Monday, January 22, 2007

Bits and Pieces

As I lay awake last night in bed (I'm an insomniac, as I think most of you already know), I came up with a really great blog topic. I wrote like a third of a clever post in my head, but, of course, I don't remember it now. So here's some random observations and thoughts and we'll see what we can come up with, shall we?

First, since adding a hit counter back in August (it's at the very bottom), this blog has had over 5,000 hits! Which may not be much, but I'm awfully proud. PLUS, even better, it looks like traffic to my website might cross over a thousand hits this month! It's been hovering in the 7-800s for a few months now, but it's already at almost 700 and we still have several days to go. So let's keep our fingers crossed--and seriously, this isn't some winking hint. Don't go over there to up my hit count, please. I want to hit a real goal, not get my wonderful friends to inflate my numbers.

And speaking of the site...this blog is now officially part of it. The Deadjournal is no more. Nobody commented there, anyway, and I couldn't post pictures there,'s still there, it just isn't part of my site anymore. I really wish I could get this to look a little nicer (I hate those stupid corners) but I can't seem to make it look right and the template selection stinks, so I'm stuck with it for the moment.

It's gotten cold here now. Overnight the temp dropped from the 40s to freezing. My Princess has a cold, so luckily I don't have to walk her to school, but she's not gonna be out forever. Not looking forward to that.

Edits, edits, edits.

I was thinking about psuedonyms the other day, and pseudonymous vs. anonymous. I've never understood why it's so important to know people's real names. (I'm thinking of the Jennie Crusie/Miss Snark thing of a few months back.) We spend half our time warning each other that the internet isn't as safe as it seems, that we must be careful not to post pictures of our kids (and although I have posted one or two, I agree this is good advice--notice the pictures are usually a little blurry, and I don't give their names), not to give out our addresses or phone numbers, whatever. I managed to pick up a little internet stalker a few weeks back myself. The situation is now resolved, I believe (but hey, if you see somebody spreading crazy gossip about me out there, let me know, huh?) but imagine if DQ wasn't a pseudonym. Imagine if this person was able to find my address or phone number, or where I went to high school or where my parents live or any number of things.

So I just find it interesting, when someone posts under a pseudonym or anonymously, the number of people who are absolutely outraged because they do. Isn't the internet itself a sort of anonymity? There's no real "Come and say that to my face" about the internet, is there? There's still distance there. There's still some small lack of accountability there, whether you use your name or a pretty made-up one or none at all. I guess it's just a matter of opinion as to what that means.

Which probably doesn't make much sense but you know, I'm tired. :-) Three hours sleep and a day spent doing nothing but editing does muddle me a little, I'll admit.

What are your thoughts? Are anonymous comments worth the internet space they take up? How do you feel about cold weather? And why can't I ever sleep at night (I sleep just fine all morning)?


Elle said...

The absolute best thing I saw on the subject of "Internet Bravado" was in an interview with Mena Trott of Six Apart (who run Live Journal, Vox, Typepad, etc.). She says: "If you aren’t going to say something directly to someone’s face, than don’t use online as an opportunity to say it." I think that's a good rule and one that needs to be adopted. Fortunately I can say I've followed this rule.

Cold weather - the only thing I really hate is the windiness. I can deal with the cold otherwise.

Why can't you sleep at night - well I reckon you've got a similar problem to me - you've got a mind that's busy all the time so when you've got more than 5 minutes of peace and quiet your mind goes into overdrive. By the time you've calmed it down it's time to wake up and you're tired and would rather sleep. Suggestions to get over it? A hot bubble bath, hot chocolate made with milk, a glass of wine, meditation, relaxing music....take a pick or make up a new one. I think having a bed time ritual helps though. It seems to help me.

Ann(ie) said...

I'm not worried about people knowing my real name. They'd have a hell of a time finding me in Mexico City. I've lived here almost two years and I still get lost easily. You should see the incredible warren of streets!

As for insomnia, it's pretty hard for me to shut down too.

bunnygirl said...

Anonymous comments are fine with me, as long as they're polite. And I use a pseudonym for many of the reasons you mention, as well as the fact that I sometimes blog about my job.

Cold weather? Hate it.

Sleep? Don't worry about it. Everyone is different. In a pinch, I've found valerian root and a dull book to be helpful. But I think a lot of what people think is a sleep problem is just media scaremongering and an attempt by Big Pharma to sell pills.

I sleep twice a day, usually 2-3 hours each time. I'm active, healthy and happy. But if I was worrying that I wasn't getting the right number of hours of sleep at the right time of day or night, I'd be a basket case.

Trust your body. If you're not tired, stay up. If that means you'll be tired later, too bad for your body. It'll figure it out.

Anonymous said...

I won't type anything on a blog that I wouldn't say in person. That's what I think about every time I type something.

You know my real name, December and I'm still basically anonymous to you. Although, it would be easy for you to track me down based on that e-mail address. Remember, mum's the word!

I hate cold weather. Cold weather hurts. I ride my motorcycle every day unless there is ice on the road. It's been in the teens here in the heart o' Texas for about 2 weeks now. I'm ready for Summer.

As far as sleep, you're probably just a night person. I used to be keyed up when I got off my mid-shift and I would either take a few shots of JD or have sex to take the edge off. -V95

Lola said...

I'm going to quote (and not briefly) Violent Acres on this matter because I thought she had it pretty much right when she wrote this:

"For all you know, everyone writes anonymously, but you just bought it when they signed their posts ‘Mark.’ The fact of the matter is that the name is only important when you’re an egomaniac that demands recognition for your work. I am not.

For me, the ideas presented are important and I could give a shit what the name is. If I said my name was Sissy McRealnamepants from New Jersey would that make anything I said more valid? Would that take the bite out? Is your opinion more important than mine because a bunch of people who couldn’t pick you out of a crowd know your name is Stacey?

Besides, artists have been using pen names and pseudonyms for generations now, so quit acting like this is some new phenomenon.

Mark Twain. Richard Bachman. Meatloaf. Leigh Nichols. Prince. Madonna. Lemony Snicket. J.K Rowling. Fiona Apple. Marilyn Manson. Nicolas Bourbaki. George Eliot.

All these names are either partially accurate or completely fake. I dare you to say with any seriousness that your blog which precisely documents how many times a day your cat pukes has more artistic merit than anything they’ve ever done simply because you were willing to write your real name on it."

She scares me a little...

Lola 'pseudonym' London xx

kis said...

I'll be honest and admit that I have left a few anonymous comments in the past--usually ones with questionable content. Nothing horrible, although there was the one where I invited EE and Snarky to have a three-way with me.;)

Truth is, I do care what people online think about kis (also a pseudonym) and would hate to say something so embarrassing that I had to change my moniker.

Anonymous posters bug me because when you want to reply, you've got to start calling them Anon. 3:17, or You with the attitude, or whatever. But I can see the appeal of anonymity. I've seen hawkowl get hounded to the point that if it was me, I'd post comments under a different name, at least for a while.

I do think it's ridiculous for people with monikers like blue82 to criticize as cowards those who opt for anonymous. Unless, of course, blue82 is the name your mama gave you.

As far as insomnia goes, never had that problem. My problem is wanting to sleep too much, at inopportune times. I will say that the only time I ever have trouble sleeping is when I've had too much to drink. You fall asleep fast, then two hours later you're awake and can't get back to sleep to save your life. If you're already partially hung over, it can be awful. So one glass of wine, maybe two. Some turkey--tryptophan(sp?) will knock you right out, just ask all my uncles twenty minutes after Thanksgiving dinner. An orgasm sometimes works, though actual sex is often counterproductive for me. And when all else fails, I break out one of my old university textbooks. Works every time.

Anonymous said...

Well, first of all, I think 5,000 hits since Aug is amazing. Good for you! I reset my counter Jan. 1st and I've gotten about 150 hits so far, which I am quite happy about. It's more than I got within 4 months last year, lol. Regarding commenting, I WISH people would comment more. Obviously people are looking at my blog, but you wouldn't know it to see the comments. I want to know what people think. I want people to share ideas and stories. It's funny actually, more non-friends leave comments than friends do. I don't think my friends actually look at my blog unless I ask them. Of course there are a couple that do, writer friends. This year I've made a vow to comment on people's blogs that I read. It's great for networking, and I think people enjoy comments in general, especially if they don't get many. I don't do the one-worded comments like "cool" and "I agree" (yea, that 2 words, lol), which I have gotten. I was slightly offended recently that an old friend denied my comments to her blog. They weren't boring, they both in fact, told personal stories that related to the theme in her posts.

littlebirdblue said...

I don't mind short answers to posts or comments. "Cool" and "I agree" can be perfectly friendly indicators that someone out there is paying attention; that blogging's a dialogue and not just a monologue.

There are a couple of blogs out there I am the only one commenting on, day after day. I don't mind; I like the encouragement I feel I might be giving to some writer to keep at it.

I don't mind anonymous comments, and I certainly don't mind pseuds.

BernardL said...

Anonymous is fine, until as was mentioned, you wish to reply. I'd rather people know who I am when I write something, but I understand the dangers. My kids and grandson live a couple hours away, and I'm careful not to put up any pictures of them. How were you able to resolve the issue with the stalker? That must have been worrisome.

Bernita said...

That sounds familiar.
The mind can go round and round,donit, December?

Robyn said...

I have trouble understanding the anonymous commenter. It's the internet! You could be Winston Churchill if you wanted to! My bigger beef is anonymous commenters who have made sure you can't respond to them.

I'm so sorry you had to go through the stalker thing.

December Quinn said...

Yep, sounds about right, elle. I just seem to have too much energy at night anyway, and when the brain satrts really going...sleep becomes impossible.

Lol, Annie, yes, I guess you're pretty safe there!

Hi there, bunnygirl! I agree that losing sleep isn't the huge issue it's made out to be. I'm just a night person, always have been. It just sucks when you have little ones and have to get up early, because no matter how little sleep I get I still can't go to bed before midnight it seems!

December Quinn said...

See, V95(!), I don't mind the cold, I really don't. I just worry about the kids. If I didn't have to take the Faery out in it I'd be much better about it, I think. Motorcycles in the cold? Bleh!

What a cool quote, Lola, thanks for posting it. I agree. Names don't make anyone right.

Just like I totally agree with kis about "blue82" or whatever. And about hawkowl. I don't know why, if they dislike her comments or find them unuseful, they don't just ignore them. I can think of at least one commenter at Miss S who I'd hoped was gone forever but now seems to have oozed his way back, who I can't stand. But rather than constantly snipe, I just ignore what he says. (And sex is counterproductive for me as well--I'm up for hours after!)

December Quinn said...

Hi there, April! I'd be pretty upset myself if a friend of mine didn't approve one of my comments.

And I know what you mean about wandering around commenting and not being paid back. I can think of quite a few people who I've commented who never commented me back. But I'm lucky in that I have managed to find some people whose blogs I enjoy, who seem to enjoy mine as well.

Yes, lbl, a lot of it is just the desire to not feel as if you're writing into a void. We do enough of that when we're actually writing!

The stalker thing wasn't that big a deal, bernardl. Just somebody who decided they don't like me, and wanted to harass me through my website and on a forum. I just reported it to Yahoo and told them online harrassment is a crime and I'm not afraid to prosecute.

The mind certainly does, Bernita. I guess I should be grateful for it. At least I'm not usually bored.

Robyn, I'm going to start commenting on your blog as Winston Churchill. Back from the dead. The zombie Winston Churchill, that will be me.

kis said...

V95(?!), I suspect cold in Britain is nothing at all like cold in Texas. I grew up in Alberta: 40C in the summer, and -40C in the winter. (-40C is the same as -40F, for those who don't know celsius)

Then I moved to Vancouver Island and all of a sudden I'm shivering, and it's not even freezing out! It's a totally different cold, and if it comes with rain, it's a real bitch. You can dress your kids to play in the snow, but when the rain's coming down sideways, forget it. Even when we get snow, it's half-rain. I've been mostly housebound for the last three months. Bleh.

And December, I don't hang out at Snarky's much anymore. I almost never read the comments. There just seems to be a collective, gang mentality there sometimes when everyone piles on top of some nitwit. I can understand her need for comment moderation--keeps people from going on and yelling, "Miss Snark is really Liz Pomada!" or whatever--but sometimes I wonder if maybe she's censoring dissenting opinions? I don't know. I just feel like the chances of getting bitch-slapped are too high there, so I tend to stay away.

That's why I like it here. It feels all warm and fuzzy, even when everyone's bitching.

Anonymous said...


Shhh. I'm trying to shake a stalker. It's a reference to the size of my . . . engine.

I wonder if maybe she's censoring dissenting opinions?

I know for a fact she does. Especially when it has to do with Clooney.

Teens was factoring in wind chill. It's been in the 20s. -V95

Jenn on the Island said...

"It feels all warm and fuzzy, even when everyone's bitching."
Kis you kill me! And it's creepy how similar our lives are...

I'm not too worried about my privacy. I have a pen name (Seeley deBorn) and a persona (Jenn on the Island). I've outed where I live a couple times, but really, my first name is Jenn and I'm in my 30s...try narrowing that one down!

All of the anonymous comments I've received weren't really anonymous. A name was typed at the end. But (getting philosophical here) aren't we all anonymous on the 'net anyway? Maybe I'm not a woman in my 30s named Jenn who lives on an island. Maybe I'm a 48 year old divorced man from Michigan who sells used cars, likes country music and has a dog named Poko. No one can prove I am or I'm not. And as long as I keep my story straight, no one will ever question my identity.

Cold. Can't wait to get off this rock and see real snow again. I'd rather be cold than hot. I'd rather visit Norway than Mexico.

Sleep. Check your time zone. Are you sleepy when it's night time when you grew up? Maybe it's just a case of extended jet lag... just a theory.

kis said...

Real snow, oh yeah...

We actually had some real stuff around X-mastime, not the usual quasi-gelatinous, 7-11 slurpee snow we usually get on VI. It lasted for one whole day before it rained and then froze again, forming a four-inch-deep crust on my van that looked like snow, but had to be chipped away with a freaking ice-pick.

V95, maybe I'm clueless, but what the heck does "20s" mean? The centigrade scale is a thing of pristine, scientific loveliness: water freezes at 0 and boils at 100; 40 is freaking hot, and -40 is damn cold. The only F temps I can figure out are 100 (a hot, hot day) and -40 (the point where C and F converge). The rest is just numbers that hold absolutely no meaning for me.

Oh, and that's some big, um, engine you've got. ;)

Anonymous said...

I don't mind anon comments.

We're all anon anyway, aren't we? I could really be Madonna for all you know!

Anonymous said...

20s means fucking cold -A handful of degrees below freezing. -V95

December Quinn said...

I don't comment at Miss S much anymore, but I still read religiously. I try to only comment if I really have something to say.

I think it's so funny that fahrenheit makes no sense to you, I feel the same about Celcius! It's like the goddamn metric system. I need to blog about that. Stupid metric system.

I think most of England got snow last night. We didn't, but we're like the only ones. We may get some tonight.

Gee, Isabella, I hope you're not Madonna, because I've said some pretty shitty things about her! Lol!

Yes, 20 is fucking cold!

king said...

in NET ,Calls are calculated based on 1-minute increments. Any fraction of a minute will be rounded up to the next full minute.
All rates are deducted from your account balance according to the rates for the country you are calling