Ersatz Remarks

In ramblings on 5 October 2010 by Teresa Tagged: ,

One of the benefits of being [cough] 40, is that I’ve been on the Internet for a long, long time now. I made my first website in 1994. Back before ‘bots trolled these parts. But now they are everywhere, with all sorts of supposedly tricky ways of getting their links out there. The ones I hate the most may be the comment litterers. Not the ones that are blatantly trying to get me to “click here,” but the sneaky ones that feign interest in the blog post. I get a boatload of these on our family travel blog. Here’s just a sample from this week…

On a post about hanging out with aunt and watching a kids’ movie, someone wrote:

“Hey Great post. This is a bit off topic but im making a site on gold pawn shop [link removed]. I was just wondering what theme you are currently using for your website .Thanks :)”

On a post where I talk about visiting the Peterson Rock Gardens near Bend, Oregon, I got three of ’em:

Hi! Is it ok to use these information in my prject? thanks!

Your blog is awesome. Thank you so much for giving plenty of awesome content. I have bookmark your blog siteand will be without doubt coming back. Once again, I appreciate all your work and also providing a lot great tricks to the audience. [tricks?!]

Blasphemy! Hehe Just kidding! I’ve read similar things on other blogs. I’ll take your word for it. Stay solid! – your pal.

Don’t worry, chum, I’m solidly solid.

I wrote that I’d finished another chapter and put a little snippet of it in and got this response:

I am doing research for my university paper, thanks for your excellent points, now I am acting on a sudden impulse.

Excellent points like “I want to eat bun cha at the Thanh Hoa market. I want to sit on the porch breaking open red watermelon seeds with friends.” Yeah, I’m sure s/he’s using that for that sudden, impulsive research.

One of my favorites on a post with ZERO comments:

Took me time to read all the comments, but I really enjoyed the article. It proved to be Very helpful to me and I am sure to all the commenters here It’s always nice when you can not only be informed, but also entertained I’m sure you had fun writing this article.

I read them, I delete them, and more often than I’d like to admit, I see these same posts on other blogs. The same comments that I’ll receive a half-dozen times this week. Usually it makes me smile at the sheer idiocy of the Internet’s evolution.



a new hobby

In ramblings, ruckus time on 5 October 2010 by Teresa Tagged: ,

The GuyFriend wandered into a pub over near his house for the first time a few weeks ago and found our new pastime: shooting pool. Last week the two of us went and both sucked miserably at the game. Back and forth we went, neither getting anything except the cue ball into the pocket for several turns. It would have been embarrassing except we were pretty equally bad. I won but only because he scratched at the 8-ball. So, really, he was the better player.

We’re supposed to go back later this week and I think it’s going to be a little less balanced–he’s been back to practice. No fair!


pre-teen trauma drama

In the joys of single parenting on 15 August 2010 by Teresa Tagged: ,

A. had spent the last hour moping around upstairs, sure that her beloved computer game was forever corrupted by her own barely considered and swiftly enacted change of her computer’s resolution. Click. Click. Black. It had happened too quickly for her to back out. Control-Z. Restart. Still black. It was at that point that she’d lost all touch on reality and the wailing started. Like the woman in mourning as her husband burns on the funeral pyre, A. reeled with grief, the tears and strained moans coming haphazardly. She had fallen into the black abyss and her brother came to save her.
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the birth of a food

In ramblings on 6 August 2010 by Teresa

Most of the time, I just eat without thinking too hard about where the food is coming from. I avoid processed foods and work to get fresh fruits and veggies into my body every single day. It’s one of the lasting effects of living in Vietnam, where processed foods were nearly impossible to find and fresh foods were everywhere.
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whose happiness?

In ramblings, writing exercises on 6 July 2010 by Teresa

Sitting side by side in the back of the taxi, we are heading back from Sam Son. I know I don’t have enough money in my purse and already it’s taken several phone calls, undercooked chicken and a sunburn to get us this far. The are exhausted but not asleep. I stare out the window so they won’t have to see my face as I mentally bludgeon myself for putting us, putting them in this position. Here we are in a far-off, foreign country, unable to even manage getting a taxi on certain days. I can’t speak the language. We’re constantly being gawked at. Most of the time we’re stuck on or near the campus where I teach. It’s boring for the kids and I have to wonder if my happiness is worth it.

Back home, my father’s heart is giving him problems. My grandfather is dying. My daughter is losing weight off her already thin frame. She misses friends and cousins. My son wants to see his own friends again. I seem to be the only one who wants to stay and I feel like a terribly selfish mother.
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It takes passion, they say

In ramblings on 29 June 2010 by Teresa

And that I seem to have in spades. I had, what some might describe as an insane, drive to get us to Vietnam. Twice. And now it’s on for the book. It will get finished. I will have a rough draft done by the end of summer.

SheWrites has just announced a new contest for unpublished non-fiction/memoir writers who have works in-progress. That’s ME! They’re offering a bunch of different rewards for the final winner, helping her to develop the best proposal/query possible. I certainly could use the help and it is a good impetus for me to keep working on what I’ve got. More info here.

Visit She Writes

Today I was able to get the first half of another chapter done. Up to nearly 60,000 words and about half done (maybe a tad more) with the story. It’s getting to the really stressful part of our adventure and while I thought it might be fun to write, I’m finding it difficult to relive those moments. I was determined, but scared and feeling more alone than I had in a very long time.

But I’ll struggle through it and make it back to the parts that made me really happy to be in Vietnam.


slow and steady wins the race

In ramblings on 28 June 2010 by Teresa

I was blessed with sunshine and the company of a dear friend this weekend and in the end I came home with four chapter outlines, a narrative arc, a tentative ending and, even, a completed chapter. I got to write about my experience with the fortune teller in Tam Ky.

Three years later his predictions still have not come true: I’m still single and don’t even have a Chinese boyfriend, let alone a Chinese husband. I also haven’t been to jail. He was right about the traveling apart; living abroad is good for me.

So are long weekends at the beach.