Saturday, March 10, 2012

GOING-OUT-OF-BLOGGING SALE! (50% OFF EUROPEAN ITEMS)

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The end is NEAR HERE.
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“One constant in life ... is that there is always gonna be this thing called change.”
~ Mike Ditka
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As one saying goes, “All good things must come to an end”, and the same applies to mediocre things like this blog. Yes, m’dear readers, here at ‘Stephen T. McCarthy STUFFS’ the time has come to shit ship my stuffs. It was a good run that began in May of 2008, but it’s time I said goodbye and moved on: 


In fact, I really should have closed up shop here awhile back, but like the boxer who doesn’t know when it’s time to hang up the gloves, I stayed in the ring a little too long.

Truthfully, blogging ceased to be enjoyable for me quite some time ago, and when “the thrill is gone” and the payoff is inadequate, well, the gig is up. And you know the gig? ...It’s up!

The last blog bit that I really got a major kick out of putting together was the 6-part ‘My Homemegalopolis’ series and, for crying-out-loud, that was last August!

Due primarily to the bloglationship I had with my “virtual buddy” A-DogG at Amazon.scumbags, I began blogging here with certain expectations that, unfortunately, were never met. In an effort to “keep it short” (for once), I won’t elaborate. Let’s just say that my overall experience here at Blogspot was a bit disappointing.

But then, after a couple years, I suddenly and unexpectedly found that fellow blogger Anniee McPhee and I were developing the sort of quality bloglationship in our comment sections that I’d once enjoyed with 
A-DogG. I was becoming invigorated, enthused about blogging again! And then just as suddenly and unexpectedly, Anniee passed away in July of 2011, and that took all of the new wind out of my sails. I probably should have retired from blogging at that point.

However, none of this means I regret having blogged here. Not at all. In my years at Blogspot I have met some nice ‘n’ cool peoples (you know who you are), and I have had some fun, some good times!

Furthermore, I feel a sense of satisfaction because I believe I have produced some worthwhile blog bits here at ‘STUFFS’. Perhaps I’m fooling myself, and Lord knows that’s possible because... Uhp! I’m an idiot!, but I believe I have posted here some rather unique blog bits - stuffs you’re not likely to find on many (if any) other sites.

Examples: I’m particularly pleased with my in-depth examinations into reincarnation and its relationship to Jesus and The Holy Bible; and I don’t think readers would be too apt to find anything like ‘#1 Rule Of Selfhood’ or ‘Goldenshadow: The Stab, The Pang, The Inconsolable Longing’ on many other blogs.

I intend to leave ‘Stuffs’ up and I hope it will remain viewable for a long time to come. And while I believe a good amount of what I’ve posted here is worth reading (or I wouldn’t have posted it), I suppose the best place for any newbie to begin would be with the “Best O’ Stuffs” category in the column at the right.

In “Best O’ Stuffs” I included links to a variety of blog bits. A few of them appeared to be reader favorites (even if they weren’t necessarily favorites of mine) such as ‘I Got Them Bad Luck With Womens Blues’; ‘M*A*S*H - S*T*U*F*F*S’; ‘The Bernard Pivot Blogfest’; and ‘The Chihuahua Cutthroat’.

But being a true maverick, I mostly included links to blog bits that I preferred, regardless of whether or not my handful of readers liked them – such as: ‘Blind Faith Vs. Educated Faith’; ‘The Makers Of "Mother Croaker’s Hemorrhoid Ointment" Present...’; and the infamous ‘Pain Management: Pills, Pillows, And Petty’.

Oddly though, two of my very favorite bits on this blog never received even one comment. ‘Favorite Jokes 'N' Quotes 'N' Stuffs (Parts 1 & 2)’ are just randomly posted quotes from incredibly diverse sources: “Aardvark, Flying” to “Zappa, Frank”, and everything imaginable in between.

It took me three years to compile those quotation collections and I love the variety of them. Imagine finding a Jack Nicholson quote followed by a quote from Patrick Henry, Yukon Cornelius followed by Gary Coleman, John Cougar Mellencamp followed by Calvin Coolidge, a Quaker slogan followed by a Tiny Tim quote, and a 1943 Communist Party Directive followed by the words of Jane Russell.

I believe many of the greatest, most revealing, interesting, humorous, and quotable things ever said or written can be found in those two blog bits and I couldn’t possibly get through a single day without repeating at least one or two of the remarks you’ll find there. If I were forced to delete my entire blog save for two blog bits, I think ‘Favorite Jokes 'N' Quotes 'N' Stuffs (Part 1 & 2)’ is what I would keep.

Well, friends, this blog bit brings ‘STUFFS’ to a conclusion, but I intend to regularly monitor submitted comments indefinitely and will continue to post and respond to all of them that do not transgress “Ye Olde Comment Policy”.

My political blog ‘FERRET-FACED FASCIST FRIENDS’ will remain active for a little longer, as I have more installments in mind that I hope to compose and post, after which that blog will also be going “Buh-bye”.

To all who read and commented on ‘Stuffs’... or read it but didn’t comment on it... or commented on it but didn’t read it... or neither read or commented on it... I thank you; my brother Nappy thanks you; 
Yogi Yoey O’Dogherty thanks you; Mister Flavin, Paco Mendoza, Father Xavier Rojas, and Claude Stroup at The Golden Dream Hotel thank you.

In show business they say, “Leave ‘em wanting more.” Well, it’s way too late for that!

But another one of the old show business maxims is: “Leave ‘em with a song”.

Now THAT I can do! In fact, I’m such a generous fellow that I’m going to leave you with two songs. (Truth is, I couldn’t decide between ‘em, so you gets ‘em both.) The first song is great and soulful, and the second one is good and heartfelt.

Appropriately enough, here’s something from The Band’s “Last Waltz” :


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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sjCw3-YTffo 
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I decided to bring this blog full circle and end it with the same sentence it begins with: “...there’s a sadness in the heart of things”.
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The Heartache - Warren Zevon
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Will I ever reactivate these blogs? Well, knowing how difficult it is for me to keep my mouth shut and my fingers still, the smart money is probably on “Yes”. But the way I feel right now, it’s highly doubtful.
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Bless And Be Blessed!
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"See ya." . . . 
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~ Stephen T. McCarthy
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YE OLDE COMMENT POLICY: All comments, pro and con, are welcome. However, ad hominem attacks and disrespectful epithets will not be tolerated (read: "posted"). After all, this isn’t Amazon.com, so I don’t have to put up with that kind of bovine excrement.
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Tuesday, March 6, 2012

“ELEVEN, ONE LOUDER” (Or, “ELEVEN QUESTIONS AT THE ELEVENTH HOUR”)

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“Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in.”
~ Michael Corleone

My friend Julie Fedderson of the blog Gypsy In My Soul’ has challenged me in her blog bit titled 'Eleven, One Louder'

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["ELEVEN, . . .]

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[. . . ONE LOUDER!"]
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Gypsy Julie has posed 11 questions to “11 questionable bloggers”, and one of those named is . . .

“Stephen T. McCarthy at Stuffs (just 'cause I'd love to hear the answers and we share mad love for Spinal Tap)”

I don’t ordinarily participate in the “Awards And Tagging” games here at Blogspot, but when Julie (unquestionably one of the most entertaining bloggers I “Follow”) asks me to, and even makes reference to me in the same sentence with ‘Spinal Tap’, that’s an offer I can’t refuse. So, here goes . . .

1: Paper or plastic?

Normally, neither. Whenever it seems feasible, I prefer to shoplift what I want. But when paying for an item becomes absolutely necessary, I usually hand over paper Federal Reserve Notes rather than my plastic credit card.

2: What cartoon do you still secretly enjoy watching?

It’s a little known cartoon called “Super-Stephen”. By day, Stephen T. McCarthy poses as mild-mannered blogger Filbert J. McDouwe.
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But at night, he peels off his jacket to reveal his spandex superhero costume and is instantly transformed into 'Super-Stephen', defender of old hippies and helpless French people!

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Uhm . . . yer not buyin’ it, are ya? 

Well . . . "would you believe" . . . 'Deputy Dawg' and 'Foghorn Leghorn'?

Actually, the question seems to imply that I probably ought to feel mildly ashamed about watching cartoons. The truth is, however, that most cartoons (at least of the “Old-School” variety) are more realistic than are most movies being made in Hollywood these days. So I feel no shame at all about my cartoon-watching.

'Deputy Dawg' and 'Foghorn Leghorn' were legitimate answers, but the best answer is: ‘ROCKY & BULLWINKLE’. I own on DVD all five seasons – every single episode – of ‘ROCKY & BULLWINKLE’ :
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3: If you could pick up an instrument and immediately know how to play, what instrument would you choose?

Well, it wouldn’t be so easy to “pick up” the instrument that I would choose: A Hammond B-3 Organ.

4: What is the song that most defines your personality?

Oh, now THAT’S easy – a piece of pie (‘cause I like pie better’n cake).

In late 1978, when I was 18 or 19 years old, I heard my first Waylon Jennings song. It was played on my Rock ‘N’ Roll radio station of choice – KMET, ‘The Mighty Met’ – in Los Angeles. I immediately recognized the song as a personal anthem and within days I bought my first of plenty o' Waylon albums.

I have changed a great deal over the decades since then, but I still can’t think of any other song that better defines my personality. My personal anthem remains . . .
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I've always been crazy and the trouble that it's put me through
I've been busted for things that I did, and I didn't do
I can't say I’m proud of all of the things that I’ve done
But I can say I’ve never intentionally hurt anyone

I've always been different with one foot over the line
Winding up somewhere one step ahead or behind
It ain't been so easy but I guess I shouldn't complain
I've always been crazy but it's kept me from going insane

Beautiful lady, are you sure that you understand
The chances you’re taking loving a free-living man
Are you really sure you really want what you see?
Be careful of something that's just what you want it to be

I've always been crazy but it's kept me from going insane
Nobody knows if it's something to bless or to blame
So far I ain't found a rhyme or a reason to change
I've always been crazy but it's kept me from going insane

5: What’s your anger style?  (i.e. simmer and steam, etc.)
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I’m a very easygoing kind of guy, and a person would pretty much need to deliberately set out to piss me off to piss me off. So, it goes a bit like this:

Overlook, forgive, overlook, forgive, overlook, forgive, (my lips get tight and then...) BIG BANG!

6: What do you think will be the downfall of modern society?

You mean it hasn’t happened yet?

Certainly ‘Apathy’ and ‘Self-Centeredness’ have played critical roles and will continue to do so but, really, the best answer is ‘IGNORANCE’ :
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My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.”
~ Hosea 4:6
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“Therefore My people are gone into captivity, because they have no knowledge.”
~ Isaiah 5:13

I’ll be alright, however, as long as beer and wine remain available.

7: What is the best character name you’ve ever come across?

Oh, gosh, there are so many I like – all of them goofy and/or humorous. W.C. Fields was known for using crazy pseudonyms and character names (e.g., Larson E. Whipsnade in ‘You Can't Cheat an Honest Man’, and Egbert Sousé in ‘The Bank Dick’).

And I like giving loony nicknames to some of my friends (e.g., Flying Aardvark, Boidman, Mr. Sheboyganboy Six, Nitro Wilbury Babskiddo, 
et al.).

But a couple of real big favorites of mine come from episodes of ‘The Andy Griffith Show’ (TAGS).

In one hilarious episode titled ‘Convicts-At-Large’, actress Reta Shaw plays the leader of a group of female inmates who have escaped from a women’s prison. Her character’s name is Maude Tyler, and in the show a dispatcher informs the viewers through a police radio that she stands 5’6”, weighs 175 pounds, and her various aliases include: Big Maude Tyler, Clarisse Tyler, Maude Clarisse Tyler, Annabelle Tyler, and 
Ralph Henderson. (If you don't think that's funny, you better not go to college!) 

In another great TAGS episode titled ‘Barney’s First Car’, little old actress Ellen Corby (best known as Grandma Walton) plays the leader of a gang of car thieves. Her name is Myrtle “Hubcaps” Lesh. That’s classic stuffs!

If you’re looking for a “real” character name (as in a book of fiction), I think Uriah Heep from the Charles Dickens book ‘David Copperfield’ is hard to beat.

8: What is your most bizarre beauty ritual?

Being a dudeguy, I don’t really have any “beauty” rituals. But I do believe in keeping my nose clean. Which explains the 15,562 cotton swabs I have stored in my bathroom.

9: What is your favorite scent?

I love the smell of Grey Poupon in the morning.

10: Could your Significant Other identify you by just one body part, and if so, which one?

Well, sadly, there hasn’t been a “significant other” in a long time. Unless, of course, we’re counting Ariel Airhead, the inflatable girlfriend whom I occasionally go to bed with, but even she won’t let me touch her! 

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I do have a distinctive birthmark on my left forearm, by which I could be easily indentified. However, I’m pretty sure this question is seeking a more “salacious” answer, and not wanting to disappoint anyone, I will disclose this: 

When I was perhaps 19 years old, I developed a couple of cysts, one in my neck and one where I sit. While the former cyst was removed in an out-patient procedure, the latter one required a stay in a hospital of two or three days.

As a result of that old surgery, I have a small piece of flesh missing from my seat, as if a junkyard dog caught me stealing hubcaps one night with Myrtle Lesh in a wrecking yard and the dog managed to get himself a bite of my arse while I was scrambling back over the fence.

11: What moment in your life would have won the $10,000 on America’s Funniest Home Videos?

Honestly, I don’t think I myself experienced a moment that could have won the $10,000. Maybe the best I can come up with off the top of my head was the time I was about 13 years old and on a family vacation.

I was suffering from a cold, and so I felt congested, discombobulated, and my mental faculties were even more dull than usual. We had stopped at a restaurant for dinner – it may have been called The Sportsman’s or something like that, and located in Bishop, California, or nearby.

After ordering something from the menu, the waitress asked me, “Do you want Supersalad?”
Well, I’d always been good about eating my vegetables and I’d never yet had a salad I didn’t like, so I figured I’d probably enjoy Supersalad – whatever it was. Therefore I answered, “Yeah, alright.”
The waitress asked me again, “Supersalad?”
I figured she hadn’t heard my answer, so I replied, “Yes, please.”
“Would you like Supersalad?” the waitress repeated it yet again.
So now I’m thinking this woman is either deaf or dense, and I said loudly, “Sure, I’ll try it!”

That’s when everyone at the table – my Pa, my Ma, my Brother and Sister – they all erupted and started shouting at me: “DO YOU WANT SOUP OR SALAD?!”

In an instant I realized: Uhp!  I'm an idiot! Talk about embarrassed. (At that point what I really could have used was a double-martini - hold the Ranch dressing.)

But I gotta say, a couple of the funniest stories I could tell didn’t actually involve me personally. For instance, there was the time when my Brother Nappy, probably a 4th grader then, was attending a Halloween carnival at our elementary school. He was dressed as a pirate, and at one point he had an unfortunate mishap: the large purple feather protruding from his pirate hat collided with the moist, pink cotton candy he’d been eating. I’ll spare you the details, but it still cracks me up!

Another incident I can’t even think about without GOL ('Guffawing Out Loud') involved my Cousin Johnny, who was a few years younger than I was. It was I who turned Johnny on to Rock ‘N’ Roll music when I was a teenager; years later, it was Johnny who introduced me to the movie ‘This Is SPINAL TAP’ – so we’re “even Stephen” now.
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Johnny got so into music that he eventually became the lead singer for several Rock bands; he also played some mean harmonica and was always the principal songwriter in the bands he fronted. My Cousin also had A-list Rock star looks. In fact, his music went from being so bad to so goodso fast, that I once feared he had sold his soul to the devil at the Crossroads in exchange for talent, a la the great bluesman Robert Johnson. If there was any justice in this world - if it were always the most talented artists who make it big - Johnny would have been hugely popular, a major Rock star.

But when he was young and struggling, maybe 19 years old, for awhile Johnny had a job where he went from high-rent office to high-rent office along famous Sunset Boulevard, selling late morning snacks to overpaid corporate office workers.

One morning, while pulling his carts and ice chests up over a curb on that legendary street, some of them toppled over and one or two bagels managed to break free. Sunset Boulevard is not entirely level, it slopes gently downward from the west toward the east, and when those bagels got loose, they started rolling like tires down the street. My Cousin Johnny gave chase.

So now imagine that you and a friend or two are tourists from Bumphuk, Iowa, and you’ve traveled all the way to Hollywood, California; you’re walking along the famous Sunset strip, and you’re there to see all the glittering tinsel of Tinsel Town and hoping to catch sight of a celebrity or two . . .

But what you see instead is this lanky, long-haired teenager, running down Sunset Boulevard, chasing a couple of rolling bagels, and the guy is shouting, “I HATE this job!  I HATE this job!”

Oh, Lord knows, I couldn’t even type that without GOL! Try to tell me that wouldn't be a $10,000 winner on 'America's Funniest Home Videos'. 

[Well, there are your answers, Julie. I hope I didn’t disappoint.]

~ Stephen T. McCarthy

YE OLDE COMMENT POLICY: All comments, pro and con, are welcome. However, ad hominem attacks and disrespectful epithets will not be tolerated (read: "posted"). After all, this isn’t Amazon.com, so I don’t have to put up with that kind of bovine excrement.
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