet where I can speak uninterrupted and unfettered, I don’t feel the need to overshare in real life. I personally don’t think I’m an oversharing type of person, but now, I don’t know, there are some times in my life where I feel weird sharing it out loud and prefer to say it in my head or to myself. Of course, there are things that I don’t share here, but those things are usually the kinds of things I don’t share anyway. And again, I’m the only one that matters when it comes to how I…come across, but I think that by and large, I’ve had more positive than negative social interactions in recent times.

2. Better behaved, in general. What I mean by this: at times I want to blog about my daily life, obviously I’m not going to blog about a time when I’ve embarrassed myself, but it’s kind of like reality television: if those moments don’t happen, then there’s no footage of it. I don’t talk about my blog on very many occasions in real life, and if I do, I just kind of say “I wrote about it in my blog…” and that’s the end of it, and obviously, there’s curation that goes on in any online presence, but painting myself as a person I’m not – ooh what just happened to Aly Raisman just now on the balance beam, I was looking down and I missed it – is a whole lot harder when there are fewer dramatic corrections to be made.

3. What’s worthwhile. The things that I want to look back on, and posts on mine that I reread, are the funny, well-thought-out ones, and not just the rambles of daily life, or oblique references to some situation the specifics of which I’ve long forgotten. Reading a depressing poem is not something I’d want future me to read,  or anyone else for that matter, or commentary on some event (whether global or just in my own life) that ends up being insignificant.

I had some other thoughts today, but of course I didn’t write them down anywhere, but if I remember them, I’ll add them. Oh, and yay to my 37,000th Revolver Maps visitor, from Jaipur, Rajasthan, India. And now, back to watching Team USA Olympic Gymnastic domination.

129

June 2016 Blog Project Postmortem

Today is July 1. Happy Canada Day, and happy June 2016 blog project postmortem day!

I always wondered how people find blogs that they like, and how the friendship chain of blogging goes. Because I am a huge nerd, I launched an experiment: follow 6 new blogs a day, every day, for June 2016. I started off with six randomly chosen blogs, and saw how far I could go in making connections and new blog friends. I kept a flow chart, or “family tree” of how I found each blog – usually clicking through commenters or the blogger’s blogroll.

I had a few self-imposed rules:

Rule #1: Only follow friends of bloggers who have replied to my comment and/or followed me back.

Rule #2: Only follow blogs that have updated within the past month. 

Rule #3: Only follow blogs that are on topics that I would conceivably enjoy reading about. I have a wide range of interests so it isn’t hard. As long as it wasn’t just photos with no words, long and lugubrious poetry, or something that I found questionable, it was OK by me.

Rule #4: Try to vary between male/female bloggers, geographical locations, interests, age of blogs, and age of bloggers. Some bloggers I followed were just starting out, others had been around for a while. I could follow 180 post-a-day mommy blogs, and nothing against mommy bloggers, but there’s only so much mom talk I can relate to.

Rule #5: Try to follow people who I’d be friends with in real life. I have friends from all walks of life, so this was not hard, but I’ve read a few blogs in the past by people who I just felt were…a little off, in a bad way, and who posted some very questionable things, in different directions.

Here are the results, and the 6 family trees. I started with:

1 – Aishwarya Sivakumar

2 – I Accidently Ate The Whole Thing

3 – Amrita Kinne

4 – Divya Deepak Rao

5 – The Analyzed Life

6 – Big and Pinky Toes

Three of the families ended up having quite a lineage, and the other three kinda flamed out, when I wasn’t getting a response from any of the “family” members, so I focused my efforts elsewhere.

The three smaller families:

Family 4: Divya Deepak Rao

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1st Generation:

I didn’t end up getting any further bites, so I kind of gave up on that one pretty early on.

Family 2: I Accidently Ate The Whole Thing

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1st Generation:

2nd Generation:

Again, not a huge measure of success with this family, although I did try.

Family 6: Big and Pinky Toes

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1st Generation:

2nd Generation:

3rd Generation:

This family kind of ended a little prematurely, but at least the tree looks cute and even.

Next, the three BIG families (which all ended up being the odd numbers):

Family 1: Aishwarya Sivakumar

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1st Generation:

2nd Generation:

3rd Generation:

4th Generation:

5th Generation:

6th Generation:

7th Generation:

This blog family tree somehow ended in a lot of blogs about runners and running.

Now, for the two biggest ones:

Family 3: Amrita Kinne

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1st Generation:

2nd Generation:

3rd Generation:

4th Generation:

5th Generation:

6th Generation:

7th Generation:

8th Generation:

9th Generation:

10th Generation:

11th Generation:

12th Generation:

This family took on a lot of different directions, including two paths that led to a series of African bloggers, oddly enough.

And finally, Family 5: The Analyzed Life AKA the Mega Family

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1st Generation:

2nd Generation:

3rd Generation:

4th Generation:

5th Generation:

6th Generation:

7th Generation:

8th Generation:

9th Generation:

10th Generation:

11th Generation:

12th Generation:

13th Generation:

I enjoyed meandering down this path the most, and ended up finding blogs about travel, cuisine, writing, education, art, and an array of different countries and cities.

If you’re in this post, say hey and find your own place in the family tree.

I hope you enjoyed reading this post as much as my other posts (and as much as I enjoyed this nerdy project), and come back and visit often, and link your friends. Another great effect was the increased traffic: I had my busiest month this year, with around 2500 visits, and am halfway to 1500 subscribers!

Now, for my next blogging experiment…it might have to wait until August or September because I have way too much work to do on my prelims.

1

Best of That’s So Jacob from Year 3

Thanks for all the good wishes, y’all! You’re the reason I write, so come and bring more friends, it’s all good. I will get back to all of your comments. Has anyone received a letter from me yet? I haven’t heard.

I thought I’d look back on some of my favorite posts from this past year, and share them with you here. Join me on this trip down memory lane.

Flip The Script Friday: Stella Kon, Emporium and Other Plays – a particularly fine post, if I do say so myself.

Weekend in the Northwoods: A great weekend full of memories which I felt I encapsulated really well.

The Terrible Hallmark Valentine’s Day Movie Generator and The Overly Dramatic Memoir Generator: So much fun to make. I would love ideas on another one.

On Playwriting: Simple name, easy-to-read post.

Post Within A Post Within A Post: Post-ception.

So, Who Has A Lady Problem They’d Like to Share?: A fun story, which someone really needs to `make into an action movie or something.

8

Can I Take A Poll?

Something I’ve been wondering recently, especially when I’m in a blogging slump such as this one where I just can’t seem to get any good ideas off and running, is, what kinds of things do YOU, readers, want to see more of?

So, here’s a poll:

What would you like to see more of here?

Leave other comments in the comments section.

And the waiting…begins.

14

My Office and A September Challenge

Tomorrow is the first day of the rest of your life.

It’s also my first day as a TA, and with being a TA comes an office, so…I have an office! A real one! With four walls, three desks (one for me, one for my office-mate, and one for a computer), a sofa, bookshelves…and a whole lot of empty space. I need to change that. Being in the digital age, I don’t have a huge amount of photographs of people (at last count: three), so I have a bunch of random celebrity pictures up (Marlene Dietrich, the Supremes, some couple dancing the Lindy Hop), and Madame X, and that’s about it. I need some more fun on my wall, so if you’re reading this and want to send me a picture or a postcard or something for my wall, just comment here with your email address and I’ll send you my snail mail address.

And…an odd-numbered month challenge!

So this September, I challenge you to find nine blogs (for the ninth month), read a post, and make a comment. That’s it! Then tell the person to comment on eight more blogs (and nine, including commenting on your blog). So, I’ve picked a random selection of bloggers, listed here, so I’m going to go your blogs and leave a comment, hoping you’ll come back and comment on one of mine!

So, keep those comments coming, and wish me luck tomorrow!

25

Wahoo! I’m 2!

It’s May 30th, 2015; today marks the 2nd blogiversary of That’s So Jacob!

Today was kind of a lazy, rainy day, so here’s a look back at some posts you may have missed this past year; they didn’t get many views at the time, but I think that they’re among my best posts.

Take a look:

3/3/15: Flip The Script: Hayavadana

2/14/15: Flip The Script: The Post Office

2/12/15: The Little Red Book of Mau Mau

1/25/15: Miss Universe 2014-ish, my semi-serious top 16

9/30/14: The Queen of Soul-ed Out?

8/21-29/14: Ronnie in Retrospect, and Part II

So, enjoy, friends!

Here’s to another great year.

I hope it won’t be the Terrible Twos.