Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Cleaning out the Notebook

I keep a little notebook in my car in which to jot down ideas I get while driving.  I do quite a bit of driving, and instead of concentrating on traffic or road signs or speedometers or police sirens, I allow my mind to drift over facts and ideas both great and small. I ruminate, cogitate, consider and contemplate while my left turn signal blinks away. Then, upon coming to a red light, I pull out the notebook and jot down a few sentence fragments or key words in order to save what my mind has wrought. My intention is to later turn these fragments into Fishbrick gold.  Unfortunately, what is written all too hastily in my notebook does not always jog my memory, and I'm left trying to figure out just what it was I was trying to convey.  And it's not just because my handwriting is awful or that the color of crayon I've used is hard to read.  It probably has more to do with the dreamlike state of mind I was in when I wrote down these fleeting thoughts, coupled with a memory devastated by years of television watching and poor nutrition.  Nonetheless, I will try to mine the nuggets of gold hidden in these scribbled notes and pass them on to you, my long-suffering reader(s).

Hot pizza mouth  Not sure what I meant to say here.  I think it must have something to do with the fact that pizza generally goes in one's mouth and is usually eaten while still hot.  Not a great start.  Let's move on.

Stop labeling everybody  What I believe I meant here is that some tee shirts have labels that irritate the back of the neck.  Hardly seems worth mentioning.

Back on the glod standard  This one has to do, I think, with the quality of glod being too variable these days and the need to adhere to a uniform standard in its production.  I forget what glod is, though.

Free market is so much better  The idea here could be that some of the grocery stores in town charge too much for their food and there should be something created like Cleveland's West Side Market, only it wouldn't require any payment for its produce.  I don't know what I was thinking.  That seems like a formula for disaster to me.  Next.

Believe 10 reasons  Here we may be considering the idea that I believe 10 reasons.  But reasons for what I cannot recall.  Probably would have made a thought-provoking read.

Sandwich! Sandwich! Sandwich!  I don't know if I was thinking about the celebrated Earl of Sandwich, to whom we owe a great debt of gratitude, or if I was simply feeling a tad hungry at the time.  My guess is that it had nothing to do with the Earl.  

Slush fund disgrace  A slush is something you can get at some ice cream stands.  It's a tasty treat for sure.  Maybe the point here is that parents should not bankroll their children's hankering for such unhealthy snacks.  I'm not sure why such a thought would have occurred to me, but it must have.

Evolution debate  Here the idea may have been to chronicle the history of the formal debate, citing examples such as the Lincoln-Douglas debates and perhaps contrasting it with the format and quality of today's political debates.  Sounds like really dry stuff.  Why would I write about that?

Democracy is not ralph  The handwriting on this note was not great.  Maybe the point here was that Ralph does not represent the average man, or that Ralph was not elected on the up and up.  There is nothing worse than a crooked election, as you know.  But I don't remember who the hell Ralph is.

Where are the trash cans?  This one was probably a lot deeper than the question indicates.  Trash cans is a metaphor for something.  Just kind of fill in the blanks and there you have the makings of an important idea.  It makes one think.

Just give me ten good men  I may have had an idea about forming a football team.  But why?  

Hobnobbing with aliens among us   This could have been a very interesting piece about learning to speak Spanish or something.  I suppose that's a good thing, but I don't know why I would want to write a blog about it.  

I'm getting rid of that stupid notebook.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Blank Spaces

Now that all the hubbub has died down concerning my last post about Christmas music at CVS, I can start my newest blog entry with an unnecessarily long sentence, like the one you are currently reading as you find yourself feeling more and more impatient in your approach to the much anticipated period, exclamation point or question mark, the pined-for punctuation heralding the end of the sentence, which, mercifully, comes now (though delayed, unfortunately for the reader, by the inclusion of some claptrap enclosed within parentheses).

Having disposed of that mess, let us continue on and greet the new year with a new blog entry. I am trying something different this year. From here on, I shall transition from the end of one sentence to the beginning of the next with only one blank space. Apparently such is the cool thing to do these days. Up until the current century, it was universally considered proper in formal prose such as term papers, magazine articles, books, and greeting cards to always end a sentence with two blank spaces. These days, however, the winds of change have blown in a new way of doing things: it is now acceptable to use but one space after a sentence. And, as the world around them crumbles into dust, Academia and the world of publishing are embroiled in the turmoil this change has caused. Vehement arguments are put forward by the two schools of thought in this controversy, each side submitting their respective arguments in long, formal jeremiads, each side shooting the number of blanks it deems proper to get their point across.

Would that the conflict were limited to the shooting of blanks, or just the written word. In fact, the debate has become so rancorous, I am told, that sporadic violence has broken out around the world.  There have been fist fights, hair pulling, gun battles, bomb throwings, flaming bags of dog manure left on front porches all in the cause of proper formatting. Interestingly, it is a little-known fact in the West that the recent upheavals in the Middle East began with two high school teachers in Egypt arguing on this matter of the blank spaces. I kid you not. The media have simply added their inevitable spin to the story to make it seem the people there are fighting for sweeping political and social change. Conspiracy theory? Do a little research yourself. Look at the facts before you dismiss me as being some kind of nut. Meanwhile, it might be a good idea to buy some ammo and a few days worth of supplies in case this thing gets out of hand here in America.

Happy New Year.