Day 10: Dress Up Your Blog With Widgets

“Today’s assignment: add and customize two widgets.”

Today I added the Twitter timeline widget and took away the Facebook widget. I’m more active on Twitter anyway, though if you want to take a look at my music Facebook page you can do so here.

I also added the Follow Blog widget so followers/readers can sign up for email notifications every time I pubish a new post. Then I rearranged all my other widgets so the ones on the right didn’t extend down my page too long placing the Search, RSS Links, and Archives widgets on the bottom the page.

Just some minor adding and reorganization. Not much to report other than that, so that’s all for today, folks. More soon – 3o Day Challenge and otherwise! 🙂

Day 8: Make Your “About” Page Irresistible

Today’s assignment: Create an About page, or revisit and improve the one you have”

My old/first RKB (Roe Knows Best) “About” page:

 “June 2013

My name is Rosanna O’Brien.  I am a Ramapo College alumnus – Class of 2013.  I have a B.A. in Music with dual concentrations in Music Industry and Music Production, a minor in Information Systems, and a certificate in Business Essentials.  I’m a music/culture geek, Star Trek nerd, and accomplished singer-songwriter (see my current Song Shop project).  I’ve recently gotten back into the swing of reading and am on a huge Oasis kick.

I started this blog much to the encouragement of my dad. We were driving one day and talking about a dream I had. He said, “Why don’t you write it down? Why don’t you blog about it?” to which I replied, “Well, I’ve thought about it. But no one would ever read it, so why bother?” He exclaimed, “Well what if the grass felt the same way every time someone cut it down?!” which led us to discuss that great Joseph Campbell parable.  I realized I shouldn’t be pessimistic and act so defeated when I haven’t even tried yet, ya know?  Like the grass, the nature of every human being is to keep striving and growing until we no longer can.  I have always believed in the importance of writing things down – What’s going on, how I feel about it, etc. Sometimes it comes down to mustering up enough courage and self-discipline to push through; That’s the hardest thing of all.  Once anyone gets over that, they’re golden.

So here I am.  I have something to say. Let’s talk about somethinganything, everything.

See my new “About” page here.

Day 7: Do Some More Personalizing

Today’s Assignment

Yes, I know – My blog looks a little less awesome now that I changed around the chic Matala theme. Well it’s still the same theme, it just doesn’t have the cool visual header and title bar.

Just think of it as an rough draft/attempt to personalize my blog a little bit more; Some days aren’t gonna be pretty.

Today is one of those days.

I do like how I incorporated my signature on to the header though. Maybe in the future if I can make it a little bit smaller it would really do the trick. That is my real signature, by the way. I worked that -ish out when I was in middle school, so I’m very proud of it and consider it to be very endearing.

After much trial and error testing out other images and solid colors, I decided on lined notebook paper as my background. Main reason being I feel like my life is an open book right now; The pages are empty and fresh, just waiting to be written on. Roe may know best, but she is still surfing that tidal wave – still figuring out the ever-changing contours. She is focused on bettering herself so she may know “better”.

And that’s all for today. I probably should keep working on my upcoming 24/7 track for the remainder of the night. Listen to the ones I’ve done so far if you have a moment!

Day 6: Publish A Post That Includes A New Element

Today’s Assignment

I’ve had this song on repeat since this past weekend.

You know when you stumble across something you’ve listened to hundreds of times before and all of sudden in that moment, in that exact time in your life, you become awash with transcendent emotion because it all makes such perfect sense in ways it never did before? Now I know I’ve already posted in this 30 day challenge about Saves The Day and how much they mean to me, but I need to talk about this song and why it’s so important not just for me, but maybe for you other 20-somethings out there who are in need for a soundtrack to accompany your predicament and your just-blossoming life. Music is therapy – always.

That melancholy, apathetic opening guitar tone is like a blanket that I don’t know whether to curl up in its promising comfort or cry in its lonely, dark-encompassing emptiness. I let out a sigh of sadness as Chris Conley’s longing vocals come in, “And I’m gonna get to the bottom of this, gonna peel back my skin and look at myself shaking and shivering“. Existential crisis confounds us all. You can try to ignore it, but it will never go away. These are the years to ask all the pressing the questions we couldn’t make time for throughout our years of schooling; There’s this desperate rush to figure it out, to understand when we’ve been trying to understand everything else our whole lives. But these fundamental questions of “What is life”, “Who am I?”, “What am I doing here?” “What is my purpose?” seem more important than anything else we’ve ever asked ourselves because this is the root. And we turn inwards, trying to figure ourselves out and even though that’s the first step, we are scared and confused beyond recognition.

There’s still longing for something else, something felt but not seen or heard that one can only feel within. And though we know it is so, the search never seems to end. The lyrics from a literal point of view paint this quasi-suicidal picture of wanting to just end it all because it’s such a terrific burden and the journey, seemingly aimless. And though that may be so, metaphorically it is all rebirth because what must live must eventually die like a snake sheds its skin. “And as my skin collects in a pile on the ground, I’ll radiate heat and turn off my head and just pretend that I don’t exist. Then, I’ll see clearly to the end“. We strip away our body to see what’s really inside our minds, our soul, trying to shut out desire and fear and just be. But it’s never easy; We sometimes feel prisoner to this existential quest, but we must come to peace with it somehow.

Truth is, I’ve felt like this. And I think it’s normal to feel this way at one point or another. There are days I make my peace and there are days filled with uncompromised anxiety. Life is ups and downs and it would not be Life without them; There would be no downs without the ups and there would be no ups without the downs. It’s emotional gravity. This song is important to me because I feel it aligns so much with what I’m currently going through, this kind of aimless wandering trying to find my niche. Sometimes it feels like the world doesn’t want me and it weighs me down. But I always know the next day will be better and waking up in the morning facing a new day is the restart button I seek sometimes. And some days I feel I have nothing figured out but after I close my eyes and attempt to center myself I know one day I will, and this is the first step out of many in figuring out who I am and what I’m going to do with the rest of my life. It’s a daunting thing that no one wants to fuck up. And even if we do make a mistake, chances are it’s only temporary but most importantly, normal.

I know these feelings will eventually go away, but sometimes it’s nice to wrap yourself up in that blanket and hide away for awhile or rightly so, let out a good cry. We’re only human after all.

Day 5: Love Your Theme

I changed my theme today. I really didn’t wanna do it at first, but I did. I was using Retro-fitted for 8 months so I guess it was time for a change…but I don’t like change. I’m not sure if anyone truly does, but sometimes we just have to bite the bullet and do it. Sometimes it can feel good! It did today.

The assignment for Day 5 was to try out 3 different themes, even if it was different from what you’d normally choose. I ended up choosing Matala (as you can see). I love the color and the beautiful imperfection of it all. It looks like someone was painting over an old wall. (Shoutout to Matt Mullenweg for creating this!) That strip of paper as the navigation bar is cool too. I like that. I feel like it represents who I am in a way – Organized, yet slightly scattered and partially flawed…but still enduring…still in progress. I guess I could customize it more if I wanted to, but after a freak lentil incident (I dropped cooked lentils all over my kitchen floor and dining room carpet. You can call me Miz Butterfingers) I am pressed for time and still have a lot I want to get done before the day’s out! Maybe another day I’ll get to adding my own personal flair you know, when I have more time and patience and all that.

The other themes I did try but didn’t like were Chunk and Sight. Sight was nice but wasn’t really the look I was going for. I felt it was devoid of personality and color. I also didn’t like how small the tagline was and how it wasn’t under the title. I did like how it looked on tablets and smartphones though; It has what’s called a responsive layout. (You learn something new everyday!) Chunk was okay, but I didn’t like how the navigation bar was backwards from what it’s always been; “Home” was the last button and “Twenty-Four / Seven” was the first. The Matala structure is more along the lines of Retro-fitted but definitely shows a lot more personality and creativity (IMO). It was worth scrapping the responsive layout to have something more expressive.

That’s all for today, folks! I’ll be back tomorrow 🙂