Stories

Hey. Look at that. It’s a site redesign! (Or rather, I went browsing through various free WordPress themes and decided on this one to change things up. Can you believe there are some themes that charge upwards of $100 for you to purchase and use on your site? I mean, I get that people put time and effort into their work and want to be properly compensated for it, but, dang.) I don’t really have a reason for wanting to change things up, but I was up to nearly 3am Sat->Sun getting this down.

Chunk

Prev theme: Chunk.

expound

Current theme: expound.

The previous theme had a lot of wasted white space. If you ignore the gray background, yes, you could argue that the new layout still does have a good bit of wasted (white) space, but less so than before. And previously, you could only see the latest entry and its contents there. Now, you can see the last few entries at a glance, and click to whatever seems interesting. And scrolling to the bottom allows for a never-ending scroll of blurbs of previous entries and their featured images, if applicable. Along the side of this new layout are the widgets, including a clip of my twitter feed, recent posts, about me, post categories, archives (sortable by month), goodreads feed, my external links, and a snippet of my instagram feed. One stop shop for everything about me! Isn’t that exciting? (It should be! Previously, it was a scattered mess at the bottom of my blog, so this is an improvement! Except on mobile. But that’s whatever).

I also see that this featured image thing helps add color, so I should try and incorporate an image into every post then. The struggle would be producing an original image to go with every entry. I know I could easily go on Google and pull a related image to use, but that doesn’t sound as cool as producing my own content. As lame as they may be. I’m also trying to remember to categorize and tag my entries (including this one. and including previous ones). It’s a mundane and meticulous task, but I enjoy organizing things. And does anyone remember having to go through their music collection back in the day and cleaning up the meta data from all those files you had? Hellish. But worth it in the end right?

As always, my not having written anything in a while, and finally returning to write something means a whole bunch of word vomit with loosely associated topics all thrown together in one entry to make up for lost time. The featured image you see (or that you would see if you came in through my top page) is actually a picture from my journal, something I stopped utilizing back in May of 2011. Nothing juicy or delicious to be gleaned from trying to read the words on this page (as I spent a couple minutes sifting through to make sure nothing of that sort would get posted lulz). Those were good times, as both the process of writing and coalescing thoughts into journal entries allowed for a sense of cathartic release for the valleys of life, whereas the journal just served to capture a moment in time for the highs that juxtaposed the lows. And the fun doesn’t stop there right, since we’d never have any highs in life without the lows. Not sure if that’s a good or bad thing.

Another weakly relevant topic to the featured image is the overlapping stories that are constantly unraveling both in front of us and around us. I find it fantastic that these unraveling threads are involved with a host of others; sometimes merely allowing for a brief touching of strands, and sometimes the two threads can be caught in a unsightly tangle, mimicking either the chaos of life the two find themselves in, or upon closer inspection, revealing themselves to actually be an intricately woven piece of art in the fabric of time. These stories are all around us, yet we rarely have time to stop and sit down with the stories of the people we meet in life.

I got to thinking about this (and actually, I think I’ve probably touched on this topic before, but due to poor organization/tagging/categorizing, I have no idea where that entry is) as I was playing with my blog layout and seeing the posts I had about Cabo and traveling. It’s tough enough to blog about updates in life; it’s ever more difficult to keep up with happenings when one goes on vacation. I managed to stay on top of things for my last two trips to Cabo and Ireland by trying to blog whenever I had downtime. But those entries were merely descriptions of events. They only served to scratch the surface of what merely happened at a place away from home (Or even, by extension, into the regular occurrences of my life). I don’t think it’s ever enough to simply touch upon what is, because there’s just so much more behind it.

I’ve already mentioned Juan Carlos in my previous entry, but I found it crazy that he (the tour guide for our horse riding adventure) and the Uber driver who picked us up from LAX (Bruce – with a 4.9 rating) shared a common interest which sorta both led them to doing what they were doing at the time. Again, it came back to the topic of people and the stories that they have. That they both enjoyed and wanted to do what they do because it affords them the opportunity to be engaged with people for a longer duration and to talk to others about their lives. Ultimately, I think that is one of the most amazing perks of traveling, as you can be introduced to a whole bunch of people who you’d never have met otherwise, filled with stories that you would have never expected.

Can the same be done with people at home? Probably, but the chances of it happening are less than one would expect. Our friends, we’ve already moved into a sort of comfort zone, in the sense that we mostly know their story, and so we our hangouts and catch-ups are about the latest and newest details in their life. For our co-workers, peers, and acquaintances, it’s also a bit harder to do so, as these group of people already have an expected interaction with you, and to deviate from it would be strange and possibly broaching into unfamiliar territory with them. But that’s how people can change those threads of brief encounters into stronger strands of interconnected stories. If the comfort of travel affords the situation to engage with others with whom we’d normally not do so, why can’t the same idea be extended to the people at home?

After all, everyone loves a good story.

[Edit: I finished categorizing all my older entries. Some I just left uncategorized, which is alright. But this update is because I found the other entry about this topic, where I even had the same title. Hah. T’was my 2nd post on this blog.]

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