Monthly Archives: September 2013

The Xanga Front Page, R.I.P.

RE-POST: For anyone unfamiliar with Xanga, there was a ‘Front Page’ on the site, which purported to feature attention-worthy posts. I scanned it daily, searching, usually in vain, for anything of real value , other than posts by the folks I already ‘Followed’.  This critique post, which itself was ‘Featured’ and earned lots of replies, expressed my frustration and abhorrence. I suppose I should be happy that Word Press authors are somewhat more mature and literate. At least on first glance; I haven’t scratched too deeply here yet. Anyway, Enjoy…

Why I’ll never read you’re Front Page post.

“So I wuz scanning the 100 Front Page ‘suitors for my attention’ and…”

‘What’s with the “So I wuz..”? You just blew any points your ‘suitors’ metaphor might have bought. With me at least.”

“Um, it’s what you say when you’re in the middle of a story, no?”

“But it’s the first line of your rant. If that’s the ‘middle’ of the story’, where wuz the beginning, silly kitten?”

“Dunno, the device just makes me feel, like, ‘chatty’.”

“Well, chat your way off into the sunset, and take your device with you. Next:”

“So I had the TV on last night and Flubber, you know how he likes to fart on the couch, and I’m like…”

“Again with the ‘So’?” And how did the TV fit you? And no, we don’t know who Flubsy is, whatever, and no, we don’t even start to care. And if you think Xanga was invented so you could enliven the world with tales of flatulent dogs, you were somehow deluded.”

“So I was reading the paper and their saying less people where watch’s these days. What does everybody think about that?”

“I think it’s a goddamn shame and  it makes them less of a person, but until you lern to right gud, you won’t here it from me; not hear at least.”

“So 2000 Friends!! 20 Comments and 10 Rec’s till the next post. OK Guys…”

“No, not OK, with this Guy. Ever thought much about like, content? Or is Xanga some vapid coupon-swap party for you people?”

“But wait till you see my next Huge Update. 1000 new Quotes. Fabulous!”

“So you’re the parasite spending his/her life like a second-rate dung beetle, rolling other people’s phrases into balls? Try this: Stand in front of a mirror, say something all your own,
other than ROFL OMG! and then quote that. Preferably to your gaseous dog.”

“So there’s this lame Xangan, you all know who I mean, going around and saying sh*t about me and I can prove it! here’s the Links!!”

“Yes, I hate him for that. And I hate you for bumming me the f*ck out with the whole tired story, and yeah, ‘you go, Zero!’ The world just became that much more hateful.
And it’s ‘Lynx’, duh. Here’s a link to Wiki, if you ever get a life.”

“193.9!! I f*cking hate my stupid fat f*cking self. Intake: 2 oz. prunes. TofU 3 gm. Binged on distilled water and…”

CUT!! ‘
“Problem as I see it is not Too much food. More like Too much information. I’ll Msg you if I ever need to prop a door open in a high wind.”

“Allistair Evangelina Hupmobille: Age 21 Slytherino from London, Britian. Bi, loves..”

CUT!! The world has enough problems with flesh and blood gargoyles. Go role-play in heavy traffic. Or volunteer for the Peace Corps.”

“So Hi. I’m just getting started on Xanga. Give me a buzz if you have any ideas what to post about..”

“You’re off to a good start. Tell us what y’all had for breakfast…and if it stayed down. You’ll be back on Featured Content again in no time. Especially if it didn’t.”

“So whose left?”
“Whose left what??” Shoe? Hand? Oh.. ‘who’s left?’? Um… just the folks I’m already subbed to, I guess. At least there’s that ray of sunlight in the muck.

Aug 9, 1956. Beulah Mae wouldn’t get pregnant, so we shot her, sawed up the body and hid it in a freezer in the cellar

      Sadly, every word here is true. This time. I just feel such a terrifying need to talk about the Incident. And my WordPress site seems like the logical place for a confession, since I average one visitor a day.

   Ok, where to start? I was only 7, and was spending the summer as usual on the tractor or chasing butterflies. Beulah was one of my special friends. Gorgeous brown hair and a broad smile. Lots of afternoons I’d take a break and sit with her in the grass up near the little red schoolhouse. We weren’t that far apart in age, and although she wasn’t big on words I had the feeling that she was planning a long and eventful life.
Which ended abruptly with two gunshots to the head on August 9th. I heard the .22 and ran as fast as I could to where she was still standing, for another 30 seconds or so, up behind the barn, before she fell.
“Why, Daddy?” I think I asked, crying.

“Not working out for her.” was all he said.

It was years later that I actually learned the truth. Beulah was sterile, barren, whatever they call it, and so no point in buying her three meals a day… for nothing. So he said.
Anyway, like I mentioned, I was just a wee little boy, and in those days we did what we were told. I grabbed the second saw and a long sharp knife. We needed to get her body as fast as possible to ‘where the sun don’t shine’, so to speak. The nearest neighbor might have herd something. We worked fast, me on one leg and Dad on another. Mine was still kicking involuntarily. I guess you get used to it. The tongue, though, that was the hard part for me. After all, we’d been friends, and many a day, when she was younger, I’d let her lick the sweat off my arms, for the salt I guess, but to me it felt like love.
Ok, enough gore. We put her body parts in three big pots for now and dragged them to a porch behind the house. I’d had enough, and took a quick run, to basically nowhere, except for finding a tree to puke behind. I might have passed out. When I came back to the crime scene most of Beulah was already wrapped up in white waxed paper, and my Mom was carrying her, box by box, down into the cellar, where we had an old freezer. Plus a newer one they had just bought sitting beside it. And now I knew why.
     I could never tell anyone about the secret, of course. But my sister and I knew, and exchanged looks every time we heard Mom trudging down the steps. Usually it was a couple hours before company came. I guess she was just checking that Beulah was still carefully hidden. On one occasion they actually put her tongue out on a big plate in the middle of the table. Kinda a ritual, I guess, even though there was no dance to go along with it. Except for me pretending to have to pee real bad, running outside to the outhouse, and not coming back until it was over.
    Ma and Pa are both gone now. my sister probably don’t wanna talk about it; why awaken dead nightmares at our age?
And so I suppose that is why I have this WordPress site. To spill my heart on. I have no pictures of Beulah, sadly. Do have one of her sister, Bonnie, somewhere here in my archives. Bonnie lived to be 22, already a mother, and died one night in her sleep up where we all used to sit. Of a broken heart? only God knows.

    And thanks to anyone who read this. Think of us next time you’re in the frozen steaks aisle./JS


-Yessiree Bob, they’re here! Read ’em and weep. I haven’t been so happy since my old dog Droopy died. (And I’ve never owned a dog in my life.)
Yes, sometimes you have to just  wait for something as blessed as this to happen before understanding why you’d been in a clinical depression. Ha, I’d thought it was because my car’s inspection ran out.
Seriously, like Steve martin in ‘The Jerk, getting his first call on his very own phone, I scream ‘I AM SOMEBODY!’ No more empty ghost-site here, lacking the gravitas of my thoughts for the last 8 years.
Note: All the pictures are right there, in place. How dey do dat, in a total file-size of 18 Mbyte? I sure hope it’s not calling home to Xanga to retrieve them. Need to check that.
Note: When I originally downloaded the XML file, over a month ago from the dying Xanga, it ‘un-zipped’ to a single file of 18.7 Mbyte. A week ago I re-downloaded, and got a different format: 13 separate files, total 18.2 Mbyte. So far I’ve uploaded only the first three, but the archives go back to 2009 already?? Lotta stuff I don’t know yet. (WP says ‘maximum file-size 15 Megabytes.’ mebbe Xanga heard about that and changed something.)
Note: WP also asks if you want to change the ‘Authorship name’ to your WP name. They hint that it will then be easier to edit them. Another unknown. I changed ’em to solberg73, as recommended.

Ok, so I just now erected a tribute in the backyard. It’s a triumphant ‘ARCH I’VE built. I also arranged all my bee-houses into a semi-circle. ‘ARC HIVES’. Oh and planted a new bed of veggies from the onion family in the center of the shrine. Yes, they “ARE CHIVES!”
Yup, I’m that happy. If I don’t answer the phone for a while it means I’m busy navel-gazing into the past./ JS

Looking at the Pearly Gates

There’s no denying
I’m closer to dying
With every passing day

And so my last dime
Goes to Pasture-Prime
To ease me on my way

Yes, ch-ch-ch-changes happen when you hit 60, which I managed to pull off sucessfully 4 1/2 years ago. I don’t know, maybe I thought I’d be magically taken care of by someone or some spooky action at a distance. Nope, gotta just keep trudging off to work as usual, and it gets harder every day. Every little ache and pain is ‘This might be the Big One’. A constant feeling of impending Doom fills my slowly-faltering cranium.
  And I couldn’t get through it without ‘a little help (read on) from my friends.’ I shall describe:  

Three new product offerings from the thoughtful folks at ‘Pasture-prime’ are now a staple of my Golden Age diet. “From our pastoral buccolic fields to your toothless gums: Count on us, right up until the End’
Note: they’re the outfit which pioneered sales of poultry and meat for geezers on a budget. The ‘Meteor’ line of ‘only slightly expired‘ foods. Their motto is:
“Hey, you yourself are past your sell-by date; shouldn’t your diet match your age?” I’ve described my experience working for the outfit, picking up ‘product’ from rear loading docks in the dead of night, on my now near-defunct xanga site) several years ago. Anyway, here are the new gems in their crown of god-send products:
The first, which I schpritz daily on everything from fries to ice cream, is ‘Catch-up’ brand Ketchup. Made from garden-fresh tomatoes, it is generously spiked with another organic compound, a secret mix of pure, ozone-free chemicals: Carbon, Hydrogen, and Nitrogen, arranged ‘just so’ in the PP lab. And yes, those ‘to-do’ lists you never seemed to finish? Well, with ‘Catch-up’ on duty I now need to ‘feel free to use the other side of the page’ for my lists. Yes, it’s that inspiring, this ketchup.

The second product, (why nobody else thunk of it), is ‘Centrum Beer’.
A nice buzz-inducing 10% alcohol by volume is just the start, because this beer, brewed with our older minds in mind, contains 100% of every vitamin you ever heard of. from ‘A’ to ‘Z. Niacin, Thiamine, Dopamine, 2-phenyl 4-ethanolamine… who needs to read the fine print; It’s in there!
And so I shall go out with a bang, not a whimper. I’ve already included them in my will. Five percent of anything that’s left after settling debts. Yes, I may be past my prime, but the good folks at Pasture Prime are there for me; even remember my birthday with an email.

And last, although let’s pray I won’t need it too often, is an innovation from Pasture-Prime’s in-house doctor, Zachary Fleischer. Not a licensed physician, he none-the less portrayed one on the short-lived TV series ZSA-MD. ‘Zachary, Surgeon of Arms’, where he sewed up someone new and photogenic in each episode.
And so Dr Fleischer is now offering the ‘Suit-Yourself Self-Suture Kit’. They come with seven (7) ‘realistic-looking curved needles, genuine self-absorbing cat-gut thread, a topical anesthetic, a well-written explanatory pamphlet, and even a small cloth doll for practice sessions. Can’t say I tried it yet, but at current rates for hospital surgical work, it’ll pay for itself the first time you need it, God forbid.
Soo.. there ya go. Looks like  I’m late for breakfast: Two Centrums and a slice of toast liberally schmeared with ‘Catch-up’ Look out, world! And if I cut myself with the butter knife, hey, no big deal./ JS