Monday, May 31, 2004

Life Is So Interesting

Life is so interesting, the way it won't stay simple. How it won't go Straight Ahead. Everything leads to something else or else is prefaced by something you never remember to expect. All the problems and repairs I deal with work like that. If I mean to mow the lawn, but am in a particular hurry, I can depend on it that it won't start and I have to slow down and deal with that in the hottest, lengthiest, dirtiest manner imaginable. By the time I can actually start mowing, I'm not only mad and hurried about it, but also hot and tired before I've begun.

If you start, as I did today, to finally get the cheap spreader down off the wall and spread that bag of fertilizer granules in the back yard, things are bound to go wrong. I can never quite remember that it's going to do this, but things will go wrong! First, the right wheel on the spreader wouldn't move, it was locked up. I generally wash the cheap thing off after spreading anything with it since so many chemicals are corrosive and it's not made of the best metals, anyway. I see that some of the nuts and bolt heads are already rusted to some small rounded size for which no hand tool is sized to fit. After some preparatory cussing and pounding and then some oiling and shaking and hollering, I finally got some movement going again. I loaded the hopper. I was ready to go.

Red-faced and behind schedule on a job I should have already been finished with, I began to push the spreader around the yard. Always, about then, I remember how this thing was built for a shorter person, perhaps an oriental of the old school who doesn't eat American Mega-vitamins, and so the spreader is very uncomfortable for me to handle. That's really off the centerline in America, when a device is too short for me. I'm only about 5'10". So, when I'm too tall for something, a lot of other American men would really be inconvenienced! This is probably what I should expect when I'm always buying the cheapest of something because "Well, how often am I gonna use one of these things, anyway?" Silly rabbit. Then it turns out that cheap crappy tools sometimes last forever. They may get bent or bumpy or clattery or loose or lame, they may skin you, cut you, or lame you, but they never just die so that you can be done with it and go get a new one.

I got that spreading done, though it took a little longer than I recalled. They always DO take longer than I remember—I apparently don't have much of a memory.

Now This Is The Good Part

I happened to start reading the front of the bag for this feed-and-weed type of fertilizer. Oops. In somewhat small print, it said, "Not to be used on St. Augustine grass". It listed other grasses to avoid, but I already had a problem. I know that this kind of grass is a weed in many a part of the planet, but in the American south, it's a grass. It's the yard, dammit. Okay, now what does one DO to UNDO a fuckup of this magnitude? I went and turned on the computer and the air conditioner and had a glass of ice water. I thought about it for a hour or so.

There weren't many options, so to undo what I'd done, I did what the bag said not to do. They said "don't water it in", so I watered it in. I washed off the grass as thoroughly as I could, feeling confident that it was the herbicide (2-4-D, dicamba, other cocktail ingredients), not the fertilizer, which needed to remain on the leaves. And I needed for it not to stay on the leaves! I've dealt with systemic herbicides and pesticides, but I've never been aware that there are any systemic fertilizers, so my guess is that it doesn't matter either way if fertilizer is washed in—it'll still do it's job. Well, it's all a guess, and it's finally done. What I'd thought of as a quick 20-30 minute job had lasted for hours instead.

I wish it would rain even now, as that would assure me that I won't wake up one day next week to a brown and browner back lawn. My mood has been getting brown and browner before now without just wiping out everything green in the back yard.

You see I've had experience with this. I know it can be done. I wiped out the lawn in the back yard at the Chancellor's semi-palatial home when I worked at the University, so I have some familiarity with how it's done. At the university, however, there was a 30-man Groundskeeper crew to go to work immediately and mend the injury I'd done. Mend, hell, they carried pallet after pallet of sod into it until it was a whole yard full of pristine new grass! No one can tell me that I don't know what it feels like to be Publicly Stupid.

It's amazing what you can get away with when you just admit to being stupid. But that's another story.

Friday, May 28, 2004

The Trouble With Bloggers

The trouble with Bloggers is that they aren't really writers. Don't get me wrong, some of them are quite good writers. Others couldn't write their way out of a paper bag, but we won't name names. Maybe the bad ones will get better with practice. Maybe the good ones will get book contracts, and that will encourage the middling writers. Maybe, as with water, everything will seek it's own level and that will be everyone's success.

But I still say that the trouble with Bloggers is that they aren't hard and fast, dedicated, in-for-the-kill lost-in-the-rush-and-flush-of-it writers. If they get depressed or busy or drunk or promoted or get too close to a case of the clap, they cease writing. Maybe just for a while, maybe longer. If they get a new car or a common cold or a rare disease or get irritated with the stock market or need a new job or can't remember their name in less than ten seconds, they simply stop writing. Adversity is too perverse for them.

I haven't been at it long enough to have seen how bloggers handle a death in the family. Does it become a blog subject, too? I'd like to think Not, but I expect to see it, nonetheless. Bloggers who continue to blog seem to use nearly everything else. If they can't think of any more good ideas to blog about, they at last desist. Wimps.

Yeah, wimps. But the problem is that I am one of them. By the size of that overloaded horse trailer out there in which I haul my whinnying ego around, you might guess which kind of writer I think I am. But still I'm just one of the rest who isn't being paid a dime for this, who does it for the love of it or for the inane companionship of it (there is some, now and then) or for the very insane hell of it (of which there is an appreciable amount).

Being the Internet denizen I've become, I probably read it in somebody's blog and not in the New York Times, but nonetheless I read a while back that the NYT said there are about 10 million blogs at the present time. I don't think there's one-tenth that number of good writers in the group. You don't either, do you? You can figure there are not that many geniuses in the group, either. Geniuses would be out saving the planet or else harvesting the Earth like the Japanese harvest a whale population. The geniuses would be doing Something, not writing about Nothing, as I am now. So, there's few of them in here with us. And though I've encountered some kind and considerate people, I wouldn't be too quick to guess that there are any saintly souls in the group. That's just my forefinger-in-the-air guesstimate, of course.

I haven't done it lately, but I've perused a great many blogs late at night when I was bored, clicking on hundreds of titles that just published a new post to see what they are. A few times, I've found something good. A remarkable number of times, I've found one-post blogs that had just been published for the first time. Some of them are just snotty and obscene in a teenage boy sort of way, but I guess some of them may have been snotty girls instead. Things have changed since I was a snotty boy. It's my guess that they never returned to make a second post. They just wanted to see if they could do it-make a blog-and Say Something out there on the Internet. I guess they then discovered they didn't have as much to say as when they're hollering in the movie theater and annoying the rest of the audience. I will not speculate further, but it was probably all for the best. Free Speech in the hands of the brain-dead IS one of the things Americans have fought and died for, but it's an ugly thing to behold.

I once found the blog of a fellow in his twenties (purportedly, at least) who'd just started his blog and who promised to post Every Time that he got laid and he expected to deliver "plenty". He was gay and liked it with total strangers who didn't return his kisses (that's a euphemism, kiddies), but he liked it that way. He didn't care if he himself got off or not. His notion of what constituted "satisfaction" was obviously a little on the bizarre side. His blog and his Yahoo email address had the most unimaginably vulgar names contained in them. I won't test your liberality by repeating them. Over several weeks, he wrote three graphic (mostly brief) accounts of his sex acts in public places, then (excuse the term) petered out. About a month went by without further posts, and then I stopped checking. Maybe he was in jail for a while, who knows? Though he'd been interesting in his deviant and moronic way-the way that two-headed turtles are interesting, I guess-I was relieved to find him gone.

I am also relieved that he was not a very good writer. I'd say he was just one step up from the sort of writer who leaves notes and phone numbers for you on the restroom walls. WHAT would I have done if he'd been a good writer?! Would I have kept reading him to this very day, allowing him to warp what little is left of my sense of reality? Have I no sense of goddamn decency at all?!

Well, eventually he would have annoyed me, I'm certain. Other far more civilized blog writers have annoyed me and ended up being removed in a heartbeat from my revolving list of about 20 to 25 blogs. Some are deleted, some are added-it's nature, life and death, death and life. Only it's utterly ephemeral, and almost totally meaningless. So, get out of here, go kiss somebody you'd like to kiss or run out the door and breathe some air! I'm sure you've noticed that it's gone a bit stale in here already.

Thursday, May 27, 2004

Fading Away

It has been determined that although you are not George, you will have to read a poem today called A Song For George in JUDY GARLAND BLUES, My Self-Satisfied Old Poetry Blog for New and Used Poems



Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Summer Saga - Part Two

I wrote yesterday about living in Matchbox, Texas one summer and finding it an odd experience. Not that I gave it a fair chance; I don't claim that. If I were to pass through Matchbox today, I'd probably expect it to be no worse or better than any other unfamiliar place. The teenaged boys who harassed us are, if not in jail or dead, pillars of the community, fat-bellied city officials. Back then, though, they had a hostile sense of humor and it was a damn strange place for a misfit like me.

I was selling belts and other leather goods on the Drag, across the street from the University of Texas, where the busiest foot traffic generally occurred. (The arts and crafts area has since moved around the corner to 23rd Street.) If you were going to be a street vendor, it was the best street for it, since UT students generally had disposable income. I'd taken to selling Gayle's candles as well, since he, oddly enough, made a worse salesman than I did. I took a percentage of his sales while he took a little bit more of a vacation from reality than most people.

Tim's Motorcycle

At some point this same summer, my friend Tim hit some hard times and he also needed a place with cheap rent. He moved in with us, thinking how much he might enjoy a house in the country, for he liked nature a great deal, certainly more than I did. He had a motorcycle, his only means of transportation at the time.

We had no phone and were too far off the beaten track to get many random visitors from town, so most visits were both a surprise and an Event. One day when Gayle and I were both home, we were surprised to hear a car coming down the long driveway. When the car came into view, we didn't recognize it. It was a total stranger giving Tim a lift home. He limped out of the back seat, thanked the man, and told us how he'd wrecked his bike back down the road on his way home. He thought his leg might be broken, so I got him in my car and headed for Breckenridge Hospital in Austin.

On the way past the site of his accident, we saw the motorcycle, but there was nothing we could do. It didn't look too bad, but it certainly couldn't fit in the trunk of my Ford Falcon. Besides, I would have been afraid of it leaking gasoline. I can't remember how long we waited at the emergency room, but it was a couple of hours, at least. Tim came out with a cast and crutch, grinning and hobbling.

"Is it broken?" I asked, and he nodded.

"Couldn't ride a bike anyway, could I?" he said sheepishly.

On the way back, the motorcycle was no longer there. Someone had taken it. Eventually time proved that it had not been taken by a Good Samaritan, but by the local joyous roughnecks, possibly the same ones who kept arranging our unseasonable decorations out by the cattle guard. Despondent Tim would've held his head, I think, except that he was already holding onto his leg, trying not to let it bounce around too much as my little car went down the bumpy roads.

Home For Some Rest

We got home and Tim lay down on his bed and exhaled deeply. Now he could rest. Well, I call it a bed, though it was actually just a mattress on the floor. As young men, that was perfectly comfortable to us back then, though it was not necessarily a good idea out there in the country. We weren't very good housekeepers. At least, we did not vacuum up every speck of dust in the place, the way that Ladies Home Journal might have dictated. We might have done well to do so, but we didn't.

Among the specks of dust we didn't remove, there was also the occasional scorpion. We used to check the room at night, shake out the bed covers and pillows, and so forth. We weren't completely stupid; we knew the scorpions could get in the house. Still, there is no perfect system.

Scorpions Never Rest

I came home one late afternoon and Gayle informed me that Tim had been stung by one of the scorpions.

"Is he all right?" I asked. I didn't know anything about scorpion stings, I didn't know how much to worry.

I went to Tim's room and he was sitting on the mattress, looking just a little desolate. He'd been hobbling around the house on "his crutch and his one good foot", Tim explained, when he put his foot down right by the scorpion. But the scorpion wasn't having it!

Tim didn't look happy, but he didn't look like he was fixing to die, either.

"Well, how bad does it hurt?" I asked.

"I've always been afraid of getting stung by scorpions, especially since moving out here," he sighed. "I guess I can say that it's bad. Yeah, it's pretty bad. But it's not as bad as I'd imagined it'd be!"

As pitiful as Tim looked, I still couldn't stifle my laughter. Even in adversity and agony, Tim could be a pretty droll fellow. He ignored my laughter and continued.

"Now everything's happened," he said in exasperation. "The wreck. The motorcycle stolen. The broken leg. This goddamn scorpion. The only thing left to go wrong now would be if a bird flew over me and crapped right on my head!"

I laughed and couldn't stop. I couldn't help it! Even though he seemed to accept his plight, he was obviously miserable about the whole thing. I had an attack of the giggles so bad that I had to leave the room so that I wouldn't just keep laughing in his face.

I barely recall anything about how the rest of the story played out-- how long it took him to mend or anything about the day I finally moved out of Matchbox or if Gayle continued making candles there after I left. I do recall perfectly well how hilarious it was that a beleaguered man who ordinarily had such great spirit could feel so down that even the birds in the sky seemed to menace him!



THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: "Acting is the most minor of gifts and not a very high-class way to earn a living. After all, Shirley Temple could do it at the age of four. Katharine Hepburn

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Summer Saga - Part One

When I lived in Austin years ago, there was one summer that I took it into my head (the same way, I guess, that you'd decide to just intentionally shoot yourself in the foot) to live about half an hour out in the country.

It was a town called Matchbox, no doubt a pleasant place in some regards, though I can't claim that I ever saw much of it. I generally drove straight "home" from Austin and straight out again the next day. Despite the cheapness of the rent, my heart and soul and work were still in Austin, not out here with the cows that wandered the place with their incredibly snotty noses and endless slobbering.

They'd never shown me that about cows on TV. Of course, they'd never shown me a horse's penis, either. I don't guess I needed to see one, but how does someone hide a thing like that, anyway? In the days of nicey-nice, though, TV could do it. I was a very thorough city denizen, not a country boy at all. I had made a mistake in coming to Matchbox, a thing which the town would be pleased to assure me of again and again.

Adding to my general sense of unease about it all was that my hair was rather long and everyone I did encounter in Matchbox seemed to be whistling that country tune by Merle Haggard. You know, the one where he brags about how his people from Muscogee are so smart that they don't smoke no marrywanny or commit unpatriotic acts or have sex with the barn animals. I hadn't seen nearly as much of all that as bumpkin Merle seemed to imagine that he'd seen, so I just tuned him out when I could and anybody else who seemed to know the same tune.

Unfortunately, though he was a fine fellow, I shared the house with a fellow named Gayle, a candlemaker whose long frizzy red hair and tall skinny frame made him far more of an attention getter than I was. He was not inconspicuous. He was almost goofily good-humored, which I suppose made most people assume that he was stoned all the time. It wasn't true, though--he was just stoned Most of the time. But he handled it better than I could, so I didn't worry too much about that, either. I used to see him dip his fingers in the hot wax sometimes "just to check the tempeature" and wondered if he had good sense. I later realized that the familiarity of working with it for several years had simply made him less jumpy about the heat than I was. He had a tolerance for it, but he hadn't lost sensation in his fingers. He made a wide variety of candles, most of them of quite high quality, some of them very innovative, utilizing crushed ice and antiquing stains. Of course, he probably didn't invent it all, I wasn't a world traveller. But he had pulled together some good designs and was good at what he did, and I always find that agreeable.

Every once in a while during the time we were there--a couple of months, as I recall-odd things would happen. Human things, though they'd give you the creeps. A tiny touch of Twilight Zone. Peculiar objects would appear on the front gate and fence posts at the cattle guard where we entered the property. Old tee-shirts, torn and smeared with who-knows-what. Tin cans and jar lids strung on bits of string. Sometimes smashed watermelons were found stuck on the poles like disembodied heads from some comical war that we didn't know about. At one point a gigantic wooden sign appeared on our gate as if we'd been invaded and taken over by Greenbriar, a local hippie commune and private school. Gayle knew a couple of people who lived there, so we got word to them and the guys from Greenbriar came and got the sign which had been stolen from them. They were very good-humored and fairly unconcerned about it. But they were a larger group than just the two of us, I thought. It was then that I began to get the willies and to just want to leave. Nonetheless, I hated to make a change and I hung on, lasting long enough for another odd, somewhat more comic adventure that summer. THEN I got the hell out of Dodge!



Come back tomorrow for Part Two of this Summer Saga!


THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: "They wrote in the old days that it is sweet and fitting to die for one's country. But in modern war there is nothing sweet or fitting in your dying. You will die like a dog for no good reason." -- Ernest Hemingway

Monday, May 24, 2004

John Clifton and The Big Blurs

John Clifton B. came home from the hospital Thursday evening, though he’d never exactly been “home” before. So on Friday, a mere three days old, he was already out for a stroll. Well, he didn’t stroll much; he just rode in the carrier that rode in the car the two and a half blocks from his house to this one. For someone who doesn’t even know what a house is yet, he was doing pretty well. There are no witnesses, however, who can testify that he opened his eyes even once during the entire trip here.

I watched him carefully while he was here and I only saw those little eyes pop open once for about the blink of an eye. I think he caught a glimpse of me and decided that sleep was far more entertaining. Maybe not--probably he doesn’t see very well from a distance yet and doesn’t know what monstrous thing I am or am not. I’m just another giant blur, something of little consequence to a cute little self-serving organism of his kind. Later he’ll learn that the big blurs can be told to bring him things or lift him up so he can Grab More Stuff. The Blurs will also take care of some really personal business for him. Right now, he doesn’t want anything much and so does not even dream of asking.

When he begins to want something, he’ll cry out in that indecipherable language of babies and keep crying until the big stupid Blurs figure it out. In “History Of The World, Part I,” Mel Brooks’ character exclaimed, “It’s good to be The King!” because he got to walk around freely squeezing all the women’s—well, you get the idea. But actually it’s much much nicer to be The Baby. Not only does he too freely nuzzle women’s bosoms, but everyone has to learn his language, even if his sole language consists of piercing screams and some pretty peculiar body language.

But the main thing is that his Big Sister Shauna and I have decided that he’s about as cute as cute can get, but that he’s not any cuter than she is—that’s what Shauna told me and I nodded sagely in agreement—and we’re all in favor of putting up with his peculiar and selfish behavior until he learns how to talk. Then, if we’re still so inclined, we can tell him to Behave. Remember that powerful phrase back when you were young?

“Behave yourself!”

The number of exclamation marks behind those words was sometimes incalculable. Sometimes it sounded like thunder! Depending on how hard Momma or Daddy looked at you, you were in some kind of deep trouble. But John Clifton won’t be in any trouble at all for a while, for every trouble that he can get into just now and for a good while to come will just make people laugh and remark how Incredibly Cute he is. Shauna and I will have to make some adjustments, for, though we’ve been spoiled in our own turns, the new King of Cute has arrived!


John Clifton came by again on Sunday and again slept through nearly the whole thing. I did see him with his eyes open for, uh, oh, it must’ve been all of 2 minutes. But sleep called him and he closed his eyes and was soon gone again, like a rabbit down a rabbit hole.

It has been ordained and ordered that you Will have to read A poem today called EARNUR'S LAMENT in JUDY GARLAND BLUES, My Self-Rectifying New Poetry Blog for Old and New Poems



THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: "When he was young, he had thought that love had something to do with understanding, but with age he knew that no human being understood another." -- Graham Greene

Friday, May 21, 2004

Under A Rock

Listen, I'm hiding under a rock today and I'm not coming out. If there's no snakes in here, I just might stay a while. I'll come out some time, just not today. And since the weekend is upon us, I'll have a nice long rest. You wouldn't want me to go crazy, would you? I need a rest from all the nothing that I do so that I can get around to writing something for next week that's not nothing. Okay, maybe that doesn't make sense, but that's what I'm talking about--I need a rest!


Thursday, May 20, 2004

Guest Poet

A DREAM WITHIN A DREAM
  by Edgar Allan Poe, 1827

Take this kiss upon the brow!
And, in parting from you now,
Thus much let me avow --
You are not wrong, who deem
That my days have been a dream;
Yet if hope has flown away
In a night, or in a day,
In a vision, or in none,
Is it therefore the less gone?
All that we see or seem
Is but a dream within a dream.
I stand amid the roar
Of a surf-tormented shore,
And I hold within my hand
Grains of the golden sand --
How few! Yet how they creep
Through my fingers to the deep,
While I weep -- while I weep!
O God! Can I not grasp
Them with a tighter clasp?
O God! Can I not save
One from the pitiless wave?
Is all that we see or seem
But a dream within a dream?


Wednesday, May 19, 2004

No Cigars, But I'm An Uncle Again

John Clifton B. was born around one o’ clock on Tuesday morning, May 18, 2004. My sister was awakened and told about it on the phone shortly after. She asked her son if the baby was healthy, then went right back to sleep. Gary's seven-year-old daughter Shauna, who was spending the night with her Grammy and her Pawpaw while her parents were at the hospital, raised her fist in the air and yelled "Yay!" Then she too fell back and went back to sleep. You and I probably slept through the whole thing. There's a lot of sleepyheads in this world while new and important things are going on.

When daylight came and the crowd went down to see the new baby, the nurse who brought the baby to the room understood how things are with very small Big Sisters. She made sure that Shauna had washed her hands, and then put John Clifton in Shauna’s lap before anyone else. Shauna, the former baby of the family, was a very happy little girl.

“She just beamed!” my sister said.

And, oh yeah—Lisa, the mother who did the hard work and the straining and the difficult maintaining of patience under pressure is doing all right, too, though I guess she’s pretty tired. Which is a relief to people like me, who did no work at all except to keep explaining to forgetful Shauna how her new little brother is named after her Pawpaw’s father John and her Grammy’s father Clifton, both of whom are long deceased. She never knew them and probably only has the vaguest notion of what death is, but now she’s gotten this chance to see something of what birth is. Let’s hope she doesn’t feel she has to be mean to her little brother until he’s at least as old as she is now. From what I remember of being a little brother, he’ll be starting the domestic fights and quarrels by then!


THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: “The most important scientific revolutions all include, as their only common feature, the dethronement of human arrogance from one pedestal after another of previous convictions about our centrality in the cosmos.” -- Stephen Jay Gould

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Grin And Bear It

I don’t want to write another blog. Not today. In fact, I don’t intend to. You can’t make me. I’m tired, very tired. Go look at a topical blog, Jeremiah’s Bull , a web site that I redesigned for Jeremiah. It isn’t rocket science and it’s not the Mona Lisa, but it’s a nice thing. He seems to appreciate it, anyway. Jeremiah doesn’t update very often, a habit I’m trying to get him to change. At his best, he is focused like a laser beam on these topical subjects. Other times, he is merely right. Most times, he’s a lazy sonofagun and won’t write for weeks at a time.

I only hope Jeremiah got around to deleting one of the two copies of his post for yesterday. If he didn’t, just consider it a little bad housekeeping on his part! I warned him by late email last night, but it may have been after his bedtime. He gets up early, though, and maybe he’ll have fixed it before the rest of us can hit the snooze alarm the first time. Maybe he’ll resent my sending The Gang over without fair warning. But, hell, there is no fair warning on the Internet! It’s like brushing your teeth in public—you may or may not be able to do it with any elegance, but you’ve done it nonetheless.

My butterfingers produced two identical posts like that once upon a time when I was up late and the goblins were at work against me. I don’t know how I did it; I just know I hated it. But what can you do? Probably no one even saw it before I corrected it, but as everyone knows, especially people brushing their teeth in public, shit happens. So grin and bear it. Or shoot me for being a purveyor of clich├ęs.

And what’s worse is, I’ve written another blog.


THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: "When I'm working on a problem, I never think about beauty. I think only how to solve the problem. But when I have finished, if the solution is not beautiful, I know it is wrong.” -- R. Buckminster Fuller

Monday, May 17, 2004

All Quiet, Except This Blog

All’s quiet on the Southern front (and rear) and my brain is fairly inactive, too. Every good article I have written at present is not finished or else is being saved for the next overdue issue of Southern Exposure. These are my excuses for having no particular subject for the blog today. Maybe, too, I’m just all blogged out.

Of course, this preening blog itself is a blog subject. I’ve piddled away a lot of time lately on imbedding repeating images, colored bars, links, lists, and such. I guess I’m too close to it, for I can’t tell at all if this home beautification is starting to have the opposite effect and create a mere wealth of clutter. Have I gone too far, are there now too many lace doilies and fripperies? Could be. The only way I’d know is if some of my readers told me so.

I completed my “22 Pretty Good Ones”, which is a list of some of the “better” previous posts. Maybe I’ll let it shrink to 20 or less later. Right now I wanted a last-gasp chance for all of these to be read. There’s always the “Archives”, but I’ve never been sure how many people fool with those. They probably don’t appeal very much to the modern sense of Brevity and Quickness that most people prefer. I figure people have to Really Love You to dig through your Archives—like a fan digging through a rock star’s garbage!—and I don’t think I feel quite that loved yet. So, having noticed other people’s “Past Posts”, “Previous Posts”, “Highlights”, and so on, I figured that kind of thing might work for me, too. Of course, the post links are just sitting there like lumps of clay, and I have no idea if anyone has been drawn to them or clicked on them. The amount of Love in the air is about the same as it was before, and there’s no proof or disproof of anything.

Well, I don’t care—The Rat Squeaks is still not as complicated as Southern Exposure, although it’s certainly hungrier and therefore requires the most time. Hopefully, I’m through for a while with tinkering with the lists, colors, fonts, appearances, and images on The Rat Squeaks.

Oh, there is one last thing, I guess. I keep wondering about my links lists. I started out being my snobby self and establishing the “Intelligent Blogs” list and didn’t expect it to ever become very long. But as time goes by I notice there’s about 20 other blogs I read regularly and I am temped to add them. I wonder whether I’d add them to the existing list or make another list? What would I call the new list? I guess I shouldn’t have started out being so supercilious—if I hadn’t, I wouldn’t be having this stupid argument with myself now.

Friday, May 14, 2004

On A Mission From God

"Make way, we're on a mission from God!" Wasn't it Elwood's brother Jake who said that? Something like that.

I don't play much with religion. I stay away from preachers—by and large, I would expect to find them too predictable and tight-assed. However, I guess there's always a few intelligent ones out there, and I have found one at REAL LIVE PREACHER.

This one is a good writer and appears to be a pretty good guy. I haven't tried to read all of his past posts, but all of what I've read was enjoyable. He's had some success already, starting with the fact that his blog is on Salon.com and he apparently has a book deal going, too. But his main success is that he writes a pretty sincere and skillful blog every few days. I doubt I can add much to his success with my recommendation and I don't believe I'm on a mission from God, but I thought some of you who could enjoy his blog might not have heard of him yet. I hate sending good customers to another vendor, though. If you don't come back here after reading his blog, I'll give your name and address out to some of the regular boring, pushy, never-give-up preachers and they'll fix you. They'll ruin your life!


Read a short story called ABBIE HOFFMAN DIED in GATSBY'S BLUES, a story blog for the Morally Deficient and the Lost And Found of my fictional world. This new feature will be an infrequent one; certainly not a daily one!



Thursday, May 13, 2004

Correction to “How to Implement Permalinks”

A Note To the Amateur Techno-Geeks In My Audience
(You Know Who You Are)



A small correction to the permalinks instructions a couple of days ago: You DO NOT have to use the exact title in referring back to the permalink. The previous sentence is an example of that, something that should have been clear to me from seeing other people’s use of permalinks. Somewhere I got the wrong impression and went joyously down the primrose path.

The need for the title appears to be merely as a marker—the clicked link searches for the indicated permalink address, then uses the line immediately below the title field to home in on as its “top of the screen” mark. When titles are two lines long, only the bottom line of the title shows. I think now that permalinks don’t know one title from another, only the location of the title field.

Boy, I hate to be wrong.


WELCOME BACK TO NATALIE from your week of rest or flurried flight through space or whatever the heck it was. Congratulations and good luck with your new job!


Wednesday, May 12, 2004

Bernie's Varicose Veins

Okay, so this isn't very short. But it's not as painful as yesterday's didactic post!

I had a friend named Bernie for a while in Austin more than 30 years ago. He’d been a family man and an electrical engineer, but that was already in his past when I met him. He had some hilarious stories about how he and some of his college friends had practically discovered peyote and other hallucinogenic drugs in Texas back in the days before various government entities even knew to pass a law against them. They'd go down to Mexico and bring them back in bundles, no hiding from the border inspectors. I think Bernie was nine or ten years older than I was and, though these drugs were already illegal by the time I came along, they hadn’t been earlier and he and others he’d know had made the best (or maybe the worst) of it.

Back then I had no objection to drugs at all. I could see that they made some people just plain stupid, but that was true of alcohol, the national pastime next to baseball and football. Men all over the planet would kill you for the God-given right to drink their stupid beer, so I failed to see much wrong with a Trip of another kind. There were some bad trips, of course. I can no more explain to you why some would flip out and go out a window than I could explain why drunks insist on their God-given right to drive drunk and kill themselves and others. One was legal, the other was not, that was the primary fact. Some people, not many, used drugs, not for kicks, but in the Aldous Huxley sense of things, to aid in passing through the doors of perception. That’s how I felt about it, but I didn’t fool myself—most people just wanted to party, regardless of their drug of choice. I can’t say I objected to the party, either.

I never was quite sure what Bernie had in mind with his drugs. I think, even as smart as he was, he'd just partied his brains out and ruined his life. He wasn’t even taking them by the time I knew him, except for beer. He was remarkably intelligent, yet he was burnt out, too, and couldn’t quite keep a grip on things. He couldn’t, or wouldn’t keep a job. He lived in various flophouses or cheap rented rooms. Sometimes he didn’t live anywhere, I expect. He used to disappear for some weeks or months and come back telling picturesque and comical, but disturbing, tales of odd things, like searching for food in California garbage dumpsters.

He said that the best ones were usually the chicken restaurant franchises because they would often tightly box up the left-over chicken in the regular cardboard boxes, and dump that in the dumpster. This meant not having to separate the good stuff from the sloppy salads and spilled ketchups, drinks, and so forth. He had his own sense of cleanliness and when he’d found a good location, he established his habits around it. He’d be eating their chicken so soon after they closed and dumped it that it was still slightly warm, he said. It didn’t have time to grow germs or get bugs in it. I guess.

In situations like that, it didn’t sound quite so repellent to me. However, he had other stories of harder times in unfamiliar cities and in parts of town he didn’t know. Bernie said the next best place would be the parts of town where the expensive houses were, if you could keep from being chased out of the neighborhood by the police. Bernie was always on foot, and you know how we Americans (especially American cops) are about Pedestrians—they are not to be abided. (I once hitchhiked through Surprise, Arizona—I know!)

Apparently, eating was pretty good out of those private garbage cans, too. Rich people, he said, seemed to always have neat and orderly garbage, for what he found was often separated and wrapped neatly in paper or cardboard. He’d find whole meals, untouched, he said, as if some pouting churlish teenager was “teaching a lesson” to Mom and Dad. Sometimes he came to expect such good pickings that he’d slip up and open some distinctly wrong things. Bernie told me that he once opened a crisp clean, extra heavy very fancy paper bag that turned out to have diapers with fresh baby shit in it. He figured maybe somebody driving down the street had just pulled over, lifted the garbage can lid, and dumped it in like that. After I got through laughing, I told him I didn’t much think it mattered how it’d gotten there! I asked him how far he’d had to stick his nose in the bag to be warned, but he just grimaced, remembering the moment.

Bernie was very intelligent. He would have made a wonderful blogster, had such a thing existed in the latter 1960’s. He had a great sense of humor and laughed well and long at your jokes as well as his, but he was ultimately unstable. Again and again I had to remember and recalculate how to treat him and sometimes, especially toward the end, I just couldn’t bear him. He began to have trouble with varicose veins and other physical ailments; he moped and became disagreeable about it. He was only 34, but he was falling apart, he said. It’s odd how many things I can recall about him, random moments, but I can’t recall the last time I saw him. I’m sure it was during a time that we couldn’t really stand one another. After a year or two, I guess, I realized that he seemed to be gone for good this time. More years went by, before I left Austin, and he never did turn up again. One wonders about the missing like that. Did he manage to go back Home in any fashion? Did he make a new life? Did he irritate the wrong people and die out on the road somewhere? Is he just plodding along slowly still, getting by, living on the edge of society? He might be the smartest store clerk in your town, an affable but listless fellow you never speak to except while paying for your drinks or videos or other goods. I always like to think he made it back to his family. But that one’s a long shot.



Addendum: In 1993 a man named Lars Eighner wrote a book called “Travels With Lizbeth”, a book about an intelligent gay man who was down and out, traveling with his dog Lizbeth between Austin and California, crashing where he could, often eating out of dumpsters. It’s a walk on the sleazy side, but as with my friend Bernie, Lars Eighner was smart and made a sort of entertainment out of his bad straits. The author was a very likeable fellow. I particularly noted the similarity of the dumpster-diving and its tribulations, though I am sure that neither Lars nor Bernie had invented it. Hobos (or any other name you’d care to call them) have been around for ages. But I didn’t know any of the nameless hobos.


Read A Short Poem Called DIDACTIC IN NOVEMBER
in JUDY GARLAND BLUES,
My Depressing New Poetry Blog for Old & New Poems




THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: "Lovers can find nothing to say to each other that has not been said and unsaid a thousand times over. Kisses were invented to translate such nothings into wounds." -- Durrell, Lawrence (The Alexandria Quartet)

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

How to Implement Permalinks



This is the post I kept trying to enter yesterday… I think it will not now explode, erode, or produce earthquakes. For tomorrow, whether goofy or angry, good or bad, baleful or playful, I promise it will be shorter than this!


How to Implement Permalinks

If you're in a big hurry and are very intuitive, here's the short set of instructions:

1. Copy the permalink address from a web site.
2. Insert it and the title you want to use in your own web site.
3. Then readers can click it and go back to that exact post via permalink.


Uh, wait a minute, some of us need a little more explanation than that! And, of course, some folks would never do this sort of thing and will hopefully be back tomorrow to see if the subject's changed!


Everyone, as a reader, can use a permalink because it's just a link, a thing you click on. If it's there, you can click on it and it takes you somewhere, usually to a different web site. A permalink can take you to another URL, but also straight to a post within the web site. Thus, you don't have to search up and down the web site for it.

Before the reader can use it like that, though, the blogger has to set things up and implement it. That's the hard part, if you've never done one before. Getting each step of the instructions and understanding them was, I found, incredibly difficult the first time around. Even now, I want a better set of instructions, a step-by-step for idiots, so I decided to write them myself. No bigger idiot around than me as far as not being able to "get" the instructions!

Just so that these instructions will seem specific, I'll describe the initial procedure I went through. I just wanted to allow readers of "The Rat Squeaks" to click on a permalink and go straight to the appropriate poem in my other blog, "Judy Garland Blues". So here they are, as boiled down as I could get them and still know what I meant if I read them again next year.


My Step-By-Step Instructions To Me
On How to Implement Blogger Permalinks


1. Make sure that you are using post titles because permalinks use titles. Therefore, you need them.
          a. To do this, go to the Blogger Dashboard.
          b. Click Change Settings.
          c. Click Formatting.
          d. Click Yes in the Show Title Field. This will allow post titles.
          e. Click "Save Settings" before leaving that screen.
2. Open the secondary blog--in my case, "Judy Garland Blues".
3. Find the permalink.
          a. It will be located below the post you want to refer back to from the primary blog.
          b. The permalink may appear as no more than a "#"
          c. or as a date such as 05/07/04
          d. or as whatever follows "posted by". The latter may say something like "posted by Ron Southern 05/07/04".
          e. Smart-alecks like me may customize it; mine for instance says, "Eeee! It's a Permalink!" Some customizers, however, make it less discernible, not more.
          f. If your cursor is over the permalink, you'll see a tiny box that says "permanent link" slightly below and to the right of the cursor. It will only appear there while your cursor is hovering over the permalink.
4. Copy the permalink with these steps.
          a. Right-click your mouse while the cursor is on the permalink.
          b. Then click on "Copy Shortcut".
          c. You have now Copied the permalink and have it in memory, ready to be Pasted in the primary blog. You are still in the secondary blog.
5. Open your blog's Blogger editing page or whatever program you use to edit your posts.
          a. Find the location in your editing screen (or in your template) where you intend to insert the coded link to another web site.
          b. Paste the permalink you have in memory into the appropriate place within the code.
6. Here's an example of the code that you write for the link:

<A href=" http://jgblues.blogspot.com/2004_05_02_jgblues_archive.html
#108373812650555943"> <font color=crimson>THE SEDUCTION<
/font></A>
<A href=" http://jgblues.blogspot.com/2004_05_02_jgblues_archive.html#108373812650555943"> <font color=crimson>THE SEDUCTION</font></A>
which will look like this to the reader:

THE SEDUCTION

If the code is entered carefully and correctly, all of the gobbledygook above will be invisible and the only part the reader will see is what you've given as the title. In this case, it says THE SEDUCTION and matches the title of the poem in the other blog. Here, you see that it is underlined and, when clicked on in my primary blog, "The Rat Squeaks", it will take you to the original permalink, my poem in "Judy Garland Blues". Try it. Up there. Go ahead and click it, you know how it works. Read the poem or stick your tongue out at it. Then come Back.


That's it, you're through. Until the next time.

The only room for error is when you paste wrongly or otherwise get the code out of order. Keep a copy somewhere (I use Notepad) of the right formula for this code. Use it as a template by copying it each time, placing it in your post, and inserting the correct permalink address and the correct title name. That's all you're doing. Never memorize when you can make a template and paste it in! It's not being lazy (well, yes it is), it's avoiding some of the errors we make when we're in a hurry.


THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: "Once any system succeeds, it becomes its own worst enemy." - Robert Altman

Monday, May 10, 2004

Post Glitch Three, Four, Five--I Lost Track

Dearly Beloved: After futzing and fussing and cussing with it off and on through the day, now after all day, I can say I resolved it, even if I didn't solve it.

I figured out which part of the code Blogger could not stomach. It glitched every time I tried to show the code that one uses to create the formatted permalink. It apparently thought I was trying to do a nasty on the White House lawn.

I finally changed the representation of the code after trying everything else that was sensible. All the HTML references I read indicated I was doing it right, but Blogger wouldn't accept it without kicking my poor rat around. Blogger is sorta vaguely HTML, but isn't precisely HTML, I've concluded. Which leaves me not knowing when it might do this again! There is no book for WHEN BLOGGER WILL GLITCH, not that I've found so far. The upshot of this is that ALL THIS CRAP was the post for the day!

Tune in tomorrow for the actual (Gasp!) stupid detailed instructions on how to set up a permalink. Two or three of you out there may want to know. One or two more may want to see how much can be made of so little.


Post Glitch Too

Well, today's intended blog about permalinks is still in the Twilight Zone. Every one of the 4 or 5 times I revised it and stuck it here today, Blogger has glitched the sidebar display. The fault may be mine, but I can't find it. Will I have to retype it all by hand to get the curse off of it? Maybe I'll have to strip it down to some utterly plain state in order to remove the gremlin. Is it too long, too red, too technical, too cornpone, too didactic, too disagreeable? Too what?!?! What's scrambling Blogger's brain? For those of you who can't see, there's steam coming out of my ears now...


Post Glitch

The real post for today has been in, then deleted, then in, then deleted already today. Each time it's in, the blog glitches and the entire sidebar disappears to the bottom of the last post. This is a test to see if ANY post will do it or if I have a gremlin in that particular post! I hope Blogger's new upgrade isn't causing this sort of problem in general. I've never seen this problem at all before.


As you and I can both see, the other post has a gremlin. I used a bunch of nbsp's (non-breaking spaces) in order to effect an indent or tab, something I've never used more than one of in Blogger, and maybe that's the problem area. If you know, let me know. I have a feeling that the person who'd know the answer to this is locked away doing research somewhere and has left a sign on the door not to be disturbed.


Friday, May 07, 2004

Ants And Spiders And Roaches



I may not post much here today, unless something occurs to me later. It’s hard to produce on demand, not even if the demand is more from me than from others. I keep too high a standard (sez he, shamelessly) and I find it hard to be casual about it on a predictable basis. But this is casual, I guess. This is not knowing what I’m going to say or even if I am going to say. I feel very disconnected, though, from old friends and new friends. Not that anything is going on, but just that nothing is going on. No toes have been stepped on, no feelings savaged. As sometimes happens, I just have ants in my pants and spiders in my brain and roaches boiling out of the floor drains.

And, no, I don’t know what I think about how I feel. Just as I often don’t know how I feel about what I think. I think I know and feel quite enough as it is, thank you.

There you go—my irritable serenade for the day.


THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: "I don't deserve this award, but I have arthritis and I don't deserve that either. -- Jack Benny

Thursday, May 06, 2004

New Story Feature, New Poem, Brief Mouse Sex



Read A Short Story (1,348 words) Called COON'S AGE
in DOGGER GATSBY'S BLUES,
The start of an underground view of the Morally Deficient, the Erratic, and the Lost And Found in my fictional world. This new feature will be an infrequent one; certainly not a daily one!




Read A Short Poem Called THE ABSENCE OF A KISS
in JUDY GARLAND BLUES,
My Bellicose New Poetry Blog for Old & New Poems




So far the poetry blog has had a variety of descriptors. It has been "Idiotic", "Sexy", "Wicked", and "Persistent". Eventually I might run out of adjectives. Send any perceptive ones that you can think of that are descriptive or amusing and yet do not embarrass me too much in either direction and I'll use it in a future smart-aleck introduction of a poem that probably doesn't deserve such mistreatment.

Remember: If you won't play, I won't either.



THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: "Oouu, plog me!" – Mickey to Minnie, Minnie to Mickey



Wednesday, May 05, 2004

Monet's Monster

There's a monster in Monet's flowers tonight. I don't know how he got there. It changes this cheap decades-old poster of the painting so much, I may have to take it down. The water lilies still look like lilies, but the ferns and leaves hanging down from above seem threatening. What were fronds now appear as fingers clutching toward the viewer; the wind is blowing them, and the next time they swing close, they'll clutch something firm, I know. The impressionistic monster rises out of the water and fog, between two groupings of hanging leaves. It looks like a fat man with no nose and a cartoon mouth and a splotch where it's eye ought to be. What has happened? It's late at night, but I haven't been drinking. I haven't been a drinker or a smoker for years. It's just that late at night.


Read A Short Poem Called THE SEDUCTION
in JUDY GARLAND BLUES,
My Persistent New Poetry Blog for Old & New Poems



So far the new poetry blog above has had a variety of descriptors. It has been an “Idiotic”, a “Sexy”, and a “Wicked” New Poetry Blog. Eventually I might run out of words. Send any perceptive ones that you can think of that are descriptive and yet do not embarrass me too much in either direction and I’ll use it in a future smart-aleck introduction of a poem that probably doesn’t deserve such mistreatment.


THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: "Once any system succeeds, it becomes its own worst enemy." -- Robert Altman


Tuesday, May 04, 2004

Damn The Address Books, Full Speed Ahead!

I don't know how most people deal with their Address Book or if they even have one. I don't really keep a book, but I keep a computer list and print out most of it onto a page that I keep in my billfold. There's a copy of it, too, somewhere (it's here somewhere) in a 3-ring binder near my computer. The list in my billfold is entirely made up of personal phone numbers. If the house burnt down, I wouldn't have the number of Sears or Ward's or even the insurance agents, I don't think! But I'd be able to phone all my friends and relatives and cry on their shoulders about it all. If I could borrow a cell phone from somebody under 40, I mean. Older people's phones burn up with the house.

Anyway, my method's not genius, but it's simple and it works. I don't seem to know people who are always moving, so I don't even do very much updating. Maybe someone's number has changed in the past year or so since the last printout, but if they don't bother to tell me about it, what do I care, anyway?

I think of all this as being fairly orderly and organized of me. Maybe I'd score an 80 or so on a scale of 100. But apparently I just don't have enough friends and acquaintances. I've tried several times to apply some of this logic, reason, and computer expertise to my mother's Address Book over the years, but it never lasts very long. I struggle to gather all the pages and phone books that have been scribbled in, correct the old list, and reprint it. Then in a few months, I turn around and she's rounded up all the old Address Books and pages and piled them atop or inside the New book. Phone numbers and street addresses have been added by hand to BOTH old and new booklets. By now, I can't tell which are which or which notes mean what. Some may be New additions in the Old book or they may be some old handwritten additions that were superseded before the newest book was compiled. It's just confusing--to me, not her. Some of the handwritten phone numbers in both address books are a little illegible—just a digit or two that can’t be read by anyone other than the person who wrote them down.

I’d like to be able to pull together an update of her Address Book without giving my 80-plus mother the third degree, but there seems no way around it except to avoid the whole thing.

My sense of technical orderliness (as opposed to my household messiness) would direct me to gather the new or changed numbers and addresses, enter them in the computer, and print it out again. There’d be an immediate identifiable New Address Book. I’d throw all the old ones away right now, immediately. Everything would be clean, pristine, not the least bit confusing. But we have a generation gap around here, I’d have to say. I get aggravated because I can’t get all the little messy piles into a single orderly pile. My mother generally doesn’t even see the problem and get aggravated that I do. I’m not sure how long it’d be before she ever asked me to do this little job for her. Maybe never? This time I’m thinking maybe I should just leave it alone. I’m trying my best even now not to think about it, not even to bring it up. I should just leave well enough alone. When have I ever done that, though? Have you? When it comes to “improving” one’s near relations or changing how they do things, it usually proves to be something you should have kept to yourself. Unless you just like to get snake-bit once in a while to know that you’re alive.


Read A Medium Poem called SNAKE-BIT
in JUDY GARLAND BLUES,
My Wicked New Poetry Blog for Old & New Poems



So far the new poetry blog above has had a variety of descriptors. It has been an “Idiotic”, a “Sexy”, and a “Wicked” New Poetry Blog. Eventually I might run out of words. Send any perceptive ones that you can think of that are descriptive and yet do not embarrass me too much in either direction and I’ll use it in a future smart-aleck introduction of a poem that probably doesn’t deserve such mistreatment.

Say, do you think this is a P-blog or a Plog? I lean toward Plog. Of course, these days that may just be my poor sense of balance.


THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: "So much time, so little to do..." Willie Wonka


Monday, May 03, 2004

Perverted Peevers, Recurring Crap

LOOKING FOR FAME

Always complaining about your pet peeves, I guess, is akin to seizing an elephant by the tail and bashing half a dozen gnats to death with said elephant. It’s extremely satisfying to the peever, but probably seems like extreme overkill to any innocent parties that happen to be watching. Well, after all, the word Peeve is derived from Peevish, which in turn is supposedly derived from the French for Perverse. I never claimed it was normal!

A few weeks ago, one site on the web was advertising for a new columnist. Let’s call them BlunkyBlonky. They had a list of characteristics they didn’t want in a columnist—no advice to the lovelorn, no politics, no pet peeve ravers, and so forth—and I wrote to them, referring them to my blog. I was in fact only a little impressed with their material, but I figured I’d be more impressed with them if I was writing for it. They were offering zero money for this, so it was all for the ego. I could be more famous. (More famous than Zero? Sounds pretty easy.)

For the same reason, no pay, I figured it would not be very damaging to my ego if they turned me down. A man answered via email that very day and said he liked my writing, but that they were interested in someone who would write them a column with a Theme. He said to check back with them if I came up with anything along that line. I took it that he was just brushing me off in a very polite manner, and I appreciated the politeness. It’s always hard on my constitution to get beaten up by strangers. I have a theme, of course—it’s called Chaos, but you can’t tell that to people who’ve begun to think in terms of Themes. Chaos is not amenable to much editing or direction.

I started thinking. What kind of blogger was I? I think I am sort of a columnist, because I won’t stick to the subject—not even if you consider that the subject is Me! I am heavily into that Pet Peeve thing, I admit, but I find it so enjoyable, in myself and in other bloggers, that it was quite beyond me why it would be verboten among the editors at that web site. If you get a good enough writer for a web site that doesn’t pay anything beyond free copies of the web site (?!), what the hell difference would it make if he wrote about his pet peeves?

I must be suffering from the illusion that some of us Pet Peevers are Good Writers. Yeah, that’s it, and the guys over at BlunkyBlonky.com know better. They had placed their ad for a columnist at a blog-related site and yet they evidently wanted some blogger who could transcend mere Blog aspirations! Well, hell, so do I, but what’s good over Here is good over There, that’s my thought. Excuse me if I’m breathing up all the air that your damn snuffling porcupine needs!

But I wasn’t upset. By then, I’d read even more of their web site and I’d begun to get pretty big-headed about who was good enough for whom. Their writers weren’t bad, but they certainly bored the chrome shine off of me. For no pay, I was by-God too good for them! That was my conclusion.

I could be full of beans. I often am, though not for long. It’s in the nature of things that get overstuffed to either self-evacuate or explode eventually. Don’t stand too close. You don’t want blogger all over you! Not even of the columnist variety.


That’s the very long preamble to this short blunt blog rant. Another typically selfish pet peeve of mine.



DON'T REPLY ME, OH MY DARLING
(Sung to the tune of "Don't Forsake Me, Oh My Darling")

Why does the whole wide world Reply my email messages back to me? If we were doing business of some sort, about soup cans or bolts or 3-copy forms, I might not remember what I wrote you last. But I remember what each of you has said or can easily find out. I don’t DO EMAIL with people I despise. I generally remember what I said and don’t need two copies of it!

My email system allows only a very limited storage. My long-winded messages, twice to five times the length of some of the ones that I receive, are filling up my inbox! It’s not the beautiful welcome words of my friends and friendly new acquaintances, but my own damnable endless crap, layer on layer, burying me! Fireman, fireman, throw me a rope! Save me, save me from the Reply Me!


Read A Medium-Length Poem Called Greenhouse
in JUDY GARLAND BLUES,
My Sexy New Poetry Blog for Old & New Poems





THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: "Throughout the history of mankind there have been murderers and tyrants; and while it may seem momentarily that they have the upper hand, they have always fallen. Always." -- Mahatma Gandhi


Sunday, May 02, 2004

Today's Peculiar, But So Am I

Today’s peculiar, but what can I say. Life’s peculiar. I'm disorganized, I'm spent. If I talked too long, I might bite somebody. Still, I'm not that excited about it. I'm sure some of you must've guessed that I might be a moody SOB. I think I need some more Thank You, Masked Man's today. Look it up under Lenny Bruce. Veering off, but coming back...


Anyway, say Goodbye to Ann Marie at Blindfold Blog. Maybe the only Blogger I know about who knows when it’s time to go. I certainly won’t!


Here’s an experiment that gets the longer poems out of this blog. Then you only have to dodge the short ones! I believe that I finally figured out the permalinks so that this link will lead to today's poem in the other blog not only today, but all other days. Very cool, if that's how it works. We’ll see how it works as time moves on and embarrasses me for first one thing and then another...



Read A Longish Poem Called REBORN AGAIN
in JUDY GARLAND BLUES,
My Idiotic New Poetry Blog for Old & New Poems




THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: "Truth is a matter of direct comprehension--you can't climb a ladder of mental concepts to it." -- Lawrence Durrell (Balthazar)


Saturday, May 01, 2004

Here's A Piddling Post

Here's a piddling post for Nobius who is apparently awake in the wee hours wrestling with his new Feedster blog reader and cracking up. Now he wants somebody to update so he can test it all or he will weepster, apparently.

Okay. It's the weekend. I'm a moron. I'll waste some time and space. It's just electrons, anyway. It's raining like hell here and I can't go back in the house from my study for a while even if I want to. I'll twiddle my thumbs and...

zzzzzzzzz...



Here's a little time-shifting test. The test is newer than the post. You figure it out.


Read A Little Poem Called THE FIRST FOOLISH THING
in JUDY GARLAND BLUES,
My Pesky New Poetry Blog for Old & New Poems




Read A Tiny Poem Called FREUD ME!
in JUDY GARLAND BLUES,
My Petulent New Poetry Blog for Old & New Poems