Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Gifting the Gods

Good morning. This is me. We’re up early today – well at least about 3:30 am. It is now about 4:45 am. Rich is still soundly sleeping. We slept in the chair last night because we didn’t disturb and we wanted to be close to the computer. I think he went to bed about 10 pm and we went to bed about 11 pm.

The exciting part was that we’ve GOT THE BOOK!!!

I am just soooo very excited! We were skimming through it last night and now again this morning and we’re so goofy about it we could knock over Gumby if he were here.

Last night we had been up at the computer and Kinko’s had called about 8:45 pm. The guy said it was going to cost about $320 and that the job was complete. He said that we could pick-it up and that they stayed open until 11 pm. I didn’t understand what the extra cost was for I just wanted to pick up the book.

By the time we had gotten the call, Rich had finished cards and watching TV and was reading right behind me. The first thing he said was that he was comfortable and not going out and that the book could get picked-up the next morning. We were like … no … you don’t have to pick-up the book, we are going to get it ourselves and yes we are going as soon as possible. They said it would be ready by 9:30 pm. Oh man we’re we happy. We were even happier when we thought later that we might have a Dr. Marvin appointment today. I haven’t the faintest idea what time, but he was supposed to leave us a message.

We decided that we were going to wrap a copy of the book for him in one of those boxes of Rich and that we’d wrap another box for Dr. Woollcott. We’ll ask Dr. Marvin to get the box to Juanita, Dr. Woollcott’s old secretary. We’re pretty sure she will have the mailing address. Or, that she can keep it for him until he comes to UIC. He’s supposed to be in once a month.

After we’d gotten to Kinko’s – the trip was a blur, we went to the counter and the guy found our box under the counter. I thought wow … that was handy. I didn’t want to deal with the cost because I didn’t want the negative on the book or project. He said right away though that they’d printed an extra copy … I thought that was wonderful. After we got back out to the car, we took out a copy of the book. The box had gone to the floor of the back seat. I was very disappointed in that one of the tabs had gotten ripped off the book. I didn’t know if that had just happened when he put the book back in the box, or if it happened while it was in its printing process.

I thought about it for a few moments, while I allowed my heart beat to stabilize.

This wasn’t going to be an end of the Earth crises, right? I thought more patiently, they had given us an extra book, so we had no justification to bring it back in to say – do it over. I couldn’t have tolerated the extra time waiting for it to be fixed even if it weren’t at an extra cost. I had forgotten how displeased I’d been with this Kinko’s previously. I had to say a few positive things for them, in that they really knocked out that job in about 5 ½ hours and for the most part I was pleased. I would have preferred that the tabs had plastic coating, but I hadn’t seen that to have been an option.

It’s also a little clumsy in that the binding makes it difficult to place the book flat unless you lift a group of papers straight up before lying down so the pages don’t become twisted. I’ll have to remind myself later when we become rich and famous Hehehe … that we will not use tabs and we’ll get the book hard-bound rather that combed-edged. But, for now … what can I say – it’s our first book and the fact of the matter is that it is COMPLETE!!!

I don’t know what people are going to say. We did bring in a couple copies from where we left the box in the kitchen. We officially gave Rich his copy. He did put down his book and tentatively skimmed through a half a dozen or so sections just opening the pages randomly. He asked if I thought the boys would read it. I said honestly, probably not right away, but maybe one day. And, then I asked him if he was going to read it. He said that he would read some of it. I felt a bit of disappointment. Part of the joy in writing is to think that someday people will read you. But, I didn’t push him. He went to lay the book down and then asked if I would put it up so the cats wouldn’t wreck it. I did and thought ok, don’t go there … the fact of the matter is that WE WERE excited and as soon as we turned around and sat down, we would be leafing through the book.

We did admonish Rich a little. We told him softly that this was a big deal. He could agree it was a big deal, but then he looked at me as if to say, didn’t you know that this was happening? I don’t know … it wasn’t the reaction I was looking for. There were a few more things said, but they weren’t real heavy of dark. We had expected him to have a low tolerance for the project and we didn’t see the need to really push him. I think the last statement sounded something like, you know not everyone writes a book, one might think that if this happened there might be a little excitement. I think the reason I’m not really down on him is that he’s going to have to process it on his own level. I don’t know if part of his lack of enthusiasm is that he knows the book is going to be a little about him too. Besides Dr. M and the boys … he’s like the main character and due to proximity … he’s probably even closer than the others to me and to the center of the story.

I will say that in Book 1, he’s not really over-stated. We talked throughout of having a friend and sometimes we would say things in reference to that, but we never talked about being in a sexual relationship. In actuality, we didn’t even talk about being boy and girl friend. It just wasn’t proper at the time, even though we’d known each other for about 10 years. I’m not going to think through the math again … Just what’s there is there.

I will one day want to go back and connect some of the dots as to other years. But, I think sadly, just like the missing pictures in this book, we are missing parts of our story. The couple of direct years before this … maybe up to 5 years, we’d written to Rich and sometimes Dr. Marvin about our day to day life. I think we’d saved most of those copies on AOL, but it was at a time that AOL wasn’t saving the emails on-line. So, when we lost the computer at that time, we lost the writing.

There’s a slim chance, in that I think we still have the computer we were using.

I’d never found the files with those correspondences, but I like to think there’s a very slim chance it has survived on one of the old versions of AOL.

Since AOL supports so little of what it does, I don’t know even if there were that slim chance, if it wouldn’t be just that much slimmer. *Sigh* I know let it go.

There are a couple of other things too. Dr. Woollcott has a couple years of our writings and Dr. Marvin has many years of his notes and Dr. Woollcott’s. I don’t know if he would ever have the inclination to go back over them in order to contribute to a writing effort. I am guessing that Dr. Woollcott took the better notes. Dr. Marvin has talked a couple times of keeping notes that were pretty vague. I don’t think he trusts the situation of putting personal information on data files that others could access. He would have fulfilled the job requirements, but probably the records seem pretty sterile. If either Dr. Marvin or Dr. Woollcott had the inclination to write anything on my behalf, I would readily agree and look forward to the copy. But, I think we’ve discussed this before. Basically, that’s a lot more dream-like than most likely reality. *Sigh*

Do people ever really get past the thought they are someone’s center of the world?

Not sure. But, we’re going to at least frame it in that it’s a positive response to think you are important to others and your story is worth telling.

As to my thoughts upon skimming through the book – I have to say that each time I turn a page and especially when the contents of the pages become familiar, I am left to think … wow! I really told a story of my life. I wrote it and its readable and everything! I am having trouble thinking through how it might seem from another’s perspective. I suppose that will depend on whose reading it, but in general when I read the lines, part of it is fresh and other parts have memories connecting the lines to some real point of our existence. So, the affect is different than if someone else read it. I think these first copies going out to family and Dr.’s are going to be like that somewhat to them too. They will recognize either themselves or things we’ve told them about in the story.

I think the fairest judge is going to be Dr. Woollcott. He has a basis in knowing me, but in all reality – he’s mentioned the least of the small group of Dr. Marvin, Rich and the three boys. He’s also a writer, so I think he’ll be able to appreciate that words were captured. Then too … Dr. Woollcott was the one who started this entire thought of writing out our story. He thought that it was therapeutic to be writing or journaling. I’ve got so much toward him to be thankful for. If he’d not discovered me hiding in that hospital 18 years ago, none of my life would have occurred – at least not as it has. We had been heading down a path of being sent to a state mental hospital. That was the immediate option left next to him having taken over my care.

Ok, best not to go down all that now … just saying that I owe a lot to him. The others are equally deserving of compliments, but all those are more an immediate relation to me where there is more give and take. When I talk to Dr. Woollcott, I know that he’s no longer being paid and is responding to me as one old friend to another. He’s the one that leaves me feeling most nostalgic.

I think if there were one other person I would like to give a copy of the book to, it would be Dr. Luttmers. It’s a thought now really. I don’t know though if he’s still working at St. Mary’s. Hmm, I had TERRIBLE luck getting through on the St. Mary’s switchboard … the person answering sounded like he was high. He couldn’t hold together the entire spelling of the name. It was like here let me spell that for you. Now let me repeat that 5 times and then you get it wrong. I asked him when the next person came on shift, but he didn’t seem to understand that either.

So I just said thank-you I’ll call later and then we hung-up. He apologized, but sheesh – you would think this is an important link to that world? Maybe they should have someone who can answer the phone.

What did turn out was that I called back the directory and I found the in-town residence of Dr. Luttmers. I still have to decide whether or not to send a copy.

I’ll have to let this filter through. I know that Dr. Woollcott deserves one after all his year’s hard service, but then I have to think so does Dr. Luttmers. He was the one to put up with me those last two years from 97-99 and again in 90. If it weren’t for him, I would have never made it though the college experience. It would be a good way to say thank-you.

Hmm, we’re back again … It’s already about 7 am. Rich is up and is going through the shower. I forgot I probably should have waked him up about a half hour ago. It just doesn’t seem like a weekday. But, here it is already Tuesday. I’m so grateful of having this week off. You really live for a year just to say and feel this.

We’re back! It’s now just after 9:30 am. We checked with Dr. Marvin and it turns out the appointment is at 1 pm today. We should leave here about 12- 12:15 pm.

We’ll play it out then. I’m pretty excited let me tell you! We’ve been massaging Rich and then he left about an hour and a half ago. Wow … this last bit of time really flew by. We were in the kitchen and then the living room signing and wrapping the books for everyone. We did six of them. They went out to Maury, Thom, Joe, Dr. Luttmers, Dr. Woollcott, and of course Dr. Marvin. It is making me just soooo happy!

I think that we’ll go with Rich to the UPS store and have them box-up the package to go to Dr. Luttmers. We are going to give the boys their packages on Thursday, and then we’ll bring the other two doctors to the session with Dr. Marvin today. I don’t want to be in the position of asking for Dr. Woollcott’s address because I think that should be private, but I think I can get by with asking Dr. Marvin to bring the package to Juanita. We might have gone over that a moment ago … just it feels a bit jumbled in our mind because we want everything to go well and get out as soon as possible. I don’t know if Juanita will mail it to Dr. Woollcott or wait until he comes by. We could get it wrapped and put postage on it while at the UPS store, but then maybe he’s going to be here fairly soon. We’ll see. Maybe we will get better advice from Dr. Marvin.

Otherwise we’ve got to let it go. We thought all the time wrapping up the gifts how happy we hoped people would be to get them. It makes things so much more meaningful this year. Just dancing in my seat!

Hmm, we keep going back to review one thing or another on the book. We think of something and then we want to figure out what that person might be seeing if he or she opened the book in any one place or another. But, then we get into it again and time flows past. It’s now already 10 am. I don’t think we have too much ability to concentrate on writing this morning. Maybe we’ll be able to after we talk to Dr. Marvin. I’ll give us a few moments and if that doesn’t work out we’ll go over and start working again on book 2. I don’t really want to do the work, but then we don’t want it to sit not getting done.

I think after we get all the books written out, we’ll worry more about publishing them. I don’t know our heads are up to looking for opportunities. I think I would like to ask each of the doctors if they know of opportunities. I was thinking that St. Mary’s my old university have a publishing press, but I think in the story somewhere BJ comes up. I’m not sure then if publishing my work is something the University wants to get involved with. There’s a thought to of maybe getting a publishing agent.

Ok, we’re back AGAIN. It’s now about 6:15 pm and we’re just getting off the phone with Rich. He had just pulled into the restaurant where he is going to be meeting his kids. Apparently, he finally got out bowling. He went with Chris and Jill and Dawna’s son Nick. He is reported to have had a good time. He said that he won too. I think his score was in the low 120’s … eh … probably would have beaten me too. I think he was almost as happy for pulling in ahead of the Hummer to the parking spot. Silly goose – he’s got his competition up! He said that he’ll be back in a couple of hours.

Lots of stuff happened in the time we’ve been gone, but nothing real exciting. We were looking at publisher’s and publishing agents. I had one site where there was a list of them, so I sent out a few queries to try it out. I’ve officially had my first few rejections. WooHOO!!! That probably makes me a real life author. The first email I got back stating that I wasn’t writing the kind of book they work with also had a suggestion of how to get going. That was a nice thing to happen sooner than later. Oh and there was another agency who recommended an agent search site called http://www.aar-online.org/

We’ll probably go back there later, but we’ll wait for the books to come. We ordered two from Amazon. The first is the recommended one, Jeff Herman’s Guide to Book Publishers, Editors, & Literary Agents 2009: Who They Are! What They Want! How to win them over! And this book is in its 19th Edition. The second book was also highly recommended it was called, How to Get a Literary Agent. There is a lot to learn about publishing and it has to do with agents and editors and certain codes of behavior. So, I guess this is the formal start of all that. BUT, I forgot to uncheck the box at Amazon so the books will come by the end of the week, unfortunately, they will go to the center. *Sigh*.

We’re going to need to put that to bed for a while. No sense beating ourselves up with it. In the meantime we wanted to say something before finally posting tonight. We went to Dr. Marvin’s and then we went to the UPS store and then we took a nap. Pswhoo - it’s tiring being me!

As to the short ones, the nap was delicious! It felt extravagant to crawl into the corner of the couch and pull the blanket over me. When I woke up the news was still on and I had matching kitties on either side of me. They seem to seek out these times as the best! Well, other than getting fed. Oh that reminds me … we had left-over from last night too. The UPS store was to take care of Dr. Luttmers though I might have already mentioned this. I was happy to find the store all by myself.

It’s tucked into a quiet corner in LaGrange. I should know it well enough because Rich picks up his mail there. Just usually don’t pay attention to the streets he’s turning down. Yes, this could be a testament to my levels of awareness.

There weren’t any problems there so we’ll just move along. I do want to say that I’m very happy with myself for sending the book to Dr. Luttmers. The guy says that he will get it on Monday. Chances are that it will be about time to start classes again. I could have gotten it to him by Friday, but it would have cost twice as much. Dr. Luttmers was the guy that has always by means of being a University professor had to be frugal. He would understand taking the slower boat out of China. I didn’t really leave him with much contact information. The guy at UPS had our name on the computer and it was pulled up by giving him my phone number. I imagine then that he has my address too and that will get put on the label. I gave Dr. Luttmers a short note, but I didn’t remind him of our phone or email. I want this package sent to him to be a gift. I don’t need to ask anything from him. I think mostly I want him to be proud of me and remember how much he’d been a part of my life and how much I appreciated him for helping me out at a time of one of my greatest needs. He was my superstar for more than 2 years.

There was another stop in that I checked out at the main psychology switchboard to find out if they knew where Dr. Woollcott’s old secretary Juanita worked. She was on the 6th floor. We found her after Dr. Marvin’s appointment. Maybe not directly, but I knew that Dr. Marvin would have helped me if I’d asked for it, but in general it was nice to know that he would back me up if necessary. Juanita seemed happy to see me. I think both of us appreciated how much time had gone past. She said that Dr. Woollcott hasn’t been in for a while, but that she would call him and let him know there was a package there from me. I thought that was real nice. I felt very confident in having left the box with her. I did tell her at the end that it was a book and that Dr. Woollcott had always thought writing was important. I told her that he’s going to want to see this book. I felt pretty much like a glow-worm. It was a good stop.

Then of course was the big stop … we made it to Dr. Marvin’s on-time. After we sat down there was one of his psych students who came to his door to have something signed. The guy had known Dr. Marvin had open time from noon to 1 pm, but he only left about 7 minutes. When Dr. Marvin did come out, we pointed in back of him where the student was. The student he needed something signed, and then after he started to talk over a problem, but Dr. Marvin reminded him that he didn’t have time to talk. I was really proud of him for protecting my time with him. It meant a lot that I wasn’t going to be put off his and my schedule, just because this guy happened to be around. Good Dr. Marvin!

I think Dr. Marvin probably noticed the packages as soon as we walked past him. We put them down on the corner of his coffee table, and we sat down quickly stating that only one of the packages was for him and the other was for Dr. Woollcott and we pushed Dr. Marvin’s package to him. He looked a little confused though I have to admit he was looking real fine today! He’s done his hair a little different and its real sharp! He was looking so good though that I forgot to notice his tie and shirt. I think it was new, but I can’t bring my eyes back to looking in the right spot. There should be a rule about stunning people that way.

Dr. Marvin asked if he should open the package and I think we almost jumped him. Of COURSE OPEN THE PRESENT! He’s such a cutie! His eyes just sparkle. I don’t know if I can recall his exact expression when he removed the paper to uncover the book from the box. I think we were holding our breath waiting for him to respond and we didn’t want to break the charm of there being a surprise - in general though I can honestly say that he was very excited to see the book. I might have been so talkative I talked over the point nervously. You want someone to be excited, but you don’t want to talk yourself up so much that he might have been forced to cover other opinions. Of course, I’m reading way into this more than I should. I know Dr. Marvin, and I know that he would appreciate this gift.

One of the things I said right away was that now if he gave a lecture to his students on multiplicity he should have to then require reading the book, but that they’d have to pay $50 first. He said something to let me know this was a good idea. I don’t think they really make them pay for a book for a lecture, but I would think that he might be proud of having done such a good job with me. Later toward the end, we were pointing out that most people probably wouldn’t read the book, and then we thought of him and we figured we better get that straightened out right away. We asked him if HE was going to read the book. I saw him draw his breath and I felt bad right away because I know how valuable his time was. I think his response was a bit of a compromise, he said he would read parts of the book. He had mentioned earlier that he hadn’t had before the opportunity to sit down and read it like a book. Of course you gotta KNOW … we would like him to read the material.

I think we’re way far overextended when we say that we would hope after the 6th or 7th book, he might be inspired to write something too, but I’m pretty sure that is WAY down the road. I think he said too something that made me know he thought it looked very professional. Most of the time we were there though we were busy going on and on in about a million miles per hour. We didn’t give him much chance to get words worked in edgewise. I told him all we wanted to talk about was the book, but even at that some other stuff got squeaked in. I think we told him about being at Rich’s Mom’s and we talked to him about being at the zoo and that we were going to meet up with the kids in a couple of days.

We tried though to understand our thoughts on the book. We told him about us being pretty obsessive in picking it up and trying to figure things out. Dr. Marvin talked about being disjointed in that our thoughts don’t necessarily follow a particular straight line of thought. He was right in that we don’t remember where we are and this happens a lot. I think on the positive side is that I seem to be able to hold some of the story … well at least some of the time, but then it’s a difficult matter of putting together what everyone has thought whose been out in any given amount of time. I told Dr. Marvin we are like summarizers and that each time we sat down to write … somehow our brain figured out with that amount of time and that particular mood, what it was that we were going to be able to figure out and convey.

The whole book was like that … I told him that we are summarizers and we are trying to figure out simple things like even the general categories of things we were writing about. We want the story to make sense to us, but we’re still having problem putting together even the front and back of a 2000 character story all in the same set of thoughts. We can’t do it and its driving us crazy. It seems that we’ve gained some ground in that sometimes when we are skimming through the book we recognize stories that we are either holding or are less knowledgeable of. I think being familiar must be some part of that battle.

I think Dr. Marvin knew what we were talking about and he tried to let us talk it through even though we didn’t seem to be getting far with it. He tried to make it easier and we tried to let his thoughts come through, but we were blocking them in our effort to figure something out that we couldn’t quite grasp. There was a real sense of neediness about it. Maybe we can go into this again in the morning. I don’t think we’re going to write a lot, as stated earlier, we are going to want to get back into the editing, but this whole question of having done what we did needs to be addressed some more. It’s not sinking it proper yet. Maybe that will occur over time, right?

For now good night - we’re going to give our poor fingers a break. It’s about 7:30 now so we might just lie down for an hour until Rich comes home. It wouldn’t hurt also to take our medicine. It’s been a pretty emotional day. I remember telling Dr. Marvin when he asked us if we wanted to stop thinking about the book that our head was hurting. It was hard to close the book on his table so that we could move out the door. Dr. Marvin said though it would be a good idea to put some space around it. Ya gotta love Dr. Marvin.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Goal Test

On sale Valentine's Dinner for Two with Chapagne $49.99

Beef tenderloin in bordelaise sauce, green beans almondine, twice baked potatoes bacon & cheddar, champagne, fine chocloates, bundt cake and raspberry sauce!

Friday, December 30, 2005

Saturday, December 3, 2005

Exodus Report #3

Saturday, December 03, 2005 Saturday Morning update to the Exodus Report

I just wanted to update you all of what is happening at this point with the report. The first one to respond was Vince. He’s linked to the Exodus report from over at his place, as has done Gabreael. You two are too wonderful! Thanks! In addition, Gabreael has not only posted the report on the AOL Journal message board, but she has also emailed a copy to 50 other “moved” journalists. What a girl! Thanks, thanks, thanks. I have emailed the report to a few special people. This list included: TSGERKIN, DEABVT, VivianSulliNwank, His1Desire, Judith HeartSong, GabreaelInfo, Pattboy92, ArmandT, LAB2401, Muse nLA, NICURNmama, RepublicanJen, SisterCDR, Upseted

From what I could see these are either just some of the important people I know, or people who have gone an extra distance in presenting their views as to why they have moved. I have heard back from Tianka and Vince their unparalleled support. Viv said, "I thought it was an excellent idea to give them something quantifiable. I think many people feel the Exodus is just something emotional...but it's much more than that!" Pam wished us good luck, Armandt has stated that it is a “Great Report,” Jen passed along a Thanks, and Judith let us know she has passed on the report to the Washington Post. Jen has invited people who left AOL to join a web ring, I'll post her address below. Also, I’ve written a couple of additional comments this morning. The first was a post at the AOL journal message board, and the second was a response to “Bill” over at Joe’s smoky place. I invite you to volunteer your efforts to further communicate out the message. I’d like to think the numbers represented are of value to the community and a clear communication to AOL.

That’s it, V is pretty sure, I should be getting back to some school work. Thanks for all the support you give just by being here. SMOOOCH!


AOL Journal Message Board this morning:

Thank you Gabreael for posting this report.  At first glance the report may not seem significant, however the numbers are very telling. I’ve read some of what has been going on with the message board, and there seems to be confusion with numbers as journalists try to figure out their significance after AOL’s claim to a “600,000” number. It is, I imagine, hard swallowing, because there is simply not a shred of evidence to support that claim. It is somewhat threatening and demeaning, which I believe is AOL’s intent on our emotions.

Although, we can know not everyone has registered over at Pam’s directory, we can trust that the 995 people (journals) that had one time registered ARE real. It is a good representative survey. I believe that it is a first of its kind, in that, there has been no report, thus far, on AOL Journal numbers, or our impact representing the time and heart AOL journalists have devoted at their journals, or in visiting their peers as a byproduct of community spirit, or for that matter customers for AOL's advertisers.

I hope that more people take the time to read the report and that it gets passed around. In summary of the report, approximately 1/3 of the AOL community is staying with or without anger over the ad banners and treatment from AOL. 1/3 of the population hasn’t bothered to comment in their journals for over a month, and many of these have given clear intent on not coming back. In addition 15% have quit the AOL journal experience directly. That reduces the number of journalists either having gone private or in having moved to 8% and 6% respectively.

While the 6% movers may not seem a large number, it needs to be pointed out that is a number in addition to other obviously dissatisfied customers. This is something we are asking you to help communicate to AOL. Not only have they grossly misrepresented themselves to the media and us, they simply aren’t recognizing their damage to the spirit of their paid constituency. Good will is hard to come by, and in this factor they have and are failing miserably.

Our best,

From Smoky Joe’s Place this morning:

Hi everyone. Bill Schreiner, VP for AOL Community Programming (he's something like my boss's boss's boss) would like to address the ad banner situation:

Hi Bill,

I'm Ayn. I have been an AOL subscriber under Aynetal, Aynetal2, or Aynetal3, back to '93 when you were all charging per minute. This last week a few friends and I put together, what we are calling the Exodus Report. It can be found on my new Blog site over at Blogger, or at my old AOL Journal site, which I had maintained for 27 months. The report can also be found at a few others such as the message board, Vince's, and Gabreael's. It is my hope others will pick up the report, to know better where we are at as a number on your ledgers and sold to advertisers.

Basically, what I am saying is giving you all the most benefit of doubt and according to the numbers generated by looking at 995 journals(journalists), AOL's number of 600,000 journals is highly inflated even if it did include worldwide numbers. The representative number of journals that could be counted at Pam's directory suggests that about half the journalists have turned away from your Journal product. I invite you to look at the reports, and to speak more clearly on your relationship with the declining number of journalists (customers of your advertisers goods).


Ayn(Ann) Garvey





Comment from aynetal3 - 12/3/05 10:08 AM

(Web Ring Invite from Jen)

Exodus Report #2

Friday, December 02, 2005 Sentinels ... A Sentimental Move: Reflections of a Journaling Community

In the wake of the storm, lighthouses have been lit for the safe return of the J-Land Community as it was once known. The following AOL Journalists have registered at Pam's Directory at one point over the last 29 months of Journal Service and have offered public opinions on why they chose to move away from AOL.

The first number represents the number of months the journalist had been using AOL Journal services. The second number in parenthesis represents the number of site visits that had been made to that particular journalist's journal up through the couple of weeks between November 15th and 30th. The comments are condensed, short-hand versions of the text, or at best paraphrases of what the journalist wrote. The statements are not quoted directly. Please visit the journalists to obtain a more pure, elaborate-spoken testament of their thoughts and feelings.

We did the best we could in trying to capture "the Essence" of what was being said of the reasoning journalists were leaving for Blogs outside what was once homeland.


Aiibrat - 27(33,928), ads, and stupidsheetguy tos'd

Andreakingme - 27(unknown), ads, not enough good, AOL doesn't care, change good, people matter

Angelm0304 - 8(5,517), change good

Annalia135 - 19(43,182), miss the community, grown, 1 1/2 years, support, love, hope for return through Jason Calaconais

Anmyatt - 12(unknown), ads, subscribers already pay, non-endorsements, private use, exclusive, no respect from AOL

Armandt - 27(50,418), (months changed from 7 to 27 due to AOL error), ads without permission, without warning, canned statement from PR, journalists need human contact, prefer another blogger, no customer service, felt ambushed, AOL sold integrity, Exodus, boycott AOL journals, moral objectives against particular ads, ads "crap"

Aynetal3 - 27(34,005), boycott AOL Journals, anger at ads for services paid, principle

Astaryth - 13(7,920), ads, benefits of new journals, change good, moved with the movement, now enjoy bloglines

Angelm0304 – 8(5,520), don't know why

Ber144 - 22(11,674), ads, mobile, tired, AOL non-communication, dislike no choice in ads, boycott

Bettefan05 - 24(6,048), past loyalty to AOL over, time for change, miss friends

Blattman2005 - 1(149), metaphoric run away train, ads, village cannot support this extra weight, spell the death of J-land as we know it, forced us out, there is no turning back

Boycalleddare - 21(7,149), not amused, insufficient services at AOL

Chance2288 - 19(1,794), ads, I'm not disempowered, protest, thought being valued meant something, feel abused, feels unloved, sold-out, pimped us, choice, split revenue, cost/value, independence

Chasenkids - 18(52,369), not paid for advertisement, don't endorse product, last straw, ads, join friends

Chittarabunny129 - 24(8,425) ads

Ckays1967 - 26(35,125), love and respect for community, petulant, redirect energy

Coy1234787 - 20(30,468), ads, the Great Exodus

Cutebutpsycho028 - 15(31,270), people leaving, been procrastinating changing before, angry at AOL, want to get back to real life

Dazeychic - 27(32,196), ads, had postponed decision before, regret losing service, to better live, connecting to people, expression

Deabvt - 25(22,671), sadness, diasporas, ads

Dvlwitgrneyes - 16(11,204)

Emmapeeldallas - 3(7735), ads, don't get me started on AOL, AOL wasn't offering anything I would buy somewhere else and this confirms it

Ernhrtfanalwys3 - 4(3775), won't have my journal used as free bulletin board, sick and tired of AOL not putting customers first, we're not going to take it anymore, AOL sticking it to it's paying customers again, I wasn't surprised, AOL leader in screw-over

Freeepeace - 26(78,974), ads, don't endorse ads, nor condone or approve of customer disregard and disrespect, moving on with life, community, moving on

Gabreaelinfo - 12(unknown), AOL's wretched behavior, ads, paying for advertisements, expense of AOL

Gourneeaun - 26(7897), ads, protest, angry at AOL

Gypsytrader49 - 24(3956), ads, already pay for journal, infringement on community

His1desire - 28(41957), ads, angered at thoughts for sale, angered to make decision/take stand, journals invalidated next to Blogs outside AOL, journal meant recognition which was not for sale, angry at Blogs outside AOL laughing at us, not an AOL billboard, need to protest, torn, angry, sad, frustrated, not heard by AOL, pressure of negative attention after receiving VIVI award, stressed, AOL profiting

Iscribble4u - 5(663), disappointed, rocked by corporate action coming from AOL, extremely unhappy, banner ads

Jeffcomedy - 19(3524), ads

Jellogirli - 24(unknown), intolerable terms with AOL, angry AOL deleted adult entries, can combine two journals at Blogger (adult content), people better able to know me, let it "hang-out"

Judithheartsong - 19(51632), mass exodus, ads, sickened and dismayed, defiled, grieving loss of sacred space, AOL won't take protest seriously, take a stand against ugly and wrong, cost of support system, so will assist with tracking moves the community is making, AOL can you hear us?

Krobbie67 - 24(unknown), blogger's benefits outweigh AOL, difficulty maintaining two accounts, breaking point offering free email without membership cost, already pay a Internet Access Server, selling farm on backs of loyal subscribers, have been thinking of leaving

Lab2401 – 23(3116), AOL incompetence, paying for space others get for free, ads, AOLs dysfunction, after 2 years, I find I don't seem to matter, AOL has lost my loyalty, been placated with assurances of improved service that have fallen short of promises, small pebble on their mountain, they can decorate our space their way, AOL does not respond
to emails, comments or calls, don't feel I'm wanted or needed, angry at AOL, feel disrespected, corporate greed

Lamove04 - 17(45062), hates Bank of America, boycott ads on my blog, sarcastic of AOL ad design/strategy person, disgusted with ads, people will leave, corporate greed

Levi1023 - 20(7632), on strike, AOL is terrible, journalists should be paid for the ads, most money grubbing companies don't care, AOL needs to here our complaints

Lights4me40 - 16(1122), AOL shutting me down, haven't had time to read journals, AOL makes me mad, will miss journal friends, no longer want to pay for it

Luckyaugustgirl - 19(10660), repulsed by offensive ads, more comfortable with the option of moving while things are controversial, desperately sad heart, good friends leaving, torn, don't want to lose community, afraid not to take a stand, ad ruins color scheme of journal, I hate AOL

Musenla - 25(14013), banner ads, subjected to indignities, invaded private writing space in middle of night, no permission asked, journal defaced by ads we don't endorse, AOL making money from space paid for by journalist, AOL made a big mistake, trying to attract advertisers at expense of paying customers, blatant disrespect, erode good reputation you may have, shameless ad fiasco, cancel subscription, not being treated by dignity and respect, abused subscribers long enough

Nicurnmama - 11(14156), Respect is a two-way street, love for journalists, ads, advertising at the cost of husband paying the bills, offensive ads, doesn't want the bitter hateful feelings having toward AOL, sad life is like this, optimist, tore the community, genuinely care about other journalists, community accepts each other as all shapes, sizes, beliefs, sexual preferences, political parties, and international, the community will endure - somewhere beside AOL, ugly thing to have happened

Paisleyskys - 8(unknown), I have loved every moment with AOL journals, but it is time to move, ban the ads

Pattboy92 - 24(64028), won't put up with, saddened, no warning after community VIVI awards, sense of unity AOL's Swan song, refuse to pay for AOLs advertising, no control over the advertising, if anyone profits my words should be me who is paying monthly service, unacceptable, should have been informed, angry AOL created screen name just to take complaints, not swayed by promised of "nifty" things to come, made the decision to move

Promiseluv372 - 8(3299), Hey AOL remove that ad, disclaimers band-aid gag, want the ads gone, my journal my thoughts, do not approve of the ads

Realitycheckmco - 19(unknown), AOL should wake up, wrote to AOL as 7 year paid member, AOL has greedy coffers on regular basis, AOL doesn't care, ads, need to affect AOLs bottom line, had to think hard whether or not to move, need ad free of products we don't endorse and open expression of self

Republicanjen - 16, 18331, Other blogs are ad free, AOL bloggers angered, leaving service, AOL services now being offered free, ads now being added to paid and non-paid journals, uproar in J-land community, ads an intrusion, AOL dishonest with journalists, many either moving or leaving service, ads are not palatable, mood of J-land transformed practically in a matter of hours just after journalists had hosted the VIVI Awards, mood soured quickly, boycott AOL and their advertisers, AOL ambushed its paying customers

Ryanagi - 19(unknown), on strike, 10 years with AOL, makes me cry the way AOL has shafted their members by opening to the larger non-paying Internet, giving away free services some are paying for, whoring out my journal with ads

Sepintx - 27(45389), Black Tuesday, embarrassed, AOL monetized its AOL journal product with ads, ads highly annoying, distract from journals content, waste bandwidth, AOLs ads cannot be disabled or blocked, banners across top are a throw back, ads not effective - lazy marketing, my content is unique as is other journalists, we deserve better marketing

Sideshowjane - 25(unknown), hate the ads, angry, paying AOL and AOL adds ads on our journal, we should be able to speak our mind without corporate interference, my friend has moved, people I meet on Internet say AOL is bad, AOL another faceless, money-grubbing corporation to make money, displeased

Sieblonde - 14(16296), spam ad, intrusive unwanted, shoved down my throat, no longer trust AOL, looking at other blogs, angry at journal malfunctioning, resentful, paying to be a non-consenting billboard, refuse purchase from advertisers, extremely intrusive, annoying, want them off journal, no longer participating in AOL sponsored events, such as guest editor, Scalzi's journal, magic smoke, message board or other

Sistercdr - 24(3048), AOL appears to have miscounted complaints, hate some of the advertisers on my journal, neighborhood trashed, dissatisfied with ads on paid space, sign online petition to stop AOL from displaying banner ads on paying members journals, for every one complaint there are ten equally dissatisfied customers who don't speak, just leave taking money with them, complaints give companies opportunities to change and satisfy customers, insulted, question commitment to customer satisfaction, inconvenienced by maintenance requirements, people use AOL, but nobody seems to like it, customer service issues making people angry, stayed previously because of message boards and journals, but community destroyed with effectiveness of a tornado, while "your thoughts, your blog," will not support advertisers, rude, intrusive of personal space, permission not sought, AOL is a media company, more money in ads than customers, rates driven buy subscriptions, exodus of journalists, AOL forcing away draw for advertisers, more ads than most, dissatisfied customers dissatisfied with advertisers

Starbell2 - 25(8848), Have been blog shopping for a couple of months, following migration of J-landers, other blog, very professional and more savvy, be with bloggers who are famous, professional, teckkies, and more knowledgeable, which is growth, Google has the brain power and are Internet orientated

Thebludragoness - 1(unknown), I'll be nice, hopefully can call AOL and tell them where to stick it

Theresarrt7 - 18(19301), journals are hallowed ground where secrets cry aloud, journals defaced with ads, we do our living, laughing, loving, and dying on these pages. They are not billboards for advertisers, you have defaced by house, remove the ad banners

Txsguinan - 24(13634), feel jinxed, sad everyone left town in protest, I love it here, but it is time to move on, I don't want to leave, but I can and must, friends going or gone

Upseted - 7(21109), boycott companies providing banners on AOL journals, Angry at AOL, forced ad banners without notice, do not endorse any of these companies, AOL is not listening to paying customers, remove ads banners, AIM was supposed to get banners not paid members, neighborhood is going to get bigger, more diverse, members already pay highest cost on ISP, AOL profits more for ads than customers, are we redundant, take a stand for services, customer should be priority, but AOL considers the advertisers the customers not those subscribed for years, flashing ad banners aesthetically offensive, take time to load, garish, crass and annoying, what not given away isn't worth paying for

Virage65 - 10(6704), don't like the ads, left in support of my friends, almost everything you see on AOL is advertising, I would stand with my friends in a legal complaint, sign a petition, listening to your customers is an effective way to promote good will, welcome a peaceful resolution

Viviansulllinwank - 28(unknown), AOL waited until the VIVIs then they screwed us royally, take a stand, angry at AOL, disappointed, resent what they did to the community, resent customer service for not taking care us, no release or advance notice, ugly ads, biggest insult was waiting until they thought we were happy

Xasporated - 21(unknown), words, messages, photos and expressions belong to the author of this journal not to profit AOL, relocated (free-of-cost), no ads to paying membership, please do not click ads

Exodus Report #1

Numbers Like Friends Can Be Counted On

The Exodus Report Generates Something AOL doesn't have: Reality numbers of Journalists who do make a difference

In an effort to survey the AOL Journal Community in the wake of the Advertising Scandal, we divided the community into six categories. They are:

People we know are staying at AOL journals because they have written in the last two weeks since the brouhaha. These people we called “stayers”

People we are not sure will stay at AOL journals because they have written in the last month, but not since the last two weeks since the brouhaha started. These people we called “On vacation”

People who we are pretty sure aren’t too involved because they haven’t written in their journal for over a month. These people we can call “MIA’s” Missing in action.

People who have stated in their journal they are moving out of AOL journals to another service. These people we can call “movers.”

People we are unsure of because they have gone private. These people we can call “private”

People who have quit entirely leaving only a blue box. These people we can call “quitters” (of AOL Journal Service)”

Ok, now … We surveyed 995 people (journals) – all the names were registered in Pam’s directory. This is a fair presentation of the J-Land Community. It is kept by Pam, who has been with the service the entire 29 months of operation. It can be assumed Pam has over the years already pruned from the directory, people who no longer maintain journals. Due to Pam's cancer, the Directory has added new people in the comment section, but the directory has remained fairly fixed for the last 8-9 months while Pam recovers.

Note that AOL provides no directory of journalists, although at one time, they had at least maintained a list of the last 500 people having posted an entry, so there had been a means of finding others. Now AOL service utilizes a front "Journal" advertisement listing Scalzi's and Joe's (Two AOL journal editors) sites and 5-6 regular journalists (Editor's Picks). The remaining credit for community promotion is credited to the individual journalists who gather as J-Landers to look outward and support others who post regularly, or are new to the community (posting and linking).

It has been stated that AOL hosts 600,000 journals. Even if AOL included all countries hosting the journal service, this number would seem overpowered and over-inflated by AOL marketers. The largest known gatherings of AOL Journalists in the US has been numbers closer to a thousand, but even giving AOL the benefit of the doubt by multiplying the known number by 100, which is to say 99 out of every hundred journalists are hiding, reasoning would still demand AOL isn't and hasn't been paying attention to their Journalists. This is what the numbers have to say:

Of these 995 journalists surveyed by having registered at one time in Pam's Journal and the most popular journalist in J-land:

323 (32%) journalists are stayers. Of these 323 stayers, 273 (85%) maintained visit counters. These people on average maintained AOL journal accounts for 15.44 months. These people have “rented” AOL journal space for a total of 4986 months. According to visit hits counted, these people represent 2,847,439 (52%) of the known visit business (representing activity for the advertiser). These journals average 10,430 visit hits.

84 (8%) journalists are vacationers. Of these 84 vacationers, 70 (83%) maintained visit counters. These people on average maintained AOL journals for 14.89 months. These people have “rented” AOL journal space for a total of 1,251 months. According to visit hits counted, these people represent 513,881 (9%) of the known visit business (representing activity for the advertiser). These journals average 7,341 visit hits.

298 (30%) journalists are MIA. Of these 298 MIAs, 244 (82%) maintained visit counters. These people on average maintained AOL journals for 10.54 months. These people have “rented” AOL journal space for a total of 3,141 months. According to visit hits counted, these people represent 1,177,942 (21%) of the known visit business (representing activity for the advertiser). These journals average 4,828 visit hits.

59 (6%) journalists are movers. Of these 59, movers, 47(80%) maintained visit counters. These people on average maintained AOL journals for 18.12 months. These people have “rented” AOL journal space for a total of 1,069 months. According to visit hits counted, these people represent 939,912 (17%)of the known visit business (representing activity for the advertiser). These journals average 19,998 visit hits.

80 (8%) journalists are private. Of these 80, no visit counts or months utilizing AOL journal service were able to be surveyed.

151 (15%) journalists are quitters. Of these 151, no visit counts or months utilizing AOL journal service were able to be surveyed.

Collectively, giving the most benefit of the doubt, we can calculate through Exodus Report:

Stayers, Vacationers, and Private people are more pro-AOL and amount to 487 (49%) of the people or a known factor of 3,361,320 (61%) site visits

Quitters, MIA’s, and Movers are more anti-AOL and amount to 508 (51%) of the people or a known factor of 2,117,854 (39%) site visits.

Discussion Posts to follow.

Ann and Tianka, surveyors

Link here to Acutual Numbers used in the Exodus Report

  • Click here for preliminary ExodusReport.xls (Excel)

  • Click here for preliminary ExodusReport.xls (As Text)