Saturday, March 03, 2007

More About the A-Listers
Mack at The Viral Garden has this to say about A-list bloggers linking to Z-list bloggers:

Hugh's [Gaping Void] exactly right. He has every right to totally ignore any blogger that's not an A-Lister.

But my question is, 'Why in the world would you want to do that?'

When you start deciding which blogger's content is or is not worthy of your attention, based on something as arbitrary as their link count, you aren't hurting them, you're hurting yourself.

Which goes back to my original question: "Why in the world would you want to do that?"

Every time I read something about A-List bloggers and Z-List bloggers, I'm reminded of the same language we use in the gay community -- specifically, the "A-List" gays. I've been to parties full of "A-Listers" and had no fun at all. They're usually not so friendly scenes, and sometimes rather painful to navigate. Filled with people who want you to look up to them, but not engage with them.

Of course, I'm making sweeping generalizations. And I could tell you stories about people who I thought were A-Listers, then entered my life in strange or wonderful or grandly emotional ways.

Still, it's interesting that the concept has taken hold in the blogging community, turning this wide-open space into yet another place where you're ranked by what are ultimately the same old standards.

So I say Hooray for Mack! Generally seen as an A-List blogger, he's helping tear down the barriers we all keep setting up between each other!

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Let There Be Light
Yes, this is still my blog titled "krooz." And yes, I have changed my blog design. For one simple reason - the black background was getting too oppressive. Although I did like the way the pictures popped against the dark. But I have to remember: it's about the content, not the pictures. (Unless I start a photo blog... which probably won't happen anytime in the near future.)
All About The List
"Do A-Listers have a responsibility to link to Z-Listers?" I think not. Even if you've got a huge amount readers, it's your blog, not the blogosphere's blog." Gaping Void

On the January/February Atlantis cruise, one couple caught quite a bit of attention at dances and dinners. One of the guys was tall, goodlooking, muscular, dark wavy hair. You know the type. The other one was good looking too - and much much shorter. You never saw one without the other. And the prevailing question among us all was: "What's the exact nature of this relationship?"

We came up with that question because they were odd, because we in the gay community are so used to seeing couples that are composed of guys who pretty much reflect each other. Bears with bears. Muscle guys with muscle guys. Young with young. Older with older.

We seldom see this kind of difference in one couple. And yet, it wasn't all that much of a difference, if you think about it.

And if you do think about it, you come up with: it's all about the list. At least, that's what I come up with. What list you're on dictates who you partner with. Who you link to. A, B, Z... Moderately handsome (though no slouches) forty/fifty year olds hang together. 19.5 inch biceps hang together. Thirty-two year old model/lawyers hang together.

When we'd run across this couple, the differences we saw kept us from believing that these guys were together because they themselves chose to be together - without a previously-arranged business agreement. The List dictated our conclusions. Tall guy and short guy? Not a chance.

Do A-listers have the responsibility to date Z-listers? I think not. The discourse on desire maintains everyone has the right to choose who they want. However, I'm somewhat disturbed in the pedestrian nature of my current thinking - and my willingness to believe only what my eyes see.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Get To Know Your Neighbors
I've lived in my building for about 15 years now, and I know that's a millenium in DC residence time. But I'm a native of this city, so it's my hometown. Oddly enough, though, in all those years, I've only really known one person who lives in the building. Everyone else, friendly for the most part, comes and goes so quickly here.

However, there's an online neighborhood where I should get to know my neighbors. I'm talking about 2KBloggers, and the eight bloggers bordering my picture - my 2KBloggers neighbors.

I'm 19 rows down and 4 bloggers in on the right side of the photo montage (there's over 1500 pictures as of today, so it takes a bit of downloading.) My neighbors, starting at the upper left corner and going clockwise, are:

Becci's Bungalow
Name: PowersTwinB. Partial to antiques, and addicted to vacation cruises (just like me!)

Flip Flop Floozie
Name: It's a Flip Flop World. Loves cats and exclamations. Hates Jerry Springer and Judge Judy (as do I!)

Fruit of the Spirit
Name: Debbie. Another cat fancier. Has a photo blog and a craft blog. Has combated her moodiness by getting a job - congratulations! (I would like to combat my moodiness by early retirement!)

Todd Biske: Outside the Box
Name: Todd (I think). Speaks in acronyms. Probably very good at math (quite unlike me!)

My Mid-Life Crisis -- The Official Soundtrack
Name: Bill. Great blog title. A procrastinating writer (just like me!)

Name: elke (I think). Ik denk dat iedere juf wel een kind kent dat rekenangst heeft. (Er zijn er nog meer!)

Corporate Presenter
Name: Jeremy. Resides in North London. Writes about an amazing number of things, not just "corporate presentations" as his blog title would suggest. Just got back from a trek to Africa. (I've never been to Africa.)

the badbadivy experience
Name: Ivy. Is thinking she needs anger management after reading her own blog posts lately. Probably knows all the words to the "Happy Happy Joy Joy" song. A self-proclaimed crazy cat lady (I'm surrounded by cats!)

So those are currently my 2KBloggers neighbors. I started this by searching, picture by picture, for bloggers who almost instantaneously let you know that they are gay (like me.) However, I thought to myself, why ghetto-ize my blog searching experience? Search out voices and lives unlike your own! Live the experience you hope others are living out there - finding blogs representing viewpoints not necessarily your own!

Of course, I'm still interested in how many bloggers with gay content (which doesn't mean "adult") are among the 2K... If we go with the 10% rule, that would mean there are most likely... uh... let's see... carry the 8... divide by 3.14...

Maybe there's another episode of Law & Order SUV on...

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

More on The New Money
(click here if you haven't read the first post on The New Money)

The Presidential Dollar program does have a PR and outreach plan:

1. Federal agencies and outlets dealing with cash were told by the Mint (and backed up by Congress) that they had to be able to handle these new coins.
2. There's a plan to raise awareness through education at the grassroots level, involving educational institutions, banks, etc.
3. A firm has been engaged to "leverage earned media and free advertising opportunities, low or no-cost public relations initiatives, and other creative publicity and promotional methods" to get the word out. Here's where the government plans to save money: "it is also the sense of Congress that the coins should not be introduced with an overly expensive taxpayer-funded public relations campaign."

My thoughts:
1. It's a proven fact that Acts of Congress are the best way to sell anything.
2. I consult my bank on all my purchases of food, clothing, vacations, and for things around the house.
3. Is it me, or is the best time to save money on a project before you market it? Like, deciding whether or not to go forward with the project in the first place?

Monday, February 26, 2007

Something You Can Always Count On
The day after the Oscars, you can always count on Tom Shales absolutely BLASTING the show in the Washington Post. And this year has been no exception. Nowadays, I dispense with watching the telecast, and just read Shales's rant the next morning. It tells me all I need to know.

For me, knowing how Tom is going to feel about the Oscar show is quite in line with Seth Godin's post "I'm not surprised."

If I was an Oscar telecast producer, I'd read the last twenty years of Tom Shales reviews before I put the next year's awards on the air.

My blog is worth $53,631.30.
How much is your blog worth?

That Many Presidential Dollars? Really?
A little over a month ago, my blog was worth $O.OO. I used the same program a few minutes ago, and now my blog is worth $$53,631.30. I'm sure being one of 2000 Bloggers has something to do with it. If I could cash it in I could make a substantial payment on my condo and still have money left over for my next vacation.

I've Been JetBlued
I've decided Jet Blue should now be a verb - as in "That company really JetBlued me." I've been having ongoing problems with my employment-based email service - and their customer service is usually inept. This Monday morning, more problems. I call them, and get a long description (i.e. 2 sentences, which is 500 sentences in customer service time) of why they can't help me right now.

What I wanted to hear: "We're experiencing a problem right now which may be causing your problem. I'm happy to give you my name and direct line, as well as take your name and phone number, and keep you posted on our endeavors to fix the problem."

What I got: "We're experiencing emergency power maintenance, and so I'm not able to tell you why or what is going on with your service."

"Emergency Power Maintenance?" What the hell is that?

After I hung up, I said to my co-workers:

"They JetBlued me."

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Mr. Where
Queer Sighted's post "I'm never going to find Mr. Right" addresses a problem not just confined to New York city... namely, the single gay man's lamentation on the lack of datable guys out there.

Post author Richard Rothstein advocates for us to get involved through gay and lesbian community centers, and he nails the reason so many men don't:

"Most of us know of but claim to be too busy or too cool to try the political, social or cultural organization route, but that, my friends, is where the husbands are to be found."

He's definitely got a point. Lately I've been pursuing the DC bar scene, mainly because that's where my friends (mostly couples) show up. And I've never gotten more than two dates out of any guy I've met in a bar.

Trouble is, I haven't had that much luck going the organization route either. And I've burned out on them. Over the past couple of dozen years, I've been:

A church-going member of Dignity Washington;
A helpline volunteer and youth group coordinator for SMYAL;
A Saturday-morning regular with Front Runners;
A coxswain for DC Strokes Rowing Club;
A bass in the Gay Men's Chorus of Washington;
A cycler in the Philadelphia-DC AIDS Ride;
A participant in numerous AIDS walks;
A 1999 award recipient from the Arch and Bruce Brown Foundation.

I've been to Provincetown, Fire Island, West Hollywood and Mykonos, sailed on four gay cruises, and spent countless weekends in Reho. I've alternated searching with giving up and not caring. And I'm chronically single. I've gone through numerous therapists, trying to isolate and treat the problem, but no luck. Is it me? Is it DC?

One friend, part of a couple, asked me "Are you happy?" I answered "About 50/50." "Well," he added, "I'm about 60/40, so being in a relationship doesn't change things all that much."

A fellow "singleton" claims guys are intimidated by me, because I'm solid, drama-free, and all about being "real" and "honest" (which doesn't mean "full disclosure) and "who I am." "They can sense those things in you, and it frightens them," he says.

"Actually," I answer back, "I don't think DC guys sense anything."

So is it the guys out there, or am I just too picky?