Monday, November 15, 2010

A Suldog Primer

Last week, a visitor left a comment that my posts were like reading a pinball machine. That’s pretty funny. Much as the silver ball caroms from flippers to bumpers to posts, I flit from thought to thought like a drunken fly in a pasture full of cow patties. I think it also means that most people under the age of 25 (as well as a fair amount over) find me to be a boring waste of time. Fair enough. I find most people under the age of 25 (as well as a fair amount over) not just boring, but supercilious.

(I tend to use too many parentheses.)

And sentences beginning and ending conjunctions and prepositions with.

I’m an interesting writer, but sometimes not an easy read.

I tend to lead with my heart, and I’ll go from a week or two of posts that are all goodness and light, to following up with two or three posts in a row that appear to have been soaked overnight in particularly odiferous bile. I can understand why some people come here, read a few posts, think I’m the greatest thing since sliced bread, and then send their friends here only to find that the bread has turned moldy. In order to head off further defections from the ranks, I’ll point out that without moldy bread, we wouldn’t have penicillin. Also, I’m going to give you a primer concerning me and what you’re likely to find in my writings. That way, the next time somebody says they had no idea what they were getting into when they gave me an award, I can just refer them to this post. It likely won’t make that person feel any better about having been reamed, but it will make ME feel better accusing THEM of laziness in their reading habits rather than having to acknowledge the fact that I’m a jerk.

Let’s start with what you’re likely to find here.

I write essays. I tell stories. I string together bunches of corny jokes. I sometimes give my opinion concerning some part of the world or its people. I start lots of sentences with I.

Most of my essays and stories concern my family. Since I’m part of my family, I tend to speak about myself a lot. This upsets the odd reader or two. Personally, I find it strange when someone accuses me of being too self-involved. It’s nearly impossible to not be self-involved and remain interesting as a writer. Anyone who isn’t the star of his or her own life – or, at least, the co-star – isn’t likely to be a very compelling read.

(I think the problem isn’t that I pay so much attention to myself, as it is that I’m unwilling to acknowledge the moral superiority of the person complaining. I’ve found it usually the case that when someone says, “Get over yourself”, the person saying it needs to take that advice to heart more than the person toward which it’s directed.)

Most of what I write is true. That is, I draw upon my life experiences, and it will involve real people and places (although I sometimes change names to protect my nose when I visit the old neighborhood.) I hope that I make it clear enough when something is supposed to be taken as humor, either by explicitly admitting that I’m full of shit or through the use of wildly ridiculous jokes. If you find neither, either your sense of humor is deficient or I’m telling a lie. Or something like that.

When it’s brought to my attention that I might actually have offended someone, I’ll usually apologize. I rarely set sail with the specific purpose of making someone feel bad.

(If I do have that goal in mind, I think I’ll generally make it quite obvious by the overwhelming amount of vitriol used. I see no reason to engage in hand-to-hand combat if I have enough bombs to do the job.)

I have some pet peeves, and I’ll likely write something concerning them in any calendar year. The main one is Christmas advertising and music before Thanksgiving. Others include, but are not limited to, television shows that exploit discord in personal relationships; ads that pop up on-screen during television shows; people who lie for personal gain; political commentators and writers who faun over Democrats and/or Republicans while utterly ignoring anyone outside of the mainstream; and those who want to take away my freedom, no matter how noble they feel their cause.

My loves include MY WIFE, The Boston Celtics, fast-pitch softball, playing the bass guitar, The Three Stooges, peanut butter, and Mister Rogers. I’ll mention some of them too often for your comfort.

I tend to post re-runs once every couple of months. If you’re new here, you won’t notice it for a while. When I post them, I usually try to give some added value by writing fresh introductory material. I’ll be doing it this Friday, actually. Hope you enjoy it!

When someone gives me an award, I generally insult the hell out of that person (as well as his or her ethnic origins, personal habits, photographs on their website, and anything else I can latch onto for a cheap laugh.) I actually appreciate getting awards, and almost all of them I’ve received are listed on my sidebar. The attacks are meant in fun. In most instances, even though I’ve denigrated others, I’ve aimed the bulk of the disparaging material at myself.

I guess that’s enough about what you can expect to read if you keep coming here. Now I’ll give you information concerning my background and what may be informing the words I choose to publish.

I was raised as a Catholic. I flirted with agnosticism for a while, but then came back to the church. I left it again, a few years back, when I found that I could no longer stand to contribute time or money to an institution with so many hypocrites holding high-ranking positions. Your mileage may vary, and, if so, there’s something to be said for you being a better Christian than I am since you suffer fools more gladly. As could be inferred from the previous sentence, I still consider myself a Christian. I believe in God, and Jesus Christ as my savior. I’m unaffiliated, a free agent. That’s because I find something objectionable in every sect I’ve thus far explored. Of course, they’d probably find something objectionable in me, too, so we’re even.

I was raised a Democrat. I discovered Libertarianism in my teens and have been a Libertarian ever since. I once held the office of State Chair for the Libertarian Party in Massachusetts. I’ve run for office as a Libertarian, as well as been campaign manager for a few other folks. While I still firmly believe that a system of government that allows the most individual freedom is best, I’ve also come to the realization that the Libertarian Party, as a political entity, will ultimately, and without fail, shoot itself in the foot. The folks within that organization who truly understand politics are few and far between, and the ideologues that insist on purity at the expense of success will always sabotage the gains made by those who were willing to compromise. I no longer officially belong to the party. I am listed as ‘unenrolled’ on the Massachusetts voter registration lists (that would be ‘independent’, in most other states), and I mostly tend to ignore politics as much as possible because it is better for my mental health.

I am a great believer in sex, both as a fun activity and as a therapeutic aid. How you get your rocks off is your business, so long as you cause no harm to another. I am a firm proponent of onanism, and whatever tools you bring to the table to accomplish the task at hand is OK by me.

(One would hope you’re not actually doing it on the table to which you bring the tools, but if you’re the only one eating dinner there, more power to you.)

As regards the above, I think pornography is a swell thing. It provides incentive for the mentally healthy to take matters into their own hands rather than foist their desires upon unwilling others. It is akin to methadone for a heroin addict.

Speaking of drugs, I’ve done them. Lots of them. And I enjoyed most of them; otherwise, I wouldn’t have done more. So far as I can tell, I’ve suffered few lasting ill effects from my drug usage. That’s the case for most who do drugs. We come out the other end of the experience mostly whole and appreciably wiser.

(I’m not belittling the unfortunate folks who have done harm to themselves, but I think that education and legality would do a whole lot more to prevent such instances than ignorance and prohibition. Many folks who die from drug usage do so because of either impurity in unregulated junk or because they don’t know enough about what they’re ingesting and so take too much. And those who go on to crime often do so because they can’t afford their fixes, which they could if their drugs were legal. I believe it should completely be up to each individual to decide what he or she puts into his or her body.)

I suppose it goes without saying that I’m opinionated. Having admitted that, I’ll let you know that I consider myself one of the easiest people in the world with whom to get along. You can be six different kinds of asshole and I can probably find some sort of common ground where we won’t argue and can coexist in peace. I’ll diligently search for that ground, if you give me a chance.

Despite the many ways I’ve already glorified myself here, I’m basically modest and shy. I know – just saying that seems to make it false, but I still feel it’s true. I’m the king of blushing. The slightest praise or the smallest gaffe will turn my face crimson. Perhaps I’m not so much humble as I have sucky blood pressure, but humble serves my purposes here, so I’m going with that.

I’m a soft touch. When somebody comes to me with a cause asking for support, I will more often than not agree to help. For instance, my buddy, Stu, sent me the following e-mail...

Got a favor to ask, though it's totally cool if you're not into it. See, a musician buddy of mine (we've been real friends since 1st grade) works on The View. He's an audio engineer - he does their live sound reinforcement. Anyway, the show's producers came up with a segment: They auditioned all of the crew who are also musicians for a "Behind The Scenes/In Front Of The Camera" thing. My buddy won one of five spots. They are gonna show him playing during one (or more) of the "going to commercial" spots (it's about 45 seconds). They'll point to the show's website, where people can vote. Whomever gets the most votes gets a full segment on the show, which is huge. My job, as his friend, is to find as many people as possible to vote for him. This is where you come in. If you're up for it, would you be willing to pimp him, to get your dog-pound (or whatever us Suldog readers are called) to stuff the ballot box?


... and here’s where you can go to cast your vote for his buddy.

Vote For Mike Glazier!

I could go on, and recapitulate the entirety of every personal fact I've already put out here over the course of 5+ years, but even I get tired of me after a while. I’ll give you just one more useful piece of information. I end almost every piece with the following illiterate sign-off:

Soon, with more better stuff.

(But, not this time.)


Bruce Coltin said...

So, the next time you piss me off, I have to read this post and then tell you what a lazy bastard I was for being pissed off in the first place?

That sounds fair.

Suldog said...

I knew you'd grasp it immediately, Bruce!

(not necessarily your) Uncle Skip, said...

Grandma Skip's ex-boss has a favorite saying, "It doesn't get any better than this."


Jewels said...

"have been soaked overnight in particularly odiferous bile"

Favourite line of the day.

And: I didn't know you played base!

Anonymous said...

OK, I gotta say this is the best intro ever for pimping someone. Seriously, best ever.

I'm on my way to vote for whoever you're telling me to vote for.

- Jazz

Stu said...

You Rock!!

Anonymous said...

Huh... I went, it said vote for your favorite and the box was blank as blank as my mind on this Morning. Dunno if it's a problem with them or me...

- Jazz

Anonymous said...

I'm a huge proponent of penecillin too.

But I really should try to stop growing it in my kitchen.


I like your blog. I don't always comment, but I always read. You can be whoever you want: it's YOUR blog.

Craig said...

OK, so when can we sit down to have a beer or two (or three or four) together?

Suldog said...

Uncle Skip - Bacon!

Jewels - Yes, First Base. I also play with fish, and that would be the bass.

Jazz - On behalf of Stu, Thanks!

Stu - On behalf of me, Thanks!

Jazz - On behalf of the internet, Duh! No, seriously, I have no idea what the problem might be. I tested the link myself and was able to vote. Hope it resolves, and thanks again!

Suldog said...

Quirky - Thank you. I love you, too!

Oh, wait, maybe it wasn't quite that strong a sentiment. Well, I love you, anyway. Take it or leave it.

Craig - How does Saturday, 2012 sound? I think I'm free then. If not, I'll at least give you good value for your money.

IT (aka Ivan Toblog) said...

Subtle, I like that.

Uncle Skip's grandmother's ex is right.

3GKnight said...

I hope my "I love your posts" and the wink ;) came through loud and clear when I said reading your posts was like reading a pinball game. It doesn't sound like you took offense, but if you did, I hope it was only the briefest of moments.

(I've given up on apologizing for offending people with the littlest of comments. If they want to get offended, they are more than welcome.)

Suldog said...

IT - Subtlety is my middle name. My parents were very weird.

3GirlKnight - Offense? Heaven forbid! I truly thought it was one of the most accurate descriptions of my writing ever written! I loved it!

Michelle H. said...

I'm being good today, so no pointing fingers at the double entendres throughout this post.

Ah, to know you is to love you, and I do so love your posts. You honestly know yourself and never sugarcoat things. Not many people are like that, which is why you probably have so many loyal readers. You can still surprise us sometimes. I hope you die with a keyboard in your hand making posts. Don't ever stop (even with the reruns).

Skip said...

Uh, oh! There seems to be some confusion.

Maybe I should explain that Grandma Skip is my wife? In some circles she is known as the lady in red.

And I forgot to link the Bacon

Buck said...

Well, I was with ya all the way to the end. But... sorry, Stu. And Jim. I'm philosophically opposed to The View. I just can't DO that. I'm sure Stu's bud will get enough votes without mine.

As for the rest of it? It's about as accurate a description as anyone could come up with... and to think it's autobiographical! Cool. Not many of us know ourselves this well. I think age has something to do with that.

Jinksy said...

I think you have merely given us extremely good example of a Piscean Personality. Friends to all, and soft at heart. Never mind about the rest of the stuff! I still enjoy reading your waffle whenever I have a few minutes in which I'm not writing my own!LOL :)

Eddie Bluelights said...

Odiferous bile!
Love that phrase! LOL
Quite the Dr Jeckyll today aren't you! What happenned to the Mr Hyde we know and love?
Oh and by the way you still have not accepted my award I gave you a few decades ago LOL.
I think you and I belong to the same'invisible church' or true church - no buildings or denominations - just the truth and biblical fundamentals. Agree about the hypocrites in the established churches - and Jesus did about the so called religious people in His day.
Great post Jim

Reasons said...

Glad you got that off your chest.

Have a good day Jim.

We do love you, you know :-) x

Chris said...

When you say that as far as you can tell you've suffered no long-term effects from your drug usage, are you actually admitting that this is how you would've turned out anyway?

Odiferous Bile would be a great name for a rock band. Or someone's blog, actually.

Suldog said...

Well, actually, K-Head, I could have claimed that drugs made me a better man than I would have been without them, but I don't have actual proof either way, so...

Daryl said...

Voted.. how many times a day can I vote? I mean if I am stuffing ballot boxes I wanna get in as many as I can ..

Shrinky said...

I love you write stories about you and yours, it's authentic, true, often hilarious, and can also be deeply moving, too. You don't gloss over the bumpy bits, or try to paint a perfect picture, you are honestly able to own your mistakes, maybe that's one of the reasons why we love you so much!

Oh, and um, well yeah, that and the fact that you happen to write so darn well..

Moannie said...

But those of us who love you know all that stuff already.
This is where you get the truth..sometimes hilarious, sometimes vociferous and always suprising.

Hilary said...

Just as Moannie said. To know you is to love you.

And I voted.

Lori said...

Since I am a new reader of yours, I do appreciate you taking the time to share these things about yourself. By golly we have a lot in you already know the Christmas stuff before Thanksgiving is a pet peave of mine...I tend to lead with my heart too...I was born and raised Catholic, later became a believer and tried "church" and I found out all the things you mentioned I'm a believer that doesn't go to a church political views are neither right nor left...I love peanut butter too :)and think Mister Rogers wisdom is great...and really who doesn't believe in sex?...and drugs, did way too many of them but am the first to admit that I had a lot of fun during those days even though I am the first to admit I did a lot of stupid stuff too...:)

Glad I stopped by and got a chance to read and say hello. :)

Saz said...

thanks Jim for you and your blog..its this and others that see me through the night, the dark temptress that lurks and leans in... in part shadow..

l keep sane, just on dark days and nights as these are....

if l didnt have this l would be curled up in a ball tonight...counting the seconds to daybreak...

gotta luv you

saz x

sorry didnt mean to go all drama queen on you...but just did said...

Wow... the things you can learn about a person. (Although this might have been too much information!) I'll be happy to vote for Mike!

Julie said...

hey it's your blog you can write what and how you want!

however, i did enjoy the bio (i guess that's autobio?)

sounds like we've got a lot in common - would love to get together for a beer if you're ever in the neighbourhood!

lime said...

I am a firm proponent of onanism, and whatever tools you bring to the table to accomplish the task at hand is OK by me.

(One would hope you’re not actually doing it on the table to which you bring the tools, but if you’re the only one eating dinner there, more power to you.)

and now for one of my favorite movie quotes in an otherwise annoying movie (where the heart is). stockard channing bows to say grace over the evening meal and says, "for the food we are about to eat may we be truly grateful. and dear lord please forgive us for the fornication which was committed upon this very table only this morning."

as for the onanism, are you really proposing it's ok for family to leave a widowed sister-in-law destitute and without means to be provided for? ya know, since onan was put to death for being unwilling to impregnate his dead brother's wife in an act of old testament sanctioned levirate marriage so she could have a son who would provide for her in her old age....because it wasn't the wanking that irked god so much.

oh, i guess if i do a primer for myself i should include the fact that i can be shamelessly pedantic, huh?

love ya, suldog, and your WONDERFUL WIFE too.

Craig said...

Ah, yes - nothing like a good ol' in-depth biblical exegesis of onanism. . .

(HAH! I said 'in-depth'!)

Ananda girl said...

As I was reading this... Christmas music was lilting out of the TV behind me. Sheesh!

Suldog said...

Well, see, God can create people using any number of various ingredients - dust, spare ribs - and, in a somewhat famous incident later on, there was no human male involved in the act at all. So, if He was only interested in providing someone for her old age, He certainly could have handled it Himself.

However, Onan was disposed of, there's no arguing that. I believe that it wasn't his refusal to completely do the dirty, so much as it was his refusal to carry out orders, of whatever sort. The spilling of seed wasn't, in and of itself, the problem.

Anyway, I only used the term "onanism" because it sounds so much classier than saying pounding your pud or whatever.

Anonymous said...

OK, you realize you just opened the door for "Name Your Favorite Euphemism", don't you? Mine would be "Shaking hands with the mayor"

Anonymous said...

Your writing is always a good read.
Makes me smile and laugh, what is better than that.

Suldog said...

DJ Big Mick - My favorite euphemism has always been "Imagining Naked Women Doing All Sorts Of Lascivious Things While Simultaneously Tugging On My Penis".

Oh, wait. That's not really a euphemism. Never mind.

Pearl said...

Oh, MAN do we have a lot in common.


Pearl said...

p.s. Voted for Mike. Go Mike!

Cricket said...

Heh, heh. No surprises (for me) here. I like it. Sort of an all-purpose disclaimer.

You should post a waiver form, for all who might "award" you... ok, sign here... and here... initial here... and one more right here. Good. Everything seems to be in order.

Point blowtorch away from face when lighting....

Jeni said...

I think I've probably said this -or something much like this -sometime before but I just don't get those who come here and read your stuff and don't "get it." Maybe I enjoy your writing -and sense of humor -as much as I do because I am basically a dirty old lady (getting older by the minute now too) who loves good risque humor? I dunno. But truthfully, I think it's because for openers, in your prose, you do lead with your heart and at least 95% of the time, you posts are extremely well organized and written. Oh you may ramble about a bit from time to time but that just makes your stuff a bit more interesting then -at least to me -probably because I am a confirmed rambler when it comes to trying to put my thoughts into words to be read by one or two others in the blogosphere. People do need to "get over themselves" for sure if they take personal offense to your pieces. Just keep on keeping on, Jim!

Jenn Flynn-Shon said...

Pinball was always one of my favorite arcade games. I sucked at it but kept going back to try again because it always left me smiling and laughing. Huh...kind of like your blog. The perfect description indeed and really why I keep reading you. There are so few of us bloggers out there who just post about any old thing we want. Most of them are for business or whatever but I like reading true writers. Writers who say what they feel and feel what they say are sometimes hard to find in the virtual world. Thanks for never letting me down (even in the reposts!).

Jackie said...

The pinball analogy is a perfect one for you, Jim....and smiled to see that you didn't close with your usual sign off (cough)....
Always a pleasure to come here and see what's on your mind....

Anonymous said...

Okay, I'm late to your blog, but none of this surprised me! I learned a lot without having to read back several years, so I appreciate it! (I use too many parentheses, too.)

Rosaria Williams said...

Thanks for the visit, S. Happy Thanksgiving.

Jane said...

I love that I usually have to have open next to your posts.

It's an educational experience.

Pam said...

I love an opinionated person and have to say you're one of the best! I always look forward to what you're saying next!

Karen said...

"like a drunken fly in a pasture full of cow patties"

Love that.

Okay, okay, I'm going to vote.

Dog pound??

The Amateur Storyteller said...

I Had to click 'Follow' for the the sheer enjoyment of your open-mindedness!

Sarah said...

You remind me of my dad...if my dad were younger, less Republican, and sat down to write something some time. Other than that, you're twins separated at birth!

And I too fear I abuse the parentheses. It's their own fault for being so useful.

Love your blog.

ChristyLyn said...

so glad I read ALL the comments, now I don't have to google the dictionary at the same time.....

funny thing, my hubbs loves the anthony bourdain show....this guys voice just won't leave my brain I read your primer and you have the same accent when I is too weird....I don't usually "hear" when I read, anyway, trully enjoyed the read.

I will be back!

DowntroddenInDC said...

Who doesn't change every day? Sometimes, it seems some of these blogs are too choreographed, like they have ghostwriters writing as if it were for a tenth grade english paper.

I salute you for admitting you're like everyone else!