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The Blogerati Files: jillmurray.com


This week in the Blogerati Files, Jill Murray's aptly named JillMurray.com

Describe your blog in 10 words or less.
LISTEN TO ME!

Why did you start your blog? Blogiversary?
Blogging for me was inevitable from the get-go, I just didn't realize it for a long time. I think that anyone with a balance of design + techie + writing inclinations will naturally be condemned to this fate. Not blogging would be a bigger pose.

My blog emerged from a puddle of amino-rich goo sometime between 2001 and 2005. Its exact date of birth is difficult to pinpoint, as I owned the domain name for a long time without using it, then went through a few different phases of webbishness before settling on the blog format I currently enjoy. I'd say sometime in 2003, my blog developed fins, then sprouted a full set of legs last fall. It survives today with very little sun, on a diet of planktons and algae.

How long have you lived in Toronto?
Ten years this September, give or take a few summer weeks here and there. Up until year 7 or so, I honestly believed this move was temporary. The walls around the city get a little taller every year.

What's the funniest/strangest thing that has happened to you in Toronto?
I have an uncanny superpower that allows me to escape disasters at the eleventh hour. So anything strange that happens to me tends to happen somewhere else, other than where I am. For instance, my train to Montreal left the station just as the 2003 blackout hit Toronto, and several years earlier I was on the last train out Montreal, escaping the ice storm. Otherwise put, the strange things that happen to me actually happen to other people. Which is funny. Try re-writing that as an algebra problem. Or an essay on Sartre.

What are some of the changes in Toronto that you have seen in your lifetime?
I've only been here since '96, so I barely remember the jeans store at the corner of Yonge & Dundas but I think I had more fun there than I would in the same location today. Also, I'm a little jealous that Ryerson has better buildings now than it did when I was there.

The last change I saw before that, was the closing of the elevator doors on the maternity ward at the Women's College Hospital. I think I slept through it. Hard to say, as the swaddling blankets were pulled down over my eyes.

The thing I miss the most about Toronto is the building I live in. But now I'm speaking from the future.

What era, day or event in Toronto's history would you like to re-live and why?
This one sunny day in 2003, when my friend Smartygirl & I both got TAC grants, we sat on a patio eating antipasto and saying "whee" a lot. I could live that twice. If you asked her the same question, she'd probably pick her wedding or something, but pfft, I'm not envious. How significant these events are to the history of Toronto depends on how into me you are.

Who's your favourite Torontonian?
My fiancĂŠ, More Or Les, of course. Scarboro in the house.

Can we believe everything you post on your blog?
Yes. There are some things on there you might not want to believe, like that MC Hammer has a blog where he compares himself to Public Enemy, or that Slimy, my anthropomorphic egg timer died a horrible, horrible death, but it's all quite true. Terrifyingly so, even.

Has blogging changed you or enhanced a personality trait?
No. In fact, It's entirely possible that I'm more subdued or contained online. I definitely express myself more coherently. If I type it out, I get to think about it before it goes public.

Do you have a favourite post from your blog?
I'm a little partial to my own detailed explanation of how figure skating costumes came to be so cheesy.

Have you had your 15 minutes yet?
If I did, I might have missed them while I was on hold waiting to complain about my cel phone plan.

Ever met a stranger who already knew you through your blog? How was that?
I meet strangers through my blog, and that's usually quite nice. It's hard to get tired of people identifying with you. It's almost as gratifying as when it works the other way around.

Lose any friends or muck something up because of a post?
Not yet, to my knowledge. But I don't get very mucky. I'm always writing with an audience in mind, and I don't want to sell my friends out to most audiences. So far we're all safe. My mom doesn't love it when her name shows up, and my agent, Sarah, gets pouty if don't mention her enough, but that's about as ugly as it ever gets.

Who are your fav bloggers?
There's the gang at Torontoist, my friend Smartygirl, I keep tabs on Isa's cupcakes at The PPK, and I'd be lying if I said I didn't need to know what Dooce was up to at all times. The Purl Princess and Broken Engine are two of those people I know from the Internets. I have a lot of respect for Robot Johnny, which I don't read nearly often enough. I also have some friends who hold it down with personal blogs I'm not sure I can link to (But hi, Vicky, Irene, Katie, Emily, Miss Dee, Cherry, Maehem and The Ant) and I feel like I should love the Large White Mocha's blog, except that she doesn't have one, but I have to mention that because it's fun to say Large White Mocha. Try it: "Large White Mocha." (Lily says: ahhh, but she has a myspace page!! http://www.myspace.com/largewhitemocha)

What's happening in Toronto right now that the rest of us should be watching?
This is a wicked, wicked time for fresh Toronto hip hop. This May, More Or Les is releasing his second album, The Truth About Rap, and my friend, Maehem is opening a Street Dance Studio at 160 Spadina (at Queen). People should also check out The Wordburglar, The Red Ants and monthly classic hip hop night, Never Forgive Action.

You have the opportunity to gather with 5 of your regular readers - who are they, where do you meet and what do you talk about?
Ooh, that's a tough one. My readers are a lot like my friends in that they each have a lot in common with me, but not necessarily very much in common with each other. But still, when we have parties at our place (as in, my actual apartment in the physical world), we notice that our guests tend to be too fascinated with each other to even bother spilling beer on the floor. Sometimes I don't think I even need to be in the room. My part is done as soon as the evite goes out and the vegan canapĂŠs are in the oven. So I say, why stop at 5? Everyone come over to my place. I'll make cupcakes. (Airfare not included.)

Have you ever had a question you wanted to ask random people throughout the world?
Stirrup pants-- what were we thinking?

If your blog were a food, what food would it be?
Peanut Butter Banana Pancakes (But some kind of magical hypo-allergenic, gluten-independent, sugar-optional variety so that no one would have to die by eating it.)

If you could gather all of the bloggers of the world together into one room and tell them one thing, what would it be?
I think I'd just sing them the theme song from The Muppet Show and then wait for the gong.

Anything else you'd like to add...
Salt, to taste.


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