February 24, 2006

It's Friday night.  My husband is upstairs reading.  My kids are in bed.  Out of 28 people I have listed on my AIM buddy list, no one is online.  None of my "friends" on my Live Journal list have updated in forever.  That means I'm bored.  I have several columns I need to write this weekend, but I plan to go to sleep in 20 minutes exactly, so I thought to myself, "What can I do that will take a short amount of time and that I will likely regret tomorrow?"

If I lived in the city, the answers could boggle the mind.

Since I live in a remote mountain "town," my choices are limited and someone already ran over the stop sign on the road by our house and knocked it down (while pulling a skateboarder up the hill behind him on the tailgate), so that's not an option any more.

I decided on something like "30 Questions," but since none of you people are around to ask any questions, I'll have to call it "30 Answers."  These will be a few facts about myself and EOS that may or may not be of interest.  I will limit the topics to soap opera and website info. 

1.  I have watched both OLTL and GH since the first episode aired.  I have watched AMC since 2001 (ok, that's two facts for the price of one or 3 if you count each show).

2.  For two years before starting EOS, I wrote the "Two Scoops" column at Soap Opera Central and did all of the news and spoiler info there for GH.  That's how I got started in the soap opera internet world.

3.  I started Eye on Soaps in August 2000 with a total of seven other writers.  Of those writers, only Kate Roach Brown is still with the site.  Producing a column on a regular basis over a long period of time is hard work.

4.  In June 2001, I got Sage drunk to convince him to write for us.  So far, he is the only one I have had to get liquored up to push them into writing, although for some of our writers who haven't written in weeks, I might end up trying it.  *nudge*

5.  Over the past 5+ years, including Muse Writers, Eye on Soaps has had over 43 different writers contribute to its pages.

6. Speaking of pages, Eye on Soaps, including archives, consists of 28,480 files divided into 512 folders and spread over two different websites (www.eyeonsoaps.com and www.eyeonsoaps.net, either of which may be used to access the site).

7.  Eye on Soaps currently has 15 writers on staff.

8.  Eye on Soaps gets 3-4 million hits per month on the average.  I am often surprised at some of the columns in our statistics that still get hits.  Kate's Emmy Recaps for each year get an average of 1000 hits each every month.  My column on "Liz and Ric, Rape or Just Sleepy Lovins?" gets about 3000 hits per month consistently (go figure).  Sage's 2004 Emmy recap gets around 10,000 hits per month.  Weird.

9.  The most read columns on our site are Sage's Spoiler Party, Kate's AMC Spoiler Commentary and Confessions of a Media Ho.  Every month, they are the top three.  Y'all are a bunch of spoiler hags, I gotta tell you.

10.  There are no episode recaps produced by EOS staff because I used to be a recapper.  It's horrible, grueling work and I won't ask any of my staff to do it.

11.  I have never really liked the name "Eye on Soaps," but when I started the site, my husband, my son and my site partner at that time all loved the name and I could not think of anything better.

12.  This is the fourth site design of Eye on Soaps, all of which were created by my son, Joe Humphrey.

13. Emeraldax, Kate, Sage and the Media Ho all produce a column every single week except for very rare exceptions.

14.  We were honored with About.com's "Best of the Net" award our second month online.  (Thanks, guys)

15.  Eye on Soaps staff have attended the past 5 "General Hospital Fan Club Weekend" events in Studio City, California. When you check in (get your wrist band and your name crossed off) for the main luncheon, we are usually the ones checking you in.

16.  I spoke to Tristan Rogers on the phone two weeks ago today on what he thought would be his last day of taping.  (Squeeeeeeee!)

17.  Eye on Soaps does not report on the personal lives of actors (weddings, arrests, divorces, babies, etc) unless it affects the show in some way.

18.  The Eye on Soaps motto is, "If it's not fun, it doesn't get done."

19.  Eye on Soaps staff members are not paid for their work (neither am I).  All efforts are completely voluntary out of love for the show.

20.  There has been serious talk among our staff about writing ABC Soap Porn.  I mean, if you are going to write fan fic, go for it, right?

21.  I work on Eye on Soaps at least 4-6 hours a day.

22.  While I don't mind if EOS writers have favorite (or most hated) actors or characters (of course), it is extremely important to me that our writing remain balanced rather than geared to the support of one particular fan base or to promote one actor or couple.  EOS is intended to promote the genre of soap operas and specifically, ABC soaps.  It is not a forum to pimp one particular character, actor or couple.  *I* get tired of hearing about one actor or character all the time, so I am sure our readers do as well, which is why we avoid that.

23.  There are two things that really creep me out in Soap Internet Land.  One is when fans refer to an actor or character with the word "my" jammed in front of their name.  "Mydaniel" or "Mynathan."  The other is the use of combined couple names.  *full body shudder*  I don't prohibit EOS writers from doing either, I just get the frickin full on spinal shivers when they do and have to use an aggressive eye rinse afterwards to see straight again.

24.  I am the only one who does posting to the actual site.  Since high speed internet is not available where I live, I connect through dial up at a blistering 28.8 kps.  It takes years.

25.  I worry about fans (and I see this a lot through emails and in person at the fan events) who have created a false sense of intimacy with the actors.  They seem to forget that despite what they may read on a website or in magazine articles and regardless of how impressed they may be with an actor's looks, charm or off-screen behavior, they do not know this person.  The fact is that any actor, for 99.9% of the fans, is a stranger who plays a character they happen to know very well. 

26.  Sage is even more handsome in person than he is in his photos.

27.  Some of my best friends in the whole world and of my entire life I met through Eye on Soaps.

28.  Eye on Soaps quite literally would not be here without the gracious support of our readers and our staff.

29.  I once padded the interview of an actor because the guy was so dim that if I wrote what he said the way he said it, he would look as dumb as a baggie of hair and I felt sorry for him.

30.  I almost fell down a flight of stairs the first time I saw John J. York in person.

It's now 30 minutes past the time I said I was going to bed and my nose is cold, so sleep calls.  See?  Start me talking about soaps and you might as well pull up a chair and stay for a while.  Now 7 years into writing about them online and 5 years into hosting this wonderful site, I still have to say that I love our soaps and most of all, I love the experience of sharing them with all of you folks.