Gone with the Something

Last week was a bit all over the place for a number of reasons.  It took me until at least Thursday to recover from the Kentucky Derby for starters.  I think I missed a few blog posts in there but I believe I’ve righted myself now and I’m back on track.

I even have a first draft for this week’s story done.  I can’t remember the last time I was ahead on a story.  It’s been quite awhile.  It helps that this one is actually a short story.  I tend to run a bit long with my tales.  Back in my pre-internet days I would write a story and then look for magazines or journals to submit it to and some of them would have 1,000-2,000 word limits for entries.  That’s not a story for me.  That’s a title.

But this one is petite.  And simple.  And I kind of like it.

Needs a title, though.

Hmmmm….

Okay.  I really have nothing.  Really.  Zero idea what I want to write.

More importantly, the mechanism in my head that usually toys around with ideas isn’t toying.  I’m not sure how to turn it back on.  I should maybe try hitting myself over the head with things.  Or my old standby of banging my head on my desk.

There’s a chance something will come along in the next two days.  But I get the feeling that it’s going to be a bang-my-head-on-my-desk sort of weekend.

I should buy some Advil.

What to write, what to write?

What to write?  I’ve got nothing.  And I keep promising myself that I’m going to get on top of my current story so that things won’t be rushed next week…but really I’ve got nothing.  Also I don’t know what day it is.  Taking time off to go to the Kentucky Derby screwed me up.  Usually I’m all perfectly scheduled in my head so I can tell when things are going wrong and it’s time to panic because I don’t have an idea.  This week I’m not sure when to start panicking.

What haven’t I tried yet?  I never made a promise to try all genres or anything, but I kind of want to try something new.  Not quite sure what that might be.  Gorilla documentary?  Crying on the inside clown?  “Die Hard” on a submarine?

This is why I don’t brainstorm.  Or maybe this is why I should brainstorm more often.

Derby Derby

So I didn’t post on Friday because I was in transit to the Kentucky Derby.  And I would have mentioned that earlier except that the trip was made as part of a surprise birthday party for a reader of this blog, and I didn’t want to spoil said surprise.  Frankly I’m a little surprised I didn’t.

I’ve got another story due.  Funny how that keeps happening.   Luckily I just spent the last four days unplugged, which is the longest I’ve been away from this website since I started this project.  So I feel a touch rejuvenated.  On the other hand, I have precisely zero idea what to write.  I’m running out of genres.

Anyway, right now I’m just going to sit on my couch and let the last traces of mint julep exit my bloodstream.

Can’t talk now, writing.

I used to think I was kind of a funny guy…used to.  Back in the days before I tried writing this story.  Now I’m not so sure.

Comedy is hard.  Every interview with every writer, actor, director, anywhere, ever, when asked what the hardest genre to create is, has produced the response that comedy is the hardest of all of them.  Turns out that every interview with anyone anywhere ever was right.

Who knew?

The usual Monday night stuff

I’m not so sure about this story. But in a different way. For the first time since the start of this project I really feel the need for more space. As I mentioned earlier, this is my attempt at a comedy, and the only comedy I know how to do is smart-ass comedy. A couple of guys getting drunk and making fun of each other. And one of them is probably fat. That’s all I got. What I’m finding is that the basic idea behind this story isn’t so bad. There are a lot of interesting places to hang scenes, only, I don’t have the room. I think with a fuller medium this would be better. Short stories aren’t exactly the easiest things to squeeze zany fun into. Of course every single one of you out there reading this right now is going, “Yes. No shit, you moron.” I’m not sure how I got it into my head to squeeze “Old School” into the art form that was used to write “A Perfect Day for Bananafish” but here I am.

Oh well.

Onwards.

Grinding work to a halt since 1978

I have 6.4 days worth of music on my computer, according to iTunes. What iTunes doesn’t want to tell me is why, with the random toggle on and that much music to go through, I wind up hearing “Cheeseburger in Paradise” about four times per day.

I was supposed to write all afternoon but wound up getting sucked into a YouTube black hole. I stumbled onto a sequence of Eddie Izzard clips, and that just kept going and going and led me to and more things and on and on. I’d embed some of my favorites here, but you’re really better off just following this link or this link and watching the videos at the YouTube site so you can also follow at your heart’s content from one video to the other and hopefully get as little done during your day as I did during mine.

Insert burrito joke here

I ordered a burrito for lunch today from Qdoba. I was looking over the side of their bag while I ate and noticed, as shown below, that it contains a bunch of running phrases and words that Qdoba wants me to associate with their food.

Qdoba bag

“Cheese Nachos.” Check.

“Pico De Gallo.” Check.

But then, three lines up, is the broken phrase, “Naked Grou–“

Um…Naked Group Activities? Naked Grouper? Naked Ground Beef? Don’t get me wrong, they had me at, “Cheese Nachos.” Whatever it is, I’m in. But some small part of me wants clarification what I’ll be getting with my queso next time around.

I’m nowhere with next week’s story.

Time to hit snooze

This is the story of the radio station I have my alarm clock set to.

A few years ago the oldies radio station here in New York switched over to what was called Jack FM. This was met with a very large public outcry as the move was made without any warning and a number of famous DJ’s were fired. Plus, the oldies station in New York has been on the air since, I don’t know, the Paleolithic Era, so a lot of people were pissed. Jack FM is an odd format. Basically they were trying to emulate the I-pod experience by playing a very random mix of popular songs that weren’t able to fit into any one genre. I remember hearing Tom Jones, followed by Steve Martin’s “King Tut” and then Alanis Morissette. It was neat…for awhile.

At around this same time, all the classic rock stations in the area slowly changed their formats one by one until New York, for the first time ever, was without a radio station playing classic rock. It was weird.

So, time went on and Jack FM started not doing so well and it kind of began to backslide on it’s promise of always playing an eclectic mix of music. It began to play classic rock and roll songs from big name bands in a repetitive fashion. You’d hear the same songs day after day and they’d all be hits from the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s.

Years passed. Then one of the stations that had previously played classic rock, with huge fanfare, declared that it would be returning to a classic rock format playing all the great rock from the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s. Then the oldies station, now Jack FM, declared that it would be returning to the oldies format, only it would modernize a bit and move forward to embrace a newer decade into it’s format.

You see where this is going? One station returned to the airwaves promising to deliver the classic hits of the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s, while Jack FM, which had basically been playing the classic hits of the 60′, 70′ and 80’s, was replaced by an oldies format…which would be playing the classic hits of the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s.

This is why I listen to Pandora.

Although recently that’s been playing the same ten songs over and over again.

Work in progress

I’m having some technical difficulties with the site. The program I use to publish this thing recently upgraded and when I installed that upgrade it made some of my add-ons not quite right. Some of you may have noticed that the “Printer Friendly Version” has been sending you to an Error page. That’s been fixed, but since I’m a one man band here I may miss some other problems caused by the upgrade. So please, if you see anything that isn’t working right, don’t assume I’m aware of it. Drop me an e-mail and let me know.

Same with typos. I hate typos. But they’re like shit. They happen. So if you see a typo please let me know. I don’t consider fixing typos to be in violation my “I won’t touch the stories after they’re published” declaration.