Archive for June 2009

Just Beat It

The year is 1982. I am 11 years old. I own a cheap, knock-off zipper jacket. I own Thriller on LP. I listen to it a lot.

Mind you — I was 11 years old. I think there may have been a law back then. “All citizens under the age of 14 must purchase a copy of Michael Jackson’s Thriller — or tape it off their friend — and spend at least two hours a day in a ridiculous and ultimately futile attempt to learn the Moonwalk.”

Yes, he was a messed-up freak, but who made him so? Besides, “Wanna Be Starting Something” is pretty amazing,

PS — this is like the 10th time in the last few weeks that I’ve found out about breaking news on Twitter before anywhere else. Farrah Fawcett’s death, Ed McMahon’s death, the whole crazy South-Carolina-governor-cheats-on-his-wife-and-goes-missing-in-Argentina thing, even the severe thunderstorm we had earlier today.

Don’t quite know what to make of that yet, but it feels interesting.

–lori

Baseball’s The Best Game Ever Played and Here’s Why

First of all, under ideal conditions baseball requires of its fans three full hours of sitting outside in the sunshine. And there’s not much that’s wrong with that.

For less than the cost of a movie ticket, if you’re lucky enough to live in a town with a minor league team, you can spend your evening listing to the sound of the train whistle, drinking a beer or three, a watching the giant Italian sausage race the giant Polish kielbasa around the bases between innings.

And since baseball takes a while to play, there’s a correspondingly relaxed vibe in the stands. Even the guys who’ve had a beer or¬†six tend to behave like colorful cut-ups rather than violent douchebags.

And finally — even if your team takes a pounding (as the Rochester Red Wings did last night to the Toledo Mud Hens) and even if you’re coming off a six-game losing streak (as the Phillies are tonight) — you have to work pretty hard to not have a good time at the ballpark.

Citizens Bank Ballpark

Take me out to the ballgame.

–lori

Blogs in the Age of Twitter

What happens to a blog when its creator moves on down the road to Twitter?

In a time of such interesting and important issues — energy policy, overseas reform movements, Project Runway leaving Bravo for Lifetime — this is hardly the most earth-shattering of questions. But as the increasingly scattershot nature of my blog updates suggests, it’s a question I’m still trying to figure out.

When I started Goddess of Clarity five years ago, it was the only manifestation of my “online presence” (and I couldn’t even tell ya what the hell an “online presence” was). Now, in addition to the blog, I have a Twitter account and a Facebook profile. I’m on Flickr, LinkedIn, and Ning. Even “old school” sites like Amazon, eBay, and Netflix have personal or “social” layers that encourage some form of community or communication among their users.

So where does the blog fit it?

If there is a continuum of the purely personal to the purely professional, I have always thought of Goddess of Clarity as purely personal. I made a decision when I started the blog to not write about work-related topics. I think that’s gotta change, and it’s been my use of Twitter that has led me to change my mind.

If we used to say that “the personal is political,” I think we can now say that “the personal is professional” (I first read that on Twitter, of course, but I can’t remember who said it.) In my professional life as the Web editor for the University of Rochester, it’s a good thing to inject a healthy dose of my personality into what I do every day and how I think and talk about what I do with others. That’s what Twitter has taught me, and it’s led me to re-think what I write about here on Goddess of Clarity.

So taking the social media “big three” — Twitter, Facebook, and blogs — here is my new breakdown of the role each plays in my “online presence”:

Twitter (@LoriPA) — mostly professional, with a healthy dose of the personal

Facebook (www.facebook.com/lori.packer) Рmostly personal; goofy stuff that would never clutter up my Twitter stream

Goddess of Clarity — the sweet spot in between; my take on events in my personal life, popular culture, and politics; but also professional issues in higher education, Web development, etc.

Of course, the number of people who care about this can be counted on the fingers of one clumsy shop teacher’s hand. But as I wrote in my first-ever blog post:

I’ve created this blog for myself really, as a way of making some sense of the jumble of thoughts that passes as my brain. I may already be overreaching.

By adding some of the professional into what has been purely personal, I hope maybe that Goddess of Clarity can be a little less of a purely navel-gazing exercise and little more of a contribution — however small — to an ongoing conversation.

And don’t worry: I’ll still watch the Oscars so you don’t have to.

–lori