Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Tweets of the Month

• If the love of money is truly the root of all evil then I must be one of the world's most virtuous men. Money and me, we're barely on speaking terms.

• I guess it's because the name seems both generic yet familiar, but Rolls-Royce was founded by Henry Royce & Charles Rolls. Who knew? It's like learning my favorite music genre was founded by William Rock & Todd Roll.

• Many of us try & include some exercise to keep firm & appealing. But as we age, gravity & disposition lead to key muscles we rely on to be appealing to atrophy. Abs? Butt? No ... face! Try smiling without provocation. It's not easy. There oughtta be an exercise. Now, gimme 10!

• Not sure I even heard this right, but it sounded to me like ol' Doc Fauci said those of us who've been vaccinated have been liberated. We're now free to go anywhere -- indoor or out --pantsless! I'm guessing the Freedom Caucus is "behind" this. Yippee! See you tomorrow!

• I advise everyone to dream big. Outlandish, colossal, preposterous big. Not because big dreams will all come true. Dream big because with big dreams even the falls are more fun.

• Admitting to someone you spent the day writing is akin to admitting you spent the day masturbating: Saying so feels dirty, the results may be messy and when it's all said & done the pleasure may be a solitary affair.

• We live in an era where many men and women boast they say what they think. They fail to realize the real virtue is to think what they say.

• Today I'd like to complain about the misuse of the term "movie star." With all due respect to guys like Brad, Leo & Johnny Depp, they do not star in movies. They appear in them. Now, Burt Reynolds. There's a man who starred in movies.

• This will betray my warped priorities, but if my house is ever in an earthquake how long will it be before I can safely open a beer?

• It wasn't done by design but my go-to bourbon has become the one that best describes me. I'm not a Jack or a Daniel, a Jim or a Beam. What am I? I'm a turkey who on occasion still gets a little wild. #WildTurkey

• Do you think cavemen and women were emotionally developed enough to mourn the passing of a mate or they just fired up the grill, sprinkled on some seasonings and started inviting cave neighbors to the picnic.

• With so many superhero movies based on the mingling of DNA, I'm surprised they've yet to sketch an insect hybrid adept at calming Opie's fears, winning the Mayberry bake-off and putting the sting on Moonshiners. All hail Ant Bee!

• A toe nail is a uniform part of the human anatomy. It is perfectly acceptable to discuss a toe nail in polite conversation. A toe nail is not to be confused with a toe screw.

• Mulch! Mow! Plant! Prune! Repeat! If we devoted as much time to understanding one another as we do to lawn care things like checking out opposing Facebook views wouldn't be so nerve-wracking.

• Practicing Catholics who car pool to worship are engaged in Mass transit.

• If all the people who so casually remark to relative strangers, "Now, I'm not racist, but ..." suddenly and inexplicably become racist, man, I fear America could be in for some real problems over race. 

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Tuesday, June 29, 2021

30 years w/o a job & notes on my new novel

(664 words)

I spend an inordinate amount of time wondering if my decision in 1991 to skip the whole career thing was a wise career move.

I wonder this a lot because, geez, I have so much time on my hands.

I meet strangers at parties. They ask what I do. I tell them I stare out the window for an hour, type for about 90 seconds, then resume staring out the window. I then repeat the process throughout the day until 3:30 or about when kicking off the Happy Hour is deemed socially acceptable. 

Who knew that doing squat for years at a time would essentially pay squat?

I look back on the last 30 years of my life and it’s like I’m the star of one long beer commercial. There’s joy, laughter, camaraderie and deep in the background a whispered admonition to “Please Drink Responsibly” that me and my happy band of sudsy co-stars knew was not meant to be taken seriously. 

I have so many people who really love my books, my inane posts and pointless little musings. Sample: “Fashion experts who work to ensure ample bosoms fit snugly in frilly brassieres are rack-contours.”

Took me about two whole hours of staring out the window to come up with that one.

Know what I did once I’d composed and posted it?

Took the rest of the day off!

I did. I was feeling the same sort of accomplishment I feel on the days when I find a quarter on the sidewalk.

Of course, there’s the inevitable awkwardness when you stroll through the front door and the family wants to know how your day went.

How many fathers are going to respond with bold honesty, “It went great! I came up with a really nifty tit pun!”

I sense just how much people want me to succeed. It’s not uncommon for readers to ask me if I yearn to be famous.

I can’t get them to understand my entire aspiration is simple break-even solvency.

I’m nearing the home stretch of my second novel. Understand, there is near-zero clamor for me to write another novel. Yet, I believe “The Last Baby Boomer” is my best work and the praise I hear for it supports the contention.

“Boomer” is 66,132 words (248 pages). Just this weekend I crested 70,000 words on the new book. So it’s an actual book. 

A 20,000-word book could fall victim to indifference, neglect or a sudden burst of mocking sanity that insists writing any book is a colossal waste of time. 

This book I’ll soon finish and it’ll one day this fall be for sale.

It’s the Romeo & Juliet story, but instead of her being on a balcony in Verona, she’s in Heaven and he’s in Hell. In order for their love to flourish, she’s going to have lower Heaven and he’s going to have to raise Hell.

Their names are Evan and Elle. 

I’m calling the book, “Evan & Elle in Heaven & Hell: A Long Distance Social Media Afterlife Love Story.”

Please, hold your applause.

As I learned so cruelly with my first novel, a clever premise and snappy writing does not guarantee success.

This book could be an abject failure, and in some way each of my books have been just that. They don't make money. Not for me. 

In fact, by some bottom line standards, you could judge my last 30 years in that same harsh light.

I choose not to.

Despite decades of evidence to the contrary, I persist in believing the bet I made on myself this week in 1991 will one day pay off with me hitting the solvency jackpot.

And on that day, I’ll stare out the window and to my everlasting delight, I’ll see you approaching, you and so many others whose cheer has buoyed me through so much bewilderment.

Together we’ll simultaneously raise Hell and lower Heaven.

A good time will be had by all.

All I ask is that you please drink responsibly.

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Friday, June 11, 2021

Happy Hour? America could use a Nappy Hour!

(664 words)

A friend and I were commiserating about our lack of sleep when he told me he nearly fell asleep behind the wheel of his Volvo.

I asked if he thought it would work with a Ford.

“I don’t see why not,” he said, “but it’s nothing I’d recommend.”

The Volvo was at the time moving at about 50 mph.

He came instantly and fully wide awake when the car drifted off the road. It was about 30 yards from the trunk of a sturdy oak that had the potential to once and for all end all his sleep troubles.

He asked if I ever tried napping.

“Tried napping? I’m The Human Nap,” I said, “I spend my entire existence not fully awake, not fully asleep. I’m so sleep-deprived I make zombies seem quick-witted.”

It’s a mind-muddled state of being and the reason if someone tells me they were asleep at the wheel I think, yeah, I’ll give it a shot. It’s just a matter of getting to REM before getting to RAM.

It is said adults between 18 and 64 need 7 to 9 hours. I thought, yeah, that’s about right. I figured I probably got about 12 hours last week. Then I re-read it and saw I was wrong. We need that much per night!

It seems excessive. Where do they find the time?

They must do all their sport drinkin’ at lunch.

Nearly 70 million Americans report being unable to sleep because of job anxiety, past mistakes, worries about the future, current events, etc.

My wife has trouble sleeping, too, but it doesn’t take an expert to figure out the source of her sleeplessness. Every 30 minutes or so she rolls over, sees me and thinks, “I married that?”

I do try and nap in my office, but being caught napping is like being caught in another solitary act of self-pleasure that winds up all messy and ultimately unfulfilling.

I’m talking, of course, about writing books.

You’d think I could knock off a decent nap up here in my office but the necessary elements rarely align. The office can’t be either too hot, nor too cold, which happens about eight days a year. 

My creaky office chair needs to be correctly angled so I can put my feet on the desk. Many have suggested I acquire a cot, futon or small bed for right here in the office. There’s obvious merit to the idea, but I’m fearful bar romantics would use the addition for their illicit recreations and my office would start turning up in the on-line guide books as a make-shift brothel. My reputation would be ruined.

Or would it be enhanced?

I nap better when I know that Buck, the Tin Lizzy owner, is away from the building.

Really away.

I’m talking Florida. He and his wife often fly there to visit the kiddos. I can more comfortably drift off knowing he’s 1,200 miles away

A solid nap is impossible when he’s around. He’s just so loud, always with banging, drilling and sawing. He comes and goes as he pleases and generally acts like owns the place.

It’s one hell of an act because, well, there’s zero evidence to the contrary.

I tried to imagine what he’d do if he saw a sign on my door reading, “Please Do Not Disturb: The Writer is Napping.” I think his reaction would involve either fire or a bucket of ice water.

I’m fairly sure it wouldn’t lead to him reading me bedtime stories about saying good night to the moon.

I may not understand the stigma against napping, but that won’t stop me from working to eradicate it.

Maybe it's time we replace the traditional post-work/pre-dinner drink to dedicated sleep time.

Yes, welcome America, to the Nappy Hour!

I envision a Nap Olympics. There’d be nap & field, synchronized napping, nap obstacle courses and hours and hours of watching snooze-deprived people catching some zzz’s.

With so many Americans stumbling through their days in need of a snooze, Nap Olympics is bound to be a  true sleeper hit.

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