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Is It Real, or is It a Fake?

About 80% of the novels I've read in my life, and that would be quite a few, have come from our public library. My usual method is to skip all the New York Times bestseller books, peruse the rest of the new fiction, and pick out ones that seem appealing. I have to admit, oftentimes, the cover is a big draw. Other times it is the publisher, ones that I know print the type of fiction I like; for example, Algonquin Press. Based in North Carolina, their authors typically write about the South, and I do love a good Southern novel such as "The Cove" by Ron Rash. Speaking of which, Nancy read his former novel "Serena" and says it is a winner as well. I'm pretty sure I told you about how incredible the ending of "The Cove" was, and sure enough, when Nancy  finished the novel, she called me right up to say--"whoa!"

Lately, my friend Terese, who buys books like nobodies business at Costco, has been arriving at our bridge game with a bag of books, some of which I've been thrilled to take home. So, Gail, what's the point of all this drivel? Hold your horses, I'm getting there!

What I do these days, which I've always known was possibly silly, is to look up on Amazon the books I've brought home with me, either from the library, or my new librarian, Terese. I knew it was silly, in part because I don't know the folks who review the books, so how in the WORLD I had the idea I could believe their reviews is beyond me. After reading this article Playing the Game, I'm even more skeptical. It is not really called playing the game, that's just my way of thinking about what I read about fake reviews for books. Although I love the internet, it can be a dubious source of information.

Remember when I signed up for Etsy, putting my most popular pieces on the site? After perusing Etsy, not only did I see that there were over 300,000 photographs for sale, I saw that some folks had lots and lots of sales. At first I couldn't figure it out, but over time I realized there was a game to be played to get sales, and to date, I've been unwilling to play it. Despite having sold one my listings over 350 times in person, I've yet to sell it online because I can't be bothered to constantly promote myself, and if the above article is any indication of how the Etsy game is played, I need to break some rules. I would ask all sorts of folks I know to buy from my shop, then refund their money, after securing a favorable review and chalking up another sale. Very unappealing to say the least. So, if I sell something great, if not, that's the way the business works.

Speaking of fake, I went to Florida mall again last week. Every time I go to the mall it feels more alien than the last visit. After completing my business, I walked over to the Gap. I was immediately struck by  this window photograph:
What do you think? Does his right foot even look real? Then again, I'm trying to figure out how someone can assume this position! A few weeks ago, when I participated in that group shot for Dana's company, I later learned the photographer moved a smile from another picture onto the face of a girl who was not smiling in the photograph they used. Maybe I'm jealous because I don't know how to do something like this, but maybe not. It all seems so weird and contrived to me.

And then there were the mannequins in the H & M window displays. Now, I'm all for diversity in mannequins, but seriously what does an all black mannequin mean?
Not to be outdone, Zara across the way got into the black act:
They did, however, have this beautiful one in the window:
Looks almost real, huh? Sort of like someone on the cover of a magazine, or perhaps a tv newscaster, not a line on her face. Those hands are pretty gigantic though--my goodness!

Have you seen one of these before? Coming from behind, I could not imagine that anyone would have their teeth whitened in the middle of a MALL, but I was wrong.
Seriously weird to me. There goes that whole fake thing again. Let's have another look at him shall we?
I did not hang around long enough to see whether he was pleased with the results. Headless manequins anyone?

Because my mall visits are so rare, I had no idea that both Pottery Barn, and William Sonoma, closed their Florida Mall locations. Now you know too.

By the way, it is now finally pouring. As you're probably already aware, Isaac has been somewhat of a dud so far. Yesterday we had a few bouts of sprinkles, but nothing remotely like a major storm. One casualty has been this mornings bike ride due to wind and rain. :(

Now here, my friends is something real. In as a few words as I can muster, here's the scoop. Our largest bird feeder, hanging in the new oak tree, broke and you know who is exactly responsible don't you? I finally caved, buying a crazy expensive feeder which if their claims are trustworthy will save me a bunch in seed and aggravation.
Bruce reminded me that with my poor memory, the cost will quickly be forgotten. See, I told you a good memory is overrated! Charging it up on Saturday, I filled it Sunday morning, and since then the finches have been very happy indeed without having to fight the squirrels for the seed.
Although we keep watching, I've yet to see one of our squirrels take a spin. Actually, it was surprising how quickly the finches took to it because oftentimes it takes a few days for the birds to "take" to a feeder. Time will tell, but I'm optimistic thus far.

Are you bothered by all of the fakery? Perhaps I'm making more of it than the subject warrants? You tell me.........

Gail
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