Thursday, May 5, 2011

See me.

For the first time since 1955 the name Elvis is not one of the top 1,000 names in the U.S.

Think about that.

For more than 50 years someone has looked down at their damp, wrinkled, pink newborn baby and said, "Elvis."

In those early days of course this is understandable. Elvis was the king. He was young and handsome and impossibly famous. He was a swivel-hipped heart throb whose voice may well have been the background during the conception of a few of those bouncing baby Elvi.

He was also, and I have to believe this played a role in the minds of one or two of those post-pregnant women, very good to his mother.

I, on the other hand, was born in the 1970s into a household where the Bible was considered the best baby name book. I was given a very traditional name at a time when very traditional names were not the thing to do.

The sting of this was most often felt during those closing moments of the television show Romper Room, the Baltimore-based children's show that started with the earnest recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance and ended with Miss Sally looking through her magic mirror and asking, "Romper, bomper, stomper, boo...tell me, tell me, tell me do...Magic Mirror, tell me today, did all my friends have fun at play?"

Miss Sally would then look through the mirror and see Michelle and Kenneth and Tristan and Julie and Sarah and Keith and Christian...and on and on and on.

She would never, however, see me.

I find myself wondering now, however, if Miss Sally ever saw Elvis?

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

bin talking.

Leopold and I, as has probably been taking place in a lot of households of late, were discussing the recent military strike in Pakistan that resulted in the death of Osama bin Laden. Truth be told, I've been having a lot of conversations about what took place that day.

The Roller Derby Queen and I have been wondering about the fine line between cynicism and conspiracy theory.

A few of my cousins and even my sister, though I'll admit that I've allowed those bits to remain the kinds of one-sided volleys that the Facebook seems to foster, have voiced their own varying opinions, which have ranged from dismay over our nation's habit of transforming every significant event into a bizarre flag waving, frat boy pep rally to a strange comment by one family member who wished he had been able to pull the trigger.

My response was to suggest that chances were very slim that bin Laden or any major terrorist figure was going to appear in the limited space between his couch and his beer fridge.

Sitting at dinner the other night, NPR going in the kitchen as it always is when I'm in the room, Leopold stated his disbelief that the kind of building being described in the news could have gone unnoticed.

Leopold: I mean, remember when all those people were living in the house in our neighborhood?

Artboy: Which house?

Leopold: The one at the end of the block.

Artboy: You mean the one that we thought had a huge family living in it that we later found out was a squat/whorehouse?

Leopold: Yeah. That one. *pause* But we still knew there were people there.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

First impressions.

Here's a funny thing.

Not far from our house here in our new rural city there is a low-slung building that, the first time I passed it on foot, instantly caught my eye.

And why is that?

Because the minute that I saw it I thought, "Funeral home." And I did this not because it had a sign out front that said: funeral home. In fact, when I got close enough that I was able to actually read the signage, the building is actually a "life tribute and arrangement center" with a large "family reception area" attached.

So what was it that made me think "funeral home" when I spied this relatively anonymous brick building that was NOT surrounded by hearses and mourning family members on their way to a life tribute and/or reception?

The font that was used on the signage. It screamed funeral home.

Which is funny.

Because, really, if you're going to go to all the trouble of coming up with a moniker like "life tribute and arrangement center" so that you don't have a big sign on your business that says "funeral home", you might want to ask the designer to, I don't know, steer away from a font that likely has "coffin" in its title.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Getting it together...

Now ends the winter of my discontent.

Okay. No. Not really.

But I have been taking the time to try and get some things in order.

In the aftermath of taxocalypse I've devoted attention to creating the systems I need to more responsibly keep track of receipts and expenses and donations. It's not to say that this will at all change the outcome of next year...but I'm going to go down swinging.

I've put similar attention toward household expenses, buckling down with some new budget goals and may even...wait for it...try to figure out how to make this whole grocery store coupon thing start working for me.

I'm avoiding the credit card and have started looking at some of the online resources for doing better with the ones I do have.

But more than all of these things, I'm trying once more to carve out honest and for real writing time.

Not freelance writing time. Not work for other people or letters or e-mails or the rest that will go out with someone else's name. My own writing. I've even done something that I've not done in a long time.

I applied for a spot in a writing workshop.

True, I'm feeling a little punk that my application was submitted with a piece that has been floating on my computer for longer than I care to think about, but this was to get started. This was to shake the dust off. Upcoming deadlines, I am determined, will be the hopefully not-too-greatly-disappointed recipients of brand, spanking new work.

Which means all those bright ideas and clever starts and "wouldn't it be funny if..." bits and pieces need to get a little attention.

As does this blog. While it could all go the way of Nablohbluebitters past, I'm going to try and get back to the once-a-day posting. Or, at least, once every week.

Or, perhaps, often enough that I don't have to pause before entering my password because I'm trying to figure out what it is.

So, no, it might not be the end of my discontent. Which is okay.

After all, I need to have something to write about.