Dramatis Personae

A number of unexpected characters have inexplicably waddled through this blog over its time. For those of you who are visually-inclined, here is the Cast of Characters in abbreviated form. Some were memorable, some not so much. Some were just fodder.

Enjoy, please.
Gregor

Gregor

Gregor's Lawnmower

 Gregor’s Lawnmower

Gregor's BackyardGregor’s Back Yard

ButomewButomew

AlbartomewAlbartomew

BufordBuford

Jack the YakJack the Yak

SartomewSartomew

Comrade PussComrade Puss

AmarcordThe Author as a Young Man

Mr. BillMr. Bill

The MerovingianThe Muse

PopePapa

NixonPlumber in Chief

PublisherOur Beloved Publishers

Chupacabra Myth courtest of NatGeoThe History Channel

INTJ Holiday House Rules

HolidaysA few house rules for the holiday season. This house, at least. It’s an annual tradition around these parts.

If you’re an introvert, especially of the INTJ variety, you might want to give it some thought.

No drama under any circumstances. If you must have drama, save it for some other holiday or, better still, your birthday.

Animals are welcome.

Gifts are for kids. No, you’re not a kid. If you want to give him or her a gift, do it on a day when they’re not expecting to receive one. At first, you’ll be considered a curmudgeon, but it will pass.

Be with the people you love, not the people who are obligatory holiday visitors.

Family is how you define it.

If you don’t eat too much, you’re probably not having a good time. If you drink too much, you’ll soon have a rough time.

If you bring an attitude you get the back door. Scrooge is always watching.

Try to listen rather than talk. There are already enough talkers and they really roll it all out on holidays.

If you have a boss, avoid him or her on the holiday. The results of these holiday encounters are rarely beneficial to either party.

If you don’t have a boss, don’t be one on this holiday.

Remember the cook. Visit the kitchen, briefly. It’s the heart of the home.

No platitudes, please.

If you play a game, make sure that no one loses. There must always be a reward for last place.

Did I mention animals? They enjoy the holidays and bring us all cheer.

To all of you who have visited, have a wonderful, happy and safe holiday season.

The Weirdness of Writers

Old Man

I’m an old geezer so I can say whatever’s on my mind, right? Isn’t that how it works? Since I’m a writer, I can even make it all up.

This is the weirdness of being a writer. Here are the details:

We live in our heads. That’s right. Forget the world outside. If it’s worth the experience, it lives in here, upstairs. OK, there’s also some intrigue out there. Lots of inspiration from the real world. But, it all needs to get sucked up, rolled around, re-worked in our heads. That’s where we find the action. Doesn’t everyone?

We think in images but cannot draw. Just like you, we see pictures in our heads. We probably can’t express them in a better way than words. A few of us are multi-talented and can do more. These are the true artists. For the rest of us hack writers, making those pictures come alive in words is where it’s at. Descriptions count, a lot. The more vivid, the better.

We like word sounds. Words make sounds. Sounds make pictures, pictures make words. Get it? We like to describe sounds, often in vibrant detail. Check out your favorite writer. See all the sounds he or she describes? Sounds have character. Sounds set moods. Sounds are everywhere. How could any worthy writer ignore sounds? People, too. We call them “characters.”

We’re not that fond of reality. Sure, the world is good. But the attic is better. No cumbersome reality upstairs. Time doesn’t matter. We can do whatever we want up there and nobody can touch us. We create worlds, destroy them, rebuild them, morph them all over the place. That’s our reality. How could the outside world ever compete with that? If you don’t like it, just re-write it.

Nothing is static. Make it once, overhaul it, throw it away, resurrect it, revise it, revamp it and do it all over again and again. Everything changes when you write. Without change, writing is just work, just another four-letter word. Mountains breathe, rocks walk, creatures come and go. It’s a fast-moving landscape up there. Never boring.

quiet

We need quiet. Well, sometimes we need music. The point is that we aren’t too fond of excessive stimulation from others. We need space. We need solitude. We thrive on that special peace that offers the challenge of working alone. Move the quiet times to the front of the line. It’s best to not mess with us when we’re writing.

We are all romantics. We want the world our way, even if we end up destroying it. We thrive on the feelings and moods behind our words. We tend to be very passionate about the people and things in our heads. So, we romance our heads, our unconscious, our moods and feelings. Isn’t this romantic?

English: True Love Couple

We have very understanding mates. If we’re living with another, that person must be very special. Who could even consider living with a writer and still maintain a “normal” life? The weirdness of a writer naturally spills over into the reality of living. Anyone who lives with this strangeness deserves the Lifetime Award of Extreme Tolerance and Understanding. Otherwise, that mate must be another writer and all hell is on the horizon.

We are obsessive. We just can’t stop writing. Period.

Gregor Does Blog Barfing, Again

GregorGregor likes to reinvent himself. His keepers tell him this is the best way to overcome his failed lobotomy.

A while back, Gregor started barfing on blogs. See Gregor Barfs on Your Blog for the details. Since then, Gregor has had a few moments of lucidity. He wants to fill in the details for you.

Gregor has a 5 point scale for blog reading. A blog with 0 points gets passed over. A blog with 5 points gets a comment. It’s also possible to gather bonus points, but it’s rare. This system keeps blog reading simple, and Gregor likes simple.

Here’s how it works:

0 Points. Gregor encounters a bad title and a boring opening sentence. He moves on and takes no notice.

1 Point. The title is a grabber. It’s unique and captures his interest. Unfortunately, the opening sentence or two tumbles down the boring hole. Gregor moves on.

2 Points. Good title, interesting opening lines. Gregor pushes the button and looks for gold. The first paragraph is a fail. Maybe it’s poorly written, maybe it just bores him. Gregor can bore easily when not on his meds. Anyway, Gregor closes the window and goes back to trolling.

3 Points. Gregor gets halfway through the post and his mind begins to wander. Is it Gregor? Is it the writer? Hard to say. Gregor loses interest and looks elsewhere.

4 Points. Gregor gets through the entire post. He is happy. It’s a good read, interesting, fun, whatever. Gregor will come back to this blog from time to time. He hits the LIKE button. Gregor never hits the LIKE button unless he has read the entire post. He wants to be fair to the writer.

5 Points. Gregor is hooked. He hits the LIKE button and adds a comment. Maybe it’s just a short, one-liner. Maybe longer. Gregor wants the writer to know that he or she did a really good job. It’s hard to please Gregor so he chooses carefully.

Bonus Points. Gregor is blown away by the post and goes on to read a few others. LIKE is not enough. A comment is not enough. Gregor hits the FOLLOW button and looks forward to the next post. Gregor celebrates.

Gregor lives here.

Blog Spam Swamp Gas

@gnat SMS Spam? I got it.

Blog spam (swamp gas) is entertaining, so long as you don’t take it seriously. You’ve got to love the literacy of it all.

Here are a few gems with my intended retorts. All those annoying links have been removed and sent to doo-doo land, along with my fantasy replies. I was on a rebound flash-back while reading the spam and just had to say something.

Let’s keep it to just a few. Too much of this stuff gets really boring.

Spam: This is a message to the admin. Your website is missing out on at least 300 visitors per day. I discovered this page via Google but it was difficult to find as you were not on the first page of search results. I have found a website which offers to dramatically increase your traffic to your website:(spam-o-link). I managed to get over 10,000 visitors per month using their services, you could also get lot more targeted traffic than you have now. Hope this helps. Take care.

Reply: So, how come your spam-o-link site isn’t on the first 300 pages that Google showed me? Take care.

Spam: It is common inside developed countries such as the look into the prove that there much like online enough to stop paying it (spam-o-link). Decades earlier, if one acquired a three to percent idea, it was a fantastic tip.

Reply: Urg. Forget “developed countries.” You need an introduction to English if you’re going to try to communicate in English. Decades earlier? Huh? You should be congratulated, though, for achieving your own three percent literacy quotient.

Spam: I was reading this article and find it very informative. I admired the writer’s effort as he beautifully selects the most appropriate words for his post. The choice of his words has made this article unique and interesting. While reading this article I was feeling that I can completely understand the theme of this article and writer has written exclusively for me or for my school of thought.

Reply: Wow! Well, I have to admit that I wrote the post just for you and you only. Sadly, I lost your email address. Now, lose my blog address.

Spam: Greatly lucrative! Therefore… I nevermore search what I ask for. Much far more ideas and much even more nonconformity… a comment, I will actually do this.

Reply: Suchforth happy to please you and will far look to your vanishment.

Spam: This knowledge requires toady up to definition and is intended primarily for use by way of salubrity regard workers and facilities/organizations providing haleness care including pharmacies, hospitals, long-term heed facilities, community-based health regard care providers and pre-hospital pinch services.

Reply: Huh?

Spam: I used to be able to find good advice from your articles.

Reply: Thank the Spam Gods you found someone else.

Gregor’s Worry List

GregorGregor worries.

Neither his shock therapy treatments nor his shrink can give Gregor any peace. He continues to be troubled and wants to share his burden.

Chupacabras. Gregor is afraid of them. He was told that the chupacabra was invented by Al Gore, right around the time he fathered the Internet. Then, Gregor was told they were manufactured by one of Dick Cheney’s secret companies. Both stories can’t be true. Worst of all, Gregor saw a picture of one, once. Now, he worries all the time. What if a chupacabra comes sneaking around after midnight? Who could he call for help? Is there a chupacabra hotline? Or, should he just call the History Channel and get it over with? He’s written to Al and Dick. They just ignored him.

Toasters. Endless worries for Gregor. They start smoking sometimes and Gregor doesn’t like smoke in his house. Once, a toaster tried to eat his iPad. This was a critical time for Gregor. He didn’t know how to punish his toaster. Would you? Gregor fears that his iPad and his toaster may try to breed someday. Is that how chupacabras are made?

Politicians. Gregor just learned that politicians and pollution are different things. He thought they were the same. Now, Gregor’s worries that they may combine forces and invade his mind. He’s read about mind-control experiments. He knows about remote viewing because it happens to him all the time. But, what if politicians start remote viewing Gregor and try to control his mind? Will the bandages on his head protect him? Should he try a tin-foil hat? Others have suggested it.

Velveeta Cheese

Velveeta. Gregor can’t find it anywhere these days. What happened? Did Dick Cheney eat it all? Did Al Gore put it on the national doo-doo list? Is it illegal? Gregor never tried to smoke it. He just wanted it around as comfort food.

White bread. Gregor knows there is a plot going on, somewhere. All the bread he sees these days is 47 grain, weird colors, infested with fruity knobs, emblazoned with strange crusts, all kinds of bizarre stuff. Gregor wants his white bread back. Without it, he’s paranoid.

Free air at gas stations. Where did it go? How come it isn’t free anymore, if you can even find it? Gregor doesn’t know how to save air, so where’s he going to go for refills? Gregor is always broke. No one wants to lend him any air. He thinks this is downright un-American.

Anchovies from Sicily packed in salt at the Sa...

Anchovies. Gregor is aware that this tasty treat has disappeared. Why? How come you can’t get an anchovy pizza anymore? No anchovy pie. Did Al Gore interfere somehow? Did Dick Cheney banish them? Does anyone do anchovies anymore?

Dirty Martinis. Gregor is afraid of dirt but he likes dirty martinis. He wonders where the dirt comes from? Who cleans the dirt? Is it the dirt that makes his head hurt after a few martinis? Gregor sees faces in the olives, just like the faces on the Moon. Who are those people? How come they all look like Al Gore? Why can’t he get Velveeta with his martini?

Alien Abductions. Gregor has been abducted, many times. He used to be afraid but, these days, he looks forward to it. All those little gray guys have bandages on their heads, just like Gregor. They never use toasters and they give him all the white bread he can eat. All Gregor has to do is lie very still and chew the bread. The little guys take care of everything else. They told Gregor that they all worked for Dick Cheney back in the day.

Shrinks. Gregor doesn’t like his shrink any more. His shrink is always winking and wincing at him. Gregor doesn’t know what that means. Gregor babbles and the shrink just nods his head and winks. Sometimes he seems to be asleep. Gregor is concerned that his shrink is channeling Dick Cheney behind his back. His shrink also keeps a chupacabra somewhere in a back room. Gregor hears it grunting and moving around back there.

The future. Gregor wonders about the future. He can’t reach out and touch it. He desperately wants to know the future, just like Al Gore, Dick Cheney and his shrink. They all know what’s coming. How come this doesn’t work for Gregor? Is there a secret society that refuses to admit Gregor? Is it because of his lobotomy? Is Gregor the victim of prejudice or, worse, a world-wide conspiracy? Gregor wrote to the Skull and Bones Society but nobody replied. He tried the local Masonic Hall but it was closed. He plans on trying the Rosicrucians next.

Coat of the Vatican Secret Archives

The Vatican. This is the sum of all fears for Gregor. He understands that all knowledge is buried in the secret archives. He’s heard that both Al and Dick got to visit and page through all the interesting stuff. Gregor knows there is a file on him down there, down deep in the catacombs. How come he can’t get in there and see it for himself? Why doesn’t the Freedom of Information Act work on the Vatican? Gregor keeps writing but nothing comes back to him. Gregor doesn’t trust the Vatican. Would you?

Gregor lives here.

Gregor Endorses Vermin Supreme for Emperor

Vermin Supreme Loses NH

Our country is seriously divided. Gregor understands this because he has been tormented by division ever since his lobotomy. However, Gregor has found a solution that may work for the entire country – make Vermin Supreme our Emperor and all will be well once again.

Who is Vermin Supreme? Gregor knows, and he wants you to meet the man who could save us all.

Vermin Love Supreme cuts a colorful and unifying swath across all political circles. He has run for many elective offices. Sadly, he also has a long history of near misses. Supreme first became a central figure in 1988, when he ran for Mayor of Baltimore. That same year, he also ran for Mayor of Detroit and Mayor of Mercury, Nevada. Although always a potent contender, Supreme was unable to eek out a win from his many vigorous, precisely constructed campaigns. Gregor believes that the candidate may have spread himself too thin.

Pundits have noted that these failures may have something to do with Supreme’s presentation. Gregor disagrees. Supreme always appears in public with a boot on his head. His frequently repeated campaign theme, Ride Our Ponies Into The Future, was said to sometimes confuse and confound potential voters. There was also the omnipresent oversize toothbrush carried by the candidate at each campaign event. Some observers found these slogans enigmatic. Gregor got the point and believes that the vast majority of Americans would see these tactics for what they really are – important pointers to a future political landscape.

Vermin Supreme

Undeterred, Supreme continued his campaigning. In 2000, he achieved one of his lifelong goals of political power by declaring himself Emperor of the New Millennium. This was the seminal moment that pushed Supreme into the minds of all future voters. It also marked the moment Gregor officially joined forces with Supreme.

In 2004, Supreme campaigned in the DC Presidential Primary, collecting 149 votes. For the next few years, he was reluctantly dragged away from campaigning by the heavy responsibilities of Emperorship. This was a dark time for America but Supreme kept on task. He waited for the next moment, sure to come.

In 2008, Supreme surfaced to campaign in the New Hampshire Republican primary, where he received 41 votes. Sadly, he was outdone by political dirty tricks, although the candidate made no public complaint for the good of the electorate. Gregor knew the inside story but was guided by Supreme’s insistence on taking the high road.

Vermin Supreme getting his message out

Finally, in 2011, Supreme made his big move when he ran on the Democratic ticket for the 2012 Presidential campaign. He dominated an important political debate at the IGLO Dissidents’ Convention in April 2011. Between May 2011 and October 2012, Supreme appeared at several debates, countless personal events, and formally announced his new political organization, the Free Pony Party.

Although Supreme eventually lost the election, no one is sure of the actual outcome. The matter may someday be decided by the Supreme Court, as has occurred previously. No one is certain. Voting tallies were never made public and many Supreme supporters remain skeptical about the election process itself. Gregor was devastated, especially when our new President made no mention of the powerful Vermin Supreme campaign machine. Fortunately, both Supreme and his Free Pony Party not only survived the campaign but have continued to make an indelible mark on U.S. politics.

Vermin Supreme’s 2012 Presidential campaign website has been granted innumerable awards and is widely recognized for its informative and in-depth analysis of key political issues. It is a living legacy for what can be accomplished when Americans pull together. It is also Gregor’s favorite Internet stopover.

Along with countless other Americans, Gregor believes that the presence of Vermin Love Supreme on the political scene can be the single most healing factor in reuniting the divides in our country. He asks that you take whatever steps you deem appropriate and necessary to ensure the future Emperorship of Vermin Love Supreme.

Gregor lives here.

This informational message was brought to you by the Gregor Lobotomy Front on behalf of Vermin Love Supreme for Emperor.