Sunday, March 21, 2010

So Where the Hell Have I Been Lately?

I am a man of many interests. I play guitar, watch lots of television, read (need to do this much more), study improv techniques to help with the stage fright and the writing (signed up for BIG's advanced course this spring), manage a fantasy sports team (baseball starts next week!), and connect with people - I've been doing that since I could walk. But writing tops them all: scripts, blogs, tweets, songs, and even technical documents and business rules at work.

I hear rumblings that blogs are passé; that they are losing steam. That's like saying newspapers are dead. Wait a minute. Delivering yesterday's news tomorrow may be outdated, but journalism and credibility are not. It's just harder to find. Delivery methods of newsprint and door-to-door delivery is nostalgic but inefficient. And anyone can write information on the internet. It's up to us to find reliable sources.

And I am not a journalist. I don't pretend to be. My blog is observational: my personal observations and opinions. However, I do actual research when dissecting a topic. And, no, not just with Wikipedia, though it is a fountain of information.

For the past few months I have not been giving my blog it's due attention. Honestly, I've been microblogging on Twitter and I can't stop. The content boundary is 140 characters: I can make someone laugh in that space. Repeatedly. Every day. It's like a sitdown comedy club with no cover charge and no audition. To be accepted as a comic and as someone funny it takes time, good judgment and patience - but it's well worth the reward.

I write jokes for free. Every single day. Some day I'll make a living at it, but I'm not concerned about cash flow on Twitter. Getting a warm reaction and retweets (appreciation shown by others through reposting your tweet) is very rewarding. And it hones my craft.

I enjoy Facebook, but there are essentially no limits to the length or variety of posts there (for me or others). I pop in to check out statuses of friends and family, drop some comments and hellos, and bolt before three days pass and I haven't showered or eaten because I can't stop the tangent/URL hopping. Luckily I don't play Farmville or Mafia Wars; otherwise I'd never see the sun again.

My blog posts are not diary entries of personal quests, rehashings of someone else's information, or mini snippets of opinion about what happened on The View yesterday - which would be: someone made me laugh; as much as I hate to admit it, I love Barbara Walters; and Elizabeth's credentials of reality show alumnus (Survivor) must remain top of mind (AKA consider the source).

On Twitter, I converse with some fabulous people. I have even made some real friends. I consider these relationships just as authentic as with classmates and coworkers. In school and at work, we share only what we want to share with our friends. Many know a little; those we trust and like know more. The same is true on the web. You learn over time who is genuine, who is casual, who is just marketing, and who you need to keep at arm's length or blocked entirely.

Those who know me personally know that I speak my mind always, giving respect where its due, and enjoy taking on Big Brother, bullies, misogynists, idiots and assholes. I don't enjoy confrontation, but I detest oppression, ignorance and what I view as wrong even more. Writing allows me to speak honestly and to be heard because I believe I have something to say. If people disagree, I welcome a dialogue. If people hate me, I welcome them to stop listening. It doesn't mean I'll stop speaking.

But I am not giving up my blog. I love to share observations that are thought out, and worth sharing, that are much longer than 140 characters. And more than anything, I love to make people laugh.

I really will try to post more. I now have a fabulous home office - my girlfriend Barb and I finally created a space we both needed and now love!

For those who just aren't into the Twitter thing, I understand. I do think there's some good content you're missing (and I don't just mean mine).

Actually, I think there's a lot of good content we're all missing. The timeline on Twitter is where you see the tweets from accounts you follow. One reality is this timeline is in constant motion. The more people you follow, the faster the information flows. I would guesstimate a large percentage of what I tweet is actually missed, unless someone consciously goes back to review past tweets. Or if they're really skilled with a third-party tool managing the information they want to see. Archiving what you write also requires some third-party intervention. Otherwise, it's lost to the ether of the twittersphere.

On Twitter, I'm GCGeek. If you haven't checked out Twitter, I encourage you to give it a try. And look me up!

And please let me know what you're thinking about this or any other post. Suggest topics you'd like covered on Do I Amuse You? And let me know who you are on Twitter.

Since I've been gone for so long, the least I can do is offer a sampling of some of my favorite tweets from the past few weeks. I hope you like them! [You'll notice a few "hashtags" - words without spaces marked with a # sign. These serve as search tags as well as subject classifiers and sometimes punchlines.]

During the various Snowmageddon/Blizzaster Events:
Even in a blizzard, saying "What happened to global warming?" is like Warren Buffett looking at his checkbook and saying "What recession?"

I'm not a journalist-until I stick a mic in my hand, point a camera at my face, and start talking about what's happening in the background.

From Valentine's Day:
Dear God. When praying for a few extra inches by Valentine's Day, perhaps I should have been more specific. @SnowMyGoodness

Tell you what: Don't expect me to find the perfect romantic gift and I won't expect you to find the right car parts. #NotAFanOfVD

IMO dating is the process of finding a partner. I don't ask my boss to interview me each year to remind her why she hired me. #NotAFanOfVD

Live during the Grammys:
I like Green Day but they remixed their old songs. And Billy Joe fixed his teeth and thanked his kids. I bet he drives a Buick too. #Grammys

Taylor's accepting a Grammy. You know Jay-Z's got his foot on Kanye's throat right now. #Grammys

Live during the Oscars:
And the award for most sanctimonious introduction and feigned humility goes to...

Wow. Seems all the big stars are sporting beards these days: Keanu, Jake, Tom. They all have facial hair, too.

Playing DJ:
Heart – City's Burning. From Private Audition. One of my favorite guitar songs to play. Ever! ♫

And Random tweets:
If you do what's right and are kind to others, it doesn't matter which God you're pleasing. At least in my book.

My spam is really stepping it up. They went from "Want to make it huge?" to "giant". Who do they think I'm dating, the fifty-foot woman?

Dear Chammps: Thanks for charging $6.09 for pint drafts of Sam Adams. Golden taps or does this pay for that stupid extra "M"?

If a tree falls in the woods on Pat Robertson, and no one's there to hear him make a sound, is it still wrong for me to smile?

[In reply to @Caissie] Al Roker: weatherman, novelist, hard-core rapper. Once he does a season of the View he can retire as the most unqualified everyman.

It's March Madness, where I just toss out state names to be part of the conversation. Freaking Kansas, you know? And Cal? Whew! #IHaveNoClue

I just paid $80 for a spare MacBook power cord. 80. Freakin. $. I wonder if Steve Jobs paid three-times-a-reasonable-MSRP for his liver?

1) When your girlfriend says "pick up a bottle of wine on your way home", you just do it. No questions asked and definitely no whining.
2) And if you're Jesse James, "Don't bang anyone on the way home." You wouldn't think you'd have to say it, but you know men.

I hate when a sweater rides and the elastic at the bottom produces a faux bump. Like that extra crotch popper fold in every pair of Levi's.

Note to self: "YTF you hatin on me?" is not an appropriate response to my performance appraisal. Even in a recession and shit.

My coffee is either too weak (used < recommended scoops) or too strong (judging by color). Until I taste, it is both: Schrödinger's Coffee

A journey of 11 steps starts with a shower. Good morning, friends.

Despite retirement my dad has been teaching for 50 years. His advice on my writing: Just keep at it & if it's meant to be it will happen.

♬ Bus stop, bus go, she stays love grows. Under my umbrella. ♬ That made it to #5 on the UK charts, and I can't write a hit song?

REO Speedwagon, Pat Benatar & Night Ranger at B'more's Pier Six Pavilion Sept 4! Better find my Members Only jacket, cargo pants and hair.

Steve Wilkos looks just like Cal Ripken...without the integrity.

I'm no longer calling myself a non-practicing Catholic. You don't need practice at judgment or guilt.

Perhaps adding VP to my title will remove the invisible mute button that seems perpetually stuck when I speak to higher-ups. #CorporateLife

When you get that close to my car's ass with your little sporty self-indulgent feat of German engineering, all I can say is Dousche!


One Wink at a Time said...

I thoroughly enjoy both your blog posts AND your Twitterings. I try to keep my Follow circle small because it overwhelms me sometimes and still I see that I've missed some of your Tweets :(
I miss blogging and if I hadn't found something faster (Twitter) I probly wouldn't be quite so lax in my writing. I'm still easily frustrated though by having to condense what I want to say...
Keep all of it coming, I can always count on you for a laugh- among other things : )

Mike said...

And as always, thank you, Linda! Glad I can connect with you in both universes. :-)

DianeW in NC said...

Can I subscribe to your blog on my Kindle? I just discovered I can subscribe to blogs (and many are free) and they list thousands (well, hundreds) under "Comedy." I'll have to look. If I can stop downloading novels. It's actually my husband's Kindle (Christmas present from me). He is addicted to going to the library, and won't even try a 12-step program...

Mike said...

Hi Diane! This is the first line of my Blog Thoughts note on my desktop:

Make Blogs available on iPhone, iTouch, Nook, Kindle, other eBook readers.

So it is not available yet but will be soon! I've been checking out eReaders myself. I thought it would be a great way to follow blogs and my magazines, as well as novels. Another addiction! Thanks for the nudge! :-)


Mickey Gomez said...

Thanks, Mike, for another entertaining read! I found myself nodding in agreement with the Schrodinger's Coffee comment - so true.

I'm glad we've connected both here and in the Twitterverse, so I don't miss out even when you take a short commercial break from one or the other. :)

Mike said...

Thanks Mickey! I really appreciate your support! I'm also very glad we've connected here and on Twitter! Your non-profit posts and sense of humor inspire me! :)

Summer R said...

Glad your still blogging! Always fun to read. I have to confess I still don't quite get Twitter, but I do follow. Hope you're doing well!

Mike said...

Thanks Summer!! Doing great! Hope you are too!!


Thanks for the tip. I didn't know that
Schrodinger made coffee too. I've been using his cat food for years. I mean, my cat, Vichyssoise, has.

Mike said...

I always love your perspective, Count!

AnnaM said...

I'm not cool enough to tweet, but I do love your blog, and hope you will enter the Washington Post Magazine's writer's contest when it comes back around. Gene Weingarten doesn't make me laugh. You do.

Running short of Big Brothers, bullies, misogynists, idiots and assholes to take on? Step a little further over the Mason Dixon line. It's Confederate History Month here in Virginia. Pfft.

Mike said...

Anna, this has to be my favorite comment. Ever! I really don't know what to say, except thank you. Sincerely! Pfft indeed. :-D


pLEASE KEEP BLOGGING. It may be passe,and not the tool of the moment and probably doesn't compare with the instant gratification of Twitter...but like standup comedy there is no substitute for written humor. You do it well. My best.

Mike said...

THANK YOU, Count!!! You are very kind. And very wise. I agree there is no substitute. Twitter is definitely instant gratification, but blogging is long-form for me. I give each piece a lot of thought. Sometimes too much thought, and then the lapses occur. At the request of my friend Diane, I just published the blog on Kindle and I'm exploring other e-readers. I do not plan to stop, especially when I hear people are still reading and wanting more. Thank you!!!