Sunday, March 13, 2011

Permanent Vacation

So long, suckahs! I am out of here! I'm on the next train to Latersville! Oh you'll be seeing me; only if I don't see you first! Adios, muchchacho! Don't try to follow me, cuz our time has come to a close! Sure it's been fun, but me, I'm a rambler, and I got to move on. The musings of the great Mango seem illustrative here: "Can you know the mighty ocean? Can you lasso a star from the sky? Can you say to a rainbow... 'Hey, stop being a rainbow for a second'? No! " Such is Mango, and such is me. One cannot deny one's nature nor one's destiny, so be gone, be gone, and when you think of me- oh, and think of me you will - be kind. Consider this your break up call. Adieu, adieu, to yieu and yieu and yieu.
You! I miss you already! Come find me! Search high, search low, never give up on me, on our love, on what once was, and -dare I dream?- to what could be yet again! Leave no stone unturned; or if you are too stoned to turn, just click this link:

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Just a Few Words...

The Supreme Court recently clarified that freedom of speech, even if the subject, tone or intent of that speech is vile, incendiary, misguided or hurtful, is a sacrosanct and inalienable right in this country; for the time being, at least. Even though the Court found in favor of the vicious, hate-spewing, possibly inbred Phelps family that picket schools, funerals and public thoroughfares in the hopes of convincing the masses that we deserve the punitive fury of the Divine because we tolerate homosexuality*, I say, "Yay!" While I use that word often, it is one that is well-chosen, not just for its resounding affirmation, but also for its exuberance and joie de vivre. Even if your words are truly shitty, I think you should be able to speak them. I also believe there is a responsibility that comes with having a voice, and that you should think before you speak. Or type. Definitely before you text, especially if you're drunk. Sometimes I forget that I believe this, and sometimes thinking is just too much effort, but I still want to talk or write, so I do it anyway, but this post isn't about me, it's about WORDS. Why don't you just shut up, Imaginary Cyber-Conscience that's always interrupting me? Always nagging, always whining! You're not the boss of me! Shut it!

Like I was saying, words are potent. As Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in his ruling, "Speech is powerful. It can stir people to action, move them to tears of both joy and sorrow, and...inflict great pain." In 1984, arguably the best book written in the history of ever, one of the cornerstones of mass control is the manipulation and restriction of words. This is a partial explanation of Newspeak, the language Orwell created in the book. Here Syme, who is working on the latest edition of the Newpeak dictionary, is speaking to Winston Smith, the protagonist of the story:

'Don't you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought? In the end we shall make thoughtcrime literally impossible, because there will be no words in which to express it. Every concept that can ever be needed, will be expressed by exactly one word, with its meaning rigidly defined and all its subsidiary meanings rubbed out and forgotten. Already, in the Eleventh Edition, we're not far from that point. But the process will still be continuing long after you and I are dead. Every year fewer and fewer words, and the range of consciousness always a little smaller. Even now, of course, there's no reason or excuse for committing thoughtcrime. It's merely a question of self-discipline, reality-control. But in the end there won't be any need even for that. The Revolution will be complete when the language is perfect. Newspeak is Ingsoc and Ingsoc is Newspeak,' he added with a sort of mystical satisfaction. 'Has it ever occurred to you, Winston, that by the year 2050, at the very latest, not a single human being will be alive who could understand such a conversation as we are having now?'

Diabolically brilliant, non?

Self-expression is a gift we shouldn't take for granted. Nate Fisher, the fictional character in Six Feet Under (played by Peter Krause, now Adam Braverman on Parenthood, if that means anything to you), said in one memorable episode that I have completely forgotten, "If there's one thing about death I know it's this: death will shut you up right quick, so if you have something to say in this world, just say it." (I forgot the ep, but I wrote the quote down on a Kleenex that I've been carrying in my pocket ever since. I do that. I'm big on scraps and stickies.)

Of course, sometimes just saying it is easier said than done.

Henry B. Adams said: "No man means all he says, and yet very few say all they mean, for words are slippery and thought is viscous." Robert Frost said "Half the world is composed of people who have something to say and can't, and the other half who have nothing to say and keep on saying it."

I was explaining the importance of choosing your words carefully to my 10 year old nephew, who I'll call Eli in this blog. He was talking about how kids in his school use the "...B-word and the F-word and the C-word (I later found out that one was 'crap'; who'd a thunk?) all the time," and how there was profanity in the music that he likes, which includes Weezer, the Clash and Beck. He's really cool.

I told him that those kids probably didn't understand all the things the words could mean, and their connotations, and that if you were going to cuss, you should make sure that profanity was the best option for the situation. (I know what you are thinking here; something along the lines of "practice what you preach." Shut yer piehole, Judgey! Nobody cares what you think and your mama's ugly! Burn!)

Eli is profound, and has great depths of understanding.

"Yeah," he concurred. "It's gotta be at the right place at the right time. Like if you were in the bushes, takin' a pee, and you really had to go, but then you got abducted, that would be a good time to let the F-word fly."

Excellent speculation. That would probably be a fine time.

His sister, who is six, says "poop" a lot. Poop is a great word. Easy to say, easy to spell.

Here's an interesting example of the use and interpretation of words:

Really, are those the words you would associate with this guy? Actually, now that I look a little closer, he kinda has it going on...

Here is a brief poem I wrote a long time ago about words, kind of. It's called:


Scraps of paper

In your pockets

In your shoes

In your memory

Shreds of love

Curled at the edges

Witty quips

Shards of a life

Stuffed in a pocket

To be read

and reread

Read between the lines

Underlined in red

Unfurled far away

In a piece of a place

A slip of a spark


So little

So much

On a scrap of paper

Well, oddly, I'm out of words right now. I didn't feel like I had too much to say, but I didn't want to deprive you of me for more than a week. That would be uncool.

P.S. to Mr. Roll 'Em If You Got 'Em Mario: You're in adenial clever!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Public Service Announcement

I realize that most of you will not actually watch this, so here's a quick summary of the most salient points:
1. Everyone should pitch in to avert a crisis that concerns us all.
2. People should have the right to collaborate, debate and negotiate in situations where their livelihoods and areas of expertise are effected, or when problems without clear solutions arise.

This has been a public service announcement. We now return you to the self-centered inanity that is The Smaller Adventure. Thank you.

Friday, February 25, 2011

The Very First

Just in case you're keeping a chronological list:
The very first blog post I wrote for this blog was this one:
That was back when I was adorable. Look how cute I was!
I wrote a blog before this one about a trip I took with McAdams to Montana.That was the birth of the magic. My very first favorite picture from that blog was this one, entitled "Holy Shit House, Batman!"
I was modest back then, and put asterisks between the 'S' and the 'T' of 'shit'. How cute is that?!

My first kiss was in a closet at a party, with a guy from my seventh grade class. "So," he said, "do you wanna?" I said ok - I was trying to be cool about the whole thing, not over eager or desperate, you know, but then I blew it and admitted, "I don't really know how." He said nothing, but I felt him move in the dark and his lips found mine, and then our mouths opened, and we kissed - French kissed! - very tentatively and experimentally, and then people banged on the door and said clever, sophisticated seventh grade things, like "OOOOOOOOOOOHHHHHHHHH! Y'all Frenched!", and then it was over. I still know that guy, though I haven't seen him in a long time. I think he's gay, but probably I have nothing to do with that. I should call him and tell him that the first kiss was weird, but real nice, and thank him for not telling everyone that I didn't know how to go to first base.My very first favorite song, I think, was "Spinning Wheel" by Blood, Sweat and Tears; at least that's what I've been told. I heard it on my dad's record, back when he was a hippie, and oh, how I danced! The first song I remember really liking all on my own was either:
I still love it! Historically accurate rock rules!
Or maybe it was this one:

Oh, just listen to my love sound! By the way, The DeFrancos were Canadian. That's just another little fun fact I offer you here, on this blog, free of charge. Anyway, this just proves that I have always had impeccable taste in music, and you should think that I am wise, discerning and urbane. Think that now, please.
Thank you.

I had my very first ladies only February 14th dinner party this year! I called it the Vagintines Buffet, and it was a great success! Eat your heart out, people who have dates!

My first favorite poem was this one:

I eat my peas with honey
I've done it all my life
It makes the peas taste funny
But it keeps them on my knife.

Oddly, the author is unknown; you can bet if I'd written that baby, my name would be all over it!

The very first time I understood the meaning of the word "sexy" was at an Aerosmith concert. I was twelve or thirteen, and I was smitten with Steven Tyler, even though he was so wasted he literally fell over under the weight of a ridiculous fur coat he was wearing, and the concert was unanimously voted "Worst of the Year" by our local music critics. What can I say? The heart wants what the heart wants. I wanted his huge, leering fish-mouth, gold floor-length scarf, and bored-looking, chain-smoking guitar player. Grrrr. I've had a weakness for musicians with addictions that look at me with abject boredom through squinty eyes ever since. Whether or not a man can actually remain upright is overrated when it comes to matters of the coochie-coochie, n'est pas?
Speaking of coochie coochie* ...
The first time I ever understood the meaning of the word 'sex" goes a little something like this...

Mama came home from school and shrugged the heavy book bag from her sagging shoulder. Then came the slow process of shedding the armor she wore against the cold: the peeling off of the gloves, finger by finger; the wool hat releasing the damp hair beneath; the unwinding of the scarf, over the head and around, over and around, enough to make you dizzy; thick coat, button down sweater, pullover, and finally the elegant figure of mama emerged, like a delicate bird that had landed uncertainly in the living room. Only her belly looked incongruous, as if she had swallowed a beach ball. Where had she found a beach ball, here in the middle of a Wisconsin winter?

“You asked me where your sister came from, and how she got in my stomach. Those are good questions. I got you a special book from the library today. Shall we make some hot chocolate and read it?”

The book was filled with pictures made from figures cut out of brightly colored construction paper. It was called Where Did I Come From? We spread the pages across our laps, warm and filled with the taste of sweet, curled in on each other like the leaves of a cabbage. I smiled. I was happy and ready to begin. “Your Mommy and Daddy love each other very much,” she began, as I fingered the picture of a smiling, dark haired man, holding the hand of a pretty blonde lady…

I think I am about to embark on some firsts coming up in the near future. Normally, change scares the heck outta me, and I resist it like kitties resist the shower. Try it. They resist real hard. But many of my firsts have been great, and if it weren't for them, there would never have been seconds. Bring it on, life! I ain't afraid of you!

*Charo pronounces it "cuchi - cuchi". Two free fun facts in one posts! Damn, this blog is good!

Monday, February 21, 2011

I'm free to do what I want, any old time

By the way, I am aware that many of you hate these sad-sack political posts.

What do I care? This blog is free! You get what you pay for! If you don't like it, shut the front door!*

*I'm trying to be less profanity laced, on account of the cocksuckers who make the rules believe that teachers don't have freedom of speech. Oops.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

You Don't Need A Weatherman...

Man, oh man. We are living in some strange times, right? I guess every generation has occasion to say that, and probably more than once, but it's so bizarre how you'll just be going along, living life, and all of a sudden the road that you're traveling becomes some bizarre Escher landscape, all fragmented fractals and tessellated tangents. Things are completely falling apart and being reformed, almost simultaneously. Chaos versus new order, indecision seems the most secure option, hope looms large while being scattershot by snipers. All over the world, people are committing to change and possibility, even if that promise is eyelash slim. One estimates how hot the fire blazes, and then dives headlong out of the frying pan. People desperately cling to new found faith; faith that the system will work or will topple; faith that we are doing the right thing; faith that if we accept and obey, everything will turn out all right; faith that there is a plan.

I hope everybody will be ok, and everything will right itself eventually...

Hmmm. Que sensitiva, right? I can't let struggles halfwafy across the world get me down, right? I need to buck up soldier!

But then I think about what's up in my own country. First there's Detroit, which has been deserted by almost everyone who has the means to hightail it out of there. The city has massive unemployment, and is being sucked ever downward by a continuing spiral of debt, mismanagement, crime, and lack of opportunity, much like residing in a low-flow terlit. What was once Motown and the heart of the automotive industry that symbolized the American spirit of freedom, self-reliance and ingenuity, is now the poster child for the United States' Most Likely To Become A Third World City. Detroit just announced that it was going to CLOSE 50% of its schools. Excellent idea.

In Prichard, Alabama, city workers, who have for years sacrificed big bucks from their monthly paychecks in order to save for their retirements, are being denied their pensions - since 2009, when the city ran out of money. How are those people supposed to live?

In my own city, 3,100 teachers are going to be fired while our superintendent draws one of the highest paychecks in the nation. School administrators say that those who are allowed to keep teaching will have to prepare for salary cuts, unpaid furlough days and classes of 35 or more students. What will become of all those kids who won't be able to get even the most basic education? What will become of all of us when the illiterate and unconscious inherit the earth?
In the meantime, legislators are pushing a bill to allow college kids to carry guns, saying it will make the campuses a safer place. That's just great. A bunch of tripping frat boys with weapons... I've seen that movie!

The thing is, teachers didn't cause enormous budget shortfalls. Neither did the cops, clerks, firefighters, secretaries, cafeteria workers, nurses, bailiffs, construction workers or janitors that keep things relatively safe and running.

It's hard not to point fingers. The targets seem so obvious, and I am growing to hate them. It's hard to keep hope. It's hard not to cry and to get up and go to work in the morning. It's hard not to drink too much. It's so very easy to give up.

But I can't. I get so angry. I'm really frustrated and beaten down. I am depressed and despairing, and I don't sleep well and I feel like I'm getting old. But I can't give up, give in, get out. Not yet.

Revolution is in the air. I dunno. Maybe it's time.

Like I said, I hope everyone will be ok...

Sunday, February 13, 2011

VD 2011

"Let me fill your heart with joy and laughter
Togetherness, well, that's all I'm after
Whenever you need me,
I'll be there.
I'll be there to protect you,
With unselfish love, I'll respect you,
Just call my name,
and I'll be there."

-Micheal Jackson

What exactly were you expecting? It's Valentine's Day, the corniest holiday ever!

Still and all, what's not to like about love, right?

Happy VD to everyone! I send you a gift of love that I hope you'll spread around, just like I have been, ever since a particularly confusing Texxas Jam in the 80's!

"There are four questions of value in life: What is sacred? Of what is the spirit made? What is worth living for and what is worth dying for? The answer to each is the same ...only love."

Don't hate just because that's a JOHNNY DEPP quote! Who expected that? Not me!