Sunday, February 1, 2015
What a terrible few days I've just come through. You hear about the flu and blow it off as no big deal. Till, like every other ridiculously bad thing in life, it comes stalking you. Then it's a huge deal, in this case knocking me flat on my ass. That's why you haven't seen me around. (My posts of the last few days were composed by a bot, after feeding in "February, screed, bad vibes, terrible month.")
Anyway, I noticed flu symptoms coming on. And I denied it. Because I'm strictly a "mind over matter" guy. If I say it shall not happen, then it shall not happen! If I say, "Thus far and no farther," if it encroaches a silly millimeter further, it dies. And so forth. I take a stand, and if reality comes against me, I prevail, changing it to suit my demands. This time, I don't know what happened, I must've flinched, and BAM, I was sick.
The odd thing about this is I'm so seldom sick, it's crazy. So I'm concluding that it wasn't a problem of me flinching, but that I was directly weakened by February itself! That's the charge I'm making. Think about it. The most dreadful month -- this 28-day emasculated limp-along shame of a month -- was looming nearby. Everyone knew of my public praise for January and March. I didn't make it a secret. And no one cared. But February was watching, so like a dark planet, tiny, dwarfish, and yet with enough mass to have gravity -- evil gravity -- it pulled me in and gave me the flu. One more reason to hate it.
Believe me, folks, I fought and kicked. I put up a real struggle. Other men fell on my left and right. Women beat their breasts, their anguish was so bad. Half the town literally fell dead. The hospital threw up their hands. Even the police were powerless in the face of an enemy they couldn't immediately pin down and choke the snot out of. What to do?
I had the idea, relaying it to the governor, that in these darkest of times, we had to try anything and everything. He listened closely, as I started to cough. I described two courses of action: 1) We carpet bomb the entire state with railroad cars, preferable engines, crushing out even the tiniest bacteria; 2) We come out publicly against February and remove it, posthaste, from the calendar.
Just like that, the governor was on the phone to the railroad companies, who rushed to the capital such a massive assembly of (mostly retired) railroad cars, with a few engines still with the vitality of their prime. I watched in awe as technicians hooked those massive hulks to the undersides of airplanes, which took off on a moment's notice and wreaked such havoc that the state will not likely recover till just before the next election. The little shed in my own backyard -- everyone made some sacrifice -- was crushed, as were the homes and every possession of most of my neighbors. Family members were killed, making for a long, gray weekend.
For the survivors, the flu still lingered, getting stronger, slipping out from the rubble, worming its way out, under, through, and sideways, down. I imagined the gathering of bacteria marching their way in victory over mankind. Wouldn't you do everything you could to defeat it? The governor did almost everything I asked. The bastard drew the line at February. Almost persuaded, but lost.
Because February's dread hold on the public imagination, apparently, is so great. Leaving me to suffer the flu in silence, yes, exercising my 'mind over matter' chops to shorten its grip, yes, but nonetheless feeling pretty puny. While others suffered and died, making the ultimate sacrifice in order to keep the worship of one fool month. What a tragedy.
Among the countless missing, there was even a lost cat in the neighborhood, its owners dead, but their survivors offering a huge $500 reward for his safe return. I went to prayer and signs indicate they found him.
Saturday, January 31, 2015
THIS CARTOON REPRESENTS 2 THINGS:
MY ENEMIES ATTACKING ME, AND
ME ATTACKING MY ENEMIES
ME ATTACKING MY ENEMIES
As we come to the end of January, a great month, we find ourselves on the eve of February, the worst month ever. Hard to stomach, really, that this stubby block of days, put together apparently like Frankenstein's monster, out of the leftover parts of previous versions of the calendar, can be so close to January. Even the sound of the month's tell the story: "January," sexy, zippy, strong vs. "February," sounds like being stuck in a briar bush.
The last few days I've been trying my damndest to garner support for my side, and, I gotta tell you, support's hard to get these days! 1) Everyone's got their own fool opinion; 2) "I'm too busy" to learn the facts, or to even care; and; 3) There's more important things to worry about. Let me just say, each of these excuses is simply blather. People have learned (probably thanks to the internet) how to gum up any issue. Well, let's "black 'n' white" it, OK? Are you wid me or agin me?
Whether there's more important things to worry about or not, and there very well could be, what good's your worrying doing? Everyone I've talked to on this issue has been your average idiot, whose life in this world is more or less locked on the default setting, which is lethargic. Man on default is the most worthless creature the world's ever belched out. The other species have to use their wits, their instincts, their wiles -- not man. Man's such a fool he expects everything to be handed to him on a silver platter. Then he'll sell the silver for drugs. It's little wonder he doesn't care about February.
Seriously, folks, this struggle of mine, has really opened my eyes, that if folks aren't wid me they truly are agin me! And I've told them that, too: "If you ain't wid me you're agin me," I said to this one fool. He stood there silent and I thought I had him. You know the kind of conviction a person can suddenly have, like when they realize their own home is under attack by the enemy, and if they don't do anything about it they themselves will be homeless. His hands quivered, his lips shook, his eyes were downcast; I saw a bead of sweat pop out right above his left eyebrow. I knew I had him. Then the fool goes off, sneering, "Them I guess I'm agin you." Stupid turd.
So that's how they want to play it, eh? In the face of such opposition, I stood defiant, thinking, "We'll see about that." I also thought to myself, "I hope the enemy does attack your home and that you're left on the street, you bastard." It's true, I can be vengeful, even though you basically think of me as a pussycat; I'm not proud of it; it's just I care about this issue so much. February must be destroyed, and that guy!
OK, the opposition -- more or less defiance identical to apathy -- has forced me to up the date, now to Feb. 12 before I think we'll see a glimpse of success on destroying February. Believe me, with my efforts only just beginning, I don't believe we'll have to revise the date again. I'll be pulling my hair out in frustration if that happens. Let me just throw out the plea: "Be wid me, not agin me!"
Here's something I'm gonna do to garner support, and show my disgustitude with February. I'm going to post at least one blog post everyday in February. Got that? If I can't gum it up on the front end, I'll sabotage it from within during its idiotic run. Like that. It'll probably make the nightly news: "World Known Blogger Seeks Destruction of Month." I actually am "world known"; I get a number of people from Ukraine and Russia, if that's any good. I believe they're definitely wid me.
Thursday, January 29, 2015
As January comes to an end, we're on the verge of something big having to do with February. The stubbiest month, hallelujah, at long last is going down! To defeat! Once and for all, forever, to be purged from our calendar. Dead and buried in an unmarked grave. Let us rejoice!
But wait! Having said all that, let me also say -- this is regrettable -- that even as I sense its destruction, I also sense an inexorable shadow over the proceedings. The vision's hard to pin down, but I see looming just ahead, in my consciousness, that our 28-day foe may still have few tricks up its sleeve. Will it be brought down so easily? Of course I hope it will, but I feel we must proceed cautiously.
There's definitely something being unleashed, OK? Even now as I write this, I see the light. And yet, the shadow also grows, impinging on the light of January. Of course we know in a few days January will go away for another year. But what follows it? That's what we're trying to influence. This year, yes, we know it has to be February. The calendars have all been printed, passed out by the banks. And the banks more or less run things. Screw with their calendars and they'll keep our money. Basically the shadow says this: "February has many friends, not just enemies."
I don't want to discourage anyone reading this, far from it! But this spot, this shadow is becoming bigger in my mind's eye. Could it be a tiny bit of sawdust, something in my eye, that always looks bigger up close? No, this is not a physical thing. This is like the shadow of evil itself! Telling me, and cackling about it even, that February thinks it shall have the final victory! I know what you think I should say: "Not over my dead body!" But I'll stand back, because I don't keel over so easily.
Because I'm not accepting thee vision, not now, not ever. Instead, I feel that we have the power of light on our side, which shall drive out every shadow. As in days of old -- eternity -- the darkness cannot comprehend the light! Am I right, high five! Woo woo! Would everyone here kindly step to the rear and let a winner lead the way! We've got this bastard, bastard! Feb-RU-ary! You gonna be ruin' the day you ever set foot in this world, for you shall see your ruin! Pack your bags, Joe, hit the road, Jack, and don't look back. (A little trash-talkin' always makes me feel better.)
And yet, the darkness grows, exasperating me to no end. I stomp my feet, it's there. I hold my breath, it continues to loom. I'm turning blue, about to pass out, but I feel I cannot give in. How can such a short month stand against my powerful will? I'm getting consternated. That could be it, the key to my victory. Will and anger, consternation! My tantrums have never been known to fail. Must remain defiant, with confidence and faith, and all will be well.
Still, just to be on the safe side, I'm nudging my declaration of just yesterday, that by Feb. 3 we shall glimpse success against February. Playing it safe, I'm now saying we shall surely glimpse success over it, much more likely, by Feb. 6. We're ceding only three days! And what's three days, when our suffering has gone on for ... so many dark years...
The swift demise of February is still assured!
Wednesday, January 28, 2015
It feels great to be taking a stand on an important issue. I indeed have finally stepped out and accepted my calling in life. And I hope I have your full support, for then our common goal will be so much easier to accomplish. That is, destroying the "month" of February, and finally having a calendar we can be proud of.
Of course I know it's a huge step. And if the critics are right, it's a huge challenge. Although I'm extremely confident it won't take that much. I'm honestly thinking that as early as Feb. 3 we'll probably glimpse ultimate success. Mere days away! But there's a lot of work to be done, if we're going to not just glimpse success but grasp it. For me, putting that knife through the calendar was a real rush. It did something powerful for my resolve, having taken such a decisive step. And now, once the knife's in, there's no turning back!
As I said, the critics see "a huge challenge." Which, as I recall, is always the way with critics. It's probably "a huge challenge" for them to tie their shoes, especially since their hands are always so busy wringing themselves! Frankly, if we left life up to the critics, we would've never evolved beyond the slime. They would've been slime oozing from a bit of moss, clinging to their precious comfort zone. While the rest of us were looking to trade in our gills for a set of lungs and get on with the damned thing.
Part of the challenge with February, as I understand it, is that the world's had too much history with it to dump it now. People were born in February, they commemorate anniversaries, their loved ones died in February, the calendar appears set in its ways, etc. Well, check the history of the calendar. It's changed a lot over the years! September through December are named for the numbers 7-10, but obviously they're known by different numbers now. I can't remember why they needed to add August, but they wanted July for a place to put July 4.
My current proposal is that we add a number of February's days to January and March, then leave, say, the last 13 days of the old February as a mini-month. That'd be like crazy time. Like a desert on the earth, a time of desolation. Lent's usually about then. We'd squeeze it into 13 concentrated days of ashes and mourning. Any new births in that 13 days would have their birthdays reassigned to the happier months, as would happen with existing birthdays. Eventually the word February would be synonymous with sticks in the mud, the sorrowful, the unhappy, and of course the deranged.
I think we could shame prisoners even further by reassigning their birthdays to those 13 days. It'd be like a hot brand they could never overcome. They probably already do this on some other more intelligent planet, so we'd just be keeping up with them by switching. Having said that, I would not leave the word February in the mix. To give those days the ultimate shame, thus making us more reflective, we would need to go beyond the old with something completely new. What would it be? Right now I'm in destroy mode, so I can't think of anything. Scorpion, Lizard, Dry Heaves?
Friends, I said I'm confident, and that is true. But there's still things that could go wrong. And yet -- All praise to the native god in the photo! -- I'm sticking to my prediction. February 3 sounds just right as the day that I believe we will glimpse our ultimate success. Meaning, if you want to share in the credit of this seismic shift in time, you'll need to jump on board right away. Our deliverance is less than a week away!
Tuesday, January 27, 2015
WORKING WITH A NATIVE GOD,
IN HIS POWER, WE RUN FEBRUARY
THROUGH WITH A BUTCHER KNIFE
IN HIS POWER, WE RUN FEBRUARY
THROUGH WITH A BUTCHER KNIFE
AND CEREMONIALLY TURN IT OVER
TO THE FLAMES FOR JUDGMENT
I have been working in the deepest intuition through 2015, discerning things at their most basic level. It's frankly blown my mind, or, rather, expanded it, giving me once again that Super Brain feeling I've known numerous times in my life. As a kid I used to conduct a census on dust motes floating in my room -- learning much in the process -- before letting them collapse and vanish when I went down for breakfast.
That said, January has presented me with one enormous insight: That February is an aberration in time and time-keeping. The evidence against February flashed in rapid procession in my spirit. Like the dust motes of old, but a lot more apparently high tech, like 100,000 JPG thumbnails flashing by. This has to do with the honing and greater use of my mind over the years, along with incidental aspects that may have come from movies or TV. (If I have been bionically enhanced, I don't consciously remember it.)
Be that as it may, I don't feel I need to justify this too much. After all, we're only talking about stinking February. The worst month on the calendar, a short little hobbled period of time, maybe not even technically a month, a la Pluto not really being a planet. January's a month, March is a month, February's a rest stop in the middle! And not even one with major facilities, but one like truck drivers use to blow carbon out of their rigs, perhaps catching a bit of shuteye, and whatever other quickie XXX activity they may be into.
My great revulsion against February is fairly recent. But I do seem to remember being at least slightly queasy about February all my life. What other month do we feel so sorry for that we add a day every few years? There's none, just this stubby little passel of days. And if they weren't actual days of time, but existed simply on a pretend calendar, I'm sure we wouldn't be so merciful. We'd take it, rip it out, and burn it.
You know what? I feel led right now -- this is true, from on high -- to symbolically, ritually, cleanse ourselves of February. Which doesn't mean we won't have February this year, but it might be more tolerable. That's what a lot of ritual is for, to make life easier; you feel badly for your sins, so you sacrifice a lamb. You call in sick from work, then to compensate for it you actually get sick.
You're invited to join me in this sacrifice. As I type this, I'm also cutting the little month of February off my checkbook calendar. (The ceremony is illustrated above.) Now I'm holding it up. Notice how small and harmless it is, physically as well as small compared to the other months. OK, the rest of the ritual will be in two steps. 1) I'm holding it up and lighting the bottom corner with a match. Now as the flames rise higher, I'm rotating it and trying not to get burnt. Repeat after me: "I burn you to ashes. You shall never again arise." 2) I'm putting a little piece of PostIt® note in the hole and drawing an arrow from January to March.
Wow, that feels good. Except I've got this cursed little bit of ash leftover, which could simply go in the trash or be cast to the wind. But I will carry the ritual through to the end, by putting it in the garbage disposal, with these words of power: "How dare you, unspeakable so-called month, pollute my life? Now I am cleansed of you. Now I am free."
I'm giving my readers a special thanks today for standing with me. To be in agreement as we are is very valuable for the cleansing. We now have the power to carry on, at least for this day. Let us resolve, if not this year then next, to go directly from January to March!
Post-It® Brand is a trademark of 3M.
Thursday, January 22, 2015
Earlier this month I watched the 1960 movie "The Time Machine," based on H.G. Wells' novel. Maybe you remember it. The guy goes far into the future, all the way to the year 802701, farther than anyone's ever gone before, to my knowledge.
Well, it just so happens that the H.G. Wells Museum is only 35 miles from me, the pride of Silage City. And to add one more incredible coincidence, they've had his actual time machine on display the last couple of months. To get right to the point, I messed with it, accidentally taking it back before the museum was built. But Grandma's house has been around forever, so I hauled it home. Then when I realized no one would be looking for it, I started carting it around in the back of my pickup. And had no good reason to use it ... until the other night.
My current lady was a meek and mild gal, delighted with any little thing I might do for her. I asked where she wanted to go for her birthday. At first she said I should just save my money and not bother, but I'm saying, "No, I want to treat you right, kitten. C'mon, let's go, you're worth it." So I took her to the nicest place in town, steak, potato, salad, endless bread, the works, and desserts to die for.
After we ate, I suggested one of the desserts. In her meekness, she was very reticent, until I convinced her it'd be OK. "It's only money." "OK, darling," she said, "If you think it's best." So meek. The guy brings us the most delicious looking apple caramel cake sticky ice cream mountain plate thing and two spoons. I can see this will be bad for me, because now I wanted it all for myself and not to share it.
So I excused myself and ran out to the time machine. I had a plan. I would go back to the time and place of her birth, across town, thinking that if I could just delay her birth 10 minutes, it'd give me time to get back and eat the dessert. Then 10 minutes later, likely, she'd appear across from me. So that's exactly what I did. I'm at the hospital, 1953, and pulled the fire alarm. It put her parents in a panic and her mom's contractions completely stopped.
I get back to the present and my lady's not there, just the dessert, which I'm able to eat in peace. Success! But then I'm waiting, waiting, waiting, and she never shows up. I'm thinking, Crap, maybe there was a problem with her not being born. At this rate I'm not even going to have a lady! And I'd hate to walk out of here alone, always a bad look for a guy. OK for losers, not me.
So what other choice did I have but to fix things? I told a waitress I'm going to the can. Then out I went again, through the restroom window.
I get back to 1953, this time two minutes before I would arrive the first time. I hid around the corner, saw myself going toward the alarm and killed "me." I looked down at my body and dragged it away. Always one of my greatest fears, to be dumped in a janitor's closet. But there was no time for anything better. Now I'm heading down the hall to the birth chambers, when what do I see but the waiting room is actually on fire. I pull the fire alarm again and hurry down to counsel anyone having fits.
But this time I see her father pumping up her mom with confidence. The only difference apparently was the first time there wasn't a fire but this time there was. The first time uncertainty led to anxiety but this time certainty gave them confidence. I made a note of it, a great self-help point to tweet in the future.
Before I could get into the delivery room I heard her mother doing some extremely loud pushing, out of her confidence, then the cry of my future lady, a very bold cry for a baby, like something from Wagner. One of those big gals with the winged helmets. A real take-charge sound!
I rushed back to the present as fast as I could, and found my lady already at the table. Not only that, but her whole new life had been one of boldness, daring, and confidence -- all these years -- meaning that in this present continuum she's always the boss. She demanded to know where I'd been. I said the restroom and she called me a wimp. "You can't hold it 10 minutes?" I sat down and saw that she had not only eaten the entire dessert, but heard her setting down a new rule, that since I am hopelessly out of shape and a constant disappointment, I must never eat any dessert without her permission.
And that's the way it's been the last few days. She went from Zero to Hero. I now have to ask her permission to do anything, get up, take a nap, go for coffee, spend a nickel, etc. All of it's kind of kinky, if you know what I mean, but the micromanaging has a huge downside too. I mean, so what if I want an occasional beer with a friend? I can't get the permission! A friend calls and I'm like, "Brunhilde says no, and for you to never call again." I'm her slave!
All because of H.G. Wells and his stinking time machine, which I also had to ask her permission to destroy. So embarrassing crawling in. "Mistress, I know this is an odd request." I looked up at her, just narrowly not breaking the rule against eye contact, and saw her look of imperial impatience and disdain. "But I have a time machine I have to destroy. May I use the crowbar, just this once, Ma'am?" She kicked my ass and sent me on my way, which I took as a reluctant "Yes."
Before I destroyed it, the temptation occurred to me, I could still fix this.
Monday, January 19, 2015
We're zeroing in today on the possible experiences of creatures other than humans and animals. Weird tales, huh? I saw it ages ago, somewhere, that seemingly inanimate pieces of metal have feelings. Which can be good news. Like with some of the old cars I used to own. They wouldn't start, causing me pain. But I'm glad they knew how I felt when I took a crowbar to their backside.
I've been thinking of this a lot, since I'm in the habit of getting up every morning and making coffee. Which involves a horrible grinding of the beans and pouring hot water on them. It's a devastating process. If coffee, like metal, is a living thing, wouldn't it have to be? It grew, matured and ripened. And now...
Coffee beans really were part of a living plant. Meant by nature to make the next generation of plants, not to be harvested for drinks. Whether they maintain life after being picked, I wouldn't swear to it, but I think it's likely. After being processed, most might be dead, but there's always the possibility that some were up against the side of the processing bin, missing the worst of it, and so are quite alive.
Coffee beans really were part of a living plant. Meant by nature to make the next generation of plants, not to be harvested for drinks. Whether they maintain life after being picked, I wouldn't swear to it, but I think it's likely. After being processed, most might be dead, but there's always the possibility that some were up against the side of the processing bin, missing the worst of it, and so are quite alive.
It's those few beans -- however many it'd be -- that I'm most concerned about. And take it from me, I'm a sensitive guy who loves coffee, so this is a real issue. Grinding it right out of the bag as I do could be the worst torture there is, the blades going a million miles an hour, ripping the soul out of the beans, who wonder with their last thought, "Is this what we were born for?" Then there's the metal blades, thinking, "Were we born to murder coffee?"
It was better off before I heard of any of this. You're always happier in ignorance. The best I can do, apart from giving up coffee, is this, to be quick with the hot water, hoping to mercifully drown whatever life might still be there, now mangled beyond recognition. I'm not cruel; a swift death is best.
However it's done, though, the whole thing has to be terrible, not just for their pain, but also for the confusion. We have our journey of life, and the thought of being picked, processed, bagged, then ground, and scalded to death is terrible to contemplate.
Coffee started out like us, with a life of fullness and promise, and had no idea what was to come. How joyous it would've been to suddenly bud out and realize, as a budding bean, that you're in the world! What will you be? A doctor, a nurse, a policeman, or even one who tends to plants similar to yourself? Moving and growing in the sun, part of life's harmony.
But life is also hard. Sometimes your choices aren't honored, sometimes your life is determined for you. You're treated like crap, you look up and wonder, "Aren't I as good a bean as any other? What's to become of me, my hopes?" etc., etc. These are the things we think...
Actual scientific studies on whether coffee feels pain are limited. Then even if we get them, I'm afraid I'll be cynical. In something as huge as coffee -- the economics of it -- I can only suspect the large conglomerates will have the scientists in their back pocket, with the research similarly hidden away, neat and tidy and unseen. In other words, the conglomerates will see to it that conclusive results never see the light of day. But until they take this site down, at least we have my rudimentary study, which, at least to my mind, tentatively shows the life of coffee is no cup of tea.
Friday, January 16, 2015
My birthday is finally here, this year on January 16. I'm seriously glad it's not on the 29th, because I was about to bust waiting on it. Unlike others my age, over 40, I love having birthdays. It only means I'm getting older and wiser. Right now, as has been true of recent years, I'm bubbling over with wisdom. I don't know how much wiser a man can be, but I'm willing to find out!
Thank you, dear kingdom, for your many tributes to me on this day of days. Messages of greetings have poured in in recent days, and I know it will be a major task for my servants to open them all and get them in good order for me to peruse later. If you do not receive a personal acknowledgement of your kindness from me, please let this word suffice, that I do appreciate it and wish boons on you and your household.
Closer to home, here within the palace walls, of course the celebration is already at fever pitch. Several of my servants have dressed me in white robes and fetched my royal mount for my annual march through the city. Two of my most trusted lieutenants accompany me today, the dusky Eric the Great, governor of my harem, and Tommy the Eunuch, who keeps an eye on him. The townspeople follow behind, presenting their grievances, knowing that boons will be lavished on all on this sainted day.
Throughout the day there are carnivals, games of sport, and turkey legs for all. It's as good and better than any Renaissance Festival, including the same massive cleavage piled up everywhere, with the plastic ice coolers they sometimes put there in the very center, keeping cool the meat of the goodie. The women of the realm enjoy getting those with their annual gift packs, which also includes the year's calendar with my birthday prominently featured on every page and a coupon for a side of fries with their turkey leg.
The men, away all year fighting my many wars, are brought back five days before my birthday. It is a gladsome time for them, as they become acquainted with the babies their wives gave birth to after they were last home. We tend to have a lot of October babies, great for the pumpkin farms that are all over the countryside. Plus, every child under 1 gets a coupon for a free pumpkin when they're in season, with the price being 50% off for all other kids. So they're happy.
Other boons are distributed. Every year, through the course of the year, I personally "hide" (or "unfollow," not "unfriend") about half of my Facebook friends for various offenses. They may be too rabidly conservative, too sentimental, too prone to cute cat photos, post too many things, too religious, offering adoration to other kings; the list is endless, all of which drives me crazy. But on my birthday, all is forgiven. Everyone is "followed" once again! For at least the next 24 hours. That's only fair.
The parade is about to begin! I must tear myself away from all distractions and give full attention to the high school bands who have worked and struggled all year to pay their way to my palace. I see one coming into view now. The band that came the greatest distance is always first. The first one this year has come all the way from Ukraine. That's thousands of miles, the other side of the world! The kids of that particular school actually had to raise money for three years to get here today! Quite a sacrifice!
And here they come. Let me watch as they pass. They've got a big sign. I can't make it out. It's some oddball language. I assume it says "High School of Whatever," OK, great. Probably the Fighting Putins, since they're always in a pickle with Russia. They're playing some strange song, sounds like a mash-up of "On Wisconsin" and "O Vladimir." The kid on bass drum is about half the size of his drum, a bad look. But there's a couple cute girls toward the back. Their uniforms probably could've been cleaner, spiffier, nicer, but they did their best ... I hope ... I suppose. And there they go, passing out of sight.
I'm so happy for their coming that one of the boons that I shall grant this year shall be "Full Independence for Ukraine!" The men of my realm shall drive the Russians from Ukraine. They shall do their best. At least liberating this one particular high school. How poor these kids look. I'm sending Tommy the Eunuch to distribute coupons for free turkey legs for all. And a free pumpkin when they're in season. It's the least I can do.
Wednesday, January 14, 2015
The big day's coming, just a couple days till January 16, my birthday! I can hardly wait for the celebration part, even though I'm not that crazy about getting older. But that's OK, too. Because I can't do anything about it, I may as well put a positive spin on it.
I love being a January baby -- "January baby, full of grace," all that, and also because I don't have to wait as long for my birthday to roll around. The old year ends, the new begins, and wham! there it is. Technically it's as early as January 7, even though I don't know the next time that will happen. I haven't looked that far ahead.
I had a question from someone about when my birthday was, prompting me to sketch it out for the next several years, up into 2023, which is so far away it sounds like science fiction. Space 2023! The last frontier, as man breaks the bonds of earth and makes his way to the stars! Bye bye, have a great trip, I'll be right here when January 18th rolls around, having a great birthday. Although by then I might be in the nursing home, since I'll be exactly 70-years-old! Hmm, 70... Grandma died when she was 70...
Having the chart is great, because it makes it just as handy for me as it is for any of you. Because even I can't be expected to remember when my birthday is year to year. It's complicated. But having a chart really simplifies things. I need to send a copy of it to my family and loved ones, and real life friends, who might like to send me a card or gift, if they only knew when the big day is.
There's a few simple rules I go by that limits when it can be. As I said above, the earliest it can be is January 7. I never want it exactly around the New Year, since that would detract from the glory of the day. There's also a religious reason. January 6 is Epiphany, when the Wise Men came and did what they did at the manger. I will not horn in on the end of Christmas!
From the day I was born, I never actually wanted to be born on a single digit date. But I've found that allowing the periodic appearance of the 7th, 8th, and 9th does have a value, putting me in a thoughtful mood -- a little blue -- which I use it to enhance my feelings for the rest of the year.
I'm glad also that I was not born on one of the oddball days of the year. Like February 29. There was always some idiot kid running around school going, "I'm only 4 years old!" I never understood the fascination with being 4. Another thing is, I don't like February period, so every date in February is oddball to me. It's more or less a shorter month they stuck in to fill in the rest of the year, but they put it second so it wouldn't look like a last ditch effort. Because of February my other limit is January 29. I don't want anything in the 30s so close to February. Avoiding the taint of February is a big thing with me.
Oh, the technicalities of life! The things we do to honor ourselves on the day of birth, that one special day we look back on when our mother gave us birth. And hopefully there was a father around, as well, to provide for us. My dad said he was my dad. And since I look just like him, I half believe him.
See you January 16! Happy birthday!
Monday, January 12, 2015
The last month or so I've been re-reading some of my favorite psychoanalytical texts, which naturally include C.G. Jung's Psychology and Alchemy, one of my go-to books for years. And something weird happened to me, much weirder than usual.
You probably recall what alchemy is all about. The changing by chemical processes of other forms of matter into gold, tough to do. But Jung argued that the alchemists -- the good ones -- had other more profound motives, coming up with psychological gold, the coming to the fullness of the Self. It was the gold standard of self-help exercises.
Unfortunately, when I start messing with stuff like this, things happen. I hate to mention a few years ago when I was messing with sacred scriptures, a la Nebuchadnezzar, I went crazy and was literally a wild animal in the fields. Yeah. Well, this time someone forgot to warn me about the spirits of gold, so I've had a problem with turning things into gold. Anything at home I've touched, including all the TV remotes. Solid gold. I took a few of them to the jewelry store and now I can't change the channel. The TV's stuck on Jerry Springer's channel and I'm about sick of ads for The General Insurance.
The problem all started when I was concentrating very hard on my reading, reading with one eye shut. My theory is I was overloading one side of the brain, which Jung never thought of. To make matters worse, since I've been doing this for a few years, I was wearing my reading glasses, which only has one lens. It really magnifies things, overloading the brain that much faster.
And now, trying to deal with turning things into gold -- the Midas touch -- is tougher than you'd think. I wanted to go to the country and think it over, but I couldn't drive my car. And so forth. I can't have a gold car sitting in the driveway. They'll put me back in the home for crazy nuisances.
As I continued to mess with this stuff, then, I made some progress in controlling it. I discovered I could turn it off by saying "Midas touch no," and turn it on again with "Midas touch yes." It worked hit and miss the first few times, but with persistence, I got it so it was extremely reliable.
OK, this leads to the conundrum I'm in now. Having the Midas touch did wonders for my confidence. You can imagine. My confidence before was crap; now, so to speak, it's gold. I was operating with the gold standard of confidence. It seemed like there was nothing I couldn't do.
So guess what... Without having an account at Match.com or any other dating site, I met a woman, Edna, and came on to her with the utmost confidence, the way they like it. Smooth as silk, right there in the supermarket, "Hey baby," and my confident pitch, my chatter, my romantic spiel, my love patter, was such that it won the day ... and the lady. We started seeing each other. I had my ordinary hardtop car cut down to a convertible, and the little bits of hair I have on the sides of my head were flapping in the breeze. We talked of going to Mexico and sitting on the beach, writing our names in the sand, then standing back and daring the waves to efface them. (In Mexico you get up when you want, eat when you want; everything you do you do when you want. Why people escape to the U.S. is beyond me.)
The subject of gold came up, as in friendship rings, and I'd had the Midas touch set on NO for quite a while, allowing me to freely handle her, to the extent she would let me. I try to be subtle, you know, never having been a real wolf, a bear when it comes to the hands, and certainly I was brought up not to be boorish with women. My mom drilled that in my head, always pointing to Dad as the kind of gentleman I should be. And Dad did pretty damned good, out of all the women in the world getting my mother.
She -- Edna, my girlfriend -- was saying, "So you say 'Midas touch yes,' 'Midas touch no,' yes, no, yes, no, like that, and you're able to override C.G. Jung's teachings on alchemy and produce actual gold by mere touch." "Yes," I said, "Midas touch no, Midas touch yes, just like that." Catch my big mistake?
OK, she's so impressed by my power that now she's all hands, a fox, a wolf, boorish. But I'm leaning back, my eyes are rolled back so far in my head I can see the stars behind me. Naturally at this point I'm oblivious to any and all consequences. Given my excitement, of course I lunged ahead and was all over her, when-- Great God in Heaven! Infernal Spirits of a Christless Hell! What have I done? I looked down, aghast, and Edna was solid gold!
I raised my hands, looking at those two instruments of destruction with the impulse of searing hatred in my eyes. "You flaky sons of bitches!" I cried in anger. "No, wait, I have to get a grip. First things first, 'Midas touch no,'" turning it off.
But what was done was done... I didn't have a way to reverse the process. I didn't know what to do. Basically this is what's happened: I went from the sweetest, dirtiest girlfriend I've ever had to the biggest, nudest paperweight in the world. Fully nude except for an Egyptian tiara, worth her weight in gold, certainly, but at the same time worthless. You can't sell the transformed corpse of your girlfriend. They say.
And it's these flaky sons-of-bitchin' hands that did this! And my big mouth.
Monday, January 5, 2015
This is a get-rich-quick scheme I thought of, in honor of my own birthday coming up. Being close to 62, I know how much birthdays mean to people. I light a little candle, pray for my soul, smear blood on the door, and I'm ready for another year. Beats shivering in the dark, doing nothing proactive, just waiting for the Reaper.
The idea is along the same line as the flags you can buy that have "flown over the United States Capitol." Sounds very impressive, till you realize there's someone raising and lowering flags all day and night -- my understanding. If I'm right, they might fly for a few seconds, then they're down again. Meaningful stuff, especially when you think of the halfwits working below. Are you much smarter? Apparently not.
My idea isn't as crass as that, really. It would actually provide a good service for folks who don't have many friends. And our sentiments would be absolutely sincere -- guaranteed no cynicism. You send in an easily affordable $9.99 ($10 if you will), and we spring into action. We read the card you filled out. Say your birthday is February 12, so bright and early that day we light a candle and offer a prayer on your behalf. Touching.
And since not many people are born in February, because it's such a short month, I believe we could do it up really good, plumping up the festivities with an extra helping of sincerity. You, back home, are feeling the love, somehow, probably after receiving the email letting you know it's all been accomplished.
The problem, of course, would be that eventually we'd be getting cards by the truckload, and it'd be much more of a logistical problem. Some folks wouldn't have the sense to put in the right amount of money; you'd always get them; so we'd have to come up with a policy of how to handle it. If we sent it back, maybe they'd just give up and we'd end up with nothing. So we'd probably go ahead and do something for them and let it go.
The other big problem would be keeping up with the candles and prayers. With big volume, I can see us just methodically lighting candles and blowing them out all day and figuring that covers it. As for the prayer, sooner or later we might have a prayer sticker printed and just be slapping it on top of the previous 40,000 stickers. It's easy to imagine myself going for the Guinness record for successively applied stickers. You could literally have the stack 6 feet tall and it wouldn't topple!
Everything's going great. We're honoring the terms, and pocketing the ten dollar bills, along with the occasional person shorting us, until a disgruntled employee secretly records the system. I'll admit it up front, there's always going to be a bad apple. Like the restaurant guy who bathes in the sink. One of these bad apples will have his shorts stuffed with money, then be seen "lighting" the candles with a blowtorch, and, in place of the usual prayer sticker, be affixing some rude sticker he got from a gum machine, like a Hell's Angels skeleton head or something.
A video of this shows up online and we're immediately shut down. There's a class action suit and I'm sent to prison, which I could never stand. I don't know if I've ever mentioned on the blog, that I once toured an actual prison. The restroom is a big open room, bright white, with stools lining the walls, disgusting in every way. That'd be terrible, along with whatever else goes on there. I'd hate to wake up someday, like on my own birthday, going, "Why couldn't I have just celebrated my own damned birthday and left well enough alone?"
Thursday, January 1, 2015
It's the day for New Year's resolutions. I make them and I keep them. The one I've made most often, for years, is to be a better person. And it's been good to see my growth and how I've excelled. I'm pretty proud of it.
Looking back on my achievement, and thinking ahead after making the same resolution today, I know it would be a lot easier if I didn't have everyone else dragging me down. That's been the continual problem, but it's something I've worked on without much complaint.
The key thing is to be aware of what's going on around me, to be ever vigilant, and to avoid them as much as seems decent. You probably understand, I want my focus to be on my own progress and not on the nuisance of them dragging me down. They've been very persistent!
I'd hate to begin listing the situations where I've seen it, because that would practically be all I'd have time for. The short version of it is this: they've dragged me down in every way you can imagine, and it happens essentially everywhere. Yes, I've gotten the acclaim, the popularity, but it's always been coupled with a terrible envy, so oppressive. I'd say it's the psychological equivalent of terrorism, if they get their hooks firmly in me.
It's strange to think of it, but I was much better at avoiding them as a kid than I am as an adult. I was very sneaky as a kid, keeping my attributes under wraps. I was practically invisible. If anyone saw me, I was like a shadow, best discerned in hindsight, "Did you just see someone go by?" "I thought I did, but I didn't wanna say anything." They were freaked out, hair standing on end, the whole bit, in awe in the truest sense of the word. I was the only one not awed, since I knew it was me.
Then as I got older, and life had more consequences, it was tougher to fly under the radar. The police being always on the lookout for the truly sneaky, mostly adults, I had to put those days behind me. Which of course meant being fully exposed to the public eye. Internally, I rebelled, but outwardly I conformed.
Despite it all, I became a pretty good person. And kept making and keeping my resolution. Perhaps it was some family gene in earlier days that let me escape people more who sought to drag me down. Now, though, in old age, with my genes under greater stress, I feel more vulnerability. And so there's always -- literally always -- someone trying to drag me down. And often succeeding. Terrible burden...
But my resolution is true, and I reiterate it, that I might be a better person, in every way. Smarter, healthier, friendlier, more helpful, more understanding, being more open to people and their personal situations, as far as would be profitable to them. May I be more together within myself, with God, and the community.
Wednesday, December 31, 2014
Will I live to see 2015? It's very close, virtually within reach, just a matter of hours. I hope I make it. I figure I will. I've made every other New Year's Day since I've been alive, and am going to keep going for one more, one more, one more, as long as I have life, breath, and determination.
You get this close, one day to go, that's no time to drop off. Even if I were deathly ill, I could probably summon the life force, the spirit of life, to the extent it would take to last a few more hours. I've heard of people doing that.
I've been very philosophical about it -- wondering -- since earlier today, when I was out driving and saw a dead squirrel in the road. You see that and you think, He crossed that road thousands of times, no doubt, and he had to die on New Year's Eve. Couldn't cross it just one more time, and now he won't see 2015. Sad.
Before that I wasn't thinking of it at all. And to think, worse than that, I took a sick friend to the doctor today. He had a face mask on, then I ran into a another guy I know from church with a face mask. I hadn't thought of it at the time, but I might die from that before the day's out. A stray germ, it's not unheard of. Whether those masks are able to keep all germs in, I seriously doubt it.
There's other ways of dropping off. Of course there's traffic. You never know what's coming up the street, about to mow you down. Someone a little tipsy. Or drunk. I know I'll be on the lookout tonight, when the going officially gets rough. I'd hate to make it to 10:00 p.m., just to be mowed down. I actually plan to be safe at home, but with so many sick friends, you never know who might call. Will I have the heart to tell them to wait till tomorrow? Probably not. Then I'll get in the car, a drunk kills me, and I'll get a bad reputation for not showing up when I said I would.
It might be a good day to put my phone in the toilet, so I won't get any calls. Speaking of the toilet, I cleaned the bathroom yesterday, even behind the stool. I was thinking of all the germs I might be getting into. I didn't have gloves on, a mask, nothing. I was doing unprotected bathroom cleaning, about as bad as dating strangers. At that point, though, I wasn't worried about the New Year. Hard to believe, such a huge concern today, having seen the dead squirrel, but not a huge concern yesterday.
The biggest concern I had yesterday, cleaning, was that when I scratched my ear once, that a germ might get in there and take away my hearing. These things are not just idle concerns. I saw something online just today about amoebas eating away someone's eye, so don't think it can't happen. I'm very philosophical about such things -- Everything's gotta eat -- just not on New Year's Eve and not on me.
I'm going to try my best to make it!
(The time I spent working on the graphic and the rest of this post, my lunch was here on the plate, forgotten. After I got done, I was a little suspicious about the olives and salami. I ate it anyway, got whatever airborne diseases attach themselves to food, and promptly died.)
Thursday, December 25, 2014
I've always been impressed by the Christmas story, for many aspects of it. One of the greatest is the idea that each person who comes to behold the Child brings a gift, the best he or she has.
For the Wise Men, we know their best was gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Impressive. For the shepherds, they brought a couple of sheep. And for the Little Drummer Boy -- I like his most -- he had no other worldly goods except his drum, so he played for Him.
We've all heard the message, "What can I set before the King?" It varies from one person to another, of course. Maybe a watch or some other valuable thing. Maybe an animal other than a sheep, like if you raise birds or cattle, whatever. Or something you can do and do well. For me, that has to be these blog posts. I'll be the first to confess, my talents in life are sorely lacking. I don't play the drums or piano. I don't raise animals. And I don't have any gold. But I do write blog posts. I guess pretty well. I don't get many complaints.
So this year, my gift at the manger is a continuation of my last blog post, starting where I left off, some of my old memories of the newspaper delivery boys we had in olden days.
In those days, when I was growing up, there were boys in town who delivered the newspaper every morning, and also evenings. (I don't remember any girls.) One paper came out in the morning, and there were two in the evening, except Sundays when it was just the morning paper. That's a lot of papers, but we read each one.
The good thing for those boys, obviously, would be, That's a lot of work! Giving them the opportunity to have spending money and also money to save. It also taught them, no doubt, important lessons on responsibility. I myself never had a paper route as a kid. Whatever responsibility I learned was more through trial and error, and, frankly, I'm still learning!
Paper delivery in those days had an additional important aspect to it, collecting. The boy had to collect the subscription fees by himself. We didn't mail it in. That could be challenging, even though my parents were prompt in paying. Others, regrettably, would be short of money, and so they'd "not be home" or just blatantly putting him off. I can see a lot of frustration in that arrangement.
Now everything's changed. We have a guy in a truck who tosses the paper out the window, then roars off. He doesn't have to collect. We never even see him, unless we just happen to be up and looking out the window and he's there. In his truck roaring off. Instead of paying him directly, we mail our subscription in on an annual basis. That's a lot of money to come up with all at once, close to $200, but we want the news, so we cut back on food (or whatever) and get it accomplished.
A lot has changed over the years. Certainly newspaper delivery isn't what it used to be!
That's a pretty good gift to leave at the manger, I'm sure you'll agree. It'll give them something to read while they're just sitting there.