Trying to Embrace my Inner Housewife

Apparently she doesn’t exist in me, so there’s no one to embrace.  Ok, so let’s say I’m trying to nuture an inner housewife within me … augh.  After 10-yrs of conspicuous consumption, my husband and I have gathered a lot of junk.  I’m tackling the large pile of stuff that’s in what should be our dining room (we never bothered to buy dining room furniture because formal home dining has never been a priority for us) .  Over time what has built up is all the stuff we’ve picked up from going to various conferences and offsite training sessions over the years.  I recovered 6 t-shirts and at least 10-cloth bags (great for groceries).  Also buried in this pile was the residue of my former work-life — pens, pencils, paperclips, plush-toys, and old calenders.  Sigh … where to put all this wonderful stuff now that I have no cubicle?  And then there are random things in the pile like hand tools, umbrellas, ancient mail, ancient magazines, and somehow my art and supplies managed to be the foundation of this pile.

Rewind back to last week, I beat back the laundry hydra and cleaned up the family room.  I also researched and purchased a pressure steamer to clean my ~1200-sqft of ceramic tile.  I didn’t enjoy one bit of it, but I did enjoy the resulting clean and uncluttered space in the family room and kitchen.  I even cooked!  Mr. Kuroneko003 was very happy.  The day I finally got everything clean I went to Ikea with my retired Dad to look at organization possibilities.  Mr. Kuroneko003 got home before me and said he thought I had rehired the Molly Maids and then was kidnapped.  Hahaha!!!

Cleaning the big mess initially is always the hardest part.  I’m seeing, though, after cleaning, as long as I’m vigilant, then upkeep of the cleaniless only takes ~1-hr a day.  In this sense, I’m excited about cleaning the entirety of the house, including the garage, so I can have some control.  Either way, it does nothing for my inner housewife.  Rather, I want to get stuff clean so I don’t have to worry about it anymore and I can have that ~1-hour/day to clean.  Regardless, still I hate cleaning house.  I can’t wait to get a job so I don’t have to anymore.  Augh … I feel like I’m going nuts.  Vacuuming and mopping suck!!!

I hope by next week to have the junk sorted into stuff that can be donated for reuse and stuff that can be recycled.  I plan to get rid of the stuff by calling an electronics recycler, a junk hauler, and someone to pick up the old car sitting in our driveway.  After than I can secretly start working on the yard.  My plan is hire a gardener to ever so slowly transform the yard into a rock garden — sorta ease my husband into it while keeping well within our means.

trent_reznor leaves Twitter

I had only been following for a couple of weeks before I had  the misfortune of watching the trolls run “trent_reznor” away from Twitter.  It’s sad, but sometimes people forget that it’s other people on the other side of the Internet (I think everyone does this to some extent — even I’m guilty to a small extent).   It seems that “trent_reznor” was emotionally hurt by the whole experience.  I think, though, when people open up their personal lives online  they are setting themselves up for hurt and rejection by people who had imagined the real person to be much different.  This is why I think celebrities should keep most of their private lives to themselves, because, in the in the end, what they say will only be treated like tabloid fodder.  But it seems that was a risk “trent_reznor” took in order to try to feel close to his fans.

This bothered me somewhat, because I feel that anyone should be able to go out there on the Internet and engage with people.  I think for renown people, followers get caught up with the celebrity’s name, hence why it’s best for all to hide behind an avatar.  Hiding behind an avatar is a way to fit in because it levels the playing field.  This way renown people can infiltrate whatever community they are interested in and have a more authentic conversation and perhaps makes some close online friends.  As for “fan service” — well, that is part of the marketing machine and it needs to be done.  I think celebrities have accept along with fans,  they, also,  have the focus of a small group of haters and crazy people.   Haters and crazy people can’t be transformed outside of themselves to rational people, so it’s best not to worry about them and keep tight security to keep the violent ones away.  But I don’t fault Twitter for this, because haters and crazy people will always find some way to vent.  The Internet, though, makes it much easier to be heard by a large audience and possibly the celebrity.

Now addressing the technology:  Twitter is lightly regulated free-for-all.  Twitter tried to make it such that only followers could send replies, but people balked at that.  There are no readily available filters, rather if someone wanted to filter the stream of Tweets coming at them, they have to pull their own feeds and apply an external filter.  It seems to me there is plenty of opportunity for Twitter to develop some tools to help people make sense of their Tweets for a fee.

All-in-all, I feel bad that “trent-reznor” is leaving Twitter.  I’m not the kind of person who cares deeply about the lives of celebs, but I like the person “trent-reznor” showed his fans.  And, though, 90% of his Tweets were pointless, they did provide passing entertainment for me.  I follow people on Twitter because they have some important information, like news headlines, or because I find their pointless Tweets entertaining.  It lets me know I’m not alone in my small existence and there are others out there who enjoy small everyday things, even “trent_reznor.”  Twitter doesn’t have to be about anything, though, it can be powerful when used for a purpose.  I firmly believe people should Tweet and Blog for themselves.  100% of my my Tweets and 100% of what I write in this blog are me pointlessly rambling my opinion.  It is for me and I put it out there for me, kinda like that “Kilroy” guy — I was here.  If people read it and want to communicate with me, then that’s the icing on the cake :).

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Addendum:  Looks like “trent_reznor” is waiting for Twitter to improve blocking.  Agreed.  Twitter needs more improvements than that, though.  Twitter also has horrific spam and lolita problems.

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Addendum 2:  Looks like “trent_reznor” is back.   Hahaha!!!  Hopefully he’s Tweeting for himself and not worrying about the trolls ;).  I get the feeling this may be a cyclical thing with him :).  Well, to each his or her own.  Tweet on man, tweet on … It’s still very interesting to observe.

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Addendum 3:  “trent_reznor” blew away his Twitter account today.  Hahaha!  I would too!  Having 600,000+ followers is just too many to be useful and enjoyable.  Well hopefully he comes back under a different alias, so he can enjoy Twitter without the burden of being “Trent Reznor.”

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Addendum 4 (10/20/2009): “trent_reznor” is back on Twitter again.  It looks like he’s promoting the 20th anniversary of the “Pretty Hate Machine” album.  I wonder whether this is just a “peek-a-boo” or whether he gonna be around on Twitter for a while.

Marketing Invading Mommy Blogs

This morning I watched a little video from Ad Age about how various marketing agencies and marketing arms of companies are paying “Mommy Bloggers” to influence their online followers.  The first thing that came to mind was the tragedy happening on the “Jon and Kate Plus Eight” show and how the commercialism that has entered that family is exacerbating the demise of  that family unit.  I think marketing interfering with Mommy Blogs ruins the authenticity of the blog and changes family life by aligning the blogger with certain products.  What person in their right mind is going to poo-poo a product they were given for free or paid to promote.   Why should I believe the person in the polished looking “Mommy Blog” is who she says she is?  It’s the poop that ruins the ice cream and puts into question the authencity of all Mommy Blogs, even if the blogger discloses up front that they are a paid promoter.  I can’t say whether this is going to blow up in the marketers or the Mommy Blogger’s face.  After all there are a lot of people out there who are easily swayed by someone who looks like them who lives a life they aspire to live or, on the other hand, lots of Mommy’s out there looking to justify easy solutions that are not always the best.  However, deep within me, it hurts my soul to think when I have a child and turn to the Internet for help, I’ll be faced with a nearly infinite cesspool of paid advertisement crap to wade through to find a good answer.  Knowing me, I’ll probably skip the Internet all together and get a good old fashion book on infant health, talk to my parents, and use trial and error.

Can Netbooks and Media Save Each Other?

Here’s an interesting editorial from Ad Age.  The author, Simon Dumenco postulates that free or very cheap netbooks can save the media industry through a subscription based content model.  Hahaha!!! This is nothing new.  I remember when the first round of “Internet Appliances” tried to come out in the late 90’s early 2000’s.  There was talk that a portion of the screen would be filled with ads to pay for the cost of the hardware and the software.  That idea died quickly.  Fast forward to now … so I’m gonna get a free netbook so I can pay$xx.99/mo. for each cloud application I want to access?   Oh, and by the way, some portion of the screen will be filled with advertisements to pay for the cost of the hardware and the software.   And, wow, isn’t it great to watch Hulu on an 8-in screen — how about a 8-in portable DVD player and a Blockbuster card?

Now some words about “Netbooks.”  When I initially heard about these devices, I thought the idea was ridiculous.  Being the type of person I am, this meant I had to get one to see if I could make sense of the hype.  My parents gifted me an HP Mini 1000 for Christmas and I really like it.  It’s a great little computer for the kitchen to look up recipes, read e-mail, and do little online shopping tasks when it’s inconvenient to go up to the office and fire up my PC or “real laptop.”  I, also, use it to read manga online while in bed and it’s much easier and less worrisome to bring this little guy on trips rather than a bulky laptop, when all we want to do is e-mail and check the news while out.  I think what makes this netbook and ones like it successful is that it is not as underpowered as I expected.  My netbook has comparable technical specs to my 3-yr “real laptop” so I can watch downloaded anime in the high-def file formats and I can have a “Rich Internet Experience.”  Granted, though, it’s nothing like my gaming PC or my smokin’ media laptop.  All-in-all, I’d have to say most netbooks are nice little products suitable for people on the go, children, and people looking for a secondary PC or laptop.

And some thoughts on media:  I still go to the movies because I like to watch good movies on a big screen with a crowd.  I feel watching a good movie is a good use of $11 and 2-1/2 hours of a weekend — the key words being “good movies.”  Good or better products and good or better experiences built around these products will always attract a crowd.  I think media outlets should concentrate on the content and make delivery of the content a better experience than piracy, rather than worrying about pirates and wasting brain cells coming up with the next free-but-not-free gimmick.

Lastly, to the author’s suggestion that hardware/software companies have to become media companies — well, this is not an old idea either.  The problem is, neither hardware/software companies nor media companies want to share because each wants it all.  On top of that, there are neat anti-trusts laws protecting us consumers from something like a DellMicrosoftNBCUniversalTimeWarner catastrophe (banish the thought now!).

In conclusion, can netbooks and media save each other?  I don’t know.  However, I do know selling a product for less than it cost to make and racing to the bottom in a price war is not a viable business plan.  Neither is free content.  I think hardware/software and media companies have to do the hard work and apply business fundamentals and some good old-fashion product innovation, as well as, take away the “free candy” from consumers in order to survive and thrive.  I think Apple is a great example of this on the hardware/software side.  As for media and piracy, if you want to beat the pirates, then join them and figure out how to make a paid experience that is much more appealing than piracy.  Again, I stress, media companies should impress upon potential customers that bad people can hide malicious code in free downloads.  I think this would be a far more compelling argument against piracy than copyright violation because you are offering protection from identity theft and the like, in addition to great entertainment.  (AUGH!!! It’s so frustrating watching the media industry pointlessly twisting in the breeze …)

Twitter to Verify Celebrity Tweets

Twitter says it will start experimenting with verifying the Twitter accounts of renown people and agencies according to an article from CNET.  (Here’s a link.)  Well, that’s a relief.  Does this mean if a person has the same name as a renown person they are SOL in terms of being able to use the name on Twitter?  Hahaha!!!  Somebody is already sitting on my real name and this person sends no Tweets, but follows “feministnews”. (And people wonder why most people use handles and avatars …)  But getting “down” to us unremarkable people; we have bullies, mean people, and name sharers, who ruin our existences too.  Going back to the time I Googled my true name and found two other name sharers who write about things and have personal identities that I don’t want to be associated with because they could be an impediment to my professional life.  Sometimes I wonder how many job interview opportunities I’ve been been denied out-the-shoot because someone Googled my true name and found online identifies or pictures of name sharers that looked unappealing.  Sometimes I feel like changing my name to kuroneko003 so people can find the real me online.  It’s too messed up.

Anyhow, all of this has me thinking about magic lore and how magic users hide their true names because a name is a very powerful piece of information that can be used to manipulate a person, and even kill a person.  I guess this lore arose from reality long ago and still holds true today.  Your true name can be used against you, so best guard it and hide behind an avatar.