Review 2619

I love this site. I have been reading it almost daily for a few months now. Not because of its generic, blue, movable type format. Not because it has beautiful photos or other art. But because the writer is a 21-year-old guy whose observations and stories are funny, overwhelmingly funny in some instances.

He started the blog in January 2004. He got his first comment from a reader on his second post entitled “Ongoing weather coverage.” Not a single post goes without comments now.

He has a sidebar with headings like “About Me and This Blog” and all of these entries are entertaining in themselves, including 1 Thing About Me which tells you 1. I will never make a ‘100 Things About Me’ list. That should clue you in on his dry wit. The only confusion I have on the site is also in the Sidebar with the heading “Past Blog Entries.” I think he has just randomly chosen entries here because they don’t appear to be in any order of any kind. If they are some of his favorite posts (or his readers’ favorites), perhaps he should say so.

He has both long posts (I still laugh at the post called “Are You Afraid of Birds”) and short posts with quick observations like “I think the worst day to be stabbed in the head would be Halloween.” If you can’t laugh at least once while visiting this site, well, I don’t think you have a funny bone, honestly.

I hope he does succeed in whatever comedy field he pursues. I also hope he still writes in his blog for a long, long time. I would give this site a higher score, but I don’t want him to stop trying to out-funny himself.
I think I want to be a comedian.

Review 2788

The first post I came across on this blog was entitled “All this and the beach, too.” And it made me laugh. The visual images it conjured up into my head were wonderful. So I thought I was really going to like this blog and the author (Grace) who claims to be Dr. Laura’s worst nightmare. Heck, I even liked the title of the blog and its subtitle (“Proud feminist of a belly-pierced teen diva who’s turning out just fine, thank you.”)

I wish I liked it more than I ultimately did.

The blog is only two months old and has a very plain (or clean, depends on how you like to look at it) template. Neither of these things influenced me one way or the other, however. The blog jumps right into semi-nonsensical posts that I’m guessing are notes that she and her friends wrote to each other while they were in high school (and also junior high). Notes, as in the loose-leaf paper notes you passed your friends in the hallways with crude drawings and things like ‘BFF’ adorning them. (Now teens use Instant Messaging and, well, blogging for ramblings such as this.)

It’s really hard to say why Grace feels the need to post these notes because she gives very little explanation (okay, no explanation) on why or what they mean to her life today. Or her daughter’s life. It isn’t until a post later in her blog (Passing Notes) that we have any inclination as to the note publishing. But even this post is full of insider references which leave the average reader completely and utterly confused.

The ‘About Me’ section, while humorous, is lacking in so many ways. I honestly like to know why someone takes the time to start a blog, post old high-school notes on it, and tell complete strangers about her life, family, job, political leanings, the list goes on.

I could only find one post under the category of “Modern Parenting,” and this post was about none other than Dr. Laura. I expected to find many, many more about Dr. Laura judging from the blog’s title. I didn’t.

If you’re looking for rants about Dr. Laura, this isn’t the place to go. It is the place to go if you know Grace and therefore will understand much of the things she posts—especially the cryptic notes from school. I Am Dr. Laura’s Worst Nightmare

Review 2747

Petite Anglaise. What in the world does Anglaise mean? I knew petite, but anglaise threw me for a loop. So with only the word “little” to help me on my review I began to read.

The page loaded up to a modified blogger template that didn’t really do much for me. I noticed that it looked a bit funky in both Mozilla and Safari but the site was definitely readable. The funkiness did not distract from the weblog itself so I wasn’t too out of the loop. While we are on the design, as I said it is a modified blogger template with the two columns, rounded edges and of course the little bio section.

Onto the blog itself. I found the entries to be very easy to read. All of them talk about what is going on in “petite anglaise’s” life with a focus on Mr. Frog and a Tadpole (read significant other and child). None of the entries really struck out at me as a “Wow I gotta read this site”, but after reading several posts I was hooked in.

The author’s posts at random do not really make too much sense, but as a whole they tell a story. Now I am not a female with a kid living in France and speaking two different languages, but I could relate to a lot of what the author was talking about. This is impressive considering the lack of obvious connections to begin with.

I have to say I enjoyed my time reading this site. While the design could be improved with something more custom to the author, her newness to the blogging scene gives her this freedom. Oh yeah after going crazy trying to figure out what anglaise means, I finally went to a translation tool and translated it from French to English. What does it mean? English. So the name of the site is just Little English. Well Little English you did well and while this is a late birthday present; I hope you continue your blog as you have only just begun to tell your story.petite anglaise

Review 2747

Petite Anglaise has a very nice photo of what I assume to be a Paris skyline in the header. We have arrived at another Blogspot two tone green template. Crisp clean, uncluttered.

In the title of the blog we find: “Diary of a thirty something in Paris”

And another little section at the top of the side bar that tells us: “Living and working in France since 1995 with Mr. Frog and more recently Miss Tadpole.”

These are perfect examples of how easy it can be to let your visitors know who they are about be dealing with. It’s not your life story. You don’t have to write a book or give up your privacy and it helps us get our bearings quickly. Kudos for elegant, no fuss introductions.

This blog has been in existence for only a little over two months, so I read the whole thing. What I found was a delightfully witty commentary on the quirky blending of English and French language and culture that our author experiences every day. There are entries describing absurd French phrases, zany office politics and odd habits of both cultures. I enjoyed myself immensely.

I especially recommend these entries to you. July 22 “Exersizing Restraint”, August 10 “Lost in Translation”, and August 31 “Positive Thinking”. The author has a keen sense of humor and expresses it in a concise manner that is a joy to read.

If I could ask for a made to order peek into another country’s language and culture, it would look like this blog. I had a great time. And I think you will too.

petite anglaise

Review 2721

Xiuxin is an amicable blog. Simple template (blogspot, not my favorite template source), a tidy side bar with relatively few links, no about page and posts dating from August, 2003.

The blog is titled “What a Beautiful Day!” and from the brief blog description (“You are my sunshine, my only sunshine, you make me happy when skies are gray……My dear Lord, everything’s beautiful in you!”) you realize it’s the type of blog to belong more inside a “Christian” category, than in a “Personal” one. After reading a couple of her entries, I found out my initial impression was right: God is the catalyst of her life and her blogging. I must take time out to say that I’ve read many a Christian blog and most of them are not the type of blog to appeal to non-Christian readers. Christian blogs are usually very “niched”, being of interest to those who share the faith. This blog however, I found to be different, more universally appealing.

The author’s name is Susan and she’s a mother of three. She’s married to an Australian she met in China and in her posts, her family is described as truly wonderful. Reading through her archives, I discovered some interesting facts: she was converted during the 80’s (a good account of her conversion can be found in one of her older posts), she then joined an underground church (but was turned over to the police) and she even participated in the ’89 Tiananmen movement. The post where she tells the story of how she met her husband is also good reading.

Now, all of these things would be great to read of in an “about” section, but in order to find them, I had to do some serious archive digging (not an easy task considering she has a rather large archive). So, this is definitely something Susan should work on, an “about” section to get the reader familiarized with these interesting aspects of her life.

Probably, the most important characteristic of Susan’s blog is the passion with which she writes about her relationship with God and the daily struggles and self-discovery process this implies.

Those who share her faith will undoubtedly cherish her blog. She achieves true Christian wisdom in some of her posts and in others, she is able to encourage all those who seek God out. But should the reader be non-Christian, I’m sure he/she would find many posts worth reading (if only Susan had links to get to them). It’s the nature of Susan’s topics, which makes the blog appealing to a broader audience.

I found this blog to be quite inspiring. If Susan chooses to work on such details as making some of those interesting life posts available to the reader (through links for instance) or creating an “about” section, then the blog would surely kick off. In any case, this is one Christian blog I truly enjoyed.