28 June 2011

What a Summer! (A most delicious title, eh?)

Ah, where has the summer gone?

Such languishing weeks of pithy indolence, such dreamy hours beneath the flocculent sky, expectations drifting away, feelings of mirth dancing betwixt our fingertips! So much for the annual vacating of routine and toil!

What?  You say it's still June?  What calendar are you using?

Oh, uh . . . well, I--

It seems it's true: the summer period is yet only one-third gone.  What a shame!

Now what shall I do?  Obviously, I must return to my slothy existence amid the lowly, lonely landscapes of lucid daydreaming, there to make whoopy among the daffodils and daisies, to swim through the seas like a great shiny fish, to flap through the air like the biggest of bees -- Nay, that is not the best way to dally around the camp fire, to dither up to the drinking stand, to sip and sup and tell huge lies, to stretch and sing and fornic--

Well, perhaps time would be better served 'twere it to be organized around a pattern of written communication, handsomely arranged in the most modern of venues, this very same so-said "blog".

What say all of you?  Had enough of this balderdashery?  Too much of the piles of cows?  The sweet delight of the fecund trails overfill your nostrils?

That, my dearest friends, is the framework through which we embrace our summertime frivolosity, much in the same way, though frightfully brief, as the delicate little poofs of weekend pleasures we memorize for later indulgence.

So off we go to the hinterlands, away to the fields and forests, on and beyond we galavant, to the horizons and more, to the moors and back, to the back of forever, and ever more . . . .

[I have just now been instructed to take a vacation and regain my sanity.  I merely laughed, of course, for what is sanity but the mirror of insanity, yet who can know whether the mirror stands for us or we stand in for the mirror?  Bags are packed, and I am out the door--]

21 June 2011

Twisted Thoughts on the Longest Day

I suppose it has been long enough now that you deserve a new post of the adventures of me. So be it!

Well, gracious gentlefolk, I have been traveling.  That is my excuse.  The effort has brought memories good and not so good, and a decided lack of nostalgia for the places I used to inhabit (see previous remarks here).  Enough has been said on that topic to content any neighborhood existentialist for a while, so I shall move on.  Next, I must report (as required by state and federal agencies) that I have returned to whence I came.  My first clue was hearing the tornado warnings on the radio as I crossed the border into Oklahoma.  As they say (or should say), it ain't Oklahoma unless there's a tornado warning sounding.  Enough said on that topic, the better.

There's always some place to spend your summer on the beach yet avoid the heat.
And I survived the annual Father's Day rituals.  In my particular case, it was the day following a late-night arrival back at my humble abode--still intact and undamaged from the near-daily storms hitting while I've been away.  That's good news.  Anyway, I tried to stay off the usual social networking sites, which I presumed to be cluttered with paternal laments and paternal praises.  (Checking later, I found that to be true.)  Yes, I did call my father, but in these ancient days his hearing isn't so good.  Fortunately, he has learned how to respond to whatever I happen to say, and does so automatically when he thinks I have said what he thinks I would say to him.  ("Did you have a good Father's Day?" --> "Yep, it's hotter than usual here.")  Half the time it is almost appropriate to the context of the conversation.  But that is also enough said.  I shall revisit the topic next year.

Today I am bombarded by the "happy summer solstice" crowd's textual chanting of "Happy Summer Solstice!" As everyone knows, from ancient times to the present day, people have celebrated the arrival of the full flowering of the sun and, more importantly, what it portends for the growing season.  A lot of people starved in ancient time, apparently.  In modern times, of course, it has become a time to celebrate freedom from school, or the annual summer vacation trip for working adults, or just a excuse to have a party.  And for a small niche group, it is a time to get funky and pretend the world does not have demands of them.

An even smaller niche group (I represent nearly half of them) is simply content to sleep late and count the hours 'til the next day. Longest day? What's the point? It is longer than the previous day by maybe a minute. What you failed to do yesterday can be safely done today.  You'll have more time to do it.  And yet, it is somehow different.  As per humanity's obsession with greatness, it is the focus on things that are longest, fastest, strongest, most famous, and so on that occupies our attention. In my circle of authors, for example, the longest day represents an opportunity to count sales--though I begrudge them not a longer day of writing and editing.  In general, a longer day means more people out shopping, buying, consuming.

If you have read this far, you may be thinking this is the longest (i.e., most boring) blog post anyone has ever written. You'd probably be correct. (Please take the survey at the end of this blog post.)

Let's call this the "catch up" post, whereby I throw everything I've got into one big soup pot. It will keep you alive, even though it may lack any particular flavor or nutritional value, and might possibly make you sick later on, in the middle of the shortest night.  Thank goodness for short nights, eh?  Come to think of it, a night is less important in the greater scheme of things than one's sleep schedule: twelve hours is still twelve hours, no matter if the light of day intrudes or not.

[There! Now you have your profound thought for this post.  Go forth finally fulfilled and judiciously joyous, for the day hath a few seconds less than yesterday, and with each passing day we opportunistically mirror the dying of the season and the dying of the year, the dying of humanity and of an individual's strict allotment of time, measured by party and paycheck, until the bitter end when sweets are verboten and diapers again become de rigueur, until the eyes fall silent and the mouth closes to perpetual darkness, and the last morsel of breath coldly expires.]

Let the rest of the summer begin!

06 June 2011

Weiner-gate and the Little Blue Pill

It has been suggested by fellow bloggers and bloggettes that if I were to take advantage of the latest news I might gain a significant bump in blog traffic. The latest news, however, seems to be about a congressperson who has been naughty. To whit: This Representative Weiner fellow has the appropriate name for linking Twitter feeds with sordid self-portraitures of convex shadowy angles purportedly demonstrating the surface features of a "bulge". That is putting it delicately.

So, the strategy goes, I should write a post about this news story so that Google hits will reflect my interest in this so-called Weiner-gate. However, given that my blog is chiefly about my fiction writing, in particular my science-fiction trilogy called The Dream Land, it seems a stretch to write about any man's digital evolution. It is not a subject worthy of my keyboard, and yet . . . strategists compel me to write something, anything about the story in order to draw clicks to my own blog site (here!) so that someone, anyone might become acquainted with all of my witty remarks.

I do not actually need to write about a man's adventure in digital archiving to draw in readers. The mere mention of the congressperson's name--which, as I explained above, is so deliciously perfect (check that: I probably should not use those words as part of this story)--is enough to draw hits and clicks to this page. Ah, the wonders of technology! Ah, the foibles of humanity! Ah, the impetuous imperatives of the easily impressed masses. Who wouldn't like to read a report on a man sending pictures of a bulging fabric? Why, the whole universe is a bulging fabric--

Which segues so effortlessly into me blogging about The Dream Land trilogy! You see, in this sci-fi adventure, two high school sweethearts discover a tear in the fabric of the universe, and through such a tear they go exploring (not in the Weiner-gate sense, of course). It is another world they discover and the adventures they have there are both full of beauty and magic as well as horrible violence that tests their will to survive and even their sanity. It seems a natural phenomena for these human explorers to question their sanity--much as Mr. Weiner must have questioned his reasons for sending such pictures to someone who likely never wanted to see them.

So which is the real world? And which is only a poor reflection of the world we all know and love? To find the answer, look not among the stories of your local news, both on TV as well as the Internet; nay, look deeply among the pages of the three volumes of The Dream Land trilogy--where there never have been, nor will never be, pictures of bulges!

(However, it should be pointed out that The Dream Land trilogy is not suitable for readers under, say, 15 or 16, as there is considerable love making and warfare scattered across the many pages. But for the adult who is tired of Weiner-gate and other assorted Twitter feeds of embarrassing text and pictures, the book covers await their cracking, the pages your eyes, and all shall be in balance until the words "The End" bulge from the page.

Thanks for indulging my sensitive sensibilities!

PS--I forgot to mention the little blue pill. It is not a metaphor. It is a medicinal property, an element of great consternation that enables an Earth man to approximate the prowess of an adult Ghoupalle male, almost necessary to please a typical Ghoupalle woman--Ghoupallesz being the local name of the planet in The Dream Land trilogy. Again, you must read The Dream Land trilogy to know about and appreciate what the sex life of aliens feels like. Forget Weiner-gate; it's a small matter, indeed.  Instead, enjoy the reality of your unadulterated protuberances, and grin in satisfaction, confidence, and release!

02 June 2011

To Blog or Not to Blog

That is often the question. To blog or not to blog? What shall be said/written? What am I thinking about today? What do my loyal followers expect from me to bright their day? And do I have it in me to punch the keys?

This is the silly season: between the end of the spring semester (I'm a professor in real life so my circadian rhythms are set to semester intervals) and the start of the summer semester (for those poor souls who must teach during the summer for whatever personally hellish reasons they may have). To escape the silly season, I usually find myself traveling. Often I travel to actually find myself. Sometimes I forget where I have left myself, so it's an interesting adventure looking for me. And frequently when I find myself, I don't really want it.

This summer is different, however. Shortly after embarking on this summer's travel (having many highway miles to contemplate the meaning of the "meaning of life"), I came up with a name for this Interstate phenomena. I am calling this exercise in fuel consumption my "farewell tour" for reasons only I know for sure. It's not such a big secret, actually.  I lived in the northeast for seven years. Then, while wishing to continue living up in the northeast (somewhere, anywhere), I was lured to the hot, dusty, dry midwest to continue drawing a paycheck. Yet there is nostalgia--painful, bittersweet, warm-hearted, soft-fuzzy nostalgia for the places I've left.

As fate would have it (and with today's technology one may easily tweak fate to one's heart's content), I have traveled backwards in time as I have traveled physically, geographically eastward. I have revisited the places I called home once upon a time. And now? They have changed--so much so that I can recognize them only by digging deep in my bag of memories, comparing a fading image with the concrete reality before me. There is no feeling welling up, no rush of pleasure, no sense of home sweet home again. I might as well have stayed home--in my new home in the midwest.

Last summer, as I made the migration west, I waved farewell. Yet it did not take. Back again, I find I am a stranger, as much of a stranger as if I had never lived there. I've been forgotten as completely as though I'd never existed. And that is the melancholy mood that sneaks upon an unwary traveler when he dares to presume that anything, anyplace, anyone ever matters. That I once existed in a certain place has no meaning now for anyone in that place. I can walk the streets without wearing dark glasses and I am not bothered or asked for an autograph. Even if I introduce myself as someone who once lived there, I only receive a response akin to "Oh, yeah?" Is it really so hard to believe?

Alas, memory, nostalgia, home . . . just concepts, metaphors, words that act as placeholders in the mind, and suffer not the great institutions known as scrapbooks, photo albums, and memoirs.