10-year blog anniversary: potpourri

all workWe’re almost to the end of this journey back in time. One more post tomorrow, and then it’s back to the present.

This post is about how pussified writers (and many artists, actually) have become. How they need constant reassurance and stroking to put pen to paper, when so many who came before wallowed in obscurity (and even filth) but still managed to crank some good shit out.

You would be amazed how many people google “did phil collins witness a murder?” They find an answer in this post, which was born from a question my brother Mason submitted to my fake advice column on houstonist.com called “Ask a Dilettante.”

I’ve always promised to be honest in this blog, and I’ve mostly succeeded. This was a rare creative writing entry not based on reality.

First I fell in love with Steinbeck’s Travels with Charley. Then I got a cold splash of reality that maybe it was a little more fiction than reality. Then I realized that most memories are at least a little bit fiction, even when we’re recounting them shortly after the fact, because we’re constantly placing events in the context of our own reality. And my reality is likely different from yours, even when we’re standing right next to each other and maybe I’m a little closer to you than I should be and it’s making you slightly uncomfortable.

Back in the day (2012, in fact) Google search terms that brought people to my blog would show up in a list on my admin dashboard. They were always way more interesting than my blog, so I was sorry when Google went dark on search terms.


what kind of fortune is this?
  • I saw a one-legged woman on crutches doing her grocery shopping. She nudged the basket with her body because her hands were busy on the crutches. Did the fat scooter people who were riding around buying shitty food feel a little bit lazy?
  • Do people who have obnoxious vanity plates on their car feel like assholes when they are  in a funeral procession?
  • Does Charo’s body ever just want to wear a soft cotton tee shirt and stretchy pants instead of being stuffed into tight, strappy, sequined leather?
  • When are we going to drop this daylight saving time charade?
  • Why is this video (very NSFW) so fucking funny?
  • Do crazy people who live in cabins in the woods go crazy after they get there, or do they arrive like that?
  • What keeps knocking on the side of our house at night just on the other side of the wall behind my desk?

Friday list

got rid of my po box: The experiment failed. A year ago I rented a PO box for the FIGHT STUPIDIZATION campaign. It was meant to be a place where people could mail me a SASE, which I would return with one or two FS stickers inside. After mailing out over 500 stickers, the postage was becoming a bigger expense than I cared to take on. Sadly, the $40 I spent for the PO box ended up being a shittier financial deal because I only got a handful of sticker requests over the past year. The box rental has gone up to $52 annually, so today I got rid of it and plan to return to the old method. If you would like your very own FIGHT STUPIDIZATION sticker (or need a refresh for your old one), send an email with your mailing address and a promise to send me a photo of the sticker once it has found a home. Your photo will join the rogues gallery on the stupidization page. (Do it.)

punditry on two wheels: Via a comment on my brother’s site, I was happy to be introduced to a super fantastic blog – The Trailer Park Cyclist. While I’m always talking about simplifying things and living in a small place some day, this dude is living the reality. He writes funny, keenly observant posts about living in a trailer park in Florida and working on bicycles. But he’s really just talking about life. (Read it.)

peeing on yourself: My office is divided into three different rooms – the room I’m in is shared with another chick my age and two mid-20 something  women. The other old lady and I love to torture the two younger chicks with doom and gloom stories about aging. They wince when I mention the lone hair that likes to pop out of my chin overnight. They think I’m kidding when I say that there will be nothing there when I go to bed, yet when I wake up there’s a fully formed, 1/2-inch long hair swinging in the breeze. They think it won’t happen to them. They are wrong. Which they will find out when they are firmly in their 30s when this sort of shit starts to happen. And if it’s not a lone chin hair, it’ll be something else. Because aging isn’t for the faint-hearted.

Earlier this week, we were discussing the new commercials featuring a tightly bound and stuffed Kirstie Alley who is hiding out in some lady’s bathroom. There’s a party. The lady–who looks to be thirty-ish–is standing with a group of friends. She laughs, suddenly looks concerned and then runs to the bathroom. Where Kirstie Alley is hanging out, barely able to breathe in a pink dress that is a few sizes too small. (She’s lost a lot of weight, but I don’t think it’s time for that dress yet.) Kirstie Alley asks the woman if she just peed on herself. From laughing. The woman admits that she did. Kirstie Alley recommends that she wear a Poise pad rather than a pad she would use for her period. Which means that this woman would need to wear a pad all day, every day (and night) on the off chance that at some point she laughs.

This commercial makes me feel the way I assume the two young chicks feel. “That will never happen to me, and I’m not even sure this is real or that it happens to anyone.” I mean, if laughing at some lame-ass joke at a boring party with Kirstie Alley creepily hiding in the bathroom has this result, what the hell does a good strong sneeze do? (Hold it.)