Sunday, September 28, 2008

It's My Party

A year ago yesterday, I saw that Google had prettified his name by putting Happy Birthday decorations on it. I know that a lot of people are afraid of gmail because it scans the emails and then puts up advertising based on the keywords it finds. I'm not one of those people. Still, it was a little disconcerting to see that Google was wishing me a happy birthday.

By the time I saw the birthday decor this year, though, I'd learned to hover my mouse over Google's logo in order to see an explanation. Ah. Google was celebrating ten years while I was celebrating fifty-eight. Which reminds me -- and you, if you've been paying attention -- to check my profile here in Blogtown and see if my age has changed.

I'd like Mister Google to change the options for delivering blogs. I'd like you to be able to sign up to get an email notice when I've published a post. The notice would merely have the link to this blog. That way, you'd be seeing the ambient artwork in the blog and there wouldn't be hundreds of copies of it all over the world. Okay. Maybe not hundreds. Maybe tens. Okay. Fine. Ones. Ones of copies of it all over the world. Sheesh.

But if I can't get Mister Google to give me smart quotes or em dashes, what're the odds he'll give me a simple link?

My friend Bob asked why I'm blogging, although I continue to be unsure of the language. Do I "blog" or do I "post a blog"? Do I just "have" a blog? Well, the orange button below (which you can't see) gives me the option to PUBLISH POST, which just messed up the proposed POST BLOG option.


Bob said he'd email me with his questions about my publishing and/or posting blog but he hasn't done it yet. In the meantime, when I told Mike I wish there could be an automatic notice of blog action, he said, "But that just says to people that you want them to read what you wrote." Well ... yes. Of course I want people to read it. What else? So let's examine this thing, shall we?

Barbara: I decided to write a blog because I wanted to see if I had the discipline to write every single day.
Barbara: I know. It turns out that I don't have that discipline. Or maybe I don't have it yet. Or maybe that shouldn't have been the goal in the first place.
Barbara: Good question, Bob. I'm starting to think that there are people who express themselves and people who don't. I mean, I actually spoke one of the worst swear words right out loud during a movie in a theater with people in it while I watched Crash. I have no doubt there were other people in attendance who had the same internal reaction to the scene. The difference is that their reaction remained internal. I also drive an art car, which is not the most anonymous way to move around the city. Perhaps I just have a stronger desire to be seen and heard than some.
Barbara: You're right. I like the idea that I'm not simply babbling in an email to my priceless friend Michele several times a day. In this blog, I make at least a modest attempt to be coherent and cohesive. Fine. Put "modest" in italics. I think writing a blog is good practice for Real Writing just as sketching and doodling is good practice for Real Drawing.
Barbara: No, not really.

* * *

Here's an SPCA alert. I was giving Benji a bath the other day. I've been using Dr. Bonner's peppermint soap on him lately. It leaves him nice and soft. This time, though, I decided to use Shea Moisture brand African Exfoliating Black Soap with Shea Butter & Vitamin E. I love the fragrance.

So I poured the water on Benji's beloved head and squirted on the soap -- and was attacked by the stink of an especially foul paint thinner toxic icky rank curl-your-nose sort of oily substance that can't have been good for the poor boy's skin, although he seems just fine. Dawn Dish Detergent was the only other thing at hand, so I used that. They use it at oil-spill sites, to get oil off seabirds, so it's got to be better than paint thinner.

Well, I used a myriad of things, first to get it off his head, and then to make the stench go away. None of it really worked. For once, I was glad that The Boys weren't having a sleepover, that, in fact, Mike would have to smell that nasty fetor all night long.

I have only the faintest memory of putting some noisesome liquid into that soap bottle. I would have told you that I never have mislabeled bottles or jars around, but I would have been very wrong.

* * *
Don't get me started on polls, okay? I mean it. I'm convinced that polls actually MAKE presidentsandIcan'tbeartothinkofthat so let's just c a l m d o w n and only say this: My friend, John, was upset by a poll that said that thirty percent of Democrats wouldn't vote for a black person. That is pretty disturbing, isn't it? Yeah. We both sort of wandered away from that conversation shaking our heads sadly. Damn Democrats. Hah! and they think they're liberal.

Yep. Neither one of us thought to question the percentage of Republicans who wouldn't vote for a black man or woman ...

* * *
How many of you think I'm using a thesaurus today?

You're right.

* * *
My birthday was an especially good one, by the way. I was showered with handsome gifts and cards and phone calls -- always a plus -- and I spent time with people I like. I acquired my first-ever serious piece of art, a wall piece by Bruce Gilbert. Some people bought some of my shirts and a mailbox. I got some sun. I ate mac'n'cheese. Yep. Happy birthday to me!

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