My name is Katrina Rasbold and I am one of the owners of this very special website, Eye On Soaps. I say that it is very special because it represents a culmination of the efforts of twenty phenomenal, talented, dedicated women who love ABC Daytime drama and one talented web designer who loves his mama. None of us here are paid for what we do. It is time and effort sacrificed willingly on the altar of love and respect for the shows. There is a running joke among the staff that I will "triple their salary!!!" for a job particularly well done. Having said all that, I want to tell you a story. It's an old Celtic story from the mythologies surrounding the Tuatha Da Danu. This is an abbreviated and slightly bastardized version. It is called "Lugh at the Gate." (Pronounced "Loo." Those Celts weren't much on phonetics), and goes vaguely like this:
For a variety of reason best not explored, Lugh was looking for a new town in which to hang both his hat and his shingle. As he was walking through the wilderness, he came upon an incredible gated city. The walls were enormous and impenetrable and surrounded the whole of the town. He could see the spires of huge towers over the top and he was intrigued by what might be inside the fortressed city. He approached the giant gilded gates and as he did so, he heard a cry go out from one of the four giant watchtowers at the corners of the great wall. Almost instantly, a guard, accompanied by guards to the guard, appeared at the gate and eyed him suspiciously.
"Pray, what do you want?" the guard asked of Lugh.
"I mean no offense," he replied. "I would only like to see inside your walls and admire your fair city."
The guard replied sternly, "No one save the residents of our city may enter the walls. All that we need to survive lies within here and we remain unto ourselves. Good day, sir." He turned to leave.
"Wait," Lugh entreated. "As it happens, I am looking for a new place to call home. How might I become a citizen of this town?"
The guard shook his head and said, "No one may live within these walls unless they are able to prove themselves worthy to stay by bringing value to our city. Everyone must serve a useful purpose."
Lugh considered this. "Well, he said, "I'm quite an accomplished blacksmith."
"We already have a blacksmith," the guard said firmly. "Good day."
"Wait!" Lugh cried out. "I'm also a brilliant artist! I can render drawings, paintings and sculptures the likes of which you've never seen!"
The guard raised one eyebrow, but said, "Sorry. Already have an artist . . . two, in fact."
"A baker! My pastries will melt in your mouth!"
"A tailor! I can create . . ."
"I am a warrior like no other!"
"We have an army of warriors."
"A healer! My grandmother has shown me the ways of herbs and the laying on of hands."
"Hmm. No, we have three of those."
The list went on and each time, there was already someone in the town doing that job. The exasperation of the guard was matched only by that of Lugh. At last, the guard bid him a final good day and turned to go. Lugh called out after him.
"Good sir! You say that you already have a smithy, an artist, a baker, a tailor, a warrior, a healer and everything else I have named. Each of these jobs I perform expertly, yet you already have someone just as proficient. I must ask you this, however: do you have anyone, just one person amongst your esteemed ranks, who, like myself, can do ALL of those things?'
They made Lugh the king of the city.
When I first conceived of the notion of having my own site (there were a number of reason that led up to this which, like Lugh's history, are best left unexplored), the first cage I rattled was Karen's and she was into the idea. The next I hit was Naomi, who, like a good 90% of my staff, I met when she e-mailed me when I worked for Soap Opera Central. Her letters were always well thought out and knowledgeable. When I wrote to her saying that my partner and I were going to start a little General Hospital site ( I know . . . It's like being excited you're having a baby and finding out you're having quadruplets instead) and we'd like her to be our GH Q&A lady, she was right on the job. When I said, "How are you with OLTL, I'd like to add that too," her response was, "OK, I'm game." That led up to last week when I pounded on her door to make sure she could do Port Charles as well. Naomi is my Lugh at the Gate. She can do it all. When I'm up at midnight pounding away at the keyboard to get something done for the site and I whip out an e-mail to Naomi, the reply is back in about 3 minutes. She's up too, researching what song was played when Sonny and Carly danced or who lived next door to Karen and Larry Wolek. She takes what she does for us VERY seriously and is good at it.
I have been drop dead amazed at some of the letters she has received. Every now and then, something that she prints is recalled differently by a reader and here it comes, "I'm Babs Bootscoot, president of the official blah blah blah fan club at www.blahblahblah.com and your info on blah blah blah was just WRONG!!!! Where do you get off calling yourself an expert when you don't even know that yaddayaddayadda was NEVER, EVER even BREATHED on the show, much less given as fact!!!" and it goes on from there. Folks, there is so much information out there in books and on the net. People remember events one way while others remember them another. Unless you're looking at a script or watching the video, everything is subjective to individual memory. We even have disagreements here amongst the staff about how some things went on the shows. Usually, both sides are able to find ample substantiating information to back up their take! Naomi researches everything she puts into print, but she is also authorized by both me and Karen to work from memory. Sure, some of our readers will remember things differently or have additional info to share. We welcome corrections and suggestions and additions and all that stuff, but you know? It really, really isn't all that tough to be nice about it. Are people truly so damned needy for self-esteem that they have to bully and push and poke if someone, even an expert in the field, makes a mistake? Does that whole "Ha HA, caught YOU!" mentality really need to exist in adult interchanges? How about saying, "I read your column every week and really appreciate the hard work you obviously put into it. I have some additional info on blah blah blah that might interest you . . ." Kindness and gentleness with one another is not as great an effort as some people make it out to be and especially with it being so difficult to discern inflection through e-mails, I feel that it is paramount that we convey our messages gracefully. This site is our gift to you. It is for the others like us who enjoy a good soap site, a fun read and, when appropriate, a friendly debate. It is not for those who are simply looking for a means to throw that gift back in our faces.
That said, I want to tell you why there is no Clackum's Corner Q&A page this week. Noami was just released from the hospital today following a very fearful few days. A week ago, she was diagnosed with a blood clot in her leg and due to some other pre-existing conditions and symptoms, she went through a cancer scare as well. When she got home, what did she do? She jetted over to the computer to let me know she was home and THANK ME for hanging in there with HER. Now THAT is dedication! She's on the mend now and, I'm sure, would appreciate your good thoughts and prayers for a full recovery and long, healthy life.
For me, for Naomi and for those you love, try a day where you smile a little more (if you don't feel it, fake it til you can make it and you'll find it starts to happen more spontaneously), presume innocence rather than malice, hug a few people (careful if you don't know them or you may be arrested), try a kind word here and there, let a few cars cut in front of you in a long line of merges, instead of rolling your eyes disdainfully, give the lady in front of you at the grocery store, who has 3 kids pulling at her skirt, the dollar she needs to have enough money to get her groceries, get the hell out of the store and home so she can kick off her shoes and have a martini while the kids rip open the Trix to get the prize at the bottom of the box. . .you're getting the idea. Take some time to not be angry, not be victimized, not be sullen. Isolate just a few, unencumbered moments to feel the sunshine on your face and the breeze in your hair and know that life is really the gift from which all other things emerge. Beyond that, you create your own reality. It starts with just a few moments in the sun and the breeze and soon the moments become hours and the hours become days. It's fine to feel a little jolt of superiority when you read something on our site that is in error and we appreciate the correction, but nastiness and gloating is certainly not the atmosphere we seek on the site and you may just find evil letters printed for the world to see!
I have a number of "Lugh's at the gate" on my staff who can handle info on any of the four soaps that we showcase. It is our sincere wish to use our combined strengths to always bring you the most complete and accurate information possible. We deeply appreciate your assistance in doing so. Just please refrain from being a jerk about it.
Thanks for listening to me ramble,
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