A year of ranting and rolling

Can you believe it?

One hundred and eighty-odd posts later and here we are – looking back on a year of blogging.

I started Rant and Roll because I love to write and because I am easily destroyed by issues that either break my heart or force steam out of my ears.

My amazing friend Sherie encouraged me to write down my rants, mostly due to the fact that she would absolutely kill herself laughing any time I was on the warpath, orating and gesticulating widely (like the modern day – severely pissed off – Pericles that I can be.)

And so I did.

At first all of my posts really were rants – calling out injustices, lamenting social ills, and waxing long on my huge beef with institutionalized sexism.

Pfft. If it’s not cutting at least 50 lbs, I can’t even be bothered.

But then, little, by little, my small corner of the internet began to evolve.

Sure, I still wrote about issues near and dear to my heart (I don’t think I could stop even if I tried.)

However, I also started to write about other things – my relationship with the brilliant man whom I share my heart and home; our kitty cat who rules the roost; and my travels both near and far, new and old.

Ms. Nymeria cuddling with Mr. M.

I began sharing pieces of fiction and poems.

My tricky relationship with the fashion industry has been well documented (as have the very good and very bad pieces I’ve stumbled across whilst playing dress-up on my lunch breaks.)

I’ve written about my past struggles with eating disorders and an experience from my youth that has left me scarred, but not broken.

I’ve written about my rocky relationship with hockey and my slow-building courtship with soccer.

CONCACAF action.

In April I was Freshly Pressed and it was pretty much the COOLEST THING EVER.

There were days that I was so tired coming home from work that I cried.

But I also drooled on the metro.

I made pea soup and I cooked breakfast for dinner.

I hiked a mountain in California, and came third in my third ever half-marathon.

Beautiful Haystack Mt.

I was a Tough Mudder.

All that mud covered a crap load of bruises and cuts!

I took on the “I don’t watch TV” crowd.

I laughed a lot.

It has been simply smashing.

So what have I learned from this brilliant experience? What do I take away from three hundred and sixty-five days of blogging?

Well, the first thing is that I am darn proud of my little R&R.

On day one I swore to myself that I would write three times a week, no excuses.

At first it was hard – I wanted each piece to be INTELLIGENT, and THOUGHT PROVOKING.

High brow or die! FIRE AT WILL COMMANDER.

But then I just started to sit back and let it flow. I made sure not to force any one post into being something that it wasn’t – that it couldn’t be.

Looking back, there were some weeks where I wrote four, even five posts – not because I felt like I had to, but because I was inspired, and passionate, and excited, and so so happy to feel my fingers a-tap-tapping, flying across the keyboard, just trying to keep up to the pace of my frantic thoughts that were just spilling out of my head, onto the desk, and all over the floor.

I’ve learned that pictures and media are a good way of adding colour to your blog (no pun intended).

Palm trees at night, a visual delight.

(Or just to drive home the point of how truly bonkers you really are.)

I’ve learned that spam bots will leave comments that leave me breathless from laughter, and that real life people will leave comments that melt my heart into a puddle of mush.

(This is a good thing.)

But it the end, what I first and foremost take away from this crazy year of blogging is the opportunity to make my way through the remarkable WordPress community, read some outstanding blogs, and get to know some truly phenomenal people.

To all of my brilliant and beautiful blog friends, I wouldn’t want to do this without you.

You make me laugh at your fantastic wit.

You make me cry with your profound prose.

You make me fall in love with your children and your pets.

You make me jealous of all your amazing fashion pieces, and your delicate eyes for mixing and patching different patterns and palates.

You make me run faster, and work out harder.

You make me marvel at your art, your photography, your writing.

You make me want to be a better blogger.

You make me want to be better.

So thank you. Thank you all.

Here’s to another year of blogging.

Till next time champs!

So everyone buckle up – here come the terrible twos.

I dream. Sometimes I think it’s the right thing to do.

Guess what friends?

This is my one hundredth blog post!

YOWZA!

Heavens to Betsy, I can hardly believe it.

I started Ye Olde Rant and Roll last October, because I was missing creative writing something fierce.

I was already writing a boat load for work- including blogging three times a week – so I figured if I had the stamina to keep it up at my job, there was absolutely no reason why I couldn’t stick to a schedule of writing three times a week for fun.

(Hilarious almost typo. I first wrote “fur” instead of fun. I most definitely would not write three times a week for fur.)

At first all of my posts were Rants. (Definitely capital R.)

There was bad stuff going down all over the world, including in my own back yard, and I wanted to draw attention to those issues.

I had a voice – I might as well use it.

This was fantastic for the first little while, until I realized that I wasn’t totally worked up about issues all the live long day. I didn’t have enough things grinding my gears to produce three posts a week.

Plus, amazing, intriguing, inspiring things were happening on an almost daily basis – brilliant things were going on, and they were affecting me as much as the other issues I was discussing.

Write, write, write, write!

So gradually, I began to explore different sides of the world, and my life, through this here blog spot.

I started writing about fashion. And food. I wrote more about my life with Mr. M and our little beauty cat Nymeria.

I wrote about past travel plans, vacation adventures as they were happening, and I’ve hinted about expeditions that will soon be coming down the pipe.

(Mixed metaphor? Oh well, I’m owning it.)

I’m chronicling my progression to Tough Mudder status, unpacking my love-hate relationship with professional hockey, and singing the praises of my always entertaining family, my brilliant friends.

BUT! One the most important elements of this insanely wonderful ride is I’ve had the chance to meet all you rad-freaking-tastic readers and writers.

And I love that I get to have a glimpse into your lives, your stories, your rants and your rolls.

I’ve started writing upwards of five times a week because I feel so honoured to be a part of this amazing community, and I just get so jazzed the heck up all the time about stories that, well, jazz me the heck up!

This is how you dudes and dudettes make me feel!

A couple of you have asked me where I got my nickname from. So prepare yourselves for a thrill!

Well, almost three summers ago I worked with two beautiful young ladies, both the same height, one brunette and one blond. One day I made a joke to another colleague about them being Betty and Veronica. He turned to me and asked, “well, what does that make you?”

“Um,” I said. “Well…I’m tall, and lanky, and pretty nerdy. So – I guess that makes me Ethel?”

And it did. To many, many people from that day forth, I was Ethel.

The second part stems from a lunch break I had the day after I defended my Master’s thesis. I spent the whole time describing my research to a co-worker. At the end of my (ahem) rant, he asked me if I would rather he call me “doctor” or “the dean.”

“The dean,” I said.

So there you go. The birth of Ethel the Dean!

And to mark this auspicious occasion, if there are any other questions you have about my bonkers life, I’d be happy answer them.

(To an extent. Or for fur.)