: why, yes, I do have a screw loose :

August 2, 2015 § 5 Comments

screwWho else but a wacko nutjob changes themes for the novelty of it?

I should have my head examined or electroshocked or shipped to Vienna. And soon. This theme changing stunt is textbook self-destructive behavior. I didn’t stop to consider consequences; I plunged in heedlessly like always. Fallout be damned. A word to the wise? Backup your data, my friends. I’m not done yet. The entire Internet could come crashing down.

Issues continue to plague me and my little theme here. Correction, themes, plural. I changed two — at the same damn time. And, surprise, they’re both wonky. I’m fretfully waiting for instructions from WordPress support, but honestly? I’d like to dust my hands and skip off to a nice, quiet rest home. Far, far away from digital connections.

Posts on publikworks have a wide black bar running vertically through the text and graphics these days. You can’t read a word. It looks censored, like I revealed classified, top-secret information. But the blackout only occurs on certain devices — tablets, mostly, some smartphones. Computer monitors appear to be exempt.

This has been a very distressing week, even the grocery store conspired against me. They’ve discontinued the butter cookies I can’t live without. Just stopped selling them. No notice, no warning. I’m using Oreo Thins are a stopgap, a temporary solution to carry me until I find another local supplier. My beloved Leibniz can’t be replaced.

I can. Which is why I’m begging for a little more time to correct the shambles I’ve made of this. I’ll go back to my trusty old theme in a flash if you want. Just say the word. You want me to? I will. I’m thi-i-i-i-i-i-i-i-i-s close. You know what? Why wait? I wanted new and spectacular, but got new and disastrous. So, here we go, my old theme with a new post you can actually read.

This could be short-term or it could be permanent. Don’t ask me. I don’t know what I’m thinking. Again, my apologies for the inconvenience. Turns out there’s never a good time for crazy.

screwdriver_flatheadCopyright © 2015 Publikworks

: approach with caution :

July 29, 2015 § 10 Comments

female_warningHead’s up, boys and girls, I submitted another article to the New York Times. Now, it’s time to seek shelter from the backlash of crushed hopes.

The tingly thrill when the idea first presents itself is long gone. I get jazzed by ideas, even bad ones. New thoughts start parading around the old noggin, the brain sputters to life. I perk right up when an idea dawns. It’s a shiny, new opportunity I haven’t effed up yet. Those are good times.

But then comes the drudgery. The actual work, ugh — I won’t dwell on it. Suffice to say, completing the first draft is sweet relief. The angst is gone, the rickety foundation laid, and I’m released from brain lock. What follows, the revising and polishing, is a cakewalk by comparison. Okay, not a cakewalk, but not a death march either. There’s progress and glimmers, good things.

When, at last, it’s ready, I hit the ‘send’ button.

And off they go — my pithy, eloquent article, with enormous hopes attached. With a whoosh, they’re shot into the stratosphere. That’s what I did yesterday, sent my hopes soaring with another submission. Here, nineteen hours later, I’m still hung over from the buzz. It’s down to a fizz, but bubbly nonetheless.

However, by tomorrow at this time, my giddy whirl will be over, the hoo-ha evaporated. I’ll be moody and surly and kicking chairs. Take cover. If you see me coming, cross to the other side of the street. Or flatten yourself against a building. Do not make eye contact. Well, you can, but you’ll be sorry. The look on my face, well, best not to look. Or listen. I’ll be muttering and swearing like a longshoreman, so just keep walking.

Is it worth all this? The hours of work, the mood swings and blows to the ego, the rejection and dismissal? Usually. Heck, it’s a roller coaster, screaming is part of the ride. Besides, I’m convinced the Times will, one day, rethink their lofty, harebrained standards.

And one of my little submissions will sneak past on tiptoes.


Copyright © 2015 Publikworks

: restore the busy signal :

July 26, 2015 § 18 Comments

receiverCome on, it’s time to return to our senses. Let’s show a little compassion, for once, instead of cold, ruthless insensitivity. Or do you like getting shot straight to voicemail?

I don’t — it’s a hijacking. You think you’re headed to a friendly conversation, but dark, unseen forces decide otherwise. Your call is seized and sent someplace you never intended to go. You weren’t consulted or asked, you had no choice in the matter. You’re already there. That seems presumptuous to me, so autocratic.

I’m always caught off guard, every time, then wind up stammering and tongue-tied. ‘Oh, uh, yeah, er, I was ca — I di — — whe — crap, never mi.’ That, boys and girls, is my standard message. It falls trippingly from my silver tongue at the end of the beep. I really and truly hate leaving voicemails. I hesitate to leave them, frankly, then hang up in a mild panic.

Busy signals were a better, more straightforward option. You could trust a busy signal. When you heard it, you knew the line was being used. Period. The unambiguous bzzt-bzzt-bzzt-bzzt, didn’t lead you to suspect your call was being screened or ignored or rejected. The sound didn’t trigger a personal crisis. It was a statement of fact, no hidden motive lurked behind the bzzt. Unless the phone had purposely been taken off the hook — which was possible, but very unlikely.

These days, you never know. Getting shanghaied by phone unleashes all kinds of anxieties and self-recriminations. What did I do? What did I say? Did I step out of line? Was it my body language? The look on my face? Stoopid face. Stoopid me. Should I apologize? Have plastic surgery? Take an etiquette class? My list is long and the questions are many. All for lack of a busy signal.

We must join together, people, and put a stop to this foolishness. It’s causing needless worry and distress among the socially awkward, like myself. I’m paranoid enough, thank you, I don’t need any encouragement from a phone call. Oh, and let’s get rid of *69 while we’re at it, eliminate that flipping disaster altogether. Caller I.D., too.

Jeez, don’t get me started.

stickmanCopyright © 2015 Publikworks

: pardon the interruption :

July 21, 2015 § 2 Comments

sorryI warned you this could happen and it did. I changed themes. The new tag can stay, but the theme had to go.

It didn’t work for me, after all. The elements were too big, I like small. I like white space. I like clean and airy. This wasn’t a knee-jerk reaction, I gave it almost two weeks to grow on me, but it didn’t. I started avoiding it, instead. Something got lost in the redesign. Personality or character or tone, something ineffable and essential was missing.

My old one, the original, was perfect. Finding a replacement won’t be easy and may turn out to be impossible. The hunt is on, though, I’m not ready to surrender yet.

Going backwards isn’t really an option. I thought it would be, but it’s not. I’m ready for new and different, I want to see upheaval. A shake-up is healthy once in a while and this one’s long past due. Four years is a lifetime on the Internet, so let’s see how this works out. If it doesn’t, we’ll move on. We’ll try every theme there is until we hit on the exact right one.

Please bear with me. Try to see this as an adventure, instead of a time-consuming pain in the a**. We can do this, boys and girls, I know we can. Thank you for your patience. Stand by …

Copyright © 2015 Publikworks

: does miss manners know about this? :

July 19, 2015 § 10 Comments

It’s Stick Out Your Tongue Day!
tongue_anatomyGood grief, what’s next? Nostril Week? Belly Button Day?

I’m always up for a party, whatever the occasion, but this is unpleasant on so many levels. Although sticking your tongue out in Tibet is considered a fine greeting. Good to know in case you visit the Dalai Lama and somebody sticks their tongue out at you. Don’t be insulted. Stick yours out in return and say howdy back. When in Rome and all.

The practice should be banned if you ask me, classified as a misdemeanor and subject to a stiff fine. Not because it’s ill-mannered, but because tongues are gross and repulsive organs. Stop by a deli or meat counter if you have any doubts. No, don’t, too upsetting. The thought of eating one mak … urrk, I can’t go there. You have to wonder, though, can it taste you?

Revolting as they are, tongues are essential to life as we know it. We need the nasty thing to eat, breathe, and talk. But why does it have to be so hideous? Okay, I can’t answer that, but I do know this:
the blue whale has the largest tongue of all animals, weighing in around 5,950 pounds (or 2.7 metric tons).

the tongue is home to between 3,000 and 10,000 taste buds.

speaking of taste buds, they die off every 10 to 14 days and are replaced by fresh ones. Mmm, fresh taste buds.

contrary to popular belief, your tongue is not the strongest muscle in your body. It doesn’t exert the most pressure — that’s the jaw muscle. Or the most force — the quads and glutes. Or do the most work — the heart. And, it’s not one muscle — it’s actually eight, according to Scientific American.

average length from back to tip is 4 inches, with women typically having shorter tongues than men. Aw, boohoo.

Now put that thing back in your mouth and leave it there. If you don’t mind. Thank you.

tongueCopyright © 2015 Publikworks

: moving on :

July 13, 2015 § 15 Comments


A whole bunch of us are about to be categorized as personae non grata. That’s Latin for unwelcome freeloaders. I want that printed on my business cards, I think, sounds better than flunky.

Apparently, teleworkers are commandeering coffee shops, acting as if we own the places. We camp out all day taking up space and Wi-Fi and, in return, buy one measly beverage. You know, that’s a terrific, value-added deal, except the rightful owners are getting pissed. They’d like us to leave unless we spend more than time in their establishments.

Fair enough.

I’ve always felt a little guilty sailing into Starbucks or Barnes & Noble and plugging in my laptop. Free electricity, free Wi-Fi, free a/c and heat, free bathrooms, and I buy a latte? A grande, at that. Not even venti. Does that make me a deadbeat? Yes, but I can’t afford $5 a day for coffee. I can’t afford feeling like a bum, either, it’s tough on the ego. So …

Libraries provide the same things, some even offer coffee, but it’s not the same. They’re serious places, somber and thoughtful. I’m not. Libraries are wonderful for theses and white papers, research and disquisitions, but they’re too formal and restrained for the silliness I engage in. I think maybe it’s the quiet. I can’t concentrate when it’s that quiet, there needs to be music or talking or ringing phones. Something. Silence is very distracting.

In my unsolicited opinion, coffee shops are better promoters of free thinking. They have constant activity, a lovely aroma, the noisy hiss and burble of espresso machines, friendly chatter. It has the bustle and hum of an office environment. I get more done, but feel self-conscious and sheepish doing it. Does that count? The fact that I’m paying a price in self-esteem?

Probably not, but it should. Self-esteem doesn’t come cheap, dammit.

no moneyCopyright © 2015 Publikworks

: step one :

July 9, 2015 § 8 Comments


Publikworks proudly presents — changes. New theme, new look, new tag. The whole shootin’ match. It’s the easy road, naturally, the one requiring the least effort. I spent minutes deciding on a ready-made design, pushed a button and, Bob’s your uncle, a brand new shiny blog. Hey, I lifted a finger, so the credit is deservedly mine. Alone.

With stats in free fall, extreme measures were necessary. Nearly all the options under consideration involved planning and effort and thought, a buckling down which I didn’t like the sound of. Seriously, a complete overhaul? No. Raise my standards? Pfft, what standards? Quit? The thought crossed my mind, and more than once, but no. I’m not a quitter, I’m a slacker.

Changing themes is a Band-Aid on a stab wound, I know, but it’s something. You might want to prepare for some unwelcome fallout, just in case. See, there’s bound to be an adjustment period with this new design. Different features in different places in a different environment spell trouble. For you more than me.

Bogus notifications will go flying. I guarantee it. You’ll be alerted to non-existent new posts, partial posts, posts in progress, repeat posts, reblogs, all manner of nonsense will come your way. Approach any and all digital communications from publikworks with suspicion until further notice.

Lastly, don’t get attached to the new look. It could be transitory, a passing fancy. I got a bee in my bonnet, threw caution to the wind, and barged into unfamiliar, alien territory without a map. I may soon discover I’ve thrown the baby out with the bath water. Don’t you love the wild mix of metaphors and alliteration? Bees, bonnet, baby, bath water. It’s a gift.

Themes are important, they have to reflect the tone and attitude of the material published on it. I hope I chose correctly, but if I didn’t I won’t hesitate to go back to my old one. Unannounced. I won’t ask your permission or issue a warning, I’ll just go. I won’t want to, since it’s just more work, but I will if this turns into a hideous mistake. The header could change, as well — an alternate does exist. I’m on a tear.

If you have a moment, let me know what you think. Do you like it? Hate it? Or are you totally unimpressed? I haven’t decided yet myself, so take your time. Now, I’ll kick things off with a ‘Like’ on my own damn post — familiarizing you with the coming attractions, aka screw ups.

Okay, I need a nap. I’m exhausted.

sleeping_womanCopyright © 2015 Publikworks