If a Tree Falls in the Woods … and a Full Disclosure

Early Morning

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The incomparable Chef Fausto teaching us the secret of perfect foccacia in his restaurant kitchen in Rapallo

I was up early this morning and found nothing really active happening on the network with the exception of Nekomimi_lisa’s channel. When I counted, of the 15 channels displayed on the bar, there were lifecasters awake and either going about their day or interactive on only two of them. ECV and Dealer dominated the top spots on the bar with very respectable viewer counts — 188 vs. 90 respectively, and a few morning chatters, but nothing live was going on. Aside from Lisa, with 46 viewers, who showered, got dressed and I am assuming headed off for work, the other channel numbers decreased to 22, 14, … down the line to the far right, almost off my small 13.5 inch screen to 5 Live viewers.

The question remains. What is this medium all about? What provokes a person to want to lifecast? What keeps a person lifecasting? We have seen many come and go since Justin and his band of brothers opened the network in a beta release to those that they asked or suggested broadcasting their lives and eventually to those that “applied” to receive a beta code to what is now an open network. It’s a come one, come all world at JTV as of this week, yet we continue to see mostly familiar lifecaster icons adorning the bar at the top of the JTV site.

Absent Broadcasts

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Chef Fausto taking us to the Mercado in Rapallo prior to class

One ponders the question … how do some broadcasters keep dozens, scores, hundreds and more live viewers tuned in while they are either running a slideshow or tucked away in bed snoring or are off somewhere, nowhere to be found while their cam is pointed at a window or desk or some other inanimate object for hours? And what is the purpose? People can enter a channel’s chat room at any time and engage in scintillating conversation without a broadcast running in the box beside it, so I can only think of one reason for a lifecaster to keep their video running … they have a need to be “connected” in some way. Even if they are nowhere to be found.

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A sublime seafood restaurant in a town on the Cinque Terre, Italy

I’m wondering what goes on in the mind of lifecasters that once found themselves on the far left of the bar on a consistent basis and now struggle to get into the top five? Having been broadcasting for a few weeks and peaking out only about 75 live viewers and being an incredibly competitive sort, I understand the “need” to see that icon at the very least, up on the board while I am streaming. I have put up a slideshow twice, but at some point while tucked safely in my bed, the broadcast had been disconnected. I have no idea if there were even any viewers although from what I was able to see in the chat history it looks like a few came in, chatted for a little while and moved on.

What did I get from running video while I was getting rejuvenated? What did JTV get? What did the viewers that may have come in, looked around and backed out get? I think perhaps only JTV stands to reap whatever “rewards” there may be from an absent broadcast?

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Parmesano Reggiano for the Pesto we Were Making for the Restaurant

The old question remains undetermined, but perhaps with this new medium we will soon have an answer??? If a tree falls in the woods and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?

And Now For Something Completely Different

(It’s a YouTube link –youtube.com/watch?v=u0WOIwlXE9g)

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Our Teacher/Chef — in a small Tuscan kitchen at Villa Rosa in the Chianti Region

I have struggled for a few days with some information that is important to me, possibly of some interest to those that watch, read or just “know” me and of most importance to my family. I say I’ve struggled because I have had to think about how I will handle the broadcast for the next 5 days. My ability to run around the kitchen and cook will be somewhat limited for the next five days. In a little while a nurse will be knocking on my door. She has been sent here by my neurologist to set me up with an intravenous infusion of some mega steroids to help turn this relapse, episode, attack, exacerbation … whatever descriptive word you choose to use for this medical response to symptoms of MS. I would imagine there are a number of you out there with friends or family members that live with this in their lives and know that it’s not always that bad — like with me. I look at it this way … there are far worse things in life. I have a pretty damn good life and this is just one of those hurdles. It’s my thing and I just deal. 🙂

A New Kind of JTV Lifecast

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Making cheese in Spezia

I thought, what a great thing I could do for people by broadcasting the treatment, but I’m not so sure I’m quite that brave to show you something that seems to be pretty personal, although on Gray’s Anatomy and ER tonight we will see far worse! LOL There are a lot of people out there in the world that experience this kind of thing and know how routine it comes to be, to say nothing of how I want people to know that I am fine. That this is just part of how things are with this sometimes frustrating, sometimes exhausting, almost always invisible chronic disease that lurks. If I didn’t tell anyone it existed within me, people would be none the wiser, except on weeks such as this when I need to be hooked up to a 1gram daily cocktail of cortico-steroids. No, it doesn’t bulk me up like an athlete. No, it has never made me violent or given me raging cravings of hunger. It has not made me an emotional mess and thankfully no dreaded moon face.”

It quite simply, does it’s job and puts me back on track, back to Justopia. While this drug is probably ravaging other organs in my body, the brain, where things are on the fritz is being well cared for.

And throughout all of this, I could put up a donate button and lead people to the National MS Society, but I contribute to the foundation’s fundraising efforts in other ways and don’t feel JTV — my broadcast here — is the place to do it. In fact, if were to do such a thing, it would feel somehow wrong. I don’t want sympathy. I don’t need anyone to dote on me. I have kept my family at bay for this round of treatment and some real life friends will be coming by to check on my beginning this afternoon “just to make sure” I am ok. It’s probably no surprise — I relish my independence and the feeling of accomplishment when I can handle stuff on my own.

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Fresh pressed oil curing

You know what the first thing each of them asked me about was? Do I need any food? Oh brother — do I ever NOT need food! I am going to be eating out of the freezer all week with all the great dishes we’ve made together the past few weeks. I went to the store yesterday to pick up some fresh produce and a few other things, but no … food is NOT something I will be needing.

Now, the reason I decided to come clean is because I will be online, but won’t be in my kitchen much while broadcasting. The key is to not need the nurse to come back and set up a new line and the only way to help ensure that is to baby the arm with the catheter in it. If it slips they have to come back out and I try to avoid that like a madwoman. Depending on where she sets the line, typing should not be an issue, but let’s see how things go when she gets here. Not all nurses are made the same, but each time I have had the good fortune to get someone caring and usually competent.

Also, I am not likely to have the energy to stay up all hours of the day and night, so I am expecting to do some major channel surfing for good blogging material, to get some reading done — I have not picked up the books I was reading before I began my own lifecast, and to watch all the shows I have waiting for me on the DVR as well as the NetFlix selection I’ve had sitting here in front of me on the coffee table for close to 2 months now. What a waste of money!!

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Parmesano Reggiano Stored on a Farm in Modena, Italy

I will be here though. I will be connected to JTV, AOL and Skype as always and will welcome the interaction. The JTV network and lifecasting will be my escape from reality and something I will probably treasure more than during a “normal” week. I have no plans to dwell on this. You can ask questions, but better yet is a trip to this site for answers if you have any Healthtalk is one of the sites I am registered with. I do not listen to or participate in frequently, but when I do it’s good info. I look and I try to not to dive in too deep. I might be one of those that likes to live in a bit of denial. 😉

So, to wrap it up … I’m sorry I won’t be cooking for you for the next 7 days, but we can talk about food. Throw around recipe ideas. I can answer questions. We can talk about so many other things than food. This is my life at the moment so hell, if young women can cast their lives, doing nothing on their couches, why can’t I?

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11 Responses

  1. Justopia, Sorry to hear about the MS. I know how frustrating it must be for you to have to sit and take it easy for a week or so. But you will have us popping in to say HI and to chat about everything from cooking to what’s wrong with JTV!! The new lifecasts are pretty pathetic in my opinion. Your cooking show is a relief. I hope the channel doesn’t turn into a singles/porn site!!! He needs to look at quality……(okay, I’m rambling!…)
    You have a great attitude, and I’m sure that is your best medicine. Get a stack of your best cookbooks handy to show us while getting better!
    Take care! See you at Justopia!

  2. Thanks sumcanc!

    I appreciate the support. Tonight was nice … it was relaxing and good to just chat amongst friends. I look forward to more. 🙂

  3. ******Lots of spoooky hugs******Justopia….this spookygrl truly enjoyed your blog tonight. I think it’s probably my favorite one of all….because it’s you sharing something very deep with us which I appreciate. We adore you Justopia. 🙂

  4. Thanks Spooky!

    I had to think long and hard before posting this one, but I just couldn’t figure out how to pull back for a week without the truth. I’ve never been good at making up stories. I guess that’s why non fiction is my thing.

    Now, if I could only retrain my body to realize that 5 hours of sleep truly is not enough and take advantage of some early JTV nights for a week. I guess all these months of so little sleep has fooled my brain into thinking 4-5 hours of sleep is enough. LOL

  5. It was a sad night on JTV. A couple had sex on their webcam. They showed everything from oral sex to intercourse. It was highlighted and GGJeffy was able to download a record of it before it was erased. Justin TV is going downhill fast.

  6. Wow Batman,

    I heard something about this in a room this morning. I didn’t know it went that far. Eeek! I was just writing about it for tonight’s blog post as a matter of fact, but it’s all hearsay for me, so the post takes a little different angle.

    Thanks for reading and posting!

  7. We will be around whether you are cooking are not….Cooking is just one aspect that draws us to your channel. Your wit, humor, intelligent repartee, todd rudgren, and of course your ‘curly hair’ are a few of the things that keeps us coming back.
    You need to take care of you and there are lots of things we can do while taking a break from cooking, like eating up all the wonderful leftovers. And as for everything else we will just wing it. 🙂

  8. justopia!
    i think you should broadcast your life as it is. when i first came across you, i thought wow cool someone more my age and she is sitting here chatting inteligently! you were not cooking at that point. truth is, i don’t even cook! i never cook, i don’t like cooking! but i watch you cook because of your personality and ability to speak! haha. and i wish i could sit down and eat what you cook, i do like to eat!
    if you feel like broadcasting what you go through, do it or don’t. its your life. like bon jovi says!
    i’d like to be in your channel more and hang out for a little bit if time would allow it.

    i agree with what you said about changing the channel and watching what interests the viewer. i dont watch girls gone wild videos so why would i watch some of the channels that are on justin.tv? i watch what /who i find interesting, sarah meyers, you, lisa, the porters, ijustine(of course) and even naked cowboy! not a big fan of the slideshow and i think you and i kinda talked about that when we in eastcoast vegas chat.

    thanks for the forum and i’ll be thinking of you, checking in and seeing how youre doing!
    ~moto62_isagirl

  9. Hiya Moto!

    Thank you so much for reading and for the effort you put into commenting. As for cooking, you should try — just take it one step at a time. There are plenty of recipes out there that are not so labor intensive. I am working on getting all the recipes for the dishes I’ve made on camera uploaded, but it’s a long and involved, tedious process. I’ll get it done.

    Happy reading and viewing!

  10. Hi Justopia — I just wandered into your blog today — and learned about why you were doing a round of home infusion. You have the right attitude and for someone who opens her life so readily, I can understand why you would be reticent to do the whole Gray’s Anatomy scene for JTV.

    I’m a recent convert to JTV — just trying to wrap my brain around the concept, with friends who are livecasting most of their waking hours — Sand Wish. I was on their site and wandered over to yours when they got quiet. There you were cooking up a big ol’ batch of mac n cheese ala Justopia. I was fascinated and have looked forward to watching your kitchen party as often as I can.

    Oh, and I was having a complete brain lapse yesterday when I put up the St. Sophia Greek Festival as if it was a coming-up event instead of an already-passed event (Sept 28-30). What was I thinking? Doh. Your comment about Greek food set me to craving — so tonight I made large batch of Cincinnati chili, which has oregano and cinnamon in it — because of all the Greeks who settled in Cincinnati. Tastes a little like mousaka. Now if I just had a bice bottle of Retsina I would be set!

    Cheers!

    ~Divalicias

  11. Hi Diva!

    Thanks for stopping by and for the thoughtful comment. I am glad you come by for our cooking events at night. I have a lot of fun and hope that people walk away with some helpful info and having had a good time.

    See you tomorrow!

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