This blog is officially "retired," but my other blog,
"The Lair of the Silver Fox," is still open for business!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Crisis on Earth-RantZ, or, "Let's Get Serious (Mostly)!"



I wouldn't be surprised if, sometime while you're reading today's ultra-long example of self-indulgence, you get bored and I "lose" you. And frankly, I'm okay with that. I think I'm writing this one pretty much for myself anyway, truth be told.

And if you want and/or expect me to get to the point in a relatively brisk manner...

Hello! You're
new here, aren't you?

* * * * *

"Turn Around, Bright Eyes!"

As do a lot of people, around the time I reached my middle twenties, I started developing nostalgic feelings for my childhood. I actually had a pretty good time as a little boy.

My parents bought me almost all the toys that I wanted when I was a little spud. How cool is that?

I greatly enjoyed the TV shows which I chose to watch and the comic books and "real" books which I chose to read. I had a field and a huge hill as a playground, and a lack of neighbors which insured that most of my outdoor playtime consisted of my exercising my imagination.

I was a good student, although admittedly lazy. Too many assignments during my high school years earned a "B" when they would have gotten an "A" or an "A-minus" if I hadn't begun them the night before they were due.

In retrospect, whatever "problems" I had during grammar school were because of occasional episodes with bullies, or one third grade teacher who was -- even looking back objectively -- one serious f**king bitch. "Miss Cahill" would be around 70-75 today, if she's still alive. Yet if I were ever to meet her again, I'd probably give in to the devilish urge to kick her cane out from under her and laugh like a freakin' maniac as her ancient, withered form sprawled on the sidewalk or, better yet, in the gutter.

(But don't get me wrong, I'm not bitter or anything...)

Of course, although they claim that hindsight is 20-20, our younger days are often viewed through rose-tinted lenses, as the saying goes. Scientific studies have claimed that our minds process negative thoughts differently at different ages. Or maybe it's just that whatever problems you dealt with then -- outside of those that are truly traumatic and damaging -- don't seem as important as whatever you may be facing now. Those you're facing now are right "in your face," but the pain that exists in your distant memories is far-enough removed to seem lesser in nature. It's one thing to say "When I was seven, I broke my leg, and boy, did it hurt!" However, recalling that doesn't make you actually feel that pain again, does it?

From the time I was nine or ten or so, on any night that wasn't a so-called school night, I had no assigned bedtime. I could stay up until three in the morning -- or even later when we moved to a location with such a high altitude that my Massachusetts home could pick up late-night broadcasts from one or two New York stations, which never signed off! -- watching horror flicks and other classic films on TV! Too cool!!!

Anyhoo, after spending twenty-five years or more looking fondly back at my pre-adolescence, I suppose it was inevitable that I'd eventually progress to the point where I would become fixated on the period of my late adolescence. My high school years, and shortly thereafter.

For me, that would be the period when -- in no exact order -- I started drinking beer, entered the work force, started fu dating, bought my first car, and did enough informal research into the history of comic books (and comic strips) to realize that there might actually be some real money in those yellowed, old, saddle-stapled paper pamphlets.

And I found this in a bookstore somewhere circa 1972-1973:

(Overstreet? Never heard of him! But after having read this little baby, I knew I'd be able to keep up with the relatively-new comic book back issue market and be a multi-kazillionaire before I hit thirty! How could I miss? The thing had the word "official" right in the title! If I recall correctly, they even predicted that golden age comic book prices should show a steady increase of about 5% per year. That sounds about right. So, a mint condition Action Comics #1 ought to be worth somewhere around fifteen or sixteen thousand dollars today? Wow! I sure wish I had two or three perfect copies to sell at that price!)

So. That's what's been going on in my head for the past few months. I've indeed been looking back at my high school years, especially the latter part of my high school years.

I suppose it started when I re-lived my Labonte's Supermarket days in the first three chapters or so of My Island.

My multi-part story about the creation of my "Aero" character (on my "Lair of the Silver Fox" blog) figures into the mix as well, seeing how -- as I mentioned in passing -- the entire series was actually a flashback from the night of Charlie "Aero" Farrell's 1974 senior prom!

More recently, my little reminiscence last December 31st about my having been a big fan of John Denver in the mid-1970s helped, too, as did telling the story of my high school creation of OHO!

Of course, all of this "looking fondly back" that I've been doing has only been intensified by the fact that last year, 2008, started off relatively well for yours truly, but more or less turned to shit in short order, in several respects. Oh, woe is me, and all that crapola.

* * * * *

"A Jaded Faded Mandarin"

As I've stated so many times before that you're probably getting sick of it, before "David'Z RantZ" found a home on Blogger, I had a sporadically-updated blog -- named, oddly enough, "David'Z RantZ" -- on a site called Diaryland. I was constantly allowing the pressures of the real world (and a brain-draining "Crappy Day Job") to intrude on my creative time, and sometimes weeks or even months would go by without a post. In roughly five years, I posted less than sixty RantZ. The last couple of years in particular on that site were really a joke, in terms of keeping the blog current.

After leaving the Crappy Day Job, I realized I'd have more time to write, and so I moved to Blogger, where I'd be able to put advertisements on my blog page. I mean, even those of us who aren't all that mercenary would love it if our internet presences generated some sort of income, right?

Visit most blogs, or browse a bunch of websites, or even check most email accounts, and you'll see all kinds of ads.

I'm no exception. My webpages have all sorts of banner ads for Google-sponsored AdSense links, and Amazon links, and other, similar links... And I know these things pay off, because I've made almost fourteen dollars from them since February of last year!

Anyway, to say that my blogging presence has increased would be a gross understatement. During the past year alone on Blogger, between "David'Z RantZ," "The Lair of the Silver Fox," and October's short-lived "joke" blog ("The New David'Z RantZ"), I've posted well over 200 entries. Granted, a few of them were "recycled" from the Diaryland version of "David'Z RantZ," but even those were usually edited and/or expanded somewhat.

Some of the entries in question were admittedly "phoned in" -- I can think of a handful which consisted of little more than an embedded video and a "Thanks for your time" -- but recently, I'd felt that the overall quality of this blog had been suffering. I'd also catch myself "buying time" by posting little "quickie" posts here while devoting more serious writing time to entries for "The Lair of the Silver Fox."

Lately, too, I seemed to be constantly referencing my earlier posts via links, which was not only lazy expedient, but was also right on the verge of redundancy, in my opinion.

It's not just me saying this, either. My cat, Orson, has noticed it, too, remember? And I'm sure he wasn't alone in feeling this way... but he was the only one who's had the cojones -- which is rather odd, because he's been neutered -- to tell me that this blog, and perhaps the other one as well, had been going downhill.

Or maybe the rest of you were just being nice? Yeah, that's more likely the case.

However, just for the record, today makes three full weeks of daily David'Z RantZ posts. I did it mainly to prove to myself more than anyone that I still "had it." And I've been fairly pleased with the lot.

Having said that... You wanna know something else? The internet in general just ain't what it used to be lately, it seems. Not to me. And it seems like a lot of other Blogger-bloggers have felt the same way, although none of them that I read regularly have been as introspective as I have and actually mentioned it.

Additionally, there's the fact that I have too much to do lately outside of endless hours of web surfing.

That "too much to do" includes tackling an apartment I've often described as looking like the warehouse in the final scene of Raiders of the Lost Ark. I have an abundance of shit collectible treasures which need to be catalogued and sold off... and the fact that the economy is more than a tad shaky right now, which may mean that some of my stuff will go for less than it should, doesn't really bother me. My investment in most of this stuff was made years ago.

I have enough medical issues going on right now to make me give serious thought to the fact that if something happens to me, some poor bastard could get stuck going through literally dozens of boxes looking at item after item, saying "Is this thing actually valuable, or is it something virtually worthless that he kept just because he thought it was cool?" I wouldn't wish that on anybody.

So I've been organizing collectibles (and tons of paperwork, too), deciding what to sell, and throwing and/or giving lots of stuff away.

Before disposing of certain books, records, and videotapes, however, I also need to find the time to read, listen to, or watch them, respectively, for once and for all.

Plus, of course, I've been spending more and more time taking care of my mother. You know, stupid, inconsequential stuff like coordinating her doctors' appointments, reading legal correspondence that her eyes are no longer good enough to read, keeping her checkbook balanced, organizing her 47 daily medications, and doing shopping errands for trivialities such as... well... food, for example. I mean, this is getting kinda ridiculous. The woman's going to be 92 next October. You'd think that by now, she would have developed some kind of independence, right?

Anyway, all of the above means much less time on the internet. That's my goal. And since I gave up watching regularly-broadcast TV shows several months ago, I'll have time to catch up on the things I mentioned two paragraphs ago.

It also means that the blog you're reading will officially take a back (farrrr back!) seat to "The Lair of the Silver Fox," once I revive that blog any day now (probably on April 1st, just to be a smartass). I still plan on posting there at least once a week.

I guess I kinda/sorta lulled y'all into a false sense of security by posting so much lately, eh? For the past couple of weeks, I've had about ten RantZ written & scheduled ahead, at any given time.

So. From now on, fewer RantZ.

Okay, practically no RantZ.

I'm about "RantZ'd Out," actually. It's certainly not that everything in my life is sunshine, lollipops and rainbows. Oh, hell no. There's just less than I have to rant about publicly, accent on "publicly."

Again, I'm not stopping "David'Z RantZ." Well... not completely. David'Z RantZ is just going on hiatus. And hopefully, that won't be as fatal as it tends to be whenever they apply that term to a TV show.

I know, I know. This isn't the first time I've said that I'll be cutting down. However...

(UPDATE, May 6th, 2011: The "sequel" to this post can be found here, fellow babies!)

* * * * *

One More Thing -- like I needed one -- to Keep Me Occupied

So, what do "Turn Around, Bright Eyes!" and "A Jaded Faded Mandarin" have in common, besides the fact that they're both lines from songs? (And if you can name both of those songs, you'll win... well... absolutely nothing. But I'll think you're kinda cool.)

In addition to those things mentioned and not mentioned above as far as things I need to do or would rather do than "David'Z RantZ," there is one other thing, something that I began back in my junior or senior year of high school that I'd like to try again. And this time, damnit, maybe I can get it right.

As far as what that "something" is... Well, as the saying goes... "That would be telling."

(I can't believe I just wrote that! Actually, I've always hated the smugness of that non-answer of an answer. "That would be telling!" "Well, no shit, Sherlock! That is pretty much the reason I asked the question in the first place, you moron!")

I may tell you later, of course. In fact, if this "something" works, or even if it doesn't, it might just make a great little anecdote!

But not here.

In fact... I'll probably post it on "The Lair of the Silver Fox!"

Heh.

Thanks for your time. And for being my sounding board, if you made it this far. Cuz iffen ya did... Yer one of the good ones.

11 comments:

Sparkle Plenty said...

ChangeZ are good, and I'll look forward to checking The Silver Fox's den out.

It kinda seems like this blog has served its purpose--for the moment, anyway--getting your writing flowing? Anyhoo: Thanks for all of the great laughs here.

And, just a really big thanks and congratulations for sharing your "My Island" story here. As a fellow writer, I salute the effort that took. And, to remind you: Your audience here was really engaged, enthralled, and on the edges of their seats throughout the whole thing. You can't ask for much more as a writer (well, of course, the millions and the island off the coast of Maine are always cool--but in terms of writerly impact...WAY TO GO!).

blunoz said...

You didn't "lose" me on this one David. I say don't sweat cutting back. I read somewhere on the 'net some pointers on blogging that talked about having a regular rhythm or periodicity so that your readers could count on having a new post to read - daily or weekly or biweekly or whatever. Personally, I don't buy it. I don't subscribe to the post-just-for-the-sake-of-posting-something-on-your-self-imposed-timeline philosophy. You pointed out yourself that you resorted to a few "phone-ins" of just posting a YouTube video. If you were to ask me (which you didn't, but I'm gonna tell you anyway), quality is more important than quantity, and anyone who uses an RSS feed will easily be able to tell when you've posted something new. As for me, I look forward to reading what you have to say when the muse strikes you, because you're a very talented writer. I'm sorry to hear things have not been going so well and that "life" is getting in the way of your internet browsing time ;-). Keep your chin up, I'll be praying for you.

Cake said...

I started reading this yesterday and finished today...does that still make me one of the good ones? Please?

p.s.
Do the odd post here...RantZ are good. And I'd hate to have to add more rantz to my blog just to fill the gap.

p.p.s.
Good luck with everything you have going on...*passes the infrastructure*

Errrr...

::passes the infrastructure::

cousin saul said...

David,
Slacker!

Kathy said...

Taking a break....working on other projects.....harumph.
Get bk to work. As a serial lurker and a serious slacker, not having DZRZ on my daily TODO will seriously impact my life.

yeah. yeah. i know this is about you (but I'd like to think everything is really all about me).
life
just
won't
be
the
same

sniff

The Silver Fox said...

Ishat: Yup.

Sparkle: "As a fellow writer... " Well, you're definitely a [damned good] writer, but "fellow?" Nahhhh, you'd never pass the physical. Anyway, thanks for all the kind comments. (But you still can't have the Dick Tracy ring yet.)

Blunoz: Well-thought-out comments, as always. Hope I don't disappoint you on the other blog.

Cake: You'll always be one of the good ones. And all my posts here are "odd," aren't they? Oh, that's probably not what you meant. (And the change from "*" to "::"? I love private jokes... )

Cousin Saul: "Slacker?" That wasn't very nice. Sometimes I wonder how your pop culture emporium, Worcester's (and Fitchburg's) That's Entertainment ever won that Eisner Award. Must be the other people who work there.

Kathy: Awwww. Thanks for the nice stuff. I'm surprised you've had the time to read either of my blogs, raising Kevin and Jason.

And HEY, everybody, I'm not dead or anything. Between the "Silver Fox" blog and comments on your blogs, you'll still have Dick Nixon... I mean, David M. Lynch... to kick around.

Nan said...

Figures you poop out just as I start reading again. :) Total Eclipse of the Heart and Judas singing something in JC Superstar...

And I really want to read the Lair stuff, so get crackin.

Jingle said...

Happy Friday!
Be Easy.

The Silver Fox said...

@Jingle: Wow, I can't remember the last time anyone commented on this blog!

Jingle said...

let go,
Happy Memorial Day!

The Silver Fox said...

@Jingle: How do you keep winding up on this blog, instead of my current one? ;-)

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