don’t talk…to strangers

ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ..........

Image by caribb via Flickr

A stranger, seated next to a young girl on an airplane, turned to her and said, “Let’s talk. I’ve heard that flights go faster if you strike up a conversation with your fellow passengers.”

The young girl, an avid reader who had just opened her book, Too Much Stuff, closed it slowly and said to the stranger, “What would you like to talk about?”

“Oh, I don’t know,” said the stranger.  “How about nuclear power?”

“OK,” she said. “That could be an interesting topic.  But first let me ask you a question.  A horse, a cow, and a deer all eat the same stuff – grass – yet a deer excretes little pellets, while a cow turns out a flat patty, and a horse produces clumps of dried grass. Why do you suppose that is?”

The stranger, visibly surprised by the young girl’s intelligence, thinks about it and says, “Hmm, I have no idea.”

To which the future Op-Ed contributor replies, “Do you really feel qualified to discuss nuclear power when you don’t know shit?”

Source:  e-mail from an unknown author, edited

…a good chuckle now and then…this one from blogging friend http://nrhatch.wordpress.com ………hugmamma.

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each with a story to tell…

A couple of weeks ago I was listening to a favorite jazz station, the music playing in the background. I remember nothing else the deejay said except that each of us is looking to tell our own story. Those words have stayed with me, coming to the forefront when I listen to other people speak, whether in person, on TV, on the radio, or read what they’ve written, or what’s written about them.

It’s as though I’m watching a larger-than-life screening of “This is your life!”, a TV reality show from the 50’s, hosted by Ralph Edwards. Using a scrapbook with photos from the person’s life throughout the years, Edwards surprised the person whose life was featured, with people from his or her past. While not exactly the same, I tend to listen to someone’s story as though I’m looking through a View Master…one slide at a time…click, click…click, click.

I think perhaps we’re all looking for legitimacy. We want to make sure we’ve made our mark, before exiting this life. We want someone to remember that we were here. So we tell our own story…every day. The trick is getting others to listen. And the only way we know for sure is if they engage in conversation…telling us their story. And so it goes…back and forth…round and round.

The main characters of the show. (Background, ...

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While most of us engage in modest storytelling, there are those who have taken it to a whole other level…on reality TV. The Kardashians have allowed us to move in with them, and as a result we’re privvy to their successes, and their foibles. In The Biggest Loser the challengers look to us for support and compassion as they wage a desperate fight against obesity. Even in the sitcom Everybody Loves RaymondRay Romano encourages us to laugh at his display of idiocy. I’ve heard much of it is reflective of his true self. Maybe he loves playing the fool. Nothing wrong with that. It’s his story, after all.

Blogging is a very good example of storytelling. We’re all telling our own life stories…in our own way…on our own terms…in our own good time. I don’t think we intentionally write to be validated; but we like it when we are. Storytelling is like reruns of our favorite TV show, mine being I Love Lucy. We never tire of telling our favorites. If you’ve read hugmamma’s mind, body, and soul from its inception, you’ve heard me relate some of my stories…

time………and time………again………hugmamma.     

weekly photo challenge: broken

I would hover…hoping that I’d get to gobble up the broken pieces.

Thanks to the wonderful baking skills of my husband and daughter, I now have a “spare tire”…around my middle…

…which i’m trying very hard……… to deflate………hugmamma.

no more…what if?

My friend Sylvia emailed me the following some time ago. It’s been simmering on the back burner. Other topics clamored to be heard. Now that most of those have gotten “on air” time, I decided now might be the time to share this.

My previous post about Rachel Beckwith, the 9-year-old who died in a devastating accident last week, made Sylvia’s contribution even more relevant. Rachel’s unexpected passing touched the hearts of so many because she was taken too soon, and because she demonstrated that even one so young can make a difference.

But to her parents, her younger sister, extended family and friends, Rachel is no longer present in their ordinary, every day lives. She won’t be sharing smiles with her dad, while eating a simple breakfast of cereal on a Saturday morning. She won’t be confiding in her mom about her crush on a boy in school. She won’t be there to hug her sister when she falls while learning to ride a bike. She won’t have the first cookie hot out of grandma’s oven.

What if there isn’t anymore?

One day a woman’s husband died, and on that clear, cold morning, in the warmth of their bedroom, the wife was struck with the pain of learning that sometimes there isn’t “anymore.”

No more hugs, no more special moments to celebrate together, no more phone calls just to chat, no more “just one minute.” Sometimes, what we care about the most gets all used up and goes away, never to return before we can say “good-bye,” say “I love you.”

So while we have it, it’s best we love it, care for it, fix it when it’s broken and heal it when it’s sick.

This is true for marriage…and old cars…and children with bad report cards…and dogs with bad hips…and aging parents…and grandparents. We keep them because they are worth it…

Some things we keep…like a best friend who moved away or a sister-in-law after divorce. There are just some things that make us happy, no matter what.

Life is precious. Keep those who are special…close. Tomorrow is not guaranteed, so let them know you love them…

every chance you get………hugmamma. 

daily post challenge #200: what is it that i would like to have 200 more?

At first I thought this topic was frivolous…not for me. I don’t need more stuff; I’m trying to downsize. But it dawned on me that one thing I would love to have, I think, is more time. I’d divide 200 years amongst loved ones so that I’d have more time to be with them, and more time to experience life in my wizened, older age.

Like most young people, I probably blew through my early years not paying attention to what I was doing. I wasted precious time fretting over…what? I could’ve been taking full advantage of life’s offerings, learning French,Two Spot re-learning to swim so I could snorkel, studying voice so I might’ve become a singer, moving to NYC so I might’ve hoofed it on Broadway, been less fearful so I might’ve traveled Europe as a teen.

Now into my 60s, I’m at peace with what I haven’t done. I know and accept my physical, mental and emotional limitations. But if I had more time, I could squeeze a few more things in before my expiration date comes due. Just a few more, like playing the piano or the guitar, and reading all the books in my ever-growing collection. And, of course, more time with my husband by my side and our grandchildren settling into our laps for bedtime stories…or just a cuddle. But most of all, more time…

to see my daughter’s hair………go gray………hugmamma.

tears…in heaven

Conventional 18-wheeler Semi-Trailer Truck diagram

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Eric Clapton‘s song Tears in Heaven seems appropriate when speaking of the recent demise of Rachel Beckwith, now God’s little angel. She, along with her mother and 2-year-old sister were among those caught up in a horrific 15 car accident a week ago yesterday. It had been caused by the driver of a tractor-trailer who failed to notice that traffic on I-90 heading west toward Seattle had come to a crawl. Attempting to brake at the last minute the driver caused the tractor-trailer to jacknife. It then crashed into a logging truck.

     The impact dislodged the rear axle of the logging truck and sent the piece hurtling into traffic.
     “The log truck continued, because it can’t stop that fast, …All of the logs were still contained by the chains, but now they’re kind of fishtailing back and forth as the driver’s trying to get control of the rig. So he’s basically dragging this load of logs down the road.” …
     The logs, dragging on the roadway, struck other vehicles as the driver attempted to stop the rig. The tractor-trailer and the dislodged axle from the logging truck also struck other vehicles.

The most seriously injured was Rachel, who suffered from severe head and spinal injuries. She died after medical efforts failed to keep her alive.

A child of charity, Rachel’s organs were given to those in need. But even in life she was a giver. Recently for her 9th birthday, she asked that in lieu of presents people make donations to a church fundraiser Charity:Water, a nonprofit that helps bring water to people in developing nations. “The organization estimates each dollar invested in improved water access and sanitation yields, on average, $12 in economic returns.”

Falling short of the $300 goal by $80, Rachel pledged to donate to the cause again next year. In her memory, contributions have so far totaled more than $500,000. Former Seattle Hawk’s quarterback, Matt Hasselhoff, a member of Rachel’s church, “posted a message on Twitter about Rachel and the fundraising effort to more than 70,000 followers.”

How a little girl gets that she should help those less fortunate, when adults, more experienced and better-prepared for life’s challenges fight for ideology, allowing those in need to suffer and perhaps die under the burden of poverty, is incomprehensible. Rachel can look God directly in the eye, knowing her last act upon earth was selfless.

…let’s hope we can all do the same when our time comes…and like Rachel…we won’t know when that is………hugmamma.

365 photo challenge: easiest

Parenting isn’t the easiest job for sure…but it’s by far the most rewarding…and long term. Of the careers I’ve had, and there’ve been a few, being a stay-at-home mom has taught me the most about life…and about myself.

Caring for the well-being of another, a daughter who looked to me for comfort, guidance, and love, I had to venture outside my own comfort zone and do whatever needed doing. I wore many “hats” to suit the need. I grew in self-assurance and self-esteem. I found my voice and spoke up, and I learned to growl if my cub was threatened.

When I became a mom, I met the real me. Before then I was buried beneath others’ expectations, and my own insecurities. My daughter freed me…to be myself. To parent I needed to bring my talents and strengths to the task. To do so I had to gradually extricate myself from all the stuff with which I’d been saddled, whether of my own doing, or others.

And yet, parenting is still not the easiest of careers. But it’s the only one to which I’d dedicate my life…

…all over again………hugmamma.

rooting for…the underdog

America's Got Talent

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I’ve been catching glimpses of America’s Got Talent in between getting chores done, like ironing clothes that had been sitting on top of the dryer for ages. And I’ve been tidying up the kitchen, here and there as well. What brought me to my laptop was something Piers Morgan said to one of the contestants, a Black girl of 12, Monet who sang the song “Home.” She and her family are homeless, having lost everything in a hurricane. Morgan correctly, I thought, advised Monet that unlike a former contestant who finished as a runner-up a year or so ago, Jackie Evancho, Monet needed a few more years to grow into a more mature singer. To which she replied, that if she made it to the next level, she would show him that she was already there.

Earlier in the show, another singer, a Black man in his 30s, Landau Eugene Murphy Jr., was acclaimed by the 3 judges, Howie Mandel, Sharon Osbourne and Piers Morgan, as being the real deal…a star. While I agree that Landau has all the makings of the next Nat King Cole or Frank Sinatra, I kept thinking that someone needed to help groom the singer into the next biggest thing. A car washer in his hometown of West Virginia before garnering a spot on America’s Got Talent, it would be a great loss to music if Landau’s natural ability was not developed, and that he disappeared back from where he came… oblivion.

Nine-year-old Jackie Evancho deserves the fame she is now enjoying. She is a phenomenon. But what I couldn’t help thinking is that she lives a wonderful life with doting parents and loving siblings in middle-class suburbia. And she’s a trained singer, having had a coach, before she ventured onto the stage on Amerca’s Got Talent. Compare her background with those of Monet and Landau. Obviously the playing field is anything but level.

Life is what it is…but we have to cheer the underdog who has to make it to the finish line pretty much on his or her own. So I am rooting for Monet and Landau, that life gives them a handup as a result of their worldwide exposure on America’s Got Talent.

reality shows offer hope to some…and helps them…help themselves   …hugmamma.

Portrait of Nat King Cole, New York, N.Y.

Image via Wikipedia

recipe exchange…a pasta…a mimosa

You might want to check out a couple more recipes that have been added to recipe exchange, a page listed at the top of this blog, under the header picture. One is from fellow blogger, under the oaks, for Burgundy Chicken Linguini. Sounds absolutely yummy! And I’ve added another for Mango Mimosa which I’ve not yet tried, but that’s no reason why you shouldn’t. The occasion to do so may present itself to you,  before Costco and I get around to throwing another party. ha, ha. So kick up your heels…

and party!!!………hugmamma.

loved…by sitka…and juneau

Have you ever been loved, really loved by a cat? Well, it’s nothing like I’ve ever experienced before. And I’ve had numerous cats throughout the course of my life. But Sitka and Juneau, siblings, mixed-Maine Coones, adopted from the animal shelter after 9-11, are ardent lovers, wanting to shower me with affection 24/7.

One or the other of my male kitties is always attempting to jump into my lap, even when I’m standing. They try climbing my leg, hoping I’ll sit down. I’ve had to resort to walking with a cat attached to my appendage until he finally gets the message, and lets go. The only respite I get is when I sit to eat. But when the last forkful has been swallowed, and my utensil is laid to rest on my plate, up jumps a cat. Lately, I’ve insisted they give me a moment to digest my food. They’ve been very accommodating of my request…albeit grudgingly.

Don’t get me wrong! Sitka and Juneau do mind their p’s and q’s, after some persistence on my part. And the only time I sit for any length is when I’m blogging. They’ve learned that my writing space is my inner sanctum. They’ll come and paw my elbow, so that I’ll pet them. Sometimes I’ll push my chair back from the keyboard and hoist a cat onto my lap for some quality time. Juneau will snuggle deep into my chest, trying to become one with mom. Sitka takes the opportunity to climb to the highest possible vantage point, my shoulder or my head which, of course, I don’t allow. I need to breathe, you see. He doesn’t seem to understand that very well. He can breathe; why can’t I?

When we went out of town, the cats use to board at the vet’s. But the expense became prohibitive, so we’ve engaged a wonderful sitter. The vet and his assistants loved having our kitties stay over. Sitka especially won them all over with his lovey-dovey ways. He loves wrapping his arms about one’s neck, and butting his head into your face if you offer him kisses. He loves putting his mouth to one’s ears, and purring sweet nothings. And he loves nibbling at one’s hair, ever so gently.

Sitka’s the lover, a Romeo…while Juneau… just wants desperately to be loved. And I…

…love them both………dearly………hugmamma.

daily post challenge #197: why are reality tv shows so popular?

Might it be a subconscious desire to “keep up with the Jonses?”…but in reverse? “How’s that?” you say. What if instead of wanting to be like the stars of reality TV shows, we want to make sure we’re not like them at all, or that we’re better than them? Kind of a convoluted way of thinking. But isn’t life these days…convoluted? twisted?

The Bachelor (TV series)

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Who would have thought guys and gals would flock before the cameras for a chance to win the heart of the opposite sex? Twenty five single or divorced men and women do just that every season on The Bachelor or The Bachelorette. Go figure. Millions of viewers, including me, tune in to see the unfolding drama of men and women dissing each other to their faces, or behind their backs. There’s no shame, no embarrassment, no “What are my family and friends going to think?” The star of the show is kissed and cuddled and who know’s what else, by as many people to whom they find themselves attracted. After all “the end justifies the means,” and they have to “kiss a lot of frogs to find the prince, or princess,” and “the game’s the thing.”

My daughter, who also watches now and then, swears off ever wanting to be a contestant on The Bachelorette. Thank God! I’d probably want to string some guy up by his toes if he ever toyed with my daughter and made her cry, in front of an audience of millions. I know, I know. These people deserve what they get because they’ve opted to look foolish. Well yes, but my daughter’s still my daughter. I’d expect most parents of these frolicking singles are mortified to see what goes on with their children…and not behind closed doors!

Jill Zarin and Dina Manzo

Image by pamhule via Flickr

Just as I watch swinging singles get together, or try to get together, I use to spend time with The Housewives…of Orange County…of New York…of New Jersey…of Beverly Hills. Why did I bother? Knowing that most of these women are wealthy, or aspire to be wealthy, I was curious. I was also hopeful they’d be nice people. After watching several seasons of a combination of the various ones, I can count on one hand how many were, and remain, women I’d befriend…in another life, of course. In my current one, we’d never, ever cross paths.

Restored Victorian mansions on Bergen Avenue

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I enjoy watching HGTV shows where couples or families are seeking new living quarters. Again, I’m mentally comparing my life with theirs, whether as young marrieds, parents, or empty nesters. I’m amazed at the amount of money folks are plunking down for homes these days. This, probably our last home, cost us in the high $200,000’s some 14 years ago. How can couples in their late 20’s and early 30’s afford to buy mega homes  for 3 times what we paid in our 50’s? It’s mind-boggling! But it’s also a sign of the times.

Bill gates' house2

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The dot.com generation has money to burn. Forget manufacturing, agriculture, construction. People in those occupations are becoming what housecleaners, fruit pickers, and landscape workers are to my generation. Employees of Microsoft, Facebook, Google, Apple pay others to custom-make whatever they fancy, often dine at up-and-coming, new wave eateries, and oversee the building of fantasy homes.

So you see, I’m just your average middle-class, suburban housewife, eyeballing what others have and how they live. But in all truth, it’s not because I want what they have or want their lives. Whether it’s that my Catholic education continues to hold sway, or that my imagination allows me to momentarily insert myself into someone else’s life, when I switch off the TV I thank my lucky stars for the life that’s mine. But I can’t pass judgment on those who are in reality TV, for I’ve no clue…

what their own lives are like…so to each her own…hugmamma.

Reality

Image by Adam Crowe via Flickr

what’s in a name?…someone’s life, is all

Persephone Cnidus BM C483

Image via Wikipedia

Visited the blog of a buddy from the UK, nuvofelt, earlier today. She had an interesting post about names given children by their parents. As I indicated in a comment to her, I’d not heard of any of the 10 she mentioned. And I wondered if weird names are dependent upon the countries in which we live. Cited in her post, http://chittlechattle.wordpress.com/2011/07/23/10-names-im-glad-i-didnt-give-to-my-children/ were names like Xenopad (too close to “xenophobia – an unreasonable fear or hatred of foreigners or strangers or of anything foreign” according to Webster’s), Zasparilla (sounding like sarsaparilla – a favorite soda pop in vintage America), Euginity (oops!…much too close to virginity…imagine the teasing), Endeavour (the last space shuttle launched by the U.S….either very intelligent-sounding…or a put-down waiting to happen), Manville (very British, I’m sure…although nowadays with man caves being one of real estate’s “must haves”…hmmm), Wimbush (wimpy, wimpy, wimpy…once part of a TV commercial), Timber (school kids yelling “Timber!!!… all the time…yikes!) Badlington (sounds like the bad guy in a Winnie the Pooh story) Scoop (again, school kids saying “Gimme a scoop of ice cream!” “Hey! What’s the latest scoop?”…kids can be murderous, especially when new kids try to trespass…and even when they don’t), Persephone (according to Greek mythology, she was the “bringer of destruction”…not a bad name…kind of a warning to one and all “Keep out of my way, or else!”…real security…would name another daughter that…in my next life…or maybe my daughter will consider it…hmmm…)

Nuvofelt’s post got me thinking about my own name, not the one I go by but the one my father left me as his only legacy. You see, he died when I was one. What was he thinking??? Saddling me with the name Mildred was like setting me up as the stereotypical librarian with thick, horn-rimmed glasses and a bun at the back of my head. Yuck! Yuck! Yuck! To this day I cringe at the thought…or sight…or both. Perhaps in my revolt, I’ve taken to revolting against type all my life.

Poster for the film Thoroughly Modern Millie

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When I was a sophmore in high school, Julie Andrews‘s movie Thoroughly Modern Millie hit the theatres. Forever after seeing that film, I embodied all that I took away from it. I became the dancing fool, doing the “mashed potato” walking to and from classes, to and from the cafeteria, even standing in one place. Since I didn’t see myself as the cool and beautiful Mary Tyler Moore character, I became the funny, slap-happy, goof-ball that was Andrews’ character. Thanks to the role, I’ve been a standup comic ever since…in real life, not on some theatre stage. Although lately I’ve been toying with the idea…hmmm… 

My brother Ben told his son and daughter-in-law, after they’d met me a couple of years ago, that my zany behavior was owing to the fact that I’m an eccentric. Let’s see, Webster says that means I’m ” adj. 1. unconventional, as in behavior; odd. 2. not having the same center. 3. not situated in the center. 4. having the axis away from the center. 5. deviating from a circular form. -n. 6. an eccentric person. 7. a disk with an off-center axis of revolution that converts rotary motion to reciprocating motion.

Time Person of the Year: You.

I think I like the 7th definition about my so-called eccentricity. I don’t proceed as is expected in life, as others think I should. I generally prefer asymmetry to symmetry in the way I decorate, the way I dress, the way I view others, and life in general. I haven’t walked a treadmill in how my life has unfolded; I’ve taken detours, reassessing my choices depending upon previous outcomes. I often expect the unexpected, and try to manage my life accordingly. I guess my life has been a reciprocation of what’s been handed to me, and what I’ve dished back in response.

Mildred conjures up an image of staid behavior. I’m neither sedate nor solemn. Even in my solemnity I can be a whirling dervish, with whom you wouldn’t want to mess. Webster also defines “staid” as decorous. The only decorum I observe is in church…but even then my eyes and mind wander…everywhere. Even when I appear quiet and serene on the outside, my innards are bouncing about with a joy for life. There’s still so much to experience…and so little time to accomplish it all.

As to my name? Why would I want to be staid and stuffy Mildred, when I can be…

eccentric………standup comic……thoroughly modern millie?………hugmamma. 

weekly photo challenge: colorful

Colorful is how I’d describe my furnishings. I’ve been in love with color almost since I discovered antiques when I moved to New York from Oahu more than 30 years ago. My specialty are primitives. Well-worn, and well-loved colorful reminders of yesteryear. Whenever I walk into an antiques shop or a flea market, I am pulled toward objects with paint, preferably ones with a softened patina. In my younger days of hunting for bargains, I would also consider items whose paint was somewhat rough…somewhat chipped or flaked. Not so much anymore. Although where I live, nicely aged items of color are not as abundant as I’m sure they are on the east coast, where I got most of what I own, or in the Midwest, where I’ve not had the pleasure of browsing for antiques. Perhaps someday…meanwhile here’s a little sampling of…

my colorful…….gems………………..hugmamma.

daily post challenge #196: are we becoming too dependent upon technology?

I think the question is centuries upon centuries upon centuries too late to debate. When the wheel was invented, mankind never looked back. When Leonardo da Vinci put wings on a human being, it wasn’t a matter of if, but when. When Alexander Graham Bell tinkered with two cans and a piece of string, the IPhone was inevitable. Change, progress and capitalism are triplets in an ongoing enterprise.

The status quo is no longer static, if it ever was. Regression is impossible given mankind’s penchant for the next best thing. And capitalism…how can you even ask? Isn’t everyone aspiring to be Oprah, Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, or someone of lesser means, like the millionaires? Don’t we all wish we’d played the powerball lottery when the lucky winners are announced. I always query my husband afterwards as to why we didn’t buy a ticket. Then I’ll go out and buy $5 worth, lose, and forget all about the lottery until the next one makes millionaires out of middle-class folk like us.

If I were truly a hobbit in a cave, as I often say I am, perhaps then technology would have no bearing upon my life. And maybe there are those who live in isolation from the rest of society, like undiscovered tribes in South America. Unfortunately for these rare souls, technology will come knocking one of these days. They will be the unlucky recipients of the havoc technology has wreaked upon the earth.

Bulldozers are leveling rainforests. Man’s inventions are flooding the atmosphere with toxic gases. And in our race to stockpile more stuff, the internet and all its affiliated paraphernalia are making it easy to do from the comfort of our chairs and keyboards. We no longer need to expend the time or energy to get the stuff ourselves. It’ll be shipped in 7 to 14 business days.

So there’s no question that we are all affected, if not dependent upon technology and its benefits. And yet we seem to have a system of checks and balances. Having brains that obsess about everything, bodies which age without our consent, and Mother Nature prohibiting us from over-reaching, mankind is saved from the brink of total annihilation…so far.

Technology is a force with which to be reckoned, and we seem to be squeezing the life-juice out of it. Rather than dicker over our dependence, we should maintain constant vigil over its use for the common good of all people, and all species. But I’m not so sure we’re all on board in that regard.

…can we make the best of…pandora’s box…now that it’s wide open? …hugmamma.    

let’s backtrack…get an opinion

Came across a blog TripAdvisor Watch: Hotel Reviews in Focus after I published my previous post “get an opinion…”. Since then I’ve encountered another site, Wallet Pop, whose post I read, “Is TripAdvisor.com one big joke?” Both had me rethinking my referral of TripAdvisor as the greatest pastime with a purpose, since the invention of hula hoops…which was suppose to decrease the size of my hips. Tongue-in-cheek humor aside, I never realized, in my naivete, that scammers would derail a system wherein people could share experiences so that others might avoid making the same mistakes, or get the best value for their money. It seems TripAdvisor is rife with competitors, or vengeful customers, faking reviews for their own benefit, whether to garner an increase in traffic, or deter bookings, or a combination of both.

Old postcards and a magnifying glass.

Image via Wikipedia

It’s been a few months since I’ve needed to use TripAdvisor. From here on out I’ll probably be dissecting their reviews with a scalpel and magnifying glass. But truth be told, I’m so anal about details that I already check to make sure all the “i’s” are dotted, and “t’s” are crossed. I recommend you do the same. Be thorough in your research, trust your gut instinct and common sense, confirm with other sources…like Rick Steves, and don’t hesitate to change your mind, and your plans, should something better happen along.

 

Group of American tourists encounter Rick Stev...

Image via Wikipedia

Blest with a vivid imagination, I can picture myself trying to turn around in a typical, small European hotel shower. Or I can see myself annoyed with the comings and goings of people getting on and off the elevator, if my room is adjacent to one. A sucker for hospitality, I like to bask in the warmth of a friendly, accommodating reception staff. 

 

Perusing the reviews, it’s as though I’d traveled with the writer. After painstakingly researching my topic of interest, I feel comfortable with my final decisions. All I can do is make the best educated guess with the facts at hand. Things may not always turn out as expected, but I don’t wallow in regrets, knowing I did as much as I could.

Image representing Yelp as depicted in CrunchBase

Image via CrunchBase

Evidently Yelp has also come under fire for manipulated reviews. All I can say is…proceed with caution. But don’t let a few bad apples ruin the good intentions of most reviewers. Rotten fruit turn up everywhere in life; that doesn’t stop us from living.

 

TripAdvisor Watch: Hotel Reviews in Focus indicated that Google is beginning to relegate TripAdvisor and Yelp to the bottom of their search engine heap. That’s because the internet giant is launching its own review community. Whether for personal gain or because of the bad press TripAdvisor has garnered, or both, Google has seen fit to attempt to beat TA at its own game. Hopefully, we Lilliputians will be the beneficiaries, and not the pawns in some elaborate game of chess.

Wallet Pop offers some sound advice when utilizing review sites, like TripAdvisor. As I scrolled through WP, I noticed it too offers articles meant to guide consumers through the maze of products and services available for purchase. Of course the question that immediately came to mind was “How reliable is Wallet Pop? Does it have an axe to grind, or a pocket to pad, or line, or whatever the saying is?

…wow!……..who can you trust these days?…trust me…you can trust me  …….hugmamma.