Blogula Turns Two.

Birthdays blow.

Birthdays blow.

The blogodometer finally kicked over 25,000.  A minor triumph.  Time to put a shot-gun blast through the screen door.  Microwave a can of beans until it explodes.  Throw a bottle of high proof alcohol at the wood burning stove.  Bust up some wooden chairs to feed the bonfire.  Drop in the Mentors tape, and swan dive naked into an empty pool.

And get this party started.

As C.E.O. and acting Operations Manager of T.T.T.F., it warms my cockleshells to have this opportunity to self-congratulate myself.  Since nothing pleases me more than pleasing myself.  Except of course, pleasing others.  Which I would do more of, if it wasn’t so hard.  And I could remember to.

This month at T.T.T.F., we are not only celebrating another arbitrary milestone in spam-driven statistics, but a two-year anniversary, as well. -Pause to let polite applause die down- That’s right, Trudge turned two this September.  And I am proud to announce that the future of Trudging Through The Fire is going to continue hinging on the fickle decision-making process of an alcoholic in recovery.  Which means it’s future is not only uncertain, but as C.E.O. I can assure any stockholders that all their fears are warranted.

I have to go to the board meetings.  So I know.  The people at the top are fucking clueless.  Oracle reading ape-shit thrown against a wall would yield richer intellectual heft than some ideas being tossed around.  The best one being to kill the whole thing.  Just take Ol’ Yeller out to the barn and tap one into the T-Zone.

My God, look at the format.  It hasn’t changed or had an upgrade the whole time.  Why?  Because the people in our Creative Marketing department are playing Grand Theft Auto 5.  Instead of coming up with exciting new ideas, they’re running over hookers in an attempt to flee the police.

It’s criminal what goes on behind the scenes here.  You’ll find more work ethic in an opium den.  And corporate couldn’t care less.  Why should they?  They’ve got their parachutes and are ready to bail at the slightest turbulence.  I’ve never seen such craven, self-seeking leadership.  These dogs are swimming the Volga and Kiev hasn’t even fallen.  And that kind of cut-and-run cowardice runs from the top hat to the toes of this organization.

Only the fact that it is not a success-driven enterprise keeps it afloat.  The whole thing  survives…because it doesn’t need to.

How creepy is that?  It’s Un-American.  Pathogenic.

But you didn’t hear any of this from me.  As C.E.O. I’m supposed to wave the flag and rally the troops.  But then again, I’m supposed to do a lot of things.  Besides elbowing old ladies on my way to the life boat.

Anyway, let us not forget why we’re all gathered here– to celebrate something by now I am so totally over– our Turquoise Silver Jubilee. Twenty-five thousand hits in two years!


And yes, that’s less than the video of the girl having an attack of diarrhea at the hot tub party got in it’s first hour on Youtube.  But we’re not trying to compete with that.  Nothing could.  The fact remains, we now have over a quarter of a hundred thousand hits!



I’m sorry, but I can’t get excited either.  It all leaves me pretty empty.  And feeling like this project was a complete waste.  A waste of time.  And a bitter disappointment.  Let’s face it, this blog is not going anywhere.  And sometimes I hate doing it.  So to continue would be insane.

Good thing all that doesn’t phase me anymore.  I can eat that bullshit like bucket chicken.  So I’m good.  Good and ready to lead us on to our third year together.  If you will only continue to trust me, I promise to lead us to places more fantastic than any Byronic nightmare.  We will scale heights that leave Olympic gods dizzy, short of breath, and wondering which arm going numb is bad.  We will plumb depths darker than any ex-child actor, and then emerge, not only unrepentant, but cocky and streetwise.

Stories of our journey will be used to frighten children into obedience.

I can think of no greater honor.

And we’ve made some good friends along the way, haven’t we?  Met me some crazy mofos through this blog, friendships I will treasure to my dying days.  And that wasn’t in our Mission Statement.  If there had been one.  No, sometimes you just have to do things, like write a blog, or paint, or practice lap dancing on the couch in the garage, for no good reason at all.  Other than it’s something to do.  And as long as you chasten yourself against the lust of result, the disappointments will be few.  The happy surprises many.

I’m just glad to be writing again, for whatever lack of a reason.  Don’t think I would have had the chance if I kept going like I was.  So that’s reason enough to mark the milestone.  If you’re still hung up on reasons.

So now, I would like to raise a glass and make a toast.  To Reason.  May it be damned for a dog.  Okay, now those of you who can do so with apparent impunity, please drink yourselves into a joyous stupor, and do something insane.

Those of us who can’t drink anymore will be watching.  Maybe getting a little crazy on ourselves over by the coffee.

Just to show you we still got it.

Thanks for reading.  Trudge on.


16 responses to “Blogula Turns Two.

  1. First, let me say Happy Birthday. And hey, Grumpa Cake! Is think you’ve accomplished a lot. In fact, just yesterday, I was driving along thinking “Marius needs to turn that blog into a book.”

    The biggest ROI for having a blog is finding that your tribe of crazies extends in fun & unexpected ways. That makes it all worth while.

    Trudge on!

    • That is the famous Grumpa Cake, as named by Keller. Some kind of German cake made by dripping batter on a rotating heated rod. It sounds exciting but the end result is so-so. It’s kind of a boring old people cake. A little dry. Not like ice cream clown cake. That’s the best. Speaking of the best, I agree with you on the best reason for having a blog is the people you meet. My tribe grows larger and stronger. And that is so beyond any “reward” I could scheme up in my brooding closet. You know, in all the bullet-points I’ve seen about what constitutes success, making a new friend, never makes it on the list. That seems odd. Friends are apparently a given when you’re jet-skiing in Speedos in the south of France. You’ll have plenty. Then.
      But of course, I know you know this, Sue Bob. Vapid, materialistic, gold-digging, toe-stepping, rung-climbing, status-seeker that you are.
      You know friendship is only a means to an end.
      heh-heh. Anyway, always grateful to be part of your tribe.
      Thanks for everything, Jr. Mints.

  2. John is getting pissed-up somewhere, dancing with a Chihuahua dressed as a pirate, but he asked me, Heinous, to pass on his very best something… I forget now. Something about your blog being the start of something beautiful… oh yeah, he said you’re a feckin idjit. No, that was me. Aw, go on. Whatever. I’m three parts to the wind. Here’s a poem for your blog celebrations…

    Trudging through the fire
    burning like a tire
    smouldering on a pyre
    blackened with desire
    Oh look, there’s a goodyear blimp.

    • Heinous, just the man I wanted to see. We’re a little worried about our Johnny Boy. Somebody saw him naked again. This time on a scooter. Holding an ax. Look, how he spends his free time is no concern of ours. We’re just wondering if he’s going to have the whereabouts to wheel us out of a jam if things go south on this next thing. We’ve got some Portuguese business men very concerned that things go right. No “popping in for a pint” before this one. If he could drive with both eyes open, it would double our chances of getting away. Talk to him. He likes you. Tell him to take a “holiday” at a health spa or some shit. See if you can sweat out enough so that he can at least grip. And paddle his feet on the pedals. Thanks, Hein.
      Here’s some Quid. I don’t know what it’s worth, but take it. The Queen won’t buy me anything back in the States. Everybody is using Vietnamese Dong. Gold Standard currency there.
      And thank you for the poem. Lovely. “The Blimp, the blimp!” A reference to Trout Mask Replica? Perhaps only subconsciously. Still, solid rhymes, Trevor.
      Sorry this took so long to get back. I was camping in Carpinteria. By the beach. Burning fire. Beans. You get it. Good for savage skull.
      So tonight I feel like a smoked and salted nut. I’ll sleep. And that is always a plus.
      Hope all is well with you and yours. Well, our version of well.
      You get it.
      That’s why I love you, wide-o.

    • Why thank you, fine sir. High-octane it up, and really so much better that it leads to no chaos greater than getting frisky with Rima. By the way, do you know who James May is? Saw his show, James May’s Man lab on BBC America the other night. Fucking great show. I’m watching it, and I’m thinking this guy reminds me of Sig. Mad genius builder and man-of-the-world. Can pick out a good Scotch and likes to blow things up. Check it out if you haven’t. Brits tend to have a smarter telly, don’t they?
      Let me know next time you’re in the ‘hood.

  3. Awwwww, your precious wittle blog is having a burthday! Two you say? As in terrible twos?

    “We will plumb depths darker than any ex-child actor, and then emerge, not only unrepentant, but cocky and streetwise.
    Stories of our journey will be used to frighten children into obedience.”

    Bring it! Sounds like good times! I’m having a teeny-weenie identity crisis right now on the blogging front, but I promise you in return that I’ll be along for the ride this year in some form or fashion, even if I have to send smoke signals from my new home in witness protection.

    You bring the bucket chicken, I’ll bring the M&M’s. Congrats on the burthday!
    Love, Christy

    • If these twos are more terrible than the ones, I just don’t think I can make it. At least that’s what I thought when I was two. I was kind of right. I still don’t think I can make it. But somehow. Still do.
      Make it.
      So tell me about this identity crisis you’re having, widdle girl. I’ll come up with one for you. I’m good like that. How about a sexy Pirate princess?
      As for witness protection, they’re sending everybody these days to Montana, so pack warm. Just hope it’s not Missoula. I’ve been there. Bad.
      But, I guess it’s better than being shot execution style. Put that in the travel brochure. “Missoula, for those who don’t have a choice.”
      Anyway, you might get Oklahoma. I hear it’s nice.
      And so are you for coming by. I know this isn’t the best neighborhood, so I appreciate you risking your rims to park. Thank you, Christy.

  4. Herr Gustaitis,

    I lost track of how many times I chortled, snorted and guffawed through this. Seriously, wickedly funny stuff here. I had started the day in a less than spiritual mood, and this got my motor running soon after. Haven’t had a sorrowful thought since I got my eyeballs onto this here today, and it’s late. The marketing department update had me howling into the wind. Very funny stuff. And I know that this is just one of your fantastic sides, in your life and in your writings. Both intertwined, I imagine. Like Cagney & Lacey.

    I did catch and enjoy (sort of like catch and release, really) what you said about negative thoughts and moving past them. Bullshit and bucket chicken (outstanding combo there, words wise) is what you called it. I think the fact that you saw this, recognized the bullshit talk, and moved on…well, you’re a better man than me. As I once heard it said, half my mind manufactures bullshit and the other half buys it. I have had those thoughts, and I sometimes have the tendency to sit in it for a while. Maybe it’s warm, or maybe it’s just old familiar stuff, but being in a pail of my own crapitude just seems *right* at times, even when it shouldn’t. I find my tolerance going down, but I get my times. Glad you don’t subscribe to that channel any more. Or at least the volume is down, and you have the picture within a picture setting on. See some nice sunsets in Dubai or watching yaks taking their morning sprinkles in the misty mountains.

    Congrats on the two years, young man. I see that little boy blowing out the candles in your work here…echoes of an innocent time, where the world opens up and seems endless. Like your new life, Marius. A work in progress, a place where what was once a dream now breathes anew. That little boy is still in there…just gotta listen for him. And I think you hear him a lot more now than you did before. He’s a good boy, a kind boy, a gentle boy.

    Wonderful stuff…and thanks.


    • Thank you. For calling me out as a good boy. Dude. You wrecked my street cred. S’aright. I don’t need it. I spend most of my time in my house. Not out in the street. I should get home cred. Is there such a thing, Pauly? If there is, I want to fill out the forms and get it.
      That’s what a homey should be. A guy who likes his wallpaper. And a book. Homey.
      Oh man do I get the “picture within a picture.” The Tether. I find that if I can’t stop from freaking out about something, I can at least detach enough to watch it, and then, like you said, maybe glance over at a gazelle galloping in a sun-setting savannah. That’s part of that whole “cease fighting everything” thing, no? If I don’t push back too hard on any eruption of fear it usually gasses out in a few mins. So much better than bottling it up, and going Postal. Or thirsty.
      It was sooooo important for me to feel exactly the way I wanted to, and all the time, that…well, let’s say I took desperate measures.
      I’m better about feeling bad these days.
      Right now, I have a head cold that has found suitable lodging in my chest. I feel crappy enough, but earlier today, had a bad exchange with my mom. So that adds even less to the merriment side of this evenings mood. There’s a slight dread in my gut when I think about having to deal with her tomorrow. I have New England clam chowder hanging off my lungs, and my face feels too hot from sunburn. None of which I would’ve checked off on my sushi menu. But there they are, and right now I feel less than fabulous.
      So what?
      That should be one of the slogans on the walls of the rooms. Along with “You’re pissing on today.” So what? The Serenity Prayer in a nut-shell. Basically, right?
      Caring too much about how I feel is pretty much what got me into my mess. Not enough that, too much this, or any of that. Judging whatever state I may be currently in against some ideal. Thereby cometh much hurt. I have documented cases with signed affidavits.
      My buddy Dave recently got a job in a foundry. It’s about as close to Hell as any set designer can come up with. He gets up at six, gets kicked out of the mission, goes to work smelting ore, shoveling molten brimstone into casts, or whatever the fuck they do, for sixteen to twenty hours. He get’s back to the mission for four hours of sleep and has to do it all again. But you should hear him laughing over the phone as he tells me about it. There’s a mad glee. It’s so bad, it’s perfect.
      And that, my friend, is the New Man. The Beast we were warned of.
      A true pantheist.
      Embraces everything.
      Including not embracing everything.
      He is free to walk in God’s air.
      Nothing kills him.
      Everything makes him stronger.

      Anyway, Paul, I’m glad I was able to have added a few chorts and snorts to your day. Just by that, I feel like my job is done. Fuck working at a foundry.
      Peach and love,

  5. Love it! Thanks for the giggles this morning! And Congrats on 2 years and 25K! Clap, clap, clink clink… with my gigantic coffee cup! Woot woot! And I sure hope to learn new things here, to scare my children into obedience with!!:)

    • Thanks Maggie. I’m the guy who claps with his coffee. How many times can I scald my lap, before I learn? I forget it’s there and some guy gets up for his thirty days, and woot woot my junk is burning! I am a notorious slow-learner. I think it comes with the territory. If you catch my driftage.
      Well no more drifting. Full speed ahead.
      Much love,

  6. Hello,

    I’ve just gotten to the party. I don’t know how I found your blog exactly but it probably was from Googling (I hate that word), oK, doing a search on some obscure musical reference. It might have been “Lester Bangs” since Lou Reed recently passed (or it might have been Trout Mask Replica, since I am mourning Frank’s passing, it’s been 20 years. Oh no, I can’t believe it.

    Basically, I love your writing. I appreciate storytelling with a similar point of view as my own. Theres nothing like recovery to give you that perspective. It is unique.

    Another Dave

    I have a lot of catching up to do but I love it. I am grateful for your Muse.

    It would be selfish of me to ask that you continue cause if you quit you are still there but my connection id gone. Connections are good for me right now. I’m going though an involuntary life-overhaul and have way too much time on my hands.

    • Well, my dear pawn in the game of life, there’s no such thing as being late to this party. All the people who came early are dead. (just kidding, they’re all alive and well as far as I know) Regardless, on behalf of Trudge Inc. I would like to welcome you with a warm, spine-maligning bear hug. Whether it was Bangs or Beefheart that brought you, matters not. It’s great to have you here.
      I, too, can’t believe it’s been 20 years since Frank went to the Joe’s garage in the sky. I’ve been fortunate enough to make friends with Terry Bozzio, and as you can imagine, he has some great Zappa and Beefheart anecdotes.
      Here’s one tidbit- He said that old Don Van Vliet would carry his art supplies around with him wherever he went. That’s fine, except that the Captain would carry everything in one of those plastic mesh bags that were meant for grapefruits. So of course all the pens and brushes would constantly be falling out. Because they’re skinnier than grapefruits. He could have solved the problem by using, oh I don’t know, like if he somehow found, a paper bag, let’s say. But that’s the easy way out. The coward’s path. And Beefheart wouldn’t have any of it. He kept his stuff in a wide-net grapefruit bag. Fuck all the stuff falling out.
      I don’t know exactly why I love that story so much. I guess because it showed me that, as a prophet of Weirdness, Captain Beefheart walked the talk. Bat-chain puller. Puller puller.
      As for having too much time on your hands, feel free to drop me a line @ . Fill me in on this involuntary life-overhaul caper you’re working on. Sounds interesting. I can’t imagine what would force someone’s hand to do such a thing. heh-heh.
      For what it’s worth, my life is nothing but an involuntary life-overhaul. Except maybe these days there’s a little more voluntary in there somewhere.
      Anyway, I’m told that I’m a pretty good at creating a comfortable spleen-venting zone, so I encourage you to use my facilities.
      Rants are welcome.
      Your new friend,

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