Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Let them eat cake!

As I was preparing to exfoliate the unnecessary details from my weekend and prepare a tasty little blog casserole for you, it struck me that I attend a high number of toddler birthday parties.  You know, for a man. With no kids.

Anyway, first things first.  Saturday morning, I managed to complete a 10-kilometer run.  Which I now prefer to refer to as ten thousand meters.  It just sounds farther.  (Ooo, one million centimeters!  Even better.)  I've also been singing the "I would walk five hundred miles" song, substituting "have run" for "would walk", "ten thousand" for "five hundred," and "meters" for "miles."  A couple more changes and it'll be completely unrecognizable.

I finished in 51:58, which isn't my best.  But it also isn't my worst, and as is always my #1 goal in these races, I didn't die.  (#2 is getting my name in the local paper.  What?  I need attention.  I come by it honest.)

There was no trophy this year, as I am 39 and at the upper end of my age group.  But next year, when I reach that age-which-shall-not-be-spoken, I'll be the young whippersnapper in my classification.  This year, I was racing against guys with names like Corey, Trey, and Dustin.  But, next year, I'll be going against guys named Dean, Barry, and Stanley -- guys who have lived, guys who have more than likely had at least one prostate exam.  And the way I figure, I'll be like the just-turned-50-year-old who goes out on the Senior PGA Tour for the first time.  I'll be dominating the dojo.  So to speak.

After a nap so short it's an insult to even call it a nap, it was off to Nashville.  Yes, my spring social season is in full swing, and Saturday was my friends' daughter's first birthday party.  As I stated earlier, I've attended quite a few of these, so I know the drill -- cake, presents, seven thousand pictures, and copious amounts of hand sanitizer.

As a matter of fact, I've become such a pro at these things, I could probably hire myself out to attend them.  Actually, now that I think about it -- strange, childless man at a toddler's birthday party -- maybe that's not such a great idea.

Anyway, even a seasoned pro like myself was a bit taken aback by one hiccup that did occur.  This happened when the mom scolded one of the "kids" for trying to eat one of the cupcakes:  "No!  Not yet!  Can't you wait five more minutes?  I have to get a picture of the table first! "

Yes, because that's what the party is all about -- pictures of decorations.  And good heavens, we'd already been there for nearly two hours.  Do you have any idea how hard it is to keep some of these kids entertained for that long?  I know I wasn't there five minutes before I was playing on my phone.

I think I have to side with the kid on this one.  And did she really have to yell?  That kinda hurt my feelings.  I mean... his feelings.

Thankfully, the rest of the party went fairly smoothly.  Well, except for the grill catching ablaze.  But perhaps that will be another ingredient, in another blog casserole.  You know, if you didn't catch it on the local news.

And in case you're wondering, that poor, downtrodden, reprobate kid did finally get his cupcake, as well as an extra Capri-Sun for his trouble. (Actually, he punched a hole clear through the back of his first one.  I could never do those things right!)

"But I would walk five hundred miles / And I would walk five hundred more / Just to be the man who walked a thousand miles to fall down at your door..."

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Announcing "Automatic Email Deletion Notification"

My friend, Axl, works for the government -- well, government contractor.  I'm not exactly sure what he does all day, other than perpetuating a stereotype perhaps.  I mean, I know he wears many hats, but that's literal, not figurative.

Anyhow, the way I figure it, he must work really hard and get really far ahead as he often seems to have an abundance of free time.  Many days, this results in him sending out a seemingly endless stream of emails -- sports articles, YouTube clips, and other links -- which most of the time I am too busy to read.

I'm generally fine with it, but there was one particular day last week where I was inundated with work and he was shooting off emails like fireworks on the 4th with the Boston Pops playing in the background.

So, hoping to put an end to his emails for the day, I composed this little gem:

The email you sent to has been deleted.  It was not read.  It was not opened.  It was deleted before opening.  

If you feel you have received this message in error, rest assured you have not.  Please do not resend.

Automatic Email Deletion Notification is a new service offered by Google exclusively for Gmail members.


The Google team

Now, clearly I was just being a smart-aleck, never once imagining he would think it was real.  I figured, if nothing else, the "rest assured you have not" would give it away.

But then...

Later that evening I get call from him.  He asks, "Did you get an email from me today with blah-blah-blah in the subject line?"

"Hmmm," I pretend to ponder.  "No, I don't think so," I fib.

At that point, he proceeds to tell me about the email he got from Google and how at first he thought it was a joke, but then when I never said anything, he figured it must be legit.  He completely bought it!  And he's in IT!

So if you should see an email like this floating around, advertising Gmail's new automatic Email Deletion Notification service, it's most likely a farce.  And you can say, "I know the guy who started that!"

Who knows, maybe I'll end up on Snopes one day.  It's not Wikipedia or Guinness Book, but it's something.  It's cyber immortality.

Oh by the way, I never told Axl any different.  Was that wrong?

"If you ever get annoyed / Look at me, I'm self-employed / I love to work at nothing all day..."

Friday, May 11, 2012

They called him Adam Yauch

I flipped on the TV last Friday evening.  The volume was down, but when I saw his picture, I knew.  MCA -- Adam Yauch of the Beastie Boys -- had died.  At 47. 

A week later and I still seem to be doubled over from the proverbial punch to the stomach.  I don't know why it's affecting me so much, just that it is. 

I remember watching the video message where he announced he'd been diagnosed with cancer.  But then you don't hear anything for awhile, and it's easy to think, "Oh, he's young, he'll beat it."

Until a couple years later you see his picture on TV, and you realize he didn't.  He couldn't.  And there is only shock.  And sadness.  Deep, deep sadness.

For the better part of the past week, I've tried to come up with some way to put all these feelings into words, and mostly failed.  I just want to put on all my Beastie Boys songs, download the ones I don't already have, and listen to them for hours and hours until it somehow gets better.

I did recall that I'd written a post about the Beastie Boys a few years ago, so I looked it up.  (It's here if you want to go back and read it.)  My initial thought was that it doesn't really work as a tribute. 

Then again, maybe it does.

It recalls a time when we were younger, and it felt as if there would always be an abundance of days.  We knew life would end, but back then it was hardly a passing thought as that seemed almost incomprehensibly far away.

So much farther away than it seems today. 

"I wanna say a little somethin' that's long overdue / The disrespectin' women has go to be through /  To all the mothers and the sisters and the wives and friends / I want to offer my love and respect to the end..."

Monday, May 07, 2012

Here lies IYROOBTY

My fans have spoken, clamoring for a new blog post.  By fans, I mean fan (thanks Sherri).  And by clamoring, I mean probably just being polite in that way that you ask someone how they are, all the while hoping they don't regale you with a five-minute tale of how their gout is flaring up again and their continuing gastrointestinal issues.

Saturday was my bloggiversary, so it seemed like as good a time as any for a new post.

I've been at this nine years.  That's a whole lot in blog years.  Ancient, really.  Look, I'm not blind, I can see the writing on the virtual wall.  When I think of all the dead blogs I've cut from my link list over the years, it's a sobering thing.  And soon, I too, shall join them -- the ghosts of bloggers past.

At this point, I'm pretty much the blogging Betty White.  Now if I only knew who the blogging Rue McClanahan was we could move in together and ride out these final golden years in style.

To kick off year number ten, I apologetically announce the creation of a new poetry blog.  No, seriously.  Why are you laughing?  It's my bloggiversary, try and control yourselves.  It struck me this weekend that the time has come for me to get things in order.  Here on the blog, I mean.  I wanted to have a place to keep all my poetry and lyric-y things together.  There'll be some previously posted stuff, some I wrote and never posted, and anything new I manage to scribe.  I'm calling it Poetry Wrecks.  Like Cake Wrecks -- except far less popular, but every bit as delicious! 

Speaking of end-of-(blog)life decisions, not a lot of people get a chance to do this, but I would like to take this opportunity to write my own eulogy.  Or is it an obituary?  Maybe it's only a eulogy if it's read aloud.  Either way, here goes, and you can fight amongst yourselves as to who gets to read it aloud.  You know, when the time comes...

Here lies If You Read Only One Blog This Year, age (undetermined as yet).  It expired on (TBD), suffering in its later years from long bouts of post-lessness.  The blog had been dormant and mostly unresponsive for more than (TBD) hours prior to its death.

Born May 5th, 2003, on AOL.  It was raised on AngelFire, before moving to Blogspot in October of 2003, where it spent the remainder of its days.

A contemporary of such infinitely more famous blogs as Dooce and Stuff White People Like, IYROOBTY enjoyed its greatest popularity in the years of 2006 & 2007, just before the explosion of Facebook when blogging would go the way of the cassette tape.

IYROOBTY was home to a veritable hodge-podge of topics, ranging from golf to General Hospital, Bama football to Brandon Walsh, frequently following the protagonist's never-ending, if sporadic, efforts to end up in Wikipedia or the Guinness Book Of World Records.  Its writings on Welcome Back Kotter and WKRP In Cincinnati are some of the only on the internet.  And to the very end, every post was ended with a carefully chosen song lyric.

It is survived by its author, Bone.  Although according to those in his inner circle, he is said to be completely despondent and reclusive.  More so than normal, even.

In the final days of his life, he revealed an unknown side of his psyche. This hidden quasi-Jungian persona surfaced during the pursuit of his long-reputed soul mate, a woman whom he only spent a few precious hours with. Sadly, the protracted search ended late Saturday night in complete and utter failure.  (Oh, sorry for that very out-of-place Serendipity interlude.  I just always wanted my eulogy to say that, and be read aloud by Ari.)

Other survivors include one (brain)child, the moderately successful writing prompt, Three Word Wednesday, which continues under new management; several invented fake blog holidays including NaBloSoThaDraWe, Blogust, and Blogtober (although survive might be a strong word for those); and a small but loyal group of readers whose friendship, kindness, and encouragement will not soon be forgotten.

In lieu of flowers, comments may be left on this post.

"And if you threw a party / And invited everyone you knew / You would see the biggest gift would be from me / And the card attached would say / Thank you for being a friend..."