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Posts Tagged ‘VanVleck’

There are two people in our family who are just so funny that you love to be around them and often the comment is heard, “if we could get Sharon and Carol together one day, we would die from laughter.” 

Sharon lives in Indiana and Carol in Wisconsin, so it has not happened yet, but Sharon has begun blogging.  She was shamed into it really by a couple of bloggers, okay, me  and her friend.  She tried her hand, Just who are you people? « Braindebris’s Weblog, and was (as we suspected) hysterical.  She is one of ‘those’ people, who if she wrote regularly enough would be publishing a book.  She is that funny, just check out the The Immortal Rabbit « Braindebris’s Weblog if you want to split a gut.

She took a long break from blogging, much to our disgust, and is back now on a weekly blog schedule.  You would think she has a life or something!  She also mentioned it takes a good hour to put a blog post together.  Who knew!   

So, this morning, I checked how her weekend was and she brought up the often mysterious workings of the blogosphere and the people who take the time to read your blog but rarely write comments. 

My readership is not huge, it has dropped since I have gotten less regular in posting. However, in the beginning, when my readership would hit 1,000 for the month, I never had commenters, other than one.  There were 999 people out there lurking.   XUP always comments, all the way from Canada.  Aren’t you ashamed fellow Americans?  I have to get comments from Canada.  Pollyanna Rainbow Sunshine and the Needles of Doom often commented, but I have been really remiss commenting on their blog lately.  Don’t you love that name though!

 I have also been blogging a bit less lately myself, as I work on my eternal update to my website.  I feel like one of those people on the commercial, staring wide eyes, pupils dilated from staring at the screen, mind numb … anyway, you get the not pretty picture.  I only have one section left to go on the website and am soooo look forward to it being done.

This morning, here is a copy my monthly stats.  Notice the slow decline.

So, I checked Search terms. 

“no blood for oil Viggo” – as in Viggo Mortensen, no surprise there. Half of my readership is searching for “Viggo” -  Talk about stalkers! 

“Worms …” – EUWWW! especially when in the house. 

“actor with low ears” -  Okay, is this person casting a movie?  I have written about actors, and I have written a post due to the lovely commercial based on the old song “do your ears hang low. ” But, I have NEVER written about an actor with low ears.  I am not even sure why you would want to find an actor with low ears.

 

In an effort to raise my stats, I realize that I have three sure winners:

  • Viggo Mortensen
  • photography
  • Movie reviews

Okay, Viggo Mortensen is hot and I do understand the fascination.  He keeps his private life mysterious and he’s hot and he likes dark chocolate and he’s hot.  What more could you want?  The only thing is, I do not actually know Mr. Mortensen (I love his name by the way— Viggo Mortensen—-it’s lyrical.  This is coming from someone named VanVleck.  Not so lyrical.

So, I shall now vow to make more of an effort to review movies about Viggo Mortensen and you, my kind readers (numbers 13 to 30 and occasionally 1,000) shall occasionally drop me a line to let me know what you like, or do not like, on my blog.

Oh, and I will try not to be a stalker myself.

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Until I heard a woman being interviewed a week ago, in reference to the North Dakota flooding, stating that she was lightly optimistic, and that to a Norwegian is like being ecstatic, I had no idea what my Norwegian heritage meant.  You see, I’m a mutt and until just about two years ago, none of those nationalities were Norwegian. 

 

Mom’s heritage is British and Basque, with a rumor of Native American thrown in there.  My dad, a VanVleck, had always thought he was British on his mother’s side and Dutch on his dad’s side. 

 

My nephew is really into genealogy JayJay’s World and has traced dad’s family back as far as:  Generation 7:  Van Vleck, John Henry Sr. 

 

John Henry, Sr., or his family, came to the USA in the early 1800′s.  It is unclear whether he was actually born here or in Holland.  So, dad was partly right, but apparently what my nephew is finding, is that the VanVlecks might have changed their name from VanVlackern when they originally came from Norway. 

  

I sometimes envy a person with one national heritage.  They know their holidays and their place in the world.  However, us Mutts do have the benefit of getting to choose one or all of the nationalities running in our veins. 

 

Let’s face it, most of us are from somewhere else,  But, as for me, the Norwegian information does explain some things about my dad.  His lightly pessimistic was like the pits of despondency.

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I have a character, in the Young Adult Fantasy Novel that I am writing, which I have to find the perfect name for.   He is kind of a wimpy (but in an honest way) kid who has seen hard times.  He is mainly just uncoordinated and scared of life. 

 

Every once in a while I do a search for names and today I came across  Name Nerds! features.  This is a list of names that people have found to be, well, just plain wrong.  I have not gone to it but there is apparently a list of favorite names on the site too and the site is quick to say that it is all just a personal taste issue, so do not be offended. 

 

I am Sheryl.  My mother, and thus assorted relatives call me Sherry.  Since I was a teen, I have hated Sherry.  I think it may have something to do with boys singing out, “Sherrr err Sherr err err ey, Ba-aa-by.” to me in the hallway at school.  Yes, I was a teen when that song came out. 

 

I can thank my father, however, for saving me from being “Dixie,” as he refused to name his new daughter after a major Highway.  I have a dear friend named Dixie and that would be very strange.  We could do a duet, ‘Dixie and Dixie sing at the Roxie.’

 

Now, I dislike the name Sherry, for me, because it does not seem like a name for a woman; gosh, how do I put this?  Frankly, I think I am still in my prime.  So, I’ll be darn if I say, “A woman past her prime.”  I also refuse to be an “older woman.”  I am the new forty?? 

 

 

I had a friend, from Pennsylvania, who just could not pronounce Sheryl.  It always came out, “Sherrrrr, ol.”  Then, there is the matter of a dozen spellings.  But, I still like my name: Sheryl Adair VanVleck.  Everytime I have to spell that last name, I wonder why I like it.  It’s just who I am.

 

 In school there was one other Sheryl, and I think she used the “C” spelling: Cheryl.  Now, in Brown County, the art center of Indiana, I have met more Cheryl’s, Cherry’s, Sheryl’s and Sherry’s, than I have met in the whole rest of my life.  Perhaps it is an artistic name?  You know,  a name that causes you to be an artist. 

 

 There is a theory that what you name a child will affect who they become.  On the list, I found today, is Caleb, as a wimpy name.  (My DISCLAIMER: I will discuss grandchildren here, who I dearly love, no matter what their parents saddled them with.)  The child, who is the biggest wimp I have ever known, is named Caleb.

As a five year old boy, we were all out camping and he was just standing in front of us and started to scream and scream and scream.  He was backing away from us with terror on his face from one of nature’s horrors.  Even his mother was laughing hysterically when Caleb landed sitting in an open ice chest.  But, then, that fly that was on his chest was pretty scary.

   

 By the time “Micah” came along, we were used to son-in-law’s strange name choices, but Micah is a mineral, not a child. 

 

There was also the birth of this beautiful, delicate baby girl and the father who insisted on naming her “Sariah.”  Immediately, my mother said, “Why would you want to name a child after a skin disease?” 

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I was reading the comments on Master Daughter’s Blog this evening. And, had to give a shiver at one. Talisman, with his ADD comment, seems to have “foreseen” this post I was working on this morning, but had not posted yet.

I grew up in the television age and now live in the Internet age.  I remember placing my children in front of Sesame Street, as I made the morning doughnuts. Actually, I did make doughnuts, not every morning and certainly not for the healthiest of breakfasts, but I was playing June Cleever at the time.

One daughter, sat quietly and watched tv, soaking up all the information being fed to her. Expanding her brain, and her hips. She is my Master’s Daughter, who would still rather sit and read, knit or Blog, and who spends her summers off from teaching gifted sixth graders, by studying the life cycle of eggs or looking at tomatoes under an electron microscope, whilst wearing a space suit and a badge with a light that goes off right before she becomes supercharged and loses all her calcium. If you need an explanation, Shame on you! You haven’t been reading the most hilarious blog in the universe. http://Braindebris.WordPress.com At least I got it right that time.

The other daughter, sat, not quietly, using the hassock as a jungle gym. She spent the rest of her childhood being pulled by a dog while wearing roller skates (She wore the roller skates, not the dog). I believe she even took showers in those roller skates and delighted in standing on her head and waving her feet in front of the television, thus driving her Master’s sister to push her into the cabinet; (as in “push in and shut the door”)  on a daily basis.

Wikipedia, my favorite source for information, tells us that a study of 2,600 children, ages 1 to 3, in 2004 found that exposure to television may affect their attention span and that internet browsing may also. Attention span – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

In looking at my two daughters, I have to say that our family has disproved this notion. Master’s Daughter, the tv watcher, attended college as an adult, graduated with honors and a Master’s degree; all while raising three sons and Super-Sized husband. (For those of you not in the know, supersized husband is very tall  (at least compared to me), and has many traits of a man reverting to the age of twelve; thus becoming her fourth child. It takes a lot of attention span to keep up with that.

Daughter, who has eleven children, has floated most of her life. I do believe she still wants her roller skates back, but don’t we all and, perhaps, from what little tv she watched may have come the tendency to believe and do anything her husband tells her; thus she is clearly having a problem thinking for herself. Is ADD to blame? Certainly the number of children she has shows concentration in one aspect of her life. And, don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love and adore all the munchkins and miss them terribly.

 To take this study one step further, I went to Psychology Today and took their Attention Span Test. Psychology Today: Self Tests. My family, when growing up, had the first television on the block. My father was addicted from the first time he turned that dial on. He took a night correspondence television repair course, well it could have been done by day too, most correspondence courses are somewhat flexible that way, but he worked for Combustion Engineering during the day.

As children from other houses in our neighborhood took home the word of how wonderful this invention was, that the VanVleck’s have, and nagged their families into purchasing a television, my dad became the man to call when it didn’t work right. His move, to retire to Arkansas, saw the largest bonfire in Lake County, Indiana, as we burned the television cabinets he had saved for years, over a two day period.

I felt that I was a good test sample to see if television may have affected my attention span, so I took Psychology Today’s test. (from the link above). This is their report to me:          “According to your score, you sometimes have difficulty maintaining your focus on a task and following it through until completion. People who have short attention spans tend to jump from project to project and are often known to be quite disorganized. This frequently results in missed deadlines, tardiness, and bills being paid late. “

I have never paid a bill late, well hardly ever, I do not miss deadlines and I am rarely tardy. However, I do have a problem with jumping from project to project. A Big problem.

Right now, I have so many projects either started or half done, that I could live to be two hundred and probably never finish them: quilt squares for Master Daughter, quilt for someone undecided (almost finished for ten years now), a quilt for each grandchild (most are already designed with fabric purchased, photo albums for each grandchild (pictures are sorted), sweater for husband (have yarn), endless photos to create paintings from (my new project involves shadows. That way I have an excuse to take more pictures, to put off more painting.), I have a garden sized gorilla just started in my ceramics studio and a project on women’s perception of beauty well underway. Add to that the desperate need to get the house organized and I’m looking at a life sentence here.  And, those darn “knit in the round” socks are cast on for the third time. One Mystery novel needs major editing and revision. One children’s picture book just needs to be put in order to send out.

However, I have just spent the last two plus years working daily on my Young Adult novel and I have fifty pages left of my fifth edit. I’m already crafting my query letter to agents and editors, and I have started a sketchbook that will, hopefully add interest-even if they give this to a book artist for illustrations, because it is a fantasy and maps and details are nice for kids to look at.  SO, when it is important enough, I can finish a project. Should we withhold judgment on that until the book is in the hands of a publisher? I need to also mention that it may take major surgery to make me finish a project, as that is how I started this one.

I have been a computer buff since the KAYPRO. They say the Internet also lowers attention span. If anything, it has helped mine as I tend to click too quickly and miss all kinds of stuff. Like on WordPress, the front page changes by the second. I’ll never know now, since I clicked too fast at sign on: just what kind of haircut your kid  gets when you let your punk friends take the child for a haircut,  or Why Bill Gates is just Now Learning What Dog food Tastes Like (He is retired in a New York walk up and reduced to this?) and  Just what does happen if you wear lipstick?

If I click too fast on my online bank, I am locked out time and again, until they decide that I am an intruder and I have to call the bank to reset my password. I am now on a first name basis with the woman who does this. So, the internet is forcing me to slow down and Meditate on which button to push next. Such decisions! No wonder I don’t have time to finish all my projects.

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