I’m happy I joined the flock

I’ve resisted the lure of the little blue bird for years. I was not going to tweet. At first it was easy. I heard the rumors–people were simply listing what they ate and when they used the restroom. I wanted no part in that. I am not that self-absorbed. I recently changed my mind and joined the flock. It started slowly with trouble in my neighborhood.

The anarchists started attacking Seattle again, and I was able to find updates through the Seattle police Twitter stream. I didn’t realize this, but you don’t generally have to be on Twitter to read the posts. It was very helpful to see the up-to-the-minute info. I looked around a little. I got intrigued. I also decided I should be on there to promote my businesses and so that I’d have experience if someone wanted me to tweet for them–I do some promotional writing. I took the leap.

I’m actually loving it. I’m getting all kinds of fun tidbits about Shakespeare and other geeky subjects I love by following the Royal Shakespeare Company, Sir Patrick Stewart, and others. I’m also following a lot of stand-up comedians. Laughter truly is the best medicine. I also love to share helpful information with others, and this gives me a platform (along with my public Facebook page) to share short things in a timely manner. All this is good, but it’s not my favorite part. I am loving Twitter because of the games.

These aren’t your average time-wasting games. If those are on Twitter I haven’t found them and I wouldn’t indulge. I’ve been on Facebook for years and I’ve never had a farm or tried Candy Crush Saga. I know myself too well and I don’t want to spend my time that way. These are word games. Twitter has a number of fun ways to learn new vocabulary and play with words (and play with others who are doing the same). I am having fun and gaining new vocabulary by engaging with altwiculate and artwiculate. Their websites have a daily word with a definition and then people tweet sentences that use them (trying to be clever, if possible).

My favorite game on Twitter is called the Hashtag Game. Hashtags are the little phrases prefaced with a #. You’ve most likely seen them, even if you’ve been avoiding the Twitter as long as I have. The whole point of the game is to make up something clever to say about the subject that they are talking about. These quips get posted at a fast and furious pace. Here’s one of my examples from yesterday: “A week-old turkey dinner inside a bus station locker. #ThingsYouWouldn’tClaim”

I love to play with words. If you make words your friends you’ll be a better writer, and if you’ve got to write something quickly without overthinking it your brain will be primed to spout ideas and vocabulary at a moment’s notice. This is fun, and it’s fun that’s good for me. I get the added benefit of interacting with the other people playing and connecting further with online writing friends. Sometimes my posts are better than others. This is also okay. Writers need to write lots. We need to write well and to write poorly. This is how we learn. This is how we learn to experiment. This is how we have fun. I like fun, don’t you?

Your assignment, should you choose to accept it:
260. Check out the vocabulary and word games on Twitter and play a few on paper even if you aren’t on Twitter yourself. You can see the stream of my posts on my main personal website or follow me @CathyTenzo. If you’re not on Twitter and it seems like fun, give it a try. If you do join or if you’re already on there, leave your info in the comments and I’ll check out your tweets. Even if the whole thing just seems bizarre, it can be fun to explore a foreign culture.

Serendipity do

This is the place where I usually put an essay, but I was planning to write it this evening, and serendipity happened. I spontaneously decided to make myself a vegan St. Patrick’s Day feast, and I posted a picture of the vegan Irish soda bread I made to Facebook. My friend Joan said it sounded yummy, so I invited her over to share. She came over and we feasted, laughed, and had fun. Sometimes it’s important to go with the flow. People are more important than deadlines.

Your assignment, should you choose to accept it:
233. Do something spontaneous instead of something you had planned. How was it?

Curtain up, light the lights

She was so cute standing there on the street corner, with her kitty ears and angel wings. I don’t know who she was, but I wrapped my arms around her and gave her a big squeeze. There was the cardboard sign, too, held just below her bright smile. It said “Free Hugs.” I occasionally see these people in Seattle. They go out in small groups to hug people, and there’s usually some costuming involved. When you ask them why they are doing it, they tell you that it’s fun. I think it’s really cool.

I was wandering Capitol Hill, coming back from a two hour dance lesson. I was suddenly stiff, my muscles tired from spinning and stepping, my feet dragging a bit. Then I saw the Supermen standing on the corner. These two guys were not particularly muscular, but there they were dressed in Superman costumes, complete with capes. The capes were blowing up behind them, and they were talking to a gentleman with a camera. It looked like a random street interview. The spring went back into my step.

Back down at the Pike Place market I passed the fellow who spends his days making balloon animals. He’s always wearing something festive and unusual, and this day was no exception. He had on an intricate balloon hat, but this was just the cherry on the sundae. He was festooned with tattered netting, old seaweed and bits of shells. If he’d been taking a nap, one might have thought that Neptune tossed him back from the depths to ensure that Seattle had a way to fulfill its cravings for tiny twisted poodles and flowers.

This town seems to have a penchant for dressing up, from the jazz-infused hipsters to the drag queens in their shiny stilettos. We love a parade, and we love them so much that we create our own little ones all over town. I live in the middle of an enormous art installation. I love knowing that the next performance is right around the corner. Wish you could be here!

Your assignment, should you choose to accept it:

73. Go out in public in some sort of costume. It can be as simple as a mask or a wig, or as elaborate as you like. How does it seem to affect those around you? Does it make you feel any different?