Saturday, August 7, 2010

One-Third Semi-Famous

Okay, I'm trying this for the third time and I'm having trouble allowing the words to bubble out. That's what is supposed to happen...words are supposed to bubble out instead of ooze. When words ooze it means that my typing fingers are ahead of my brain. The way it is supposed happen is for my furiously pecking fingers to struggle to keep up with my brain which whips along at warp speed. I think the problem is that I am under pressure. You see Jon Paul talked about this site that analyzes one's writing and proclaims what noted author they write like. Of course I had to try so I submitted one of my entries and the program cogitated and whirred and hiccuped and in four seconds proclaimed that I wrote like Isaac Asimov which just happened to be one of my favorite authors of years past which I guess makes me Semi-Famous and being semi-famous puts me under a lot of pressure. After all the scientist Dr. Asimov came up with those famous Three Laws of Robotics which are:
  1. A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
  2. A robot must obey any orders given to it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
  3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.
Now if I write like Isaac I figured I should come up with three laws of something and I could only come up with one.

1. You will have less earwax in a drier climate than in a humid one.

While I know this law would be of definite benefit to humankind and especially to the Chambers of Commerce of Nevada and Arizona and Utah, it actually proves that I am only one-third Semi-Famous. Oh yeah -- the law is true. I wear tiny little hearing aids and they have to be cleaned of ear wax once a day whilst in Houston. But in my ventures out west I found that I didn't have to clean the darn things for five days. Actually those western people should advertise that fact. Las Vegas: What happens here stays here -- and your earwax stays home! This would definitely attract the old geezer crowd.

So you see my problem.

I couldn't move forward. So in frustration I tried the test a second time and submitted a differed entry. Again I received a response in four seconds and this time I was informed that I wrote like James Joyce who I am told is a very fine author but you couldn't prove it by me because I have tried twice to read Ulysses and never could get past page 26. I'm not sure if it was incomprehensible or that I was bored to death but there is the added pressure of knowing that while I write like Isaac Asimov no one could read it because they either didn't understand it or was bored to tears with it.

Well hell.

So the only thing I can do is redirect my attention to either earwax investigation or dismiss Isaac and James from my mind for after all they have both croaked -- and I do hope they croaked in peace -- and pray that their ghosts aren't hovering over me as I write these very words.


Awaiting chains rattling or a coffee cup suddenly flying at my head.

As you astute readers have surmised -- and I have to say you are astute or you will fling coffee cups at my head -- the simple answer is for me to simply be myself. This is the kind of thing our mothers said to us when we couldn't cope with excellence all around us but if you asked her, "What is myself?" she would stutter and search for some life enriching words that she never would quite find. But that is the question that plagues us all our lives: Who am I? If you try to discuss and analyze that question you immediately tumble into the nature versus nurture morass and end up more confused then where you started. So perhaps the question is one that maybe you shouldn't really ask yourself and just "be". And if someone asks you who you are just pop out an answer before even thinking about it and you will probably find that answer is probably closest to the truth.

Who am I?

Why I'm Semi-Famous, at least one third so. 


  1. So that is why I am so confused all the time - I think too much!

  2. Ok, now I'm a little freaked out. i tried your special little tool and it said I write like Stephen King! I'm gonna have to blog about this!

  3. My first post read of the day. Thanks for starting me off with a good laugh!. Great post!

    I also went to that websit and copied in some of my writing for analysis. It told me I write like friggin Jacqueline Susann! Well hell...

  4. You were bored by a book that contains such a bluntly clinical description of the sex act that it was banned from innumberable bookstores for decades (Ulysses)?

    This is kind of ironic. I was just getting set to do a Joyce/Ulysses-related post. I was in Dublin for Bloomsday, you see...

    Coffee cup is flying at your head. I, for one, would stick to any Asimov-comparison thrown at me, even by an automated computer program, like glue.

    An excellent object lesson, however. Be yourself. Don't try to be like anybody else, unless you're doing a mimesis exercise for kicks. Or rather, try to be like multiple people until you develop your own style culled from the best of each. Fake it 'til you make it, like they say.

    Nice post.

  5. Oh, Jerry, you would love Ulysses if you read it with a wonderful teacher and a congenial group of fellow strugglers. It's the most wonderful story about the everyday.... just like you write. Decoding it is half the fun. I've read it once a decade since my 30's; join me somewhere in 2 years to try it again?

  6. Jerry, fascinating post and a fascinating program. Like others (I suspect) I had to try it out and then blog about it as you have! Thanks for a morning filled with fun!

  7. Guess I'll have to call you Jerry Isaac James from now on. I seldom LOL at posts, but your first law of something really got to me: I scared the hell out of the napping dogs with a loud guffaw.

    And I agree with "being." Great post.

  8. This was so fun, Jerry! Thanks for the laugh! I'm off to ear wax-free Vegas!!

  9. It is 9:15 pm on Saturday. I'm working on my mother's business site, all intense. I hear a *bing* which means I just got an email. Who could it be? It's Jerry and he commented on my blog, so off I go to read it.

    *blushing* He is so sweet that I'd rather read his comments than my own posting!

    Next step was to not tell my mother I'm pausing on her site as I jump over to read Jerry's.

    Still in a serious mood, I start reading about Dr. Asimov who isn't really one of my favorites, but I'm doing reading anyway through the robot stuff.

    Then Jerry is going to tell me a great law and then he says:

    "You will have less earwax in a drier climate than in a humid one."


    Thank you! I needed a good laugh today. Maybe it wasn't meant to be that funny, but it just totally cracked me up!

    Loved it! I give it an A+ with 10 stars!

  10. Hey, if you write like Isaac Asimov count yourself among the talented. The guy is 9was) a genius.

    I did the test and my writing came out like David Foster Wallace. I had to wikipedia him to know who he is. At least YOU got to tie your acclaim to someone famous. Cool work, Jerry.

  11. Nope, despite my intense curiosity, I am NOT GOING TO WEAKEN, I won't click on that site...My
    dreaded fear of being likened to some crazy cat lady (RE: The Maysles' GREY GARDENS documentary) is far too intense....

    But your writing is great :)

    And Pat you are NOTHING like Jacqueline Susann!

  12. OMG...I agree with so many of the posts above me. I laughed out loud and woke up my dog too! I could not help myself and pasted a comment I wrote last night in the wee hours of the morn to a fellow blogger in South Wales....and it said I write like Carol and Stephen KING!! I will find something else to paste to test it further...

    Your earwax revelation is what made me laugh so hard, just like the Red Headed Riter...Since I live in Henderson, NV, 45 minutes from Vegas, I now know why I have less ear wax than when I lived in Southern California!

    Thanks for solving that mystery for me!!

    Oh Jerry, you are just too funny! I know I will always have a smile on my face when I read your blog.

    Enjoy the rest of your weekend my friend!

  13. Las Vegas: What happens here stays here -- and your earwax stays home!

    I think you need to print this on a tee shirt! although, I might add, I live in southern california and have major issues with draining ears. my doctors have assured me, since childhood, that this is a GOOD thing because we are prone to fewer earaches ... ??? ...

    and your post reminds me of a favorite saying, be yourself, everyone else is already taken.

    thanks for the laugh!

  14. I tried this too and came up like umpteen different writers, depending on the blog post, which just makes me unpredictable. And I love your law. I shall follow it forever.

  15. Oh Jerry, please tie your email to your profile so I can respond to your comments. I beg you!

    Thank you for your most recent comment. Very thoughtful and just what I needed.

  16. I did that test also and came up with a combo of horror, sci-fi and mystery. Haha, I would have never thought that I was so interesting.

    I am myself by never thinking about it!
    Great post!

  17. When did you start writing without commas? Is that a James Joyce thing? An Asimov thing? Apparently, I write like Robert Louis Stevenson, whom I've not read since Treasure Island and Kidnapped. He probably put commas between every third word whether he needed to or not.

    Lately, I've been doing more and more of that, leaving the commas out, myself, because the comma rules have gotten so dang slippery, I can't keep up. My parents paid big bucks to put me in Miss Rose's English 101 at Meredith College in 1966, where I was taught to put commas between, damn, near, everything. Now nobody does anymore putting periods between the words of sentences instead and I'm trying to emulate that practice but it makes things so hard to read because I have a comma-infested left brain and just have to insert them somewhere,

    And they told me to stop putting double spaces between sentences on a blog, too. Who makes this crap up?

  18. Okay. Now I'm really freaked out to attempt this task. It seems you've caused a lot of people serious angst...why is it that we writers just have to pass on the angst? We *do* love to share, don't we?

    The earwax remark sent me into fits of giggles...and I've still not completely recovered. I'm glad you explained about the teeny hearing aids, or I would've seriously wondered about your supposed earwax fetish. I would've suggested you seek professional counseling.

    Now I know you're just as loony as the rest of us, so you're fine. Funny as hell....but fine!

  19. Where is this test? I love, love, love this post. All I know is I share a birthday with F. Scott Fitzgerald and that's probably as close as I'll get to glory. (Also Jim Henson, which is even closer.)

    The longer I live, the more persuaded I become that the secret to happiness is not asking too many questions.

  20. All right, all right, you were kind enough to put in a link, and I asked one too many questions. Turns out I write like Stephen King. Lord love a duck.