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Monday, September 25, 2006
We Is Watching You
Small Talk
ANNN turned one yesterday and I celebrated it with Alex in London. Spent 4 hours exploring the HMS Belfast (a WW2 cruiser) and then walking to China Town for delightful yummies. I'm going to spend today packing my stuff and preparing to return back to Malaysia. My flight's tomorrow night, touching KLIA at 10:30 p.m. on Wednesday the 27th. Have a hair appointment at 10 a.m. the following morning but not before having my grand breakfast back home.

Day 364
One of the few movie scenes I remember from my childhood was of a little boy, riding his tricycle and witnessing a pair of twin girls inviting him to play with them forever and ever. It has taken me more than 20 years to learn that that scene was from The Shining. I have always thought that it was from The Omen.

I hopped straight into bed after watching the whole of The Shining on my own. In bed laid Alex, mewing like a little lost kitten. We curled over at the girl’s side. That would be mine. Then he rolled over to his side. That would be the boy slime (boys sweat a lot in their sleep) side. We started talking somewhere between struggling in his slimy side and rolling in my little corner of seven pillows.

“Just admit it,” he said. “You will never be a successful entrepreneur.”

“What do you mean I am not a successful entrepreneur?” I questioned in the dark, five seconds later.

“Because you are like me. We are not great PR people and all entrepreneurs are social oriented.”

I was offended beyond belief! I was huff puffing in my little corner, burrowing deeper into my two down pillows. I felt like a little porcupine as we exchanged words intermittently. I was crossing my arms by the time we got to the part where I asked him to substantiate his claims and his reasons were that I did not have the personality, according to his post graduate business course in University of Bath.

I fully admit that I am not the most sociable person that I know of. The most sociable person would be E, milking her PR skills to the fullest. However I find that people’s skill is very much like computer literacy or learning a new language. It is something that you learn and acquire, if you do not already have it. And you will work hard towards those skills, mainly because they are necessary for your professional growth. Alex of course, begs to differ. PR skills are in born, not acquired.

”You okay there, babs?” he asked me, then extending his right arm near me. “You know that I am right. You cannot be someone that you are not.”

“Don’t you fucking touch me. I am a prickly porcupine at the moment.”

Alex sniggered and cuddled closer, holding me in his arms. I crossed my arms and rolled around my side of the bed, within the confines of his arms. I made him stay up until 2 a.m. explaining his words. You do not sleep until you resolve your frustrations, so take it as a tip from Miss Love - do not start an argument in bed at midnight.

Day 365
Some of you might know that previously, I had spent many days frustrated. When I started writing in ANNN, I had wanted it to be a success. Tell me who would not want their blog to be a success and I would show you a complacent soul. I wanted a lot of things from ANNN. On top of the long list, I wanted a huge readership and comments into its hundreds.

I am yet to achieve either of those wants. And I could have been very frustrated and angry if not for the fact that I had discovered something between Day 237 and Day 315. After venturing to many blogs out there, I had realised that blogging was like music. It had many genres and to compare one to another was and still is utterly unfair and unachievable. You will never be happy if you compare your blog to someone else’s (be it someone better than you or someone worse off than you).

Blogs Are Like Music
Some blogs are like Gangsta rap. They talk about blood, politics and murder. Some are like Paris Hilton, where talent was not essential and all you needed was lots and lots of photos of your and your friends in the dressiest clothes, having loads of fun. A cute pooch would be a bonus. Emo blogs can be likened to the Alternative and Punk genres, with melancholic and depressive themes.

It took me a while to find my own spot and to discover my own genre. I cannot be what I am not and I am not like any other blog out there. There were periods where I tried to do the Paris Hilton thing (have you seen how many readers some of these blogs commanded?) but that was an utter failure, to say the least. I would have loved to delete those posts, if not for the fact that I wanted to keep them as a reminder to never be someone that I am not.

Being Nude
Ironically one of the most important things that I have learnt in the past 365 days had to do with the word, “nude”. Being in my skin, being myself and being comfortable just that way. I had to accept my blog just the way it was. I cannot be someone else and be successful at it. I can only be me.

I came to terms with the fact that perhaps my blog was a little like India Arie. A beautiful voice but never had the same recognition as Alicia Keys (for whatever reason). You just cannot compare India Arie with Eminem. They are from totally different genres and do not have anything in common. Not even their listeners. And just because Eminem has more listeners, I hope you agree with me that numbers did not reflect how talented he was as a singer.

If there were any rules to go by, then it would be this; your readers reflect your blog and indirectly it reflected who you are. I can happily say that I do not have many comments in my blog but each and every comment and reader I have visiting ANNN are a smart bunch. I am most thankful that this is the case. I rather have a smaller number of smart readers and commentators than hundreds of useless comments spamming my posts each day.

Pacing And Having Fun
Which brings me to the next point. When ANNN started, I wrote on a daily basis. I thought that it would generate hundreds of comments because ‘hey, who doesn’t want to talk about love and relationship?”. As the days and months passed, I began to realise that this genre is an India Arie, rather than an Eminem. It was more soulful and thoughtful and thus required readers with greater attention span and intelligence.

Somewhere along the line, I discovered that I had to pace my posts. Instead of tying myself to the worktable, slaving for the blog, it was better to enjoy myself in London and to observe everything around me. I wrote far better and received more comments when I started to write on alternate days. I filled the rest of the time away from the laptop and away from ANNN.

I have learnt that pacing is important, lest I lose my juice. I need to live a life before I can write about having one. A wrinkly and shrivelled lemon is unappetising to your senses. What makes you think that a blog that is dried of ideas and topics does not do the same to your senses?

Day 366
So here on Day 366, I am a little happy bunny. I could have sat here at my laptop on Sunday morning writing Post Number 184 or I could get out of the house, visit the HMS Belfast, take loads of photos with the Tower Bridge as a backdrop, have a super late lunch (or early dinner) with Alex in Café Hong Kong (Miss Sour Face was not working today!) and walk around Oxford Street, having fun. I am so glad I chose the latter.

Incidentally I am launching an advice column called Ask Miss Love. The fashionable agony aunt is answering the questions that you have asked in the previous week. The question of the day is "Pregnant While On The Pill?". Find out more about safe sex and precautionary measures. Have your say in this topic or dedicate a hate site to Ask Miss Love because she believes (and openly promotes) honest sex education empowers young people to protect themselves.

Related Post
Ask Miss Love, a great avenue to find the answers to questions that you do not dare ask your mother/grand uncle/third sister/best friend/best gay friend/etc, lest they die of laughter or you die of embarrassment, whichever comes first.

The top two HOTTEST posts are:

The better posts that Otto is quite pleased with are:

I wished these were never written:

The post that is so horrendous, it is giving Otto nightmares...
  • The type of posts you should write if you aim to own a sucky blog - Otto's Two Tits

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You got it right - you can't compare yourself with another blogger, unless both of you write about exactly the same things. Like if you both write about gadgets, then yeah compare.

But this is not possible with personal blogs.

If you want to compare, compare yourself with the you from a day ago, a week ago, or a year ago. Because that's the only thing that matters.

1:52 am  

I'll always be checking into your blog, albeit not every five minutes... You have just reminded me that I have been running low on intellectual entries lately. And I guess I've finally found the answer... :)

2:21 am  

i left a comment as anonymous in your last entry. pressed the wrong button (d'oh!) and i didn't want to double post

anyway allow me to post a comment to get you one step closer to that hundreds of comments mark =)

i like what you've written regarding the different types of blogs. will keep that in mind always as i plan to start one myself after my examinations.

6:46 am  

you write beautifully!

never feel despair. for what you have learnt, what you gained, what you shared, isnt it something beautiful, for you?

and for me too =) i like how you see things. i can connect to what you say. i wished i have your wisdom, and everytime i read your blog when im feeling down, it gives me a sense of wisdom and peace.

keep on writing!

10:03 am  


Girls and their hairdressers.A never ending relationship.

Have a good trip home;eat some delicious food on my behalf

11:46 am  

a well thought, well written blog already differentiates without attaching itself to a genre.

3:47 pm  

You mean we are watching you ?

5:56 pm  

marcus is right. no point comparing or aspiring to emulate anyone's blog. those who read you, they appreciate you for your induvidual style.

much more satisfying to compare the current you and the person a year back.

look at dawn yang /yeo / whatever. she might be eye candy at first, but nothing really substantial there. xiaxue is better because she actually has an opinion of her own, even though i don't find her particularly interesting.

readership isn't everything. i guess the best reason to blog for, is for personal satisfaction. =)

7:32 pm  

Have to agree, it's easier to blog as yourself rather than trying too hard to get something stupid out. I had committed the same crime over the past 6 months of blogging. I guess I had finally found myself.

5:30 am  

Glad to be one of your readers..=)
Jia You Otto..!!!!

6:15 am i'm a smart reader giving smart comments eh?;p I've tried so much to increase my blog statistics once-and encourage more comments.but nothing works-so I gave up and well, I grew outta it. Now my blog's like a place for me to find solace-a vent- where I can express my innermost thoughts (albeit being vague sometimes) and vivid dreams-sharing them with everyone!

love your pennings (been saying this over and over again =p)!
keep it up!

1:59 am  

Safe journey and by the time you're reading this, welcome back to Malaysia!
Its the fasting month, btw...

5:51 am  

There's nothing wrong with the Daphne Teo entry.

Anyway, yeah, things tend to be kinda quiet when you've just found your own niche, but readership will grow gradually.

I mean, last year, I was attempting to make my blog as appealing to the masses as possible (which climaxed with the whole Dawn Yang, sellout week thing I pulled off last November just for the sake of averaging more than a thousand hits a day), but the experience was empty, and I ended up shifting my attention to living life, making films, and establishing a dialogue with anyone who's willing to comment on my blog regularly.

6:58 pm  

Your blog is part of my life now. =)

4:34 pm  

Yeah, I agree with your suggestion, which is to compare ourselves with our older selves..... With good writing ethics and a routie, we might just be able to see ourselves better today than yesterday.

We've got to live a life before we are able to write about one.

Contributing towards my 100 comments mark, huh? hehehehehe...

There are different types of blogs and we could do with recognizing and appreciating them for their individuality.

A Girl
I am glad that you have similar experiences as I. It makes me feel less lonely. I guess it is comforting when we know that there is someone out there that understands all that we are going through.

There were screams in the bathroom the following morning after I snipped my hair. My hair looks like it has been gnawed by ten mice and probably 3 rats and a hedgehog too.

I think it is impossible for us not to compare. It is within our nature to do so. However like beauty, how good or bad a blog is lies in the eyes of the beholder.

"We Is Watching You" is the title. The grammar was intentionally wrong. I've been watching too many "Borat" trailers in the cinemas.

Now I am beginning to question myself, "What is my individual style?"

It is easier to write about things that we are familar with and have a knowledge of. Our stories come to life when it comes from our daily experiences.

Thanks! Glad to be one of yours too =)

Be quick with our praises and slow in anger ;P no harm praising my readers for something they genuinely are.

I wonder if you've noticed..... all Malay stalls are open during day time to serve non-Muslim customers!!! Yay! I don' t have to wait a month for my nasi dagang... Mmmm....

Ppffffhhhhh!!! You have a 1000 hits average a day? *pulls hair*


And you are part of mine.

8:26 am  

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