Monday, October 3, 2011

Are You There Blog? It's Me, Ally.

Hello little blog. Hello little corner of the internet that I created, over a year ago. Hello little corner that I have been ignoring. Hello little website that I haven't written in for months. And my, what a difference a couple of months can make! How DATED does Blogger look right now? Do you think that if I moved this little blog over to Wordpress I would be tempted to update more often? Perhaps, if I 'blogged' (and I use that term loosely) at Wordpress I would become the kind of blogger who organises some kind of reader giveaway on the birthday of her blog, instead of forgetting such an important date while being too busy with wintery/windy/woebegone activities like illegally watching MasterChef Australia and trying to determine, once and for all, how much butter can physically be absorbed into a potato. (Answer: heaps.)

I'm sorry, blog. I don't really know what's up with me at the moment? I've been feeling weird about you and about our relationship and to be honest, weird about myself in general. And I'm sorry, but I think I'm about to be self-indulgent for a bit. I can't imagine my self-centred-ness will come as a surprise to you, because really, only somebody with some kind of narcissistic personality would feel comfortable sharing as much about their sex life on the internet as I do. (Sex life, in case you're wondering, is just fine. Fine as in had sex this morning. And yesterday.) I guess I started feeling tired and burnt out from arguing on the internet. And like I had less and less energy for being called a moo cow on heat and having to deal with moderating comments like these:


I felt tired at how vehement people on the internet were about defending their right to make rape jokes and I felt tired of being c-o-n-s-u-m-e-d by arguing on the internet, that mixture of adrenaline and urgency and dread every time you click 'refresh'. I've been tired in real life because I moved house and got to do all of this new stuff at work and then I did a little bit of acting in a play for my friend Freya and STUFF and THINGS and EXCUSES. I felt tired and I stopped writing. Now I think I feel less tired, especially now that the sun has come out, but I'm still not writing. (Actually, I am right now, as you can see, but at the moment nothing is stopping me from sending this blog post to live with all of the other blog posts Who Never Made It. Perhaps one day they will all visit me in a dream like that time on Six Feet Under when Nate meets the ghosts of all of his aborted children?)

Another thing. I don't know if you've noticed but I tend to think about things quite a lot. Heaps. Maybe even too much. During the time of Not Blogging I thought a lot about the name of this blog. I Am Offended Because. I Am Offended Because. What does it mean, this setting myself up as someone who is permanently offended? At some stage, during the Not Blogging and the Over Thinking and the Potato Buttering and the I-Should-Maybe-Be-On-Some-Kind-Of-Anxiety-Medication I read some articles about positive thinking and the powers of attraction and I became paralysed with fear that by being offended all the time I was setting myself up for a miserable life. And then I thought how it is a privlege to even entertain the idea of the powers of positive thinking. I told you I was serious about the over thinking thing. There is a reason that my red haired, balsamic vinager loving friend Scarlett sends me emails that say:

"You have a tendency to over think, and you talk yourself out of things. Time to DO. Time to BE."

Right now I'm thinking about whether it is 'overthinking' or 'over-thinking' or 'over thinking'. I guess if I can over think the word itself I can probably over think this blog. This thing on the internet that I made and that belongs to me. And trust, I've over thought this blog until every fucking cow has well and truly come home. I've been feeling weird about the waxing and waning popularity of this website and I've been feeling weird about the more-people-than-I-can-count-on-four-hands (yours-and-mine) who deleted me off Facebook when I started writing this, out of fear of my inane little screen caps and I've been thinking about how stupid it is to measure your friendships through social media in the first place. I've been thinking about the people who have deleted me who now want to talk to me about politics at dinner parties, and how confused that makes me feel. I've been thinking about the people who I definitely hurt by screen capping them in the first place and I've been thinking about whether that's even a productive form of activism. (Is it? Is it not? I don't know.) I've been thinking about how I don't really have any authority on anything, let alone on being offended, when I know I can be just as ignorant and hurtful as the next white cis-lady with a place on the internet that she made. I've been thinking about that stinging feeling of ownership, the feeling that rears its ugly-feeling-head when I introduce a friend to a concept like fat acceptance which they reject and then go on to preach at a later date, with no mention of our initial conversations. I've been thinking about the bitter self-importance of associating any kind of ownership whatsoever with concepts that are tied to equality and kindness and human decency. I've been thinking that this blog wouldn't even exist in the first place if my friends Sarah and Meg hadn't introduced me to Definatalie and Kate Harding and Fashion Hayley while we were sitting at Sweet Mother's Kitchen. I've been thinking and I've been thinking and I've been thinking. And I don't have any answers. Apart from the fact that these thoughts feel less ugly and less absorbing now that I'm writing then down.

So there it is, little blog. The anxiety and the arrogance that has kept me away. But look, even though I haven't been writing very much on the internet, I've actually been doing quite a lot of reading. Bloggy mine, I thought that I could maybe leave you with a few links? Of all of things that I have been reading on the internet? Because I kind of had this idea that maybe by the time you finish reading them, maybe, just maybe I might feel like writing something again? You never know right?

And lawdee, do I have links for you. What kind of links do you want? Do you want travel blog links? Because at the moment Sophie is writing possibly the best travel blog ever. And my old friend Natalie is eating her way through Asia. And my friend Erin made the cutest travel Tumblr while she was away, at my insistence.

Or maybe you want nice things to look at/potentially buy? I can maybe help you there. How about this ring that looks like salad? How about Nadia Aboulhosn, who might be the sexiest woman on the planet? If hot women wearing clothes are your thing then you should look at Amelia and Bronny and Gabi. Maybe a gif of a cat rapidly changing outfits might be more your style. And you should most definitely look at these pictures of Jessica and Erin because these pictures are so sexy that they make my eyes fall out of my head. I like looking at Fashion Hayley's apartment and teranium while imagining that one day I might be organised enough to keep an apartment tidy/keep a plant alive. I also die a little bit for Jamie Lee's nails and Nicolette Mason's jacket and skirt and these sequinned slippers. Speaking of those slippers, my gawd there are a lot of things on the internet that I want to buy. Like this and this and this and this and this every single little thing that Gisella designs.

Or are you here to do some serious reading? You probably are if you like reading my long form (read: long winded) writing. And I have read so many good articles since the last time I blogged in April. There are some articles that I'm never going to forget, like Mac McCLelland's piece at GOOD or this piece at Daddy Dialectic. I discovered Martha Polk's writing, most notably this at the Hairpin, and her review of Black Swan which describes ONE HUNDRED PERCENT of my feelings about Black Swan, much more eloquently than I could. I've read a lot of great things at the Hairpin actually, like this and this and this. Some of my friends have written great things as well, like this piece on sex work and Coley's take on the Rugby World Cup. I loved what Blue Milk had to say about Madison Young's exhibition and surely everyone by now has read Roseanne Barr's article, which was everywhere a couple of months ago, but it still gives me goosebumps. I love this piece on productivity. I love Susannah Breslin's letter projects, Letters from Johns and Letters From Working Girls. I love Tavi's new website Rookie, especially her piece Getting Over Girl Hate and this bit of writing called Hands Off by Miranda July. I like this Paris Review piece by Emma Straub. I like what Glitter Politic have to say about activism. I think Kat George is funny. This is smart and thoughtful. I love that Sady Doyle gave me even more to think about, in terms of feminism and blogging. I agree with this and with this, at the same time. Do you want to do some long form reading that will shatter your heart into little tiny pieces and then put it back together, in a comforting and inspiring way? Then there is nothing better than Dear Sugar on the Rumpus. I am yet to find a column that does not make me weep. Try this and this and this.

Maybe you want links to some kind of creative project? If you do, you should go and paint your nails like this. Or like this. Or take some inspiration from Leah. If you're feeling ambitious you could cover your floor in glitter. Is cooking creative? Because I recommend both of these recipes from Smitten Kitchen, which I made over winter and made me think I was the best cook in Wellington. Do you live alone? Then Jane has cooking tips for you. Or you could get some strongly worded recipe ideas from here.

Do you want some new people to follow on Twitter? Because you should follow my friend Di, who has the smartest Twitter in town. You could even follow my Twitter, which is less smart and features approximately double the number of food related tweets. Or you just read this article about cats tweeting, which probably usurps all of the good people that I follow on Twitter, even Josie and Laura.

There's also just some stuff that I downright love on the internet. Like, I love ANY video that features Louis CK. I love This American Life, but I love this episode the most. And any blog that combines nail art and burgers is basically my dream. One day, I'm going to eat an ice-cream from here. And I'm probably never going to drink this, but that's okay. And Scarlett, the friend that I mentioned up there, writes things sometimes that are just so clever. And Definatalie draws things that are just amazing. I love Nancy Upton's American Apparel protest Tumblr and I love her xoJane interview. I love it when my friend Freya raps, topless. I love these horoscopes and I love the nineties and I love this Tumblr and I love this dad and I love how much this wikipedia entry gives me the creeps. I love this cat. I love these guys. And maybe, more than anything, I love this video and I don't even think it's because I may have been under the influence of some kind of green substance when I first watched it. A green substance that wasn't spirulina, WINK WINK NUDGE NUDGE.

There are even little bits of me in other places on the internet. You could read my Tumblr, if 'read' is synonymous with scrolling through pictures of scantily clad chubby girls and gifs of desserts melting. You could even go and read some of things I've been writing for Salient. People especially seemed to like it when I got a bit gooey over my girlfriend. If all else fails, and if none of these thinks appeal to you, then maybe you just want to watch me dance. This is the rhythm of my life. My life. Oh yeah.


  1. OMG how cute is that dancing!? Also. I hear you.

  2. That is A LOT of links. I would click them all but my browser might explode. Maybe I will bookmark this post and come back and click them one at a time...
    BTW I like the dance, lol. :)

  3. Dear Ally,

    It is DEFINITELY over-thinking! (I didn't even have to think about it. heh.)
    And don't think that over-thinking is ever a waste of time. Over-thinking is simply thinking in-depth (another one!) about things, and the world needs more people who do. Who stop and go "oh... hang on a sec..." and then get loud about it.

    I didn't even know "fat positivity" and, I guess, feminism, existed before I read your blog (initially cos I thought it was funny, and then cos it really made me think). And now I have so many contradictory opinions in my head about so many things I took for granted before.
    So, thanks for over-thinking on the internet, so I can read it and lol a little, and think a little more.

    And don't worry, winters suck. In Dunedin you know it is summer when everyone pulls their sofas onto the street (to sit on!), start walking places for fun, not because they don't have a car to avoid to rain in, and people start talking to each other again. It is a happy time. Everything is better when the sun's out.

    (oooo espesh in Wellington when you can have picnics in central park and there is THE COOLEST new playground ever with massive flying foxes omigosh I love playgrounds. And ducks right!)

    Ya so. Keep it keeping real:)

    A fan of offendedness.

    PS did you do hot yoga. It is awful aye. Spewed in my hand. Shit you not.

  4. aw, I thought you were just too busy writing for Salient and dealing with their guff to worry about a blog as well.

    I'm happy to see you back. Maybe I should go update my blog too. >.>

    P.S. love the dancing. Makes me want to go look up that song by Haddaway and have a boogie myself. :p

  5. I am so happy to see you and your incredible eyelashes and your amazing pants and your brilliant brain back on the internet. X

  6. I agree with and nod thoughtfully at many things written here, but absolutely hear you on overthinking, overthinking about one's blog till cows return to their abode, and attempting to saturate each molecule of potato with butter, having participated in all these things this year.

    Happy to read you over here again (and I love long form, well when it's good of course, which this is) although I have been enjoying your Salient columns. And now...going to open up a million new tabs.

  7. Thanks for the link! I love so many things about your blog and would love to return the linking favour on ours - but I fear the wrath of all the grandmothers who read it.
    Regardless, I'm so happy that you're back blogging again and sharing all the other awesome links. I hope it continues and am so flattered to be one of your favourite travel blogs. (from Sophie). xx

  8. Thank you everyone for your lovely comments. It means heaps.

    Me and Leez - I love getting comments like that! It makes me wanna keep writing. Also, I haven't tried hot yoga yet - I am just doing normal yoga for fear of public vomiting and the like. You're a braver human than !

    Sophie - Grandmothers are to be feared! You genuinely ARE one of my favourite travel blogs, I love reading what you're up to and looking at your lovely photos. I'm so jealous. I am maybe looking at being in Europe June/July next year so we must have an Italian beverage together!