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Monday, June 27, 2011

Everyone's a star these days...

I watch the KTLA morning news almost every day, it's my favorite.  I love the local flavor and the silly, sometimes idiotic banter between the hosts.  Oh and this morning they had THE one and only Tom Hanks on the show, pretty impressive stuff.

Today Sam Rubin pointed out an interesting tidbit about how eventually it will be a rarity NOT to have been on television. 

With today's influx of reality TV and the virtual bombardment of non-celebrities and the lives they lead, it's no wonder that Sam's observation might in fact, be true. 

Long gone are the days where true stars were the only faces that grazed the covers of our flashy tabloids...Now the faces of our newest "Teen Mom" or "Housewife" are front and center on the racks of our local groceries and book stores. 

I am wondering when Hollywood will take back the reigns and start making quality shows again.  I know, reality TV is cheap and let's face it, we all get sucked in.  Who doesn't love a good episode of Celebrity Rehab?  With the unlimited show material out there, it's no wonder that any Tom, Dick or Snooki can land him or herself smack dab in the middle of the spotlight!

Kathy Griffin, self proclaimed D-lister (and my favorite comedienne) is one celebrity who earned her chops climbing the steps of the Hollywood stairs and she is STILL jockeying for her position among the A-listers, even with a reality show.  How is it that the "Situation" has endorsement deals for Vodka and Vitamin water and a gig on "Dancing with the Stars" yet Kathy is still peddling Snuggies and T-shirts at venues all over the USA?

For the record, I am not a fan of the Jersey Shore but I am a fan of the tabs and the amount of fodder reality TV personalities produce for us valued readers is priceless...I will give you that.  The antics are certainly entertaining but C'mon, real celebrity status?  For getting drunk, having sex and fighting...Oh wait, lest we forget our dear Charlie Sheen.  Winning~

I will continue to hope that quality television will once again dominate our small screens but until that day...Do you think they are taking applications for the new cast of "The Real Housewives of Orange County?"

My best to you and yours...

Ciao.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Silver and Gold

I loved camp, camp was so much fun.  When I was there 30 years ago...(Yes, you read it right), I learned so many songs and rhymes, many of which have remained useful tools in entertaining my children to this very day! 

Among the wacky tunes we learned, a few stood out that seemed to have held some true meaning and a little less goofy alligator chomping or bee stomping.

"Make new friends, but keep the oooooolllllldddd,
One is silver and the other gooooollllllldddd..."

Remember it, sung in a "round?"  Is is stuck in your head now?  Sorry about that but I do have a point.

This past week I was able to see a friend I had not spent time with in about 16 years.  Far too long but distance and life have a funny way of keeping us from spending as much time with old friends let alone family. 

So that begs the question, do we settle into our new lives making new friends with the people that surround us...neighbors, co-workers, parents of the kids on our kid's sports teams?  Will we forget those friends we grew up?

My answer is yes and no.  Of course we must forge ahead and make shiny new friends, that's what life is about and you can never have too many friends. 

On the flip side, we must take the time to nurture and reacquaint ourselves with our oldest friends.  Those relationships are the kind that shape the people we've become. 

Those friends allow us to be kind, patient and tolerant of others with differences from our own but will still call us on our crap.  They helped mold our beliefs and values and frankly, those friends are the ones that know us best.  Those friends are the ones that have seen us at our best and worst and like us anyway. 

With the power of the Internet and social networking sites, we are able to reconnect with so many.  We can keep up on one anothers' lives with the click of a mouse and still feel as though we are sharing in our day to day routines, even from 3000 miles away.

Cliche' but true, you can pick your friends but you can't pick your family.  I will say this, my friends are family.  In some of my darkest hours, my friends have been there for me, both new and old so I feel so fortunate to have met so many amazing people and I only hope that I can be the kind of friend that they have been to me.

Today my message is this: 

New friends are like silver tinsel: shimmery, fancy and fun. 

But old friends are just as shiny, and like a sturdy gold watch, completely reliable and strong, They just might take a bit more polishing in order to see the glow.

Hey, anyone feel like heading to camp?

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Does Tweeting make you a Twit?

I got super excited just now.  Places-to-Yoga asked to follow me on Twitter~why am I so excited you might ask?  Because they are ONLY following 16 people and have some 1800+ followers so that's kinda cool! Makes me feel like they are really interested in what I have to say!

The last time I got this excited about Twitter was when Emilio Estevez requested to follow me.  It wasn't until I saw that he pretty much asked anyone who followed him if he could reciprocate...Ah the let down.  Anyway, he does follow me and after all, he IS related to the man with Adonis DNA and tiger blood so I guess that is a plus.

I'm still waiting to hear back from Deepak Chopra.

So that gets me thinking...Is this new wave of social networking going to completely take over?  Will we ultimately get stuck to our computers with no actual human contact, save for a trip to the market or a restaurant? Will social networking sites determine how many "friends" we have? 

In any case, I am hoping that this means of interaction doesn't replace good ole' fashioned conversation.  It's a staple in my life and while I can't knock media, I think of many times we could do better without it.  Having a degree in communications, I realize that my line of work depends on all sources of media, however I have sort of a grass roots notion that human interaction is a far better way of conveying thoughts and emotions than an email, text or tweet!

That being said, I do believe that social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and the now somewhat defunct MySpace, have allowed so many people, businesses and organizations to promote their products and messages at  little or no cost.  Where else can someone have their own free Web page with access from just about anywhere?  Except for the occasional hacker hijacking your email, it's a small price to pay for significant rewards.  Facebook and Twitter have most certainly paved the way for the future of social networking sites.

As an aspiring writer, I am using both Twitter and Facebook to promote my blog.  How can I question the validity of the primary means in which I share my work?  Well, because some day I hope to actually write a whole entire real book.  One that will be published on paper and not only available at iTunes and Amazon.com but on the shelves at Barnes and Noble!  And I would like to go on a book tour.  Without actual books, what will I sign, headshots?  Well I guess that could work...(tee hee).

My son told me that books were becoming obsolete.  He says that all of the "scientists" are predicting that books are in fact, going the way of the dinosaur.  "Good" I said, "Then I guess I've got a jump start on collecting and they oughta be worth something one day!"  Of course most of his sources are from WikiPedia, YouTube and the Discovery Channel so I wouldn't completely rule out that his "sources" are a tad bit unreliable.

Well until the day comes that all books are electronic, I will cherish and love my hard covers and paperbacks and I will continue to post my blog and promote it through all available means, be it electronic or through face to face contact!  I will not give up hope that some day our worlds will be united and the Kindles and Nooks will walk freely with the humans...

Seriously folks, I just want you all to know that I do appreciate your following my writing and I will continue to shamelessly self-promote right here on this very Web page, Facebook and Twitter. 

You can find me on Facebook at Darcy Davies-Alsop or tweeting at @DarcyAlsop...

So, I guess you can consider me at Twit.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Critics, Awwww Who Needs 'Em! Me, I guess.

I love my Grandfather.

My relationship with my grandfather has always been interesting.  It's a generic term but that might be the best way to describe our dynamic.

He is ornery, snarky and full of piss and vinegar.  He's also loving, caring and an American hero.  He's seen the world and has very definite opinions about it.   His opinions also include ideas about my opinions and writing.

I've always respected and looked up to him.  We both have very strong personalities and sometimes we disagree. Much to his chagrin, I've always held my ground when it comes to taking a stand for what I believe in. 

I learned that from him.

Any aspiring writer always looks for the most intriguing subject matter so when I was in 7th grade, I wrote a biography paper about him. Not my best work and some parts might have been a bit shaky but I still earned an A.  Maybe that's why he's my toughest critic.

Fast forward 25 years...When I asked him to read and follow my blog, I got an email response.  It was not what I expected although maybe it should have been.  He told me that it was "not bad" but that he "lost interest" and "I could do much better..." You get the gist.

I've got to give him credit, at 87 he's quite computer savvy and has been since his early 70's. Except for the occasional political spam he might forward, he communicates very well via email.

I'm not going to lie, of course it stung a bit.  In fact, so much so, that night  I woke up at about 3:00 a.m. more than slightly hurt and annoyed.  But then again, I did send him the request to read and follow me, right?  I should be more than open to criticism, no matter how much it might sting.

That said, I know that his intentions were to inspire me and to get me to step up my game.  If it weren't for the nature of our relationship, I might have told him to take a long walk off a short pier.  Instead, I licked my wounds and for better or worse, am trying to consider the source and not take it too seriously. 

Perhaps I should take it seriously though.  Maybe senior citizens are not my target demographic but I need to remember that each idea I share or story I tell could use a little extra spice.  I should be able to engage every reader at every age so that proposes a dilemma... 

Do I conduct focus groups on specific topics from Dr. Suess to what's happening on 60 Minutes?  Do I treat my blog like it's a public relations campaign?  Do I need to create surveys using random samples and then apply statistical analysis?  Hmmmm, quite a quandary.

Nah. The bottom line is this, I write for me and I aim to please.  If I am lucky enough to make someone laugh or inspire someone else, well that's just gravy. 

So Grandpa, if you are reading this I hope it's kept your interest and know this: 

I will continue to do my best and I trust that you will continue to be my biggest critic, and perhaps one day, even my biggest fan.