Just another helper monkey 2014 review….

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Well, thank you helper monkeys.  I’m no statistician (can’t even spell the word without help) but I have poured over this report and come to a few conclusions.  I have listed them at the end, where all good conclusions belong.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 33,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 12 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

People are reading my archives.

I was more interesting (or made better tag choices and was thus easier to stumble upon) last year.  And the year before that.  Or somehow these old posts, as the monkeys suggest, have staying power.  Only the monkeys know for sure.

I have some very loyal readers/commenters.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Jazzy needs a new purpose in her life (besides consuming truckloads of red wine) so that she can make a come back.

Today, for some reason that even the monkeys can’t fathom, is my best day ever for follows.

Here’s to a happy blog crazy 2015.  We’re almost there.  Just have to get these monkeys off my back.

Spring Blog Cleaning

spring cleaning2

Spring Blog Cleaning is like Spring House Cleaning only no major muscle groups are involved in making a blog tidy.  So it should be a lot easier.  However, “should” is a very annoying word.  And so is Spring, come to think of it, not making its appearance or even hinting at pretending to think about doing so.  At least not in my God-forsaken corner of the world where it’s still twenty below.  But as usual, I digress, so just ignore that, or store it away with the other bazillion weather complaints you’ve heard this week.

Today I deleted my second blog, which very few people knew existed.  Sorry to my 3.5 random followers, but I’m pretty sure you won’t even notice I’m gone.  All nineteen (yep, count ’em, nineteen!) blog posts from “Before the Lights Go Out” written over the past two or three years are now pages in a drop down menu in my header here between Home and About.  If you would like to check them out before they sit there collecting dust for the rest of my life, that would be nice.  But no pressure.

I also spent the better part of my Monday afternoon checking out other Word Press themes and trying to make the number of widgets I have less ridiculous.  It was a little like shopping for clothes and trying to de-clutter an entire house all at the same time.  There was something horribly wrong with some little thing on every theme I previewed and something endearing and wonderfully right about the things I couldn’t make myself delete.

From all this hard (brain) work we can now safely conclude that I am a creature of habit, stuck in a colossal rut, and not good with change.  Although, you know, deleting an entire blog was pretty gutsy I guess.

And it’s not the only thing I did today either.  While I was curled up on the living room couch this morning checking my emails and reading blog posts that were several hundred times better than this one, the sunlight caught my right leg at just the right angle for me to notice I’m beginning to look like an orangutan.  I didn’t gasp; it was the opposite of a sharp intake of air, and more like feeling totally incapable of drawing another breath.  I think this is how people die.  Stunned breathless, or something like that.  Anyway, my monkey legs are now shaved hairless and no one else’s life is in danger for the time being.

So, cleaned up blog, destroyed razor, onward and upward and spring is on the way.  I hope your Monday was equally exciting.

spring cleaning

Hey, it’s just another one of those 2012 Reviews!

But since the WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog, I do feel obligated to publish it.  Thank you WordPress.

Here’s an excerpt:

4,329 films were submitted to the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. This blog had 27,000 views in 2012. If each view were a film, this blog would power 6 Film Festivals

Click here to see the complete report.

I am so pumped that my blog could power six Film Festivals.  Whatever that might mean.  Thank you, thank you, thank you to all the people (however misguided), who visited this year.  And to everyone who clicked the follow button and for all your delightful comments.  You’ve encouraged me to keep on going.  And to all the googlers who got here by accident, try to be a little more careful when you search for random stuff or you’ll just end up back here again wondering why.  It’s because my tags are all over the place.  Sorry.  But thanks for dropping by anyway.

Hindsight is a Beautiful Thing

Daily Prompt:  Hindsight

Now that you’ve got some blogging experience under your belt, re-write your very first post.

Strange as it may seem, I really have no idea what my very first post was.  I’ve been writing in some form or other my entire life and this blogging thing just seemed to be a natural progression from writing letters and e-mails and insanely witty posts on chat boards.  I imported a lot of posts from a  previous blog site when I was deleting and extensively cleaning house and starting over with WordPress.  That was six years ago.  Then I wrote a lot of new things which got all mixed up with my pages compositions and pictures and general all-over-the-place chatter, prattle and nonsense.  Not much has changed, has it?  Unless you count the direction in which this blog is going.  It’s like a leaf in the wind – hard to pin down.

The other thing that has changed in the last couple of years is my privacy policy.  That’s a nice way of saying I’ve become progressively less embarrassed about all the dumb things that pop up on my screen and do a lot less thinking about who is reading it.  If my own family members couldn’t be bothered to see what I was up to, chances are complete strangers were not hanging on my every word.  And then I got some comments and some followers and an incredibly puffed up ego and that’s partly why I’m still here I guess.

But the main reason is that I can’t NOT write.  It doesn’t matter if the results are good or bad or ugly or loved or ignored.  I do it for me first.  And for my grandchildren second, so that if they’re ever curious, they will know who I was and who their ancestors were and why they all need psychiatric help.

98 thingsThis is the revised version of a post I wrote in November, 2006 called 98 Things.  (Don’t panic, it’s not one of those never-ending lists – I left out the bad and the ugly this time around.)

Today at Chapters I picked up this little book by Rebekah Shardy.  I had two good reasons for doing so.  I go through Chapters when I leave the mall after getting my hair done, and I cannot possibly do that without buying something.  Okay, three reasons.  There’s just something irresistable about a little four-inch square book.

Some of these 98 things I have already accomplished:

1.  Go a month without shaving your legs  (only a month? hahaha….I am SO past that it isn’t even funny)

2.  Invent a punch that will raise eyebrows and lower inhibitions (come to my house for Christmas.  You will not leave sober.)

3.  Serve something flambe (YES!  I really did do that once!  No buildings burned down!)

4.  Sing to a child.  (Even though it’s not ALWAYS appreciated.) (Rock-a-bye Baby used to make my daughter sob…..”Don’t song mommy!”)

5.  Tell Richard Simmons to just shut up and sit down ( not face to face but via the t.v., which is the next best thing)

These are the ones I really think would be worth trying:

1.  Paint a mural of your imagined past lives (it would have to be a damned big piece of paper)

2.  Teach someone, besides a child, to read.   (Like a dog?)  (I know she means an adult.  But I love a challenge.)

3.  Be someone’s fairy godmother.  Wand optional.  (I would definitely not leave out the wand.)

4.  Write an unauthorized biography of your family, including embarrassing photos, a tribute to the infamous black sheep, and favourite recipes.  (Except for the recipes, I think that’s a work in progress here!  Sorry family.)

5.  Burn a cd with music you want played at your funeral:  baffle generations to come by including the rap song “I Like Big Butts”. (Sadly, I fear no one in my family would find that strange.)

6.  Cry in the rain (If you have to cry, that would be the perfect place to do it.)

7.  Remember life is too short for ironing, non fat dairy creamer and regret of any kind.  (Check, check and check.)

8.  Don’t indulge in one judgemental thought for an entire day.  Okay, an hour.  (Sigh – I could try for ten minutes)

9.  Write three haiku poems about your most amazing, horrible and baffling sexual experiences and frame them for your boudoir.  (OMG.  If I can just keep the hysterical laughter under control for a sufficient length of time I’m sure there are great rewards to be reaped from such an endeavor.)

10.  Explore your inner pagan by creating your own seasonal rituals:

– at the spring equinox, detox with a juice fast, sauna, and deep muscle massage

– at the summer solstice, hire a manicurist to give pedicures to you and four friends while your pampered klatch sips mint juleps

– at the fall equinox, organize a black clad beatnik poetry reading with the themes of rain, dissolution, and romance

– at the winter solstice, plant a circle of globed candles in a snowdrift and make wishes every night until they burn out  (I’m going to put every one of these on my calendar. My inner pagan is giddy with anticipation.)

And finally, the ones there is no way in hell I’d ever attempt.

1.  Stay in a convent for a week.  (What in the world for?  Would it be a test for me, or for them?)

2.  Ride a motorcycle alone across the Nevada desert.  (WHY?  No good could possibly come of it.  Unless someone is trying to kill me and I’ve decided to save them the bother.)

3.  Learn to belly dance and integrate it into your lovemaking.  (Okay, this lady does not know my husband.  He already thinks I’m crazy – why add to his arsenal of proof?)

4.  Design a picnic around aphrodisiacs – raw oysters, champagne, rose petal jam on chocolate fingers – then whisper in another’s ear the sensual images that passing clouds suggest.  (See the belly dancing comment above.  He would have me committed.)

What a great little book!  It also suggests you write an autobiography about the life you didn’t choose.  Gah.  I’m having trouble writing about the one I did choose, complete with my own 98 gazillion things I felt were important enough to do in my lifetime.  It’s just fun to see things from a new perspective.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going out to buy some castanets, and then I’m going to practice telepathy with my cat.