372. Time Management

My time management is weak, my chronic blogetrics. Heck, if I did manage my time well, I would not blog my almost daily drivel, and then where would you be? Don’t answer that question. It could put me out of business and ruin my fragile elf esteem. (Growing up as an elf was traumatic until I had my ears done and started on a blogesterone regimen.)  Instead of blogging I would do my billing and prepare my taxes and write checks to folks who are waiting to be paid on time. Hold on a second… I forgot to write a check to my bookkeeper. Where’s a pen that works?  Stamp. Envelope. Alrightee, back to The Velvet Underground’s Greatest Hits.

Okay, where was I?  Yes, noodling seems to preoccupy my hours. Now let me justify that with this:  I don't cruise porn sites all day. No addictions beyond blogging and groundhog hunting in season. Harmless activities unless you are a groundhog or a blog aficionado with no taste or standards, i.e., an intellectual groundhog. Who on earth insults his own readers?  A guy with too much time on his hands, thasswhoo. Remember those Salvador Dali surrealistic paintings of melted watches and clocks?  That's me, except my time waste portraits would be served over steaming pasta, timeless timepieces like grilled oysters dripping over a mountain of buttered linguine. Now you're hungry for my world, right?  Oh, but the crown of time mismanagement weighs heavily on the King's head. It can literally crush a man with a weak neck. I've been hospitalized for collapsed neck syndrome twice now. I know, I make blogging look mindlessly easy, even trite, but do not try it at home without adult supervision, kids. It's like lifting weights without a spotter. The wrong run-on sentence, bench pressed inches from your throat, could slip away from you and asphyxiate you. (There's a great Scrabble word.)

I remember my neighbor Michael had a pet boa constrictor that slithered around his bedroom while he slept. I wondered how that would be if the boa ever got hungry for a snack while Michael was asleep or just too stoned to put up a fight. You see, Michael supplemented his sewage treatment plant income back then by dispensing medical marijuana without a license. If Slithers had swallowed him whole, how long could Michael have lived without water and air? I suppose if the snake started at his feet, Michael could technically have carried on for hours as the snake ingested him, all the way up to the White Afro he sported. Hmm, would Slithers later share that recipe in Martha Stewart’s Slow Cooked Meals for Constrictors? And what would she call it? Miss Slithers’ Meat Stick with Curly Frosting. Perhaps. Baked Caucasian Cauliflower? Michael was very pale.

I am a be’er as opposed to a doer. Doers are all about action and task completion. They work off lists and manage time as if they were dying, or at least billing by the minute. They tell you things like, “You’ll never get this hour back.” While that is true, it is also true that we don’t get any time back, whether we cure cancer or smoke another cigarette.  Be’ers often drink beers, which is not cannibalistic, though the nearly identical spelling might lead you near that conclusion’s neighborhood. That tiny apostrophe separates a human being from a brewed adult beverage, just barely. What? Did I hear a gasp of amazement coming from the frozen tundra of Blogland? Possibly from Das Kapital city, Wreck Ya Vick.

In Wreck Ya Vick idlers rumba along the cobblestoned Groucho and Karl Marx Boulevards drinking beer beneath the melted Dali clock in the town rhombus. Some smoke cigars while others merely use them as props. They say things to each other that have no conviction or urgency. They sing Dean Martin songs…

“When Marimba Rhythms start to play

Dance with me, make me sway

Like a lazy ocean hugs the shore

Hold me close, sway me more.”

However, unlike drooling Trump drones, they are not easily swayed. In fact, they are quite  politically savvy. Some say they like a man with an open mind. Pressed for details a man who wanted to remain nameless stated, “Because you can feel the breeze better.”

Bloglanders bounce their thick eyebrows and say ridiculous and funny things to each other all the day long.

“Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside a dog, it’s too dark to read.”

Even the paramedics get into the swing of things in Wreck Ya Vick. Why the other day an EMT was witnessed taking a man’s pulse at an accident scene. He uttered the imbecilic line,

“Either this man is dead, or my watch has stopped.”

Because it lies above the Arctic Circle, Blogland had many pristine ski slopes. They are pure and perfectly groomed because in Blogland we ski uphill. It’s a great cardio work out, like a big frozen treadmill. But it’s all free thanks to a freed proletariat.

The Mayor of Wreck Ya Vick is Michael Iceberg, a big fan of Groucho’s work. In his acceptance speech he concluded his remarks with this line,

“Those are my principles. If you don’t like them, I have others.” On marriage law he opined,

“Despite what the pundits claim, marriage is the chief cause of divorce.”

His Vice Mayor, Anthony Weiner, was unbowed and defiant in front of the press. He was heard to say,

“Women should be obscene and not heard.”

When asked about women’s rights, Mr. Weiner said,

“I like both sides of women… Lefts and rights.”

Police Chief Dick Cheney was also asked for his thoughts. He shared his dreams for Wreck Ya Vick.

“Last night I shot an elephant in my pajamas. How he got into my pajamas I’ll never know.”

Attorney General Bush Limbaugh was flustered when asked for his credentials. He said,

“You’ll be hearing from my attorney as soon as he graduates from law school.”

Finally, Director of Voyeurism, Bill Clinton summarized what all Wreck Ya Vickians hold true,

“I’ll dance with you till the cows come home, Hillary. Better yet, I’ll dance with the cows till you come home.”

Now don’t tell me I’ve nothin’ to do.

 

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150. Zebras and tattoos

Image result for napping workers picturesI could use a nap right now. It’s mid-heat wave and my seared brain is listening to Mozart over crickets chirping in the next room on my sound disguise machine from China via Walmart for $19.99 plus tax. The crickets are winning. I’m ready to go into heat hibernation to maintain homeostasis, which is legal in all 50 states now. Whoops, just slid over to Chuck Berry on Pandora. “School Days”… maybe the nap will have to be postponed. “Hail, Hail rock and roll”. A sleep deprived heat stroke seizure may erupt if… no wait, it’s Pink Martini playing “Hang on Little Tomato”. Just in the nick of time. Deep breath and let the ibuprofen get jiggy with my nerve endings. Ahhh yess. Much better. Just go with the crickets, Buddy Holly, zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

Sure, there are a thousand other things to be doing right now. Billing is my bane. Filing my fatality. Organizing my opium. Hmmm, what can I do to noodle around for a while until the next train of motivation pulls into my empty psychic station? Call my loved ones’ voicemails, that’s it. They’re never available directly. I don’t worry about them screening my calls. Should I?  Hmmmm. Texting is too cumbersome for me. I have only recently become comfortable typing on my laptop. Ahh, too much effort.

Image result for football referee pictures

I started with an odd title with the thought of trying to write into it. A challenge of sorts. What do zebras have in common with tattoos? How can they be in the same narrative or story? Well, the easiest combo would be a referee (aka zebra) with a noticeable tattoo. I’d have to work that slowly into the narrative, subtly having the sports teams come to recognize that the ref had a gang tattoo that indicated he was unable to be neutral in their contest. Remember the Titans comes to mind, where the refs were colluding with the redneck league directors and against Denzel Washington and the integrated T.C. Williams High School football team. Too easy. It’s all been done before.

Then, out of twisted neural pathways and melted motherboards came a scene from a Marx Brothers’ movie set on an ocean liner in the 1930’s. Black and white film flickers on a real old timey movie screen with smoke and dust in the projector’s light beam. There is a curly headed femme fatale in a compromising position with a Nazi double agent. A  gunshot explodes and the double agent falls to the floor of the storage room but pulls the top of the gorgeous woman’s dress with him, revealing a dragon fly tattoo on her left breast. Inspector Groucho and his horn blowing assistant Harpo enter like Kramer into Jerry’s apartment, urgently and much too familiar.

“Ah, young lady, what can I can do for you? Better yet, what can you do for me?”

“Sir, that cad was attempting to steal my virtue and the gun went off.”

“I see. That would  explain why he is lying here expiring. Sir, what is your story and was it worth it? I want all the gratuitous details.”

“Zee microfilm, eh, eh, eh. She has zeet.”

“My good man, I agree she has zeet and lots of zeet!!! And she shot you when you tried to get zeet.”

[Meanwhile the femme fatale slips a small vial into her bra, but Harpo sees her and blows his horn riotously.]

[ To Harpo] “Excuse me, what is zeet? I mean it?”

“Honk, honk, honk!!! ” he blows while pointing to the femme fatale’s bust.

“Not you too!!! Have you never seen a woman in a dress in distress? Well, most of a dress.”

“Honk, honk, honk, honk” Foot stomp three times, points to bra, smiles, nods and mimes lifting something small upward.

“Don’t be an animal. I’d never think of such a thing.”

[Turns to the dying double agent.]  “Now you, my good man. Where is the microfilm? ”

“In zee bra, zee bra.”Image result for zebra pictures

“Why that’s the silliest thing I’ve ever hurd. A zebra? Or a herd of zebras?”

[To Harpo] “Did you hear that?”

“Honk, honk.”

The femme fatale inches toward the doorway with her pistol cocked.

Groucho, “Now don’t go off half-cocked in your zeebra, Lady. I can see you in pictures, Kid. Small films, like micro film?”

“Mr. Inspector, do not mock me! I have another round in my pistol. If I kill you, the fool will be the only witness, and who will believe a foolish goose who honks?”

“I would.”

“But you’ll be dead.”

Harpo honks alarmingly. The femme fatale fires furiously but fails to find her marx. Groucho responds, “Now, as you were saying….”

She switches approaches and attempts to seduce Inspector Groucho. “Oh, Sir, can’t we find some common ground to lie upon together?”

“Now you’re talking, Kid.”

As she loosens her garments further, the dragonfly shudders a bit and the microfilm drops into Harpo’s outstretched horn.

The screen closes into a tight circle and blacks out.

Groucho from the darkness, “Holy Mozart, an entire flock of dragon flies.”

“Honk, Honk.”Image result for groucho marx pictures

6. meanwhile

I really like Pandora radio, the music genome project. It is very adaptive in the same way that obedience and trust are adaptive. Back in the days of vinyl, when lp’s cost $3-5 on sale and weighed part of a pound, I used to go to the record department of a discount store and purchase two lp’s per paycheck. For less than $10 I could walk out of the mall with an old Fleetwood Mac and a Joni Mitchell album for $8.47 plus Virginia sales tax. The record’s dust sleeve usually had pictures and/or lyrics on it. What a tactile and three dimensional deal!! But do the poundage math– fifty albums with covers and sleeves would weigh 25 to 30 pounds and take up an entire storage crate. (Heavy lyrics in those days, think Bob Dylan and Neil Young.)  Double and triple that…then pack it all to take along to college with your bulky stereo component system. You needed to room with body builders or engineering nerds to avoid death by portage.

So digital music compressed onto an i-pod or available for free on your laptop is like dying in the sixties and waking up in music heaven. St. Peter shows you two mouse clicks to all the music you could possibly ever listen to in another lifetime. It’s highly efficient and adaptive… much more for much less. Do you know how many times I carried crates of my beloved albums up and down staircases, in and out of ratty apartments and rental houses? Did I have a dolly? Are you serious? I was not that far sighted. I own one now but lack the desire to move anything with it. I suppose that’s how the life of materialism goes: Those who have no longer use or want the crap they have acquired; meanwhile those who have not want what the have’s have but don’t really want anymore. Call it Groucho Marxism cuz it makes little sense. Buy crap to store your crap in and security systems and insurance policies to protect the crap that you don’t use or really want any more.

But how are obedience and trust adaptive and efficient like digital music? Well, if you get your puppy to obey at 6 months of age, and its life expectancy is 12.5 years, you gain 12 years of an obedient dog that does not eat through your trash can or beg beneath the dinner table or poop in the closet of your guest bedroom. 12 years of guests not asking, “What’s that?” 12 years of uninterrupted dinners without slimed hands. 12 years of unmolested trash in your kitchen. What would you do with all that saved time?  ‘Get another puppy’ is just a smart ass answer! Shame on you for uttering it!

And trust is super adaptive. I trust the coffee shop barristas with my very life twice a day. I trust that they don’t poison me or spit in my latte. I don’t have to have a cupbearer and food taster at the weekly Coffee Summit, thus cutting payroll expenses. When I go to the bank, I don’t have to check and recheck my balances or ask them to show me “my” money whenever fear rises up in me like Glenn Beck with meningitis. Trust is that comforting feeling that it’s okay. I dont’ need to check the locks or the electric meter or my car’s speedometer.  Without trust I’d spend 26 hours a day making sure that everything was tight, right, even, symmetric, just, fair, clean, pure, etc.  And, of course, I’d never be able to do anything but stay in that OCD loop of checking and rechecking, because my speedometer or electric meter might just be askew today even if it was precise yesterday. Wow, it’s tiring just to type out that example.

Remind me to tell you about the gas explosion in another installment.