Posts Tagged ‘humor’

Attention

When I was a little boy, I used to watch a couple of my dad’s brothers with curiosity.   They were so outgoing and carefree.  And drunk too most of the time.  The beers just enhanced who they were though – something I believe is true for all drunks.

They were huge men and they truly didn’t care about how they appeared to others and didn’t try to hide much of what they thought.  They were irreverent and loud and loved to laugh – unlike my dad who, though he was just as large as them,  was the polar opposite in character:  angry and belligerent and always spoiling for a fight.

As I grew up, I could never picture myself being as free as my uncles.

While riding your bike up and down the street as a child, the idea of inhibiting yourself in any way doesn’t even cross your mind.  You have fights with your friends, you make up, you play “flying saucers” with them (always you get to be the captain, and they are your underlings, if you have any say about it) and together you go through a full range of emotions every day.  And the next day you forget what the previous day was about.  It doesn’t matter.  You are in the now.

Kids don’t seem to have a sense of nostalgia, even for a moment.

Flashes of memory:

Scene:  teenaged me on a stepladder, applying paint to the eavestrough of our house.  I don’t even recall the colour.  Though lost in ADD-addled thought, I was intent on ensuring the paint went where it was supposed to go.  The sun was shining in the west, and my dad was out on the front lawn scowling as he watched me work, an ever-present bottle of beer in his hand.  I was a little unfocused while my brain processed yet another shiny ball piece of inspiration.  He could tell, because he would say something and I would provide one-note replies.  In exasperation he bellowed “you’re always in your head.  You never talk.”  He barked “so what the hell are you thinking about?”

That was a surprise.  I knew he was right but it was the first time I remember being forced to be a little self-aware.  I probably turned red – I didn’t like being in the spotlight.  Not his, anyway.  As I struggled to reply, he huffed again and walked away in disgust.   A more mature me would have been able to analyze it:  I didn’t think I mattered to him.  At least, he didn’t show it, in amongst all of the anger and shouting and drinking and swearing and hitting people.  So why would it would occur to me to talk with him?  I was afraid of him.   I was slowly building a belief in his hatred of me.   Hindsight reveals so much.

Not being mature, I had no sense of all of this at the time though.  I just knew I had somehow angered him, and I was afraid of what that might mean.  I had no idea what the consequences would entail.  Would I be beaten up?  Was he going to use this as an excuse to come at me?   God knew.   I kept painting, fearful and shaking inside.

(Nothing happened)

Scene:  a dark night, my best friend and I were in a camping trailer in his parents’ front yard, talking about something.  This was probably within the same year as the painting scene above.    I thought Joe was a genius: his marks in school were excellent and we both kind of knew he would end up becoming some sort of an academic.   The guy was linear and logical, and we talked about a great many things.  This night, however, it was me doing most of the talking. I remember really enjoying the time, until I realized that he wasn’t saying much at all.

“Joe, what’s wrong?”

He looked at me.  Shrugged.  Put his head down, staring at the floor.  “Nothing”.

Being around a drunk father for most of your life, and being taught how to read him in order to survive, I had developed somewhat of a sense about people, even then.  I landed right on the problem.   “You think I talk too much don’t you?”

He hesitated.  Then nodded.

Shock.  Teenage immature revelation.

I shut up.

And then, like many teens, I made a point of fitting in by keeping quiet, and making sure my image was intact.  There was no way anyone would ever have to become disgruntled about my saying too much ever again.  I had learned my lesson well.

Such behaviour, once learned, becomes hard to unlearn.  It becomes your new “normal”.  You get used to it.  You think this is what you’re supposed to do.  This for you is social conditioning, and though marginally disappointing, you’re happy to have learned it.  Now you can fit in, and not stand out or become the focus of anyone’s attention.  It doesn’t occur to you that “focus of attention” can be a positive thing – you’re only used to seeing it as a negative, ranging from the disdain of your friends to the red-eyed drunken and raging stare of violence.

Scene:  I’m an adult, sitting in the basement of a building in the heart of the downtown Toronto entertainment district.  A bunch of people – maybe fifteen or so, all different ages and backgrounds – are assembled.  All are paying attention to the teacher.  Only, it’s not a lecture.  He’s giving instructions.

“Never say no”.  He starts.  “You may think you have a better idea, and maybe you do.  But if someone gives you an offer, take it, and leave your ‘better idea’ in your back pocket.  You may get a chance to use it later.  It’s more important to follow the lead of the other guy.   Think instead of how you can help build his idea.”  He smiled.  “Or hers”.

It was a comedy improv class.  The objective was to tap into our “inner child” and play pretend with each other.   It was entirely positive, and it involved taking the focus, and becoming the center of attention, if only for a few moments.

It was exhilarating.  I was the guy on a fishing trip with a friend, and we were discussing my getting a job at his company.  And all the while we were sitting in an imaginary boat, casting our lines and winding the reel back in.   He built on my idea by presenting an offer:  if he could have a date with my wife, he’d see that my job application was approved.  My instinct was to immediately say “no” but then I remembered the teacher’s instructions.    “You know – that might work.  I’m going to need more than a job though. ”  I thought for a moment, while casting the line once again.   “Maybe stock options.  And your cool new car.   That would be my price.”  We dickered back and forth, adding conditions and treasures, until we finally ended it by reaching an agreement.

So odd, playing that scene.  We had became oblivious to the fact we were both the center of attention – except for the brief moments when the class laughed.

In another improv exercise, we were learning about adding dimensions to our invisible props; to be aware of them.   The teacher said “very often you’ll see some actors on stage, sitting in a car.  One of them will get out and walk to the other side – RIGHT THROUGH THE IMAGINARY ENGINE.  It irks me every time.  It destroys the scene.  I want you to be aware of your scene, and everything in it, and respect it completely.  Make it real.”   He looked at us, intently.  “If you can make yourself believe everything in your scene is real, your audience will follow you and they’ll believe it too.  Every time.”

To illustrate that point, the teacher chose an imaginary thick heavy door that didn’t open too well.  One by one, classmates went up to the door, used big heavy keys to unlock it, and then struggled to get it open.  Then they would struggle just as hard to pull it closed behind them.  Then they would sit down, or go to an imaginary fridge, grab an invisible drink and open it.   Or read a newspaper.  About four or five of them went up.   Then I had an idea:  I walked up, struggled with that same door, got inside and closed it.   Then, with my back ramrod straight, I looked around at them in disgust.    “One, two, three….” I counted them all.   “All five of you are in here… ”  I raised my voice in anger.  “….and there are 1,500 prisoners out there, all unsupervised.”   Their eyes all widened and they got up in a rush and scrambled to get out the door.

The class laughed.   That did it.  The seed was planted.   Attention.  Positive attention.  Instant addiction.

Scene:  a sports bar in a small town.  Noon hour.   About seven colleagues and I sitting around a table, having lunch.   A TV set was situated on a shelf  that was close to the ceiling, and it was tuned to a music video station.  The theme was 90’s music, and we were enjoying it, and discussing the songs as they came on.

Then the Divinyls’ song “I Touch Myself” came on.   Anyone who’s ever heard it knows the lyrics fairly well.  It features a woman singing to her lover about how she masturbates when she thinks of him.

The conversation around the table stopped abruptly.  Most of us were guys, and we couldn’t even look at each other.   For some reason I found this hilarious.   My improv-enhanced mind whirled with possibility.

I cleared my throat, turned and looked at the guy next to me (who, aware of my gaze, elected to stare with apparent focused and fascinated attention at his plate of fries).   In the deepest voice I could muster I growled “kind of embarrassing isn’t it?”

The table exploded with laughter.

—————–

I didn’t know it then, but I was reprogramming myself.   Detoxing from a lifetime of self-repression.  Learning that embarrassment should be reserved for honest mistakes, not for honest behaviour. Not for speaking out.  Not for truth-telling, no matter how ridiculous or outrageous the truth, or even whether it was couched in humour or bold straight talk.

I brought that dynamic to my workplace, often blurting out wild-eyed stuff to the disbelief and laughter of my friends and co-workers.   Safety doesn’t seem that much of a factor anymore.   And even when there is the possibility of violence – like on a crowded subway or busy mall – it’s better to face it head-on, with truth.   People truly don’t expect that.  They expect fear, and hiding.

I was learning that you get a lot more done, accomplish more, find more satisfaction in throwing off the safety of quiet, and replacing it with risk, and attitude and laughter.

To this day, I still have to coach myself though.   What about you?  Do you find yourself, as I do, having to repeat “what’s the worst that can happen” to yourself?   Do you find what that is, and then say to yourself “to hell with it – I’m doing or saying this, and if they don’t like it, or me, that’s too bad”?

Whirling and whirling

Posted: January 24, 2012 in ADHD, Life
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

*thinking*  “Shoot, I’m late.  Better call a cab.”

“Wait.  I’m not nearly ready and if I rush I’m going to forget something.  Better get everything together first, then when I’m about five minutes from being ready – THEN call.”

“Good.”  I nodded to myself.  “Smart thinking”

I ignored the brightly coloured fairy lights flitting around in my brain and set to work. 

Lunch?  “Don’t need it – I’m buying a sandwich when meeting with a friend today.  So… check.”

Boots?  “It’s cold out.  Got ’em right here”  *Slips boots on.*

Coat? “Right here”

Gloves? “Check”

Hat?  “Check”

Anything else?  “Wait.  iPad.  Can’t forget the love of my life.”

Laptop for work?  “Got it in the laptop bag.  I’ll put the iPad in with it.”

iPhone?  “Got it.”

Call the cab.  “Ok.  I’ll connect up with my bluetooth earpiece and talk to them while doing a last minute check around the place.”

*Calls cab.*

I go out.  Lock both locks on the door and walk down the hallway to the elevator.  An older woman smiles at me.  I nod back and say “hi there.”

I hear the elevator.  *Ding!*

The door opens.  Something twigs in my brain – so I ignore the elevator and go back to my apartment.   Unlock both locks and walk through the apartment with my boots on.  Grab the new combination lock so I can head to the gym today.  (Lost my last one on my trip to Tofino).

Re-lock the apartment and, as the elevator opens, my phone rings.  I tap the bluetooth earpiece and hear “hi there.  You called for a taxi?”

“Yup.  On my way down now.”

I jump in the cab and,  just as it leaves the on-ramp and hits the highway, I realize that I forgot my security card for work.   So I think “nevermind.   I’ll just have to find a public washroom if I need it, and make sure that I don’t leave the building after 4:30 (unless going home) because I won’t be able to get back in.”   Good.  It sucks, but at least it’s a plan.  I’m not spending the money to tell the cab to go back.

And…just as I get in the door at work I realize that my security card is safe in my laptop back.  I forgot it was there.   “Oh good.” I think.  ” Serendipity.  Thank God for small blessings.”

I get to my desk, plug in the laptop, secure it to the locking cable and turn it on.

I sit back and, after waiting for it to boot up, I finally see the login screen. 

Sort of.  It’s kind of hard to read.

Ah.  I need my glasses.   I reach into my pocket.  Earphones, iPhone….. no glasses.   “I wonder where they are?”   

They’re sitting on the counter at home.  Right where I left them.

I think “what the fuck is WRONG with me?” 

“Why is my brain such a massive blur today?

“Did I take my ADHD meds?”

I did.  It was almost the first thing I did today.

Good thing I have an doctor appointment for tomorrow – because it looks as though they’re not working anymore.

I think “well, I’ll have to buy some reading glasses from the pharmacy across the street.” 

So I do.  Bring them back and sit back down to the computer. 

Uh oh.  There’s a plastic thing securing them – I’ll have to cut it off. 

I get the scissors,  cut the tag and put them on. 

My vision is blurry. 

So I take them off, clean them, put them back on. 

Still blurry. 

Take them off and look at them.  There’s a big scratch across one of the lens.  Apparently when I cut the tag, I was way too impatient.  Pretty much madly assaulted the $35.00 glasses during my haste to use them – and now they’re worth nothing.

Put them back on and decide to use them for the rest of the day.

Later, I meet my friend for lunch.  She says about seven things in the space of a paragraph, and as she says EACH.INDIVIDUAL.THING – my brain captures a relating thought, all of which I want to say to her.  When she stops speaking, I can’t remember a single one of them.

Tomorrow can’t come soon enough.

Spameteria

Posted: December 27, 2011 in humor, Life
Tags: , , ,

The extent to which people will go to separate you from your money is ridiculously amazing sometimes.

I was thinking about this when it got to be time to go through and see the fish caught in the helpful spam net provided by WordPress – comments that never made it to my blogs because of their suspicious nature. There have been rare occasions where a legitimate comment got caught – this was WordPress being cautious, and frankly, I’m glad about it. It does mean though that I can’t just go to the spam filter and press the “flush” button. Each comment needs to be scanned.

Enter the noticeably crazy games people have tried to play, just to get their website link posted to my blog.

Take this one for instance, posted on my “About Wolfshades” page:

I find myself extremely very happy to have encountered your website page and search to an abundance of more cool times reading here. Appreciate it once again for a number of things.

Non-specific praise, designed to appeal to the ego, I guess. Poorly written non-specific praise. Here, let me just ahead and unblock the comment, out of sheer gratefulness.

Or we could just move on to the next one, on the same page:

Phenomenal is the perfect option to describe this particular article. Its been months since Ive found such magnificent content. I couldnt agree on this topic.

“Magnificent”! Wow. I wonder what he found objectionable though. Obviously it was something or he would agree with me. And what problem did he find with the post, given that the subject matter was ..a little subjective, as it was about me? Let’s move on.

Check out on my site Unrealesed movies for freeee !!!

This one’s easy: “NO”

You need give assistance with my site, please can anybody look in?

A cry for help! An appeal to my manly desire to show off my extensive knowledge. OK then – first off: grab a book on grammar. Read a few pages. Familiarize yourself with basic English. For the record: the only “need” I have is to get some more sleep. Or have more wine, depending upon the time of day.

I’ve been wondering about the same factor myself lately. Delighted to see a man or woman on a single wavelength! Nice article.

Note to spammers: best do a bit of research and make a hard decision before making your pitch. Is your victim a man or a woman? Don’t be so vague – it’s insulting. Or I should say: more insulting than just your clear desire to advertise your Ugg boots on my page.

An intriguing discussion will probably be worth comment. There’s no doubt that that you can write much more on this topic,

Since you tried to post this on my “about me” page, I’d have to say you nailed it. I *could* write much more about me. I’m my favourite topic. I could talk about me all day. Would you like to know more about my amazing intellect or my drop dead gorgeous good looks? Take your time. This is Important Stuff.

Im no expert, on the other hand believe mobile computer designed a top notch point point. You undoubtedly realise what youre talking over, and so i will surely fall behind that.

OMG. Don’t don’t hurt hurt yourself.

I love scrambled eggsпїЅпїЅ physical exercises donпїЅпїЅt seem pretty much as good another way! I really do decide to make them while in the microwave, though!

Dude. Now you’re not even trying. I can’t respect a lazy spammer. Go have some more eggs, and try hard not to choke on them.

I was just talking with my coworker about this the other day at Outback steak house. Dont know how in the world we landed on the subject actually , they brought it up. I do recall having a excellent chicken salad with ranch on it. I digress

You sure do. And I decline. Try again? (N/N)

And now, because the rest are variations on the above, one final one, which someone attempted to post on my “About me” page:

We might live like this under mans laws but not by GODS LAWS. These people are wrong by our lords law and marraige is mam@ woman, so go ahead with this cause we dont have a right to judge you but GOD DOES.

Your poor attempt to provoke a comment fight has failed. If you weren’t trying to sell me something I might have bitten. I’m sending Bruce and Terry over to set you straight by the way. They’re pretty sure you’re just as fabulous as they are.

Have to admit:  since moving in to the new place I find I’m falling more and more in heavy like with it.  Not yet willing to pilot the boat to the end of the Tunnel of “Love” just yet.  Give it time.

Oh there are a few little annoyances.  Like the fact that the laundry room has “hours of operation”.  In the Old Place, there was no time restriction.  In the New Place – well you have to check your watch, and schedule the time properly or you may not be able to grab your freshly dried tightey-whiteys at the end of the dryer cycle.  Which means any old early bird can get in there when it opens in the morning and abscond with them before you can rub the sleep out of your eyes.

Gauchie theft is a growing crime problem, you know.   There are just too many guys out there, in poverty, who’ve never had gauchies of their own.  They’ve looked at the Sears catalogue with longing for so many years, always turning to the men’s underwear section, dreaming of the day they can slip one of these bad boys onto their privates, and smile with contentment, knowing that their junk is finally contained.

But I digress.

Oh P.S.  I don’t use tightey-whiteys.  I’m strictly a boxers adherent.  The reason for the use of the other term:  artistic license.

Seems to me you can say almost anything, as long as you follow up with that all-encompassing justification.

“I think you and your family are descendants of feudal peasants who never washed, because it never occurred to them to do so.  They’ve passed their penchant for soap-avoidance onto their progeny so really it’s not your fault that you smell.  JUST KIDDING.  Artistic license.”

Maybe it wouldn’t work.  The only way to know for sure is to test it.  If you can say the above and then walk away afterward without having to wipe blood from your nose – YOU WIN.

Getting back on topic:  there is much to love about the New Place: I don’t just have air conditioning.  The place has “climate control” – which is about a ton better than air conditioning.  Air conditioning involves a machine that you have to spend hours trying to fit in an abnormal-sized window.  You have to measure it, grab some plywood or plexiglass, and then cut it so that it fits with the air conditioner.  Plus you have to find a way to anchor it in the window so that it doesn’t fall fifteen stories down right on top of that Nightmare Litigator who will sue your ass for everything you’ve got (providing that they live).

No, I have climate control, which means there is venting throughout the apartment.  We each have our own controls, too.  I have *never* enjoyed summer so much, ever.  With climate control, there is no worry about water leaking (in my last place, water leaked onto the floor when I wasn’t home, resulting in the tiles becoming engorged and lifting.  Had to get someone in to re-do the floors), and it pipes the air into all parts of the apartment.  So cool, in both senses of the word.

The water pressure is great too.   In the Old Place, that was a real issue, and was the cause of an unending barrage of swearing in the morning.  Not only did the water dribble out of the shower-head like an old man with a football-sized prostate, but the temperature fluctuated just a little bit too.  Back and forth, from frightened-testicles-hurry-up-and-scurry-back-up-into-your-body-cavity ice cold to immediately-peel-your-skin-off-down-to-the-bone red lava hot.  So a five-minute shower usually took about twenty minutes to a half hour.   I started out hating it, but ended up loathing it with a passion.

And washing dishes was a fall-on-your-face joke.   That tap too trickled like the cutest little babbling brook.   You could get suds only if, after letting the tap water fill the sink (generally about ten to fifteen minutes) and depositing about a half a cup of dish soap, you then swished it around violently with your hand.

Yes, it was definitely time for a change.   Now, I have to really watch how much dish soap I put in, because too much will cause a soap volcano in the sink.   And showers now take five minutes.  Awesome.

What really kind of made this place cool was something I hadn’t expected, in socially cold Toronto:  I have some pretty neat neighbours.

Most of them welcomed me when I moved in.  The general welcome was something like “good luck in your new place.”   I’ve never had that kind of greeting before.   Most of the residents in this building are Jewish, too.  Some are orthodox and many are not.   There’s are three elevators here, one of which is designated as the Sabbath elevator from Friday evening to Saturday evening.   For those who don’t know, the Sabbath elevator allows folk to ride without having to push any buttons.  It stops automatically at every floor.

This morning when I went down to do my laundry, a couple of older women – both Jewish – introduced themselves to me.  We got talking pleasantly about the building, and about life in general.  It was pretty cool, especially since this never happened at my other building.

“So did you just move in?”

“Yes, I did.  In the middle of June.”

“What apartment are you in?”

(I wondered at that question.  But I told her)

“Oh, it’s one of the one-bedrooms then.”

(Evidently they knew the building floor plans.  Interesting.)

“And so are you by yourself then?”

To be honest, I get the feeling the older women here are trying to size me up – since I seem to be getting the same questions.  Maybe I’m a possible candidate as a mate for their daughters.  I can imagine the conversation.

“He’s probably making good money, since he can afford to live here by himself.”

“So pleasant too.  And good-looking.  He might be a professional man.”

“You think so?   Maybe my Marly will catch his eye.”

“Oh you know – Marly catches everyone’s eye.”

“What are you saying?  Are you saying Marly gets around?”

“No, no dear.   I’m just saying she’s good-looking too.”

“Oh.  I’m sorry.  Didn’t mean to get all meshugah on you dear.”

“Ah!  Think nothing of it.   You know, she’s probably too good for him anyway.”

“You think so?”

“I do.  And besides, he’s probably Goy anyway.”

“That’s true.  I didn’t see a yarmulke.  Oy, I’m going to plotz before I find an eligible man for my Marly.”

I love this place.

Skinny

Posted: March 19, 2010 in humor, Life
Tags: , ,

One of the highlights of each week involves crawling out of bed on Saturday morning, getting washed and dressed, avoiding breakfast, and heading on over to the local Jenny Craig outlet, there to visit with some of the city’s most beautiful women.  Getting weighed in is an added bonus.

This has been a routine for about five years now, I think.

In a previous incarnation (read: before five years ago), I was over 300 pounds.  I don’t know by how much, on account of I stopped checking once I hit the 300 mark.   I don’t think I ever managed to attain Beast level, which is 350 pounds.  I probably got pretty close though.

It’s a funny thing – when you’re not self-aware, you can miss so much.  Like the fact that I was not only fat, but my life was in danger.  I didn’t know I was fat.  I know that just as sure as I know that the last sentence doesn’t make any kind of logical sense.  In my mind’s eye, I was still the teenage boy who couldn’t get over 128 pounds.  Ever.  I remember looking in the mirror back then, breathing in, and being able to count my ribs.   I suppose semi-starvation will do that to you.

One day some nasty evil family member took a side photo of me, sitting at the dining room table with my family.   That wasn’t nice of them at all.  And then, to add insult to horror, they showed it to me.

And that’s when I knew I was fat.   I wasn’t overweight, stout, big-boned or obese.  I was friggin’ FAT.

I had to do something about it.

In looking around, I saw other friends who had become overweight.  I saw them start various starvation diets, and fad diets, lose weight and gain it all back again.

Then, when I was doing improvisational comedy, I met this beautiful blue-eyed blonde girl.  She saw my shyness and something clicked for her, so she made it a point to draw me into her crowd and we became friends.

I only learned about six months later that she had once been overweight too, and had gone to Jenny Craig.   When we met up for the first time, she had been out of the Jenny Craig program for two years, and had – obviously – kept the weight off.

That was good enough for me.   I joined.  I lost.  And lost, and am still losing.

Yes, it’s been five years, and I’ve gained a little back now and then but for the most part, the slide has been a very very slow slide downward.  They say that’s the best way to lose.  If you lose it gradually (just as you gained it gradually) you have a better chance of keeping it off.  I agree.

My Jenny Craig counselor is a gorgeous laughing brunette named Maria.     Every week she weighs me in, and then we sit down and talk about the previous week.

“What’s the plastic bag for?” she asked me.

“Um, well that’s something to have so that I can empty my pockets before getting weighed in.”  I then proceeded to put in my wallet, keys, change, iPhone, ebook reader, and everything else you can think of into it.

“Oh” she said, thinking.  “So that’s kind of like your purse, huh?”  Her blue eyes were twinkling, even though she kept a straight face.

I looked at her.   And then I smirked.   “No.  Get it right.  It’s not a purse.  It’s a murse.   A man-purse.”

She laughed.

One of the things we talk about is technology.  She is severely behind the times when it comes to the latest gadget, even though she thinks the iPhone is pretty neat.   I have counseled her about it, advising her when to buy, and what to get in terms of a data plan.

Last week as we sat in her office she said “guess what?  You’ll never guess what I got.”

I looked at her.  “An iPhone?”

She grinned.  “No.  An iPod thingy.”

I chuckled.  “You mean an iPod Touch?”

“YES!  That’s it!  An iPod Touch!”

I shook my head in disbelief.  “Maria, Maria.”

“What?”

“An iPod Touch?  Really?  Why didn’t you go all the way and get an iPhone?”

“Well I…”

“And what size did you get?  Tell me you got a 32-Gig model”

“No. I got a 16-Gig.  Why?”

I grinned.  “You know what this is like?  This is like you going on The Price is Right and having Bob Barker announce that you’ve just won a brand-new 2010 Chevy….windshield wiper”

She laughed.  “No.  I want to get an iPhone someday but the guy at the shop told me the timing is wrong.”

[Note: when she read this blog, she corrected me.  She actually got an 8-Gig iPod Touch.  I’m shaking my head sadly in shame over here]

We talked some more and then she weighed me in.   I had lost another pound.

When I lose weight, Maria likes to put a sticky on my record.  After doing the customary male pride rejection of that idea – and after she persisted anyway – I gave in (really, I didn’t have a chance – her and her idea were just both too cute).   Every time I lose weight now, she drags out that sticker book and announces that I’m getting another one.   It makes me smile every time.

When she got out the sticker book last week, I thought about our iPod Touch conversation.  “Hey can I pick out the sticker this week?”

She gave me the book.  “Sure!  Go ahead.”

I hunted around for a good one, struggled to get it out, and then, instead of placing it on my record I grabbed her arm and affixed it to the back of her hand.  “There.  That’s your prize for getting an iPod Touch.”

She laughed.

And you wonder why I like Saturdays so much.

*********

Hope you have a great weekend!

Crashing the Gates of Consciousness

Posted: February 23, 2010 in Life
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OK I started writing this blog without attempting to title it first.  That will come after, and then you’ll get to see how utterly awe-inspiring my writing can be. 

First off – my hat is off to fellow bloggers Simply Nadia Chyme – who wrote a blog about her writing process and Roger’s Place in Cyber Space, whose email provoked her wonderful blog.  (By the way, those who know me will appreciate the fact that I never flatter anyone.  I try always just to speak the truth.  When I say her blog is wonderful, I mean it.  Go check it out for yourself.)

Nadia’s blog inspired this one, is what I’m trying to say.

So the question everyone wants to know (well, everyone who has followed me here from Myspace.com anyway) is:  dear Wolfie – how do you come up with some of the terrific stuff that you write? 

As mentioned in a earlier blog:  there are about a zillion thoughts that go through my head within a half hour.  I have taken the liberty of saving myself some hard-earned cash – thus avoiding the psychiatrist’s office – by self-diagnosing myself as having ADD.  I think that’s the catalyst for this explosion of thought that comes my way, every day, without fail.  So really, when it comes to topics, there is no dry desert in this noggin of mine.  No, the tough part comes in deciding which shiny thing in my skull is deserving of attention at the moment.

A friend of mine once said: “I’ll bet you could write about anything – even toilet paper.”   Her thought intrigued me, so I decided to try to do just that.  It seemed to work, too.  If you’re willing to make a little bit of a fool of yourself, you can sometimes accomplish Great Things.

Hmm.  That last paragraph provokes another thought.  No surprise, I suppose.  We’ll get back to that thought near the end.

Seriously, though – once you become self-aware, you begin to learn a heck of a lot more about yourself and about people in general, then you ever did when you were just going through the motions of life.  (If pushed, I can explain that thought further, but really it’s another blog).   In real life verbal conversation, I like to blather long and intensely about some of the things I’ve learned.  This does not translate well to a written format, as it can get a bit long-winded or dull.  I like to avoid dullness when possible and in fact when speaking with someone who’s making dull conversation over the phone, I’ll usually find a way to end the call as quickly as possible.  “Sorry, but my toupeé just caught on fire.  I have to go.”  (I don’t have a toupeé, by the way – I have a full head of spikey hair. )

There are times when one of these life lessons seems to jump out for attention so I’ll spend some time thinking of real situations and examples, usually while typing, and so that’s how the process gets started.  Since humour is important to me (bad childhood, multiple siblings, a need for a way to release the bad energy, you can take it from there), there is a tendency to wrap significant and serious situations in a humorous bubble-wrap.   Those who aren’t me can find this annoying; they don’t seem to appreciate the loud noises that attend the process of popping those bubbles.  People sometimes think I can’t take anything seriously.  I like it when they make that mistake: it puts me under the radar, so to speak, and I get to learn more.   (And poke them more, too)

This all shows itself in my writing.  At least, I try to make sure it’s there.  If it isn’t, I’ll scrap the entire blog.  Before you ask – yes, I’ve done that many times.

There are times when I have no idea what to say; times when I just have to write, period.  That’s when it gets really interesting:   I’ll sit down at the computer, click on “New Post” and just start writing.  I have no idea what I’m going to say, either.  It just comes out and I’m either entertained or on the rare occasion, disappointed.  If the latter, then it goes to the trash.  If I can read my blog two times and find it entertaining, I’ll keep it.  In the end, I write for me.

Sometimes the only frustration  is finding the right ending.  It’s possible to write what one believes to be a provocative and thoughtful blog, only to discover there’s no easy way to end it.  Let’s face it: the last thing you read in a good blog is the last line, and if it doesn’t punch you somehow, it seems to lose some of its luster, right?  So it’s got to end well. 

Which of course brings me to the end of this blog, and how to end it.

Remember earlier in this blog – about the seventh paragraph from the top – when discussing my “toilet paper” blog, we talked about a thought I had after that?  Well here it is:

Maybe we should challenge each other, whether we’re here on WordPress or over on Myspace.  Maybe this will help our artistic writing abilities somehow.  Or maybe we’ll just have some fun with it.

Here’s the challenge, then:

You are to write a blog about pencils.   That’s it.  Pencils.   There are no rules for this blog:  it can be poetry or prose, funny or serious.  It can be as long as you like, or you can make a Haiku out of it.  Do it.

And if you choose to take this challenge, in return, you get to challenge me with writing about something.

Go ahead – I dare you.  I double-dog dare you.