Spam – A whole new kind of crazy

“I’ve learned how to use my spam filter pretty effectively.” – Al Yankovic

spamSpam. Oh, spam. You are such a time suck for every blogger. Spam. Spam. And more spam. Like dust bunnies pro-creating and making more work in some secluded corner somewhere, spammers are out in full force, grabbing each key word and twisting my content into a new level of craziness to fit their message. They try so hard to “fit in” to the real comments waiting moderation. They try so hard to be relevant. Continue reading “Spam – A whole new kind of crazy”

Help! I’m Addicted to Taking Personality Quizzes!!

“A lady likes to be complimented on her looks, her eyes, her figure. But the personality comments are much appreciated.” Betty White

wpid-storageemulated0DCIMCamera2014-02-19-22.44.37.jpg.jpgI have a confession to make. My dirty little secret is now revealed: I am addicted to online personality quizzes. Whether it is food or character comparisons, I have been busy checking boxes and learning my true person.

Oh, the shame!

It started so innocently – and recently, too. If you dabble in Facebook, you may have seen posts from your friends, sharing the results of quizzes taken on BuzzFeed and Zimbio and the like.

Anyhow, what started my online test-taking addiction were the posts my friends shared, showing the results of their “Which Disney Princess Are You?” assessments. (Snow White for me, if you’re interested).

And so it began.

A few days later, when I saw posts on the next popular character quiz, I took the “Which Big Bang Theory Character Are You?” Bernadette, if you are asking. And, ironically, my hubby was Howard. Guess that means we are truly a match made in heaven, as the two characters are married on the show.

Anyhow, I found another quiz, and another.

Guess what – now I am hooked.

My obsession continues. Just yesterday, I had to find out, “What Kind of Food Are You?” Apparently, I am cheese, as I go with everything, and I can be mild or spicy, depending on the mood. The Downton Abbey character I resemble the most (just in personality, thank you very much), is “Mr. Bates,” which is cool, as he is a stand-up guy – loyal and reliable.

But, wait! There’s more! In my online personality assessments, where I am really, truly finding myself, I have learned that:

  • I would be a president worthy of a place on Mt. Rushmore;
  • If I went back to high school, I’d be in the Drama Club clique;
  • The “Celebrity Diva” I’m a close match to is Tina Turner – a woman able to rise to life’s challenges;
  • In current cultural trends, I find myself a “do-it-yourself” kinda gal (please reference Lynne’s Lab!);
  • If I were one of the Pink Ladies from Grease, you would call me Sandy.
  • If I were a font, I would be Times New Roman – “a constant, reliable, secretly sexy classic. Just look at those serifs!”
  • The city I should be living in is Paris (Should I have my spouse take this test? Do we need to list the house and call “House Hunters International” for relocation assistance?)

All in all, the results have been a pretty accurate assessment of me. It is rather entertaining, to say the least, and hubby and I have had a lot of laughs taking these quizzes together. (By the way, he’d make a Mt. Rushmore-worthy POTUS, too.)

There is a little bit of science and a lot of fun packed into these personality tests, but I am convinced that maybe, just maybe, my addiction to these quizzes has nothing to do with finding the real me, and everything to do with surviving the winter doldrums:  the record cold temperatures and snow fall, the crazy cabin fever and the Polar Vortex syndrome. Seriously, being the stuck in the house has pushed me over the edge. So knowing that I am generally happy, nice, loyal and tough has been a good thing. It is nice to know I haven’t gone crazy – yet.

I am sure come spring, when I spend more time outside in the real world, my addiction will cease. But in the meantime, if you are looking for me, I am busy trying to find myself…

🙂

© Lynne Cobb – 2014

Have you taken any of these quizzes? What were your results? Let me know in the comment section.

 

True Confessions of a Not-So-Famous-Blogger

wpid-storageemulated0DCIMCamera2014-02-12-16.13.29.jpg.jpgIn the very wee hours of the morning, as I was mulling over (and over) a few blog post ideas that were swirling around inside my head, the proverbial light bulb clicked on and I was faced with the realization that I am not your average blogger.

This all began at 5:21 a.m. this morning, when I woke up to write the words to a poem I have been working on all week. I have never gotten out of bed to write something down – ever – but I will do so from now on.

Anyhow, as I tried to fall back to sleep, writing thoughts kept popping in my head. Then my creative thoughts turned to a self-assessment of why it takes me forever to write a blog post. A lot of ideas come to me at inopportune moments – like while in the shower (soap crayons for notes?) or while I am trying to sleep. So it doesn’t help that I can’t remember the complete book I have written while shampooing my hair. But I digress.

But it has been bothering me that I can’t stop what I am doing, fire off a quick post, share it for the world to see and dive back in to life. I see bloggers churn out post after post and my feelings of inadequacy take over in my head, like a mushroom cloud that forms when the dust rises after a bomb detonates. How do they do what I can’t seem to do? 

Apparently, I am just not wired that way. I need a long, well-thought process, inspiration, and more thinking.

Maybe I put too much thought into my writing. Maybe it is more of an artistic, therapeutic, method of madness than anything else. Most bloggers have a theme – fashion, finance, parenting, grand-parenting, food, diseases, going-green. Not me – my ramblings cover it ALL! Why make it easier on myself, and just go with one idea?! Why can’t I just write, post and publish? No, I have to develop an outline, then write a  first-draft, a second draft, let it “simmer,” re-read, and scrap it all and start over again, then have my husband and daughters read for content (then for check errors if I decide to publish). Except for today. Oh, and then I have to take the perfect picture to accompany the text…

That’s why (a good excuse, anyway) I don’t have a blog post up on a regular basis. And so that is why SEOs and Google searches and others haven’t found me yet. I am at the mercy of my artistic self that is bucking the algorithms of digital success.

As I tried to go back to sleep, by now it is 5:55 a.m., I became more comfortable in the realization that I am a not-so-typical blogger. And, if there are other bloggers that go through this insane process, then maybe, just maybe, they will appreciate my new-found descriptive category:  “The Starving Artist Blogger.”

Not that I write about fine art – yet (just give me time…why not add another category!) – but each post that I write has to be inspired. It may be about parenting, or it may be about knitting or faith or grief or a recipe or a news event or what ever speaks to my heart. Like painters who see something that speaks to them, and then express their feelings onto canvas, I see or hear something that speaks to me, and have to write about it. Eventually.

An artist takes their time to get everything just right – the colors, the textures, the mood, the lighting. One can’t just create without a thought process. Hours are spent visualizing and thinking and sketching.

And I do the same thing. But with words. I am sure people think I am aloof, but there are times that I am writing in my head as I stand in line at the grocery store. Maybe I sound like an airhead when I mix up the words that I am trying to speak, but it’s only because on the other side of my brain, I am trying to keep the words for my essay alive in my head until I can grab a pad of paper and a pen and jot it all down.

Currently, my “art”studio is my laptop in the corner of our home office, with a stash of yarn peeking out from behind a filing cabinet. It isn’t real inspiring, at the moment, which is why I haven’t painted the next Mona Lisa or developed a great knitting pattern – yet. However, in my artist brain, I will one day have the perfect studio cottage, where it is summer year-round, filled with books and paints and pencils and fabric and a little kitchenette stocked with essentials like coffee, tea, chocolate and wine. The summer breezes will gently dance with the gauzy draperies covering the big picture window that offers a view of a lake. My herb garden will be in full bloom, and I will be writing my novel as my painting dries on a vintage art stand in the corner.

If someone could look at my blog dashboard, they’d see several blog posts sitting in the draft mode, waiting for some TLC before I hit publish. (Oh, disclaimer – my closet is filled with unfinished knitting projects, and a few book outlines are stored in there, too, somewhere…) It’s not that these works won’t ever get finished, it is that they aren’t quite ready to be revealed to the world.

Oh sure, some day I hope that one of my blog posts goes viral. Is my wish any different from an artist hoping for a large crowd at a gallery opening, the place filled with smiles and laughter while photographers run around to capture the moment with the dazzling guests, each raising a cocktail in a toast to the host?

Well, my soul-searching ended with the alarm clock ringing at 6:30 a.m. this morning. I got up, had my coffee and digested the fact that I am just an average blogger. I am not massively successful with thousands of readers re-posting every profound word that I write. I can embrace and accept my “Starving Artist Blogger” status. After all, it’s only my creative genius that’s getting in the way of my virtual success. 🙂

© Lynne Cobb – 2014

Are you a “Starving Artist Blogger?” Let me know in the comments below.