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Happy Blog Birthday To Me

Eleven years ago I launched a blog at misszoot.com. ACTUALLY – now that I think about it – the first domain was different. (I’m not going to tell you what because, if I remember correctly, when I ditched it…it became an adult site.) And ACTUALLY…I blogged a few months at a Typepad address before setting up my own doman. BUT! For all practical purposes…I’ve been blogging for eleven years. My blog is now starting puberty. She started shaving her legs and wearing deoderant, and now she wants to get her first bra even though she’s no where close to needing one.

It’s funny how much this place has changed in eleven years. I used to care a lot more about how many comments I got, but that was back when people actually commented on blogs. I can do a blog post now that gets read 1000 times and still has no comments. I used to post a lot more junk content…funny pictures from the internet and such. I guess that was before everyone did that on their Tumblr? I used to talk a lot about my reproductive system. A LOT. If you were around during the TTC (trying to conceive) and Habitual Aborter (that was the medical term they gave me that I loved so much because it made me sound like I was addicted to miscarriages) stages of my life, then you probably know more about my uterus than my OB/GYN.

I used to talk a lot about boob sweat because I had a 40-minute commute during the summer when I was pregnant and had no a/c in my car. Now I have no commute and the a/c won’t turn off in the front of the van. I find this “circle of life” incredibly entertaining.

I also used to talk a lot more about entertainment…television and whatnot. It’s not that I stopped watching TV, I still watch a lot of it, but I just don’t write about it as much. I’m not sure I enjoy TV like I used to. I still have my favorite shows that I watch as soon as I can, but I’m not following fan blogs on Tumblr or anything. (Two Tumblr references in one post…I’m totes cool.)

It’s funny…the two things I talk the most about now…Running and Bullet Journals…I wouldn’t have even understood in 2004. I wonder if Zoot of 2004 would have started running or using bullet journals if she had stumbled upon Zoot of 2015’s blog. Maybe the bullet journals, but not the running. I think I needed to get past some of my crippling social anxieties first, in order to brave joining running groups.

There are a lot of people who were blogging back in 2004 that are still blogging today, but the landscape is so very different. The demolition of Google Reader I think was what damaged the landscape the most. I still have never gotten back into using a feed reader. Honestly, I think the way I read blogs the most now is if people post links on Facebook and Twitter.

I’ve been doing a little bit of site maintenance lately. I changed the “Losing My Religion” tab on the menu as a page with a little bit more backstory. It used to just be a link to my “Agnostic Atheist in the South” category. But – if you’re new to this blog and you click that link – that would be a very weird hodgepodge of content. I also changed all of my “links” on this blog to remove the dates. This makes URLs much easier…BUT…that means a lot of my in-site links no longer work. I decided it was worth it in the long run. I’m hoping to change my 404 page to explain that so people can easily find the right link.

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This is my wordpress dashboard that shows my basic stats. I HAVE WRITTEN A LOT OF WORDS OVER THE YEARS. Also – it’s weird that my “Losing My Religion” page got so much traffic. How did you all know that had even been updated? I’m so confused. I just made that page a day or two ago and it’s already been seen over 1000 times? Did it show up on my RSS feeds? Why do I still not understand how my blog works after 11 years?

SO! Is there anything you’d like to see around here? Are you a new reader, is there any information you’re missing? When you were a new reader was there something you wish had been here in terms of information on my About Me page or something? Are there specific topics you enjoy? Are there topics you wish I’d cover?

I know this is like the most boring blog post in the history of blogdome, but I have to do one of these every January to mark another year rambling about boob sweat on the internet.

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Do You Like My New Pad?

(Dear people who get email notifications of my blog updates. I apologize preemptively for the excessive emails today. It will only happen today. I PROMISE.)

(Dear everyone else…there will be extra content today! Check back for more awesomeness than usual!)

After weeks of trying to solve this resource problem on my blog…I think we have it under control. First we had them up my hosting package. Then we had them up my resource limits. But this week we decided none of that was going to work and I should move to an entirely different package all together. I tried all night Monday night to get the automated system to migrate my site and it just kept failing. I called yesterday afternoon and they made some changes, optimized my giant database etc, and it STILL failed. So, they took over and decided to do it manually on their end. I got the email saying, “It’s done!” and I got ready to connect the domains only…it wasn’t done. Nothing looked right or worked on the “temp” site so I couldn’t connect the domain. I called AGAIN and I was able to point out one GLARING error that I knew was causing a lot of problems. Then, together, we spent about an hour on the phone – the GoDaddy Tech and I – trying to see what all didn’t migrate correctly. FINALLY, about 10pm last night, we declared victory and I connected my domain to the new hosting spot.

AND HERE WERE ARE!

Hopefully we will have NO MORE resource problems. And in celebration, I’m going to post SEVERAL times today. Partly because I’m just excited to be able to think about writing and not think about, “Well…do I want to waste that PRIZED MATERIAL if my blog still isn’t loading right?”

(I mean, I’ve been thinking of Pulitzer Quality content the last few weeks but I couldn’t post it because I was worried the blog would not load!)

(They give Pulitzers for articles about boob sweat, right?)

But I also just want to keep an eye on things. I have 3 posts scheduled to go live today and I may throw some random photo posts in the middle. If you are a subscriber? I AM SO SORRY. I just need to check this whole set up out and make sure it’s all working as well as it’s supposed to be!

Also…while I included the picture of my book tree yesterday, I didn’t show it to you in relation to where I work every day. IT IS AMAZING. This is my office now, which means working just got 100% more enjoyable thanks to an amazing view.

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OH! And guess what? THE DEAD BUG ISN’T HERE ANYMORE! Now, is it in the garbage? NO! But it’s closer! I swept my office to take this picture so the dead bug is now in a pile of dirt/hair ready to be swept into a dustpan.

Will that happen? WHO KNOWS!

So! New digs for the blog! Bug-Free office! Book Tree in sight! It’s going to be an amazing day!

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Balancing a Boring Blog Message With An Adorable Picture of My Child

So! I’ve been having resource issues on my blog.

(I KNOW…BORING! Bear with me.)

(Funny story: I googled “Is it ‘bear’ or ‘bare’ with me?” once and y’all? That is a REALLY popular question.)

So. Resource issues.

And it relates to REAL traffic. I’ve cleaned up my blog a lot so I’m not dealing with burdensome plugins or designs anymore. I’m keeping it SUPER simple so everything stays SUPER streamlined but it seems some of my RAM usage is simply traffic to the blog. It’s not “Make millions as a blogger!” level but we are creeping past the “minor monthly cost” territory and into the “needs to be a real budget line item” category.

And we have a tight budget, guys.

Donnie REALLY wants me to look into some sort of revenue options here. I do NOT want ads. Partly because I think they’ll stifle my creative juices and partly because I don’t think I’ll make any actual money off of them because ads pay per CLICK now, not per impression. I don’t want to do any paid content on this site either. Again – because I don’t want it to stifle my creative juices which are kinda lame as it is.

So…maybe a “tip jar” type donation button? Be honest. If something like that was in the sidebar would it completely turn you off?

Okay. For bearing with me (not BARE-ing with me)…here’s a great Wesley picture and story.

This morning he asked me to brush his hair. When I was done I told him to go look in the mirror and see if he approved. He looked in the mirror, smiled, did finger guns and said, “Oh, yeah. Wesley Man is BACK!”

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nablopomo

NaBloPoMo Is Here! And I’m ready to make it AWESOME.

Okay. Here’s the deal. I woke up feeling GREAT this morning. It has NOTHING to do with my challenge because I did cheat a tiny bit yesterday on my “no processed/artificial sweetener” thing – but I’ll write about that more later. What matters is I woke up feeling GREAT and I haven’t felt GREAT in several weeks. Do you know why I felt GREAT? Because tomorrow is November 1st. You know what November is, don’t you?

NATIONAL BLOG POSTING MONTH!

(It has been National Novel Writing month for much longer, and the challenge was to write part of your novel every day. But then Eden formerly of Fussy.org, currently of Eden M Kennedy spearheaded the same challenge, but for BLOGGERS! At least I think it was her. I’m so blog-old.)

So! The challenge is to write something to your blog every day for the entire month. NaBloPoMo is what it’s called because the Novel Writing name was NaNoWriMo. Jeezus…I’ve been blogging for a long time, Is NaNoWriMo even a thing anymore?

ANYWAY!

I have a few things I want to accomplish this month:

  • Make my Feedly so awesome I want to check it every day. I got out of the habit of using a Feed Reader when Google Reader died (I will forever hate Google for that) but I really want to get BACK in the habit of it. And I want to make sure it’s filled with bloggers who blog regularly – but not necessarily for money. I don’t mind the periodic sponsored/paid post…but I want the majority of the content to be personal. Like my friend Chelsea who blogs a lot about running, but also about life. (She should totally hire me for PR for her blog. I’ve got that description PERFECTED.) I want to fill my feed reader up with blogs like hers and clear it out of all of the old ones where A) no one posts any more or B) it’s tons of sponsored/paid/PR type posts.
  • Related Sidenote: I got a PR email from Williams-Sonoma today that referenced a post from like 2 years ago like it was recent and basically asked that I write about some specific topic to promote this thing in their community and offered me NO compensation or even exposure. Just “Write about this – send it to us – and maybe we’ll post it in our tiny community” or something similar. It was SO WEIRD. Do people say “yes” to those times of requests? Why would you? What’s in it for you?

  • Write some unique content. I feel like my blog lately is all running/bullet journal/eating my feelings. Not that I don’t LOVE writing about those things, but I would like some inspiration for some better angles to take or inspiration for stories to tell. I have a lot of DESIRE to write but sometimes, it’s become such a catharsis process, I lack inspiration for creative writing. Not that I’m going to finally start my YA Fiction (which will be AWESOME if I ever do it) – on this blog, but I would like some creative avenues to take towards personal blogging content.
  • Actually post every day. I succeeded in NaBloPoMo last year, and I was REALLY proud of that. It’s hard because Thanksgiving is thrown in at the end and it’s easy to forget those days but I want to be motivated and inspired to do it again. I WANT TO BE SUCCESSFUL, dammit. Don’t we all?

SO! Here’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to. I’m going to build a list in my Feedly of anyone who’s participating AND I’m going to send out email prompts for ideas for blogging topics that day. NOW. I’m not going to assume everyone who is participating WANTS a blogging topic prompt. I’m not doing this with any sort of fancy email service – I’m just doing it manually by collecting information with a simple form on my blog. I’m a tiny blogger who is only expecting two people to do this so I don’t feel the need to bring in any weird services or tools.

BUT. Please put in subject box “Add me to the daily prompt list” if you do want the daily emails. If you’re just sharing your website, don’t put anything. Now – I’m not making the email box required in case you don’t want the prompt list, but make sure you give it to me if you DO. The only thing “required” on this form is the “website” box because – either way you should have a website to share!

Let’s do this thing. Let’s make it AWESOME. Let’s be inspired to write and inspired to be happy and inspired to sometimes cheat on our “No processed/refined sugars/sweeteners!” challenges!

(Maybe not that last one. Just had to do a call back to the beginning to keep you intrigued about this exciting drama as it unfolds. That’s what good bloggers do, you know.)

Tomorrow is SATURDAY. It’s the First Day of NaBloPoMo – it’s going to be the HARDEST day of the WHOLE MONTH to remember. DO NOT FORGET! YOU CAN DO IT!

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Cue Panic Attack In 5, 4, 3, 2…

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So! I’m going to this local Blogger event tonight and I’m panicking because we all know I’m the Queen of all of the Social Awkward Parties. There are even two other things going on tonight that I’m missing that I totally wanted to use as an excuse but then I remembered: Me + Social Gatherings Surrounded By Strangers = Comedic Facebook Statuses!

And I’m nothing if not dedicated to documenting my foolish behavior on social networks.

(I just spilled some beans on my dress. Perfect timing!)

(Why am I wearing a dress?)

Anyway – I have to leave in like, 15 minutes, and it just occurred to me that if anyone meets me tonight and decides to visit my blog…THE MOST BORING ENTRY IN THE WORLD is the first thing they’ll see. So! I thought that – while I eat my dinner (and spill it on my dress) – I would add a better entry as the first one. And by “better” I mean – “An entry where I talk about spilling beans on my dress.”

(WHY AM I WEARING A DRESS?)

So! A note to anyone I might meet tonight…

Dear Nice Person I Met At The Rocket City Bloggers Connect Event,

First things first: I’m really sorry I said that really stupid thing. I am a mess in social situations and often compensate by trying to be funny and I always fail miserably and say really stupid things.

Secondly: Thank you for not mentioning the bean stain on my dress. I have no idea why I wore a dress.

Thirdly: This is my blog. I’ve been writing here for over 10 years. This page will tell you more about me. I used to write about my kids more but now they’re old enough to yell at me for that, I write a lot about health and running and exercise. You can read more about my journey from couch potato to runner here. I also write a lot about bullet journals, here’s a good entry here. And sometimes I write about how I like to eat my feelings, hence the entire category here.

In general, this blog is my therapist + my diary + my baby book + my evidence for insanity if anyone ever tries to have me committed. It’s a hodgepodge of miscellany and I depend on it to keep me sane. I hope I didn’t embarrass myself too bad tonight.

Thanks for stopping by,
Kim Zoot.