Holidays and hashtags

I love nearly ALL holidays. #Talklikeapirate day excluded. But, go ahead and sign me up for #gruntledworkerday and family favorite #pigday. I even have a special Pi Plate for Pi Day.

Not only do I really love these reasons to celebrate, remember, acknowledge, special days and just plain silly days–I’ve been using them as themes at work since the Internet began. Ok, since the mid-90s. Back in the day, as we say around here–it didn’t MATTER that the holiday had a million character name. Sure, a slow internet connection might make lag a groaner for International Buy a Priest a Beer day (September 9), but you could use as many letters and words to get the point across as you needed.

In fact, with the right set up, you could probably get hundreds of interactions on that one holiday. Now though, we have Twitter. And that means…140 chars. Minus a link. Minus the chars for the pictures–because really a picture is what makes someone click over to the site. So, that leaves 94 characters plus or minus a few to come up with something to say about those things. Then subtract a tag–say #NationalDogWeek, you’ve got 78 letters and spaces to get your point across. Know what? I am pretty sure that your average Bob book has more.

So, if you have a holiday or hashtag–keep it short. Because I do want to share something about it.

The Cubs Game

I had a magical birthday month. Denise thought of everything and anything for my birthday. Then Mama topped it off with a fabulous birthday cake from Sugarees. (Seriously, look them up. Our non-cake eating family pretty much argued over the leftovers of the caramel cake Mama and Julia gave me)

But, one weird and deliriously happy day was going to see the Cubs game at Wrigley Field. I’ve long been fascinated by Wrigley. And the Cubs. Yes, I am a born and bred Marylander and that means the Orioles. I’ve been to a couple of their games and was…bored.

Back to Cubs day, it was a perfect day–not too hot, not too cold. The stadium had just the right amount of wind. We went on the El which was fun. We didn’t have to deal with traffic. Really no wait. And I have an affection for public transportation–at least from time to time. Denise took pictures of me in front of a bunch of the statues. She’d given me a Cubs hat the Friday before, so I could look the part. We bought and ate lots of ballpark food and drinks. I got my First Cubs Game Certificate. We had one of the professional photographers take our picture. Denise ordered a copy when we got home.

We watched the game. Thankfully, not a long one. Not a boring one. (Well, maybe there could have been a bit more I don’t know–play from the Braves)

The crowd was nice, polite, not a bunch of beer sloshing, scream at the players type. Staff was great.

Denise bought me a Rizzo jersey. I wouldn’t have bought it myself. I was cringing at the prices and even stopped myself from getting her a Cubs nightgown when I went to the gift store on my own.

The game ended. Cubs WIN! We rode home. We got home to anxious dogs who hadn’t seen us for hours. We were tired and had definitely “gotten our steps in.”

I left wanting more Cubs. Mostly just wanting more magical, crazy days of doing something we just don’t do. (Sports. Spend frivolously. Spend time in a crowd, but together.)


Sometimes I wonder why I click on articles. “Click bait” articles. One today: 10 Things You Don’t Know You Can Do With Facebook.

I clicked. I read. Yeah, I knew all of those things. I work on Facebook as part of my job. I have lived online for 20+ years. I keep on top of industry news–because that is MY JOB. So, why when reading a non-tech site would I click to find out the “secrets of Facebook?”

Because I am curious. Because I am just like everyone else and there might be something worthwhile. I will resist viral videos and titles for a long time. “You won’t believe what happened when this father and daughter…” but if enough people share it–I will look. Usually I believe it. I also enjoy it many times. Sometimes I wonder if all the world is mad and my friends are just too far from being me because I won’t get it. At all.

What I don’t understand is people who click into articles they feel are click bait and comment on how horrible it is for a site to use such techniques. Why not? You were curious enough to click. Just because you didn’t learn something or agree–that doesn’t make it a bad article. The 10 Things You Don’t Know You Can Do with Facebook piece was like that. It was probably a good article. It just wasn’t helpful to me.

Apps I Would Design

For many years, I’ve been apathetic about apps. I know the rest of you have hundreds. I am edging up lately myself.

If I decided to learn how to design and market apps well–these are some apps I’d PERSONALLY like to own or to have had in times past:

  • An app that automatically records into my calendar any time someone says to me “Mommy” “Tarrant” I have an appointment/show/class on x date at x time. Bonus features: If it also automatically figures out that there are special wardrobe, medication, snack, or other needs. No, I don’t want to type it in myself. I want it to KNOW that someone has said that and records it on my calendar. It should also be able to scan in any syllabi, course schedules and school calendars.
  • An app that tracks the names of kids friends and their particular association with my child. This would be especially useful during car rides where an Emma is invoked. You know, my friend Emma. The one that is in band with me. She’s having a birthday party on Saturday. (Cue app 1 to record the Emma, birthday, sleepover, get gift, child needs to arrive at 3 pm)
    This is fairly easy to remember when you have small children or one child with a small circle of peers. But, again, kids get older and they start high schools, sometimes LARGE high schools and you may not meet EmmaY until Senior Awards. Then they go off to college and have a new set of friends with a confusing mix of names that change (Emmas become Kat, Kevins become KLarge, and Miguel just shows up one day in a reference in a text message.) Sue me. Yes, I need an app to record the name of my kids friends, who they might be dating, crushing on, what kinds of interests they have, and how the heck do they know my child again? (Urban Lit class? I went to high school with him MOM, REMEMBER?!)
  • A 5-minute chore app. “I see you are randomly scrolling your social accounts or playing Candy Crush. Did you know that you could use these 5 minutes to clean the junk drawer instead? You asked me to remind you of this need.” It could also auto-generate messages just based on your meaningless surfing. “Do you have a load of laundry to turn over? I see you are at home and not presently doing anything besides flipping around your apps looking for something to do.”
  • Adding to the “Mom, I have a need for your presence/taxi service need” app– I want an app that listens to when someone in the family says “Mom, next time you are at the store, can you pick up a 12 pack of organic, vegan, gluten-free, cheese crackers for my lunches?”
  • Also useful, an app that would remember which kid or adult states “I don’t like bananas” “Don’t buy x Brand of granola bars anymore” “Please, don’t make chicken again this week” “I hate blueberry yogurt” (Trust me–it is all fun and games when they are small. When they are adults and young adults or your elderly parent–things change and you might find yourself more willing to bend to the absurd)
  • An app that keeps track of far flung family and close friends as well as children. It would be keyed to the news and before you even had the news, it would text saying “You are about to hear x bad news. Good news: Your sister/mother/coworker/Emma in that area is safe.”

Ok, please tell me I am not alone in wanting at least one of these apps. Or tell me which apps you’d like to smooth your world.

%d bloggers like this: