Quoted in the Diva’s Diary

Barbarella‘s vlog on YouTube plugging her latest column of Diary of a Diva in the San Diego Reader.

This week in the San Diego Reader, I am quoted by Barbarella, the stylish blogger and columnist, in her latest entry of Diary of a Diva. She uses a snarky little tweet of mine to grab the reader’s attention in her discussion about online social networking where she compares it to the water cooler conversations at work, but with a little more control. You know, those conversations we all love to have on Facebook, Twitter, and even MySpace. Often, when people ask those of us who use social networking what they are about, we’re often hard pressed to explain, especially when it comes to Twitter, and Barbarella does take some time to explore that issue.

Barbarella, I enjoy your stories and your witty contributions to the online conversation. Thanks for the quote.

#SDTweetup @The Pearl Hotel

Last night, I went across town to the San Diego Tweetup at the Pearl Hotel in Point Loma. Like many of the past tweetups, this one was organized by Jennifer Van Grove, also known as @jbruin on Twitter. I’ve only been to the Tweetup earlier this month (held at the W in Downtown) and the one last night, but both were done with great style. Swank venues and sponsored free drinks, especially the ubiquitous martinis/cosmopolitans, helped make for some very memorable evenings.

Many local Twitterers, or Tweeps, were present, including @DowntownRob, whose business WebWizards Web Hosting was one of the sponsors of last nights event. He’s done a lot for the local online community, as he’s also an organizer of the San Diego Blogger’s Meetup.

One interesting feature was the Twitter Board, a screen where various tweets were projected. Many people present had their iPhones, including yours truly, and we were all standing around and posting. Oh, I shouldn’t forget about the Crackberries and the other kinds of mobile phones. Those were present as well.

I got to see a few people including my new friend Gio (@giographic), and Daniel Phillip (@danielphillip) and his partner Richard Allen (@richarchallen). I also got to meet up with Eileen (@eyemusing), whom I’ve been trading tweets about what I call the “fashionista trainwreck shows” and Alan (@awanisAlan). I had some good conversations with Tom (@big_perm) – thanks for the beer – and a brief chat with Richard (@richandcreamy), who went around taking pics of the party. Good times.

I was hoping to meet Shindy.TV at the tweetup but that never happened. I don’t doubt they were there, but I was talking to various people and just didn’t get around to meeting them. It would be fun for Shindo to meet Shindy. It’s gotta happen sometim in the future.

Thanks, Jennifer, Rob, Newsforce, and Engine Ready for making this Tweetup possible. It was awesome!

I now look forward to the Blogger’s Meetup later in October.

No More Memes!

I will officially ignore memes from this point on. I’m not fond of the sense of obligation they create. The e-mail versions often promise luck and such for answering and forwarding to others. Sending them back to the sender should make them feel special, especially if the chain is about love or friendship. The blog versions have the element of a chain letter, but people often get tagged specifically. I’ve often ignored the e-mail forwards, but I’ve done my part with a few blog memes… until recently.

I didn’t have an agenda or anything when I broke two memes a few months ago. I just wasn’t posting.

I have no supernatural consequences hanging over my head. However, if I don’t do the meme after I’m tagged, does it mean that I am uncooperative and unfriendly?

I hope not. Friends, do not take it personally if I don’t keep up the chain or the viral replication, etc. No doubt you are thinking of me whenever you tag me, but there’s got to be another way to show me you love me.

Perhaps if the meme appeals to me, I’ll do it. However, some people simply need to get over themselves at the source. Stop writing these inane personal trivia question sets. I won’t do them when it’s my turn.


I recently noticed Brian and Fredo have stopped displaying blogrolls. Whether this is temporary or permanent, this trend made me think about clutter on the blog. After migrating to my own web server and using WordPress, I didn’t want to deal with dedicating space to things not completely germane to my blog. No badges, humongously long lists, web/blog rings, directory and feeds chicklets, or any other shiny widgets. Even though it’s all about me on ShindoTV, I didn’t even want the meta-profile (links to Facebook, Flickr, GoodReads, etc) to take up more room than they should.

Regarding the blogroll, I didn’t do away with it. I just found a more appropriate place by creating a good, old-fashioned links page (see channels). As for the meta-profile, I placed it in both the channels page and the one about me.

Housekeeping should be much easier now that I’ve found a place for the guests’ shoes.

Note: I have made an exception for Twitter, but that’s it! (Well, maybe, but not enough to make some awful mess!)

Vintage ShindoTV: The University Years

I thought my website on the University server was lost forever. Naturally, after I graduated, my computer computer account was deleted a year later. Not that I really cared, but some of my writing files were on that incarnation of ShindoTV, and recreating those files can be a bitch. I don’t like to type things over if I don’t have to. Unfortunately, I don’t have a secretary so I really don’t have a choice in the matter. I found all my fears and anxieties were unfounded — there’s an internet archive that keeps track of most of what’s put on the web.

Here is the archive for my website on the university server.

Here’s the mirror site on my personal computer account during the university years.

Someday, this blog will be stored in the Borgified web archive. I remember Seven of Nine saying something about when a Borg dies, they live on the collective memory, so that what I feel has happened to my dead websites.

Click on the links if you want to see the early millenium models of ShindoTV. Better yet, enter in your web addresses into the Internet Archive.

What The Hell Is Up with .Mac?

Being an Apple user, I got suckered into having a .Mac account when I bought my iBook. Perhaps suckered is a strong word, as I thought (and still think) having Mac in my e-mail address is cool. My main beef with them right now is how they are “improving” the .Mac site. Last week, when I logged on to use my e-mail on the new, improved .Mac, I couldn’t access my e-mail at all on the webmail site. I had to log into the account section and then click “mail.” The bugs seemed to be worked out until this morning. I can’t access my e-mail on the webmail site, so I’ve had to resort to setting up Gmail to access my e-mail.

Perhaps the answer is as simple as getting a new computer, but that’s not in the budget right now. Well, I can still dream.

Poetry Dot Scam

Sometime ago, I quickly typed up a poem and submitted it to Poetry.Com for the hell of it. I soon forgot about it until I got an envelope in the mail a few days ago. They were willing to spend $0.33 using a Pitney Bowes machine to send me a congratulatory letter that was too good to be true:

Dear Shinichi,
I am delighted to inform you that your poem “Untitled” has been awarded our prestigious Editor’s Choice Award because it displays a unique perspective and original creativity — judged to be qualities found in exceptional poetry. Congratulations on your achievement.

Sounds wonderful. Very saccharine. Here’s the catch:

Your poem is also featured in a deluxe hardbound edition, which, as expected, will soon be sold out. We have, however, reserved a limited number of copies that are now available only to poets included in this distinctive volume. Because you are one of these poets, and if you haven’t already ordered a copy, or wish to obtain additional copies, this is your last opportunity to do so.

Okay. This volume is so hot that everyone and their grandmothers are out to buy it. Poetry lovers everywhere are just dying to have a copy. But here’s what’s really good: I’m not going to get two free copies. I have to pay to receive what has now universally been accepted as a payment to a writer for submitting to a publication. I’m so in love with myself as a writer that I will jet and wet myself like the Bellagio fountains just to have two hardbound copies containing something I wrote.

Yeah, right! Here’s a breakdown of how much it costs to order these illustrious tomes:

One Copy……………………$49.95
Two Copies………………..$80.00
Half Case (6 Books)…….$199.00
Full case (12 Books)… ..$369.00

I’m not finished. It gets better:

Oh, and one final note. Many people have asked if we can make available a commemorative plaque to present their poetry in formal fashion. We are so glad to be able to do this. Your poem can be beautifully typeset on archive quality vellum with your choice of borders, then mounted on a walnut-finish plaque under lucite. The 10 1/2 by 13 inch plaques are truly impressive ways to exhibit your work. They also make wonderful gifts. Please see the enclosed material for further information. Again, congratulations on your achievement.

The letter ends there. No closing with Sincerely, Very Truly Yours, etc., no signature from the editor. The letter only fills one half of the paper and an Editor’s Choice Award Certificate fills the other half. Wow! I’m a certified poet!

Well, I am certifiable if I let any of my cash fly towards them. But, they must be counting on that, for there is more. A small slip of paper was added to the certificate and order form:

Every so often, as our editors read through the poems we are preparing for publication, they personally select a few poems they believe would display a wonderful expressive quality of read by a professional reader. Your editor believes your poem is one of those exceptional poems that can be superbly presented, not only in print, but also through the spoken word. And I heartily agree.

Alright, my poem’s not that good, though the person mentioned in the poem might appreciate it. Plus, why would I want to have someone else read my poem for a recording? If I buy a recording of Dylan Thomas’s poems, I want to hear Mr. Thomas, dammit! I want to hear the Dylan before Robert Zimmerman became Bob Dylan. And he did record plenty of his poems.

If I want to hear my poems recorded, I’d do it myself and upload it as a podcast. Poetry was on the early incarnations of ShindoTV (in the late 1990’s), but I just don’t do poetry anymore.

There is a couple of paragraphs of “blah, blah, blah,” but here’s where it really gets good:

You won’t find this service offered on the enclosed order form because it applies only to a few poets, but if you wish to take advantage of this opportunity (just $49.00 for the complete selection of all three CDs, plus $8.00 postage), simply fill the information on the back of this note. And, as always, your satisfaction is assured with a money back-guarantee.

I really need more CD’s and someone’s brilliant rendition of my cheesy poem is going to enhance my collection. I’m really going to pay for someone to read my stuff.

The name signed on the Certificate and the little slip was Howard Ely. I Googled his name and this is what came up.

All they got from me is a poem I don’t even care about and some cheap accolades. The Google results are littered with victims and cautionary tales about Poetry.Com.

This is what you do if you want to find legitimate poetry publication venue:

  • Look at the Writer’s Market. You can buy it on Amazon.Com, Barnes & Ignoble, or Borders. Better yet, find the current edition at your local public library and read it for free.
  • Go through writer mags such as Writer’s Digest, The Writer, and Poets and Writers. Poets and Writers would be the best bet as they have ads on poetry journals and MFA programs for poetry.
  • Speaking of MFA’s, perhaps you should get one. But, this is a more expensive book, as it takes thousands of dollars in tuition and several hundred dollars in thesis production costs. Something to consider only if you are truly dedicated. At least you have the chance to meet other poets and the professors know about publishing venues. Nonetheless, a money suck.

Thanks for the material, Poetry dot Skank! I couldn’t have written this evening’s piece for ShindoTV without you!

There’s no money in poetry. This is why so many of them have “day jobs” as professors. Then there are the down and out art damage types who frequent cafes and read bad poetry on open-mic night. In any case, “paying to play” for poetry is wrong.