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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Randomized Ruminating a la Mode

Things I've attempted to ponder so you hopefully won't need to...

Whenever I jot down a note, I make sure to carefully preface it with the words "Note to self:". That way, I won't think that it was a note to someone else, because sometimes I'll be thumbing through my notes and I'll think, "Who did I write this for?"

Partial honesty technically contains honesty, and it isn't such a bad policy either. If I dent someone's car in a parking lot, I dutifully put a note on their windshield with the name and phone number of a co-worker. I like bringing people together.

Athletes commonly employ the philosophical device of tautology within their interpretive analysis of sporting results. When asked why they lost a contest, invariably they thoughtfully conclude "We just didn't make the plays." This paucity of substantive depth to their analysis is itself a contributing factor in their inability to attain victory, turning the very process of the contest into its own form of self-referential rhetoric.

Don't take this statement literally. Take it figuratively, and that way when I say to not take it literally, you actually will take it literally, because you were taking it figuratively. But if I'm telling you to take it figuratively and you literally take it figuratively, you're still not following my request. Therefore you have to not be serious about following my request in order to follow it. I do this all the time with my kids, by the way.

Anytime outlaws were on the wanted list in the old days, the posters said either "Wanted: Dead or Alive" or "Wanted: Alive," but I don't ever recall seeing any that said just "Wanted: Dead." Whenever they didn't care if they were dead, they would still leave the option up to the captor, which I thought was a rather generous gesture. Yeah, kill 'em if you want, but I'm not too particular...

You don't have to get up all that early in the morning to fool me, because I'm still asleep then. On weekends, I can still be fooled up until 9:30 a.m. And you usually have some extra time between the time I wake up and when I eat breakfast to continue having me fooled. But at night, ah... that's when it's hardest to fool me. You have to go to bed pret-ty late in the evening to fool me.

The kids went to bed a couple hours ago so that Christmas would come sooner for them. A night of sleeping to those who are sleeping seems like about 15 minutes, give or take a few R.E.M.'s or UB40's. So if they went to sleep 2 hours ago, for them it's already Christmas. But if I go in and wake them up right now at midnight, then they go backward in time to now. Although if I stay up later every night, they might be seven years ahead of me anyway.

People sometimes say they are alive and well, when if they merely said 'well', we could infer the rest. They could be alive and not well, or not alive and not well (which would be more difficult to announce), or alive and well. The only one with well also has alive, so it doesn't take a nuclear physicist specializing in anthropology to make the deductions. As Henry David Cornelius James Thoreau said, "Simplify 3x."

A faux pas is about the worst thing you could do in social situations. Try to avoid them at all costs. The social situations, that is. If you don't get near the faux pas, you won't get burned — although a flood will probably wash you away anyway.

Cleaning is working on an ideal. Closer inspection reveals it's not how clean your surroundings are that makes you happy, but how well you can adapt to your surroundings. Don't try to make things cleaner — just enjoy whatever mess you find yourself in. The real cleanliness is simply a state of mind. After all, the universe keeps wanting to revert back toward chaos. It's trying to tell us something valuable.

If we didn't have any itches, then it would kind of take the fun out of scratching, wouldn't it? That's why we ought not revile the itch, but rather capitalize on it and use it to our advantage. Itches are our friends.

I can never tell whether someone is talking in paragraphs, or just sentences. What's the equivalent of a carriage return in speech? And don't they also have to indent the first line? It's very difficult to detect. I mean, sure, they pause here and there, but a pause could also indicate a new stanza, act, or chapter. I tried OCR-ing someone yesterday, and for some reason they got mad.

None of us really has an exact shoe size, even if you include halves. We're all somewhere between two half-sizes. This is rather upsetting to me. I spent about 70 million brain cells thinking about this, although I think they're the kind that are renewable, so I have that going for me.

Our dreams are reflections of our capacity to see beyond the mundane aspects we find in the here and now, to emerge from the grasps of the billowing tide and become airborne as a fugitive in free flight, oblivious to the surrounding elements which would drag us down without freeing ourselves from the beleaguering shackles of rampant pragmatism.

It's easier to tell the truth than to try to cover up a lie with more lies, but then I'm always up for a good challenge. I was raised on the premise that you shouldn't try to take the easy way out.

The mouse in the bathroom this morning was quite startled to see me come in, but I was even more startled to see the mouse. After all, it is a people house, so they should've been expecting me.

The way we learn the meanings of words is from other words we already know the meaning of, or by hearing them in context with words we already know the meaning of, and so ultimately by direct experience. This being the case, how do we directly experience any abstract concepts?

For some reason, after waking up this morning I feel like I can conquer the world... Although that coincides with an expectation that the world will be acting very French today.

And with a wisp, the fabric of their lives became a veritable monument to the transitory notions they had envisioned through once hazy lenses — some parts lackluster and otherwise incomplete, meant as tokens that happenstance is the first order of an untenable outcome.

After all these years I finally got my second wind, and now I don't know what to do with it. I suppose I could exhale, but then that would be rather anticlimactic.

When someone challenges you regarding what difference something makes, ask them what difference it makes to them that you think it makes a difference. Anytime the pursuit of learning is criticized in favor of supposedly not wasting brain cells, know that you can always defeat their attempts at dumbing down by using simple reason. Indifference is never a defense.

If I could just get through today, then I'll have another day after that to get through. And if I can get through that day, then I'll have another day after that to get through. But after that, I'm pretty sure I can coast.

Rusty Southwick incognito, quoting Albert Schweitzer, who was reading an excerpt from B.F. Skinner citing a George Orwell novel where the protagonist takes on the dual persona of Robert Mitchum and Elliott Gould, compared the phenomenon to a Mario Cuomo oratory where his faithful ventriloquist named Leonard does an impersonation of Peter Sellers lip-synching to an old Mel Torme song, with Jerry Mathers as the Beaver.

What does it say about the state of relationships that in the entertainment media which reflects life, one of the most prevalent forms of movie themes is the romantic comedy? Having an entire genre devoted to this topic of satirizing the sentimental is a curious sort of commentary on how it functions.

I don't think anything famous was ever said with a mouthful of food. Not absolutely certain about that, though. Anyone know if Confucius was a snacker?

What's with the passionate wedding announcement photos these days? We kind of figured you liked each other since you decided to get hitched and all, but you don't have to go and rub our noses in it...

Our three-year-old has been saying some of the cutest things lately. Wait a minute, it's a midget in disguise. I wonder how long this has been going on?

Only two precious hours remaining in the weekend. Monday is ominously lurking around the corner, but I've got a plan. If I end up splitting myself across multiple dimensions, then that will be an indication it didn't work.

I was just realizing there's toe-tapping music, finger-snapping music, hand-clapping music, knee-slapping music, hip-swaying music, arm-waving music, heel-clicking music, foot-stomping music, chest-thumping music, and head-banging music. It's a wonder there aren't more music-related injuries... I think I'll stay where it's safe with the mind-bending music.

Cell phone usage is sold in minutes instead of hours. because 1800 minutes sounds like a lot more than a measly 30 hours. By the way, I figured out that my car gets 1,584,000 inches per gallon, which is actually quite good. I'd never realized I could go a million and a half inches on only three dollars of gas. I'll have to revise my travel plans now.

Women take pride in being able to ask directions better than men, which is also probably why there weren't very many women explorers that we know about. It's because they got lost looking for somebody to ask. Meanwhile, Lewis and Clark were all over it.

Mixed metaphors are one thing, but compound metaphors, on the other hand, bring greater emphasis instead of obfuscating. Grasping at the last straw in a haystack that broke the camel's back can drill the point home even further, as well as be more memorable. And this is only scratching the tip of the iceberg.

Crisis averted... Bring on the next one. C'mon, bring it on! ... Oh, and I'll have a side of sautéed mushrooms with that also if you don't mind.

What's that word....... it's not angst... it's not bedlam... it's not furor... it's not spelunking... it's not lugubrious... it's not chutzpah... it's not verklempt... it's not rococo... it's not pheromones... it's not farcical... (I figure through the process of elimination I'll eventually get there) ... it's not angioplasty... it's not wunderkind... (please join in at your leisure) ... it's not isthmus...

Did you ever see that Scooby-Doo episode where these people are disguising themselves as paranormals to try to scare people away from a place that contains a secret treasure, Shaggy and Scoob do a musical montage in the middle with the paranormals, and then the perpetrators' masks get taken off at the end and their true identities are revealed? I loved that episode...

I'm not writing specifically to anyone in the present, but you can read along if you want. This is for future generations who pull up these scrolls. Be it known I've been more of a conscientious objector here... although yelling "I object" would get me kicked out of my social groups, so I have to pick my battles, and I've chosen Bull Run and Chickasaw Bayou. It will make more sense as the pieces come together.

There are many things that are warning signs... sirens, horns, flashing lights, yellow tape, beeping, fences, smoke, exclamation points, skull & crossbones, barking, the color red, alarms, nutrition labels, surgeon general's messages, circles with diagonal lines through them, and the hazardous waste symbol.

As we embark on a new year, may we all have the fortitude to not only accomplish what's laid out before us, but to do so with our own personal touch, so that people will know it was us and be glad of it. And if you can't make your own mark, then train a surrogate to mimic you well.


Alison said...

Not bullet points... but I like it. I like it a lot.

Jeff Crandall said...

Offftah! What an enjoyable ride through your mind. Always a delight!

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