Friday, May 11, 2012

Reflections




    It’s time.

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the 2012 A-Z Challenge ended and I have yet to reflect on the experience.  To be sure, I was pretty beat after 26 days of posting.  I needed time to decompress, but honestly, that took only a couple days. 

    Instead, crippling laziness set in.  So, instead of writing last weekend, I played ‘Words With Friends,’ surfed Grannies Gone Wild, read Faceb...oh, wait, crap.  I already told you all this.

    Did I mention chicken rub?

    Anyway, I’m eager to jump back into the fray and regale (or bore) you with whatever pops into my brain.  And, believe me, if you follow me on Twitter or Facebook (or both, you masochists), you know that quite a few things pop into my brain.

    In order to do so, however, I first need to give you my observations on the challenge. 

    Sidebar, your honor?  Can we be honest here?  It’s not like the “Challenge Police” are going to break down my door and accuse me of a blogging crime if I eschew (NOTE:  French term for “blow off.”  Or something to do with eating) a reflections post.
"Mirror, mirror in my hand. Who the frik is this old man?"
    Still, in order to maintain peace in the blogosphere (and be a mind-numbed drone who does what he’s told), may I submit:

This was supposed to be used for my post for 'G.'
As in 'Gandalf, the Grey Wizard.'
    1.  The challenge was a lot of work.  I mean, not building the pyramids or Charlie Sheen designated driver work, but still an effort.  I don’t mean the writing part, either.  That actually was kind of easy, mostly because of the “delayed posting” option.  I mean reading everyone else’s blog.  I tried to read a selected few from the list everyday, but it was all I could manage answering those who read my posts.

Then, I thought I could use Mel Gibson for 'G.'
    2.  Some people-Manzanita, Jenny, Nancy S. Thompson-used themes for the challenge.  We call these people “organized and talented.”  Others just “shotgunned” an array of topics based on a particular letter, not through any logical process.  We call these people “delightfully unpredictable,” “wonderfully creative,” and “terrifyingly schizophrenic.”  But, seriously, how many of you knew that you could use “Qi” in Scrabble?  See, crazy has its uses.

Instead, I went for The Grey.  Starring Liam Neeson.
Which doesn't start with 'G.'
Go figure.
    3.  I wrote some dreadfully long posts (like this).  I tried to help things along by putting in a bunch of pretty pictures.  But, I downloaded so many I couldn’t use.  So, for your viewing pleasure (and because this post is threatening to go long), I’ve included them here.

I just love looking at Greek beaches.
If, for no other reason that they may be topless.
Like one of these may be. And I don't mean the dudes.
    4.  I really enjoyed meeting a bunch of new people and hope we can “keep in touch.”  If I’ve commented on your blog, you know who you are and I know how to find you.  You lucky bastard.

Seriously, can you ever have
too many pictures of Iranian soldiers?
Yeah, yeah, death to America. We get it.
    5.  I’d like to personally (“Well, how else would you do it, Mr. Pretentious?”) Matthew from Matthew's Blog and the incredibly poetic Pat Hatt.  These gentlemen (and gluttons for punishment) read every one of my challenge posts.  To quote Sherilin (which I do frequently), Great Googli Moogli!  I wish I could give them an award.  Or offer to pay for their therapy.  Thanks, guys, I really appreciate the support.  And promise I’ll have a check in the mail to you soon.

No, Kryptonite didn't kill Superman.
The Quest for Peace did.
And you thought the one with Richard Pryor sucked.
    6.  Since others have mentioned them, I guess I will.  Captchas, double word verifications, squiggly pain-in-the-ass thingies...whatever.  I don’t know why some people have them.  But, some people do.  Although, I bet not all of them know that they do.  They really never bothered me (the captchas, not the people).  Leave ‘em, if you like.  Since I always want to put my two cents in, I won’t let them stand in my way.

I think I was going to use this for Kryptonite.
George Reeves, Christopher Reeve, Steve Reeves.
Seemed funny at the time.
At least Hercules didn't have to put up
with some lame Nuclear Man character, though.
    7.  Let’s face it, some of my posts just sucked.  I didn’t like the Lemonade one, although I tried to make up for it by writing about Larry from the 3 Stooges.  And that Ragu post?  The more I looked at it, the more I think I just phoned that sucker in.  Still, did you like the ones about Easter and Passover?  Even though they were stupidly long?  All the pictures for the ‘W’ post made me giggle, too.  Especially that one of Pete Whistle.

    8.  I’d love to do the challenge next year.  That is, if those know-it-all Mayans (who, might I add, didn’t even see the Spanish coming) were all full of crap about that end of the world thing.

Schindler's List.
Now don't you feel guilty for laughing?
    9.  What would I do differently next year?  Well, for one, wear pants.  Or I may do a theme.  But, definitely, pants.

    10.  I think I needed to write a tenth observation.  But, I really got nothing.

    The upcoming year promises to be fun.  I have ideas about our fingers, dollar coins, the Food Network, my trip to Virginia, and I may start a series on the history of the world.

Hey, it was either this or the
picture of synchronized swimming
    Speaking of, I promise I’ll finish my exposé on Xerxes the Great.  It’s much more than a lot of dead Spartans, you know.  There’s some dead Athenians, too.

    Sadly, I’m going to cut down on the frequency of my posts.  I really need to get back to working on my WIP (NOTE:  Fancy writer acronym for “Work In Progress.”  Or “Women In Plaid.”), It’s Not Just a Job.

Originally meant for my Yoga post.
Seriously, if this chick farts, she'll snap her neck.
    Similar in tone to Shag Carpet Toilet (Still on Kindle!  Still thousands left!  Still ranked 600,000 out of 1,000,000!  Which may explain why there are...uh...still thousands left), it’s the true, highly embellished story of my time in the Navy (For a limited time only...hooker free!).

    But, I will still read your blogs.  What’s more, I’ll give you my unsolicited opinion on what will probably be carefully thought-out, beautiful essays.

    Call it a heartfelt, literary “pull-my-finger” from me to you.

    I’m sentimental that way.   

      
      

61 comments:

  1. I think I will choose delightfully creative for me. Definitely not "insane person", right?

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  2. I'm surprised any of the girls on the greek beach have bikini tops on.

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  3. I think the blonde in the front is topless. I never liked actually going to a topless beach, though. I went to one in Cannes in 1998. I had to lay on my stomach the whole time.

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  4. Since I started blogging, my book has been on the backburner so I really need to slow down, too. I read too much is my problem!

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  5. The thing is that I get quick feedback when I blog. As far as the book goes, it's not so quick obviously. My goal is to be finished by Christmas (Mayans notwithstanding). The challenge took me away for two months. It'll probably look so unfamiliar to me now.

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    1. i've found the same thing about blog writing vs book writing. blogging is wonderful because you know within 24 hrs if a post/chapter is a bomb or a success. i've found myself emailing chapters to a couple girlfriends just because i need the feedback.

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    2. Actually, I did sort of the same thing here on Blogger. I posted a few chapters of "Shag Carpet Toilet" here as part of the "Once Upon a Time" series. Of course, I changed some of the names and edited for length (gee, that sounds dirty), but it was the same thing. I wanted to see what kind of reactions I'd get.

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  6. But if you wear pants how will we know it's really you?

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  7. Visiting from A/Z post challenge reflections; love your humor. Love your honesty too in critiquing your work and thinking perhaps some of your posts were not as stellar as you might have wanted them to be. Other than L and perhaps X, I kind of liked the other letters that I wrote of. Congrats on finishing it! It was a wild adventure indeed!

    betty

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  8. @tatty: I'll wear 'em on my head and keep the zipper open.
    @That corgi: Yeah, that 'R' was a dog. I liked my 'X,' though.

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  9. Two weeks already? How time flies. Next year you could do the Greek alphabet challenge. To make it easier, rhyming topic would be allowed, e.g. "helter-skelter" instead of "delta" or "I wanna die" instead of "Pi".

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  10. I enjoyed reading your humorous posts during the challenge. :)

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  11. I loved all of your posts during your challenge Al, it'sway too hard to pick a favourite haha.

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    1. I'm telling you true, you deserve so much credit for stopping by for every single post (and commenting). You and Pat have a lot of stamina.

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  12. I tried to get to all of them, I did really. April just seemed to conspire against me and I wasn't even doing the challenge (I was in that group referred to as "pikers"
    Please dont disappear completely. I would really miss you if you did.

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    1. It's next to impossible to visit everyone everyday. But, I always enjoyed it whenever you dropped by.

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  13. Sorry I missed, um, half of the alphabet. I really don't think the A to Z challenge requires pants. Nope. I say you do next year's Pants-Free again.

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    1. Whew! Thank goodness! Going "sans drawers" gives me the freedom to reach new creative heights. Plus, it keeps the neighbors away.

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  14. You crack me up! I LOVE reading your posts!

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  15. You know how to use Twitter? No, let me rephrase that, you have a Twitter account? Knowing how to use it is another issue.

    I hope no one ever sits in your chair. They'll need a towel or something to sit on.

    Honestly, I can't stand these blog challenges.
    Captcha sucks balls. Sorry, but that's how I feel about that!

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    1. Even though I have a Twitter account, I don't use it nearly as much as Blogger or Facebook. After all, I'm just one man. A sad, twisted, warped little man. But, only one man.

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  16. I'm glad you did the A-Z, even though I didn't even hit enough letters to form a word (Qi doesn't count in this case). I hope your WIP is going well, if it's the work in progress. If it's the woman in plaid, I hope you got her out of the plaid and into some bedsheets.

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    1. Let's just hope they're not PLAID bedsheets.

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    2. That would be rather tacky. But I'd rather have plaid than laquered, anyday.

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  17. I looked forward to your posts everyday Al. I couldn't help but wonder what in the hell that crazy old man was going to come up with next.

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    1. Maybe something about clowns...? Or monkeys...? Oh, what the hell, how about yet another Weiner joke?

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  18. Since the cat and Pat are two, an extra zero on that check wouldn't be so bad either, you know form 1 cent to 10 cents..LOL

    I need to buckle down and get on book number five, but the cat keeps stealing my computer time, damn felines. Have to post every single day for a year, 3 months to go or so on that one..haha

    And captchas are just a pain altogether, need to go whoever still has them.

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    1. Even though they don't bother me, it still baffles me why people use captchas.

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  19. I wish I'd read all your posts. Just so you know, I'm going back for them--enquiring minds want to know (and all that)...

    Good luck with the WIP. :)

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    1. Golly, are you sure you want to do that to yourself? Carry on, brave woman, carry on.

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  20. I finally finished "Welcome to Singles Night!" it's now available on Kindle and in the process on Nook--all 39 chapters and the epilogue. Phew!

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    1. Congratulations! Now sit back and relax. Or go out to one of those wicked good Maine restaurants. And get ready to watch the Celtics beat the crap out of the 76ers.

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  21. What? No men in underwear picture this post? Geez, what a slacker! LOL

    I understand needing to take the blogging down a notch, seems my favs are starting to that - you being one of them. Maybe it's a sign that I need to get out in the sun and head to the beach myself too.

    Good luck on your book and I look forward to your posts when they pop up.

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    1. Funny you should say that. A friend of mine (you know him as 'Anonymous') sent a picture to me of me in my underwear from way back in 1998 when we stayed at a hotel in Dubai (you know, when I read that, that just sounds icky). Yes, they were tightey-whiteys, but at least my hair was still brown.

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  22. Oh yeah I used Qi in a words with friends game too, she didn't think it was legitimate hahahaha

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    1. Oh, yeah, that'll do that to an opponent. Just look them in the eye and smugly say, "Go ahead. You can challenge it if you want." Then, when they lose their turn, lay a "xu" on them. And watch their head explode.

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    2. I'll remember xu now and you got rid of the toilet. The cat really liked the toilet haha

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    3. I liked the toilet, too and it will probably make return someday. I just thought to change things up a bit. I thought cats liked boxes better, though.
      Also, try "xi." Your opponents will freak out.

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  23. Congratulation on finishing the challenge. I didn't visit all blogs during the challenge but, cross my heart, I'm visiting every single one with reflection post! I am so glad my journey brought me here.

    Evalina, This and that...

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    1. Welcome to the tenuous hold on sanity which I call Penwasser Place. Glad you came by!

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  24. You did a fantastic job, Al. My favorite was the shoelace tying world tour. That was simply, randomly brilliant.

    PS You should've posted the photo of synchronized swimming.

    xoRobyn

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  25. I agree with Robyn about the shoelace tour! My other favorites include the Haiku story and "W."
    Looking forward to hearing more about your Women In Plaid! Julie

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  26. Congrats on just finishing the challenge. No way I could have even attempted it what with finals taking place during April.

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  27. I take my hat off to you, I can NEVER post to a schedule - you guys deserve medals!

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  28. @Robyn: Synchronized swimming would only really impress me if it was underwater.
    @Julie: I have to admit, the 'W' post did make me giggle. I had a lot of fun putting it together.
    @DWei: I cannot imagine what it would have been like if I needed to study for a final. How'd you do, though?
    @Shrinky: I swear, it was like I had a little Blogger troll on my shoulder, poking at me.

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  29. Great post! I made the mistake of going on vacation halfway through the A-Z, so I didn't get to visit half as many blogs as I would have liked to. Still making the rounds!

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    1. Thanks! I'll stop by your place tomorrow. I'm off to bed now. I need my beauty sleep. I need a LOT of beauty sleep.

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  30. It turns out that the world will not be coming to an end this year. I was listening to Coast to Coast last night, and this man, some man, a man said that it would be ending 4,000 years from now. Don't quote me on that.

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  31. Well I'm hoping you aren't cutting them back too much, I enjoy the read :) Loved the challenge you were doing, and a few others I know. Loved it. I'm hoping (if we're still here as you said ) that I will be able to sign up next year. Looked very fun!

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  32. @Nellie: 4,000 years from now? Crap. Now I have to buy Christmas presents.
    @MonkeyButt: It was a lot of fun. Tiring, but fun.

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  33. Good god man...shock the sweet stuffing outta me...I arrive late to the party and you've totally transformed the joint...did I miss the memo?

    Man alive...new haircut, new wallpaper, new, new, new...damn, you're as bad as a woman looking to see if she's aged a day. Well..let me be the third or fiftieth to say...

    Way to go, Al! I never thought I'd see the day, but here it is...all new and shiny...where are my shades...damn glare off my screen...

    Yah...me likes it! *sheepish grin...cause that's all I got*

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  34. I thought it was time for a change. But, never fear, the toilet picture won't be gone long. The picture of me looking n the mirror tickled me. And probably horrifies everyone else.

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  35. Hey Al - I nominated you for the Kreativ Blogger award - it will be posted on my site in the morning - you crack me up!

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  36. Is it over already? Damn man that was a long post, but I've seen longer so you'll have to do better than that. Maybe you could add some long ass videos--not music but lectures and such. Blog with less frequency? You could do shorter posts and post as frequently. Then again that might be like asking bloggers to wear pants while they blog. There's no Challenge law that says you can't blog without pants--I mean, you're not the only one with no pants.

    It was great having you back for another year of alphabetical foolishness. Long live the letters.


    Lee
    Tossing It Out

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  37. @Sheila: Thanks very much! I'll be around your way!
    @Lee: Yeah, right? I really try to keep it small (which is counter-intuitive to a dude). Like I said, that's part of the reason I post pictures. Maybe then if people are in a hurry (or have lives) they can scroll down and just read the pictures. My intention is to write a post tonight. My intention is to once again keep it small. Hopefully, you'll see if I kept my word to myself. Remember: counter intuitive.
    @baygirl32: I actually have a lot of fun with the pictures. Even those of Anthony Weiner.

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  38. I think pants are optional.
    This was my third Challenge and second as co-host. I learned from the first one that a theme is the ONLY way to go. Yes, I used Q*Bert for my Q post the first post. LAME. Last two years featuring blogger buddies has been much more fun.
    And ODD does describe Tintin. But as you pointed out - Jerry Lewis. Enough said.
    I believe I've visited here before. Think it's time I followed your insanity.

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