Wednesday, January 23, 2008

"Clavicle" sounds dirty, doesn't it?

Along with huge, bright banners with busty cartoon chicks masquerading as everyday women they don't even closely resemble (hey, I'm forced to have an avatar -- sue me) and using the words "escapades," "adventures," or "exploits" in your blog title, one of my internet pet peeves is using a screen name or blog title reinforcing the overwhelming love you have for your partner. We get it. You're in love. So am I. But find an identity outside of that all-consuming hard on. Wedding-obsessed nesters are the usual culprits, but today's blogger puts it all out there, too. She's David's Doll.

In terms of design, it looks all wonky on my Mac with Firefox. I have to spread the page very wide in order to accommodate the sidebar, meanwhile the banner only goes across the center portion. The huge honking pictures take up way too much room and should be sized down quite a bit (that scary doll face is enormous and will definitely give me nightmares, thanks). Unless you're doing a photoblog, there's no reason to have images that large. And there's a hellova lot of info in the sidebar. I suggest rolling a good portion of that up, and maybe move the particulars about what you've read and all to a separate page.

The links are not colored or underlined, so color me stupid but I didn't catch on to the linkage action for a good bit. Here I was thinking, "She's talking about these bloggers, why doesn't she link to them?" before I rolled over and they lit up. (Side note: "I rolled over and they lit up" -- how many times have I said that before.) Also, find a way to make the post titles clickable; I had to go down to the timestamp to get to individual posts. At the bottom of your pages, I'd like some sort of link to go to older entries. When I click on the archives, please don't take me to a new page. Ugh! Consider making your banner clickable, too, so that when people click on it they get taken back to the index page. And the MySpace-ish hugs and post-it messages in the sidebar bring the level of your blog down a couple of notches toward amateurish.

The good design stuff: the banner is fine, the color isn't offensive, I like the muted palette.

Now to the content. She only reads when she's taking a crap, which means I have to vehemently disapprove. Unless she craps like six times a day, then we're all good. There's knitting going on, which I know has swept the nation and all, but I so don't get it. She's an independently published writer, for which I've got to give her kudos. It takes incredible determination and oomph to publish, and I really admire that. But please? For the love of all that's holy, use your damn apostrophe. It's your friend. And an online dictionary is more than a friend, it's a college roommate who used to hold your hair while you puked ("bizarre" is something strange; "bazaar" is a place where you shop). And read more -- reading makes good writers.

There's some good stuff here ("She was looking at me...with her eyes."). The challenges of young parenthood and dealing with an injured spouse are humanizing. I find that I want the best for these people because they're doing the best they can and loving each other along the way. But then I'm incredibly put off by the random ads that crop up. I know things are tight, so maybe the ads help? I don't know but they bug the shit out of me. I'm ok with the donation buttons, but the ads? No.

More good stuff? She's a mommy but there isn't a lot of mommy blogging going on. She's consistent and writes often. There's a decent range of topics, so it's not all about David or the accident or her kids or knitting or organic food. She's got a wry sense of humor and a fair bit of self-deprecation, which I enjoy. There's no pretension and she's incredibly down-to-earth, which means she says "poop" and "fart" a lot, which I can get on board with. Above all, she's an individual and and has a unique voice. In several pages of reading, though, I haven't come across the first sexy post, which is disappointing for a horndog like me.

The writing isn't particularly my cuppa. It's more domestic than I'm used to (I don't cook, clean, craft, or parent). But I can see the potential, and I can see how she's developed a circle of like-minded blogging buddies. So, my advice is to keep it up. Keep writing, read more, edit down, refine. Make some improvements on your design so that it's more reader-friendly. And change your blog title if not your screen name, because there's more to you than that.

I give it:


  1. Ruh-roh! My now-86'd blog (which you guys reviewed) had "misadventures" in the title. But I assure you, it was horrifyingly apt. *hangs head in shame*

    Gave David's Doll a fair shake. Your review nailed it. Seems very salt of the earth, but not my cuppa, either.

    Great review!

  2. Actually, I do poop like six times a day, so I can finish a novel in about a week or so. Also I dont have a TV anymore so it's pretty much all there is to do.

    And thanks for not going soft on me. I like it rough.

  3. Now the sidebar has gone all janky-ass, and tabs? What fucking tabs? I read the review of Calamity's review, and there were no tabs that I could find on that site.

    p.s. I find the title creepy a la stepford wives, myself. Be your own doll, sweetie.

  4. "There's knitting going on, which I know has swept the nation and all, but I so don't get it."

    Don't dis the knit, sweetheart. Some of us have been knitting long before it became a fad, and will continue to do so long after the "scarfers" have gone on to some other crafty thing.
    We probably "so don't get" a lot of stuff you do, but will defend your right to do it.


Grow a pair.