Sunday, March 28, 2010

What Zen?

It’s that time again, folks. My funny bone has atrophied. So and therefore, I’m going back into hardcore training. I’m committing to 20 jokes a day… again.

If you have any warmth towards me at all, or if you just want me to suffer, pretty please with sugar-free sweetener on top give me topics. Anything. I may not get a full twenty out of all of them, but I promise to try. If you don’t, I’ll be stuck with whatever is in the newspaper(s) and the very thought of writing political humor makes me shudder.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Slash & Burn

Once in a while, for me and for you and for this silly little blog, I prune the archives. Sometimes the words just don’t zing. Worse, they go stale. Of course you noticed, but you’re too sweet and polite to say anything.

Three posts just got the ax.

It’s easy to mistake Thought for Significance. Hell, it’s easy to mistake a lot of things for significance – or for thought, now that I think about it. Did you know that this blog has had parameters from the beginning? “No politics” is the first one. The Internet doesn’t need my coal.

Those of you who know me in 3-D will be impressed by my clean language here. Cussing online is like wine. I have a glass now and then, and I occasionally post a word the networks won’t air. However, I try to write with more emphatic vocabulary than that to which I so often devolve out loud.

Lastly, there aren’t any emoticons. Sure, my tweets are full of them, but here I have the luxury of complete sentences. You can tell when I’m being wry or facetious. You’re still reading. Q.E.D.

No politics, nice diction and no emoticons: if the bar were any lower an ant couldn’t limbo under it. Yet somehow the bland and the beige ooze through, which is why I have to slash and burn.

As I always do whenever I’ve done a purge, with one hand on an E. F. Benson novel, I swear oaths of wit and pith for the future. Only gems from here out.

Yeah, right. We should be so lucky. ;)

Friday, March 19, 2010

Just A Quickie

We were having lunch in a small café (RM Seafood, for the faithful.) Two 20-something women sat at the next table, quite close to ours. One was being loud about how much she hates the people at her office. She really, really hates them.

At this point the drinks came and we missed a sentence or two.

As soon as the waiter left, she was talking about the “disgusting and humiliating” things “he” makes her do. No, I have no idea who “he” is. Robert charitably contends it’s a boyfriend, but I say there wasn’t time for that big a segue, she had to be talking about her boss.

The pertinent information is that whoever he is, the thing he puts over her head gets her hair all wet.

Friday, March 12, 2010


“Away” is existential. Sure, there’s the literal geography of being in a different place. That’s a given. But you can be elsewhere physically and leave your mind back home. I didn’t do that.

Alice fell down her hole. (Heh-heh, I said “hole”.) Dorothy rode her cyclone. Arthur Dent hitched. I just drove up Interstate 15 until we hit Shangri-La. Wondrous food, blinking lights, sparkly clean toilets with automated soap dispensers – Las Vegas is more fun for me as an adult than Disneyland ever was for me as a child.

Again, all of that is a given. Those of you who’ve followed this blog (and big hugs to you!) have read about it before. I’m stuck trying to explain why this trip was bigger than all the previous. It was, and more.

No, I didn’t win lots of money. Well I did, but I graciously gave it back before we left. The food was both abundant and marvelous, the butternut risotto with gingersnap foam and candied pecans created just for me by the chef at Fleur de Lys (don’t try to order it, it’s not on the menu) will be a fond memory always. That was after the hostess recognized my face and smiled us to our regular table without me ever saying my name.

Birthday flowers (lilacs in March in the desert!) along with a five layer birthday cake and enormous tropical fruit basket appeared magically in the room. Mountains of the most delectable pastries gifted by the Bouchon chef at breakfast were devoured with the amazing piles of food we’d actually ordered. Tony the Jedi-waiter at RM liked my haircut. The chef at Fleur spoiled me gorgeously for mere mortal chow.

And the stories, oh my, the stories were funny. I’ll give you those in dribs and drabs while I try to parse the mental stuff, the Zen of elsewhere. Onward and backward we will go, my darlings. Excelsior!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

That's Heavy, Man

Intangibles have weight. Obviously stress, tension and anxiety put lead in our spirits, but mundane repetition can do the same thing.

You wake up with the residue of subconscious motley fading from awareness then bam! Foreknowledge of the upcoming day falls on your head, chasing away dream’s last absurdity. Not enough to keep you in bed, but depending on the day, it might be enough to make you want to stay there.

You don’t. Like a brave little soldier you get up and slog. I’m proud of you for that. Even though you know that one guy is going to piss you off like he always does. Despite traffic, a mountain of potentially meaningless effort and phone calls, you persevere. Kudos belong to you, my dear friend. Your stamina and fortitude deserve reward.

I have neither stamina nor fortitude, but I’m getting a reward anyway. Knock wood for me please, sweetie, we’re off to Vegas tomorrow. I’m going cold turkey off the grid this time, too. My antique cell phone doesn’t receive email, and I’ve cut off all Twitter access to it as well. I’ve never done that before. This is a test of the emergency sanctuary system. It’s spiritual fasting via sensory overload, to lighten my soul and fatten my belly.

You’ll get a full report when I return, with the usual pix if all goes well. Please take good care of yourself in the meantime.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Clap Your Hands!

Yes, Tinkerbell, sometimes people are nice.

I know I’m the last person you’d expect to say that. Relax and breathe. My cynicism remains extreme. Logic and rationality require that I make allowances.

Nearly every day, someone – I have no idea who – stacks all three of my newspapers in a tidy pile on our lawn. Once or twice I’ve gone out early and had to crawl under my car and onto my neighbor’s yard to collect them, but most days there they are, three plastic-covered newsprint Lincoln logs.

You remember those old bumper stickers: “Practice random kindness and senseless acts of beauty”. You know the ones. Well, someone out there is really doing it. Despite the disruption of my bleak worldview, this is me saying “Thank you.”