Saturday, October 22, 2011

Is This Too Much for a Fan to do?

Music is one thing I enjoy. I have a wide varity of artists whom I enjoy. I like many different styles. While I am not a big fan of Country Music there are artists I do like to listen to occasionally. I don't think George Strait has even done a bad song. I enjoy Reba, Toby Keith, Lady Antebellum and others.

I like to listen to jazz and enjoy both vocals and musicians. Ever heard of Jonny Blu or Charley Langer? How about Dave Koz, George Benson? They are just a few. Who could beat Ella Fitzgerald, Tony Bennett, or even Frank Sinatra? Or take Broadway music...many standards have come from Broadway. What would movie musicals do without Broadway? I even enjoy classical from time to time. It can be soothing and relaxing or a way to find the drama in music.

I have enjoyed seeing some singers/musicians in concerts. It can be a lot of fun. Of course these days it costs a lot for people to go to concerts. It could easily cost more than $100 to see a concert. I can only guess it is even more expensive to go see artists like Garth Brooks, Donny & Marie, Barry Manilow or others who establish a following at the different hotel venues in Las Vegas. It's not a cheap place to visit. Of course I've never been there so I really don't know.

Fans often write "reviews" of their favorite artist's performances. I know that many fans enjoy reading the personal stories of their friends visits. I have seen these reviews cover every thing from the costumes, to the song choices and styles as well as what the back-up singers/dancers do. Some fans see the same artist over and over again. They almost know the order in which the songs will be performed. If the artist changes a lyric or an inflection or even a facial expression, they note it.

I saw a "review" by a person who had seen the same artist in Vegas 200 times. Yes I said 200. Wow! I can not imagine that. What can you say about an artist when you have seen the show 200 times? What would the artist think about a fan that goes to Vegas to see him or her that many times? Really like the music, right? Loyal fan? Gotta have a lot of money, right? Or would the artist think the fan is obsessed? I don't begrudge any fan the right to see their favorite artist as many times as they want. But 200 seems a wee bit excessive. I'd rather, if I had that kind of money, spread it around and see a variety of people. I still haven't seen Straight No Chaser in Houston, or Dave Koz, or Michael Buble, or Big Bad VooDoo Daddy, or George Strait, and so on...

No, I do not envy people who do see the same people so many times. I would just rather have some variety. When you know what songs, moves, looks, jokes, costumes, dances, foot placement, etc will be done before the artist does them, you've seen them too much. But hey, I'm just a music fan who enjoys the songs the whole world sings.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

You Want Me in "Who's Who"? Who Are You Kidding?

The other day I got an interesting e-mail which said I had been selected for inclusion in a "Who's Who" list. Ok, I'll wait till you can stop laughing. I find this funny too. I've been snickering for a while now. So today I get another e-mail about this. Oh come on guys. I'm not an executive or professional... I have run offices and departments before, but nothing out of the ordinary. This is why I have to ask myself "What's the deal here? Or what is the catch to this? There is always a catch to these things.

Today's e-mail read: Dear Jillmalitz,

You were recently appointed as a biographicalcandidate for inclusion in the prestigious 2011 Search Who's Who" directory of accomplished executives and professionals.

We are pleased to inform you that on October 4th your candidacy was formally approved by Professional Biographies. Congratulations! The office of the Managing Director appoints individuals based upon a candidate's current position and also focuses on information obtained from researched executive and professional listings. Given your background, the Director thinks that you may make an interesting biographical subject for online publication.

There is NO COST nor obligation to be listed.

After receiving verification, we will validate your registry lissting within seven business days. Once finalized, your profile will share prominent registry space with thousands of fellow accomplished individuals across the globe - each representing accomplishments within their own geographical area.

Your prompt response is needed to ensure your correct professional information. Upon final conformation, you will also recieve a Free Personal Website (including your professionally written biography).

Our regisstration deadline is October 31st,2011. To ensure you are included, we must receive your verification on or before this date. On behalf of our Committee, I salute your achievement and look forward to welcoming you to our association.

Benjamin Morrison, Editor in Chief

First, there has to be a catch to this. Nobody gives an "honor" like this for nothing. And what's with the "free personal website"? Is there another Jill Malitz somewhere who is an accomplished professional person who deserves to be in a Who's Who". Next there has to be a cost somewhere, right? I'm pretty sure this is not legit. Pretty funny joke, right? Now let's all get back to regular programing.

Monday, October 10, 2011

The Post Office is on Life Support.

The USPS, our wonderful post office, has been hemorraging money for quite some time now. Soon they will lay off thousands of employees and cut mail service. Does that bother anyone? What would Ben Franklin say? Write more letters? Well maybe we should write more. These days we want instant everything. We e-mail and text each other. We pay bills online. We shop online. So it is no wonder the mail service in in trouble.

Here is a novel idea. Write a letter. Yes, I said write. Pick up a pen or pencil and use your hand and fingers to actually write on paper. Paper manufacturers will love this. What do you mean you don't know how to write a letter? Oh dear. I remember when I was a kid having to write a Thank You note to my grandmother, aunt or uncle thank you notes for presents. We didn't have e-mail. I had to write these notes for Christmas gifts, birthday gifts, graduation or wedding gifts. Who does that now. I can actually remember the term "bread and butter" letters. Don't know those? If you went to spend time at another person's house you sent them a letter thanking them for having you at their home and how much you enjoyed the visit.

We used to spend a great deal of time picking out holiday cards or anniversary or birthday cards. We had to find just the right ones. Sweet cards to grandma. Funny cards to brother. Sympathy cards for the loss of a special person. This was hard work sometimes. I wonder how the cardmakers are doing. E-card are in fashion now. That is if we even do that. We have, for example gone from buying just the right present and card for a special occasion, to texting a greeting. Somehow that seems a little impersonal. Even taking time to call a person is too much for people to do. Then we wonder where time went because it is too late to talk to that person.

The Post Office these days seem to make the most money from junk mail and catalogs. Have you noticed the commercials for flat rate shipping? There is a reason for that. Money. But, the people who do actually get catalogs only look at them. Do they order by mail? No, they go online and order. Of course my last adventure online was ordering some free samples. I never got them. I hope the makeup shade looks good on the mail carrier.

Companies are encouraging people to pay bills online telling us that it is less waste of paper. Sure, let's save those trees and landfills. And just how long does it take for a disposable diaper to degrade in a landfill? I'm still not sure I want to pay my bills online. I still like getting that bill delivered once amonth. I had an experience years ago when a company took a payment out of my bank account twice in one month. That was not fun to get straight.

I guess we are just moving too fast these days. Soon the postal service will be a thing of the past. Until then, I will continue to get mail. Yes, I get irritated with some of the junk mail. Hey, it's mail. Can you imagine that little old lady down the street? That may be the only contact she has with the outside world. Her kids are in the cmputer age. They don't call, they don't write. If they can't say something in 140 characters or less, they don't do it. She will miss her mail person.