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Odds and Ends

To the surprise of absolutely no one who has been paying attention over the past few years, lately I have once again done a crappy job of maintaining my presence on this particular social media outlet. Facebook really is like an insidious cross-breed of virus and extremely hardy parasite. To the detriment of other outlets I'd much rather use, I just can't seem to bring myself to stay away from it. I can, and really need to, however, force myself to spend a bit more time over here....

Suzanne Vega has a new album out today. I've only listened to it once through in its entirety (haven't had sufficient time to do more than that), but I love the fact that it sounds so different from everything else she's released over the past 30 years. I prefer my favorite acts to continue to push their own artistic envelopes and branch out into different directions. The easiest way for me to grow bored with a musical act is for it to continue to record the same album repeatedly (I'm looking at you, Bowling for Soup)....

Back at the end of December, I unleashed my inner fat bastard so that I could enjoy holiday overindulgence for a bit. The problem with letting him run free, no matter how short a leash I think I've placed upon him, is that he can be very hard to put back in the cage. As a result, my weight has crept back up approximately seven pounds -- nothing that can't be removed without a little perseverance over the next couple months, but the fact that I feel the need to acknowledge the weight gain here is a way of placing extra pressure on myself to resume the routines that removed 15+ pounds at the end of last year. I won't return to weekly weigh-in posts just yet, but another couple pounds in the wrong direction and I may have to resort to them again....

Over the past six months or so, I've been watching TeenLitGirl's Sex and the City DVDs with her. I had never watched more than an episode or two previously, but I must admit that I am enjoying the show immensely. The biggest reason: seeing just how bat-shit insane Carrie Bradshaw is and noting how much her friends enable her when she insists that it's the men who are the crazy ones and have commitment issues. A couple times, her friends call her on her psychopathic behavior, but those moments don't seem to have any real impact on her actions and are quickly forgotten. I'm reasonably certain that my impressions of the show don't align nicely with those of most fans of the show when it was originally on the air....

The other show that we're trying to watch as quickly as possible on DVD is Mad Men. We've been merrily playing a very slow game of catch-up since we watched the first season a few years ago, but now that we're less than 1½ seasons behind, it's possible that we might be able to fully catch-up before the season premiere in April. I don't know if we will get completely there in time, but with the aid of the DVR we may very well be able to watch the conclusion of the series in real time as it airs. This is not an unusual way for me to watch TV shows -- I did something very similar with Scrubs, Battlestar Galactica, and Doctor Who at the time when David Tennant was completing his run....

That's all for now. I'll try to make sure that it's not another five weeks between posts.


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Feb. 18th, 2014 11:05 pm (UTC)
Facebook: I've had the same issue. For me Facebook is addictive for the same reason as Twitter - I feel like I can just dash off anything, especially if it's short. For LJ I always feel like I should have something at least a little more substantive...but I don't necessarily consider a big chunk of what I come up with to be more substantive. (Heck, a lot of what I post here anymore I don't consider that substantive either, like the joke news article the other day, but I feel compelled to post it anyway.)
Feb. 23rd, 2014 01:24 pm (UTC)
That seems to be a consensus for most of us. However, I think that regular FB use encourages us to think and communicate in short bursts which is counterproductive to those of us who value nuance and depth. The trick for me is to unlearn that kind of online behavior -- or, at least, fight against it more often and make a more concerted effort write longer posts.
Feb. 23rd, 2014 10:46 pm (UTC)
We've talked about this aspect before, and I agree. If I didn't frame it in terms of Marshall McLuhan's "The medium is the message" then, I meant to.

One behavior I try to internalize with LJ is that while it's great as a forum for longer form discussion than 2 sentence blurbs, what I post here doesn't have to be perfect. It's okay to just reflect (or vent) on something that happened or that I thought of during the day. </p>

I often think of this vis a vis one friend if mine who posts on LJ only once every few months. Her journals are well thought out, well written, and full of touching moments. But by coming so infrequently they lose their immediacy and impact. They're like those family letters ("Tommy went to summer camp, Lisa tried out for cheerleading, and we painted the living room") we used to exchange with cousins decades ago. That was the best we could stay in touch at the time, when even long distance telephone was considered too expensive to use frequently. But in today's world of instant and nearly free communications we can do so much better.

Feb. 19th, 2014 11:43 pm (UTC)
I've made a resolution in the past to write once a day on LJ. I think I've averaged about 4 a week recently, much of that coming on the weekends when I have a chance to catch up. I'd be more motivated if I perceived more of an audience here. As it is, I've resolved I'm writing basically for my own benefit. THAT would be the reason I'd jump ship and use another platform.
Feb. 23rd, 2014 01:10 pm (UTC)
I've made similar resolutions in the past, and there have been times I've made good on them for periods as long as a few months, but inevitably my attention falters. I think I'm now just comfortable with the idea that although I'm horribly inconsistent, at least I am still making the effort.

As for writing for an audience, I think you're absolutely dead-on. You really are writing for yourself more than anything else, and feedback is just a bonus, when you get it. For what it's worth, I don't respond much to your posts, but rest assured that I am actually reading.
Feb. 20th, 2014 03:00 am (UTC)
FB tends to be more event oriented for me whereas LJ is more emotive. Not a fan of the dirty laundry people air on social media (FB, Twitter) but like the privacy options on LJ for said dirty laundry. It doesn't have to go to the masses and can be locked away for the writer's eyes only. That said, I suddenly have more time on my hands than I have in the past 5 years and there's some stuff I need to process and so…I'm writing a more regularly than I have in awhile.

On a sidenote, I thought Carrie and her friends were batshit crazy when we watched the original series on HBO years ago. Yes, we were entertained but also thought they were all crazy!
Feb. 23rd, 2014 01:13 pm (UTC)
I think that you pretty much nailed the difference between FB and LJ for me as well: when it's sharing good family stuff or a quick emotional release, I go to Facebook. Anything with any real sort of depth whatsoever (i.e., more than a few sentences) gets placed over here.
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