Monday, November 21, 2022

Episode #150: Granddad Is Chillin' Too Illin'

Sometimes, the only way to spill the creativity juices is to randomly choose, with eyes closed, a picture from one of your many blogs to use. Wish me luck.

So here we is, at the intersection of Downtown and Nowheresville USA, one gloriously sunny autumnal day. Birds are kind of plummeting {oh the humanity!} from the sky, due to the cooler weather coagulating that avian blood, making them sluggish and prone to standing around the corner snapping their feathers saying 'cool man, cool"

As you can see, we gots lots of traffic zipping around, heading for destinations surely {Feeney} more exciting to visit than Nowheresville USA. But, be that as it may, this intersection can represent where you are on the long winding country back road {perhaps US 11?}. Do we take the road heavily traveled, going north to south, or do we take the road in more heavily traveled, going west to east? Or, do we just stay stuck in the middle in a crosswalk going both ways?

Inquiring minds do want to know what your decision gonna be? Well actually, we really don't want to know, because in the end it's you doing you, and you are the one that has to live with your decision. But, do you make that decision, or do you decide to kick the Crocs down the road where it slides off into the not-so-great narrow open? Here, the only inquiring mind that wants to know is you. Only you know where you want to go and what road you need to travel in order to get there.

Which brings us back to the futon circle of laziness: Where do you want to go on your journey of life, Downtown or Nowheresville? The Highway or Byway? The Hamster Wheel or the overrated Mall of America? The choice is entirely up to you, and remember, there are always enough exits available should you ever want to change your mind for something else.

Have a fantastic Monday and the rest of your week, because only you, know what you really want to do in a given moment of time.

{c} 2022 by G.B. Miller. All Rights Reserved

Monday, November 14, 2022

Episode #149: Granddad Is Chillin'

I be chillin' like Oreo the Chihuahua here, without a care in the world and sunshine on my tummy, giving me good old Vitamin D topside and grass stains bottom side.

Some times, ya know, it ain't easy being a blogger, especially when you've been doing it continuously for the better part of 14 1/2 years. Yup, 14 1/2 years, spread out over 9 different blogs (7 on Blogger platform and 2 that were nuked on Tumblr. Anyone here remember Tumblr?), producing around 1,600 posts, give or take.

I can tell you that about 5, including this one, were created because of the burnout factor I was periodically experiencing. I originally started with 2, then created two more for my pictures and my wildly inappropriate short stories. I then created a short story blog, then two more elsewhere, then finally two more, including this one here. So I was a busy little doggo, just yipping and yapping all over the place, much like Oreo and his mama, Tina.

Eventually though, I did manage to settle down and in the process develop a more chilled attitude about things in general. I decided to take an early retirement in 2020, decided to concentrate on my writing in 2021 and decided to crack down on being a more consistent blogger.

For the most part, that chilled attitude has served me well. I've managed to reconnect with a better attitude towards my children and my wife. I am now a grandfather, and overall, I'm just in a better place mentally. 

Which brings us to now.

If you think this is a "I've come to say that I must be going" post, well, you would be 100% incorrect. In fact, I are not going. This post is more of a self-reflection of where I've been and where I'm going in the future. I haven't really riffed on a blog post in quite a spell, and with my perpetual self-imposed deadline fast approaching, I need to come up with something that would satisfy my high personal standards when it comes to writing. Although I will admit that my high standards are definitely head and shoulders above what Oreo's high standards are, which according to that picture is a sunny day in a very green backyard.

I think going forward for this blog, my high standard should be whatever the perceived high standard would be for the pic that will accompany the blog post and just go from there. Because, if your high standard is the equivalent of a Chihuahua rolling around on a sunny day in a backyard, then you is just doing fine.

With that being said, here's to a very spiffy Monday through Friday to each and everyone of you, because gosh darn it, you deserve it, especially after the 2022 mid-terms.

{c} 2022 by G.B. Miller. All Rights Reserved

Monday, November 7, 2022

Episode #148: We Are Amused About Minutia

Days of yore, days of simplicity, days of elasticity, days of genteelness, days of bygone.

Sometimes, when you least expect, you find yourself lost in the wind turbines of your mind, thinking about the past and the future left behind, when you suddenly realize, going forwards is actually going backwards at the speed of slow, and that the space-time continuum is just a fictional device that has made it into the daily lexicon of people who lack originality in their ordinary lives.

Good morning/afternoon/evening and welcome to the wide, wide, wide world of professional cornhole, where cheating is encouraged and no really cares if you're caught doing so, because hey, it's expected. I am your lovely host G.B. Miller, and today's myopic topic is minutia. Why minutia, you may ask? Well, back in the day, minutia was my game. Minutia is what kept me gainfully employed at a job where I was slowly being made redundant (hey, my post, my world) at quite a few agencies.

The writing minutia of the day comes courtesy of my latest writing project, called appropriately enough, Hot Mess. Because, you know, it's a hot mess. After all, how many people do you know, besides me, who are writing a three volume novel by hand, like John Boy Walton did prior to acquiring one of those newfangled typewriters? That's right. Nada. Zip. Zilch. The sum of subtracting a number from itself. The number 8 on its side. The average amount of electoral votes a Libertarian receives in a given election year. An exciting game of football. Etc, etc, etc.

So, I thought for today, I would throw out some minutia about the life of this writer with his current project. For starters, we have 33 chapters written, with a smidgen over 126k words. All 277 pages originally written by hand. Printed that is, before transcribing the end result to a computer. 

Now you must be saying to yourself, "meh, no big thing, you wrote 277 pages with pen and paper." Well my good friend, let me correct you on the following little processed chicken nuggets:

1} I used roughly 554 pages of notebook filler paper. Yes, you read that correctly. That breaks down to roughly 3 packages, with each package containing between 100 and 125 sheets of paper (high end count is when you buy at a reputable place, low end at places like Dollar Tree). Still think it isn't much? On to point #2.

2} Approximately 2 pages of notebook paper are required to create roughly 1 page of computer text. I say 'approximately' because back at one of my day jobs in the 90's I perfected the art of squeezing twenty words into a tiny space designed for eight at the most. So sometimes, I had a ratio of 1 1/2 to 1, because I could squeeze up to twenty-five words on a single line of paper AND I would use the entire side of the paper. Seriously. Still think this isn't much? On to point #3.

3} I now have a rotating set of four pens, two black and two blue, that are currently in use. I recently bought a cheap pack of ten black because I have 35 blue pens. Yes, don't judge me and my color preference. I have currently, to use YouTube's replacement word to the now very verboten word that gets your video de-monetized, unalived 6 pens (so far) over the course of this novel. By the flip side of the Sacajawea dollar coin, I have used only three black toner cartridges for those 277 pages. So are you convinced yet? Not quite? On to point #4.

4} Because I churn out, on average, one chapter per week, which is down from the initial three to four that I was churning out (all were re-writes from original material, so yeah) when I had started this project back in mid-May '22, the pinched nerve that I had started to develop in the base of my right thumb a few months ago has now completely engulfed the entire thumb. So now I have to modify the way I hold a pen so as to not aggravate so much. Not to worry, lots of YT breaks on my phone to help with the thumb. Are we finally convinced? A smidgen more needed? Okay, onto our final point, which is number 5 if you've been keeping track.

5} As I mentioned at the close of the first point, I have printed every blessed word out by hand. Printing is the only legitimate way I have to read my own handwriting. Currently, the only decipherable part of my handwriting is my signature. Everything else is sloppy enough to put a doctor to shame. Yes, it's just that illegible. So I print out everything, which in turn makes it all the more remarkable that I managed to write so many words/chapters. I've done it for so long in my life (about 16 years now, every since I had to teach myself how to write again once my hands began biting the dust) that I've developed into quite the speed demon, in that I can crank out, on average, about 2 1/2 pages per hour.

So are we now convinced that my exploits are the exception to the rule and that I'm actually doing an outstanding job with this novel, considering that I had started working on it in earnest back in May of this year? We are? Awesomesauce! I am so glad that my persuasion skills have done the work in convincing you that I am a very small somebody in your world of writers. And now for something completely different, Mrs. Miller.

{c} 2022 by G.B. Miller. All Rights Reserved

Monday, October 31, 2022

Episode #147: I Are Not Smart!

This is my punishment for what I had inflicted onto my family this week and the main reason for the extreme lateness of this post.

Flashback to Wednesday, October 26, 2022. It was a sunny day in suburbia and I was sitting in my basement jamming to some tunes on my phone when all of a sudden I lost my WiFi. I said to myself, no biggie, I'll just reboot the modem. So I did. Nothing. Did it again. Nothing. Did a few more times. Nothing.

Call our ISP and they try to fix it via the phone. Nothing. Said the earliest appointment they had was Monday, October 31st. Fantastic.

We spent the next five days eating our phone data like it was a Monster Energy drink. We even learned how to hotspot our phone for about 1 1/2 hours of daily computer use. We spent that week writing a particularly difficult chapter, helping my daughter just a tiny bit for her Halloween party (she and bf dressed as Cheech & Chong. Yes, you read correctly) and being an all-around mega grump.

Fast forward to today. Technician comes out, spends exactly thirty seconds checking things out, comes back upstairs from the basement and says it's fixed. We ask what was wrong. He says it was off. He asked if I had seen any of the lights on the front of the modem on. I say, with the way it was situated, I had to climb on the washer to reset it, so no I didn't see the front of the modem.

We now present the lamest excuse ever, right up there with anything that a Democratic politician has uttered with a complete straight face. At the time the modem hiccuped, there was no ready access to the modem as there were two doors in the way, so the only way to get to the modem was to climb on top of the washing machine. Thus, I was unable to see whether or not the lights were on.

So basically, while trying to reset the modem by turning it on and off, the last time I pressed the button was to turn off the modem. I will note that my daughter's bf was able to move the other door out of the way after they took the first door upstairs to use for beer pong. Doors were down because the new dryer was too wide with the doors attached.

So, to quote a certain political spokesmen, let's circle back to the title of the post and confirm that salient point: for five days, I made my entire family suffer with no WiFi and with no landline (connected to the WiFi so no great loss with that one). All because I didn't press the shiny red button one last time that would've turned on the modem, bathing the house in the rapturous spirit of WiFi, and making the family's inner chi balanced once again. 

We are not smart. We do not want fries with that level of smartness. Instead, we deserve candy-corn flavored PEEPS for our transgression. And maybe pineapple on our pizza.

{c} 2022 by G.B. Miller. All Rights Reserved