“You were everything to me, and I’m begging you please, don’t go.” – Taylor Swift
It’s pathetic — trying to refind the writing groove by writing about trying to refind the writing groove. I hate it when other people do it; I hate it when I do it. But it looks like I’m still doing it.
Over on my other sad, dusty blog — the one about despair, which also sort of failed to achieve escape velocity, in my post-tw@se hopes for two new beginnings — I’ve been chipping away at a post about my failures in the memory department and… well, ok, I guess it’s also about high school, which seems equally pathetic to writing about writing or trying to dredge up old memories as a foil to writing about memory.
And I say “chipping away” because it’s been awfully slow going; hesitant; just scarcely starting to define the outlines of whatever this fucking thing is buried in this particular block of stone with my tiny little amateur hammer; completely neglected during the sale cycle crush, which now seems to somehow stretch on for six solid weeks, front to back.
I was emboldened a little when Witt re-shared this wonderful terribleminds post, the take away of which, for me, was that making something, anything is almost always preferable to not making something, even if that thing is crap that goes straight in the dustbin upon completion. And by “take away” I mean an idea that has circled back at me dozens of times in my stupid 45.99 years and still failed to really land in a way that tangibly changes my behavior. So I still need to work on that one, I guess. And maybe that’s not what he meant, either, but who am I to argue with the facts that my brain misremembers?
[Debating, now, the relative merits of making links to those external nouns I’m referencing. If I add them, this whole thing takes on the smelly shimmer of marketing — a thing to promote other things; “Hey, don’t forget about my blah blah blah thing, still dribbling in those SEO dollars after all these years!” (ps. I’ve never received even my first SEO dollar.) But if I don’t, the whole back catalog threatens to get lost in the digital haze, so that only long term insiders — let’s say my original 22 divided by 2 for lost time and halved again because of that goddamn culture gobbling Facebook — so that’s like 6.5 living humans — so that only long term insiders have the slightest clue what I’m talking about. (If I had to compose that list on a bet, which I don’t, I’d say it’s Witt, xKate, Ron P, WeX, oats and ironmountain — with maybe the remaining half a person (you know, like the Smiths song) for my dear wife, who always intends to read but rarely succeeds; or my mom, who wants to read but usually regrets it; or my daughter, in some future, where she’s amazed to find that dad was such a silent mental patient all those years, quickly followed by being mortified that he so selfishly put any of this on the Internet, including all those stupid baby pictures, where actual, you know, people, might actually, you know, see them; or maybe for my ancient-proto-blog-reading buddy BP, hiding right there in plain sight.)]
Anyhow. Oh but wait: it’s not self-promotion when I link to someone else, duh, so here’s that Wendig post. FILLORY IS REAL, PEOPLE. And if you spotted the deliberate math error in that last section, so I could cram in one more name that I’d originally thought of, you’re my kind of reader. And if not, fuck it — it’s just math.
“last known good, copy” is the current working title of that despair blog post — I added the comma in there yesterday, and wow what a difference! — and after all these years I still don’t know if that’s a title which is supposed to go in quotes or just italics, but let’s not bicker and argue about who killed who. Also, I confess that when I pop that sucker open in a browser, I’m still pretty self-impressed with the title, and the minimal design of the logo, and the little flourishes, which after seven solid years of blogging in that cobbled-together homemade HTML template system now seems toxicly annoying (compared to this slick-as-sin WordPress machine) to have to fiddle with each time I want to Publish, but whose quaintness in the output might (operative word: might — serisouly, I should just admit defeat and surrender it to WordPress before it goes any further) also save the whole endeavor just enough to make it worth doing. (And which, I just now discover, has succumbed to some kind of bit rot since I last paid it any attention, where every “‘“ has become a symbolized “?”, probably via an automatic PHP update or some shit. Jesus fuck, trust me people: even those of us who work in IT (you know: for money; and yes: I successfully avoided the impulse to put the word “work” in scare quotes just then) have grown a deep hatred for the perpetual changing | breaking | relearning | updating cycle of it all. Maybe this is how you know they’re quietly preparing a little ice floe for you over behind the midden pile: when you turn off automatic updates in frustration and just decide it’s worth the pain to ride it out as-is for the duration. A digital death, symblozing a cultural death, presaging the real thing, which will arrive after just a few short decades of resource-hogging incompetant irrelevance.)
So. Hum. I guess I’m leaving the links out. If you don’t know what terribleminds is, but you’ve read this far without stabbing yourself in the eye with the corner of your phone, I recommend Googling That Shit. If you’re unfamiliar with my prior art (ha – yeah, right), go up a few levels on this here website thingy and look around for a link called Writing or something like that — seriously, I can’t be bothered to look! — then remind yourself to thank me for giving you an excuse to procrastinate on that crap you’ve gotta do today for anther hour or three. (Really. I’m still stunned by this fact, but, unless people are just completely bullshitting me, this has actually happened multiple times. I bet in the years I’ve been blogging (or back when I was), I got one or two emails a year from someone saying they’d just discovered my thing, and liked it enough to go back and start at the beginning of the archive, and that over some relatively short span of time they’d plowed through the entire 7 years of it or whatever. And then they went to the trouble to tell me about it, and to lob some seemingly genuine praise at me… which is all just monkeyballs crazy. I don’t even like my ideas or way of expressing them — how the heck can someone else?
Anyways… there must be some pottery ideas somewhere in this cordoned off hazmat area I call a soul. (Ugh! Two elipsis within three consecutive sentences. So bad. I’m like that frumpy middle-aged guitar player, out of practice and a little boozy tonight, falling back on the hot licks he learned – yet never really mastered – for solos in high school; trying to think of something good to play while not giving into the temptation of talking about Stevie Ray in the between-song banter.)
So, I had a spring sale — just like every other potter in the universe. Mine did not require a cross country drive to Minnesota — because I’m still and probably always relegated several leagues below Premier… the backwater of Fillmore ain’t exactly where you come to see world class football. But it did involve a short trek to “town”, as we quaintly call it, in our Midwestern faux-plainness, and my stuff displayed in an actual store, open to the honest-to-god and dreaded-beyond-all-measure General Public (where is the tenderness, anyways? You, GP, display an alarming lack of it, with your pallid gazes and staggering disinterest.)(oof! Spectacularly awful: 2nd 80s music reference in 4 paragraphs. One of those has got to go, but now that I’ve done it I want to leave it in to show how committed I am to this ritual humiliation routine.)(Look: Now he’s pulling on that whammy bar like it’s a slot machine handle, gambling away his last unholy nickel on earth. We’re likely just a few short minutes away from the appearance of a wah wah pedal!)
And the sale was fine — thanks for asking, and also, yes, it’s totally fine that you didn’t make it, and there’s no need to make excuses, and “there’s always the next time”, which is what I always say, weakly, for lack of figuring out a better response after these 20 odd years of doing all this. What am I supposed to do, tell the fucking truth?
< Well, Fred, if you’d gotten off the couch and walked down the six blocks from your house during one of the 50 freaking hours that the thing was open and I was standing there staring into the middle distance like a retail zombie, and just spent the usual $100 or so that most people spend, then I would now be approximately 0.42% closer to the approximately twenty five grand it will take to build my new kiln complex — which I desperately need to do, because the “old” one is down to something like 18 firings left before the arch caves in, just like my long-dead dreams; so thanks Suzy, it’s cool — by which I mean thanks for nothing, Archibald, with your ignorant $6 a month on new apps that you delete after 20 minutes of goofing off with them, and Lauren, who readily drops $50 on a dinner or a volleyball camp, yet balks at $32 for a mug that might be the nicest handcrafting thing in your entire dumb house and that, with a little care and luck, could last 20 years (a.k.a. 8 new cell phones from now); and yes, yes, of course I’ll keep you on my mailing list, Reginald, because once you go on it, you’re stuck on there for life — ha ha, yours or mine, whichever ends first, ha ha — and because I intend to keep printing these archaic, custom designed, overpriced postcards and sending them through the goddamn MAIL until they shut the whole thing down for good, or privatize it to Jared, who will somehow cash out for a billion dollars on the deal just before landing in federal prison for treason. So yes, Dorothy, yes — I really appreciate you thinking about coming to my sale. Thanks again. Really. >
Whew! Well, obviously all of that’s gotta get cut. I mean, there’s a time and a place to do some righteous screaming down the memory hole but this certainly isn’t it. Sorry — I’m out of practice and a little boozy tonight, falling back on my hot licks. Which would be an acceptable excuse, maybe, if it wasn’t a complete lie, because it’s not night and I’m never boozy and, now that I’ve written and subjected you to all of the above, I’m no longer out of practice, now am I?
“And I got tired of waitin’, hoping that you’d be coming around.”