Musings and Mirth

About Me

I spend way too much thinking about me. This is the blank space where that paragraph should be.

Life Without Dick

I was eating a banana the other day and it reminded me that it’s been a long time since I’ve interacted with a male organ. (Oh no she didn’t!) I’m sorry to have to be so blunt about it but it is a fact of my life: I have given it up, at least for now. Why? Because I’ve wasted way too much time interacting with it. It might be true that cock has attempted to ruin my life. Sure, maybe it was the great conversation, the memorable moments in movie theaters, the restaurants, the running on the beach in the rain, the champagne, the flowers, the hugs, the laughter, or maybe, you know, it was the cock.

It wasn’t really until I saw the Eat, Pray, Love trailer that these thoughts began to circulate and form a conclusion – maybe a conclusion I don’t really want to reach.

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Top Five Reasons Our Culture is Doomed

Sometimes I wonder if America isn’t doomed. Here are some clues that may indicate the answer is yes.

1) The pharmaceutical companies have put ads in circulation on television that seem to occur one in every three. For every ailment there is supposedly a brand name cure. My 11 year-old daughter knows their names. And she knows that they are trying to brainwash her into believing that these things really can cure all that ails us which, if you believe the ads, is a serious, life-threatening ailment for every body part. Eyelids, arms, legs, hearts – the way we go to the bathroom, the way we eat, the way we breathe – they are telling us that they have a cure.

2) People actually watch Glenn Beck on television. Jon Stewart parodied him in yesterday’s Daily Show — and this not only says it all, but it was probably the best television I saw all year:

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Intro – Progressivism Is Cancer
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political Humor Health Care Reform

3) The Bachelor on ABC. The less said about it the better but suffice it to say, will women stop at nothing to marinate in fantasy? Are we really THAT stupid, girls?

4) The public option will never pass. And we need health care.

5) Technology is moving so fast we haven’t really seen the long term implications. If we are all diving into the internet world, where will that eventually lead us? I don’t think I’m being paranoid to wonder if it isn’t the beginning of the end. Or maybe it’s just a new beginning. What worries me more are the physical aspects of things like radiation and cell phone usage. There, I said it.

My Life as a Fake AnthroApologist

I am an anthro-apologist because I really do explain away almost everything with biology, and back it up with millions of years of evolution.¬†¬† My daughter makes fun of me continually — and she knows that I am a Darwin devotee. The reason for this is that there always seems to be an answer when I drill down one hole or another.

There is always an answer as to why. Why do we have religion? Our brains have developed the need for religion because without it there isn’t as strong a desire to live and procreate. It helps ease the pain of death. Why is there sex? Doesn’t need an explanation. Why do men have nipples? Why do we want to know the answer to that one?

I get into trouble when I start talking about how I don’t really think humans are designed to follow monogamy. Well, let’s say men more than women. And trapping men into this if they need to be set free is a bad idea. Of course, I don’t want to be cheated on and I certainly would love a man in my life forever. I just look at so many men in pain and so many women getting hurt and thus, I have no other choice but to conclude that plural marriage, prostitution, mistresses — allowed expression of male sexuality will help bring it back from the brink of where it now resides, which is in dark and forbidden places. Okay, so it isn’t a popular belief.

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In Defense of Rielle Hunter and Other Bad Girls

I was never a pretty girl, not traditionally pretty anyway. Maybe charismatic, got “sexy” a lot, but pretty? Not really. There is something in Rielle Hunter I recognize and identify with. She is so many good things – and yet, she’s the object of our collective scorn, along with our collective disgust at John Edwards. I think Rielle, despite the spiritual gobbledegook she spouts, really does get the bigger picture — the biological forces that drive men to do what comes naturally to them – fuck anything that will let them fuck it — and that it’s hard for one woman to satisfy that need. I like the matter-of-fact way she lays it out in this revealing, must-read interview in GQ magazine.

Rielle clears up a few things I’d long been wondering about. The media machine has cast Rielle as the predator who went after John Edwards with no consideration to his cancer-stricken wife. The truth is that John Edwards saw in Rielle a girl he knew he could “own” in a matter of minutes. Why did he know this? Because she wasn’t a pretty girl. I think she is probably very attractive, though, just not traditionally pretty. When you are pretty you are treated differently; you are less accessible. And when you aren’t pretty, it is a big thrill when the captain of the football team looks your way. It might seem old fashioned, but I’m wondering if it isn’t true.
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Traffic and Twitter – Ways to Integrate Into Site

Traffic and Twitter – Ways to Integrate Into Site

I’ve noticed that many of the writers I admire are developing quite a nice healthy flow of information on Twitter. As such, I don’t feel the need to check out their websites. I wonder if this is a really bad thing or if I’m just one of the rare exceptions. They do post links but with no information, and so many other tweets from other people, who is going to take the time to click on them?

I am no SEO expert, which is why you don’t see well placed google ads here. Perhaps it’s time to slap a few up. With my stead flow of 10 readers a day I really should start cashing in. So this post about Twitter is just going to be general comments and observations.

Twitter is the best PR tool ever invented. It is the best way to sell yourself in clever little bits on a daily basis. I have noticed from my tiny corner of the world, it works best as a news delivery device (“tobacco is a nicotine delivery device”- The Insider). It works best as a way to give snippets of info to your followers that they can use to either retweet or report on their own blog. But if you give it all away you are going to lose revenue at some point. True, you have your personality and your thousands of followers to think about, but if you’re trying to draw traffic to your site – you have to rethink your Twitter persona.

I can think of about five people who use Twitter to effectively bring people back to either their own website or their mother ship. If you work for, say, the New York Times or USA Today or any other major publications or company, you don’t have to bring people to your site unless you want to. Your job is to up your own pedigree as either a clever observer or a news deliverer. But if you are like me and you ARE your site (not this little satellite but my main site, awardsdaily.com), then your Twitter has to act as a way to both engage your followers while also making sure they WANT to click those links to bring them back to your own backyard.

The top two people who use it don’t even need to use it, really. What they do is use Twitter as an extension to what they do on their sites, not as a replacement. By commenting on what they have been involved in and what they are doing and how their real time activities fit into their daily workload they bring their followers and readers into the process.

It goes without saying that it’s a useful tool for celebrities because they haven’t ever had a way to communicate with their fans directly. And it can be surreal to communicate directly with famous people. But Twitter, and the internet in general, has leveled the playing field between “normal people” and those who have been lifted to a higher level. Egads, I’ve completely lost track of my point. Where is the coffee already.

Okay, so the bottom line is this. If your aim is to bring people back to your site, entertain them on Twitter, give them hints about what you’ve been working on but do not make it easy for them by giving them all of your news all day long. Why on earth would they ever feel the need to visit your site?

But if you don’t need them for traffic, by all means, let the news flow. Be mindful of what you need Twitter for. It is a useful tool. It is less useful for just shooting the shit. Facebook is for that. Twitter will help you sell yourself. Okay, I guess that sort of counts as a point.

My Friend Rain

My Friend Rain


Pic above from a story in the Ojai Post about Rain

I’ve known Rain Perry since high school. We were in French class together! And in the drama club. We used to hang out in Upper Ojai, wandering the streets that threaded through the hills of the mostly redneck community. Rain wasn’t from there – had an educated and artsy father. Most of the folks who lived in Upper Ojai back then were either hippies or country folk, with an oddball or two here or there. But Rain was very different. She’d come from Colorado but you could really say she was also a city girl. Rain knew about things other people didn’t, which was what attracted people to her back then. It also made her a bit of an outsider among those folk. But she found her way – and remains, to this day, the most popular friend I have – meaning – she has more friends than anyone else I know. She is kind and thoughtful, bright and talented. Rain lost her mother when she was a small child. And she was raised by her father — who was a force of nature. He traveled all over California in search of some kind of fame — he had girlfriends that Rain became attached to, and then the girlfriends would go away. He was a great guy. I knew him well and believe me, he is not a guy you forget.

He died a while back — and before he died he threw himself a funeral.

I spent a lot of time with Rain and her father — I probably overstayed my welcome. I was kind of like a stray cat growing up. I sort of lived with other people, other families. Looking back on it now, as an adult with my own kid – those families were so kind to feed me and let me sleep at their houses. I was hardly ever home.

Anyway, Rain and I had many adventures together — to detail them now would be, well, embarrassing! But I will say that Rain once patiently tried to teach me how to sing. It didn’t work, but she tried. Rain has been a singer/songwriter ever since I’ve known her. She started out as a girl with a guitar at an alternative high school in Colorado. She kept singing and playing – and continues to sing and play.

But the reason I’m writing this is because, after many concerts, after marriage and kids, after a long life of kind of working steadily as a musician – one of Rain’s songs was chosen for the CW’s show Life Unexpected. It is a big deal when something like this happens. Rain is now going to have so many fans. It could not happen to a nicer girl or a more talented artist.