Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New ... Something, Anything!!

Well, 2009 is just a few hours away from being history -- thank god, because, frankly, it was a pretty sucky year all around.

Come to think of it, I'll be glad to see the entire decade ( the "Aughts"? ... the "Zeros"? We never DID come up with a descriptor!) go bye-bye. And I'm hardly alone. In fact, Time magazine had a recent cover story titled "The Decade from Hell" -- and it nailed the problems and ills we've both encountered and instigated as a me-first, short-sighted, consumer-capitalist society. From the "Millennial panic" to 9/11 to Iraq to Enron to the burst-bubble housing market to the disintegration of millions of jobs ... the hits just kept right on coming!

Sigh ...

So, I for one, am only to glad to bid adieu to the "Zeros" (much more fitting, if you ask me!). I'll be celebrating at a small but fancy (gourmet meal on fine china!) party with dear friends and strangers alike -- a perfect combo for greeting 2010! May you have a safe and happy celebration of your own.

Happy New Year; happy New Decade. Let's hope the "Teens" turn things around -- for all of us!!!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

How the Grinch stole Christmas-card sending

Spotted a report today in USA Today that confirms what I already suspected: Fewer people are mailing Christmas cards this year, thanks to economic and personal factors.

According to the story: "The U.S. Postal Service reported an 11% decline in cancellations of first-class cards and letters Dec. 1-13 — when most Americans mail holiday cards — compared to 2008. The post office expects to deliver 16.6 billion cards, letters and packages between Thanksgiving and Dec. 24, down from 19 billion last year, said spokesman Michael Woods."

And the evidence is apparent in my own mailbox: The cards I've received this year are a trickle compared to years past. Now, to be fair, I myself haven't been sending out cards recently, what with the financial and time challenges I have faced these past couple of years.

Instead, I've chosen to put together an e-card and send my sincere holiday wishes to loved ones via cyberspace. The sentiments are still the same; the mode of communication is just different.

This option is a win-win, in several ways: Saves time, saves stamps, AND saves the planet.
Ho-ho-ho, indeed!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Holiday date ideas

Promised that I'd update on my new endeavors.

So, here's a link to my first blog for AOL Personals -- eight ideas for a great holiday date (I coined the word "holidate" -- corny, but cute, right?) Check it out for some ideas on fun and fitting things to do with your significant other during this festive holiday season!

Oh, and as a bonus, here's one I thought of after I'd posted the article:

9. Take a drive together to check out the holiday lights in local communities; there are some crazy, crazy displays out there, with some neighborhoods seemingly ablaze enough to be seen from space! Afterward, stop at a local cafe for some dessert, coffee, and sharing of your own individual holiday memories.

More links and updates to come; stay tuned!!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Making it as a blogger

I've been writing for for almost six months now, and it's been a good-bad-news kind of effort. The good news: It has primed my writing muscles again and gotten me back into the regular-writing habit. Bad news: It hasn't exactly paid the bills.

Examiner, as you might have heard, is one of those "content mill" sites where the business model is quantity over quality; they're in an extremely aggressive expansion mode, adding markets and writers as fast as they can, without much concern over how good the writers are. Thus, there's a lot of pure crap and drivel on Examiner -- articles that are poorly written, not researched, not cited, and/or even downright plagiarized.

This gives the rest of us legitimate Examiners a really bad name. And it also drives down the page views for individual Examiners, especially those Examiners who cover basically the same "beat." (Though, not surprisingly, the execs at the company argue the exact opposite outcome -- more page views overall, more page view for everyone!!)

And, as you might have suspected, this blog -- Middle-Age Sexy -- hasn't paid me one dime so far for my efforts. It's been a labor of love, one I've neglected of late in favor of writing for a site where I can make at least something.

Happily, these efforts have finally borne fruit in the form of two Internet-writing gigs that actually pay me a decent wage!

First, I've joined a small, locally-based, start-up Internet site, doing SEO and PR writing. I'm in on the ground floor of something that could turn out to be great; but regardless, I'm learning invaluable skills.

And second, I've become a lead blogger for a new blog at AOL personals geared toward Boomer and senior singles. The blog is still in its formative stages, and we haven't quite settled on a name for it, but I'm really excited about this new gig! Stay tuned for details.

Meanwhile, I'll still continue to contribute blogs on this site and articles for Examiner; just not quite so many (sorry -- gotta prioritize!).

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