Feb 11, 2013

Another day, another fresh start

Salvador Dalí, The Persistence of Memory (1931...
Salvador Dalí, The Persistence of Memory (1931), Museum of Modern Art (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Consistency has never been my strongest suit. "You can say that again." says anyone who knows me, reads this, and is into cliches. "There's an accent over the e, in cliché" says anyone who reads this and is into nitpicking. "Will you please get on with it," says anyone who reads this, and wonders, out loud, when, if ever, I will get to the point.

"Alright," I say, deftly switching from narrative to dialog. "The point is that I've developed persistence to compensate for my consistent inconsistency. If you can't be consistent, be persistent, I always say." Or I will always say, now that I've thought of it.

I wasn't born persistent. As a kid I was wishy-washy. But one day, in my mid-thirties, I read this: "As long as you haven't quit, you haven't failed." I had high standards (and sometimes low ones) which I often failed to meet. When I fell short of any of my many standards I felt the sting, and sometimes the agony of my failure. What I read gave me a way out. It told me how I could deliver myself from at least some of that pain. All I had to do was to quit quitting.

So I made a decision. Anyone who has read my as yet unpublished book Self-Referential Metanovel Writing for Dumies, knows that decision is one of the most powerful forces in the universe. And decision didn't let me down. I decided that I wasn't going to give up. Ever.  And I haven't.

From the outside, I am sure it's seemed like I've given up occasionally. It's even seemed that way from the inside, a time or two. But don't let appearances fool you. Or me. I don't give up. I may get distracted; I may temporarily suspend my efforts; I may even retreat, tactically, of course. But I don't give up. I persist. And sometimes, I start over.

January 28th is the data of my last post. Today it's February 11th. My plan was to write a post a day. Yesterday it might have seen that I'd failed to do that. But I haven't. Because I haven't given up.

Today's post is a fresh start. The post is a fact, the result of writing it. That it is a fresh start is a meaning, the result of a decision. It's a fresh start because I've decided it is. And that's enough.

I haven't yet decided whether that my fresh start means that I am going to post every day, starting today, or whether it means I am going to fill in the gaps so that I will have, on the average, posted every day, starting the day when I decided to post every day. And I don't have to decide, right now, or ever.

It's one or the other.

In the meantime. Welcome to my fresh start.

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Feb 9, 2013

Kinds of people in the world...

There are only 10 kinds of people in the world: Those who read binary, and those who don't.

There are only two kinds of people in this world: Those who require closure

There are only two kinds of people in this world: Those who think there are only two kinds of people in the world, and those who don't.

There are only two kinds of people in this world: Those who finish what they start

This is another post from my catch-up series, explained here. It's May 24th, despite the date on the post.

The first is from from page 33 in Inside Jokes. The second from 301. The next is a recollection. The last is one I invented while writing this post.

Feb 8, 2013

Winnie the Pooh

What do Alexander the Great and Winnie the Pooh have in common?

They both have the same middle name..*

This, from page 31 in Inside Jokes

This is another post from my catch-up series explained here.

It's may 24th, despite the date on the post.

*And by the way, so does Jack the Ripper.

Married to a 70 year old? WTF!


I know that I'm seventy, too. I've been married for forty years to the same woman--who I sometimes introduce as "my first wife." To her displeasure.

It feels weird that I'm seventy. It's strange knowing that I have become an old man. And it's equally to realize that I'm married to an old lady.


People tell us that we're "young for our age," whatever that means. But young or not, we're starting to act more and more like the stereotypical old couple. "What? What? What did you just say?" To bed at 10:30, or so. Cognitively declining together.

And we're getting more serious. Too serious.

Not that we were ever frivolous, mind you. Or particularly playful. We're both native introverts. She extroverts when social conditions require it. I have trouble extroverting, unless it's part of my job. Then I can do it reliably. Apparently I can extrovert for money, but not for appearances.

When we're together we drop whatever social facade, or veneer we've layers on ourselves, and we settle into what's most comfortable. That's changing as we grow older, probably because we're trying to conserve energy. For introverts, being extroverted takes energy. And old people don't have lots to spare.

I'm a happy person inside, despite not smiling much. This is nothing new. I remember my uncle Abe telling me to smile when I was a kid: "It takes more muscles to smile than to frown," he said. I remember my smart-ass answer: "I'm not afraid of work." I remember a teacher's comment on the second grade report card that I found: "Michael is doing better. He smiled once today." Smiling does not come naturally to me, unless there's something specific to smile about.

Despite years of experience living with me, my old wife sees me not smiling and assumes that I'm unhappy.  And she says that makes her feel bad. Part of the problem is my battle with gravity, which I am still losing. Old people tend to be "down in the mouth" because of gravity, no matter what they may feel inside. The mirror tells me that I'm not an exception.

Well, says I, it does not have to be that way. Being more playful might be more work than settling into seriousness, but it's work that I'm gong to try to do.

It may be harder for her. She's seven months older than me.

But who's counting?

Feb 7, 2013

Two legs and bleeds?

Here's another post from my catch-up series, explained here. It's May 22nd, despite the date on the post.

Q: What has two legs and bleeds?
A: Half a dog.

From page 31 in Inside Jokes (slightly altered from the original).

Which reminds me of a series of jokes I heard from Kiry Child.

What has four legs and can't see?
No eye dear.

What has four legs and can't see and can't move?
Still no eye dear.

What ha four legs, can't see, can't move but can have sex.
Still no fucking eye dear.

Feb 6, 2013

High School Reunion

Another joke remembered from the past, today, May 21, despite the back-date on the post.

A guy shows up his tenth high school reunion in a limo, accompanied by two beautiful women. He's become fantastically successful, and no one can believe it, because he wasn't the brightest guy in their class, or the most personable, or anything. In fact, he barely graduated. He was as far from "most likely to succeed" as you could get.

After hearing about his mansions, his cars, his lifestyle, his vast wealth, not to mention the beautiful women hanging on his arm, one of his classmates asks: "So how did you do it? What's the secret of your success?" 

"It's surprisingly simple," he says. "I discovered that I could buy things for, say, a dollar, and sell them for, say, two dollars."

"And you'd be amazed at how fast those 10 percents can add up!"

Feb 5, 2013

Nearly Past Its Wear Date

This joke is from the early '60s, a time when there still were words that you wouldn't use, even with friends, if women were present. But women were being liberated, and using such words was edgy, and increasingly allowable. To appreciate the joke you'll have to imagine yourself back in that time.

The joke is delivered in the first person.

"I heard a really great joke the other day, but, uhh, it's got some strong language in it. But it's too good not to tell. So when when I come to the four letter word that means excrement, I'm going to say 'Shoo shoo' Okay?"

Teller checks with everyone (especially the women if tell is a man) to make sure it's okay.

"Now for the four letter word that means sexual intercourse,"  I'm going to say 'Foney foney' OK? (Checks)

"And for the four letter word that means a man's member, I'll say 'Papa' OK?"

"And for the four letter word that means a woman's genitals, I'll say 'Tweet Tweet'. Got that?"

"Everybody got it?"

Now the teller checks to make sure everyone has the code:
"Excrement?" Wait for or prompts the answer.  'Shoo shoo'"
"Intercourse?" "Foney foney"
"Male member?" "Papa"
"Female genitals?" "Tweet tweet."

"Okay, ready?"
Everyone waits for the joke that's "too good not to tell."
"So one day these two cocksuckers are walking down the street...."

The first couple of times I told the joke it went over really well. The next time I told it, when I got to "For the four letter word that means sexual intercourse..." one of the women said "You mean fuck?" That was the last time I was able to  tell that joke. Today I can't imagine getting through the checking phase without someone saying "the real word."

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Feb 4, 2013

The Boy And The Branch

Here's another post from my catch-up series, explained here. It's May 19th, despite the date on the post. And this story is not from Inside Jokes but a variant that the earlier story reminded me of--probably dated to the early 1960's. It's way, way beyond politically incorrect, but it's the way that I heard it, and that's the way I'll tell it. People who find their sensibilities offended by racist, sexist or other -ist forms of humor, but for some reason the two categories don't meet in my head, and a good joke is good--and sometimes better--when it's something you would not want to tell in public.

A little colored kid (as we would call them in them days) is walking along the edge of a cliff, when it gives way. Suddenly he finds himself hanging on to a branch growing from the sheer rock face, two hundred feet above a jumble of sharp rocks.
"Help! Help!" He cries. But there's no one around.
"Help me Lord! Please help me!" He calls out.
Suddenly there's a burst of thunder, the sound of trumpets and he's bathed in light. And he hears a Voice say: "Little nigger boy, let go of the branch."
"Lord, I can't do that! If I let go, I'll be killed!"
"Little nigger boy," the Voice repeats, "let go of the branch."
"Lord, I can't. I can't"
"Little nigger boy," says the Voice. "Do you believe in me?"
"Yes, Lord," the boy says. "Of course I do."
"Then let go of the branch," says the Voice.
"OK," the boy says, hesitantly. He lets go of the branch, falls two hundred feet and splatters on the rock below.
There's a long pause. Then the Voice speaks.
"I hate niggers," says the Voice.

Feb 3, 2013

The Voice of God

Here's another post from my catch-up series, explained here. It's May 19th, despite the date on the post.

This, from page 53 in Inside Jokes (altered from the original).

An atheist explorer in the deepest Amazon suddenly finds himself surrounded by an angry-looking group of natives.
"Oh God," he says to himself, "I'm completely screwed."
Suddenly he hears a voice. "Even though you do not believe in me," says the voice, "even though you have used my name in vain, you have called on me, and I tell you that you are not completely screwed."
"Tell me what to do," the explorer says. "Whatever you say, I'll do it."
"Pick up that stone and bash in the head of the chief in front of you," says the voice.
He picks up the stone, and before the natives realize what he's doing, he attacks the chief.
The natives, madder than before, grab him and start to carry him off.
"Okay," says the voice, "now you are completely screwed."

Feb 2, 2013

Twenty Questions Joke

Here's another post from my catch-up series, explained here. It's May 19th, despite the date on the post.

This, from page 57 in Inside Jokes (slightly altered from the original).

Two rednecks are standing around.
Bobby Joe: Hey, you wanna play twenty questions?
Billy Bob: Sure.
Bobby Joe: OK, think of something and I'll try to guess it. Ready?
Billy Bob: Yeah.

Bobby Joe: Is it a thing?
Billy Bob: Yeah.

Bobby Joe: Can you fuck it?
Billy Bob: Yeah.

Bobby Joe: Is it a goat?
Billy Bob: Yeah.

There's always room for variation. How about:

Two philosopher are at a conference.
Philosopher 1: Would you like to play twenty questions?
Philosopher 2: Alright.
Philosopher 1: I'm thinking of something. Guess what it is.
Philosopher 2: Is it a material object, as opposed to a mental construct?
Philosopher 1: Yes.
Philosopher 2: Could someone fuck it?
Philosopher 1: Yes.

Philosopher 1: Is it Immanuel Kant?
Philosopher 2: Yes.

Feb 1, 2013

More humor

Notifies people of a joke. (SVG version)
Notifies people of a joke. (SVG version) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
"If you tell a joke in a forest, and nobody laughs, was it a joke? --Steven Wright.  (p16)

That's it. The whole joke,  created in accordance with this plan.

It seems like cheating to just copy a joke, write a few lame sentences. And maybe is is cheating.

So, OK. I'm cheating. But I'm getting it done.

Steven Wright is deep, and makes me think deep, too.

Here's what I'm thinking right now:

If you publish a post on your blog and nobody laughs, thinks, gives a shit, or even reads it, was it a blog post?

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