Category Archives: blog

Ain’t no sunshine when she’s gone…

Wow, I have received the “Sunshine” Award – my very first Bog Award! Thank you, Victoria, for nominating me!

Per the Sunshine Award protocol (see below), here are 11 facts about myself:

  1. My favorite book growing up was The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, by C.S. Lewis.
  2. I read it in Russian, which is my native tongue.
  3. I was born and raised in Ukraine, but speak fluently in Russian, not Ukrainian. Ukrainian was secondary to Russian when I was growing up (although it is the national language and heavily emphasized there now), but I can understand it…whether or not Ukrainians understand my Ukrainian is a different story.
  4. I had a similar experience of mis-communication when I tried to speak Spanish in Italy. I understood a lot of what was said to me by picking out the Latin roots, but my listeners were lost when I tried to answer back in Spanish.
  5. The above happened when a friend and I visited her long-lost relatives in Sicily. She looked them up when we studied abroad in Europe. I spent a wonderful semester in 3 countries: 5 weeks each in Salamanca (Spain), Paris (France) and Rome (Italy).
  6. As you have probably gathered, I love to travel. My personal theory is that immigrants are more predisposed to moving throughout their lives and traveling. For some reason, we just can’t sit still and are always on the lookout for a better place to be, whether temporarily or to settle down in. And since we’ve gone through it before, it takes the pressure and the fear off of attempting it yet again.
  7. I moved to America with my family when I was 9.
  8. Without having to go to far, I love to immerse myself in other worlds, through various forms of art. This is why I love to read, listen to music, see performances of the opera/ballet/dance shows, visit art exhibits, and watch movies.
  9. I also like to participate in the arts. I dance and teach dance, and I sketch. Recently I have started to paint.
  10. My favorite color is purple.
  11. And to bring it back full circle: I am currently re-reading the entire Chronicles of Narnia series, in English this time. It’s a little awkward reading a children’s illustrated novel on the public transport, but hey – stranger things are seen in NYC!

And here are my nominees for the “Sunshine Award”:

  1. http://whenthesunwakes.wordpress.com/
  2. http://shadowsofthedivine.wordpress.com/
  3. http://chestermaynes.wordpress.com/
  4. http://cristianmihai.net/
  5. http://ilonasmeditationchallenge.wordpress.com/
  6. http://sfoxwriting.com/
  7. http://fiftyfourandahalf.com/
  8. http://jullianiskool.wordpress.com/
  9. http://mylifeinverse.com/
  10. http://possumsareawesome.wordpress.com/

The Sunshine Award Rules

  • Thank the person who nominated you and link back to their blog.
  • List 11 facts about yourself.      
  • Nominate 10 other blogs to receive the award.  
  • Announce the nominations to the nominees.           
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Back to Basics

Growing up, I was always reading. I was fascinated by the ability of writers to master a language and create a whole new world within the pages of a book. Now, everything is digital and almost everyone is a writer – just look at the amount of blogs out there!

Using all the resources available to us now, we have expanded the ability to communicate beyond what is physically feasible – people can reach each other across the globe with the touch of a button! With that said, the human element has somehow gotten lost in translation.

I’d like to raise questions and invite people to think about what we are gaining and what we are giving up. The culture today is all about instant gratification, without taking the time to getting to the root of something and finding the best solution. The media and industry has a stronghold on all aspects of our lives. We are being brainwashed without realizing it, every time we watch a show, ride the subway, read a nutrition label, or put on a brand of clothing. Healthcare is running on autopilot: diagnose, prescribe medication, dispense, bill insurance. Our bodies are abused rather than being nurtured.

The world is on the precipice of something – values are shaking up and people are awakening as if from a deep slumber. We are the the masters of our own destiny. If we are careful, we can find a balance with nature and live in harmony, within and without.

My intention for this blog is to organize my ideals for what it means to be human, and inspire people to find their own ideals. Everyone is different, but we must each embrace our individuality in order to stay true to ourselves. Looking within is the key to living a happier, healthier life. I will also post tips on health & wellness, spirituality, nutrition, and living green.

Namaste, to those who are reading and following.

Blogging Tips

It is hard work trying to find interesting topics to blog about and appealing to a wide audience. I was trying to search for more ways to promote my blog all morning, and through a series of links I found this site. Mentally I prepared a basic checklist, and noticed that titles, short paragraphs and tags are important tools to make the readers’ search more efficient and organized.

Furthermore, I read that categorizing your blog posts makes it easier for readers to navigate and may increase readership to your site. So for the past 20 minutes I’ve been trying to edit all my posts and filing them into different categories in the hopes of attracting a bigger audience. Frankly, when I started this blog it was for a school assignment, but I found myself actually hoping that my posts would be read by a wider audience than just my classmates. Maybe I can reach out to more people who have similar interests to mine. Unfortunately, what I’ve been a magnet to the most are spam comments and advertisements.

According to that same site, you should post frequently and maybe even invite others to post on your blog for a sort of collaborative community effort. Another thing that you could do is use Chicklets, which are icons that make it easy for readers to keep coming back to your site. (I attempted to make use of these myself, but unfortunately couldn’t figure out how to post the codes onto the WordPress site. If anyone knows how to do this, please comment!!)

You should also have a theme or some character to your blog, because no one wants to read the same old boring reports. Either your writing style or a new spin on some news worthy event should attract a broader audience.

The Word “Blog”

So, I’ve started this blog as a class work assignment for my college English class, along with my classmates who are doing the same thing. We read each other’s blogs, comment on it and otherwise surf within the blogosphere quite often. Especially in recent times, there are always blogs popping up when I try to search for something via search engines. But does anyone know where the actual word “blog” comes from?

My dad actually asked me this question, and I was stumped because I realized that I can’t give him an answer, nor did I ever wonder about this myself. However, I thought it might be a good idea for my next blog entry. Surprisingly, I couldn’t find many sources for a reliable answer. Ironically most of the things I stumbled upon were other blogs or forums where users attempted to answer it. Finally, I found something and here it is: The definition according to my research comes from this website, which reads, “the word ‘Blog’ comes from the word ‘Weblog’ which was coined by Jorn Barger in 1997.”

The trend of creating free blogs began in the early 90’s, when people would keep an online journal of their lives and thoughts. It gained popularity in the mid and as of November 2006 there were an estimated 60 Million free blogs created. According to my online source, most people keep blogs for fun. Because they are so versatile, you can create a free account and write about anything of your interest. Many people write within a niche, an area of their personal interest and expertise. Not only are blogs useful as a personal outlet or something to share with friends, it can also earn its author money. In fact, many people are now earning enough to make it their career.

Right now, WordPress.com, the site I’m using offers free blog spaces and subscriptions. There are currently 2,906,312 active blogs on the site. Authors are writing about every possible topic of interest to themselves and their readers. Comments on each entry could often be even more interesting and may promote for exciting back and forth conversation. Now there are blog entries dedicated to the very task of blog promoting, or advertising your own blog. Authors such as Dosh Dosh dedicate their blogs to teaching other users about blogging.

It’s Getting Crowded Here

When I started this blog, I looked at it as just another thing I have to complete as part of a homework assignment in order to receive a good grade in class. However, I’m actually pleased with a lot of the stuff I have come up with on a whim, and decided to jot down as blog posts here. As I look back on it, I really think it has helped me be more organized and made me a better writer. Even though I still feel a bit restrained by the word count and minimum amount of posts, overall it was a good learning experience.

While I was doing some web surfing for links I could include in my posts, or just browsing research topics for random assignments in my other classes, I have made a few observations. For one: the blogosphere is getting crowded! Anytime I use the Google search engine, my key search words lead me to tagged blog posts from various authors and about all kinds of topics. Most of the time, I don’t know whether or not these sources are reliable so I tend to steer away from them on research topics, but I do take a look if they interest me, and now I’ve even begun to leave a couple of comments.

Another thing that takes effect from all this blogging and internet surfing is that everything seems to be moving towards electronic means. We barely ever write out things by hand anymore, or go to the library, or write personal letters. Now everything is at your fingertips just by logging onto your PC, laptop, palm pilot, or even phone! On the one hand, you can’t fight progress, but on the other hand, aren’t we losing something of personal value in the process? Plus, for those people who do not have a social networking account such as MySpace, Facebook, an AIM account or a blog, it is extremely difficult to keep up. I feel like my friends who aren’t using these programs are totally disconnected from the world!