How Tweet It Is!

I’m currently reading Bram Stoker’s Dracula, a novel that has been sitting on my bookshelf for five years. I have this obsession with Powell’s Books, see, and I can’t ever leave without buying something. Often books sit around, unread, for lengthy periods of time (though I’ll admit, 5 years is a bit much). I was still married when I bought it, and that was a lifetime ago. Better late than never, though. I love the story (but hate that it’s responsible for the whole Edward-Cullen-is-so-dreamy-and-he-glitters-in-the-sunlight “Twilight” series). On the other hand, we’ve also got True Blood, so some good came out of the original vampire saga. What’s unique about Dracula is the way the story unfolds, shifting from multiple points of view through diary and journal entries, newspaper clippings, etc. It allows the reader to delve into the minds of several main characters, something that isn’t possible in either a traditional first-person or third-person narrative. As a plot device, it’s very effective.

All that nineteenth-century British eloquence is rubbing off on me, though. I find myself talking differently as of late. I’m spouting off things like “from whence he came” and using words like “hitherto” and “henceforth” a lot. This is making my text messages look really weird, almost as if they were typed out by somebody with a split personality. I’ll be like, “OMG, The Hangover 2 made me LOL. For a while sheer humor mastered me; there was delicious irony in the Wolf Pack’s continued ineptitude in all manner causally related to the imbibing of illicit substances yet again. I was ROFLMAO when Chow asked about the monkey. He is uncommonly clever, if one can judge from his face, even in the absence of clothing. The Russian gangster scene was off the hook! Whilst I ramble on here there is but one thing to hope for, that I have not dropped too heavy a spoiler upon you, and that you shall hence enjoy this comedic gem. Peace out.”

What can I say? I’m like a sponge. I soak things up.

Here I am! Come and stalk me! (Courtesy of

I am also, it turns out, a hypocrite. Because not long ago I wrote a blog entry about the silliness of “check-in” apps. So what have I been doing these past few days? Checking in to nearly every place I visit. I can’t really explain my sudden change of heart, because when you boil it all down, does anybody care that Mark is at New Season’s Market? Of course not. All this does is makes it easier for a person to either A) Stalk you, or B) Rob you. However, A) If anybody wants to stalk me, go right ahead – I could use the excitement!, and B) I find it hard to believe there are criminal masterminds sitting around the computer randomly scouting Facebook to see who is not home, and besides, even if there were, these guys would have no idea whether I’ve got a hungry Rottweiler or an expensive alarm system. In the overall scheme of things, it’s harmless. Plus, check-in apps are trendy, and more and more companies are rewarding their followers with discounts or coupons, an idea that intrigues me. From a social media and marketing perspective…my line of work, and a lot of jobs I’m applying for…it’s a unique and fun way to promote your business. I figure, I’d better get on board if for no other reason than to expand my marketing knowledge.


Also, I finally “get” Twitter. For a couple of years now, I’ve poked fun at it and never really understood its purpose. I figured it was nothing more than a poor man’s Facebook (with a stricter character count). Where were the games? The photos? How inane does “tweeting” sound? But I have come around recently and gotten to the point where I actually embrace it. For one thing, it’s an excellent source for breaking news. I no longer get a daily newspaper and rarely catch the news on TV, but many times throughout the day I’ll spot an interesting headline on my Twitter feed and follow the link to the full story. Sports scores, weather alerts – those come in handy, too. I’m a fan of Portland’s food trucks, and many of them – due to their mobile nature – move around to new spots. How do you know where they’re going to be on any given day? Through their Tweets, of course. Also, you can (theoretically) engage in a conversation with a celebrity – Rainn Wilson, Michael Ian Black and Neil Patrick Harris are all notoriously prolific Tweeters with often-hilarious status updates – and, it’s a great forum for posting blog updates to, promoting your novel, etc. In many ways, Twitter is better than Facebook, because it’s easier to cut through all the crap.

Roll with the changes, right? Presently I came to this conclusion, and it shall henceforth be considered – by none other than this very author – as a just and fitting motto forevermore.


Published by Mark Petruska

I'm a professional writer and editor living my best life in south central Wisconsin.

27 thoughts on “How Tweet It Is!

  1. How funny Mark! I’m sorry to say I have never read dracula–pathetic, I know! (Henceforth, I shall look for an affordable copy and give it a shot.)

    About Twitter–it is indeed the best way to get breaking news. I used it that way in Haiti, where I followed the tweets of international journalists living in Port-au-Prince–about the only reasonable way to get local news there.

    Sending you a Twinkie,


    1. And as I recall, the news about Osama bin Laden’s death was spread primarily by Twitter. Newspaper subscription? Who needs a newspaper subscription? By the time you read the headline, whatever has happened is at least 12 hours old!



  2. Haha! This was great. I will say though that maybe one day I won’t feel this way, but for now- I still think “check in apps” are silly! As for twitter…I’ve never been into it either, but after reading this I think I may need to reconsider 😉


  3. “Mark is at Home” That’s nice…
    “The Edmonton Tourist is now Stalking Mark” I need some excitement too.

    I alos get twitter now!! I was following a 200 mile relay race one weekend via twitter and had the best time! News is fast and I like quick conversations between friends.


    1. Yes, and I love how there’s a little Google map to show you exactly where “Mark’s home” is, with a picture of my townhouse beamed down by satellite. Technology truly is a stalker’s best friend!


  4. I still haven’t a facebook account or have ever Tweeted and doubt that I ever will. I love British eloquence as well.

    As far as the vampire/Dracula I’m from the Dark Shadows era. I used to come home everyday to my Mom watching the scary soap opera but I got hooked.


    1. I’ve heard great things about Dark Shadows. Didn’t they try to do a reboot a few years ago? (Or maybe a little longer). I think they were just slightly ahead of their time.


  5. Mark–
    I’ve been seeing you on FB “checking” in all over the place. It only makes me sad, because you have more fun stuff to do than me.
    alas and big sigh…

    I don’t tweet–to me, it sounds like something I’d need to wear Depends to do…but maybe I’ll jump on board since you have tested the waters and found them favorable…

    have a wonderful weekend! (It’s supposed to be NICE–did you hear???)


    1. If nothing else, it gives people the illusion that I have a life because, at the very least, I’m on the move a lot. 🙂

      Facebook is great for following your friends, playing games, and looking at pictures. Twitter’s good for following businesses and celebrities, and for breaking news bulletins. There really is room enough for both outlets to coexist in harmony.

      Portland is supposed to hit 80 tomorrow – a good month behind schedule!


  6. I own the movie Bram Stoker’s Dracula (and LOVE it), however I’ve never read the novel. I such a vampire freak!

    Hangover 2 is on my list of must-see’s, yet I’ve got to rent 1 first, because everyone has told me how faaaabulous it is.

    Okay, okay…so maybe I need to try Twitter again, you make it sound great!

    So “henceforth” I will try it – HA!

    Have a super weekend, buddy!


    1. Well, I’ve gotta say, the original Hangover and the sequel are pretty much the exact same movie. So, watching the first one before the second is hardly a requirement. They’re good, harmless, hard-R fun, though.

      I also like the movie version (with Anthony Hopkins and Keanu Reeves, right?) but haven’t seen it in a long, long time. I’ll catch it again once I’m finished the book.


  7. For the next week henceforth I shall thoroughly, meaning in absolute certainty, miss your beguiling and glittering sense of humor. Ooh, writing like this is catchy.

    Enjoy Dracula, I’m looking forward to your review!


  8. I’ve never actually read Dracula. I need to get on that.

    And welcome to the dark side of tweeting. And checking in. Ever since I got my iphone its been an addiction for me too – only the check in feature on facebook doesn’t work on my phone and I can’t figure out how to fix it. It says I have locations turned off or something, and I can’t seem to figure out how to turn it back on.

    So I just use foursquare instead. 😀


    1. Sarah – I don’t have an iPhone, but you should be able to go under SETTINGS and find a LOCATION tab, where you can switch it on and off. At least that’s how it’s set up on my Android. But hey, Foursquare works, too.


  9. Ha! Certainly the clashing of two worlds. I resisted Twitter for so long (that’s a few years in tech parlance!) and finally just signed up at the encouragement of a friend who insisted I grab the name “friscolex” just in case. I lasted about three days before I got hooked. I find it very useful to make sure I’m sticking to a few topics. Now they’re French/translation/work stuff, all things Guam/diving, biking and SF-related randomness, including baseball…


  10. I’m sure I enjoyed your text message review of Hangover 2 far more than I would enjoy the movie. I haven’t read Dracula yet (though I saw and really disliked the movie – but that’s more Keanu Reeves’ fault than Stoker’s). Long ago, my pastor told me that it was like soft porn from an earlier century (he wasn’t actually knocking it – just describing the atmosphere of the book).


    1. The day after finishing the book, I watched the movie On Demand. I’d seen it once, years ago, when it first came out. What a horrible disappointment! It was nothing like Bram Stoker’s classic written masterpiece. All sexed up for the big screen, major changes in the plot, etc. I am not a fan of the movie!


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