Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Follow? Or Not Follow?

By Pauly
Hollyweird, CA

I really don't have much time to write, although I feel compelled to post here today. I have a few minutes before I delve deep into my latest writing project.

I recall reading something on Wil's site a couple of months ago about a different blogger who mentioned something about the fact that a blogger cannot write a book and maintain a blog at the same time. I understood his sentiments. I have several blogs and it's a logistical nightmare... without a book deadline looming overhead. However, Wil managed to write several books and blog (and live his life and work other freelance gigs simultaneously), so it can be done. Heck, I'm doing it right now.

Although, this is one of the rare instances (well aside from every summer when I focus 119% on Tao of Poker and all my other sites languish), I wish I didn't have so many blogs to keep up. I could just focus on the task at hand instead of regurgitating rushed half-baked ideas on the intertubes.

But sometimes, inspiration strikes. For example, yesterday morning I went to Nick's coffeeshop by myself. Nicky got stuck with jury duty in Inglewood and I was solo for the day. Since we had zero groceries in the apartment, I walked over to our friendly neighborhood diner. It was nearly empty at 7am and I sat in the back booth. I ordered a hearty breakfast (chocolate chip pancakes, spicy Italian sausage, and hash browns) and re-read excerpts from Project Z that I printed out.

The radio played lowly in the background. The DJ spoke about Denny's mania since February 3rd was the day that Denny's gave away free Grand Slams to anyone between 6am and 2pm. The DJ interviewed callers who headed out to various Denny's for free food. It was a clever promotion and only two franchises in the entire country did not participate (according to Dennys.com) and those two were in Baker, CA and Las Cruces, NM. Ironically, I have been to the one in Baker. I wondered why those two chose not to participate?

Anyway, when the DJ returned to playing music, he fired up La Bamba and mentioned that Ritchie Valens died fifty years ago on that date. Just the night before on my flight from NYC to Long Beach, I noticed that VH1 aired the La Bamba film. And in the issue of Rolling Stone that I thumbed through in the airport, happened to have an article on the plane crash that killed Buddy Holly, Valens, and the Big Bopper.

As the story goes, Valens only got on that flight because he won a coinflip. If he lost, he'd have to head to the next gig on a freezing tour bus without any heat. Coin flips are an integral part of tournament poker and on my walk back to the apartment, I pre-wrote a post on Tao of Poker about coin flips and the infamous day that the music died.

Check out that post titled The Day the Music Died.

As the day progressed, I got wind of some other breaking news in the music industry. The Langerado music festival was canceled due to sluggish ticket sales in a slumping economy. Nicky and I went to Langerado in 2007 with the Joker and Sweet Sweet Pablo. Last year, I went to Langerado with the Joker, SSP, and the RV crew that was made up of G-Rob, Mrs. G-Rob, Otis, Mrs. Otis, and everyone's favorite weatherman... Uncle Ted. It was an epic trip and one of my highlights from last year. Of course, I had zero intentions on seeing the festival this year with the Phish Reunion scheduled for early March in Virgina. I have a limited budget this year for fun stuff and music festivals, to I have to pick and choose wisely.

On that note, the rumors were true about Phish headlining Bonnaroo with Bruce Springsteen. I'll be able to see the boys from Vermont play twice at Bonnaroo and I'll even eat a fistful of mushrooms and go see the Boss play Rosalita.

Nicky got dismissed from jury duty and returned home in the early afternoon. By that point, I posted a couple of things on my various blogs and I wrote almost 3,000 words including a deviant yet hilarious sexual encounter that I once had in a Las Vegas hotel room.

And to top it all off, I got a hearty chuckle from something that Wil posted on his blog titled what to expect if you follow me on twitter (or: how I'm going to disappoint you in 6 quick steps).

That post explained Wil's philosophy of Twitter and how that affects 53,000 of his loyal followers. Shit, just when I thought I was popular with over 560 followers, Wil's number dwarfed mine.

I admired Wil's post because he basically said that his Twitter feed was his toy to play with and if you don't like what he does, then don't follow him. The coolest part was how he explained that he can only follow a limited amount of people which he detailed in pint #2...
2. I'm probably not going to follow you. I follow a few close friends, a few people whose work I really admire or whose Tweets really entertain me, and a couple of news sources. I can't possibly follow all 53,000 of you (it went up since I sent those Tweets yesterday. Weird.) — or even one percent of that number — and still get any work done. I'm easily distracted, so I have to draw the circle very small so I can step out of it when I need to.
Yeah, I was flattered that I was one of 89 people that Wil followed. Weeee! But as much as I dig that ego boost, his words resonated a different way. It demonstrated that I don't have to feel guilty about not following people who follow me. People are sensative these days. Right now, I just don't have the time to fuck around on Twitter. After I discovered that Twitter was one of the top 3 sites that I frequently visited over the last few months, I freaked out and imposed a self-restraint on twitter. I would only read it a couple of times a day.

I limit my time on Twitter every day and I spend most of my time speed reading all of my friends tweets and clicking through a small percentage of their links/pics. I would lose even more time if I had to sort through the thousands of daily tweets from everyone that I follow. I'm shocked that people actually want to read my static but right now I'm swamped with a horde of pressure to finish my project and write a phenomenal book. I'm setting myself up to fail in many ways. And things like blogs and Twitter are distractions when I really need to keep my head down and focus.

Hopefully, Wil's post help alleviate the guilt and stress that surrounded the latest craze on the intertubes.

And this is to my close friends... please, for the love of God, stop pestering me to join your Facebook cult. I heard about Facebook several years before you even knew it existed. It's a fad and will become obsolete in a few years like VCRs. There's a reason why I didn't join the cult a few years ago and a specific reason why I refuse to join today. The last thing I need is distractions. If people from my past want to find me, they can google my ass. I'm here and many other places on the web.

So dear friends morbidly and hopelessly addicted to Facebook and trying to push it off onto me... I don't want play in your reindeer games and let's be honest, you only want me to join so you can boost your number of friends and poach my circle of friends/classmates to add to your ever growing number of people. Yes, I will not be exploited by another social networking site. So start searching for old grammar school classmates to add to your friend empire.

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