Tuesday, March 25, 2014


Firstly, it's been so long since I did anything with #ROW80, they probably think I don't care, or I've died, although I know Cateartios knows I'm still floating around, as does Alberta Ross, (I hope) as I do try to give shout-outs to my #ROW80 peeps on the #FF when I remember to do them. It has been frantical around here, in some good ways and in some not so good ways. I guess what God giveth with one hand, he taketh with the other. Rather heavy-handed sounding that; let's just go with 4 steps forward, 2 1/2 steps back. . .

To begin with, JC had a heart attack, and not one of these sudden, stop-you-in-your-tracks-fall-down kind of myocardial infarctions, but the kind that are more like a slow-moving decrepitude, with mild distress, that seems like tummy ills, pneumonia, and a few hospital stays. The fact that he is less than compliant with his meds makes it even more difficult to work with him, but he is 67 years old, and at this juncture, my main focus is his comfort and for him to know that he is loved beyond reason -- something he has never had, and which everyone is entitled to -- so, writing has taken a back seat to this; surely understandable. We do what we can and and getting him to walk and take his meds and laugh at stupid stuff like "World's Dumbest ____________ " and play with Mama is good enough. He's a peach and I get to hear his stories.

Like about the time JC and Mr. Cantrell were a' settin' on the porch of the General Store in Snyder, Texas and Mr. Cantrell happened to mention that he'd bought himself a new huntin' dog. "How'd she do?" JC asked, in that Sam Elliott drawl of his. "Waahll, it went lahk this. . ." Mr. Cantrell said. "We ahll got aout inta tha clearin' and let them dawgs outta the back a' thet truck. . ." He paused for a bit, and looked off into the distance as if remembering a long-lost wife, or the sinking of the Titanic, and then went on, "All o' them dawgs went one way, 'cept thet thar new dawg, she went a' high-tailin' it t'other way. . ." He paused, and gazed off again, then shook his head and grinned. "Thet thar hound jus' kep' on a-goin'. . . I could still hear her a-bayin' in tha distance, after sunset, and tha next mornin', when I went back ta callin' her. Stupidest hound I ever bought. . . " JC said she never did come home, but once in a while, it was rumored that she could be heard yapping in the distance in far and sundry places.

The other things of note that have occurred are helping my co-host, the great DamyantiG with the A-to-Z Challenge 2014, that starts on April 1. For those not in the know, it is a challenge that starts on April 1, with the letter A and ends on April 30 with the letter Z. Sundays are exempt, so every letter of the alphabet is covered in 26 days. There are themes and non-themes and all sorts of ways to participate. If you've never done it and you are a blogger, I highly recommend it. You'll get a chance to get in the groove of writing daily posts; short and snappy and eye-catching! You'll also get a chance to visit other blogs and make new friends. Leaving comments is important! Interaction within this thriving community can only help you and you'll not find a better, more generous and giving group of people than writers!

I should mention that I have an actual THEME this year! Last year, I came up with some kind of half-baked idea that I needed to make a spreadsheet -- I'm shocked that I didn't write a relational database! -- with all of the letters in a row and the topics I had already picked out, listed in the columns. I believe my intention was to fill out all this bullshit and hand it in to Arlee Bird who started the A-to-Z Challenge for a grade, or something. But that all became moot, when I hit the letter "B". The reason is, I had chosen "Bravery" or something equally blah, so I wrote on "Beethoven" and his 3rd symphony, which turned out to be a big hit. It was something I had analyzed in college and it's a masterpiece and a bridge between the Classical era and the Romantic era in about 16 measures; with a bit of near-syncopation close to the finale. To say Ludwig was way ahead of his time, is an understatement. His string quartets and piano etudes boggle the mind in their forward-thinking approach to composition.

Anyway, my theme this year is HUMOR AND HUMORISTS. This idea came to me while I was hanging out in the ER with a massive eye infection. Just another one of those things that my body likes to do; stand up and say "YOU'RE NOT 25 ANYMORE!" More of a nuisance than anything and one of these stubborn things that required medicine that makes me sicker than hell, but hey! At least I don't look like something out of a Lon Chaney movie, any more. But last night, I got into one of those "Red Zone" laughter modes, the kind were you just know if you go up to that next level, it's apoplexy and hysteria and probably a burst blood vessel in your head.

The subject matter started with a bunch of Unintentially Hilarious Propaganda Posters from Cracked.com. Written by Jacopo Della Quercia, it starts off mildly, but gets cranked up by around poster #6, and I start that kind of wheezing laugh. I'm feeling pretty helpless and like jelly. JC has been asleep, but he wakes up to find out just what is so damned funny. So, I read the commentary and we crack-wise over this nonsense. I go from here to "Lost in Translation: 20 Baffling Foreign Movie Posters" and the "Red Zone" revs up again. It's not just that the pictures are so mystifyingly bizarre; it's that most of them have almost nothing to do with the original movie. So the writer, Jay Thomas, helpfully interprets what he thinks went on when the posters were created. What Jay thinks went on is damn funny indeed.

I have spent my life being the world's Straight Man. I am at my best riffing off stuff other people say. For example, I think I won Andi-Roo over when she tweeted something about "loving the idea of elevensies" and I responded with "I do twelvesies, onesies, all the way to sleepsies. . ." My brand of humor is reactive, not proactive. This probably has more to do with the fact that my parents were both hysterically funny and I am very, very literal and logical. I am whimsical, but only in my own head; in short, a mess. Now, I have to run to the grocery store and some food. 

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