Froggery bloggery

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If a froggery is gathering of frogs, a bloggery must be a gathering of blogs. Or, for my purposes, a gathering of bloggers, who sit around the WordPress pond croaking. Not the kind of croaking that leads to funerals, although some days, because of the posting, the reading, the commenting, the researching, and  the revising, followed by more of the same, the exhausted blogger may feel close to death.

 

Headline: Death by Blog. Today in Podunk, Wisconsin, a husband discovered his wife’s dead body in their home office, sitting at her desk and staring at her computer with her fingers still on the keyboard. Mrs. Mortimer had been there for three days before her husband realized she was dead. “We often went days without speaking,” he said, “because she spent all day writing, reading, and commenting on blogs.” It’s the fourth case of death by blog this week. Experts attribute the deaths to blogged arteries, leading to permanent brain freeze.

Okay, back to frogs and blogs. After extensive research, which may translate to over a hundred minutes, I have discovered some amazing similarities between frogs and bloggers, which I think you will find ribbiting. I know I did.

But first, you must understand that the crucial difference between frogs and toads is all in your head. Popular culture put the idea there, along with thousands and thousands of images of J*st*n B**b*r, he who must be asterisked. In spite of their differences, frogs and toads belong to the same order, Anura; they just have different last names. Some have more warts than others, but so do some of your family members.

At last we are on the same taxonomic page, so here are the similarities:

 

  • A frog’s skin hangs loosely on its body. Compare that with the slack-jawed look of bloggers who sit in front of a computer screen for hours and days. Then, if you dare, stand in front of a mirror with just your froggy skin on. Anything looking loose? I thought so.

 

  • Frogs are nocturnal creatures. Think how many people blog at night. When you wake up, are there new blogs to read and new comments to answer? Again, I thought so.

 

  • Frogs wear camouflage to help them sleep during the day. Many bloggers have so-called jobs during the day, but most of them just look awake. They are half asleep because they stayed up too late blogging. Also, they have special eyelids that make them look like they are engaging in a conversation with you while they are mentally composing blogs or comments for other blogs.

 

  • Some frogs produce psychoactive skin secretions that make you hallucinate. You know which blogs I’m talking about.

 

  • Frogs return by the thousands to breed at the body of water they call home. Every day close to 500,000 bloggers gather at the WordPress pond, post close to 850,000 new posts and almost one million comments. Just today, as of 6:30 a.m., that adds up to 182, 325, 317 words. That’s a lot of spawn.

 

  • A frog is an amphibian, which means “two lives.” Before you become a blogger you were a person with a life, once you become a blogger you lost that life and now live in the blog pond. And you look different, with looser skin.

 

  • Frogs appear in stories as harmless, unsightly, and clumsy creatures. However, they often hide some talent or their frogginess is merely a disguise. In the blog pond, reading a blog is like kissing a frog and being magically transformed. Sometimes. The other times, it’s like kissing a frog. With warts.

Happy Leap Day! I know it’s tomorrow, but I have been pondering this for a while and wanted to get a jump on all the celebrations and well-wishing. And, although I have toad you this before, thanks for reading.

 

All photos courtesy of http://www.theinformationarchives.com/frogs/

 

 

Bad neighbors

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Don't worry about me and my broken heart

On WordPress, all bloggers are equal, but some are more equal than others. WP shows its monkey love to the ones that are more equal like susanwritesprecise and kiwsparks. They get emails and videos (with fireworks!) about the stats on their blogs.

 

For those who are mere typists like me, nothing. That’s okay, really; I’m used to it. Don’t worry about me and my broken heart. I’ll just sit here and share my bananas with my insecurities. (Did you hear that monkeys? I have bananas.)

 

I don’t remember when my insecurities moved into my childhood neighborhood; it seems like they always lived next door. They beat me up a lot when I was younger, so I learned to avoid walking in front of their house on the way to school. When you’re bullied, you learn to take shortcuts and leave your dreams at home. You avoid your friends because you hate getting beat up in front of them or having your dreams fished out of your pockets and ridiculed. Friends can cheer you on, but they can’t fight for you: you have to fight for yourself.

 

Although I have moved numerous times in my life, my insecurities always find me and manage to buy the house next door. I’ve learned to ignore them most of the time and pretend I don’t hear what they say. People in my life have loved and supported me, so  I’ve lived a good life.But I have kept most of my dreams hidden away. You probably know that one of those dreams is about writing.

 

Walking around with your heart or dream on your sleeve is risky business. Since I started blogging, my insecurities have noticed. Last month, they  joined the YMCA and have taken up weightlifting. A couple of them even got skull and crossbones tattoos. You would not want to meet them in a dark alley.

 

They read my blog, and when I see them on the street, they make snide comments about the things I write. I confess that I have a couple of rogue fingers that seem to have no connection to my brain. I type things on my blog or in the comment boxes of unsuspecting bloggers and then press enter, publish, or reply, sometimes without really proofreading. On my own blog, I can edit, but once I post a comment on someone else’s blog, it’s like toothpaste – once you squeeze it out, you can’t get it back in the tube.

 

I have at least two and half things to say about this. One, if I got toothpaste on your blog, I’m sorry. Two, I plan to continue typing until it turns into writing. And last, I am only half kidding about my insecurities.

 

I don’t know who your neighbors are, but I imagine there’s someone on your block that makes your life difficult. Keep writing, or typing, or taking photos; keep sharing your dreams. Just a couple of houses down, some of your neighbors are sitting on the front porch waiting to welcome you in.

 

Happy New Year!

Thanks for the encouragement, WordPress

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How WordPress encourages those who write literary questions

Above is the new format WordPress uses to encourage you after you publish on your blog. Just like your mother, it’s there to tell you that you are awesome but you need to set some goals, oh, and you forgot to add these tags, but I’m not surprised really, you’re just like your father.

The best part, of course, is the quotation under your new goal, put there to motivate you. See the one in the picture above: “Dreams are illustrations from the book your soul is writing about you.”  This was said to the author, Scott B., who has 13,686 friends but only 13 words. But not all pithy little sayings from WordPress are like that. For instance, this is what  WordPress said to me yesterday after I posted:  “That’s not writing at all, that’s typing.”

The quote is from Truman Capote, who said it about Jack Kerouac’s book On the Road, which chronicled Kerouac’s road trips with other members of the Beat generation. Truman was not invited, so he stayed home and  wrote bestsellers like Breakfast at Tiffany’s  and In Cold Blood.

Famous typist, Jack Kerouac (Photo by Palumbo via Wikipedia)

You have to understand  that Truman grew up without a first name (his parents borrowed the neighbor’s last name, Truman, and made him use that), so he may have been jealous about Kerouac having two first names: Jean-Louis. Since Kerouac was also a poet, he chose the nickname Jack, because it rhymes with his last name. Most people don’t know this, but I know all this literary stuff because I studied some literature in college.

Since Capote was only 5’3”, his ego couldn’t squeeze into his body, so it became his bodyguard and liked to get drunk and talk trash about other writers. Writers like Jack Kerouac, who had his own problems with fame and alcohol, but still managed to get his own Wikipedia page.

Now, am I making some kind of comparison and saying WordPress is short? Based on its font size, yes. Am I saying it has an overly large ego? No, just an overly large logo. I have no idea if it gets drunk, but I wonder sometimes when I read Freshly Hammered Pressed. It certainly talks trash about typists like me, who have their own problems that unfortunately have nothing to do with fame or alcohol.

Apparently, WordPress reads my blog and isn’t afraid to give me its opinion. I can hardly wait to see what it has to say to me when I publish this post.

My iPhone has 209,727 Facebook followers

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It may happen sooner than you think

I’m afraid.

I’ve always been close to my iPhone, so I thought we had a good relationship, one built on mutual trust. But last Saturday, when I checked my WordPress account on my iPhone, I learned that it has a secret life on Facebook. I took a screenshot as evidence. Here is an enlarged picture:

164,335 Facebook followers!  I was beside myself, which is rather convenient when you want to have a conversation with yourself.

I: How did it get that many followers?

Myself: It has that two-way camera, and you walk around the house at night with nothing on but your winter pajamas and your robe!

I: Do you think it’s taking pictures when I’m not looking?

Myself: Probably. And remember, it has a built-in recorder.

I: Do you think it’s revealing all my secrets to the world?

Myself: No, you’re already doing that on your blog.

When my daughter came over, I showed her what I had found, and we deliberately talked about it in front of the phone. I hoped to shame the phone into removing its Facebook account and stop using my WordPress account to garner followers.

But, friends, it has gotten worse. Look at the screenshot I took last night:

Already up to 207,216 followers. That’s over 42,000 new followers in just two days. This morning the number was up over 2,000. At this rate, by March of next year, every single person on Facebook will be following my iPhone. World domination will follow.

I need your help, kind readers. You see, I don’t have a Facebook account. That’s why I’m afraid.  I am not on Facebook as yearstricken or under the name my mother gave me. Don’t laugh. Not everyone in the world is on Facebook. There are at least two tribes in the Amazon that don’t have any members on Facebook yet.

Would you please go to your Facebook account and see if there are any photos of a somewhat mature woman in a burgundy down-filled robe? If there are photos with her robe open *blush*, you may see blue pajamas with these very cute moose on them. Kindly remove the photos. If my phone insists on having an account, I don’t want it luring people in and gathering followers with risqué photos of me. That’s not the proper path to world domination.

Thank you for your help.