All or Nothin’

I donno what to write.

That isn’t exactly it. I’ve had about two dozen ideas, just none of them are seeming to want to be executed.

So, my great idea today was to not go deep, and just summarize. Get all the ideas out of the way, maybe they’re blocking the creative path or clogging the artery or maybe I just don’t really want to write and this’ll solve that impasse too.

1. Almost wrote a poem about faking it. Didn’t like it. The basic idea of the poem was that I woke up feeling just fine. If that’s the best you can write, well… feeling fine is nice and all, but it doesn’t make for very compelling literature.

2. funny11111.jpg

I can’t tie this into a bigger theme. It’s a baby eating dog food. I think that really says all that needs said.

3. Wanted to write about color. I’d intended to do a free write about color, inspired by ybonesy at red Ravine. I want to do this, but I woke up feeling fine. The color thing would be a great way to tap into primal imagery or vital moments, but not when your outlook is servicable and pleasant, like Wonder Bread. Right now I’d probably end up writing a grocery list.

4. Small talk! And sucking at it. The Lilli Pad had a funny post about her attempts at chit-chat during a hen party, followed by a comment by Lazy Buddhist that bloggers lack social skills. I won’t speak for all of you, but I personally suck at small talk. I think my eyes glaze over or something, because people always know when I’m faking it. It’s easier just to say some of the things that actually occur to me to respond, and those things range from deep to deeply goofy. Small talk is a lighter, shallower plain of communication, and I’ve never figured out how to comfortably navigate it. How ’bout you?

5. Calamari. I wanna know… who looked at a slimy, tentacle covered squid and said to themselves, “I bet that’d be tasty.”

6. I accidentally just watched a little part of ‘As Good As It Gets’, and Melvin (Jack Nicholson’s character) really sucks at small talk, too.

7. Number six didn’t really deserve it’s own number listing, it was kind of an addendum to number 4. This one doesn’t either.

8. A man who was at poker last night mentioned having a retarded daughter. I’ve always greatly enjoyed the word ‘retarded’ but on hearing about an actual retarded person, every instance in which I used the word retarded for it’s phenomic delights came back to weight down my shoulders with terrible shame. I was so busy thinking about how guilty I felt, I forgot to think about the life commitment of this fella, or any parent who brings a child into the world who will never attain personal independence and the incredible sacrificial love required to care for someone their whole life long. I also called a hand when I meant to fold. Isn’t that retarded?

9. This is inspired by both Slothboy and Ron at the blog @ RTD13.

And finally, here are other people’s words I’ve discovered in the last week that I’ve found valuable. Awesome. Reassuring. Well-crafted or just plain straight-from-the-heart.


cheap at half the price

This is Iowa

On self censorship

Follow your Bliss

She Sleeps…



24 thoughts on “All or Nothin’

  1. C’mon, small talk’s both easy and important. The catch is that even in the most social of situations, certain parties just do not actually want to talk; they will, instead, sandbag the whole operation. Being unable to enjoy a basic human need (conversation/communicative interaction), they placate themselves by overindulging other aspects of the human experience. Artists are like this. Artists, sheltered children and tools.

    Don’t really overthink the whole thing, though. It’s a conversation, nothing more. Small talk is simply enjoying a conversation with no motive or agenda. The moment an agenda is in play, it’s no longer small talk. And if anyone says otherwise, they’re dead wrong.

  2. Molo- I’ve never found it easy. The only time I find small talk easy is when I’m genuinely interested in either the topic or the person, and then it’s not small talk, because if the conversation gets sparked you either skip the trivialities all together or make fun of them in one of those rare moments of honesty when two people acknowledge the total awkwardness of navigating a social situation among strangers.

  3. I’m terrible at small talk. Before you know it I’m revealing that I think I might be suffering from mild depression or that alcoholism runs in my family or that I had a cyst aspirated twice from my right breast.

    And the calamari thing. I mean, clearly whoever figured it out also figured that you really need to dip them in a bunch of batter, fry, squeeze with lemon then dip in sauce in order to get the things down.

  4. All small talk means is conversation for the sake of conversation. That’s it. It’s not exactly magic. If you’re trying to convince someone that, say, Nirvana was the most over-rated band to help head up the whole alternative movement, then it’s not small talk. However, having the conversation spark immediately, or falling in to a natural rapport with someone, that is very much small talk.

    Besides, it’s such an affectation to “hate small talk” or “just want to cut through the bullshit”. What the hell are blog comments, then?

  5. well, since you have an agenda to convince your reader now that small talk is easy, and that it means what you’re defining it as, then this particular comment on this particular thread doesn’t qualify as small talk by your own definition.

  6. Ah, yes; but I do leave such exceptional comments!

    Thanks for letting me take your multi-faceted post and monopolize the comments to this degree.

    On another note: squid is best raw.

  7. Even in matters of taste, I’m unable to come up with completely original arguments; anything new is simply something borrowed. I’m completely untrustworthy; as they say, hito no fundoshi de sumo o toru hito desu yo.

  8. More evocative than the tired chestnust of standing on the shoulders of giants, eh? But thankfully, sumo now wear mawashi. It provides more coverage than the old-school loincloth.

    What was the topic again?

  9. Conversation for the pure enjoyment of it…yeah. This might qualify. See, you’re not so bad at this. Maybe at parties you should bring a keyboard. It’s like a nicotine patch for talking.

  10. Speakingofwhich, bloggers being social incompetents, I raise my hand, very technically competent skirting of the writers block idea touching on some themes, like a tail chasing just for fun. Thankyou so much for the link, I am flattered, I will investigate my companions,

  11. Hi gingatao

    Tail chasing, eh? I think it’s a different hour where you are. It’s nearly midnight here, and I’m baking a birthday cake for my daughter, whose ten tomorrow.

    That kinda melts my brain. A decade! anyway, i lost a word or something in your comment, i think it’s tying in writer’s block to small-talk block, – kind of an interesting idea.

    it’s a many idea day.

  12. Excellent list. Love the baby eating dog food. Suck at small talk. Being a therapist all day I always end up with people outside of work wanting to dump their problems on me and I don’t want to hear it but I can’t steer the conversation to trivialities which is just as bad a choice for me in conversation so I just end up resentful and avoiding social events. Mental healthy I am not.

  13. I can’t quite remember what my original point was about small talk in Lilli’s post, but I think my observation was that it seems I’ve read an awful lot of bloggers talk about their lack of social skills. Personally, I think it is simiply our habit of thinking out loud on the page, and that tendency to use our inside voice when what is expected the rest of the world is using their heavily edited outside voice. Here in blogger world we are rewarded for speaking our truth, even though in normal social interactions that may be TMI.

    Did that make a lick of sense. I’m damned tired.

  14. I really enjoyed this post. I was laughing out loud which broke the silence of Liz studying beside me while I catch up on my reading. Jack Nicholson did really suck at small talk in that movie, didn’t he? And so do I. I wear it like a badge of honor. Don’t get me wrong – I can do small talk. But why in the world would I want to?

    Your feelin’ fine comment reminded me of Beatles ’65, She’s In Love With Me And I Feel Fine, which is quite a fine song. So I think feelin’ fine is some days the best we can hope for. And maybe, simply the best.

  15. QM- Yay, you laughed! It’s kinda funny, so often when I’m going for light or humor, it’ll prompt a serious discussion, and vice versa. I like that though, the unpredictability.

    Great song, the feel fine. You’re right, some days its the best a person can hope for. I think that ties into health, too, and how easy it is to take for granted feeling fine.

    Mad- lol- maybe i’ll try that with a post.

    Barbara- yep, and maybe some of these ideas will grow from this seed… I’m rooting for the goofier ones.

    t.i.v.- Yeah, I imagine when you hear people talk all day, and delve into their innermost hearts it would be damn weird to try and make light conversation right after. My mom’s a teacher, and some days when she’s been talking and interacting for 8 hours, she doesn’t really wanna talk at all. Her husband has gotten used to her kind of going into the cave of silence for an hour or two after work, and emerging refreshed around dinner time.

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