Tumblr for the Lipitor generation


Here’s how I feel about the different social media sites and their uses:

  • Facebook, for the young, is for connecting and gossiping and embarrassing one another.
  • Facebook, for those of us who are no longer young, is for keeping in touch and swapping recipes and Simplicity patterns and posting pictures from thirty years ago and embarrassing one another.
  • Twitter is about branding and advertisement and being stupid in fifteen words or less. If you are not consistently very witty, you shouldn’t really bother posting, unless you’re Katy Perry or Justin Bieber, in which case it doesn’t matter.
  • Pinterest is for those who like to post and share pictures of fashion and decorating and jewelry and cute boys. Much though I like all these things, I decided after a few months that Pinterest was not for me.
  • WordPress is a nice stable blog website, full of people with all kinds of interests. I have made some very nice Internet friendships on WordPress.
  • Blogger / Blogspot ditto.
  • Tumblr is a friggin’ zoo.

Let me expand upon this last statement.
Tumblr is something for everyone and no mistake: lots of beautiful photography and art, lots of underdone cheesy humor, lots of selfies. Also lots of bizarre political thought and amateur porn. It’s a more freewheeling version of Facebook in which you don’t need to friend anyone, and in which most people use handles and aliases. Nothing comes to you automatically on Tumblr: you have to shop around for it. Once you find something with which you feel comfortable, those people will be reblogging from other similarly-oriented Tumblr blogs, and you can follow those in turn, and – within a month or two of careful tending – you will have a beautiful Tumblr garden / dashboard full of lovely and amusing images and texts to enjoy!

Let me give you a head start. Let’s say you’re a mature person, a little literary, a little artsy, with a taste for kitch and a goofy sense of humor. You might like to look at the following Tumblr blogs, just for entertainment’s sake. (And if you’re reading this on Tumblr, look these folks up; you won’t be sorry.)

  • Diane Duane. Diane (who blogs under her real name) is a successful author, mostly sci-fi and young adult. She lives in Ireland and posts wonderful pictures and texts, and she is very responsive to her fans and readers. She is very likeable, and I recommend her highly.
  • Devilduck. This is the ultra-kitschy Tumblr blog of one of the guys associated with the well-known Archie McPhee joke shop in Seattle. If you like pictures of people wearing horse masks and Christmas trees decorated with Cthulhu tentacles, this is the site for you.
  • Bad Postcards. What it says. Mostly 1950s and 1960s; mostly cute, some poignantly nostalgic, and almost all in brilliant Kodacolor.
  • 1950s Unlimited. Like Devilduck, but a little more on the sentimental side. If you get misty-eyed over black and white photos of people using cigarette machines, you’ll feel very at home here.
  • Well, That’s Just Great. The drily amusing / often hilarious daily chronicle of a man named Anthony Giffen who lives in central Florida with a dog named Ducky and a partner named Gizmo. Highly recommended.

There: I have sanitized Tumblr for you. I guarantee no porn, no dangerous radicals, no homicidal lunatics.

Now get in there and explore Tumblr and stomp around a bit.

You might just have fun.

Well That’s Just Great: a blog by Anthony Giffen


There are some interesting characters on the Net. One of my favorite scifi / fantasy authors, Diane Duane, has a Tumblr account, and I love the fact that she interacts with her fans (none of whom is more starstruck than I). There’s George Takei, who is a national treasure. There’s Robert Reich, my favorite former Cabinet member, who posts discursively intelligent pieces on Facebook.

And then there is Anthony Giffen.

He lives in central Florida, not far from DisneyWorld. He has a Tumblr account called wellthatsjustgreat, and he co-writes a Tumblr with his dog Ducky called – what else? – wellthatsjustducky.

Anthony is one of the most naturally funny people I’ve ever encountered online,

He is witty, and funny, and outrageous. He posts sentimental pics of Disney attractions. His faintly political posts suggest that he’s a liberal, as I am.

His dog Ducky is bossy and imperious. (I love that he talks to Ducky, and that Ducky talks back. There’s a Ducky post once a week, usually on Sunday evenings.) Ducky doesn’t like the household cat, or waiting for Anthony to come home, or seeing Anthony sad.

And Anthony is sad sometimes. He speaks very frankly about his depression, and his relationships past and present, and his daily life.

He is an interesting person, and you can do yourself a favor by subscribing to his Tumblr account.

Also: he’s putting together a book – a real book! – of his conversations with Ducky.

I predict great things for this young man, and for his goofy dog.

Please go look them both up. I assure you that you won’t be disappointed.

What not to do in a job interview

I interview people regularly. Most of my interviewees (whether for student jobs or regular jobs) are very well-behaved and charming. Some are nervous, naturally, and I always make allowance for that; I’m a terribly nervous person myself (although I control it with various medications), and I understand when people are jittery in new and/or unfamiliar situations.

But there are things that just go beyond the pale.

Let’s list some of them, shall we?

Chewing gum during the interview. You should at least offer me some.

Taking a phone call during the interview. I understand that cellphones are ubiquitous, but – really?

Eating during the interview. I’ve never had anyone this rude, but I’ve heard of this happening. I can hardly believe it, but then again, I have seen a little of everything.

Challenging the interviewer’s skills. Some time back, on “Jeopardy!”, a contestant recounted how he’d prepared for an interview as a proofreader by acquiring a couple of issues of the company’s publication and proofreading them. Problem: the person interviewing him was the person who’d proofread those very issues. Uh-oh!

Speaking badly of former employers. You may think you’re being terribly entertaining when you tell me how awful your current boss is, but you sound creepy. Cut it out.

Condescension. I especially like it when people look at me with that look that says: Really? You’re interviewing me? I should be interviewing you! Except, hon, that you’re not. So get over it.

I was looking for something to tie this blog together when I found the perfect thing: a dialogue written by the always-funny Anthony Giffen (AKA wellthatsjustgreat on Tumblr), describing his dog Ducky going on a job interview.

I’d hire this dog. He knows how to poop, and how to look disappointed in human beings. Those are powerful skills.

Interviewer: So Mr…Ducky, is it?

Ducky: Yes.

Interviewer: What are your three greatest strengths?

Ducky: Oh, I’d say I’m pretty good at communicating when I’m hungry and when I need to poop. And if I had to name a third strength, I’d say I’m great at looking thoroughly disappointed in humans.

Interviewer: And three areas of possible improvement?

Ducky: Um, I wish I could figure out how to open the container with my food.  And the treat one too. Does that count as two or just one?

Interviewer: That can be two.

Ducky: OK. Well, I guess I’d like to be able to spread my legs out just a little further at bath time. I swear, I think two more inches would make it impossible to get me in that tub.

Interviewer: Thanks for coming in. We’ll be in touch.

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