Phoenix Yawning

I didn’t set out to avoid the blog-o-sphere for 10 days or a fortnight or whatever it’s been.  I figured a few days to complete some grim family business, then it’s back in the saddle again.  Turns out (for me, anyway) that blogging is similar to exercise: one gets into the habit, enjoys it while engaged, but if an interruption to the routine leads to other habits — like NOT exercising (or blogging), other activities take its place.

Pablo Picasso - The Tragedy1.  Here’s a partial list of achievements I managed while NOT blogging:

2.  Completed my tax return.

3.  Kept two overdue appointments with medical professionals, including the dentist, whom I’ve not seen for over a year.  And I never floss.

4.  Finished three books and start ed a fourth.  (Reading, not writing!)

5.  Reduced my tequila intake.  Aah, well, not all outcomes can be positive.

6.  Increased sexual activity.  Yes, wiseass, with Guido, not alone.

7.  Caught up on months of NY Times Book Reviews after lagging behind for over a year.

8.  Slept better and longer.  See (6).

9.   Reintroduced myself to some of the cats, whom I’ve been ignoring.  Not that they give a damn.

10.    Did about 4 months’ worth of filing and cleaning out.

11. Worked on every plant in the house, under the carport, and on the back patio  — that’s a forest-full — as well as a the usual ton of landscaping.

12.  Picked up the bass guitar again.

So it becomes obvious that I need to strike a better balance between staying current on this irrelevant distraction I call a blog and the intrusive Real World in which survival takes place.  I think this is called “gaining perspective.”

Besides, there are some real physical changes going on.  My place of employment has switched over to a 4-day / 10-hour work week, which leaves less time during the week to focus on creative writing (I do not blog at work.  That was part of the deal when I donned the yoke and assumed the position).  I’m up too early in the morning, and I retire too early at night to generate the workload I was producing.

Also, I’m growing dissatisfied with both the content of my posts and the quality of their composition.  To me they sound tired and played, and the prose isn’t as sharp and edgy as I know I’m capable of writing, especially when I look back and compare it to previous efforts. This is particularly painful when I glance back at the old abandoned blog (which still gets angry comments, over 2 years later — and not just from the eternally embittered High Bris).

This isn’t the end, but it is an adjustment.  As Yogi counseled, “When you come to a fork in the road, take it.”   Who’s still with me?

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12 Responses to Phoenix Yawning

  1. Open Mike says:

    Gaining perspective, huh. You got a long way to go, pre-vert. But I’m glad to see you’re back on-line.

  2. Partida Tequila says:

    This would explain the drop in sales. You need to blog more often.

  3. Kim Chee says:

    I am glad you’re not calling it quits as I feared after a week. I teach yoga, TM, and other related life arts, and know that balance is vital, not only between people, but within each person. restore your balance and all will flow.

    That is a beautiful picture.

  4. alesh says:

    If it means more navel-gazing posts like this, then I say let’s have it! However, there’s something off about your list, especially unless the new thing that list title gets the #1.

  5. Squathole says:


    I don’t do a lot of gavel-nasing posts. I’m content to let a portrait emerge from the spew that is the blog itself.

    As for the list, you’re right, it’s off. This is the effect of using Word’s auto-numbering system (one of the ghastly aspects of that crappy software which I have told myself dozens of times never to use again), then pasting it into WordPress, which doesn’t get it quite right. It seems to have as much trouble with it as I do.

    Foot in the bucket, and I say fuck it.

    Phillies are up 2 – 0.

  6. Lu Senz says:

    Here’s how your Phillies can win. Score no less than 14 runs per game, 10 in the first 6 innings. They can’t blow a save if there’s no save situation.

    I can’t believe nobody pays me for this brilliance.

  7. Living Will says:

    As you know, I’ve been reading your posts since you started out on CM. Some of that writing was real good, some was just good, and some wasn’t good at all. Same here. Once in a while you need to come up for air, that’s all.

  8. alesh says:

    Steve~ with all due respect and love and gratitude for watching my cat and everything, you are broken. Why don’t you just type into the goddamned wordpress box?!? Firefox has spellcheck, man!

  9. Ms Calabaza says:

    we hear you LOUD and CLEAR … but please know we miss you … I loved Kim Chee’s comment … take a rest and come back strong.

  10. Ms Calabaza says:

    PS – If it’s not intruding … would you share your book list with us? … Anything you recommend? I’m reading Doug Brinkley’s biography of Theodore Roosevelt, Wilderness Warrior and thouroughly enjoyed the Ken Burns series on the national parks on PBS.

  11. Squathole says:

    Actually, Ms C, I suspect your hiatus rather inspired my own. And with Rick on vacation, Buildings & Food elsewhere, Ferfe in space, etc., well, things got dull.

    A while ago I had the idea of posting a pager that listed the book I finished, but I couldn’t figure out how to do it. Maybe now I can. If not, I’ll either just list them or send you an email. Mostly I read British and American contemporary fiction, but, with few exceptions, not very commercial stuff. I just finished the Loop trilogy by Chuck Rosenthal (I’d read the first 2 books 20 years ago, but only now could find the 3rd, so I re-read the first two before going ahead), and then, for pure distraction and indulgence, the awful book by Tucker Max (“I Hope the serve beer in heaven”). Now I’m reading A Mercy, by Toni Morrison.

    Thanks for you thoughts. As always.

  12. Ms Calabaza says:

    Will be in Miami/Hollywood area for the weekend of Oct 24 … High School reunion … staying with a friend. Any chance I can buy you and Guido a drink?
    E-Mail me if you have a chance …

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