Tracy Morgan says he enjoys his personality and that is what makes him a star. He described me as the “funniest [deleted] in the world” but accused me of being a nerd. He did not mention me by name but I knew he was talking about me. According to him: “You a nerd funny person, you get onstage, and you can’t hold a conversation with nobody, because you ain’t got no personality. Personality is what makes you a star. You can be funny all your life and not be a star.” Well, now he tells me at this late date. All I ever wanted to be was a star. I would have acquired a personality if I had known it was important. I would have been willing to be unfunny if I could be famous. I always thought “good personality” was blind date code for “unattractive.” Maybe I should have gone on more of those blind dates. If I could not be a star, my second choice would be dating one.
One of my very earliest memories is being bored while standing in a bedroom doorway and idly rolling a marble around my lips. I eventually attracted the full attention of both my Mother and her mother. My Mom admonished me to take the marble out of my mouth because I could swallow it. I enjoyed the attention and boldly moved the marble into ever more dangerous positions. Game on. My Mother quickened her steps toward me with rising panic in her voice. This produced a laugh gasp from me that sucked that marble down my throat just as she had predicted. All three of us were now horrified. That is the first time I remember feeling like an idiot, a sensation that later became overly familiar. I regret that I never discussed this event with Mom later in life because I wonder what she might have recalled about the incident or if she even remembered it at all. I assume she called the doctor. The marble was recovered but that is an even more embarrassing memory buried in the portion of my brain that stores my attempts to play sports and date. I wonder if my Grandmother Guinan had any words of wisdom for her daughter about approaching her first born more casually so as not to spook him before she could grab that marble. I do know how my Mother would have handled the situation after seven children. If my youngest sister had mouthed a marble, Mom would have said, “Be careful not to swallow more than one.”
The duration and intensity of hydrothermal activity within Saturn’s icy moon Enceladus remain an open issue. I really want to gently place an “s” on the end of the word “remain” because my ear cannot divorce it from the singular word “activity” no matter how many arguments I come up with. The main one being that I copied part of my first sentence directly from a Scientific American article. The less main one being that the plural combination of “duration and intensity” seems to be the true subject. But since I do not even insist on complete sentences, this is a technicality. I think the outdated idea of not ending a sentence with a preposition is obsolete but I also deny doing this in sentence two because that sentence ended with two prepositions. More to the point, I am embarrassed by my ignorance of this hydrothermal activity issue. I strive to be an alert member of the world community but my open issues include whether I should turn in my driver’s license and whether I should consent to a colonoscopy. I am negotiating to surrender my license if lack of one is an acceptable excuse for avoiding that particular medical procedure. Meanwhile others are consumed with hydrothermal issues that touch the profound question of whether life exists beyond earth. At least now I can tell people that I have been blogging about this very planetary issue and my fear that it will not be resolved in my lifetime.
I do not understand why a proposed Border Wall is still a big issue. President Trump’s continual tweets are an inexpensive way to dramatically cut immigration. Why build a Wall for bazillions of dollars when no immigrant will want to come to the United States anyway by the time Don is out of office? Apparently the answer is known only by a few rogue Agents in an FBI secret society. But I am guessing they are dedicated to finding a way to build a Wall big enough to keep people from leaving the country if The Donald is re-elected.
I lost my premium MVP status for 2018 when I flew less than 20,000 miles on Alaska Airlines in 2017. Since I booked my January 12th flight in 2017 while I was still MVP, I was assigned a premium aisle seat in row six. I was disappointed that my flight was delayed a couple hours because my hosts would not be able to pick me up at midnight. I mulled over whether I would take a cab or run the four miles to my son’s place. I have run it before because I travel without luggage. I have a permanent supply of clothes and toiletries in my son’s attic and exercise is welcome after a long cross country flight. When Alaska Airlines summoned me to the front desk, I knew it was bad news considering my disappointing travel performance the year before. That bad news was a weight issue which required the airline to reassign me to the back of the plane without an aisle seat. So I moved my 165 pound body where it could best be utilized. I publicly disdain elitism but that is only in theory. In practice, being a nobody sucks. I arrived in pouring rain and a cab made more sense than running through places that look scarier Friday at midnight than in daylight. My son’s home finally had running water after two days of frozen pipes but now the power was out. Yet all I felt was the weary joy of anonymously saving so many passengers from plunging to earth in a top heavy downward spiral by anchoring the back end of the plane.
I never got to name a pet because I never was the prime owner of one. My family had miniature poodles whose names ran the sophistication gamut from Marcus Aurelius to Barky. We had Siamese cats and Afghan dogs and I cannot even be positive about all their names although I could make some educated guesses if money was riding on my answer. I have heard some great names for pets over the years. And like my band Karamazov Sisters that exists only in my imagination, I have my pet name already picked out in case I ever need one for a fictional story. Any pet I get to name will be called Peeve. Unfortunately I missed an opportunity to get my band and pet in my novel Suicide Squeeze. Fortunately I named a female character Geoffrey Anne which was a name I was saving for a daughter who never came. I now realize that my imaginary wife would never have agreed to the name anyway.
Saturday Night Live (SNL) included a What Even Matters Anymore game show skit last week where contestants were presented with Trump outrages and had to decide whether they even mattered anymore. I provided my idea to SNL for a skit where contestants choose whether someone is a bigger racist than the President after the host places names in contention. The Donald claims to be the least racist person in the country and others find him an outlier on the other side, so humorous mischief could be caused by tossing names around from anywhere on the spectrum. NBC warned me that SNL cannot accept creative ideas much less pay for them. I was too humble to consider my idea “creative” so I submitted it anyway. I just want the glory from my legions of Blog readers when SNL does that skit one of these weeks.
The September issue of National Geographic featured some of the science that identifies lips as having unique grooves that could be used like fingerprints to identify individuals. Our eyes already have personal markers. Next I expect we will be earprinting. I know we are not doing that already because earprinting was underlined in red as a non word by my spell check feature. Lip prints are currently providing clues to people’s health because lower lip whorls seem to be predictive of stigmatizing orofacial disorders which can make it difficult to breastfeed. Other categories include straight vertical lines, branches, and crosshatches. Politicians say they need more racial data before they can decide on a hierarchy for the patterns and properly discriminate against the less desirable ones. I am saddened that this technology comes too late for me. As a teenager, I expect I could have developed an intellectual flirting banter that would have given me a better chance of getting kissed. Probably not, but maybe I could have at least gotten a laugh or two. I am fairly certain we also all have unique laugh patterns which will be discovered too late to benefit me.
I feel guilty because I have not noticed the government shutdown. I am guessing my lack of awareness is because (1) three days is such a short time, (2) impacts are slow to be felt, and (3) the government is so dysfunctional when not shut down. My guilt is threefold. First, I am sure this is not a laughing matter to some who are more immediately affected than me. Sarah Huckabee Sanders says the shutdown murders people, although the numbers have not yet been verified by Sean Spicer. CNN says earth is likely to be brushed by an asteroid on February 4th because of the shutdown. Not funny stuff but I cannot help laughing. Second, I am guilty of secretly thinking we should shut the government down more often. How could things be any worse? By Huckabee Sanders’ logic, you could also attribute murders to the functioning government. And we can get hit by asteroids whether the government bans them or not. Thirdly, I am embarrassed that I cannot remember my great third point because the shutdown has apparently affected me after all by numbing a portion of my brain. Oops, my wife just informed me that the shut down actually ended yesterday and we are back in shut up mode. Again, I feel guilty about not noticing but I am elated that the murders and asteroids have been averted. The punchline is the raging debate over which politicians are the big winners and losers in shutting down and reopening the government for three more weeks. An easy answer is that they are all losers but anyone claiming to be a big winner is definitely not a hero!
I was filing my 2017 Christmas Newsletter and came across the one from ten years earlier. I should not need quotation marks to quote myself: Geoff’s two favorite activities continue to be talking and eating but increasingly he attempts both at the same time. He did break his longstanding “no pets” rule when he adopted a family of moles. They are low maintenance outdoor animals who build their own shelters and forage for their own food. So he thinks moles as pets may be the next big thing which reminds us: A friend gave Geoff the book 1001 Stupidest Things Ever Said. He was surprised he wasn’t quoted in it because Mollie is always characterizing his statements as the “stupidest thing I’ve ever heard.” Some things never change. This could be discouraging if it indicates one’s writing has not improved over a decade. But I choose the flip side: this is the stability evidence I have been searching for to present to those who have me on a dementia watch list.