Total Pageviews

Monday, March 26, 2012

"I Go Out Walkin' ... Before and After Midnight ..."

March 26, 2012: Well, another week has passed and I'm no closer to anything on my "bucket list," except perhaps my death. One difference, however, is that I've stopped putting undue blame on myself and have started placing it squarely where it truly belongs -- on everyone else.

It's been an interesting week, you see, in part because I've started walking everywhere. And if you want to learn anything about the people around you, try walking everywhere and see how many of them pass you by on the street. "I saw you walking this morning," has become an annoyingly familiar greeting at work, and one to which I have to perpetually keep NOT replying, "So then, why didn't you offer me a ride?" Instead, I find it a great opportunity to brood and embrace that certain otherness that makes me the kind of person who can't just sit on his laurels collecting an exorbitant salary like so many disturbed people, but must also continually express his disturbed notions in a Blah-ugh! (or a Blah-ugh!-like venue, such as an e-novel, such as SPACE CASE, which is really nothing like my Blah-ugh! except it was written by the same person, who was me, or IS me ... or Esme ... so anyway ...)

I've always been vastly disappointed by the collective non-response of my Blah-ugh! readers to my infrequent offerings (excepting the few of you who DO respond, and in whom I'll forever forgive everything, including minor theft and periodic body odor ...). Here it is, I commit not only MY thoughts to paper (or could I call it virtual papyrus) on an almost daily basis, but YOUR thoughts as well -- (Come now, you KNOW I do, and that's the POINT!) -- and in responsive gratitude, you merely cast me aside without so much as a glance because I'm no longer driving that Mercedes that Matt lent me ... (and Matt is a lovely man, by the way, except for the fact that I'm starting to suspect he's really Italian.)

The point is, you should all be ashamed of yourselves for perpetuating the myth that Americans are surly and lazy and have to drive American cars and eat at Duchess. It's disheartening, yes, but also vaguely unnerving, because somewhere in the past -- and I think it was 1975, actually -- we took a wrong turn and have never got back on the high road. And yet we all sit around bemoaning how awful things have become and how too many people text message when they drive and do all this terrible stuff, and yet when I mention that I'm on foot, people look at me like I just shit in their oatmeal.

On a parallel note, I was disturbed to hear from my son that they now install front-seat DVD players, supposedly for the passengers. Now this just takes things to a very bizarre new level, for I still can't get my head around how they allow those television screen navigation systems in cars, let alone mini movie theaters. I mean, it's absolutely comical. Do we as a culture -- as a world -- now really believe that it's not ENTIRELY DISTRACTING for a driver to have a giant blue-light screen shining in their face while they drive?!! No, I'm serious!! I'm just mystified beyond all belief. I mean, am I from another planet and just don't realize it. Please, be honest with me. I really need to know at this point. Am I the result of thoughtless inbreeding and too much Lysergic Acid in my developing years?!

Anyway, I hear my wife coming, so I'd better end this before she catches me. This is no time in America to deviate from what we're all expecting to experience in each given moment, and it's especially way past the time where a good American can raise any sort of question that might rub someone the wrong way. Unfortunately in this country it's just no longer safe to rub anything anymore!

I think it was Gary Neuman who so eloquently sang, "Here in my car I feel safest of all. I can lock all my doors. It keeps me stable for days in cars."

(Who am I kidding?! I KNOW it was him, but I'm so scared to SAY I know because I don't know what you'll all think of me for knowing! ... See! THAT'S what it's come to!!)

Monday, March 19, 2012

The Little Furry Creatures & Me

March 19, 2012: A lot of people don't know this about me, but I have a really sensitive side too. For instance, if a small animal is run over by a car, I feel really bad ... Of course, somehow it doesn't seem as tragic if it's a LARGE animal, and especially a dangerous one, like a bear or a deer, or one of those creepy birds with the really sharp beaks. But a small one, like a mouse, gets my heart every time, particularly if it has a family, or a really good job in the community ...

By the way, I've long meant to tell my friend Shannon W. that her ridiculous theory about racing toward manic road squirrels in order to spare their lives just does not work. She claimed that when some stupid squirrel -- and at this point I'm pretty convinced that they're ALL stupid -- begins that spastic dance before your car, jumping this way and that in some strange mankind-induced mad response to its ever-shrinking, ever-decaying natural habitat ... one should aim your car nose RIGHT FOR THEM, because then they'll somehow magically get out of the way ...

Well, it doesn't work, because I killed my first squirrel last year putting that errant theory into practice. ("What was that?" my daughter asked as the depressing, hollow telltale bump of rodent-under-tire echoed softly through the car ... "Oh, nothing," I said, waxing blase' ... "Did you kill that squirrel?" my son asked, somewhat baffled why I'd swerved at it ... "No, no. It got away. Hey! D'ya wanna get some ice cream? Who wants ice cream? Huh? ...) I'd never actually hit a squirrel before (except once on my bicycle, which is a minor story for another day) but after the dozens and dozens of ones I've avoided by braking or simply turning the wheel, my streak was sadly broken when I fell for this deranged homespun southern "wisdom" from a very odd friend of mine ...

This all reminds me about a wonderful and hilarious scene in my novel SPACE CASE, where the two main characters find a dead skunk on the road. (No, this time I'm being serious.) Those of you who've purchased and read the book will remember the sensitive joys, laughter and basic oddity of THAT moment, while the rest of you will, I hope, feel bad that you're being (rightfully) excluded from this reference ... (Of course, you don't HAVE to stay in the dark, as SPACE CASE remains available for e-purchase at a virtual bookhole near you ...)

This, in turn, reminds me to remind you that I'll be making my first virtual appearance in virtually two-and-a-half months, so save the date. (I believe it's June 6, or 6/6, as someone with satanic leanings might point out.) It's at a local library -- I won't tell you which one, so you'll have to guess! I'll be speaking about the book, about writing in general, and, if there's time, possibly about my insatiable need for negative attention. I want to say I'll hope to see you there, but the truth is, I don't know HOW I'll be feeling about you by the time 6/6 rolls around ...

Lastly, all this talk about furry creatures, and my own innate warm fuzziness, reminds me of the time my daughter got two Japanese dwarf hampsters and they ended up eating one another. It's still confusing to me what really happened, for the little crime scene was remarkably disturbing and just sort of baffling beyond description. One of the hampsters was completely gone, while the other was kind of half-eaten ... and parts of the OTHER hampster were clearly INSIDE the one. The lid remained undisturbed atop the cage, ruling out the cat, who's actually so neurotic that her fear of other animals logically prevented her from being a viable suspect ... It was a quick burial, though, and while I strove to hide the ugly truth from my bright daughter, she quickly surmised that something strange and sinister had taken place between her two exotic, far-eastern pets -- something a western animal wouldn't understand!

Anyway, this is why people shouldn't cage animals, but let them run free in the streets, where they can die from more natural causes, like automobile tires ...

Thursday, March 15, 2012

In March I Bash the Irish ... In April, Someone Else ...

March 15, 2012: Beware the Ides of March ... and if not that, certainly beware the Irish. They're a crafty lot, as the movie "Leprechaun" demonstrates, and what with Green Vomit Day quickly approaching, it's important we get ourselves ready for whatever strange debacles may lie just ahead in our dark, four-leafed future ...

But before I go into a lengthy rant against anyone's religion, I think it's important I take a moment to remind Blah-ugh! readers that this Blah-ugh! is less about bigotry and intolerance than it is about trying to create buzz around my new e-novel SPACE CASE, which as you all know is the racially tense story of a bigoted earth woman who's forced to mate with a black man from outer space. (Please understand that the term "black" is appropriate in this case, because this alien's ancestors are NOT from Africa, as may be the case for the typical misconstrued African-American earth dweller who is incorrectly referred to as "black," but instead he hails from a region on the planet Visnoid where skin pigments come in a remarkable range of vibrant colors, including one stylish shade of ebony that would put a vain panther to shame.)

Now, I've completely forgotten what my point was, because I began it so long ago, but you can bet the Irish had something to do with it. Or was it the Italians? This reminds me that I meant to get Italian food for lunch today and completely forgot to, opting instead for Chinese. I can only imagine that this sort of experience is the kind of thing that perpetuates the stereotypes surrounding the Chinese and their craftiness. Of course, there's a good chance that Italian laziness also played its part, along with my own Polish stupidity.

The nice thing about the Polish is that the word is also "polish," which has a nice, clean, well-groomed sense to it. It's a much better moniker than, say, Latvians, or Urkutskians. I'm glad I'm not from Urkutsk, which for a long time I believed was only a region in the board game Risk, but now I think may actually really exist, although its natives are probably ashamed to enter the U.N. because it's such a silly name.

Other countries have silly names as well, including ours. In a sense, we don't even HAVE a name, which is REALLY annoying. I wish we were called SOMETHING, like Featherland ... or Vermeel ... or Kasha ...

Which reminds me of something many of you may not have known, or perhaps cared about -- Did you know Soviet Union translates to mean "States United." Now, does that make any sense? It's moot now, but really, what were we all thinking throughout the Cold War, with such comically juxtaposed names?! U.S. / S.U. !! But what kills me is that no one noticed. I mean, even I didn't for a long time, although I was only born in the sixties, so at least I have that excuse for the early post-war years. What about YOU?!

How did we get on this? I was setting out to make fun of the Jews -- the Sephardic, not the Ashkenazi. I mean, what's with Hanukkah?! It starts on a different day each year. Who designed this religion?! The Polish?

No, but seriously, I'm still trying to figure out if my rampant prejudices and stereotyping are a good thing or a bad thing. (If you're laughing, by the way, they're a good thing, but if you're taking steps to have my book banned in schools, we'll need to reshape this post ...)

In a sense, I feel like a valuable museum-like period piece from another era -- meaning the Cold War -- still an example of that strange, sometimes bitter, sometimes hilarious time when fictional characters like Archie Bunker and Fred Sanford were teaching us not only to be aware of our differences, but to celebrate them with humor and embarrassed arrogance, especially if we felt deep down that our differences were better than those of others, or at least not QUITE as different ...

One nice thing about pre-judging people is that it saves a lot of time. And who has ANY time these days, what with text messages to send and millions of emails bouncing each way and Snooky getting pregnant and all the conversations we've got to HAVE ABOUT Snooky and her pregnancy and her being Ho -- (or a Hoe, depending on your stereotyping decisions) -- and all the new facts bombarding us about other television shows and the magazines about people who are ON television shows and ... It's just crazy!

And that's why there comes a point where we have to just cut corners in some area of our lives in order to make a finer showing ...

So why NOT blame the Irish this month? It'll help balance the joyous festivities of their holiday ... And then next month, we can blame someone else for the warm weather -- perhaps the Arabs!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Ear Hairs & Moon Pies

March 11, 2012: Two things are on my mind right now -- these gorgeous peanut butter moon pies I just bought for my daughter, which I hear whispering to me from downstairs in a gelatinous siren-like song of sugar love -- and my poor burning beet-red ears, which I've spent the last 15 minutes abusing with an ineffectual tweezers in an ever-failing effort to successfully groom away the rampant growth of black hairs ... (Of course, there's SPACE CASE too, which relates to moon pies, but that's ALWAYS on ALL our minds, especially as it's so easily accessible in e-form on Amazon and B&N! So get your copy today ... Mr. Josh! >:- )

I just got a haircut yesterday, so I not only wanted to make my Sunday night straight-razor shave a good one, I wanted to do all I could to get all the other strange hairs out of the picture for at least a few days. As the months keep passing, more and more ear hairs show their ugly hairs, and as I have my own (probably fatuous) formula for contending with them -- an old pair of tweezers that doesn't close properly -- it's becoming an effort that feels earmarked (if you'll excuse the unintentional ha-ha) for failure.

It's a genuine mystery to me why, with my main hairs continuing to fall to grey and white, these awful ear hairs keep coming in blacker and blacker. I blame this one woman who cut my hair out in L.A. several years ago. Before I knew what was happening, she was in there with some tiny buzzing razor, mowing my ear like it was a public park. "Stop!" I yelled, but it was too late. Before that they'd been a sweet, invisible blonde down, barely noticeable, unless you happened to be in their with a Q-tip while I was asleep. Everyone knows that once you start trimming the things, they only get coarser and blacker ... maybe angrier too. (Imagine how hard it was for me to have to tip her, too, being she was a friend of my wife's ... and mine, I guess, at least up until THAT point.)

Speaking of L.A., I knew a lovely Indian man out there who had the thickest ear hair you could ever imagine. (I wish he were here now, living in Connecticut, for the juxtaposition would certainly make me feel better about mine.) He had what looked like two black and grey mice sitting in his ears (one in each). I mention that he was Indian not only because I'm prejudice -- oh, you know I'm kidding, EJ -- but also because I think it had something to do with his genes (if not his culture). And speaking racial genetics, little does my poor son know what he's due to face in his ears in the decades ahead with that rancid Sicilian blood bubbling through his veins, making every growth a thick black one. I mean, we get all these great cooking skills and a formidable love-making ability, of course, but I have to fear taking my shirt off at the beach. (Chime in, Cousin Gary! This is your history as well!)

Not to change the subject, but I noticed I also gained a stinging cut on my inner-ear this evening. (Well, perhaps not my INNER ear, but certainly more INSIDE my ear than outside.) And how I got the cut is remarkably stupid (dumb Sicilian!) because I helped my cat do it. (Cat cut! Cat cut your tongue? No, my ear!) For some reason -- I'm STILL not even sure why -- I was hoisting our kitten -- Bob K. -- over my head while I was lying down, and placed him on my ear. (See, I was on the computer as this was happening, which I often work on lying on my stomach, which is how the computer is set up ... I think I explained this once, but no one listened to me then either.) Anyway, the cat just panicked and scratched my ear, and while I was investigating the hair factor, I happened upon this nasty little cut ... in my ear ... and of course, once I saw it, it hurt even more!

So, that's all I have to share tonight, because I'm really, really thinking a lot about that moon pie right now. I will see how good it is ... or perhaps THEY are, presently ... and then I'll hope throughout the long, still-caffeinated night that my sometimes up-fluxing gullet doesn't demand that I barf moon pies out across the flannel bedsheets in this sweet mid-March evening of my Connecticut ...

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Coffee Cures Everything; It Cured ME

March 6, 2012: I suddenly came to realize today that my main problem -- perhaps my ONLY problem, really -- is that I haven't been drinking enough coffee--or any coffee--for way too long.

Right away, this explains why my Blah-ugh! entries have become poorly intermittent, (where once they were intermittently poor). Also, the topics themselves have become increasingly maudlin and pedantic, where they were once buoyant, pithy, and on rare occasions vaguely funny. This, too, is a reflection of coffee's magic powers, for as everyone knows coffee drinkers are prone to sit around coffee shops laughing and telling funny stories about hens and washing cars and hiring nannies from funny-sounding countries ... and so to NOT be charged on coffee, one suddenly sees the folly of even TRYING to have a conversation without waxing morose.

By the way, at this point you're probably wondering if SPACE CASE is still available on Amazon and at B&N, and it is, and if you were really the fan you purport to be, you'd already know that, so I've half a mind to delete these last three lines, except I can't properly work the delete button on this stupid futuristic keyboard my wife bought, for it's like typing on one of those fake rubber keyboards, or on a toy piano, and just try to send a letter through one of those.

Speaking of ME and my BOOK, you'll probably be microscopically excited (as my wife was) to learn that I've been asked to do my first public appearance in relation to that unique, oft-discussed (certainly by me) humorous attempt at chick lit (SPACE CASE, which as you know is available at B&N and Amazon). I'll hope to see you there, assuming you won't be wearing weird clothes or calling out from the audience about problems in Tibet or problems with MY stand on Tibet, or Tibet's stand on ME ... Actually, at this point I'm not even sure I want you there at all, so call first ...

Anyway, the point is, I'm enjoying a clarity of mind usually only experienced by coke addicts, and it's all thanks to my increasing coffee intake. Not to say that tea isn't doing it's part too -- the drinking kind, I mean. I'm still enjoying my morning cup, only now I'm starting to have two in the morning, and several more throughout the evening, following a healthy afternoon of coffee ingestion. (I just finished a cup now, in fact, and I feel GREAT!)

It's amazing, really. I'm finding I don't need to sleep as much as I thought I did, and my real fear-issue relating to it being a diarrhetic has been handily quelled by putting my brilliant cure for Lactose Intolerance (remember -- L.I.) into play. (See )

So life is good, and if I can keep up this pace, the Blah-ugh! entries should keep coming faster and faster, and with more virulent pith (if I'm not being gross by saying so) ... and while I've noticed my blinking starting to change a bit -- it's kind of hard to explain, but my eyes aren't quite closing all the way anymore, but just sort of rolling around -- otherwise I haven't noticed any ill effects. And due to my ever-increasing energy, I've got several new writing projects underway, two of which involve complete sentences, while the others are more abstract and just entail my hitting the keyboard rhythmically with clenched fists. (Which reminds me, I'm thinking about learning to play the accordion while I have all this extra time.)

Anyway, ask yourself honestly, Have I bought my copy of Space Case yet? And if you answer No, get the hell off my Blah-ugh! site or I'll call the cops ... I'm just kidding. So few people are up at this hour, I can't AFFORD to offend anyone ... even you!