Sunday, January 31, 2010

Twitter 101

This post is for all of my non-techie friends who have not discovered the wonders of Twitter.  The opening page at reads "share and discover what's happening right now, anywhere in the world," and "popular topics by the minute, day, and week."  Twitter requires that everyone post in 140 characters or less so information is delivered in short "tweets."  Where Facebook has walls, news feeds, photo albums and applications, Twitter is what's happening right now.  They are in competition as different types of social media, but I think they complement each other.

If you want to check it out, go to and there will be a search bar.  There are some nuances of searching on Twitter that you should know about.  Everything is shortened.  American Idol becomes americanidol or even better, idol. When people want to have a conversation on Twitter, they add the subject of the conversation to each one of their tweets with a hashtag.  (Have I lost you yet?)  A hashtag is a different name for the number sign so hashtag= #.  If I wanted to search for what people were saying about American Idol, I would search for #idol.  I am going to a conference soon, so to follow what people are saying about it, I search for #Blissdom.  Immediately after the earthquake in Haiti you could search #haiti and get up to the minute reports about what was happening.

Who is doing all of this tweeting?  Anybody, anywhere.  On the left of each tweet will be the person's profile photo, and every tweet will start with their twitter handle.  All twitter handles start with @.  My handle is @tsandjmom.  Since I have an account on twitter (anyone can, go get one!), I can follow other twitter users.  What that means is when I sign on, the tweets of everyone I follow show up on my page.  Your page is also known as your twitter stream, and it does move as quickly as a mountain stream.  I love the television show survivor so I follow @Jeff_Probst, the host of survivor, and he tweeted about @TheRealBuzz, Buzz Aldrin so now I am following him.  Seriously, Buzz Aldrin, how weird is that!?!  Since I have become more serious about blogging, I have been finding and following all kinds of awesome bloggers.  I need to have a post just for them because there are so many.  There is even @1stcot, the First Church of Twitter where they have a worship service online every Sunday.  You can find tweets about whatever your interests are!  My one caveat is that because this is anyone/anywhere tweeting you can find some very questionable and offensive things, so search carefully.

That my friends is Twitter 101.  Welcome to the Twitterverse!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

American Idol, Avril, Really?

I needed more than the 140 characters twitter gives me to talk about Idol this morning.  I am wondering what irritated Avril Lavigne the most about Idol contestant Jim Ranger?  Was it the fact that he is a worship pastor or that he has a lovely family that made her think he couldn't handle life as a recording artist? To give her a little bit of credit, hopefully she thought that he already had a lot going on and didn't need to add anything.  I loved his voice and while he isn't young and hot, this is the show that brought us Elliot Yamin and Chris Sligh, and let us not forget Clay Aiken.  Avril was just a disappointment as a judge.  I thought she might be feisty and was bummed that she acted like a bored child in the footage they showed us.  Thank goodness Katy Perry was there for the second day because she brought some life to the judges' table. 
My patience is wearing thin with the audition rounds.  Yet again they treat us to trainwreck after trainwreck.  It gets to the point that yes, I can look away.  I'll just dvr it and fast forward through most of the show.  Hopefully Hollywood week is coming soon, I can't wait to see what happens when Ellen joins the party!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Facebook Question, Should I comment on my child's page?

I am one of those computer freaks, addicts, fans that was on Facebook way before my children which has created some interesting situations.  I am also asked by other parents  how to navigate this world.  My first rule is that until they are 16 they have to be my unrestricted friend on Facebook.  If you are not on Facebook and your child is, and they are under the age of 16, I would highly encourage you to create a Facebook account or find a trusted adult family member or friend to monitor your child's Facebook activity.  So my son is on Facebook.  I have had to adjust to his overly zealous initial postings, reign him in when he has pushed boundaries, and help him understand the social media world.

My hope for my son is that his online persona will accurately represent who he is. He tends to forget that even though the "live feed" page moves on and information disappears from sight, that information lives on FOREVER in wall posts and profile information.   I try very hard not to comment on his status and activity.  Sometimes I have to sign out of Facebook to resist.  I don't comment on his status more than a couple of times a month, and I try very hard to make it innocuous.  I don't, for instance, remind him to clean his room or do his homework via Facebook. (even when he becomes a fan of ""No, they can't come over, this house is a mess!" "Mom, They Dont Care..."  )  I don't ask him about the friends who post on his wall and I say a private thank-you that nothing too out of line has shown up on his wall.  I don't want to abuse the fact that he has to be my friend! I also don't tell him on Facebook how much I love and adore him, I save that embarrasment for the carpool line!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Why a blog?

Why not?  Honestly that is the best answer to that question for all of us, but I do have a few reasons.  First, I love to write and this blog will help me(force me) to sit still for a little bit and write.  Second, I have too many friends who have no idea how much is within their grasp on the internet.  This is best captured by the expression on their faces when I say that I have started a blog.  A what? The internet has made our worlds so much more accessible.  When I read blogs and tweets I realize how small and how big our world is.  The reading and commenting I have done on blogs and twitter has made my view of the world a little wider, and I hope it will for some of you, too.  Third, I do have some knowledge to pass on.  My knowledge base has three areas I am going to focus on in this blog.  I understand young people.  I love them.  One of my gifts is that I am able to relate to young people and I am so grateful.  I am not forever young and the young people that I know do not think I am forever cool (on the contrary, they grasp my geekiness) but they do know that I understand where they are.  I hope that I can shed some light on young people and their world.  My next knowledge center is about nurturing community.  We all want to belong somewhere.  For some of us that place is our family, our church, our friends, our work, and some of us don't know where we belong.  I LOVE thinking about and examining the ways we relate in community. Last my knowledge is of the nerdy variety, particularly pop culture.  If you are ever in the Cash Cab you want me with you.  I have a wealth of knowledge that is only applicable in the trivia section!  Plus, since I love trivia I find all kinds of interesting things online- movie & book reviews, commentaries on current events and life, and my very favorite, how to save money!
I know I am going to enjoy this and I hope you will too.  For those whom this is their first blog experience, there is a button at the top that says follow. Clicking on that will keep you updated about what is going on here.  I hope you'll come along for the ride.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Who Are You?

I am a child of God, a woman, a wife, a mother,a daughter, a sister, a friend, a mentor, a volunteer and a geek.  I have found I am most comfortable in my jeans and a T-shirt wearing ratty old flip flops.  I do have a pair of black flip flops that are my "church flip flops" that remain in good condition, mainly because they are only worn on Sundays.  I am a mom like all others that would like to be able to do it all, but I have thoroughly accepted that I cannot.  I have spent years as an advisor to middle and high school aged young people but am still completely unprepared for my own children to be adolescents.  I think that so much in life could be solved by responding and acting with love, and I think I need to take my own advice.  I am very good at creating and encouraging community.  Long ago I helped my husband lead recreation at several Presbyterian youth events and we have continued to serve in leadership roles at youth events.  I work two days a week at a local toy store where my job title is elf.  No joke, elf.  Things I love: laughing, Disney, music, games of all kinds, the beach, the mountains, encouraging other people.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

baby, it's cold outside

Wilmington, NC made the Weather Channel's news item for having the coldest start to the year on record. We are by no means the coldest place, but we are not prepared for this kind of cold.  I have watched the birds and squirrels fighting over the food from our feeders and slide across the unexpected coat of ice on our birdbath.  I have been so worried about our porch cat.  We have two indoor cats (Lilo and Stitch) and one wild corgi (Sandy) and one cat that shows up every so often on our porch.  Porch cat appears to be feral.  It has one ear tipped and seems to be fixed(no one has been crazy enough to try to get close enough to know.)  Porch cat only shows up when the weather is bad.  We won't see porch cat all summer long then cool weather will come and there it sits.  When I drive off to take the kids to school, Porch is sitting at the front door, staring at it.  If we see the cat we will bring it a can of food.  We won't leave any food out on the front porch unattended because we have too many other critters here.  A couple of weeks ago, before the cold snap, Porch showed up painfully thin.  I was worried that it might be sick and didn't want to expose kids or pets to anything funky.  Fortunately Porch just needed some food.  We have figured out that Porch is sleeping in the roof of my husband's workshop and wandering around to the front of the house a couple of times a day for food.  This crazy cat that used to run away from us now greets us as soon as we open the door.  We were afraid that Porch might not survive the cold weather, too many people and pets lose their lives due to extreme weather.  Thankfully the weather has started to warm up.  Now the question is how long will Porch be around?

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Just call me Eggo

Name change AGAIN. I am flipping and flopping and waffling about this blog. Specifically, what to call this blog of mine. So we have a new name today. Hopefully this is it. This feels right. I live in a tshirt and jeans. I can dress up when I have to but I am at home in my tshirt, jeans, and flipflops. That is my official mom uniform. So here is where you will find me. In the words of the poetic Jed Clampett, "Y'all come back now, y'hear"

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Ten for 2010

I think it's dangerous to make resolutions. I think it's dangerous to speak them and downright insane to write them down. I am enough of a procrastinator that my resolutions last from a few months to a few seconds. So let's just throw away that word. Resolution. It's gone. I am going to write my 10 goals for 2010. GOALS (not resolutions) A girls gotta have goals, right?

1. assume identity of Positive Girl as much as possible (alter ego to be explained at a later date)
2. move more
3. get house in order
4. communicate directly with friends and loved ones, not only through social networking mediums
5. cook more (too much take out last year)
6. write
7. commit to less outside of my home
8. find a church home
9. spend individual time with my family members
10. prioritize

That was a little harder than I thought it would be. Goals I am going to be working towards in 2010. I'll let you know how it goes. Remember that while "write" makes the list, it only comes in at #6 so don't be expecting daily updating or anything crazy like that.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010