The Journey

Friday Night Clam Bake – #12: The Unfocused Adventures of Dusty Effluvia and the Sound Bites

Howdy, Clam Bakers.

After the excitement of last week’s bake (guest speakers! Elderberry wine! Salami-grasping!), tonight’s campfire will be more subdued. I was in the midst of some digital housekeeping this afternoon, trying to figure out what’s in all these cryptically-christened files that are apparently breeding on my laptop, when I tripped over something named “Status Posts”. Based on my traditionally zig-zagging mind, this file could contain anything from social-media tinkering to the tallying of libidinous conquests to a mundane report card from the time we had to replace part of the wooden fence.

I cracked it open.

The contents did, indeed, pertain to social media. (This was actually the last thing I expected, despite the title. I tend to use file names that are brilliant during the heat of creation, but within two hours I have no idea what they mean. This is why I have 47 files on my laptop with wildly varying appellations, yet they all contain relatively the same information, down to the matching typos and grammar incursions. If I had any degree of organization in my life, I could possibly own the world. Luckily for all, neither of these situations have any chance of coming to fruition.

Rambling aside (did I mention zig-zag?), tonight’s entertainment will simply be me plucking shiny bits out of this extensive Pandora’s Box. Some of the quotes are mine, some of the quotes I collected from others (attributed), and most of them were used as promo bits for my blogs posts back in the day when I believed that social media could help me reach a wider audience. Now I realize that if you try too hard, the decent people can smell it. Instead, just tell your stories, show appreciation, share your honesty, and play well with others. The pieces of the puzzle connect more firmly when you do that.



“I just realized that I’m up to 666 posts on my main blog. I’m now waiting for Mia Farrow to show up wearing an odd necklace and complaining that something seems a bit off with our baby. I just hope she brings some Chinese take-out, because I’m starving…”

“Digging through some old photos from my formative years. I am stunned at the documentation. I was a fashion train wreck slamming into Nerdville Junction. No wonder I have issues.”

“It’s not about what it is, it’s about what it can become.”  – Dr. Seuss/Theodor Geisel, The Lorax

“More angst from people who have issues with proper eyeliner application.” (Review of Green Day’s “Wake Me Up When September Ends” video.)

“Indisputable confirmation that our cats actually dominate the household: That whole cleaning out the litter box thing. You know they wouldn’t do it for US. Yet still we scoop… “

“Flying is learning to throw yourself at the ground and miss.” – Douglas Adams

“Okay, yes, I have Google Ads set up on my blogs.” [This is now a lie; I haven’t done it in years.] “And I understand that tags and keywords in a blog post can trigger ad matches. But seriously, how is it that my latest post on “Backup Dancers From Hell” triggered an ad entitled “Looking for Worshipwear?” Worshipwear? Based on what I post on THAT blog? Holy cow. Oh wait, maybe that’s the phrase that did it. Didn’t realize there was a market for bovine praise garments.”

“Another crapfest milestone of getting old? Having to shave my ears because odd gray hairs spring forth overnight. This is SO not something I dreamed about in my diary as a child.”

“Life beats down and crushes the soul and art reminds you that you have one.”  – Stella Adler

“Okay, be honest and raise your hand if you were one of those people who pronounced the name of this band as “Inks” until somebody way cooler than you provided guidance.” (Review of INXS’ “Need You Tonight” video.)

“Startling Moment: When you walk by your your monitor in broad daylight, and the sunlight hits the screen at just the right angle so that you realize it is covered in a layer of dust, pet hair, a random mix of allergens, and what is probably tiny specks of the chicken nachos you had the other night. Real nice. I feel so clean right now.”

“Sometimes I feel discriminated against, but it does not make me angry. It merely astonishes me. How can any deny themselves the pleasure of my company? It’s beyond me.”  – Zora Neale Hurston

“So things happen, as they often do, that make you question your dreams and hopes, and wonder how it is that some people can be so… empty inside. But still you pick up the scattered, broken pieces, and you make something new, something stronger. Because that’s how we grow, that’s how we learn, with the collecting of fragments, and the path that we determine using those bits of this and that. Always be strong, and stick to your truth. Sleep well, my friends…”

“Am I the only one who finds it extremely suspect when watching the weather segment on the news that 97% of the “record highs and lows” occurred in 1907 or some such? Did it ever occur to anyone that maybe those asshats back in the day really didn’t know what they were doing? Just sayin… “

“Never make the mistake of assuming the audience is any less intelligent than you are.”  – Rod Serling

“At the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter what you’ve accomplished. It only matters that you still believe you have the strength to do what you feel is right…”

“Okay, regardless of any rumors you might be hearing, I had nothing to do with the disappearance of the Mayan Fertility God statues from the Waxahachie Museum of Surprising Art. Repeat this claim to everyone you know and cross your fingers…”

“All governments suffer a recurring problem: Power attracts pathological personalities. It is not that power corrupts but that it is magnetic to the corruptible.” – Frank Herbert, Dune

“We finally gave in and hired a lawn service today. It was beyond time to do so, not having mowed in months and dealing with piles of leaves taller than some of the trees. (The neighbors rejoiced, because our crap becomes their crap when the wind blows.) Good decision. But imagine my surprise a few minutes ago when a sweaty man knocked on the door and announced that they just found Amelia Earhart in the backyard… “

“It still thrills me when I see profile pics of happy, loving gay and lesbian couples. Because I’m old enough to remember the day when you didn’t dare share such a thing with the public. We have come so far in a relatively short amount of time. I am humbled by, and supremely grateful for, all the courageous men and woman, all flavors, who have gotten us where we are today. Thank you. Be strong, be proud. Be.”

“This above all, refuse to be a victim.”  – Margaret Atwood

“And just like THAT, we lost our virginity in South Carolina. Well, at least when it comes to shrimp and grits…”    (Teaser for “Charleston Chewed – Part III”.)

“I need to cut sodium out of my diet. Really? Okay, man with the stethoscope and the attitude, have you been to a supermarket lately? Everything has added salt. EVERYTHING. What does that leave me with? Air? Hate you a little bit. But can you still validate my parking? Thanks.”

“All photographs are accurate. None of them is the truth.”  – Richard Avedon

[And with that, a brief run of teasers for my Backup Dancers From Hell posts. (After all, there are 400 of those damn things on the original site. I might as well get some kind of mileage out of them.)]

“Well, at least the monkey is cute.”  (Review of Jack Johnson’s “Upside Down” video.)

“The blue-skinned twins doing the Nancy Sinatra tribute just KILLS me. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.”  (Review of Florence + The Machine’s “Dog Days Are Over” video.)

“And now we have a tale involving steamy encounters, dancing lesbians, confused youth, free-range loving, support for gender self-identification, and manholes. I think she hit all the demographics, yes?”  (Review of Britney Spears’ “Till the World Ends” video.)

“I gotta say, I don’t think I’ve ever heard the F-bomb dropped in such a charming, toe-tapping manner.”  (Review of Cee Lo Green’s “Forget You” video.)

“Ah, Ms. Bonnie Raitt. She can make anything seem sexy, yes? And that glorious, defiant hair.”  (Review of Bonnie Raitt’s “Something to Talk About” video.)

[End Trans.]

“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”  – George Bernard Shaw

“I am so OVER these deep-freeze temperatures. I haven’t seen my testicles in 4 days. Is this what George Shrub Junior felt like when Dick Cheney would walk into the Oval Office?”

“So, as I’m trying to wind things down and head off to slumber land, I keep seeing important posts from dedicated people fighting to restore decency in our country. It’s a tough battle, because complacency has become ingrained in our society, a sense that you as an individual can’t promote change. That’s a lie, and an easy way out. So, I click, and I like, and I share, and I hope. Shouldn’t you be doing the same?”

“You need a certain amount of nerve to be a writer.”  – Margaret Atwood

“Please, I beg you. Do not wear the suction cup shoes during our next encounter. If I hear the tiniest squeak coming from your footwear, there will be harsh words and possible violence.”

“I’ve just spent 20 minutes or so in amazement while reading one of your blogs. I knew you were a word smith in the 8th grade, but your talent goes beyond anything I ever imagined when you sat in my classroom. I’m so glad to catch up with you. Thanks to Ayn for finding me and introducing me to the fabulous adults you have both become. I’ll have to find the picture I have of you, Linda Barnicle, Ericka Lehman (sp), Kim Pogue and Mia Mitchell. I’ll keep reading; you keep writing. This OOOOLLLLLLLDDDD teacher is proud.

Myrna Campbell”

[Myrna was the first teacher who really helped me believe in myself, a steady and sturdy act of kindness that changed me forever. Adding her quote near the end of this piece truly reeks of vanity, but I cannot begin to tell you how emotionally redemptive it was to see her comment pop out of the nether after so many decades of scribbling stories.]

“All that we are not stares back at what we are.”  – W.H. Auden

“So ask yourself, as you check the locks and turn off the lights and set the alarm clock, what small thing did you do today to make things better for the decent people? Small things become big things when we all do them.”



10 replies »

  1. Noooo, why do I have to be the first to leave a comment? I can’t think, the pressure is too much ………(what are you waiting for, I told you I can’t think!).
    P.S love the randomness of these thoughts, however, the gut kick is the last one – I’m not sure what I have done today that could benefit decent people – part from scraping all my failed paint and inks down the drain so as not to offend the sensibilities of decent art-loving peoples – does that count?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, the first comment on a post can be the trickiest, but this is what works for me: Just go with your gut. And I appreciate the fact that you do that. I still remember one of the first comments you made a few years ago (can you believe it’s been that long?) where you said something along the lines of “well, that was a little weird but I really liked the writing”. I knew then that we were going to be friends.

      As for what you might have done today to benefit decent people, I can’t speak for the rest of your day, but I can say that seeing your comments always gives me a boost. Of course, that implies that I’m a decent person, and the jury is still out on that matter… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ah, how do you remember that far back – I can’t remember breakfast! You always make me smile, which means you are both a decent person (and sometimes decently indecent – which we all need in our lives). I am glad that my weirdness gives you a boost, I shall smile a little bit – a la “better than Mona Lisa anyway” because of it.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. First, please forgive me but I must say this: I love you and I’m so happy we cyber bumped into each other. That was a great day, wasn’t it?
    Second, so many favorites it’s hard to choose, so I’ll go with the ones that made me happiest: Your thrill of seeing photos of happy gay and lesbian couples (*hug*) and the Shaw quote warning of false knowledge (*shudder*).

    Liked by 1 person

    • Surely you must know by now that I love you back, ya big ole goof. It’s so enriching to find someone who recognizes and embraces your quirkiness. I feel like I can say anything to you, and even if we might not quite be on the same page about it, it doesn’t change us one bit. [Cue Bette Midler to begin warbling “Wind Beneath My Wings” while we join hands and run down a wave-lapped beach. Of course, one of us is bound to trip over a piece of driftwood and face-plant, causing the orchestra to come to a screeching halt, but at least we’ll look pretty until that happens…]

      Liked by 1 person

    • Now, now. C J shared your moment, rather than stole it. In fact, we are all sharing here, in that all the comments so far have been from some of my bestest buddies in this surreal digital world. It warms me that the four of you took the time time speak up on a piece that is actually quite personal for me, although it may not appear to be so on the surface. I have always collected and been inspired by quotes (ring a bell?), and to see mine mixed with others gives me a temporary peace and satisfaction that is quite gratifying…

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’ve slapped my own face royally and pressed reset on the whole sharing thing … Tallulah just will make herself felt from time to time even after ALL that therapy 😉 stepping up to the mic in serious cozzie for a moment … it delights me to be amongst such a wonderful crowd in your place and you should not lose sight of the fact that your words are now nestling in my quotes cupboard which is indeed a place I reach into when I want to tweak my intellect, emotions or just plain enhance a moment drawing breath

        Liked by 1 person

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