Saturday, January 26, 2013


Why is Wordpress so difficult to use? Why does it have to be so unintuitive and user-unfriendly? WHY? For the past few months I've spent most of my days wrestling with it and ending up with no website. And I thought Blogger was a pain.
   Nothing on Wordpress is easy or accessible. The simplest things take weeks to figure out. Like deleting a blog, for instance. There’s always a button blinking at you CREATE A NEW BLOG, CREATE A NEW BLOG but there’s nothing to delete one. You have to go to the unlikeliest place: “BULK ACTIONS”, transfer the blog to the Dashboard, hit TOOLS then DELETE BLOG and then they send an email to your mailbox which you have to log in to and there click on a link which finally deletes the damn blog. How hard would it be to put a DELETE button next to the CREATE A NEW BLOG button? Jeez.
     I keep telling myself I’ll get the hang of it soon (that was two years ago). I can’t even set up a simple profile without a uselessly ENORMOUS avatar that can't be reduced without some highly obscure and bizarre maneuvering that I haven’t found yet after weeks of searching. WTF? Who on earth would want an avatar so big it takes up a page? Wordpress, it's illogical. Just give us a set of sizes to click on, please.
    Then there’s the web page. You upload a piece of artwork and it gets cropped all to hell. So you spend hours redoing the artwork to size, select another theme, then the new page won’t accept artwork. Why not mention this up front instead of wasting our time? THIS THEME WILL ACCEPT PERSONAL ARTWORK and THIS THEME WON’T. How hard is that?
    My would-be web page has unwanted words all over it and no way to get rid of them or to preview how it will look. It also has a “category” pending approval for two years! I’ve forgotten what it is by now but I know it wasn’t pornographic or criminal.       
    And how do you get the headings into that bar across the bottom of the picture, like: HOME, ABOUT, BLOG, WRITING, ART etc.? Shouldn’t that be a piece of cake? But no, it’s another bewildering, unfigureoutable task.
    The tutorial says: go to the dashboard and you’ll see these tabs. Well no, actually, you won’t. Why is the dashboard not always available to click on in any window? Or is it? Who knows?
    I’m so befuddled and irritated by all these unnecessary and constant impediments and frustrations that I can’t think straight and just end up making a mess, screaming, cursing wasting my time and staying with Blogger,which also makes me curse on occasion but at least it generally works. BTW, Blogger why is the picture on this post so huge when I selected "SMALL"
(this often happens) and why doesnt the CENTERING tool always work?                       

Friday, January 4, 2013


These subjective imressions should not be taken for proper reviews. Like Michelin rated restaurants *** is best in my opinion.

The ART OF FIELDING by Chad Harbach ***  Moby Dick-themed names: Harpooners, Skrimshander, Starblind, Pella (as in pelagic perhaps). The rich, meaty characters are still with me. Sporty bits are easily skipped without losing the pedals.

The SHIPPING NEWS by Annie Proulx *** Proulx’s writing is like a graphic novel without the graphics; bright pictures leap from her words, glow in your brain and sometimes make you laugh or break your heart. 
L’ELEGANCE DU HERRISON by Muriel Barbery *** Wonderful study of the unexpectedly intellectual and sensual life of a Parisian concierge.
TINKER, TAILOR, SOLDIER, SPY by John Le Carré *** Intricate plot, brilliantly flawed characters: Smiley, Haydon, Connie Sachs and creative spy terms: moles, joes, lamplighters, mothers etc.. My favorite writer by far, he deserves a Nobel Prize.
A LA RECHERCHE DU TEMPS PERDU de Marcel Proust. Edition française complète, 10 tomes augmentée, illustrée et commentée *** (Commentary based on the first tome and a half.) Immobility imposed by asthma gave Proust the time to study his family and surroundings at great length. His languid writing is a lot funnier than expected and resembles a Persian miniature with its tiny  details of people and places. Long, stately phrases studded with jewel-like images, wit and well-observed pettiness and snobbery. Slow-motion passion.               
A HANDMAID’S TALE – by Margaret Atwood ** Beautifully crafted dystopia, compelling characters, slightly spoiled, for me, by the rather clinical ending.
DEEP DOWN (Jack Reacher) by Lee Child ** Short, sharp action-packed sentences make Jack a bright boy.
THE FAULT IN OUR STARS by John Green ** The un-sentimental voices of young cancer patients Hazel Grace and Augustus are clear,  instantly endearing and inspiring.
The CHEMISTRY OF TEARS by Peter Carey ** Grief and all its ramifications. Not one of Carey’s most colorful but definitely readable.
NEVER MIND, BAD NEWS, SOME HOPE, MOTHER’S MILK by Patrick Melrose ** The mighty struggle to deal with the consequences of casual cruelty, these books are medals and gold stars, tributes to courageous battles that are seldom acknowledged let alone rewarded.
EXTREMEMLY LOUD and INCREDIBLY CLOSE by Jonathan Safran Foer * Yet another Holden Caulfield-inspired voice of a boy in Manhattan struggling to come to terms with his father’s death in the terrorist attacks of September 11th 2001.
FROM A BUICK 8 by Stephen King * Stephen King makes you believe that a Buick is the gates of hell spitting out malformed monsters and evil smells. The characters are not quite as interesting as the car.
The CASUAL VACANCY by JK Rowling – I’m a huge fan of what Rowling has accomplished for reading, her fairy tale success, her quirky personality and the inventiveness of the Harry Potter books, but this book bored the pants off me. I didn’t care about any of the characters apart from grotesquely tragic Krystal. Relentless sordidness is as dull as happy endings.
A CONFEDERACY OF DUNCES by John Kennedy Toole – This large work was rejected by so many people that the author sadly committed suicide before it was published. I really wanted to like it but found the characters and actions un-compelling. Did not finish.
The HUNGER GAMES by Suzanne Collins – Did not finish.
The CLASSMATE MURDERS by Bob Moats – Did not finish.
BEL CANTO by Anne Patchett – Did not finish.