Writing is the only profession where no one considers you ridiculous if you earn no money.-Renard

December 6, 2008

I love that quote!  I still pick up freelance writing gigs here and there, but most of what I write is for fun and for free.  I get a lot of questions about why I blog…why don’t I just set up a website and charge for advertising space…and what I get asked about the most, “I’d really like to create a blog of my own…how do I get started?”  I’ll answer these questions at the end of this post.  But for now…let’s just jump right in and see what this week has to offer!

Christmas shopping…

I saw this floating around on the Internet and I just had to post it here.  My apologies to those who have seen it already, but I think this is just hilarious!

Does she change from flip flops and Daisy Dukes to sweatpants and fake Uggs?  Just asking...
Does she change from flip flops and Daisy Dukes to sweatpants and fake Uggs? Just asking…

You have to understand…big box stores scare the bejeezus out of me!  There’s something truly frightening about places you can get food AND the tires on your car changed, while renegade toddlers take great joy in careening shopping carts into the backs of passers by.  I prefer the smaller shops, where help is available, special orders are a possibility, and a walk down a Main Street with shopping bags in one hand and a decaf nonfat latte in the other (I know, it’s a “why bother?” coffee drink, but I like it…) is just the ticket as to how I enjoy my holiday shopping.  Browse back about two posts to get a list of local Long Island businesses (see KIOLI), or just click below for some information about some Main Streets that have lots to offer for the holiday shopper!

Through the years…
On the weekend of the 13th and 14th, Sagtikos Manor will be hosting a very special event!  Experience how Christmas was celebrated through three centuries!  Reservations are required, click here for more information!
Come on out to the Fire Island Lighthouse where you can participate in an reenactment of the Arrival of the Flying Santa!  Join Former Fire Island Lighthouse Keeper, Gottfried Mahler and his wife Marilyn who were stationed here in 1953 when the original Flying Santa visited.  FREE! 
For those of you who prefer indoor activities, Vanderbilt Planetarium is featuring a very special Holiday Magic Laser Light Show as well as Star of Wonder!  $7 per person!
One last holiday event before I move on!  The Vail Leavitt Music Hall is hosting a holiday special for the whole family–$5 gets you in the door and INCLUDES pics with the Big Man himself!
Kind of blue
It’s rare that someone can play the blues and make you feel the music.  It’s even rarer that the someone is not a seasoned old veteran of the music scene, but instead is a fresh young face that is getting kudos from far and wide for his finger picking, Appalachian stylings.  Phil Minissale, (often mentioned on this blog) will be playing this Wednesday night at WoodSongs at the Cinema.  DO NOT MISS THIS!!!
University Cafe is serving up some great music this coming week…come on over and get some!  Anthony Da Costa and Abbie Gardner will be playing on Sunday the 14th (buy your tickets in advance and pay only $15!)  I had the great fortune of seeing these two, PLUS Phil Minessale at one of the Court House Concerts earlier this year.  What a show!  (Too bad for my date I was sick with a stomach bug that night…I probably made it a bit less enjoyable for him!)  For those of you who don’t know, these are a couple of shining lights on the music scene…Abby also plays with Red Molly, and both of these musicians are exceptionally gifted!
Mmmmmm…..beer…….
I got some of my holiday shopping done last night at the local beverage center with some great gift packs from Ommegang–at $25, you get Three Philosophers, Chocolate Indulgence, and Hennepin, plus a glass.  Why is this worth mentioning here?  Maybe because each of those bottles retails for about $12-14 each!  Add to that, these are very special Belgian style brews that any beer snob would appreciate!
I do take a break from my grape once in a while to partake in a bit of the grain.  Often I will buy things not for reputation or my liking of a particular brand, but because it looks interesting.  Last night was no exception.  I picked up a four pack of Ducheese de Bourgogne (no website, sorry!) as I liked the packaging and I was in the mood for a red ale.  This brew was a pleasant surprise…ruby red in color, with a very fruity nose and flavor…it reminded me of a lambic, but not quite as sweet.  There were almost winelike notes to this brew, as if it were aged in wine casks (the last time I had a brew with these sort of wine notes to it was a Cherry Imperial Stout by Blue Point Brewery…yummy…hey, guys, when’s that coming back?!  That was my all time favorite!  Though that could be dangerous as I live almost across the street from the brewery!)
Another fave I picked up was Flying Dog Gonzo Imperial Porter.  Hmmm…yeah, this one’s a stretch…me, dark beer, imperial porter, and Hunter S. Thompson (one writer I will always regret not getting to meet!).  This beer has a slight bit of a cherry note, but I taste a whole lot more coffee going on with this one.  A lot less sweet than the aforementioned red ale, but oh, so good!  I can see myself after the holidays kicking back with a couple of these and watching a Kubrick marathon! (Both can be found at the Bayport beverage center on Montauk Highway.)
All for now, I’ll be back in a few days to add more. 
Oh, and the blogging questions:  One, writing can act as a catharsis and can actually become rather addicting.  As I do this for fun, I’m not really concerned with the stats, etc…though it is nice to keep seeing them go up and up!  I ditched the website idea as when I started mentioning it to people who were interested in sponsoring me in getting this off the ground, they had ALL SORTS of comments of what I should do on the site (reminder, folks–this is MY site, remember?) and besides trying to dictate the look and content, some of the ideas would have just been too time consuming for me to maintain between all I do.  Lastly, how do you start your own blog?  For newbies, I suggest you use an easy to use format like Google Blogger that will walk you through the steps involved in setting up a blog.  Once you get that all set up comes the big question…what to write about?  Here’s a hint–write about what you love and let your personality come shining through.  Don’t try to target your blog for the mass audiences that you think you will have right away.  It takes time to develop a following, no matter how great you think your idea might be.  I’ve seen too many people who veer this way and that trying to position their blog in such a way that they might encourage readership.  Just stick to what you know and love.  If you like cheese, write about cheese.  If you are into anime, write about that.  Make it a point to try and write a small post every week, and schedule yourself the at the same time each week.  Link up to other blogs, and DON’T include a hit counter (they are TACKY!  What if you only had a few hits?  It can be a bad thing both for your morale and for the people viewing your blog seeing the lack of traffic). You can always pull stats off your dashboard.   If you write it, they will come…
I’ll be back in a few with lots more to do!  Chat soon!
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