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Charlie Hatton
Brookline, MA

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Howdy, friendly reading person!
I'm on a bit of a hiatus right now, but only to work on other projects -- one incredibly exciting example being the newly-released kids' science book series Things That Make You Go Yuck!
If you're a science and/or silliness fan, give it a gander! See you soon!

As If My Life Weren’t Already a Pain in the Ass

In the event of a water landing, this blog may be used as a flotation device.

Well, this is going to be pretty friggin’ tough.

I’m in ‘get my damned life in order’ mode lately, if you haven’t been keeping up the past few days.

(And smack your little hands if you haven’t! Smack ’em! Smack, smack, smack!)

And one of my projects is to get off my ass and finish my ‘100 Things About Me‘ posts. If you missed it a few weeks ago, I explained how my 100 things would be a bit different than most. (And pull your little hair if you missed it! Pull it and rip it and yank it out of your little head! Bad blog reader! Bad!)

(Um, yeah, maybe that’s just a bit too strong. I’ll try and take it easy on the suggestions for self-mutilation in future. Thanks for your patience.)

Anyway, my one hundred things are all going to be posts, as well as things. So you can actually click on each thing to get a whole, long-winded, detailed explanation of the whole point, plus a couple of tangents, and maybe directions to your local HoJo’s. Or something. They tend to whing off in all directions, like just about every other post I’ve written. But that’s not the point. (As usual.) The point is that I wrote about twenty of them in the first few days after conjuring up a hundred things about me, and then I stopped writing them. I lost interest, or got distracted, or something. Who can remember? But the remaining ‘things’ have been hanging over my head since then, poking and prodding at me to get off my ass and finish them. Or, more likely, to plop down on my ass in my desk chair and finish them. Either way — the things really don’t get into implementation details while they’re bitching at me, come to think of it.

But the fact remains that these things need to be finished. So, in the past couple of days, I’ve made good, honest, wordy headway. I’ve finished another dozen or more, and I’m up to 37 done. Yay, me! So, of course, to keep my ass in the groove (’cause otherwise, you end up sittin’ with one butt-cheek higher than the other… very uncomfortable), I’ve decided to set a lofty, unreasonable, nearly-impossible goal for myself. Which is my usual ‘M.O.’

(If you’re unfamiliar with the term ‘M.O.’, it comes from the Latin phrase meaning, ‘how someone usually does shit‘. And really, you should watch more Law & Order. This is exactly the sort of material they cover.)

But back to my story — this goal-setting thing is a common occurrence for me, and is often the only way I’ll actually buckle down and accomplish anything. See, if I just have to do something, it’s no good. No one wants to just do things. Where’s the fun in doing things? I’m not gonna do anything; doing things is for suckers.


(There’s always a but. There’s not always pants, but there’s always a but. See, there’s another one.)

As I was saying, but. As in, but, if I can come up with some half-cocked scheme to make the thing into a game somehow — a challenge — well, then, that’s different. Then, there’s something to get interested in, to throw myself into. Then, dear Watson, the game’s afoot. Or abut. Something like that. I don’t know; look it up. I’m too busy blogging to bother with figuring out what words actually mean. Can’t be bothered right now.

(As an aside, I have to say that I usually can be bothered to figure out what words mean before using them, mainly because of that well-nurtured fear of looking like an ignorant hick. Which probably should be better nurtured in many of the people around me, the filthy heathens. But one glaring example comes to mind when I didn’t figure out what a word meant, and used it anyway. That word is gutentag.

Now, most of you out there will know that’s German for ‘hello’. But when I heard it — probably out of context and from one of those heathens I mentioned — I must’ve zoned out towards the end of the word and only really heard the gut. So I thought, ‘Ah, ‘good’. ‘Gut’, ‘good’, ‘gutentag’, ‘good’. Good!

Why, yes, I do sometimes think like the Swedish Chef from the Muppets. Why do you ask?

Anyway, that’s how I used the word for quite some time, until someone told me that I was doing it all wrong. Someone would say that my team won, and I’d reply, ‘hello‘. A free beer at the bar would get a hearty, ‘hello!‘ And my wife would get a sweet, ‘Honey, you were ‘hel-lo’ last night‘.

Clearly, I’m a moron. Still, it could have been worse, I suppose. A nice ‘hello!‘ can often work as an exclamation of surprised joy. I mean, I could have been out there throwing the word for ‘sausage’ around. Or ‘flowerpot’, or ‘filthy used condom’. So, I guess I was getting off easy, even before someone told me that I was a fool.

Not that it really mattered, of course. For one thing, I know I’m a fool. A little misappropriation of some other country’s word isn’t gonna change that, or be the first stupid-assed thing I’ve done. Nor the last. And for another thing, I’ve kept on misusing ‘gutentag‘, anyway. Only now I do it with a wry droll sense of irony, instead of that thin veneer of ignorant idiocy I used to have. And I’m sure people notice the difference. No, I’m positive. My wife doesn’t even bother to say, ‘dummkopf‘ any more when I do it, so it must be funnier now. It simply must.)

All right, where the hell was I? Ah, right, making ridiculous challenges for myself out of every freakin’ thing I do. Peachy.

So, brushing my teeth? Not interesting. Anyone can brush their teeth, and most people outside of England actually do. On a regular basis, even. Ah, but standing on one foot while brushing my teeth? Well now, that’s a challenge! Or holding my breath while I polish the ivories, perhaps? Hell, that’s damned near a competitve sport. Bring it on, I say! Any activity that could conceivably lead to my wife finding me wearing only my boxers, passed out and blue on the bathroom floor with foam around my mouth has to be a good thing. Where do I sign up?

And anything can be turned into a game. Anything. Putting away the dishes? How many pieces of silverware can I hold at one time?

(Answer: nineteen, unless there’s a ladle or a really sharp knife involved.)

Walking down the street? How many steps will it take me to get to the curb. (Answer: thirty-four.) Taking a shower? Can I wash it more than twice without playing with it? (Answer: Um, so far, no. But I’m working on it.)

Which brings us back, rather circuitously, to my 100 Things. As an added incentive to finish them up, I decided that I have to finish those one hundred posts (really one hundred and one, but let’s not quibble over details) before I write my one hundredth post here in the main blog. As I mentioned earlier, I’ve got 37 ‘things’ done. And this is blog post number 90. So I’ve got some catching up to do. Still, those other posts are generally shorter (with a few notable exceptions), so I can write six or eight in a day, if I really get going. Which I’ll have to do to finish on time, if you’re following along with the math. Oh sure, I could get up to 99 posts here and just take a couple of months off while I get around to finishing, but that wouldn’t be right, now, would it?

(Okay, I hear you. ‘No, that’d be fine, Charlie. Feel free to not post for a while. Take your time. Really, we won’t miss you.‘ Well, forget it. You’re not gettin’ off the hook that easily, people. There’ll be a new post here every day as usual. You’ll read it, and you’ll like it, dammit. Don’t make me come over there.)

So, I’ve got 64 posts to write in ten days. While I’m also writing 10 posts here. Sounds like fun, doesn’t it? My brain’s gonna be mush (-ier) at the end of this; the last few posts will probably be incomprehensible gibberish.

(Yeah, no comments from the peanut gallery, please. Just let that one go. Let. It. Go.)

Or they’ll just be ‘All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy… over and over. (‘Heeeeeeeere’s Charlie!‘)

But hopefully I’ll get a few in there that make some damned sense. We’ll just have to see, won’t we?

So, that’s the story for tonight. Just a little glimpse into my life, and how goddamned hard I can manage to make it. Don’t get too close, folks; it might be contagious. And you don’t want my wretched disease, believe me. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m gonna go get ready for bed. And if I don’t get my shoes untied and off before I finish humming ‘Mary Had a Little Lamb‘, I’ve got to wear them overnight. So wish me luck!

P.S. Well, duh! As still further evidence that I’m a moron, I submit this: I’ve been talking about these 100 Things About Me for weeks now, and I was a little miffed that very few people seemed to be wandering over to see them. Even after I put a link to them on the sidebar. A broken link on the sidebar, that is, which explains why the trickle of traffic is so…um, trickly. Bitches!

So, if you’ve tried the link and come up empty in the past, give it another shot. I fixed it this time, really. This isn’t like Peppermint Patty with the football — it’s really fixed now. At least, I think it is. I have to admit, because of the way I’ve set the network up here at home, I have to get to that page with a different URL than I put on the page for you fine folks.

(Which is the only excuse I have for being a brain-dead goober who plops dead links down on his own site. Why the hell didn’t anyone tell me? This is like standing at home plate to sing the National Anthem with your fly undone. Well, okay, home plate at an abandoned Little League field, given the number of readers I have, but still. It’s damned embarrassing!)

So I suppose I still don’t know for sure that it’s working. But it looks right, for the very first time, so check it out. There’s plenty more of this kind of thing over there, and soon, the volume is going to triple, give or take a tangent or two. So give it a click, and let me know what you think. And for Christ’s sake, tell me if you get a broken link! If I’m gonna stand around with my metaphorical winky hangin’ out, I want to know about it, dammit! (Otherwise, I won’t get a chance to enjoy it, now, will I? And that’s just wrong.)

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