The ups and downs of blogging

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Sunrise from the back yard.

I have never posted about stats before. I’m talking WordPress numbers. But after I posted Party time! something weird happened. It’s only happened once before.

My stats boomed. I was up 1,427% !!

The question is why? Wouldn’t I like to know that secret.

The other time my stats skyrocketed was when I wrote about a Darlene Love concert I attended with my husband, dad and son. We had a venue in Palm Springs called The Follies. She was the headliner for their last few shows that included dancers in their 60s and 70s who look amazing!

I figured out why those stats boomed. I shared my blog post with Darlene Love through social media and she posted it!

But Monday’s post? Maybe it’s because our son’s sister-in-law Alexandra Simpson has a following or Chuck Prophet, the musician she’s playing with in the Youtube video for newly released song “Meet Me at the Roundabout.”

If you don’t know who Darlene Love is, I highly recommend the Oscar-award winning movie “20 Feet from Stardom.” Heck, I recommend that movie because the stories of the backup singers are so powerful and it includes many big stars like Sting, David Bowie and the Rolling Stones.

What are your thoughts about stats? Do you think spikes happen because of key words, SEO, tags? Or just luck?

Party time

One of two charcuterie platters at our party. One of my son’s girlfriend’s sisters created this masterpiece.

Saturday afternoon the big day finally arrived. After shopping and trying out recipes and living on finger foods for a week, our violist and one of her sisters arrived.The guests came over in the early evening and I realized we had too much food: spanakopita, a Costco-sized shrimp platter to feed 20 (I’d say 60) and meatballs that turned out superb thanks to my fellow bloggers’ suggestions. Add to that two huge charcuteries with my favorite brie and Humboldt fog cheeses and my husband’s favorite stilton with mango and ginger.

We arranged chairs in the back yard for Alexandra Simpson to play. Here are a series of short videos from the concert. The evening was divine. After the guests left and I cleaned up, I sat and drank wine and chatted with Allie and her sister Brett. I think next to the concert, that was a highlight of the night.

As the sun began to set Allie’s ipad lit her in a soft glow. She uses the ipad for her music.

Here’s a music video that dropped Friday with Allie accompanying Chuck Prophet in “Meet Me at The Roundabout.”

That was the highlight of my weekend. What was your favorite thing about your weekend?

Are the Rights to Party and Freedom of Speech at Odds at UC Santa Barbara?

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Fear and worry — my first two emotions when my son texted me Saturday night at 10:30 p.m.

He goes to University of California, Santa Barbara and was in the midst of Deltopia — a party turned riot. He said there were helicopters overhead, tear gas, and kids throwing bricks and liquor bottles.

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There’s been national news coverage of the event, and the campus paper also offers detailed coverage.

My third emotion was anger after I read an open letter from a student in defense of Deltopia.

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The student wrote the letter anonymously and said that students are “entitled to blow off steam” and “rage.” Really? ENTITLED? Am I forking over $120,000 plus in big bills for a “right to party?” Thank goodness it wasn’t my son that wrote that letter! I’d disown him. Plus, it’s poorly written. I expect more from my son.

A few weeks ago, I wrote about another national-attention grabbing UCSB story in “Is Freedom of Speech Dead on America’s Campuses?” A feminist studies professor, Mireille Miller-Young, destroyed the poster of a young pro-life advocate and accosted her. Miller-Young pleaded not-guilty to charges of theft from a person, battery and vandalism.

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There’s a petition at UCSB supporting Miller-Young and asking to censor anyone from handing out sensitive material on campus — because it may trigger uncomfortable feelings.

Here’s a quote from the petition:
“We also put pressure on administration and the Office of Student Life to reevaluate rules and regulations that allow outside community members to so heavily trigger and target students and faculty on this campus.”

Are you kidding me? The same students asking to remove freedom of speech from campus are now demanding their right to party!  Students don’t want to feel uncomfortable by a pro-life poster, but, it’s fine and dandy to drink and party at an event that ends with bricks and liquor bottles thrown at police? Has the world turned upside down at UCSB?

Fortunately, there are moments of sanity. I discovered a letter in the Daily Nexus from a student with concern about how their degree from UCSB can be harmed by the party school rep. Also, my son went to a town hall meeting with the administration and he offered a solution. He said administrators, professors and students are actively pursuing ideas to make UCSB a safe, sane place to pursue excellence in education.

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Do you find it odd that students demand the right to party? But don’t want free speech on campus? Let me know.