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

Note: Another one wrenched from the archives…


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 some 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 herewith, 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.”




Previously published in “Bonnywood Manor”. Tiny changes made, mostly in the nature of typo corrections. (They never die; I keep finding them for years.) The photo is of one small section of one side of our fridge. (Both of us have a thing for clever magnets.) Those of you with a keen memory and a sharp eye will be able to spot reminders of past Bonnywood stories…


13 replies »

  1. Great minds, and all that – I occasionally publish (barely) similar posts. I initially christened them with the neologism ‘Triviana’ ,but changed to ‘Smitty’s Loose Change.’
    Now I gotta go look up ‘Worshipwear.’ Something vaguely Mormom? The latest Victoria’s Secret catalog? A BDSM how-to? 😕 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yep, I’ve poked about in your loose change a number of times, if you’ll pardon the potential imagery of an unappreciated violation…

      I remain constantly stunned by the triggers that lead folks to my site. I try to remain consistent and forthright with my compositions, but apparently I’m as loose with my words as you are with Smitty’s change…


      • No, I wasn’t trying to be sarcastic. That was just me being a little more bleary than usual, at 3 AM (my time). Like Brian, I stuck a finger where it didn’t belong, and didn’t notice when I proof-read.
        I am well aware of the edict passed down by the Mormon powers-that-be (who have no powers over me). It may be followed by the obedient flock, but I don’t see it being adopted by the great unwashed. The initialism LDS is too much like LSD, or OCD, or PTSD. Okay, now I’m being sarcastic, but only because you’ve reminded me of the Roman Catholic Bishop of New York City, who raised a great stink, even going on a national TV morning show, to complain that he’d found Bibles in the fiction section of a bookstore. 😳
        Wasn’t it Brigham Young, who said, “He who takes offence, when none is offered, is a fool. He who takes offense, even when offence is offered, is also a fool?” 😕


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