Saturday, March 17, 2012

Twitter followers falling by the wayside. Calling Dr. T.W. Itter!

I'm developing a Twitter complex and there's very little, it appears, that I can do to remedy the situation.

"So tell us Eleanor," Dr. T.W.Itter, Psychiatrist, DFS (dropped follower specialist) would ask if consulted about the complex, "how did this come about?"

At which point I would answer Dr. T.W.Itter, "well y'see doc - a while back I decided to sign up to Twitter as a means to communicate with others who share my interests, and to pubicize my blogs. I have a lot of blogs, y'know! Seven in all!" I would answer him.

"Ahhhhh - seven blogs, Dr. T.W. Itter would comment, while scribbling notes madly on his pad. "So why do you have so many, anyway? Most people have one...two at the most."

"I'm a person with varied interests," I would state matter-of-factly while explaining my rationale for seven blogs. "One to rant and rave and comment about life...another for my art...and so on. But can we get back to the reason for this consultation?"

"Refresh my memory - why are you here?" Dr. T.W. Itter would ask.

"I'm dropping Twitter followers again," I would explain forlornly. "One minute people are following me and suddenly, they start dropping me like flies sprayed with Raid."

" you think it's something that there's something wrong with your tweets, possibly?" he would or could ask, which is a logical conclusion.

"I doubt it. I mean, I'm beginning to think that I'm - you know - well...boring. People are intrigued to see what I'm all about and once they do, they decide my tweets aren't interesting."

"Hmmmm....dropped followers. Yes. This appears to be a common complaint among Twitter-ers but there could be another explanation," he would suggeset helpfully. "It could be a technical glitch for this occurrence. Have you tried contacting Twitter?"

"Not yet - that has happened in the past. A Twitter technical bug reversed my followers and followees. Lost quite a few as a result of that," I would elaborate.

"There is also another possibility worth considering," Doc. T.W. Itter would offer. "As much as this hurts me to have to alert you of a practice observed by some people, I feel I must. Some people may follow you just so you will follow them back and then when you do - they drop you and your Twitter count. That will be umpteen dollars. Pay the nurse on your way out."

"But doctor," I would protest, "this is not a way to boost my confidence! "what should and could I do to change this upsetting situation?"

"How would I know. I'm a pyschiatrist - not a Twitter expert," he might comment. "By the way - do you follow me? I'm on Twitter too. If you follow me, I'll follow you. A follower is a follower is a follower."

Everybody's got an angle!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Social tips for social people in the social season. Debrett's knows all!

The social season is on the horizon necessiting some basic table etiquette. When it comes to everything and anything concerning dining and manners in  general, Debrett's is the source to consult for advice on the how'to's of eating and conversing at the table.

Seated at a table and once food has entered the mouth, it is important to keep the food within one's mouth with lips closed to prevent other diners from seeing saliva-drenched, chewed-up food. There is nothing more blechy than having to watch - and listen - to a diner carrying on a conversation as food goes down.

Debrett's also suggests to eat at a relaxed pace (whatever that is) and really think about the food. Pondering further about this, one wonders how long one should allow for these thoughts. One minute...three minutes...what is the norm? Should one stare at the food or just glance down between mouth-fulls? Anyone know? But I digress.

- In as far as conversing with fellow diners, Debretts advises that this should be avoided at all costs and avoid directing a question at someone who is in mid-mouthful.

"A smile and an understanding nod will encourage them to swallow without rushing, spluttering or making sheepish gestures."

Really - this is not too practical in my opinion. The idea of dining out with people is to communicate. So big deal - an occasionial spit-up-morsel slips out. One can always take a napkin, dip it in water and wipe away the saliva off the recipient(s) clothing or person and offer an appology.

"Oh - so sorry. Got a little excited telling the story. Here - let me wipe that away," can be offered by the spitter to the spit-ee. But I digress - again.

- One should wait until everyone is served before starting to eat. This has always been a bone of contention for me. On occasion dishes do not arrive at the same time resulting in cool-ish food for the first served. I mean - first served - first finished, necessitating a waiting period until the last person finishes. A solution to this dilemma is to ask the waitress/waiter to keep the food warm until the last person receives her/his meal. That's why they have warming lights, right?

- When it comes to serving tea - this is where Debrett's really has it down pat. A tea pot is handy when serving tea to a group of people, Debrett's shares. Now the rule of thumb is, if a waitress/waiter/host places a teapot on the table without pouring the tea, the person nearest the pot should pour for everyone. This leads one -me - to wonder whether it should be the person on the right or left of the teapot that should handle the pouring honors. Perhaps a coin toss could decide.

- The handle of the teacup (or mug one assumes) should be held between the thumb and forefinger. It is not necessary to hold one's little finger in the air. Biscuits or cookies should not be dunked in the tea. Why - who knows. Neither should tea drinkers make slurping noises.

There is nothing mentioned about what to do if one burps or even how to prevent a burp from escaping from one's mouth. Should an apology be offered? Something to the effect: "oh sorry - I burped." Or should a burp be ignored? Another perplexing issue is how to retrieve a piece of food caught in the teeth. Inserting a finger or nail in the tooth is just not socially acceptable, nor using a toothpick. Neither is filling one's mouth with water and spitting it into the glass. Another issue that springs to mind is the usage of a napkin tied around the neck when eating things like tomato and pasta. Under what circumstances (if any) is it correct to use this? Speaking of napkins, is there any rules regarding the usage of paper napkins to blow one's nose?

These are important issues to ponder!

So now I'm wondering about coffee aficionados. To the best of my knowledge, coffee lovers pour their coffee into a mug, add cream/milk and drink. Sometimes life works best without rules but when guidelines are necessary, we can always consult Debrett's.

Monday, March 05, 2012

Stories that make you think and say, "huh?"

The Internet is a great source of stories focusing on - how shall we say - the unsual but always interesting side of life. Being a generous writer, I'm sharing some that are a fun read.


There are crushes...and then there are crushes but this love- from- afar takes the cake.

A woman living in Leeds, England, is convinced that she has found true love. This in itself isn't unusual or earth-shattering but the love of her life and object (in the true sense of the word) of her affection is - wait for it - the Statue of Liberty. You read it right: Lady Liberty herself.

The woman, who lives in Leeds, England, can't stop thinking about the - um - statue. According to the piece in The Sun newspaper, she has been attracted to inanimate objects throughout her life and as a student, was enamored with a drum kit. There is a medical explanation for this unusual attraction called, objectum sexuality, in which people fall in love with objects rather than real people. This makes one - me - wonder about this condition.  I mean, I really like chocolate mint frozen yogurt but wouldn't go as far as to say I'm madly in love with it. Then there's this big thing for purses and shoes...and of course jewelry... But I digress.

It was a case of love at first sight for the woman after she saw a photo of  "Libby", her name for the statue, posted online. In additon, she has visited the statue in person four times, stroking it and leaning out of a window to kiss its "hair." She did think about marriage at one point but dropped the idea "because so many others love her too". Not in the same way of course...

In her home, she has set up a shrine as a visual reminder of her "Libby" replete with a six foot replica, along with smaller models, ornaments and very large U.S. flags.

"Other people might be shocked to think I can have romantic feelings for an object, but I am not the same as them," she explained.

To say the least.


Residents of Tokyo, Japan, could run into an unusual feathered friend who has flown the coop from its home in an aquarium. He was last seen taking a dip in a nearby river.

The young one-year old Humboldt penguin, who managed to scale a net twice its size, was spotted by an employee of another zoo who contacted the aquarium. This leads one - me - to wonder the reason behind his escape. Was he feeling crowded among the 134 other penguins or perhaps he didn't care for the fish being served, or maybe he saw the movie, "Happy Feet" and was heading for Hollywood to be a star! Go know!

Meanwhile the aquarium is asking Tokyo residents to keep an eye out for the escapee. Maybe they should keep a few cans of sardines in water around, just in case.


I dunno. Given the state of the world these days, this really makes you wonder, "why?"

A British couple has spent more than $13,000 on a tummy tuck, facelift and other procedures on - wait for it - their pet pooch over the past two years. They had the surgeries performed on their 5-year old dog, Junior, to save him from blindness. The pooch has a rare disease that causes excess skin to develop on his body that results in mobility difficulties and unable to see due to skin flaps that grew over his eyes. This in itself is understable although some people would wonder about spending $15,000 on their pet, especially since some of the ;procedures were cosmetic.

Pet plastic surgery has grown in popularity over last last few years. Performed nose jobs have risen 25 percent over three years totaling $2.5 million, with another $1.6 million being spent on eyelifts. I wonder if they use doggie botox.

Plastic surgery for dogs... Hmmm.... Meanwhile, here are some before and after photos of Junior:

So - whad'ya think? Notice a difference?