This week I did this.

July 31, 2008 at 4:44 pm (Personal) ()

Dear Santa, Jesus, and other meta-fictional characters:

1. I broke bread with some sideshow freaks, so to speak, who are wonderful and special.

2. I made friends with a friend who used to be a friend and then wasn’t a friend for awhile.

3. I planned a birthday surprise.

4. I watched time crawl.

5. I watched a cat chase a rose between my knees.

6. I hugged the one I love overnight.

7. I worried about storms.

8. I talked about writing with writers and made myself interested in the idea again.

9. I tasted my own words.

10. I wrote down ten things that are meaningful.

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Flippity-dippity doo.

July 25, 2008 at 10:28 am (Art) ()

Im head over heels for goils!

I'm head over heels for goils!

I love finding evidence of people making art just because it’s awesome. No other reason.

This guy gets it.

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Passive-Agressive vs. Persuasive-Impulsive: Random Events

July 23, 2008 at 12:44 pm (Personal, Writing) (, )

I love it when I come across examples of smarmy, not-quite condescending enough to get mad at, but still vindicating speech and text in real life. This site, Passive Aggressive Notes, is the perfect way to get your fix of some of the funniest rudeness available. For those of us who enjoy using condescension in our daily lives (ie: anyone who works with the public) or even those who are affected by employers and authority figures with a witty mean-streak, it’s totally worth your time.

A woman just asked me to help her spell the name of her insurance company. “Montgmento, Monsurnetall,” she said, over and over, as I frantically looked for anything to assist my google. After a minute or two, I asked her for an address. “1st Avenue and Oak Forest,” she replied. So now I’m looking for a “Montugmeatballs” or some such thing at the corner of 1st and Oak Forest. Turns out it’s MONUMENTAL. You know, an actual word? And it’s in Oak Forest, IL. Not in Chicago on a street called Oak Forest. And besides that (excuse my elitism) she couldn’t spell Monumental.

There is a form our office uses from the Chicago Housing Authority that always prints off a blank page after the first page (which is the actual letter). They will not let us change this, even though all it would take is one back-space, and despite the fact that it wastes twice the amount of paper that could be used by printing a little “2” in the corner of an otherwise untouched page of paper. And people wonder why government agencies are losing money.

Play idea: Based on an actual true-life experience of mine from a few months ago, I am finally writing out the dramatic version. A homeless man engaged me in conversation at an El stop. Being friendly, I talked to the guy, and he asked me strange questions such as “Do you hate homeless people?” I, of course, said that I didn’t, and felt my liberal bleeding-heart ire rise. Turns out this was a strategy. To make a long story short (until you see the play, anyway), he followed me onto the train, sat next to me at the end of the car (effectively pinning me in my seat) and proceeded to ask me if he could come home with me and use my shower. This was a 300 pound man with ranting/inappropriate laughter volume problems. When I said that I couldn’t have anyone over, he told me I was full of shit (because I had previously said I didn’t hate homeless people) and threw cold pizza at me. Should make a fun 10-minute. I’m still not entirely certain how it will end though… it needs to be taken further than it was in reality (with me walking home looking over my shoulder)… thinking…

I haz a tired.

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11-year-old got tired of shouting at cars to slow down on his street

July 17, 2008 at 4:47 pm (News, Writing) (, )

(Hey Keith, I’m stealing your news blog format. You’re the old hand at this, of course, but I like stealing. It makes me feel alive.)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Landon Wilburn, 11, has a future as a cop – a traffic cop.

(They do say that childhood obesity is on the rise, after all. Insert donut joke.)

The youngster, who used to shout at speeders to slow down as they drove through the Stone Lakes subdivision in Louisville, now has taken matters into his own hands.

(He’s only 11 years old and he’s already shouting at passing cars to slow down in his neighborhood? What it neglects to mention is that his favorite drink is prune juice, he can’t stop watching Matlock, and he hates it when his school friends stand “on his lawn.” Also, doesn’t the quote about him taking matters in his own hands sound kind of sinister? “Landon likes to lay spike-strips and landmines near his house to prove a point…”)

Dressed in a reflective vest, wearing a bicycle helmet and armed with an orange Hot Wheels brand radar gun, he points and records the actual speed of passing traffic.

(Oddly enough, this is also a pretty apt description of the homeless guy near my bus stop who rants about Jesus.)

Landon also carries a flashlight with a built-in siren.

(In case of terrorists.)

“When I saw it happening, I got the biggest kick out of it,” said resident George Ayers, 61. “People were locking up their brakes when they saw him.”

(“Cars skidding all over the road… screaming people running from the wreckage… ah, youth…”)

Many in the subdivision are frustrated that motorists tear through the neighborhood at 55 mph despite signs posting a 25 mph limit.

(Wouldn’t it be nice if we could send a feisty 11-year-old outside to solve all our suburban troubles? “Hey, George won’t paint his fence white like the rest of the block. Let’s get that Landon kid to stand on his lawn and yell until he caves in.”)

Officials said the city will install speed humps in the neighborhood if 70 percent of residents agree and are willing to put up half the money.

(Glad they’re shooting for 70%, because half of Landon’s allowance won’t even pay for the tar.)

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A Return to Form

July 17, 2008 at 12:49 pm (Personal, Writing) ()

I’ve been having minor revelations lately, and I think it’s time to start sharing them with the world again. I haven’t blogged in quite some time, so please forgive me, dear reader, if I tend to ramble and seem to have lost some of my style during these last few months of drought.

You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you. ~Ray Bradbury

A handful of people who are important to me have been concerned about my complete lack of creative output these past few months, and with good reason. Writers write. I have not been writing. Have I been thinking about writing? Perhaps, but perhaps that’s not enough. As an existentialist, I understand that meaning lies not in the intent, but in the action.

The act of putting pen to paper encourages pause for thought, this in turn makes us think more deeply about life, which helps us regain our equilibrium. ~Norbet Platt

Thus have I been contributing to my own decline as a writer. Long ago, in the throes of divorce and heartache, I told someone that the only things that kept me sane were the love of my significant other, and my creative output. I have one of those, but I’ve been neglecting the other, and so the cycle begins:

  1. I am overworked, worried and tired, so I do not write.
  2. I do not write, so I become depressed and angry with myself.
  3. I am angry with myself, and so I use my energy up with self-loathing and become more tired.

Hideous. That said, this blog you are reading is the first of several steps I’m taking in order to get myself moving again, to unleash that kinetic energy that’s been building up and wasting itself, to motivate myself to do what it is that I do. Paige, Keith and Greg get special kudos for support in this particular matter.

But in the end, writing is a solitary activity. So now it’s my ball.

Being an author is like being in charge of your own personal insane asylum. ~Graycie Harmon

For those of you who enjoyed what I was scribbling before this long hiatus, look for:

  • The return of my Thought Experiments
  • Occasional news updates about life, love and lemurs
  • Snippets of new works, poetry, songs, plays, etc.

If nothing else, I want to entertain people again. What can I say? I’m an art-whore. For those of you who are still around, and who still count yourself among my friends, thanks, and please drop a comment or two. My new blog (frequently/freakishly updated) will reside at flooddamage.wordpress.com

The time is nigh. Love.

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