Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The Post Blog Internet?

It's no secret among my friends that I have "an online presence". I have this blog, and am quite active on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter. (note I have omitted the Oxford comma, which I still love and mourn but do not use online anymore) I check the Big Four every day, and usually post something to them every day. What I do not do every day is blog. For years I have been conscious of keeping a weekly schedule of blog posts whether I had something to say or not. I have found that the less often you post the less you have to say. Apparently if you are going to post but seldom it had better be momentous. So - the weekly post even if nothing much is happening. When I put up my weekly post I also liked to check around at my favorite bloggers, the ones I consider my blog buddies and the ones who I love and support although their large readership intimidates me (my problem, not theirs!).

Some of my online habits have changed since I purchased my much loved Samsung Galaxy tablet. It's odd how much the mechanics of the tablet have changed some of my browsing habits. It's hard to read long form, or even short form articles on some sites because the layout does not jive well with my screen. Pictures on some sites (Instagram, I'm looking at you) are really tailored to the tablet and smart phone interface more than the laptop. Some mobile versions are quite different in emphasis than the laptop version. Instead of deliberately changing hardware sometimes I find myself narrowing my focus to things that function better on the mobile. Not a good idea, I think. My exposure to some kinds of visually interesting content is wider, but my understanding is shallower. I am less likely to check out links because often sidebar links are slow to load. This lowers the serendipitous quality of poking around the odd corners of the Internet world that is so much fun. Because commenting is more tiresome on a virtual keyboard I am not in a frequent contact with my blog buddies.

My question is - is this the post blog Internet or just a choice of ways to interact with the Internet that everyone tailors to their own interests? Is it a generational thing? It seems that younger people are more likely to prefer short form interactions like Tumblr and Twitter to the commitment of a blog. Some of the "classic" bloggers I enjoyed in the past have pretty much stopped posting. Burnout? Doing something else instead? I've never had a large readership here and never really aspired to a larger readership - it's a very personal space mostly for my family and friends rather than a commercial space or career builder. I think I will continue as before, with maybe the clear intention to be a bit more regular than lately and a bit of introspection about what I want to accomplish in this space.

Shana and have made our holiday plans this year - a gourmet restaurant meal with a few friends for Thanksgiving and a little trip to New Hampshire for Christmas together instead of exchanging gifts. The family dynamics have changed a bit here this year since Bruce and Inace are both gone, so we have opted to try out a few different options for ourselves this time.

I am still raging along with my holiday knitting. Two of my favorite pattern books are MIA currently, and I am waiting for the replacement copies and a bit of yarn to arrive. Of course I still have things I can work on while I wait - two things whose beauty will be undeniable but those process I am not enjoying, one basic project, two with new patterns and skills I will learn ... over my head as usual. We'll see how many projects I actually complete and how many I put off until later. If I don't stop fiddling around with experimental an irrelevant side projects I will be in desperate straights by mid December.  Oddly, it is always the gifts that can be completed last that I finish first. Anything that needs to be shipped I seem to be happy to put off until the last minute. Bad planning? Procrastination?

Friday, October 25, 2013

My Stuff, Prole Style

I am a long time reader of Vanity Fair Magazine. I love their articles with their willingness to sponsor thoughtful essays on complicated issues, and their wonderful photography. I get the window into the lives of beautiful people with articles of art collectors and rich folks of all kinds, and party pictures that prove my hunch that all rich people know each other. Their photo essays are beyond compare.

What I read first every month is the "Fanfare" section, with it's capsule profile of a wealthy type - usually a beautiful scion of a wealthy family congratulating him(her)self on having by mighty effort so many personal accomplishments. One part of the feature is "My Stuff" wherein the accoutrements of the Good Life are listed out for those of us who are still shopping on the cheap. Here, for your information, are my own necessities:

Necessary Extravagance:     Giant beach towels, Kohl's 1998.
Favorite Place in the World:  Camp Doris, Wichita Wildlife Refuge
Jeans:                                 Not Your Daughters Jeans 2009
T Shirt:                               Bike event freebie circa 2008
Jewelry:                              Wedding ring from the mall
Obsessed with shoes by:       L. L. Bean
Sheets:                                Pottery Barn on sale + my discount. Previously B B & B
Lipstick:                              Burt's Bees
Moisturizer:                          Body Shop
Where do you go for facials:  My bathroom
Toothpaste:                          Colgate

Well, you get the idea. You can go here to see some more elevated "stuff". Now I do understand that I have a good life, even by American standards. I have excellent health achieved in large part by the benefits of heredity and good medical care and nutrition in my youth. I have a good education, ownership in a house, and live in a beautiful place. It is the rare month that finds me having to juggle to get everything paid, even though my (late model, paid for) car seems to need something with distressing frequency. I always have enough food of a kind I like and can always afford my regular meds. What I object to is the concept that this aspirational stuff featured in Vanity Fair is the standard to which we should aspire; a person should want more than just things. Also this is a standard to which 99% of people cannot aspire even though the culture tries to trick us into thinking that spending enough will get us there.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Do the Cape Cod Crud

I've been down for a week with what the very nice Doc in a Box is calling Cape Cod Crud. It's apparently sweeping the Cape and lasts about ten days. Not satisfied with body aches, exhaustion and continuous coughing I added ear infections on both sides of my head with dizziness as an extra added attraction. I'm very disappointed because I have been too tired to knit or work. Holiday knitting time is slipping away, and I had counted on lots of work shifts because all my fall entertainments have used up All The Money. Too bad. I spent  most of the week sleeping on the sofa with the dogs. I never even got up to do a load of laundry or make the bed.

Lucky for me a friend had sent Shana home a few weeks ago with a stack of Fannie Flagg novels. This was about the limit of my reading energy this week, and amusing enough to hold my attention. I think Daisy Fay and the Miracle Man is just about the funniest book I have ever read, and it was so nice to see this old friend in the stack. If you like southern humor this one might just hit the spot.

The Amazing Roxanne (Evil Wild Dog of the Prairie) has gone from older dog to old dog this year. This should not be a surprise to me because she's at least 14 years old, but it makes me sad to see her showing her age. It's hard to keep weight on her although she's not especially active (unless digging up chipmunks is in the mix). She's still interested in walks, rodents, snacks and rides in the car, but quicker to tire and less interested in new things. When Mitzi is barking her head off Roxy will go to see what all the fuss is about, but usually she is not impressed enough to join in the barking. She pretty much shrugs and walks off. Roxy will still bark and offer to bite me on the butt if I leave the house without her, but she does not bother to get out of her chair to do it.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

About Time

I've been a bad blogger lately. It's not that I don't have an online presence - there are (nearly) daily posts for Twitter and Facebook, and frequent pictures posted to Instagram and Pinterest...spread too thin, maybe.

Once my September company went home I started preparing for my trip to Atlanta to see my oldest daughter and her cutie pie of a son. He's my favorite grandson (my only!). Jennifer bought a house this summer so instead of them coming up to see me I went there to see the new place. It's adorable and cozy, just what I had hoped it would be. She is justifiably house proud and I loved staying with her. I had a great time visiting them; this time I had time to see some of the sights of Atlanta, beginning with the airport.  I've gone through Atlanta quite a bit over the years. It's just about my favorite airport for a layover because there is plenty to do and a lot going on. This is because of its size, which made it less fun to fly to than through for me. I got turned around on my way out and found myself going up and down random escalators while poor Jennifer had to drive around hoping I would eventually emerge. Next time will be better!

We hit the zoo (Pandas!), the Aquarium (Whale Shark!), a cool bowling alley, and Garden Ridge while I was there, and several nice restaurants. I know Garden Ridge does not seem to belong in the list of exciting places to visit, but it was one of my favorite places to shop for

junk in Oklahoma City, and there is not one closer to me now than Virginia. We picked up some kitchen gadgets and Halloween decor, and gawked at what had to be the least attractive Christmas trees I have ever seen. They came in a big variety of colors including Boise State blue, orange and black. I hope I do not see one in someone's house any time soon. Or ever. You'd think that I would not need a thing in the kitchen but for some reason I have not owned a ladle for years. I can't even remember what my last one looked like. After bowling we played laser tag, a first for me. Big fun.

We were having so much fun that I did not double check my departure times and was still lounging around Cracker Barrel when my flight back to Boston left. No big harm done except to my disposition; I was able to get the next flight out and was home only a little later than scheduled. I had yesterday to try to recover from my traveler's cold and today it's back to work for me.

Now that I am looking at the pictures it looks like we did everything the same day because Logan is dressed in an orange shirt in all of these pictures. I must point out that these pictures were taken on different days and the shirt is a coincidence! He did wash and put on clean clothes every day. So did I.

I am thinking about my Life List these days: things I want to do while I am still healthy enough to enjoy active activities and before the 1% sucks up all of my disposable income. One thing I would like to do is to visit all of the National Parks. Of the 59 National Parks I have visited 11. Of course there are National Monuments, Seashores, Preserves, Refuges and other sites I want to visit, and have visited.