Happy Blogiversary To Me!

cheersToday marks my three-year blogiversary. Quite a milestone, if I may say so! I’d actually forgotten the exact date I took the plunge into the blogosphere until today when my WordPress account prompted to renew my expiring domain name (something I have to do annually).

Three years ago today, I bought my own Tweetupdomain name and started a blog so that I would have writing samples for potential employers. Little did I know that blogging would catapult me into a completely new career path and take me into the uncharted waters of tweet-ups and other social media/blogging-related meetups. Not to mention the countless people I’ve met virtually and in real life thanks to this medium.

I don’t think I ever thought about where blogging would lead me or what would actually become of this blog. I simply just wrote in hopes that someone, at least–if not solely–my parents, would read, enjoy, be entertained, and be challenged by what I wrote.

breakfast sandwichMy first blog post was about a sandwich. I’m a woman of many words when it comes to the foods I enjoy, so it’s no surprise that food posts have made many appearances on this blog. I’ve shared family cooking traditions, expounded upon my own food obsessions, and even passed along a recipe or two.

classroomAnother thing I’ve loved about having this blog is that it’s been a great forum for creating dialogue on social issues that are important to me such as education, health care, and the latest happenings in local government. Facebook and Twitter rants don’t quite do it for me.

I raise my glass to you, Prince William!

Then of course, there’s the lighter side. That’s the great thing about having a blog called Ramblings, I can write about whatever I want. Conversation starters for the socially challenged, gushing over my literary crushes, reflecting on an old celebrity crush, requesting to work for Saturday Night Live in a cheeky cover letter, lamenting the death of romance, ranting about Comic Sans. One of my greatest joys came from solving the age-old mystery from my youth about the disappearance of the other Cinnamon Toast Crunch bakers.

Perhaps the biggest laugh for me is in realizing that Snooki has provided my blog with the most traffic. Thanks to the post I wrote about her publishing a novel, there was always a spike in traffic to my blog on Thursdays just before Jersey Shore aired. Thank you, Google image search!

So, what’s next? What will the next three years bring? More of everything, I hope! For starters, it’s time to get back to a more frequent blogging schedule. Second, it’s time to get more personal. Perhaps throw in a bit more about my own life, only the interesting parts of course! Lastly, I really want to take a look at how I can engage foreign readers. Within the last year, WordPress started keeping stats on clicks by country. It’s really cool to look at the map of top views by country for my blog:

Screen shot 2013-01-25 at 9.47.56 PM

People from Myanmar have visited my blog? Not to mention Albania, Egypt, Mauritius, Australia, and India. It blows my mind! If only I could get this visitors to speak to me and share their stories. The possibilities would be endless. I would love to find a way to foster an international conversation.

We’ll see what’s happen. Here’s to the next three years and beyond!

Champagne toast!
Champagne toast!

Even Your First (Celebrity) Crush Grows Up and Gets Married One Day

Everyone that knew me well in my early high school days knew that Prince William was my first and most major celebrity crush. If you can remember back to how girls were at that age, you might remember that having a crush was serious stuff. Us adolescent girls were devoted to our crushes and we did not keep our devotions a secret. At our lunch table, my girlfriends and I gabbed about our latest crushes, both celebrity and non-celebrity, over peanut butter sandwiches and cookies. Prince William was the object of my affection and naturally I talked about my crush all of the time. Did you see Prince William on the cover of YM? I love him. I can’t wait to join the Royal Family one day.  I even talked about this crush to the school newspaper. For a symposium published around the time of the Homecoming dance, I was asked, “Who would you most like to take to the school dance and why?” I answered:

Forget about sounding self-centered and shallow, I wanted the world to know that I intended to become the next Princess of Wales. I had a serious crush here!

Then, of course, as my crush on Prince William grew, so did the collection of pictures of him plastered around my room. I devoted one closet door in my bedroom to a Prince William collage, which I adorned with magazine and newspaper cutouts and printed pictures from the Internet. (I had to stop printing color pictures from the Internet after I was reprimanded for using up too much ink in the family printer). Take a look:

The nice thing about having a well-known celebrity crush is that your friends start to pick up on the fact and then they give you pictures they’d saved from their teen magazines and newspapers. They might even buy you posters of your crush or copies of magazines featuring a story on your crush. My sister was kind enough to give me a Prince William poster as a Christmas present. Naturally, I hung the poster above my bed:

Along with verbal devotion and pictorial shrines, there was of course written devotion to the crush. I wrote unabashedly about my love for Prince William in my diary. I even scrawled Sonja + Prince William on the inside front cover. (Other names had to be crossed out for that.) See for yourself:


Of course, crushes don’t last forever and eventually, even I outgrew my crush on Prince William. I moved on from the celebrity crush phase and scoped out the boys sitting next to me in my classes. Magazine cutouts were replaced by photographs on my bedroom wall. I let go of my desire to become the next Princess of Wales and focused instead on joining as many extracurriculars that my schedule would permit.

I never thought about Prince William again until last year, when Prince William and longtime girlfriend Kate Middleton, announced their engagement. I couldn’t help but think about myself as a fourteen year-old girl. My fourteen year-old self would have been devastated by this news. I probably would have ripped down my Prince William collage in a fit of anger. What do you mean MY crush is getting married?!  Thinking about that version of myself made me smile. There is something wonderful about having a teenage crush. The feelings of having a crush at fourteen can never be replicated. There is an innocence in believing that you can have strong feelings for someone you’ve never met and that simply having strong feelings is enough to give you a chance with a total stranger like Prince William. Once you’re older and realize how silly that idea is, there’s no way to return to that innocence.

Or is there? Enter Prince William’s wedding day. I woke up at 4:15 in the morning and watched Prince William’s wedding ceremony live. I put on a dress and a fancy hat and headed over to the local British pub for a viewing party. I wanted to watch the wedding as a nod to my fourteen year-old self and the faded collage that still covers one closet door in my childhood bedroom.  In that brief moment of watching the ceremony, I returned to that innocence of being a fourteen year-old girl with a crush. It was the perfect epilogue to a much earlier chapter in my life.

I raise my glass to you, Prince William!