I was intrigued when I saw the title of this journal. “Humorous Blips From A Backpack”? Would it be the day-to-day dramas of student life? A travelogue? As it turns out, Humorous Blips is a bit of both.
The author is Beaner, a young singer, student, writer, and world traveler. In the past year, she embarked on a year long backpacking jaunt across Europe. At least, that’s what I could glean from the parts of the journal that were accessible.
After reading Beaner’s ‘About’ page, I headed for the archives. There are links to archives stretching back to April of this year. Unfortunately, all of the archives prior to August lead to a BlogSpot error page. This meant that I only had a month of posts to review, hardly enough to get a sense of who Beaner is or what she is trying to communicate with her journal. As if that weren’t bad enough, on the pages I could read, some of the archive links would disappear. I was forced to go back to the home page and access the next month of posts from there.
I wish the archives had been working. Not only would it have garnered her a better review, I was also interested in reading the full account of her time in Europe. As it is, there are only a few weeks of posts detailing a pilgrimage in Poland, some adventures in Latvia and Lithuania, and her voyage home. After her arrival back in the U.S.A. (Las Vegas, to be exact), there are a few days’ worth of posts detailing her return to school and struggle to find a job.
Although many of her entries are detailed and funny, there seem to be a lot of gaps in her stories. I realize it must be difficult to update a website when you’re backpacking through a foreign country, but it’s frustrating for the reader to begin a tale and then be denied the ending. Some of the entries written after her arrival back in the States suffer from the same gaps. There’s nothing wrong with a journal that’s sporadically updated, as long as the entries flow together and don’t confuse the reader.
The color scheme of the site is taken from a painting featured on the front page of the journal, one of Degas’ beautiful dancers. The reds, yellows, and white work well together, although it is a little harsh. The design is simple and easy to read, but not the most attractive I’ve seen.
I wish I could score Beaner’s journal higher, but the lack of complete archives and unwieldy navigation prevent me from doing so. Her writing is lively, and the subject matter is fantastic (indeed, I wish I could have read more about her adventures in Europe). If she gets the problems with her archives under control, she would have a travelogue worth visiting.