This Wednesday, I have the great pleasure to interview Katie from keitii-chan for the blogroll special series. Her answers are very much like her blog: eloquent, well thought and carefully constructed. Everytime a new post of hers pops up in my reader, I get really excited. I value her film and book recommendations enormously , because we share common interests (East Asian culture among others) but mostly I love her thoughtful analyses tinged with personal experience. She currently studies in Hong Kong, so seeing her pretty pictures makes me day-dream (she has a shop where she sells prints of her photography and art - how pretty is this nebula?!)
1. What does blogging mean to you? In a world of instagram, twitter, facebook, etc what makes you still hit the button publish today?
I think that blogging for me is a form of journaling, a way to document my current interests and adventures, but it is also social, a way for me to talk to other people from around the world who have similar interests and pursuits. Sometimes, in this world of quick, unabashed, and sometimes ignorant sharing, I do get fed up with blogging and the problem of trolls and ignorant and hateful speech. Hila has written some eloquent blog posts on these issues, like on online ethics and commenting etiquette. I wrote a blog post about informed criticism once, but I think I took it down out of needless embarrassment regarding my writing. So, there have been times that I've thought about closing my blog out of consideration for my own privacy, but, for now, I keep coming back, mainly so that I can maintain the few friendships I've made through the web. Admittedly, blogging and reading blogs is an aesthetical indulgence for me sometimes too, and it provides me with some artistic inspiration and even escape from my daily worries. I think that blogging and similar forms of Internet sharing can be positive, but too much of a good thing can be negative too. Lately, I've been spending less and less time on the Internet and more and more time rediscovering my own creative self, uninfluenced by the web, which I think is very important, because otherwise, you end up becoming a product of what you consume. After all, I am currently studying Buddhism, and I'd like to think that I'm on a mission to attain unconditioned consciousness! But, anyhow...
2. What's the story behind your blog? How did you come to blog?
The story behind my blog isn't too complicated. As I've mentioned on my blog before, a few years ago, LiveJournal became perpetually quiet, and although I wasn't overly active in the LJ community, I was active enough that when everyone started graduating to blogs, I felt left behind. I started LJing back in 1999, so to see it pittering out about a decade later, around 2008, was a little sad! Esmé has similar views on this topic that she explains quite nicely. I did not necessarily get support from the LJ community during a tough time in my life or anything like that, but I LJed and now I blog because I like "meeting" and talking to other people, especially people with similar interests. I've been able to talk to earworm, Amelia, Lilla, Lyndall, phantom;, and Sewon about all kinds of topics, like Haruki Murakami, through our blogs. Although the connections may seem flimsy and thin like spider webs, they still make me smile on a bad day. And of course, blogging also helps me to keep in touch with my "real life" friends, like my sister and my friend Sweet Little Pea.
3. Where do you live and do you feel your city influences your blog? If so, In what way?
I am currently living in, studying in, and loving the city of Hong Kong. Hong Kong is not my native home; I am from the U.S. where I've lived in a number of places, but I was brought up in western New York, where it's cold and blustery and very different from subtropical Hong Kong. Living in Hong Kong definitely influences my blog, because I really enjoy sharing my adventures abroad. So far, I've only posted photography, mediocre photographs at that, but at some point, I really would love to sit down and write more about my experiences. I just haven't had the time! I really enjoy blogs that share what life is like in different places. I am a big advocate for inter-cultural learning, but sometimes, if you can't experience something for yourself, blogs do a great job of sharing what life is like in other places. And so, I would like to try to do this through my blog. Of course, it is also an important medium for sharing my life with my family and close friends who are back in the States, but if other people enjoy it too, then that makes me glad.
4. What is your favourite book?
If I had to choose only one book to read for the rest of my life, it would have to be the His Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman. I know, I know, His Dark Materials consists of three books, not one, but I couldn't bear choosing only one of these treasures over the other two. I first read Philip Pullman's magnum opus during the summer of the last year of the second millennium, in 2000. I was probably bored that summer, floating between 9th and 10th grade, spending my days wadding around in our pool, eating popsicles, and reading books. I remember running out of books to read and discovering the first two books in the trilogy on my bookshelf. I must've wondered, "Why have I never read these?" I have to say, the books changed my life and my way of thinking forever. I'm probably one of those lost souls the Christian church complains Pullman has damned, but really, the novels helped to open my mind and shaped the critical thinker that I am today. Well, besides all that, the His Dark Materials trilogy is really just plain fun! I love the story and the characters, and when I was young, I gobbled up fantasy novels like sustenance!
5. What are your favourite things to do on a sunday afternoon?
I think that my absolute most favorite thing to do on Sundays is to make a nice breakfast or brunch, usually consisting of pancakes, hash browns, and lattes, and sit around in my pajamas chit-chatting with my husband about anything and everything until we are good and happy and want to do something else. I love reading, so to spend most of the day sleepily reading in bed would be ideal. And I have to say, although I love exploring places, meeting new people, and eating really good food out, in the end, I am a homebody: I love relaxing in my own little space at home with the people I care about and love. Lately, my Sundays consist of writing papers and studying, but we still make something good to eat at some point during the day, and lately I've been listening to nice, calming music while I write, like Miyauchi Yuri and for some reason Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake, which makes my Sundays fairly peaceful.
Prints of this photograph available in Katie's online shop
Thank you dear Katie! All pictures come from keitii-chan, except collage trinkets found on google images (collages by me).