First off: It is now May!!!!! 23 days until graduation/commencement.  Why is it called commencement anyways? Is this supposed to fool college students into thinking they are about to commence new, exciting lives? To get us excited to take a plunge into the unknown? I suppose that’s all fine and dandy but honestly, let’s get real.  I don’t think many college students look forward to all the responsibilities that are thrust upon them once they take their first steps into the real world.  I guess I am excited, but at the same time I’m terrified.  I think most graduating seniors feel like this.  I think I am going to stick with the term graduation, it sounds less ominous than Commencement.

So since I don’t have all that much work left, I have been tooling around on the Internet and exploring other blogs on Blogspot and on the Internet in general.  The only blog I read regularly is Meg Cabot’s blog, author of the Princess Diaries, mostly because she is hilarious and sarcastic in the way she writes about her daily life.  I also visit Perez Hilton’s gossip website and apparently that is also considered a blog.  I’m not a huge fan of Perez personally but the way he makes fun of celebrities makes it hard not to become a devotee like I have.  Trust me, once you visit two or three times, you will start visiting every day like I do.  Perez  may be obnoxious, but you can’t deny that he has become ridiculously successful, all thanks to his blog, and he has become somewhat of a hated celebrity.

Another blog I like to visit is PostSecret.  In case you have been living under a rock, PostSecret was started by some guy named Frank in Maryland who started asking fellow Internet users to send him anonymous postcards with a secret written on them.  It was originally intended to be some kind of art project but the response Frank got from all these anonymous people sending him their secrets kind of blew up.  Now I think there are about 3 or 4 PostSecret books for sale, books filled with pages and pages of secrets Frank has received in the mail over the years.  He also tours the country and speaks at different colleges, explaining the concept of PostSecret.  Mom once spotted me on the PostSecret website and didn’t seem to understand what it was all about.

“So you send this guy your secrets? What is the point?”

The point is that all of us have secrets that we don’t share with anyone.  They can be big or little secrets, but the truth is all of us have things that we are ashamed of, that we don’t want other people to know about us.  In this way, we are all connected somehow… or anyways, that’s the philosophy behind PostSecret.  Also, a lot of the people who send in their secrets get very creative with the postcard.  They don’t just write their secret and send it in (though some people do just that), a lot of the postcards are very artistic, and some are absolutely beautiful.  Every Sunday Frank updates the website and posts new secrets.  Pretty much every week, there is at least one secret I can identify with.  A few months ago, there was one secret that made my jaw drop because it described one of my secrets to a tee, even though I hadn’t sent it in (and I will be honest, I have never sent in a secret to PostSecret).

Some other blogs I like to visit occasionally are Lamebook, Fmylife.com, and Texts From Last Night.  Lamebook is basically a blog that allows users to send in screen shots of the ridiculous things they see posted on Facebook.  And trust me, some people post some very uh… interesting things on Facebook.  Everything from pictures, status updates, notes, wall posts… Some of the posts will make you scratch your heads and others will make you LOL.  I will admit there have been times when I have been sorely tempted to send in some things to Lamebook.  The website does blur out last names and profile pictures, only retaining the first names of people in the posts, so I don’t think I could get in too much trouble if I did.

Fmylife.com is based off the French website Vie de Merde and the English version has become wildly successful.  People send in posts of their misadventures and end the post with FML (F My Life).  For example a real post I copied and pasted at random: Today, I got a parking ticket while I was in City Hall paying a parking ticket. FML

Texts From Last Night’s premise is to send in text message conversations, usually about wild drunken antics or sex.  The only personal info included in the posts are the area code of the number.  An example:

(513):After waking up today, I would like to find the Jesus preachers on campus to ask for help in asking for forgiveness to God.


In fact it was really hard trying to find a post that wasn’t too inappropriate.  Mom does read this blog after all, along with various other family members.

However I’ve known about all these websites for awhile so I decided to visit other popular blogs on Blogspot because I don’t want to try Chatroulette (go to Wikipedia if you don’t know what that is, I’m too tired to explain).  And wow, there are some truly weird blogs out there.  I decided to stick to reading ones I knew I would enjoy: travel blogs.

And can I say there are A LOT of travel blogs out there! I had no idea! It seems like there are a lot of people out there who decide to take time off from their boring jobs and travel the worlds for 3 years at a time! And a lot of these websites have tips about budget traveling and what to visit and things to see.  Looks like I have another resource at my disposal instead of just relying on Let’s Go or Lonely Planet (or Hostelworld.com and TripAdvisor).

One of the most enjoyable blogs I’ve found is about a Boston public school teacher who decided to take 9 months off to travel the world.  I only recently stumbled upon her blog and she is currently in Spain right now which makes me super happy since most of her recent entries are about places I’ve already visited.  Her trip is actually ending soon–she is returning to Boston in a few weeks which makes me sad because honestly I do not feel like going back to read all about what she did prior to Spain.  Maybe I’ll get around to it this summer.  If you’d like to take a look at Lillie’s blog, I HIGHLY recommend it: http://www.aroundtheworldl.com/.  She is so travel savvy and has all these great tips, plus her entries are full of insight and include pictures.  Way better than my pathetic attempts at describing things…

 


Lillie’s blog had a list of the 100 top travel blogs.  Here is the link to number one: http://everything-everywhere.com/
This guy Gary Ardnt has been traveling the world since 2007!!!!!!!!!!!!!! How do people find the time and money to do these things? I know most of it has to do with being fearless, organized, and efficient when it comes to the logistics of planning a trip (or lack of planning since some of these bloggers insist a lack of planning can sometimes be a bonus).

Anyways those are simply two travel blogs among thousands that exist on the web.  In fact here is a link to the top 100 travel blogs for April 28th (at least the English written ones, I’m sure there are others in other languages!): http://travelblogsites.com/2010/04/28/travel-blog-top-100-april-28-2010/

I know I’ll definitely be consulting that list now and again to see if any of those other blogs will be helpful to me when I am in Madrid next year.  I can’t believe I was in the dark about the community of online travel bloggers.  What I want to know is how these bloggers became so popular.  I’d love to have a popular travel blog! Not only would it be awesome to know people besides family read this blog, it’s kind of like becoming a celebrity, minus the paparazzi and red carpet events.  Which I am totally ok with! It’s kind of cool to have some kind of recognition and know people are interested in what I write about.

For now though, I am ok with just listening to Mom’s feedback.  Of all the people who read this blog, she is the one who matters the most (and Papa too, but I don’t think blog reading is much of his thing).  She should be interested in what I write about!

I guess if I have one pipe dream for the future, it is to become the Perez Hilton of travel blogging.  And maybe celebrities will become fans of my blog and I will be invited on Oprah and go to red carpet events.

For now, I leave you with one last blog website: www.cuteoverload.com , a website devoted to posting pictures of cute animals such as kittens and puppies and with hilarious videos of animals such as a cat investigating an Ipad or Maru, a Japanese cat obsessed with jumping in and out of boxes.
If you haven’t clicked on any of the above links, click on this one.  It’s sure to make your bad day go away.  Seriously, CLICK ON IT!

I swear I don’t spend all day on these websites.  Except for Cute Overload.

Amelie

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