Apropos of nothing, the above notice hangs, unheeded, in every Chinese men’s room. Thank you to Chris for finally documenting it for me.
I’ve been waffling for months now over this blog. Whether to keep it, whether to trash it and start over with something new. Whether to self-host, rebuild it from scratch, purchase a domain name, pay to tweak the CSS, or just leave it as is. Lots and lots of waffling. An absurd amount of waffling.
When I started writing nearly 3 years ago, I fancied it an almost-but-not-quite-food blog, with some mid-Atlantic flavor thrown in. Then Chris joined the foreign service, we got married, blah blah blah, we moved to China, and pesto! A life-in-China blog was born! And what better name for it than Hot Pot? How fitting!
But then we decided to have a baby! And now, what do you know, we have a baby! He’s lovely. So lovely in fact that I can’t stop writing about him or taking pictures of him, much to my own chagrin and the nausea of any poor readers who arrive at my site looking for something interesting about life in China and instead find themselves inundated with all things baby.
And here’s the thing, I do want to write interesting things about China, about world events, about society and culture. I want to write about them with proper punctuation and without the first-person pronoun. I want a place to write the sort of things that I hope someday someone will pay me to write. A place where I can even send these “someone-somedays” to take a gander at some of the topics I care about that don’t cover me in drool or flour on a daily basis. Hot Pot isn’t that place so I’m working on building it. From scratch. Learning XHTML, CSS, and everything. It might take a year to get it up and running but its coming, oh is it coming.
And Hot Pot won’t be going anywhere in the meantime. I considered starting all over, with a new name, new focus, new everything but decided against it. There is something a little bit virtually cozy about having 3 years of archives in one place, crummy writing, bad photography and all. I am doing some tidying up around here though and that’s what I wanted to share with you today.
From hence forth, I’m going to own what this blog has become: this is something of a mama-blog with a twist. It’s a place for me to share my adventures exploring the places we live, learning how to parent, learning how to keep a house and raise a family overseas. Some days hopefully I’ll share thoughtful pieces about Mamahood, about family, about living our crazy (and sometimes utterly boring!) life abroad to its fullest. Some days will be all trivial tidbits about daily going-ons. Some days there will be nothing but pictures of our kid. I think that’s what makes sense for this blog right now. If you are looking for more hard-hitting journalism, I’ll be trying my damnedest to provide it over on my new site when I finally get it up and running.
In keeping with the somewhat new direction of this blog, I’ve updated my “About” page to hopefully give readers a better idea of what they can find on this site. You can find the hyperlink to the About in the upper-right in the sidebar, that’s the only way to get there for now.
I’ve also done some reorganization. My categories should now make more sense than they did before and you can find a sampling of them underneath the header. Hopefully they will also make navigation quicker and easier, especially if for instance, you only want to read about our travels, for instance, or only want to read baby-related posts. Most of them should be self-explanatory but, in case you are wondering, Around Town will feature the sort of “we went to an interesting temple!” “I went to the tailor today!” and “yay for Adam’s Morgan Day!” posts, everyday life but hopefully the more interesting or exotic bits of it.
Around the House will be those sort of random domestic-ish topics that occasionally come up, things like moving and broken washing machines. Travel posts are about the places we visit, either locally (at the time) or across the world. Baby is everything kiddo though I hope to start adding to a Activities & Play category soon too. Thoughts are whatever is on my mind, both the serious and the more trivial. I’ve kept a China in Photos category and may do something similar for Delhi. Food is, well, food, things we cook, restaurants we visit, thoughts on food, etc. I’ve also tried to cross-categorize to make things easy to find so if I write about a fantastic spot for pancakes in the DC area, you should hopefully find it in Around Town, and Food.
And speaking of food, I’ve hidden my embarrassing excuse for a “Recipe” page for now. It wasn’t up to date, half of the “recipes” were, in reality, only links to far better food blogs than mine and most of the photography for the posts was downright awful. The thing is, I love cooking, I cook almost everyday and I try out new recipes at least once or twice a week. I have plenty of great recipes to share but I want to make sure they are well-tested and well-documented before I post them. So I’m going to slowly rebuild my Recipe Index and I’ll put a link back up once it’s growing nicely. Until then, you can still find all of the old recipe posts in the Food archives.
So thanks to everyone who reads this little digital scrapbook of mine, please let me know if there are any other changes I can make to make this site easier or more interesting to read. Let me know if there are any topics you’d particularly like to read about or even any that you’d like to see less often. I’m always glad for your thoughts and comments!