April 26, 2011

X-Tremely Specialized Blogging

I read several news/popular culture on-line magazines almost every day.  Lately, one of them seems to be getting away from news and opinion pieces, and more into running blog posts that they normally feature in their "open" opinion section.

Granted, all of the blog posts that they feature are very well written.  I envy the authors for their creativity and command of the language.  But it seems that they all are inclined to be more aimed at inciting the ire of their readers and less about discussions of relevant subjects.

Recent features have included such themes as "I Tried To Have Two Families At Once And They Both Dumped My Ass ... Feel Sorry For Me";  "My Dad Was Married And Divorced Three Times ... Ha, Ha ... What An Asshole"; and "My Younger Brother Raped Me When I Was Seventeen ... And I Liked It".

Today, I was sucked in once more by a guest post titled "When Nature Calls -- In The Worst Way".  I was eating my lunch at my desk when I read the first line "You never quite forget the first time you crap yourself."

Okay, this poor woman went on for almost three pages about how, at 26 years old, she found herself dumping in her pants in the most inopportune places.  At the movies, in restaurants, at work, in church ...

She chose not to see the doctor, because she didn't have insurance, for TWO YEARS. Finally, her boyfriend (she must have been a real fox to wrangle one of those while having her problem) made her see a doctor after she shat her pants in the passenger seat of his new car.

Turns out that she had a pretty serious problem.  Something named Ulcerative Colitis. Basically, her whole colon was covered with constantly exploding ulcers.


I was looking for a happy ending to her story, but unfortunately for me ... and especially her, there isn't one.  The only way she can solve her problem permanently is to have her entire colon removed, which she chose not to do.  Wisely, I think.  So, she tries various medications and diets to reduce the severity of her problems.  She relates that some days it works, and some days it doesn't.

The bio at the end of the article reveals that the author lives in the Northwest, where she has a blog exclusively dedicated to Ulcerative Colitis.


I'm sure this woman probably can come up with new and fresh ways to explore this very specialized subject, but I was just thinking that I couldn't do it.  Seriously, maybe I could come up with three ... maybe four good posts ... things that would be interesting and could help people.  But after that ... I can just see me trying to pull this off.

Monday:  Crapped my pants.

Tuesday:  Crapped my pants at the grocery store.

Wednesday:  Crapped my pants at the store again.  They barred me for life.

Thursday:  Didn't crap my pants!  Yay!??

Friday:  Crapped my pants again.  Shit.

Really, I'd just give up blogging at that point.

Good thing I'm just sticking with the piece of shit I have now.

April 19, 2011

Theater Of The Mind

It's Tuesday and Jan is doing her tutoring thing until early this evening, so I'm alone with my thoughts for an hour or two.  I tend to build up thoughts to the point of backlog, so I like to take them one by one and try to answer them in order to clear them out for more important things like "I wonder if I should finish off the rest of that bag of Ruffles Brand potato chips so that I can make some room in my undersized pantry for the bag of Fritos I just bought?"

But then, there are thoughts that I can't answer to my satisfaction.  And since I deep-sixed the idea of writing about work today (never a good idea if you're still working at the place you're going to write about), I thought I'd just throw them out here.

  • Which goes faster?  The first twenty years of your life, or the last twenty?  And when do you know when to start counting the last twenty?
  • How much money do you throw into fixing up your house before it goes from "I wonder how much this will increase my home's value, to ... maybe I can make this dump look better than my neighbor's so someone will buy mine before theirs?"
  • If you're married, or have a significant other, do you really need a good friend, or are they just worthless horseshit baggage?
  • If someone in a superior position to you thinks you did something monumentally, earth-shatteringly wrong, but then it turns out you were right, do you immediately pounce on them, or save it up for a spectacular blackmailing double-cross later?
  • If you want something really, really bad that costs a moderate amount of money, but know you can get along without it (like a pretty little pony), do you buy said pony to satisfy your underlying selfish wants, or do you "wait 'til later" and savor the time until you buy your pretty little pony?
  • Why do they show that yogurt commercial with the old bag Greek woman calling her grand daughter a "prostitute" at 7 o'clock in the morning and then your single digit aged child asks you what a prostitute is so that you have to fend off telling he or she the facts of life when you're still half asleep?
  • Why isn't that 1961 half-hour episode of "The Roaring Twenties" that I saw on You Tube last night as good as I remember it when I was 7 years old?
  • If you could go back and correct all the stupid things you've done in your life, wouldn't that make you a really, really boring person?
I guess you can't answer everything that pops into your head, even if it stays there longer than it should, so I guess I'll go downstairs and finish that bag of Ruffles so that I'm not distracted by the unopened bag of Fritos.

April 12, 2011

Fact Or Fiction?

My annual Spring writer's block is still in full swing.  But that doesn't mean I don't read. During lunch today, I happened upon a post in "Open Salon", which I found to be entertaining to the max.

The only thing was, I didn't know whether to mail this guy a pipe bomb, or to congratulate him for a great piece of fiction.

Having witnessed this type of lunatic behavior sort of second handed, maybe it's for real ... or maybe it's not.  I guess you can decide for yourself.

Entertaining fiction writer, or TOTAL ASSHOLE?

April 03, 2011

Sundays With Bobby Orr

When people think of formulas, they normally think of the boring/horrible mathematical nightmares pushed on them in their school years.  But there are other kinds that don't involve numbers, letters and all those other little incomprehensible hieroglyphics that go with them.

These are emotional formulas, and they sometimes come to you out of thin air.  For instance, take one cold, damp Sunday afternoon in March + one 50-something year old guy, divided by a wandering mind and you get ...

A bored high school freshman sprawled on his bed on a Sunday in March, 1967 watching his black and white Motorola semi-portable television with bent rabbit ears perched on top of it.

These were the worst days.  Too shitty to go outside ... too lazy to do the homework that I should have gotten out of the way when I got home on Friday afternoon and dreading the start of the school week.  And with only three channels available on the tube, there wasn't much to watch.  So, I usually settled for ABC's Wide World of Sports.  You know, "The Thrill of Victory, and the Agony of Defeat".  Only in March, there wasn't very much to watch on that either, unless you liked obscure Winter sports like Curling or Ice Dancing.

However, the regional telecast wizards at ABC decided for the month of March, that everyone in Springfield, Missouri would really enjoy watching ... Boston Bruins Hockey! Actually the real reason they  broadcast these games was because of a young hockey whiz out of Canada who had just completed his rookie year and was considered a "phenom" in the hockey world.

Bobby Orr.

So, for four or five Sundays in March, I watched Bobby Orr skate around rinks playing hockey, and it was sort of exciting watching the guy.  Unfortunately, I never bothered to learn the rules of hockey.  I still don't know what "behind the blue line" or "Icing" means.  I could care less now, just as I did then.  I just liked watching Bobby skate.

But then, it was April, and ABC stopped showing the Bruins, and instead, began broadcasts of "The American Sportsman", which in most episodes, featured host Curt Gowdy and famous alcoholic Phil Harris sitting in a flat bottom boat pretending to hunt ducks.  How these two managed to keep from killing each other with random shotgun blasts was beyond my comprehension.

Anyway, several weeks ago, this memory came back ... and suddenly, I wanted to reconnect to the Bruins/bored high school freshman experience in the only way a man my age can.

I fired up the computer, went to the Amazon.com site, and bought a Boston Bruins cap.  Several days later it arrived.  And I regretfully knew I had purchased the wrong one.  Observe ...

Looks nice, doesn't it?  But it didn't fit right.  For one thing, it was too tight, and secondly, it rode too high on my head, making me look like an American Legion member wearing one of those goofy "USS Saratoga" naval baseball caps.  You know what I'm talking about.  Those guys always look stupid, especially if they're also wearing polo shirts and white Sansibelt slacks.

So, back to Amazon.com I went, and this time, I picked the right one.  Just got it in the mail this week ...

This one is A-OK!  It fits right and being a "slouch hat", rides low on my head.

The only thing is; by the time this hat arrived, I had lost the old vibe.  Bobby Orr, the Bruins, 1967 March Sunday afternoons ... the whole thing has moved on.  So, here I am with two caps, and this being rabid Chicago Blackhawks territory, I probably shouldn't wear either one of them out in public until hockey season is over.

Maybe if I explained that Bobby Orr played 26 games as a Blackhawk before he retired, people would understand.

But it just ain't worth it.