In my free time this month, the project at hand is the first pass of revisions for Project Tennyson. Which means that every night after our
hearthen darling children reluctantly embark on their nightly journey off to Dreamland, I huddle over my keyboard and begin nitpicking my words.
Often times, this process boils down to something like a ten minute internal debate over the pros and cons of using the word “shenanigans” in chapter 4 as opposed to “monkeyshines”. Repeat 100,000 times.
Some writers adored the revision process like a new mother preening over an infant. It’s all cooing and baby talk and “ooohs” and “aaaahs” and “who’s so pretty” and “did manuscript make a poopy in this paragraph? Let’s get that cleaned up nice and neat.”
Everybody likes to get birthday offers for stuff in their mail and/or email. Especially stuff that’s free. Because, let’s be honest, short of becoming one of those people from that Cheapskates show who might be willing to drag trash cans down to the pond the ducks poop in at the park to draw off a week’s worth of water, your birthday is probably the only time of year you can reliably depend on getting stuff for free.
Well, except for getting sick. You can always count on Peggy McPlaguerson, that one woman who refuses to stay how from work even when she’s so contaminated her face looks like she’s gone twelve rounds with a pack of rabid Leprechauns and who runs to the bathroom at even the mention of the word toast, to be happy to share her viral wealth with you, free of charge.
Everything else in life, though? Gonna cost you something, in most cases a combination of cash and/or pride.
Yesterday I was buzzing like a bee, all a-rarin’ to go, and chomping at the bit, even, consumed with magnificent intention to write The Annual Birthday post. I’m sure it would have been full of faux wisdom and charm, and reminders that one’s birthday makes them no more than 24 hours older than the day before. I mean, that’s mostly what I’ve written before, and after four years of blogging, I’m obliged to stick with certainly themes, obviously.
But then my word-spewing engine sputtered a couple of times, hacked out a thick, stinky cloud of black fog, and petered-out*. In a nutshell, I realized that I really kind of didn’t need to ramble off another 500-1000 words about my birthday. Because I’ve pretty much said it all before in a previous birthday posts (see links above) and also, anything new I might have wanted to include was pretty much covered in the 17 syllables I posted on Tuesday.
I guess that’s the beauty of poetry, right there. Finding a way to say what you want to say without travelling the circuitous, winding Road To A Point through the dark, dense Forest of Rambling Words (which may or may not often include a visit from the Amusing Tangent Fairy and/or Oompa Loompas). Take this post, for instance. I’m still getting to the point three paragraphs in. In contrast, Tuesday’s haiku was a marvel of contextual efficiency.
41 years zipped right by
Glad I still feel 12
To the best of my recollection, it’s been something like a geological epoch since the last time I mustered up the courage to delve into search phrases in my web stats. I do this periodically because I have this tendency to use…unusual…turns of phrase in posts form time to time, which Google categorizes with what I can only assume is the same level of delighted glee that can bring a Star Wars fanboy to near critical mass by simply uttering the phrase, “Greedo shot first”.
But poking at fanboy hives with sticks is a post for another day.
Today, we’re talking search terms, and here’s a hand-selected list of actual phrases someone out there (you know who you are. Yes, you, there in the corner with the guilty smirk and the Twix Rabbit plushie) typed into a search engine and hit “GO”. That Google’s magical algorithm—you know, the One That Runs All Our Lives On Earth?—somehow determined my humble website here was often one of the most contextually appropriate places to direct these searches is a mark of high honor for me.
Should I be so honored? Well, II’ll let you be the judge of that after you’ve read the cream of crop we’ve been blessed with this time around:
See that? Up there? That I circled? Yeah. Just look at all those marvelous degrees. Seriously, if you added them up, the highs would make TRIPLE DIGITS AND EVERYTHING!
A few weeks ago, you could add up the highs and not get positive numbers.
So, yeah, if that forecast there doesn’t give you a case of the happy dances, well, I fear you actually finally be dead inside. Or just dead. Or a wax statue. At any rate, you’re in a bad way. Best of luck with all that.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to get out my flip-flops and my sun tan lotion. The weekend looks positively balmy.
What’s that gooey pan of deliciousness, you ask? I’ll tell you, my friend, it’s brownies. A big pan of yummy, just-baked-and-waiting-for-someone-likely-named-Puddin-to-come-embarrass-himself-in-gluttonous-joy, brownies.
Err, well, a partial pan of them, anyway. The kids obviously executed their right of first refusal.
fill my thoughts. I swore no more.
So! Look! Book is done!
Today started off a little rough.
Luckily, Wednesday seemed chastened by my hard talk and tough love.
Later, though, I realized that I was being kind of silly. It didn’t matter whether my work computer was in working order or looked like C-3PO after a visit to the Ugnauts on Cloud City. Because today, my friends, baseball came back to us.
I apparently had the plague this weekend. Now, I know what you’re thinking. You’re all, Puddin, dood, I totally know what you mean when you say that. I mean, this one time, I went to Vegas/New Orleans/Tijuana/Buffalo** and I picked up this hangover so bad it was like fighting a nineteen-headed hell-beast from Greek mythology that ate gods, crapped fire, and laid eggs of darkness and soul-sucking torment more sinister than a 24 hour Keeping Up with The Kardashians marathon.
But, no. I wasn’t hungover. I’m, like, almost 41 years old (sixteen days and counting). Tying one on and attempting to keep up with The Wolf Pack as they degrade themselves through another OMG-why-didn’t-they-quit-while-they-were-ahead misadventure in mild altering substances, shame, and Ken Jeong, isn’t properly dignified behavior for a fellow of my increasing age. Which is to say, I used to be able to sleep until 1 in the afternoon when I was hungover and then spend the rest of the day on the couch, staring gape-mouthed at a golf-tournament I couldn’t possibly care about on television while contemplating ordering a large pizza with both kinds of toppings: meat and grease.
My current lifestyle doesn’t make allowances for this sort of hangover therapy. As a result, I do my best to avoid such foolishness.
Plus also, wicked reflux.