Review 2252

Whatever I Say is an oddly attracting site. Perhaps it’s title, a seemingly sarcastic spin on the “whatever you say” mantra. Perhaps it’s the subtly funny yet informative commentary on pop culture. Or maybe it’s the bright orange banner luring you in from the get-go.

Whatever I Say is a personal blog, a classification that invites moans from many. You immediatly think of the typical teenage girl blog, rambling on about he-said she-said at a pace that’s dizzying. Whatever I Say, however, has done a fine job at being a blog that’s interesting for everyone to read. The posts stem from the author’s personal life, but expand to a more general scale. Topics include the author’s battle to quit smoking, the web, dating, and music.

The author herself does not openly illicit attention to herself on the blog; one must dig a little deeper to find out information. This just makes it all the more worth it when we find out her name is Katie and that she loves the smell of fresh paper. She’s humble, and so is Whatever I Say. It’s all rather refreshing in this time of “me-me-me” blogs.

The layout is composed of a simple orange banner at the top with a vintage-y feel, proudly providing quick words of observation with every visit. (“When you ride the bus every day, you start to get to know people, whether you like it or not. I haven’t seen the crying man on the bus in a few months, though. I wonder what happened to him.”). The blog itself is easy to read, with the classic black on white combo with orange links thrown in just for kicks.

Whatever I Say is an enjoyable ride through Katie’s brain, and is much deserving of repeat visits. Whatever I Say

Review 2251

“This is your ordinary weblog,” says Agnes, 14, Canadian. In classical three-column layout, snugly crammed into scarcely enough space between two empty borders, we are taken into her life and swamped with visual and textual information.

Unless Agnes had a different journal before this one, congratulations are in order, I guess. Plunk will turn one year old on March 18th, making it (as scary as this is) one of the older weblogs on the block. That’d also make Agnes 13, when she started writing, and quite frankly, it shows. Not that Agnes’ writing is bad, on the contrary, her topics however are those of a young girl. Which isn’t bad, either. Just different.

Speaking about her scribe – whow. Guys and gals, there’s many an adult out there who could use one or two slices of her style and elegance. I find myself often annoyed by the careless approach some of the webloggers I read, take. It’s “you”, not “U”, and it’s “there” and “they’re” respectively – thanks, Agnes, you somewhat restored my faith in weblogging humanity.

Content? We got yer content right here, bub. It’s almost all original (yes, I read most of her one-year-long postings, and found myself dragged into her life more than once), and pretty entertaining at that. Did you know that Chinese sounds like nasal speaking cats eating lemons? No? You should read Plunk, then…

After one year of Agnes, I’m having a hard time criticizing her. After all, I’ve been an invisible, yet close, companion to her in temporal retrospect. But what must be done, must be done, and one of the things I really have to pass judgment on, is her choice of screen estate, Agnes, Agnes, the best part about your blog are the entries – don’t diss ’em by giving only roughly a quarter of the page vertically to them. It’s better than those darned ‘iframe’ or ‘frame in frame’ blogs I so wholeheartedly detest, but not completely perfect, yet.

Agnes, too, seems to be a very talented designer and artist; I just loved her smilie artwork and some of the other things she made. Unfortunately artistry seems to have gotten the better out of her when designing the actual weblog, though – light blue on white makes for very unreadable text, especially when the chosen typeset is as tiny as hers.

What’s the verdict, Mr. Reviewer? I loved the content and style of her postings. The pictures she posts on the rightmost column might interest those “in the know”, personally I viewed them more as something taking away screen estate – they make for a nice layout, though. Her design is artsy, yet not very practical. It’s all in the eye of the beholder here, I guess.

Will I come back? Definitely. Daily? Most likely not, but I’ll keep this weblog in the back of my head, just in case I need some quality reading time.Plunk

Review 2248

Jay’s website has a couple of names, including The Talamasca² and Random Acts of Blasphemy. The latter part of the site is Jay’s journal, which as far as I can tell is all hand-coded. Although his URL is and the title mentions blasphemy, I didn’t find much religious in the journal. He does have a couple of very well-written essays about religion, though, which are in a separate section of the site. Also at the site is the Book of Jay, his witty collection of stories, personal anecdotes, and pet peeves from his work in a call center.

Back to the journal. Jay doesn’t write very frequently, sometimes not more than a few times a month. He’s been writing since 2001, though, with a few entries from 1994 as well. The majority of his pieces are typical journal fodder: notes from the day, often about his car or his job. And despite insisting he doesn’t like LiveJournal anymore (having originally kept his journal there), Jay does continue to post a mood/music block with each entry. It’s not possible to leave comments on entries, but there’s a link to send e-mail.

Even though it’s just personal day-to-day stuff, Jay’s writing is enjoyable to read. He took his biography down back in mid-2002, but I was able to find out that his education is in computer animation and that’s been his work too. Put together, this means that Jay is great at expressing his ideas, both visually and through words.

The site’s design is black, white, and gray, which makes it feel a little gloomy. It’s still visually appealing, though. Overall, I think Jay deserves a 4.Random Acts of Blaspheme