The Nature of Nature

Here in the Sonoran desert, amongst the majesty of the towering saguaros and the ruthlessness of the scorching spring, summer, fall and winter heat, lives a creature well-adapted to the cruel ministrations of the stark landscape. Fleet of wing, strong of will and as obnoxious as the day is long, this tiny desert denizen mercilessly pounds its way into the hearts of those unfortunate enough to bear witness to its percussive pleas for attention. Its taxonomical classification is peckerheadus annoyus (well, it should be), but it’s more commonly known as the Goddamned Woodpecker.

And onto you I shall bestow a look that says, "I'm a smug little shit."

And onto you I shall bestow a look that says, “I’m a smug little shit.”

A product of the frequent mating habits of ancient Etruscan Chaos Demons and some lost species of pterodactyl, the Goddamned Woodpecker is belched from the mouth of Hell in broods that vary in size between one and…well, one is all that matters. Fully formed upon birth, the Goddamned Woodpecker can be easily recognized by the zebra-like pattern of its wings, the blazing evil that sets its beady eyes alight and the emptiness of its tiny, blackened heart.

Immediately upon its fiery entrance into this dimension, the Goddamned Woodpecker surveys its new environs, locates the domicile in which I currently reside, and then invites itself into my life without an actual invitation. Fearless and insolent, the arrogant hellspawn selects one of the many, mighty saguaros in the near vicinity as the site for the lair from which it will carry out its nefarious agenda. Ignoring the threatening spines of the giant cactus, the Goddamned Woodpecker carves out its criminal stronghold by quickly and efficiently boring its way into the very heart of the desert sentinel (much how my hungover sister probably looks using a hammer and a drywall screw to violate the cork on a cheap bottle of merlot). It’s no minor coincidence that the resulting cavity is sometimes referred to as a “boot,” as the Goddamned Woodpecker’s entire mission in life is to take a metaphorical boot and stick it right up the ass of anything that gets in its way.

After completing construction of its new abode, the Goddamned Woodpecker sits and stares vacantly into the night (you might say it’s “rebooting”) as it absorbs the latent energy left behind by its ancestors (probably having a psychic chat with Satan in the process). When the tiniest strand of the approaching dawn’s light penetrates the darkness, the avian fiend shatters the silence by announcing its presence via a song woven from the echoes of the cries of the damned as their souls roasted in the cleansing fires of eternal suffering. Once it performs its sphincter-clinching aria, the Goddamned Woodpecker flutters over to my house, perches unnaturally upon the stucco siding and begins to pound its pointy face violently on the wall without concern for the occupants on the other side and their state of blissful slumber.

As the first stanza of the Goddamned Woodpecker’s irregular drum solo reverberates through the poorly constructed structure, the residents of the feline variety – which were still as stone just prior to the interruption – completely lose their shit and launch their furry bodies maniacally across the bed with gleeful abandon. Woe be to any obstacles in their path, be they flesh or otherwise, as these agile creatures turn paws to claws in their frantic, yet futile, efforts to make sport of the unseen percussionist. Inevitably, their abrupt departure is almost immediately followed by the crashing sounds of vertical blinds being made into a chaotic origami as the psycho-kitties make repeated attempts to penetrate the barrier separating them from the fowl invader. This serves only to intensify the cacophony by inspiring the eldest female resident of the no-longer-peaceful dwelling (who was, just moments prior, in a state of silent repose beside her most awesome mate) to catapult herself out of bed and spit out a string of expletives that would convince a fucking sailor it was finally time to find religion.

By this point, there is absolutely no chance that the state of affairs in the household will return to its previous state of tranquility. No freakin’ chance at all. In fact, a snowball would have more chance of lasting a full minute in Madonna’s underwear (no, I’m not exaggerating). Chances are the situation will instead take a turn for the worse and spiral out of control to such a degree that I will actually have to get out of bed. Naturally, this will only ensure that the event culminates with me making a blood oath to make those stupid vertical blinds suffer for being in the way when the cats clearly wanted to bounce right off the window glass instead.

Alas, my actions are of little consequence, and any promises to exact vengeance on shady (hee hee…shady…get it?) window coverings mean nothing by this point. There is no turning back, and there is no way to escape what lies ahead. Morning has come. It’s time to face whatever the new day has to offer. The Goddamned Woodpecker has done its work.

Rise

You’ve just created the foundation, which is a simple mixture of flour, salt and water, when you come to the cold realization that you didn’t check the cupboard before you started this project. In fact, you were too swept up in the excitement of creation to perform any of the fundamental steps of preparation. You just barreled into this task riding a new-found feeling of euphoria.
Now, you can feel your early ambition and confidence fade as you begin to experience a sinking feeling. You’re pretty certain of what you’re going to find, or not going to find, when you open those doors.
Sure enough, your suspicions are quickly confirmed. Even as you break through the final wall of half-eaten bags of stale chips that barricade the back corners of the cabinet, you know your search is fruitless. There is no yeast. Why would there be? You haven’t bought yeast for years, largely because you haven’t been inclined to bake for a very long time.
You look down at your early progress, which has congealed into a large, gooey mass that has lost all of its early potential, and realize you have a decision to make. You’re going to have to dispose of it, and with it all of your hopes and dreams…at least the ones involving hot buttered bread with raspberry jam. As you reach for the bowl, you stumble across that one moment in time that is lodged between making a decision and executing the outcome – that moment in time where you can change direction if you have the wherewithal to recognize it when it presents itself, and then latch onto it.
This time, you do. You begin to understand that you can dump your bowl of failure into the trash, and then walk away with your head hung in defeat, or you can seize the moment and take things to a new level. You stop yourself just before you are about to scrape the sticky mass into the rubbish bin, and you return the bowl to the counter. You add some more salt and a little more flour, and then you experiment with the proportions until you create a soft dough that is not sticky to the touch. You dust the kitchen table with a light coating of flour, and then you spend the rest of the day making a variety of figurines out of your homemade play-dough.
At the end of the day, you’re a winner…and you have the dolls to prove it.

Something’s Gotta Go

It’s no longer amusing…the spam, the weirdo ad bots, the endless updates, the thought that it’s still out there…and I’m paying for it, but I haven’t the wherewithal to do anything with it. Wait, what? What the hell is a “wherewithal”? What am I, a senior citizen? Who talks like that?

It’s not the money, mind you. It’s simply that this space has lost what little value it had. It’s strange, though, because it feels like I’m about to chop off an appendage. I’m oddly attached, and yet I’m completely disgusted, as well.

Well, I blew it. I made a bet in my head. I figured if it had been more than 10 years, then I would wait a little longer and see what I can do. If not, I would close the site. It hasn’t been 10 years. It’s been nine years and six months. For shame.

I made the bet with myself, though. Screw me. I’m unreliable. And stupid…for dragging this out. I’m just sick of everything. Everything’s gotta go. Go, damn it!

Sigh. Not today. Cheat.

What a loser.

I Wonder

I do, you know. Mostly, I wonder if there is a space on the Interwebz that is actually more useless than this one. By the law of averages, I have to conclude that there is…somewhere…but I ain’t gonna be the one to go looking for it. While I’m all about practicing the fine art of Uselessness, I refuse to put any research into it at all. That would defeat the entire purpose. It would be akin to lying on the couch and watching a football game, but getting up to fetch your own beers…in spite of the fact that there are several small children around who are perfectly capable of doing it for you.

What? Why are you assuming that I’m talking about myself? I don’t have small children. Nor do I drink. Did I drink when I had small children? Maybe. Did they used to fight over who got to fetch beer for me? Why, that’s just preposterous. Maybe. Ah, the past. A glorious collection of events that can so easily be shrouded by the cloak of uncertainty. “Are you SURE that’s the way it happened, Mrs. Johnson? Are you 100% certain that your husband used to put on your wedding dress and make you pull him around the back yard in a Radio Flyer wagon? COULD YOU HAVE IMAGINED IT?”

“Well…uhh…I…”

“THE PROSECUTION RESTS, YOUR HONOR.”

And to that great principle, along with the complete lack of photographic evidence (not to mention the strange disappearances of most of the witnesses), does our society owe its prosperity and complete descent into the fetid mire of hypocrisy and deceit. Yes, sirree. It’s a good time to be alive.

Here’s a random picture to make this seem far more exciting than it is. Ciao.

It's the color of envy.

It’s the color of envy.

 

I Need a Hobby

No, really. That’s all I was thinking. A hobby. Or maybe some perspective. Where do they sell perspective? I wonder if they make a generic version. Goddess knows I don’t want to pay for name-brand perspective. That would be overkill. Speaking of which, is there such a thing as underkill? Just wondering.

I wish I had something poignant to say. Or a pony. I wish I had a pony. I would name her “Querquetulanae” and make people wonder why. Yep. Now here’s a picture of two cats in a box. Have a nice day.

How do ya like them apples?

How do ya like them apples?

Welcome to 2014

It is still 2014, isn’t it? Okay, so I may be a bit late with that, but I don’t think that’s any indication of how I get along in real life. Wait, maybe it is. It’s too late to worry about it now. I’ll simply do what I always do and happy-ass my way on to the next phase of my existence. “How do you know it comes in phases?” you ask. Because I just said so. Geez. Try to pay attention.

I may very well be a victim of my own imagination, which pretty much makes me a victim of myself, which is pretty much the only time I’m going to use the word “victim” and not be referring to something in the news. I hate the news. In fact, I may not use that word again (“victim,” not “news”…damned antecedents). Who knows? In any case, I’ve been subscribing to the theory that I have some form of writer’s block, which is why I have left little more than an empty space in my wake for the better part of this year (I didn’t say it wasn’t a stupid theory). I had aspirations, mind you (or was it respiration? No, I guess not. One of them I have to have, and it’s likely just coincidence that it rhymes with “desperation.”), but they didn’t quite become manifest in the manner in which I had expected. Them’s the breaks, I guess.

To be honest, I was on the cusp of giving myself, via my New Year’s resolutions (yes, it was that long ago), the task of writing something in this blog every day (in spite of the fact that only two people read it…and one of them is not me…Goddess forbid I actually read my own writing). I had the idea that it would stimulate my creative juices (wow, that just sounds gross…I wonder if you can get those in a little box with a straw) and force me to produce content regardless of my own limitations. In conjunction with the logical, straightforward feedback I received from Ms. Pixie when I mentioned my idea (she understood much better than me that it was a little too ambitious), I finally came to the conclusion that it was a stupid idea and would only cast me into a pit of depression when I failed to meet the demands of my own agenda. Besides, I don’t like having an agenda (and that would prevent me from making fun of the people who do have them).

To make this blog look educational, here is a picture of Montezuma's Castle.

To make this blog look educational, here is a picture of Montezuma’s Castle.

I realize that I’m a competent writer, and that realization is not one that is spawned from a place of arrogance or conceit (I don’t think, but that’s just me). It comes from many long hours of poring over grammar books (long after I left school behind), as well as a career that has been based on providing a variety of content for numerous places of business (which has not precluded me from making idiotic mistakes sometimes). That being said, the perception of those who are not interested in such a thing often differs from my own, and I find that there are times when more emphasis is placed on titles as opposed to output. I could say that I’m okay with that, but I would be lying. Most of the time, I simply manage to ignore it. However, there are times when the phrase “a real writer” can work its way under my skin and begin to fester and boil. Those are the times when I tend to question my efforts and ask myself exactly what in the hell I was thinking when I followed this career path in the first place. Those are also the times when I feel that making any effort to do anything beyond that required for a steady paycheck is a complete waste of time.

In the grand scheme of things, all of this means nothing, because most of these things take place inside my head. They live in the same quadrant of my brain as the disdain I feel when I see somebody misuse common elements of grammar that should have been instilled in people’s minds as far back as elementary school. I can’t help getting that disdainful feeling, but I can certainly control my response to it, which is to not respond at all. After all, what good is pairing up my arrogance with someone’s shortcomings? Making people feel small is no way to go through life. I mean, I suck at plumbing. You would think someone with any amount of intelligence would know how to put pipes together, wouldn’t you? However, I seem to lack that particular chip in my brain, and I wouldn’t like it if someone told me I was an idiot at the same time my house contained four inches of standing water and a new fountain that I didn’t install on purpose. Give me a break. I can’t be good at everything.

“What’s your point?” you ask. If I had one, I would tell you. The problem is that I’ve been locked inside my own head for long enough that I’m not entirely sure what’s going to come out when I try and find my creative “center” again. Wait…that sounds familiar. Oh, yeah. I believe I mentioned that around 700 words ago. I used the word “victim,” too, which is still bothering me. Let’s change it to “prisoner,” shall we? A prisoner of my own imagination. Wow, that sounds rather bleak. How about we just agree that something has been going on inside my head that has kept me from expressing my thoughts in any manner that did not have some impact on my current job. “What’s your current job?” you ask. None of your damned business. Suffice it to say that I write words…sometimes…on something other than gum wrappers…sometimes. Yeah.

So, here we are. You and you and me. The three of us. One of you is likely reading this for sure, and one of you is likely glancing over it while a giant lizard crawls up your leg. You would think I was joking about the giant lizard, too, but I’m not. Crazy old lady. Anyhow, I’m filling the empty space. Not all of it, mind you, but this little block. It will have to do for now. I may have been living a large portion of my life internally for the last eight months, but I haven’t completely lost my mind (because, if I was living in it, that would make me homeless…kind of…never mind). I’ll do what I can whenever I can, and the world will continue to move through time and space regardless of my efforts. That would depress most people, but I appreciate the vastness of our Universe and all of its beauty and mystery. At this juncture in life, I don’t need the answers to all of my questions. I know just need to know enough to be sure when I can’t make any promises.

Ciao.

Of Mice and Mentos

The only real problem with borrowing time from the Universe is that there is really no way of knowing when She might decide to call in Her marker. She seems to be a bit of a masochist, and sometimes I have the feeling that She’s stringing me along just for sport. However, in spite of my innate tendency to view everything through a veil of cynicism, these days I’ve found that I tend to let go of the bad stuff much more quickly than I can purge myself of the daily encounters I have with my own mediocrity. I think it’s some sort of survival mechanism, as the middle of the road doesn’t require nearly as much energy as the fast lane. I’m not sure where it came from, either, as I don’t recall ever having the mental prowess to consciously develop something of that level of complexity. In fact, I don’t even have the mental acuity to rid myself of the eight bars of the Cheap Trick song that has been stuck in my head since May. While the loop does seem to drown out a lot of the other things that are going on inside my cranium, it is proving to make for a poor soundtrack to everyday living. I’m not convinced that it isn’t a sign proclaiming that I’m finally going batcrap crazy. All things considered, I’m just thankful that it’s not that damned song about pina coladas. 

I suppose that I should also make an effort to get something of value out of my common interactions with my fellow human beings, much like I hear that these so-called “normal” people can do.  Frankly, I’m not fully convinced that it’s not just a rumor, and that I’m more likely to find satisfaction with a sewer-dwelling Morlock. In any case, one possible roadblock that may add multiple layers of difficulty to this particular task is that no one has ever accused me of being anything close to normal…even my parents. While those comments were originally sidebars to serious conversation, there is apparently an inherent truth in that cliché regarding self-fulfilling prophecies. Maybe it was something that hitched a ride in my subconscious mind, if there really is such a thing, and I’ve been working with an agenda that isn’t readily apparent to me. If this truly is something that contributes to my current state of self-awareness, I can’t take credit for making the discovery myself.  Even so, knowing as much as I do about modern psychology, I’ve come to terms with my being far too lazy to calculate the statistics in an effort to provide myself with empirical evidence. Instead, I’d be more likely to attempt to subscribe to some meaningless “ism” that will at least provide me with a shaky foundation for a belief system that can only conclude with me practicing a brand of hypocrisy worthy of being granted a homestead where I can attempt to grow tulips in Dante’s Eighth Circle of Hell.

Last, but not least, it may also help if I actually understood what I was trying to accomplish when I start taking these transcendental journeys through the ghettos of my mind. It’s the mental equivalent of getting on a bus at 75th Street with no idea when or where the trip is going to end. I’m taking something of a surprise vacation, but there is always the off-chance that I could get dropped off at a makeshift beach on the shore of one of the collection tanks at the waste treatment plant. There may be plenty of time to relax, but it all takes place in a crappy environment.