My Slow Descent Into Madness

I decided to do a bit of “spring cleaning” today by going through the drafts folder on my blog. There were half a dozen odds and ends in there, half-formed ideas and such, waiting to be fleshed out (or more realistically, permanently abandoned). Some of these were deserving of publication, while others are real head-scratchers.

Take July 3, 2019, for instance. I saved an untitled draft that read, I can’t believe we’ve

That’s it. As a writer who is fond of punctuation, I cringe when I read that. And I’m left wondering two things:

  • What was so hard to believe?!
  • What distraction pulled me away from a new post mid-sentence?

I hope it was something fun. Checking the blog archives, I posted on July 4, but didn’t mention anything that was unbelievable or hard to fathom in there, so I have no clue where that train of thought was headed or why it so abruptly jumped the track.

Perhaps this was the exact moment when my slow descent into madness began?

On August 20, I saved a draft titled 7 Photos. However, when I opened it, there were zero photos (and just as many words).

Conversely, on September 2, there is an untitled draft with the following photo but no description.

I happen to recognize that flat stretch of sunflower-dotted prairie as the middle of nowhere, Wyoming, and remember pulling over to the side of the road during our drive home from a trip to Fort Collins. Tara wanted to collect some sunflower seeds (she did) to plant in our garden (she has not…yet). Ironically, I did post a blog entry talking about the trip that same day, and it had a bunch of pics…but not this one.

I don’t know, guys. I’m obviously easily distracted?

There were a couple of completely blank drafts, and two others that were basically post-worthy. The only reason they never saw the light of day was probably because I wanted to add more but ran out of things to say. Since I’m all about recycling (and…umm…have run out of things to say), I’m going to share them with you now.

Dec 15, 2019: Tiny Pours

I’ve always found it amusing when people who are drinking liquor, usually whiskey, pour a tiny splash into a big glass, especially when they down it in one gulp and immediately pour another. In the interest of efficiency, wouldn’t it be easier to just pour a bigger glass and save yourself the trouble of a refill?

I mean, I understand why people do it. Liquor has a much higher alcohol concentration than beer so you need to pace yourself, people like to add ice and club soda, yadda yadda. But it looks ridiculous when they do that. Maybe I’m just hypersensitive lately because we’ve been binge-watching “Mad Men.” Don Draper and pretty much everybody else on the show drinks constantly, at all hours of the day. At work, at home, in the car (tsk-tsk). And they’re always doing those tiny one-knuckle pours. “Man up and pour yourself a bigger glass already!” I want to yell at the screen, but talking to the TV hardly ever produces results.

By the way, I actually googled why do people pour a tiny amount of liquor into a big glass? and learned that I am hardly the first person to ponder this existential question. Turns out there’s a Reddit thread devoted to the topic.

Come to think of it, there’s a Reddit thread for pretty much every conceivable topic under the sun…

Mar 8, 2020: (Untitled)

Remember how my TV stopped responding to the remote a few months ago and I couldn’t troubleshoot it, so I was all set to run to Best Buy and spend an ungodly sum of money on a brand new one before Tara solved the problem by moving the candle that was blocking the sensor? Hardly my finest moment, but at least I figured that was a once-in-a-lifetime kind of faux pas.

Until something similar happened again.

This time, it was our oven that appeared to be on the fritz. We noticed that things were taking a lot longer to cook. We were baking cookies one day, and though the instructions said they would be done after 10 minutes, when we checked them at that point they had barely begun to set up. Another time, we had a roast in the oven. The recipe said 425º for 90 minutes, but when we took it out of the oven, it was still rare inside. Perplexed, we stuck it back in there, along with an oven thermometer. Even though we had it set to the proper temperature, the probe was only reading 360º.

“Well, shit,” I said. “Looks like we need a new oven.”

No sooner had I begun researching ovens and scouting appliance store ads when Tara, once again, swooped in to save the day (and our bank account). Turns out our turkey on Thanksgiving had been dripping out of the pan, sending spatters onto the bottom of the oven. To resolve this, she lined it with aluminum foil…which covered up the heating elements. Once she removed the foil, the oven worked like a charm again.

I suppose I should be thankful these are easy fixes, but really, they’re just embarrassing.

There you go. Two (hopefully) mildly entertaining snippets. Is it a cheap way to get a new post up without investing any mental energy into a topic or even having to find a pic to upload? Maybe. But, so what! If my blog were a DVD (remember those?), think of these as deleted scenes.

And now, my draft folder is gloriously empty! Perhaps I’ll make this spring cleaning thing an annual tradition.

Tune in next May for more scattered thoughts, random photos, and half-sentences! If I haven’t been committed by then, of course…

26 thoughts on “My Slow Descent Into Madness

  1. This is a fantastic post and I rolled my eyes at the tv remote thing but…yay. 🙂

    Now you have me wondering about my draft folder. Boy, when I get moody and start to rant in there but don’t publish…should I go spend precious energy opening up that can of worms?

    Probably not.

    Anyway, meet you in the looney bin. What state or province is in the middle between us? And, do they have a looney bin? 😃

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha. Do it! You might find some real gems in there. I honestly don’t know why I didn’t publish these two as actual posts at the time. Note to self: not every blog post must exceed 500 words…

      Pretty sure Minnesota is in the middle. I’m sure there are looney bins galore there! (No offense to Minnesotans, of course…one of whom is a regular reader, I do believe.)

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Mark, You remind me how I should be “spring cleaning” my notes, my folders, my bedroom, all my cupboards. Instead, I am reading. Not unusual when the “shoulds” pile up.

    The candle blocking the sensor was a huge laugh out loud. Not the first time for any of us. Relatable. Good job on your spring cleaning!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. In my experience, things that we “should” be doing are never as much fun as things we “want to be” doing! But maybe you’ll be inspired to do a little spring cleaning yourself now?

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Interesting about the candle and the remote. I believe my husband bought a new remote like you did or new batteries. We don’t have any candles. I have half-written lines on blackboards to ponder, what did I mean and usually it is an idea for a blog. Just planted sunflower seeds and am hoping they will take, this time.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. OMG, Mark, I do the same thing. I start to write blog posts on a blog that I refer to as “my practice blog”, which I compose all my posts in draft. Then, when I’m reading to publish them, I cut and paste to my “actual blog.” But sometimes I go back and look at them, and some of them are like TWO years old?!?! And by that time, I totally forgot what the hell I was going to say. Some of them I simply delete because I’m just not into the topic anymore.

    “I don’t know, guys. I’m obviously easily distracted?”

    No, I don’t think you’re distracted at all. I just think your brain is so full of great ideas for blog posts, that you want to get them all down before you forget. I mean, that’s what I tell myself anyway. HA!

    Enjoyed both your drafts, especially the Tiny Pours.

    “But, so what! If my blog were a DVD (remember those?), think of these as deleted scenes.”

    That’s a BRILLIANT way to think of them….deleted scenes!!!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I just think your brain is so full of great ideas for blog posts, that you want to get them all down before you forget.

      This is a much better outlook than “I’m going insane” so I think I’ll run with it. Thanks, Ron! You’ve really brightened my day today.


    2. Practice blog? Cut and paste? lol That’s an interesting approach. I just leave all my drivel in the draft folder of the regular blog… Your way is much more creative though. And in some odd way, appealing… (should I start another blog?…) 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I have about a dozen drafts. I think I gave up on most because they needed some research that I just never felt like doing. I mean, it’s not like I’m getting paid!

    For as many shit posts as there are on Reddit, I swear I have learned a lot! Whenever I’m looking for someone who’s had a particular experience (whether it’s medical, travel, food, etc.) I have found the most helpful posts. It’s rather shocking!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. How great would it be if we were getting paid to do this?!

      I only really discovered Reddit in the last year, but now I’m hooked. I find lots of useful info, like you have stated, and really enjoy the comment threads from the hard-core Redditers.


  6. Well now I’m curious about my Drafts. Let me take a look. I have 10. I was able to get rid of 2.

    Enjoyed the tiny pours post and the saga about the TV and oven. You have a real talent for writing in a way that every day stuff is entertaining to read.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I do like a good half sentence, left for open interpretation at a later time. I have a drawer, actual real drawer, wherein I put scraps of papers on which I’ve jotted idea, as I like to call them. They really are more like fanciful gibberish.

    I wonder if the small pours have to do with trying to get a bigger tip for doing more; that is, by refilling your glass more often you’ll feel generous for the service.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I personally take shots of whisky because I’m a wuss who needs the alcohol gone in one gulp or else.

    Also, finding unfinished drafts sounds like a great start for some kind of mystery or thriller story.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I knew y’all did somethin wrong with that roast, LOL — but it wasn’t y’all, it was your oven! I knew somethin wasn’t right! Gah! I’m sorry ovens cost so much more than remotes. Pity. You’ll try the roast again, right?
    Sometimes my drafts are foreign to me, as if someone else started them. Sometimes they’re trash heaps of letters. Sometimes they’re clever and ready to be released. Life/Being Human/Writing is like that, don’tcha think?

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I guess I must be weird or something. I never have more than one draft, and it’s never there more than a couple days until I finish it and post it. Sure, there are a few ideas on deck in the grey matter, but they rarely go beyond a location or a concept. Maybe I lack imagination, or I’m just crappy at multi-tasking.

    Liked by 1 person

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