Sunday, December 24, 2017

Let's Sleep Till Spring Gets Here

It's a bad news and good news story. The bad news is it's Christmas Eve, with lots of bad winter weather threatening our happiness for the foreseeable future. The good news is I have a plan to deal with it. With safe, wonderful, beautiful sleep being the answer.

Recently I've come into an abundance of time, with official retirement. So obviously I have the inside track. But even if you're not retired, you can do your part to get rid of winter ... quicker. Yes, I'm the first to admit it, we can't get rid of winter just like that. But if each of us does our little part -- none shirking -- we can overcome this bastard winter weather much more speedily.

Of course winter weather is not an enemy to everyone. To those folks, I lift my thumb to my nose and make a rude noise. Including guys who plow the roads, folks who run ski resorts, winter tire dealers, snow removers, etc. It's people like you that make things harder for people like me, who'd just as soon winter didn't even happen. If it were in my power, yes, I would obliterate winter, damning the consequences. If it meant the calendar was screwed up, the atmosphere were half lost to outer space, the ice caps were transformed into a few trays of ice in a museum, I'd do it. Remember a few years back, when I proposed mirrors in space to increase global warming -- strictly for comfort's sake? It didn't go anywhere because I'm just a guy, with no connections to speak of. I have indeed met politicians, some of the strongest men (and a woman or two) in the world, but they were more or less only interested in me as a hand to shake so they could claim to care about the average joe. They exploited me.

Today's idea to get rid of winter -- or drastically curtail its reach -- doesn't have anything to do with mirrors or species-decimation. It's more a scheme of individual initiative, involving something each of us already does, SLEEP. It's an indisputable, provable phenomenon that sleep speeds up time. I've said it since I was a kid. When we were learning about the Lincoln-Douglas debates, and later the Civil War, I not only held forth on the subject of Sleep and Time, but demonstrated it (many teachers had disputed it) by sleeping through everyone else's presentations. "It's disruptive," the teacher told my parents, but Mom and Dad were happy I took the initiative to stand up -- or sit down -- for my beliefs. I put my head on the desk, dosed off, and when I woke up a minute or so later, the class was over. True story. The most regrettable consequence is I'm a complete moron when Jeopardy's on.

That's my plan to get rid of winter. We sleep through it as much as we can. Hey, if you have an argument about it, take it up with the bears. The bears know! They crawl into their cave, plug in an electric blanket, and sleep. The cubs are nestled in their little cribs, each with a nipple and a 20 gallon bottle of milk, and the parents doze off. The only time they wake up, as I understand it, is every other week for a few minutes to change the babies, then back to dreamland. Before they know it -- and the perception bears have of time has never been sufficiently explained -- it's 20 minutes later and winter's over.

As soon as I get done writing this -- and I'm typing so fast, it'll only take another 3 minutes tops -- I'm headed straight to bed. And I don't plan to wake up until next week at this time. Just to check my Super XL Adult Briefs and take care of any hygienic needs there might be, maybe eat some Chex Mix and have some eggnog, and I'll be back to sleep. Oh yeah, and the dog. Probably change her diaper, take her out, refill her bowls, and wish her a Happy Rest-of-Winter till next we meet.

For this project I actually bought one of those super thermal sleeping bags. The kind that has so much innate heat you'd swear it was a living creature. They're awesome. You crawl in and it's like being at the Center of Existence. Nothing but heat and darkness, like in your mother's arms, or better yet, her womb. That's when we were all happiest, after all. These sleeping bags have everything mom had, except an off switch. You crawl in, set your Inner Man to wake at such and such a time, and doze off. I love the sensation of tumbling down and down and down to my own safe secure place. I haven't exactly worked up the ability to realize everything about it, but a few more years -- let's say when I die -- it's going to be blithe consciousness the whole way, baby!

This is much more limited than that, obviously, but still very useful. I'll sleep, I'll wake -- likely to face the unpleasantness of a dirty diaper -- then sleep, with the cycle going on and on, but seeming to be a couple days tops, and weeks and months will have passed. Winter will be wonderfully over! No more snow. It'll be Spring! The greatest time of year. There's only two seasons I like, Spring and Fall. If I successfully obliterate Winter, you know what this means for Summer.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Have A Mercy Mild Christmas To All

Hope you're having the best-ever Christmas season, etc., etc., that your Yule is bright, and all your wishes come true, and Santa doesn't have any trouble reading his list in a snow-laden sleigh that very well could ruin his computer system.

It's a great one for me so far, except I'm getting sick and tired of the Salvation Army bells everywhere I go. That coming from a guy who actually rang the bell one Christmas, now fairly far back, in the 2000s some time. I look at the current crop of Salvation Army ringers and wonder if they feel as uncomfortable as I did doing it, but none of them betrays the slightest reticence about it. And I'm one of the world's best readers of body language; if anyone feels remotely uncomfortable, my consciousness swoops in like a hawk and picks up on it. I saw a bell-ringer, I believe it was yesterday, who was even singing "White Christmas." It gave me the chills to think she'd put herself out like that, as though the bell itself isn't annoying enough. But of course it does a lot of good, presumably, that's what they say, but who can really tell? There's probably an annual report at the website.

The family has basically given up Christmas as a thing. Mom and Dad are of course passed on, which definitely saves money on gift-giving. I always had a hard time trying to think of something to give them every year. Then they died and that challenge was gone. Yes, I miss them something awful. There was a picture of them on the table today, how it got there I don't know. (I've been cleaning out boxes and it might've fluttered to the floor, then I picked it up -- let's say -- and didn't realize what it was.) Anyway, they're in their later teens. Dad's got glasses on, which he didn't usually wear. Mom's in a fancy dress, like maybe they were on their way to get married. I stared at it. Dad's staring at the camera, so I'm looking right into his eyes. Mom's looking to the side. I wouldn't know what to get them if they were alive. Maybe a tin of Topsy's popcorn.

I could go to church for Christmas. But don't think I will. It's almost better to celebrate the Blessed Story on your own and in your own way. When I read it and meditate by myself it doesn't sound as trite, not as much of a rerun. And really I am into it. I've got a whole system going of getting to the nub of everything in a holistic way. I'll keep the details to myself. The more I publicly explain it the worse it sounds. In which case I may as well go to church. (I love church, usually, but sometimes I don't as much.) I wouldn't mind going to a Catholic thing. Even though I'm not Catholic. The only reason I don't go to the Catholic church is because I'm not Catholic. Otherwise, I think it's cool, exciting, and profound. But probably one look at the priest thinking "This guy ain't Catholic" would do me in, and that'd be it. Last thing I'm ever going to do is take any kind of initiation. Am I right? Screw it. And I don't especially want to go to my own church. I've been through all the possibilities there, and for personal reasons I've been a lot on edge there. Yes, I know the objections to that kind of attitude.

About the picture above, that's my hand. I can't remember what I was doing, but it involved the camera on my phone. I somehow accidentally snapped a picture of my hand when I was taking a blue wastebasket out. I looked at it and thought it was inscrutable enough, it ought to be a Christmas-greeting picture. Something Hallmark would pay big bucks for, if I were money-grubbing enough to sell it. Let 'em take their own pictures, and leave me the heck alone.

OK, friends -- far and wide -- people who read this blog, people who used to read it but got sick of it and moved on -- Merry Christmas. Happy New Year. Other holidays that may exist, I respect your various greetings, too. And would say them to you if I knew them. Seems like there's something called Kwanzaa, which is something. Happy that. And Hanukkah, that means something very great. Happy that. If you're a native of somewhere and you have a tribal greeting, Merry that, Happy the other thing. Happy Holidays to those who are politically invested in exploiting the holiday bullshit ... I have no respect for that at all. Live and let live, leave well enough alone, eh? Happy Solstice, which was a few days ago, maybe ... I didn't hear a word about it this year. Hasn't the moon been dark lately? I don't usually look at the sky, but made the mistake of looking at it recently when there wasn't much to see. Merry Meet to all my Merry Meet friends. I recently bought a Porta-Potti, so Happy Holidays to other Thetford toilet owners. All the best to Catholics, those who go and love it and those like me who would love to go but hate to give priests the heeby-jeebies (See above).

I hate to bring this post to an end. But what else can I say to keep you dangling on the line? Most of you dropped off already. I'm happy, though. You be happy! OK? I'd love to be like Santa Claus, and come down your chimney and give you a big happy hug, or talk you into happiness, peace and harmony. But obviously that's not going to happen. Me out!

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Great Caesar's Ghost

PROLOGUE: Lend me your eyes. Look at that picture, man. Isn't that a thing of beauty? I'll say it is, since I worked on it and am in some degree responsible for it. (I didn't make the original, of course, since I can't draw flies.) Looks like Julius Caesar, too, doesn't it? In a chariot being pulled by a couple brute animals, bred back then for that purpose. I really like the trees, how they stand out, evocative of entire trees but only a few random limbs or trunks.

NON-PROLOGUE: I'm making my way through The Adventures of Superman TV show again. And as I already well know from childhood, Daily Planet editor Perry White's go-to expression of outburst -- astonishment or disbelief -- is "Great Caesar's Ghost!" At some point in the first 8 or 10 episodes, he says it a time or two. It stands out more for me now as an old man than it did years ago when I was a kid. Because people just don't say things like that anymore. No more than we'd say a similar phrase that old people (on TV anyway) used to use, "Land of Goshen!" Now they just say "What the hell" or worse.

Later in the series there's even an episode in which some guys gaslight Perry White, with one guy dressing as Caesar and showing up at Perry's home, etc. He's got the weird helmet they used in Roman times, a kind of mini-skirt of mail, the strap-em laces and boots, legs a'showin', the whole bit. Perry is of course taken in and doesn't know what to think, how to overcome the nauseating effects of the whole scheme. Superman flies in and tidies it up, sending the faux Caesar down the Appian Way to the closest clink.

Perry White and the '50s aren't so terribly far away. Kind of a while back. I was born then -- how about that? -- so even though I'm getting older all the time, I'm not exactly ancient history. Yet when's the last time you heard someone use the expression "Great Caesar's Ghost"? It has to have been a while. Anything else sounds better. What the hell? What the fuck? What in Sam Hell? Goddammit to a Christless Hell is one I use from time to time, which is very interesting, isn't it? I am very invested in the Lord, let me put it that way ... He's building for me a cabin in the corner of Gloryland, and some glad morning I'll wake up there, arrange my things, take a shower, and go out to see what it's all about. Now, if there were a Hell in the traditional sense of the word, isn't it damned awful that it would somehow be entirely apart from Christ, Logos, and even an ounce of good or light? I shudder... I used to dream of it as a kid, brought up in the church when Hell was the main attraction week after week.

But no one in the show ever offers up (in my memory) surprise at "Great Caesar's Ghost!" Not Jimmy, Lois, Clark, or even Superman. They put up with Perry's brusqueness and just chalk up the expression to "Everyone's gotta say something, we guess." It's a personality device, his catchphrase, and that's all there is to it. It makes me wonder when they were doing the writing that someone actually pitched the "Great Caesar's Ghost" episode, since it assumes a guy who says a phrase would be especially susceptible to it being literally true. I don't see that. We're usually able to separate blank expressions from daily reality very easily.

I should read up on Julius Caesar a little more. Maybe I'd dream of him. Maybe I will now, having written this. "You summoned me, here I am! None of those other people can see me, only you." Etcetera, etc., and so forth... I know I'll be terrified -- maybe that's true. It could be one of my patron saints, George Reeves, will swoop in and save me. Let's hope, shall we? that George Reeves, whatever happened to him long ago, also has a corner in Gloryland. And that he and I get to be fast friends. My so-called friends from long ago used to (not often) taunt me that Superman killed himself, etc.

That's it! I get to Heaven, I immediately find George Reeves. Then we get together with the whole Superman gang, and go find John Hamilton (Perry White), and Julius Caesar -- say he somehow makes it -- and we have a damned ball? How about that?! I'll take that over a Christless Hell any day of the week.