Thursday, February 28, 2008

How did they manage to build all of those pyramids? And other assorted topics

I was reading The Daily Tannenbaum and noticed that the author describes all of her multitude of linked blogs in exactly six words. The descriptions in bold are, I think, descriptions the actual blog author submitted, but there's a lot of potential for clever knotting of language and humor with this, kind of like Postcards from Kate's delightful use of tags (that serve no actual organizational purposes, but flourish as entertainment devices). If you've noticed, I've removed the old, out-dated description at the top of my header and replaced it with "I'm the motherflippin'", and, while this is probably a step up from what it replaced, it's still rather lame (and not long enough to provide visual balance). Honestly, it was only funny in context on the Mugging episode of Flight of the Conchords. Since I'm stumped on what to put there (obviously), I call on my illustrious readers to come up with a pithy, concise, and a just description of my writing. It can't be longer than a line or two in the space provided in the header, but needs to be at least three times longer than the current place holder. In crafting your submissions, think of the scope of my writing topics and styles, my sense of humor and boringness. Personally, I like to think of myself as a lovely blend of Garrison Keillor and H.L. Mencken with perhaps a sprinkling of freshly-grated George Carlin for good measure. You don't have to run with that. Feel free to flatter me in whatever manner strikes your fancy.

Moving on.

Severo over at Bacon Soup (the tastiest sounding blog on my blogroll) has criticized this blog for the length of its posts, even though I addressed this tangentially just a couple of days ago. Sure I was talking about the topics and how you didn't actually have to finish if they bored you, but the same concept applies in this. The reason I mention this isn't because Severo's harsh critique offended me. I'm perfectly aware that I tend to be lengthy by blog standards. I just don't happen to care. I probably would be more concerned if I ever intended on profiting from this site, but as I never intended there to be a point to this whole blogging thing, the criticism is rather irrelevant to me. No, the reason I bring up my esteemed former colleague's comment is because I find it rather odd than a man, whose ancestors were members of one of only a handful of societies to ever develop a writing system with no outside influence to copy in principle or form, would have trouble reading a post of only a few hundred words. Of course, maybe our man of Belizean descent is is the end of a line coming from peasant farmers and not the priests and scribes who created one of the more interesting writing systems in the world. It's a shame the culture collapsed and returned to illiteracy before the Spaniards ever arrived. It'd be neat to have Mayan typefaces in my font library next to the Hindi, Arabic, and Cyrillic scripts.

Turning left and walking down a hallway that smells vaguely of cheese and Thai curry.

I had to wash my hair in a trickle of freezing water this morning. I'm not the type of person who can just pop out of bed, run a come through my hair and head out to meet the day. Besides the fact that would normally mean I'd end up at work pantless, my hair just doesn't do publicity sans cleansing. Let's just say my oily complexion and my hair's stubbornness when water isn't involved in the "styling" process would make me resemble a schizophrenic homeless man should I leave the house without washing my hair. Apparently, during the night an exposed section of pipe froze enough to clog. This has happened before and it actually happens at the pump to our well, although we thought we had wrapped the pipes there well enough to prevent this from happening again. Apparently not. In addition to having only enough water pressure to trickle the water out slowly, it was freezing cold. In the process of rinsing my hair, my brain was chilled enough that I actually began struggling to form words. I'm not kidding you. I couldn't even finish single syllable words for a while. I washed my face in the sink, but this wasn't as bad. Just splashing a little water on the face to rinse was much less traumatic than the thorough and lengthy soaking in 33 degree Fahrenheit water rinsing the shampoo out of my hair required.

Making a pit stop at a black-and-pink-tiled bathroom for Band-Aids and a tube of Neosporin and an ice pick.

I don't know if it's that I've been writing so much lately and with practice, I'm looking to use more of that gargantuan vocabulary of mine as my voice and style become more polished, or that I'm going retarded, but I've been finding myself struggling to retrieve words that I can feel behind a thin membrane of protection within the vaults of my linguistic memory only to be unable to break through and free the terms to flow through my arms and out of my fingers into the computer. Unfortunately these words aren't in the thesauruses I have easy access to, so I end up using unsatisfactory alternatives instead. I do know that I tend to struggle with word location when I'm sleep deprived (read having gotten less than a total of 18.476 hours of sleep over the previous two nights), but I've actually been fairly perky these past few days and the words I was struggling to find with my mental flashlight and spelunking gear were a little more arcane than words like "dog" and "me" that I tend to misplace when tired.

Heading to the bedroom, not for nooky, but for a nap. They're both equally nice anyway.

Have you ever noticed that on cold mornings when you planned ahead and supplied yourself with ample blankets the night before that it's really hard to wake up even if you've gotten plenty of sleep. It was cold this morning (obviously, given that my pipes were stopped up with ice) and K and I had our sheet, thin quilt, and fake down comforter wrapped around us in glorious warmth-retaining joy, a very sleepy joy. It was really difficult to drag myself out of bed and if I'd realized how fun showering would end up, I think I may have just stayed there and skipped the first hour-and-a-half of school. Actually, it's even harder since I'm married. It's so nice having someone in the bed with you even when you aren't both naked with elevated heart rates and breathing rhythms. Some people dislike sleeping next to someone. I've rather enjoyed it even if K and I tend to waste half of the real estate when we stay in king beds in hotels. Actually, the only times I acutely miss K during those rare instances where she's away for overnight or longer trips is when I head to bed. I can absorb myself in reading, movies, or my computer and revel in being able to do things that I can't regularly do when she's around so that I don't think about her absence any more than I would when she's in the bathroom, but when I flick off the lights and slip under the covers I get lonely.

Make a right at the pituitary, head straight to the temporal lobe, and follow the second star to the right, straight on 'til morning.

This actually turned into a much longer screed than I intended, but honestly, I think it ended up being a rather subtle jab at Severo to complement the rather blatant lunges and fleches of the first paragraph. At least until I pointed it out, anyway. Enjoy the rest of your diurnal cycle.


Julie said...

Oh, Jesus. I would just say, "I don't know where to begin" and leave but you jerks would jump down my throat (thru the series of tubes and wires).

But seriously. This one was so long. And in need of Ritalin. I would think of my comment and then get distracted by your next train of thought. I guess this time, it's not so much of a "don't know where to start" as it is a "don't remember where I've been."

Jacob said...

I can dig that, although I think if you think of it as a collage of small blog posts glued together with a symphony of variations on "moving on," it's much easier to follow and appreciate. Don't try to make it be one monolithic inscription on the ether. Let it flow, man, and take you away to another awareness.

Or something.

Jacob said...

But, really all I was doing here is that I had several musings that really didn't deserve my usual obsessive attentions and I was afraid if I didn't write them down I'd forget them.

Mickey said...

I liked this post and it didn't even seem that long. Not that I don't enjoy your book reports, but I like you better when you seem to just be letting it flow. Maybe you actually put a lot of thought and planning into the "weirder" or "concept" posts, but they seem more natural. Either way, I dig it.

Also, is it me or has Julie been coming up with some really good comments? I know I've mentioned it before somewhere, and maybe it sounds like, by belaboring the point, I'm congratulating the retarded kid for doing something right. Whatever. I guess I think maybe Julie should put that wit to work on her own blog, but maybe she's only good in short bursts.

Toronto realtor said...

I found your blog via Google. I work as a realtor in Toronto and was looking for some real estate blogs when
I saw the title of your post. Although I haven't found out how they managed to build all of those pyramids, I liked it. Don't get discouraged by some irrelevant critique. It is your blog and therefor your decision how long should it be. Some of your posts may be a little bit longer than other bloggers' posts but there is one simple advice for the readers - when you don't like it, don't read it.

Courtney said...

Thank you, Toronto Realtor. What do pyramids have to do with real estate?

Chris said...

I think I've heard Louis Armstrong quoted as saying, "I play two for them and one for me." (I can't find this online, so it might have been made up.)

Nevertheless, Jacob, I admire that you pretty play all of your "songs" for yourself, and if somebody else likes them, that's cool too. I rarely post because I figure I usually don't anything interesting enough to say.

Jacob said...

Julie and Mickey: Julie's comments have improved. I think our critique of her cryptic "I don't know where to start" comment has shamed her into picking up her skillz and doing a better job of things for us.

Mickey: I think they seem more natural because that's the part of my personality that is most public and you associate the most with me. The other stuff is natural and stuff I actually think about without thinking about writing, but it's not a part of me that's seen publicly (for obvious reasons).

Toronto Realtor: That segment was actually entirely in jest. Severo is a friend of mine and on his blog he skewers his friends mercilessly. This was simply a return of friendly fire.

Courtney: If you weren't such a bitter old shrew, you would have realized that by searching real estate build and blog you would have stumbled upon terms in several recent posts. I'm just flattered that my title was clever enough that someone who had no reason to expect what he was looking for clicked the google link anyway.

Chris: I admire you for admiring me.

Julie said...

I don't know why you're giving me props. Chris is the comment ninja.

Noelle said...

Oh man, I tried to get someone else to write my 6-word description for me, and no one came forth. It was so much easier to write other people's! I just discovered your blog through the link track-back, so I don't have a suggestion yet, I'll let you know if one surfaces!

Thank you kindly for the shout-out.

And if you are looking for inspiration, take a look at the book "Not What I Was Expecting..." It's a compendium of 6 word bios.

Jacob said...

Noelle, thanks for being the only person to actually remember my request for help with a description. Even if you didn't provide a suggestion, at least you provided suggestions for help and at least acknowledged the paragraph's existence.

That makes you about 2 points cooler than the rest of these losers. I found you through Mickey's blog, btw.