Tag Archives: facebook

Featherfish, Facebook and other things that start with F.


First the featherfish. They hang from a hook on our little pergola on our deck. Here’s a picture of them:

featherfish trio

featherfish trio

I bring them up because I love them. They make me smile. I found them last spring when I went hat shopping with a dear friend at the Eastern Market in D.C. It was a great morning and we had a wonderful time.

“They are made of all natural products,” the Asian vendor said proudly in broken, but enthusiastic English. “Coconut shells, goose feathers, chestnut for the weight,” he added.

“What about the eyes? Those aren’t natural…” I said, smirking at him. The eyes are googly eyes. The kind you can buy in bulk, something like 100 for $.25 at a craft store.

how can you not smile after you look at this? this featherfish is game, for anything. its enthusiasm is contagious.

how can you not smile after you look at this? this featherfish is game, for anything. its enthusiasm is contagious.

“No, you are right, they are not natural,” he said, smiling. I was grateful he knew I was having a little fun with him.

I didn’t care what the price was; I was in love with the featherfish. Three featherfish per line; three boys in my home. Each boy has a fish. I was sold.

“Thirty-five dollars,” he said. I physically balked; I couldn’t help myself. I looked at my friend, she gestured to me to confer with her.

“They like to barter. Tell him twenty. It’s an insult if you don’t barter. If you don’t barter it means you don’t really want the item. Tell him twenty….” she explained. She got where I was coming from. I rolled my eyes at her. Well, not at her, but at the idea that I had to barter over the stinking overpriced featherfish. I turned toward the vendor.

I turned back to my friend.

“Twenty,” she mouthed; eyes wide and glaring with intent.

The vendor was smiling, his arm was outstretched, ready to take the featherfish down and wrap them for purchase.

“Twenty.” I said, half embarrassed.

He smiled. “Twenty five.”

“Deal.” I said. I just wanted it to end and I was psyched. I tried to control my voice, my grin; I loved them. He knew it and he was proud to sell them to me. I’d never seen anything like them and I was enamored. I was like a little girl in a toy store.

He took them down and wrapped them in tissue paper and put them in a brown paper bag. I have since bought a set of featherdogs, and while they’re cute an’ all, they’re nothing like the featherfish. The dogs don’t smile and their noses fell off last winter. So I’ve treated the featherfish with clear sealant so they can withstand the summer’s heat.

They put up with rain, wind gusts and the heat bouncing off our south-facing but shaded (and still mighty hot anyway) deck. These dudes know how to live: they face the wind when it really gets going.

I’m writing about the featherfish because they remind me of what’s actually happening right now. I can see them as I type this. Outside, in the real world. The wind blows and their bodies turn and their tail feathers spin:

Seeing the featherfish makes me smile. I saw an image on Facebook last week from Sadie Nardini Yoga:

(c) cinismoilustrado.com

(c) cinismoilustrado.com

I’m pretty good about the smartphone use; I was much better about it during Lent when I took a break from Facebook. It was one of the best things that ever happened to me in a while and I don’t want to lose that edge.

I’ve made a decision and it’s no big deal to anyone but me, but it means a lot to me. It means I’ve reached another milestone in my writerly life and that I’ve finally reconciled something: I’m pulling the plug on the Facebook fan page that “shamelessly plugs my blog”; it’s not for me. Never has been; it never was my style. I did it to keep up with an unhealthy trend: trying to be something I’m not. Trying to fit in. Trying to keep up with everyone else.

I want — SO MUCH — to live the life I have; to have boots on the ground; to get dirt under my nails; to write; to sing; to paint; to draw; to bend; to run; to row; and to dream, that I’m done trying to be a showman on that page. I don’t have it in me; I never did and I’m finally doing something about it. I’ve hung up the cloak of someone else’s ambition and put on my own. I am almost fiercely protective of my time now; the last thing I want to do — with all due respect to any fan out there who liked my page and was a dedicated fan — is look for things pictures for fans to share to bring more traffic to my page. And with Facebook’s new algorithm, no one is seeing anything I post — I’m talking 25 out of 472 “fans.” So if you come here from there, you have two options: subscribe to my blog from here or “subscribe” to me on Facebook proper (https://www.facebook.com/molly.t.field?ref=tn_tnmn) where you can see what I upload publicly.

What I noticed the most, is that the really neat things I enjoyed seeing and sharing: nature photos, amazing architecture, astronomy images and other really cool stuff got almost no traffic, no Likes; but the more sarcastic I was, the nastier I was, the more snarky I was, the more traffic I saw. An image I shared right before Thanksgiving, got SO much traffic, I “gained” 40 fans in a weekend. It was shared 28 times.

this. it's funny / shocking, but it's not me. i can't spend time looking for stuff like this all the time... so i won't.

this. it’s funny / shocking, but it’s not me. i can’t spend time looking for stuff like this all the time… so i won’t.

I laughed privately to a good friend, saying, “the poor bastards…. they’re gonna expect more of that and I’m gonna hit ’em with Dorothy Parker quotes or images from National Geographic or Eagle nebulas from the Hubble telescope…” and sure enough: as soon as I did, as soon as I reverted back to my taste and my interests, I lost about 12 “fans.”

It’s ok. But faking it has been stupid and exhausting. I don’t want to care about that page anymore, so I’m not; it’s also hard on me to see that it’s sinking and there’s nothing I can do. The bottom line: I’m trying to spend less time online, not more. Want some irony? The post announcing my page’s shut down has seen 226 views. That is the most ever of anything I’ve ever posted since Facebook started sharing view counts.

Thank you.

Don’t Judge a #Writer by Her Word Game Scores


Many fatal errors exist in this internet age: the reply to all email when you meant to reply to one bashing criticizing everyone but the “one”; the inadvertent post of a crappy blog; connecting all your contacts in your smartphone with your contacts on LinkedIn or Facebook and then having to apologize or the gaffe; or finally, for me anyhow, the linking of your Facebook profile to Words with Friends, or Word Scramble.  I the first two errors: I’ve made in my sleep, I was a pro. The third error, I just clicked “OK” to something that I thought meant the opposite and the fourth, the inadvertent linking of my random iDevice with my Facebook profile has all but done me in.

play me if you wish, but i warn you: i will lose and i won't care. publicly.

play me if you wish, but i warn you: i will lose and i won’t care. publicly.

People who read writers like me make a ridiculous natural assumption connection that just because I can words together string to sense make that fantastic be at will games word I. Especially the timed kind.

Nothing, my friends, nothing — not the popular underground theory that Bonaparte was a good guy or the CIA is just a misunderstood neighborhood watch program, could be more untrue.

I SUCK at word games. I don’t understand the use of Tokens in Scramble, and it’s proof positive that my scores of 215 to 790 in the first round, that I will never ever beat anyone at these games. Word Scramble is timed and when I play it, I become literally unhinged if someone asks me a question or if the house is on fire or we’re being raided by the CIA or if I have an itch somewhere because …

I can’t take it. You have to drag your finger along the screen’s mosaic of letters to make words for points and then the dopamine rush starts and you see the word TOP and then STOP and TOPS and POTS and POST and OPTS and you want to take hostages because you can’t make the E and the D part of the chain, so you cry and you yell for everyone to just stop, stop talking to you, stop asking you questions, can’t you see this is important? I can’t help you, just roll under a wet towel, the flames should go out… doesn’t anyone pay attention to that film strip anymore in Sister Marie’s Fallout Shelter classes?! AM I THE ONLY ONE WHO WATCHED THE FILM STRIPS?!

And what about the fickle nature of the dictionaries in Words With Friends or Word Feud or Scrabble (which frankly is my margin by which I base all other online dictionaries) where PHAT is a word as well as QAT (an Arabian bush):

Screen Shot 2013-03-28 at 2.32.32 PM

is a word but QUO is not.

Often, I’ve been heard stating this sentiment, “Oh, thank you Harrison, just place the Qat beside the Willow, it will be simply phat there.”

What’s a player to do? How many times must I execute: QI or XI or ZA or ZIT to earn the points?

What’s a writer to do? Would that I could, my favorite word would be JOULES. I don’t know why, but I can’t wait to use (?) that word. The J is 10 points, but I don’t even care that it mightn’t be used on a TW (that’s triple word) or TL (triple letter) tile; I yearn for the opportunity to use, JOULES, MIEN, REPOSE, GLOAMING, FECKLESS … HARKEN … these are the words I would like to play. Just because I have a writerly vocabulary doth not mean I’m able to EXECUTE it.


I prefer the fanciful nature of Draw Something anyway. Look at what I’ve done, and taken to an obsessive level, I might add, when inspired to sketch out a word…

This is “Lavender”:

yes, i take out my repressed and constrained creativity on my unwitting friends who must wait for my image to come up...

yes, i take out my repressed and constrained creativity on my unwitting friends who must wait for my image to come up…

and SAFARI (oh, I had fun with this one — it was for only 3 coins, but I didn’t care; I had just gotten destroyed in a WWF game with another writer — it was something like 4338 to 12):

and wait... I think that's me driving one of the trucks...

and wait… I think that’s me driving one of the trucks…

or try this — “CUSTOMER” — after a while, I’ve noticed that my people are starting to have stylized feet and shapes…

do you like their feet and hair? I had just lost another WWF game, 512 to 6.

do you like their feet and hair? I had just lost another WWF game, 512 to 6. My husband, who was the innocent recipient of this image thought it was a bank hold-up at first. He beats me at WWF. now that i have a stylus, it’s amazing. 

So the moral of this story is that you may ask me to play these silly noninteresting pedestrian word games that get people like Alec Baldwin tossed off planes excused from a flight, but I will likely lose because I can’t stoop to the tiny-brained fettering rules that squash scuttle my brilliance brilliance.


Thank you.