Saturday, July 29, 2006

Birthday interview

My interview with Stuart Ian Burns, creator of feeling listless, is posted over at the site. The site has been a favorite of mine since I had the good fortune to come across it on Blogger's list of recently updated blogs one night back in 2003. It was artistic and British and introspective and unlike any other thing I had encountered on the web. From the beginning I have been curious about the how's and why's of the site and its enigmatic author, and I thought the five-year anniversary might be a good occasion to finally ask about it.

I think the result turned out really well. It certainly answered my questions, plus it was fun to reminisce a little about the past few years on the site and to get a 'behind-the-scenes' view into the blog. And what can I say, Stu is an interesting guy, it's rare that you encounter anyone that interesting in life, online or off, so the opportunity to interview him was a fun one for me.

I encourage anyone new to the site to look through some of the earlier posts mentioned in the interview. I meant what I said at the end of the interview, it really is a great collection and you will find it well worth your time.

It was a real honor to be included in the fifth anniversary of feeling listless. Thanks, Stu, and best wishes.

Friday, July 28, 2006

30 Days

The new season of 30 Days started this week. I absolutely love this show. The first episode about immigration was probably the best one yet- a member of the Minutemen border militia group goes to live with an illegal immigrant family for 30 days. I came close to tears about three times while I was watching this episode. Even living on the border, you forget how difficult life is for undocumented immigrants. The family in the episode had seven people living in a one-bedroom apartment living off whatever the father could make as a day laborer. By U.S. standards, these people were very poor. And then you realize, as bad as their living conditions are here, these people were even worse off back in Mexico. That was the punch in the gut for me, just being confronted with the reality of poverty and thinking about how many people live like that around the world. The immigration debate takes on a new dimension when you think about it like that. This is definitely a thought-provoking show.

Saturday, July 22, 2006


Went to the Diablos game today for the first time this summer. They lost 7-4. Fireworks after the game were spectacular, though. I live about a mile away from the baseball field so on nights when they have a fireworks show I can see it for free from my front yard. Yet to actually be at the ballpark makes a big difference. I was surprised how thrilling it was to see the fireworks up close and personal choreographed with some well-chosen Aerosmith songs. I read some article about how people are now hiring pyrotechnic experts to put on fireworks shows for events like weddings and family reunions. After seeing tonight's fireworks show that sounds like a neat idea.

Thursday, July 20, 2006


Some photos I've accumulated from the last two months:

The plane wing as we were taking off from the El Paso airport

Iowa State University in May

View over the brick fence in my backyard

A copy of the New York Times my mom brought back from New York City. It was very cool to have a physical copy of the paper since I'm so used to reading it online.

New template

I changed the template for the blog. The black background was getting kind of depressing to me. Plus I like the font better on this one.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Annette's Notebook v. 2.0

My sisters have been home from college for awhile now, since mid-May. Which is great, but access to our PC and Internet has become a luxury with four people vying for time on one computer. One of my sisters is looking for a job, so she gets the privilege of monopolizing the computer and Internet all day for her job search. At first when this happened I went through major Internet withdrawal, since before she came home I probably would have been classified as an Internet junkie. I was spending a huge amount of my time on the Internet and in the "blogosphere." It took being cut off from the Internet for me to see just how big a part of my life blogs had become. When the Internet was cut off I felt like I had this huge void in my life. But after being forced to spend a few months living mostly in the "real world", I now realize that the Internet/blogosphere is a nice place to visit but not a great place to live.

It has been really good for me to spend some time away from the Internet and to put the focus back on my real life where it should be. It has also given me some time to think about why I do this. Why do I blog? I first got into it for the introspection. It was for me to navel-gaze, basically, and to rant and let off steam. And then I realized that a few people were actually reading, and the empathy was a nice side benefit. And it was just fun to write personal and outrageous things and have random people on the Internet see them.

But lately I have been kind of disillusioned with blogs and blogging. I discontinued my other blog because I was becoming too self-conscious about having all my secrets out there for anyone to see, including co-workers and family members. I wrote some really crazy stuff, some really stupid stuff, and it was OK for awhile but I really felt like the time for writing crap like that had passed. I was basically just writing whatever came to mind after coming home tired from work, which was usually some self-pitying rant against the world. The same old problems, the same phrases even, and it was just not something I thought other people really needed to be reading about me.

So I started this blog as a reaction to that. I have read a lot of blogs and I wanted to try to make a blog that was a little more like the ones I enjoyed reading, meaning less about me and my angst and more about other stuff that interested me, like news and social issues and fun links. No more self-pitying rants, no more just sitting down after a hard day and just spewing whatever I felt like. I would take the time to write posts worth reading. And I would also try to keep out the personal stuff that I didn't really want people to know about me. So I started this blog but somehow it all felt very hollow and fake to me. I would write about Bush and obesity in America and post links from the New York Times, but the whole time I felt like I was writing for this imaginary high-brow audience and not really for myself. It wasn't much fun, it just wasn't really me.

To me, the fun part of blogs is to hear the voice of the person behind it and to just have it be sort of spontaneous and fun and not all serious and censored. It may not always work, the posts may not always be fantastic pieces of writing, but at least it comes from an authentic place. I really missed writing about myself and my misadventures. I missed the type of introspection that I had gotten used to with the other blog. And I missed the empathy aspect of having people read about my experiences and possibly relate to them.

And so, I guess where I'm going with all this is that I want to make this blog a little more me. Not to say I'll write self-pitying crap, but I want to make this a blog that's more fun for me to write and doesn't feel like a term paper. There's a difference between writing an introspective post about yourself and what's going on in your life and writing a self-indulgent, poorly-written rant about how unfair the world is. I want to make this blog something that I will enjoy writing for myself. Hopefully readers will follow, but even if they don't it will still be something that I have enjoyed writing. So here we go, Annette's Notebook v. 2.0.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

My new favorite show

America's Got Talent. This is the most entertaining thing I've seen in months. Cheesy but hilarious.