Tag Archives: Daily Duranie

And She Wonders How She Ever Got Here

The weekly lyric day blog post is here again.  Once again, it is taking place on Saturday rather than Friday.  The reason, of course, was to cover the brand new Katy Kafe with Nick.  Duran news definitely takes priority.  My shuffle today landed on the song, Girls on Film.  That is not exactly a song that I often pick to describe my life in pretty much any way.  Still, I was able to pick out a lyric when I really examined the lyrics.  I chose the line, “And she wonders how she ever got here.”  While that line has to do with experiences models go through, it sure could fit so much more.

When I stop or take a break from my never-ending to-do list and look around, I’m sometime surprised at my life.  Tell me that I’m not the only one, right?  If someone had told me thirty years ago that I would be teaching high school right now, I wouldn’t be surprised by that.  I would expect that.  What I wouldn’t expect or didn’t expect was that teaching has not gotten easier.  It is just the opposite.  I kept waiting for that magical time when I would not have so much work to do, but that has never happened.  Weird.  Still, teaching seems and feels normal, especially the high school history part.  Very deliberate choices led to this career of mine.  No, it is the rest of my life that leads me to wonder more about how I got here.

I figured that I would be politically active, in some way.  Voting would be a normal part of existence.  Again, what I didn’t expect was to be involved as much as I have been in the last ten years or so.  I didn’t expect to be motivated by a potential presidential candidate as I was by President Obama.  The movement against Governor Walker’s plan to stop unions for public employees was not anything that I expected.  As someone who was/is directly impacted by this, I had no choice but to get involved.  I feel the same way now.  Are the choices I have made ones that directed me to this now?  In some ways, sure.  In other ways, I am just reacting to the world around me.

Then, there is probably the weirdest aspect of my life.  This.  Fandom.  While I always had fan tendencies, I would have never imagined that fandom would be such a huge part of my life.  I figured that there would be bands or tv shows or movies or something that I would like but none such as what I feel for and about Duran.  Even as a kid, when Duran posters made up my bedroom wallpaper, I believed, somewhere in the back of my mind that I would eventually let it go.  I had no idea when that would happen or why, just that it would.  After all, I didn’t know anyone that dedicated to a fandom, for that long.  I had no real examples of it.

Even if I could have imagined myself being a big fan of Duran still, I’m pretty certain that I had no clue that I would express that fandom in the ways that I do now.  Again, I didn’t know anyone who traveled to go to concerts.  Heck, I probably would have thought that was weird, too.  What about the idea of writing a daily blog?  Or a book about fandom?  If someone had told me all of that, I would have asked the person how long s/he had been doing crack because that would be the only explanation.  So, how did I get here??

That is the big question, isn’t it?  How did I get here?  When I think about my adult fandom, the first step in this direction is becoming a fan of the now-long canceled TV show, Roswell.  The show’s focus on alienation while seeking connection with others grabbed me–probably because I was searching for any and all connections in a new city.  This led me to seek out other fans online.  Some of those fans traveled for fan-related events, something that was shocking to me then.  It opened my eyes to the possibility of doing really crazy but fun things in the name of fandom.  More specifically, one of those fans was also a Duran fan who reminded me about how amazing Duran is.  That’s all it took to awaken my fandom once again.  It didn’t hurt that the band had just reunited and a new album and tour was on the way.

From there, I sought out other Duranies online.  That led me to DuranDuranFans, a message board where I met Rhonda, and learned of a fan convention in New Orleans in September 2004.  I couldn’t resist the idea and jumped at the chance to go.  There I met Rhonda in person along with other friends of ours.  The Astronaut Tour of 2005 gave an opportunity to really get to know those fellow board users.  Rhonda and I discovered that we toured well together and could cause each other to laugh and laugh and laugh.  Obviously, then, we knew that we had found our touring partner for life.

Okay.  This tells me how I got to be good friends with Rhonda, but how did we start this blog or think about organizing meet-ups or writing a book?  The answer there is actually pretty simple.  We spent a lot of time talking, thinking and analyzing about what we saw and felt on this crazy fandom journey.  While we were trying to figure out what made fandom tick, we also wanted to help make it better, at least in the small ways we could.  Were we perfect with this?  Far from it.  That said, we did learn a lot along the way.  Now, all of this is part of my life.  I cannot imagine it any other way.

-A

Haunted By…

Any idea what our most looked at blog has been?  My goodness…at this point, we have over 4,000 blog posts.  So what would be the most “popular” of sorts???  Was it one that shared big news about a tour or a new album?  Nope.  Was it one that focuses on some controversial topic within fandom or our fandom?  It is not.  Could it have been the interview with Dom Brown?  That would be a good guess but…alas, it is not.  No, the most viewed blog post is the one I wrote about the interpretations of the Reflex.  My reaction to this?  Oh, for the love of Pete…

Let me give some background.  For awhile I was writing blogs that analyzed and/or offered interpretations of certain Duran songs.  Some of these songs were ones that I had been thinking about and others were suggestions from our readers.  It became obvious that I could not ignore one of Duran’s most successful singles and one that is often discussed in interviews.  I can think of countless times that the band, most specifically Simon, has been asked about what the song means.  So, I need what I had to do and looked up the interpretations online then went through the lyrics to determine if the various interpretations were possible or likely.  All of this was done on this blog here.   Since the blog was posted almost 5 years ago to the day, we have had a ton of people look at it.  We still get comments on it.

Now, looking back, was it smart of me to do that blog?  Was it a good idea to really look at that song?  I don’t know.  I’m not ashamed of the blog post.  A part of me really enjoys looking at theories and lyrics and trying to analyze them and always will.  But should I have done that with this song?  I don’t know.  I have seen interviews in which John Taylor has indicated that it is a good thing that the lyrics continue to be discussed like a poem would.  Maybe so.  Yet, I see Simon appeared to be slightly annoyed or frustrated when the topic comes up.  Is it because he feels embarrassed about them?  I suspect not.  I wonder if his feelings are similar to mine when I see the hits on this post or new comments.

I am always glad when someone comes to the blog for whatever purpose.  I am proud of all that Rhonda and I have written over the past 7 years.  Likewise, I’m hopeful that one blog post might lead to more searching on the site or having someone subscribe to check in daily.  I’m sure Simon feels the same way with the same hope that someone into the Reflex will lead to listening to lots more Duran.  That said, it doesn’t always lead to that.  There isn’t always more searching on the blog or new dedicated readers.  If I had to focus on one point, I would emphasis that there is a lot more here on the Daily Duranie besides talking about the Reflex just like there is a lot more to Duran than the song or a lot more to Simon’s lyrics.

So, if you have come to search for the meaning of the Reflex, that’s great.  Please, though, take some time to look around at other interpretations or other blogs.  Consider subscribing.  Come back more often.  We have lots more to offer.

-A

Seen Better Times than Right Now

Beginning with the very moment our newly minted self-hosted site was public and visible, I knew a time would come where it might go down unexpectedly, or would crash. I take the recommended measures of backing everything up on a weekly basis. In fact, I have a program that does it automatically. I also try my best to keep the site updated. That said, there is always a little niggling of fear hiding in the farthest recesses of my mind.  What would I do if the site went down?!?

I’ve only taken the very basics of website design and maintenance classes, and I still have to ask my son and husband questions like, “Remind me again what FTP stands for?”  Yes, I was able to get this site transferred, up, and running, thanks to YouTube. HOWEVER… I am the first to admit I have a lot to learn.

On Halloween, WordPress released a new version, and I immediately updated. When WordPress releases a new version, all of our plug-ins to keep the site looking nice have to be updated. Some of those plug-ins release updates right away, and some take a bit longer. I update as I’m notified and it’s a very simple process – two clicks and I’m done. Since I am on the site all week, I keep the site running without a problem. Last week though, I was not online much. I had blogged ahead of time, and because I was so busy, I didn’t check-in much after Wednesday morning. Thursday was Thanksgiving, then my family packed up and left for a camping trip.

All was fine until Saturday morning when I noticed Amanda had tweeted something about a white screen on the website. I looked myself and sure enough, the site was blank. That’s odd, I thought. I figured it would sort itself out and that it was a host issue – something I can’t really control. I went about my day because dang it, I was wine tasting and looking at property in the Paso Robles area.

Then yesterday morning, I checked again and the site was still blank. That’s when I became very concerned. The site is down. What in the hell am I supposed to do from here?!? I tried to push the thought out of my mind and enjoy the morning before we left. I kept thinking about it, knowing that I was going to have to fix it, and I had no idea how. Good times, right? Then Amanda sent a text right around noon, as we were leaving. She was nervous, and I was pretty much captive as I sat in the passenger seat of my F350 while my husband towed our trailer and headed for home. I didn’t know what I could do from the middle of nowhere, but I started reading websites to see if I could troubleshoot the problem.

Given the very little I know about websites, the one thing I kept considering was that maybe I’d missed an update for a plug-in. That will make everything go haywire, and maybe that’s what the blank screen was about. I didn’t know for sure and kept reading. There were a lot of very scary things that it could have been – like we had reached our memory limit, or perhaps a database failure – two things I didn’t even know could happen. Their symptoms though were a little different from what I was seeing, so I was hopeful it was just the plug-ins.

So I sent Amanda articles to read via text message, and in the meantime, since I was not at home, I didn’t have access to the fifty different passwords it requires in order to get into our freaking server and control panel. I’m glad it is so heavily guarded, but holy hell there are too many to know! We were sending codes and new passwords and learning different emails – it was a genuine mess and a very long sordid tale, and Amanda kept saying she didn’t know what to do and I was firm in return, “You HAVE to do this. I am in the freaking middle of NOWHERE.” 

Finally, triumphantly, Amanda got it sorted. The problem was a stupid plug-in, which she deactivated. Presto! The website was once again visible and working. Amanda saved the site! She says she can’t do the website stuff, but I have news for her: YES YOU CAN, BECAUSE YOU JUST DID IT. 

The thing is, we are not Duran Duran. We don’t have a team of people ready and able to do the work. We ARE the team. Our lives are not glamorous, and sometimes, shit goes really wrong. That was never clearer than this weekend.

And then…without much warning, my family truck dies while driving south on the 101 from Paso Robles. The funny thing is that normally, we take the 5 home, which…if you’ve ever seen our Daily Duranie tweets when Amanda and I are driving up north from my house, you know it is desolate and in the middle of nowhere. That central valley is hot, dry, and empty.  Along the 101 though, is fully populated. It’s town after town, with many more services available.

All was fine, until it wasn’t. We were on the highway, in the right lane but still ON the highway, and the truck announces that it is done. Finished. Not going any damn farther. Never mind that my entire family was in the car, along with our dog Gizmo and a 31-foot trailer in back of us. We kind of glided up the off-ramp as I started wondering how long it will be before we were hit or something terrible happened. (I think in terms of worst-case scenario, because typically in my life -that’s pretty much what happens!) Just as the truck made it to the top of the ramp, we saw that it was a gentle downward slope from there, and so we were all yelling, “Come on truck!”. Our hope was that the trailer made it up and over the top so that the momentum pushed us down the hill to a safer spot, and as luck would have it, there was a huge pull-off spot in front of us. We coasted down the hill, Walt parked the truck, he and Gavin jumped  out, opened the hood, and I started wondering how we were going to get home.

I asked Heather where we were, and she told me we were in Orcutt, California. A bell rung in my head. I know someone! My touring buddy, Lori, lives there, and so I text her. She answers back, and not only is she in the city, it turns out she’s housesitting at her moms, which is honestly right around the block from where our truck has stranded us!

Graciously, Lori picked me up so that I could get to a car rental agency. Thank goodness there were no photos, because I was mess. Our plan was to have our truck towed to a nearby Ford dealer, and the trailer towed to Lori’s mom’s house. (It is a pain in the ass to figure out how to get that damn trailer home, I have to tell you!) So, we made it home.

It was quite a weekend, I must say. When things like this happen, I can’t help but wonder if anyone in DD has these kinds of mishaps. I can’t imagine John Taylor and Gela breaking down in the middle of nowhere (and surely not with a trailer!) Or Simon troubleshooting a website. (Maybe Nick, though!) All I know is that today I am doubly grateful to be at home, in my house, struggling to get a blog posted.

The site still isn’t working perfectly. I’m having trouble getting it to edit properly, but I think that’s a WordPress thing and not a site thing. I hope. I just don’t think I can handle another White Screen of Death for a while!

-R

Rhonda’s Birthday Blog 2017!

Once upon a time, there were two women living in different regions of the country, unknown to the other.  One was a stay-at-home mom of two while the other a teacher.  Both were living their lives, seeming to be content with their day-to-day existences surrounding children and never-ending to-do lists.  On paper, these two women appeared to be polar opposites.  Yet, despite their lifestyle differences and five year age gap, they shared one very significant commonality.  They both were Duran Duran fans in the 1980s as kids.  Still, there was no reason for these women to ever cross paths as one lived in California and other in Wisconsin until events led them to the same place at the same time.

In the early 2000s, the woman in California attended a Duran Duran show near her house at a House of Blues, reawakening the love she had for the British band leading her online to find information about the band and other fans.  Around the same time, across country, the other woman was deep in her Masters of Education program and in her new job as a middle school special education teacher.  That band she loved as a kid was far from her thoughts.  Around this time, that band reunited, awakening Duranies all over the world and calling them back into the fan community.  Still, it was not until 2003, as the Wisconsin woman was finishing her masters that she heard or took note of this dramatic event.  Soon after finishing grad school, she, too, took to the internet to find all she could about this reunion. 

In 2004, the two women found themselves at the same message board, a small, clean-looking, friendly one called DuranDuranFans.com.  Due to the size, the two began to see each other’s posts, thinking not much about the other.  Then, the stars aligned again in September of that year as both flew into the city of New Orleans for Friends of Mine:  The DuranDuranFans Convention.  On the first and most of the second day, the two women stuck to their friends and didn’t exchange many words beyond simple pleasantries.  Then, during the dinner/dance portion of the convention, they both found themselves at the bar ordering vodka tonics.  They laughed a little at sharing the same favorite drink.  As the night progressed and more vodka tonics were consumed, the two women found themselves to be a part of the same group heading out onto Bourbon Street for more partying.  At one point, late at night or early in the morning, the two women realized that they were appreciating the company of the other and seemed to get along easily.

Fast forward a few months when Duran Duran announced the long-awaited Astronaut tour.  The two again found themselves in the same group planning to attend the Chicago show together.  Tickets were purchased and hotel rooms were reserved.  By the Saturday night of that weekend, they discovered that despite all of their differences, being around the other made them laugh and not just laugh a little.  No, they laughed a LOT, more than a lot, an excessive amount.  From there on out, they decided to stick together in their fandom journey, sharing a lot more than the love of a little band and an alcohol beverage.

This, obviously, is how Rhonda and I became friends.  Over time, the group surrounding us shrunk, changed members, added members and more.  Yet, at the heart, is always the two of us.  After that first touring weekend in March of 2005, we have gone to countless others.  Sometimes, we have gone to shows without each other, but, when that happens, it is always just a little weird.  Just recently Rhonda commented on a blog post that we are a packaged deal.  In 2005, on our first tour, if someone had said that to us, we probably would have laughed.  While we enjoyed hanging out that weekend, we would not have assumed that we would have formed an unbreakable bond, but we did.

This bond that began on tour in 2005, deepened at shows and a dreaded festival in 2006, grew substantially stronger as 2008 came to a close for a simple reason.  We decided that our fandom was unique and that we wanted to understand more.  Thus, we began a journey into figuring out fandom, ourselves and our friendship by researching fandom.  Through that process, we learned a lot and improved our writing and research skills.  Then, we dove into the idea of writing a daily blog about being Duran fans, which has brought us incredible amounts of joy as well as some painfully frustrating situations.  From there, we began meet-ups and organized a convention with some of our friends.  Of course, in between, we have also been to a tour or three.  Soon enough, in 2018, we will head to Indianapolis to share some of what we have found out about our female dominated fandom to a significant Popular Culture convention.  All of this, we hope, will just be the beginning.  The beginning of what, we are not sure, but one thing is very true.  I definitely would not have done any of this without her.

Now, today, I celebrate not only her early birthday (it is actually on Tuesday) but I also celebrate our friendship.  I appreciate our differences but cheer our similarities.  For example, we still do appreciate our vodka tonics:

Cheers!

Obviously, we love the heck out of going to Duran Duran shows!  They are truly our happy place.

Chula Vista

Sometimes, we share insane ideas and even follow through with them, such as when we felt it necessary to go and recreate a favorite fashion choice.

 

 

 

 

 

Many times, we enjoy planning meet-ups and conventions!  I suspect that there will be one for the Vegas show in December.  Watch this space.

Our meet up!

We definitely both appreciate the DoJo!

Of course, we created this blog and have kept it going for over 7 years now!  We are committed.  Of course, some might say that this is proof that we should be committed…

Of course, I cannot forget the love we have for Simon’s dancing!

In all seriousness, I would have not have done everything that we have done without my partner-in-crime.  Rhonda keeps me going, keeps me laughing and keeps me focused on doing what must be done.  I have learned a lot about friendship, about working with others, about being a better person and friend because of her.  I truly am the lucky one.  So, on this Sunday, I wish her an early happy birthday!  Then, on Tuesday, I get to wish her a real happy birthday!  I hope you will all join me both today and on Tuesday!

-A

Do you know where we are?

As we were deciding upon what to say in our little birthday video I posted yesterday, Amanda and I talked about what we wanted to do with the blog going forward. The thought occurred that we might be best served by directing the question to our readers.

What would YOU like to read about or have featured on the blog, particularly in the days ahead where the band is not actively touring?

We know that the two of us – Amanda and I – are at our best when we’re together. Probably because we make one another laugh.  We also recognize that when the band is touring and we’re on the road – crazy things happen that make blogging very easy.  The trouble is, blogging is not our day job, and touring doesn’t happen 24/7. So we’re forced to come up with other creative ideas!

Over the years, many have asked us to do video, or to do podcasts.  Videos from us are sporadic, and while we like doing them every once in a while, we have found that doing them regularly doesn’t seem to thrill people. We’ve tried some ideas out, but to be fair – most of our videos are not well-watched. I am sure there are a plethora of reasons for that, but one of which is that it’s difficult to watch at work. Not many people can and will take time from their evenings, or from family, to sit and watch a video. I know this because it is the same way for me here. I have almost no “me” time at home in the evenings, and I think trying to squeeze in a video on top of that is really tough. I have a hard enough time sitting down to listen to the Katy Kafe’s!

On the same token, I’ve been told that podcasts are great because many of you have the luxury of putting in earbuds or listening while doing something else, whether at work or at home. Personally, I like the idea of doing a podcast in some respects, but the challenge for Amanda and I is in logistics. We both work, and finding the time to record on a regular basis is the issue. We also feel as though we need some guidance from you as to what topics you might want us to talk about, so please let us know.

Aside from those things though, what else might you want to see from us? Is there anything you really don’t like? What about things we used to do – once upon a time we had “game day” where we put up Duran-themed puzzles and things, for instance.  October is rapidly approaching – is anyone ready for a second pumpkin carving contest?

What about the website itself? Are there features missing that you might like to see? I am pretty sure it’s about time for an update – it’s a task I’ve avoided simply because it’s easy to stick with the same thing, but I know it’s probably time to freshen up. You may have noticed the ads have been removed – we never found them to be very helpful as far as paying for the website (it is not free and we pay for it out-of-pocket).

This survey is very informal. We’re just hoping a few of you care enough to answer, whether by email (dailyduranie@gmail.com ) or on Facebook, or even in our Facebook inbox or Twitter. We’re open to your ideas, however crazy or small they may seem!

-R

 

 

Blog Pick 2013-2014: Durandemonium Day 2 Report: There WAS an All Night Party!

When thinking about the year 2013-2014, I knew that I wanted to do something surrounding Durandemonium, the convention we organized in October 2013.  I wanted to pick something about this convention because it was such a big deal for us.  We spent over a year planning, stressing, pouring over details and worrying about whether or not we could pull it off at all.  So when thinking about today’s post, the question became what kind of post do I pick.  Do I pick a post that explains the purpose behind the convention?  Something that sheds light on our hopes that it would bring fans together and create friendships?  What about a post that shows the work that we (and our convention committee) did?  Maybe, I should choose something that focuses on what the convention did for me?  After all, I do tend to think that it brought me back from the brink of leaving the fandom.  In the end, I opted to pick a post from the convention weekend.  I think it shows a little bit about the event itself, including some of the activities we had.  Years later, I still think that the event was a success, even if it wasn’t perfect.

-A

Durandemonium Day 2 Report: There WAS an All Night Party!

Yes, there was an all night party.  For some of us, that party lasted a little bit longer than for others.  Perhaps, this is why this blog is late and why the authors of this tiny blog page are moving a smidge slower than normal.  Okay, I won’t lie.  We are moving a little more than a smidge slower but we are alive and conscious.  I even called my parents to check in and the first question that popped out of my father’s mouth was, “Are you jail?”  I responded as you might guess, “Why would you think that??!?!” My dad explained that it was there wasn’t a blog post today.  Wow.  Even my dad is pressuring me on the blog post today.  While I was hoping to write a really articulate, special, insightful post, the truth is that I can’t do it.  I apologize right now.  Lack of sleep is a big reason to blame.  Not shocking, right?  We finally crashed at like 5:20 in the morning and had a little more than 2 hours of sleep.  We didn’t quite reach up for the sunrise, but…we came close.  While we considered writing then, we figured that we might be a bit more coherent now.  Ha!  Probably not so much, really.  The second reason that I’m not going to be able to dazzle anyone with my words is simply that I’m feeling a bit emotional, a bit raw.  I need time to process.  We need time to process.  So, instead of diving deep, I’ll give some highlights to the big day of Durandemonium and a few things to watch for in the future!

Highlights:

*Sharing the stage with fellow authors felt really good for the author’s panel.  We are truly lucky to have talent like Elisa Lorello and Karen Booth in our fan community.  Our moderator, Heather, was fabulous as well!  Nothing like sharing a stage with smart, articulate women to start your day.  It was also cool and a bit nerve-wracking to give a little preview of our book.  It was the first sharing, really, of any part of it.  I hope that it peaked some interest to those in the room.

A Diamond in the Mind on the big screen was BEYOND AMAZING!!!  When the convention committee walked in and they showed us a preview, I literally got goose bumps!  GOOSE BUMPS!  I loved dancing and singing surrounded by friends!  It really was the next best thing outside of a concert! Plus, hearing the different *squees at various shots made it so fun!  Plus, it made my desire for shows increase by like a million and I heard others say the same!

*People liked playing Duran related game!  I wonder if we shouldn’t try to market them!?!  Although, I did hear that trivia was pretty dang challenging and I was called “evil” as a result!  Sorry!!!

*We had some GOOD food at the banquet.  I’m still thinking about all of the yumminess.  It sounds like everyone enjoyed it as much as I did.

*The fan slideshow was emotional for many of us despite struggling to fit it on the screen.  We are going to try to get it included in the convention DVD and will put it up on youtube for the rest of the Duran universe to see.  🙂

*Lots of people won some great Duran goodies and we appreciate each and every person/organization that donated items for our raffles.  We cannot thank you enough!

*I love party buses!  No worries about getting to and from a place.

*Late Bar was amazing!  They busted out many Duran video blocks for us and created the fabulous drink, Sing Blue Silver.  We danced and danced and danced.  We might have consumed a few adult beverages or two or more.  Do doubles count as one drink or two?!  I will definitely add this to my list of places to be in Chicago!

*It was nice to see so many people this morning, despite knowing that this was the end.  People seemed to enjoy themselves over the weekend and connections seemed to be made, which is really the whole point of this deal to begin with!  A by-product is that, for me, and others, there was a sense of renewal, a renewal of being a Duranie.  That makes a huge difference that goes way beyond this weekend.  The band can thank us later.

Key things to note:
*For convention attendees with pictures, Rhonda will send out information about our shutterfly account so that pictures can be shared.  I, for one, am SO thankful as I have like NO pictures from this weekend and desperately want some!

*Also, we would love to hear from people who went about what they thought.  What went well?  What didn’t?  Suggestions for next time, if we do another one, etc?  There is a survey in your program with questions.  Likewise, we would love to hear from others.  What would get you to go to a convention?  What would you look for, etc.?  Don’t be surprised if we come up with another survey for everyone to do!

I’m sure that I’m forgetting something and I’m sure that this won’t be the last post about Durandemonium 2013.  I will have more to say after some time and some SLEEP!  That said, we did it.  We really did it.  Durandemonium 2013–what a wild, fabulous weekend!

-A

Blog Pick from 2012-2013: Rolling Stone Interview Part 3

When I think back to 2012-2013, two big Duran related events stand out to me.  First, John Taylor’s autobiography came out in the fall of 2012.  This meant lots of posts about the book itself as well as many about events surrounding the release.  Second, Rhonda and I were deep into planning for Durandemonium, a Duran fan convention we organized.  I could have chosen from a million posts about either of those events.  Yet, I picked something completely different but one that reminded me of a truth about blogging that we have learned.  Sometimes, blogs that we think are going to be ignored get a LOT of attention.  Other times, blogs that we thought were awesome for whatever reason were kinda ignored.  Controversial or potentially controversial blogs definitely fit into that category.  Likewise, blogs that are supposed to be funny also can fall into the same trap.  

In the spring of 2013, a friend of ours and frequent guest blogger approached us with a crazy idea.  What was it?  He wanted to write a guest blog from the future.  This blog post would focus on a future interview with Rolling Stone magazine in which he asked about his experiences with the Daily Duranie.  Obviously, this was written to be funny, to tease us a bit, to be a little ridiculous.  Rhonda and I couldn’t just let his fake interview go, we had to respond.  First, Rhonda wrote a new interview and then I followed up.  My follow-up is below.  I distinctly remember writing this in a coffee shop near Chicago as I was there visiting with friends.  I’m certain that the other customers must have thought I was insane as I often laughed out loud to myself while writing.  I love when we are able to use our sense of humor as this series did.  Beyond that, it also allowed some Duran inside jokes within the interview.  So fun!  If you would like to start with part 1, go here.  If you want to read Rhonda’s, go here.  My part of the series is below.

-A

“ROLLING STONE” 2022 INTERVIEW PART 3

Another day, another soundtrack suggestion for this epic masterpiece…this time, turn on “Undergoing Treatment”.  Cheers!!


We are undergoing treatment
Watching others on the net
Studying our worst actions
They say we’ll get over it
Disappear like disco
To the sight of our few pageviews
Resign to the outer circle
If you see us standing by the stage door
Don’t ever give us an autograph
If you ever catch us in the hotel lobby
Don’t even stop for a photographWe are undergoing treatment
‘Til our fandom bites the dust
Laid out on Blogger
They crave our loyalty
Ignored by the idols
Exasperated Estrogen
But why do we still face the music?If you see us texting about Pippin’s
Don’t ever ask us…

Now and then we get the strangest notion
That there’s someone reading
But it keeps we guessing
Wild ambition can you really blame us?
Can you entertain us?
Can you give a little more?

If you see us standing by the stage door
Don’t ever giving us for an autograph
If you ever catch us in the hotel lobby
Don’t even stop for a photograph

We are undergoing treatment
But will the doctors ever cure
These delusions of grandeur?


The following is an excerpt from an interview in “Rolling Stone”**
July 2022

Rolling Stone:  This is the third in a three part series featuring interviews with the present and past members of Daily Duranie, one of the world’s longest and most successful fan blogs that is over a decade old and has seen millions of hits from every corner of the globe.  In May, we spoke with C.K. Shortell, a former member of the blog, and last month, we spoke with founding member, Rhonda.  This month, for our final installment, we ask Amanda to fill in the gaps to get a complete picture of this very successful online monster of a blog.  Amanda, of course, is known to be the organizer, the keeper of the dates/time/daily questions of the blog.
RS:  Thank you for speaking with us.  I know this isn’t your most comfortable of venues.  
AP:  True.  Interestingly enough, I have never had a problem speaking in front of teenagers or in front of political volunteers.  Yet, this setting makes me want to hide in a dark corner somewhere.  
RS:  Yet, you felt like you had to do this interview.
AP:  Of course, when Rhonda and I decide on a course of action, we follow through.  Oh, do we follow through.  (rolls eyes)  The blog is evidence of that, isn’t it?  Ten plus years and it is still going strong.
RS:  That’s true.  You and Rhonda have always been described as committed.
AP:  (snorts)  Committed.  Yeah…as in mental hospital, certifiable, committed.  We could have starred in that Falling Down video that people still don’t seem to get. 
  

RS:  Is this why you walked away from it for awhile because you thought you were too committed or that people might think you were crazy?

AP:  (laughs hysterically)  People have known I was crazy for years!  They certainly knew that Rhonda and I were flew to the UK twice in a year.  Heck, they knew it when we praised TV Mania back in 2013.  No, the reasons I left were much more serious than that!
RS:  Rhonda claimed that the reasons you left were for “differences” and how politics always got you.
AP:  Sure, I’m sure that she is partly correct.  Yet, she forgets what life was like then.  This was when the only people who really recognized our hard work were some dedicated readers, mostly friends.  We weren’t making any money from it and the band certainly didn’t acknowledge us then.  Remember we couldn’t even get a picture with the band!!  One single picture!?!  Even when we got front row, it was because we waited for hours in line!  We wrote a blog EVERY SINGLE DAY and got nothing.  I could get pictures, as in plural, with the freaking President of the United States but nothing with that band.  Add on the fact that we were making no money doing the blog, at that point, and I was so tired of that.  Years of teaching and years of volunteering for political campaigns combined with this daily grind got to me.  I wanted a real income and I wanted recognition.  That isn’t too hard to understand, is it?
RS:  It isn’t.  The Clinton Global Initiative gave you the income and the recognition?  
AP:  It definitely did!  When President Hillary Clinton called to offer me the position, how could I turn that down?  When the President recognizes your work and requests your services, you don’t feel like you have much choice.
RS:  It sounds like you left without thinking twice. 
AP:  Oh no, it was still an incredibly tough moment.  (wipes tears)  I didn’t want to leave the blog.  It had been a significant part of my life for so long that I couldn’t just walk away without feeling a serious loss.  I would have stayed if I had gotten the recognition for the blog…not to mention those fan events like the conventions or for the books.  Yet, I felt like it had run its course.  I had wanted to get out for a long time.  I wanted to do something for myself for a change.  But, I worried about my friendship with Rhonda when I left and I worried about what was going to happen to the blog.
RS:  You and Rhonda are fine now, though, right?
AP:  Yes, of course.  We love each other like sisters and we still can have such a blast together.  I never laugh at much as I do when I am with her.  Yet, when I rejoined the blog, I realized that our relationship suffered when I walked away.  We had to work on it.  I didn’t really get it even though I should have.  All of the blogs featuring the lyrics to “Buried in the Sand” should have clued me in but it didn’t.  When we talked about getting back together over lunch, I wanted to just go on the road, read some fan favorites but Rhonda insisted on writing new material.  Yet, as Rhonda would say, I was ready.
RS:  What were you worried about with the blog when you were gone?
AP:  Well, @Rhondaslap should be a clear example to show how things moved in a very different direction once I left.  Rhonda and I took pride in our maturity, our intellect, our sense of humor.  Yet, once that twitter handle appeared, I knew things were going to be very different.  Can you believe that someone asked me once if I would consider doing a twitter handle like that?!  I calmly explained that was one reason Chris was no longer a blogger with us.  Although, I think I really knew at that 2013 convention that Chris was after my job.  He went out of his way to make an impact with hours and hours of songs that have truly gripped me in emotional intensity.  I mean, come on, he played ZOOM freaking IN.  Enough said.  The only other songs that he could have added to make more of an impact would have been Come Undone and Hungry Like the Wolf.  
RS:  Are you surprised that Rhonda blamed the band for the change in direction for the blog?
AP:  Of course not!  (laughs)  Truly, if we can blame the band, we will!  In all seriousness, it didn’t help when the band decided that social networking wasn’t their thing.  I wanted to be understanding, and I was for a long time but years after years of watching the fans go after each other in between albums was too hard.  Duran downtime is a killer, truly.
RS:  Did you feel badly that your return the fold resulted in C.K.’s departure?
AP:  I didn’t want anyone to be disappointed and upset.  C.K. handled it like a gentleman no matter what his personal feelings were.  Yet, I definitely worried about the C.K. readers out there.  I know how personal one’s favorite blogger is for the readers.  I swear they will be debating which one of us is the best until the cows come home.  Yet, I definitely wanted us to return to the original lineup.  As you know when we first got back together, we wrote blogs that we thought fit with the older material.  There was nothing better than being with Rhonda.  It felt so nice.  Yet, it didn’t have the same level of success as our older work.  When that didn’t get the attention we thought it would, we brought in a popular publisher that took us in a completely different direction to get us more hits.  This publisher didn’t work like we typically did.  I had to explain to him what sentences were!  What was worse is that our readers didn’t get it.  Luckily, we got a different publisher, a true fan, who could remind us again about what we do best.  With that, the readers returned.
RS:  What’s next for you, Amanda?  Rhonda talked about a side project.
AP:  Well, I guess I wouldn’t blame her.  She has been holding down the fort here for a long time.  Projects outside of the blog only work to help us grow, I think.  That said, my plan is simple, we’re gonna take it back, take back the life we want to lead.  We’re going to make this stand the Finest Hour that we see. 

– A & R, C.K. Shortell

Amanda and I would like to thank C.K. Shortell for sending us one of the funniest blogs we’ve ever (not) written…let this be a lesson to you, C.K….we will take your work and create a monster every time!  

And for the rest of you, once again we feel compelled to remind – all characters and events portrayed in the above blog are fictitious…not to mention that it was a JOKE. Any resemblance to real persons or organizations, living or dead…or even undead, is purely coincidental.  

In This Place You Made

May is always an interesting time for me.  It is the end of the school year.  This means that the way life is right now will end soon, never to be quite the same again.  I think about my classes and the kids who come in on a daily basis to hang out.  Next year, I’ll have new kids with different kids popping in and out of my classroom.  Some of my colleagues will remain the same and others will change.  The end of the school year almost always means that I stop, look around and think about my life a bit.  I take stock.

One element that I have to acknowledge is my fandom and this place.  Most of the time, I don’t even really think of this blog.  It is just part of my daily routine.  There isn’t much questioning on my part.  No “should I still be writing this blog” or “should I take a break”.  Unlike my paid gig where I do take the time to look around, think about how things are and how they will be, I don’t here.  Maybe, I should, though.

Rhonda and I have been writing this blog for six and a half years.  We have created over 3,000 posts and have had hundreds of thousands of page views.  That is pretty remarkable, isn’t it?  While we have taken some time away for various reasons, for the most part, we have posted something daily.  On top of that, I look at the Duran fandom and see plenty of what we do here replicated, including Duran history or surveys.  Clearly, we have readers who check out what we write on a  daily basis and still others who read a few posts a week every week.

Beyond the statistics of the blog, I think about what it has meant to me.  On one hand, it has become a diary of sorts.  I have discussed many personal issues on this blog from political campaigning to my job to my parents’ health.  This diary has also captured the band’s history in the last six years.  Just the other day, Rhonda mentioned about the 2011 shows that had to be cancelled due to the fact that Simon lost his voice.  We documented that here.  In fact, we have documented two album releases and many tours, at this point.  Have we captured every single thing?  Of course not but we have talked about quite a bit.

Fandom is an interesting element in someone’s life.  For me, I have had some fandoms my whole life.  Those fandoms including Star Trek and the White Sox, represent my family, my childhood.  They are like comfort foods or a security blanket.  I feel safe when I think about them.  Then, there are the fandoms that I participated in for awhile that might have brought me great times and good friends but couldn’t last.  Duran Duran fandom, though, is in a category all by itself.  While it has existed in my life for decades, it is not as old as my family connected ones.  Like the short term fandoms, it has brought me amazing times and experiences along with good friends.  Yet, it has been so much more than all of those others combined.  It has a grasp on my heart and soul that the others don’t come close to.

When I think about why this fandom matters so much to me, I consider the history I have with being a Duranie.  Memories of tours, conventions and friends pop in my head.  I immediately think of all of the tremendous shows I have been fortunate enough to attend.  Yet, this blog is a big part of the picture, too.  It has kept me grounded into this fandom in a  way that all of the other elements of the fandom could not.  It keeps me always thinking about Duran.  I’m forced to pay attention to what the band is doing even when I’m distracted by real life or other concerns.  Some of you might view what see this as an unfun responsibility, but I don’t.  I’m thankful for it.  The blog allowed me to really commit to a fandom that I love more than words can ever show.

I don’t know what my fandom would have been like without this blog.  Maybe I would have walked away at some point.  Perhaps, I wouldn’t remain as involved or I would have dived deep into something else.  On top of that, I’m proud of what Rhonda and I have created here.  I think that 6.5 years is pretty impressive.  To be honest, I’m not sure where or when it would ever end either.  No, this blog and this fandom of mine are truly lifelong commitments.

-A

Running Against the Tide – Daily Duranie and Social Engagement

If they could see me now…

“They” in this case is all of you, and thank goodness none of you can. I’m sitting here, at 10:15 am on a Wednesday (it IS Wednesday, right?) at my computer. I have coffee in front of me, and I’m typing this while in snowflake print flannel jammies, a pink hoodie, socks, and my hair…well…it’s a mess. Tissues litter my lap (and floor if we’re being really honest. I see no point in sugar-coating now), my nose is red and raw, my lips are chapped, and apparently cracked, as I just found out (ouch). To top it all off,  I’m sweating because I am pretty sure I’m breaking my fever. Or…I’m having an amazingly bad hot flash. I really can’t even tell the difference anymore. YAY!

What does that have to do with Duran Duran?

NOTHING!!  Except that even while sick, I’m idiotic (shall we go for driven??) enough to blog. I also don’t mind sharing my far less than glamorous moments (spoiler: there are MANY) in excruciating detail. Think of it this way, however bad you might have felt this morning, I have somehow made it not seem so terrible.

So, what’s shaking today? I don’t even know. I’ve been in bed since about 7pm last night. I had my phone with me, but I gave in to the chills around 8:30 or so and finally put my phone down and curled up into a ball under my comforter and afghan. My worst writing days are those when I feel like I’ve been out of contact, and lately—well, for a while now really, I’ve removed myself from just that!

When Daily Duranie first started, I was all about the social media. I loved social engagement! I was practically a social butterfly…ONLINE. I liked flitting in and out, around and about, checking Twitter and Facebook and talking with other fans. I knew what was going on in the community, I heard the rumors, the hyperbole, and the flat-out gossip. Trouble was, some of those things nagged at me. I’d read things, and then not be able to let them go.

A common scenario would be that I’d get our Daily Duranie email and there’d be an unkind comment in there. I’d bring it up online—venting, basically—and then someone would call me out for doing so. Saying that I should expect as much, and so on. It ticked me off that I couldn’t even vent my own feelings without judgment. So, I’d swear off saying anything about the blog online, and I’d be good for a period. I’d keep my thoughts to myself, and then something would happen and I’d unleash it, only to have another Duranie play smack down. It wasn’t fun, and I started having massive writers block. I can’t necessarily attribute that to any one thing, but I can tell you that at a certain point, I started worrying about what I was writing. Would someone get mad? Did the band care? Would I get more hate mail? I wouldn’t say I obsessed about those things, but I’d hit “publish” each day, those thoughts swirled in my head.

A couple of years ago, there was a larger-than-normal blow-up. I am not going to get into details, but it taught me a lesson. First, when you make jokes – someone out there is always going to be offended. It doesn’t matter what is said, what the joke is about, someone will be offended, and reacting is the very last thing I should have done. Hindsight is an amazing thing.  Anyway…   Secondly, there are one hell of a lot of people out there in the online world that take on the role of being holier than thou. I’m not going to elaborate, but there you have it. Lastly, when someone tries to take your bliss away, don’t let them. Friends do not do that to one another. After that incident, I took some time off, and realized that I needed to change the way I handled myself and social media.

Some might remember back when Amanda and I would interact on Twitter. We’d “talk” on Daily Duranie,  which got very confusing because it seemed as though our Twitter was talking to itself (it was), but it was fun! We don’t do that these days. It is a very rare thing when I respond as Daily Duranie, and while I sometimes all of the social engagement, I enjoy the peace of mind.

I let my thoughts fly as I blog, hit “publish”, and then I am done with it.  I think it was Simon that explained that for the band, they own the album until it’s released, and then it becomes the property of the listener, of the fans, of the public. I tried very hard to understand what he meant, but for a long time his words would circle in my head and while I’d pretend to “get it”, I really didn’t. Well, I do now, 100%.  Once I hit publish, I don’t look back. The hardest days are when we get comments, and I have to read through them. Sometimes I’ll want to debate or argue, but I’ve trained myself to just hit “approve” and move on and stop thinking about it. The exercise is difficult, sometimes painful, but I have to do it. Anything else just gets me into trouble.

I typically won’t even respond on Facebook when readers discuss the topic, because when I do—invariably it gets me into muddy waters. At some point I learned that my “job”, so to speak, is simply to begin the conversation. The rest of it is up to you guys, and I let you have at it. There are times when readers completely miss my point or disagree with me, and in the past I would try to explain. I’ve realized that most of the time, it’s pointless. That doesn’t mean I don’t care, it just means that I need to let you, dear reader, decide what my words mean to YOU, whether I like it or not. It has been one hell of a rough road and learning curve, but I think I’ve finally managed to learn my lesson.  Maybe. Sometimes I’ll still respond on Facebook depending upon what is said and, most importantly, who is saying it, but mostly I try not to even look.

Particularly in the case of Twitter, it is far too easy to let 140 characters get the best of you. Or me. I think most of us have had our fair number of Twitter “exchanges”, and while some don’t care what anyone else says to them, I do. The bad things tend to really stick with me. In fact, I can still relate, word for word, one of the last truly bad Twitter exchanges I had on the Daily Duranie account, and if you ask Amanda, she’ll tell you that I still bring it up from time to time. The experience spoke volumes to me, and weighed heavily. Overall, it got to the point where the negative things outweighed the positive, and it was then that I made the conscious decision to stop feeding the monster.  I couldn’t continue social engagement in the same ways without really hurting myself and the blog. Coincidentally, this is was almost about the time that Amanda and I began writing with a firm deadline, and I had to focus on writing.  In September I took a job, and now I’m not even at home as often anyway.  I suppose my priorities have changed.

So, if you were ever wondering why Amanda and I stopped participating in social engagement…there you go. My guess is that we’re not alone.

-R

It’s Too Much Information for Me

Lately, this blog has been anything but controversial.  At least, my posts have been very bland, very vanilla.  It is not that I’m against anything controversial or am afraid of dicey topics or commentary.  After all, I teach social studies, specifically United States History, which is filled with topics that can result in differing, passionate or even angry responses.  Likewise, I have worked on the ground on political campaigns.  This means that I have talked to members of the public on the behalf of the candidate and some of the public are not always kind.  Therefore, my avoidance of controversy is not due to fear.

Over the course of this blog, Rhonda and I haven’t avoided controversy.  We have tackled some of the tougher issues within fandom and within Duran Duran fandom, specifically.  Some examples include discussion around the stigma that female fans receive, the lack of respect for Duran Duran as a band, how DDHQ runs things like presales and the fan community, social status, fans going after fans, competition, etc.  Many of these topics that I mentioned caused a heck of a lot of feedback, both positive and negative.  A lot of fans did not appreciate some of our commentary or conclusions.  Some even, perhaps, felt attacked and came after us as a result.

Despite some of the horribly negative reactions those blogs led to, I do not regret writing them.  I learned a LOT about fandom and about our fan community through the process.  Really, that was the a big part of writing some of those dicey blog posts.  I wanted to learn what makes fans really tick as I knew what makes me tick but I didn’t know about others.  In reality, I felt like I had to push some buttons to get a full picture, to fully understand.  On top of that, I hoped that bringing up tough subjects could help.  By getting some of the worse aspects of our fandom out in the open where we could discuss, question, and eventually change those aspects.  At least that is what I hoped.  While I can’t say that I was super successful, I know I tried.

Now, though, I am not motivated to bring up new controversies.  While I have seen various postings, articles, etc. about Duran as a band or one or more band members this week, I am opting not to bring them here.  As I stated earlier, it isn’t because I’m afraid of negative feedback.  I just see no purpose.  It would not help me understand fandom any better and it definitely wouldn’t help bring the fan community together.  More than that, though, it would do harm.  Negative postings or articles won’t help the band succeed or do better.  I don’t believe that all press is good press.  Maybe that works with some artists, at some points in their career but I don’t want that for Duran now in 2017.  I want the press surrounding them to be about their amazing live performances or about their incredible songwriting and superhuman longevity.

For me, personally, my fandom recently has been renewed.  It wasn’t like I had fallen from the band or had lost love for them but I wasn’t getting excited with them either.  I just felt comfortable in my fandom.  Now, I feel both comfortable and comforted with and by my fandom.  On top of that, I also feel that giddiness, that excitement, that sense of fun that fandom should bring.  Why talk about anything that will kill those feelings for me?  Right now, I need my fandom to be my happy place, my safe place.  If I chose to bring a meaningless controversial topic over here, I threaten the joy that surrounds my Duranieness.

That said, I recognize that controversy means more page views, more outreach on social media.  It equals more traffic to our blog, and to our social media accounts.  Yet, that isn’t why I’m here doing this.  It isn’t to be popular or to be cool or to have the best or most interesting Duran news.  No, I’m here to express and to understand my fandom and others’ fandom.  We are here to try to bring the fan community together and to give fans a safe place to express their feelings and thoughts.  If that means that we skip over some topic of another, I’m okay with that.

-A