Monday, December 31, 2012

I Resolve Nothing (But What About JR Lintstockings?)

This document was found in 1934, rolled-up and stuffed into an old whiskey bottle floating in the Wabash River near Terre Haute, Indiana.  It was written in charcoal on the back of a faded photograph of a woman in early-twenties attire, posing with a happy smile next to a Singer sewing machine.  Scratched into the photo is simply "Mother."  The writing on the back is sloppy, but it is noteworthy in that it was not riddled with grammatical and spelling errors, as most of the limited written material the hoboes left behind usually was.


I resolve to make a second pair of trousers, and to wash the ones I have.

I will make an effort to start conversations with something other than "I want to die."

I will only steal what I need, starting with the ring on No-Shoulders Smalltooth Jones' finger, should he freeze to death tonight.  I need that.

I will stand up straight, as Mother taught me.

I will go to church on Sundays, and I will do so to worship.  No more breaking in on Monday mornings to steal the offering, or on Saturday nights, to steal the wine.  At least, no more than necessary.

No more hookers.  They know I never have any money, and I always just get beaten up.

I will find gloves with more than two fingers intact.

I will appreciate the little things, like fine wine and walks in the park and evenings at the theatre, the soft hands of my many happy children and my beauty-queen wife, our warm feather bed, a quality filet mignon, a good Dodgers game on the wireless, and the writing in the New Yorker.  Ha ha ha - that's dumb.  I resolve to appreciate all that stuff, if ever I encounter it.

I resolve to learn how to juggle while riding a unicycle.  I can do either one separately; this is the year I need to put them together.

I will take down my pants before relieving myself, even in the winter.

This will be the year that I finally finish my novel.

I will learn to control my violent urges when I hear singing.

I will not get locked in any more box cars.

I will visit Mother's grave and leave some nice flowers, this year.

I will set fires only for warmth and to cook my squirrels and beans, not simply to watch things that I can't have go up in flames.

I resolve to spend less time out of doors.

I will get a job, and a home, and a new life.

Failing that, I will walk on, keep myself alive, and be grateful for the dawning of each new day.

I will walk on.      

Saturday, December 29, 2012

My 2012 - In Case I Missed It


Okay, I know a lot of bloggers love to do year-in-review posts around this time every December.  Others do the introspective retrospective post - "Oh, how I've grown, this year!"  I'm reluctant to do the latter, for fear that it will either be boring or short (or both), or that it will end up sounding like one of those wretched Christmas card letters.  Okay, I actually might post one of those later, so stay tuned for that.  But for now, here is a brief outline of what went on here, at Mostly Harmless Drivel, in 2012.  I'm sure there's something here that you missed, and some of it is actually not bad. 

Please clickity-click on the linkity-links included herein, and you will be transported as if by magic to the corresponding blog post, and oh my goodness but won't THAT be awesome for you!  You'll laugh.  You'll cry.  You'll kiss ten minutes goodbye! 

Come with me...

January 16  -  A big-mouth know-it-all hobo gets what he deserves, but KEEPS GETTING UP.

January 28  -  Pizza Hut's infamous Priazzo, Crystal Pepsi, Ginsu knives and Joe's underpants, all in ONE SENTENCE!  I like making fun of things others do, especially when I'm guilty of doing exactly those things myself.

February 21  -  If you're not a fan of the hobo stories, you probably skipped this one, but if you understand the bond between DOGS AND THEIR HUMANS, take another look.  The last sentence is one of my favorite ever.

March 25  -  Hygiene is very important to people with DOUBLE NAMES. 

April 8  -  "I got no kids that I know of."  My beloved wife [Maris] says this to me all the time.  Well, she says "have" instead of "got," but let's not quibble.  HA!  I knew I could squeeze a quibble in here if I tried!  Oh, and EVERYTHING THAT I WHISPER IS TRUE.

April 16  -  She can't PRONOUNCE HIS NAME, but can she bring herself to forgive him?  Maybe if it's a Douglas Fairbanks picture...

May 4  -  Do you like children?  Do you like dogs?  Do you like WANDERING HOMELESS ZOMBIES?  You do?  Then this short story is for you!  Warning:  Hearsay and conjecture.

May 11  -  What happens when one of my best, wordiest friends and I give each other blog post titles and one hour and say go?  You know how these exercises work - they always somehow end up at HECKLE & JECKLE.

May 17  -  I am an excellent EUGOOGALIZER, and that man's death left a hole in many a heart.  (sniff)

May 27  -  What happens when my blog-challenge-y friend and I provide each other with first and last sentences and one hour in which to write?  Obviously, someone gets stabbed with a NAIL CLIPPER.  In the neck.  On the playground.

May 30  -  Skip this one.  It's about a man with NO SHOULDERS. Yawnsville.

June  -  What happened in June?  A little novel fell out of me, mostly.  At the end, I swore I would never put myself through another novel-writing month.  Yeah.  See you in June 2013, Camp NaNoWriMo.  I'll never learn.

July 8  -  The  CAMP JOURNAL proves to be less interesting than the novel that resulted from camp.  Or does it?  Someone brought rum to camp.  Just sayin'...

July 13  -  Another hobo.  I'd say skip this one, but it has GENDER CONFUSION! 

July 20 -  Pro-beano.  Yep.  You guessed it.  He WORKS FOR BEANS. 

August 3  -  Getting laid-off is nothing to HOWL ABOUT. 

September 13  -  Things to do in Zanesville, Ohio when you're a TREE SURGEON. 

October  -  Hmm... All I remember is the heartbreaking end of the Nationals' playoffs, the life-affirming crash of the yankees, and a beachside vacation of staring at the sea and eating too much.  Oh, and trying to avoid campaign ads.

November  -  30 days, 30 blog posts.  What was I thinking?

After starting with a hobo with a DIRTY SNIFFER, I found myself compelled to give a little pre-election LET'S ALL JUST CALM THE FUCK DOWN, complete with "Meatballs" references.  Then, I fired off a "LET'S NOT" letter to my favorite and most hated drug, defended a BULLYING VICTIM, got breathless with ANTICI . . . PATION, saw a hapless old dude with an unfortunate name as he TRIED to vote, and wrote to my government - with TINA TURNER'S HELP.

Next, I got all positive with a TOP-10 LIST and a not at all made-up list of things for which I am HUMBLY GRATEFUL, followed by some weirdness with that MEAN GUY WITH THE EXTRA DIGITS.  Then I introduced my faithful readers (both of you!) to some FRIENDS FROM CAMP, followed by a friend with a messed-up FACE.  

Things were going so well, I started a whole new series about TURNING 40.  ((YAWN))  Next was a RETROSPECTIVE far more clever than this, followed by some INVISIBILITY TALK with [Maris], a hobo blessed/cursed with IMMORTALITY (?), and an epiphany concerning Muppets, 1930s movies and our WORLDVIEW gone askew.  

As we RUSHED toward Thanksgiving, I worked on my PERSPECTIVE, making the earth into a speck, honed my WILLFUL IGNORANCE, and checked in on my FRIENDS' holiday preparations.  Of course, there was the traditional fretting over the Thanksgiving SEATING ARRANGEMENTS, followed by the traditional YAMMERING at "Black Friday."

Then, NEEDLESS TO SAY, things took a bit of a TURN after that, as I dug deeper into my notepad of tricks.  I reported on the STALKER who stalks millions, analyzed two THINGS that kill writers, and played show & tell with my ridiculous iPOD.  I wrapped up the month-long torture session with a little ROMANCE and a little JUSTIFIABLE HOMICIDE.  I might do another novel-writing month someday, but I will NOT be doing another blog-post-a-day month.  That was spandiculous.

Mercifully, December has been too December-y to allow much writing, although I do like the post to which THIS LINK leads.  Also, despite having a smelly hobo in it, the post from CHRISTMAS EVE reminds us that we might be wrong when we give up on our attempts at redemption.

I've had a lot of fun here, this year.  Please continue to stop by and say hello, and to share my mostly harmless drivel with your friends.

'Til next time, then...