When I reflect on it, I probably didn't choose the best time in the world to start a (insert name other than blog here). I started this thing on what? Monday? and on Tuesday, Girlygirl (the wife, natch) went in for spinal surgery*. This has not exactly left me a lot of free time for writing. Luckily, I can do a little here and there during the workday.
*This wasn't like emergency surgery or anything, so it wasn't totally traumatic, and the doctor's pretty chuffed about the results, so it's all good.
So surgery. It's pretty heavy stuff. I'm still amazed at how wiped out Girlygirl is, even after a couple of days. Plainly anaesthesia is hard on you, pain is hard on you and recovering from this intentionally inflicted "injury" itself is hard on you. She's been tough about it, but it's obvious it's a lot of work just getting through the day.
On top of that, I have a new respect for the damaging effects of stress--since I started working at my current job (been here six years), I've almost forgotten what stress is like. In my previous job, stress was standard equipment--work 55-60 hours a week, always on deadlines, usually under the requirement to do something on the order of making it both cold and hot, outdoors, at the same time. Luckily, the compensation and recognition made it all worthwhile. OK--I made that last bit up. I was so woefully underpaid that when I changed jobs I received a 40% pay increase, all while my new employer felt he was getting a good deal. And I (and my coworkers in the art/design department) were totally appreciated only if appreciation can take the form of complaints about the generally low quality of miracles we performed, or of marking up a finished, printed (usually already mailed or distributed) piece and bringing it to us for correction (after this person had blithely not raised a fucking finger to look it over before printing). Idiots.
Umm, where was I? Oh yeah, stress. Back in the bad old days, stress was pretty much the theme of the day, every day. My digestion was a mess, I was tired all the time, and couldn't sleep well. With the change in jobs came a change in pretty much every other aspect of my working life, all for the better, and the stress went away.
With the Girly in surgery and in the hospital and generally needing looking after once she got home, I've had a crash course in stress. It's nothing to me to look after her as much as she wants/needs--I'm happy to do it to make her more comfortable (I don't imagine for a second that my issues are even close to her suffering). I just notice that the little signals of stress are reappearing around the edges, even as I've been mostly unaware of it on a conscious level. I reckon as long as the stress doesn't take over my GI tract like in the past, I'll be OK.
I think this weekend will be a real turning point for her in terms of self-sufficiency, and I think the stress will go away with it.
Damn, am I a fucking whiner or what? I think I'm probably going to be a lot more entertaining when I'm less sleepy. The caffeine does a lot for me, especially since I avoid the stuff most of the time (the better to abuse it when necessary), but it doesn't make my eyes see any better--just props them open wider.
I have decided that it's imperative that I find another thing to call this other than a blog. I've just seen too many instances lately of corporate entities labeling any page that's updated daily a blog, with the postings completely unattributed (presumably because they're just rehashed press releases or propaganda being posted by some nameless drone). As I understand it, that's not a blog. I expect to not only get a little of the flavor of the actual individual doing the posting, I expect some analysis or commentary, not just cheerleading for some corporation, TV station or magazine.
But since they will undoubtedly persist in misnaming their product in an effort to somehow ride on the credibility coattails of "real" bloggers, I guess I'd better change what I call mine in an effort to avoid confusion and deny them any chance to hog my spotlight (once said spotlight swings over to my tiny, WAAAAY upstage mark).
Trouble is, I don't yet know what to call this thing. 'Spect I'll have to sleep on it or something.
It would probably be really cool to find out just what's driven all those masses of people out there to start a blog. OK, it would probably be about as much fun as hearing what recurring thought drove someone into therapy (Cindy Crawford's mole is actually a parasite, and it's coming for me next), or maybe hearing them take a stab at describing a dream they once had.*
Still, I think there's probably a great idea or perhaps desperation with "all those idiots out there" behind most blogs, and it might be fun to know at least the better ones. I am, of course, not thinking of the "what-my-kids-did-this-week-and-where-I-went-on-a-business-trip-without-telling-you-what-could-possibly-be-interesting-about-that" kind of blogs. Those bloggers can keep their motivations to themselves, though to be honest, it's probably a lot less obvious what their hot button is--at least to me, seeing as how I spend most of my time when I happen to misfortune upon (awkward use, I know, but it's from the heart) one of their blogs thinking, and occasionally blurting, "What they hell was this guy thinking? Who'd want to read that?"
*I can't say I really agree with this "blogger's truism" about dreams. While I understand that the hamfisted attempts most people make to put an essentially non-narrative form into text leaves a bit to be desired, and that any dream, like guitar feedback, is "more fun to play than it is to listen to," I think there's room in the world for entertaining dream-recounting. Knowing how unpopular this practice is in the world of writers and editors, I'll probably refrain for the most part, and present heavily-edited versions when I feel it's entirely necessary. Lengthy digressions, on the other hand, will be commonplace, I'm sure.
Anyhoo, that's all a very long preface to my laying out what's driven me to blog. This is not my first pass at blogdom, but it is my first stab at sustaining my own personal blog. My wife and I, in desperation over "those idiots out there," decided to do a blog that would foist our political views on others. It quickly became apparent that my style is to spend a lot less time on political issues (in terms of blogging) than on personal issues, and as she is much more prolific, and a good deal funnier on such things, I decided to sort of bow out of that endeavor pretty early on. Her blog (oinkment, see right) is supposed to be a glass of cold water in the face of a sleeping nation, whereas I've always gone for the bowl of warm water to put the sleeping nation's hand in.
So I was out of the blog business pretty much as fast as I got in. Still, just having started to think about writing on a regular basis opened my mind to the possibility, so the idea stayed way in the musty back of my mind along with the comic books in plastic bags, Judas Priest albums and "Keep on Truckin'" T-shirts*. Eventually, the weight of really clever, but unshared, observations just pushed me over the edge, and into my own blog.
*See how musty? My, but we are clever. Ugh. Goodness, I have to work on my prose--they say that simile and metaphor add spice, but I can't even get them to add mustiness.
The straw that broke this particular camel's back? The earth-shattering observation that a whole lot of Americans (and even more "merkuns") will probably wake up on April 16th feeling a lot less rosy about President Bush's supposed tax cuts than maybe they do now. After all, the day before, they will have just handed in their Federal taxes, having seen first hand just how much those tax cuts were actually putting money in their pockets. I think pretty much everybody who thinks about such things knows that's not going to be much money at all, and after State taxes, people are really going to be burning to know, "Hey! What the fuck? Where's my big tax refund this year?" If the press is even slightly on the ball, they could have a field day standing around the post office at 11 pm on the 15th, letting the exiting taxpayers write their copy for them, and possibly Bush's epitaph to boot. On April 16th, Georgie Porgie may answer the door to the White House residence and find a burning paper bag. He's gonna have to stomp it out, but he's gonna track the shit all through his house.
So that's why I'm here. Yeah, I know--"What the hell is this guy thinking? Who'd want to read that?," but as you can probably tell, I'm just crammed full of other wit and insight to share with you. So we march on, my hapless victims.
Well, here we are with the first post on a new blog. Since I'm still setting things up, I'm not going to waste my precious, precious bandwidth writing anything just now. While I'm sure this post will be held up in "we knew him when" reminiscences among my couple of fans months down the road, I just can't be fucked to work too hard on something when I can't even yet tell what it will look like. Perhaps that will only make the fans feel more "inside" when they talk fondly of the pointless first post on this (likely) pointless blog.