Recent twitter entries...

The State of the Nation('s arts writers)

Okay. I get the economy is bad... trust me, I REALLY get it! But there has been this disturbing trend of laying off arts reviewers from major newspapers.

The LA Times has a section for Movie, TV, and Music reviews... no dance. Very little about dance on their online site. The Village Voice in NYC? Last I heard Deborah Jowitt, the dance critic, was laid off from the periodical. I hear she is still writing dance for them (she was a biographer of Jerome Robbins) but I don't think she is full time as a dance critic any more.

NYTimes? Anna Kisselgoff is a legend. She is still writing. But those are the biggies, guys. What about the locals?

Here is Denver we lost our full time dance critics a few years ago. Now they all wear multiple hats and are called "Arts Critics." And they do an enormous job. I am not knocking these hardworking folks but when a contact recently told me he couldn't make it because that weekend he had to go to a RollerDerby Dolls event, rock concert, and then a night club opening to cover for the paper, I decided that this has gotten out of hand. How can someone be an expert when they have to see so many different forms of entertainment to keep their jobs? They do a phenomenal job writing the articles but they don't get to connect to the work quite as well when they are running to the Philharmonic for their evening show, all in the same day.

The reason this came about is because our partner, Curious Theatre Company in Denver received this most AMAZING review by a writer for the Westword here in Denver. It is possibly the most beautiful review I have read. The show was incredible but this review, beautiful. Here is a link to the review - The Westword Eurydice

Final word, don't shove the arts to the side and call it okay. We may not be breaking news but we deserve column inches too.

Okay, off soapbox.

The Twitter Revolution

Well, it has officially happened. Twitter has taken over the world.

In the past week, I have had 10 friends join twitter who were anti-tweet before. Why the change? Why now?

The Denver Post ran an article in the Sunday A&E section about Twitter -
And on March 3rd they ran this Twitter article -
Two articles about Twitter in less than two weeks!!!!

Clearly, the press is jumping all over twitter and as it comes out that John Mayer is tweeting nasty about Jennifer Aniston during a concert or Shaq clearly doesn't know how to spell because his tweets are illegible, Twitter has become fodder for the mainstream. AND it is becoming a news source. People in the plane that crashed into the Hudson were tweeting live from the sinking plane and on the ferries. CNN's news isn't breaking anymore because I read it from the people who are experiencing it on Twitter.

Twitter caught my attention in the middle of 2007. At this point I can't remember who urged me to sign up but I had an account and then I read a story about an American kid in Egypt who got thrown in jail. He tweeted, "Arrested" and kept the world updated with his short tweets. The country was mobilized on his behalf in just a few hours and he was released. All because someone, his Tweeps, found out that he was in jail. I wonder how Twitter will figure into court cases and missing persons searches... "Well, Captain, she tweeted that she was meeting a guy out on cty rd 4 at 11:37pm and hasn't been heard from since." That plus GPS in cell phones should help locate missing tweeters.

But back to why the surge in members. I blame Facebook. So we all know by now that Facebook changed their interface and there are articles all over the web about how much it sucks and what people like or don't like (and then there are the people who don't really understand the Web 2.0/3.0 revolution and make up for it by calling those of us who do understand front end and back end systems and all that idiots and dorks and time wasters... I bet you in a month or two they will be calling us to help them get set up on Twitter or Facebook). I'm not here to discuss the pros and cons of it (because frankly, I don't have the time to and it was done really well here - but I think that the new "Twitter-like" Facebook interface helped make Twitter go mainstream but pissed off the Facebookers.

Here's the logic -
Facebook users who are Twitter users saw the similarities immediately. SO we all started Status Updating that and talking about how much we disliked it. That plus the abundance of media coverage about Twitter pushed these people over the edge and they signed up.

Now, I will say that of these people who just registered, many have only tweeted once and the tweet read something like, "Trying this Twitter thing out" or "Signing up for Twitter!" But that's okay guys, just hang in there. I think it was a full year after signing up that I got Twitter-active (now I have 600 some followers and well over 2,000 tweets, I average 16 tweets a day). It took going to the NPAC arts conference in Denver last year to really get me going. I realized I could tweet the wisdom I was getting and share it will my tweeps. It was great!

Anyway, here is another really great blog post on the evangelising of the anti-tweeters -

So, needless to say (I think), Twitter is becoming main stream and the early adopters (I like to think of myself as one) will be moving on to the next best thing. And Facebook, you are not it. I'm kinda happy with the change in Facebook... now my addiction is disappearing. Instead of checking it every half hour or so, I maybe check it once or twice a day! Whoo hoo!! I guess I don't need that 12 step for FB after all...

A blog from my father on Purim

My father wrote a facinating blog on Purim. Please check it out here - Rocky Mountain Hai: An open letter to my dear friend on Purim, slaughter and moderation

"Our path weaves between the weal and woe of life." Wow.

Very cool, Tatti!

G-d's Grand Gestures

Or should I say Grand... like Grand Pas or Grand Pas d'action... meaning big or large step. A Grand Pas d'action is a large step that contributes to the story being told.

I believe in G-d's Grand Gestures, the Grand Pas d'action of G-d, only because I have first hand experience in them. They come at the crappiest times, putting me in the crappiest positions, and usually with crappy consequences. But the beauty of these, shall we call them, G3s is that there is always something better on the other side.

Not just a little better, infinitely better.

Life changing better.

Beautiful rainbow better.

These huge, crappy experiences are like (in my weak interpretation) G-d smacking me on the back of the head and saying, "Nu*?! What were you thinking?!"
*Nu has the effect of the word "so," sort of. NPR says - "Nu" is a word used to express expectation. At the doctor's office, for example, you can say, "Nu, so how does my heart sound?" At a restaurant, you can say, "Nu, when is our food coming already?" At a friend's coffee table you ask, "Nu, nu, so what's the news with the family?"

Sometimes I think my Pops, my grandpa, is behind it. I picture him up in heaven having his Caffeine Free Diet Pepsi with the Almighty G, looking down at me going, "Uh oh! Excuse me for a second G-d, I need to get my granddaughter's head back into reality."

These revelations don't come without hardship and it is SO like Poppa to let me get deep enough into my own mess before he let's me know I am being stupid. But I'm thankful for it. I have only had to have two serious attention-getters in my lifetime and a few minor ones. Today was one of those minor ones. How annoying! But... I needed it.

Just a reminder to slow down, smell the roses, don't forget to davven, and don't miss the important things in life. So, I'm slowing down. Focusing on me and my needs. And generally enjoying my life.

Basil Rathbone... my hero

Okay, so I posted in February how I am in love with Sherlock Holmes and recently ordered some old DVDs (Rathbone and Bruce from the 40's and Jeremy Brett from the 80's).

Well, I got them... finally! :-)

As luck would have it, my schedule didn't allow a Sherlock Holmes weekend and there were technical difficulties... (I need another surge protector for my living room tv. The Comcast guy didn't tell me he unplugged my dvd player to plug in the cable box, grrrr.) BUT I have snuck a few episodes in here and there this weekend.


First of all, the UCLA Film & Television Archive did an AMAZING job at restoring these films. AND they put a note in the box explaining it. I actually learned a lot! Here is a blurb from their website -

Until 1950, films were produced using nitrate cellulose film stock, a chemically unstable and highly flammable material that inevitably deteriorates and turns to dust. Film preservation historically referred to the transfer of nitrate films to more stable acetate (or safety) film stock. However, acetate film stock also deteriorates, giving rise to a condition called "the vinegar syndrome"; and many of the color films made since 1950 are also subject to irreversible color fading. Many of the Archive's preservation and restoration projects deal with these post-1950 titles. The Archive is relying increasingly on a new polyester film stock, which appears to be much more stable if kept in optimal storage conditions.

They really did a nice job. They found the original front end titles and back end credits that were thrown away and restored the film to it's former glory. There were only a few they couldn't get all the pieces for or were irrevocably damaged.

So the first few episodes, well really, movies (they are over an hour long and were shown in theatres) are totally time warp Sherlock Holmes. They brought Holmes and Watson into WWII to help fight the Nazis. HOW COOL. It is rather funny to see them dressed in the period attire of the 40's rather than the late 1800's but still cool. The writers did a great job adapting Conan-Doyle's character to a new time period. They stayed pretty true to the character. (if you ignore the fact that they say "It's elementary, ____" to nearly every character and that is not something that Conan-Doyle wrote.)

So needless to say, I really am enjoying this collection. And I have two recommendations for you.

1. If you are watching late night tv and see a Brett or Rathbone Sherlock Holmes coming on, WATCH IT!

2. Help support the archive. What they do is invaluable and we have preserved so much history through their techniques.


Okay! I think that a birthday is more than just a day. I like to celebrate a birthday month. Not for presents or anything but it just gives me a reason to be excited all month.

So my birthday is March 19... that is 19 full days of joy (you can still celebrate afterwards but you know that the momentum lags a bit after a few days).

But a birthday is also like a new beginning, a new year for your soul/body/mind. Isn't it interesting, as Jews we give ourselves so many new years, new beginnings. Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year. Tu b'shvat, the new year for the trees. January 1st, the secular new year. Our birthdays begin a new year for ourselves and you always get to celebrate twice if you use your Hebrew birthdate.

Why do we feel like we need to give ourselves clean slates over and over again? We say on Jan 1st that we will make resolutions. We say on our birthdays that this "one" will be a great one. But on Rosh Hashanah its different. On RH we actually take time to look at our lives and the past year. We reflect on mistakes and mis-steps and ask for forgiveness. We look for opportunities to forgive, reconcile, and start fresh. I like it. No empty promises. No gorging on cake, just a good look at who we are today and what we could do better in the next year. But you still get to have fun. So I am going to use this month to reflect and make adjustments and be excited about the future.

So anyway, Happy Birthday Month to me! And don't forget to celebrate you and how cool you are in your birthday month...

not saying that I'm cool...

but I think I am...

you know what I mean...


Why I feed my addiction to Facebook and how it made me better at my job.

Okay, I don't have an addictive personality BUT I am totally easy prey when it comes to social networking. I don't know why. I never got addicted to smoking or drinking or anything... except social networking. I mean to the point where I check it on my phone at night in bed and tweet "Good morning, Tweeps" in the morning.

On the surface, you may think that seems sick but it gets worse. I manage accounts all over the social networking world for various groups that I represent. That means that more than half my day is spent logging in to Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, Linked-in, etc. Rarely, (but it does happen) I get SNICS (Social Networking Identity Confusion Syndrome ... I just made that up) and comment on a friend's picture while signed into the wrong account but usually I only do what needs to be done for that group. I do, however, make all my personal friends be friends with those identities on FB. :-)

Right, so let's guess that I spend two hours of my work day on social networking sites (for my main job with Ballet Nouveau Colorado), two more hours a day researching new ways to network & reading articles and an additional five hours a week on sites like, Denver Metro Mix, and This Week in Denver. Break out your calculators kids, that is 25 hours a week spent online networking...

One could say that I have a problem if half my week is spent digging online but I disagree. My intimate knowledge of the way Facebook and Twitter work has only enhanced my ability to do my job. I sat at the National Performing Arts Convention (NPAC) in Denver last summer and listened to well established companies complain that they can't reach the newer generation. The generation that wants to "Go Green" and save the planet, the ones that refuse hard mailings, who are the newest philanthropists and theatre-goers, who can't remember what color the yellow pages are and Google you before they meet you... my generation.

You see, my need to devour information and be an early adaptor for technology has served me right as the PR Director for Ballet Nouveau Colorado. I didn't know I wanted to do PR until I realized it is what I do everyday anyway! I devour articles on the internet and in magazines. If someone has a new program... Friendster, Myspace, then Facebook... I want to be a part of it. I taught myself HTML coding so I could make my profiles look nice in the earlier days before they had the easy profile maker that inserts HTML for you. Anyway, I feel like I am going off on a bit of a tangent here. What I really wanted to say is, you can do it too.

Look, there are three steps to how I work.
Seek. Post. Trend.

Seek - You always have to be looking at what's next. Where are people getting their ideas from? How did you hear about this restaurant or bar or theatre group? Google a popular group in your town and find out where they have their events posted. THEN -

Post - Everywhere. I am not kidding. You better be on all the popular sites but get on every free listing you can. Goodness knows someone looks at it! THEN -

Trend - GET GOOGLE ANALYTICS ON YOUR WEBSITE! Or something comparable. Google's is free and easy to figure out. So, see what the trends are. Are you getting a bunch of hits off a website you never heard of? Go there. Figure it out. Post there.
Seek. Post. Trend.

So you read my rant about "new media experts." I am not claiming to be one but it works for me. The biggest thing I tell any group that approaches me for advice is this... if you are a generation or two above me, while not impossible, you may find this type of work daunting (I'm not being mean here... my boss was the one who said it). Hire a recent college grad who either currently knows your org or can learn about your org and have them manage this. The onus of responsibility does not rest solely on your shoulders. You don't have to learn HTML or tweet all day but you need to have someone in your org doing it for you!

Oh and P.S. I heart Facebook especially because I have found friends that I lost touch with over 22 years ago! Don't underestimate the power of the net, homeslice!

P.P.S. I hate that spell check wants you to capitalize "internet" I don't think it needs it anymore...