The Trigger I’m Not Warning

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Trigger warning: image of child abuse:


From NY Times article re the Gucci Spring 2016 collection.


Could someone please alert UNICEF?

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A Book of Oh, Barf

“It’s tough to handle this fortune and fame,
 Everybody’s so different I haven’t changed.”
(Life’s Been Good, Joe Walsh)

Trigger warning: this post contains strong opinions, vulgarities and strong language.


 “I have a love/hate relationship with ____________. “

That’s what I would say; that’s the standard (read: worn out) phrase I might employ, were I to describe something about which I am ambivalent. Except that when it comes to the topic of literary fame and publicity, my feelings are definitely one-sided.

My loathing for such was rekindled Monday morning, as I thumbed through The Arts section of The NY Times, looking for the crossword and KenKen puzzles. [1] A full page ad opposite the puzzles trumpeted an upcoming reception celebrating the release of a new book by what I refer to as one of those TWAB POTS (scrambled acronym for Authors Who Have Started To Believe Their Own Publicity).  Here is the ad’s description for the book of what is likely to be a slim volume, given the subject matter: [2]

“______ (TWAB POTS’ name) has inspired millions with her wisdom, courage and honesty. Now she has selected 100 of her most popular and inspirational quotes for ______ ( pretentiously terse book title), a new volume she calls a “book of yes.”


I keep a barf bag close at hand, because you never know.


“A book of yes.”


Really – and, dang! Yet another of my working titles stolen. So now I have to call my collection of 100 of my most obscure and disheartening quotes, A Book of, Fuck No, What The Hell Were You Thinking?!”

Yet again, I digress.



The ad further informed me that I may “hear the NY Times best-selling author discuss the twists and trials of her remarkable life” – an offer I shall decline, given my suspicions that author’s twists and trials have been somewhat calculated so as to procure book contracts.

Okay; I could be off-base about that previous opinion. But one thing I know for sure is that it is not good for one’s sense of self to voluntarily or otherwise [3] be subject to fawning adulation – no matter what the reason and no matter what your profession.

Honestly, how truly wise and courageous is it to allow yourself to be hyped for your wisdom, courage and honesty?

Our society revels in gleefully harping on the pomposity and egomania of celebrities. I am no exception, and oft mourned in this space what I see as the celebritization of authors.  Surrounded by such public relations horse manure hyperbole, how does or can you maintain a sense of perspective and modesty re your place in the larger world?

Fortunately (and, obviously), in my case, that question has never been put to the test. Still, were I to show up at a reading of one of my books and see a larger-than-life head-shot of me [4] on a banner, accompanied by a description of how my remarkable life and writing has inspired millions, no Sharpie ®  would go uncapped in my efforts to bring the proceedings down to earth.


Something like this, only even less mature.

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The Return of the Asshat

Trigger warning: this post contains opinions, language and pictures that may be offensive to people who watch reruns of Hee Haw and sigh, Now, that’s entertainment!


Let’s say you are a corporate CEO who employs a stable of intelligent and accomplished engineers. Do you utilize their technical experience and skills to find and/or create sources of renewable energy, or upgrade devices to remove pollutants from the air we all breathe…or maybe just design a more energy efficient window defroster?


VW = Veracity-Free Weasels


Nah. You use them to cheat : Volkswagen Emissions Scandal Widens

You pay them to find a way to break the law and thus facilitate even more spewage of toxins into the atmosphere. [5]

Volkswagen, this Asshat of the Week award is for you.


*   *   *

Department of Non Sequitur Segue to a Smoky Wee-wee Anecdote

Trigger warning: smoky wee-wee anecdote.


Dateline: First Day of Fall, out for my morning walk. Passing through a certain neighborhood, I noticed the air smells like what I can only imagine a bucket of piss would smell like if you put in under the lid of one of those BBQ smoker contraptions.

Not the autumnal aroma I was hoping for.


BBQ lovers, pull up a seat, urine for a treat.


*   *   *

Trigger warning: If you think phrases like “trigger warning” should be posted before strongly worded or controversial opinions, you shouldn’t be reading any blogs and definitely should not be browsing the internet.


Son K is (re) taking up fencing (he and his sister, Belle, took a fencing class many, many years ago). He has signed up for a couple of trial session with a local fencing academy, wherein one can drop in on ongoing classes. He returned home Tuesday night, after the first session, and said that although the class he attended is listed as for adults, at age twenty-two he seemed to be one of the elder class members.

When I asked if that bothered him, K smiled wryly and replied that it didn’t.  At  6 ‘3″+ he was one of the taller students in the class; thus, his reach far exceeded that of his kiddie opponents, most of whom were longtime students, obviously more experienced and skilled than he. K confessed to taking petty pleasure from sparring with the younger, shorter fencers, because at some point he’s just reach his blade over the top of their heads and, to use his sound effect, bop.


Here come de bop.

*   *   *

Trigger warning: I really like saying bop.

I wonder if Little Bunny Foo Foo can be adapted for the scenarioI have going through my head?

You’re singing it now, admit it.


Little bunny foo foo, fencing through the forest….


*   *   *

Trigger warning: Giddyap, boy, head for the hills while you can – that crazy ass cowboy plans to stuff you and put you in his museum!


*   *   *

May you enjoy more than your share of petty pleasures,
may your life be trigger-warning free,
and may the hijinks ensue.

Thanks for stopping by.  Au Vendredi!



[1] Which the NYT oh-so-conveniently prints side-by-side on the same page, for us puzzle lovers.

[2] Insert hissing sound effects.

[3] I assume an author of her ilk has some input if not total approval of her own PR.

[4] For which you will never find me posing.

[5] Is this the fifth footnote? What a letdown.

The Review I’m Not Writing


Dateline: Sunday 7/14. K & I and A Woman Unknown To Us (AWUTU) boarded the light rail. For K & I the destination was the zoo, but there must have been something going on in Portland because the train was packed.  Two gray-haired, bearded men and one white haired woman – older folks with seemingly permanent smiles tattooed across their faces, clad in identical, loose-fitting white tunics and pants and head scarves, and with that refugee-from-the-Sixties look in their eyes – were seated in the center seats of the car. K & I found seats by the door, and AWUTU took one of the few remaining open seats, next to the white tunic people, who right away began chatting her up.

I caught snippets of their commentary.  It definitely was not a conversation, as AWUTU “hm-hmed” and immediately pulled her cell phone from her pocket and otherwise indulged in the social cues of someone who’d rather be left alone, thank you very much. [1] The snippet I most enjoyed was, “Hare Krishnas are used to train travel.”

My first reaction: Hare Krishnas; excellent…haven’t seen any in a while…Dang!  What happened to the orange robes? [2] I miss that color. It was so distinctive.

It was a good day for people-watching on public transit.  Comment-worthy sights included a young man…woman…person…with the oddest overall body features I have seen in some time on a bipedal humanoid.  The most noticeable was, well, picture a uniboob abdominal tumor [3].

Details, details.  Nah.  That’s as much as I can handle right now, as the thermometer creeps back up to yesterday’s high of 101.8˚.

I thought I’d avoided the strange summer virus that first inhabited MH’s brain bucket, then crept up the nostrils of son K, and is now jostling for which-one-of-us-can-make-her-more-miserable? status with my seasonal pollen allergies.  I was looking for pity-pictures to illustrate my plight, and Googled “Feverish Woman” [4]. This is what came up. Now I really feel ill.

If it was just the Nose Blowing Spree From Hell I could handle that.  A couple of sick days, permission to lie around and do nothing but read? – holy nostril enema, I’d even welcome it.  I have the lie around part down, and have been parked upstairs, drifting in and out of consciousness.  But when I have a fever, I get really stoopid.  I can’t read.  That is, I can’t read for very long before my eyes and brain hurt and I have to close the book, and later I discover later I can’t remember most of what I apparently read.

The new issue of National Geographic arrived yesterday, and I forced myself to remain vertical for 30 minutes while I sipped my Noodles and Company Thai curry soup (the result of sending MH on what turned out to be a wild goose chase for Hot and Sour soup [5])

And read an article about Lions of the Serengeti.

I finished it, I know I did. Here’s what I could tell you about the article.  It’s about Lions. Serengeti Lions.  Life is tough for lions of the Serengeti.

Another pathetic example is the identical pictures above.  It’s too much effort to get rid of one.

Another another pathetic example is the Goodreads review I’m not writing. Still.  Yeah, I recently joined yet another SM [6] site, with the promise to myself that it must not be another time-leaching endeavor: I would rate books, not review them, and if someone wants to know what I mean by this book’s  two stars and that book’s four stars they can ask.

But I was having fun reading the book by that football player – the book that is probably causing many a literary writer to envision their polite social strategy should they ever meet its affable author, a strategy involving vigorous application of the smile/bared teeth grimace of congratulations (the dude pens one letter [7] to a politician, a letter that goes viral and he gets a book contract that essentially states, hey, write whatever you want to write about and we’ll print it).

Where was I going with this?  Oh, yeah, I was having so much fun reading the book I wanted to give it a shout out on my blog, and yesterday, in another 30 minute vertical phase, I thought I had done so.  Today, I look at what I’d written, at what I thought was a complete and coherent assessment:

Chris Kluwe “Beautifully Unique Sparkleponies,”: On Myths, Morons, Free Speech, Football, and Assorted Absurdities
Now what do I need to do to this guy, now that he’s stolen my title for the sequel to The Mighty Quinn and then yes there’s that
Whose letter to anti-gay pol went viral and due to that rare combination of articulation, profanity and anger – most people can pull off 2 & 3 and not 1. Plus, it was so fucking funny
Maryland doofus piehole “inhibit such expressions”; He’s a good (not great, not yet) writer, with a personable style that would lend itself to ebooks, or screaming from roof tops. Inventive invectives Magically transform into lustful cockmonsters 

Just between us, if you could pretend I’d written an incisive critique of a thoughtful, intelligent newbie author’s perspective on contemporary American social, political and cultural snafus, I would be most grateful.

And perhaps the hijinks will once again ensue.

Thanks for stopping by.  Au Vendredi!

[1] Cues which, I imagine are recognizable in all countries and in all languages, including Swahili, which AWUTU probably doesn’t speak despite the vaguely East African-sounding acronym I gave her.

[2] Hare Krishna garments actually have a variety of colors , which indicate the social/spiritual position of the wearer.

[3] Perhaps you should picture something else, and you’ll probably digest your next meal more efficiently.

[4] Or something similar. I can’t remember my exact words, being feverish and all.

[5] He was unable to find any local Thai or Chinese restaurants that made the soup sans MSG. Cretins.

[6] That’s Social Media, no ampersand. That other option never crossed your mind, did it?

[7] Arguably one of the best letters ever written to a politician, from anyone, not to mention a football punter.  Which I just did — damn!