We are family; I’ve got all my bloggers with me.

I am now officially part of the WordPress family – yup, I have a badge and everything.

I’ll start by thanking the people who have so graciously invited me to become part of this family: Charlotte at It Does Not Do To Dwell On Dreams And Forget To Live and Joe at Confessions of a Technophile. I’ll give you ten minutes to go read their (awesome) blogs. Your time starts now.

Done? Okay, let’s move on.

Continuing the family analogy, I was just wondering about what member of the family I would be if this were a real family. An annoying younger sibling? An oppressive older sibling? A forgetful grandparent? A wailing baby?

Maybe, but I like to think of myself more as a playful, slightly dull pet dog.

(I bet Charlotte and Joe are regretting this already)

I would also like to take a moment to say how appreciative I am of my WordPress family. It truly does feel as if they are a real family. Like a family, they are brutally honest, often correcting my grammatical inaccuracies and questioning my inadequate knowledge when I pretend to be an expert on things I know absolutely nothing about. They make for good critics as well, lauding my relatively better posts and raising a scholarly, experienced eyebrow at the more…um, unintelligible ones. In fact, they’re probably doing the latter right now.

But now that they’re “officially” family, there’s nothing they can do about it. They will simply have to put up with me, because that’s what families do – put up with one another. And love one another of course, but first let’s just see how far we can get with the ‘putting-up’ bit.

Okay, so now I shall proceed to nominate the following bloggers to become part of this family. (If you feel that becoming a member of a family that I’m part of is more of a punishment than an award, feel free to ignore this. No pressure.)

1. Rob Complains About Things
2. Confessions Of A Hopeless Introvert
3. The Great Unwashed
4. Mostlytrueramblings
5. Parenting is not my superpower
6. Adoxographia
7. Comment is free
8. SID’s Blog
9. Ginger’s Grocery
10. Mashed Potatoes Blog

So welcome to the family!

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I really shouldn’t be allowed to operate a blog.

I think I’m a blog snob.

I know that it’s free to have a blog. I know that the only qualification you need to have a blog is a pair of opposable thumbs to make a username and a password. Wait – you don’t even need that – I know a couple of blogging dogs. They’re better bloggers than I am, actually. They don’t use sentence fragments at every possible opportunity. They don’t mention opposable thumbs in every single post. Their vocabulary is undoubtedly more…um, evolved (ha ha). They don’t laugh at their own puns. In fact, I think one of them has published a book.

And yet, having a blog makes me feel special.

If you’re feeling a sense of déjà vu right now, it’s probably because I have written a post like this before. It’s called ‘I like you, WordPress. I like you a lot.’ In that particular post, I whinged about having five followers and made a virtual puppy-dog face in the vague hope that something would come out of it. WordPress felt pity for this blogger who had apparently been driven to the edge of desperation, and as a result, Freshly Pressed me (that still sounds wrong). On a side note: I should probably clarify that the post in question was not shadow advertising. It’s a mere coincidence that I was Freshly Pressed for a post that hails WordPress as the giver of all good things and the beacon of light that dispels the darkness from my world of hopelessness and oblivion.

Moving on.

Now that I have sufficiently flaunted my Freshly Pressed badge in your face, I’ll come to the point. This post is not like its predecessor. That one hinted at my miserable narcissistic tendencies. This one openly flaunts my miserable narcissistic tendencies. So you can keep reading (unless you had already stopped reading when I began waving my Freshly Pressed badge in the air).

So why does having a blog make me feel special? Well, of course, it’s firstly because I have followers – the very word makes me think of hoards of people genuflecting (I can’t let the blogging dogs get ahead of me so I bought a dictionary) at the altar of my magnificence. But it’s also because having a blog makes me feel like a member of the elite. I personally know only three other people with blogs. And although anyone can have a blog, as I’ve ascertained above, the fact that I was actually allowed to have one makes me feel good. Different. Privileged. Not just another member of the motley crowd.

It’s alright if this is just limited to feeling good about myself. However, I’m ashamed to say I’m not a background blogger. I do my best to mention my blog in any appropriate scenario. It’s not obvious enough to make me seem like a prig – I don’t go around yelling, “Look at me! I’ve got a blog!” but it’s meant to send out subliminal messages to anyone who’s listening:

“Now that you mention it, I wrote something about that on MY BLOG the other day.”
“I was so happy yesterday because somebody new followed MY BLOG.”
“Do you have a blog? I MYself love to BLOG.”

Another thing I do when it comes to my blog, is behaving like a blog snob. It’s like intellectual snobbery, but with absolutely no valid reason to behave like a snob. When I have an argument with someone who doesn’t have a blog, I’m ashamed to say that the first thing that comes to mind is always, ‘Do you have a blog? Didn’t think so.’ I don’t say it, but the thought’s there in my head, hand in hand with another thought, ‘I have a blog. Therefore I am better than you.’ These thoughts cloud any rational arguments that I may have, and I’m left saying, quite limply, “I’m telling you, I’m right. I can’t explain exactly why I’m right, but be sure check my blog periodically – I’ll post an explanation when I can think of one.” Just a bit of advice: That doesn’t work. Especially not with your mother.

Sometimes, when somebody says something I don’t like, my first thought is, ‘I’m going to write about you on my blog.’ It’s a different matter that I don’t actually end up doing that. But the fact that I actually thought of it makes me devious.

Yes, the thug life did, in fact, choose me.

To conclude: I love having a blog. I love having followers. I love to walk around, knowing that I’m somehow superior to everyone else simply because I have a username and a password. I love that there is a platform on which I can be the intellectual equivalent of a dog with circumlocutional abilities.

And, WordPress, I will use this platform well, because with great power comes great responsibility.

P.S: A message to the guy who tried to trip me over today:
You’re fatuous. So there.

It’s the award season!

And the awards go to [drumroll, please]…Mushroom Sup, for Funny for Nothing!
[Audience starts clapping]
Mushroom Sup: Wow, oh wow…I feel humbled. This is absolutely amazing. I can’t believe it! I never thought that I would win this….
[Removes list from pocket and unrolls it]
Mushroom Sup: I would like to start by thanking my…
[Music starts playing]
Mushroom Sup: What? But I haven’t even begun to thank….
[Music gets louder]
Mushroom Sup: Wait! Stop the music! I have to…
[Security arrives and drags Mushroom Sup off the stage]
Mushroom Sup: This is a conspiracy! Curse you, Meryl! _____________________________

Okay, since (an envious) Meryl Streep has obviously paid the Oscars to stop my ‘Thank you speech’ mid-way, I’m going to have to be content with delivering it here.
And since this is my own blog, nobody can stop me.
In your face, Meryl.

So, I would like to begin by thanking My Nutty Dubai for so kindly nominating me for the Versatile Blogger Award, the Most Creative Blogger Award, the Reader Appreciation Award and the Semper Fidelis. I have no idea what ‘Semper Fidelis’ means, but I’ll accept it without protest because it’ll sound cool if I use it in an argument (“You’re wrong!” “I can’t be wrong because I’ve won a Semper Fidelis award and you haven’t! Ha!”).

Anyway, I urge you to read My Nutty Dubai’s blog. She writes beautifully, and she’s got some awesome photographs.

The second person I would like to thank is Gabbi at Veggie Girl Life. She’s nominated me for ze Liebster Avard. Leibster is a German word which means, apparently, ‘dearest, sweetest, kindest, nicest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, welcome, and sweetheart’. Gabbi is liebster. Go read her blog. It’s amazing.

Okay, so let’s get down to business. I don’t think there are any set rules for the Versatile Blogger Award, the Most Creative Blogger Award, the Reader Appreciation Award and the Semper Fidelis, so I’ll just nominate eleven bloggers for these awards (I’m nominating the same bloggers for the Leibster Award too, so congratulations to the nominees! You now have five new awards!)

Here are my nominees for the awards:

1. Confessions of a Technophile

2. One Tired Guy’s Thoughts

3. The mmmmm family

4. Jennswondering

5. Not pretending (to be sane)

6. One post

7. Happy misadventures

8. Me in stitches

9. Soulsez

10. It’s a Mis-Fit

11. runningawayfrom49

For the Liebster award, I have to list eleven random facts about myself, answer the eleven questions Gabbi has asked her nominees, and list eleven questions for my nominees to answer.

Eleven random facts about me:

1. When I laugh, I laugh silently, so it seems as if I can’t breathe and I’m gasping for air. People ask if I’m alright. I laugh even harder. It’s a vicious cycle. Also, I laugh at the most inappropriate times. Everything becomes funnier when you’re not allowed to laugh.

2. My favourite quote is “Only two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity, but I’m not so sure about the universe.” – Albert Einstein.

3. I have a terrible habit of chewing everything within reach. My hair, my pen, my toenails. The last one is a joke. Sorry if that scared you.
I’m not weird. Honestly.

4. Nobody ever laughs at my jokes. Well, maybe my mother does. Sometimes. Occasionally.

5. I’ve been told I nod too much. I blame all those years of watching Noddy.
I just realized that I was nodding to myself as I typed that out.
I’m doing it again.
Urgh!

6. Once again, I have a history essay due, and I’m writing this post instead. It seems I’m falling into a pattern.
P.S. This one’s about Stalin. I know a little more about him than I knew about Nikita Khrushchev, though. I know for a fact that Stalin wasn’t a woman.

7. I eat tic-tacs when I’m bored. Orange is the best [sic].

8. I don’t know what ‘sic’ means, but I like the fact that it’s a word with an attitude, so I use it whenever I can.

9. My favourite French phrase is ‘Je n’ai sais quoi’. It’s…I don’t know what. Literally. (If you don’t get it, Google it.)

10. I have a terrible spatial ability, and I can’t judge distances. I often walk into walls.

11. I have a terrible memory, but I can memorize text very well. I think there’s some sort of psychological explanation for this, but I don’t remember what it is.

Now I’ll answer Gabbi’s questions:

1. What is your life philosophy? Be normal, and the crowd will accept you. Be deranged, and they will make you their leader.

2. What is the first thing you do when you get up in the morning? I stumble around blindly looking for a newspaper. Or rather, a tabloid.

3. Who is your favorite artist? I’m not big on art, but because of the Bean movie, I really like Whistler’s Mother. So I guess Whistler would be my favourite artist.

4. Other than you, who do you love the most? My spammers.

5. If you could change one thing in the world, what would that be? I would make dark chocolate grow on trees.

6. What keeps you motivated? On WordPress? Again, my spammers.

7. What is your favorite book or work of art? My Family and Other Animals, by Gerald Durrell.

8. Why do you write? Because there’s nothing I like doing better.

9. What is your favorite food? Chocolate and spaghetti. But not together.

10. What dreams do you have/are you working on? I want to learn how to whistle. Not exactly a dream, but an aspiration.

11. What is your favorite place to be? At my computer, writing this blog.

And these are my questions to my nominees (Don’t worry; you’re not obliged to answer them):

1. If you had to think of another name for your blog, what would it be?

2. What’s your favourite quote/ saying?

3. What’s the worst joke you’ve made/ heard?

4. What’s your favourite television show?

5. Describe yourself in one word.

6. Do you have an object that you consider to be your lucky charm?

7. Which type of chocolate is best: white, milk or dark?

8. What’s the best non-fiction book you’ve read?

9. What’s your favourite word?

10. Are you philosophical person?

11. What’s the capital of Greenland?

My ‘Freshly Pressed’ Acceptance Speech

Let me tell you the story of a girl – the story of a girl with a dream.

She dreamt of being Freshly Pressed.

No, she wasn’t confusing herself with an orange.

She wasn’t confusing herself with a crumpled T-shirt.

All she wanted was for the admin of WordPress to recognize her blog and give her a place on the ‘Freshly Pressed’ page.

And on the twelfth of July 2013, thanks to the Daily Post Challenge and a post titled ‘I like you, WordPress. I like you a lot’, her dream came true. 
                                   _____________________________________

When I checked my inbox, expecting to find nothing but dust and cobwebs, I was amazed to find a hundred-odd e-mails waiting for me. My first thought was that all the spammers of the world were writing to show their appreciation for my uninhibited support and to thank me for advocating that spammers too are human beings with hearts.

But I was wrong.

All the e-mail was from WordPress. 
                                   _____________________________________

To everyone who liked, followed, commented or reblogged: I cannot thank you enough. Thanks to your kindness and generosity, I now have enough e-mail to last a lifetime. I refuse to delete even a single one of those e-mails. Next week, when my inbox falls into a state of disuse once again, I will look at these e-mails wistfully, and reminisce about the good ol’ times.

To everyone who commented: While I did try my very best to respond to every comment, I apologize if I missed any. I would also like to apologize profusely for using too many emoticons and too many exclamation marks. You see, plain words weren’t enough to express my joy and excitement, so I had to resort to colons, capital D’s and close bracket symbols.

And I’m also very sorry if my comments started to seem repetitive. This was partly because of the sheer number of comments coming in, and partly because of my very limited vocabulary. I was unable to express my gratitude in ways other than ‘thanks’, ‘thank you’, and, just to mix it up a little bit, ‘thank you very much’. At one point, I thought of saying, “From the very bottom of my heart, I would like to offer my deepest gratitude,” but then I decided to ditch the idea for fear of sounding over-sentimental.

In a few of the replies, I did try to be witty, but I apologize to all the bloggers who were witness to this horror.

I also thought that I should tell you that I took the suggestions offered by some bloggers, and hired my mother to help out with the comments. However, I was left no option but to fire her when (seeing that her daughter’s post had received so many likes) she began to shed tears of joy. The last thing I needed was an emotional employee.

And, last but not the least, to all my spammers: I thank you very much for standing by me in the very beginning, following me and commenting on my very first posts, thus encouraging me in the initial stages. But I don’t need you anymore. I’ve got real people following me now.

P.S. I must say, it appears that my acknowledgement of spammers as being people with hearts seems to have emboldened them quite a bit. One particular company was brazen enough to give me writing advice. “Your keyword must appear in the title. You must make sure it has a keyword density of 3-5%. Your keyword should appear in your first paragraph and in the last sentence. You should have relevant usage of bold and italics.” Then they offered me plug-ins to do this, just in case I failed to comply with their demands.

So, to end –
I’m extremely grateful to WordPress for featuring me on Freshly Pressed.

But I’m even more grateful to all the WordPress bloggers and readers who commented, liked, followed, reblogged or just appreciated my post. You made me feel warm and fuzzy again.

The closet narcissist says thank you.

I like you, WordPress. I like you a lot.

The day has finally come.
I am now an Important Person.

It may sound like I’ve taken a spirituality course called ‘The Importance of Being’, but I haven’t. Neither have I read a self-help book that says ‘every person plays an important role in this world’ or any of that hogwash.

I know because I now get e-mail. And that’s because of WordPress.

Until I joined WordPress, my inbox remained eerily empty. I did occasionally get emails from some very nice people offering me medicines to cure my pattern baldness, but since I do not suffer from that ailment, I was forced to write back, saying that, while I did not have any need for such medicines at that particular moment, I was deeply appreciative of their campaign against premature balding and I sincerely hoped that their efforts would be rewarded in the future.

Other than this, and a few death threats from Satan that I was forced to forward to other unsuspecting souls, I received absolutely no e-mail.

And now, thanks to WordPress, I receive e-mail every day. Actually, rather than e-mail, I like to think of it as fan mail. I feel like a celebrity. I feel important.

I feel like the little girl in the movie The Help, to whom Aibileen (WordPress in this case) says, “You is kind. You is smart. You is important.”

When WordPress sends me e-mails telling me to ‘moderate my blog posts’ and ‘approve comments’, I feel like the C.E.O of a company that cannot function for a minute without my expertise and irreplaceable skills. When WordPress congratulates me on obtaining one ‘like’ from a reader on one of my blog posts, I feel ecstatic, even if that one like is from my mother, which it usually is. The e-mail reads – “(name of blogger) liked your post. They thought your post was pretty awesome.” I read that, and for the rest of the day I’m filled with a warm, fuzzy feeling, like Charlie from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory when he realizes that he has won a Golden Ticket.

And recently, I received the best e-mail that WordPress could send me.

You’ll have to sit down for this.

Ready?

I now have five followers.

Five, can you imagine? Almost half a dozen!

To be fair, my five followers do include myself, my mother, and somebody who appears to be a spammer. But even spammers are people. Spammers have hearts too.

Compliments and reminders aren’t the only things I can count on WordPress for. Like a good friend, WordPress is great at pointing out character flaws as well.

Recently, while scrolling through my blog posts, I accidentally hit the ‘like’ button on one of my own posts (I repeat: accidentally). Of course, I ‘un-liked’ it almost immediately, but by then WordPress had already sent me an e-mail telling me that I had liked my own post. “You’re so vain,” it read. “You probably think (name of post I accidentally liked) is all about you.” This made me wonder: Am I, in fact, vain? Yes, I know I did ‘like’ my own post accidentally, but as the wise old Master Oogway says in Kung Fu Panda, “There are no accidents.” I wondered about how long I had taken before I ‘un-liked’ my post. I did it almost immediately, didn’t I? Almost. I must admit, there were a few milliseconds during which I thought, “So what if I ‘like’ my own post? Nobody will know.”

That day, WordPress made me realize that I am a closet narcissist. That is, if such a thing exists.

Another WordPress feature which makes me feel like I rule the world is the Stats – or rather, Statistics. When my Stats show me that somebody from a far-flung country has viewed my post, I feel a certain thrill, even though it’s entirely possible that they accidentally clicked on my post when they meant to click on the one below or above mine. But, as I’ve ascertained above, there are no accidents.

Honestly, I can just sit and refresh my Stats page all day, calculating my ratio of views to likes, and obsessing about why, of all the people who view my posts, only a few ‘like’ it. As the numbers change on the screen before me, I pretend, once again, to be C.E.O, monitoring my sales and income. Maybe everyone does it. Maybe I’ve had too many magic mushrooms (Just kidding: Read About me). Who knows?

To summarize: You know how people say that if you think you’re not important, and that nobody cares about you, you should try missing a couple of payments? I’ve got a better idea.
If you think you’re not important, just join WordPress.

 

In response to the Daily Post Challenge.