Ladies, Gentlemen, Raptors, and Vermin -- you are getting the Abbreviated Edition of the Woperchild Review this week. It isn't that you aren't worthy of a more insightful, thought provoking set up and review and all of that. I've just spent the last couple of weeks trying to jam ten pounds of shit into a five pound bag, and am just plum tuckered. But I will not disappoint Shiner. I have committed to this, to her, to you, so I am giving you my best effort possible. (No, I am not 'phoning it in.' Stop saying that.)
Notes on a Blog: One Day at a Time, by Tabor.
Template: Clean, unassuming, pleasant. A fairly long list of crap that I don't care about in the sidebar, but most of the unimportant stuff is below the important crap (archives, about me, etc) and didn’t seem to slow down the page load, so it didn’t bother me. Some reviewers here might ask that the blogroll and followers and labels list be moved to a new page, one accessed via tabs or some links in the sidebar, but I’m not one of them. Especially since I appreciate that Blogger isn’t as easy to create new tabs with than Wordpress is. And the tags were pretty helpful in finding samples for linking. All I need is what you've done -- keep the ones I don't want out of my way.
About the Author: Tabor is in her sixties and is documenting transition to retirement, and all that comes with that -- visits with kids and grandkids, filling one's days with hobbies and activities and such.
She comes across as well-educated and intelligent, if occasionally a bit pretentious. Case in point -- her template has been modified to refer to Comments as "Elements of Repartee," (Well, lah dee dah.) and she uses a "Zen" label. She seems like a nice person, a helpful person, one who goes with the flow. Generally calm and non-disruptive. Introspective, free-spirited, having a fondness for nature. (Okay, maybe not always.)
But I’m not sure that makes for the most compelling blog fodder to someone who doesn't know you.
Content: Well written and consistent, but based on the subset I read, a bit mundane. It comes across a lot of the time like the opening paragraphs of a novel, but doesn’t really ever get to any of the crisis or inciting incident or rising action or any of that. I suspect that if I knew Tabor in real life and considered her a friend, this would all be much more interesting, as it would probably be pretty enlightening about what goes on inside that head. But I don’t know her. So I found myself getting halfway through a post and wanting to skip ahead to start the next one far too often.
I should clarify -- it wasn’t that she writes poorly or anything. It isn’t even that she’s necessarily boring. It’s just that that slow-paced, ‘today-I-worked-in-my-garden’ approach is just simply not where I am right now, or even anything I can get my head around. Accuse me of having ADD, call me impatient, whatever. The fact is that those things that are fascinating and appealing to a sixty something year old woman with lots of time on her hands do not always appeal to me.
Now I need to issue a caveat -- as I alluded to above, my schedule over the last few weeks has been a bit brutal, so I did not have a chance to read as much of this as maybe I should have, (I read early posts, late posts, and spot-checked in between) so it is very possible that there was a ton of drama that I just plain missed. With six years’ worth of content, anything is possible. So often, when I turn in a review that summarizes the content the way I see it, someone responds "Well, if you’d read the whole thing, you’d have seen a lot of posts that were very different." To which I’d respond -- "I’d have loved to have read the whole thing, but I have this whole ‘life’ experiment going on the side, so I have to just do the best I can with the time I have." This mindset does apply here.
But here's the thing -- I did find some pretty cool shit. I just had to go pretty far before I found it. So, I am willing to bet that there's more of that there. And you sure as hell could do worse than to spend a few hours digging for the odd gem or two here.
What to do to Improve: Sometimes I hate this category because I feel like the only way I would suggest to improve is to write more like me, and I am empathic enough to realize that variety is the spice of life, and some people don't want to read Hunter S. Thompson all the time, and sometimes want a little Eat, Pray, Love or something. The fact is, Tabor's not doing anything wrong, per se. Just because I didn't find it hilarious or cathartic, which is often what I look for in reading material, doesn't mean it's bad or needs improvement. And it's clear that I'm not in her target demographic, so I guess I can't in good conscience tell her to pander more to former Romanian circus trapeze artists or CIA operatives or what have you.
The Verdict: After all of this, I'm going to go with two stars.
For those of you wondering about the title, who might be younger than me, One Day at a Time was a sitcom in the 70's. Schneider was the wise-cracking building super with a heart of gold and a brain of lead.