Tag Archives: peeps

Tuesday Noodles

From Rory and Doodle Pip…

Is Social Media Ruining Genuine Friendship & Encouraging More Loneliness?

Actually, I think it is and isn’t, depending on the person and circumstances. Genuine friendships can be ruined by lies and gossip getting out of control on social media in ways that didn’t use to happen. By the time you have a chance to catch your breath, everyone and his brother have weighed in on your personal situation. It’s crazy! And it can make apologizing and one-on-one conversation nearly impossible after things have spiraled into the public or even semi-public arena. Sometimes it feels easier just to walk away from a friendship than to deal with an entire tree of Facebook harpies on top of the original problem.

On the other hand, some of us who have felt isolated and relatively friendless because of whatever reason have found communities of like oddballs online (or even one or two others who grok our special weirdness), and this has been such a blessing, for lack of a less loaded term. What a freaking relief after all these years to “meet,” even if only on a screen, another human who has experienced some of the same shitty things we have. Someone who gets our strange sense of humor. Someone who aligns with us politically. Who collects blue crystal spiders. Or believes life began on Neptune. Whatever! There’s someone somewhere who we can discuss this with, and odds are good it won’t be our next door neighbor or someone at work, but probably someone in another state or country.

With our one weird friend in our pocket, we can now go about our daily life faking normalcy without feeling so all alone.

But! Because we have the weird friend or two, and the ability to find more tailored friends online, it’s so seductive to ignore meatspace people who don’t get us, which is pretty much everyone. And since online friends tend to ghost or take breaks sans explanation, sometimes you’re left feeling even emptier than before.

Why Do People Bully Others?

Insecurity. Yep. This is textbook bullying, mostly by men who are “losers” according to cultural standards, but online they have the ability to hurt others, especially when they clump together in a bropod.

Avoid Own Problems. For sure. I think many of us Usenet “combat prose warriors” were in avoidance mode. I was. It was an escape from my home life, and I’m sure I wasn’t alone in that. We were all spending waaay too much time there to have healthy offline relationships.

Look Cool. Maybe. I guess in partisan politics anyone who bashes a Trump supporter looks cool to other Trump haters and the same goes for the other side, but I’m sick of it all.

For Fun. Absolutely. There’s this thing on Twitter called “hate-following.” Like if you hate Trump, you don’t block him or mute him, but instead you follow him and mock his tweets and anyone who supports him. He doesn’t read the comments or engage, so it just makes him appear to have more followers. Counterproductive! Also, why would anyone waste their time doing this? It must be fun!

Which Stigma/Taboo Is Worse?

Mental Health. Is this even a stigma? Seems like everyone is claiming to have a disorder nowadays from being “on the spectrum” to OCD (guilty) to whatever else.

Self Harm. This is sad and scary, but so many have fessed up to it that it doesn’t seem like a stigma either.

Suicidality. This is scary to me, such that I would constantly worry about being close friends with someone who had these thoughts, since I’d feel like I would need to be on high alert. Maybe that turns it into a taboo, if people are scared of it. But you have to be. How can you not be, if you care about someone?

Bullying. People who bully are assholes and should be shunned. This should be a taboo. It isn’t though. The POTUS is a bully and enjoys a solid chunk of support from his base. Same with other politicians and celebs. We secretly like them, don’t we? Maybe we’re genetically programmed to because we want a bully to protect us from the terrors outside the cave. Even those of us who can’t stand Trump want someone tough and mean enough to beat him, don’t we? Cuz if we choose Molly Milquetoast, she will lose.

Do You NEED People In Your Life? How Many People Do You Meet With & Talk

1-3 per Day

4-9 Per Day

10-17 Per Day

18+ Per Day

I laugh at those numbers, especially the last one. ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚ Mine is zero, as in none. Depending on the day, I have 1-3 coworkers I talk to, but I don’t think that counts, since it’s work-related. Maybe twice a month I attend a social event with around a dozen people. I see my daughter and her husband and baby once a month. I try to have one weekend day every weekend where I don’t leave my apartment at all, and one weekend a month that’s completely for me/no events or plans with others.

That said, I don’t feel alone. There are people I talk with almost daily; I just don’t see them in person. This doesn’t bother me at all. I try to imagine if I would be happier seeing more people and the answer is no, always. The opportunities are there if I want them. I used to think I needed to explain why I am this way, but I don’t. Nor do people who like to go to parties and interact with others frequently need to explain. It’s simply how we’re hardwired.

Adverbs Galore [SOCS]

Quietly the members of the secret society entered the deserted building after hours and softly closed the door.

“This is insanely ridiculous,” Fandango said grumpily. “By the way, I brought those cookies everyone likes.”

“Thanks!” Teresa replied cheerfully. “But that’s what we get for electing a crazy English professor for President, who probably didn’t even read as many books as I did.”

“Let’s be fair,” Sadje said moderately. “We didn’t know she’d act so extremely cuckoo once she took office. I can’t eat cookies, so I brought keto-friendly egg salad.”

Happily munching a cookie, Jim said, “I could easily recommend a playlist to our new President, which might get her in a better mood and less likely to randomly order people killed for misusing grammar.”

“I’m a grammar pendant myself,” Fandango boldly admitted. “But even I say that executing people for a misplaced apostrophe is wildly inappropriate.”

“Pedant,” Kristian mildly corrected Fandango.

Fandango paused in the middle of furiously composing a new blog post on his phone. “What?”

“Pedant!” Kristian loudly repeated. “You said pendant but it’s pedant!”

“It’s just a typo!” Fandango yelled defensively.

“Shhhh!” Teresa hushed them fearfully. “No one can know we’re in here.”

Hopefullyย the President is busy with more important things than our silly little adverb meetup,” Sadje said placatingly.

Terribly sorry I’m ignoring everyone,” Rory called out apologetically from the corner. “What do you all think about prostitution? Please extensively explain your answers.”

Interestingly,” Jim said, “there have been many songs about this topic. Bob Seger, for example–”

Suddenly the door burst open and a group of scarily dressed FBA agents entered.

“Freeze!” shouted the FBA leader. “You’re all under arrest for adverbing! Place your hands over your mouths. Slowly!

๐Ÿ˜ฑ๐Ÿ˜ฑ๐Ÿ˜ฑ๐Ÿ˜ฑ๐Ÿ˜ฑ

FPQ12: Fish Stories

This week Fandango provocatively asks…

“How do you feel about people who always seem to exaggerate when relating a story? Do you equate embellishment with lying? As a blogger, when, if ever, is stretching the truth, other than when writing fiction, permissible?โ€

It doesn’t bother me at all. I assume that people both embellish the exciting parts of a story and cut out the dull moments to make the tale more interesting for the reader. Forex, if someone is describing a funny encounter with an annoying salesperson, they’re not going to put every boring word in, just the good stuff. The result won’t be perfectly accurate, but this isn’t a court of law ~ we’re here to have fun. Well, at least I am! ๐Ÿฅณ๐Ÿคฉ๐Ÿคฃ

Now, I can see certain types of people going, but Paula… didn’t you say you can’t abide liars on dating sites? Yes, that’s correct. When a guy lies about his age, marital status, living arrangements, etc., I judge him to be an asshole and not worth one minute of my time. But that has nothing to do with exaggerating a funny story about catching a fish or whatever. If you can’t see the difference, I don’t know what to tell you. (I understand that there are people who can’t see the difference.)

Big Boring Pile Of Navel Glazery

So, peeps have been sharing all sorts of deep thoughts around Blogville this week. What kind of blogs do they like to read and what do they like to write? Which sorts of award tags do they enjoy receiving, if any? What gets under their skin, if anything? I have been sporadically commenting on these posts, but as is my wont I feel I need to organize my ideas in one place. ๐Ÿฟ

My ideas about blogging aren’t separate from my ideas about other things. I don’t do much compartmentalizing in life any longer, except for work-related purposes. What I’m saying is that I’m not fake here; this blog’s narrator isn’t a persona crafted for ego strokes. I don’t like the person I have to become when I role play online, aka lie. It becomes annoying and stressful after a while to keep up the facade. I lied for a long time and got tired of it. Lying is boring; truth is interesting.*

So, I like to read other bloggers who are also being real. That doesn’t necessarily mean they’re posting photos of their face or credit card receipts, but they talk about themselves in an authentic voice. They’re not afraid to reveal mistakes and flaws. They may showcase their art, in the form of stories or photos or poetry, but they don’t exclude their self from their posts. Their blog doesn’t read like an impersonal series of magazine articles ~ I am not interested in that kind of writing. Nor do I want to interact with bloggers who only post links and cliched quotes, while sharing nothing of their real selves. If I want links and quotes, I can access the google. ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป

If you’ve been following me for a while, even a week, you’ll notice that my writing is all over the place. I’ll post an original poem or piece of flash fiction… then I’ll rant about something ridiculous… next I’ll jabber on about a song… or I’ll post a photo of my cat or a sunset or something I colored with pencils. I’ll answer prompt questions about writing or pets or dating or food or movies or wHaTEveR strikes me as fun at the time. I’ll grab a photo and dash off a quick story about it, romance or humor or even science fiction. I’m happy to find other bloggers who are likewise unpredictable in their writing. I enjoy reading what I enjoy writing. Simple! ๐Ÿ˜€

One note: while I love to read novels and do brainteaser games in meatspace, I’m not a huge fan of either on blogs. I like self-contained posts and I don’t want to spend a lot of time on each one. That’s not fair to the rest of my feed. So, you won’t find me commenting on serialized stories or solving complicated riddles here. ๐Ÿฆ‰

The time factor also comes into play with awards. Naturally I appreciate when a fellow blogger thinks of me regarding one of the awards going around, and I will always say thanks. I will also try to make time to answer their questions, if they aren’t toooo personal. But I generally don’t want to tag others or make up my own set of questions ~ that’s just my preference.

The other thing that’s come up is do we have a “thick skin” in relation to blogging. This can mean different things. I don’t ask for writing critiques on my work, nor do I receive anything but nice comments, so I’m lucky not to have to deal with negativity in that sense. I used to post about some of my dating site experiences and people offered advice that occasionally bordered on criticism. It sometimes bothered me, but only when they misunderstood me or the situation I’d described. After a while I decided to delete those posts anyway. I later wrote only a few carefully selected dating stories and things went okay.

As far as getting upset about my stats and who comments how many times yada… I’m fairly relaxed in comparison to some other bloggers who seem a bit obsessed. I’m not knocking obsession cuz lord knows I have plenty. Just not this particular one. I do look at the chart of visitors and it’s gone steadily up, so yay. Some days it dips. Idk why.

I don’t keep score, but I have a general idea of fair play. If I get a sense that a blogger I follow never comments on or likes any of my posts after I’ve been participating at their blog for a while, I may rethink if I want to keep following them. To me, this is about reciprocity. I didn’t pay to read your blog; the price is that you read mine. How do I know? Your likes and comments, same as mine to you. As I said, I don’t count, but I get a feeling.

Another note. While I appreciate all my followers, I don’t follow back bloggers who aren’t primarily posting in English. I’m not comfortable if I can’t read the majority of the posts, and no I’m not bothering with a translation since I only use the app.

Sometimes people comment on different things. I usually like photos of flowers sans comment. What’s there to say? Pretty! Eight hundred times. But I try to recognize with a like everything I enjoy. If I agree with an opinion word for word, I might not add anything either. I get that people are busy and follow many blogs; I don’t hold that against them. I don’t expect comments from everyone all the time. But I love them when I get them! โค๏ธ

I think I covered everything that’s been going around on these topics, so I can refer back to this post if peeps want an expanded clarification of any point. Right. ๐Ÿ˜‚

*This is on the tangential topic of truth in dating. I’ve been thinking lately that I feel a lot better, that I’m over my depression of 2017. So, maybe I should think about trying again? But no. Duh! That’s what flipped me into the depression in the first place: I was feeling good during the summer of 2016 and thought I was ready. But I wasn’t ready for the parade of liars and creeps, and I wasn’t ready to begin acting like I have no feelings when these predatory men thought it was fine to be insulting and creepy and critical just because I was “out there.” No, I’m not ready, will never be ready for that again. Call me a snowflake โ„๏ธ or whatever you want, but I don’t like myself when I’m in dating mode. I don’t like the me I have to be to deal with them. ๐Ÿคฎ

Egads [SOCS]

AD, to me, does not connote anno domini but Asbestos Dust. He’s a sporadic blogger, never into fads, and I don’t know if he’d want me to add his link to my post; he can do so himself in the comments if he desires. Anyway, I’ve always admired AD’s writing style: it’s gritty and deep, full of depth and shadow, like a radical painting you want to view from many angles. Sometimes I feel my writing is sadly shallow in comparison to that of AD and another friend, Don, who both seem unafraid to peel more layers from their onions to get to the heart and soul of a piece. Makes for a tasty read. But we shouldn’t compare, for that only leads to a bad headache. ๐Ÿ˜›

The Friday Four

A Guy Called Bloke Production

1] Do you consider yourself an introvert or an extrovert?

– I’m an introvert. But I’m not pathologically introverted ~ I don’t have anxiety about calling peeps on the phone or interacting in person, and I’ve even done a couple stand-up comedy routines. I just prefer not to. I like to be at home with my kitty, ๐Ÿฑ writing in relative quiet. But I’ll do the other stuff from time to time, or even often, because life. Part of my issue with “doing things” isn’t being with people so much (though I do joke about that) ~ it’s being on the road. Traveling in a vehicle is very dangerous; there are around 30,000 deaths per year on the roads, not to mention injuries. That’s terrifying. I have a lot of anxiety about driving and other drivers, but I believe it’s quite justified.

2] What makes you feel complete, whole or accomplished?

– I enjoy office work. I like being thanked and knowing I helped get a project done. I also like completing an organizing or decluttering task and seeing all the things in their Rightful Places, whether at home or at work.

3] Do you judge a book by its cover?

– Sometimes I am guilty of this, in both directions. ๐Ÿ˜ฑ

4] Whatโ€™s the one thing that people always misunderstand about you?

– People take my fiction literally. Ah, if only I had done the all things I write about… what an interesting life that would have been! โœจ

FPQ9: Struggle Bunny

This week Fandango asks two (2!) provocative questions, and we can answer one or both. Or none, if we’re party poopers. But I’ve always gone for extra credit points, so both it is!

“What are you struggling with the most right now?โ€

I’ve been trying to lose the five pounds I gained last year and it’s a struggle. I’m not used to dieting these days, plus the fact that I don’t eat that much to begin with, so it’s very difficult to cut back from my normal small meals. What would have been best is not to have gained in the first place. ๐Ÿ™„

Fandango sez:

Some of you might be uncomfortable answering such a personal and possibly intrusive question. And thatโ€™s why Iโ€™m going to pose an alternative question:

โ€œAs a blogger, do you enjoy โ€˜virtual relationshipsโ€™? Do you consider them to be real?โ€

First, let me laugh at the idea that I would not answer a personal and possibly intrusive question… ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚

Second, yes and yes. I enjoyed virtual relationships long before I became a blogger, so blogging has nothing to do with it. The minute I discovered the internet and found a universe of weird funny punny writing type people who wanted to discuss topics other than baby food and carpet samples, I was into VRs. (Later, I found more interesting people in meatspace, but that took a while.)

I liken virtual people to the Velveteen Rabbit from the children’s book. They’re all real to me, as they exist in their own worlds and the internet gives us a way to connect. I imagine they view only certain aspects of me, not me as a whole complete bunny, and that’s okay. It’s not like people in meatspace get me all that well either ~ sometimes a lot less actually.

But here’s the weird thing: many times I prefer the virtual relationship. It’s more cerebral, it’s all in chosen words, and it’s easier to walk away from (if necessary). I like a relationship made of writings to savor and reread. I like creating my part of the relationship, thoughtfully, out of words, not awkwardly out of blurty speech and clumsy actions. And I like being able to delete it completely when I’m done.

And Fandango thought the first question was more personal!

Philosophical Musings [SOCS]

Sup peeps? It’s supposed to rain here today, which is good. We can always use rain in SoCal. Some friends are planning a local hike and I hope they won’t be disappointed if they get rained out. Either way, we’re still meeting for lunch, which is the important thing.

Bailing on a hike years ago cost me a friendship. There’s a bit of gossip for ya. No biggie, since I’m not naming names. Yep, I went on one hike, did okay, confirmed the next one, and then I bailed. I’m just not good with hiking. I have a bad back and migraines that get triggered by whatever. Chronic pain sufferers can probably understand why doing okay on one didn’t mean I felt confident to do another; it felt more like, hmm, good, let’s stop here. So, I changed my mind, nixed the outing, and got jettisoned from the person’s life. Hey, it happens.

Not gonna deny it hurt though. I’ve been tossed aside for other reasons from other relationships over the decades and I’ve found it’s best to accept the feelings of loss, sadness, anger, etc., rather than pretending I don’t care. Pretense haunts you later, is my philosophy.

I pretend a lot though, in daily interactions, to get along and not make a fuss. I’m a nice person, much nicer than I seem here. Most of the time. I can separate my feelings of perpetual outrage about politics and “how things are” from my need to just make it through the damn day. Sometimes this makes me feel like a fraud, but we can’t spend all day confronting everyone about everything. I think we all fake it somewhat, depending upon how much we have to deal with other people. That’s different from denying your feelings to yourself however.

Every so often I make a nice cup of tea and have a long chat with myself to make sure we’re in sync about where we stand on All The Things. I highly recommend it.

Staying Positive ๐ŸŽ‰

I’m taking a cue from Revolutionary Musings and calling my plans for 2019 “goals,” not “resolutions.” When I think about the word resolution, it makes me feel I’ve done something wrong and need to improve. There’s the constant worry and pressure that I’ll fail ~ and isn’t that what so many people say? They’ve failed to keep their resolutions. Or they don’t even make any because they know they’ll fail. I want to be more upbeat this year. โ˜€๏ธ

Goals are positive. Even if we don’t reach them completely we can say we’ve made progress, and progress is good. Last year, I wrote/finished two new poetry books and they’re up for sale now on Amazon, and I completed the NaNoWriMo 50K word challenge. I’m proud of myself! ๐Ÿ˜€ Did I complete all my 2018 goals? No. But I don’t feel like a failure. I’ve made progress and will continue to do so.

For 2019, I want to finish my novel Ghosted. A novel is harder than poetry or a book of short stories, since when working full-time it takes an immense amount of focus day after day crammed into bits of free space. If I break my concentration for a couple weeks to “have a life,” it’s difficult to get that focus back. But this is the plan and I anticipate finishing my novel by the end of the year.

I also want to exercise more, which is a thing I say every year, and each year I feel worse and do less, but that doesn’t mean I should abandon the goal. This past year I was not very active at all and though I can’t do a lot, I can do a little, and I want to do that little bit. Realistically, there will be days I can do nothing but slog through from morning to night and congratulate myself for simply existing with chronic pain, but every day isn’t like that, TG. Those better days are days I can exercise.

Forex today. I planned to take a long (for me) walk to start the year off nicely. But I awoke with a migraine ~ not from booze, lol. I don’t drink alcohol. But I stayed up very late and it’s crazy windy too, both of which are triggers. Anyway, I’ve taken meds and later will exercise to a video instead of going outdoors. This is just how it is ~ I have to accept it and work within the parameters instead of giving up. ๐Ÿ‘Š๐Ÿป

Regarding blogging. It brings me great joy, both writing and interacting with people who love to write. Those last three words are key though. I’ve culled some blogs from my list recently that weren’t much about the joy of writing and only about getting us to click links. No thx.

But there’s more. I like participating in the prompts; however, I don’t understand why some of them require so much kooky hoop-jumping. Linking back to the prompt post should be enough. I have created a few new tags for my faves, okay. But I’m not going to click frogs or create more tags or follow a pile of arbitrary rules just to bring more readers to the prompt host. In the end, it’s the host who gets the clicks, let’s remember this. โœ…

My goal for 2019 is to get more reading and writing joy out of every minute I spend immersed in the world of words, so things that contribute to this goal have a solid place in that world… and things that don’t or that gobble up more time than they’re worth, do not. ๐Ÿ‘Ž๐Ÿป

Going along with this goal is reading less news. Most of the “news” isn’t really news ~ it’s tabloid type crap and a waste of my time, more of an addiction really. He said/she said, insults, rehashing, garbage about celebs and the royals, blah. It’s only going to get worse with the 2020 election coming up. ๐Ÿ‘ฟ I don’t need to read every scrap of nasty gossip and all the hot takes on what someone else said and who is banned from where. It’s simply tiresome.

I may begin doing some photos again, with a catch ~ they’ll be new photos. No more spending gobs of time trawling through old albums taking photos of photos. Bleh! If I happen to catch a shot of something that goes with one of the City Sonnet themes, cool. This aligns with my goal of having fun blogging and interacting with bloggers, but not wasting time doing boring, obsessive stuffs.

Onto forming happier, more productive traditions!

New Yearโ€™s Eve Quiz

Let’s see how well you’ve been paying attention to my poasts all year. ๐Ÿ˜€๐ŸŽ‰๐ŸŽˆ

1. In preparation for a night of partying on NYE, Paula will spend the afternoon of December 31…

A. Cooking a fabulous meal from scratch for lots of guests.

B. Getting a glam makeover at the salon.

C. Probably reading blogs.

2. When Paula arrives at her NYE destination, she is most likely to jump right into…

A. Chatting with the nearest cat or dog.

B. Networking with a group of business peeps.

C. Dancing like a maniac.

3. What will Paula be drinking on this festive occasion?

A. French champagne, daaaahling.

B. Brewskis!

C. Tea, preferably hot.

4. It’s an hour or so before midnight ~ what’s Paula likely to be doing?

A. Playing a board game.

B. Lighting sparklers on the beach.

C. Prank calling the local PD.

5. What does Paula do when the clock strikes midnight?

A. Grabs the closest man and gives him a big smooch.

B. Screams and yells and makes as much noise as possible.

C. Nothing much cuz she’s tired and wants to go home already.

6. Okay, it’s New Year’s Day, January 1, 2019. What’s Paula up to?

A. She’s begun a whole new life, sailing around the world cuz adventure is her middle name!

B. She’s nursing a wicked hangover and wonders who the strange man is in her bed.

C. Nothing, just chills at home with the cat.

Hey everyone! Have a happy eve and stay safe. See ya on the flip side! ๐ŸŽ‰๐Ÿพโค๏ธ