19 February 2016

Hey Look, It's My 1,000th Post

Celebrating my 1,000th Post

My 1,000th post? It seems like only yesterday I had 999. So it was. I thought I should do something special for this momentous occasion. But then I think a lot of damn fool things and this is just one in a long string. Its such a long string that I’m forever getting tangled in knots. Knots are not knots unless not undone, or words to the effect.

I’ve long had a love affair with the English language — but don’t tell my wife, she’s the jealous type. My love affair with the written word goes back to my wayward youth when girls wouldn’t have anything to do with me. Words were always there. Words like lonely, sad, alone, despondent, depressed, ignored, forgotten and shunned. They stuck by me. Words gave me comfort, succor, companionship and a means of self expression. Words have been my primary means of self expression, ever since I flunked interpretive dance.

In my time I’ve written news articles, opinion pieces, blog posts, short stories, tweets, novels, essays, checks paid to cash, missives, epistles, captions, jokes, memos, notes, plans, lessons, lesson plans. I’ve even writ large. I have misspelled, failed to punctuate, dropped words, dropped hints, been verbose, effusive, abusive, silly, will nilly, pretentious, presumptuous, pre supposing, predictable and unpredictable and irrational and rational and obvious and oblique. In short I’ve been all things to all people at all times sometimes with rhymes and sans crimes.

But I digress….

Since I was about nine years old I’ve fancied myself a writer. Trouble is virtually no one else has. I spent a few precious years as a journalist and was a good one but walked away from it because I was a damn stupid idiot (feel free to disagree with me anytime). Of course my stupidity led me to the teaching profession where my lazy, malfunctioning brain has been on full display. Okay enough self effacement. I’ve obviously done some things right as a teacher and made my mark. I’m actually proud of my decades teaching and I’m sorry for going all sentimental here. Teaching has been a wonderful way to feel really alive and like I’m participating in the world. Without it I don’t know where I’d be other than having had more time to write more novels that would remain unpublished (some day, I swear it).

I’ve lived over half my time on this planet (wait’ll I get to you Neptune). I can honestly say that despite some rotten breaks I’ve had, thus far, a wonderful life (I’m going all George Bailey on you now). Having been married for nearly three decades to the love of my life and having sired to fantastic daughters and having enjoyed excellent physical health, I have every reason to be satisfied and humbled if not downright ecstatic about my life. But that would be boring. There is — as a wise man once said — always something to keep one from floating on air. Gravity for instance.
I continue to have my share of the always somethings but on the bright side they help me appreciate the bright side. I couldn’t really be happy without a little misery now and then. And I mean that in earnest (and Ernest isn’t too happy about the whole arrangement).

Misery loves company because without it it gets pretty lonely. It’s bad enough to be misery, to not have company and thus have to go it alone is unthinkable, now that I think about it.

Life is said to be a journey rather than a destination which means we’re all going nowhere fast and I hope I get there soon. Yes it is a journey, fortunately one that allows us to stop for meals. Eating is something I’ve longed hungered for. Life is also a long strange trip according to a rock group that I never cared for. It’s long if you’re lucky and its strange if you’re very lucky. I’d hate to be on an ordinary trip or a normal one or an average one or a pedestrian one or predictable one. Strange is good. It makes you think. Like poetry. Thinking is good for you and its always surprising how little of it a lot of folks do. They allow commentators, politicians and religious figures do it for them. Saves them a lot of bother, I suppose. I for one like the bother of having to ruminate, contemplate, ponder and wonder and mull and puzzle over and deliberate and especially wool gather whilst wearing my thinking cap.

Now as I’m getting older — which come to think of it I’ve been doing since about the time I was born, if not sooner — it seems that the years, months, weeks and days go faster (unless I’m on a crowded bus in which case time seems to veritably stand still. Actually you can remove the veritably and the seems from that, it downright comes to a screeching halt). Yes time flies and its going first class while we go coach. In fact I’ve got another birthday coming up in about a week. I’ve been having them on an annual basis. Actually I’ve been thinking about changing things and having two birthdays every 24 months. I’ll keep you posted.

But its true. I still can’t believe my wee ones are grown women. That happened fast. There’s a misnomer that pervades our culture. When a couple (more or less, sometimes its just one person and I suppose at other times three or more) are expecting a child it is said that they are going to have “a baby.” Well yes at first it is a baby, but that generally only lasts about two years and then you’ve got yourself a toddler. Later its just a regulation child often identified by year as in an eight year old or by school year as in a fourth grader. You subsequently have a pre teen, then a teen and lo behold you don’t have a baby but an adult who still calls you daddy and asks for money. Indeed you have an adult for much longer than you have a baby. But once again I’ve digressed. You’re welcome. I’m very very happy with my two former babies as I am with their mother. This is a point I made earlier and it bears repeating.

I started this ramble by revealing that this was post number 1,000. I don’t know that it qualified as an achievement or not. I actually don’t take credit for the badly written or misinformed posts so this is more like number 12. I started this blog in May of 2008, which is so long ago that I was still a public school history teacher in a middle school. Months later I left that noble profession to pursue full time blogging. No that’s a lie. I left to do something new and so I have. I now teach (there’s a switch) ESL to grown ups in an expensive international school. I fill some of my free hours by pecking at a
keyboard and posting the nonsense on this blog. I love it. I love the freedom to express myself and to do so on a variety of topics. I’ve even taken to fiction. Besides my wildly unsuccessful and unpublished novels, I write short stories and put them on the blog. This is fun for me if not for anybody who mistakenly reads one.

I don’t know if I’ll ever get to 2,000 posts. I’ve learned that life is unpredictable. It took me nearly eight years to write 1,000. Maybe Donald Trump will be elected president and free speech and blogs will be banned. You just never can tell.

Anyone I’m having fun and not hurting a soul. That, my friends, is good for the soul.

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