Do You Feel Lucky?

(and feel free to comment! My older posts are certainly no less relevant to the burning concerns of the day.)

Sunday, February 28, 2010

A Long List of Things I Don't Need.

Dog food.
A plan.
Seventeen long, white, infinitesimally-tapering candles. Unlit, never-lit - with the wick still white and waxy.
A pen. Not now this moment.
Drum sticks. About seven of them. Some painted black, some wood colored.
Cigarettes. I don't really smoke them. A pack a year, maybe two. And in any case: Marlboro Lights? Please.
Empty glass bottles and pickle jars. Many of them.
Two copies of Pearl Jam's Vs.
A frozen chicken carcass.
A bottle of Veuve Clicquot champagne.
One copy of Pearl Jam's Vs.
Six different harmonicas, all in different keys.
A gold plastic "Mardis Gras" mask, with elastic cord.
A half-finished hand puppet.
A movie stub from last year.
These stacks of photos.
Approximately fifty neckties.
A ridiculously oversized denim jacket.
A tin of "fancy" sardines.
A large box of colored "bendy" straws. Not crazy straws! Bendy straws. Like, 250 of them.
A used-up plane ticket to the same damn place I always fly.
A small, embroidered-silk-covered box containing two tiny, chiming Chinese meditation balls.
Three pepper shakers?

That's a long list of things I don't need.

You know in a lot of ways, a list like this, you learn a lot more from that than from other kinds of lists, maybe.

How about you readers out there? Let's have a list of what you don't need.

Sunday God Post: Not Sure What To Say, Really

So technically, that "All God Edition" of "Actual Comments from Actual You-Tube Videos" does cover me for my Sunday God Post, but I feel like that's a little perfunctory, you know? So I'd like to open up questions to the floor, here. Does anybody have a question about God? What sort of questions would anyone out there like me to take a crack at, vis-a-vis God? I can't speak for God, of course!

Oh, and nothing too tough, please. I'm only an amateur theologian.

Again I emphasize - these aren't questions for God! I can't relay the question and then come back to you with winning lotto numbers, or racehorses or stuff like that. I'm just a guy, here, trying to run a blog.

They can be serious questions, if you like. I'll try to work each into a forthcoming post, and I'll try to do a good job. Or supposing it's a question I've already tackled before like, four times - in that case, I'll have to try to do a better job.

They can be silly questions, too! Contrary to popular misconception, and unlike many of us down here, God's not particularly frail in the ego department.

Sunday God Blog Post: Actual Comments From You-Tube Videos Edition

First comment:
"god is fake, god is fake, god is fake. god is fake.

damn how many gods are there? you seen the asian chubby god, the hindo god? rome god?

all these religons believe in different gods lol.

lets just say the fact is. god is made up. to keep the human spirit from going insane.

and you pricks better not say "oh you can't type or even spell right"

Shut the FUCK up. ok?.. i'm not writing a damn essay homework assignment for school k?

This is youtube. not grammar class. pricks.

go pray to no one"


Yes, that was all one comment! Second comment:
"we evolved from apes/monkeys which are hominids. Years of evolution took place.

Tell me what sounds realistic? God made the world, plants, rocks, water, grass, animals.

Or was it just evolution that made us.

All you idiots need to go back to school heck they even teach you about human evolution in 5th and 6th grade from the history text book.

Everything makes since i'd rather read the fucking school history book than the bible lol

ok if you believe in god, go pray with your invisible pal."


Third comment:
"alright you little shit. i use to believe in god when i was younger, now i'm 15 i think god is made up.

God is fake. How in the world do you think god made the fucking world. ok huh? let me point out some logic.

If you think god made everything, who the hell made him? eh don't tell me bullshit.

Okay let me point out the fact that we are homosapiens meaning a human that can stand up right fully and can reason.

continued above comment!!!!!!!!!"

I'm pretty sure this was all the same dude. I think he makes a pretty interesting case, here.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

This Man Knows Several Things None of Us Will Ever Find Out



Thanks to the Vegetable Assassin!

So I'm Reading The Evils of Revolution: What Is Liberty Without Wisdom, and Without Virtue? It Is the Greatest of All Possible Evils. by the Right Honourable Edmund Burke, and...

So I'm reading The Evils of Revolution: What Is Liberty Without Wisdom, and Without Virtue? It Is the Greatest of All Possible Evils. Boy, they used to give their books some long titles! That was the fad at the time. This title contains two complete sentences, with punctuation! A period at the end. But I've sidetracked myself. I'm reading The Evils of Revolution: What Is Liberty Without Wisdom, and Without Virtue? It Is the Greatest of All Possible Evils.

By Edmund Burke, and I read a little of the way into it, and then I got so confused I started looking in the front, I'm looking in the back, I'm looking on the back cover, inside and out - and I'm thinking, wow, a little bit about this Edmund Burke character would be nice! Just a little information to settle us on who this guy is, where he's coming from, and maybe how did he get so humble? There should be a little box with a portrait of the author (one of those tasteful money-style engraved portraitures!) and a little 'About The Author.' Perfect!

But no. Nothing, really. No 'About The Author.' The man comes to us as a cipher.

And that's making it hard for me to read the thing, because, see, I'm reading what he has to say, and I'm like "who IS this guy?"! He's writing on the topic of the French Revolution, at a time when most of Europe supported it (the back cover does tip us to that much). At first I thought he was American, because he keeps speaking of the Revolution as if he's had one too. But then it becomes clear he's in England. What Revolution is he talking about? Can he be perhaps one of those in England who sympathized with the colonists, and supported their uprising? Or is he an American now living in England, amicably spreading the ideals of polity and circumspection to that barbarian island, even then still in the throes of the grips of the archaic and insidious institution of Monarchy?

But then he even says "our revolution"! He says: "those who cultivate the memory of our revolution" - funny, he doesn't capitalize it there. He does elsewhere. Perhaps he's being sly, alluding to the revolution of the globe on its axis or something. But the implication is definitely that he's been involved in a revolution. So he's American! But then he says "The beginnings of the confusion with us in England..." so he's English!

What possible revolution can he be talking about? If the English had a revolution around this period in history, it must have been one of those 360° deals where they came out of it facing the same way they went in. It certainly was one low-profile revolution. I never even heard about it!

Yes, yes, I know: I can find out all I want to find out about Edmund Burke. I can google it. I can wiki it. But damnit, that might help me now, but it didn't help me before! Out in the wide world, no internet, no blackberries or droids of any kind, with only my book to guide me as to the mysterious past of its secrecy-cloaked author. The publishers did not do a proper job, here, to leave me high and dry like that. There ought to have been an 'About The Author' in or on the book itself, convenient and accessible. Sometimes one does go out into the world, and sometimes one does bring with one a slim volume of interest, to read on the way, or at stopping-points along the way. And in circumstances such as these, it may not be wikiconvenient to call forth from the ether an elementary blurb or two of explanatory authorial biography! It is customary in most cases for the publisher to give us a little somethin'-somethin' of that nature on the back cover, or in the back, or on the first few pages of the book. That's all I'm saying.

And yes, I'm sure the Right Honourable ("Honourable" - he's English!) Edmund Burke is some kind of leading light, to initiates of a certain sphere. I'm sure he's as famous as Dr. Johnson to some people. Well kindly refresh the rest of our memories, okay? What is the purpose of publishing a slim 84-page gem like this one, if not to make this guy's words accessible to new readers beyond his cult of in-the-know enthusiasts? Is anybody going to be insulted by a bit of 'About The Author'? Is the President of the Edmund Burke Society going to gnash his teeth, throw down the volume in disgust, knock the rest of them from their display and tramp upon the pile of helpless copies on the bookstore floor? "How DARE they tell ME 'About The Author'! I know ALL 'About The Author'!"

Where's the harm cluing the rest of us in? I guess he's an eminent revolutionary-era thinker and political theoretician, I'm gathering that much. But last I checked, his face didn't make the currency for any major countries. So considering that many of his contemporaries did - that makes him a comparative nonentity, and I say you should tell us a little about the guy.

There are three pages at the back of this book that are completely blank.

There is one page at the front that has only this upon it - the entire rest of the page is blank:

Edmund Burke

1729-1797

Really? I'm intrigued. Tell us more!

Yes, I'm home now for a moment, and I could easily google it up now. But you know what? It's become the principle of the thing at this point. I'm not going to look it up. I'm just going to keep reading, see what sense of him I can get from that. I'm only on page 6.

I really don't get the sense that he's going to interrupt his lucid and stately rant for snatches and asides of his life story at any points, though. But who knows? I could be wrong.

I've been wrong before.

What If I Had The Power...?

What if I had the power to break Time up into discrete units, that could then be managed and organized? That would be a cool super power. Or, what if I had the power to tell people whatever was on my mind - whether there were repercussions or not? Awesome!

When you think about it, though, some of the ordinary things that we can all already do are in some ways, even more amazing.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Hertz: We're Coming To Get You

Actually, it's Hertz: We'll Come And Get You®. Yes, with the little circle-R. Registered trademark. I saw the banner in the window and felt mildly threatened. I walked faster. I tried not to look back over my shoulder, but I did a couple times. I was in the clear, I think. But every time I hear tires turning on the wet asphalt, hissing down the long cul-de-sac towards me, I worry: is this it? Has Hertz finally Come To Get Me®?

I'm assuming this slogan is a response to the wildly popular Enterprise: We'll Pick You Up® campaign. I suppose this was the closest they could get to the same basic sentiment. I imagine myself working for some sort of trademark watchdog agency - possibly governmental, possibly just a general nonprofit consumer protection setup. Perhaps I founded it, it could be my whole vision and agency, there - later on maybe I'd be hailed as a hero, a visionary. Meanwhile, I'd fight the good fight trying to trip people up on the wrongful infringements that cause consumer confusion between similar services and ultimately, hurt us all.

This Hertz situation was potential nitroglycerine. I needed to see that it was being handled properly.

I called Hertz.

"Thank you for calling Hertz, this is Kelly," he said.

"Thanks Kelly. I need to Rent-A-Car."

"Sir, 'Rent-A-Car' is a registered trademark of Budget Rent-A-Car, however, I can rent you an automobile, or some similar conveyance." Damn, this kid was good. I'd have to spring my trump ace.

"Perfect! Let's talk details. Can you Pick Me Up®?"

"Sorry, sir, we can't Pick You Up®. 'We'll Pick You Up® is a registered trademark of Enterprise. But we can Come And Get You® - would that be acceptable?" His voice held genuine concern. I think he could tell this was an inferior sort of service to be offering.

"Come And Get Me®? I don't want you to Come And Get Me®. That sounds really hostile and threatening - why can't you just Pick Me Up®? That's happy! Peppy. Uplifting!"

"I'm sorry sir. We can't Pick You Up®. Only Enterprise can do that. We'd be happy to Come And Get You®, but we can't Pick You Up®." He was very apologetic. You could tell he sensed a lost sale, and wished he could make it right.

"Sorry for taking your time, then. I'll just have to call Enterprise."

"Okay, then. Sorry I couldn't be of more assistance. Travel safe."

I felt bad hanging up. But I didn't feel bad for long, because I then opened the sliding side door of the agency's unmarked white remote communications and covert insertion van, parked at the end of the Hertz row of parking slots. My crew and I got out and headed in to see Kelly, cameras rolling. As I entered, parting the double-doors with assured hands, Kelly looked up. There was still hurt there. Still some defeat. But Kelly was a trouper, and regained composure immediately. Here was a new opportunity!

"Hello, welcome to Hertz. My name's Kelly, how can I help you?"

"Kelly, my name's Craig Besom. I'm a field agent for the Federal Trademark Enforcement Agency. In fact, I'm not just a field agent - I'm the founder. As you know, consumer confusion is at an all-time high, with many competing goods and services attempting to muddy the waters and pass each other off as basically the same thing. Trademark is the only thing that stands between a confused consumer, and being unhappily duped into springing for an inferior off-brand service that has been confusingly marketed. We received a tip about your 'We're Going To Get You®' slogan, and I had to make the call and check out how it was being used. I'm sorry for that subterfuge. But I have to report that the manner in which you responded to the test was beyond reproach. I'm awarding you right now with the Congressional Stamp of Approval (please hold out your hand), and in my report I will be putting you in for the OFC - an Official Federal Commendation. Kelly, you did an outstanding job."

All through my revelation, she was struck silent. Her eyes first widened, then glistened with hope, then relief, then gratitude, and yes - pride. Oh yeah, Kelly's a girl. I know I originally made her a guy when I was telling it up there, but that was just so I wouldn't look like I was trying to make myself out to be the big hero in her eyes down here, come the big reveal. But the plain fact is, she really is a girl. She's always been a girl. No matter how many times I run this whole trademark-enforcement idea scenario through in my mind, Kelly's always a girl. I'm sorry for that subterfuge, I can see now there was no reason for it, really. You guys know I'm beyond reproach where all that's concerned!

But there could be no doubt as I stamped her hand (she held it out to me, I took her hand in mine - hers was warm and dry, and cool. I held it firmly but gently, and stamped her smooth skin with the dark blue ink seal of an eagle rampant over a big 'R'), her eyes shone so glowingly that there could be no doubt that I was the big hero in them. As I let go her hand, she let it slide from mine slowly, deliberately. Her eyes lowered.

"Will we see each other again, Agent Besom?" Her voice again held genuine concern, far more soft and feminine this time. She looked up again expectantly, hesitatingly.

"I'm afraid not. We can't allow even the slightest appearance of impropriety to taint the review process." I looked at her. The softness in my eyes belied my stern, fair words.

"I understand," she said. In a voice that said: "I don't understand."

"Good day, Kelly. Keep up the good work. America" - my voice caught, a husky note of pain crept in as I continued, in almost a whisper - "is proud of you." I left quickly, my crew trailing after me, clearly moved by the scene.

She didn't respond as the doors swung to behind us. I didn't look back, as our tight-knit group of crack specialists walked down the sidewalk to the waiting van. Kelly looked after me the whole way (I know because Doug had the presence of mind to tape that whole part - perfectly framed! Tasteful zoom in. I saw it later). The look in her eyes was like a knife to my soul - a sharp shard from her soul, plunged right into mine. Neither of us has ever been the same since. Not really. I've kept tabs, discreetly.

You know what? I'm glad I don't actually work for such an agency. It seems like a lot of serious demeanor and glamorous authority, when you consider it in the abstract. But once the human element is introduced, it can never be that simple. What a hard job that would be! To have to be always so disciplined and heroic all the time. To have to take a stand in the shifting sands and draw that hard, straight line.

I could do it. I've got what it takes. But I'd be carrying my heart around with me on the inside, all the time. Broken up, where no one could see it.

Oh, Kelly.

Why couldn't I say "DAMN THE RULES!" just that once? And take you in my arms - - !

Thursday, February 25, 2010

I Hate To Say This, But I Probably Finally Have A Reason To Join Twitter.

And that means, (or rather, this means) that I'm probably going to have to join Twitter.

I hope more people end up following his tweets than tune in to watch the other guy's show.

Fuck NBC. Fuck them in their peacock patootie.

My Snooty Review of PF Chang's China Bistro

I was thinking, I reviewed the Cheesecake Factory, why haven't I reviewed PF Chang's? I only ever went to either one once, and the experience I had at PF Chang's was, if anything, every bit as pleasant! The decor was kickass. The place smelled great. The staff was bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, without being too much of either (if you know what I mean).

In fact, the whole experience was so pleasant it turned the whole evening around! We'd been fighting, and looking for where to eat while waiting for the doors to open on the other thing (or maybe the other thing had let out, and we were starved - I forget, point is we were fighting and starved), and it was really kind of unpleasant. From moment one, the PF Chang hostess read the mood, sat us a bit off to the side with a modicum of privacy, took our extensive drink order and vanished until we set our menus down. By the time our food order was in, we were kind of eased into the moment a bit, and the smells wafting in from the kitchen were bewitching us. Soon we were smiling, sharing each other's delicious appetizers and maybe putting some of the smaller stuff in perspective.

Although when I think about it, me and her fought all the time. So really, PF Chang was not doing me any favors there, turning that particular evening around. Maybe if we'd gone down the street to Gordon Biersch, we could have escalated to the big blowup that would've ended it all, and that was in any case (as it turned out) inevitable. But no! Thanks to the thoroughly pleasant dining experience created by PF Chang's delicious food, well-poured cocktails and attentive, eager, and charming but not over-solicitous waitstaff, I ended up wasting another five months of my life.

Thanks a lot, PF Chang!

Religion In Schools

It's an interesting subject in its own right!

I remember in Grade School, I was taught about religion in school. I was taught about Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Atheism/Agnosticism (and the difference between the two), and even a cursory mention of Zoroastrianism although it seemed to me they were just making that part up. Later I found out: not so.

It was, you might say, a catholic education. Anyway, I've found it served me well. Occasionally something comes up in conversation, and in general it's better to know what you are talking about than otherwise. I think I would not be opposed to children being taught ABOUT religion, even in a public school! So long as they are not taught religion.

However, maybe it's best to not even open that can of writhing, dogmatizing, fractious worms. Next thing you know, some Zoroastrian is jumping up on her (or his) desk, stamping feet and moaning about the way it's being portrayed.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Observations on Writing Poetry Under Pressure

So sometimes, over on my poetry blog, I'll write a really bad poem, and then suddenly I'll realize it's really bad, and so with a shock, I realize I have to write another poem really fast! So that the bad poem is not the top poem that anyone will see, if they click in. I have to move it further down, fast, and put something at least half-decent there at the top.

Admittedly, most of the time if I've written a really bad poem, I don't realize it for months. But sometimes I do realize that same day. Maybe even as quickly as an hour later.

But here's the crazy thing. Those poems-under-pressure sometimes turn out to be really outstanding! And you never would have written it. If it weren't for the really bad poem you wrote by mistake, that really put the heat on, you never would have written it.

How weird is that?

How Quickly Did It Take Me to Eat Those Dozen Donuts?

How quickly did it take me to eat those dozen donuts I bought on Sunday?

Just had the last one. Which makes it Wednesday. That's some portion of 4 days. I don't know about you guys, but for me, that's like a new world's record for slow! I don't think I've ever had a dozen donuts last that long in my house, or in any house I ever had anything to do with.

I had a couple rules to guide me in this achievement, rules like: do not bite more than one donut simultaneously (no "stacking"). One 1 glass of milk. No refilling the milk just so you can go get more donuts. No more than two donuts touching the plate at once (actually, here "stacking" is allowed).

I have hope for this result that maybe I've demonstrated some gains in self-control, maybe I can add donuts back onto the shopping list as a staple. I've demonstrated control of myself, and respect for the donut.

Actually it was almost exactly 3 days + 1 hour. Ok, not 4 days - still a record, though.

SHOOT! Now I have to go to the grocery store!

Name That Tune #4!

"Before, I believed that today was not going to arrive
I beheld illumination in the shadow of the glowing orb after dawn
my glowing orb after dawn is a pharmaceutical substance that carries me close
to the youth I lost, supplanted by a scared feeling.
Before, I believed that today was not going to arrive
that my existence would rely on the glowing orb after dawn"


Note: questions will be posted at 9am each Wednesday. Comments (containing your answers) will be posted after 5pm!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Carrot Juice Makes Everything Pt. 2ier

I try to drink a whole lot of carrot juice, because it makes me 30% happier than most other juices.

Now, carrot juice is not my favorite juice! I'm not saying that. Don't distort my stance. But 30% happier - that is a powerful argument in its favor!

So sweet. So cold. Carrot juice is like a cold, sweet friend that you've known for years, who is almost never served in restaurants so you try to keep a supply on hand in your fridge. But you keep forgetting, and then you forget about it for awhile. 'Til one day, by chance, you bump into them at the store! Hey, how ya doing! Wow, great. I'm so glad I ran into you!

Yup.

What If Aliens Are Just Really Fucking Stupid?

I was just thinking, and then it hit me: what if aliens are really fucking stupid?

They'll never get here then! Aw, man! How can they? How can they even? There's no way they can build the proper ships and equipment, if they're that dumb! They probably won't even try.

They'll be so dumb, they'll be content with it. They'll probably be all on their planet going "durrrrrrrrrrr..." - and then they'll laugh at that! They'll be so dumb, that's like a joke to them. In their language: "durrrrrrrr..." - and by the way, it'll mean the exact same thing to them that it does to us. It's not like some big extra real deep significance, it's just that they find the expression itself expresses some kind of deep situational irony, to where all you can do really, is laugh. So they do.

Meanwhile, they will not be able to make the special domes they need, for their domed spacefaring vessels, to withstand the pressures and rigors, the jolts of interstellar jaunts and expeditions. They'll just be stuck there, on their own dumb rock.

Damn. Those dumb aliens. And here we are, all depending on them! To come on over, prove we're not alone and liven things up a bit, universe-wise! But they're so fucking stupid, they're falling down on the job.

It's going to fall to us.

We need to get on the ball here, and just keep doing exactly what we've been doing - technology-wise, I mean. Look, we make so much progress all the time! What are we short of, really? We need some force fields, some matter transporters, better beam weapons of course (honestly), and more importantly, Faster Than Light Travel. Call it FTLT - that's the standard, established acronym. That shows you we're pretty close to a breakthrough on something! Once you have a standard, established acronym for it? That shows you're pretty close. Clearly you've got all the parameters identified, and closing in on the practical aspects.

I say we just keep fitting in those last few missing pieces, then once the whole thing clicks we figure out which star those aliens are on (easy, right? After all the hard science, that's going to be the easy part for sure), point our ships thataway and GO GO GO! PUNCH that worm-hole! Once we come out of blip within a space-mile of their solar system, we can gun the rest of the way in under their radar (or whatever "dumb science" sensory methods they pathetically employ!), and then slip into their atmosphere unnoticed. Kidnap a few of them at a time. Paralyze them with the soft, dizzying light-symbols-rotating-on-the-bedroom-ceiling-array routine, then take 'em on board the ship, and molest them with probes. We'd let them go by the side of the road (or the local equivalent). As the more-advanced species in the situation, that's our moral obligation right? We pretty much have to do that, I believe.

These aliens would be so dumb, by the time they find their way back to town they'd tell all their buddies, and their buddies would be so stupid they'd believe it! Hook line and sinker! What a ridiculous story! I can't believe how stupid these aliens are, and what a letdown it is to me, personally, as a big-time science believer. Aliens dumb? That sucks!

And I mean, I can't even feel bad for the aliens for being so dumb. It's their own fault for being so dumb! They're supposed to be flying over here!

But since they won't, we pretty much have to flip the script. We can do it, too. We're not far off from being able to do it.

Hot, Dry Skin?

Hot, dry skin? Rough hands?

Rough hands, sliding up and down your hot, dry skin? Parched tongue, hot, flitting under the ridge of your white teeth, then gliding back along the top of your hot, parched, pouting bottom lip?

Eyes wide, pupils dilating?

Prickling heat like a fever coming on, not rising from inside but settling in from all over your whole skin at once? Breath coming in short, ragged gasps, counterpointing the birdlike thumps of your quickening pulse? Involuntary, soft sighing moans?

The room, slowly spinning in waltz-time, your vision narrowing down upon the one thing left that's grown to fill your mind?

A sudden overpowering sensation, taking hold of you? Fits of tormented, spasmodic bucking and thrashing? Loud groans and yells that sound equal parts panicked and triumphant?

All that sounds pretty alarming! You might want to see a doctor or something.

Try drinking some water first. Two glasses of water. Some of that's definitely dehydration symptoms. At least half of that sounds like dehydration to me. Not sure about the yelling. Drink a glass or two, slowly, and see how you feel.

Crabtree & Evelyn

Crabtree & Evelyn. That is a company, they make clothes or soaps, or candles or something. It is a store of some kind, targeted to the mall-going audience. They hit that demographic square-on. Location, location, location.

I do not know who Evelyn is, but if you ask me she got a raw deal on the arrangement. Playing second-fiddle to a tree. Not even a very pleasant-sounding tree either! Like an elm, or a cedar tree. I don't even know what kind of a tree a crab tree is. It is not a crab-apple tree. It's a crab tree. That sounds wrong and gross. Do the blossoms bud and bulge, and then crabs pupate forth from them? Disgusting! Arthropods should not gestate arboreally!

That's all I have, that's the whole post.

Carrot Juice Makes Everything -ier!

I love carrot juice! That's just the juiciest juice there is.

It's like some kind of soup! Only a soup made entirely out of carrots.

Man. That's the soupiest soup there is.

"About How To Blog": Establishing Your Unique Niche

Hi!

On today's (or rather, this week's) installment of "About How To Blog", we examine a very bedeviling question: how do I go about establishing a unique niche for my blog?

Well, that's easy. Glad I asked!

First, make a strong statement of purpose. What are you trying to accomplish? Don't worry about it too much, it's just a sort of "focusing" exercise. If you find later you disagree with your strong statement of purpose, you can always delete it or take it down.

Next, features. Recurring features. Yes, of course in-between installments of recurring features you'll want to post whatever off the top of your head! What could be more unique than the top of your head? No one has access to that. Except you, I mean. Presumably you have access! But in-between those solid, dependable head-top posts, you'll want to rotate in some regular features to provide structure. It's like in a sauce. There are things in there, that provide the structure.

So, start off on a regular feature where you invent fictitious persons and interview them. Like a talk show! That's a good one. Also, add in maybe an advice column where people write in to ask a hand-puppet questions about science. Perfect! Throw in old entries from your dream journal, that's another good recurring feature. You can squeeze as many posts out of that as you have ever had dreams (as long as you wrote 'em down!). And when you run out - great! A perfect excuse to have more dreams! Write 'em down, though - dreams fade. Dreams don't last. Not in this harsh world.

At some point along the line, mix it up even more. Figure out how to post an embedded You-Tube video as a post, then really go to town on that. There might be certain songs you like so much, you might post three, four, or more times. Even like eight times - that says something about you, when you do that. It says something about your insistence. When it comes to a great song, different versions, same version - hey, it's worth it either way! You ever heard of anybody who only ever wanted to hear a great song once? People need to be exposed. They wouldn't be clicking on the internet otherwise.

I love how on some fonts, "clicking around on the internet" really looks like "dicking around on the internet." A freudian slip of the eyes!

Variety is important. You want to make certain you post a variety of posts that reflects on your personal variety of things that define you, whether self-wise or just opinion- or brain-wise. Post about God a lot. Post about blogging. Post concert reviews, movie reviews. Post your own original fiction and poetry (at some point, you'll want to set up a separate blog for the poetry - nobody wants to see that shit). Make up fake recipes, post a few of those. Take stands on the issues. Don't be afraid to take a stand! You can always put it back later. Post about artistic integrity.

And in-between all that topical stuff, keep bringing in the new recurring features. Post your grocery receipts if you have to. You have to keep things fresh, keep adding in things to give your blog that structure and that flavor. Did you know in olden times they just kept that soup pot going all the time? They never changed the water out! They just kept putting in new things, new fillings and goodies, until it was perfect. New broth and seasonings. They kept adding new things back in in the morning, to replace the bowls-ful of old, cooked things that were being ladled out at night. That soup pot would go non-stop in this fashion for one whole year, and then every June 14th they'd dump whatever was in there and scour the damn thing out, and boy would it smell! Anyway, that's why those old pots were so black. Hence the old saying - and once again demonstrating, those old sayings always had some crucial truth at the bottom of them. But that's just how they did things in those days! We know better now, I guess.

Your blog should be intelligent. I don't mean like, artificially intelligent, like it becomes self-aware and tries to take over the internet! Heck no - try to curb that, if possible. No, I mean it should be genuinely intelligent. You should just put out a real smart kind of vibe. Be assured. Be informative. Make facts up if you have to, but when someone comments pointing out some mistake, or flaw in your reasoning, be polite and admit it right there in the comments queue of that post! That's called being gracious and open-minded, and they will definitely appreciate it and be very impressed. Not a lot of folks on the internet can admit they're wrong - this will set you apart. You can always take that post down a week or two later. They won't notice.

You have to do every one of these things. Just doing one of them isn't going to set you apart. But you'll be so glad you did! I'm telling you, you can't go wrong by carving out your own unique niche. And the method I've described is just the proven way to go.

At least, that's how I do it! Your results may vary - but if they do, well, maybe you're just not doing it right. Go back and read the whole thing again, with an eye toward what you might have missed.

Once again, that's "About How To Blog."

Monday, February 22, 2010

A Defense of Ethics: Why Is It Necessary to Define Right and Wrong?

"Because that's how it's fuckin' done."

Alternately, My New Universally-Appropriate Answer For Questions Involving "Why?" Where The Question Does Not Involve Me

"Because that's how it's fuckin' done."

My New Universally-Appropriate Answer For Questions Involving "Why?"

"Because that's how I fuckin' do it."

Thought of the Day: Worth Fighting For

I just had an epiphany of sorts, when I realized in my whole life, I have never argued for anything more passionately than for words.

I quite literally believe that words are our most valuable possessions. They hold almost all of our meaning.

Monday Work Blog Post: Callin' In Sick

I'm doing these Monday Work Blog Posts, but I think today I'm calling in sick from that. Just for today.

Some people say "call out" sick. I always said that, but where I am, people never say "call out." They say "call in." So I've started to say "call in" instead, but it still seems weird, because you're calling in to say you will be out? So I just say, why not consolidate and elide? Skip to the relevant preposition.

Still, I call in now. I don't call out. It's too confusing, I use the local terminology. When I say "call out" it's like, they expect me to utter a sharp cry while I'm doing it. That would be somewhat more demeaning than the circumstances require.

Anyway, I feel fine. I'm actually going in to work. I'm only calling in sick to this Monday Work Blog Post thing. Part of work is occasionally, coasting a bit and maybe sandbagging on your obligations, only to work like a maniac catching up later. That's just part of being a good worker and managing your efforts.

Shoot. But that makes it sound like next week's Monday Work Blog Post is supposed to be some real impressive stuff! Like I'm going to sweat hard over it, working late to make up for this present malingering.

We'll see. I'm not making any promises.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

For Shame #5: Catastrophe

The 'For Shame' series is an ongoing series wherein I attempt to shame myself into buying healthier food, by posting and critiquing my grocery purchases right here in public. Results so far have been uniformly mixed.

That was a catastrophe, but a mitigated one. I suppose.

I just spent close to $900 on groceries, a lot of which I didn't need, but I bought anyway because I was starving and hurrying and scurrying and just tossing whatever looked good into the cart. I bought stuff I haven't bought in years, such as donuts. Come on. That's unnecessary.

But it's a mitigated catastrophe, because in with all the 'impulse buys', I did get some healthier-type stuff as well. Admittedly, not all "health food," but a lot of staples and good healthy food of substance. Stuff like carrot juice, tangerine juice, whole milk, water, beer, (I wasn't just starving, I was thirsty too!), rye bread, black forest ham, provolone, eggs, cream cheese, english muffins, waffles, fresh peaches & nectarines, Weetabix, and an onion.

But then there are the other purchases, not-so-easily justified. Potato chips - two kinds! 3-cheese dip with pepperoncini! Entenmann's glazed buttermilk donuts. Salsa. Okay, there's nothing wrong with salsa. Except I didn't get any tortilla chips! What a dip! I guess I can't give myself too much shit on the paprika, either. Paprika is something that every house should have in the spice cabinet. It only counts as "junk food" once you start dipping straight into it with a spoon. Which I've cut way down on, since the last time I was called upon to make perfect deviled eggs and found myself humiliatingly paprikaless! That was what they call "a wake-up call."

So yeah, that probably doesn't seem like much of a catastrophe, does it? Well for that, I take full credit because after I filled up my cart and was about to turn its grinding, squeaking, protesting wheels toward the checkout, I snapped out of it for a second. Looked at all the food I had chosen. There was a damn coconut layer cake on there in a pink box! I made a grim face, and another whole trip back through the whole store, putting stuff back. My cart prior to that had been brimful.

The donuts only survived the cut because I'd hidden them under a huge bag of celery. Although, then I put back the celery, too. Wasn't in a celery mood. Not sure how I missed seeing the donuts after that. I suppose on some level, me purchasing those donuts was a deliberate move. A deliberate attempt to self-sabotage. I'll have to watch that, about me.

The worst part of the whole episode was when I left. I was starved, okay? And that McDonald's was right there. I don't blame myself. I blame my friend. We went to dinner Wednesday, we were talking about movies, which led to documentaries, which led to Morgan Spurlock's Super-Size Me, which we talked about and dissected in depth and at length, and ever since then I've had a horrific and overpowering McDonald's urge! Just rising and cresting within me. That's not my fault, it was inflicted upon me.

So OK, it was on balance, kind of a catastrophe. But I'm going to go have a nectarine, and try to keep moving forward in a positive direction. And maybe a donut, too. Those things are good on a level that can only be described as cracktified.

EDIT: Holy shit, what a typo! I originally put "I just spent close to $100 on groceries," but really it was $91.35, which is a lot closer to $90 than to $100. So I changed it. I was like, "no need to inflate the drama." Except unfortunately, I left the extra zero in there! Heck, that's a typo too funny not to keep. Round it up to a grand at that point, dude! Even at Nob Hill, that buys a lot of groceries!

I did buy a ton of food, though. Not $900 worth, but a ton.

Prelude To My Next Grocery-Receipt Installment

Man, I'm starved. I've been running around all day, come home to make myself a sandwich - there's nothing in the house, either! Not even bread.

Uh-oh.

I'm afraid I might be about to break one of my cardinal rules: Don't go grocery shopping when you're starved.

In fact, rather than go in hungry and come out with two carts, maybe it'd be cheaper in the long run to buy myself a cooked meal at a restaurant. Then go for the groceries! But a restaurant? With their table service and "we'll make it when you order it"? Man, that's going to take too long. I want to get in and get it over with.

I don't want fast food, either. The whole point of me posting my grocery receipts was to shame me into buying healthier food. Eating healthy.

Well, time's a wasting, let's see what I decide! As long as I'm aware of the dangers, that's the main thing. ONWARD AND OUTTA HERE!

Humor: A Minefield of Hypocrisy

So she says she loves fart jokes. Can't stand poo jokes, though. Finds them totally and utterly gross!

Hypocrite.

Might I point out how impossible it can be sometimes to draw some neat, clean line between the two? How frequently the one can shade into the other? You may be trying hard to make a fart joke, only to try a little too hard, and find out to your horror that you've made a poo joke instead! "Only a little one," you protest weakly, apologetically - but too bad, pal. Brown is as brown does. You crossed the so-called line.

We love to stand back, shaking our heads, arms folded, insisting on some bright-line distinction that only really exists by the grace of good luck, and maybe a little careful self-control and dietary judiciousness. Yet we act as though it's a completely black-and-white matter! No shades of gray between delightful off-color humorousness, and unpardonably gross vulgarity. All high and mighty and sanctimonious, we stand and pronounce, sniffing the air with our rose-tinted nose, pronouncing one humor foul and the other sweet.

The whole thing stinks!

Another Crack at the Ol' Sunday God Theology Post: Pascal's Wager

Pascal's Wager actually makes a great deal of sense, as long as the conception of God you believe in encourages a wildly self-indulgent hedonistic lifestyle.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Watchman: The Book Vs. The MOVIE

Ok so I finally read Watchman, and since I saw the movie too, now people might feel equipped to ask me: what's my take?

Glad you ask.

First, one thing both the book and the movie "get wrong" to some extent is the whole idea and presentation of Watchman himself. In the book, he isn't even so much as mentioned, not that I saw. This is a real missed opportunity. In the movie, they talk about him a bit, but it's not clear what they mean, or even who is meant. The only character who acts in any way like this supposed "Watchman" might be supposed to act is Rorschach. But it's made very clear throughout that he is Rorschach, and that people know him as "Rorschach." He can't be Watchman.

Still, the figure of Watchman looms over the whole movie in a symbolic way. In many ways, he might be said to be the key figure in the whole story. That is why it seems like just such a missed opportunity, one they could have made better use of. If more had been done with the character, it might be possible to make a bigger point about him, or to show how perhaps in many ways, the character of Watchman might be seen as a Christ Figure.

Any students reading this, I am flattered but please do not steal this to use as a book report with your name on it.* That goes the same for any of my posts - please do your own work, not mine!

Another key difference, but this time it's one that the movie definitely got right: the character of Silk Specter ("Silk Spectre" in the British version no doubt). Her outfit is ridiculous. In the movie, though, it seems a little less ridiculous, or maybe they just light it differently. In the drawings, she looks like The Nightie Avenger or something. In the movie she's more like: Night Whore. Not a big step up, but at least somebody you could see kicking your ass under certain circumstances.

Note: for those of you not in the know, I keep saying "book" - but really, it's only a comic book! This really confused me when I went to go get it. I asked the counter person and she pointed me to it, "there it is!" But I said, "no, that's just the comic book. Where's the real book?" I was embarrassed, because it felt like she was trying to say I was looking for a comic book!

But it turns out there is no real book. This was one very confusing and misleading aspect, and one where I think perhaps the publisher dropped the ball. Easy fix: novelization, maybe?

There are a lot of other aspects I want to get into and illustrate the parallels of, but I forget, so you can definitely look forward to a part 2 of this!

Good movie! Go see it!

Okay, That Post Is Withdrawn.

Man, that last post I posted? I just took it down. No one commented on it, no one rated it, nobody dinged it on any of the clicky-boxes, so I figure "no harm done!" Right? I mean, if there had been any big feedback to it, I'd have figured "well I guess they see something I missed!" Right? So I'd leave it up then.

But I was just reading it and reading it - and it was SHORT! But I kept reading it, and reading it again and finally I just said "What the hell is he TALKING about! Oh wait, it's me. What am I talking about?"

That's when I took it down. If I can figure it out later, I may take another crack at it.

I feel like it made sense at the time.

Friday, February 19, 2010

I Drink Beer Like It's Going Out of Style!

Tentatively.

Tentatively, and with a slight but noticeable absence of confidence, looking around a bit: "Is anybody looking at me funny? Drinking this beer? Yeah, I know it's a bit passé..."

That's how I drink beer. I drink beer like it's going out of style!

War Reforms: We Need 'Em

For starters, I think we should war only on uninhabited countries. We could just go in there, blow everything to hell in a really high-precision cataclysm style. We could stretch it in a careful campaign over a series of months, or just go balls-out "disproportionate response." Wage the hell out of it, with everything we've got in a massive saturation strike (conventional weapons only, of course! Hold the nukes in reserve, like we usually do). Bomb and shell the hell out of the place with full air support and long-long-range artillery, then send in the ground-pounders, to secure the area and take out any lingering resistance. From like, rocks, or the local fauna or flora or whatever.

Get it out of our system that way! No casualties. At least - no human casualties. I know, I know, this is not going to sit well with the animal rights activists and rock-formation preservationists, but come on people. War is hell. We all know it's a necessary evil, let's try to manage it as the lesser of the two. Not sure what the other evil is, in that scenario. Let's say famine or pestilence? Let's try to make war the lesser of the available evils. It's doable! As long as we have the will, and a good plan like this one, next thing you know: reform is a-bornin'!

This proposal, if enacted, would serve all the usual purposes of war, without actually killing anybody. It would deplete our munitions stockpile, to keep the war-based manufacturers churning out product and the economy in business (and it would keep the stockpile on hand fresh and new, since of course we would practice sound inventory management! First-in-first-out on all bombs and ammo). It would allow us to go in with a clear plan for victory, execute it, and then achieve and declare that unambiguous victory. I can't overemphasize how important that is, to morale! Not just for the troops: for the nation at large as well. But perhaps most important, it would show off our horrific, warlike prowess and puissance, in case there's any doubters out there too dumb to realize. They'd soon say "Whoa - we don't don't want to mess with these guys. Did you see what they did last month to South Central Antarctica?"

We have to be a bit practical here, a bit pragmatic. Yes war is bad. Yes war is wrong. If history can teach us any lesson at all, it's taught us that one in spades. Yet the dilemma is: sometimes, when it comes to peace, you need to prime the pump a little. The only proven deterrent to war is more war. So let's look at ways to change how we go about it. As long as we're going to make war, we need to make war better. Let's try to maximize what we don't get out of it, in terms of the downsides.

The Organizer Of Dreams

He sits in his office made of walls, at his desk made of desk, on his chair made of itself. Everything where he is is real, and he is going through his files. He is organizing what he has to work with. He keeps dream ideas on a rolodex. His rolodex is infinite. He converted to a rolodex some time back, and he will be damned if he now upgrades to a spreadsheet or a database. His rolodex is fine. It's infinite.

He's pulling out dream cards from his rolodex, and putting them in slots. There are slots slotted all through his desktop's dark surface, slots punched all down the fronts and sides of several large dark cabinets. Every slot is a sleeping brain. The dream idea goes in, and the brain takes it and works through it and turns it into a dream. Once it's pulled back out again (or it pops out, somnius interruptus! the alarm clock again? a loud noise? or occasionally, death) the dream is forever changed. Back it goes, into the rolodex and always right in its proper place. The Organizer could justly be proud of his skills. This has never occurred to him.

He's been assigned several tens of thousands of minds in a section of a densely-populated metropolitan area. It's considered a prestigious assignment - posh neighborhoods, a prominent city. But he wishes he were back in charge of little Killawee, Michigan; or that one prosperous village on the Danube, all those long centuries back. Having in your hands the dreams of a whole community, discrete and entire, was satisfying. Still: a job to do. No time for reminiscence.

No one dreams every night, of course. People think it's just that they don't remember their dreams every night. Really it's just that some nights, the Organizer doesn't slot one in. On those nights, you sleep through no dream at all, your mind sliding through the vague impressions left from before, some of the dream ink seeping onto your mind from the overlapping palimpsest of old dreams left behind. You wake up uneasy, thinking "what was that? What just slipped from me?" Nothing, in fact.

The Organizer is bored in the daytime, with only a fraction of his full slate of minds to see to. He's long felt he could easily handle a sizable village on the other side of the world, in addition to his main duties. He's suggested this as an obvious improvement, at the biannual efficiency meetings. Oh, the looks from the others.

He used to shuffle decks of index cards, with terrific facility and never dropping one. Sorting and sliding one up, looking at it, shaking his head (there would be no one to see or interpret this nonverbal signal), tapping it back down into the pack and pulling up another. Sometimes he feels he used to take more care in those days, choosing the dream to the dreamer, trying harder to make the recurring and the random seem equally significant. He misses the feel of the index cards, shuffling in his hands. But the rolodex is better, and he won't go back. It's an improvement.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Lately I Feel Like I'm Trying Too Hard.

Lately I feel like I'm trying too hard.

I'm not trying too hard to be liked.

I'm not trying too hard to be funny.

I'm not trying too hard to be weird, unusual, or quirky/idiosyncratic.

I'm not trying too hard to be cool.

I'm not trying too hard to be smart, wise or insightful.

I'm not trying too hard to be effective.

I'm not trying too hard to be caring or compassionate.

I'm not trying too hard to be creative.

I'm not trying too hard to be good, virtuous or admirable.

I'm not trying too hard to be impressive.

I'm not trying too hard to be anything I can put my finger on! I just feel like I'm trying too hard. Lately.

Not even "in general," per se. I feel like it's much more specific than that, I just don't know what.

Or perhaps, how.

It's really kind of low-key vexatious.

Anyway, I'm not going to worry about it too much. I just need to stop it, that's all.

Thought of the Day: Censorship

Ordinarily, I'm all in favor of censorship, but I think there should be an exemption for nudity, profanity, and unpopular political speech.

The Enduring Appeal of Doomsday

See, it's like this. We can't stand the idea that we're adrift in a world filled with six billion other rudderless ships, and that the best each of us can do is pick out a star to steer by and paddle with all our might in what we've decided is the right direction. We can't stand that level of personal responsibility. We can't take being utterly empty of certainty - the emptiness that having to choose for ourselves brings with it. Oh, we've cast aside this or that predictive belief system as insufficiently rigorous, and we're pleased and proud about that. But rather than finding ourselves now comfortably immune to superstition, we find that more and more of us will go in for any old thing!

So: 2012 is coming. And our bottom line is, we really seem to wish that there really was some plan. We want to believe that despite everything we've disproved, some ancient wisdom knows better. That a bunch of astonishingly savvy rock-carving astronomers could have picked out of patterns crossing the sky thousands of years ago, our cosmic overarching doom. That those patterns, long set-in-place, will all converge within a couple of years from now. Bringing maximum cataclysm, and the end of all days.

This comforts us!

Why?

Are we really that ill-at-ease having no greater plan or meaning in our lives? Are we so desperate for there to be some kind of cosmic plan that even a terrible one makes us feel better?

Or does some world-breaking end date free us, just for a moment, from having to contemplate the seemingly endless stretch of complications and obligations we've taken on? Maybe doomsday looms more easily than figuring out how to pay for all the tuitions, mortgages and retirements we've put on our own calendars. What if all of that were to be wiped away! In a dark fantasy wish-fulfillment moment that says: hey, turns out your stuff's not so big after all, buddy.

Perhaps for some of us, an inevitable, impending day of destruction simply eases the abdication of responsibility: "what I do doesn't matter anyway! We'll all be dead in a few years."? But you know what? We will all be dead in a few years. We all will. The world won't end, but each of us will end, and that soon.

These doomsday prophecies don't add any structure to your daily life. Even if there was a maximum cataclysm on the way, that wouldn't add to or take away meaning from what's going on now. It wouldn't make your inconsequential life part of a "bigger plan." It would just mean your meaningless life will be swept aside. Just as it would be if you were to be struck and killed by a stampeding circus elephant. But if you've found meaning in your life, a grand cataclysm is no greater a negation of that than a random accident would be.

I've lost track of how many doomsdays have passed me by in the time I've been alive. It's got to be at least eight, and that's only the ones I noticed being mentioned, amusedly, in the back pages of newspapers. I'm sure there were plenty others that I completely missed. Some group or other is always predicting the end, generally within a couple years, and always by tying it in to some prophecy or another. When the chosen doomsday passes by and the doom doesn't come, they pick another prophecy and predict again.

Yet every decade that goes by makes doomsday that much less likely. We're already dug in deeper than roaches – if we tried to swing our own doomsday, there'd be hundreds if not thousands of breeding populations of us left alive to weather the nuclear winter and reemerge, re-overpopulating the globe within a geological eyeblink. As far as the more cosmic scenarios, if you accept the more reasonable science fictions, it won't be long before we could conceivably dissuade that world-ending space rock. And if you accept the more optimistic science fictions, it won't be long before we've left our own rock behind - ages before the sun goes "blauw."

Still, I don't think any of that will stop us from whipping up and enjoying our direst predictions. We'll always be able to figure out some new cataclysm, to set in place and let loom. There's always got to be a doomsday marked down on the calendar. It's like a holiday for us, but one that never actually comes - we have to keep moving it back. Our Happy Future Doomsday: one day set aside, for everything to end, a day when like it or not we will all have to stop worrying about everything. For some reason, we just seem to need that release - never now, but always looming - to feel secure.

It's just a fable, like any other. The end keeps coming, and we all keep going. 2012 is just another end to another calendar. My calendar keeps going.

Shoot, I've already got meetings scheduled out to 2015.

Nuts to that. I guess I'll be crossing my fingers with the rest of us! Say, which day is it supposed to be in 2012, again? I should put it in my Outlook. I'll want celebrate the day before and the day after! For different reasons.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Road Not

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, and I -
I burned that fucker down!
And that
- has made all the difference

Poetry Here On The Main Blog, As Opposed To The Poetry Blog(s)

So in general I tend to post a poem here only when

1. I am really jazzed about a poem I just wrote, and posting it on my poetry blog isn't sufficient, or as happens more frequently

2. I post it on the wrong blog by mistake. I put it here instead of there, just out of blind fool error.

But I thought, those two methods are not really the best. I want to stop doing those entirely. Instead, I'll post a poem here in order to highlight a strong poem that has already kind of stood the test of time over on the poetry blog. If that's the case, then I'll post it here as sort of "cream of the crop" sentiment. You can't just judge the cream of the crop immediately.

It needs time to rise.

So yeah, you'll be seeing a little more of that approach then, in terms of poetry here on the main blog.

Thought of the Day: Decent and Pure

You know what? I decided I don't believe in sarcasm.

Whatever those people think they're getting at, I have no idea but I'm not buying it. What, "I'll say something but I won't mean it"? Hey, there's an easier word than that, without all the sarca's and asm's in it - it's called you're a liar.

You don't lie with your words, do you? Then don't lie with your feelings!

"Sarcasm," jeez. As if.

Name That Tune #3!

"Steady, smooth, regular discharge. Ideas come like lepidopteras. Well, he's not aware. So he shoos them off, shoos them off."

Getting Organized #3: Fiction Friday is On This Week!

Hey folks, remember those intermittent Fiction Fridays we were talking about? Well this week, it's on.

I got one.

I think I'm going to leave the "themed days" as-is, I don't want to get too rigid:
  • Monday: Work-Related (featuring various work-related posts, which could include Workplace Prank Suggestions)
  • Tuesday: Blog-Related (featuring my own expert blogging tips, tricks, advice and pleas for assistance!)
  • Wednesday: It's a Puzzle-Riddle-Contest-Game-Fun Day! (featuring my hit Name That Tune lyrics paraphrase puzzler, or other fun riddling business!)
  • Thursday:
  • Friday: Fiction Friday? (INTERMITTENT)
  • Saturday:
  • Sunday: God-Blog Theological Sundays (during the off-season only, of course)
That's plenty of structure, I'd say.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

People Are Sick of My Bullshit!

...and I'm no exception.

Thought of the Day: A Double-Edged Sword

Okay, I know it's got this whole dangerous reputation and all, but I don't think you're really any likelier to cut yourself with your own sword, just because it's double-edged. I mean, most swords are double-edged. You hold it by the handle. As long as you're not a klutz, you'll be fine.

Even with a single-edged sword, you can cut yourself just as easily! If you're a klutz, I mean.

You're really better off leaving swords alone entirely, at that point.

AdSense: Is It Worth It? A Few Discreet Questions

Fellow Bloggers!

So I see the people with the ad banners on their blogs, and I'll level with you people: I don't look down on any of you for that. Not at all. Why would I? It's good sense. You're doing something you love, why not get paid for it, right? If The Man wants to funnel lucre into your pocket, well, hold it open for him! Right? Right. That's just a righteous straightforward artistic-integrity ethos, circa '77-or-so-era punk rock. No one could possibly look down on anybody for that, except a moron. Funnel money away from the corporate paymasters, to fuel the revolution! Take 'em for all that you can!

But for me, from a pure design, content, tone, "artistic" and what-have-you sort of standpoint, I have this kind of look or mode I'm going for, that doesn't involve ads flickering up to the side, or between posts, touting some random quasi-related product in a way where that quasi-relatedness might interact or juxtapose "amusingly" with the page content. It just feels like that would function as an unwanted meta-critical running commentary. That page content is carefully chosen and crafted for effect. I work hard on tone, and I don't want some adult-diaper ad breaking up the delicate moment I have striven for, making my whole post come off absurd. That sounds right, doesn't it? It's not about judgmental, it's just my personal aesthetic, here.

So basically, I'm throwing a feeler out to those of you who have seen the other side, and might be able to provide the other perspective. Give me a sense of how you've found it. Was it worth the tradeoff? For you, I mean? Did you think it was worth it? And how much was it worth it?

I guess the real question is: "AdSense: is it worth it?" How much money do you get from it a month? I don't mean "the indefinite you," I mean you specifically. Give exact $$$ examples, please: break it down like "In January I got $$, in December I got $$$, in November I only got $." A general idea would be okay too, I guess - but much less helpful, so please do try to be specific. The bottom line is, I'm coming right out and asking people how much money they make. I try to be pretty classy, all the time, and I want some real way to gauge whether it's really worth it, if I'm going to take that "classy" stance that I just fall into naturally all the time out of pure comfort-level, and sell that off. Just for some ad dollars that might end up making me look bad, compared to how I actually truly am on the inside. Which, as I've emphasized, is classy.

So yeah, how much money are we looking at, on the reals? Just put it in the comments! Oh, please also tell me how much you make from your other sources of income as well (combined annual is fine - it needn't be itemized). That'll give me some baseline to compare against, to put it in context.

If you could all please have that data in to me by say end-of-business Friday? I'm trying to make a decision over the weekend. That's when I make just about all my personal decisions.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Some People Say #5: Your Boat or Mine?

Some people say "Whatever floats your boat."

Screw that! Screw other people's boat. I don't care what floats your boat! I want to know what floats my boat.

I mean, probably water, right? I'd suspect it would be water. But I don't know. I wish I knew.

See, the most insulting aspect of that saying is, I don't even have a boat. It's like rubbing my face in my own nonexistent boat! Who cares what floats my boat when I ain't got no boat?

My poor boat. I bet it sank.

Expanding The Culture Barrier! #1: Larry Bird

In honor of my global readership, I'm inaugurating a new recurring post feature called "Expanding the Culture Barrier!". Each EtCB post will take some crazy little Americanism that we all so arrogantly presume to be universally known, and BLOW IT WIDE OPEN so that it's understandable to all! It's about time I tried a little harder to cut through this chummy insularity of mine.

I'm going to pick things that highlight the little differences between us, or as in today's post, I'm going to pick a historical personage who can be used to illustrate a bit more about the wider world of differences that in some way, unite us.

"Larry Bird"

Larry Bird is this American guy who used to be famous for playing what is basically an American variant of Soccer - the only differences being that you have to dribble the ball with your hands instead of your feet, you pitch the ball through the air instead of kicking it along the ground, and the goal is much higher off the ground and much smaller (only a little bigger than the ball itself!). And there's no goalie. In fact, goaltending is illegal. They will call a foul on you for that!

They call the whole thing "basketball," owing to a complicated web of trademark reasons, I believe.

Now at first you might think, he must have been so famous because he must have been the only guy playing this crazy version of Soccer! And that's why he was famous! Right? Because who else would do it? Why - when you can kick it with your toes and go for a big gigantic basket, why would you try to kick with your fingers and go for a tiny little one instead? And why call it "two" or "three" "points" when (let's be honest) you only made one "goal"?

I admit it does seem crazy, but the fact is: no. He wasn't the only one doing it. There were tons of other people doing it, and a lot of them were famous too, at least on a regional level. But he was considered something special because of a skin disorder he had, that he triumphed over to achieve greatness in his field. We here in America love a story like that! "Gawky Albino Triumphs In Weird Soccer Variant." That's the sort of headline we love to see, the sort of story we really like to root for! We eat it up. I was going to say we like to "root for the little guy," but no really, Larry Bird was pretty freakishly tall. So that's a bad fit.

So! That was Expanding The Culture Barrier! #1: "Larry Bird". And now you know all about that guy! I was going to start with Chuck Taylor, but I think the shoes beat me to it on that one.

But in any case, I hope you all learned a little something larger, besides. Especially those of you abroad (but really, even my Stateside readers can always benefit from a little history lesson!). Because it's the little details, that can teach us so much about the big picture. And it's the little stories - sometimes, just one little story about one big guy and his crazy dream to play hand-soccer with a crazy orange ball - that can teach us so much about the big story that every one of us writes, every day. Whether in English, or in our own crazy little language, whatever it may be.

Genius is Misunderstood and Stigmatized

I should know. I myself am an undiagnosed, asymptomatic genius.

Thank God, asymptomatic!

Disclaimer: I am Not a Trained Sociologist

I think if I were in a crowded elevator and it stopped between floors, and everything was totally silent, I'd try to get them all to hum: "QUICK! Everybody: HUM! 'Hummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm...'" - without even telling them why we were humming! If anyone tried to ask, I'd just point to my sealed lips, shake my head a little and keep humming.

'Hummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm...'

I bet I could get a lot of people to join in. It would be an interesting impromptu sociological experiment, anyway.

I like to look at most of what I do as a sort of open-ended sociological experiment, just to see what happens!

On President's Day, Let the Presidents Lead The Way! Not Just For America: For the World

The U.S.A. is the bulwark that stands right smack at the crossroads of what the modern world is and can become, if only the world could swallow its pride and follow the signpost that we leave behind in our wide wake. It's not too late for the rest of the world, to join in on the wild hayride of democracy, and score a sweet slice of our hot apple pie while they're at it!

Should other countries chuck up all their crazy-ass traditions and adopt our Constitution, swallow it whole? WHY NOT! It worked for us! I say we quit trying to invade other countries. Just stop doing that entirely. It only makes them more dependent on us, when they should be following our example instead of taking the easy way out by being ground under its heel. We shouldn't invade any of these countries, unless they first adopt our own sweet Constitutional ways! Until they "buy in", all of our military aid and invasion-based assistance should be withheld. It's a hard stance, it's a touch stance, but it's what the Presidents would do. Let's look down that long line of stalwart men, and see what lessons they have to teach us. Look at their smart suits, becoming ever more archaic in style as the line recedes into the dim distance of the past. Look at some of those crazy dudes at the end! Some of the 'stache, beard and/or hairstyles - whoo! Is that a coonskin cap?

This is the sort of tradition that the many peoples of other countries of the world need to step up and hew to, if they think they can climb out of their own mess the same way we did ours! For indeed, for us, it was The Presidents whose bright example lit the way! And so can they do for the rest of you poor, bedraggled, benighted foreigners. You don't have to send us your huddled masses. We can show you how to whip them into shape, right there where they are, huddled on your own old-world (and/or third world), historic (and/or steeped in valuable alternative culture) shores! You just need a wake-up call, mired as you are in traditions of various Un-American sorts.

And to you readers who may be America Herself: Let's face it! Let's face it ourselves, because surely the rest of the world needs to! Our system of thought and practice based on freedom and liberty is the ONLY system that will work in the end. It's the only system that other nations should even be allowed to practice, if they expect to have us come in there bailing their ass out with a full-scale military invasion. What good does it do us to come charging in, lavishing them with our expensive military equipment and troops, just so they can continue to go about their misguided business in some outmoded way that we've already long since proved doesn't work for us? Forget it! We need to withhold that invasion-based aid until they're on board with the example.

The example of the Very Presidents Themselves.

America! God bless it long and hard! Sing ye, Washington! Sing ye, Jefferson! Adams, Lincoln, Polk - their names stride and strut down that fabled lane of history reserved for Presidents Only. They look down back at us from a misty vantage, stretching out their sepulchral hands in a gesture that says, "come on. I'll help show you the way."

It's time for us to stop hogging that Presidential example all to ourselves - it's time for the other nations of the world to heed that same call.

I Hate It When People Tell Me They Know My Time Is Important

That's a waste of my fucking time to have to sit there and hear them say that. Just get to the point and scram!

Hey Hi Ho There Out In Job-Land! Why Do You Do It?

Hi, everybody! I just wanted to welcome everybody who might stop by and clock in, and to say feel free to work on whatever floats your boat, new projects or old. Everybody's welcome. Make yourselves comfortable, as les francais might say. Or, perhaps, dit.

But I have to level with any and all, as well: pull up a chair and spread your ears, because I've got a confession. I honestly don't work for them. The company. It's more for me.

Is that alright? Is that considered acceptable?

I don't mean it to be off-putting. If that makes me selfish, well plunk my magic twanger and call me froggy, I guess! It's just who I am: I work for myself. Who else is there to work for? Work for yourself, says I - if they pay you for it, that's their problem! I've been wearing hundreds of hats for dozens of years and they're all pretty much for me, too (with a few groovy exceptions). Anything I do at work tends to be for myself, and not really for the paycheck.

In fact, I think that might come across. In fact, I think it ought to be probably pretty obvious. I mean. Look at some of my memos and policies. Who the hell else would appreciate some of this crap? But just in case, I thought I'd better level with you (the indefinite you): yeah, it's more for me.

Work is a fun outlet! It's good writing practice. It's a nice way to let off a little creative steam, to twist a few spreadsheets into corkscrews, to waft some skewed conference calls across the horizon on a crooked breeze, to put some notes out there in Fedexed bottles on the tide for whoever to find - whoever, or no one. It's not that anyone would find one and find me. The notes all basically say random jive stuff anyhow! I don't even bother describing the island. I'm not trying to be headhunted or anything.

I've met some pretty cool people through work, which has been a wonderful surprise and no mistake! But for the most part, my friends - practically nobody I know works. Again, there are a few groovy exceptions, but for the most part, my friends don't go in for this sort of thing. My friends who live near me get the real thing (me). They're not interested in the professional version. My friends and family who live far away, some of them do ask about my job from time to time - and rib me when they see me, on some of the more ridiculous aspects! At least, since they found out what I was doing for a living (I sure didn't tell them. Kind of a funny story how it got sniffed out actually, well perhaps not funny, perhaps more "you had to be there").

But yeah. That's kind of me, being up front about the ulterior purpose of my job. It's for me, mostly.

But all welcome to it! I sincerely do mean that. It's there for that, even if that's not why it's there.

Yeah, I kind of enjoy working. It's pretty cool. And some other people have some pretty cool jobs, too! With a lot more focused and invested approach then I have. It took me a long time to start checking out what's out there, but I've gotten into it a bit over the past 12, 18 months or so. Still, barely a toe-tip dip into the vast deeps of what is.

So. How about you folks? Anybody enjoy working? Why do other people work? Is it the enjoyment? Or some other reason.

There seems to be a lot of angst about pumping up one's job title. Somebody needs to explain that one to me some time.

Thought of the Day: Drinking Responsibly, or Reverse-Irony or Something

When you're pregnant you can't get drunk, but the reverse isn't true at all.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Throw Your Arms Around Me, Again and Again

Anybody'd think this was my favorite song...


"and though I disappear from out of you ...

... you know I will never say goodbye"


ChickenMaker: It's About Passion

I'm a big fan of Chicken Maker Kaloo. Check out this latest piece:

kicker

Man, I could look at that all day. It's not pleasant at all, but its hypnotic power cannot be denied. The disturbing, minimalist aggression on display seemingly glorifies as it trivializes the cycle of violence. Equally enthralled and repulsed, we, in our voyeurism, are implicated in the questionable morality of the endless act. We find ourselves making excuses for the boot: "Maybe the chicken deserved it?" Yet what chicken could ever deserve THAT? How many times has that chicken been kicked just while you read this? Twenty? An hundred? And are you desensitized to it? Are you...are you laughing while it happens? That poor chicken!

Or spread the atrocity around a bit: perhaps it's not one chicken being kicked many times, but an infinite succession of identical chickens, each getting their own share of the boot. Does that make it any less appalling? Sounds a lot like our daily lives, doesn't it? Can we have all "deserved it"?

Yet this is only one of the many thought-provoking art pieces on display at http://chickenmaker.blogspot.com/.

Did you ever wish for a never-ending stream of chickens created in MS Paint? Some heroic, some villainous, some not-so-easily-characterized? Chickens to root for, chickens to boo at and hiss? Chickens to never quite be able to trust? Chickens to fall in love with at first sight! Well, all that and more is why I say I'm a big fan of Chicken Maker Kaloo.

Click on the link or on the picture itself, to become a fan yourself!

Sunday Again: Pray Time on the Blog! #2

[Ed.: Pray Time On The Blog! is now a periodically-recurring feature. The previous installment Pray Time #1 is to be found by clicking here.]


God: first,
please exist.

It's like some weird joke between
You and me, that you don't! And
neither of us believes

it, it's just

funny. So, please do, please do for sure
exist.

What would the world look like
if you do exist?

Exactly what it looks like
now.

What would the world look like
if you don't exist? Exactly

what it looks like now.

I have no idea
why, I never doubt. Except
to You: I will, or I'll
pretend to, maybe.
At least, I'll try.
I'll ask.

I'll say,

hey Buddy? Still there? Are You doing okay?

"PERFECT,"

comes the reply.

Shit

That's good enough for me Dude.

I was just asking!

St. Valentine's Day

there's never been another I loved like
I've loved you for so long

I know I've never made myself clear enough on this

I was a coward
but nothing could matter to me more than your happiness

and though I've lost myself before, now
I'm ready to accept the risk

if you have ever believed enough that you'd die for it
you'd know that isn't a thing you would want to come out and admit
like St. Valentine
like St. Valentine's Day
like St. Valentine
like St. Valentine's Day

so what they tell you about love is: you must love yourself
above all things
that hasn't made any sense, since I first saw you
I held back
afraid I guess
I guess I paid the price

but now I'm ready to meet with lions
I'm ready to be sacrificed
whatever sacrifice I have to make to declare my love
I know what I know is right, and I'm willing to take what comes
like St. Valentine
like St. Valentine's Day
like St. Valentine
like St. Valentine's Day

my heart is red, papered round in lace, it's an offering: to you
I've never been such a tragic type, until you pierced it right
straight through, like St. Sebastian yeah

so they can call out the guards and the firing squads
and give me the chair
'cause if there's really a heaven I know that you'd have to be there

like St. Valentine
like St. Valentine's Day
like St. Valentine
like St. Valentine's Day

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Thought of the Day: For The Young

Everybody gets old and dies. Unless of course, they die! But the point is, it's a real locked-in phenomenon: you are either going to die, or get old, or both. Most of us: both.

I mean, shit. I realized that by the time I was 7 years old. It's not something that hit me at 30, or that's going to hit me later on when I turn 40 or 50.

So...what's the deal with people, making fun of other people for getting old? Are the people who do that just...I don't know...morons? Can the facts of the matter really not have occurred to them yet?

I was challenging my buddy on this, watching the Superbowl half-time show. He kept saying Daltrey looked like a corpse or something - bullshit! Daltrey looked like a vibrant and engaged high-school English teacher! Is this something to scoff at? I hate to say it, but that dude always had a few more facial features jutting out when he started a-howlin', than would ever have been considered appropriate to the beautiful ideal.

Is it just hangups about the process? Or, what it looks like? Man, I went to the beach a couple summers back, Jersey shore, and a couple of old european ladies came and set up towel and umbrella just a bit further down the strip of white sand, a respectful distance from us. And you know what, of all the nerve, they were both wearing bathing suits! And God forbid! One of them was a two-piece! So what: were they trying to be young?

Those two ladies were the coolest two on the beach. Me and my fellow sunbather agreed. They were there to enjoy the sun and sand and surf, chatting away. They knew they belonged, like anyone else. If anything, they seemed to belong more. They had a sense of peace in inhabiting the world, that I can only hope to pick up in my forthcoming decades.

Maybe I've just had an ancient mindset since I was a kid, but I have to tell all you wanna-be, wish-you-were-still whippersnappers out there, kissing the ass of the youths you no longer are (and by the way, they're not impressed by how cool you insist they are): if anybody out there thinks any of these staples of life is in some way reserved "For The Young," then you've got shit for brains, and I hope you fucking die early so you never have to deal with the pain of having to reevaluate or retract your bullshit youth-worshipping (ephebolatrous?) ways. A partial list of things that are not "For The Young":

1. Love.

2. Sex.

3. The beach.

4. Dancing.

5. Rock and roll.

6. Activism.

7. Faith.

8. Skepticism.

9. Alcohol.

10+. LITERALLY EVERY FUCKING THING ELSE THAT HAS BEEN DONE OR CAN BE DONE ON THIS PLANET.

They're not not for the young. They're just not reserved unto. The only thing on this planet that's reserved unto, that is pretty much exclusively "For The Young" is: the ass-headedness of thinking one's puny lil' self ain't ever gonna grow old (and I assure you: that's only for a select few of the young).

The sad fact? People with sad lives push off all fun things as exclusively for the young, as a plea to excuse why they have such sad lives. Then they take jealous potshots at anyone around them who has the stones and the self-confidence to know that the time to live fully is your whole life - and who acts accordingly. Now, I can understand the other potshots! - the ones from the up-and-comers, from the mindset of a young person just coming into a world owned by others, and who needs to bump back, or carve out, or whatever. Those potshots, I can understand. No problem. Certainly: no threat. Give the geezers a bit of stick, while you're pushing your way into that big bad world of theirs!

But equally surely: once you're past the age of 20, that's pathetic. At that point, you're not carving your right to be here, anymore. If you can't be comfy with the older set living their lives by the time you either are or ought to be out of school, then that's more about your discomfort at becoming them than anything else.

I thought I'd get that out of the way while I'm still technically young. A few more years down the road, it starts to look like I've got an axe to grind!

Friday, February 12, 2010

A Little More Organized Pt.2: Am I Getting Too Organized?

  • Monday: Work-Related (featuring various work-related posts, which could include Workplace Erotic Fiction)
  • Tuesday: Blog-Related (featuring my own expert blogging tips, tricks, advice and pleas for assistance!)
  • Wednesday: It's a Puzzle-Riddle-Contest-Game-Fun Day! (featuring my hit Name That Tune lyrics paraphrase puzzler, or other fun riddling business!)
  • Thursday:
  • Friday: Fiction Friday?
  • Saturday:
  • Sunday: God-Blog Theological Sundays (during the off-season only, of course)

Fiction Friday? Can I keep that up? Fiction is hard. I mean, actual "make up a story about a character or characters" fiction. Fiction about my daily life, that's every damn day already anyway.

Well, I'll give it a crack at any rate. Let's say the commitment on the others is a good solid one on-topic post per week on the designated day, but the commitment on Fiction Friday is more flexible. Like, it could be every Friday, or every other Friday, or otherwise as necessary.

WHO CARES!

Who the hell cares?! Who cares? I don't care. Should I care? Why should I care?

Ask me if I care.

Demiurge

I guess I'm probably not human, but I don't know what that makes me. I'm pretty sure I was human when I was born. I was fourteen when I figured out how to turn into lightning and back again. For a while I couldn't stop doing it. You have no idea what it feels like.

It was years before I realized that I wouldn't be getting any older. I don't know if I fried something or what. Screwed something up, by running myself through white-hot arcing bolts miles into the sky, and back down again. But in any case, I'm fourteen now. And as far as I can tell, I'll be staying that way. It is a little awkward.

My hands are scarred - covered with shiny streaks, overlapping, interlocking in patterns. I'd been playing with the lightning since I was five. That was 9 years before I realized that's what I was made of.

The lightning found me the first time, and I caught it in my hands. It didn't hurt to catch it. Every time I threw it back, it burned. I found I could throw it out even without catching any first. It was inside me. It was part of me - I think it always had been. But when I threw it out from my hands, it burned them. Left hot streaks of flesh that hurt like a bullwhip's lash, and the skin smoked. The jagged streaks healed smooth and shiny, overlapping each other until eventually there was no normal-looking skin left on my hands. It had all been replaced by overlapping scars, that caught the light at different angles. My hands never smoked any more after that, and the heat no longer hurt. I don't know if it's because the scars conduct better, or if I'd just learned the trick of how not to get burned.

Life was pretty hard for me for a while. Years, decades. I enjoyed turning into lightning, which made it a snap to get around if I had any place to go. But people couldn't seem to take to me, and I was never able to hold down much of a job. I didn't understand money or how to get any. I didn't seem to have any useful skills. I couldn't tell people about the lightning. I couldn't explain about my hands - I said it was a chemical burn, or a fire, but it didn't look like that. I thought it looked pretty cool, but most people didn't. I loved how one girl described it: she told me it looked like a tattoo made out of holograms catching the light. But her mouth curled as she said it, her eyes were ugly.

The worst thing was food. I never got much of a chance to eat much of anything. I used to walk past restaurant windows slowly, trying not to look like I was looking in, but I just wished I could be anyone at all on the other side of that glass. The goofy waiter. The bartender. One half of any one of the happy couples - especially that! Especially that. But even the lonely guy at the bar, with his pasta pomodoro and glass of white wine. I wished and walked and tried not to look too obviously. I would try to time it, so that I walked by the front door as someone was coming in or coming out. So I could smell the air from inside. I used to live on those fantastic smells.

One time I was shot in the head. I felt it crack the back of my skull and fly out the front - chipped my eye socket on the way out. It wasn't as if there was pain. There was no time. The shock of it made my body fly to pieces, into lightning, and without even meaning or wanting to I had already instantly flung myself backwards in twenty forking arcs, tracing the bullet-path back and up and into a fourth floor window where this man in black fatigues was looking though a rifle sight one second, and blown into a black cloud of carbonized blood and burning pieces the next. I stood there naked in the room as it caught fire, wondering who this person was, and what he wanted to kill me for. How do you even begin to find out something like that?

That was a few years after I'd discovered that if I concentrated very hard, and let the lightning play out from my hands, I could focus it into an object. The next instant, that object would be real. There was a snap, and a sharp hissing noise when it became real. I practiced making pennies. Mine were real copper! Metals were easiest - iron, gold, lead. The hardest thing was ice, for some reason. Although I've gotten the hang of it since. For some reason, at first, every time I made ice, it caught on fire. It went out quickly, but still it seemed kind of weird that ice would catch on fire at all!

Anyway, after years and years of thinking, I think I've finally decided what I want to do with my life. For the first time, I know what I am here for, and what I was meant to do. It feels amazing to have a dream, and to be able to work hard towards making it come true! I want to open a restaurant. It will be awkward, to look fourteen all the time, but once you've got your papers, they can't say you're not what the papers say. I'm two-thirds of the way through culinary school, and it has been like coming home. The kitchen is where I was born to belong. I'm still hopeless with money, with financial matters - but that's not where my gift is anyway. I'm sure I can get a partner to handle the business side! I want to create a place where people can come to be happy. I want to walk into my own place, and breathe it in, and just live on that.

I was thinking that if I burned my hands with cooking oil, then maybe there would be no other scars.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

One Swell Jib You're Sportin' Pt.2

Another time I told a girl I liked the cut of her genoa. A jib over a certain size or extent is called a genoa.

Her jib was huge.

That's One Swell Jib You're Sporting, There

One time I told a girl I liked the cut of her jib. We got into a discussion of what exactly was a jib, and we both agreed it was a type of sail on a sailing ship, but I was saying it was fore and she thought it might be ass. I mean, aft.

But that's what she was getting at, I think. I think she was trying to get me to have complimented her on her ass. She felt that if the jib corresponded to a rearward sail, then it would have to signify ass.

I couldn't really picture it with that particular compliment. It's kind of an established saying! Something a 1950's business-suit guy might say about a young up-and-comer in the office. It can't possibly be code for ass. "That Johnson kid, he's a bit wet behind the ears maybe, but he knows his numbers - and he's got one heck of a cute patootie to boot!"

See, that just doesn't work.

I told her she was in possession of a damn fine jib, a booming jib, a splendid jib, and that she was free to take it any way she wanted it. She smiled "Likewise, I'm sure."

I liked that! That's another classy old-movie sentiment. People don't say that anymore.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Super Positivity #3

This is Super Positivity #3! Click the positivity label for earlier installments!

In the comments queue, leave a little story of a time when you did something for another or for others, or just something right "on principle" when nobody could have called you on it; something that made you happy to have done the right thing, some act of helping someone out when you didn't have to, some moment where you took the opportunity to step up and save the day! In some big or little way.

I'm trying to make this an every-month feature! Because the world needs at least that much positivity, right?

I'm a little late this month. Because frankly, I haven't done jack to warrant clapping myself on the back over anything. Not that that's what the concept is about! No, it's more about, I don't know. I guess just thinking about doing things positive. Or putting yourself in a mindset where positive things are being thought about getting done. I don't know.

I guess maybe I just go back to the well on this one. Pick something from the past. These things don't have to be things we've done only that past month! I can dig back to something I've done in the past.

Man.

I'm sorry. I'm just not feeling it. I guess I need to turn to you folks, on this one! What bitter irony - here I am, trying to provide some kind of venue or platform for positivity, yet I can't even step up to it myself. Here I am, supposedly trying to provide some inspiration - now I'm the one who needs to be inspired! It's not hypocrisy or anything, I'm not a hypocrite, but it's...something. I'm like, a patheticrite.

Some Super Positivity this turned out to be.

A Knife and a Fork

I have never once palmed, pocketed or otherwise stolen silverware from an eating establishment of any kind. Never.

But this past weekend, I had the urge real bad. It wasn't even such good silverware! But I wanted it. It was clean, it was wrapped in a napkin, I didn't use or need it for my burger and fries, but I'm just so sick of the dishes needing to be done, and damn it, this silverware was clean! I had the urge. I just wanted to slip that napkin-wrapped fork-knife assortment (ok, technically one fork and one knife) in my most commodious pocket and call it a one-time lapse of judgment and morals. That's how it happens, that's all that matters - the urge takes over, it isn't based on sensible reasons.

But did I do it? NO! I fought that urge down.

It was easy, in fact. I don't understand what the big deal is. Kleptomaniacs are pusses.

Name That Tune #2!

"She was a rapid gadget.
her engine was spotless.
she was superior to all
other women in my experience.
she was blind, but honest.
She rendered me unconscious
with her upper legs of U.S. origin.
She took a greedy portion,
I was in danger of asphyxiation
she beckoned me over but I was there by then.
It was like being in an earthquake
with a headache,
as we were manufacturing it
and I was jostled by you for the duration of the evening
yes, I was jostled by you for the duration of the evening"

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

You Call Yourself An Intellectual?

Don't!

Don't do it! That's a loaded term. People can't stand intellectuals! Call yourself something else.

I kind of gravitate towards "smarty-pants."