I’m Back, Baby.

November 11, 2010

The drunken, profane robot has spoken.

Now, as many of you are probably asking yourselves right now: “Who the hell are you and why should I care?” And rightly so. I have been gone quite awhile. Most of you have continued on with your lives and blogging in my absence. Some, unfortunately, haven’t.

Don Mills finally decided to give the young people of the world a break and get on with retiring. Tragically, this leaves a gaping hole in the “youngster bashing” arena which no one can properly fill, not even pale imitation Clifton Tanager and his rambling, horrific anecdotes. Even more tragic, his absence will only encourage the youth of America, as his removal will confirm (in their tiny minds) that if you say “STFU” loud enough, for long enough, your tormentor(s) will eventually go away.

It’s kind of a shitty message to be sending, but hopefully it’ll just sail over their underdeveloped heads like pretty much everything else.

Fundamental Jelly also called it a day (mostly), taking his camera and dry wit with him. Another gaping hole left in the internet which won’t be filled anytime soon, as sharp-eyed photographers rarely possess devastatingly understated humour. (Seriously, when was the last time that Annie Leibovitz made you laugh?)

Of course, like all the greats, he left an opening for a possible sequel.

But the rest of you kept on going. And look at you, all grown up and sprouting facial hair and posts all over the place! (Especially you, Scott.)

Bschooled has added Facebook-trolling to her bag of hilarious tricks. Vodka and Ground Beef changed her template but not her delightfully wrong take on world events. Ruby Two Shoes’ quality hasn’t dropped although her post count has. Ulysses over at Hidden Leaves is shifting focus as well, resulting in fewer posts by still delivering tons of insight. And new blogroll addition Imperfect Enjoyment (found via this piece at Defenestration Mag) continues to drop nearly scatological science on subjects from questionable hairstyles to 50 Cent’s inappropriate contact with an underaged Soulja Boy.

But enough about you, what about me?

Let’s recap:

RF Interference appeared periodically to dispense advice on clothing, HBO and other such matters usually left untouched, which somehow touched off a turf war in the comment threads. After several days and several thousand words, RF was declared the winner, thanks to his immaculate embedding of a JPEG in the comment thread.

We received our first DMCA takedown notice, which oddly enough left the music selections unscathed. However, it did rob this post of a fine photo of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and its attendant Scott Stapp bashing. However, it can be argued (and it has…) that the caption is equally effective without the photo.

Various submissions were rejected (where “various” = “a majority”) but amazingly, a few broke through. Two at Defenestration:

One more appeared at The Big Jewel:

Some of these will look familiar to long-time readers, but some significant editing (for the better) went into the Big Jewel post and the Coach Rafferty piece has never appeared here on the blog.

McSweeney’s remains unfazed by my onslaught of submissions, countering each one like a jaded tennis instructor returning the serves of uninterested 13-year-old students.

A River and Sound Review served up the best rejection, shattering all my illusions about the selection process:

“Thank you for sending us “Concert Review” for consideration. However, after reading it, we have decided not to use it.”

This new “reading submissions” editorial scheme does not bode well for my untitled (and 99% unwritten) novel.

To sum up: it’s good to be back. I’ve missed this. And I learned two things while away:

1. When you stop writing, you stop writing.
2. There’s nothing easier than not writing.

So, fortunately or unfortunately, I need this kind of pressure to stay creative. Thanks for reading.



  1. oh man. i had no idea everyone retired! I gotta get my ass back to reading and blogging again. Gotta figure out where the hell Bob Trusty went as well.

    oh and “SHUTTUP BABY, I KNOW IT” ;D


    • Rick –

      It was like some sort of blogging birdflu swept through WordPress in the last six months. Some of us dodged it while other, more fortunate, bloggers succumbed to its siren call of “loads of pressure-free downtime.”

      Do check on Bob, though. There just aren’t enough redheaded manchildren running about unsupervised.


  2. “When you stop writing, you stop writing”, is just the kind of profound message that can be found in some of my other favourite ‘life lesson’ maxims. Namely:
    “When you live and learn, you learn something”
    “Still waters tend to be still” and
    ‘A day’s work takes a day”

    Thanks for the timely reminder, because although I have been ‘walking slowly’ of late, at least I know that when I take one step at a time, I have taken one step.

    Welcome back! Baby.

    • I picked up this profound message over at the Learning Annex (“Learning Thru Learning”). It was their “Remedial Tautology” course which ran once a week (“Be here on Tuesday night to be here Tuesday night.”) Of course, we realized that not everything they taught us was strictly tautological, but being that it was a community college, we found that playing along meant we could play along.

      Thanks for the warm welcome back, Ruby.

      On Wednesday nights, I took part in Patrick Swayze’s (god rest his pottery-making soul) pain management class “Pain Don’t Hurt 101.”

  3. So glad you’re back in action!!!

    I love how A River let you know, clearly, that they read your piece before deciding not to use it. That’s thorough of them.

    • Thanks, V&GB.

      A River and Sound Review’s strict editorial policies allow them to only reject the finest submissions, and then only after they are at least skimmed.

      It’s what sets them head and shoulders above fly-by-night WordPress blogs where not even the bloggers can be bothered to read their posts before submitting them.

  4. This makes me so happy that I almost lost some pre-ejaculate. Almost. Had Scott Stapp still been present in all his messianic glory it would have been a total write off for sure.

    I couldn’t agree with your writing sentiments more. I’ve cut down to around once a week myself and went down 20% in my commenting practices in an effort to be more ‘efficient’ and write my ‘book.’ I’m not sure that either of those two words are actually real and not just some figment of a torturous deity’s imagination. I’m going to try for a little longer at least. Especially since I have a new ‘book’ idea!

    The best part of this magnificent post? The McSweeny’s analogy. Brilliant!

    • I’ll have to thank whomever sent in the takedown notice for sparing us from droplets (?) of pre-ejaculate. If only Scott Stapp had been with us to enjoy this reunion of sorts… Wherever you’re currently sleeping something off, Scott, we salute you.

      I’m glad to see someone is at least still pretending to write a book. It’s one of those important fictions that allow us bloggers to continue entertaining each other with no higher purpose in sight. And then there’s Facebook, which allows our “efficiency” to drop to somewhere in the negative-Kelvin region. Still, good luck to you on the new “book.” If you’re lucky, RSR will browse the Table of Contents before rejecting it.

      Thanks for the comment, Scott. And let me just add this: Fuckin’ McSweeney’s.

  5. Yay!

    It’s like Christmas, but without the thirty-five year-old nativity set that my mother brings out every year, only to then force my sister and I to alternate between reading the story of baby Jesus and acting it out using the broken ceramic figurines.

    (Trust me, it’s not as exciting as it sounds.)

    Glad you’re back, CLT!

    • It’s exactly like that, bschooled, only replace the nativity set with a Clue board and the broken figurines with various Happy Meal Toys. Trust me, that is exactly as exciting as it sounds.

      However, yours sounds much more heartbreaking, rendering it funnier when viewed from a certain distance and gap in time and, more importantly, by someone who didn’t have to live through that sort of “formative” experience.

      Thanks, bschooled. I’m happy to be back.

  6. *act

    (My grammar sucketh tonight.)

    • Your grammar is just fine given the medium. We also would have accepted “atc,” “axe” and “performed.” (But not “preformed” or “perfromed.”)

  7. Welcome back, CLT.

    I too learned a couple things while you were away:

    1. V-necks are worn when not wearing a tie.
    2. Mock socks are controversial.

    • That’s exactly what I learned, o/o. The “mock sock” controversy won’t soon be forgotten, not if Google’s caching abilities have anything to say about it.

      Thanks for the welcome back, o/o. Great to see you.

  8. All hail the glory of the hypnotoad! I mean, welcome back CLT. You’ve been missed.

    • Dammit! The hypnotoad would have been perfect. Oh well. I’ll remember that for my next hiatus. Thanks for the kind words, Ulysses. I’ve missed being here.

  9. Today, I received a survey from eBay asking for an assessment and appraisal on how they are performing as a company. I cheerfully assigned them all 10s in the question fields and opted to copy/paste a poem by Elizabeth Barrett Browning (“How do I love thee? Let me count the ways…”) in the essay portion. That pretty much sums up my feelings for your blog. It always seems like I get a great value, AMAZING selection of merchandise (narrative/expository/persuasive/humorous), prompt dispatch of goods, and 100% customer satisfaction. As a seller of words/ideas/commentary/humor, you have earned your consistent five star DSRs (Detailed Seller Ratings), ‘stellar seller’ status, and 100% feedback rating. Nice to see you back.

    P.S. Just curious…single or double venting in blazers?

    • As usual, elizabeth, your effusive praise (for both me and the only non-scam artist left on eBay) has left me feeling a little overwhelmed. I’ll try to maintain my “stellar” status, but after this 3-month break, the star itself looks a bit rusty. But thank you for the massive amount of compliments, and the attendant pressure contained therein.

      P.S. I have no idea. I’m a Ford man myself.

  10. RF Interference appeared periodically to dispense advice on clothing…which somehow touched off a turf war in the comment threads. After several days and several thousand words, RF was declared the winner, thanks to his immaculate embedding of a JPEG in the comment thread.

    Declared the winner??? Motherfucker!!! I’ve seen less dubious results in more corrupt backwaters like Afghanistan and Florida.

    I’ll have you know RF ran out of gas early in the 2nd round and was just clutching & grabbing and using his position as referee to stay upright.

    I had another hay-maker half written, but held off because I knew I already did far more than enough to win and it would be wrong to further humiliate a “man” in his home arena. (Besides, talking about summer fashion in October-November is oh-so tacky!)

    But somebody had to fill airtime and I didn’t see that lazy old man, Clifton Tanager, saying much. Shit, I don’t think he even offered to partner up with Donald Mills to keep him in the game!

    • I won’t argue with your claim that the results were “dubious.” For one: I don’t have to. For another: hometown refs.

      You’ve got one story, RF’s got another but I’m the one who declared it in print. It may just seem like Dewey defeating Truman, but in the end I’ve still got Dewey in bold, black letters.

      Clifton is rather lazy. I’d imagine he’ll rouse himself sometime in the next couple of weeks. Don Mills wouldn’t have anything to do with him because of a “generation gap.” (Mills is nearly a decade older, which makes Tanager only slightly less impertinent than a tween.)

    • RF- I think it depends on your answer…

    • Did this shirtlifter just proposition me?

      The only shirts I lift are ones with boobies under them. No matter how much wishful thinking you engage in, Mr Gyllenhaal, I will not go on a sheep-herding expedition with you.

      But I should take some responsibility. I know how irresistible my raw masculinity is avec les femmes (even the male ones), so I have an obligation to keep it in check. And how could I possibly expect somebody delusional enough to think a couple centimetres of material (or the lack thereof) around their ankles communicates vitally important messages wouldn’t also start having delusional fantasies about getting his fudge packed by me?

      To be fair, perhaps you were just confusing my open mindedness towards your lifestyle with a desire to participate in it with you. Not everyone in your country is as open minded as I am, so I can see how confusing the two can be an honest mistake.

      Just stick to your Scotsman fetish and may the oat-porridge on your face taste as sweet as it is sticky.

  11. I can offer up all kinds of other kinds of “pressure alternatives” to stay creative that don’t include blogging; and they are, I really believe, delightfully more intense…

    Dedicate your life to making me a millionaire. It won’t be easy, and I’ll be wielding a gun on your ass all the time, but I think this is worth striving for. And who knows, while one of the things that might make me a millionaire might not be your blogging, on the upside it will very likely involve you and your new found role in the dynamic world of slave labour. The Canadian kind with a “u.” In Canada, we can’t spell slave labour without “u.”

    Raging Alcoholism Skip the blogger bit and just get to the final act of every writer. In my personal experience, a crapulent and besotted state of mind is a highly pressurized one. Will I stand? Where did I put my wallet? How did I end up here? Why are they lifting my legs? And who are they? When did I get use to projectile puking form my nose – while being held upside down by a group of strange thugs? Did I remember to include this special moment in my memoirs…?

    Denial If you do this one, you’ll need guilt as well. But really, this is highly recommended. It’s the original odd couple of emotional pressure. Here’s how it works… Don’t write a blog post, pretend you did and then guilt yourself into the truth. Then deny the truth. Then deny you feel guilty about your denial of the truth. Then guilt yourself into feeling guilty about denying it. Then deny the guilt trip and, well, you know, repeat until you die…

    Misplaced Truculence Once you’re in, you can’t go back. Blogging? Fuck blogging, I kick it’s fucking ass!

    Failed Suicide Attempts Suicide is the easy way out? Hah! Not according to me. The trick is to botch them up. Trust me, it’s a lot easier than it sounds. Not only do you get to wind up in Emergency every Friday night – afterward you’re just to spent to blog about it. Win!

    Whatever choice you go with, CLT, I know it’ll be right for you and the ones you love. But until you do choose, it’s really wonderful to see you writing again. The internet is once again zestier, wittier and more fantastically profane. Haha! I waited right to the end before I said the nice things. Damn but I suck.

    • Crapulent, besotted and truculence are better than any toppings on an ice cream sundae. Yummy comment, Alan.

    • Alan!

      What a delightful surprise! I can’t thank you enough for all your suggestions, all of which seem intended to make me work harder, not smarter. And coming from someone hip deep in the rat race, I can honestly tell you that we just don’t have enough rats slugging above their weight, work-wise.

      I’m all over being some sort of alcholic millionaire. If it works for Jackie Collins, Clive Cussler and J.K. Rowling, I don’t see why it wouldn’t work for me.

      If not, it’s back to a combination of suicide and denial, where each ER visit is treated with a combination of empathy and open hostility, both on my part and the ER staff.

      But I think if there’s any truth to any of this, it would be the “misplaced truculence.” I’m fond of both swearing and projecting when I write, and will probably treat my return to blogging as some sort of obligatory response to my many imaginary detractors.

      Thanks again for the advice. When you’re ready to start talking about your drinking problem, remember I’m always here for you.

  12. Welcome back CLT. My feeble attempt to ‘retire’ hasn’t gone as artistically cool as I had hoped…Brent Favre ruined it for all of us.

    Anyway, congrats on the pubs. The space/time continuum can go back to being, you know, a space/time continuum, but at least your shit is out there.

    • Thanks, FJ. Don’t worry about misfiring on the retirement plans. Alan seems to be the only one who can completely walk away from this and I think it’s because he’s found that alternate universe where people are still paying other people to write. Which obviously means he’s not working for any major/minor newspapers.

      Brett Favre has done so much damage in so little time. That kind of waffling looks pretty cool on a politician but not so much on a grizzled vet with his best years behind him. See also: Michael Jordan.

      Alan’s resounding success notwithstanding, I’m glad to see you’re still posting at random intervals, FJ. Thanks again for the kind comment.

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