Sunday Morning Soliloquy - Musings of an Urbanite: January 2016

Saturday, January 2, 2016

My Unspoken Speech

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Sharing the unspoken speech I finally give to Katie Sweet (and Greg). 

I was the maid-of-honor at the Sweets' wedding in 2012. In typical Leyla fashion, I got into a competition with the best man - who would give the better speech. I prepared my speech, saved it on my phone, then quickly succumbed to pressure to speak without notes, and relinquished my phone.   

Leyla and Katie in the car on Katie's wedding day
 On our way to the wedding

The original wedding speech I wrote, still saved on my phone. 
I made a handful edits to the original wedding speech, corrected spelling and a few minor grammatical edits, but for the most part this is exactly what I prepared for Katie and Greg in 2012. This is the first time they're hearing, or reading, it.

Thank you Katie and Greg, I am so happy to be included in your wedding - - and thank you Randy, Sandy, Nancy & Ron for being so kind and welcoming. This has been an incredible journey for both Katie and Greg, and being a part of the experience, and this day, means the world to me.

Leyla and Katie laughing in car on Katie's wedding day
Still on our way to the wedding

I first met Katie on the boat (I recall thinking to myself -- she is very blonde and very tall). Katie and I clicked right away, even though I can be a bit of a challenge to get along with at times.

Random Chicago Boat Girl: that's not Katie, I was ON the boat with her not a different boat taking photos of her

Katie has a keen sense of humor and we share a level of sarcasm that not very many can appreciate -- it was one of the first things I noticed as I got to know Katie better. I quickly realized she is pretty... AND funny!

Katie and Leyla take the Harley for a ride in Vegas
 Katie likes to drive her motorcycle fast. 

Aside from her awesome ability to ruin a perfectly good photograph with her big "thumbs up" or by making a ridiculous face a six-year-old wouldn't make -- Katie is an old soul who has a way of making people feel welcomed -- she makes everyone feel like they belong. From the day I met Katie, she went out of her way to include me and make me feel like I was a part of The Sweet Family.....  Kinda like Miley's big step sister.

Katie gives two big thumbs up
Quintessentially Katie

Katie and Greg are a perfect match -- she knows when and exactly how to crack that whip, but she also knows what won't fly with him. She's the yin to his yang - she's organized and on time... he not so much. She loves music and the arts... He not so much. She's graceful and poised .... He, not so much. She's slender and tall.... He, not so tall.

Greg goes for a ride in Mexico
Katie gives him a lift

Not that I'm one to give anyone advice about relationships but I can confidently say this to Greg -- Happy Wife - Happy Life.

This may be a little hard for me to talk about, but it comes from my heart: Greg, I think your grandpa (and Sue) would have adored Katie. It is easy for me to picture how they might banter, she would have made him laugh and he would have most certainly approved of her looks.

Greg jokingly waves a chair over my head at the wedding
I trust Greg, I don't trust his depth perception

Greg, I think you married a a wonderful woman --- she is the most positive force in your life and your instinct was right.... Your instinct is always right.

Katie and Greg Sweet Wedding Dance
Mr. and Mrs. Sweet

Again, I just want to say how happy I am to be a part of this wedding. I know it is kinda weird, but it is very special to me, and means a lot that you asked me to be a part of it.

But before I shut up ---

I regret to inform you, Banjo & Sullivan will be canceled tonight.

My favorite boots: Katie's thigh high Louboutin boots

Friday, January 1, 2016

My 5 Worst Blog Posts of 2015 - Sunday Morning Soliloquy Year In Review

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Instead of tooting my own horn, I'm going to blow my own whistle and review my bottom 5 blog posts of 2015. Everyone wraps with their top posts from the year, I thought I'd try something more fun.

The posts reviewed are my 5 least popular, or least read, blog posts of 2015. Doesn't mean they're bad, they may be alright from a content perspective, but you wouldn't know because you didn't read them. 

5 Worst Posts of 2015

I throw a bonus in at the end: My top 5 blog posts of 2015 - so keep reading or scrolling

A little Sunday Morning history 
I started this blog in 2008 as an experiment, I wanted to learn the ways of the internet. My first post was in 2008 and it was called The Least Exciting Leyla On the Neta post about Googling myself. Great title, I love self deprecating humor, but the post has text that goes ON FOR DAYS with no pictures, not one!

Least Exciting Leyla
This is painful to read and no one calls it the "net" anymore

Since 2008, I've published 360 blog posts here (written 420 *hee hee* 60 are in draft mode) and earned nearly 500K page views - an average of 1250 eyeballs on each post. It's not a ton but I'm quite happy with the results. I've far exceeded all goals I had for Sunday Morning Soliloquy, I never thought 1 person would read it but 1000s do each month. Above all, I enjoy writing here more than just about anything else I do.

My 5 worst posts of 2015 
I can't lie, I was surprised by the results. Surprised and saddened because one of my favorite posts is on this list. Let's examine what and why you didn't read my posts (jerks).

5. When Data Reveals Truth Like a Slap In The Face - post related to my crappy health as revealed in my Apple Health dashboard. I can see why you didn't like it, but shockingly, it's not your least favorite. It probably got more eyeballs than it deserved because I used the word "data" - ugh.

4. Summer is Over...For YOU Maybe - post about my trip to Morocco with a crappy title, I'll give you that. I took a jab at my readers by bragging about the trip, another stupid move, but the content is good (I think) and it is loaded with photos from Morocco!

Dar Karma in Marrakesh

3. Scheduled Sunsets For Modern Nomads - a post written about the desert eco-lodge I visited in Morocco, the poor readership of this one makes me angry because this is my favorite post! I worked hard on this post, the title is thought provoking (I think), written and visual content is solid (I think), it may read a bit like a hotel review but the experiences are detailed and genuine. So what's the problem? Time of post! I made the mistake of publishing it while you were all sleeping!!

Desert Eco Lodge - La Pause

2. Sunday Night With Wayne Coyne - a post about Wayne Coyne (from The Flaming Lips), OK, I get why you did not love it. I yielded to my Wayne Coyne obsession and even created poorly photoshopped pics of Wayne and me for your enjoyment. It's funny (I think)! Or maybe it's not.

Wayne and Amiga Leyla

1. Official Archives Reveal The Last Year Leyla Was Cool - a post about the year I stopped being cool, was the LEAST read post of 2015. No one cared when I was cool, no one cared when I stopped being cool, and apparently no one cares when I talk about it retrospectively. But.. I do like the title of the post, it's catchy (I think), and buried under my crappy rock-and-roll memorabilia, there is a fairly good story in there. Maybe you should give this post another chance?

Chicago Music Memorabilia

Want to know my TOP 5 blog posts of 2015? 
These are in order, number one being the most viewed or read post of 2015.

  1. Istanbul in 2011 - My #TBT Travel Post - I used a trending hashtag and you fell for it, how lame. Just kidding, I love you, thanks! 
  2. My Favorite Social Distortion Moment - another nostalgia post, I see a trend here. This post is about a friend who has a highly engaged Facebook audience (by normal human being standards) and he shared the post on FB. 
  3. Knight Rider Time Out - Stop What You're Doing and Take an Internet Break with Michael Knight and KITT - I get it, who doesn't like Knight Rider? But this post also mentions someone with a high social media presence and he shared it with his readers. 
  4. Women Who Rule, an Homage to Women Who Rule - Kim Gordon - I tricked you! I wrote the post when Kim Gordon's book was still hot to capture some internet buzz.  
  5. 12 Instagram Accounts You Should Follow Right Now! - I tricked you again! And I included my own Instagram account as the NUMBER ONE account to follow, ha! 

As I reviewed the top posts, I saw a pattern. Almost of all of the top posts have follow the internet marketing tricks internet marketing strategies I normally reserve for my client work. I'm actually a fairly good digital marketer. I'm being modest, I'm quite good, if I were to use these skills and practice my own tried and true methodologies on my blog, I would be a more successful blogger. So why not? Because that's not what Sunday Morning Soliloquy is about, this blog is about me doing what I want, when I want, how I want. 

In 2016, I continue my promise: no stupid link bating, no dumb posts written about a "moment in time" to capture your attention, and no "listicles" unless they're funny or mock other listicles. I put effort into these posts, well sometimes, and I reveal as much as I'm comfortable revealing and sometimes more - especially in my older posts, you should check the archives :)

I like writing my stories and I like that you're here and that you have taken an interest in my stories - THANK YOU.