Enjoyed Responsibly

I took a long, slow sip from my whiskey glass and felt the liquid tingle the edges of my tongue.  The second drink is always my favorite.  The first is downed too fast.  It has a job to do and there is no time to stick around and socialize.  But the second can be sipped, savored, and rolled around in the mouth.  On its own terms, it’s close to perfect.  And after a performance like that, it’s only natural to want an encore.

I wouldn’t call myself successful but by sheer luck and occasional effort, I have managed to reach a station in life where I can afford to drink high-end hooch.  Whether I want to is another matter.  I don’t need to pay top dollar for some single malt distilled on a Scottish island inhabited by Wicker Man inbreds, especially when it has the bouquet of a burnt tire.

On the other hand, well liquor isn’t all that appealing either.  I shy away from any bottle where someone has tried to work both the bourbon and scotch angles by putting “Kentucky Haggis” on the label.  The stuff is usually aged for a week and a half in particle-board casks before caramel color is poured in and it is shipped off to market.  I am too old to endure the hangovers one gets from drinking this swill.

I like Jameson’s, a mid-range Irish whiskey that sells for five bucks a pop at my local bar.  It gets the job done and doesn’t ask to much of the imbiber.  It has a rather pleasant taste if you like whiskey and no one expects you to drone on about how smoky or peaty it is.  All that is required is that you treat it like a potato chip and have more than one.

Now What

Successful writers who give advice to aspiring ones tend to agree on one thing.  You need to write every day.  That means putting aside some time where you make words hit the page.  Never mind if it’s crap.  That bound to happen sometimes.  Your muse will take the occasional day off.  You, on the other hand, must not.

That is a daunting challenge.  It’s much easier to look the part of the writer.  Stand at the top of a cliff overlooking the ocean with your collar turned up and the sea breeze wafting through your hair.  Or if you’re less outdoorsy, exhibit bad posture and glare at the world with literary disapproval.

It seems like it would be  much easier to just sit down and write.  Well, it isn’t.  Harlan Ellison said “I write because I cannot stop,” but he is either the exception or completely full of shit.

During the time I was migrating Poison Spur to its new server, I didn’t write anything.  It would have been the perfect opportunity for me to churn out a bunch of stuff, have enough material to pick and choose what to post and even (gasp) have a backlog.  Like most opportunities, I squandered this one as well.

The worst of it is that I’ve lost my momentum and need to get it back.  Maybe a variation on Ellison’s words, “I write and I must not stop,” would be more helpful.

Back Again

Poison Spur is at its new home.

Rather than going with Blogspot, LiveJournal, or the like, I decided to go with a hosting service that allowed me to get myself into trouble.  Alex, who hosted my blog for years, suggested Spry.

The service isn’t free, but it isn’t expensive either.  Thirty-three bucks a month gets me a virtual Linux system, 20 GB of storage, one terrabyte of bandwidth, and root access.

It’s a pretty sweet deal if you’re looking for real flexibility.  The drawback is that you have to know what you’re doing.

As system administrators go, I’m pretty awful.  I can do things like install apache and configure it in the most basic of ways.  The same goes for most software until I run into some error trying to compile the damn thing, and my reaction is usually something like:

“What do you mean you can’t find libcog.so?  I ran a ‘find’ command and see it right in front of me.  You’re obviously not even trying.  Fuck you, Linux system.  I’m going to go drink whiskey and surf porn until you learn to be a little more considerate of my needs.”

This tactic does not work.  I know this for sure because I’ve tried it many times.

This time around, I decided to go against every fiber of my nature and persevere.  I banged away until I got things fixed.  My methods were pretty scattered and awful but Poison Spur is back, and dammit, I’m proud.

I’m Pouting

A couple of weeks ago, I started a my first Facebook group.  It was called I Bet I Can Find 14 People Who Like To Watch Old People Eat.  I thought it would go viral and millions of people would join.  I would find fame and fortune, quit my day job, and dedicate my life to hookers and blow.

Alas, that didn’t happen.  With a paltry nine members, the group did not even live up to its eponymous promise.  I spent some time trying to explain its lack of popularity.  I disqualified the explanation that the idea wasn’t all that funny to begin with on the grounds that it was hurtful to my ego.  That left me only one target for my blame.

Haiku purists.

The haiku I posted to the group had the proper number of syllables per line (without fudging by stuttering!) but lacked a seasonal reference.  I would have done better by writing something like:

Winter of their lives
Unchewables spat back out
Fucking disgusting

Live and learn, I suppose.