“There is less in this than meets the eye.”

(post title credit:  Talullah Bankhead again; main post image, no reason other than love for The Muppet Show)

First Things First:  Progress, Ho!

If you read the Outpost, you’ll see in the comment to the latest post that there’s a promised post forthcoming.  Believe it or not, it’s in the works:  there’s an actual (incomplete) draft.  Progress slowed down a bit when I did something highly mysterious that led to shutting down every window and program on my computer, thus losing all the resources I had gathered (they also somehow vanished from my browser history).  Whatever I did there, don’t do that.

I’m bouncing two additional ideas around for shorter posts (Outpost again).  Not sure if they’ll pan out.

Notice Anything Different?

Yeah, thought not.

I’m working on adding links (right sidebar), which has been on my to-do for this blog since day one.  I started last night and will continue to add sporadically.  Last night, as you can see currently, was mostly humor stuff (which, somehow, devolved into being mainly webcomics– I’m not entirely sure what happened there).  For the record, this is stuff I do actually read, though obviously, I don’t visit them all every last day.

Words with . . . Families?  An Actual Sort-Of Personal Story

I think it’s at least fairly common that immediate families have a few (sometimes a lot) of made-up words or codewords unique to them.  From what I’ve seen and heard, these tend to involve words with sexual connotations or that relate to bodily functions.  I did Google it, and some families get a little more creative:  see here and here for short lists of examples (reader-submitted).  [1]  

I’m not sure these technically qualify as neologisms (“bae,” etc.), since they never enter the popular vernacular.  Someone else would have to clarify that; I’m really not clear on that one.  [2]

What’s I’m coming around to is one my family uses.  Something to know first is that, if you dropped all four of us in a bookstore, we separate to such far extremes that reuniting is a monumental task; our tastes vary in the extreme.  We all agree, though, that My Life and Hard Times (James Thurber) is a singularly hilarious book.  [3]  

In the chapter “Other Alarms at Night,” Thurber lies awake all night, trying in vain to come up with the name of the New Jersey town Perth Amboy.  In the dead of night, he wakes up his (already-nervous) father and demands, without explanation, that he begin naming towns in New Jersey, getting more and more insistent– and leading his father to believe he’s lost his mind.

When someone in my family has a nagging, insistent, can’t-remember-something-trivial problem that is actively bothering them, this is a Perth Amboy situation.  It’s also a Perth Amboy situation when the answer springs to your mind at 3 AM, when you’ve invariably been lying awake to that point trying to pinpoint whatever meaningless thing won’t leave you alone.

This happened last night, after I’d gone to bed.  I have no idea on this earth how Don Johnson appeared in my mind, but there he was.  I thought of Miami Vice. . . but what was that TV show he was on in the 90s?  Cop?  PI?  Yellow car.  Right.  Yellow car.  Barracuda.  [4]  The end result was a nocturnal visit to imdb:  Nash Bridges.  (here is the Wikipedia summary— I chose it because it shows how like, totally, seriously deep a show it was)  But:  Perth Amboy!

In Conclusion

No, I haven’t seen 50 Shades.  I started the first book (at the library) but quickly delivered a hard “no” to all involved.  [5]  With all the cumulative press dating from the publication of the books to the movie’s release, it’s not at all hard to have a pretty concrete idea of the finer plot details, though.  So I present you with my two favorite articles thus far:  a review of the movie plus a soundtrack review.  (these are funny, not analytical/deep– you’re thinking of the auxiliary blog)

“No Pain, No Gain”  (New Yorker)

“Breaking Down the 50 Shades of Grey Soundtrack, One Track at a Time” (Esquire)  [6]

Before You Go

Thurber was also pretty famous for his bizarre cartoons (they illustrated his books and often appeared in the New Yorker).  You often have to project your own narrative onto them to some extent to interpret them; it’s hard to explain.  You’ll probably notice that he has a distinctive drawing style; he lost sight in one eye (result of an accident) as a child and rapidly began to lose all sight as an adult.  There’s only one dog here, but his dog drawings may be the things that are most famous now (the dog shown here is from My Life and Hard Times).  If you want to see more, there are many more images available via Google image search.

ThurberMyPistol ThurberInsurrection ThurberBrynMawr 8213932 thurber-wrong-number

[1]  As with pretty much anything, there’s more out there.  The two links I’ve chosen are not euphemism-type lists; they’re more the out-in-left-field variety.

[2]  Also, do these South Park contributions count?

[3]  My favorite from the volume, “The Night the Bed Fell,” is in the New Yorker archive (1933) here.  If reading Project Gutenberg doesn’t make you cross-eyed, the whole book is here.

[4]  Entirely typical for every single detail but the vehicle involved to evade me.  Someday, my children, I’ll gather you ’round me and tell you my El Camino theory (TM).

[5]  I read the first Twilight while hospitalized; I had access to all three of those and Trainspotting.  I read Trainspotting, then Twilight.  I considered the second volume of Twilight, then read Trainspotting twice more while waiting for further reading material.  Reading that book three times in less than a week is . . . interesting.

[6]  Not my usual reading material.  Caitlin Moran (formerly a music journalist) tweeted the link.


That Football Thing That Happened, Y’Know?

I didn’t watch the Super Bowl.  I don’t have a TV, and I was feeling blah to the extreme Sunday [insert dull medical story] and didn’t go anywhere.  I’m not that interested in pro football, and, until Sunday evening, I didn’t know who was playing (thank you, Twitter!).

So:  This is Super Bowl commentary presented by a person who didn’t watch it.  What you’ve got here is the social media Super Bowl experience:  running commentary on a game you’re not actually viewing.  If you can wipe the game from your mind long enough to imagine this, you’ll see it’s pretty surreal.  This also features my homegrown 3-part Super Bowl video angst series, which will probably feature heavily in my commitment hearing.


I read an article on Autostraddle, in their weekly recipe roundup, about Super Bowl foods (January 31; FYI, my goal is to try to make the roasted vegetable macaroni and cheese cups and stuffed portobello pizzas, because I need to get to cooking [1]).  I post a comment:  “Is it an option to make some food items and consume while watching Netflix?”  This currently has the most likes of any comment on that article, which probably says something about the readership.[2]

By game day, I figured it was time to figure out Who was versus-ing Who.  I dug into my Super Bowl-related knowledge, and came up with this:

(posted on Facebook, 8:28 PM, gameday)

Okay, so is THIS the game that’s on tonight?
GO BEARS!!!!!!!

<p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/74972893″>Chicago Bears Super Bowl Shuffle – 1985</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/asualumni”>ASU Alumni Association</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

I give up.  I know there’s code showing, and I have no idea why.  I’ve looked at visual and text, and for the life of me, I don’t see what’s up.

Note:  This was on YouTube (many times) yesterday; as of today, all versions are gone due to copyright (I did actually mistakenly think I was posting the official version).  This one may disappear, too; I couldn’t tell about copyright.  It’s the 1985 Chicago Bears “Super Bowl Shuffle.” [3]

Then the tweeting began:

Of course, I wasn’t actually following anyone remotely qualified to say anything ESPN-esque about the game.  [4]

It’s good to know that you can call yourself a “Patriot” in the 21st century and not spend all your time yelling at feminists on Twitter.

In theory.  And yet I was called a fascist and told “zeke heil” [sic] today (after stating that while we disagreed, I respected the individual’s right to state an opinion)

’85 Bears Super Bowl look on point.

[1]  Start cooking source:  everybody.

[2] Currently having a collective Angel Haze-related meltdown, because life goes on.

[3] This song is actually still worthy of being taken seriously.  They say:   “Now we’re not doing this because we’re greedy, the Bears are doing it to feed the needy.”  In 1985, all profits ($300,000) from the song did indeed go to the Chicago Community Trust, which serves families in need.  The involved players’ promise to keep profits directed towards those in need has never changed; in 2014, someone (not in any way involved with the team or the production of the video) tried to claim copyright to appropriate profits.  She was immediately sued by a group of the players; they won, and profits continue to go those they were intended to benefit.  (source)

[4] This also seems like a good place to repeat my conviction that the revolution will be tweeted.  The “comrades” are not going to “come rally,” but they’ll have a lot of 140-character remarks to make.  From the couch.

[5] See upcoming thesis on commonalities among those who professed support for the ’85 Bears on social media.

[6]  I read that linked article about fair use and copyright.  I need a lawyer to advise me if copyrighting this phrase is possible.  Also, look for yet another Kickstarter to raise the electronic filing fee if so.

[7] Also, if you have my copy of that book (same title as essay), give it back.  My DFW collection is -1.  [8]

[8] Furthermore, if you’ve got Readme, that one has been gone a LONG time, it’s a hardback, and it’s time to reunite it with its owner. [9]

[9] Oooh, I misclicked when I was looking at the Readme page, and he has a new novel due in May!  880 pages, billed as postcyberpunk– sounds about right.  [10]

[10] These footnotes are getting meta or Infinite Jest or something.  I feel guilty for liking Neal Stephenson, because he’s a little problematic in his novels and a lot as a person.  At any rate, I more or less expect him to announce any day now from an undisclosed location that he’s joined an extremist survivalist group, burned as his government-issued ID, and will subsist on bartering, etc.  You read it here.


Explosion Site’d

This post updated 10/12/15 to reflect the fact that I pretty much never update the other site.  Maybe I’ll get back to it, maybe I won’t.

After much sifting through WordPress documentation and determining the vast differences between the .com (mine) and .org versions of the two (which I wish I’d been much more aware of before creating the site), I’ve set up an additional site.

There is a purpose here.  I wanted to separate out the more “serious” stuff from the fluff, but I couldn’t figure out a good way to do it on a single site, beside simply hiding it beneath a line (while still posting it to the main page).  What I was really looking for was the ability to make it viewable if you’re interested or to make it out of sight and out of mind if you’re not.

Commentary, amateur readers’ advisory, book reviews, journal entries (et al) repurposed for blog entries.  In other words, more content!  Everybody say it with Felix now:

Felix: the voice of reason.

Felix: the voice of reason.

In the meantime, there will be a Super Bowl recap from my perspective for this site– tomorrow/today, as in not now.  Video footage of my own making will be involved (featuring Fraggles, a menacing broom, and wire clippers– really, there are three videos, and I’m not doing justice to the weird here).

Yeah, I know what you’re all doing as you read this.

Are you watching this show? I'm making a point here. WATCH ORPHAN BLACK.

Are you watching this show? I’m making a point here. WATCH ORPHAN BLACK.