Sunday, March 22, 2009

The Cheese Post

It would appear the prophecies are coming true. First, as promised, I wrote about a man with a hatchet. And now The Cheese Post is upon us. The end (of this blog -- for now) is near. Believe it or not, I've been taking notes on the way I would like this post to go. It's my 600th post (actually closer to 750, probably), so you'd think I could just go unplugged. But, no. In front of me are notes. Okay, it's a sticky note. Regardless, it counts.

Now even though I SAY this is my second to last post (for now) -- and I do -- my wife, who knows me better than I do, says I won't be able to stay away from blogging. Maybe she's right. But for now, let's go with the premise that I will stick to my word (at least for a time).

Before we drop the curtain, though, let's take a quick look back. I was trying to decide this week why it was I began blogging in the first place. I couldn't and can't say 100% for sure. Part of it was I had a fringe show to promote; part of it was a number of friends and colleagues of mine in the Hamline Creative Writing program were blogging. And part of it, I'm sure, is that on some very basic level I am an attention whore. There, I said it and I don't feel the least bit bad about it.

Which brings us to 'why am I quitting?' (or taking a hiatus). I think the best way to say it is...because of the octopus. Let's make it less cryptic: On the news recently they had a story about an octopus at the Boston Zoo. Apparently, octopi are intelligent; they're problem-solvers. Put their food in a mayonnaise jar and they'll find a way to get it open. Who knew? Anyhoo, some wiseacre at the Boston Zoo thought it would be interesting to put this octopus's food in a glass box, leaving only a two inch opening in the box. So you can visualize it better, the glass box was about the size of your average treasure chest (the kind you would find on most sunken pirate ships). And the octopus was large, too! He was quite bulbous and probably went about...5'4. You won't believe what that octopus did! He, somehow, funneled himself completely into the box and got his food. Somehow, some way, he...poured himself into this really tight space, so that he was taking up almost all the room inside the box. When I saw that, I thought, 'This blog is that box, and that octopus is ME!' Quite the revelation.

What I mean by that is this blog is A creative outlet for me. It's fun, I enjoy blogging (and my fellow bloggers and people who are kind enough to comment on this blog from time to time) and it gives me a vehicle to air new material. However, it is not lucrative, it does not pay the bills and it does not get me closer to that magical HOLLYWOOD sign. So for now, that's my rationale for walking away. I was also struck by something The Joker said in last summer's blockbuster, The Dark Knight. He said, 'if you're good at something, don't do it for free.' I'm not sure I'm a good blogger/writer, but I'm at least okay. And I'm not sure if taking career advice from The Joker is the wisest course. Still, I've always been one to pick up wisdom wherever I find it, and I have to say, that makes sense to me (what The Joker said).

Still, it will be an adjustment. For instance, I will no longer have a place to write about all my great ideas -- like my idea for liquid Pop Tarts. I was thinking, 'In this crazy world, who has time to eat Pop Tarts anymore? What if you could drink your Pop Tarts while walking out the door?' Then I thought, 'Who has time to drink their Pop Tarts anymore? Why not 'I-V Pop Tarts?' It's stuff like this that I'll miss (at least for the time being).

And now? The Cheese! As some of you know, I've said all along that 'all we are is blocks of cheese, and every day's another slice.' However, the actual idea behind The Cheese Post began months ago when I was watching Reality Bites for the 78th time. Or perhaps it was when I caught St. Elmo's Fire for the 106th time. The premise of The Cheese Post, then, is this: If you've seen the movie Blade, you know there was a Blade 2, which was not a good movie, unlike Blade (a near-classic). However, there was a part in Blade 2 which stuck with me. Blade, by the way, is a character played by Wesley Snipes. He's half-human and half-vampire (and all butt-kicking machine) and he really has a thing for vampires, which is why he kills as many of them as he can. However, and ironically, he himself has to taste blood from time to time to keep his motor running. And there's a part in Blade 2 where poor Blade is on the ropes. He's been kicked around but good! Lucky for him, though, not 20 feet below the ledge upon which he stands is a vat full of fresh blood. Unluckily, there's a guy with a gun about to shoot him. Long story a little shorter, Blade tumbles over the edge as the gun goes off. He lands in the blood with a splash, sinking into the crimson liquid. Is he dead? Is he alive? Is he now among The Living Dead? You're not sure. Then, all at once, he explodes up out of the blood and you just KNOW he is back to good and ready to kick some more vampire tail, ASAP.

I'm not Blade, of course. And other than the fact we both like to wear sunglasses, we don't have much in common. But, like Blade, I myself get run down from time to time. When he gets run down, he needs to immerse himself in blood; when I get run down, I need to immerse myself in cheese. Pure, unadulterated, cinematic cheese. That's what shows like St. Elmo's Fire and Reality Bites are to me, soothing cheese of the finest kind. You know how it is out there. This old world will wear you down any which way it can. It gouges at you and chips away at you until all that's left is a frown. When it does this, as it is wont to do, do I give up then? No. No, that's when I pick up the remote control, dial in the upper channels and flip around until I lock in on an old pseudo-classic. I then let myself sink to the very bottom of a vat filled with cheesy Hollywood goodness -- not unlike a broken tortilla chip -- and emerge recharged -- ready to kill more vampires! Or ready at least to give the next day another chance.

You know, The Cheese Post may have been overhyped. I guess that's okay. It's getting late, and it's my night to monitor the stars (to make sure nothing goes too wrong).

I'll leave you with just a bit of advice: First, never forget that life is a lot like chess: If you want to win, sometimes you have to put your pieces in danger. And by that I don't mean you have to take stupid risks. What I mean is you just have to put yourself out there from time to time, and keep in mind that there's risk involved in everything -- even whittling. I'm serious! One minute you're shaving down a stick, the next minute there's a hook where your right hand used to be and you're captaining a pirate ship. Don't think it can't happen! It happened to my great-great grandpa, and I'm reminded of it every single time I'm at the store, buying peanut butter. Lousy Peter Pan..

Lastly, never forget it's the flowers that keep the hills standing...and the hills that give the flowers a place to bloom.

Phew, that's a lot. I'm exhausted.


Blogger Missy said...

I am crap at chess.

Blade is on tv all the time, and now it will never be the same.

7:31 PM  
Blogger Citizen said...

Blade is good, Missy. Blade 2? Not so much.

I'm not good at chess, either. My style of play is a hybrid of chess and demolition derby.

6:43 PM  

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