Matters of Little Consequence

I think God created blogging when he had nothing else to talk about.

I had to admit Dan had gone bulls-eye with his little idea. The 800lb Gorilla was chugging along on nicotine, friendly drinks and unsympathetic satire that offered no quarter for sacred cows. The blogosphere had plugged me into a tantric remedy in which I was writing practically every day. Shop hours would vary depending on the day ahead. Sometimes I would go for an early morning run and then post something before heading out. On other days I would regale in the simple comfit fixtures of a laptop and a well armed Martini after hours. It was Zen capture inside the tear drops of a clock whose purpose now seemed to dovetail its method into my madness.

I was enjoying myself immensely, in spite of the detours that would crop up now that our elbow bending riffs were being held in a virtual forum. Like the time Dan called to tell me Google had taken a shit on our Blogger platform and he had moved us over to a place called WordPress. But just like all the other bumps in the road, this one proved to be quite fortuitous. Because whereas our former website behaved like a rural dirt road, the new digs were akin to an eight lane highway.

Everything was coming back peach as summer moved into fall. My kids were feeling good about how life was looking on the other side of the split. My soon to be ex-wife had met a man on a dating site and things were promising. And I had met a nice girl inside the same week, on the same site as the ex-wife and things were promising as well. For a couple months. After which I got back to dating and black book research.

As far as writing was concerned, I had unlocked a parallel of myself to which had always been a mystery before this time. It was a quicksilver reckoning in which my creative bones were shaking loose, as if pole vaulting over thunderheads.

We’re gonna need a bigger boat

December 12th, 2006 is when push came to shove. It was some time in the middle of the night when Dan posted what would launch the Gorilla from obscurity into a grass roots movement that would end up getting play in a couple online magazines and local radio shows.

It was later that morning, I was doing a supply run when my phone came to life. It was Dan.

“Dude, you checking this shit out?”

“What shit?”

“The blog!”

“Oh, yeah . . the shot of Britney’s front yard. You know what you sonofabitch, next time give me a heads up when you post some shit like that,”

“Sorry to offend your delicate senses,”

“Dan, my daughter listens to Britney, okay? I don’t need to see her business is all I’m saying. I prefer to keep her in my sexy little Smurf collection where anatomy doesn’t exist. And where did you find that pic?”

“I hit on a website when I was surfing around last night for something to write about. We were one of the first sites to put it up,”

“Wow, I always wanted to run a porn site. I guess the degenerate blue ribbon goes to us, huh?”

“Marc, you see the hits?”

“I don’t look at hits, I look at writing. I’m the insufferable artist and you’re the soulless networking prick, remember?”

“We’re at 2,900 hits so far . . . I think we could hit 10 grand,”

“Jesus Christ, that Federline douchebag was right! She does have a magical vagina!” I exclaimed before I realized I was talking out loud in the middle of Staples.

“This is our hanging curve ball, it’s how we’re gonna get known for all the writing we’ve been doing in the dark,”

“As if Hemingway isn’t dead enough,” I whined.

“We have the eyeballs now is how I look at it. And I’ll tell you what man, we’re gonna need a bigger boat,” Dan said before we hung up.

This should have been cause for celebration. But whereas Dan was sewing this latest turn of events into a Matterhorn applique, I was dubious. For fuck’s sake, we’d been writing our asses to the tune of a couple stray comments here and there; so stray were these comments that we should’ve tested them for rabies. It was that kind of virtual desert island shit. And that was fine by me, because the writing was keeping me upright.

If writing truly mattered, how was it that I could write madly for a year and elicit nothing more than a yawn? Meanwhile, Britney simply had to play 21 Jump Street with a mini-skirt to clobber the fuck out of me. I was thinking too hard, and I knew this. Dan was right. Eyeballs were the bottom line to any kind of future for the site, and now we had them. It was time to put on my big boy swimming trunks and pray at the altar of Mary Shelly.

We were looking straight into the eye of a storm, even if we didn’t know it yet.

Tuesday Time Machine: From the Archives

Imma go with a blast from the past post for this Tuesday morning. It’s eight hundred pounds worth of sick puppy humor. Culled from the whine cellar of a blog whose mission statement was inspired by the late, great Robin Williams. “If they can’t take a fuck, joke ’em!”.

Monday February 4, 2008 will forever after be known as Black Monday to New England Patriots fans, following their stunning defeat at the hands of the New York Giants; a loss that prevented the Pats from going 19-0.

Also of note . . . Illinois Senator Barack Obama had taken the early lead in the democratic primaries heading into Super Tuesday. Many prognosticators at the time felt this was where Hilary was going to close the deficit and set the pace for the rest of primary season . . The stock market was struggling to steady itself after cratering to news of a possible recession . . and Iran fired a rocket into space. Shockingly, Salman Rushdie was not on board.

With all that news going on, I went with a YouTube video titled “Bird Poops in Mouth”. Because sometimes you find the story, and sometimes the story finds you. Sit back and enjoy this twenty second tutorial on what not to do when bird watching. The original title I affixed to this post was Birdie Bukakke Theater.

Classy.

Some thoughts on the matter:

  • Why didn’t this ever happen to Geraldo?
  • They don’t call it “Action News” for nothing.
  • NEVER open your mouth when looking up to find the bird that left a deposit on you.
  • The Canadian Brown Finch . . . Canada’s Answer To An Air Force.
  • Being a bird means never having to apologize for coming in someone’s mouth.
  • If I were this reporter, I’d turn down the mall shooting stories.
  • Finally, an answer to Manfred Mann’s “Blinded by the Light” lyrics! It goes …blinded by my mike, wrapped up in a deuce, you better feed me with a sprite! . . .
  • Hey, whatever happened to Manfred Mann?
  • And his hat?
  • This kind of thing never would’ve happened to Manfred . . . cause of the hat.
  • In Thailand, American businessmen pay top dollar to have this done to them. I’ve heard stories . . .
  • If that had been Ryan Seacrest, he wouldn’t have missed a beat.
  • You just know this guy’s nickname in the newsroom is going to be Walter Windshield.
  • If this guy would’ve needed CPR, he would’ve been screwed.
  • The worst part? That wasn’t a brown finch in that tree. Al Gore was bird watching.
  • The award for best performance by a supporting actor goes to,” all those guys on the crew who didn’t crack up.
  • Left unsaid: Canadian Brown Finch tastes exactly like chicken shit.

Sorryless Sunday Morning

I am proclaiming this Sunday to be the intermezzo of my Woodstock series of posts. So in lieu of flower power, Imma post the first in a brand new series that will show up on the regular once I’m finished spilling on my three days of peace and music in the Catskills with the lovely Q.

I used to do a “Sunday Morning Coffee Love” post on my old blog. I don’t want to steal that title, so I came up with Sorryless Sunday Morning because it had a Lionel Richie groove to it. I may change up that title in future posts, but the vibe will remain the same.

Sorryless Sunday Morning posts will feature blog shout outs, quick hits on whatever is dancing in ‘me noggin and a music video that brings the requisite chill to my Sunday morning. I hope you enjoy.

  • My son’s first week of teaching is in the books and it frazzled him. He’s in that new teacher zone where he’s gonna have to learn his rhythm. As with anything else an individual does that is worth doing, he’ll figure it out. A shout out to Frank at A Frank Angle for dishing up some pieces he wrote on teaching for me to give to my son. Frank is a scholar and a gentleman, and I’m blessed to call him my blog neighbor.
  • Speaking of blessed, the lovely Q wrote a beautiful piece at A Dalectable Life about love and friendship- and how it endures. Later on, we had a rather involved discussion about writing and published works, to which I’ve been stewing on ever since. I feel sometimes that I am hopeless in my take on the matter, so her nudging means more than she will ever know.
  • As for published authors, John Howell at Fiction Favorites is back in the lineup after his surgery a couple weeks ago. He’s the Mike Trout of the blogosphere in that he comes to play (write) every single day, and he brings it. Whether he’s writing his weekly mystery series, a prompt challenge or his haiku . . he engages you with his wit and his clever wordplay. Blog life is always sweet when he’s in the room.
  • As far as good tunes go, tune into Tara’s sizzle over at Daisy Smiley Face if you’re looking to vibe on some musical goodness. Tara operates on the same wavelength as yours truly as far as her musical tastes go, but every once in a while she’ll introduce a singer or group I’ve not heard of. And it’s always a slam dunk.
  • And to round out my top five blog shout outs for this week, Imma mention a chica who tells terrific tales about tails. Monika at Tails Around the Ranch also speaks gardening and Colorado and hockey, fluently. And she just started up a new online business called Sam’s K9 Kreations, so make sure to check it out!

As for my quick hit thoughts? I gots a few . . . .

  • I’m cutting ties with Walking Dead after this coming season. Like the old Carole King song goes, the feeling has died (for me) and I just can’t hide, and I won’t fake it.
  • Urban Meyer has been exposed for the phony he is, but winning will prove to be the deodorant of his odorous tenure. So here’s hoping he gets a clue before someone else becomes a victim.
  • One of my favorite Clint Eastwood lines, in an endless sea of ’em . . .
  • Jacob DeGrom of the Mets probably ain’t winning the Cy Young, but I happen to think he’s the best pitcher going this season. And if I’m a Mets fan, I’m pissed that ownership is wasting his immense talent.
  • In response to the peeps who call him overpaid, Raiders coach Jon Gruden threw shade at Tom Cruise; basically saying that no one complains about how much Cruise makes in a movie. Well . .having just seen the latest installment of Mission Impossible, I can tell you that Cruise is the only thing that drew me to the franchise. And if I’m laying down money, Imma go with Cruise over Gruden . . every day, and yes, twice on Sunday.
  • Going to see Crazy Rich Asians with the girl. Yes, the rumors are true. I am all about the rom-com.
  • Going to see The Nun when it comes out in a couple weeks. And no, the rumors are not true. I will not be wearing diapers. I also won’t drink any beverages beforehand . . .
  • I don’t think peeps understand that impeachment does not mean the removal of the President.
  • Braciole, like my lechon, is a dish best served in variations. The stand alone opening night dish is pure gumba-licious. The next day sammy is slamming. And every day thereafter . . it’s the dish that keeps on giving.

Well, that’s a wrap for this Sunday. Be sure to tune in next week for my next installment in the Woodstock series. Have a wonderful Sunday, and an even better week.

Peace, love and music

To err is human, to blog is . . even more human

I was recently asked by a friend what this whole blogging business is about. I replied with something to the effect of it being a place where I can write whatever the hell I feel like writing whenever the hell I feel like writing it.

This dude is way more social media savvy than yours truly, and yet, the blogosphere pretty much escaped him. And he ain’t alone. In spite of the fact that every news agency worth its circulation has its mitts in blogging to some extent, along with most major celebrities and a shit ton of brand businesses, blogs remain a curiosity.

I’ve listed a few reasons for this, completely unsubstantiated and totally unverifiable. Which makes me overqualified for a cable news position.

1. Fucking People- We have something like 7.5 billion people who call planet earth home. Way too many fucking people. Especially when you consider that only a couple hundred million of ’em are blogging. Imagine a banquet facility that can seat 750 people and then imagine a small table in the corner. The blogosphere would be the waiter who serves that table.

2. Content- This blog post is the perfect example of what my friend Bill likes to call “fluff”. In a newspaper article, I wouldn’t be able to say shit like “Fuck Wolf Blitzer’s talking beard,” and “Grade A Kardashian Ass!”. But on my blog, I can say whatever in the blessed fuck I want to say. This freedom is both defining and problematic. As I’ll explain . . .

3. Perspective- This freedom is defining in that blogs are living, breathing platforms for the freedoms we hold truest. But the very thing that makes it great, also mitigates its strength. The vast majority of the world ain’t blogging, and in a great many instances, this is because they’ve got more pressing matters to attend to. Like finding food, water and shelter. Their stories would be fascinating reads if they weren’t so preoccupied with remaining upright to tell ’em. Instead, we get Bill’s search for the perfect Reuben, and Jane’s “fat day”, and “How to order at Applebees”. Don’t get me wrong, there’s great content on here. But the reputation still precedes . .

4. Elliot Gould- Okay, I can’t blame Gould. It was his character (Dr. Ian Sussman) in the crap film Contagion who threw the entire blogosphere under the bus with a single line-  “A blog is not writing. It’s graffiti with punctuation,”. It’s the only memorable line to come out of that flick and it spawned more shade than E.L. James.

5. The Term- What in the blessed fig of Newton’s apple were the creators thinking when they had the gravitas to coin the term “weblog” and then condense it into “blog”? Its economy ain’t a sexy looking thing. There’s zero romance to the word. Which isn’t to say you have to be sexy sounding to be appealing, but still. A ‘blog’ sounds like something you contract when eating shellfish. If I didn’t know anything about it, I wouldn’t want to know anything about it.

Add in the fact that other social media platforms (most notably Facebook) get lumped in with the term ‘blogging’, causing even further confusion. And speaking of confusion . . shit, I’ve had blogs on and off for more than a decade and even get confused as fuck when someone says they wrote a blog. Some peeps use blog as a verb, for whatever the hell reason. As far as I’m concerned, this ain’t helping matters any, if a blogger doesn’t even know how to describe the shit they’re putting out there. Woodward and Bernstein weren’t like “Yo peeps! We wrote a Washington Post about this Dick in the White House!”. Credibility comes with being consistent. Reference the New England Patriots . . Amazon . . a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

All that said, I think I’ll stick it out on WordPress for a while longer. It’s the only social media site I truly believe in, and I still dig the efficacy of having a blog. No deadlines and no rules. Just writing, whatever I wish.

The hell with Dr. Sussman.

 

 

We sing to the find the beauty, we fight to find the song

I wrote this in a comment on another blog recently. I decided to jot it down because it was speaking to me, rather loudly. Sometimes I push the words, and sometimes the words push me. These ones made themselves known across a fleeting precipice of my imagination meeting up with my thoughts and starting a fire.

When you think about it, this whole writing thing is such a tenuous matter. The nuance of what goes into a piece and what should be removed would seem, on the face of it, to be akin to tooling around under the hood- just a matter of nuts and bolts and gaskets. Except, writing is sort of like tooling around under the hood and somehow building a Hemi that is capable of space travel.

This line I wrote left me ponderous. This line whose particular sentiment can be easily explained as an emotional response to a post I was reading about the tragedy in Florida last week. And so, okay . . that’s the why of it, but that can’t explain the how of it. How is it that those words showed up in that particular moment? That’s what turns me on.

A writer’s brain feasts on the scrabble, never knowing what they might gather from the voices in their heads. Our imaginations are a natural disaster of the real and the unreal, the known and the unknown, the here and now and the never was. And from this feast we cull and carve and oftentimes, cry.

I like to think we’re communicating with the cosmos when we feast on the scrabble and make sense of the voices and sublime our imaginations. We step inside whole new worlds without ever leaving our feet. And sometimes we find a simple line that makes us wonder aloud. The song and the fight, all wrapped up in this beautiful mystery.

The not knowing is what’s lovely.