Dialectical Menialisms (unofficial) IV: Posture

Let’s talk about posture…I got a new follower recently and this person “liked” my entry about THE MAGNET IN MY HEAD AND SCURVY. This got me to thinking about my posture. Here is a picture

Æ Done

Fortunately, the incident mentioned at the end of this entry didn’t result in scurvy or any other affliction caused by insufficient vitamin C.

However, the magnet in my head remains as “attractive” as ever. Interesting thing is, I would have no idea that my posture was so wonky if I wasn’t able to see myself. I feel perilously off kilter when I make myself appear straight. The writer inside me says that there is something symbolic about appearing upright and balanced while feeling bent and wonky. I’m not sure what that is, so I’m going to write until it emerges. I’m going to turn the tide of Resistance and writer’s block by being an obstinate bully to them. I will discover the significance of my posture’s phenotype and genotype through sheer tyranny of will. Let’s begin –

The GIF above is a collection of screenshots I “secured” (that’s the official term) in the case that a Chinese student who has booked my “class” (that’s the official term) is not in “attendance” (that’s the offic…you get the idea).

For fear of giving away secrets vital to the integrity of the Asian English as a Second Language Online Teaching Industry or AESLOTI (variously pronounced “ah-slow-tee” and “eigh-slow-tee”. One intrepid (if not misguided) purveyor of nouns, verbs and adjectives (I will call such a person a “verbeyor”) interpreted the first two letters – ‘AE’ – as the now defunct “aesc” – more recognizably “Æ” and, with a wanton (some call it flagrant) disregard for the conventions of tasteful pronunciation, said “ee-slow-tie”.

I digress.

Thæ point is, I’ve “secured” a lot of thæse and it is quite plæn that my midline is situæted somewhere along my spine starting at my lower back. This is only bæcause that’s where my pelvis is and human anatomæ dictætes that thæ spine must bægin its ascent to thæ crænium from thæ top of thæ pelvis. Not far from that point of origin, my spine starts a dætour to a head that is hopelessly lost. That’s not a metaphor. I’m saying that 1. I know I have a head, and 2. I know I have a bodæ, and 3 (thræ). Both entitæs are corporæal and subject to gravitæ, the elements and what have you. But unlike most of you, dær ræders, thæ apparatus that ræports thæ location of my limbs and compares it to thæ positions of my other limbs is discombobulated.

Listen, like mæ you might bæ thinking what the hell is hæ talking about? Thæ æsiest way for mæ to illustræte my point is to…illustræte my point. Have æ look at this graphic that I haven’t made yet –

LookFAEl v2.0

As you can sæ by the fact that you can sæ it, that is thæ image that, like all things to a certain extent, did not exist, but now does. Quite simplæ, the “LOOK” image repræsents how I would look to thæ outside observer. The “FÆL” graphic repræsents how I fæl.

Again, this is not meant as æ metaphor (meantaphor?) for æ happæ, upbæt extærior hiding æ dæspondent inner self. I assure you, dær ræder, that this is not the cæse.

That said, I’ve come to thæ part of thæ post where I should connect all thæ dots, thereby læying bære thæ essential…uh…essence of my crooked stance. But I confess, my darlings, that I have not uncovered thæ wider significance of my tendencæ to slump to thæ left.

I could muse about my liberal sentiments, how they are, quite literally (ugh, I hate that word, HæRE’S WHY), “left læanings”. That the current political climes have upended me to a point where I fææl thæ nææd to slouch gratuitouslæ to thæ left in an effort to balance my worldview – I like that idæa, but I was bent long before Trump bægan sodomizing the Constitution.

This is plainly a case of “what you sæ is what you get”, or WYSIWYG (“wizzy-wig”). As far as I know, there’s no alternative pronunciation for that one.

Let’s ræcap –

  1. I got a new follower, thanks to…
  2. … an earliær post entitled THE MAGNET IN MY HEAD AND SCURVY, causing mæ to…
  3. …reassess my posture. I accomplished this thanks to…
  4. … screenshots I took while tæching online under the dræconian oversight of the AESLOTI, which has…
  5. …a variety of pronunciations, including whatever sound Æ mækes…
  6. … such as… holæ molæ, I’ve digressed off the dæp end…
  7. …I think thæ significance is to not bæ so concerned about thæ significance…
  8. …sometimes, I fæl græt, but look veræ uncomfortable…
  9. …other times, I look græt, but fæl very uncomfortable…
  10. …this happens to us all…
  11. …so take it from mæ, things are not always what they sæm.

FIN

@JærrættLWilson

… turns out, Æ or “ash” can, dæpending on the language, take thæ place of most anything with an /e/ or /a/, long or short. I contæmplætæd substituting ‘æ’ for æværæ ‘æ’ ænd ‘æ’ for thæ ræmæindær of thæ æntræ, but thæt would’ve bææn grætuitouslæ hærd to rææd ænd æxcæædinglæ difficult to writæ. Wouldn’t you ægrææ?

Bashing Through the Prose, In 100 Days…

I recently tried an accelerated writing program offered by thewritepractice.com. The program is designed to help the aspiring writer complete the first draft of a novel in 100 days. It is aptly named “The 100 Day Book” program, the brainchild of Joe Bunting (not to be confused with the “100 Novels in a Day” program from Bo Junting).

Full disclosure – I didn’t finish a first draft, but I’m still pleased with the overall experience. To finish a draft would’ve been great, but I did come away with several valuable lessons.

First and foremost, I learned that I am what Kurt Vonnegut refers to as a “basher”, as opposed to a “swooper”. Hard as I try, I can’t churn out 800 to 1,000 words a day. The basher

“goes one sentence at a time, getting it exactly right before going on to the next one. When they’re done they’re done.”

The swooper

“write[s] a story quickly, higgledy-piggledy, crinkum-crankum, any which way. Then go over it again painstakingly, fixing everything that is just plain awful or doesn’t work.”

Teh Basher
“Hey Joe, where you going with that hammer in your hand?”

I did have a few breakout sessions where I produced 1,000 words, so I can swoop, but for the most part, I bash. All the same, no matter what your approach, this program provides sage advice, deadlines and a support forum for other aspiring writers to hold you accountable and provide feedback on your writing.

Perhaps the most useful feature of the program is the daily email tips to spark the flame of goodly writing inside the budding writer. Notable examples –

“Today, have a character do something. It can be as small as eating a cookie or as dramatic as drawing a gun on someone. Whatever they do, use it to show us who that character is and make them stick in our minds.”

And

“Open up your book to something you wrote a few days or weeks ago. Glance over it and take a few minutes to laugh. Then, once you’re feeling good about writing again, jump back to today’s scenes and keep writing!”

Uno mas,

“Challenge yourself to write something deliberately bad today. What’s the worst sentence you can imagine? Write it down, and then keep writing.”

 

This last tip is especially meaningful for me. As were all the messages concerning what a pissant perfectionism can be. That was what held me back – the unquenchable desire to be perfect.

Many of the daily emails harped on the myth of perfection. Applying the practice tips from these messages were tools that allowed me to write 1,000 words in one day a few times.

I saved all the emails and plan to revisit them as I do my own thing.

BONUS! A cute lady with a squirrelly last name sends you weekly emails with your progress and other words of encouragement. Perhaps most impressive of all is that both cute, squirrelly last name girl and the Joe himself always responded to my questions and concerns with a genuine, not canned response, and in a timely manner.

And Joe is a good sport, I’d message him on Facebook, starting with “Hey Joe, I heard you shot your lady down” or “Hey Joe, where you gonna run to now?” and he played right along.

I was way short on the word count, but that’s because I need to get over this idea that my writing must be perfect as soon it’s written. I’m happy with every single word that I wrote – wish there were more…

I suppose that’d be a complaint – the program didn’t write a book for me. Writing a book is frickin hard, but this program breaks it into manageable tasks, making the process a more… manageable task.

Another perk was weekly author interviews. I attended a few, and it always got me thinking about my own writing process, but while sitting there listening I was jonesin to write, so I skipped some. Looking back on it, I wish I would’ve sat attentively through all of them, that’s part of the experience that I paid for.

In closing, I’d say this program would benefit any budding writer. You may not finish a book, but you’ll be writing and you’ll gain an understanding of the logistics involved in writing a book. In the end, if my ho-hum attitude toward interviews is any indicator, you get out what you put in.

Doctor Pillow…Talk

The universe has spoken to me once again (for previous occurrences describing words descending upon me from the totality of existence, read HERE and HERE). I’ve experienced a singularity of my present and the experiences HERE chronicled.

You see, I got a comment on the above linked post from a woman whose husband has sustained a brain injury and is contemplating having a Baclofen pump “installed” (for a compendium of my posts concerning the Baclofen pump, direct the graphical representation of your mouse (i.e. “cursor”) HERE and apply pressure to the left button on said mouse). It is to these good people, that I dedicate this entry.

Listen, the battery on my pump was near death, so I had to have the whole pump replaced.

This I did, or rather had done, two days ago. There are a few remarkable occurrences that I would like to relate to you, dear reader.

1. This first point is not particularly remarkable compared to the other two, but deserves to be mentioned – the procedure was performed by the fabulous Dr. Deborah Fisher. She does surgery, pump refills, Botox injections and pain management, all with a very cool South African accent. She is, without a doubt, one of the good ones and one of my favorite people.

2. The name of the anesthesiologist was, I sh*t you not, Dr. Pillow. Put another way, the man whose responsibility it was to put me to sleep was named “Dr. Pillow”. Dr. Pillow had an assistant named Rip Van Blanket*…twas the darnedest thing that team Pillow/Blanket should manage my sleepy time…

Syringe Doc Pillow Head

3. True to their names, the Pillow/Blanket duo had me so stupefied that, when I woke up in the recovery room, I could swear I was in a staging area, awaiting the procedure. I was nearly set off when this blue flaming nurse asked me if I wanted something to drink, I had to check myself because I was indignant that this guy was trying to thwart this procedure that I worked so hard to set up by offering me a drink minutes before it was to be performed.

The hoops I had to jump through to get this operation scheduled is a saga worthy of its own post. Moreover, my recovery from this procedure has been much smoother than when I got the first pump. For next time, I’ll give a full summary/timeline of the major events associated with the pump.

That the words on this website have reached but a few people is reason enough to keep it up.

FIN

@JarrettLWilson

*This name is total bullsh*t, his real name was “Todd” or “Bill” or some other such name common to a suburban, middle class white male. He didn’t say his last name, so for purposes of this blog let’s say his last name was “Valium”.

Excavation of the Psyche or a Haircut?

Hello, internet!

As an aspiring writer, I find myself looking for connections and metaphors in the profane dribble of everyday life. Is their actually something there? Perhaps yes, perhaps no. As WI Thomas once said and I’ve since parroted roughly 16,852 times, “What we perceive to be real is real in its consequences” – that’s more of an approximation of what he said, but the profundity of the message is retained. I come to you today, the internet, with such a scenario.

Recently, thanks to the influence of time and human physiology, my hair reached critical volume, taking on dense, yet small objects as satellites (batteries, nails, die cast cars and planes, etc.). Therefore, I sought a haircut.

 

The details of the cut itself are unimportant. Suffice it to say that it was my stylist was a very pleasant woman named…uhh, I forgot. She and I discussed the bleak conditions of public education opportunity in our proximity.

 

The important thing here is this –

Picture 46

That is the scar from when a dark wizard tried to ki…wait that wasn’t me… this scar is from September of 2009 when a guy sawed into my skull and removed a lesion from my brainstem.

 

Here I am, nearly nine years later still going on about it.

 

That’s what that scar is. A timeline. Along its path are regrets – missed opportunities, divorce, unfulfilled professional and personal goals. But, here and there is found a ray of hope – a daughter with boundless virtue, an unwritten future taking shape before my eyes, greater understanding of myself and what it is to be human than I ever thought possible.

 

I think I’ve arrived at the significance – Nothing is what it seems. My stylist thought she was just giving me a haircut when she was actually exposing an artifact of a life never dreamed of, but very real. You might say she’s an archaeologist of the soul.

 

FIN

@JarrettLWilson

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