A Short Post about the Weather

It’s been almost 8 months since I moved from California to the previously-mostly-left-leaning State of New York, taking up residence in the heart of New York’s Separatist Confederate Appendage, known as Long Island. 

As a forever Californian, I am truly grateful for every time I’m on the highway, and see a blue, black, or camouflage green Dodge Ram 1500 pickup, sporting any number of multiple Black-and-White-Thin-Blue-Line-Punisher-Skull-Let’s-Go-Brandon-I’m-Armed-And-I-Vote decals that never fail to remind me just how great a Second Amendment Patriot they are, because without said decals, I might lose my soul by inadvertently making eye-contact with them on my way to that Sanctuary City of Retail… Trader Joe’s.

Other things that I have learned in my 8 months of living just off the southern border of Canada are words and phrases used by New York TV meteorologists.  Those terms… and their Straight Outta SoCal translations… include, in no particular order,

East Coast Terms…………………….West Coast Translations

Rain…………………………………………..Rain 

Soaking Rain…………………………..Wet Rain

Wash-out…………………………………Rain (stay home)

Drought……………………………………Rain Next Tuesday

Tree Pollen Alert……………………..People Sneeze

Heat Index……………………………….People Move to California

Wind-chill………………………………..Cold

Lake Effect……………………………….Cold (stay home)

Arctic Air…………………………………..Cold (for Canada)

Dew Point…………………………………Meaningless Weather Obsession

Bomb Cyclone…………………………Patio Furniture into the Garage

Ice Fog………………………………………First Circle of Hell

Thunder Snow………………………….See: Lake Effect

Weather Watch………………………..Beer in Hand on Front Porch

Tropical Storm………………………….Now and Then Winter in Southern California

Weather Warning…………………….Beer in Hand in Basement

Hurricane…………………………………..I’d Rather Have an Earthquake

Truthfully, being raised in Southern California, I have never encountered a more weather-centric culture than the Tri-State (that’s New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut, NOT Indiana, Ohio, and Kentucky). 

Also totally new to me is their weather-centrism, which, while totally legitimate as with Super-Storm Sandy, also carries over to weather-watching along the Southern-Atlantic Coast (because that’s where the hurricanes make landfall) as well as watching the West Coast of Africa (where the storms that become hurricanes originate).

Then again, I’ve also never known folks who would still rather live in a region where all that weather shit happens regularly, yet become visibly agitated when the idea of an adorable little 14-seconds-long-7-point-ohhhh earthquake in California finds its way into a casual weather conversation.    

But that’s probably a blog post for some time in November, 2023.

And today’s question.  Did you ever move from one part of the country or the world, to another distinctly different part of the country or the world?  How did that change the way you think, about where you once were, as well as where you ended up?

This one, I’m extra curious about.

I’ll be reading.

Talk to you tomorrow.

Dr Pimple Popper Poetry

The need for some

to see the bum

of someone with a pimple

is gross and too

disgusting to

explain to those so simple.

An ingrown hair

when it hits the air

will look just like a spider

and a carbuncle

on your sweaty uncle

will splatter all the wider.

When evacuated bumps

gush cottage cheese in clumps

all for the sake of better dermal health

the only thing I see

as I hide my eyes and flee

is a doctor’s bank account increasing wealth.

So if you want me to look

I will tell you I’d rather read a book

of couplets rhymed and read aloud quite loosely

because there won’t come a day

when I succumb to this display

of you conniving me to watch obtusely.

But let me tell you what,

I will not watch the clefted butt

of reality TV outpatient surgery 

I will however say

that in the past as with today

not one damn thing I wrote in this was perjury.

And now that you’ve read THAT, do you even want to leave me a comment about a thing you’ve had a friend recommend to you that is just too gross for you to think twice about seeing, doing, or letting live, rent free, in your head?

Share ’em if you got ’em, please?

Talk to you tomorrow.

The Big Quit or My Friend Tom from MySpace

November 18, NanoPoblano 2020.  A November blog day just like any other.  Except on THIS blog day, I quit.

It had been just over one year since I was the lucky survivor of cancer.  Undiagnosed for what doctors deemed “a while”, growing quietly on my right kidney, reaching Stage 3.  Keeping its business to itself, without jumping over any margins, to any other organs, then showing itself, only at the last minute, through something as desperately random as a never-ending stream of blood in my urine. 

Medical emails, followed by tests and re-tests during the panic of a pandemic, and in just 6½ short but agonizingly slow weeks, it was over.  The whole kidney removed, and with it, the monster on my insides.  Jump ahead just a little over one year later, and I thought that blogging about my journey from first symptom to medical all-clear was brilliant, and easy, and something I was ready to undertake.

I could not have been more wrong. 

What should’ve been light and anecdotal posts, post-nightmare, became a greater and greater weight on me throughout the month, until, on November 18, I just stopped writing about it. 

I just stopped writing, about anything.

Gee, I wonder why.

Why does a boxer quit on their stool?  Why does a marathoner just walk off the course with the finish line in sight?  Why do people quit working for Twitter?  You can answer those questions any way you want.  For me, the answers are, at their core, the same. 

Because they are done, that’s why.

So today, quietly, and celebrating only with myself, I mark the second anniversary of the day I quit on my stool.  For me, there was no NanoPoblano 2021.  There was only walking off the course of a marathon without having even begun the race.  Oh and, fuck Twitter, though I still have my two accounts there, in case My Friend Tom from MySpace ever wants to resurrect that decomposing blue bird, during what’s left of my lifetime. 

But I… as usual… digress, BIG TIME.

I guess that’s who I’ve become, or more accurately, who I’ve embraced already being, in the last two years since “The Big Quit”.  I’m more me, or maybe I’m just me… more.  This had to have always been “me”, whoever that was.  And if you knew me before “The Big Quit”, maybe I let you in on it.  Also, maybe I didn’t, but if you’re here now, I’m damn sure letting you see it, every day, for 18 straight days, unlike the last time.

Okay, now YOU.  We’ve all quit on our stool.  So what was yours?  It doesn’t have to be a monumental thing, but if it WAS monumental, that’s okay, too.  If you want to share, please do.  If not, just share it with yourself. 

I already know what a good listener you are.

Talk to you tomorrow.

Something Very Much Like Frost

Nobody’s comin’ to save you,

to save you. 

But if somebody’s comin’ to save you,

to save you 

Then nobody’s comin’ to save you,

from him.

(c) 2022 William S. Friday

Sometimes, I wander through my world, singing.  Just to myself.  I mostly don’t write it down, because the words are coming off the top of my head as I go about my everyday business, and I don’t stop the song to write it all down, because that will interrupt the flow.

I mean, sometimes I write it down, if I get lucky and I have a pen and paper close by, or maybe my phone.  I can tell you when it doesn’t happen.  It doesn’t happen when the laptop is open and the page is blank, and I’m staring at it like the words should already be there. 

Well, there was this one time.  Today.

I’ve learned to accept this spontaneous expression, which comes when I expect it the least, as a small, boxed gift without a card attached.  As just an anonymous blessing, quickly forgotten.  The way I’m told frost comes when it’s cold overnight, then in the morning, it’s gone before you think to take a picture of it.

Also, taking pictures of frost is a tourist thing, and I’m really trying hard to blend in around here.

The song in the quote box, above, is something very much like frost.  It was here, then gone, and pretty soon, will be forgotten.  The only difference, right here right now?  The laptop was open.  So what was intended only for me, I now share with you.

But what does a chorus without a backstory or a conclusion mean?  It beats the hell out of me.  I suppose I could guess.  I mean, you could guess if you want to.  I pretty much never know what the gift-giver intends, when the gift is delivered. 

I just open it, and sing.

So, do you ever experience spontaneous creativity?  It doesn’t have to be writing.  It could literally be anything.  I know I do, with more things than this.  What’s yours?

Talk to you tomorrow.

Come With Me If You Want To Live

Sure, I’d like to be writing something else right now.  Maybe thinking through the deeper implications of literary non-fiction, or even free-versing some poetry, but no.  I’m un-showered (a water main shut-off in the neighborhood), and under the general malaise of the first 24 hours after my post-booster omicron variant shot, while writing this, and watching the “cuss-words removed for TV” version of the 1984 film classic, The Terminator

And also, drinking cream soda.  Mmmmm… cream soda.  If cream soda is wrong, I don’t want to be right.

Not too much else to say about my lack of production today, except that, if the water gets turned back on before the movie ends, or before this post gets written, I’m ducking out on both, just as quick as I can.  It’s not that I have…

…checks faucets…

*STOP! Shower Time!*

…and, I’m back!

As I was saying, at least for today, while I would rather be writing something memorable, or even monumental, all I’m doing is knocking out 500-or-so words, right off the top of my head.  Nothing deep, nothing to put in a book, and absolutely nothing to be so proud of, as to leave up on this blog, except in a mostly-invisible folder you can click on in the future if you’re so inclined.  Rather, what this day, and pretty much EVERY day in November is for, comes down to the simple discipline of writing SOMEthing, even when I don’t feel inspired, let alone brilliant, let alone even when I don’t particularly give a shit. 

For me, the month of November is about that kind of discipline, and little else, and you visiting my blog just to see how things are going, is a lot like a friend swinging by the house when I haven’t had a shower or brushed my teeth, and have two loads of dirty laundry strewn across the living room, between the front door and the washer and dryer.  But if you’re cool like that, I’m cool like that.   I always like having you over, but let me just say as I let you in everyday, that the place is a mess, and if you trip over stuff, the personal injuries are all on you.

If you didn’t already know this, writing and I have had a funny relationship for as far back as I can remember.  While pausing over the keys, I just had a flashback of a one-act play I wrote when I was in the 6th grade which, for you keeping score at home, made me 11 years old at the time.  This spun my head further into that time, to a playground football memory, and then a thought about my 6th grade teacher, Mr. McKinney, who looked like Richard Roundtree in the movie Shaft, and right back to the surface again to pick back up at, “…funny relationship for as far back…” and here I am again, may the circle be unbroken

So yeah, as you can see, “funny relationship” may be an understatement, but that story may best explain why I’m using November as a discipline to grow some long-gone-soft writing muscles, and not as a showcase for my story-crafting talent.

And don’t let anyone tell you that accidental self-hypnosis isn’t a very real thing.

Time for me to do the laundry.

And of course, I have a question for you.  If you had to think of the one, REALLY real reason why you’re writing your way through this November, what would that reason be?  Those of you who are not writing, don’t worry, I’ll have a question for you before the month is over.

Talk to you tomorrow.

What I Did on my Day 15 Vacation

Get vaccinated. Get boosted. We’re all in this together. And remember, it’s not just about YOU.

I’ll be back again tomorrow with something less provocative, and more entertaining. Maybe a story about wearing wide fit, machine-washable Skechers in the snow like a New York transplant from Southern California, or how I still have to binge 6 more episodes of The Walking Dead before the Sunday night Series Finale, or maybe even my favorite recipe for sea food chowder.

Talk to you then.

Tomorrow is a Day Called Tuesday

No, actually, I DON’T know what day it is. 

I mean, I know where to look to know what day it is, right in front of me, from the laptop, upon which I am presently banging keys.  But for perspective, take a look at the photo at the top of this post.  Do that now, I’ll wait…

…did you look?  Good.  That’s my ACTUAL, actual 3-D desk calendar.  And, as you just saw, it’s currently telling us that my desk is living the day of October 27th, for the 19th Groundhog Day in a row.

Now I’m not saying that any day and date isn’t a bigger challenge to keep straight for either of us, particularly in the post-2020 world.  Remembering that this is 2022, and that the world took a two-year hiatus, only made it easier for those of us who already had a hard time centering the fact that high school graduation was not a little over 20 years ago, but actually a little over 40, and that Buffy the Vampire Slayer ended almost TWENTY YEARS AGO!!!

Read that again.  The air date of the series finale of BtVS was on the 20th of May, in the Year of our Lord, 2003.

Not helping any of that, I believe, is that blogging daily, for 30 consecutive days, has robbed a lot of us of the small perspectives that come from still being able to appreciate abstract concepts, like eating, or the day known as Tuesday.  Even high concept ideas, like the existence of weekends, get lost when we’re grinding out content on every day that ends in Y.  And from what I understand, there are some desk calendars that remind us of this, EVERY DAY.

Okay, I know how analog that sounds.

And with that confession, I’m going to reset my 3-D desk calendar, and remember that tomorrow is just a day known as Tuesday.  But now, it’s time for the question.  How are you doing with the smushing together of your days into weeks, and weeks into a month of sharing your words… in blog posts, in comments, in every form of support, including reading other blogs?  Are you doing okay?  Feeling a little out of it?  Or, maybe you’re feeling a lot out of it?

Think about it.  I’d like to hear.

And I’ll see you tomorrow.

In a Morning of Social Indifference

“I didn’t have a feeling about it, one way or the other, enough to click ‘like’ on it.”

My Morning Journal 11/13/22

I’m asking today’s question at the beginning for a change. 

Do you ever read a friend’s post, and simply skip over the anymore-mostly-obligatory click on some sort of throw-away affirmation of what they were saying?  I don’t mean a well-thought-out comment; I mean just a thumbs-up.  Not even a heart, or the heart’s weak sauce cousin the heart hug.  Not the shock face, or the single tear face, or even the orange constipated face, but just an OG, pre-2016, barely a nod in the middle of a real-life conversation, thumbs up?

Okay, tell me if you’ve ever done this.

You’re dutifully doom-scrolling through your morning social media feed when, not because of some algorithm-busting presets, but just because this is where they come up in your seemingly random news feed, you see a post by a friend.  Not a friend in internet name only, but, regardless of how you acquired them, online or in real life, an actual friend.  And you read what it was they felt compelled to say, and you feel no corresponding compel to say… anything.  More than that, you not only feel no “amen” or “atta-person”, no long-form affirmation or adjunct thought, not even a lean in the direction of a fucking emoji.

You just scroll on by.

So have you ever asked yourself, “Why?”  I did, this morning.  I scribbled a couple of paragraphs about it, and what I got was the philosophical equivalent of the OG, blue thumbs up emoji, or every Joey Tribbiani reply at the end of a Chandler Bing soliloquy. What I got was,

“I got nuthin’.”

I feel like Camus would be proud.

But more than the nuthin’ was a deeply philosophical something, that upon further review, I realized was the affect of every November spent blogging on the daily, and from which I have never NOT felt so much THIS SOMETHING that I couldn’t blog again, except in rare instances, for a whole ‘nother year, or in my present November, it’s been two years.

That something I feel is… empty.

Empty.  Not burnt out, not disinterested, not inferior, just empty.  But, in the short time it took for me to recognize empty for what it was, I also experienced what empty has always done for my writing.  Empty has always freed my writing to not be so caught up in every other thought that I can’t experience creative thoughts of my own.  So for now, I’m going to run with it.  This post came from empty.  A seed for a poem that will be written soon also came from the very same empty. 

I am creating from empty.

Although, and tell me if this is not something you maybe experience, too, that empty in the long-term really sucks.  Like bleak, gray skies, sunset at just after 4 o’clock in the afternoon, SUCKS, and no one should have to handle too much of it, because anything that touches the void so fully needs to be gotten away from just as soon as it can be, for your own good, and the good of everyone else your social media profile calls, friend.

So I’ll be here, touching the void like palming a basketball, for another 18 days after this.  And then I’ll be done for a while, immersing myself in whatever is the equivalent of most other people’s requests to “send cat pictures”. 

But please don’t send me cat pictures.

And I’ll talk to you tomorrow.

Opening up a Can of Worms

Day 12, and I’m free associating wildly at the thought of writing another post.  Except I know, because I told myself so in my morning journal, that I cannot write what I really want to write.  Because in so doing, I’d be opening up a can of worms so big that I… maybe I can explain by asking you a question.

“Do you tell everyone EVERYthing about you when you talk?”

Well, do you?

Yeah, me either.  That would be the conversational equivalent of waking up on any Saturday morning in the fall, and driving down Middle Country Road to the Smith Haven Mall in Lake Grove, where I might park my car next to the Dick’s Sporting Goods, and then I, in a moment of inspiration, might leave my clothes in the car, then walk myself across the promenade, and right into a line at the food court.  Believe me when I tell you that this would be frowned upon by the locals, and likely get me handcuffed by one of Suffolktucky’s finest. 

The point being, while I have over the years become a much freer spirit than I was while growing up in Southern California, I am not so free as to allow my whole self to be shown in public without all the appropriate societal filters securely in place.

So why would I let all that hang out in a blog post?

And if you haven’t already closed the lid on your laptop or swiped the screen on your handheld device, let me go one step further by asking, if I won’t write like that on my blog, do you think it would be any easier to do that in a book? 

I mean, you would’ve had to figure there’d be more reasons why I haven’t written a book in almost 5 years than just being out of ideas.  In fact, that might have been the problem.  It’s that I’m NOT out of ideas, I just don’t have the willingness to parade my whole, naked self in front of readers, some of whom I still care enough about to not use as a prop in a thinly-veiled story about me.

By the way, for all the blog posts I’ve read, not in just the last 11 days, but over all the years I’ve been writing and reading posts, I have always, in one way or another, appreciated everyone’s honesty, even if I’ve often had to, metaphorically, cover my eyes at some of the juicy parts.  Contrary to the belief of some, I still get flushed above the beard line when I read things that had to be hard for writers to write, but even harder for the people they’ve written about, to read.

On THIS subject, Anne Lamott wasn’t totally wrong, but neither was she totally right.

So here I am, stuck in the middle of a day 12 conundrum, and a conundrum that will probably last for the rest of my writing life. Because while some people have it coming, in some cases, I have it coming more, and the bus I could easily throw some under, could just as easily be coming for me.

And here’s today’s question, “Is there something holding you back from writing the ‘whole truth’ about something?”  You know, conscience, legal considerations, friends or family you’re still speaking to.  Kick that around in your head, and get back to me with your answer. 

Preferably, with all of the appropriate societal filters securely in place.

Talk to you tomorrow.

Shit: Once Loved

“Growth is crazy.  You really just wake up one day and be uninterested in shit you once loved.”

Author Unfortunately Unknown

Sadly, there was no source given for this Instagram quote. 

If I had it to give, I would. 

One note before I get rolling.  A few “comment thread professionals” said a quote like this was a sign of depression.  Okay, but it could just as easily be a sign of growth.  We don’t always throw a parade on the day when we finally move past something that gave us years of grief.  More often, because we’re just trying to get from one morning to the next, we don’t even mark it on the calendar, or spend a paragraph on it in our journals.  It just exists, as a non-pain, or a non-thought, until circumstance brings it back to the front burner of our consciousness.  It feels good in the sense of not feeling bad, and in most moments, that is more than good enough. 

But when we realize it, I mean really realize it, in our heads, our hearts, our guts, we should take a look at the calendar and circle the date.  We should open up our phones and tap the icon that opens to today’s date and smash the + button, then give it a title, and then, set it on repeat-every year, and please, for the love of God, remember to tenderly, and deliberately, press the add button.

This is your parade now.  Let’s make it an annual occurrence.

Also, I’m drawn to the idea in the quote that, “Growth is crazy.”  Because that, it surely is.  Growth, while often steady, is decidedly non-linear, therefore unpredictable, therefore… in the vernacular of the previous century… “crazy”.  Maybe I’m drawn to the phrase because I, too, have become, in my golden years, a little unpredictable, as well.  Over the last few years in particular, my mind has come to wrap itself around the idea that, while stable is good, predictability, not so much.  I, more times than I have the space on this page to recount, have woken up to a morning of stability, only to realize, between coffee and the end of the day’s journal, that I had, mysteriously and without warning, become disinterested in shit (I) once loved.  Categories have included, but are not limited to… TV shows, living arrangements, even human beings.  And with each being a very specific and individual instance, going in-depth at this moment just isn’t going to happen. 

But knowing that there are still 19 more days left for National Blog Posting month, it would not surprise me if some of those things, labeled “Shit: Once Loved”, might creep their way into the conversation we are continuing to have.

I’d even say you should count on it.

Okay then, think about this for a moment, then tell me, when was there a something that you, some morning in your past, just up and discovered you were no longer tethered to?  I know mine.  I would genuinely wish to know yours.

Talk to you tomorrow.