Nov 22, 2009  •  In Art/Design, Blogging, Web

A New Manifesto

Seek the lofty by reading, hearing and seeing great work at some moment every day.
             ~ Thornton Wilder

Last week, a friend posed the question Why I Blog. (Why Do You?) The post was perfectly timed, because I had been struggling with the premise behind this blog for the past few weeks.

Technorati’s 10 most popular blogs as of November 22, 2009

Lately I have become disenchanted with the blogsphere, by the mere corporatization of the blogging world and its community.

I no longer consider the top blogs blogs. I consider them internet magazines, run by staff, featuring multiple writers, subject to corporate scrutiny, and driven by profit.

Little by little, I found myself glancing over their headlines, ignoring them, then unsubscribing to some altogether.

I began to work hard to discover “the little guys.” Mind you, they may have massive followings and make a pretty profit from ads and sponsors. Or they might be an obscure writer publishing under the default WordPress theme, unbeknownst to the world save a few lucky souls who happened to stumble upon their blog one day.

The only difference is that these bloggers write of their personal lives and innermost thoughts, bearing their hearts out to the world. They have no niche. And while millions may fit this mold, what makes these bloggers rise above the rest is their ability to draw the reader into their lives merely by their superb storytelling and writing prowess.

I want to be like them.

The problem lies in the fact that my writing ability is nowhere as great as these scribes. With 133,000,000 blogs in existence, how can I set myself apart from the rest without becoming commercialized?

The answer is simple.

Create a great written AND visual experience.

I have been told I am a decent writer. Why not add my eye for design into the mix?

This post is the start of a new direction, and I will continue to introduce visual changes to this blog. From this day forward, I vow to do the following:

Showcase my best work in each blog post. Take hours to write that one post. Read, re-read, and only publish the best. Take the time to include additional visual stylings. Take a clue from the bloggers featured in The Death of the Blog Post, and make each blog post a separate work of art.

Categorize each blog post. Written works will take on the format above. When I want to share a product, picture, video, hyperlink…even a tweet or a Facebook status, I will do so under a separate, appropriate category. And yes, each category will be styled according to its purpose.

Establish myself as a brand. Sure, I may not have a niche, and my life may not be too interesting. But what this blog represents is myself. I am my own brand. Let this blog best represent who I am as a person because who else can do a better job?

I once read that it is harder to get 500 subscribers than 1,000. I see this in action every day not only in the blogsphere, but in all facets of social media. The popular keep getting more popular while the smaller guys struggle to gain even modest growth.

Perhaps this change is what Geek in Heels needs to finally push it over that 500 mark.

Nov 22, 2009  •  In Geek, Music, Photography, Star Wars

Star Wars: In Concert

Yesterday J and I attended Star Wars: In Concert at the IZOD Center in East Rutherford, NJ.

It was…SPECTACULAR. I loved it.

We recorded a video of the opening number. I loved how they included the THX and 20th Century Fox music at the beginning, just like at the movies!

Here is J’s Flickr set for the event. He’s quite the photographer, don’t you think?

One of the best parts about the concert has to be that Anthony Daniels (the actor who played C3P0) narrated the entire event! He was the perfect choice to chronicle the musical journey, second only to John Williams himself.

Star Wars: In Concert only just started its tour, so go check out the tour dates and experience the magic for yourself!

(A huge thanks to J for putting up with my humming the Star Wars theme on the way to AND back from the concert! What can I say, I was excited!)

Nov 21, 2009  •  In Asian, Beauty, Personal, Reviews

Steam Perm

My natural hair is stick straight and has the tendency to hang straight down with no body or movement, as you can see from this photo of myself at 16:

The Asian glamour photos that were so popular in the 90s.

No matter how short I cut my hair, how much layers were cut in, how much products were used, my hair refused to maintain any body and sat plastered to the sides of my face.

When I entered my 20s, I decided that a perm might be the answer. I had heard that the new perms developed by Japan and Korea were different from the frizzy, kinky puffballs of the eighties. The curls were looser, they lasted longer, and were less damaging to the hair.

I took the plunge with a “setting perm.” Soon, the “setting perm” was replaced by a newer, better method called “digital perm” which was then replaced by the “wood perm,” “smooth perm,” “cold perm” (who comes up with these names?), so on and so on.

With various types of perms. Don’t ask which is which because I honestly can’t remember.

Although the perms were a definite improvement over my stick-straight hair, I didn’t like the fact that they were high-maintenance. I usually needed to apply products, then twirl and crunch…and continue to twirl and crunch until dry, to each curl its shape.

So after years and years of searching for the perfect perm (does it even exist?), I am happy to announce that I finally found the closest contender: the steam perm.

Last month I decided to go visit the famous Jay at Hidy II in Fort Lee, NJ. Apparently, he is so good with perms that he has clients flying in from Chicago just to get their hair permed by him.

After discussing and studying my hair, he suggested that I get a steam perm. According to Jay, not only is the steam perm ideal for hair that has already been permed, it also produces the loose, wavy curls that I had been searching for all this time.

See the results for yourself:

Please excuse the noise in these pictures; the texture of my dark hair wouldn’t show well on lower ISO.

I couldn’t find a mirror big enough for a back shot, so here’s one from the side.

What you should know about my hair in these photos is that I didn’t do anything to them. I washed, patted dry with a towel, and let it air dry. THAT’S IT.

The steam perm was pretty pricey at $260, but the convenience is worth it in my opinion!

Nov 20, 2009  •  In Books, Geek, Music, Star Wars

In Two Hours, I’ll Be Waiting in Line…

No, not for Twilight (err, New Moon? Pale Moon?). I hate Twilight. I thought the book was so poorly written that I found the movie — which I downloaded to watch one night while battling insomnia, then trashed immediately after viewing — to be better because at least all the pages full of “staring longingly into each others’ eyes” were gone.

“Both Rowling and Meyer, they’re speaking directly to young people…. The real difference is that Jo Rowling is a terrific writer and Stephenie Meyer can’t write worth a darn. She’s not very good.” -Stephen King, in an interview with USAWeekend

Instead, I will be waiting in anticipation to be whisked away to a galaxy far, far away…

Star Wars: In Concert

It is a geek’s wet dream.

Have a nice weekend!