The Soapbox

Daily Diatribe 1/29/01:"I gots the post re-vamp blues."

Accursed expectations. They take the fun out of everything. Getting my hopes up only to have them dashed to sharp, life-threatening shards seems to be my lot in life. For instance, I decided recently to really give this web site of mine a serious overhauling. Oh, I was filled with fun and creative ideas for making it snazzier, more rewarding, more useful, and ooh, just generally super. So, I sat down at my computer and had a series of revelations about my limitations, and they were hardly what one might call "triumphant." Firstly, I can't draw. I would like to believe that I can. I can see pictures in my head, and it occurs to me that it takes just a few swizzles of the pen to bring those images to life. So, never one to shy away from a challenge, I try to sketch out the picture in my head. And what results is such a sad and mortifying combination of incompetence and near-blindness that I'm like to burst into tears. Bitter, salty tears that will only serve one purpose -- to smudge out the incriminating evidence of my complete lack of artistic ability. I can barely draw a banana. Seriously. Anyway, so my point is that I had this grand vision of what I was going to do with all of my web content, and the realization that I wouldn't be able to do some of the things I had wanted kept me from going forward for months. And now that I have managed to make the myriad pain-in-the-bum code changes that were required to port all of my crap out of the hands of Steve Case and his band of evildoers, I have released a much sadder version of my site than I would have wanted. Probably much sadder than you would have wanted as well.

Another of my shortcomings is my unwillingness to let dead things die. Some of the features on my site are truly so far past over that one might think I was hoping they'd come back into fashion one day. But that's not it, really. I'm overly sentimental about content. Not only do I not want to can it, but I'm loathe to update it, lest I diminish its primitive charm. A bushel of bollocks if ever I saw one.

I'm also not nearly as clever as I would like to make you believe I am. That certainly comes through in the finished product. I think I'm one of those people who thinks that appreciating the humor of someone who's brilliant is some sort of measure of one's own brilliance. As if to say that my love for Eddie Izzard's stage work somehow makes me talented and funny just like him. Or that because I laugh when reading The Onion every week, it follows that I should work there. Granted, I feel like I'm closer to "getting it" than lots of folks. I was at a charity event where Colin Mochrie was performing with a few members of a local improv comedy troupe, and they did this Shakespeare game which is essentially tag-team storytelling with lofty language. There were numerous triumphant moments in the bit, but this smoochy guy and girl standing in front of me turned to each other and laughed saying, "Methinks." That was what was funny to them. The use of the word "methinks." Not the idea of a village made of wool. Not the archetypal but reliable comedy of the nagging fishwife. Not Colin Mochrie's indescribably hilarious facial expressions and gesticulations. But "methinks." Why do people like that even come to see comedy? Speaking of which, at one point, the audience was asked for the name of a famous person, and some know-something shouted out "Clive Anderson!" And the guy from the local comedy group was like, "Who? Who's Clive Anderson?" We all had a good laugh over that one. Colin Mochrie was politely mum. Jeez, do I digress, or what?

That brings me to my next shortcoming: I have a very disorganized mind. I think when I began writing this piece, it was going to be an allegorical reference to the end of my relationship. I guess I got sidetracked. Was it the turkey sandwich I was trying to eat while typing? Was it my propensity to sing along to Crowded House songs? Was it my fear that I will surely freeze to death in this new meat locker of an office of mine? Who can say for sure? I know that the sourdough bread of the turkey sandwich was so hard it made my jaw hurt. And the Crowded House CD is on continuous play. And the office doesn't seem to be getting any warmer. Those things aside, I have no real idea why I have so much difficulty staying on topic. And I don't know very much about sun spots.

I can only hope to absolve myself by assuring you that I still intend to do some new, cool things here. In a way, I feel that failing at this task would just be another victory for George W. Bush, who appears to have already robbed me of everything else good in my life. By the by, if you have a lot of piss and vinegar to spew and no one to aim it at, try George W. Bush. He's remarkably affable, as the media have assured me. And he doesn't mind mingling with us common folk to get problems solved. He doesn't mind taking the blame for things. Mostly because he's unfamiliar with the terminology. He also loves it when wisecracking constituents send him a bunch of pizzas just for the heck of it. That's his favorite prank.

So. While there doesn't appear to be sufficient venom in this pitiful "tirade" to justify its place in these diatribe-decked halls, I can assure you that when I visit my site, I make a sour little face. I long for the day when I can be formally proud of what I offer up here. The good news for you is that if you stick around (for an undetermined amount of time), you might catch it when it happens. Visit frequently, though. The glory is likely to be fleeting.

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