Monthly Archives: July 2010

From The Vault

I used to write a lot of poetry. Not because I was a tortured artist, because I had a lot to say. I don’t write much in the way of Creative Writing nowadays, but I thought I would dig out some of my old poems and share them. So, read on if you feel like it. 🙂

“I resist anything better than my own diversity, and breathe the air and leave plenty after me, and i am not stuck up, and in my own place” – Walt Whitman.

To Celebrate the View From the Past

3/17/2005

To those who I have never met,

Though the past brought you to my future,

I know now why you are there,

Nor what keeps you standing in my way,

Only that your grasp, your lockdown,

No longer has a place here.

It shall be dismantled with the force of a hurricane,

This hurt will no longer bear your signature,

The light that beams from this soft scenery,

will melt through the icy night,

the stream carves it own new path,

We will vacate the darkness,

Wrest from its hands: the damage, the control and loneliness,

It will be the greatest triumph over this manipulation,

This caution, your warning,

To heed it, your choice.

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Commentary: Blogs – Follow up

I wrote a post yesterday about multiple blogs and integrating content.

Of all that I said, I wanted to offer these stats… .

I have 26 blogs in my Google reader…..

1: Last updated 1/21/2010
2: Last updated 7/2/2010
3: Last updated 7/30/2010
4: Last updated 7/30/2010
5: Last updated 3/12/2010
6: Last updated 11/9/2009
7: Last updated 7/29/2010
8: Last updated 5/14/2010
9: Last updated 7/21/2010
10: Last updated 7/26/2010
11: Last updated 7/28/2010
12: Last updated 4/18/2010
13: Last updated 7/26/2010
14: Last updated 7/29/2010My Blog
15: Last updated 7/30/2010
16: Last updated 7/7/2010
17: Last updated 7/2/2010
18: Last updated 2/20/2010
19: Last updated 3/16/2010
20: Last updated 7/4/2010
21: Last updated 7/19/2010
22: Last updated 7/23/2010
23: Last updated 7/28/2010
24: Last updated 7/16/2010
25: Last updated 7/27/2010
26: Last updated 7/21/2010

One, was last updated in 2009 – Delete….
A couple have been moved to new blogs, but their last post from the old blog gives no reference to the new blog – Delete…
The couple of blogs that have been updated in the last 7 days? I keep reading. In the last Month? Really?

But, I’m just a blog reader. What is your SEO content doing if the last time you posted was 3, 6, 9, 12, months ago?

Commentary: Blogs

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act, but a habit.” – Aristotle.

I travel in circles that throw words around like “Search Engine Optimization” and “Hyper Targeted Content”. The focus is often finding some key words that you want your blog or website to be found by when searching the almighty “Googles”. But what I have found is that those people have 4+ blogs, with different URLs and very often post inconsistently. We all know that Google likes new food regularly, just like humans. When someone has multiple blogs with separate URLS and content that is more than a month old, what good is that really doing for your business. In so many ways you can segregate your data, pulling in all of that SEO market capital for one blog that you update. Here’s a new concept for the blogosphere: Succinct Data Optimization. How about you just post your information to one blog; I’m pretty sure your regular readers would appreciate it.
We talk so often about Social media and how you shouldn’t keep your public and private lives separate, so why do it on your blog?

If you’ve ever taken a sales course, you’ll hear this phrase: “We do business with people we like and trust”. Trust comes from expertise and trust comes from personal rapport. People will like or dislike you for what you have to say. We like people who are real, who have the same frustrations, who’s life may mirror our own.

I’m sure you’ll end up with more regular readers by being yourself – and the more people like you; the more likely they are to do business with you.

Think about it.

On This Day (July 25th)

On My Birthday, All these things happened. I thought you might find them interesting too!

On This Day: Sunday July 25, 2010

This is the 206th day of the year, with 159 days remaining in 2010.

Holidays
Feast day of St. Christopher, Saints Thea, Valentina and Paul, St. James the Greater, and St. Magnericus.
Spain: St. James Day.
Costa Rica: Guanacaste Day.
Puerto Rico: Constitution Day.
Tunisia: Republic Day.

Events
1832 – The first recorded railroad accident in U.S. history occurred, on the Granite Railway near Quincy, Massachusetts.
1866 – Ulysses S. Grant was named General of the Army, the first officer to hold the rank.
1868 – The U.S. Congress passed an act creating the Wyoming Territory.
1898 – During the Spanish-American War, U.S. forces launched their invasion of Puerto Rico.
1909 – Louis Bleriot first crossed the English Channel in an airplane.
1917 – Margaretha Zelle, the Dutch spy known as Mata Hari, was sentenced to death.
1943 – Benito Mussolini was forced to resign as Dictator of Italy, bringing an end to the Fascist regime.
1952 – Puerto Rico became a self-governing commonwealth of the United States.
1956 – The Italian liner Andrea Doria sank after colliding with the Swedish ship Stockholm, 45 miles south of Nantucket Island; 51 people died.
1978 – Louise Joy Brown, the first test-tube baby, was born in Oldham, England; she’d been conceived through in-vitro fertilization.
1978 – Schnik was Born
1984 – Soviet cosmonaut Svetlana Savitskaya became the first woman to walk in space.
2000 – A New York-bound Air France Concorde crashed outside Paris shortly after takeoff, killing all 109 people on board and four people on the ground.
2004 – Lance Armstrong won a record sixth Tour de France bicycle race, in an amazing comeback after his bout with cancer.
2007 – Pratibha Patil is sworn in as India’s first woman president.
2007 – Jeremy Clarkson and James May become the first people to reach the magnetic North Pole in a car.

Births
1844 – Thomas Eakins, American painter.
1937 – Colin Renfrew, British archaeologist.
1954 – Walter Payton, American football player.
1958 – Thurston Moore, American musician.
1967 – Matt LeBlanc, American actor.

Deaths
1843 – Charles Macintosh, Scottish chemist and inventor.
1973 – Louis Stephen St. Laurent, 12th Prime Minister of Canada.
1997 – Ben Hogan, American golfer.
2003 – John Schlesinger, British film director.

10 Things

Some people say I don’t talk about myself enough. I know, really? Me? Shy away from talking about myself? Strange, right? So I thought, for all those people, I would write this post for my Birthday, cause Birthdays are supposed to be all about you, right?

These are the 10 things you may or may not know about me.

1: My Favorites:

Flower: Carnation

Gem: Ruby (which is also my birthstone)

Drink (Non-Alcoholic): Sprite

Drink (Alcoholic) “Illusion Water” (Vodka, Malibu, Sprite & Pineapple Juice.

Song: Walking on Sunshine/Katrina and the Waves

Number: 33

Flavors: Mint & Lemon

2: Non Favorites

Vegetable: Brussel Sprouts

Food: Seafood (If it comes from the sea, it don’t go in me)

Smell: Lavender

3: I’m not a big fan of marriage, but if I were to get married, I would want to do it here… (Can you name the place?)
Wedding

4: When I was growing up, I wanted to be a Chef or a Journalist. Now I think I just love to Eat and Cook, and then tell people about it.
Decadent Desert

5: I came out of the closet when I was 15. My School was the First in Portland Public Schools to have a GSA-type club. It was really nothing more than a place where we kids could congregate and be accepted.My School also had “Cross Dress Day” as one of our “Spirit Days”. See:

Cross Dress Day

6: There is two teachers that really had a super substantial impact on my life, growing up. I think teachers like these are never appreciated enough. One is the reason I love to learn, the other cared enough about me to get me through my High School years. Frank Graham was my science teacher in Middle School. He was everything you would expect in a nutty science teacher. Sadly he was killed in a car accident in 2001. Lorena Dupree was a teacher I had in High School for many Food/Cooking classes. When I ran away from home at 16, she’s the one who tracked me down (though my friends) and convinced me that I should go back home and get down to brass tacks. I do not know where she is now.
New Bike Racks at Franklin High
(The above photo courtesy of Matt Picio, Used under Creative Commons License)

7: In 2002-2003 I ran for and won the title of Mr. Gay Oregon. A fund-raising title that requires travel and leadership in the state. During my year, my Miss and I raised over 15k for various charities. Here’s a picture of me then:
Many Faces Of Me
I was also the cover of the “Community News”, A newspaper in Salem, Oregon for their “Pride” issue.
Community news cover
8: I used to perform in the Rocky Horror Picture Show for the Clinton Street Cabaret. It is the longest continuously-running live/shadow performance cast of the movie in the United States.
Toast
Xmas Rocky Horror

9: I’ve lived in the Pacific Northwest all my life, I can’t imagine not living here. It’s beautiful. I love the rain, I’m not a fan of the heat or the sun. (Weird since i’m a Leo and was born in the summer, right?) I’ve only travelled to a handful of the United States (WA, OR, CA, UT, NV, ID, MN, WC) and only been out of the country to Canada. Though, I absolutely love Canada, the people there are so wonderful and friendly. I would miss the PacNW too much to leave.
SE cityscape
DSCN0741

10: I have some of the best friends in the world. Ones that fill me up when I’m running on empty, ones that make me smile when I’m brewing storm clouds. They’re all very special to me. But I have one friend, who has known me the longest, who knows me probably better than myself. I end this with an interesting story: In 6th grade, my friend Gina (Who was just barely my friend at the time, were walking home and we came to the place where we traditionally parted ways since she had to walk a little farther to get home. She had this “White Out” pen that she had been threatening me with, so I stole it from her and wrote “Hi Gina” on a stop sign pole. She didn’t want her name on the pole, so she made it into “Hi Al” (Quite a talent). Now tonight, on my way home, I ended up driving by my old house and came across that stop sign so I had to stop. It’s been 18 years since that day and I had to check, I was extremely curious… To my surprise, it was still there:
Hi....
It seems, Friendship, much like white out, is forever. It may fade but it never goes away.

Thanks for reading this far. I know it was a pretty wordy post and I hope you enjoyed learning just a little more about me. Here’s another picture, just for your endurance.

DSCN0719

Birthday Music

Every year for my birthday I burn a new CD of songs. This is really scientific, I put a CD in the computer and I ask the computer to shuffle songs from my entire music library to it. This year, this is what is came up with.

1: Bad Romance – Lady Gaga

2: As Heaven Is Wide – Garbage

3: Party All the Time – Black Eyed Peas

4: Fix Me Now – Garbage

5: Nothing’s Going To Stop Us Now – Jefferson Starship

6: Lyudi Invalidy – tATu

7: So Happy I Could Die – Lady Gaga

8: The Cheap Seats – Alabama

9: Tik Tok – Ke$ha

10: Nothin’ At All – Heart

11: You Gotta Get A Gimmick – Bette Midler

12: Strict Machine – GoldFrapp

13: I Like It – Enrique Iglesias

14: Bullet Proof – La Roux

15: La Vie En Rose – Michael Buble

16: Drivin With My High Heels On – Weird Al

17: Rockstar –  Hannah Montana

18: Tell Me Where It Hurts – Garbage

19: In My Head – Jason Derulo

And there it is. If you haven’t heard any of these songs, I suggest you check them out. 🙂

Tomorrow is my birthday. Hooray.

Review: December 24th, 9PM, EST (RENT)

I went and saw Stumptown Stages performance of RENT tonight. If you’re not familiar with the Musical, check out Wikipedia before you go on: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RENT

We're not gunna pay.........

A couple of disclaimers:

I am a big fan of RENT, I’ve worn out copies of the CD, I’ve seen it on Stage (Touring Cast) and I’ve seen the movie, documentaries and I know every song by heart… I can name those tunes in 1 note.

I did not pay to attend this production, I was a guest of a cast member who knows how much I love this musical.

What I liked:

Theater! Theater! is a smaller venue, maybe 50 seats, so it’s up close and personal with the cast. That’s kind of cool. The stage layout was fantastic for such an ambitious production. Sure it’s not Broadway, but setting the scenes are important and they did a good job.

My Cast Favorites:

Joanne (Lava Alapai): She was fantastic, in character, on time & key – I was excited to follow Joanne’s path through this twisted maze of story.

Collins (Jerrod Neal): So incredible, a great voice, a wonderful actor and really kept me wanting more from him. I’ve seen him in a couple productions, he could easily carry a lead and draw a crowd. Why isn’t he on Broadway?

Maureen (Alina Zisk): A great, true to character performance of Maureen. Pookie just rolls of her tongue – My only criticism? She seemed to fight with the songs to stay on tempo. But all in all, rocked the house with her performance.

Benny (Yohannes Murphy): I’ve seen Yohannes in a couple of Stumptown performances. While I think he overdid the Wiz, I think he was a perfect fit for this character. He didn’t try to take the character to new heights, he just gave a fantastic and solid performance.

Chorus (Many) Any time this company sang as a group, I was memorized. In the true spirit of RENT you heard the notes, the passion, the fire in each song. With one exception noted below.

Song Performances: While I had issues with many of the songs/characters, a couple songs jumped out at me as noteworthy. “Another Day” Roger and Mimi played great opposite each other, they seemed to blend in with their vocals and filled the gaps when needed. “Christmas Bells” Again, just an out of the park rendition of this song. “Will I” My dislike for the performance of this song is purely musical direction. The arrangement was modified to a little more uptempo and a vibrato soprano was added. This song is specifically memorable for it’s harmony as it personifies the general feeling of “We all have the same fears.” To change it and make it less than harmonious really detracts from the message and the moment.

Spot On Song Performances: “Over the Moon” (Moo) “Seasons of Love” “Take Me or Leave Me” “Without You” “I’ll Cover You: Reprise” and “What You Own” The musical’s showstopping Act One Signature Song “La Vie Boheme” was shaky in terms of synchronicity but well performed, a testimony to the strength of this Cast as a whole.

Performances that didn’t do it for me:

Angel (Tyler Andrew Jones): I just didn’t buy it, I didn’t hear the songs, nor did I buy the character. The one time I thought his voice was great, it was fed through a leveler. I think this person was mis-cast but I’m not a director.

Roger: (Stephen Miller): I give Stephen a little leeway as this was his Debut Stage Performance. I just felt that knowing the character as i’d seen it performed before, I just didn’t buy his commitment to the role. He seemed to be unsure of his vocal talents, which he has and unsure of his abilities. I think he’s got the chops, with practice.

Mark: (Clay Neal) I enjoyed Clay’s performance of Mark, I bought into this character. I just don’t know that he had the singing chops to keep up with the character in this role. He just didn’t seem to keep the energy of the nerdy, adorable, lovable, lost Mark.

All in all it was a good show. I left smiling and applauding. The first act really made me nervous, but the cast brought it home in the second act.

Stumptown Stages is performing RENT through August 1st at Theater! Theater! Located at 3430 SE Belmont in Southeast Portland. For more information Check out www.stumptownstages.com

What did the mass media say about this Production?

The Oregonian

Portland Monthly Mag

The Mercury

Thanks for reading to the bottom: You know you’re in a community theatre when you see something like this:

Please keep your feet to yourself.