Saturday, November 29, 2008

QWERTY Keyboards Great for Texting- Not So Great for Trying to Dial By Letter

I haven't worked in radio for some time- geez, about six or seven years. It feels like yesterday. But at any rate, I felt it was time that I could actually call a radio station to win something. A local station here is giving away a holiday party- you qualify a few times a day to win a prize and then get entered in a grand prize drawing, yada yada. So anyway, I heard the Santa sounder and wanted to dial the station to try to be the Nth caller. When I realized my Q has a QWERTY keypad, I was in trouble. There was no way I could figure out what numbers spelled out the radio station name in time to win. Haha!

The other day when my computer was going haywire at home, I went to campus. My password to get on Wilkes was reset and saved on my home computer. I never memorized it, so I had to call the HELP desk, which is 408-HELP. I couldn't dial by number, again. So I called the main Wilkes switchboard and asked to be transferred.

Just a silly observation.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Forget the Sound, How About The Smell of Music

I had a nice little trip to the mall last night, ending with a massage from the new Massage Store, ran by authentic Eastern practitioners. (That's my PC way of describing the place.) I sooo needed a massage from my long work days and long work nights on the memoir draft the past few weeks- my neck and shoulder and arms were tight as hell from all the time typing and in the computer chair. It felt pretty amazing and I slept like a rock.

I stopped at Macy's to pick up another pair of Donna Karan New York -DNKY- jeans because they fit me better than any other denim product, ever! Love DKNY. I wish I had found them sooner. I also found a cute shirt to wear for the First Annual Turkey Day Pub Crawl, a term for tonight's festivities my co-worker coined. Then, I found this cute, gray Hilfiger sweater on sale 30% off!! Score.

On the way out of Macy's, something really cute caught my eye- adorable bottles of perfume with anime-looking character shaped bottles. The brand is Harajuku Lovers. I am a sucker for packaging so I perused over to the counter. I sniffed all the samples and found that I liked Music the best. Then I remembered that last week I spritzed on the last spray of Flirtasious, my previous perfume. I was in need of something new and I was in front of a very cute bottle that contained a very nice smelling perfume. So, I grabbed a tiny bottle of Harajuku Lovers Music for $25.

Today, I Googled the perfume to get a picture for the blog post and found that this is Gwen Stefani's perfume! This makes me extra excited because she's hot and talented and kind of a girl crush I have. The perfume was inspired by Gwen's first trip to Tokoyo in the Harajuku section, where people have their own style and attitude. The website for the perfume says Harajuku stands for "anything goes, outrageous, layered and eye-catching...." Apparently, there will be a float for Harajuku at the Macy's Day Parade... another Macy's connection there... The website is super cute and fun but has a lot going on and slowed down my PC.

Video from Non-Profit Summit 2008: Three co-workers and I presented at the Blog, Blog, Blog session

A few weeks ago, I spoke on a panel called Blog, Blog, Blog at the Nonprofit Summit 2008, sponsored in part by CDS Creative, the company ran by my new friend Catherine Shafer. The CEO of my company, Scott, an SEO expert from my company, Jeff (and fellow blogger), Catherine and I talked about all the advantages of blogging for nonprofits-- not to mention how easy it was. I had a great time! After the session, I was interviewed for the video presentation-- check it out. You must wait until the very end to see me, but there's a lot of good stuff there pertaining to managing nonprofits-- if you wish though, you can move the dial up to around 5:00 to see my interview and B-roll footage of Catherine and the Solid Cactus gang. Click on the video for the '08 summit.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Another Round of Funny Keywords That Brought People to My Blog

A few months back, I posted some funny keywords that showed up in my Google Analytics account. To those unfamiliar with the e-commerce tool, Google Analytics pretty much tells you everything about your site- where people are coming from, etc. I have it on my site just for shits and giggles to see how much traffic I get and how far visitors are from- but what I find most entertaining is HOW people find the blog.

There are some expected keywords, like my name (people search for me for some reason)- various spellings of my name and blog name, too. I also must have blogged about a few well-searched topics like Office Space, Green M&Ms being an aphrodisiac (about 40 different versions of a search for that appeared), expired driver's license and bars (almost 100 searches for versions of that), fecal matter in ice (about 30 different keywords phrases on that), lots of Pocono and Wilkes-Barre businesses since I blog a lot about what I do and where I go... But here's some strange ones-- somehow my content must have looked good to the search engines when people searched for:

are you supposed to rotate in a tanning salon
beer internet publicity tattoo (My comment: WTF?)
cats for cakes
cool laundromat names
dive bar dancer blog
donna l. white naked (My comment: Thank goodness is wasn't my name with naked!!)
elmo drink trucks
hoochies guitar
health issue, i smell a mold smell everywhere, my house, my car, my office (My Comment- that's a long search term!)
how to use a pooper scooper (My comment- freaking hysterical)
my cat is eating too much
my boyfriend caught me smoking
nightmare cat eating body
screw the banks
status orgasmus
where did okie dokie come from

Maybe I'm a complete dork- but I love this stuff!

Children Do NOT Buy Cars, So What's the Beef?

I subscribe to a few e-mail newsletters from Advertising Age magazine for career reasons- lots of great info on trends in traditional and new media. I learn a lot.

Today's e-mail subject line was: Parents Television Council's Worst Advertisers; CW's New Sunday; Macy's Windows; It's Ad Age's MediaWorks.

The article I would like to focus on is Parents Television Council Pillories GM and Nissan. PTI isn't griping about the content of ads, but specifically where companies are advertising.

I don't have children, and as a child, I was exposed to R-Rated movies and adult content from the get-go so maybe I just don't get the whole censorship thing, but I really dislike organizations like these. As Ad Age puts it, PTI is shaming companies who advertise on risque shows. They discredit GM for advertising on the "most shocking episode" of Family Guy and also, Nissan for helping "fund the bloodiest episode of Dexter."

So the F what.

Children do not buy cars. Adults do. Adults like me, who watch Family Guy. And guess what? I am a GM fan. I like to buy American. I kinda like the Pontiac Vibe, in fact. So therefore, isn't it smart that GM and these other companies are advertising WHERE THE TARGET DEMO watches?

Ads on child-safe programming should be for things they will beg their parents for, like dolls, video games, toys and Disney vacations. Keep the car ads on the shows the adults watch.

So what are the Top Ten Worst Companies, according to the conservative PTI? Loreal, Pepsi-Cola, GlaxoSmithKline, Reckitt Benkisser (I have no idea what that is), Target, Kohl's, Verizon Communications and Toyota. This strikes me as interesting because I made the switch from Coke to Pepsi a few years ago, I shop only at Target when going to discounters, love Kohl's and have a Verizon Phone. So you see, these companies effectively advertised to me by choosing the right medium for the message.

Guess what? People who like sex, drugs, rock and roll, violence and other risque stuff really do buy stuff, too. And judging from the morals of America today, that's an incredible amount of people. I'd say these companies are just doing some smart business. = )

Back to Normal- Normal as I Can Be, Anyway


That's a sigh of relief that my memoir draft is complete for the purposes of submitting it to the MA in Creative Writing Office, to then be sent to an outside reader. Of course, I still have a long road ahead of me to polish and rewrite and edit until it's truly ready to be submitted for publication. The past two weeks, I kicked it into high gear and just cranked out work. My housework as fell to the wayside, and now that I am done, I have laundry, dishes, floors to clean.

At so many points the past few weeks I've been inspired to write a blog post, but then my mentor's words came into my head. I was a slacker. I lack self-discipline. I think a lot of writers do. But the thing is, with her pushing me and me ultimately finishing, I realize that I CAN write something that long. I CAN finish a book.

Now, I can get to work on all the other ideas I have now that I know I can do it. And since I have no looming deadline or due date, I can get back to my random blog posts and get back to doing some freelance writing.

I have to say, too, that I am so super proud of everyone in my program at Wilkes. On June 22, 2007 we met for the first time in Breiseth Hall at Wilkes- all eager writers with lots of ideas, but not all of sure where we wanted to focus our MA efforts, which genre we'd choose, which story idea we'd run with. Now, TODAY, we are all dropping off our final drafts. Wow. I cannot believe we've come this far. Many of us (hopefully I will be accepted) will be continuing on for one more year for the M.F.A in Creative Writing. I just want to be part of this community longer. I am not sure that I'd start a new project, as I may continue to polish my memoir... choices....

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Reasons it Hasn't Been a "Daily" Dose

Last night, I received an e-mail notification that I had a new blog comment. It was from an anonymous reader who made the point that I now have an Internet connection at home, yet am blogging less. On the surface it doesn't make a hoot of sense. But, here's why.

I'm a slacker by nature, like a lot of creative people are. I realized that I was quite behind where I should be with my memoir draft- and with the help of my mentor I had to set a VERY aggressive deadline to get the draft done in time to graduate-- without having to take an extra semester. She made the comment that I blog a lot. If I had put this much effort each day onto my memoir, I would not be in this perilous situation. She's absolutely right. There are other, more personal reasons, I've been struggling with the memoir, but I wanted to check in and let the folks who read by blog regularly why I haven't had a new post in a while.

What's worse, is that as soon as I got my Internet connection- I was infected with something. I thought I fixed it- until today when the same thing happened. For that last hour and a half, I've rebooted six times. I think I am killing this computer in Office Space fax destruction styles. Or, if you watch family guy, the way Brian and Stewie destroyed the "Bird is the Word" record.

I keep the Internet closed, and Word up (haha, that sounded funny) to focus in my story. But the porn and loan and other advertisements still pop open. The only way to prevent this is to unplug my Internet. But in some cases, I needed research-- in going through the draft today, I wanted to add some stuff about George Carlin and "A Place for my Stuff" since that was a big part of my family's nomadic life. I wanted to get the wording just right, so I came to my blog where I had posted the video several months ago. That's when I realized that I no longer had flash. I tried to download it. Firefox wouldn't let me. Something must have happened when I wiped out all of my viruses and tried to increase my security settings. So, after spending an hour with help files, I got it to work. And that's how I came back to my blog- to see if the video was there. And then I decided, what the hell, let me take a break, vent and blog for a minute.

Please wish me well- I don't have much time to finish this. It won't by any means be publishable by next week, but it will have a beginning, middle and end and be able to get me to graduate. I have a lot of work to do to really finish this, but this is only the beginning.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Eating the Red Crayon

I just updated my Facebook status to let the Facebook Kingdom know how happy I am that the map is getting filled up with blue states. So, I wrote:

"Donna is liking what she sees so far on the map that's getting colored in on Now if a small child could just come and eat that red crayon, it'd be swell!"

Then, just out of curiosity, I did some quick but thorough research and I found a little baby named Maddie who has her own website who is qualified for the job. This litle tyke will surely eat the red crayon so no more states get colored in with red this evening.

She only likes red. She will safely protect the periwinkle, the Cerulean, the royal blue, the sky blue, and the standard blue.

And here's a little tidbit of Binney and Smith trivia that has nothing to do with the 2008 presidential election but really everything to do with the election: BLUE IS THE MOST POPULAR SHADE of Crayola crayons. = )

Monday, November 3, 2008

Don't Pick Trash This Election Day

A portion of Kingston Township in Pennsylvania is a whole lot cleaner, while a few co-workers and I are a little dirtier. I don't want to re-write the whole post, but you can read about the my company's Adpot-a-Roadway program here, and how a half-dozen of us volunteered the Saturday after Halloween to clean up some very strange litter. (Normal litter, too.)

However, what I could not share on my company blog was this photo. In a sheer moment of genius, I said to a pair of co-workers, "Holy crap, look at that big piece of trash. I've got that one boys!" So, I ran over and tried to bag it up. You can see it here, in Exhibit A:

Okay, so I didn't really steal the sign. Why would I incriminate myself anyway? But really, it's garbage. It's not even Red, White and Blue!

Consider this blog post a PSA. A lesson that the McCain/Palin signs don't belong in yards-- they belong in dumpsters.

Go Obama. Don't pick trash on Election Day.

Dude- if you're in e-commerce, this is the place to be.

Since I did not have Internet at home the past month, I was not privy to this lovely YouTube video that my coworker created from a collage of pictures from Solid Cactus E-Commerce Boot Camp, October 2008. For more information on upcoming Boot Camps, click here.

In the meantime, enjoy this little montage. I had to spread the word. And yes, I had fun as you can tell. = )

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Relief!! I Feel Like Me Again! Finally! Internet at Home!

The lack of Internet saga got even better. I was notified Friday that my Internet was ready. I didn't have time to mess with it Friday since it was Halloween, so I got to it Saturday. I was so exctied! I thought all I had to do was plug in everything and install the software from Verizon. No signal. I went through all the trouble-shooting with no luck. I tried it on the three jacks in the house. No luck. So, I called tech support. I explained to her that I just moved and was patiently waiting for two weeks for this date, and told her that I was unable to connect, and that the DSL light was not staying static green, instead, just blinking.

After hearing that, her first question was, "When was the last time your Internet worked?"

Duh! No listening skills whatsover. Then, she tried to look up my account info. She kept saying she can't find me. I repeated to her how to spell my name:


"Okay. I-R-C-O she said back," to which I corrected her again twice.

"I still cannot find you. Are you sure you ordered service from Verizon?"

"Yes. The number on the screen says to call you."

"Okay, it's T-A-L-A-I-R-C-O, right?"

I wanted to kill myself. She FINALLY got it right.

Then, she proceed to ask all the dumb questions like if my power was on (yes) and if I plugged the filter between the wall jack and the modem.

"No. I am not an idiot. I can follow directions, and plus, there is a huge red sticker on the modem that says not to use a filter between the wall and the modem," I told her back. "The problem where is that the DSL is not present..."

Thank goodness the call with her didn't last terribly long, but I was on hold for quite a while to get over to their dispatch department. I got to another lady who was able to help me. Luckily, Verizon has technicians that come out on the weekends. So, she scheduled me for Sunday, which is today. Chuck from Verizon just left and I know have Internet at home! The problem was that the inside line was not connected to the outside or something like that. A big thank-you to him for taking care of things!

So, I can now do all the things I couldn't do for over a month. I am so overdue on all those Facebook requests, e-mails that I needed to reply to that I didn't want to from my phone (takes too long), playing online word games, getting reconnected to WebCT for my MA at Wilkes, doing work from home, blogging, and more. I've managed to do some blogging from wi-fi hotspots, but no much else.

And the funny thing is- I am so tired from last night that I really want to take a nap instead of play online....