Ah, the medicine's taking effect. Johnny Black straight-up, two diamonds, water back.
Well, another year has passed and here we are celebrating the annual rite of fertility once again. Happy Ishtar! Amazing how the Babylonian pantheon still haunts us after thousands of years. No matter how advanced we think we are, there's these little reminders that we are still slaves to ghost stories and superstitions.
At any rate, as several kind readers have pointed out, I've been on break around here. After pumping out nearly 400 articles over the past two years (about one every other day), one just runs out of things to say for a while. Instead, I've been focusing on my books and trying to catch up on email.
Email is my bane. When you're a professional writer, doing things like keeping in touch with folks on a personal level seems like a busman's holiday. It's easier to Skype, but that's problematic since I'm 12 hours out of sync with most of the folks I need to keep in touch with. There's also the biennial Dear Mom letters that, no matter how I try, never fall short of 10-15 pages, 11-point type single spaced with minimum legible kerning.
In the hiatus, I have launched a new career. I'm quickly becoming Indonesia's most famous stand-up comedians. Now you may think that's no big deal, but in a country where stand-up has only been invented in the past year, that's no mean feat! Asian humor runs along the lines of Three Stooges, Henny Youngman and Jerry Lewis (though they don't like the Western comedians). For someone, especially a foreigner, to gain any amount of popularity doing Carlin/Wright/Lehrer-style material is pretty amazing.
At any rate, we're recording the shows so I can cut together a video for you, though I daresay a lot of it will be incomprehensible, since about half is in Indonesian/Javanese, and the rest relies on cultural familiarity. Indonesians think it's hysterical. Far Siders will at least discover I'm not just 2-D words on a page.
Some other notes: besides adding video, we've set up a mirror blog at augenguy.wordpress.com, which is slowly growing, though the content is the same (just behind a bit). I hoping to release the first LFS e-book, which will be a humorous look at life in Indonesia. With any luck, that will be out sometime this year. LOL! We STILL have plans to get the e-Bay store up and running, where folks can buy handcrafts and such that will directly support the craftsmen and artisans in the villages, and not some factory outlet operation. A lot of woodcarvings and textiles that are completely unique in every sense of the word.
This past week has been rather fun. A rash of old friends from past lives have popped up. A couple even said they've been trying to hunt me down for years. Hell, I said, all you had to do was Google my name! You'll get a 1,000 hits, including this blog, Wikipedia, imdb, old articles and newspaper stories, even a couple of somewhat premature obituaries. It's hard to live these days without leaving some trace on the internet, especially when one makes no attempt whatsoever to hide. As I said to one, I'm all over the net like a bad smell.
It's funny how those things go. For some reason, a time comes every few years when a dozen people will find you all at once. The cyclical nature of life never ceases to amaze me. It's like the spin cycle in a massive washing machine. People, places and things seem to keep flying around, bumping into you on occasion.
There was a time, no too long ago, when most of the people you knew lived within 10 miles of you. Now, I spend my days talking with folks in two dozen countries on six continents in a half-dozen languages. Even when I'm at the Far Side Global Headquarters deep in the jungles of Borneo, I still get text messages, and occasional email, when the monkeys pedal fast enough.
At any rate, sorry for the long silence, but know that I appreciate every reader more than you can know. A special thanks to those who wrote in to check on me. Still alive, for better or worse. And yes, we'll continue to bring our rather strange view of the world to you on a regular basis, occasional breaks excepted. And we'll continue to expand the Far Side into every nook and cranny of the internet, because as George Ure says, "Everything's a business model!"
Happy Ishtar and don't forget, there's layers of meanings behind everything you see and hear in the media. If you think like that, you'll be less likely to fall prey to them.
By the way, a lot of people don't realize how soft and supple orangutan lips are. I find myself strangely attracted to the beast. And her breath wasn't too bad, either...