“fish [and other adorable pets] are friends”

“Fish are friends, not food.” We remember when the indecisive shark in Finding Nemo said this, and it was a bit hard for him to live up to the deep truth he spoke. But not for us. Fish are our friends! They can be the most genial of friends, undemanding and pleasantly reserved (Communication barriers don’t have to be viewed as all that bad.).

Click if you want this one.

But they aren’t our only friends. No, there all the other adorable pets we’ve grown so fond of in our many years of pet ownership. Perhaps you are the well-seasoned “cat woman” of your neighborhood, housing a range of 10-20 animals (mostly cats) on any given day. Or maybe you’re the more well-rounded owner of a few normal pets mixed in with the occasional exotic creature like a lizard or tarantula. Or perhaps you are the less experienced, naive individual with limited pet access in your life’s history.

Wherever you fall in the pet-keeping range, perhaps you are considering getting a new pet soon? I myself must admit that I’ve given it some consideration. Lots of consideration. Okay, I admit to browsing the “Pets” page on Craigslist every few . . . days (Maybe hours, but let’s not get technical.).

Puppies. Kittens. Bunnies. Chinchillas (Really?). Ferrets. Iguanas. Who can resist browsing these pet posts and photos?

the challenge

Get a new pet. It could be one you’ve never had before, or an old favorite. Start a blog about your time with and care for this pet. Have the frequent photo opp. Pose funny pictures. Share stories and adventures.

Please tell me why this picture was a result when I searched for “turtle eating lettuce.” Someone didn’t get the memo about fish being friends.

possible blog names

  • TheDoInDog
  • MyTurtleIsFasterThanYours
  • AlfredTheHamster
  • WannaIquana

365 and 52 (project): the numbers of 2012

One year. One project. Are you in?

The official WordPress blog recently encouraged readers to “Kick Off 2012 with Project 365.” Though this project is most often associated with taking one picture each day for a year (There’s a whole site for it, 365project.org, with over 70,000 users uploading one photo from each day of their project.), the concept of a 365-day project can be adapted to fit any project you hope to work on during 2012.

Another variation of the project is a Project 52 (I’m not sure if that’s an official term, but we’ll agree on it, okay?). The idea is much the same, only you do what you do to add to your project once a week instead of every day. My friend Michael Gibbons is working on a 52-week project (Check out his Scottish spiel by following the link. End shameless promo.) in which he hopes to make one video each week of 2012. He even has a theme for each week that the video must express! (Talk about project-ready.)

Now, if you’re numerical and all, then you may have gathered that 365 days and 52 weeks are two equations both equal to one year’s time. (I really don’t make these mathematical statements to insult your intelligence, dear reader. I’m just not very mathematical and like to pretend I am every once in a while.) You would be right.

Today is January 1, 2012.

So if you’re right (365 days= 1 year and 52 weeks= 1 year) and I’m right (Today is January 1, 2012.), then I believe there’s a little more going on here than math. Yes, an idea that’s brewing like hot coffee at a corporate office. Because today is the first day of a new year, it’s the perfect time to start a Project 365 or 52. So why not?

A new year is the ultimate in late Christmas presents.

Now, you know I have to throw in a little promo for starting a blog (I’ve been promoing all over the place in this post.), but I’d like to give a list of ideas for projects, and you could do these whether or not you decide to blog about it. (Of course, I’ll be the first to subscribe to your blog if you do blog about your project.)

PROJECT IDEAS

Remember: Do/Make/Take/Write (about) one per day or week.

  • Photo
  • Video
  • Meal/Dish
  • Illustration
  • Interview
  • Song
  • Poem
  • Short story
  • Craft
  • Form of exercise
  • Restoration (car, antique, etc.)
  • Review (book, restaurant, movie, etc.
  • Page of your next book
  • Invention
  • Update on your ventures in …
  • Way to give
  • One Dress Protest or other social activism
  • Letter
  • Development of a skill 
  • Experience at a new job
  • Conversations
  • Tour (of your hometown, or the world)
  • ((Insert your creative idea here))

This isn’t an exhaustive list, because you could Project 365 or Project 52 almost anything. But if you do, start a blog about it . . .

blogging: when you hit month two, you sometimes wish you could start over

Two months, my dear readers. Two whole months have I been writing on this one blog! It’s certainly a record. (Well, I suppose it’s safe to say that since my first month was a record, then every month thereafter will be another record. But remember, it’s the small victories, right?) Think of how far I’ve come since my compulsive-blog-creator days! That isn’t to say that (honestly) every time I come up with a post idea, I don’t wish with all my heart that I could start a blog about it . . .

It’s true. Over these last two months, I’ve had so many ideas. I’ve come to see what I’m passionate about and tend to write about. When you hit month two, you sometimes wish you could start over. Maybe I would have created a photography blog instead? Or a blog about Canadian dancing (which I know nothing about, but it would have been one of those learn-as-you-go-bildungsroman type blogs, yea?). But then I remember that through you, my dear readers, I can start these blogs and more!

The world's an open field. You may rove it, run through it, or roll in it. But please, write about it.

I must once again give a big “thank you” to everyone who has peeked at, read through, commented on, spammed up, and even (what!) followed the blog. Thank you to my friends and family who encourage me and often (whether you know it or not) inspire me to write. Thank you also to the bloggers who read and share; I’m just as often inspired by you.

In celebration of this momentous occasion, I’ve decided to do a post on “how to know what you should blog about” (although I hope to come up with a more creative title for the post by the time it’s written). I’ve been throwing out ideas, and I know I’m not the only one who struggles with the question, “What do I really have to say to the world out there?” or the question, “What can I write about consistently enough to name a blog after?”

So that’s what’s coming up next. Stay tuned. Keep blogging.

portraits and how they define their subjects

Someone should start a blog about portraits and how they define their subjects . . .

I recently told some friends I’d love to just follow someone for a day and take a lot of good pictures of them that they would like. My friends say that’s called being a stalker. I defended myself, explaining that it would only be if I were commissioned. It wouldn’t be that creepy, right?

I love taking pictures of people. For me, if someone uses a picture that I took of them for their Facebook profile picture, they might as well have just made me queen of seven countries. I’m on top of the world. I like to see it when someone truly enjoys a picture I’ve taken of them.

A good portrait of a person is one that defines them, in some way. Of course, it’s impossible to define the entirety of a person by just one photograph, but the point is to capture just one image, one glimpse, one accurate portrayal of who this person is. (I liked this recent post from another blogger, entitled “Faces Tell Stories.”)

It would be cool for someone to start a blog about portraits and how they define their subjects. This would be a great blog for a portrait photographer, or just someone who (like me) enjoys taking pictures of people for fun.

So, I’ve collected some of my favorite portraits I’ve taken (of my friends and family members, and a dog):

meeting for the first time

Somebody ought to start a blog about meeting for the first time . . .

Meeting people. Being introduced. Introducing yourself. First impressions. Shaking hands.

The old cliche says, “A first impression is a lasting (or important) impression.” Maybe it’s true somehow, but I find myself forgetting most of the ways I met some of my best friends. I have a theory about this!

First impressions are sometimes all that you know about a person. If you really want to know them, however, and get to know them, then you share experiences that overwrite the first impressions. (To the grammar conscious: I realize that because my antecedent is person that my ensuing pronoun should be singular, but I really hate writing “he or she,” so I refuse to do it in informal settings. My apologies.)

Some people get a little nervous when they first meet someone.

It would be cool to see a blog that documents all the first meetings of a person, for say a year or so. It could even follow the development of relationships (Although, that might be a little creepy? What do you think?). It could give examples of good first meetings, and not-so-good ones, and tips of how to improve people-meeting skills.

Today was actually one of the most awkward introductions I’ve ever had. I’ll change names to protect the identities of all involved victims (Well, there were only two victims, and I was one of them. You already know my name, so I’ll keep my name the same.):

Me: Hey, I’m Celeste.

Woman: Charlene. (I didn’t change this name, because it’s not a real person, and thus not a victim.)

Me: (Thinking to myself) I thought her name was Melissa? (Aloud) So, your name is Charlene?

Woman: No, I’m Melissa. I thought you were Charlene?

Me: My name is Celeste.

Woman: Oh.

For me, it was some consolation that at least people are getting a little more original. I can’t tell you how many times in my life I’ve been called Chelsea. On the other hand, I had no idea how to redeem the situation. The world needs some faithful person to blog about how to handle those mysterious first-time meetings.

a blogging milestone!!

Readers, I did it! I’ve kept a blog consistently for an entire month. This truly is a blogging milestone for me!! I’m so happy that I must celebrate! I ask you to choose some way to celebrate today, too. Whether it’s shaking hands with a bear statue (See below.), chugging three cans of Coke, or running around your house screaming, “Hooray!”

If you've never shaken hands with a bear statue, then you're in for a real treat.

If you’ve read the “About” page on this blog, then you know that I am a blogger (formerly known as a compulsive blog creator) who struggles with commitment. Over the years, I’ve started maybe a dozen blogs, but always had a new idea, so I’d abandon the old ones (But don’t let me sound so noble. Many times, I just stopped writing a blog altogether.).

Well, as of today, I have kept this blog for a month, consistently. Each week, I’ve blogged at least two times. Many times, I wanted to blog more than that. As we speak, I have a whole list of future posts I hope to write. I hope you’ll stick around to read them.

Well, I have to give credit where credit is due. Some of my ideas come from interactions with you guys – my readers and friends! I would like to say a special thank you to EVERYONE who has given me positive feedback, or casually snuck in a little “I like your blog!” into our conversations. So thank you Wendy, Matt, Kathy, Grace, Marta, Lucas, and Hannah. Thank you, fellow bloggers. And, hey, I’d even like to thank all of you spammers who made spam comments on my posts (one of which was in Russian), because even that lets me know that somehow my blog is on the radar.

In conclusion, I welcome comments always. Please feel free to use the ideas presented in this blog to start your own fantastic blog! (Hmm. Starting a blog. Someone should start a blog about that . . .)

a collection of signed things

Someone should start a blog about a collection of signed things . . .

I’ve owned a few signed things in my life: a copy of The Giver signed by Lois Lowry, a copy of Holes signed by Louis Sachar, and a few other books.

But on Saturday, I acrued my first signed poster! (That’s because I got to go to the Shane and Shane concert, plus Bethany Dillon and Freely, at Monaghan Baptist in Greenville.)

Here's the poster before it was signed. That's me at the concert.

It would be cool to read a blog about someone’s collection of signed things, or more specifically signed posters. The blog could include a little info on each concert, what it was like to meet the artist, and then be filled with concert pictures and pictures of the signed things.

As for me, this is the only signed poster I have to offer photos of:

Here's the poster after it was signed. That's my hand, holding it up to the door in my room.

Anyways, it was a very cool concert, my second “big” concert. Shane and Shane were harmonious as usual, and funny. Freely was an awesome band that I’d never heard of, and now I can’t stop hitting repeat when I listen to their song “More Beautiful.” Bethany Dillon was also solid, and even shared a new song with us.