I don't mean this to be a plug, I'm just really jazzed about this thing.
Thursday, June 28, 2007
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
Since I moved this blog back to my domain my visitor count has decreased by at least 50%. Hm. What to do. Most "Increase Your Blog Traffic" articles list the following ploys:
- Write what you know about.
Well, no one knows more about me and my life than I do.
- Visit and leave comments on other blogs.
Pimping. Nope, don't do that. When I make comments, it's because I have something to say.
- Place Technorati or del.ico.us tags on keywords.
Don't know how to do that. Any help out there?
- Sell stuff.
Not going to do that. Hell, I get pissed off having to sit through ads when I go see a movie. I'm not about to subject my readers to ads.
- Write about the news.
The last thing the blogosphere needs is yet another self-appointed pundit.
- Be snarky.
Not my style.
- Write about Google.
Google. Type keyword. Hit "Search". Scroll through endless pages of directories listing directories. Done.
- Post your photos on Flickr.
Hey! Here's one that I have right!
- Write short, pithy posts.
This must feed the short attention span.
- Write interviews with the well-known.
Any well-knowns out there want to volunteer?
The thing is, I don't keep a blog to harvest hit counts. I keep a blog to communicate. And is a large readership really all that important? I'd rather have a small readership of people who actually like to read my stuff than a huge one of people who are just trying to drive up their blog traffic. That just seems like so much mutual stroking off. All of this has made me wonder lately if blogging isn't simply a way of nabbing a little attention. Back when I was young and chasing down the fame demon (or he was chasing me), I wasn't really after the money, attention, or groupies. I just didn't want to be obscure. I wanted to make a mark, let people know that I existed. Now that I can blog, post pictures and promote my projects, that hunger has sunsided considerably.So what do you think? Is garnering a large readership important to you? (And now we'll see if this post attracts any attention.)
I have both a review and an apology to make: I have only just this morning finished Bob Slenz-Kesler's latest book, Sylvia, Rachel, Meredith, Anna, and I absolutely loved it. Not only is it a great story, full of interesting characters who are very clearly defined (one wonders if Bob has an education in human psychology), but it is impeccably written and edited, something that is sorely missing these days. My apology is that I'm sorry it took me so long to finish it. This is due entirely to my own laziness and lack of concentration, and not to the book itself. Great work, Bob! Although you say it's not autobiographical, I see some of both Gerard and Cooper in you. I will hungrily read every book you ever write.
I miss Heather. I wish she wasn't going to be at her dad's for another whole month. When she comes home, Nathan will also be coming, and he will spend a week or two with us. Then Lauren will leave for France. The space between Heather's birthday in July and Lauren's departure in August will be the LAST TIME we'll have all the kids at home as kids and not adult guests. Sigh. When kids get this age, the front door becomes more like a revolving one. I guess the next phase will be the one that involves grandchildren. I'm more than a little blue thinking about all this.
I've been trying to keep a somewhat normal schedule lately. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't, but I have to admit that when I do adhere to it (in bed by 2:00 am, up by 8:30), I feel better. My meds are finally balanced, and I feel more like 35 and less like 75, which isn't bad at all considering I'll be turning 56 in September. Now to see my doctor and tell her in no uncertain terms not to mess with my drugs. It has taken me a full year or more to get to this place. Fortunately, she encourages her patients to be actively involved in their own health, and she trusts my judgment.
You know what really bugs me? Lately, everywhere I go, and on every channel, I hear people say, "My daughter, she..." and "My boyfriend, he...". Doesn't anyone care about grammar anymore, or am I just an old snob?
Well, I have laundry to do, trash to empty and a screenplay to write.
Monday, June 25, 2007
I used to be such a multi-tasker. I could work on several pieces of music, keep my daily journals, read four or five books, raise a kid, keep a house, work a full-time job and a part-time job, go to school, carry on a huge correspondence (before email came along) and keep a large garden --all simultaneously-- and still find time and energy to party like a 20 year old. That was when I was in my late thirties! Where did it go? What happened to the me who ran circles around people almost half my age?
I suppose that part of getting older is accepting our newly-met limitations, so I'm prioritizing my projects so that I can get them accomplished. I have no choice.
Doesn't mean I have to like it though.
Thursday, June 21, 2007
It's almost as if there is a fame demon who took possession of me at the age of 13. We played a game of cat-and-mouse for 43 years that was fun, exciting, frightening, exhilarating and heartbreaking... sometimes simultaneousy. In recent years, however, I began to feel like Don Quixote just slashing at windmills, and I've at last arrived at a place where I've dropped my sword and wondered, "WTF?"My mother accurately predicted that someday I wouldn't be able to wear my beloved signature black turtlenecks because the feeling of tightness around my neck would irritate me. My grandmother said that all the dressing up would get old and comfortable clothes with no makeup or jewelry would win out. Frank told me that we come to place in life where we just have to eliminate the clutter, both internally and in our personal environment. My father philosophed about the simple joy of puttering around the home and garden stores.
Where, for many, many years, I dreamt of a life of premiers, awards, parties and red carpet media attention, I'm now dreaming of sitting at my favorite sidewalk table enjoying a coffee and people-watching. Instead of stepping over my star on the Walk of Fame, I now look forward to walking my dog through the Stadtpark. While I once imagined being asked for autographs by strangers, I'm happy with private dinner parties with a few close friends who understand and care about me.Perhaps the fame demon ages as we do, or maybe he just leaves to find someone else. Whichever it is, I am happy to be rid of his grip and I finally understand my father's words, "When you're older, being content isn't such a terrible thing."
I'm just sitting here watching the wheels go round and round,
I really love to watch them roll;
No longer riding on the merry-go-round,
I just had to let it go.
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
So where is everybody? On vacations?
Rats. I'm going to bed. There's nothing worse than trying to write when you have nothing to say.
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
Sunday, June 17, 2007
Thanks everyone for one of the best evenings that I have ever known. Wish it could have lasted all weekend!
Thursday, June 14, 2007
2. Carrying a cereal bowl from the kitchen to wherever the telly is located while turning off light switches.
4. Folding anything larger than a washcloth.
5. Reaching for my favorite coffee mug.
6. Opening and applying shampoo.
7. Hell, taking a shower.
9. Putting on and taking off shirts with no buttons.
10. Buttoning shirts with buttons.
11. Pulling up Levis.
12. Tying shoelaces.
14. Holding a book open.
15. Opening a lunch meat "freshness" bag.
16. Sleeping in a comfortable position.
17. Using "Ctrl + C, X, or V".
18. Crossing my arms.
19. Tearing the TP, neatly.
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
My dad's baby sister was about 21 years old when I was born. She was a newlywed to boot and she adored me. For the first 4 years of my life she took me with her everywhere she went. She even had me come stay at her and my Uncle Don's house in Reseda on many weekends after they moved to the Valley. When she was 8-months pregnant with their first child, she took me to the community pool, where a kid pushed me into the deep end. Although she was as far along as she was, she dove in and rescued me. She actually saved my life because I very nearly drowned. She told me silly stories; she was the most fun and imaginative adult I knew, and when my life at home was so bad that I had a nervous breakdown as a small child, she was always there. She didn't know what was going on, she always took my side against the other adults.
Understandably, we lost some of our closeness as she and my uncle set into raising their 4 kids, but when Joel was born, she was there for us. She took care of him for me when I needed a break, and she bought him baby clothes. She adored him and she adored me. We both adored her. The last time I saw her, we sat around drinking boxed wine together, talking about the family that was once so close, but had splintered after Grandmother (her mother) died.
Since my father's death in 1993, my aunt and I have corresponded only occasionally. She and my uncle retired to Lady Lake, Florida but I kept tabs on their well-being (via email) during hurricane season. She likewise kept tabs on us during tornado season. Our last communication was on the 6th of last month and everything was fine. Just a few moments ago, however, I received a phone call from Uncle Don, who told me that she passed away this morning. Now, there is more of my family on the Other Side than there is here.My uncle also told me that he has been diagnosed with cancer and that he begins his chemotherapy tomorrow. My family could never boast happy marriages, but my aunt and uncle were true soulmates. Whenever I have needed role models in parenting, I have always looked at them.
I'll see you soon, Aunt Pat. Until then, enjoy your reunion with our family: Grandmother and Grandad, Mom, Dad, Uncle Bob and Aunt Rena, Uncle Dickie, and especially your son, Kenny.
Monday, June 11, 2007
Ol' Lucky Pierre me, I tripped over it, fell, and broke my left elbow. My right leg is all bunged up as well, but it's nothing serious. I can't go to the emergency room because I can't afford the bill. And being self-employed, I have no insurance.
I'm an effin' mess.
Saturday, June 9, 2007
And so it's your birthday,
And what have I done?
I made you some wontons,
I plan to have fun.
And so it's your birthday,
I'll be over soon;
You were so clever
To have it in June.
(It's your birthday,
Though you don't want it;
Now you're 40,
And so it's your birthday,
And I'm kind of miffed;
Cuz I have no money
To buy you a gift.
And so Happy Birthday,
Long may you run;
I hope you like wontons,
Let's have some fun!
Friday, June 8, 2007
It's a one-hour drive to Tulsa; we'll be leaving at 5:00. I'll get back home at about 7:30, which works out pretty good for me because that's about the time I go to bed. Micah has the same internal clock; guess he got it from me.
Saturday night is Ville's birthday party, for which Nettl and I will be making three different Hors d'Oeuvres (horse doovers, as Dr. Kielbasa calls them), and then on Monday I'll go pick up Micah. The end of May and the month of June are really busy this year:
Wednesday, June 6, 2007
A couple of months ago I was disappointed to find that the pond had been drained. I was especially sad because this is the pond into which I'd previously dumped my two Plecysauruses (Plecysauri?) a while back. My
This bird house stands on a pole that I judged to be about 8-feet tall. What intrigued me is the debris line that was left on it after last weekend's flash flood. If you can't see it in the enlarged view, it's up to the 4-feet point, where the middle bolt is.
This table had obviously been entirely covered by the water, judging from the debris on it. I sat here for a while yesterday. Next time, I'm bringing my journal, a book, and some lunch. Oh yes, and some "Off!" Sure wish I had a laptop!
Why haven't I made this a favorite place to chill?
Tuesday, June 5, 2007
On another note, I have decided to start walking. Now, I'm not an outdoorsy, athletic type, so I'm
We live in a lovely area. No, Oklahoma looks nothing like what you saw in the musical, which was in fact filmed in New Mexico because Oklahoma just didn't look "Oklahoma enough".
At least that's what the producers decided. I'll 'fess up. Before my first visit here I was prepared for the whole Grapes Of Wrath, Dustbowl thing. I was pleasantly surprised with green rolling hills, cedar groves and flowering trees.Anyway, that's what I'm going to do.
I have decided that I want to get a bicycle. I used to love riding the 8 miles from Camarillo to the beach with book, journal, water and sunscreen in the basket. There are so many pretty places to ride here, especially since we're kind of out in the country.
This little lake is only one block from our house. There was a time in my life when I would have spent full afternoons at a spot like this. What happens to us as we get older? We isolate ourselves in our homes and only go out when we have to run an errand. No wonder we're all overweight and sickly.
Wow, it feels like summer. I love it!
Monday, June 4, 2007
~ Don't you love the way wind "runs" in the grass? When I was a kid in Solvang, I'd sit and watch it run up the hills, taking the wild mustard with it. It looked like green velvet.
Guess that's it for today. Have a great Monday!
Sunday, June 3, 2007
I'd made plans to go to Ville's at 7:00 and kept checking our local network telly channels to find out the status. As usual, Oklahoma City's channels were covering only the areas that might affect them, despite the fact that it wasn't even sprinkling there. They didn't even have the little Dopler map of the state in the upper right corner. I've gotten used to their, "If it ain't happening here, it ain't happening!" attitude (Tulsa's no better -- they only cover the weather once it has passed over us and is on its way to their city), but this time they really dropped the ball. And I'm not even going to talk about the funnel cloud we saw less than a mile from our house. I then went to the weather channel and the current report said, "Light rain".
As it happened, we had major flash flooding and two people were washed into Boomer Creek that runs through the center of the city and had suddenly turned into a river. The rain stopped and, not knowing there was a flood, I decided it was okay to drive across town to Ville's.
Of course, I got detoured onto one of the most flooded streets in the city and I eased out of the tire-high water only very carefully. There were no road blocks on the streets that needed them and I got turned around at every street that would take me across the creek. Boomer lake too had flooded its banks and the road and peninsulas were under water. When I finally got to my destination (an hour later than I'd planned) there were helicopters and fire trucks everywhere.
And what were the OKC and Tulsa channels broadcasting? The usual sitcoms and the weather in Connecticut.
Thanks for nothing.
Friday, June 1, 2007
“According to the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP), when considering the concept of pain, it's the "subjective, emotional response that's considered important" and not the "activation of pain sensors in the body."All right, fine, but it’s that “something different” that now has me worrying. Maybe it's as bad as, or worse than what we feel. Probably not. Still, I feel a little silly for this relative sense of relief and lack of guilt that I’m experiencing. This study also confirms a theory of mine. Like most tree-huggers of the 1960s and 70s, I read The Secret Life of Plants by Peter Tompkins and The Findhorn Garden by the Findhorn Community, and for years I felt guilty every time I had to prune back one of my houseplants.
"Only animals that can experience emotions such as fear, anxiety, distress, and terror can feel what we think of as pain."
This article from ABC News seems to back up these findings. When asked whether lobsters feel pain after being placed in boiling water, Tony Yaksh, a professor of anesthesiology, responded that because they lack the emotional component, lobsters feel something different than pain as we know it. Additionally, an independent study funded by the Norwegian government found that the nervous systems of lobsters are too simple to process pain.”
Later, I reasoned that pain is an alarm intended to alert a life form that something is wrong and that it needs to get as far away from the source of the pain as possible, whether that be an act of violence, an illness, or something self-inflicted. If plants felt pain, then I think that long ago when they were being chomped on by dinosaurs they would have evolved some mode of mobility. That would have been more difficult than simply losing the ability to feel the pain, however. But I’m reiterating if they ever felt pain to begin with. I don’t think they ever did.
Wow. The crap I’ve carried around for the past 20 years…