Thursday, June 25, 2009

Nice to tweet you. Now please join my cult.

Yeah, I'm on Twitter (see sidebar). As you may have guessed, wordy me is having a hard time fitting complete thoughts into 140 characters. I am also completely stressed out by the pressure of coming up with multiple things in my boring daily life to tweet about. This doesn't seem to bother the majority of the twittersphere as much as it does me. Regardless, here I am, blogging about Twitter. And after this post is up, I will tweet about this blog. I'm pretty excited about that part--a tweet that writes itself. It's like a free tweet or a "freet" or a "#freet" or even a "#freetTM" as I like to call it. I'm planning to just continually cycle through blogging about tweeting and tweeting about blogging until I have woven an entire area rug of cross-promotion and self-aggrandizement. In fact, if anyone ever asks me for a "business plan," whatever that is ("uh... make money?"), the aforementioned area rug is exactly what I will offer up, only I will insert the phrases "grass-roots," "new media," "guerrilla marketing" and "the untapped potential of social networking" at key points for dramatic effect.

Another thing that really irks me about Twitter is the use of the term "followers." I like the "friends" I have on Facebook and also MySpace if I used MySpace (I don't). I'll give it to Twitter that "followers" is more accurate than "friends" in the sense that any term would be more accurate than "friends" for the hoards of celebrities, common folk and corporate entities that we twitterbugs are constantly soliciting. "Friends" conjures up images of school-sponsored clubs and whatnot. There are many appropriate situations for having "friends." On the other hand, if you have "followers," you are most likely leading your own cult.

Let's face it--is that not what Twitter really is, a collection of cults of personality? And Ashton (@aplusk) is Islam and Britney (@britneyspears) is Catholicism and Oprah (@Oprah) is Hinduism and nobody knows how CNN (@cnnbrk) got so high on the list other than saying "Ashton" every five seconds because it is not a legitimate celebrity worthy of cult adoration in and of itself.

And then there is me. As far as Twitter cults go, I'm like the leader of a rag-tag band of people drawn together from the fringes of society, peddling a combination of extraterrestrial life and the healing power of radio waves and the need to stockpile geese. The entire cult resides in my living room and we have a chore chart and we eat a lot of Minute Rice and, as the leader, my only chores are to eat Minute Rice and make sure everyone else is doing their chores, particularly those related to the geese. Years from now, the children raised in my living room will all go on to be indie actors, as everyone knows that acting is the only profession for which a cult-raised kid is qualified. Eventually, they will open their own Twitter accounts and gain more followers than me and I will constantly tweet about how I knew them back when.

So yeah, if you reach the end of this post and find yourself pining to read a tweet about it as well, please check me out at @rileynoehren. And follow me if you will, cause I definitely need followers.

I also could use a few friends.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

A Crisis of Commitment

I started this blog months ago without a real vision as to what it should be about. Having previously attempted to dedicate an entire blog to Vespas and failing miserably thereat, I knew I needed the free refill of themes--one that would provide an endless source of entertaining blogworthy material. As the intro post suggests, I initially planned to focus on my misadventures in self-publishing, but then I made the mistake of reading a few of the other self-publishing blogs out there and found myself anxious to dive into a lake of piranhas. As it turns out, I'm not the world's biggest proponent of self-publishing. And as it further turns out, I'm not the world's biggest proponent of anything in particular.

In other words, I've had a really tough time committing to a particular point-of-view to be expressed here. As with all things in my life, I'd prefer to keep my options open. As in, forever. And ever. And hopefully past that, but I don't want to get greedy.

And then I realized it: that's the blog.

If you don't know me personally then you only need to know this: I am severely normalcy-challenged. Like, I'm sure if I looked into it, I would find I qualify for all sorts of government assistance and/or voluntary exile programs. Fear of commitment is just a small blip on my extensive list of counternormal traits, but it is the one I will focus on in this post in a meager attempt to get things rolling.

So how bad is my fear of commitment? Unfortunately, my spinsterhood is only the tip of the iceberg. Let's just say I spent the majority of my twenties only owning as much stuff as could fit in my car should I decide to take off and leave from wherever to wherever's next in the middle of the night. Never mind that such a night flight never happened. Then when I graduated from law school and moved back to Los Angeles four years ago, I finally got my own apartment. For a month and a half, I slept on an air mattress, kept my t.v. on the ground, used an old folding table as a bar exam study station and had a single plastic chair from Ikea. A friend from school came to visit one night and we kept having to trade off sitting in the chair because the floor was so uncomfortable. I eventually got a mattress set and a proper desk but rather than furnish the rest of the apartment, I got a roommate instead who converted the living room into her bedroom.

Now I live in a bigger apartment and I have some legitimate furniture, most of it inherited from my grandmother. Yet after conducting a brief inventory of my belongings, I feel that it still falls short of what is normal for a professional in her early thirties. For example, I have three televisions and three desks, but I don't own a sofa (the Roommate has a nice one, though). I have two vehicles (counting the Vespa), but my mattress set is still on the floor. I have 4,000 pairs of shoes but no dresser. And did I mention the three desks already? Who has three desks?!!

The "sewing" desk, from Grandma S. Used to be big, brown and ugly. Hardest thing I've ever painted in my life, and I once painted a car.

The newest of the three and current fave, the "drawing" desk. Has provided ample support during my recent reunion with a childhood hobby.

Desk disguised as a headboard or, less-artfully, desk simply stored behind bed? You be the judge. This is the "spare" desk, kept on hand in the event of the failure of one of the other two or in the more likely event of need for additional desk space. Did I mention I also have two desks at work? I don't own them, though, so they're like close friends but not family.

Point is, my wealth of psychological irregularities, disordered priorities, material and pop cultural obsessions and little black book of pet peeves are, collectively, the giving tree of blog material. I will die before I will run out of things to post about and even then I will post about how embarrassed I was to die in the manner that I did and while wearing mismatching socks no less because sometimes you think people won't be able to tell the difference between navy and black when only a sliver of each is showing and most of the time you are only fooling yourself.