Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A Touch of Dyspepsia

It certainly seems that no matter how often I feel I am freezing my butt off, said butt never seems to diminish in any visible manner. Quite the contrary.

This thought occurs to me because I have risen a few hours ago at 4 a.m. to a house that seems colder than the hubs of hell. I am still on California time – and apparently still on expectation of California temperatures. The thermometer reads about 20, although my eyeballs are frozen so I can’t be sure of that. It is just getting to be that time of dawn when the snow looks blue. And so do I.

I actually lay awake for some time before arising and thought about things. One thing I thought about is the incredible annoyance of those fake words that I have to type on most people’s blogs in order to post a comment. I have no objection to typing the letters shown; what bugs me to the last nerve is that these letters are often displayed distorted in such a way that I can’t tell which letters are showing. This irritation is such that I am often tempted to change “What a darling little peachy-weachy!” in response to someone’s posted baby picture to “Somebody ought to smother that uggo in its crib”. Usually my mental response to the picture of any baby (including those of relatives whom I love dearly) is that it looks like a lump of Play-Doh with eyes.

One must be cautious about such “honesty”. I once made the mistake of giving my honest opinion of the attractiveness of persons who are visibly pregnant, and I thought the walls would crumble, such an uproar did ensue. And this from GUYS! I am sorry but every time some magazine (always aimed at female readers, I notice) publishes revealing photos of pregnant ladies, I am grossed out.

I am equally grossed out by sonograms. Has no one any sense of privacy (I hardly dare say “decency”) any more? Jeez Louise! A perfect world for me would be one in which children were presented in public for the first time about the time they begin to resemble something recognizably human. Recognizable, that is, to the beholder who is not terminally suffused with the ‘awww’ disability which renders folks incapable of actually seeing what these squashy little bundles of flab and wrinkles look like. It is bad enough seeing my own collection of flab and wrinkles without the sudden shock of rounding a corner or entering a room and being presented with something like that.

I returned to NY to find a snowman built on my deck and the interior of my house clean and decorated with Christmas tchotchkes. I haven’t been able to find anything I needed since my arrival, so thorough was the cleaning, but it sure is nice to come home to someplace that looks like the dwelling of`a person who has evolved beyond the ape stage of existence, that is, someone who does not live in Kansas where such an evolution is banned, I believe. I ought to invite someone to visit quick before I mess it up again, although since I had to cook something last night that ship may well have sailed.

I have noticed that ships sailing have been in the news rather a lot lately. Last night they were yammering on and on about some Mediterranean cruise which hit rough seas. Passengers were rather miffed, I gather, and most of them seemed to have spent the time holding up their telephones and taking pictures, when they might better have engaged in taking cover. I am looking forward to the day the news shows someone gasping out his or her last breath while a streetful of people, including the emergency responders, record the process on their cellphones. What is it with people? What the hell is the use of a bunch of pictures of people you don’t know undergoing some sort of disaster? I am totally down with the secret satisfaction of watching someone else get the pie in the face that should have been yours, but it seems a little crass to stand there taking pictures while he or she wipes the fruit filling out of his or her eyes.

Anyway, I was wondering why the hell people go on cruises in the first place. I personally would do it for the adventure. If I just want to lie in the sun, I’d save a thousand bucks and find a beach. If I want to get from point A to point B, I’d take a plane. For several thousand years, people have understood that venturing out to sea was a risky proposition. There was a time when one had no choice; there were no other methods available for crossing the wine-dark seas. But now there are options for safe and convenient crossings. I have been watching irate passengers complain that their vacation is ruined and so forth. How is it ruined? Now they have something interesting to talk about. Hasn’t anyone noticed that a tale of an uneventful voyage puts the listeners to sleep – or if they are lucky, to flight? "The food was so delicious!"  "The sun was so - well - sunny!"  Here is a rule of thumb, people: A picture of you on a deck chair is not interesting, but a picture of a deck chair on you IS.

One of the rough voyages that was featured in the news this past week was one to Antarctica which encountered very rough seas. Color me na├»ve, but I can’t come up with any scenario wherein I would embark on a voyage in frigid polar waters and expect smooth sailing. I am just saying, here. I suppose anyone daft enough to travel to Antarctica in the first place is daft enough to expect comfort. I imagine half of them are hoping to book lodgings at the five-star Ross Ice Shelf Sheraton.

Are you dreading the next six months of Kate and Wills overkill as much as I am? I did notice, though, in the official photo that came up every five seconds on my news program, that old Prince W seemed to have a very fixed smile, rather as if Kate were standing on his foot with her Manolo Blahniks. The ones with the stiletto heels.  I don't know why HE looks so pained - SHE's the one getting the balding guy.

Speaking of news overkill, am I the only one who thinks that the news media should ignore publicity hungry ideologues who use newsworthy occasions to get attention for their crackpottery? I see the fool that got all kinds of attention by threatening to burn some holy book or other has now been invited to London by some asshole or other. And don’t even get me going on the jerk that pickets any funeral which will get him more than two lines of news coverage. I do have to say, though, that anyone who gets that hysterical on the topic of homosexuals must be fighting pretty hard to keep his hands off any pretty young man who walks by. Whyever else would he care so much?

Those of you who do not live in the brackish backwaters of Northern California, and thus might have missed the news from that quarter, might like to be aware that the world is scheduled to end (or the End Times to begin, or whatever) this coming May on, if I remember correctly, the 20th. Round about then, anyway. This is a heads up for those who thought they had until 2012 when the Mayans calendar runs out to prepare for the end. Those wishing to divest themselves of their worldly belongings in order to purify their lives in preparation are invited to contact me to receive convenient shipping instructions for any automotive, gold or electronic non-necessities of which they may wish to dispose.

And now the day is upon me – whatever shall I do with it?


  1. To me, every new baby has a distinct resemblance to Edward G Robinson. Take another look, David, do you see it? Man, he's secretly fathered a trillion babies and no one has caught on yet!
    (Uh oh, you might hear a real barrage of comments from Kansas, and I'm going to duck behind a chair)
    I do have an issue with people snapping shot after shot with any camera, cell phone or not, at the sight of some tragedy or other. Something draws people to oogle things like that and really, it makes me sick. It always goes way past that and on to the news where they, too, can't wait to hit the zoom button so that everyone can get a better look at the carnage and destruction of others. What really gets me is the "question" always asked of someone in complete emotional pain, "How did you feel when you found out your children were dead..." Disgusting, and what kind of idiot even agrees to ask such a question? I don't get it at all. I don't like the pain of any such thing milked for all it's worth; worse is hearing that the rating climbed because of it. Jaded, totally jaded is what so many have become. Maybe this "end" of the world really is coming, but I don't think so and never did -- certainly not by any human's calculations, dream, or ancient calendar. I'll bet no one ever looked closely at the Mayan Calendar. If they had, they would have seen the small print (yep, even then) that said, "Turn over and start again. This is a Perpetual calendar".
    Will and Kate? We'll see. Cute couple though, you have to admit it. But bombardment of everything about them? Oh yeah, that's going to happen for sure, because as we all know, where there's a will, there's a way. Ok, shoot me now, lol. XXX

  2. Good post David, kept my attention from the very beginning to the end. Yes, new babies are not much to look at but to their parents and family, they are beyond beautiful.
    I have never watched Will and kate so I am not the least bit interested in what they do.
    People taking photos of disastrous events are trying to see who can be the first to post to you tube.
    I am glad you are back in NY so that you can enjoy the snow and cold like we are here in the midwest. LOL
    Keep on keepin' David. Love your posts.

  3. I loved your blog. Your inner "quirky" thoughts are what make your writing so entertaining! I have been trying to back track and read some your older writings as well, because I do enjoy is so much.

    I totally agree with those words we have to enter, I mean, I understand WHY, but I do NOT understand why they must try to trick us... Makes no sense, it is like they want you to get it wrong, and it really ticks me off when I get it wrong so many times it locks meout from trying to do what I wanted to because it thinks I am there will some evil plan to spam the site into oblivion or something. I did not implement that security measure on my comment section, maybe I should just to annoy people...

    Regarding your comment on my blog, thank you as always. I have come to feel like you are my online therapist! Which is great, I have always wanted one, and most certainly probably needed it, but never could afford it :-)

    Everything you say makes me think. Often after assessing it for a while, I come over to your side in agreement. And even in the instances i don't, I still realize your view is more rational than mine probably.

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  5. My, my, my, David...I spent two days making nice, puffy comforters for my two granddaughters' Christmas prezzies; had I any idea your poor butt was freezing, I'd have whipped one up for you.

    Comforter, that is. (Glad I caught that; people are so quick to assign meanings.)

    Speaking of assigning meanings--and missplaced attention--I've already wearied of the royal-watching taking place now that the new Arthur and Guinevere will tie the knot next year. Apparently American broadcasters assume everyone is all agog over the wedding.

    Me? I think the story only lacks a Sir Lancelot hiding in the wings somewhere, bonnie Prince Willy being unlovely as he is.

    That probably sounded pretty catty. Oh, well. I think you appreciate the honesty. Besides, this country fought a long, bloody war of revolution against The Crown in an effort to disentangle itself from royal despotage. This Yank resents fawning tv tabloid reporters shanghaiing my tv in order to cover the latest wedding developments from Buckingham Palace.

    It occurs to me that every celebrity couple who comtemplates marriage already knows they'll face paparazzi at every turn and scrutiny all along the way. I truly hope Katherine and William love each other, and I hope their love is strong enough to endure.

    I share your sentiments about the attention the media focused on recent events at sea it deemed noteworthy and decided I should, too.


    I'm supposed to feel sorry for cruises-gone-badly? Of course--I hate to see anyone in physical jeopardy, but whenever adults choose to take small children along into hazardous environs, my sympathy lies solely with the children.

    As one who has never seen an ocean, apart to portrayals of it in my favorite nautical movies ("Captain Horatio Hornblower"--with G. Peck, "Master and Commander, The Far Side Of The World", and others) my only experiece of the sea has been in my imagination--fortunately I have a pretty fair one. In each of the aforementioned films, at least one sequence features the ocean in all of her mighty wave-thrashing, tumultuous glory. That is more than enough for this lily-livered landlubber to eschew adventures there.

    As much as I love the idea of the sea and all the romance and adventure it entails, my perfect experience would have to be from the safety of a sunny beach--sapphire sky above, and ultramarine sea before.

    Here's just a little rant about civilians pointing cellphone cameras at unfortunate events then rushing off to share what they captured. I hate cellphone cameras for that reason alone, and cell phones in general for the state of disconnectedness they create in human society. One further rant about cellphonespeak: I cringe whenever I see people substituting a letter or a number for a word or part of a word...and everytime I see "LOL", I cringe.

    Ultrasounds and anything to do with young parenthood? I'm afraid that at this point in my life they're just not interesting topics for conversation; ditto celebrity scandals and "reality" programs on the telly.

    Now, go fix yourself a nice hot toddy, David, toss a fabulous movie in the DVD player, wrap up in a puffy comforter(pretend I made it for you), and forget that we have several months to wait until the weather warms up again.

    Me, I'm going to brew some hot chocolate and toss in an extravagance of marshmallows.

    Russell Crowe in "Master and Commander" is starting to sound pretty good, too.

  6. Caught a typo too late:

    "As one who has never seen an ocean, apart FROM portrayals of it in my favorite nautical movies."

    Drives me frickin' nuts.

  7. You know I love you, Marge, but I really have to ask you a question and I know you'll come back here anyway and see will David and he'll reply as well. As to "lol" and cringing, might I ask how, if I am writing something something playfully very sarcastic and mean no harm by it, just how would you know HOW I meant it unless I wrote "lol" after the sentence? You wouldn't know. You'd think I meant the sarcastic sentence. SO, my view is different than yours. Nuances cannot be heard by the tap on a key, only by the "sound" references afterwards. Boom. I rest my case :D
    (See? If I hadn't put the smiley thing there, you might think you'd made me angry; just sayin')

  8. I simply expressed an honest statement, Jenny, just as you did, and I stand by it.

  9. Gosh, and not even a little smile at the end. Shoot, I was hoping for at least that....


  10. I'm smiling as I write this, Jenny; how's that?

  11. Not bad, not bad. I might have to come over there and make you get the giggles though

  12. Oh, David--which naughty observation should I pick on first. This was such fun to read and it makes me think you're fighting boredom and vague discontent which is when you write the best, I think. Babies--the older I get the more delicious they get. Remember how people say to a cute baby "I could just eat you up." Well, I have no plan to ever do such a thing but I do find them all so delectable to look at (and get away from as soon as they start to cry or poop). I wish I could talk my kids into having some more, just for me. I've been on a couple cruises--it was okay except for those times when no land was visible anywhere. And now there are pirates! I wouldn't go on one nowadays. And NEVER to a cold place. And the end of the world thing--this WOULD happen to me--just when I've begun to occasionally have a good day.

  13. (To Jenny...How fast can you run? David will have to catch us first.)

    8 )

    (There's your smiley face.)

  14. Just hoping your panties aren't still bunched - though I happen to agree with more than 75% of your observations for the day.

    Worst idea ever: pregnant women, NUDE, in body paint on a magazine cover. Blech.

  15. Glad I came over here! Hey Jenny, hey Marge....Hi Dave!
    I really could not stop reading your blog. You had me at hello...LOL!! See marge an lol.
    My humor I dumb down with smileys and lol's and well what do I know.
    Hope you git warm. It is winter and it is darn cold here in Missourah.

  16. To all – I actually wrote clever and incisive responses to these comments two days ago (when there were several less) and of course, all went up in whatever the web equivalent of smoke is ere I published. So now I have to write my COMMENTS on Word and cut and paste – really, life is too damn hard. It took me two days to recover from the shock – but let’s see what will fit in here:
    JENNYD - Not only the LOOK of Edward G, but in far too many cases, the disposition! And I didn’t say Kansans, haven’t evolved; THEY did. I am just agreeing. As to such questions as, “How did you feel when your kid died?” I have noticed a disturbing number of people who seem to feel just fine, so long as they get maximal coverage. Not all, or even MOST, but I recall that some of the MOST distraught parents turned out to have perpetrated the deed themselves. It’s like the razor blades in Halloween treats – ALL of the known cases were where the parent or guardian put them there. It IS kind of odd that it is always only one kid, or one family of kids that end up getting them.
    As to LOL-ing when you are only kidding. Have a little faith in your readers. You are so sunny, I sometimes have to check my sugar levels, so I assume anything that seems crabby is kind of joking. If people take stuff seriously well, as the nun said, “F*** ‘em if they can’t take a joke!” In a way, LOL is patronizing, like “you are too dumb to get this.” And anyway, humor will always offend someone – that makes it twice as much fun.
    BETH – Not ALL parents are blindly enamored of their progeny (thank goodness). My brother Gary nicknamed his son “Weasel” in utero, and his two daughters were called Bubby (because she seemed always to be blowing snot bubbles) and Squeak, so named because as he said to Luke when the kid was about 2, “Can you imagine some poor guy being married to a voice like that?” And yep - lovin’ the snow!
    ONEGIRL – I have been on websites where the writing of the code words is so tricky that I have had to give up. I do NOT get why they can’t just print them clearly. As to my comments – everyone can see someone ELSE’s situation more clearly than his own. Which doesn’t make me right. But I can’t just say, “Attagirl!” when you have been thru what no child should ever endure. It bothers me that you feel you must make up to your siblings for horrors perpetrated by adults – or that you think ANY child of 10 can or should be the adult in a horrific family situation. I feel like I should respect your writing enough to really pay attention, and I have never yet paid attention to anything with my mouth shut and my fingers at rest. Thanks for the kind words, by the way.

    See below for the rest of my responses...

  17. MARGE –Where to begin? We are as one on ‘LOL’, although I confess to using ‘u r’ for you are when I am writing quickly, but never for such formal writing as a blog or the like. Like you, I kind of love English – all languages, really. I love how using one word instead of another changes the whole feel of something – or finding that there is a word for something, like ‘zarf’ for the holder into which you put a hot glass, or a disposable cup , or ‘fliggy’ for that state of half-up, half-flatness of a half-fledged chick or the modern hairstyle. Thanks for your ‘comforter’ thought – I guess, your thoughts can be considered ‘cold comfort’, eh?
    As far as sea voyages, I think the fun begins when they get rough. My best ever was a ferry ride to Ireland from Wales that got so rough that they cancelled all later trips that day. A woman who looked remarkably like the queen even unto the blue hat with upturned brim was sitting rigidly upright throughout, except for those few moments that she leaned tastefully forward and left and barfed her guts out, then returning to the vertical with an expression that seemed to say, “It wasn’t me!” Everybody except my brother and me got sick – there was barf everywhere – it was fabulous. I have done better than a hot toddy; I have bought two room heaters.

    FLOOZ – Pirates would be the BEST! One needs something to talk about – else one finds babies and kittens cropping up. And ‘except when they get out of sight of land’ – isn’t that the whole idea? Whatever do people go on cruises for? I LOVE how you assume that the entire Mayan Civilization (as well as god) have worked up this whole ‘end of the world’ gag just to annoy YOU! It made me laugh out loud – really. It is exactly the kind of thing that makes me love reading your blog.

    COLLEENQ – The panties are smoothed – and warmer. Yeah – ‘beautiful’ in a metaphorical sense does not translate into the photographic, and right there on the checkout stand where people like me can see it. Not cool.

    TOODIE – I am equally glad you came! And I don’t want to put on side, but Missourah can’t hold an icicle to NY when the latter rolls up its sleeves and gets down to business. I’ll concede, though, that you get better tornadoes.

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  19. Wow. This blog had so many sub-plots it was hard to keep up through the comments. Ha! [Sub-plot: I use ha! as it cannot be confused for anything else than a laugh. LOL, on the other hand can mean laughs, love, liver, language, or any other "L" word. However, it doesn't offend me for anyone else to use it.] I wouldn't take a cruise if you paid me because the word "cruise" immediately conjures up before & after pix of the Titanic. I classify babies with puppies and kittens...they're cute when they're little and only become tiresome when they get older. I do not apologize for being partial to any baby to whom I'm related. They really ARE superior to all other babies in existence. So, as things stand at this time:
    1) Didn't agree with much on original blog.
    2) Agreed with much on your comments to commentors.
    3) Amused by comments.
    4) Couldn't help but think how fun we'd all have together at an informal gathering.

  20. Er, David--maybe I should have used LOL after my comment about the end of the world, but I trusted you to know I was trying to be funny. Still, if I can get a laugh out of you . . I'll take that anyway I can get it.

  21. MIZANGIE - I am more comfortable with Ha! - probably a generational thing. LOL doesn't offend me, it is just that I feel I am reading along at college level and suddenly it's back to high school - LOL seems kind of teen-age. We'd probably wouldn't be able to get out of the room fast enough if we met. I long since have learned to separate work I love from the 'artist'. People in person are so very - um - flawed. When we write about our flaws they seem so much cuter. Like babies to whom we are related.

    FLOOZ - You did know I knew you were joking, didn't you? Or should I have used some 'just kidding' indicator? If I thought you MEANT it, it wouldn't have been funny, it would have been sad. And I wouldn't have laughed. I would have sent a warning note to the Mayans.

  22. Oh good. I should say that I borrowed that from an epitaph on a gravestone in a Norah Lofts book that I read many years ago. It's why I love her--she was stingy with the humor but dropped a jewel in every once in awhile.

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  24. (I removed my comment because I was concerned that you would think it was about you. It wasn't.

  25. JennyD - How we do worry! You misunderstand my massive ego if you think that I would assume that anything negative could be about me. And if it is positive and isn't about me, I assume the writer made a typo.

  26. It's Christmas, 2:22am here.
    Merry Christmas, David