A little break

This is to say that I won’t be posting regularly to my blogs (WordPress / Tumblr / Blogger) for a while. Recovery is a little more tiring than I thought it would be, and with my return to work earlier this month, I find that I just come home and collapse into a little heap in the evenings, rather than being industrious and turning out page after page of wit and wisdom.

I’m sure that, once my recovery is mostly completed, I will return to a regular schedule. In the meantime, thanks to all who have read and commented here.

Tumblr for the Lipitor generation


Here’s how I feel about the different social media sites and their uses:

  • Facebook, for the young, is for connecting and gossiping and embarrassing one another.
  • Facebook, for those of us who are no longer young, is for keeping in touch and swapping recipes and Simplicity patterns and posting pictures from thirty years ago and embarrassing one another.
  • Twitter is about branding and advertisement and being stupid in fifteen words or less. If you are not consistently very witty, you shouldn’t really bother posting, unless you’re Katy Perry or Justin Bieber, in which case it doesn’t matter.
  • Pinterest is for those who like to post and share pictures of fashion and decorating and jewelry and cute boys. Much though I like all these things, I decided after a few months that Pinterest was not for me.
  • WordPress is a nice stable blog website, full of people with all kinds of interests. I have made some very nice Internet friendships on WordPress.
  • Blogger / Blogspot ditto.
  • Tumblr is a friggin’ zoo.

Let me expand upon this last statement.
Tumblr is something for everyone and no mistake: lots of beautiful photography and art, lots of underdone cheesy humor, lots of selfies. Also lots of bizarre political thought and amateur porn. It’s a more freewheeling version of Facebook in which you don’t need to friend anyone, and in which most people use handles and aliases. Nothing comes to you automatically on Tumblr: you have to shop around for it. Once you find something with which you feel comfortable, those people will be reblogging from other similarly-oriented Tumblr blogs, and you can follow those in turn, and – within a month or two of careful tending – you will have a beautiful Tumblr garden / dashboard full of lovely and amusing images and texts to enjoy!

Let me give you a head start. Let’s say you’re a mature person, a little literary, a little artsy, with a taste for kitch and a goofy sense of humor. You might like to look at the following Tumblr blogs, just for entertainment’s sake. (And if you’re reading this on Tumblr, look these folks up; you won’t be sorry.)

  • Diane Duane. Diane (who blogs under her real name) is a successful author, mostly sci-fi and young adult. She lives in Ireland and posts wonderful pictures and texts, and she is very responsive to her fans and readers. She is very likeable, and I recommend her highly.
  • Devilduck. This is the ultra-kitschy Tumblr blog of one of the guys associated with the well-known Archie McPhee joke shop in Seattle. If you like pictures of people wearing horse masks and Christmas trees decorated with Cthulhu tentacles, this is the site for you.
  • Bad Postcards. What it says. Mostly 1950s and 1960s; mostly cute, some poignantly nostalgic, and almost all in brilliant Kodacolor.
  • 1950s Unlimited. Like Devilduck, but a little more on the sentimental side. If you get misty-eyed over black and white photos of people using cigarette machines, you’ll feel very at home here.
  • Well, That’s Just Great. The drily amusing / often hilarious daily chronicle of a man named Anthony Giffen who lives in central Florida with a dog named Ducky and a partner named Gizmo. Highly recommended.

There: I have sanitized Tumblr for you. I guarantee no porn, no dangerous radicals, no homicidal lunatics.

Now get in there and explore Tumblr and stomp around a bit.

You might just have fun.

Update: twice a week

twice a week

I have been fooling around with this blog again, now that my energy is coming back, and have decided that two blogs a week (Sunday and Thursday) are perfectly sufficient for now – for myself (to make myself feel productive) and for all of you readers (so that you don’t have to read too much of my drivel).




Now and then there will be a special post – like this one – but they will almost always be short or topical or informational or seasonally-oriented.




How’s that for a deal?




Happy Christmas from your sleepy little friend . . . .


Almost better

almost better




I am almost better. I am no longer in treatment, and they are no longer cooking my throat with radiation, and I can actually tell a difference. Chemotherapy is now also a thing of the past, and the nasty side-effects are subsiding. I am still waiting for some of the lingering stuff to pass: the fatigue, the come-and-go voice (I sound, when I speak, something like Tallulah Bankhead and/or Lucille Ball, with maybe a little mid-career Lindsay Lohan thrown in), the inability to swallow. (The latter is coming back a bit; I managed to sip some water and juice the other day without coughing, and I was very excited.)



Anyway. I am also writing again, so evidently my energy is coming back. I can’t promise a daily blog, but I can promise something once in a while – maybe once a week or so – until I am back to my usual rude vigor.



Aren’t you pleased?


The power of getting away

power of getting away

“The Power of Getting Away” was the spectacular title of a blog written by my Australian blogmate Attila Ovari not long ago. The drift of his blog was: How often do you detach yourself from your regular routine – the office, the news, national politics – and just think about yourself and your family and your own needs and wants?

But, to me, the title suggests so much more than that.

Getting away. O dear. If only we were able to get away – to escape from our lives and “forget for a while” (in JRR Tolkien’s words) “the dreadful doom of life.”

To bury our heads in the covers and sleep for another hour, or two, or ten.

To call in sick to work for a day, or a week, or a couple of years.

In a word: when something which is (presumably) overpoweringly powerful requests your presence, to be able to say “no.”

Best of all, I think, was the late Rue McClanahan’s comment on the TV show “Maude” many years ago (I paraphrase, probably badly): “When it’s my time to die, I’m going to be somewhere else.”

I want to be elsewhere when it’s my time too, if that’s at all possible.

Thus the name

thus the name

When I created this blog three years ago, the name “Futureworld” came to me right away. I had a dim realization that the title wouldn’t be as meaningful to others as it was to me, but that didn’t matter very much: it was my brand-new beautiful little baby blog, and I was determined to call it whatever I pleased.

But my thoughts ran something like this:

I was born in July 1957, just a few months before the official beginning of the Space Age. My childhood was full of astronauts and science fiction. Soon, we thought, we’d be living in an unimaginably advanced world; no one would suffer or be hungry, and everyone would have a flying car, and everything would be utterly futuristic and wonderful.

Well, you know what? Some of that stuff came true. The Internet is still a miracle to those of us who remember the primitive 1950s and 1960s. Partner and I comment almost daily on the fact that we can pick up a mobile device at a moment’s notice and summon up the weather report, or the news, or the cast of a 1944 movie, or Skype someone on another continent, or do any number of other bizarrely futuristic things.

So: Partner and I are living in the “future” that we were promised back in the 1950s and 1960s.

Except that we’re not. People are still stupid and retrograde. There are still politicians who want to restrict voting rights and immigration. Just like the 1920s and 1930s! The world is still at war. Just as in 500 BCE!

That’s what I meant by “Futureworld.” Here we are, in 2013, and we should be living on space stations and speaking Esperanto, but in many ways we’re still primitives, attacking and killing one another over trifles.

Ah me. The farther we go into the future, the more firmly we remain stuck in the past.

In Tony Kushner’s play “Angels in America,” there’s a scene in which two ghosts – a medieval one and a 17th-century one – appear in the 1980s to speak to their descendant, a gay Manhattanite with AIDS. The medieval ancestor doesn’t like the 1980s, and leaves as quickly as he can. The other sighs and looks around himself. “The Twentieth Century,” he says sadly. “Oh dear. The world has gotten so terribly terribly old.”

Brother, was he right.

Repeating myself

repeating myself

I’m always looking for ideas for these blogs. Sometimes they come thick and fast, and other times not so much. The other day I telling someone about my childhood in the Northwest, and the eruption of Mount St. Helens, and it hit me: what a good idea for a blog!

Thank goodness I check myself from time to time. It turns out I wrote about St. Helens back on July 13, 2011.

Goodness! I almost repeated myself!

But we repeat ourselves all the time. We create our own mythologies, and refine them. I watched my mother do it over time: she repeated her childhood stories over and over again, and they evolved subtly over time, becoming more and more flattering to herself and her family.

I leave it to you to wonder how much of my material is real and how much is – ahem – refined.

Because I freely admit that I am my mother’s son.

(And, if you feel like it, you can read about Mount St. Helens here. It’s not a bad little attempt at a remembrance.

(And it’s mostly true.)

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