Blogging in 2024

blogging in 2006

Blogging in 2024 versus blogging in 2006. It’s a whole different world.

This picture above is how my old blog, Anali’s First Amendment, looked back then. This was the first capture of it on the Wayback Machine on August 11, 2006. My first post was on April 29th of that year, so it took a little while for it to register on the internet.

I was still using an alias and my picture didn’t show my whole face. This blog has been through so many iterations that I forgot what it used to look like!

We often revisit the past when thinking about what we want in the future. Doing NaBloPoMo last year was part of that process for me. When I finished, I decided that I would write twice a week, Wednesday and Sunday.

So far I have, but I’m starting to wonder why. And I’m starting to wonder why I’m continuing to blog. Before when these thoughts crept up, something would happen that made me feel like I wanted to continue. But I’ve been feeling this way for a bit and nothing has changed this time.

April 29th will be 18 years blogging. When people turn 18, in most places, that means they have reached the age of majority and can be considered an adult. The adulthood of this blog might look different.

I’ll still always write, but writing doesn’t have to be here. Time will tell.

NaBloPoMo Complete!


NaBloPomo 2023

NaBloPoMo is ovah!!! I did it! Posted everyday this month. The past couple of days, I thought I wasn’t going to make it. But it worked out.

As I’d hoped, NaBloPoMo has helped me get back on track with my blogging. If I can blog everyday for a month, I can certainly blog twice a week.

And that’s my new goal for a regular blogging schedule. Twice a week, on Wednesday and Sunday. I may veer from that if something unexpected comes up, or if I am away on vacation. Traveling more is a big goal for next year! I should be able to schedule posts ahead of time if needed, so hopefully it won’t be an issue.

I started using the Notion app recently and it’s really helping with keeping track of my goals. It’s free and I’m enjoying it more than expected. I know I mention YouTube all the time, but lots of vloggers use Notion. Starting this past October, I tried it as well. Actually, I use the app on my phone and the desktop version too.

Many of the vloggers also do a 5:00am morning routine, but I’m not there yet. Who knows though? Maybe I’ll try it for a week and see what happens.

So far I’m just using Notion to do a monthly reset. It’s quite useful in letting me define short and long term goals by reflecting on the prior month. What worked. What didn’t. Then deciding how I can tweak things to work better for the upcoming month.

December starts tomorrow, so it’s time for another monthly reset.

A Thank You Gift to Self

thank you gift to self

This thank you gift is for … me. I’m so generous. Thank you self! What a lovely surprise.

Do you read Reductress? I don’t read it all the time. But whenever I do, I literally laugh out loud. A recent article with the title, “Deadline Set by Self Graciously Extended by Self,” could not be better. Below is a snippet.

“Instead of freaking out and panic-finishing the project to meet the deadline I set for myself, I decided to email myself the night before,” you continued. “I very calmly said, ‘Hey, I’ve had some family stuff going on this week – is it possible to extend this deadline by 48 or perhaps 480 hours?’”

After reading this article, I decided to offer myself the gift of another very short post. I can see the NaBloPoMo finish line just over the horizon. And I need a little breather.

NaBloPoMo 2023


Sixteen years! That’s how long it’s been since I first did NaBloPoMo. Way back in 2007. It was the last time too. I may have silently sworn to never do it again. In case you’re not familiar, NaBloPoMo is short for National Blog Posting Month.

It happens in November and was all the rage back in the day, which I’ve heard referred to as the golden age of blogging. Yup! The golden age. When I first heard that I felt like I was 300 years old. I wasn’t sure if it was still a thing. A quick searched revealed that it is, but on a much smaller scale.

Anyway, NaBloPoMo gave a blogging nod to NaNoWriMo, which is National Novel Writing Month. What they both do is give us writers a goal of writing every day during the month.

So why am I doing this now? Because of Vlogtober. I really enjoy Kay Patterson’s vlogs on YouTube. Kay, who lives in Boston, just finished Vlogtober yesterday. For Vlogtober, vloggers post a video each day during October.

I started thinking about how I’d like to blog at least once a week again. Blogging everyday would be a nice jump-start and would make once a week seem like nothing. NaBloPoMo is a marathon, not a sprint, and I know to pace myself accordingly.

Wish me luck and see you back here tomorrow!

An Artist Date at Italian Cafe Gelato

If you’re a writer, then you’re probably familiar with Julia Cameron’s book The Artist’s Way and the idea of Morning Pages. I’m not a morning person. So writing first thing was never something that appealed to me. But the Artist Date. Now that’s something that I can get with. And so I did.

An Artist Date is supposed to become a weekly habit. Weekly may not happen. But I can try. Visiting cafes is one of my favorite things, so it’s definitely an easy way to get that date in. I’ve also ventured out a lot more since the pandemic, so I’m getting used to or maybe creating a new way of being out in the world again. I still wear a mask indoors at many public places. But I’m also eating out now, obviously without a mask. It feels a bit strange, but it also felt a bit strange when I first started wearing a mask. Doing the reverse will take an adjustment period too.

Last week the weather was more like July than April. So one night after work, I decided to take myself out for a gelato at Italian Cafe Gelato here in Quincy. They have so many delicious flavors to choose from. I taste tested a few and settled on the lemon ricotta. It was so good! Sweeter than I expected, and so creamy and cold. Just perfect.

One thing to be aware of if you go. Most places you can get a cover and take your gelato to go. You cannot get a cover to go unless you buy a pint. Rather odd. Oh well.

So I sat inside, and savored my gelato while looking outside the window at the pretty lights in the alley.

It was such a lovely night out, so I took my time heading back to my car and looked around the area. Over the past several years, I’ve noticed so many places going out of business. Noticed trees being cut down. The landscape of cities and towns changes every few decades. The stores that you see and go to everyday probably won’t be around in 25 years. It made me think that I should have taken more pictures of the ordinary 25 years ago.

Since I don’t have the option of time travel at this point, I figured I’d start taking those ordinary pictures now. Future me will be glad that I did.

This Sully’s sign is from a bygone era and probably won’t be around for too long. According to Eater Boston, the bar opened soon after Prohibition ended and closed in June 2018. I love these old signs, so I’ll try and capture them when I can.

A little past the Sully’s sign is Sergeant George Montilio Square. As someone with a huge sweet tooth, I immediately though of George Montilio of Montilio’s Bakery. But it seemed that he would be way too young to have served in World War II. Maybe it was his father?

So after taking this picture, I did some research. George, the famous baker, just recently turned 70, so that definitely was not him. His father started the bakery 76 years ago, but his name was Ernest Montilio. The Square is named after an Army Sergeant who “died of wounds” on April 17, 1945. Well, that’s odd. Just realized that today is April 17th as well!

The Hall of Valor Project website states that Sergeant George Montilio received the Distinguished Service Cross, “[F]or extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an armed enemy while serving with Company H, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division, in action against enemy forces on 6 June 1944, in France. As a volunteer scout, Corporal Montilio carried out an assault on a footbridge under intense machine gun and small arms fire. Though the bridge was held by a superior number of the enemy, his daring and aggressiveness forced them to withdraw and thereby permitted his unit to organize and hold their objective.”

* * *

When I decided to go out for gelato, I didn’t realize that I was doing an Artist Date until afterwards and I thought about it. This type of practice really does bring about creativity and some learning along the way.

Since George Montilio is not a very common name, I wonder if he was part of the same family. Considering he was from this area, it seems likely that he could have been a relative. Maybe the current George was named after him? I guess it’s family history that he probably knows.

Rest in peace, Sergeant Montilio, and thank you for your service.