Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Blueprint for the Decade

The New Year is barely two weeks old. Dennis and I are putting the finishing touches on our blueprint in anticipation of the next dozen months. Our goal is to shape them before they can shape us. (Of course, this may involve thought capability with greater intellect than a TV test pattern, but we’re up for the challenge.)

January is a splendid time for quiet reflection following the high-octane holidays. Extremely excessive mirth-making engenders centrifugal-force fatigue. There is something slightly diabolical about a six-week stretch of gluttony, insomnia and unmitigated jolliness.

So, we are dedicating this drowsy month to ordering the “Yonder, matter unorganized.” I crave a grid on my life. I want right angles in my brain. I need thoughts that intersect with rationale at 90 degrees. I demand cosmic harmony and all the planets in alignment. Is that so wrong?

I suppose this entails making a catalog of resolutions for self-improvement, but honestly, I’m SICK of lists I have to check twice. I don’t care whether, at this point, I’m naughty or nice. Besides, I have rationalized that resolutions are for megalomaniacs, whose whole point in life is the quest for perfection. Tempus fugit. I haven’t got time to wait for perfection. So, I am renouncing narcissism. I no longer want to focus on fixing me. I want to fix the world…a much simpler task.

Where do I begin? Take mass media…please. Talk about the land of the wee-brained, barely conscious nit wits. Gossip is confused with news. Human beings are regarded as entertainment, and megalomaniacal (there’s that word again), ethically-regressing celebrities determine our thoughts, our behavior, our looks. “Celebrity” is an art form with its own toxic karma.

However, I do confess to the guilty pleasure of watching Rod Blagojevich, Simon Cowell, Mark McGuire, Richard Heene, Tiger Woods, and the whole 2008 presidential campaign conducted by celestial intervention…but I have to be in mindless “giant sloth mode.” And sometimes in the tedium of the deep, dark winter months, I particularly miss the awesome presence of Anna Nicole Smith.

Oh, there are things I would like to see happen in 2010. For instance, my extreme hallucination would involve a suspension of the “Alfalfa Prohibition Policy,” so I could join the Mo Tab.

I would like to see Dennis named the “Sexiest Senior Alive” by virtue of his two remaining chest hairs and six natural teeth.

I would like to get so ripped, I become a total-body human stiletto. Actually, as I take inventory of my present contour, I realize I may have over-shot the mark.
In an effort to mine all the possibilities in a year of possibilities, we reject utterly the whole idea of bucket lists. Such lists seem contrived for the sole purpose of promoting a Jack Nicholson movie. “Bucket lists” should be stricken from the American lexicon, along with “menopause” and “mid-life crisis,” as both implicate approaching termination…and that should never be the motivation for action.

That said, however, Necie is quick to remind me that since we can’t be grandmas together because I’ll be dead by then, we better play with the Zhu Zhu pets Santa brought before I kick off. Hey, that works for me. Children speak without filters. Her reasoning is the consequence of seeing me one morning with only half my make-up on. Talk about Lady Gaga meets Lizard Eye. It was then she was forced to face my mortality and realized our time together in mortality is severely limited.

Ah, but I digress. Perhaps the best way to recalibrate our lives is to focus on the lives of those nearest and dearest. I refer to our cherished grandchildren. Each has gifts. Each has disorders. And each of these must be addressed.

And none more so than Asher…our bellicose little Sasquatch.

We have been trying to decode his genome indicators to unravel the mystery of why he views himself as heaven’s avenging angel, whose sole purpose in life is to destroy the planet. His guiding mantra is Johnny Cochranesque in simplicity:

“If it’s in tact,
It gets WHACKED!”

And it is applied to all things, uniformly, and without discretion.

Now this works nicely, until one unleashes him on society.

The problem is, he doesn’t grasp the concept of retalliation. He has a promising future as an extortionist, mafia thumb-breaker, Gitmo interrogator. But he lacks training.

So, since we can’t seem to persuade him from a life of crime and misdemeanors, Dennis and I have compiled the “Bully’s Guide: Rules of Engagement and Decorum”…this in an effort to prevent him from being knocked on his fantail because of gross tactical miscalculation. It is a common sense approach for the “recreational agitator.”

Here are our suggestions, in no particular order:

1. Select a name that inspires trepidation, when it’s even whispered. “Ashy Pooh-Pooh” is fine when in the bosom of the family, but it won’t cut it in the Big House. “Brutus Maximus” or “Asher The Hun” would strike fear only in victims with a working knowledge of Latin or Roman history. Our personal choice of moniker: Alphonse “The Moist” Dodecahedron. One need have no acquaintance with geometry or the Mafia. It’s the syllables…never underestimate the power of syllables…the verbal equivalent of smart bombs…to confuse and confound the enemy and, like the octopus, erect an oral ink shield that allows escape…so one can live to fight another day.
2. Hasten slowly. Never pick on someone bigger, unless you have a large companion (a big brother, or Grandma) as a body guard. Fact: being the youngest and smallest diminishes one’s “viable victims pool” significantly.
3. Embellish territorial threat displays with decibels. Be loud and proud.
4. Practice the art of the hasty retreat. Velocity counts. However, make sure you’re toilet-trained and continent.

“Runnin’ away while packin’ heat,
Seriously hinders one’s retreat.

(On the positive side, trailing in an odiferous wake may serve to discourage prolonged pursuit…with the notable exception of those with stuffy noses.)

5. Never engage in sustained combat without finishing your sippee. Bullies, like armies, travel on their stomachs.
6. Work the dimples…aka – facial appeasement. This is probably most effective with grandparents.

We’re hoping this credo helps change Asher from an undisciplined, garden-variety hoodlum into a well-oiled, lean, mean, board-certified neighborhood Bully. He will, no doubt, get knocked on his beazer, but at least I’ve done right by him as his Grandma, trainer, and sparring partner.

And so we greet and welcome this year. We have our blueprint. We do not want to stop the clocks. Nor do we delude ourselves that there won’t be issues, challenges, and circumstances we must confront. But engagement is a great purgative for the fears that haunt us. And, inspired by our grandson, we plan to battle for eminent domain this year with the same vigor as “Alphonse, The Moist!”

Love to all,

The Clot