"Temporality is part of the truth" -- Chuck Klosterman

Thursday, June 30, 2011

50th Post Clip Show

As milestones go, I'm sure this is pretty lame. Nevertheless, I'm going to celebrate it. And you can join me as I post the equivalent of a sitcom clip show. (Check out that link if you're not familiar with the term. Or visit this TV Tropes site that I've been wasting my time with enjoying, reading some cool stuff about how TV, or fiction in general, is written.) (Speaking of tropes, that's the first time in fifty posts that I've used the blogging convention of crossing out a phrase to be funny. I still can't decide if that's cheating or if it's clever. But I did it anyway.)

How about some self-aggrandizement:

As I write this 50th post, I have 49 followers. Wouldn't it be poetic if this post brought the fiftieth? (Hint, hint)

Much more poetic than hitting 5000 page views, anyway. A couple of weeks ago, dozens of backlinks showed up on a couple of my posts and suddenly in the space of just a couple of days, my view stats went to the moon. The individual post stats stayed normal, but the total went up over 1000 in just a couple of days. I don't know what this means, but I disabled the backlinks and the craziness ended.

Then, over the last few days, the same loco thing has happened with my post Three Art Docs. This has long been my most-viewed post, and I traced a link from the Banksy murdered phone booth to another site that apparently was adding hits to my page. I don't know how any of this works, so if someone can explain it to me I'd be grateful. My point is that these high stats are more baffling than the fact that my only post with over 200 hits has yet to elicit one comment.

Previously on Building Castles on the Beach:

When I started blogging, I wanted to write about three things I care about: Parenting, Teaching, and Music. The following are some of the posts I'm most proud of. You should read them if you haven't.

A montage about the boy Xander:

The "A Star is Born" parts one and two posts tell the story of Xander's birth. So far, only two installments are finished, but I intend to write the third one soon. I've tried to make these both funny and sincere, with lots of cute pictures.
Talking of which...

If you weren't around at the beginning of all this, you should check out my Fatherhood Manifesto, in which I outline why all fathers should take paternity leave to be with their new children, or Feed Xander Change Xander, in which I detail what it's like to stay at home with the boy minute by minute.

Clips about teacher stuff:

I'll link to Waiting for "Guffman"? and Let's all read about darkness and depravity! because those were some posts that became popular fast. If you missed them, "Guffman" is actually a review of the film Waiting for Superman from a teacher's perspective, and the other is about the YA fiction controversy from a couple weeks back--from a teacher's perspective.

I'm most pleased, I think, with my early post Be Less Stupid because I talk about why I teach and how education is not currently headed in the right direction. It's a sad state that needs to be discussed by more people than Bill Gates and Michelle Rhee. Perhaps actual teachers should be making some of these decisions.

The post I had the most fun writing is This Quintessence of Dust, which talks about the Shakespearean language from Hamlet that would be fun to have in modern everyday parlance. I have to read The Merchant of Venice to teach next fall and hope to write a post about similar language from that play.

Musing on music:

The Legacy of Teletunes includes some little-known videos that I grew up with in the eighties, which explains a little bit anyway about my taste in music.

Chips for Brains is my first post about my obsession with music. When the technology arrives, I will be the first in line for the iPod in my head.

I haven't written a post solely focused on my music mania in a while, and I still wonder if any of you readers care. I have some readers from where I work, some from family, and then there's the some I've stumbled upon through the magic of the interweb and they've stumbled on over here. I'd wager very few of you care whether or not Elizabeth Fraser makes another record, but I keep mentioning her. Here's her latest:

Okay, thanks to all those who make this possible. I thrive on the banter from comments.

So feed my ego: what is your favorite post on Building Castles on the Beach?


  1. Your son is adorable! Congrats on your 50th post! I'm sure you'll get your 50th follower soon.

  2. Hey, I'm Number 50!!! Do I get a prize? Before changing jobs to full time mommyhood and assorted volunteering with hospice nature center teaching, I was a school psychologist. I totally agree with your take on schools heading in the wrong direction. I've read some of your previous posts. My daughter (15) says she wants to be an English major too. Any advice for her?

  3. How do you always manage to work in a cute baby picture?

  4. Emily: Thanks for coming along.

    Lolamouse: Big 5-0. Muchos gracias.

    Oh, definitely major in English. If she loves literature and how to write (or maybe even wants to for a living), English major is the only way. Teaching is a whole other issue. In today's climate, I'm surprised anyone (I mean that literally) wants to grow up to be a teacher.

    Chanel: Oh, you know...It's all part of the plan.

  5. My favorite post so far? I'd have to say this one!

  6. Congratulations on your milestones!

    Have you ever watched the sitcom "Community"? They did a "clips show" this season that was set up just like any other sitcom clip show but contained clips created just for that episode. It was pretty brilliant.

    Nice Elizabeth Fraser clip too, by the way...

  7. @ darev: Thanks for playing along. And thanks for commenting on the art post. You're the first.

    @ MJ: Love Community. That episode with the clips really is brilliant. Then in a later episode they call back to the St Patrick's Day stuff that was in the clips like it was it's own episode. Clever stuff.

    And it's always nice to know another Elizabeth Fraser fan.

  8. Oooo, you have 50 followers! Very cool.

    Early on in my blogging life, I decided it would be cool if I had more followers than posts. I used to post nearly daily so I made this a hard goal to achieve. But eventually I got there.

    Have a great weekend!

  9. Xander looks so much like my best friend's little brother it's uncanny.

    I wish I'd had 50 followers by my 50th post. Actually, I'm on my 111th post (or something) and still haven't hit 50 followers.

  10. congrats on 50+! I somehow never got around to following you. how funny.

  11. Congratulations on all of your milestones. Additionally, I think that the strange links thing was something everyone got hit with on blogger due to some virus or something like that. I don't know the details.

  12. @ Theresa: I doubt I will continue to gain a follower with every post. That will be okay with me, though.

    @ McKenzie: Thanks again for stopping by, and I'm still not sure why I can't seem to follow your blog. I will keep trying so I can get you up to 111.

    @ Tamara: Not to be bratty, but the follower widget thingy was wonky last week and I don't see you as a follower yet. Just something to check. Thanks.

    @ Michael: Thanks for the info about the virus. Blogger does some stupid things sometimes and it bothers me not to know what's happening.

  13. You could always do a contest and advertise to reach out to other followers. Or you can invite people to guest post or interview. Another way is follow more blogs. Of course, not every blogger wants to do any of those things. Just expressing oneself can be enough.

  14. Theresa, thanks for the ideas. As far as the contest thing goes, I don't know what kind of contest I'd do--until I have my own novel to give away.

  15. I haven't been around long enough to say that I have a specific favorite post :D

    BUT you're on the right track with followers - I seem to have right around the same amount of followers as posts as well. Not sure if it will continue or not...

  16. Jolene: Somehow two more posts after this, I'm still equal in followers. Karma?