Monday, September 17, 2012

The Twits who Tweet on Twitter

Having nothing much to write about, I think I'll ponder the place of Twitter in the universe. Or the Twitterverse, if you prefer.

Well, at least in the modern world's universe here on Earth.

Include Mars... the new rover is tweeting too. @MarsCuriosity - follow if you're interested in exploration of Mars.

First, a word to my followers: thank you! I hope that I send along tweets that are of interest to you, and hopefully of enough interest for you to then forward them to your followers as well. Twitter is a fantastic way to get the word out fast.

The downside, of course, is the brouhaha that can be stirred up by fake tweets, like fake celebrity deaths, for example. These things spread like wildfire and do nothing but fill up timelines with a bunch of baseless stuff that can be quite upsetting to some. Please people, do a little fact checking first; it goes a long way. #learnedthehardway

Side note: For those who don't know what a hashtag is, #learnedthehardway is an example of one. It's more commonly used for things like, oh, #TheWhiteHouse or #nameoffavoriteshow or #lasvegasnews etc. etc. etc. You can search Twitter for specific hashtags, and all tweets about that specific topic/person/what-have-you will come up for you to see. More info can be found at the Twitter Help Center.

Now, for those whom I follow: thank you! Your presence in my life, even if only through your tweets, helps me feel much more connected to the rest of the world. Those who know me know that a) I'm a homebody to begin with, and b) I have an autistic son that has made it necessary (and easier) to be more of a homebody than I used to be. And believe me, that's saying something.

Some of my favorite folks to follow (after immediate family and close friends, of course) are entertainment news folks, and entertainers themselves. I won't list them all here, just check out who I'm following at my pages for @senushemi and @LV_PWilsonFan. I also enjoy a lot of local news and entertainment Twitter accounts. Then there's the paranormal community, and world news, Star Trek people, the autism community, and NASCAR. Every Twitter account I follow is something or someone I'm interested in. I'm sure there's plenty more out there, but I follow too many already.

Which brings me to my next point, for those who follow me but I don't follow you back: Please don't think I'm not interested in you. Sadly, like everyone else, I only have so many hours in a day so I have to keep the timelines somewhere near manageable (or at least close enough I can pretend they're manageable). It does no good for either of us if I end up skimming past your tweets because I simply have too many to read. I could spend all day just reading and commenting on the tweets I get as it is. 

So to all those I wish I could follow but can't, my family thanks you. Otherwise they may not have clean clothes or meals when they really need them, you know? (Not really, but it seems like that some days).

A final thought for those who aren't on Twitter because they think they're too boring to send tweets: hogwash, I say! I know Twitter started out as a "hey, guess what I'm having to eat now" kind of thing, but it has quickly grown into so much more than that. Do you have a favorite charity you'd like to get the word out for? Tweet about it! Is there a particular topic or person you're really interested in? Follow Twitter pages for those topics and people! Got a really cute pic of your pet that you just gotta share? Tweet a link to the pic! Even if all you do is pass along things that interest you (and, therefore, may also be of interest to those who follow you), Twitter is a fantastic tool. Don't be afraid to use it.

Of course, be careful what you tweet; your tweet may potentially be seen by the entire world within minutes, so please double check what you're posting before you click on the "Tweet" button. Used correctly, Twitter is a fantastic medium for fast communications of all types. 

Used incorrectly... well, I think y'all know the answer to that one. #twitterfail

Friday, September 7, 2012

Twenty years, and counting...

Wednesday, September 5th, 2012 marked Bob and my 20th wedding anniversary. To celebrate, we took a cruise - well, ok, it was just an 1-1/2 on Lake Mead, but it was nice all the same. ;-)

An island in Lake Mead. The white band is calcium left behind by the water. You can see how much the water level has dropped over the years.

A cliff face showing the same white band.
The calcium can be seen encompassing the entire lake.

Hoover Dam from the "other" side.
Fairly dramatic representation of the water level.
Yet another picture of the calcium deposit. It amazed me to see the extent of the white band both in height and in how far around the lake it ran.
Close-up of the Desert Princess

Just as we returned a storm began to approach the lake.

More storm clouds over Lake Mead.
We got in just in time. It started to rain as we were disembarking. Thunder, lightning, wind... we got the works.
Just for ducks, here's the pic they took of us before we got on the boat. They take pictures of everyone who will pose, and then when you get back they have little packets to sell to you (an 8 x 10 of the picture and a 3 x 5 magnet of the picture). We were one of the lucky folks who got ours for free. Yay for free!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Pharewell: The End of Phantom: The Las Vegas Spectacular

Two years ago, in October of 2010, I saw the movie "The Phantom of the Opera" (2004, Joel Schumacher directed). I fell in love with the story and, quite honestly, have been a bit obsessed with it ever since. (I even wrote my own version of "what happens next" - (shameless plug

Tonight I had the distinct honor of attending the final performance of "Phantom" at the Venetian Hotel here in Las Vegas. It was my third time seeing it, and I'm truly sorry that it will be my last. 

The show was billed as a spectacular, and spectacular it was. From the assembly of the four-piece chandelier during the overture to the fireworks at the beginning of "Masquerade"; from the misty boat ride and huge candelabras rising out of the floor to Raoul's jump into the mist and disappearing through that floor; from Christine's high notes in "Think of Me" and "The Phantom of the Opera" to the Phantom's final "It's over now..." - the whole production was breath-taking, even the third time around. 

Being the final night, the cast were free to be a little more over-the-top than usual. Piangi got almost as much applause for his one-word line (Amateurs!), as he followed Carlotta out (after her ...this thing does not happen! Ubaldo, andiamo!), as the chandelier got during the overture; and he made the most of it. (You go, Larry!). So did Raoul and Christine as they kissed far longer than usual at the end of "All I Ask of You". (woo hoo!).  The night was full of such wonderful moments as these, making it that much more special to be there for their final performance.

My heartfelt thanks to Zach, a member of, who sold me his extra ticket to the show. I had an amazing time and it was such a pleasure to meet you!

Another member of that site has posted their own farewell to the show here:   This blog post says it all, and says it much better than I can, so please feel free to pop on over and give it a read.

I really wish I could come up with something really witty or profound to say about the closing of the show. This ninety minute version with the incredible chandelier effects deserves no less. Instead, I'll just have to say thank you to the entire company for three of the best nights of my life (well, within the last two years, at least ;-) ). 

Oh, and the icing on the cake was meeting Andrew Ragone after the show. He was gracious enough to stop and talk to fans, take pictures, and sign autographs on his way out. Those who know me know that Raoul is my favorite Phantom character by far (ever since I first saw Patrick Wilson portray the Vicomte in the 2004 movie version), so it was the perfect ending to a perfect evening. Thank you, sir!

Me - corner of "Masquerade" stair case