: half-baked viii :

April 14, 2014 § 12 Comments

image213Great. Just when you thought it was safe, here comes another half-baked, the half-assed post. For those of you keeping score, this one is number eight in our continuing series. Seriously, only eight? That’s all? Shouldn’t that number be higher, like around 50? Or 80? Hang on, let me double-check, talk amongst yourselves for a second …

Nope, it’s eight.

Damn, that’s low. I expected to find uncounted dozens of old half-baked posts. Instead I found dust bunnies and cobwebs and cookie crumbs and, ew, a mountain of wadded up tissues. Those last sopped up the tears I shed reading my first drafts. Quite frankly, they’re terrible. Stinkeroos, all. The fact that a first draft ever makes it past that stage, the steaming pile stage, is nothing short of miraculous. It’s a testament to the resilience and perseverance of writers.

But guess what: I’m neither of those.

I’m a quitter. I don’t like hard work and I loathe falling short. Where’s the fun in that? A first draft is, almost by definition, a failed attempt. It’s a flop. Only an optimist would call it a good start and they’re delusional. There’s nothing good about first drafts. Even Ernest Hemingway, a writer of some note, said, “The first draft of anything is shit.” Well, if he thought his were crappy, imagine how I feel.

Nothing like a writer, that’s for sure. Demoralized is a better description; pissed off is good, too. But, apparently, humiliation is the motivation I need to start hammering and pounding and tweaking the draft into a lucid, coherent piece. Perverse, isn’t it? Sure, but what choice do I have? I can’t just let it molder. The smell would be so horrible, so overpowering I’d have to move and that involves heavy lifting. I don’t do heavy lifting. Of any kind.

Math, for example, is the intellectual equivalent of heavy lifting. I don’t do math and I wouldn’t know Fermat’s last theorem from Custer’s last stand. It’s a deeply scary and mysterious subject, but I love the t-shirts. Like the one below, which I found while trolling the Internet last week. Among other things:


Here’s looking at Euclid t-shirt $21.95 (S – 2XL) — this is more than a trendy black t-shirt, it’s a really smart look. Brainiac smart. I don’t understand the equation, but I know where you can find one: philosophersguild.com Buy the shirt with a pair of Freudian Slippers ($24.95 in S,M,L) and make yourself comfortable.0977_l






Simpsons MathThe Simpsons and Their Mathematical Secrets — you know those theorems and formulas you ignore on the blackboard in The Simpsons? Surprise! The math is real and incredibly sophisticated. Turns out many of the writers on the show are Harvard-educated mathletes. Who knew math nerds were funny? I didn’t. The book is available at amazon.com, bn.com, and everywhere books are sold.




Eaves Drops ($3.00) — the entire world is talking about the cool, refreshing, lemony taste of Eaves Drops. And we heard every word. Also available at: philosophersguild.com




Well, boys and girls, that brings us to the end of another exciting installment of half-baked. I hope you had fun. Tune in again next time when the topic will be particle physics : )

Happy trails and adios.

Copyright © 2014 Publikworks

: this is a real, honest-to-goodness post :

April 7, 2014 § 14 Comments


I swear. It is not a red herring and I’m not trying to pull a fast one. Promise.

But why should you believe me after that unfortunate incident on Friday? Well, you probably shouldn’t, in my honest opinion. Not after I shot off the notification of a new post … when there was no new post. Heck, who’d trust a nitwit like that? I wouldn’t and I won’t encourage you to, either. You go right ahead and be suspicious; I deserve it. Scoff away.

Here’s the thing: I was adding a link to a text widget. Simple, right? All I had to do was hit the button clearly labeled ‘Save Draft.’ But, no, I hit the one marked ‘Publish’. It’s an honest mistake, I suppose. Save Draft, Publish — same things, really. Or they are in my world. Heck, in my world I manage to ‘Like’ my own posts on a regular basis; I sometimes ‘Reblog’ my own posts; publish blank pages and unfinished pages and pages in progress. However, I’d rather not detail the  boners I pulled creating the new website. They’re too mortifying. Suffice it to say, Gravatars are horrible, dastardly things and I hope to never lay eyes on one again. Ever. Evereverever. Never.

Let’s put it behind us and call the Phantom Post episode a belated April Fool’s Day prank. I like the sound of that so much better than foul-up or error, don’t you? Seems friendlier. Planned. Instead of the embarrassing and humiliating display of gross incompetence it most certainly was.

Sadly, I’m acquiring quite a reputation as a dits. Sure, I’ve always been a little scatterbrained, leaning toward dopey, but lately, hooboy, I’m just plain batty. Out to lunch. I have, whoopsie, slipped the surly bonds. Last week, for instance, I spent three and a half hours making copies of an 8-page instruction manual — 300 sets, at least. Turns out I should’ve made one. One copy. No one else found it funny. I laughed alone, which only made things worse.

One day soon, my brain’s going to reach overload and short-circuit like a Krusty the Clown product– sproing, clank, zzzzt, doink, pffffffffffffffffff. Synapses will dangle from my ears and neurons drip from my nose. Smoke will drift and curl above the imploded rubble. But until that happens, I’ll stumble on, screwing up here, there, and everywhere.

My sincerest apologies, ladies and gentlemen, for barging in on you last Friday afternoon for no reason. I wish I could say it will never happen again, but we both know it will. I’ll try to keep it to a minimum, though. Cross my heart, I’ll try really, really hard. Have a nice day : )

Copyright © 2014 Publikworks


: what’s taking so damn long ? :

March 20, 2014 § 28 Comments

Okay, where is it? Where’s spring? It’s supposed to arrive today, right now, in fact. 11:57 a.m. (CDT). Do you see it? I don’t see it. What’s worse is I don’t feel it.

Quick, call the police. Spring’s been stolen.

snailHere it is, late March and there are still crusty mounds of snow loitering in parking lots and along curbs, hiding in the shadows. Does that stuff disappear? Heck, no. Not only does it stick around, there’s more on the way. Snow is in the forecast for Monday.

Winter just won’t give up. It’s an occupying force, a cold, merciless invader. We didn’t even have a January thaw this year. This was, and is, the coldest, snowiest season on record. The longest, too. What with the polar vortices and arctic blasts and all, it feels as though this winter has lasted for years. Decades. And I’ve hated every minute.

The only way I survived such bleak, miserable weather was by telling myself, ‘hang on, spring will come.’ And I believed me. Sheesh, what a sucker; I’ll believe anything I say. Well, I won’t make that mistake again — I’m giving myself the silent treatment. That’ll show me.

: hi ho hi ho, it’s off to jail I go :

March 12, 2014 § 31 Comments


I’ve got a date with the devil on Friday — traffic court. And if everything goes as expected, I’ll be behind bars by lunch. My cellmate will undoubtedly be called Big Norma.

Illinois, you see, is mired in debt, drowning in it. We’re the new Detroit, except we’re an entire state. However, the scary part isn’t the zillion dollar budget deficit. The scary part is the fact that no one in state government has the imagination or the brains to find new sources of revenue. If they can’t tax it, license it, impose a fee on it, or levy a fine for it, they’re stumped. Fresh out of ideas.

That’s the state. The city, a moribund place if ever there was one, has fewer options and even fewer ideas — if that’s possible. Traffic tickets are the golden goose. Parking tickets are good, too, but there’s not much future in those. Most meters are downtown and who goes downtown? No one. There’s nothing there but abandoned buildings and a curious fishy smell. Pretty soon Parking Enforcement will zoom up on motorists stopped at red lights (they’re every thirty feet) and ticket drivers for parking violations. Count on it.

Right now, however, I’m more concerned with traffic tickets; I was issued four of them. Four. At one time. Speeding. Expired plates. No insurance. A canceled driver’s license. Two of those are totally bogus: I’ve had continuous insurance coverage all along, but no idea my license was canceled. By the stoopid stinking state, no less. I wasn’t notified of any problem and neither was my insurance company. What the hell, right?

It’s a scam, a cheap, underhanded grab for money. The fine will be a doozy, I’m sure — hundreds, maybe thousands of dollars. In either case, it’s a big, fat wad of cash I do not have. And I’m steamed. That doesn’t bode well, you know? Accusations will be made, fingers pointed, and I’ll smart off. It’s a biological imperative with me, I’m powerless to stop it. Then the bailiff will be directed to take me into custody and, adiós, away we’ll go.

So farewell, my friends. I’ll miss your smiling faces. If you get a chance, stop by on visitor’s day and bring a cake (with a file in it). I’ll be the one sporting an orange jumpsuit and nervous twitch.

Hi ho, all. Until parole.

Copyright © 2014 Publikworks

: money, boys and girls, is freedom :

February 27, 2014 § 22 Comments

image207bNothing is as life-enhancing as liquid assets. Nothing.

See, when you have money, you have options. The world is your oyster. You’re the one calling the shots, making the decisions, setting the course. Not fate or circumstances or need. You. Because you, my friend, are free — not trapped in a crummy job taking all kinds of crap.

Now, there are legions of well-intentioned, well-meaning people who will argue that you can’t buy happiness; that’s a falsehood. Oreos make me happy and I can buy those by the bagful. Often at a discount with double coupon savings. Happiness is indeed for sale, everywhere you look.

It may not be the kind of deep and fulfilling pleasure you’ll find in a good marriage or a rewarding career or an altruistic life, but fleeting, superficial happiness still counts as happiness. Even if it didn’t, wouldn’t piles of money provide for a pretty comfortable misery? I believe it would and I’m prepared to test the theory as soon as I find an investor, someone with the resources of, say, Mark Zuckerberg and the judgment of Homer Simpson.

To quote Dorothy Parker, ‘I’ve never been a millionaire but I just know I’d be darling at it.’ Truth be told, I’d probably be darlinger as a billionaire. Although darlingest as a zillionaire. Hey, I know, let’s find out how much oreoit takes to make me darling. A million? A billion? A zillion? A swanky beach house in the Seychelles? A Rolls Royce Phantom? The family size Double Stuff Oreos? What?

Please send a big, fat check to me, Lisa, at publikworks. In return, I’ll send you a lovely, sincere thank you note, handwritten and everything — suitable for framing. I’ll include pictures of me being darling at posh, luxurious locations around the globe. Aw, heck, I’ll throw in a free publikworks t-shirt besides.

Sound good?

Because if there’s one thing of which I’m certain, it’s this: being broke is a drag. And I’m beginning to suspect part-time, minimum wage gigs aren’t the road to riches we’re being told they are. Quelle surprise, eh?cartoon eyes

Copyright © 2014 Publikworks

: the story of my life :

February 19, 2014 § 6 Comments

water fountain

The Cliff Notes Version
by publikworks

: happy valentine’s day :

February 14, 2014 § 6 Comments

“When you fish for love, bait with your heart, not your brain.”  — Mark Twain