At some point, there might be two KeithSpeaks (won't that be nice and confusing!). The reason is that we are going to repost this on our new social network which has yet to be launched but hopefully will be, so it's not an issue yet, but I'm a fool for courtesy, so I thought I'd say something now, just to let you know, because let's face it, I'm constantly thinking only of you, and your welfare, and your well being. Am too. Anyway, I'm going to try and do a single posting to both sites, but I fear some of what I say here will be inappropriate there. If it happens too often, I'll start doing two different KeithSpeaks. And we will have parallel worlds. Shut up!
Some people said diving off the roof head first was the most questionable act of young Deacon's life, but his mother snorted at that. "A swan dive off the roof is sure death, granted, but did you see those shorts?! He looks like a flying hobo!" Then, as if there were reporters around, she flatly stared for the record, "Deacon's attire at the time of his death is easily the most questionable act of his young life. Because that's a reflection on me. And I certainly did not raise my son to look like a hobo. Whatever it took for Deacon to dive off the roof head first, well, that was all Deacon. Capish?"
September 3, 2010
This was sort of enlightening in a depressing kind of way. The benefit society for my professional writers union has launched a private online intranet for Guild members to check out their retirement plans, insurance coverage's, etc. My page was so blank, the reflection off the screen so bright, that it became abundantly clear in that blinding virtual nothingness that I'll never be able to retire on my writerly wages. Which is A-ok by me because why would I want to stop doing something that pleases me so? All right, sure, I admit, my wife was a little less happy for me, us, our future...
September 4, 2010
Someone asked me why I haven't updated the Home page picture on the site. The answer is because that was the author photo on the book jacket of Write About Dogs. The picture reminds me of that, and all that that implies, and that's why it's remained unchanged. Ooh, that sentence had 4 thats in it! I mean, really!
September 5, 2010
If you could ask yourself just one question and be guaranteed to receive the absolute highest on high supreme answer, what would it be? What one question above all would benefit you knowing the answer? What question wouldn't bring more questions? The date and time of when you will die? Confirmation that the best is still yet to come? What is to be the greatest achievement of your life? What do you need to do to find peace and contentment? Will you ever find true love? Who wins Superbowl 44?
You're in your cubicle. Your screensaver is a picture of Aruba. Between customer support calls, you daydream about warm sandy beaches and ever blue water. And even though you don't know how to swim, you've seen yourself scuba diving and free diving and drinking margaritas aboard sleek racing catamarans that tip up to 45 degrees on one pontoon in screaming winds, but you're laughing with the crew, you never lose your balance, your hair is windswept and awesome, and of course, you never spill a drop, even though in real life you'd be completely freaked out, wearing that margarita, and clinging to anyone and everything screaming bloody holy hell to get you out of there and off that freakin' boat because, well, you can't swim! Line 1 lights up. The catamaran gently glides up on the warm sandy beach where you hop off, blow kisses to the crew, go back to work.
September 8, 2010
I'm looking at a friend's laptop and something keeps catching my eye. It becomes more distracting once I become aware of it, and eventually, I can't not see it. He has a dead pixel center screen. I ask my friend how come he isn't completely annoyed by this taunting little square. "A new laptop would cost a thousand bucks. For a thousand bucks, that pixel needs to be the size of Calgary." That was his reason for tolerating it. "I don't even see it anymore." That was a lie spun to support his reason for tolerating it. "Anyway, since you can't fix a dead pixel, why sweat it?" And that was the rationale created to fully support both the lie and his reason for tolerating it. My, aren't we complex little creatures!
-- A bunch of bullies looking down on a wee puny victim
-- The unimaginativeness of the architecture
-- A big neighborhood where the people don't interact
-- A big neighborhood where it feels like there isn't a soul around
-- How the reflections give an eye catching texture and depth to what is essentially a dichotomous picture of buildings and sky
-- How it's easy to look at
September 10, 2010
Two teenage girls are discussing the fact that one left her cell phone at home. When told that she simply forgot it, the other girl swings for the fences. "You forgot it! I'm like wedded to my phone! How could you forget yours?! How could you leave it at home?! We're supposed to be best friends, Marci. How can you be my best friend if I can't call you? When stuff happens, I need to tell you about it. God! And I'm not leaving important messages about my love life on your voicemail. Your mom could hear! Your brother could hear! God, Marci!" The other girl meekly shook her head as if saying I know, you're right, can you forgive me? BFFs, awww.
September 11, 2010
If you let too many days go by without noticing them, you are doing yourself a disservice. Why? Because this is all there is, people. Ordinary days, extraordinary days, any day, they're only here once, one at a time, until come one day, the last day. My advice? Enjoy the easy part of your life, which is appreciating where you are (alive) and what you're doing (breathing). Here, let me help.
This was an evocative comparison. A scientist was trying to explain how the universe has hundreds of billions of galaxies, each with hundreds of billions of stars, and just how big that really is, which is pretty impossible for us wee little humans to fathom, until she said that if you took every grain of sand from every beach on our entire planet - that still wouldn't be enough to equal how many stars there are in the universe. Every grain of sand, from every beach! Everywhere! Combined! Can you imagine that?
September 13, 2010
I started something that I thought would just take a minute or so, and now three hours later, I'm still not done. Does that speak to my inefficiency or my dedication? I dunno, but I have to get back to it because the longer I spend here talking about it, the longer it will take me to finally finish - at which point perhaps I'll have a better sense of whether it was a lack of passion or my own perfection that delayed its completion. Because right now, gosh, I dunno. But I already said that. Later, my pretties.
September 14, 2010
This person asked me what I do. At the moment I am involved with our new social network, so I told him I was a webmaster. The non comprehending look on his face told me he didn't know what that meant. I explained that a webmaster was a technician who designs or maintains a website. He said, "Well, I don't understand that. What's a technician? I mean, I know what a technician is, but not in this context. The definition seems to hinge on the meaning of technician. Technician was pretty prominent in there. So what's a technician?" I believe I looked at him like you would a child polishing off a beer: a bit surprised but then, you've seen stranger sights. "A technician," I said, "is just a person. Substitute the word person for the word technician - a webmaster is a person who designs or maintains a website." He shook his head like it was all coming together now. "But wait, you just said a technician designs OR maintains a website. Why not AND? Can't one person do both? And why not if they can't? And are you called something other than a webmaster if you do? And can there be more than one webmaster per site?! Isn't that confusing for everyone? Do you do both?" Lordy, I wanted to run away and join the circus, befriend a lion, have him come back and eat this guy. Next time I'm just gonna say I'm a writer. A technical writer. Ain't no one gonna ask about that.
A trend in the making? Could Plain Jane's spawn a series of roadside eateries featuring owners with low self-esteem and self-denigrating names? For instance, could you tool down Route 27 and eat at Ugly Barney's or Pimply Paul's or simply drive on a little further to Jeannie's Grotesquery? Their marketing slogan could be: Come on in, you can't be sorrier than this lot! Whattaya think, a trend? Pulse of the people stuff? Keith, tapping the zeitgeist?
September 16, 2010
I watched two ants pull a seed together. They dragged it backwards, constantly tugging it over uneven ground and grasses. They never stopped working, but it looked like it was a huge struggle to move this object. In several minutes they had travelled about 5 feet. At that point, one of the ants just left. The other one tried to continue but just couldn't manage. A short time later, it too left the seed. Just to see, I marked the spot with a stick in the ground and went back to have a look this morning. Had they come back with more help and moved it away? But the seed was still there. It had been abandoned. I pushed it into the soil and covered it up, leaving the stick in the ground to mark the spot so I can see next spring if anything comes to life from that ant abandoned seed.
If you've never been to a big time international sporting event, it's hard to convey the feeling of the building, the energy, the noise, the ambience. The joint is flooded with passion. Watching it live makes you a part of the event. It's interactive. Watching it on TV is passive. Of course, you can yell and be an emotional wreck on your couch too, but it's not interactive. So you never get the feeling of having been there. But you know what? One is not better than the other, merely a different experience to the same event. And if your team wins, well, joy is spontaneous wherever you happen to be watching it.
September 18, 2010
It seems the only time I see certain buddies is when they come over to our house to do some trades work. We had a broken water line at Susan's office and needed the services of my plumber friend, who in turn needed to bring in an excavator to dig out the buried line, and ended up calling another friend to do the work. It was like old home week. We all chatted and shot the breeze and caught up with each other's lives before and during the fix. When it was over, I paid them for their work, they loaded up their equipment and left. I probably won't see either guy again until the next broken something else. A charming part of small town life, eh?
September 19, 2010
You have the nagging feeling that you're forgetting something, so you walk around looking at your stuff hoping to jog your memory, or you go over your list to see what you might have forgotten, but you can't pinpoint what it is, and so the nagging feeling persists. Question: Just what exactly is that nagging feeling?
September 20, 2010
In olden days, young adults seeking fame would dream of seeing their name up in (theater) lights. That was transformed into hordes of people wanting to be movie stars of the silver screen, and from there it went to wanting to be a reality TV star. For today's youth craving fame, it's all about how to make a video that goes viral and gets 5 million hits. And even though tomorrow will bring some new medium, the one constant - wanting to stand out from the crowd - hasn't changed, only the means.
September 21, 2010
You're a farmer, a no nonsense guy, a skeptic. You say there is a rational explanation for everything in the world. You get up early, you have your coffee, you fire up the tractor and head out to the fields. When you get there, you discover 3D crop circles. Now what?
What if you had to take midterms in life? What if at the half way point, you had to take a test - a one question test. If you pass, you get to continue on and live out the remaining half of your life, but if you fail, you are doomed to repeat the first half, starting again at birth. Everybody gets the same question, there is no right or wrong answer, you can't prepare for it, you can't study for it, you don't know when it's going to come. And your midterm question is this: How would you rate your life experience thus far?
September 23, 2010
I'll be honest, I'm preoccupied. I got Susan a new smartphone for her birthday and I have been having so much fun programming it that everything else has taken a backseat. Even this. Even you. What a thing to admit! Tomorrow I'll be witty. Will too. Ta.
September 24, 2010
This was supremely icky. I Skype a business contact who answers the call half dressed. What? He has no shirt on! In his office! He is sitting there bare-chested and talking to me on webcam like I'm not supposed to notice his - ugh, I can't believe I'm gonna relive this - his flabby, pasty, hairy, inverted nipple filled, disgusting, shirtless self. The conversation is surreal weird, and not just because of his buck naked blobbiness, but because he never offers any reason as to why he has no shirt on in his office and is answering business calls that way. Ooh, gives me the shivers still.
September 25, 2010
I was told by someone who ought to know that 3+3=7. His explanation was mathematical and astronomical and way past my comprehension. When he was done, I just asked him one question: Are you sure?
September 26, 2010
I read an interesting account of a Malaysian man who met himself. He was on a crowded city street and literally passed himself walking the other way. Both he and the doppelganger looked into each other's eyes as they passed, but it was such an unexpected and shocking thing to see oneself, that neither man stopped to confront the other. The Malaysian man said he's been in a daze ever since, haunted by the fact that there is another him living in this world. (Cue the music to the Twilight Zone).
Come on, who hasn't climbed a tree in stilettos? Naked.
September 28, 2010
Seen this movie before? A guy shyly approaches a girl he fancies and stammers around asking her out. She thinks his shyness is beyond cute, past adorable, why, OMG! is he approaching sensitive?!, but still she demurs, being all girly girl coy and yet playfully flirtatious at the same time so he gets the message that she is definitely interested, but a girl has to say no, because, well, this gives her the ultimate control and control is a good thing. And he almost faints because, OMG!, she's at least entertaining the notion! He bumbles his goodbyes and slinks away before getting out of sight and doing some crazy end zone dance thing, only he isn't out of sight and she sees him do it and laughs, just a little, something like the witch must have done when she saw Hansel and Gretel cruising up the driveway. I watched this played out not at our local cinema, but our local mall.
September 29, 2010
In the last week I have downloaded three different User Guides for three different products. Two of the Guides were nothing more than multiple pages of legal crap about protecting the company's asses, with not a word of explanation on how to actually use their products. This is why people call lawyers tools. The third Guide was a delicious 112 PDF pages of product goodness. There were photos, drawings, and complete explanations of all the product's features, which made this User Guide a truly useful tool. Let's see, useless tools vs. useful tools. Uh, whose products do you think I'm going to look for in the future?
September 30, 2010
In the English speaking world, how come so many people are aware of haiku? Few people seem to read poetry and most don't know iambic pentameter from floor wax, so how come so many have seen and read haiku? Furthermore, ask them about it, and many will mumble something about it being three lines of non rhyming verse with so many syllables each. Well come on, how do people know that? I mean really?