Playing with WordPress and other Creative Endeavors

So, I got bored of the standard “2011” WordPress theme, plus I’ve been wanting to learn more about how WP works and can be customized, so if you’ve been here before, you’ll see I’ve modified the design a bit. As in, installed an entirely different theme! I didn’t design the theme, just trying to make it my own and figure out all the quirks. (For one: why is it centering all the smileys? Very strange indeed…) Graphic designers need to know these things to be useful to their clients, after all. 😀

I still have a million other things I’m juggling at the moment (well, maybe not a million things, but a decent amount), not the least of which is working on a collaborative rewrite of a screenplay! Yes, at last I am using those creative writing skills for good (not that I didn’t before). I was approached by Vernon “Eck” Eckleberry of Atlantic Pictures, LLC; he’s a classmate from a screenwriting class I took through Gotham Writers’ Workshop, and it’s been an exciting process so far! Since we’re several states apart, we’re doing the Skype thing (very useful service, let me tell you), and making some really great revisions to his original script, 10,000 Angels. His first film, Mattie and Meteor, is in post-production right now and is slated to air on OWN in the fall. Stay tuned as we go along, because I’m hoping it’s just one little step toward a very rewarding series of long-term projects! 🙂

I am also doing some artsy-fartsy things and trying to gear up for opening a little Etsy shop soon, but it’s not quite ready to go, so hang tight. If you like quirky critters made out of polymer clay, though (sneak a peek here), it’ll be right up your alley! And that’s all I’m going to say for now. 😉

That’s about it for today – check back now, ya hear?

Do You Have Klout?

So, I’m really hesitant to jump on all the social media bandwagons; granted, I was an early adopter of some passing fads – for example, before MySpace and Facebook, there was SixDegrees.com; remember it? Way ahead of its time, started to catch on, but ultimately fizzled, unfortunately (social media just hadn’t quite been born yet; this was in the late 90’s). Anyway, I’ve tried various ones over the years (very helpful when you’re a part of a reunion committee and trying to round up old classmates), given up on others; you can only be in so many places at once, so why not choose the meaningful ones with the most, well, “Klout?”

Fast forward (zooooooooooooooom): Last night, upon seeing a Facebook friend posting about Klout, which I’d heard of, but didn’t see any reason to jump on the bandwagon before (it’s still in Beta – but look at how long Gmail was in Beta, uh-huh), I finally decided to check it out. Basically, it links you and all your social networks, apps and services (the major ones, at least) to build up clout (how you influence people in your social circles and beyond), and it might not be for everyone, but it seems to be building up steam. I started linking up my accounts (well, the ones I still use; they have the option to link Last.fm, but I haven’t used that in YEARS, since I was still active on MySpace, around 2006-07), and hey, I’m doing better than average – as of today, a respectable score of 39! (Edit: Since they’ve updated their scoring system, it’s now a quite impressive 64!) Klout’s site says on average, people land at about 20 (100 being the highest you can reach, for super-mega influencers and celebs, such as Lady Gaga; the higher your Klout score, the harder it is to actually push that number higher). Granted, a lot of my social sharing is done strictly with friends, colleagues and acquaintances, so they can’t exactly pull out all my social dirt without asking. 😉

Anyone else reading this using the site? Why not check me out? Give me a hat tip (+K) as an expert on Mathnet while you’re at it; that seems to be my Internet Claim to Fame (although I need to work on updating that influence). It’s free, and you might be surprised how powerful, or potentially powerful you are among your friends. Hey, we’re in this life together, after all! 😀

Michael McGrath, We Salute You!

Photo Credit: Broadway World

Congratulations to Michael McGrath on his Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical! This was his second Tony nomination; the first was in 2005 for his role of “Patsy” in Monty Python’s Spamalot; this was his first win!

In a  year where no horses would win the Triple Crown, Michael managed to pull off a “Triple Crown” awards sweep of his own for his role of Cookie McGee in Nice Work if You Can Get It by winning the Tony, as well as the Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards.

I’ve been following Michael’s work for years, along with that of his wife, Toni DiBuono, who Mathnet fans will remember as Pat Tuesday. Both of them are very talented actors who have been pretty under-appreciated, in my opinion. (I have fan sites set up for both of them, but they are in serious need of updating, so I won’t be linking to them here.) At last, Mr. McGrath gets his due props after years of successful performances on and off Broadway. Congratulations on the well-deserved accolades – here’s to many more to come! 🙂

Here’s his short but very sweet speech (on YouTube) upon accepting the Tony, with a little hint at the end about his next role (in the musical adaptation of The Honeymooners). Toni responded to the news via Facebook, saying: “It was pretty awesome and surreal.

Fun Fact: Michael appeared in an episode of Mathnet, as bad guy “Barney Oldmeal,” in The Case of the Parking Meter Massacre (before Toni was cast on the show): Watch it On YouTube!

Fact #2: His last name is pronounced “McGrahhh.”

For other Q’s & A’s about Michael: Playbill.com’s Cue & A 

Since it’s International Geek Pride Day…

I may as well post a teaser image… 😉

(Click to embiggen!)

Is that a...a...first draft?

I bet you wonder how this reads…

And nope, not gonna tell you how I managed to get my hands on it, at least, not yet. Just know that it’s very different from what you see in the actual episode, by quite a lot. And no, the entire episode isn’t available on YouTube, but you can see a couple of the parts:

Thursday’s Episode of “Mystery Weekend” (full Square One episode).

Friday’s Episode of “Mystery Weekend” (full Square One episode).

That’s all for now! Stay tuned for more updates to come…eventually. 😀

P.S. 5+25+12 = 42!

A Peek at Things to Come…

SQTV Season 3

A rare find, as far as press materials go. Image Provided by Jeff Thurman (Son of the late Jim Thurman.)

This is just a sample of things to come on the site; this particular rare press image came from Jeff Thurman, son of the late Jim Thurman, who was co-creator and writer of Square One TV/Mathnet. You may also remember Jim as Vern of Dick and Vern, as well as having been a part of other CTW shows back in the day, among other things.

There are some other exciting developments on the horizon (check the “Tweetbox” for vague hints and such), mostly including that promised overhaul of the Mathnet section of the site. 8)

I have noticed more and more clips appearing on YouTube (uploaded by other fans), just in case you need something to tide you over. 😉

I am still trying to figure out all the inner workings of WordPress, so please bear with me!

The Overhaul Begins…

I had a bit of time today to actually buckle down and start redesigning my site – this is something I have tried to do several times over the years; it’s easy to do this for anyone else but yourself, you know? Seriously. It’s nothing fancy; not meant to be, but I’ve got the “splash page” done and I’ll slowly get things updated on pages and sorted into sub-domains that are going to be kept alive. The others will still be out there, but you may find they sort of get buried amongst the old material and won’t be updated again. Aww, how sad. 🙁 Such is life, my friends.

Anyway, this is a big step! I just have to start something and really mean it, then the inspiration to keep it going isn’t much of a problem. I can be quite the procrastinator, but with the right motivation, I can become quite passionate about what I’m doing. But, aren’t we all like that? No, just me? Ah well, whatever. I am human (I think – sometimes I feel so different from those around me, that I’m not entirely sure). 😛

That’s it for now – I’ll be back. Really, I will. I mean, I wouldn’t recommend holding your breath, but checking back at some point won’t hurt you. 🙂

P.S. – May the Fourth Be With You. Always. Or at least one day out of the lot of ’em. 😉

Where Have You Been?

Yes, I’m sure many of you are wondering where I’ve been (okay, so maybe only a small sampling of you), why did I just leave my Website all sad, lonely and unloved for…er…6+ years or so? Has it been that long? Wow. And yes, it’s time for an overhaul…in Internet and Technology time, that’s several shiny devices that have come and gone! Let us mourn those old toys for a few moments…okay, done.

Actually, it hasn’t been that long in some aspects; I’ve been actively using my domain for file storage, occasional micro-updates of sections on the site, but most of that has gone unnoticed to the world-at-large. Well, isn’t that life, though? Get all tied up in life, work, all that fun stuff. I have been quite productive and social in that time, however;  if you know me well enough, you know where I tend to lurk and post regularly. If you don’t know me well, that means absolutely nothing. 😛

In this time, I have also been getting educated! As in, schooled! I decided to invest in myself and my creative skills (that whole “figuring out what I want to do with my life” thing) and studied subjects of interest like Playwriting, Screenwriting and Graphic Design. And in doing so, have really stretched my mind and my talents and have essentially found things that make me happy and that I’d like to spend more of my life doing. So, see, this “hiatus” has been a good thing, and good things come to those who wait, or whatever cliché you’d like to apply to that.

Anyway, without going on too long here (too late), I do promise more updates. More details on my future plans and where things on this site will be going. And yes, this includes an update, or at least a minor overhaul of sorts on what’s probably the most popular part of this domain: The Mathnet Website. Oh yes, there wasn’t much going on for many years, and I feel terrible about letting it just sit, but the need, and time, to update content wasn’t really there (plus the whole having a job and going to school business sidelined my efforts somewhat, too). I’m also a part of the efforts over at SquareOneTV.org, so it’s not like the fandom has dropped off the planet; in fact, we’ve been doing a lot of interacting with former cast members recently and are celebrating 25 years since the show debuted as of 2012. Not to mention in the time since I last overhauled, wonderful sites such as YouTube and Facebook have come along and are still going strong, making it easier than ever to share clips and gather fans in larger groups and all that fun stuff. And because of that, Sesame Workshop has been paying attention and are now taking a DVD release into consideration. So, this is the best time to be reviving those efforts! Stay tuned, I promise you won’t be disappointed. 😉 And on that note, before I let anyone leave, please take the time, if you could, to “like” the official Square One Television page on Facebook – Sesame is using this as an indicator of interest by the fans. Tell your friends! Tell their friends! If you honestly want to see the show gain a pulse in the media again, and hey, it worked for The Electric Company, this is the best way to do it!

Okay, I’m done for now. A lot to digest, but I hope y’all are still with me. Take care, and much love! -Jill 🙂

My First WordPress Blog…Aww.

A lot of what I do, design-wise, tends to be inspired by stuff I find online or through just plain experimentation. This blog is part of that process; while I have taken classes for graphic design and writing and whatnot, most of the “Web Monkey” stuff came through trial and error. I’ve been on the Internet awhile (since 1996), but given not many around me at the time had a clue about technology in general, I was pretty much on my own figuring out how to code HTML, CSS, etc. Looking back on some of it, it’s embarrassing just how BAD previous versions of my existence were – NO, I’m not linking to them! However, it’s made my skill set well-rounded over time, though, and as technology evolves, so am I. Given how long it’s been since I last overhauled my site, you could say a lot of nothing has gone on, but actually, a lot of learning has gone on during the hiatus! Yay! 😀

As for this blog, fortunately, my Web host has “one-click install” features that allowed me to set this up pretty quickly, right here on my own domain. But, I like to customize things and make them my own, so I sought out more information on the subject. Anyway, as I’ve been slowly learning more about WordPress, I came across an ongoing tutorial from HOW Design (an invaluable site and magazine for designers) for building a WordPress site in 30 minutes a day over 21 days (your mileage may vary; given I already have quite the background in editing and tinkering with code and graphics, plus maintaining my own site, the first couple of steps weren’t needed). Just in a couple day’s time I’ve learned a few valuable tidbits, and plan to follow along with the rest of the series.

Here’s where you, too, dear reader, can learn about one of the most widely-used pieces of blogging software out there right now, and how to make it your own, too. (I’m not being compensated for this plug, I simply find it very useful and worth sharing.) I am linking to the author’s page, as it’s easier to find all the parts in one spot:

Jesse Friedman’s Guide to Building Your First WordPress Blog

Anyway, as time goes on, so should this blog, I hope. Stay tuned…

Hello world!

Look, a generic “first post” that comes upon installing the software! Yay!

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