Category Archives: Uncategorized

Thinky-think Semantic Web And Images

Hummingbird’s Bringing Changes to Searchimage search, hummingbird and semantic web

This semantic Web post got me thinking, what happened to Facebook scanning cover photos for text when they were “enforcing” the 20 percent text rule? Remember all that hubub about penalizing those who don’t follow the rules? Is it because the ability to read text on images isn’t quite there yet?

None for You

I’ve always, always, always been a HUGE proponent of the alt image tag. It’s not only been a help with SEO, it’s the right thing to do. People with vision impairment need to have the images tagged to glean information those of us who can see get. Or, in my case, those of us who can see with their glasses. Is Google going to tell blind people to just lump it? That’s bull and goes against my idealistic ideas about digital information being a great equalizer.

Caption This

Facebook’s handling of images is just one of the reasons I don’t trust it to be a long-term marketing thing or a thing you should pin the center of your digital strategy on. A walled garden is stinky and a walled garden without a sincere effort to be inclusive of everyone is even stinkier. Social media in general are legs to prop up your body (your own site) and not vice-versa.

Just One More Thing

I haven’t seen authorship pop up in image searches. Doesn’t mean it’s not there. It could be I’m searching the wrong things or I’m doing it wrong somehow.

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So, pretend I’m a little birdie…

Aiming to conquer Twitter? It’s not all that hard. But, it takes some learning and a time commitment. Here are some things to remember before leaping out of the nest:

MINIMUM INVOLVEMENT:

  1. Use a current photo of yourself or updated logo.
  2. Don’t leave the background on a default setting.
  3. Fill out your bio and include as many links as you can within your comfort zone.
  4. Include your location.
  5. Tweet at least once a day and respond to each direct message (DM) and response (@message).
  6. Monitor Twitter for discussions about your business.

BIG PICTURE IDEAS:

  1. Write well.
  2. Don’t be a jerk.
  3. Remember it’s interactive.

INSIDE BASEBALL BITS:

  1. Do not send an auto direct message, or DM, “Thank you for following” – especially with a ME link. This is kind of sacred ground for Twitter users. It’s used to communicate information that others wouldn’t be interested in or private information. If you feel the need to DM a thanks, then be darn sure it’s personalized. I’ve seen it done well, but I wouldn’t advise it because people may feel tricked.
  2. Do not use buzzwords of any kind and be as clear as humanly possible. You’ve only got 140 characters – less if you want a retweet. Why waste it on words that are like soap bubbles? They look pretty. They pop and then your reader has nothing of substance.
  3. It’s a myth that people don’t want to know what you had for lunch. If all you post are business-related or ME posts, people will suspect you are a bot. Or worse, they will suspect you are a jerk. At least every once in a while put something personal in there.
  4. Use bit.ly or other URL shortening services to minimize your links. A full URL is just too much for 140 characters. Plus, you can see how many people looked at your link.
  5. The bulk of your tweets should probably be text. But, if you are talking about something visual, you NEED to link to a pic. You can use services such as Twitpic and others to upload images and track views. For instance, “I just bought the most awesome shoes.” Well, so? Post a picture. The same holds true with video. You really need to link to a video if you are talking about movement and/or sound. For instance, “My dog can sing the alphabet while dancing.” Well, so? Post a video.
  6. Some cautions with video and photos. Don’t just post either unless they are called for. Video with sound cuts out a lot of your audience immediately. There are a good number of people who are at work and can’t listen to your dog’s rendition of the classic kids’ song. Worse yet, people who are hearing impaired are cut out whether at the office or at home. Same holds true with photos – people with vision impairment are cut out of the mix. The worst type of video to link to is the one of you just sitting at your desk talking about yourself. Second worst type of video is you interviewing someone with a static shot.
  7. People give you about five seconds FLAT to be interested in your video. If you must post  video of an interview or a ME view, then aim to include subtitles. Better yet, include a transcript. Still best, yet, just don’t link to the bad videos.
  8. This isn’t TV. This isn’t radio. This isn’t the newspaper. Don’t broadcast, but interact with people. There’s a reason why we named our company huber+co. INTERACTIVE. Listen to what others have to say and react to their posts.
  9. Don’t let the only interaction you have with followers be just on Twitter. Make a real effort to meet people in real life. A good way to do that locally would be to join http://www.cbusr.com/. If you’re not a joiner, aim to have a coffee, lunch or drink with someone at least once a month.
  10. Don’t drink and tweet. Some people can get away with this. Not you.
  11. Don’t use profanity. Some people can get away with this. Not you.
  12. If you use scheduled tweets, that’s fine. Just make absolutely sure you don’t use the same exact tweet EVERY SINGLE TIME. You are just mucking up the stream.  It also mucks up the stream if you just link to to your blog or any link without teasing the content. No one’s going to read it. And, you are annoying people.
  13. Follow back MOST of your followers. If you follow all of your followers, people who are not familiar with Twitter will be impressed with the thousands of people who are interested in you. People familiar with Twitter will think you are a social media jerk who is trying to look important with all those porn account followers and followers who say, “I’m a social media consultant and I’ll follow you if you follow me.”
  14. Aim to increase your following, but do it with quality followers. One of the best ways to do that is to follow targeted people. Since you can purchase followers, number is not always a great indicator of how successful someone is. If you really want thousands of followers, you can do it. Just get on there and follow as many people as you can. But, realize, it’s not going to do you that much good.
  15. Don’t schedule tweets with famous quotations unless they are industry-specific. If I wanted pithy quotes, I would go to the Hallmark site, thanks. It was clever by the first 100 people who did it. Now it’s just stream muck.
  16. You CAN use famous quotes to make yourself look well-read and borrow someone else’s articulate nature by responding to someone’s tweet. For example: “I’m beat.” Google “quotes about being tired.” “All parts of the human body get tired eventually except the tongue. – Konrad Adenauer.”
  17. Use lists if you want to focus your attention. For instance, you’ll see I’m on a lot of lists for C-bus. That’s one of my main focuses within my stream, so people can hit their C-bus stream and find me and others talking about happenings within Central Ohio.
  18. ALWAYS say thanks to people who retweet you or recommend you for Follow Friday or #FF. ALWAYS say thanks for ANYTHING, really. Karma is a biiig force on Twitter.
  19. #hashtags allow people to follow along in a conversation through Twitter. Groups or organizations, such as SMCC host discussions about given topics. You can follow the discussions and participate by typing the hashtag into the “search” field.
  20. You can broaden your reach if you include a hashtag in your tweet on a given topic. For instance: “I like to snowboard more than ski. #snowboarding” Your tweet will show up in a search and more people will read it. A special side note here: there’s been some speculation that Google will lower your rank for a given topic if you use a hashtag.
  21. #hashtags allow people to label feelings or happenings in a wry way. For instance: “I got home before I realized I left my daughter in the gym playroom. #mommyfail.”
  22. Follow Friday or #FF is a way to pass on some karma and let people know some good follows. It is NOT a way to just enumerate and list a bunch of friends. If you post a #FF you MUST post why. Otherwise, you are mucking up the stream again and annoying people.
  23. If you prefer to only hear what a certain list has to say – only keep that stream up.
  24. If you are feeling like a social media evil genius you can follow people you have no intention of interacting with. You can gain more followers by creating a private “ignore” list of people you don’t want to listen to that no one but you can see. Kind of defeats the purpose, though, unless you want to look like a “guru.”
  25. Sometimes a good way to gauge someone’s Twitter activity is the number of list appearances. Sometimes though, people will make up lists and add themselves to make them appear to be a big deal.
  26. Again, the evil genius social media person can create a private list that doesn’t show  you are following them. You can stealthily follow your competition’s stream, if you like.
  27. Klout is the current gold standard to gauge how successful you are at Twitter. If you follow the tips I’ve given you, your score should increase. People with tons of followers – including the purchased ones – tend to have high Klout scores. So, I’m not entirely convinced it’s that great just yet.
  28. Be conversational. If you tweet in stilted business language you run the risk of boring the Mars bars out of your followers and they will ignore you.
  29. Make sure you link all your marketing materials to your Twitter account. You can gain followers this way and harness the immediacy of it.
  30. You really should run your Twitter feed on the landing page of your site. Not everyone’s the best at updating sites regularly. Even people who aren’t on Twitter can see realtime updates from your site if you do this.
  31. Should you link your Twitter account to your Facebook account? It depends. If you think a lot of the same people are reading both, then, no. If you think you have two pretty distinct audiences, then yes. It may even be something you want to consider on a post-by-post basis.
  32. If you’d like a retweet, then ask. But, don’t ask too often or people will tune you out and you will annoy them.
  33. To track your individual tweets and see how far they’ve gone, you can run them through http://tweetreach.com/. You can also do some tracking by clicking on the owl in Hootsuite. It can tell you how much a link’s been hit. You can track a photo’s popularity by using Twitpic. Look at what’s taking off and tailor your content to match.
  34. You need to have a specific outcome with your Twitter strategy before you can track how much impact other than eyeballs you have. This is generally referred to as a call to action and is one of the paramount concepts in interactive. For instance, use an URL shortener and link to a coupon. You can track the coupons through barcodes if you are a larger company. Or, if you are a smaller company, you can assign specific numbers or codes and keep track of how much a customer spends as a correlation to the coupon. Voila – a VERY direct way to measure return on investment – especially if you use it as a loss-leader.
  35. If you are a company that offers services to other businesses, tweeting a link to a downloadable white paper or usable information can yield a measurable call to action. DO NOT make the white paper a long advertisement. MAKE SURE you are offering something of value to a potential customer or they’ll be goneski. Also, MAKE SURE the white paper is well-written for the love of Pete.
  36. Established chats are a pretty good way to up your follower numbers and make a splash within a given field. But, this isn’t going to work for all types of businesses.
  37. Constantly look at what’s doing well and what’s tanking. Be sure when a customer comes through your door you ask how it is he heard of you. Go back and change your approach based on what you find.
  38. For both business to business and business to consumer organizations, the power of monitoring all social media – including Twitter – is really important. You can do searches and start up conversations with people. That’s not going to be my topic today, though.

leighroessler

Quick and dirty tips for location-based holiday shopping

Ok bargain-loving not-so-techie friends, you CAN do this:

1. Download Facebook mobile onto your smartphone.

2. Enable Facebook Places on said phone.

3. Look for little pictures in store windows that say there are deals if you check-in.

4. Check-in and it’ll post to Facebook.

a. Just this past weekend I got discounts from H&M, Macy’s and American Eagle for checking-in.

b. Show your phone to the cashier. We’re talking 20 percent, here folks.

5. If you’re feeling REALLY ambitious, try downloading Shopkick and Stickybits as well.

a. Shopkick is a kind of check-in app that offers discounts.

b. Stickybits asks that you go to stores and scan product barcodes to get points that allow you to earn tangible prizes and discounts.

c. These both let you earn real stuff or discounts not silly badges like Foursquare.

5. Have a great holiday!

The location-based nose on your face

Look! Can’t you see it? It’s as plain as the nose on your face.
No? OK. Try this angle. Still no?
Really?
While many of my techie friends are going completely bat guano nutso about some current forms of location-based marketing, I remain skeptical for its near future. Give it five years or so, and maybe we’ll be there. Now, eh, not so much.
The current adoption rates are dismal at best, according to Forrester.
But, I see a potential inroad that’s just so simple. I have my sisters of Ohio State University Pi Beta Phi to thank for it.
While many of my sisters have the newest smartphones available, they don’t really use them for more than taking photos and videos and maybe playing games. Sometimes texting and calling, too.
And Twitter mobile app for these gals, let alone Gowalla or Foursquare? Um, no.
They are not so good with the Facebook mobile app either, frankly. So, that rules out Facebook’s places.
QR codes? Oh boy. I don’t think I could find a one that even knows what those are. Right now a lot of companies are using QR codes for a leap from the real world to digital information that could potentially check a customer in.
The codes are more easily read by a smartphone than a barcode because a barcode’s lines are too smooshed together for a phone to easily and accurately nab the information.
But, there’s that whole thing of checking in again. Not gonna happen for the bulk of people.
So, I thought, what about using an RFID (radio frequency identification) chip of some sort? After opting in, you walk into the store and it checks you in, pushing the information to Facebook and Twitter. Easy-peasy no smartphone even needed.
Pretty cost prohibitive given the outlay, according to Columbus entrepreneurial luminary T.W. Starr. Starr, one of the managing partners of the SBB, graciously agreed to indulge me in a discussion about location-based marketing. He along with my fellow TweetMyTime managing partners Bryan Huber and Matt Hornsby had lunch with me recently and I made them talk in exchange for food.
TweetMyTime uses RFID chips issued to runners to track their progress in realtime and hands-free. It pushes the information gathered from RFID readers along the race to social media channels.
It seems Starr looked into RFID as well. The chips themselves are relatively inexpensive at about 90 cents a pop, Starr said. His network of small businesses really can’t afford the roughly $1,000 RFID readers that would need to be installed, though. That and they can be intrusive and can’t be mounted on a ceiling and still read well, he said.
I foresee a day when smartphones will have these incorporated into them and the reader cost will go waaaay down. That day is not today.
Another dead end.
You know what all my sisters have? You know what YOU have? A rewards fob. Look at your key ring. If you’re like me, you have enough on your keychain that it’s really more of a “fobchain.”
It’s not just your local grocery store that has these anymore. It’s big retail chains that use these to track your purchases and push information to you.
Do you see where I’m going with this?
In addition to getting discounts with your rewards card, retailers could up the ante further and offer even more if people allow Twitter and Facebook to check them in each time they run the card.
Win-win for everybody. My Pi Phi buddies get a bigger discount and can share their shopping passion with their friends. The retailer gets a staunch brand advocate.
Hornsby was sitting around our offices one day and saw a picture of a marathon runner texting or Tweeting on his phone. “That’s crazy,” he said. And, the idea of TweetMyTime was born.
Similar vein here. I thought, wait, all the big retailers must be pushing to social media through reward cards. But, no. Kind of like TweetMyTime. It’s one of those, “Oh, of course” dealies.
Starr said right now the SBB rewards cards are used by his network of small businesses on a mostly sight-based system. In other words, you show your SBB card and the business offers a discount. Barcode readers and the programs to compile the information into a usable format are still somewhat out of reach cost-wise for the majority of small businesses in the SBB network.
But it’s not for a big company. Is there a big retail chain doing this? Let me know if you find one, because I sure couldn’t.
Why not? Is there something I’m not seeing?
UPDATE: Some recently-released studies are backing up my observations about this particular market. I agree with a lot of the results, but, I’m skeptical about a 30 percent mobile use:
UPDATE: Apple announced a near field communication chip (a type of RFID) will likely be incorporated into future phones: http://bit.ly/g0oY6h

leighroessler

Wampum

“I don’t want to sell anything, buy anything, or process anything as a career. I don’t want to sell anything bought or processed, or buy anything sold or processed, or process anything sold, bought, or processed, or repair anything sold, bought, or processed. You know, as a career, I don’t want to do that.”

-Lloyd Dobler, Say Anything.

Seems like some people have an uncanny knack for moving stuff around on paper and making a killing at it. I’m all for that. Trouble is, lately it’s at the expense of the rest of us and that model of doing things is about as sustainable as investing in Beanie Babies was.

According to my capitalist bent, when the tide rises, all boats are supposed to be lifted. That’s part of the cornerstone of the mythos of America. Recent reforms to banking from Washington were supposed to ensure that mythos endures. I’m not entirely sure that this is the case.

All I can do is guess that the recent banking reforms, are, in fact, pretty toothless. I don’t have the gumption to sift through a 2,000-page document, thanks. So, I’ll go by what I’m hearing in the media. Always a good idea, right?

So, what I’m hearing is that the reforms got knocked down to the current state that supposedly allows the government to step in and mess with the banks if they get into trouble again. But, isn’t that what we already have? Didn’t we just do that? The rationale was that if we put in too much regulation, the unfettered trading would just head overseas.

We’ve been down this path before with the savings and loan crisis and subsequent regulations. I’m not sure even if there were teeth in the most recent legislation if it would even matter. There’s always a new and complicated way to make money on paper.

After reading The Big Short , my veeeery brief and over-simplified explanation of the most recent crisis is this: the game is rigged against everyone except the Wall Street guys.

The WSGs, as I call them, were able to take money that the average person invested through a variety of means including retirement funds and mutual funds and straight-up gamble it. The bulk of them didn’t even know quite what they were gambling on. When they lost the money, the general public had to come to the rescue and bail the WSGs out.

“If we win, it’s capitalism. If we lose, we’re all for public support,” they seemed to say.

So, what’s the average person to do to invest? I wish I had an answer. If you look to the more conservative opinions, inflation is headed our direction. A little left-leaning and you start getting theories of deflation.

And, just the other day, I read an article posted by a friend about how venture capital investments don’t really pay off.

I know I’m confused. I can’t be the only one out there paying attention and wondering what’s next.

If I were a betting woman…

I am no gambler. I have a distaste for throwing money away. Pretty much that’s what gambling is. I don’t have moral issues with gambling per se. The problem I have with gambling coming to my town is that it’s money and community suckage. What I mean by this is that a casino doesn’t really offer much in the way of aiding a community’s progress. A housing development does. A business that serves widgets does. A casino: nope.

I am no politician. I have a distaste for telling other people what to do. But, I will tell you that politics and governing is about avoiding disaster. It’s not usually a choice of what’s good versus what’s bad. It’s a choice of which of these things is going to avert a complete and utter mistake of Hindenbergian proportions.

The upcoming Issue 2 on the May ballot will ask Ohio residents to allow Penn National to move their proposed casino site from the Arena District to a derelict auto parts plant on the West side of Columbus. I will be voting for it.

How, you may ask, is it that the whole state needs to vote on this? Well, back in November, Penn National successfully took an issue to the people that changed our state constitution. Neat trick, huh?

The issue passed statewide, but tanked BIG TIME in the Columbus area. Normally, Ohio has this thing called home rule which allows cities and townships and the like to make zoning decisions for themselves. This can be overturned by changing the constitution which Penn National did. So, Columbus got stuck with no home rule regarding a casino it didn’t want.

Enter Casino-Free Columbus following the constitution-mucking passage. Chuck Hootman and Jon Myers worked their tails off organizing and giving blood, sweat and tears to gather people to oppose the casino thrust upon Central Ohio. I helped out doing what I could in very minor ways. The group caught the interest of some of the heavy hitters.

Enter Stand Up Columbus. The same heavy hitters that signed on with Chuck and Jon splintered off into a group that wanted to give Columbus some of its home rule goodness back. It was organized by a seasoned local spin doctor and urged casino officials to look at some other sites within the city.

Among those sites was the former Delphi plant on the West side. The area commission there voted with a very narrow margin not to oppose placing a casino there. Some behind-the-scenes negotiating went on between city officials and the Penn National guys. The casino officials said, “Okay. We’ll move the casino. But, now you’ve got to change the constitution and that can only be done with another statewide issue.”

So that brings us to where we are today. Remember what I said about averting Pepsi-Blue-like disasters? My vote in favor of the issue is something I’m going to have to hold my nose to do. I really, truly do not think the casino is going to help the West side redevelop. But, the zoning in the area is far more appropriate for that particular use than the Arena District.

Not only is the Arena District an area where there is a lot of ebb and flow entertainment going on, it’s the area where a good amount of the tech/creative businesses are located. Those kinds of companies thrive on an area’s excitement and energy. It’s Columbus’ own Silicon Alley. Resource Interactive, SBC, Dynamit, Experience Columbus and a lot more creative ventures including this little firm called huber +co. are in the Arena District. This is the city’s creative business incubator in a way. A casino that would suck people in and not encourage them to visit other establishments isn’t the right type of thing to put there.

Mind you, I don’t think a casino is that great of a thing to put at a former auto parts plant either. But, the zoning in that area is industrial. That means people go to their jobs, make their product and go home. There really aren’t that many industrial entities left in this world. The land sits empty with not much on the immediate horizon except a possible casino. Cities do not care for fallow land because they can’t get any tax revenue unless there are incomes from jobs to tax.

Another reason I don’t care for the casino is the jobs are kinda dead-end. A casino job is not really an open-ended career choice. But, you know what? People are hurting right now. Badly. I’d take a casino job in a heartbeat if I knew it would mean keeping a roof over my kid’s head.

A casino would replace the opportunity to develop some housing to feed into the Arena District Silicon Alley. Or, it would replace an office building creating more commercial space to lure businesses to the area. Or, it would even replace some sort of entertainment that worked in tandem with the other offerings currently available.

Penn National sold the jobs thing pretty hard. And, they will create some jobs. But, they are not really the types of jobs that are long-term contributions to the area. They are jobs that will put food on the table for some but the bulk of the profits are going straight outta town.

I want to see more emphasis on helping the community as a whole go into this young century taking advantage of the new creative  economy that’s forming. Groups like Wonderland and Wild Goose Creative are not-for-profit entities that showcase and encourage artists in the Central Ohio area. These groups are helping forge the new attitudes of the city that will take us into the future.

Maybe Penn National can take up the cause with these two entities and help foster Columbus’ creative energies. Like I said, I’m not crazy about bringing a casino to the city at all. But, maybe, just maybe, Penn National could help in being less of a community suckage and more of a community asset if it chipped in a little with the progress part of the equation.

So, to sum it up:

1. Not happy about casino in general for its community and money suckage.

2. Will be voting to move it to the West Side because having it in the Arena District would be a completely inappropriate land use.

3. Thinking Penn National could maybe ease the suckage by supporting not-for-profits (like Wonderland and Wild Goose) that aim to help bring the community up.

4. These choices are not any good choices, frankly. But, politics and good governing are about making choices to avert disasters.

What are your thoughts?

How old do you feel in your head?

One of my many roommates from over the years, Nat, recently asked me, “How old do you feel in your head?”

It didn’t take long for me to answer, “Seventeen.” Pretty easy really.

I was still skateboarding. I was listening to hardcore and I was angry at all the things wrong in the world. A lot. I don’t know if that was the dawning of my real awareness of politics, or the onset of those fun teenaged hormones. I always had a bee in my bonnet when I felt people weren’t treated right. Just drove me mad. So, add the teen stuff and I imagine I may have been a little hard to stomach at times. Okay, maybe most of the time.But they aren't falling like I used to.

At 17, I was roommates with Timika. Let me tell you a little about Timika. She is smarter than all get out. Handily winning a four-year ride to UNC and a year at Oxford University scholarship, she was often annoyingly brilliant. Oh, and she was a great athlete as well. And, naturally, a beauty to really round things out.

Barf.

I was slated to room with another girl at the beginning of my junior year. She pooped out on me, bigtime. I am not quite sure what transpired over the summer, but come that first day back at Culver, my counselor wanted a word with me.

“Leigh, the girl you were going to room with is not going to live in this dorm,” said my counselor. “I need to talk to you about your new roommate who will arrive tomorrow with the other new students.”

Gah! Oh man. I was sweating. When you roll the dice with roommates it can get pretty scary. Was she some spoiled brat who came equipped with bodygaurds? Did she have some horrible disfigurement that I was supposed to not mention? Was it a genetic problem with flatulence and I would just have to bear with it?

With that attitude in mind, I tenderly knocked on the counselor’s door and entered. She shuffled things around on her desk. She asked me about my summer. The small talk was killing me.

“So, just what’s wrong with my new roommate, anyway?” I asked.

“Well nothing, really. I just need you to know she’s black.”

Bwahahaha I burst out laughing. Oh for the love of PETE. Did she really just hem and haw around that? Relief flooded her face and she started laughing, too.

Poor Timika didn’t get a discussion about HER new roommate. “She’s awkward and angry and listens to music you never would,” I can imagine my counselor explaining to her. “Please try to be kind to her as she struggles through this phase in her life.”

We never did end up never seeing eye to eye on the music thing. In a time before ipods, this was kind of a big deal. So, I got an education on urban contemporary music of the ’80s. And, Timika almost developed an appreciation for Minor Threat. Almost.

She would just roll her eyes at some of my music and many of my outfits. In my 40s now, I find myself rolling my eyes at the teen Leigh as well.

Anyway, I was 17, it was the middle of the year. Our room was right near the smoking area, or butt room. There was plenty of smoking at Culver at that point in history. Spend a winter in an isolated part of Indiana on a lake and the things to do get narrowed pretty quickly. Smoking was a way for a loooooot of my classmates to pass the time. There were always a lot of people out there chatting to stave off boredom and get a nic fix.

Timika and I were in our room studying. We did that a lot. Both she and I were “academia macademias” as my friend Madeline once said.

Wafts of conversation and eau de Marlboro rolled into our room. Study, study, study. I was on the bottom bunk, Timika on the top one.

Study, study, study. You couldn’t really make out the words of the conversations very well. Then.

“Nigger.”

The bed shook. Timika bolted into a sitting position shaking the bed. Then thump. She jumped down. Our door flew open and slammed into the wall.

Oh lord. I can’t remember the exact tirade that ensued. I could not stop laughing. The dressing down that girl got! I think Timika made her cry. Boohoo.

Luckily, for Timika’s sake, she only had two years of rooming with the perpetually 17-year-old me. Two years with the real teen Leigh was martyrdom enough.

It continues to surprise my 17-year-old self inside the 40-something body that other people make issues of stupid things like race or sexual orientation.

What happened to that Minor Threat t-shirt anyway?