Monthly Archives: October 2012

I’m This Many!

I don’t have kids but I do care for them, as with my own “kids” I think there’s a time and place. I have been in restaurants or at events where I thought the kids should not have been. Of particular note is a fabulous event we have each year in my neighbourhood called Buskerfest. This is a fabulous weekend-long event, jammed packed full of buskers, vendors and kids, kids, kids. Yes, it’s totally a kid-oriented event but what about making it kid free, say from 8:00 to 10:00 p.m. on the Friday and Saturday evening?

I think the same applies for restaurants and so forth, it should be common knowledge that if you are going out with small children in tow it is not jurisprudent to bring them in after 6:00 p.m. to dine and if they start acting up, the onus is on you to either quiet them in as swift, quiet and courteous a manner as possible, or if they continue, to take them outside until they settle down. I also think there’s an onus on adults not to expect kid-free environments at certain times. If I’m going to The Keg, or Shoeless Joe’s or some medium range, family style restaurant and I’ve made my reservation for 6:00 p.m. I think it’s totally ridiculous and unfair to expect a) peace and quiet and b) that it will not be packed with kids. If you’re kidless and older either eat earlier or eat later. If you’re a parent, as a rule I’d say don’t bring your kids to restaurants after 7:00 p.m., that’s just rude.

Not to mention other public venues as well, if you want to go to a museum or an art gallery in relative peace, either book a day off during the week, or go extremely early or preferably as late as possible to said place. As to Saturdays, they should just be designated ‘kid friendly’ days where you can expect to be overrun and inundated with kids and rather than parents having to apologize for their kids should they be a little hyper, certain venues should have signs that state that today is a “kid friendly” environment and people should be aware to expect, running, screeching and lots of laughter and if they don’t like it, lump it.

Kids today grow up too fast as it is. I think its imperative that we give them places where they can just be kids and not get censured all the time for acting like a kid. Besides, personally I more of the running, screaming at the top of my lungs, blowing bubbles and eating too much candy vein myself, I hope I never grow up.

Why is it sooooooooooooooooo hard to find a simple answer on the internet!

OMG it’s called the information highway, the age of simplicity, nobody has any patience, etc., so what the hell? Have you ever looked for an answer on the internet for a simple question? Jeebus most of the time it’s like wading through hieroglyphics. I have a huge beef about people taking three or more paragraphs to get to the point. i.e. how to remove grass stains, I do not want to hear some lame-assed story about how your little Johnny played such an awesome game of soccer you thought you were never going to get those stains out, a Tide commercial is more compelling (and p.s. it didn’t work, that’s why I’m here in the first place).

Even some of my favourite bloggers take three and four paragraphs to get to the point. You know what, I’m just going to skim through it anyway if I’m in search of a specific answer. If you want to wax poetic can you pah-leeze put all the facts and information up front and then saunter down memory lane or do your “creative” part afterwards? If I want to read long, winding, creative writing pieces I will go to a creative writing site, thank you very much. Also, not to be rude but – most of you can’t write per se, that’s why you’re blogging in the first place, trying to create some interest in another aspect of your wonderful self, like maybe your awesomely innovative recipes or how you can repair a bicycle with a paper clip. Most blog advice sites stipulate creating a niche market and attracting a specific core audience exactly because of this – they don’t want to tell you that just because you can string two words together does not make you a writer. In fact, many of the blogs I come across are atrocious – and for that I’m thankful, it just paints me in a better light.

So please, if your blog is offering some advice about X – can you put it at the top of said post Then, if you choose to, feel free to ramble on to your heart’s content. I don’t know about you guys out there, but if I am doing a search specifically pertaining to one question and I get to a site that rambles on and I have to seek out the answer that just pisses me off. Remember people, this is the age of immediate gratification and if you don’t give people what they’re looking for, they won’t come back. For an awesome example of advice and nothing more, see my “iPod Frozen” post of October 3rd. Or these guys when I was writing this paragraph and wasn’t sure about the word usage, now that’s succinct!

Your thoughts and comments are always appreciated by the way, oh and don’t feel you have to write ‘nice things’, if you know me at all, you should know better but remember if it’s particularly heinous (I just love that word), I will just leave it there … okay, I might laugh at it sometimes too.

Pink and Purple – the exact opposite of black and blue :-)

How do you write a colour? Light, whimsical, distinctly feminine and rich, lush and comforting. My favourite colours may seem predictable for a woman, that’s because they’re pretty magnificent and that’s why we keep on liking them. Pink is everything from innocence to sexy and sultry while purple, in it’s lesser, softer violet form makes one think of lavender and gentle scents.

In it’s rich deep form, the richest as far as I’m concerned as well as my favourite, eggplant. Remember the suitcase, yep besides the good reviews it was that colour!

These colours invokes feelings of power and passion directly juxtaposed by the loathsome neutrals, however they have their place. Now as an accent around the home, especially one festooned with bright, shiny and sparkly things I have to admit that there I need neutrals if I don’t want my guests induced with vertigo the minute they walk through the door.
I think a good portion of my love of colour and that of bright, shiny and sparkly too is due to the fact that I never completely grew up. There is a part of me that is to forever remain five years old and for that I’m truly grateful. This along with my brash nature have made me unafraid to dress boldly, wear whatever I like, when I like (on the job it’s more like dress-up for me than anywhere else, feeling all incognito if you will – but I’m still considered pretty avant garde by my co-workers). Interestingly I wear very little pink or purple to work all things considered. I suppose that’s my neutral territory. Although, I look around my desk at all the pink and purple accoutrements and think yeah, it’s everywhere at my work as well. Pink and purple make me happy.

My First True Love

I was going to write another thrilling entry of negotiating the land of blog but if I’m this bored with it, I would guess you guys close to abandoning ship, so let’s forgo that whole thing and start anew shall we? In fact let’s go back to my first true love alas, she no longer exists anymore in this cyberworld, and she is dying a slow and painful death in our day-to-day existence.

An ode to pen and paper whose sensuality and eroticism must makes me name it she.

Whenever I am feeling beaten, overwrought and nothing is making sense anymore I take out my journal and begin lamenting, it soothes me. When I’m excited it’s great to have somewhere to record it. I don’t expect anyone would ever read it, I strongly advise my partners against it and there’s no other reason for doing it other than the sheer release. It is a sanctuary I can take with me wherever I go.

It makes me so sad to realize that the written word is a dying art and everything in this world is becoming so disjointed, so detached, so electronically enhanced, so impersonal. Typing is efficient but impersonal. I am happy I was born in a simpler time and I know what it was like before the advent of the computer era. I’m glad I learned to do cursive writing am able to complete a word without lifting the pen off the paper except to dot an i or cross a t. Most youths today will never know cursive writing and still others will barely know how to print. I wonder what will become of the signature but then I give my head a shake. Come on, we’re all going to be chipped in the very near future anyway. There’ll be no need; a simple scan of your wrist will do the trick.

They call it “social media”, anti-social more like, everyone clicking away on machines, it’s not interacting, it’s disengaging, disconnecting. And a lot of people hide behind pseudonyms and computer screens and all the passive aggressive assholes of the world have found a place to thrive. Now we have cyber bullying and cyber stalking, identity theft but to name a few.

And as I write this I just got chewed out for typing while watching t.v. Does anyone else see the irony there? Exactly how am I supposed to be participating fully in the “activity” do tell. Meanwhile my dogs keep jumping all over my keyboard while I’m trying to type, they too clamoring for my attention. I push them away and I’m angry because I have become one of them. I now do the majority of my “writing” on my computer in a “word processing” program. The writing itself requires little thought or skill, it checks my spelling, shows me grammatical errors and in my blog it even indicates if I’m using a passive voice. Pretty soon it’ll just “write” for me.

There will come a day in the not too distant future when the word write will become antiquated (if it hasn’t already). It’ll be very, oh there’s another way to spell right, wonder why? I pause to pet my dog and am glad that I still have the luxury of slipping between the two worlds.

It’s like the cell phone these days, no longer can you slam down the phone impassioned, somehow hitting end is so unsatisfying. Oh sure you can pick it up and whip it at the wall but who can afford to do that to their multimedia device these days? Same thing with paper, nothing like crumpling up a sheet or tearing it apart in frustration, or better yet writing a whole sputum of b.s. about someone or something that has driven you mad, rip the pages dramatically from your journal, place them in the sink and burn them in effigy – release! Delete, not so much.

Very few today will understand the feat I accomplished by being left-handed and never smearing ink across the page or curling my hand around in that weird looking way that some do. I had the good sense to realize at a young age that I could simply turn the paper instead. Now I just stare at a screen and listen to the faint clicking of the keys and whirring of my computer’s fan.

Good bye dear pen, I’ve loved you so with your different tips, varying thicknesses and a myriad of colours of ink, your infuriating stains on my favourite bag, the way my fingers would cramp after writing for long periods and your constant elusiveness in my bag. The other day, I got an ink stain on my wallet, instead of making me angry I almost cried.

(Note aside: *points up, artistic license but if you want some awesome, lovely Parker pens! Or some really funky pens! Course in my budget the Uni-ball is the way I roll.)

Top 10 Tips – Blogging for the Newb

DP Weekly Challenge

  1. Write what you know. It’s been said so many times it’s almost become a cliché but the fact of the matter is it’s hard enough to try and write something interesting, witty and intriguing when you don’t know what you’re talking about. You’re about to embark on this possible long and definitely sometimes frustrating journey into blog land, the last thing you need is a handicap. Even if you’re creating a blog that isn’t oriented solely to your writing, your writing, even if they’re captions, matter.
  2. Brevity is the sole of wit. I cannot stress this enough. This is a society largely based on instant gratification, people do not want a five-page long synopsis leading up to your top 10 list, sista please! When I was researching this topic I turned off of so many pages precisely because of this. Get in, make your point and get out. Even if you are doing something a little more in-depth like a story make sure it’s organized and has structure. (If you are a writer and want to be among your peers there are blogs specifically for that, but again, if you can break your story /novel / screenplay down into short, concise sections you’re much more apt to keep people reading.) People not only bore easily but with this high-end electronic market there are a million distractions out there. It’s the “oh look, something shiny” era and if you start waxing poetic no one cares.
  3. Set a schedule and try your best to stick to it. A lot of “blogging advice” states that you have to do it a lot, all the time, every day. Come on, who has that type of time or patience or stuff to blog about anyway? In point of fact, if you can just blog once a week on a consistent basis, you’re more likely to be able to maintain a following and get people reading on a regular basis. By the way, my research indicates that posting in the early morning is prime time for posting and it’s best to launch a blog on a Monday morning.
  4. Do your research (and on the other side, consider your source). Now that you’re out there and you’re rampantly pouring over this plethora of information at your fingertips, be sure your research is thorough. Check facts, consider who’s giving you the information (I mean everyone has an agenda right?) and make sure to give credit where credit is due. If you are using information from another site, link to it. And don’t plagiarize that’s just tacky and repugnant not to mention illegal.
  5. No really, do you research! Adjacent to the do your research regarding your blog topic itself is do your research period. There’s a million sites out there talking about key words, RSS, SEO, spiders, etc. Know your terms, no what they mean as it pertains to your blog and know how to enhance these aspects on your blog. Perhaps advertising for you is the way to go if you’re trying to generate quick money. Perhaps you want to incorporate ad sense to your blog specifically to avoid advertisements on your page. Do you know who your target audience is? Figure out what’s important for you.
  6. Read, read and read some more. Read other blogs, find ones you like, figure out why and be sure to leave comments. People will often return the comment in kind or perhaps even link to your site. Instead of reading 1,000 of blogs, find a number of them that you like and subscribe to them. Again, be sure to make time to read them. Create a sense of community for yourself so if you get frustrated you won’t feel lost and isolated. Make friends and get to know people so if you get bogged down someone can throw you a lifeline and encourage you when you need it. Surround yourself with your peers, people trying to accomplish the same thing. A great thing to do also is to guest blog or have people guest blog for you on your blog.
  7. Whatever the purpose of your blog proof your work.There is nothing more off-putting than going to someone’s page and immediately stumbling upon typos, spelling mistakes, grammatical and syntax errors. Don’t get me wrong, I love swearing and isms, I’m a great user of slang and everyday terminology that’s not yet accepted as the Queen’s English but obvious carelessness, if I see it, man I am so out of there, so fast. Okay, nobody’s perfect and I don’t know about you but I still have issues with semi-colons and am prone to the occasional run-on (or fragment) sentence. However there’s no excuse today for spelling mistakes (and grammar check if you’re comfortable with this), most programs have them built in, use it! If English is your native tongue and you are writing in English on an English word processor all spelling mistakes can and should be avoided.
  8. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. It’s really important to think big and have confidence but it’s also okay to make mistakes, maybe even colossally [swear]-up. At first I was totally nervous about doing things on the internet. People can see it, what if I make a monumental ass of myself? Well let’s be honest here, more than likely very few people are going to be looking at your blog to begin with and guess what? You can always start over. There’s really no excuse for not doing it. I thought at first the ‘plan’ would be to do research, get it altogether, get my ducks in a row – and then I realized, hey, that’s just procrastinating anyone can put things off. Don’t be afraid to take a great leap of faith and believe in yourself!
  9. A picture’s worth a 1,000 words. Even if you are doing a blog that you want to be based on the written form, people like pictures. These pictures can be based specifically on something to do with the post or perhaps it might be a picture to relay an emotion, or maybe even just one that was pretty that you thought might offset the post nicely. There really are no rules, no matter what people try to tell you, especially these know-it-alls with their top 10 lists, sheesh!
  10. Have a defined notion of what this blog is for and what it means to you. I have a specific notion of what my blog is for (well at least at this juncture, it could well change). I found when I looked into it ‘blog’ has become a very generic term basically meaning any hosted website, i.e. essentially any page on the net. (Well that wasn’t very [swear]ing helpful was it?) I then set down a very narrow parameter of what a blog meant to me and what that would entail and how I was going to go about it and for now that’s good. Having said that, this could all change as I continue to grow and learn. But you need structure and a rigidly defined notion of what you are doing or you will flail and flounder.

Be happy, do it for yourself, don’t be afraid of change, good luck!