The Calendar (The Long Way Around)1/12/19
Well, here we are. It's me again.
Apparently I've had nothing to say worth converting to webfroth these past two years. And who could blame me? Come to think of it, who even cares? Everyone's gone to the circus — y'know, the 24/7 three ring fiesta of dung that's ensued since reeeeeeealiteeeee teeeveee took over Washington DC. How could I have hoped to compete with that? They've got nukes and everything.
I don't even have the saving grace of having formally called a halt to the whole slapstick parade like I did in 2000. I just kinda stopped. I've seen it written that a majority (like, "all but 20") blogs do this same trajectory, long and strong and getting the friction on for a couple years, then bupkis. My own efforts appear to be somewhere midstream with the rafts of floating debris and the crocodiles: better than most, but no brass ring. Aw, who needs a brass ring anyways? It'd just turn your finger green.
But the habit of inactivity, strong though it may run in my slackster veins, has nary a patch on that yet stronger habit of logorrhea under whose yoke and lash I've long endured my mizzable existence. I've probably used that reference before in other contexts. Do I repeat myself? Very well, I repeat myself. I am vast. I contain redundancies.
Wha? knows I've had more than a couple gymcrack notions suitable for essays trip lightly through my microscopic attention span, flip me the bird and trip right out again. But it's not as though I haven't had a bunch of other things to distract me, in particular the big remodel job that utterly superseded my indulging in flabfaced gasbag discourse last year. I was lucky to keep up with music, and music actually pays. Sometimes. Not too much. Mostly vegetables.
And yet, I persist. And in persisting, I've engaged the notion that there might be a dance or two left in the art of blabbage. In contrast to music, its tools are simple and direct: letters on paper, keystrokes in a file. Looks easy, doesn't it? If it was easy, everybody would do it. Hey wait, everybody is doing it. It's the Golden Age Of Blabbage and every giddy dook in sight has a blog or a Twitter feed or a FacePlant account or something. What I Ate For Breakfast isn't just for breakfast anymore. But lit's ike I always said about amateur jugglers: the more people do it, the more will appreciate just how hard it really is. Although "hard" there is a relative matter — Old Weird Bob Heinlein always extolled the superiority of labor performed at a desk in a warm cozy room over physical extremity in the driving drizzle at the low-IQ end of an idiot stick. I mean, how hard can it be? Said about five million keyboard commandos on the Internet.
On the other manipulative appendage, writing bears a similarity to music in that democratization of the means of production has effectively gutted the remunerative market for both. When everyone is a music producer or a commentator, no one will be. Paid, I mean. Sure, Thrilling Wonder Stories abound of high-minded clean-limbed young men and women seizing their destinies in their own strong manipulative appendages and steamrolling their way to The Top. Horatio Alger called — he wants his plot back. Everyone loves to hear sagas about winners and the pithy aphorisms they helpfully provide: "Believe in yourself!" "Never give up!" "Always give it 110%!" "Take advantage of your prep school connections!" Words to live by. And articles about them pay boocoo better than deep dives into the economics of failure, believe me buckaroo. People want happy endings, no matter how disingenuous they are.
Which is to say, maybe happy endings are the killer app of storytelling, and its profit center besides. Got my work cut out for me I does... Course, I ought to remember that other industry where happy endings are the point and purpose. Uh oh. Anyways, here's hoping I find the niche and the switch to get the writing gelt flowing. Or at least the writing. Sometimes. Not too much. Mostly vegetables.
Okay, this leads us by no appreciable logical path to the business end of this post, namely the yearly calendar. Last year I was so disheartened I didn't even bother to post one (I did make it tho). So, to make up for it, this year the calendar's gone (partly) FULL COLOR!, consisting of a series of motivational posters for this, the age of He Who Shall Not Be Named Unless He Gets Indicted In Which Case. As in previous years, I offer two flavors, one a straight-ahead month by month for viewing and chewing, the other repaginated to print properly.
Drink up, me hearties! Yo Ho!
Notes on the downloads: If all you want is something to read on your tablet, the Straight Version calendar works great. But if you want to sacrifice leaves of sacred paper and replicate your own personal copy, use the Printable Version file as follows: Print the whole document, even pages only. Then, print the odd pages so that page 1 appears upside down on the back of 2, 3 upside down on 4 and so forth. Depending on how your printer handles paper, you may wind up reversing the pagination to make your calendar work right. Fold the entire schmere in half so the cover is out, saddle stitch the spine and just like downtown. Only with better parking.