Category Archives: Social Media

Espresso Cupcakes

Shout-out to Jim, for letting me know about a new (to me) series of prompts from a fun and interesting looking blog. Thanks Jim!

If I have ever tasted an espresso cupcake, it has not been recorded in a blog, at least not one with archives.

Could one of these be espresso?

That second one looks a bit suspicious. But I just don’t know. I think they were bought and nommed up in Berkeley, so they might have been any weird thing.

I would definitely try an espresso cupcake, especially with vanilla buttercream frosting. Mmm! I love coffee flavors. Love coffee ice cream, with hot fudge or chocolate syrup or just plain. I used to pour Baileys over it, but I’ve given up alcohol. God, that was good!

Coffee cake isn’t coffee-flavored though. Isn’t that confusing? You’re just supposed to eat it with coffee (or tea). I used to love Starbucks coffee cake, before they removed half the crumbs to make it “healthier.” Pro tip: it’s still not healthy, but now it’s not yummy either.

Back to cupcakes. Sprinkles has a Cuban Coffee cupcake, available Wednesday and Sunday. That sounds pretty darn close to espresso and I may just have to try it now.

For science! ๐Ÿ˜€

Money Honey ๐Ÿฏ

Since none of today’s prompts have woken my creative beasts, instead I’m going to fall back on an old classic: the bitch and moan.

Today’s rant is about money. Now, I get that just because people ask for some doesn’t obligate me to give. My feelings are my own issue to deal with. If I feel guilty because I can’t donate to the animal shelter or the Alzheimer’s organization as I would like to, well, that’s my problem. They don’t have to quit sending me stuff.

People have the right to advertise and market. I do, however badly. Occasionally I say hey buy my books, and no one does, so like whatever. But at least I’m offering a product. I don’t say hey send me some money because I exist. See, that’s what I have a problem with.

I really resent being asked for money just because someone is there and I’m here. I have a blog, which I’ve paid for by the way, not that I have to, but I wanted to get rid of the ads, so if you read it in a browser, I’ve made it a nicer experience for you. Some people actually seem to enjoy reading my blog, yayyy! And I enjoy other blogs. Then… I’m asked for a donation? Wtf why? How about you give me one? That seems as fair as me flinging money out at some other blog for no reason other than it exists too.

I’m not a cheapskate. I actually overtip in most cases. But that’s because someone has provided a service. When someone comes up to me on the street or online and asks me for money for nothing, I feel like saying wait can I have some because my rent just went up. I mean, really. I work all the time, and this crap does make me mad.

If you don’t want to write for free on the internet, don’t! Very simple. Package up your beautiful precious words in a book and offer them for sale instead. Just quit begging for donations. It’s gross. If I have extra money to donate sometime, it’s going to real charities as I mentioned above, not to bloggers.

I know they’ll keep asking. But grrrr I am having a problem staying my usual calm and serene self about it. ๐Ÿ˜ก๐Ÿ”ฅ๐Ÿ’ฅ

Happy 4th! (with bonus rant)

My latest discovery, which I will share, is that everything is ridiculously complicated and costs too damn much.

In my youth, life was simple (although frequently unhappy). My mom did many things herself, but now these projects are out of reach. Take knitting and crocheting and sewing, forex. Loading up on the supplies costs a fortune and the patterns are complicated, wah. Don’t even get me started on scrapbooking (again) or making bead jewelry. Soooo costly! Plus, in my case, I’d have to take classes first, for jewelry, sewing, cooking, etc. I’m not one who can watch a video for twenty minutes and then go mmhmm now I see how to construct a tiny house, easy peasy!

I remember we usually had an aquarium going on. My mom dealt with it, but it could not have been outrageously expensive because we weren’t wealthy and we lived in small apartments for many years. The aquariums were really pretty, but the fish died often, and we were always traipsing off to the pet store for little baggies of new ones. I bet now though aquariums are just another one of those crazy costly and super complex hobbity bobbity things.

I liked watching the bright little neons dart through the water after their specks of food. We had graceful black and white stripey fish and some goldfish varieties too. A few catfish at the bottom keeping things clean. Mom always indulged me and got a teeny pirate treasure chest for decoration in the sand. Haven’t thought about our aquariums for years…

Ah yes, the sands of time, rushing so fast through the hourglass now, piling up at the bottom, waiting to meet that last big wave that will wash them out to the eternal ocean and then… and then what?

Nothing.

*

You know, I feel I’m pretty chill with anyone who comments here unless they’re an obvious spammer or troll. If you’re of a different political persuasion, cool, just keep it civil and don’t insult other peeps or me. I have accepted loads of criticism and disagreements over the years. Don’t mind it at all, and I particularly welcome any comments on my poetry and fiction. I am not thrilled with advice I haven’t solicited, especially about health, but whatever.

But that’s not the case elsewhere. Some bloggers don’t want any disagreement or difference of opinion. I’ve noticed I will be condescended to or explained at if I dare to express a thought contrary to the OP’s. That is unpleasant, FYI, and I will not be visiting these blogs much or at all in the future.

YHBW. ๐Ÿ™‚

Have a great weekend! โ˜„๏ธ๐Ÿ’ฅ๐Ÿ”ฅ

My Interview…

The Chocolate Lady interviewed me and posted the results on her blog! Please go check it out. I thoroughly enjoyed her questions.

So Shall Me Me Me [SOCS]

Social is not an adjective people would apply to me. Then again, I’m not exactly antisocial either. I go to game nights and other peopley events nearly every week. I’m not a shy soul ~ I’ve done stand-up comedy. But I can’t bear huge, squashy crowds, like malls at holidays or giant indoor concerts. I hate feeling trapped up next to people… but I’m not claustrophobic because I don’t mind being in small spaces if I’m alone. In fact, I much prefer a tiny cozy room to the scary emptiness of a vast open field. And I do need a significant amount of alone/quiet time simply to “recharge” my emotional batteries. I can’t be around other people jibber jabbering night after night!

Speaking of people, I’ve believed for some time that social media has made us less social. I know that sounds contradictory, but hear me out. First, we’re buried in our phones 24/7. You hardly see anyone’s face when you’re in public. Gone are the days when you made idle conversation with someone waiting at the store or DMV or doctor’s office, etc. Why would you talk to them and interrupt whatever they’re doing on their phone?

Second, supposedly we’re all connected to so many more people now than ever before due to technology, but how many of these friends inside your phone would actually, physically help you in an emergency? Who, exactly, would you call? Yeah. I know. Me too. It’s basically down to a daughter who lives 40 miles away and another friend I had before social media and possibly a few others. But none of my twitter/blog peeps, even though we “interact” daily, would be on that list. Used to be, I made more of an effort to say hello and chat with neighbors, but why bother now? I have bloggy and twitter friends! ๐Ÿ˜‚

Third, in the olden days, what did you do when you felt alone with your odd ideas or interests? Maybe you found a kindred spirit, if you were lucky enough and looked hard enough, and then you could happily share your weirdness. Or you decided to try to acclimate to a more mainstream hobby in order to have friends. Is that so bad? Instead of finding another freak to assist you in pulling off butterfly wings, you joined a bowling league. But now in the age of social media, you don’t have to compromise and go bowling to have friends. You can stay home and hang out with a few dozen wackos in a chat group from other parts of the world who also enjoy torturing butterflies.

I don’t think that’s better! Some interests should be suppressed. Some people shouldn’t be able to find each other. God only knows what horrible things people are discussing right at this moment… whatever you may imagine, I guarantee that it’s worse.

This will be yet another one of Paula’s Unpopular Opinions. ๐Ÿ˜œ

Masks

Since the beginning

Of this tangled electric madness,

This social soupy media mess,

I’ve been in a quandary

Over how much of me

To reveal to the galaxy

Of virtual strangers.

When alone at the keyboard,

It feels foolish to be phony,

As if I’m so important

That anyone will care

What I dare to share.

Why wear a mask

And maintain a facade,

When one slip of the tongue

Will give me away?

I learned a good lesson

From fibbers and fakers

That truth is a bargain

Against the time it will take

To keep frosting together

All the discordant pieces

Of a big liar cake.

But even so,

I find it hard to relate–

People don’t know me,

Though they’re not to blame:

On the remotest shelf,

I have masks that I wear

When I talk to myself.

We Donโ€™t Want Him

Nicholas Sparks is trending because he refused to accept an LGBTQ ๐Ÿณ๏ธโ€๐ŸŒˆ club in the Christian school he founded and there’s some ongoing litigation yada. Apparently part of the case has been settled, and he has the legal right to be intolerant, so that’s cool. I more or less support keeping it legal for private clubs to arbitrarily let in and keep out whom they please, as opposed to landlords, employers, public schools, etc. (Whether they should get tax breaks is a different issue.)

Just because something is legal however doesn’t make it good or right. It’s also legal to cheat on your wife. But that’s not what I came here to discuss today. If you don’t already know, Nicholas Sparks is a writer, a hugely bestselling writer. His books have been made into movies. You’ve surely heard of The Notebook? Well, there you go.

In the frenzy to bash Sparks, people have been conflating his books with romance novels and dumping on the whole genre. Now, I don’t mind bashing Sparks ~ I made a yucky ๐Ÿคฎ face on Twitter myself. I can’t stand his sterile prose ~ and that was before I knew he was super religious. Now my review of Safe Haven from 2013 makes a lot more sense.

But let’s be clear: Nicholas Sparks is not a romance novelist. He says himself he isn’t one, and he is correct. He writes general fiction (“love stories”) with romantic elements. It’s an important distinction, peeps! To be a romance novel, a story must have a Happily Ever After ending. If you want to bash the genre, go ahead. If you want to rag on Sparks, for his politics or his writing or both, have at it.

But please don’t lump Nicholas Sparks in with romance novelists. Cuz that just pisses me right off. ๐Ÿ˜ก๐Ÿ’ฅ๐Ÿ”ฅ He’s not welcome in our club. On the whole, you will find the protags in romance novels to be a tolerant lot, or they become tolerant as the story progresses.

I note that in The Daily Beast article I linked in my first sentence, Sparks bags on the whole romance novel genre because he’s a stupid ass who has read none of the books he’s criticizing. Romance novels are not about “the taming of a man” ~ if anything, they err on the side of misogyny, even though they are written largely by women and mostly from the POVs of the female protagonists. What they are, are fantasies of what it would be like if an alpha hero fell in love with you and wanted you more than anything on this earth, and indeed would do anything on this earth to make you his own. And he succeeds. That is what romance novels are and why those of us who love them, love them. โค๏ธโค๏ธโค๏ธ

Sparks can stick with his yawningly vanilla pudding Ken-doll heroes because there is obviously a market for bland safe smooth love too.

^^^ The sexual excitement level in a Sparks’ novel goes from zero to pudding.

Oopsy

Some of you may have seen a 3TC slip through the fabric of time and appear at 10AM today instead of 10PM. That was not some sort of weird bend in the universe, but human error… mine. This should put to rest those pesky rumors that I am a bot, since a bot would not screw up. I suppose a bot could be programmed to screw up to seem more human-like however. Ooh.

In any case, I rescheduled the stray post to return tonight as it should, so if you’re one of those suck-ups who do homework in advance to get brownie points, the link is not going to work until later. You can preen though at the thought of having your 3TC finished before others and then run off to do something productive. Oh, who are we kidding, right? You’ll be glued to your screen as usual, waiting for your next hit of posts.

Probably for the best. At least we’re safe in Blogland surrounded by supportive folks and not in the scary wilds of Usenet or FB or some other mean place. Yikes!

Another Award! ๐Ÿคฉ

A big bouquet ๐Ÿ’ of thanks goes out to Tanya of Salted Caramel for nominating me for this award! Very lovely of her to think of me. I enjoy her blog as well.๐Ÿ’–

Now I’m to talk about how my blog began. As I’ve mentioned, this isn’t my first blog; that one started way back in 2003 or so, simply because other writers had one. Yep, I’m a follower, not a leader. My posts were snarky and intended to start arguments in order to generate traffic, which they did, but it was still low compared to the hot blogs at the time. Back then, I was obsessed with stats.

But I got hoisted by my own petard, as they say. (Do they actually say that? And what is a petard anyway?) Long story short, I ended up in an huge kerfuffle over pit bulls, of all things, and my comments got hacked… it was quite a mess.

I don’t like mess. What I generally do when things get messy, ugly, yucky, or in any way unpleasant, is GTFO. And Ultrablog was no exception. I archived and deleted it.

A while later, I began a second blog. This one was incredibly boring. Deliberately so. I posted only about cats, cupcakes, and shoes ~ in fact, that was the name of the blog. But I did have a private one where I posted more personal things and invited selected readers whom I trusted.

After my mom died, the private blog had pretty much served its purpose, and I was bored with CC&S. So, I began Light Motifs on Blogger. I held the WordPress address just in case… and then it turned out I wanted to switch over in 2009 due to some annoyances with Blogger.

Back then, I posted infrequently compared to now, maybe a few times per week. I’d post song lyrics and other people’s poetry, book reviews and excerpts, etc. It was all regarding my emotional state at the time, which was a mix of hope and despair over a romance. After that ended and I went onto dating sites, this blog became a pit of bitching about that. I went through several cycles of deleting those posts, which is why the years between 2012-2017 have giant gaps in them.

Since I’ve quit dating and facebooking, I’ve not deleted any posts here. I’m more mindful of what I write in the first place, which is my first piece of advice to new bloggers (we’re supposed to give two bits of advice in this award post). Even if you don’t have many followers yet, try to keep in mind that your posts are public and envision an audience when you write. Make each post the best it can be, and give something of yourself to your audience, whether it’s a personal anecdote or an original creative writing or photo. Don’t just link to another site without comment. That’s no fun. ๐Ÿ˜ข

And for heaven’s sake, never mention pit bulls! ๐Ÿ˜ฑ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿคฏ

I’ll stop here because I don’t like to tag people for awards. I hereby nominate all my recent commenters for this one ~ you’re recognized! Grab the award and make a post. G’wan… don’t be shy! ๐Ÿ˜€

Wot Mystery? ๐Ÿฑ

Gatsby here! Good mews everyone. Rawry just gave us a Mystery Blogger Award and I clawed and chewed it for a while… and then I mushed it under the sofa with my other toys. Not much of a mystery to me.

But thank you, Rawry! I love new toys to hide.

Anyway. Mommy says I have to answer the questions Rawry sent us. Gosh, more work! I was just keeping watch at the window for the squirrel and now I have to do more things? Life isn’t fair.

My Five Questions (from Rawry)

Which is your least favourite mode of transportation?

I hate riding in the car in my little pink prison cage. It’s noisy and bumpy and we always end up at the vet. Horrible!

Why, oh why why why did the chicken cross the road?

Probably to escape a coyote, which was very smart of her. Coyotes will nom up chickens and kitties too! Stay away from them. Of course, I like chicken…

What is the stupidist thing you have ever done โ€“ voluntarily?

One time I bited Mommy’s face while she was asleep and she screamed. That was so fun, but I guess it was stupid cuz she got so mad and smacked me.

When you have left this planet, as in your life ends, what do you think is next โ€ฆ.?

Some people say kitties go over a rainbow bridge to a big garden to play with their special person again and have lots of treats, but I think people just say that to make themselves feel better cuz I don’t know what rainbows are and can’t see colors besides. I think everything just ends right then, and hopefully Mommy will take good care of me and make sure I don’t suffer.

At what age do you think you actually became an adult?

When you have to start paying your own bills. But some of us are so cute and furry that we never have to, NEENER! ๐Ÿ˜›