July 28, 2006

...And the Spaz Rats

In happy news, my redesigned website is finally up, after several days of earthlink limbo. Still some pages to be tweaked and expanded, but the basic concept is in place.

For those who gave positive feedback on my original site, many thanks. I'm especially happy to know I motivated a few other folks to getting their name into dot.com stardom. That old design just became unwieldy to update: too many boxy frames and columns, too many small niches of detail. This feels less claustrophobic. I'm hoping to add back some of my original photographs, eventually, once I secure the server space.

When I launched a site under my own name, it seemed arrogant: I didn't have a book out, didn't have a publicity photo, didn't feel comfortable referring to myself in the third person. What compelled me to go online was simple: Sandra Beasley and the Spaz Rats.

Mind you, this is not a Sandra Beasley I know. This is a woman who lives in Canada (I think) and specializes in...alternative medicine for rats. She is the queen of the pet rat scene and man, is she a prodigious poster.

I am slowly but surely chipping away at her hit count, but for YEARS if you googled my name you got not poetry but: Sandra Beasley and the Spaz Rats. The best case scenario was people thinking that was the hip, alternative name for some crazy rock band of mine. The worst case scenario...well, you can go see for yourself. The "Sandra Beasley Independent Living Center" wasn't helping me either.

Anyone else out there have a crazy doppleganger story?


Sam of the ten thousand things said...

The website is well orgainized, with a unique layout. Effective.

Don said...

Yeah, people keep getting "Donald Illich, the Sexiest Man Alive." And then there's some other guy, who's not me, that folks sometimes run into during Internet searches: a circus freak who bites the heads off of Easter Bunnies.

Steven D. Schroeder said...

Try having your namesake also be a poet... :-)

Sandra said...

*laughing* Don, I hope that now if people google "don illich" and "circus freak," they will be directed to my blog. And now that I look, yes there are two "Steve(n) Schroeder" poets out there...hmmm. That would be irksome. Maybe you should go all meta and start spelling your name "Stev7en." To those who ask, say simply "The 7 is silent."

Shanna, the constellation of other Shannas sounds like a poem in the making. Do you know Aaron Belz? He has organized whole reading series of poets who all have the same first name.

Thanks for the kind word on the website, Sam! It is a work in progress, but I feel good about it.

Don said...

I wanted to praise your performance last night. The "You" poem was smokin' and the "sketchy" piece very funny -- I don't think I heard it before, but I really enjoyed it. Thanks!

csperez said...

hello, linked here through looktouch blog and just wanted to say hi and i think the website looks great!

also wondering if i can link this site to my blog (blindelephant.blogspot.com)?


Jessica Smith said...

hey shanna-- lovely reading last night, i agree. i'm in a similar boat with making my own website ("who does she think she is?") but you know there are *so* many Jessica Smiths in the world that it was necessary to make some kind of ripple. On facebook there is a group dedicated to girls named Jessica Smith, and it has like 300 members. And that's just people on facebook. I'm still not the top Google hit for my name, but "jessica smith + poetry" works. luckily, no animals were harmed during the making of this post.

Jessica Smith said...

shanna-- i had her on my mind after reading the comment about Shannas... obviously i meant to address Sandra.

i liked the "sketchy" piece too, but because it started out funny and then was inescapably brutal commentary on sexual harassment. it reminded me of a trick that joyce carol oates often uses... drawing the reader in (isn't it cute, isn't it sweet and witty) and then BAM she reveals the true dangers of being female.

Sandra said...

That's okay, I can only have dim aspirations of Shanna-dom. Thanks, Don and Jessica, and everyone else who came out to the Rouge. I'm so relieved "Sketchy" got a good reception--I often end up bumping that poem at readings, because it seems to only click with a certain median age group. But Monday's bunch of young hooligans got it.

= )

J.D. Smith said...

First, sorry I missed your recent reading. The series sounds like great fun.

Second, with a name like mine, I have all sorts of online namesakes. When I am not myself, I am a trucking company in Ontario, a custom knifemaker in Boston (and African-American), a Louisiana state legislator, a cartoon colorist, an NFL player of the 1950s and 1960s, a salsa aficionado in Boston, and a real estate agent in Tulsa. Among other things.

This explains why I have been feeling tired lately.


J.D. Smith

Sandra said...

Hey J.D.--
Nice to hear from you! Actually, I can almost picture you as a Louisiana legislator...I think you could grow into the role. Those bow ties are catchy.

Valerie Loveland said...

The other Valerie Loveland is a real estate agent in the UK.

Sandra said...

I would *much* rather live in Texas and work in video games, Valerie. You got the better end of that deal. And thanks for visiting my blog!

Valerie Loveland said...

Yeah, working in video games is fun.