Blogs offer psychic, if not actual, income
WHEN it comes to money-making schemes in the Digital Age, it seems barely one Internet pipe dream gets laid down and hooked into our computers before another takes its place.
Online journals, for example, are so 45 seconds ago. Why slave away not making hundreds of dollars blogging when you could be not making millions podcasting instead?
And although I have yet to make a penny with my retroblog, where I chronicle all the stuff that happened in my life before there was a blogosphere to affirm it, I estimate it has saved me $2,175 in therapy fees (even more since Dr. Simmons stopped validating parking).
Here, then, are my latest not-all-together unprofitable retroblog entries:
May 29, 1979 (11 years old): After moving last summer, my plan was to stay invisible at University Elementary for the entire sixth grade -- the only year I'd be here. And it was working. Until yesterday.
Last week, Mrs. Adams insisted I sign up for field day. I picked "Basketball Toss," since it involves the least amount of movement under duress.
The first shot, worth a ridiculous 2,000 points, was an impossible 30-footer way past the free-throw line. For an oily kid standing outside in ill-fitting Husky blue jeans at 10 a.m., it seemed like the most pointless exercise yet in a most pointless day. But that didn't stop a few dozen other kids from standing behind me, waiting their turn, in alphabetical order.
Without any arc, rotation or dramatic pause, I heaved the ball at the goal. It slammed into the back of the rim, then relentlessly beat about the whole thing the way Apollo Creed went after Rocky in rounds 2 through 14. But then, also like Apollo (in "Rocky II"), the ball eventually ran out of gas and collapsed -- through the hoop. The gasps were so loud, I mistakenly thought all the excitement had caused my Huskies to faint to my ankles.
The blue ribbon was unavoidable. And everybody wanted to know my name.
So today I got to play hoops with the jocks -- for about three minutes. Maybe their scout should spend a little more time sizing up new talent and a little less tormenting that little kid who eats his own hair.
Nov. 10, 1981 (13 years old): Today an orthodontist convinced my mom that my yapper needs a decorator -- fewer teeth, more track lighting and maybe a few throw pillows.
As I sat on the assembly line with a large mold in my mouth that kept plaster paste in place as it hardened around my uppers, another kid wailed wildly during a cavity spot check. "Calm down," the dental assistant said to him, "you'll scare the other kids!"
"HE'LL scare the other kids?" I thought. "What about me? I look like Victim No. 3 in one of those old Vincent Price torture flicks. No one can hear me scream, but anyone glancing my way could tell one is definitely implied."
As I sat paralyzed by mouth paraphernalia, Dr. Thomas showed me gruesome jaw photos he claimed came from little boys and girls who didn't strictly follow the three-inch thick "care and feeding of your oral erector set" rule book. But I was pretty sure I was looking at half-eaten pomegranates that had been left out in the sun.
He then asked me if I was paying attention. I gave a big thumbs up. But I think the tear quietly rolling down my right temple was a clearer signal.