Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Know Time

OK, my blogrival Bighead Needleman left a comment reminding me that I told her about meeting Sting when we were in Washington, D.C. for Hallmark Writers On Tour. Know what that means? That means I didn't meet Sting in the summer of '05, but rather in the summer of '04. Which means that time is proceeding roughly twice as fast as I think it is.

This means that the world is spinning at about 50,000 mph instead of the leisurely 25,000 mph of my youth. Do I have that figure right? Wait, I think it's that the world is 25,000 miles in circumference. I think the speed is 20,000 mph. But is that rotation speed, or revolution speed?

Whatever. My point is, the shit's speeding up. Days really are getting shorter. That's why it's hard to get anything done, why you so rarely feel fully rested, and there's that general uneasiness that we're all about to be centrifugally (centripitally?) flung off the face of the earth, out into space. Really, it's not just the dread of these Dick Cheney types taking over the world. It's worse than that. It's a science thing.

My daughter's going to be 28 in February, my oldest son's going to be 25 next month, and my 5-year-old is reading at a 3rd-grade level. He has to, just to keep up. The other day, he was eating a granola bar and reading the packaging copy on the granola bar box. And he said, "Hey, if you put one of these in your golf bag for a snack, it'll keep you going for 18 holes." And then he looked up at me and said, "What are these holes? How big are they?" I said, "The biggest ones are usually the guys playing the sport." It cheered me to realize that we'd managed to shelter him successfully from the facts of golf. At the same time, I felt bad for all the little kids out there, trying to figure stuff out, only to come face to face with the ultimate unknowableness. So we construct our frail epistemologies.

It's possible to be a truly big cigar, operating at the highest levels of achievement, where everyone's a millionaire wielding enormous power as a matter of course, where you can pay anybody to find out anything, and still end up wrong almost all the time. We'll be greeted as liberators. The insurgency is in its last throes. I'm going to shoot some quail. At Halliburton, it's not who we know, it's what we know.

See? You never know. And then you get flung off the face of the earth, out into space.

Meanwhile, we live, we love, we laugh. And we write poems featuring Katarina Witt. But that's for the next post.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Still Haven't Washed My Hand

It occurs to me that maybe a free (and ad-free) blog doesn't really have to let you upload all the photos you want. But I'm going to try again, because if we can't festoon our blogs with celebrities, why do we fight? Besides, fame is like oxygen for my rival blogger Bighead Needleman and she'll hyperventilate.

Thus: my sparkly spousette, Sting's supernatural guitar player Dominic Miller, and me, at a Sting concert, summer of '05. We got backstage because my mini-mate is so charming and friendly, by the time we got from the parking lot to the gate, she'd met a woman who went to high school with Dominic Miller, and this woman fell instantly in love with my wee wife and gave us the extra tickets she had waiting at Will Call, and then took us backstage with her, where we sat with Dominic (I call him "Dominic") and then, yes, Sting.

That there, that's Sting. And that's the nice woman, Roberta, by whose graces we met Sting. The thing about us is, we hang out with Sting.

Now, I've loved this guy's music for more than half my life and have always been fascinated by the person behind that amazing voice. So some of this is my own projection. But there are people whose personalities are just bigger than most. And Sting's emanates like an electrically-charged fog. It fills the room. He packs more charisma per pound than anyone I've ever met. He has that thing I recognize from being around certain actors, a kind of shy, withdrawn quality that seems to have its own gravity. Then, when he actually speaks or looks at you, it has a physical effect, the way it feels when your eyes have to adjust to bright light. When Dominic introduced us, Sting shook my hand, looked at me, and said, "Hello, Jim," and the look drilled right through my head and left two smoking holes in the wall behind me. That's a neat trick you learn when you study tantric yoga.

So, Sting is my celebrity of the day. And the concert was a reminder of how many great, memorable songs the guy has written over the past three decades. I ask you: What would life be without "Roxanne," "Message In A Bottle," "Don't Stand So Close To Me," "Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic," "Spirits In The Material World," "King of Pain," "Every Breath You Take" . . . and that doesn't even get us out of the mid-80s. I just bought the new CD, on which he plays an archlute and sings the songs of John Dowland, a composer of the Elizabethan era. Nice work if you can get it.

You almost want to resent him for being so talented AND good-looking AND wealthy AND rain-forest-preserving AND for never having sung a flat note in his life. But you can't, because he's a genius. And if I hadn't been so starstruck, I'd have thought to get my picture taken with him, too, before he walked off, slowly and majestically, taking the fog with him.

Friday, October 27, 2006

O, Lame New World

Suckiness, thy name is Blogger. My simple little photos will not post! I uploaded a mere jpeg, letting the little "Uploading Your Images" wheel spin while I got some work done, only to come back to a Server Error message. So I try again, and the thing just spins and spins and I come back a half-hour later and it's still spinning and I hate everything.

This was to be a celebrity photo post, too, in order to trump Bighead Needleman's recent family photo and force her to post a comment, because she is drawn to celebrities as a moth to the flame. But nay.

So now you'll just have to guess which of the following celebrities it might have been:

1. Bono
2. Denzel Washington
3. Bernadette Peters
4. Sam Shepard
5. Daniel Handler, aka Lemony Snicket
6. Samantha Bee
7. R.L. Burnside
8. Katarina Witt
9. Sting
10. Barack Obama

Winners receive their own blogs that sometimes make it hard to upload photos.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

I Get Comments

Blogosphere Knot, For I Bring Tithings Of Great Hoi Polloi.

My old (as in class of '74) high-school friend, Lee Anne Millinger, left a comment on my Technopeasant Prevails post. She's a writer in Detroit, and she just plugged Spulge Nine in her nice Christian blog! Check it out at such small hands
(leave it to Lee Anne to find a superfine e.e. cummings phrase for a blog name). Had to write code to put that link in. Damn, I'm good.

So. I have a vast Christian following. Dan! Lee Anne! I love you guys! Oh, and as to you who'll be hanging out in hell with me later... Bighead Needleman! I love you, despite the fierce rivalry of our blogs! And my Jewish bride! I love you most of all! Tonight, let's do that special hug that only grown-ups can do. We may not get the chance to do it later, in hell. Hey, Satan (and/or Blogger)! I love you, too!

We're all about the love here at Spulge Nine. That and not being able to come up with any good card ideas for Graduation. This IS a problem. We're dealing with it. The cut-and-run crowd would have us retire early. But our strategy remains the same. Only the tactics and the distractics have shifted.

Two posts in one day, and a plug out there in blogtown. I must be raking in the cash. Where do I go to collect?

Nukular Winter

Hey, Blogger! Or Blogspot, or wherever I am! Posting photos here is a drag, man! Why the 68-character limit on URLs? There's not a photo-hosting site in the known universe that doesn't stick a URL of about twelvety thousand characters on every photo! I'm having to use exclamation points, so intense is my dismay!

OK, so I pull this little fambly jpeg off my computer. I think this went out with all the Xmas, Cha-nookah, Kwanzaa (actually sent one), and Ramadan cards last year. Fine, I didn't send any Ramadan cards. But I used Ramadan postage stamps. They were the prettiest ones.

I lean more to tantric poly-atheism, with a nod toward the Sephardic kink in my wife's storied tribe. Shiva, Krishna, et al. are way more impressive to me than the God I grew up with, and since Buddha walked on water before Jesus did, I'll put his bo-tree wisdom right up there with the sermon on the mount. And I side with Wade Davis, ethnobotanist and man-about-town, in the belief that Voodoo is probably the most beautiful religion ever devised by human beings. We do get all Jewy in our household, come Passover and the high holidays. I guess I'm a pagan HinBuVooJew. By proxy. With a side of Native American sweat lodge.

Anyway, my point is, here's the nukular family, after the only big snow we had in '05. If it is '05. Maybe that was '04. All moments in time exist simultaneously, Billy Pilgrim. Get off my back.

Now let's see if I can pull the photo from this post up into my profile. If I can type HTML code, surely this is not beyond my ken. Like I should have to do any of this. When you get a free blog, shouldn't it come with a hired staff? Aren't there enough illegal immigrants to go around?

Hey, Blogger! You suck!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Technopeasant Prevails

Yesterday, I actually typed a line of HTML code in order to put those links in the last post. This is like giving a 5-year-old a roll of razor wire and a pair of tin snips and saying, go ahead, build yourself a bicycle.

I also tried to install the Cost of War in Iraq feature, but their site's instructions for using it don't sync up with Blogger's instructions for installing anything. I'll probably have to write some code. I write code, y'know.

I blog like yo brutha
Write code like a mutha
You aint seen anutha
Can hang w/ Jas P.

My rhymes make ya shudda
I step w/ no stutta
I float like the butta
'N stank like Aunt Bea

I may post a photo
W/ my buttery floato
Don't ring the wrong Frodo
That photo be me

OK, if you tried Bighead Needleman at my urging yesterday but were unimpressed, try her again. She's gone blog wild (oh, surely I'm the first ever in cyberspace with that cute locution) and put up a profile and a photo. She think she all that. Click link in previous post and see for yourself.

She sits maybe 75 feet away from me and we're communicating only in the blogosphere. I guess Karl Marx was right when he said, "The means of production requiring alienation of workers is something I discuss at length in my blog."

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Don't Know Much About Bloggery

Have I made any money on this blog yet? Man, I hope so. I'm going to go learn how to do online banking, so I can watch the rapid ascent of my balance. I bet it's just like that ticker for the cost of the Iraq war.

Hey, I'm gonna go find that ticker for the cost of the Iraq war and see if I can install it on this blog. I think I'll do that before I learn about online banking.

But first, a shout-out to fellow blogger Bighead Needleman. She is SO derivative, what with starting a blog and all. But funny. Let's see if I can paste in a link:


I should get her blog listed as one of the links on my page, and I would, if I knew how to post stuff.

OK, so here's my to-do list:

1. Post this new, exciting entry on my blog.
2. Install ticker for cost of the Iraq war.
3. Figure out how to install links.
4. Figure out how to add a photo for my profile and in general be more like Joren Bass, whose fault it is that I have a blog. Here's a link to the blog he set up for his darling wife Beth to document their many travels:

click here, I'm experimenting with links

5. Figure out online banking to monitor the millions I'm making with my blog.
6. Pay off home equity loan with blog millions.
7. Do some work.

I can't believe how much this blog has changed my priorities, and the world, in just two days.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Started a Blog

I have a blog only because when I tried to post on someone else's, I had to sign up and got dropped into a routine that created the thing for me. I now understand why they say twelve krillion new blogs are created every five seconds. You think you're just typing along, and suddenly you have a blog.

For some reason, when I was prompted for a blog name, the first thing that came into my head was from some old Ring Lardner story. The Spulge Nine was a mythical car of some kind, as I recall. (Why aren't more people named Ring? Insert bathtub joke here.) The only other Ring Lardner thing I remember has to do with a car, too. There's some kind of family road trip, I think, with the kid in the back seat listening to his parents bicker as they drive along, Mom yammering at Dad, and Dad famously getting the last word in:

"Shut up," he explained.

And I will. End of first post.