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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/books/entry_id/868890-This-ones-about-lists-flea-markets-and-hall-wreckin
Rated: GC · Book · Personal · #2002599
My fourth blog. Amazing yet disconcerting. Don't worry; this'll go away in a year or so.
#868890 added August 25, 2016 at 11:16am
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This one's about lists, flea markets, and hall-wreckin'.
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*Notepad* "It was said in 'The Joy in the Lines That Leap Off the Pages' in the New York Times by Dwight Garner that he did not mind writing year end top ten lists because forced choices lead to soul searching. How do you feel about top ten lists? Are they helpful? A waste of time? Do you find yourself creating lists throughout the year?"

What's up folks? I'm here today to make your holidays a little brighter (whichever holiday that may be...and no, it's not the winning lottery ticket you begged Santa for, so calm down). Actually, I'm here more to kill time on the Saturday before Christmas, while most of you are busy with last-minute shopping, holiday parties, and avoiding other annoyances dallying in other assorted tidings this time of year brings. Hope yer havin' fun *Smirk2*.

I'm gonna talk about lists, because that's what the prompt is prompting us for, and I'll bet some of you may not know this, but I love lists. I'm totally a list guy. I hosted a contest for Fran 🏅🇬🇧🇬🇧🏅 back in October ("hosting" is a generous way of putting it...she did most of the work and all I did was judge *Whistle*) called "List Mania" that was all about, well, uhhh, lists. I can appreciate a good list.

Now, I didn't read this Garner guy's NYT article (and I'm not motivated enough to search for it right now), so I can't speak to his real feelings. Scratch that; I'm gonna read it now   so I can try to figure out where this guy's head is at...without context I suddenly feel very uneasy about what he was quoted as saying in the prompt, for some reason. So hold on a few minutes here...

Ok. My suspicions were right. This guy's full of astute points, but there's some haughty dipshittery goin' on here as well. Just like when I first started blogging many years ago and before I became prompt-dependent, I could write an entire entry with only bullet points about random things that pissed me off got my attention on any given day...and that's what I'm gonna do here, regarding this article.

*Bullet* Garner reaches for the clickbait button early...as in first-line early. One quick scroll down its length reveals that this is not a Top Ten list he is writing. Or maybe I'm old-fashioned, but I prefer my lists to be numbered...especially if the author starts out with "top ten" and imagery suggesting a years' end review. Doesn't matter...the closest he gets after that to admitting this is any kind of ranking is in the third-to-last paragraph. Poor form, Garner.

*Bullet* Forced choices? What a dubious phrase! Nobody's forcing him to write this. And if a good slice of writing that sticks with you for an extended period of time is considered a "forced choice", perhaps you're in the wrong profession.

*Bullet* This isn't a list at all; it's a poorly edited version of his personal Grammy Awards Ceremony for books, with tidbits of what the selections mean to him interspersed with quotes from new literature from 2015. Some of these paragraphs don't make sense next to one another. This is why formatting is critical, and why bullet points are a handy list-making tool.

*Bullet* I gave up trying to take this guy seriously about halfway through, and then stopped comprehending it a few sentences later...because I...I couldn't (and I'm so sick of people saying things like "I can't even." and they damn sure can, but no...I totally couldn't). Maybe I was so turned off by his zany assertion that he didn't mind being forced to write a list that wasn't even a list, and then never really approached the topic again, opting instead for little anecdotes that do not bleed well like the essay it looks like...and the subject matter, while not entirely Garner's fault, simply boils down to his preferences in the books he's read. I'm actually getting more enjoyment from listening to my neighbor try to rap along to whatever he's listening to (which I can't completely make sense of, but I do recognize some of the verses), and normally hearing people through walls pisses me off. I don't know where Garner's getting his recommendations from, but he needs to change up his sources, or his address, or something.

That's where I'm gonna end this little bit of list-ery. Some lists can be very helpful. Some lists, like the ones I make in hopes I'll remember to bring them with me when I grocery shop, are useless. This list? My life would be no different without it. But I like making lists. Ask me something like my all-time favorite records each day for a week, and in seven days you might get seven different lists. They're fun, and they can be meaningful...even the most inane. They can help you to remember, or determine why you should forget. And if you wrote a Top Five list for whatever reason every day for a year, you'd have over 1,500 things listified, which is impressive regardless of what they're about. Yes, it seems like the thing to do for every media company and anyone with a website, and there is a ton of redundancy in a lot of the "best of/worst of" selections, but a good, thoughtful list can be entertaining. Like any piece of writing, it should be...it's all about holding the reader's attention.

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*Cart* "Imagine a flea market in your mind; what treasures does your vivid mind discover?"

I love me a good flea market! For real! Like a straight-up dirt mall, where maybe half the vendors might be shady, but they've been around for forever still tryin' to sell the same shit they've been dealin' since 1985, so they must be sorta legit.

And though it's been a few years since I went there, I'm a little bummed that they tore down the Super Flea in my hometown just so Walmart could move in a few blocks from a store they built maybe not even twenty years ago, at the expense of another shopping plaza/dying mall. Fuck Walmart, but that's not the point of this prompt.

My mind hasn't been vivid lately. I don't know if it's because I ate a little while ago, and sometimes I get really, really tired after I eat, but I didn't take a nap and now I feel like it's a struggle staying awake (and it's way too early to try and go to sleep for the night right now). So I feel like my head's being squeezed a little, plus I'm having some trouble associating such a glorious shithole like the Cheektowaga Super Flea with vivid treasures (and I mean glorious shithole with a tremendous amount of affection).

And maybe that's what life's all about...finding beauty in the unlikeliest things. Like the joy of finding a Ken Griffey Jr. rookie card at one of the stands, or thinking for the longest time how amazing the tacos were at the snack bar, even though the place had been crawling with rats pretty much since the existence of rats. Little things that stay with you long after their shine has worn off (if they even shined to begin with). Sometimes we don't need to discover as long as we can rediscover. That's what the flea market in my head feels like.

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This is it! The final day of "Invalid Item! And I'm excited because "Deck The Halls"   seems like it'd be such an easy song to Spam...but it's not (or maybe I'm just not looking at it the right way). I mean, when were kids we all knew the "Jingle bells, Batman smells, Rudolph laid an egg..." (and holy shit did I just now realize all day I've been confusing "Jingle Bells" with "Deck The Halls" *Laugh* *Rolleyes*...honest mistake, right?).

So I turned to Wikipedia, which in its challenging wisdom has not let me down today  . This was ripped off from a Welsh love song! *Blush* And the original first line supposedly is "Oh! how soft my fair one's bosom" followed by the traditional fa la la's. So the Christmas classic that we all know is actually old-school Spam! Further proof that the more things change, the more they stay the same, and gelatinous love songs can become Christmas songs just as easily as a pig can be put in a can.

Then I went to my next-trusted source, YouTube, because I just remembered that Weezer Christmas EP   that came out back in 2008, and I was all like "They had to put a version of DTH on there!" And to my dismay, they did not. Of course, like most trips to YouTube, I did get to spend some time watching plenty of live Weezer footage from a concert festival called "Deck The Halls", but there was no actual hall-decking or wrecking going on that I was made aware of. There are worse ways of wasting an afternoon though.

And I don't know how I did it, but I stumbled upon a Barenaked Ladies holiday album   (well, Amazon suggested it, so I guess I didn't really stumble). And they also didn't cover "Deck The Halls". No, brothers and sisters, they outright Spammed it. They Spammed the Spammers. I don't know what to say about it, other than I was left jaw-dropped for a minute or two. It's like a Christmas Miracle, if you prefer your miracles to be not how nature intended them to be in any way, shape, or form. This...is "Deck The Stills", and yes, it references that Stills. And Crosby, and Nash and Young. And that's all it references.

And now I've got to write my own Spam version, after following that? That's like the kazoo player in The Jimi Hendrix Experience   playing a 2.5-hour set at Monterey right after Hendrix himself set his guitar on fire. Like, you just don't do that...or, at least, you're not supposed to. So now I'm woefully unprepared for this, after all the wrong turns I've taken while preparing for this entry...let's just make it up as we go along, I guess (and I know it'll never be as good as the original composer's ode to his favorite bosom *Laugh*).

Spam The Spammers

Spam the spammers for a laugh!
Ha ha ha ha ha, lolololol.
Parodies aren't rip-offs.
Ha ha ha ha ha, lolololol.
It's "fair use" if done correctly.
Ha ha ha, ha ha ha, lololol.
Copyright laws will protect thee.
Ha ha ha ha ha, lolololol.

Sometimes it is an improvement.
Ha ha ha ha ha, lolololol.
Weird Al's made a career of it.
Ha ha ha ha ha, lolololol.
But how does one Spam the Spammer?
WTF, WTF, lololol.
How does it get any better?
WTF WTF, lolololol.

If you're funny it won't matter.
Ha ha ha ha ha, lolololol.
If you're not you shouldn't bother.
Ha ha ha ha ha, lolololol.
Unless you signed up just to write Spam.
Ha ha ha, ha ha ha, lololol.
And everyone knows it's s'posed to be bad.
Ha ha ha ha ha, so one-star bad.

And I'm ok with this being the second rendition I've written this week that features a prominent version of hahaha in a chorus-like situation, considering all the Christmas songs that start with only the letter O (like I've also touched on a few times this week *Pthb*). Anyway, one week's worth of holiday Spam has been served up here, just for you. I don't think I'll want to write another poem again, for a long, long time. It's gonna take awhile to get the awfulness outta my system. Just like the real Spam in the can stays in your body in some chemical form for lawd knows how long, actually having to try to write terrible verses can wreak havoc on one's creative process. At least, that's what I think happens...I don't really have a creative process, but introducing bad things into the system usually messes up all the good stuff, and it takes a long time to correct the damage. From what I've heard. *Wink*

For the blog.

*NotepadY* Speaking of lists and as 2015 comes to a close, we're about to be inundated with everyone's god damn idea of what the best or worst of this year has been. I've just come across my first list of The 10 Worst Songs Of 2015  , and I'm proud to say that I have not heard a single one of them (and if I have, it's unlikely I would've even known it). I don't think I've even heard of half these artists, but the ones I am familiar with...well, it's been a shameful year, and 2016 can't come fast enough I guess. *Laugh*

*Xmastree* Also because I'm lazy and get sucked into link after link on websites imploring me with the knowledge that if I liked what I just read I'll like something else even better, have yourself a merry little list of ten unlikely artists who have recorded Christmas songs  .

*Twitter* Of course, the wonderful folks who are also Twitter users have not let us down in 2015. If you're striving for not giving fucks about anything in 2016, these are your people  . We should all be chair fort guy...or the burrito lady. Or be ambitious...be both of them. Just don't be all of them, 'cuz nobody likes an overachieving showoff.

*GingerBread* And finally, maybe you're like me and you don't decorate much for the holidays because you want your festive looks to also be functional (yeah, that's totally my reason for not deckin' my halls *Rolleyes*). Maybe a gingerbread house looks nice and smells great and satisfies your sweet-toothy urges. And that's outstanding and all, but some people need something a little heartier. Perhaps more flavorful...more...exciting. Say no more fam, I got you...why not craft yourself a Pizza House  ? I truly believe that someday building this was the reason I was put here on this planet.

Ok folks, it looks like my work here is done. I wasn't joking when I said I probably wasn't gonna write any poems for awhile, but I'm also taking a short holiday sabbatical, so no more of anything from me (for the most part) for a little bit...Sunday is for football and taking care of paperwork, Monday I've got all the last minute odds and ends to tie up (crosstown bus trip to the new doctor's office, stopping at the library to return some books and borrow another one, grabbing snacks for the holiday trip home), and Tuesday I'm heading off to my mom's for Christmas and I'm not sure when I'll be coming back. It happens every year, I guess...I'll still be popping in to check my email and stuff, and I'll have to set up the "30-Day Blogging Challenge for January (crap...that means I need to finish judging November's round too *Blush*...ahhh, it'll get done eventually), and tend to other things, but I probably won't settle down to accomplish much more than that until I return from Buffalo. Try not to miss me too much while I'm away *Ha*. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays and yay for whatever and however you celebrate! I hope your Santa is good to all y'all this time around. Peace, mutual kisses, and GOODNIGHT NOW!!

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