Friday, December 19, 2014

Where have all the bloggers gone?


As I sift through over my posts of the past in an effort find relevant content to share on Twitter (part of an experiment I'm engaged in with trying to understand social media), I've grown nostalgic reading all of the comments I used to get from fellow bloggers. Most are from my early years in blogging...2006 and 2007 were my peak years. And I've grown a bit melancholy wondering where did all the bloggers go?

I know I've harped on this topic off and on for years, but it still nags at me. It's one of those mysteries like why pods of whales beach themselves or what happened to the Roanoke Colony. Why did my little band of fellow bloggers who used to comment regularly vanish?

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Art by accident


The concept that maybe great art may be more a product of accident then design was posed on my latest binge-watching obsession, Six Feet Under. If you are not familiar with Six Feet Under, you should be. It's far better than just about anything on television today. Regardless, it is an HBO series that ran for five seasons beginning in 2001. It is the story of the Fisher family and their funeral home. It is also the story of life, death and love (not necessarily in that order).

Anyway, 18-year old Claire Fisher (played by Lauren Ambrose), posits her theory about accidental art as she struggles with self-doubt in her first year of art school under the tutelage her sadistic art teacher (who is having sex with her brother's ex-fiances mother and her boyfriend...no wonder Claire is confused). The line about maybe great art being an accident struck me as profound and kudos to whomever the writer was that wrote it for troubled teen Claire to utter.

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Tribute to the Elvis tree

 

Writing about the Elvis tree seems to be becoming almost as much a tradition as decorating it each year. I posted photos of me taking it down one year. Shoot, I even posted a video of it one. But my earliest post was in 2005

I won't go into the history again here. Click on the links above if you want to know something of its origins. Suffice it to say that it has been around my various houses for more than a decade.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Death, dying and Disney on Ice


From the title of this post, one would think it was about fulfilling some one's Make-A-Wish dream with a trip to Disney on Ice.

It's not.

Last week started off with me yet again walking into the vet's office and holding yet another of our geriatric cats as she was euthanized.  Lahaina had been diagnosed (to the tune of $600) with cancer a few days earlier. At 12, she was the youngest of our cats. I had a sense of deja vu as I held her and stroked her head while her life ebbed after the vet gave her the injections. I'd stood in the same vet's office back in July to hold my 17-year old cat Bailey while she slipped into whatever afterlife there is.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Top ten lists of top ten lists

Ten must be a magic number. Because I've sensed a pattern of tweets and "news" sites of hooking readers in by the promise of a top ten list. And it works. I inevitably get sucked into pages that promise to give me a list of the top ten foods to eat or not to eat, the top ten islands I can't afford to buy or the top ten celebrities that have aged ten years in the past decade.

I imagine some researcher or psychologist told marketers that ten is maximum number of things the ADD public can focus on before rushing off to the next list of ten. For the heck of it, I Googled "top lists of lists" and sure enough there were a plethora of top lists of top ten lists. One, Listverse, ironically, had not ten, but a dozen list of top-ten lists of top ten. They included:

Monday, November 10, 2014

Ravings



I was tempted to call this post "Twitterings" but it thought it might be too hypocritical since I've been making my own ventures into spouting wisdom in 140 characters or less. And in all fairness, ravings take place on all parts of the Internet, not just Twitter. It's just seems to be a fire hose to drink them from.

I confess, I have never paid much attention to Twitter or how it works up until a few weeks ago and I was forced to try and understand as part of my job. I had basically relied on Facebook posts to repost on Twitter when I had made a new post on Dizgraceland. And I assumed the lack of attention I received on Twitter was due to the short attention spans of people rather than the fact that I only had 40 followers. And only two or three of them actually were following me because they were aware of my blog.

After reading a book about social media marketing, I finally realized that in order to get attention on Twitter, you actually have to have more than 40 followers. It is nothing like Facebook where you are actually trying to communicate with people you know and sort of like. Twitter requires volume.

Thursday, November 06, 2014

Blogs that apparently don't suck

I watched the first season of Betas on Amazon Prime. It is a Amazon produced series about a group of social app developers in San Francisco trying to become millionaires by launching a social media app that makes people put down their smartphones and hook up face to face. It is an interesting series filled with nerds/hipsters...nerdsters I guess. Or maybe hiperds. Then again they may be more geeksters or hipeeks. Whatever. I think you catch my drift.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Día de las muertos fotos

“ On October 31, All Hallows Eve, the children make a children's altar to invite the angelitos (spirits of dead children) to come back for a visit. November 1 is All Saints Day, and the adult spirits will come to visit. November 2 is All Souls Day, when families go to the cemetery to decorate the graves and tombs of their relatives. The three-day fiesta filled with marigolds, the flowers of the dead; muertos (the bread of the dead); sugar skulls; cardboard skeletons; tissue paper decorations; fruit and nuts; incense, and other traditional foods and decorations. ” 
—Frances Ann Day, Latina and Latino Voices in Literature
In honor of Halloween and the Day of the Dead, I've taken advantage of Google's Halloweenify yourself app to honor (?) my family. I suppose it is also a way to welcome the spirits into my blog. God knows it has been dead around here. 

My great, great grandparents and my grandmother

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Haunting


I watched a horror flick on Amazon Prime the other day called Grave Encounters. It was sort of a Ghost Hunters meets Blair Witch Project. The plot premise is that a reality show camera team (bearing a striking similarity to the real life Ghost Hunters crew) are spending the night in reportedly haunted abandoned mental hospital. They do the obligatory interviews with grounds keepers and building caretakers and get secondhand stories of odd sounds and misty figures. But nothing real concrete (just like the real Ghost Hunters).

Monday, October 20, 2014

I ain't afraid of no ghosts


Halloween is rapidly approaching. So you would think that there would be more paranormal activity going on. After all, it's a holiday for ghosts, right?

Apparently Halloween evolved from the ancient Celtic holiday of Samhain (it's pronounced SAH-win..sowing...get it),  It was a day the Celts used to mark the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter. They believed that the transition day between the seasons was a bridge to the world of the supernatural. The time between sunset on October 31 and sunset on November 1 was supposed to open the door to the spirits of the dead and other supernatural beings such as fairies.

Thursday, October 09, 2014

The Hulk wasn't in touch with his emotions

"Don't make me mad. You wouldn't like me when I'm mad."
--David Banner (The Hulk)

After a week of intensive management training and using "I" language (I think...I feel), it strikes me that the Hulk didn't own his emotions. Because, in theory, no one can make you feel any way. You feel a certain way because of your reaction to something external to you.

It would have been better if I phrased that, "No one can make me feel any way. I feel a certain way because of my reaction to something external to myself." I have to keep poking myself in the "I" to remember to use "I" language.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The creator


Despite the headline, this post isn't about god or God. I just started thinking about my job and my life and wondered when I stopped being creative. Because that is one thing I always clung to as being my identity in life. I was creative.

Being creative to me means creating something...something original. Creative writing is original writing, not regurgitated prose or hackneyed plots. And even though I studied Journalism (which frowns on creative license in telling a story), I always held onto the belief that my writing was different from others. And in retrospect, maybe it is different, just not in a good way.