As many of my friends will tell you, I am ridiculously hard on myself. So I greet my birthdays with a rather punitive evaluation of where I’ve been, where I want to be, and all the ways in which I’m not there yet. This year is no different. As usual I am struggling to be satisfied, to be proud of what I’ve done, and not rail against my shortcomings.
Perhaps I should take a page out of Klout’s book and tell you all the ways in which I’ve influenced the world this year? Klout is a website and a very peculiar phenomenon to me. As far as I can tell, using a combination of algorithms, antifreeze and voodoo, this site measures a person’s influence over their social network. It’s far too adult for a dewy eyed and fresh-faced young lass like myself to understand, of course. But it seems that every time I make a passing comment on Twitter or Facebook it gets factored in to the topics that I am influential about. Like the day I discovered that I am a specialist on bacon.
That’s right, bacon.
A while back I wrote a piece of flash fiction involving murder and bacon. One day a large amount of people from Stumble Upon (a site that uses old sneaker shoelaces, antifreeze and voodoo to help one browse the world wide interwebs for interesting content) flocked to my blog to read it. At the time, I must have prattled on to the twitter community about the powerful aphrodisiac that is murder and bacon. Eventually I discovered that the story had been accidentally categorized at Stumble Upon under “logic”. If there’s one thing you all know about me, logic has virtually nothing to do with the content here at Madame Paradox. Can you imagine how disappointed all those M.I.T. grads were when they arrived here and found me waxing poetic about four legged women and my remarkable ability to smell moldy cheese from 100 yards away?
But I digress. Some of the topics Klout thinks I am influential about make sense like writing and authors. A few however defy explanation. As of this morning for example, I am influential about the Master’s Golf Tournament. Which is interesting because other than my phenomenal one-month run as miniature golf champ of the Pixies in day camp circa 1969, I’ve never spent much time thinking about the sport. It is a sport, isn’t it? Where does the Masters golf tournament take place, anyway? Do they enjoy a lot of bacon, and bacon related products while they’re on the links? Perhaps that explains it.
Also, apparently I am influential about teeth. Ironic really, considering I have no dental insurance.
And oh, congress. Loads of you are hanging on my every word about congress. Except congress, who isn’t hanging on anyone’s words about anything these days. Pity we don’t have some kind of system in place in this country to vote in representatives who look after our best interests…
I know for true entrepreneurs hoping to strike it rich in the world of blogging that influence and reach are serious topics. And I haven’t spent 250 years in advertising without being able to appreciate the importance of such things. But for me, writer-girl slogging away in anonymity at my keyboard in my messy Manhattan apartment, the concept that I’m influential feels a bit absurd. I imagine holding sway over the dust bunnies in my apartment. That’s me, the Contessa De Swiffer Sweeper. Also, there’s an unconfirmed rumor that the throw pillows on my couch will be giving me an award later this year for the girl most likely to sit on her ass and watch eight hours of Project Runway.
Speaking of which, thanks to the birthday purchase of a fine tablet known as the ipad, I have recently been exposed to a lot of apps. But I haven’t been able to find some important ones. For example, where is the app that will help me pick the right man? Here’s how I imagine it will work. Using a combination of pushup bras, antifreeze and voodoo this program will scan my potential mates. If I have chosen in error, a voice prompt that sounds remarkably like Heidi Klum will say, “One day you’re in, and the next day you’re out.”
Naturally if I’ve met someone worth pursuing, I’ll hear Tim Gunn shouting, “Make it work, people. Make it work!”
How about an app that tells me what wine to pair with righteous indignation, and how to dress for a philosophical crisis? I think that would come in very handy, don’t you?
Is there an app that will tell me which pair of jeans will make me look like I have the ass of a twenty-year-old?
Perhaps I haven’t quite grasped the app technology just yet.
You know if Klout were using enough antifreeze in their app they’d know I am actually an authority on flummery and tom foolery, and using archaic vocabulary words that interfere with a readers enjoyment of my posts.
Maybe you all need an app to tell you what point I’m trying to make here?
It comes down to this. Another year of my life has passed, and I guess the person I’m trying to influence the most, is myself. So my birthday wish isn’t about gifts, or parades, or Fringe’s Joshua Jackson arriving at my door wearing nothing but an enthusiastic grin (although it would just be common courtesy to invite him in if he shows).
My hope this year is for more strength, a greater will to change and grow. I want to be more authentic. To work harder to face the fears that interfere with my ability to become more…me. It’s a tall order, I know. I think there’s an app for it in iTunes. It’s called “Life” and once you pay your 99 cents there’s no telling what’s going to happen next.
First off, a very happy birthday to you. I will toast you later tonight with a glass of Prosecco. Wish I were in NYC and we could clink glasses.
Secondly, I love, love, love what gifts you wish for in the coming year. Yes, it is a tall order but I believe it can be filled.
Apparently, klout thinks I’m influential, among other things, in food and gold.
Well, the firemen may have a lot to say about the first. And my jewelry is usually silver.
Thanks so much Marisa for your comment and birthday wishes. I hope someday we will indeed toast with some Prosecco face to face. Although we should probably warn the fire department just so their ready, and on alert. In case we, you know, *need* them for something… 😉
Happy birthday beautiful!!!! You are influential and you are most influential on the topics of writing creatively, inspiring hope and entertaining the masses. Your words are like magic and you have the heart and soul of a quiet genius. Happy Birthday , my friend. I hope you have a wonderfully fabulous birthday!
P.S. We share a birthday month. One more thing to love about you:) XO
Oh my dear, you always make me cry. Thanks for your friendship and support in this, my first year of blogging. I hope you know how much it means to me. xo
Wonderful wish! Hope you’re having a fantastic b-day!
I did, and it was. Apart from that mother-fraking middle-age shit, it was divine. 🙂
That’s it. I’m giving you the gift of tom foolery for your birthday. Joshua Jackson is ALL MINE. And I have you to thank for that obsession, by the way.
You have accomplished many things this year, dear friend. Certainly more than Congress.
I suppose with congress as my barometer the only way to go is up.
Well my rock star blogger/mom friend who accomplishes more in a day than I do in a week, coming from you I consider it high praise that you believe I have accomplished things this year. It means a lot to me, truly.
By the way, I’m going to need another closet to hold all this Tom Foolery. I have Joshua Jackson chained up, er, I mean, “resting” in my regular closet and there’s simply no room to spare. 😉
Happy birthday!! I love you blog; you have such a unique voice.
And I might have to check out this “Klout.” Sounds interesting, and I’m obsessed with statistics.
Thanks so much for the birthday wishes. I’m really glad you enjoy the blog. I just gotta be me, I guess. I see you have put me on some sort of list on Klout. No doubt my acumen regarding bacon and golf will come in very handy to you in the future. 😉
Happy birthday Heidi ~ hot off the press: the very latest app ‘how to be the most inventive, funny and talented writer ever’ … obviously modelled it on you then 🙂 Another brilliant posting ~ let this coming year be your year.
A lovely wish, my friend. I’ll toss it up to the heavens and hope for the best. I guess that’s all anyone can do. Thanks for always being so wonderfully supportive. I’m a lucky girl to have you cheering me on.
I was GOING to tell you that as a birthday gift to you, I’d be willing to share Joshua Jackson…
Then I saw that Ilana is planning to keep him all to herself.
But perhaps if the two of us combine our Klout influence, we could overwhelm her in battle. Or at least send her to another universe. Temporarily, of course.
If not, I’ll still hang with you and the antifreeze and bacon and flummery. We can watch the Masters and comment on all those ridiculous golf outfits (perhaps Heidi and Tim need to have an episode of Project Runway devoted to fairway fashion?).
In the meantime, let me say (a few days late) a hearty happy birthday to you, my incredible friend.
And this year, may your every wish come true…
I would really like to see those numbskulls on Project Runway try to turn one of those green jackets into haute couture.
It’s my fault really that Ilana has snatched Joshua Jackson from my loving grasp. I never should have insisted she start watching Fringe.
I’ll disorient her with my tom foolery and astounding grasp of bacon-related philosophy while you hit her with all you’ve got regarding spandex jogging attire and formal gowns from the eighties. Joshy boy will be ours in no time. 😉
Thanks for your lovely wishes my friend. You always find a way to make me smile.
I’m pretty sure that when Klout runs out of real info, the sub random tidbits for the rest. I, for example, am “influential” about Tiger Woods (don’t know ANYTHING about the guy), typography (not even sure what that is), and blindness. I used to be influential about cookies, but I guess that bad batch I made a month ago knocked me off the list. 😉
Happy birthday to you, dear. And best of luck on your new goals; I have no doubt you’ll achieve them all.
Thanks so much for the birthday wishes Annie! And buck up, there’s always Mahjong and auto maintenance to fall back on. 😉
Happy Birthday. I hope this year brings all of the things you really want and a few fun surprises as well.
I’m surprised you’re not rated influential in your knowledge of old photos. They’re one of the many things I love about your blog.
Thanks for stopping by Dawne and for the birthday wishes. As I rarely know what the hell I’m doing here at Madame P, it’s really encouraging to know people are enjoying my pics and my posts.
Heard it was your birthday!!
Had to come over and wish you well, mine is tomorrow..and you know how people feel about others having birthdays close to theirs.
Happy Birthday, Virgo!
Okay, so I’m a bit behind on my email, 839 times behind. I was finally perusing all the junk and there it was, the diamond in the rough, your blog. You had me at Antifreeze. Of billions and billions of Madame Paradoxes I’ve read thus far, I like this the best by far. Great piece. I hope you had a wonderful birthday that involved murder and bacon.