Tag Archives: retro

Popularity Observation

File_001 (28)

I’m not a popular blogger. Not sure I want to be ~ I had a tiny taste of it many years back and it was a lot of work. I constantly checked my stats and felt as if I failed when I didn’t keep outperforming the previous week’s totals. Every day I pressured myself to write at least two posts and one needed to be funny. I tried to find ways to link other bloggers in posts. I also made sure to visit many other blogs daily, old friends and new hopefuls, and leave comments to encourage them to visit me. Ughhh! Needless to say, just like my Facebook obsession, this left little to no time for Real Writing. And it was pointless as well ~ the blog was neither monetized nor promoting any writing. It was simply an exercise in ego.

Now? Some days I get less than 10 visitors here, though it’s hard to tell if more are simply reading via a reader or in email. Visits are only recorded from click-throughs. Usually a day with a new post will generate 20 or more visitors, but not always. If I link to the word of the day, I’ll get more. I haven’t SEO’d my blog, and I’m not even sure what that is, but it seems fake, like fake FB friends. Why would I want that? Are those people going to leave real comments and care about what I say? Are they ever going to be interested in buying my writing on Amazon? Hah.

I know some of my fellow bloggers must be SEO’d up the wazoo because their post will appear in my reader as an hour old and already have 200 likes. WTF? And it’s a poem or something, not exactly the most popular form of writing out there, but yet 200 people have somehow found it and liked it. Right. That happens. What does this mean? Does it translate to money? How much? I suppose I could google this properly, but why not just fling my question to the winds and wait for a wrong answer from one of y’all?

On Twitter, I’m a nobody, a nothing, a speck of dust. I heard about this thing called a shadow-ban, where you see your tweetles but no one else can since the PTB have put a block on their distribution, and like a cyber-hypochondriac I thought ooh maybe I haz that! But no. I’m not worthy enough to have any kind of ban obviously. That’s not why no one notices my twips. No one notices them because they aren’t noticeable. It doesn’t matter how witty I think I am, or even when I remember to hashtag a particularly clever thing… nothing. But occasionally a friend likes one, so I know I haven’t been shadow-banned. Then a popular twatter says something and gets 800 hearts in three minutes… the count rolls over into the thousands as I watch. It’s not even that funny, but there it goes. Whatever.

Again, I’m trying to figure out some of these popular tweepers. They seem to be on Twitter all day long. Are they getting paid? They churn out a comment after every blip in the news. Then they immediately have thousands of likes and retweets. What’s their source of income? They can’t all be stay at home moms. Some are men, but the ones I’ve observed are mostly women.

If it’s just an ego thing, pffft. The reason I’m curious is I’d like to know how to get more people to see my tweets as a way of promoting my writing. I observe so many writers there hawking their books… doesn’t seem like a fabulous strategy. If everyone is doing it, is anyone really clicking and buying? I don’t think I got any sales that way, but then again, I’m not a popular tweep to begin with. I can’t believe that if all you do is promo you’ll be more popular. That’s so boring! If you’re popular for being funny and smart, and oh incidentally every once in a while link to a product for sale, then I can see people clicking on it. But why would someone buy something you’re selling if they don’t know who you are in the first place? This is why celebs are desirable salespeeps, isn’t it? If only I could get Meg Ryan to promo my books for free. LOL

~*~

The Daily Prompt: Observe

Advertisements

Don’t Believe Everything You Read

Especially here. Remember back in the day when I was jabbering on about how much I lurve That Girl? Like last week? Well, I’ve changed my mind. Sunday I wrote a bunch in the morning and then took a little break, which turned into a 12-hour TG binge. At first, I still enjoyed the eps, especially the ones with guest stars, such as “Compudate,” which featured Rich Little doing impressions. I adore him and lost respect for Ann when she didn’t dump Don for Rich. Wtf? Ridiculous. Don’s a total bore. The more I watched the more convinced of this I became. What did she even see in him? He is totally dull. The British photog dude is also way more fun than Don, but nope. I guess it must be this opposites thing ~ sparkling butterfly needs a lump of mashed potatoes for a partner so she can make sure she’s always the center of attention. If she had gone with Rich, he might have grabbed some of the spotlight for himself. That’s fine for her, but what about us, the audience? After almost two full seasons, I’m really tired of Mr. Boring.

But that’s not even the main thing. There’s something about TG that’s really started to bug me. Several somethings.

1. The show takes place in NYC and everyone is white. There’s nothing but white people everywhere. White people celebrating generic white Christian holidays. No matter where Ann goes in the city, she never encounters anyone or anything but this. Amazing!

2. The city is freakishly clean.

3. Ann wants a career and left her small town to be independent, which seemed refreshing at first, but it’s not this way at all. She’s still emotionally yoked to her parents 24/7, especially to her father, and she calls him Daddy constantly, which is as irritating as her “Oh Donalds.” Daddy pops into her apartment whenever because he has “business in the city,” though he’s allegedly running a restaurant two hours away in the small town, and he has zero respect for her privacy. Ann is obsessed with his opinion regarding everything she does, whether it’s cooking a turkey or wearing dangling earrings, and it’s disgusting.

4. I’ve seen several eps now where Ann gets into dicey situations involving some creepy older man coming onto her and she wriggles out of it with her silly, spunky personality. If at any point she is actually physically touched, the scene is interrupted by Mr. Boring lumping in. Even when Don punches some otter guy in the face, he manages to be dull about it and hurt his widdle paw. The point is, nothing bad ever really happens to Ann, since she’s a “good girl.” This is the message we always have received.

5. Even worse, both Donald and Ann say “terrific” every freaking minute and it drives me up the wall. Of all the things, this started to turn me off the most Sunday night until I began dreading any positive announcement, since it would always be followed up with the inevitable. Why didn’t anyone buy these writers a thesaurus?!

Yes, I praised the writers earlier, so I’m blaming them now. Live by, die by. Goodbye, That Girl.

*

Of course I realize this was back then ~ I don’t care. I’m criticizing it now anyway, just like I did IDOJ.

File_001 (25)

Diamonds, Daisies, Snowflakes…

That Girl!

That Girl

I can’t believe no one guessed the correct answer. Some of you got close with MTM, etc. ~ shows about single brunettes navigating big city life. But alas, nobody got That Girl. I’ve been enjoying reruns on Prime and am just starting the second season. A good friend bought S5 for me as a gift and watching some of those motivated me to start over at the beginning. Okay, let’s discuss…

First, we’ll address the theme song (music only until S5 when lyrics are introduced), which I see via google is not super popular. I guess people hate happy, sappy lists. Does this mean “My Favorite Things” from The Sound of Music is hated now too? Bye cream-colored ponies, off you go. We’re tossing the crisp apple strudel right in the trash. What the hell is wrong with lists of nice things? Does every piece of music have to be dark and dystopian with singularity death robots clawing out our livers? Eff that. We can haz nice lists.

Second, That Girl is a nice show about nice people, who mostly do nice things and end up getting into mild predicaments. So, you’re thinking omgawwwd boring. No. You know what I’m bored with? Criminals, jerks, liars, druggies, drunks, narcissists, wackos, and psychopaths. But enough about men from dating sites already, eh? Pffft.

Sometimes it’s just darned good fun to watch a show about normal people negotiating the quotidian. Kind of like Seinfeld, in a way… many of TG’s eps are also about “nothing” or nothing more than the minutiae of daily life gone awry via misunderstandings or miscommunications. This was prior to texting and email, so people have to talk to each other face to face to work things out. This generally resolves an issue quickly rather than our current method of trying to “text it out,” which further mires us in the muck of miscomm. Yes, I realize it’s fictional. 😛

Third, there’s a refreshing absence of sex, drugs, and violence. I’m no prude, but I’m just tired of the emphasis on those three things in entertainment. Once they’re introduced, they tend to dominate the script. Ann and Don are steadily dating, but we haven’t seen them in bed. Good. I don’t want to; it’s uninteresting to me. In one of these early eps, they wade in a stream while picnicking and she remarks that it’s the first time she’s seen his ankles. Why? Because they haven’t slept together or cuz he has sex in his socks or what? The questions crossed my mind, briefly, and I’m happy not to know. There’s a mafia ep where the bad guys end up in a food fight then a fist fight but not a gun fight and it’s hilarious. Etc.

Fourth, surprisingly, these old TG eps offer many situations that are still currently relevant. How to maintain a close relationship with your parents when you move away and choose a different lifestyle. Can you conduct a professional relationship in the same office with someone with whom you’re romantically involved? The struggle of pursuing your low-paying dream while juggling two or more side gigs to make the rent. Etc.

Plus Marlo Thomas is funny. So are Ted Bessell, who plays her boyfriend, and Lew Parker, who plays her father. But many actors could have done these roles, imo, including Marlo’s. This is not to disparage the actors, who are certainly fine, but the writers should get the credit for the show. Always credit the writers! Check out that link… interesting.

K, I’m off for more teevee! 🙂

Back in the Bottle

A few years ago I blogged here and here (a two-parter!) about rewatching I Dream of Jeannie ~ I had purchased the entire series. But I didn’t finish watching every episode because it was too heartbreaking. My memory of the show from when I was a teen had it categorized as witty and adorable and this was destroyed by my mature perspective. As I noted three years ago, the writing was cliched (even for the time), the jokes unfunny, the bloopers ubiquitous, and the constant obsession with marriage ridiculous and boring.

But it turns out you can put the genie back in the bottle. Hee! Time passed. Life went on. Movies were watched. Games were played. Poetry was written. Cupcakes were nommed. And slowly but surely, IDOJ reclaimed its favored status among my childhood memories of cute and fun things. I even used a GIF of Jeannie pouring coffee on Twitter yesterday as if nothing had ever happened to tarnish my memory of her adorableness.

I made a similar mistake recently by clicking Match Game on Prime. Oooh, I used to love watching that after school! Biiig mistake. My god, those guest “stars” were a bunch of drunken idiots, which was freakin’ hilarious to 14 year old me, but now? Not so much.

Gotta resist Memory Lane strolls in so many of their tempting forms. An evening sorting through old photos the otter week caused me to spiral into a mild depression for days. Music doesn’t seem to have the same effect, or if it does, it’s small in comparison… an hour or two, certainly not a day or more.

Truth be told, I don’t care about Match Game, but I’m really glad to have IDOJ at the top of my happy childhood memory list.

In a future bloggery, we’ll discuss an old TV show that has stayed surprisingly good over time with storylines relevant today! Care to speculate which show I have in mind?

File_001 (9)

~*~

The Daily Prompt: Genie

Froth

Beachy

Hot summer sand met cold ocean froth. Two little girls in sunglasses and hats with buckets and towels, digging and giggling. I would bring a book and never open it, preferring to watch my children’s fun and the turquoise waves tumble in, one by one. The hours moved slowly but the time went so fast. Grandma came too with lunch in a cooler. She’s gone now and soon my time will be up, the next decades sure to pass even faster than the ones before. Each year’s bubbles crash in, spread out with a susurrus, and disappear back into nothingness.

~*~

The Daily Prompt: Froth

Rush: A Dating Story

My college boyfriend loved Rush. I mean, he loved them. I’d never even heard of Rush until I went to college, since I lived such a sheltered life in Chicago. But then again I was still listening to Diana Ross, Neil Diamond, and Gordon Lightfoot in 1979. I tried to like Rush back then, because that was the kind of girlfriend I was ~ I’m not like that now, which might be why I don’t have a boyfriend these days. I really hated Rush though. I hated the music and I hated the voices. I never could even understand wtf they were screeching until I read the lyrics. Pretty sure CB did not care if I liked them or not. He existed in a selfish bubble, as you would expect of a guy in his late teens. Not that he was a bad person or anything. We didn’t have a whole lot in common but we did have some good times with movies and games and such, and we had similar values.

I dropped out of the University of Illinois (finished my degree later at CSUN), but kept dating CB, long-distance and during his vacations from school, for a couple years. Why, you ask. Who knows, I reply. Looking back, it seems strange. Writing snail-mail letters and yapping on the phone for hours about nothing. Visiting during his free time when both of us could have been meeting new people. We didn’t even have much fun together after the shared college experience was over. It wasn’t terrible or anything, but it wasn’t great either. Finally, I broke up with him using the “drifted apart” reason. He wrote a nice letter back saying goodbye.

I google him periodically ~ he seems to have stayed single as far as I can tell. Most if not all of my exes are single now, as I am. I find that interesting. The men I attempted to form serious long-term relationships with also failed to create/maintain serious long-term relationships with anyone else. Of course that doesn’t preclude the possibility that any one of us could meet someone tomorrow and be with them for the rest of our lives. You never know.

File_001 (7)

~*~

The Daily Prompt: Rush

You Are The Product

scream

How many times have we read that lately? I actually read it a long time ago and it made a lot of sense. Who the hell gives away anything for free? We always knew our eyeballs were being sold to advertisers, or we should have known. And of course it isn’t only Facebook ~ insurance companies, credit bureaus, Google, etc. all have your data. Sometimes you’re the product even when you pay for the privilege, like on Match dot com. Isn’t that a kick?

Several years ago I was searching for a fun Google map I had created of all the places I’d lived and traveled to, maybe a couple years prior to that. I was just poking around, as you do, wondering if it was gone forever, when I blundered into my total location history since the beginning of time. Whoa, what? I thought I’d deleted all that! I had a big sad as I emotionally revisited the restaurants and hotels I’d gone to with the man who broke my heart… and then I deleted my location history permanently up to that point. Well, I think it was permanent. Who knows? No biggie, except I don’t want to see all that ever again. I know the gobblement and Google and Russia and some creatures on another planet have it. Whatevs.

Oh, I found the fun map. Whoopee.

Some peeps on the Book of Face used an ad blocker, which I’m sure was very clever. I never bothered with that. But it turns out FB was still able to gather gobs of data from your phone logs and your friends’ profiles too. You could be locked up tight, but they could still sell you to people based on stuff your friends had public. Plus anything you “liked” was up for grabs to create a shadow profile of you to package and sell. One of my friends said she liked incorrect things to throw THEM off the scent. Maybe that helps. I have to say that my ads were pretty inaccurate as is. I didn’t hide my true self, and yet I was shown very few tempting ads all those years ~ where were the adorable kitty tee shirts, the romance novel 4-packs, the c00kie cutters, the stitchery stuffs? I saw loads of ads for real estate and spa trips, things I could never afford. I’m assuming they, whoever THEY are, figured anyone in Orange County must be wealthy. Wrong!

I’m not going to bother linking to the scary articles that tell us how much FB and Google know about us because we’ve all read them in the past week. Plus you can easily find them yourself if you haven’t. For me, though, FB was the least necessary of the bunch and the easiest to jettison (along with Messenger and Instagram). And yes, I’m going to keep talking about it as much as I want to, pffft. I do miss some of the interaction with FB peeps, but I accept that’s the price I pay for reclaiming a huge chunk of my free time.

*

I watched an interesting movie on Prime yesterday called Paperback, kind of a writers’ movie and also a movie for the romance-cynical. No spoilers just a rec!

My First Dick

lamb-spring-nature-animal-59821.jpeg

Philip K., that is. Just read Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? this week and enjoyed it. At first, I was surprised at the clunky writing style because after all I’ve heard about PKD, I expected him to be a superb writer, but there was so much “as you know Bob” type of dialog right from the start. But I got past that and was able to appreciate the incredible imagination exhibited throughout. I saw the Blade Runner films first, and enjoyed them, but the book surpassed them. It had so many more levels. The empathy testing was more interesting in the book. The religion aspect was unexpected. All the inner conflicts. The marital relationship. And of course the animals! I had no idea they played such a huge role. Loved the many clever twists toward the end.

I found a few things too amusing not to mention. The book was rather sexist, don’t you think? Rick’s wife was pretty Stepford all the way. The other women were tropes, even the “strong” ones. Also, smeary onion skin copies, bwahahaha! After all PKD comes up with as far as fab futuristic stuffs, he thinks we’d still be typing with copies in 2021. Jesus, I can’t remember the last time I made a literal “carbon copy.” Omg, remember those? So messy. Hate hate hate. And one mistake? You had to start all over.

I have several books waiting in my queue, but I want to read a few more PKD’s that’ve been recommended by friends. Glad I finally grabbed this one after all these years!

Wherein I Nag Peeps to Blog

I’ve been on social media a looooong time. Found my niche, so to speak, early on with a pack of feral writers on Usenet, and we’ve been hanging around together on the various media as they wax and wane in popularity. We tried Twitter, but the 140 character limit was too stifling. Most of us have Twitter accounts, but it’s not our preferred way to communicate, since we like to talk… well, argue mostly, and we do go on and on and on. Many of us jumped into the blogging craze, but for whatever reason most dropped out of that, which I don’t understand. You would think that writers and blogs would go together like macaroni and cheeeese! Have I mentioned lately that not only do I love blogging, but I highly recommend it? I really do, from the bottom of my ice-cold heart. Then there were a bunch of rando express trains we hopped on as they arrived at the communication station over the years, but it turned out they all had the same destination: Boringville.

Except Facebook. We’ve all been on FB forever it seems. I closed my account in 2010, but ultimately returned with a new one within a year. I missed my peeps, and you know when friends say they’ll stay in touch via email and such they may have the best intentions, but… it simply does not happen. People are too busy for emailing, too busy for phone calls (plus many of us do not like phone calls ~ I am one), and you just lose touch. It’s not the same to see a few pics on Instagram or a tweet here and there. Facebook is how so many of us learn what’s going on with friends and family, unless you actually see people in meatspace or have a regular texting relationship. I have those, but not with hundreds of FB friends, just a few close ones, and my daughters of course.

But the Book of Face is all screwed up now with the latest data selling horror story. Will it survive? Who knows. It seems “too big to fail,” but that doesn’t mean it won’t. People are making noises about leaving, but we hear this every time something bad is in the news about breaches of privacy and whatnot. Yes, it feels different this time, worse, but even so. Hard to imagine a world without Facebook. But just because it’s hard to imagine doesn’t mean it can’t happen. We could all wake up one day to find a message saying the whole thing is down. OMG! And that could continue, day after day. What would people do? Watch TV, read books, ride bikes? The possibilities are literally endless.

Here’s one thing they could do, and in fact they could do it now, as insurance: BLOG! No, I am not getting paid to promote blogging, though I should be (pay me, WordPress); I just think it’s a Good Thing. Set up a blog, easy peasy, and start writing. If you don’t know what to write about, no worries, you can poast photos and memes and links to news stories in the headlines that everyone else sees same as you, like you do every day on Facebook (eyeroll), until you feel inspired to write an essay. But you might think about adding some original writing to your photo/meme/link. Hey what? Write a sentence or two about what YOU are thinking or feeling when you poast the link to that news story. Give your opinion. After a while, you won’t need a link and you can simply write an op-ed yourself. Like what I’m doing here. You won’t need links to validate your thoughts. Just jabber on and on and on like a Real Writer, wheeeeee!

After you blog, visit other blogs, like poasts, and comment. Follow. Then you’ll receive likes, comments, and follows. Soon there will be familiar avatars, topics, and interesting discussions. If you get a troll or someone otherwise unpleasant, block. Or engage, if that’s your preference.

If you already have a blog, then why aren’t you blogging? Hmmmm? Because you’re spending all day on FB, amirite? Best get to reviving that blog before FB goes poof. Don’t say I didn’t warn ya!

If not now, when? Get a free blog before they’re all gone. Hurry!

And FFS, don’t forget the most important thing: follow me so my count goes up. 🙂

IMG_0146

Color Wheel

The first color I remember having a decided preference for is turquoise. When I was in third grade I had a plaid jumper I adored because it had turquoise in it and I could wear a turquoise shirt underneath and also turquoise socks. It was my most favorite outfit in the world. Also I loved turquoise jewelry in any form (real or beads).

Two years later my favorite color was purple and my mom did my room all in violet with flowered wallpaper when we moved to New Jersey in 1970. It was gorgeous! I also had a purple leotard I wore with a lavender skirt and white go-go boots, and this was really cute, around 1973. That’s about the time we departed for Illinois, where the official color is forty below zero.

When I was 20 a Chicago coworker remarked that I wore a lot of blue and brown. I did. I’d just gone from being a college student to a full-time office worker and had a limited budget for shopping. Blues and browns seemed practical to mix-match and they all went with my sensible brown shoes and boots. Obviously I would layer over that with parkas and scarves and leg warmers, mittens, hats, yada. Still have two coats from my Chicago years because they were very well made and come in handy occasionally. One is blue, one a brownish pink.

Decades later my wardrobe expanded to all colors of the rainbow. I went through phases: sunflower yellow, lime green, candy pink, violet, and always turquoise with everything. I could wear any outrageous color combo when I was a young mom. I painted my own tee shirts and had tie-dyed leggings.

Then I returned to full-time office work and gradually began to ditch the crazy colors in favor of blues and browns again. Also, like most women, I discovered a love of black, which goes surprisingly well with some of my bright stuff, toning it down enough to be acceptable in an office. One of my favorite combos is black pants with a turquoise shirt and an ivory or beige sweater. Browns and pinks work nicely together too. I don’t wear much lime green or sunflower yellow these days. Still adore lavender and violet.

As I’ve mentioned I am simplifying my wardrobe as time goes by. New purchases are in solid colors for ease of matching. I shop more sensibly now rather than grabbing what catches my eye. Shopping online is good for this method, since you search for what you need (blue pants, forex) rather than wandering into a store and allowing yourself to be seduced by a sequined kitty sweatshirt.

One thing that’s funny though ~ through all this my cars were blue, brown, blue, brown, blue, brown. In order, just like that. The first car I owned was blue and the car I have now is brown. Yes, a constant in my life since my move to California has been my love for the colors of the earth and the sky, the sand and the ocean, from biscuit to chocolate, from ice to navy. I’ve moved from one coast to another, liked many things about Chicago, but never felt “at home” there and have never gone back to the midwest for even a visit. Although I don’t hang out at the beach much, I like knowing it’s nearby (wouldn’t want to live super close because of earthquake/tsunami, which is a win because of the price of oceanfront real estate).

Though I must say I recently heard of a writerly town in Montana that’s totally piqued my curiosity…

20160430_152927

~*~

The Daily Prompt: Constant