Tag Archives: freshly pressed

Lame Adventure 413: Lucky Numbers

I am going against my blogging rule. I’m writing about something I detest writing about: blogging. I hope I do not give the impression of being a gloating cur. On the four year and two month anniversary of Lame Adventures’ debut, I was the recipient of WordPressian validation. I was notified that last week’s post, Lame Adventure 412:The Deodorant Debacle, was selected to be Freshly Pressed. My stats had a nice spike.

What a nice spike looks like numerically.

What seemed like a million percent increase to me.

I thank all that took the time to visit. I welcome the increase in my following. To my 125 new followers, I will make an effort to visit your sites. Please accept my apology in advance that I anticipate this mission could take me two hours shy of forever to complete. I lead a very active life: I work full-time, I write humor pieces that do not appear on Lame Adventures (in 2013, I self-published a book; my worst seller), I work out four-five times a week, I usher off-Broadway theater and I make time for my posse. Please be patient with me. If you are inclined to post several times a week, several times a day, or your posts are long-form, I am easily overwhelmed. Until a day is 36 hours in length, I have neither the time nor the energy to read a barrage of posts from one blogger or the blogospheric equivalent of Ulysses. To me, less is enough. If you receive a like from me, I guarantee that I read your post and genuinely liked it.

I was Freshly Pressed once before. It happened 196 Lame Adventures ago, on a Friday in August 2011, the era before Freshly Pressed badges began adorning sites. I had about 70 likes, 99 comments and a monumental hangover from quaffing my weight in sake the night before. When it happened again last Monday I was stone cold sober. That morning, I groused to Godsend, my colleague at The Grind, that traffic was slow.

Me: It’s obvious to me that this post is a leaden soufflé.

When I received the email from Krista at WordPress alerting me that I would be Freshly Pressed later that week I was surprised. I noticed the number 1,788,883, in our correspondence. I asked Krista if my post was the 1,788,883rd to receive this recognition. Was my lucky number 1,788,883? This prompted me to Google how many hairs there are on the average human head: 100,000. I wondered how many grains of sand there are on earth? Robert Krulwich at NPR’s answer:

“…[I]f you assume a grain of sand has an average size and you calculate how many grains are in a teaspoon and then multiply by all the beaches and deserts in the world, the Earth has roughly (and we’re speaking very roughly here) 7.5 x 1018 grains of sand, or seven quintillion, five hundred quadrillion grains.”

I concluded that my post, the possibly 1,788,883rd Freshly Pressed, fell nicely in-between the average head of human hair and all the grains of sand in the world. Krista answered my email. She explained that 1,788,883 is a numerical ID code. There have been less than 12,000 posts that have been Freshly Pressed.

1 in 12,000.

1 in not quite 12,000.

I intended to write that deodorant post a week earlier, but that week had been hectic. I prefer to publish posts whole-assed rather than half-assed so I held off writing it. Delaying writing that post was one of the smartest moves of my life ranking with when I left my desk at another Grind a nanosecond before the ceiling collapsed directly over my chair.

The cynic in me, who comprises 99% of my being, is aware that so many other deserving bloggers have never been granted this validation once. This brings to mind a quote from the author Gore Vidal:

Gore Vidal: Every time a friend succeeds, I die a little.

I knew that feeling through my first 215 Lame Adventures. I returned to feeling like chopped liver through the next 195. You can never predict when your lucky number will come up, but hopefully it will be well before 1,788,883.

Regularly scheduled Lame Adventures will return next week.

Look, the Mona Lisa's in Manhattan!

Look, the Mona Lisa’s in Manhattan!

Lame Adventure 217: Inevitable Destiny

Following a Thursday evening of imbibing so much after work sake with my pal, Coco, that I was hallucinating entire scenes from Akira Kuwosawa films and hearing Puccini arias from Madama Butterfly playing on the imaginary iPod in my head (I vaguely remember calling her “Coco San”),  I returned home sheets and pillow cases to the wind around midnight.  Once inside my sanctum sanctorum, I charged my cell phone, took a shower, went to bed and instantly entered a coma.  At 4:39 in the morning I woke remembering that the charge was surely completed and indeed it was.  I loathe being an energy hog.  When I disconnected my phone from the charger, I thought something about my phone’s face looked funny, but I could not determine what that was.  I passed out again, and woke at 9:15 feeling refreshed this Saturday morning.

Unfortunately, today is actually Friday, and I am supposed to be at work at nine.

Me (outraged): How did this happen?

I picked up my cell phone, looked at the face again and realized that I had neglected to switch it from silent to normal.  What had looked so funny to me about my phone at 4:39 in the morning was seeing that it was still on silent, and the vibrate icon was visible.

Visible vibrate icon at lower left corner of phone's screen.

In the sober hour of 9:15 in the morning, I found myself feeling highly un-amused.  I returned my phone to the normal prompt and its alarm, set for 7:30 on weekdays, was determined to have the last laugh in this matter.  It started blasting at 9:16.

I wanted to retaliate by firing it across the room, but since it doubles as my main source of telecommunication, I went the non-violent route and only killed the alarm.  I emailed my boss, Elsbeth, who is on hiatus until Labor Day, and next called my friend and colleague, Ling, and explained the situation to her.  Tearing a page from my phone’s playbook, she was amused.  I told her I was not coming in and would take a vacation day.

Me:  Please transfer me to Edith.

Edith is a member of the Accounting staff that works closely with me.

Ling:  Do you want Coco?

I stifle a sake-flavored belch.

Me:  God, no.

After explaining the situation to Edith, I text my sidekick, Greg, though I am certain that Ling the Responsible acted as the messenger on my behalf.

Me: Not so much hung over as overslept b/c I 4got 2 put my phone on normal when I returned home last nite so alarm didn’t ring & I didn’t realize it until 9:15. Joy.

Greg: Oh well.  Enjoy the day off!

Me: Yeah, by default.

Greg: It was inevitable destiny.

The last person of importance in my life I contact about this matter is the one I most dread … Coco.  Whether or not Ling or Greg have informed her about my absence, I am certain that the tuning fork in her gym rat body instinctively knows I am missing in action.  As the dedicated showroom manager who would walk over hot coals barefoot with a family of live mongooses strapped to her back to get to work, I know that although she has had significantly less sleep than me, and her head is pounding as if a jackhammer smashing through concrete was embedded inside her skull, she is faking it perfectly while sitting on her marble throne reciting the following mantra through gleaming white gritted teeth:

Coco:  I hate that wuss, I hate that wuss, I hate that wuss.

I write her a 2,000-word epistle of explanation that lightheartedly concludes with Greg’s “inevitable destiny” observation. Coco responds with two words:

Coco: You suck.

I email her back:

Me:  Thanks Buddy!

I don’t hear from her again.

Moments later, I check this blog’s page views for the day.  25 thus far.  Eh.  I decide that this is a good day to publish another post, but I’m not sure what number of adventure I’m at so I check my site again.  I also notice that I’ve just had 29 more page views in about 29 seconds.

Me (thinking):  Huh, that’s odd.  Did something break at WordPress?

People start commenting and liking my Lame Adventure 216, when Milton and I attended the Alexander McQueen exhibit on its final day of viewing.  Erica, a goddess at WordPress, emails me:

Congrats! Your post (https://lameadventures.wordpress.com/2011/08/08/lame-adventure-216-savage-waiting/) has been promoted to Freshly Pressed on the WordPress.com home page.

You’re now part of an elite group!

Freshly pressed queens for a day!

Considering that the only other glimmer of recognition that I’ve won in my entire life was a Little Richard comeback album, The Rill Thing, from a radio station call-in contest when I was a kid; a record that could not be given away back then. How do I know this?  The radio station asked me if I wanted more than one copy.  I asked my mother:

Me (excited): Mom, they say I can have as many copies as I want of Little Richard’s comeback record!  How many do we want?

Mom (barking mad): We don’t even want the one you won!  Hang up the phone!

Good record, terrible font.

Editorial comment: The Rill Thing is a highly underrated quite good record, and it’s still available on both iTunes and Amazon.

I feel so honored to have infiltrated the Freshly Pressed group.  It’s a wonderful way to encounter so many of my fellow bloggers who have visited my site and have in turn, introduced me to theirs.   I wish I could thank all of you personally with sake and Little Richard downloads … but that’s not going to happen.  Yet, I’m so glad that it was “inevitable destiny” that I take this day off on Lame Adventures busiest day ever.  I feel almost as weepy as Miss America.