Review 2679

I didn’t know I arrived at the right site to review when I selected Strange and Beautiful. There isn’t a site banner and the URL is ‘’, maybe the site should be named ‘lost-together’? The site functions well however in its cramped two column layout. The menus are all drop down menus so everything is easy to access.

Things became clear after reading the archive. The site is named after ‘Lost Together’ by Blue Rodeo, which starts ‘strange and beautiful are the stars tonight that dance around your head’. Great song! Then the author admits to a lack of web coding savvy… so the blandness of the site is understandable. I would still like to see a site banner and an about page. It is hard to enjoy a blog when you don’t know who is writing.

The namless author (entries are signed as Lost Together) works at a Call centre, in spite of an admitted fear of the telephone. She reflects in one entry how ironic that is. Indeed! At the start of the blog she was working the night shift and longed to get out during the day. You can learn a lot about this author from her blog, her interests, passions, things she likes, dislikes and what annoys her. The topics covered in entries are as diverse as I’ve seen. From wondering how women can pee standing up to reflections on a translation of Plato’s Republic. I couldn’t make that up if I tried.

She also talks about her job, to quote, ‘I hate my job. I hate my job. I hate my job!’ which gets upgraded to ‘I hate my fucking job’ a few months later. She later says, ‘ For a company who prides itself on providing great customer service you would think they would know a thing or two on how to treat people nicely, and with respect. If I had a dollar for every blog I read that mentioned how inept management was, and how poorly most companies treat their staff I would be rich. Clearly there is a lot of truth to it, which I have never understood. Let’s hire staff, train staff then treat them poorly so they will want to leave…I think the author is on to something. Family is also mentioned, ‘My whole life growing up I haven’t heard my father say anything overly positive about any of us kids’. Clearly sentiments reflected by many bloggers, sometimes family isn’t as supportive as it could or *should* be.

This blog was great to read. It made me feel like everything was ok with the world. That someone else has crappy days, hates their job and wonders about their relationship with various members of their family, their friends and their significant others. There is comfort in reading you aren’t alone in what you are feeling. Now the blog title ‘lost together’ makes a lot of sense. One of my favourite lines: ‘ I can train my dog how to rollover in an hour, but I can’t teach a human how to go to

Don’t let the uninspiring appearance of Strange and Beautiful deter you from checking it out. Reading it reminds you that in this big world, in some way we are all lost together.
Strange and Beautiful

Review 2718

Two words. Blogspot Textads. Ok, I have made my point. On with the rest of the review. My first impressions of the site were good – fairly simple design, but minimalism has never been a bad thing in the world of blog templates and probably never will be. Less is more and all that. The author had a blogger profile to look at which was somewhat uninformative – name, geographical location and one-word lists of music and interests. But hey-ho, better than nothing I guess. Incidentally, she is American and erm… a she. Pretty much all you need to know to enjoy the blog. All the archives were on the main page (about three months worth) which seemed a little extreme, especially as her archive links actually seemed to be working well. Again, pretty titlebars aren’t essential to get a good review, but I don’t think they can ever do any harm. Three words. Free Blogger Templates.

Ok, so the blog isn’t the best looking blog. But the writing. Hey. Well. Groovy. I liked the writing very much. The first entry made me laugh. And the second. In fact all of them really. All the entries were the of the usual personal fair – childhood stories, what I did with my weekend, family stuff, job hunting stuff and um… tap dancing too! The entries are quite long, but my God, they are so much fun to read. The author seems to have tapped in to an effortless kind of writing which is just MADE for blogging – funny, interesting, self effacing. No spelling mistakes I could find, good grammar, some long and interesting words used. This girl can write. The only question is, why has she only been blogging since June? A natural if ever I saw one.

Ok, so this isn’t a life changing blog, I didn’t come away from here a better person and I didn’t learn anything particularly helpful. But I did come a way with a smile on my face and I did come away having had some fun, which is perhaps more important. Highly recommended – I hope this blog goes on for some time to jen run

Review 2718

Jen describes herself as hanging around literary and artistic folk so as not to be too corporate. She is not a writer and began to worry that her post topics were wearing thin.

She may have majored in Marketing alright, but her writing seems certainly fine to me.

Jen only recently began her blog, in June of 2004. She’s comfortable revealing every-day details about her life such as her cats, her family get-togethers, her addiction to infomercials, her unemployment and the interviews she’s had to face, her fear of getting a roommate, and occasionally, a story or two about her past. It all makes for fun reading.

Jen’s strength lies in her ability to post her musings on a variety of day-to-day topics while not boring the reader. I also admire the fact that her posts are never incomprehensible one-liners, on the contrary they read as though they were well thought out.

The only complaint I could have is the Blogspot template. I’m not going to complain about Blogspot itself, as it is my home as well, but I will say this, with a little knowledge of html you can do miracles and make your blog so much more appealing. Blogger standard templates usually reveal nothing of the author in visual terms. The blogger profile is loathsome, as it offers little or no information on the user and the effect you create is similar to that of a cyber-communist utopia: “Our blogs are all alike, there must be no differences among the blogletariat.” The Blogger comment option is also a headache to use and even read.

Run Jen Run could use a little make-over and more background information on the author. The kind you get on first glance, such as an “About” link. Most every interesting detail you know about Jen comes from reading each and every one of her posts.

Summing up, this blog has very, very good possibilities. If only the template could do the blog justice, then it would surely kick off.
run jen run

Review 2580

This site looks very fun. I love how everything pulls together. It looks girly in pink but a little more sophisticated with the martini glasses and shoes. The colors themselves I think are great. I wanted to see what was in store.

The author, Kelly, seems very smart, but doesn’t fill her blog with things that would go right over one’s head. Due to her age, many of the posts are about school. I was able to relate to many things that she was saying. I even copied and pasted stuff that I thought was cool, like the posting of what Earth would be like if it was scaled down to 100 people (check out February). There is a few rants and rarely a boring post. A lot of the posts are about relationships, whether it be with friends, relatives, or boyfriends. Although sometimes the posts had a serious side to them I could almost never see what Kelly was thinking or feeling – it was more of a storyline.

I can only see the design as it is right now but there are several posts about the design changing. I have a feeling that designs change often with Kelly. However, I do really enjoy the current view. There really is a theme going on. As I said before, the design was fun.

This blog, although not required, has an about section. It does give highlights to what Kelly is all about, but even with her postings, I still don’t know the real Kelly. This isn’t exactly a requirement, but helps to understand things a little easier.

I really enjoyed reading Kelly’s blog. There were a lot of interesting posts about college life. I would recommend this blog to anyone in the 17-23 age category.Stumbling Upon Serendipity

Review 2655

When you open “I Am What I Am”, you find a layout that matches the title. It’s not overly fancy. It’s not super technical. It’s not anything hugely special. It just is what it is. I expected a site that took the form of whatever it was and gave little credit to what others thought or expected. It appears to be written by someone who is a self-proclaimed “bytch”, which could go one of two ways. Either this author is pushy, irate, and irrational, or she’s someone who appears to be a “bytch” because she does what she wants to do and expresses what she wishes without taking into account what others may think or feel regarding her life. Obviously, I’m hoping for the latter here.

I started out with the “About Me” page, which I must say I was severely disappointed with. I wanted to know who the person behind the blog is, not what she reads, her favorite hobbies, or what her taste is in relation to the arts. I want to know the basics. I want a glimpse into the person who’s inner most thoughts I’m reading. I want to know what type of person I’m reading about and who they are at the base of their being. I want information to tell me whether I have anything in common with this person or not. I want information, not a basic run down of what she likes in areas that don’t really tell me anything about what type of person she is. She gets an “F” for her “About Me” section. Let’s hope it gets better once I start reading.

I do enjoy the numerous links in her postings. It gives the reader brief look into the fellow bloggers in her life and the places she’s been. Whether it’s her fiance or a bar the author has visited, it fills the reader in with someone deeper than the author’s words. The graphics also give the site a nice look and break up the monotony of the writing. And I do mean monotony. Although he first few minutes I spent on this site were interesting, it was only due to the fact that I am far, far away from NYC and it was interesting to read about the hot spots, recommended bars, the social scene, and things of that nature. But the blog turned into a basic rundown of “where I went and what I did” without too much to really dig into or enjoy.

The author has SO much going on in her life that I want to know about!! She just started a new job, she’s working on an independent film, and she’s getting married! I had to dig a month into the blog to discover this knowledge! Girl, you need to blog about this stuff! This is what readers from all over can connect with you on. Throw in the NYC stuff to give them a taste of what they don’t have if they live somewhere outside of NYC, but I really think you need to change the focus of your blog. I want to know more about who you are, as opposed to where you go and what you do. For instance, I’m assuming that the “E” you mention and link to is your fiance, but it took me forever to find something that confirmed this assumption.

The weblog is well written and easy to understand, it’s just not all that interesting if you read blogs to get a glimpse inside an actual person. This is more about what there is to do and where there is to go. Interesting if you live in New York or are planning on taking a trip there. Since neither of these apply to a southern gal, I wasn’t all that impressed. The author doesn’t go into who she is and barely scratches the surface of what she thinks about regarding the links she posts.

The general design is eye appealing. It’s not overdone and is quite simplistic, which allows the reader to focus on the content of the entry. However, the site is overdone with a three column layout and it’s difficult to locate the archives in order to maneuver through them. One would expect to find the archives directly under the calendar for the current months entries, but you have to wade your way through the recent comments and the categories before you find the link you need. This site has all the information you could ever need regarding this woman and her life, but it’s tiring to wade through it all to find what you’re looking for. The design works, but it could also use some work.

Maybe I’m being too hard on this site, but it just doesn’t have anything that makes it stick out. There are no touching love stories regarding her and her fiance, there is little written about her family, you don’t really know where she comes from, where she’s been, or what life has dealt her. The author didn’t give me any inclination as to why she refers to herself as a “bytch” and she fails to fit either of my definitions in the first paragraph of this review. I see little more than a nice New Yorker who retells the events of her travels in the great city.

This is more a collection of links for those who are (or will be in) New York. I find it odd that a site entitled “I Am What I Am” fails to tell the reader who she is. She is a clear and understandable writer, she just fails to write anything really interesting. Don’t’ get me wrong, some of her links are interesting to read, but they don’t have little to do with the reader as a person. There are so many things going on in her life that people would love to read about, but she barely touches on them.

I want to know about the wedding. I want to know about the movie they’re making. I want to know about her relationship with her fiance, her friends, her life events, and what she thinks and feels regarding where her life has taken her and where she feels it’s leading her. I want to know more about the author and less about the area she lives in. This blog has promise, but the author would have to take it in a completely different direction. She would have to focus inward, as opposed to outward. Otherwise, she may as well retitle her site “NYC”.

i am what i am