The Google blogger machine presents you with infinite design and layout possibilities. Or if not quite that many, enough to leave you cross-eyed. Yesterday I spent a couple of hours picking a new set of elements that I think make this blog cleaner-looking and easier to read. I hope it works.
Aside from changing the appearance I also wanted to add links to a few other blogs I follow.
Billie Mercer's blog is one of my favorites even if she doesn't write much; in fact she hasn't posted anything for a couple of months. But her prose is not why I follow her blog. It's her photographs, which are awesome on the screen and even more so when you see them on paper.
If you fancy yourself a photographer, viewing her work could trigger two reactions. One is frustration, as in, "Hell, I'll never come close to that!" The other is inspiration, which Billie provides through her images and in person by her generous advice.
I discovered Roger Ebert's blog only a couple of days ago, when it was mentioned in a rave review of his memoirs in the New York Times. His movie reviews and commentary are both insightful and stylish. I intend to read him regularly.
Pioneer Woman, aka Ree Drummond, was profiled in the New Yorker magazine a few months ago. Her site is not a blog, but a medium-sized enterprise, a case of multi-tasking run amok. She is an accomplished photographer, book writer, mother who home-schools her children, cowgirl, wife of a guy she calls the Marlboro Man (he looks like it too), owner of a photogenic basset hound named Charlie and the host of a new program on the Food Network. That's all before noon. Her pretense of self-sufficiency is patently not credible; she must have a full-time staff of six or eight people just to answer e-mails from the hundreds of thousands of followers of her blog. Nonetheless she is a very good photographer and a fun writer too.
Steve Cotton's blog is interesting because he is interesting and also a good writer. Interesting as in a gringo who bypassed the usual expat hangouts in Mexico like Ajijic and San Miguel de Allende and instead set up shop in the Pacific beach resort of Malaque, where it's so hot and humid half of the year that even the mosquitoes pack their bags and flee. I like his eye for detail and he's not even a journalist but a damn lawyer.
I also enjoy Babsblog. I know Barbara but forgot how to spell her last name. Her off-the-cuff comments and observations about San Miguel are fun to read, probably because she doesn't take herself too seriously.
Maybe in the future I would also like to post some of my photographs, which are piling up in the hard drive of the computer. But before that I need to learn how to raise sheep, train Italian greyhounds and get my own talk show on Oprah's network. Get ready for Pioneer Man.