Saturday, May 18, 2013

Warren Buffett and Me, Rachael Ray and Michelle Obama

   First of all, my exciting news is that I can’t find anything to wear for my Omaha trip where I accompany my student, Max Wallack, to a formal judging – by Warren Buffett and his team – of his enterprise, The Bed Bug Exposing Device.


   I am very honored that Max considers me a teacher of influence and that I am able to be  part of his experience!

   If ONLY my closet were as effective in exposing appropriate travel attire as Max's invention is in exposing bed bugs.
Horror-Closet: photo, CGiven

   Meanwhile, it seems that while I was looking for a Spanx vessel with whalebone stays and elasticized gussets, I noticed another celebrity I like as much as Warren Buffett and Max Wallack… has cut her bangs. Oh, Michelle.

   Back when she told Rachael Ray that the new 'do was her Oval Office Version of buying a midlife sports car or bungee jumping, I applauded Michelle's bangin brand o' bold.

   Here’s the thing, though:  I had to have a friend send this breaking news to me in a private email. And as of last Thursday, Michelle and I had become Twitter Friends.

   How did I miss Michelle’s tweet to me about her bangs?

   Oh, I know. I don't know how to access a twitter feed.

   The only way I see that I have ever tweeted is when strangers FOLLOW me and I click on them, and THEN I can find myself.  It's like pre-latency erotic discovery. 

   Well, Michelle's bangs are gone and I for one could not be more confused.  Olivia Baker’s USA Today piece did not give specifics so I am left wonting.  Did she force-grow them out of her face with gelatin capsules and sinful thoughts, or did she hold her breath, concentrate and push?
   Which brings me to my photos.  See how they have photo credit, given to myself, by myself?  I learned that I should have been doing this all along.  
   I should have even asked Max Wallack for the official logo for his Bed Bug Detecting Device with a trademark sign if I had proper litigious phobia or a sliver of blogging civility.  And, yes, while there are countless images of Michelle Obama out there I could likely use on this blog, I am now too afraid of copyright infringement and prison.
NOT Michelle's actual hair:  photo, CGiven
In fact, I am officially afraid of my own blog. And all of this hysteria comes from recent efforts to develop marketing skills. Yesterday, I became ‘a registered community member’ of countless online support groups such as Bloggerz’ World Dot Com, designed to offer new bloggers free promo advice and unlimited exposure. They’re like the virtual version of Shoppers’ World, only more expensive.  More anonymous. 
   But some of their tips have already paid for themselves! For instance, I discovered that, unless I credit myself for my own photographs, I am committing plagiarism. Possibly assault.
   Also, while I continue to be unable to learn if I even HAVE followers due to computer disabilities acknowledged by Social Security, I learned that there are humor blogs out there that are so famous, you can’t ‘follow’ them at all.  I know, because I tried.
   ‘Following’ someone, I thought, meant you receive an email that a new post is up.  The weird thing is that I may only enjoy this stalking-convenience once I've entered my private email address into an Unsecured Stranger-Registration Prompt.
   Meanwhile, in a galaxy far, far away, there appear to be bloggers with such healthy 'follower' numbers, they do not need me to 'follow' them. Which means to read them, I have to Google their site, if I even remember its name, or -- God forbid -- have to bookmark it, which I’ll accidentally erase once I’ve searched for something embarrassing to my family like “building tolerance to Klonopin” or “symptoms of anal worms.”
   I also learned there are blogs with tons of followers that do permit new subscribers, but only through a process so intricate, I had to build an Exel Spreadsheet to cross reference the sites with related pass-codes and security-questions and back-up riddles like, “What was the name of your third-grade imaginary friend’s invisible fish?” I need to hire hackers to help me find these sites. Anyway, I store this data-base on my desk top for quick access.   
   Which means it's gone for good.
   If I knew how to make a screenshot of my schizoid desktop, I could show you my icon-and-folder mosaic. It’s so dense, my wall photo is obscured. The only visible portion of our family portrait on a waterfront dock is the heel of my son's foot, pressed to the corner of a pressure treated plank.
   But my self-marketing effort paid off, because I was able to find a legitimate site that allows people to post their work, spike readership and receive payment in advertising!   
   Hold  Me  Down.
   Having studied at LEAST two successful blogs for fully eight minutes -- of folks who garner income by publishing on this same site -- I thought, “How hard can it be?  I’m as good as MalamutePoacher and ILUVHOHOS.
   I submitted for review one of my finer pieces –'finer' defined by my blog's algorithmic code which lists it as 'Most Popular' -- and in less time than it took me to register with my blood and tissue type, my inbox contained their rejection email.
   Of greater trauma, it was a form-rejection, generated by code similar to that which originally flagged my piece as ‘popular.’ No human eye, in the traditional sense, had been involved in the rejection of my piece.
   I took heart once the auto-rejection letter mentioned poor formatting and lack of graphics.  Thank GAWDI I thought.  THAT’S the problem. I’d hastily cut-and-pasted it from this blog, without reformatting, so it had funky artifacts. Little squiggles and dots. I thought they added a unique je ne sais quois to my offering. 
Worse yet? I purposefully opted to NOT embed photographs or images. It took months for me to learn to embed photos and images onto my posts.  With fame and fortune a mouse-click away, I didn't think I had that kind of time. 
   So part of me was like... yeah, it auto-didn't fit their Greatest Hits criteria.  I'll just reformat it and find appropriate art and--
   Here's where the generic rejection suggested OTHER reasons my piece was rejected, to include the helpful reminder that proper spelling and grammar go a long way with readers. That, often, readers enjoy content with actual appeal. 
   “Why didn’t you tell me your standards were so high? I thought.
    This reminds me of a Model Lesson I once taught, after several successful final interviews. So successful, the admin-team demo'd my future White Laptop, explaining how easy their  grading software was.
   Without knowing their criteria for Model Lesson Success, I failed.  They expected me to Pre Know I must "Involve The Students, As Facilitators Of Their Own Active, Movement-Based Learning" within the first 10 of a 45-minute lesson. I had my kids 'participate' at the end when they took over.
   I could tell I didn't get the job simply by looking at the observing team’s faces.  The same five that previously regarded me with kinship and affection were obscured by mourning shrouds. It was a GREAT lesson I gave, but their own criteria – which they were not allowed to divulge -- spelled doom. 
   My online rejection was like that. 
   There was no ‘style-sheet’ given in advance. No rubric.   No advice like, “Read this sample we accepted in May of 2011.” Or, "Wait. You can't even find your own follower-count? Please unsubscribe."
   The most intriguing feature of this rejection was an invitation to try again, but only after this same site accepts a half dozen of my [far better] pieces to launch to their Greatest Hits Album. Centerfold-worthy articles where backlinks and hyperlinks and an actual lynx lay in wait to further promote me.
   This is like telling someone trying out for the Special Olympics that -- although you qualify, technically, as 'disabled' – you seem unable to paddle a canoe without your prosthetic limbs, which is one of our qualifying events. For you to EVER be allowed to try out again, you must learn to pole vault, crochet and eviscerate wild boars with your MIND after appearing as a finalist on Survivor Disability and winning, at least six times.
Max presenting his business-concept to Warren Buffett 
   And so I remain here, unread, unfollowed, no marketing tools -- and no fricken OUTFIT with which to meet Warren Buffet on Monday.  
Max & Carolyn before we meet WBuffett

Er-ahh... wait.   I may not have it so bad after all . . .