I’m sitting here thinking about what I’d like to write about today. I originally thought maybe I’d breathe some new life into an old post from 2016. It was about an interaction I had with someone I used to “know”, who regularly gave me grief on the now defunct review site, Epinions.com. Regular followers who knew me on Epinions know that sometimes I write about a man I like to call “Papa Smurf”. I know at least one person, who knows of whom I write, has also co-opted that nickname for him. He’s one of those people who tries to be all wise and act like other people’s “daddy”, and shit…
Papa Smurf is not who I was thinking of writing about this morning…
Instead, I was considering writing about an unpleasant run in I had with …tom… And if you followed me on Epinions, and are still following me today, you almost certainly know who …tom… is. That’s how he signs his “name” on just about everything on which he leaves his mark.
I long ago left …tom… in the dust, mainly because of the annoying interaction we had seven years ago today that prompted today’s memories. That incident wasn’t the last straw, but it was the beginning of the end of my tolerance for his highly obnoxious and unwelcome input. Most of my followers who know …tom…, also know of what I write. A lot of us had the same complaint about his irritating and provocative comments, even though he could be entertaining sometimes.
So this morning, I went to the Blogger platform to have another look at that old post and decide if I wanted to rehash it today. But, before I made it there, I decided to look at my AdSense earnings. I knew I was getting close to the necessary $100 level that would allow me to finally cash out, probably for the last time– ever– on Blogger.
I signed up for AdSense years ago. Back when I was using Blogger for my three blogs, I even got paid somewhat regularly. In order to cash out on Blogger, you have to make at least $100. I think I cashed out a few times during my blog’s “heyday”, which was when we still lived in Stuttgart, and a lot of people were reading about our travels. Some folks had also started reading the main blog, which attracted the most hits out of the three.
The nice thing about AdSense is that users can put all of their blogs on one account. On WordPress, users must have separate ad revenue accounts for each blog. I have already been paid once for the current version of OH, but I will probably die before I get anything for my travel blog. The travel blog hasn’t made ad revenue in a few months. I’m actually thinking about removing ads from it.
If not for a certain meddlesome reader, I’d probably still be posting on Blogger, conveniently getting AdSense revenue on the three blogs. Back in 2019, the Blogger version of my blog went through a crisis of sorts, when we were having trouble with our former landlady. Her ex tenant, a fellow American, brazenly admitted to “monitoring” me, even though she claimed she didn’t enjoy my writing.
I suspect she had enjoyed the blog for awhile, but then started to dislike it when I started to vent about the unfair way ex landlady treated me. I don’t know for certain if the ex landlady is mentally ill, or if we simply had a personality clash. But she was driving me crazy with her entitled, intrusive, and disrespectful attitudes toward Bill and me. She was especially rude and abusive to me. On rare occasions, I would vent about it on my blog. Yes, I now know that was unwise… but then, it never occurred to me that anyone, including the former tenant, would care about such things.
In retrospect, I think the former tenant knew full well that the former landlady is the way she is. She just wanted me to deal with it in silence, because my speaking out about it made it unpleasant and inconvenient for her. I think she flat out lied to us. And instead of just minding her own business and moving on, grateful that she got out of that situation relatively unscathed, she decided to monitor me, and attempted to shame me into being quiet.
It was an especially bizarre form of gaslighting– ex landlady was insisting that Bill and I are awful people who made her life hell by renting her duplex and expecting to actually live peacefully in it. And how dare we expect her to act like a mature businessperson, rather than some warped, dysfunctional version of our mamas?
Former tenant was insisting that ex landlady is always a sweet, fair, and kind woman, and if she was acting like an entitled harridan, it MUST be all because of me. Never mind the fact that she and her husband, themselves, only lasted about 18 months in that house, while Bill and I were there for a little over four years.
Never mind that ex tenant was insisting that I respect her privacy, while she totally shat all over mine, and encouraged an actual smear campaign. And never mind that former tenant, who was trying to make me out as some kind of crazy, mean-spirited, disruptive person, exited life on her own terms last year.
Prior to therapy, I might have kept quiet about the unpleasant and uncomfortable situation we were in, but as a confirmed truth teller, I don’t keep abusers’ secrets anymore. Because of those circumstances and the ensuing small claims lawsuit over the deposit that was predictably and illegally withheld from us, I moved the original OH blog to WordPress, which offers functionality that Blogger doesn’t. Now, I pay to post my blog, and it doesn’t make me any money. But I have a lot more security here than I did there. Moving the blog meant starting over, which was hard for me, since it had taken several years to build a meaningful readership on Blogger. Thankfully, it took a lot less time to get this blog going at full speed.
In the wake of the minor blog stalking incident, I decided to keep my music blog going on Blogger. The music blog had very little personal information about me, and practically none about the situation we were in back in 2019. The other two blogs– this one, and my travel blog– were relaunched on WordPress. Once the situation with the landlady was settled, I made my old travel blog public again, but no one really looks at it. It’s not connected to AdSense. The old original OH blog is still hidden and probably always will be, since there’s some dated, useless stuff on there that doesn’t need to be public.
I told myself that once I hit $100 on Blogger, I’d discontinue the music blog, which is mostly about the campy music I loved when I was a kid. I haven’t updated it since New Year’s Day 2023. Most of the traffic comes from a handful of posts, mostly about Richard Carpenter’s daughter, Mindi.
It’s taken me ages to finally hit the last $100 I needed to cash out. Most of that $100 was made from the original OH blog prior to February 2019, before I moved it to WordPress. So… that means that to get those last painful bucks from Blogger, I had to wait several years, earning pennies from AdSense every month. As you can see from the featured photo, I finally managed to reach that goal today… and it’s exactly $100! How often does THAT happen? I figure it must be a sign.
Now… do I delete Dungeon of the Past, or just leave it up for posterity? I do still get comments on it, but they’re mostly bizarre comments from Carpenters’ fans. There’s one person who has repeatedly posted that Richard Carpenter and his wife, Mary, are biological first cousins. Their official story is that Mary was adopted. I don’t know if she was adopted or not, but I figure it’s none of my business. They’ve had five healthy children together. What difference should it make to me, or anyone else, if they’re biologically related? I occasionally get other comments. Like, I wrote a review of Belinda Carlisle’s book and reposted it on my Dungeon blog. I got a comment from one of her half sisters, which I thought was interesting. I have since moved that post to this blog.
I may decide to move some of the more interesting Dungeon posts over here, and just delete my Blogger account. Life is short, and even though I have lots of time on my hands, that account is just one more thing to keep track of. I don’t think I have any true regular readers there, who eagerly look forward to new posts, though some content continues to attract hits. I’ll take some time to think about it, as Bill and I also decide where to go on vacation, and whether or not to get another dog… and when it should happen.
Lately, I’ve been having some fun on YouTube. I don’t know how long it will last… but it’s fun for me to make videos of songs I want to try. My latest video is actually doing surprisingly well. I think some people get a kick out of women who sing Led Zeppelin songs.
Music is less controversial… except people like to see singers on camera, and I’m not very comfortable on camera. Still, I’m kind of proud of some of the videos… and they seem to attract a lot fewer idiots. So maybe instead of writing about music, I’ll just make it. I hope at some point, I can write my own song and play it. Baby steps… however, although the friend who encouraged me to record a couple of Zeppelin songs thinks I should dance and wear a boa, I won’t be doing that. I won’t dance. Don’t ask me. 😉
Maybe later I’ll actually write about the post that ultimately led me down this divergent rabbit hole that took me in a totally different direction. Or maybe not. The sun is out today. Noyzi might enjoy a longer walk.
Edited to add: I see that almost a year ago, I wrote about being paid by WordPress for the first time. In April 2022, I had $98 on Blogger. So, you can see, it took me a year to make $2. I hope certain people will remember that the next time they try to accuse me of exploiting anyone for money on this blog. 😉