The blog went down last week, and I’m still not sure why. Some combination of a plugin + theme + something was telling WordPress to display … nothing. No admin, no blog, no nothing. It was awful and it’s been a frustrating week and I got up an hour earlier than normal this morning to sit down and straighten everything out.
If things are wonky over the next few weeks, it’s because I’m taking advantage of the meltdown to fix some of the cruft that’s built up over the last ten (!!!!) years of blogging.
No, there won’t be ten-year anniversary post. I don’t generally do naval-gazing retrospectives, preferring instead to naval-gaze about the future. However, I’m pretty pleased with myself for maintaining the blogging habit here since 2005.
If only I had the same dedication to running Jerusalem’s hills.
Well … the wonkiness will probably last a bit, but I’m finally FINALLY on the way to a blog I like the look of. While I expect I’ll continue to tweak the look and organization over the next several weeks, I think that the big changes are done for the moment.
Still on my TODO list:
Finalize the color scheme (I am in love with orange lately)
Finish re(organizing) my categories and pages
Reinstall my plugins and widgets in the sidebar
Go through each category and select “best of” for my archives.
It may take me another month or two to get through all of that, but I’d say I’m on a fair way to finally having a blog I love again.
I haven’t been writing because life has been completely overwhelming lately. Well, not just life. Life in the Foreign Service, which ties so closely to work as to make it impossible to write about life without also writing about work. I didn’t realize until I logged in today that I hadn’t actually published a post since November. Whoops.
There’s a great deal of discussion in the FS blogging community about “free speech” and what can and can’t be posted, and what officers say to their EFMs who write blog psots that may poke at sensitive spots in the FS community. There’s a bit less discussion about officers themselves who write. Self-censorship has made writing about what I do here in Freetown harder than I expected.
In any case, I miss writing. For a short while, scrapbooking largely filled my relentless need to record and describe what was going on around me. I’ve found that while I value that creative endeavor for and of itself, it’s no substitute for blogging. I’ve managed to get my work schedule back under control, and I no longer need to be at the office at 6:45 every morning to make sure that the wheels won’t fly off the track every day. I’m still an early riser, so I hope to use this extra time in the mornings to write, write, and write some more.
I cannot maintain more than one blog. There, I said it. It’s too much effort to have to think about tone, professionalism, cross-over, and what my State colleagues and future supervisors will think of everyhing.
I’d intended to keep blogging about food and homemaking on HMNIT, and professionally on SVO, but Foreign Service is life is that I’m not actually doing much professional blogging these days. SVO has been around for almost 7 years. It got me through Peace Corps, People Online, and now, the Foreign Service. I don’t want to shutter it.
I’ve never felt guilty about being one of the haves. I was born white, middle-class, straight, Protestant to parents who saw that I got a good education, gave me a love of reading and learning, and who were well enough that I could take off to see the world straight out of college. Privilege is my middle name. I’m OK with that, but I spend a lot of time thinking about how these privileges can be extended to everyone else.
It’s particularly jarring as I prepare for the consumerist orgy that is buying our consumables on World Food Day.
Needless to say, I’m not as active here lately as I have been in the past. I find myself reluctant to speak about development, foreign policy, and even the role of ICTs in emerging economies in such a public forum, particularly when I’m not 100% at ease with myself and how my small family is readjusting to living in the States.
Fear not! I haven’t stopped writing entirely! I just do it in different places. I’m still chatting endlessly about health, pregnancy, and food at himynameistheresa. My latest project, just launched with several other Foreign Service folks, is Hardship Homemaking, where we writing about cooking from scratch, whole foods, and making a home at hardship posts. Look for lots of recipes from me, straight out of Benin!
Check ‘em out and let me know what you think!
Edited to note that himynameistheresa is now defuct.
SVO’s moved to a new server! Despite rebooting serveral times, I was unable to solve the malware problem, so I up and moved. Archives will be back as soon as I get back to Cotonou from Parakou. In the meantime, enjoy visiting my blog w/o risk of downloading a virus.
Attribution-ShareAlike, to be precise. Copy away, even for commercial purposes. The sole conditions are: 1) you have to credit me (attribute the work) and b) whatever you use my work for also has to be CC licensed.
As SVO is coming up on its five year anniversary, I’mcleaning out some closets and setting a few things in order. I thought I’d done this when first setting up the blog, but it appears that it slipped my mind. For five years.