Archive for the ‘Blogging & Bloggers’ Category

Haven’t you been thinking that you need a puppy?

Thursday, April 2nd, 2009

I know I shouldn’t have a favorite, but I do. I can’t help it. I mean, just look at her:

More puppies - just waiting to be adopted! - over at Newscoma.

Swanky!

Tuesday, November 11th, 2008


Swanky!

Originally uploaded by Kate O’

Even the bathroom icon people are pretty sophisticated.

John Irving at the Ryman Auditorium

Saturday, November 8th, 2008

“Suppression is very American. … If you don’t like abortion, don’t
have one. … Why should it matter to straight couples if gay couples
get married?” - John Irving, Ryman Auditorium, Nashville, November 8,
2008

Raven’o'lantern

Tuesday, October 28th, 2008


Raven’o'lantern

Originally uploaded by Kate O’

Sweet carving job on a pumpkin at Sitening HQ.

“The Bee Hive” is now “Sticky Songwriting,” but it’s all still Honey Bowtie Music

Sunday, October 19th, 2008

We’ve changed the blog name to better reflect the renewed focus on songwriting and music and hoping to attract fewer visitors from Google looking for advice on how to care for bee hives. (Yeah, I mean it.) Now to write some more posts for those visitors who ARE coming here looking for songwriting content. :)

You may see other changes afoot here, as well. Just trying to tidy the place up a bit. Pardon our dust.

Update: Such as an even NEWer name. “Sticky, Sweet, & A Little Overdressed.” Might still change. But that’s OK. :)

In the meantime, here are some links to some of our best / most popular songwriting posts in months and years past:

  1. Why I’m abandoning MasterWriter
  2. Purity vs. technique in songwriting
  3. Best songwriters, via Paste and NPR
  4. What makes a song demo work in Nashville?
  5. Should I write a song about it?
  6. Cross-medium inspiration
  7. Songwriting and politics

Letter from a jilted lover

Thursday, June 26th, 2008

My colleague pointed me to a letter a friend of his wrote to American Airlines, “breaking up” with them.

Dear American Airlines,

I don’t think we should see each other any more.

I know that’s hard to hear. But you’re not the same airline I met a few years ago. You’ve changed. And not for the better. Sure, you say you love me… that you’ll take care of me… that I am “Elite” in your eyes… but those words just seem empty now. I need you to show me that your love is genuine.

There’s more. Lots more. And it’s brilliant. Check it out.

Quite possibly my favorite quote ever

Wednesday, March 19th, 2008
I think porn is kind of boring, frankly–it’s like watching monkeys type. Yeah they can do it and it LOOKS real, but you know it’s all a setup.

- Kat Coble

This blog now iPhone-ready

Sunday, March 16th, 2008

beehiveblog-iphonetheme.pngThanks to the fine folks at ContentRobot, this blog is now equipped with an iPhone-ready theme. If you view www.honeybowtie.com/blog from an iPhone, it will automatically show up in a minimalist iPhone format.

And thanks to Dan Dickinson’s simple explanation, the whole honeybowtie.com site now has a custom webclip icon if you add it to your home page.

Whee!

MCB = Much Crazy Bullshit? But maybe it can still be better

Sunday, January 6th, 2008

I’ve been completely out of the loop on the drama and goings-on over at MusicCityBloggers.com, which I say in part to apologize to those for whom I’ve not been able to be supportive and in part to claim that I take no part in the madness. The mess is expansive and the scars are starting to look like they run pretty deep.

While I wasn’t completely naive about the possibility it might blow up, I really had a very optimistic outlook for it in the beginning. But I and many other contributors have never been nearly active enough to spread the workload out evenly enough, and possibly as a consequence, the voices have become too much of a shrill monotone.

So much of the nay-saying about MCB seems to pertain to a lack of balance in political opinion, which I find unfortunate. I have found that blog, at times, to be a great source of reasoned debate between people of differing viewpoints. I don’t blog often about politics, per se, but like most people, the majority of my opinions can be taken at some level as an indicator of my political leanings. After all, you don’t meet all that many vegan (well, mostly vegan), child-free, atheist, bisexual… conservative Republicans. I’m not saying it’s a foregone conclusion from my writings that I’m a liberal/progressive/Green/what-have-you, but I think the overlap between my lifestyle/preferences and political viewpoint is easy to spot.

What’s my point? I guess it’s that I don’t think a community blog need necessarily be overtly about politics, and I don’t think politics need necessarily be a policy discussion every time in order to be meaningful. But it’s often the topics that do deal directly with policy that turn the most vicious — or maybe that’s because those discussions somehow attract the most vicious commenters.

I don’t have any answers; I just find it unfortunate and I hope that the next era of MCB corrects course and is stronger for the growing pains.

Twitter Updates for 2008-01-05

Saturday, January 5th, 2008

Gifts that really do keep on giving

Sunday, December 2nd, 2007

Over at Music City Bloggers, Malia asks:

will all your holiday dreams come true if there’s a little velvet box waiting for you under the tree?

My holiday dreams? Do not involve jewelry boxes. At all. As I said in the comments at MCB, diamonds suck. That whole industry is evil and I don’t get why they’re so damned expensive. Sure they sparkle and sparkly things are appealing, but I can get a heck of a lot of pleasure out of looking at and wearing much less expensive sparkly things.

As for my jewelry preferences in general, I’d much rather have an unusual piece with semiprecious stones — something that reflects my personality. One year I asked Karsten to have my favorite ring — one that I made when I was in high school, and I wear every day — polished as a Christmas gift, and that was a wonderful treat. (It could use it again, now that I think of it.)

For that matter, why limit it to jewelry? I prefer unusual gifts that reflect my personality. Besides the aforementioned ring polishing, one of the lovelier gifts Karsten has given me was, at my request, to have one of his original art pieces framed so it could hang in our bedroom. I love that piece, and it meant a lot to me to be able to look at it every day.

Was the gift any less wonderful because it wasn’t a surprise? Not at all. I love surprise gifts, but meaningful gifts trump surprises, in my book.

And hey, it’s hard work to think up a meaningful, surprising gift just in time for the holidays. And that’s the thing: I really prefer not to play into the pressure of holiday gift-giving too much. I LOVE the idea of giving gifts; I just don’t like the idea of being socially obligated to give gifts.

After all, I buy myself indulgent little things all the time; if I’m going to be given a gift, I prefer it to be something meaningful and representative of my relationship with the gift-giver; the cost and timing of the gift truly have nothing to do with its value to me.

The editor’s note in the latest issue of Domino magazine talked about great gifts: how they’re special and surprising, but most importantly, they reflect the best interpretation of the relationship between giver and recipient. That’s one of the biggest things that bother me about the consumer-driven holiday culture we’ve (d)evolved into: it feels so much like checking an item off your “to do” list.

Which is why, as a side note, I hate the trend of giving gift cards as presents with a burning, boiling passion. In the past ten years, it seems to have become so common that I feel like all people do is end up getting the same amount in gift cards that they give. If they’re lucky.

We all might as well write each other $1,000,000 checks and tear them up — at least that’d be more memorable. In fact, why not? Let’s all get together, drink some Silk Nog, write checks to each other in ridiculous sums, talk about what we’ll do with our gift money, and then laugh and tear them to pieces. Who’s in?

Hey, I’m testing out…

Monday, November 12th, 2007

Hey, I’m testing out posting to the blog from Jott. Let’s see if this works. If so, it could be a real time saver while I’m driving home on my long commute. listen

Powered by Jott

Odds and ends: the weekend recovery edition

Saturday, October 20th, 2007

I’m so lame. I never got around to posting on Blog Action Day. But my excuse is that I’ve had a real roller coaster of a week. I went from, well, managing myself on Monday to having two direct reports on Wednesday, and that’s only part of it. So yeah, I really do think activism is important, I just didn’t take the arbitrarily designated day to talk about it. I wish I could link to my activism category, but I’ve been slow with this whole content import and re-tagging thing, so I’ve only gotten around to tagging one of my old posts with it. Oh well. There’s always next year.

***

On Thursday evening, Karsten and I went to hear Peter Plagens give an art lecture at the Frist with our friends Brad and Jed, and I’m pretty sure we were all creatively inspired. It was awesome. He basically talked about the struggle to embrace the new once you’ve become comfortable and familiar with the not-so-new, but unlike that rather trite-sounding summary, he was articulate and witty and insightful.

***

Speaking of embracing the new, I spent this morning working on updating the top-level honeybowtie.com site. I needed to replace a lot of the clunky tables, image-based text styling, and Dreamweaver-generated Javascript from oh-so-long-ago with a more adaptable CSS-based design. I’m not in love with how it looks yet, but it’s definitely a step in the direction I’m trying to go. The idea is to incorporate the blog and the rest of the site a bit more seamlessly, but I’m obviously not there yet.

***

Karsten is spending the day working (and I’m occasionally collaborating with him) on a project we’ve been trying to get around to finishing for several months now. Between all the chaos of the house renovation, my day job, our flea and rat troubles, sick cats, and vacation, it’s been delayed a bit. So with any luck we’ll have a scratch demo recorded by tomorrow night, even if it’s only a chorus. The artist we’re communicating with about this song has been waiting long enough and we need to get this one wrapped. I’m also trying to round up some other song ideas she might be interested in, so I guess we have next weekend already planned, too.

***

This vodka and tonic is simply perfect. I am a bartending genius, I tell you.

Karsten at Oktoberfest

Tuesday, October 16th, 2007

Check out the pic of Karsten and our neighbor Jeff at Oktoberfest. Taken by the lovely and talented Sheila at A Blessed Mess.

Half-wrong? Mostly right? Natural or unnatural? Who cares if it’s funny!

Friday, October 12th, 2007

Over at Music City Bloggers, we’re debating choice and levels of wrongness, among other things.

Meanwhile over at the Onion, they get it half-right — well, mostly wrong, but still funny.

(That last one reminds me of a postcard I found one time that was captioned “San Francisco Parenting,” in which a parent was calling out to a child “Don’t forget to go both ways before crossing the street!”)

HT: Jon

Good question!

Thursday, October 11th, 2007

Someone hit my site from Google looking for “nicknames for Karsten.” Man, I wish I could tell you. Aside from “The Hammer,” which is really specific to my Karsten, I don’t really have anything for you. Karsty? He’d sneer at me for that one. Sten? I think he’d just look at me like I was crazy if I tried it.

Yeah, sorry, I got nothing.

Are zee French rude? Mais non!

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2007

Jae got me thinking (in a way totally unrelated to what she was talking about) about how I found myself thinking fondly of the U.S. a few times while we were in Paris and Amsterdam. Not of the government, mind you, and certainly not of this current administration’s policies or whathaveyou.

But just thinking fondly of some of the little cultural niceties that I take for granted and which were notably absent from many of my dealings with folks over there. Maybe some of it is my having grown accustomed to the U.S. South and the culture of extreme gentility that underlies everything else around here, but I can easily understand why Americans who visit Paris, especially, would walk away thinking the French rude. I don’t think it’s really a matter of being rude, but I think there are a few characteristics that are typical of parts of U.S. culture that are either missing or very transformed in some of Europe’s cultures.

I’m thinking, for example, of the kind of you-first-no-you-first awkward politeness, or the face-saving that goes with conversations with strangers, or the extreme emphasis on customer service and the “customer is king” mentality and expectation within retail and food service. Certainly each of these has their analogous counterpart in other cultures, but I imagine it can be jarring for Americans visiting, say, Paris for the first time to be condescended to by a waiter, to be reprimanded by a stranger, to be bluntly addressed, and so on.

Know what I mean? And yeah, I’m sure this has been studied and documented and all, but when has that ever stopped a blogger from making dull observations about anything? So feel free to add your insightful thoughts in the comments and help me class this joint up, would ya?

Are the dashed-off blog posts always the ones that get the most attention?

Tuesday, September 11th, 2007

Ivy seems to think so and I’m starting to believe her.

My Amazon redesign post took me all of two minutes to write, yet is getting read by folks from various corners of the globe. That’s nice and all, but an awful lot of those links lead to my LiveJournal account instead of honeybowtie.com. Bummer! I could have used that link love to build my search presence.

Also, of the folks that did end up on honeybowtie.com, Site Meter tells me a few have been from Amazon. Nice. Had I known the good folks in Seattle would actually read my feedback, I probably would have been a little more thorough about giving it. Ah well.

Lesson learned for the future: when writing about something that someone is probably emotionally invested in (and projects that people have presumably been working hard on for some time would, yes, fall into that category), remember that people do ego searches and write knowing you’ll be read.

Might as well kick the tires on this thing

Sunday, September 9th, 2007

I’m not finished uploading old content yet, and I don’t quite have the layout and functionality I’m planning to have, but let’s go ahead and get this show on the road, shall we?

I’ve moved, and the majority of my blogging will now be done at The Bee Hive over at Honey Bowtie Music. I’d claim that you can expect a tighter focus on songwriting and music, but if you’ve read me at all you probably know I’m going to talk about whatever I feel like talking about.

Setting up a blog at honeybowtie.com has been in the plans for a while. I’ve wanted to tie the time I spend on blogging back into an area of my life that I’m passionate about in a meaningful way. And I wanted to give Karsten the opportunity to contribute in a way that would be relevant and interesting to him. Don’t expect to see too much from him — he hates typing. But if anything could get him to contribute anyway, it’s having the discussion take place here, in this context. We may bring him around yet.

Even with genuine motivation to get started, though, I was pretty put off by how much work I thought it would be. It helped so much for me to be so involved in setting up Music City Bloggers so I could get some heavy exposure to the inner workings of Wordpress. I wasn’t really wrong about the level of effort — I’ve spent the entire weekend getting this thing set up and migrated. But so far I’m pretty impressed with the flexibility of this platform. I think I’m going to like it here.

Anyway, for the time being, I will be replicating content and comments between The Bee Hive and High Holy Mass of Contradictions, but that may not be the case for long. I’m still deciding how best to use the LiveJournal account — it has a pretty respectable presence for a blog I never really put much effort into promoting. That may come in handy.

In the meantime, though, the main action is now at The Bee Hive. Please update your feeds and your blogrolls. Speaking of which, if you read me regularly but haven’t had me on your blogroll, now might be a nice time to add me. I could sure use the link love while I’m getting this thing rolling. Thanks!

Environmentalism vs. economics as personal responsibility

Friday, August 24th, 2007

Reading over the thread at Music City Bloggers about mortgage foreclosures and such, I’m struck by a disparity I notice in the voices of the regulars there and in other online fora.

Why does it seem that so many of the people who get most passionate when it comes to matters of personal financial responsibility and conservation of fiscal resources are not equally passionate when it comes to environmental responsibility and conservation of natural resources?

If these people can applaud and embrace the concept of budgeting dollars and curbing consumption when it is out of scale with the economic resources available, why can’t they applaud and embrace the same principle when it comes to things like water, oil, clean air, trees, etc?

Is it because they don’t think of it as a personal responsibility? Is it because no one has told them convincingly enough that it’s the right thing to do?

You know what I think we need in the U.S.? We need a pro-environment activist who speaks from a conservative / Christian basis. Sort of like — no, scratch that, exactly like the Dave Ramsey of environmentalism.

Liveblogging

Sunday, August 19th, 2007

Liveblogging
Liveblogging,
originally uploaded by lesley s.

Ha! Here’s me all nerding it up at BarCamp and liveblogging the goings-on. (And that great-looking guy next to me? The one and only musician/restaurateur/blogger Nashville Knucklehead.)

It was already sweltering by this point at Exit/In. I was desperately thinking about exiting.

Kat & Ivy talking about hyperlocal self-publishing

Saturday, August 18th, 2007

Kat & Ivy talking about hyperlocal self-publishing
Kat & Ivy talking about hyperlocal self-publishing,
originally uploaded by Kate O’.

Or, in other words, about Music City Bloggers.

Main floor at BarCamp Nashville

Saturday, August 18th, 2007

Main floor at BarCamp Nashville
Main floor at BarCamp Nashville,
originally uploaded by Kate O’.

It’s packed. It’s very warm. But it’s also very cool.

I’m headed to camp!

Saturday, August 18th, 2007

I’ve mentioned it here and there, but I thought I’d put it right here: I’m going to BarCamp today! I’m going to savor the geeky flavor, or if I don’t, I’m going to escape to Fiesta Azteca for a Negra Modelo or three. See? There’s no risk involved.

But anyway, I’m psyched! It should be great. I’m excited to see several of my brainy friends speak on the primary stage: Jackson Miller, Chris Wage, and Brittney Gilbert.

And then my other brainy friends will be speaking on the secondary stage — Kat & Ivy & maybe some other folks from Music City Bloggers will talk about “Hyperlocal self-publishing portals.” As if they have any experience with that! Ha, I kid.

And then maybe we’ll all go out for drinks later. For serious! Why can’t that kind of fun be an every-night experience?

I haven’t figured out what I’m wearing, but I have, like Jackson, deliberated about what technology I’m bringing with me. And unlike Jackson, I’ve decided to bring my laptop. I may do a little live-blogging; why not?

Grace at Blackstone’s

Saturday, August 18th, 2007

Grace at Blackstone's
Grace at Blackstone’s,
originally uploaded by Kate O’.

Grace of Graceless in Love at tonight’s blogger meetup at Blackstone’s. Ain’t she cute?