Monday, April 26, 2010

The Most Infamous Blogger in Madison

I was curious to read about Ann Althouse when I saw the latest Isthmus come out on Thursday. Coincidentally, I had been performing some queries on NYT online on The University of Wisconsin and Ann Althouse continued to pop up. Not long after that, she was rated, "Madison's #1 Blogger" on the cover of "The Isthmus."

"Who is this woman?" I asked myself. How come I am not reading the "number one blogger in Madison?" I will tell you one reason - I can't keep up with her. According to Craver's article, she blogs up to a dozen times a day. Now, many days, I don't even make it to facebook, due to my workload, so forget keeping up with Althouse.

So I went to her blog. And I liked it. And then I went to review her on the NYT website. Although in the article Jack Craver writes about her, he depicts her as a "right wing political blogger," from what I gathered from her blog in the past hour or so, she is right wing, but she isn't that right wing. C'mon, kids. Madison is leaning to the left so much that we are tipping over so her opinions probably do sound ultra conservative to the UW student who wrote about her.

Her profile alone has been viewed over 365,000 times. She is a law professor. A brilliant woman. With an opinion. Who lives in a small city. (Madison, that is). Do I agree with everything our "famous blogger" says? No. But she seems to take a current event, pick it apart, pull out the gossip and share her point of view. She is humorous.

I have a hard time staying on top of the current events. I try to. I tell myself every morning, "One international news article to discuss with a friend." I start to read it and then get lost in the story about the Sarah Palin hack case. I start to wonder if she works out or if that baby daddy made a lot of money posing for "Playgirl." "Focus, focus," I tell myself.

Althouse likes the current events but she likes the "juice" as well. She puts the "fun" in what could be a dreary article - some posts had me LOL and some are as short as a line (tweet, tweet) and still manage to bring over 50 comments.

What engaged me right away are the photos that Ann has of the indoor of her refrigerator! (Just like me!) and the outdoor photos of Wisconsin (Just like me!) Oh - and photos of the farmer's market (Ok, you get it!) When does this lady work? According to the article, she only teaches two courses.

But this infamous Madison blogger has one of the biggest blogs in the country - all a mile away from me.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Typical Saturday in Madison

There becomes a time when I feel so, so lucky. And it is when it is warm out. And I never, ever, ever take it for granted that I live in such a liveable city. That so many people are unaware of. What a gem of a city I live in. And I just feel so incredibly lucky to live here.

What other place can you wake up in the morning, run to a bike path, greeted by other runners, no worrying about cars to dodge, walk to the largest farmer's market in the country, meet up with friends/family, spend quality time together, walk down a main shopping area with mostly local shops, run into your boyfriend, walk less than a block, sit down (outside) for a local meal at an ethnic restaurant and almost feel like you are in another country, then walk to an Italian film at an annual film festival, overlooking the lake?! (Sorry for the run-on sentence, but I couldn't help it).

Take the dog for a nice walk. Go home to eat vegetables grown by a farmer who I have met who transported the food solo. Who is the only person who handled the food start-to-finish. No sprays. No "steroids." No preservatives. Lots of fiber. Lots of vitamins. Lots of real food.

Walk a few blocks to meet a friend for drinks. Walk her home. Walk back up to the square to meet more people. It's 1:00 AM and I have not been in a car all day.

No taking the car out. Ok, so maybe I woke up the next morning with a horrible headache. But it was worth it.

I am so lucky. There is such a quality of life here. And I was walking the dog after work today. As I approached my home, I heard my name. My friends were walking to dinner. And before I knew it, I had spontaneous dinner plans. Without ever having to get in a car.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

My Pet Peeves

I have so many of them I don't know where to start. A few years back, I was reading the local paper in Cleveland, when I came across an article my uncle wrote about his pet peeves. I am not stealing his idea. I am always writing in my subconscious and thinking about how to communicate my pet peeves to people. Why not express it here? I enjoyed reading his article. I thought it was funny.

The interesting thing about this blog posting is that I realized that my pet peeves have changed since I moved to Madison because some old pet peeves have vanished. Below are my current annoyances.

1. I am going to start with the expression; "I can't believe." It's a stupid expression. And it is more annoying when people on facebook write "I can't believe my baby is three today." It seems that every mother posts that on their child's birthday. What part can't they believe? Is there some scientific phenomenon that I am not aware of? If I said I can't believe I am thirty, that would be a total lie. So much has happened in my life that I can totally believe it. Memories get blurry and life moves fast. A day can easily slip away. Believe it. Your kid is three. Nothing unbelievable about it.

2. Runners/walkers who are 100% oblivious to their surroundings. Yesterday morning, as I ran past a girl who was walking on the bike path, she decided to do one of those 360 degree turns and started to turn right into me - completely unaware that I was passing her. Maybe she needed to use a turn signal with her hand?

3. "We did good" sounds so uneducated to me. It's "doing well." You all know I hate that. We learned that in second grade.

4. Oh - this is my favorite one. The "I am so busy" phrase. It's all relative. We all have 24 hours in one day. You choose your priorities. I hate when people make excuses stating they are "too busy." What I feel like you are really saying to me is, "It's just not my top priority." So maybe say that instead.

5. People who ask me stupid questions referencing the demise of my parent's marriage. Mainly, "Do you talk to your dad/mom?" Just because they had a divorce doesn't mean we became estranged. I am a big believer that you can blame both people in any break-up. It takes two. So I blame them equally and talk to them equally. (I don't really blame them for anything - just that they probably married too young and my theory proves to be true here.)

6. When apostrophes aren't used properly. Specifically, when used with age and years. There is nothing possessive about it. I am now in my 30s. Why are you including an apostrophe there? There is nothing possessive about years, as far as I know. It is not the 1990's. It is the 1990s.

I hope you learned something today. If nothing else - what my pet peeves are.

Monday, April 5, 2010

The Etiquette of Social Media

With all of the technology going on these days, I think I need to lay the laws of the "dos and don'ts" of social media and there are many of them. My good girlfriend founded the Social Media of Madison, of which I am on the board. As an ever-growing phenomenon, let's take a look here.

1)As mentioned previously, one thing that I don't agree with is using a photo of your child as your profile picture on facebook. That is not you. That's your kid.

2) It is completely inappropriate to "friend" clients on facebook. Any professional relationships you have should not see photos that your friends tag of you at a dance club with a budlight in hand. Or a status update of your "announcement" that you hate your boss or hate your competitor. That is incredibly tacky and classless. (I suppose it is ok if you have them as a "friend" on a privacy setting....)

3) Do not make cryptic tweets/status updates on facebook. People who do that are craving attention. Updates such as, "Horrible news. What am I going to do?" doesn't disclose your update. It discloses that you want people to become immersed with your secret. Lame. (Now, if you post a picture of a baby and your update is "exciting day," we can take a wild guess...)

4) What is this whole thing about trying to gain 797 friends? I am working hard all of the time to minimize everything in my life. Including my friend list. Unless we are truly friends, I don't need to be friends with you. I already got rid of about sixty-five people. I am not trying to be mean. I just find it uneccesary and pointless. If I am not looking at your photos/blog/updates, you probably aren't looking at this.

5) Phantom blog readers. I know you're reading this. You tell me you are. But you don't comment. And then you send me an e-mail. A blog's comments section is for that. Your comments. Not my inbox in my gmail account.

6) People who use their work e-mail for all of their e-mail. Talk about abusing your time at work.

Get the hint? Now use in out in cyber world.