Wednesday, January 18, 2017

You take the high road and I'll take the circuitous road...

I started to write this post about how romanticism begins to wane the older you get and the more experience you've had. That got sidetracked as I meandered down memory lane recalling my own experience. Experience is the operative word here. Because being hopefully optimistic seems to be something that feeds a romanticized view of life. And experience tends to squash both hope and optimism.

Jaded perhaps. But pretty much true.

Pause for lugubrious howl.

Or perhaps experience begins to create self-fulfilling prophecies that squash both hope and optimism. Regardless, I find it difficult to maintain a cheery attitude about things, especially with the current political realities.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Clickbaiters are the new spammers


click·bait 
/ˈklikbāt/
noun informal 

(on the Internet) content whose main purpose is to attract attention and encourage visitors to click on a link to a particular web page.
I am struggling to stick to my resolution to not succumb to the siren song of clickbait. This is particularly difficult on Twitter since the primary purpose of most tweets is to get you to click on them. Facebook is not much better. Though I have blocked some of the worst offenders from my news stream. For awhile there I was constantly being pulled into tabloid like headlines reading things like "Mother and toddler discover time machine in Walmart." Turned out to be a mother snaps a photo of a geriatric shopper dressed in the same outfit as her three year old.

Clickbait preys on that aspect of human nature that just can't help but open a container of cottage cheese in the fridge that is several months past it's pull date. It uses the same principal of newspapers like the National Enquirer to lure hapless shoppers to throw it in the cart at the checkout stand because they were dying to read an article about a boy trapped in a refrigerator who eats his own arm.


Monday, January 09, 2017

Repeating myself


I feel like I have told all of my stories. Some of them one too many times. I've even written about repeating myself several times and waxed less than poetically about my theories of why we repeat ourselves so much as we age.  And I find repeating myself terribly annoying.

Yet I do it.

It is disturbing when I catch myself repeating myself. It is even more annoying when someone else brings it to my attention. It happens at work. I'll be pontificating to one of my staff and they'll fill in the ending of what I'm ranting about. Because I've said it to them before.

Then I panic. Because it means I've become one of those people. The ones who are pompous bores that repeat themselves because they don't have anything original to say. It also means I've become unaware. And one thing I've always clung to throughout my life is that I take great pains to be aware of everyone of my faults. I like to beat people to the punch when it comes to pointing out my deficiencies.

I'd like to think that I also tried to correct my faults when I become aware of them. I don't really like to be annoying. And nothing is more annoying than little things like repeating ones self.

Well making grunting sounds for no reason is pretty annoying.  Or sucking your teeth. Muttering to yourself is annoying, too.

Pause for lugubrious howl.


Tuesday, January 03, 2017

Another day, another year

I would be remiss if I didn't acknowledge the end of 2016, a truly sucky year if there ever was one. I am not even going to rehash (or re-hashtag) the setbacks on the political scene

(Pause for lugubrious howl)

I did manage to post more posts than I have posted since 2011. I think that may have had something to do with the fore mentioned political developments. But I am resolved to ignore all of that for the next four years.

Not that I am much on New Year's resolutions. Though I am going to make as much effort as possible to avoid Internet click-bait. I am also resolved that, once I finish binge watching the sixth and final season of Glee, I will not rewatch it again. Because, although I enjoy the music, I found the writing on season five and six to have sunk to the sub-moronic level. Plus they have run out of gender benders to weave in and out of the weak plots.


Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Howling the lugubrious howl


If we lose our sanity ... We can but howl the lugubrious howl of idiots, the howl of the utterly lost howling their nowhereness.--D.H. Lawrence
If I do say so myself, one of my best posts was written on August 29, 2006 -- I, Lugubrious. Actually, 2006 was probably my best year for blogging. I had a slew of regular readers who actually commented and interacted with me and each other. But I, Lugubrious, a five paragraph riff on the word lugubrious kind of illustrated why I love words. The muse moved me and amused me into writing it.

Thank you muse. I miss you and the many mini-muses who read and commented back then. But I still have Baggy in Great Britain even though she joined the party after most people left. She points out on occasion that I still have the lampshade on my head and the conga line has long since ended.

But back to the winter of my discontent. It is the day after Christmas (which traditionally is plagued with the post-Christmas blues). We are perched on the the end of 2016, one of the worst years in U.S. history. And with the upcoming inauguration of the person I will never acknowledge as my president, D.H. Lawrence's lugubrious quote leaps to the forefront of my soul. I am howling out my nowhereness in a suitably lugubrious fashion.


Saturday, December 17, 2016

I watched a snail...


"I watched a snail crawl along the edge of a straight razor. That's my dream. That's my nightmare: crawling, slithering, along the edge of a straight razor and surviving." 
--Colonel Walter E. Kurtz (Marlon Brando), Apocalypse Now
I was never really a big fan of Apocalypse Now.  I accept that on some levels it is great film. But to me it is just bat shit weird.

I know Coppola based it on Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness (which I actually read). He just moves the setting from the Congo to Vietnam War era and adds a lot of explosions. Oh and Marlon Brando. He is billed as the star of the movie, but basically you don't really see much of him. Even though there was a lot of him.

The movie was filmed after Brando had pretty much hopped aboard the major train wreck of his career and spiraled out of control down the tracks. And whereas in the beginning of his career he became a really big star. In the end he became even bigger...physically. And the rambling lines he had to deliver as Colonel Walter E. Kurtz, a Green Beret who had gone rogue and nuts, did nothing to dispel the belief that Brando was also as bat shit weird as Apocalypse Now.

One of those lines is quoted above. And it is a line I included in a skit I helped write for our office holiday party. I won't get to far into what the skit is about other than I play myself and I utter my Brandoesque line when one of the other characters asks me to talk about feelings. And I delivered my line doing my best Brando impression. Though it came across more like Robert Deniro doing Christopher Walken doing Brando.


Friday, December 09, 2016

I wanted to be a spaceman


I wanted to be a spaceman, that's what I wanted to be
But now that I am a spaceman
 Nobody cares about me
Hey, Mother Earth, won't'cha bring me back down safely to the sea?
Around and around and around and around is all she ever say to me
 
I wanted to make a good run,
I wanted to go to the moon
I knew that it had to be fun
I told 'em to send me real soon
 
I wanted to be a spaceman,
I wanted to be it so bad
But now that I am a spaceman
I'd rather be back on the pad
Hey, Mother Earth, won't'cha bring me back down safely to the sea?
Around and around and around and around is just a lot of lunacy (yeah) (Yeah) 
Spaceman by Harry Nilsson
"The time will come when we permit more people in space."
 --John Glenn
One of the original seven NASA astronauts, John Glenn, died yesterday.  It was just a month shy of my fourth birthday when he became the first American to orbit the earth on Feb. 20, 1962. So it wasn't likely I knew much about John Glenn at the time. But by the time I was five, I was fascinated by the space program and wanted to be an astronaut.

It was the romance of being an astronaut more than anything else that captured my young imagination. I didn't really think about most of the astronauts being military pilots and training for years as pilots before they could even get into the space program. All I saw were these heroes wearing shiny space suites and waving to us from small black and white television screens as they prepared to risk their lives and blast off into space and history.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Splitting hairs


I started writing a pithy post about getting my hair cut on Saturday. Then I realized that, not only was this as mundane as writing about what I had for lunch, but I had already blogged about my hair  several times and I'm all out of entertaining anecdotes about past and present hair cuts.

And even I'm sick of me whining about no one noticing that I got a haircut anyway. You can only play the "feeling invisible" card so many times until people just shake their heads and mutter, "get over it."

Though getting a haircut isn't something that happens that much in your life. Say you get your first haircut when you are two years old and you live maybe to 85. So that's 83 years of getting haircuts. And if you get a hair cut every six weeks, you'll have 719 haircuts in your life. But the haircuts don't really start mattering until you're maybe 11-years old so shave 95 haircuts off the list. And no one pays any attention to your haircuts after the age of say, 45.  So that works out to just about 83 haircuts in your lifetime that really matter.

Kind of puts things in perspective.

Monday, November 14, 2016

It don't matter to me


And it don't matter to me
If your searching brings you back together with me
'Cause there'll always be
An empty room waiting for you
An open heart waiting for you
Time is on my side
'Cause it don't matter to me
 It don't matter to me 
It don't matter to me by Bread (the 1969 band, not a loaf of bread...though a loaf of bread could probably write better lyrics)
Grammatically, it should be "It doesn't matter to me or it does not matter to me" but it was almost the 1970s and the music industry was on the brink of spiraling downward into Disco. So who gave a rip about grammar? And as the old Winston cigarette commercials used to tout, "What do you want, good grammar or good taste?"

But if you are a millennial,  none of this makes a whit of sense anyway.  I, however, was starting to come of age when Bread was casting these mindless lyrics on the waters. I only pulled the last stanza out. The proceeding lyrics were even worse:
And it don't matter to me
If you take up with someone
Who's better than me
 'Cause your happiness is all I want
For you to find peace your piece of mind
When I was twelve years old moping about with endless crushes on girls who I didn't have the nerve to talk to, the song was pretty cool. Now I see it for the moronic bit of pop music that it is. Who in their right mind would tell someone that they would be fine if they found someone better than them? You might as well say, "I'm a loser and you could do way better than me, but want to go steady?"


Thursday, November 10, 2016

The badger has landed


"Okay I can forgive the fact that the guy's hair looks like someone created a bad toupee out of a dead badger. Obviously his image people solved that by getting him to wear a ball cap in most of his appearances. And so what if he is a billionaire who claims to know what the common people need. But seriously, listen to the guys idiotic ideas to "'make America great again.'"
--Dizgraceland, The Trump Card, August 2015 

I watched the election returns coming in on Tuesday evening with a growing sense of dread. I won't say I had a premonition that Trump would win, but I didn't have much confidence that he would lose. So it didn't really surprise me. But the rate at which state after state fell to the dark hordes sickened me.

I didn't spend much time on social media yesterday. I took the day off to chaperone my son's field trip to a children's theater version of  The Lion, the witch and the wardrobe. It was actually nice not to be in the center of the hand wringing and shell-shocked reaction of most of the people I know.  For some reason their sense of disbelief annoys me. With all of my railing against Trump, I've just come to the conclusion that what happened was inevitable.


Tuesday, November 08, 2016

If this is Tuesday then there must be an election

"This is considered the greatest movement, nobody has ever seen anything like it"
--Donald Trump (Presumably just returning from a bathroom break)
I'd like to say that I'm going to miss disjointed mutterings of Donald Trump, but I seriously doubt if the nut job will go away after his psychotic ego has got the taste of publicity only a presidential campaign can generate. That aside, no, I won't miss Donald Trump's nasty face and vitriol (a big word most of his followers won't understand) being spewed on a daily basis.

I made the mistake yesterday of venturing out of my nice, liberal Twitter stream and following some of the election hashtags. I was stunned at the number of nasty tweets by the deplorables. I shouldn't be surprised. Trump chooses that channel on a regular basis. I supposed it is because none of them can focus on anything beyond 140 characters.

Still it shocks me that the other side has just as much rhetoric criticizing Hillary as we have rhetoric criticizing Trump. The difference is that our rhetoric is accurate and their's is just made out of crap they've cherry picked from their "movement."

Thursday, November 03, 2016

Random thoughts

of thought
Ironic to call a post "Random thoughts" when pretty much all my thoughts are random. This is why I've adopted Twitter as my channel of choices because I can view hundreds of random posts a day and fire off random comments at random strangers who have a random chance at ever randomly reading them.

But, of course, I digress.

I watched the 10th inning of the World Series last night. It was the first time I've ever watched any of a World Series because I'm not much of a baseball fan. Oh, I've attended a few Seattle Mariners games, but I basically just go for the food and the hat trick game on the Jumbotron. But I have to admit it was pretty exciting watching the last inning of the World Series and watch a team that hasn't won a World Series in more than a hundred years finally pull one out.

But in the scheme of things, what does it really matter?