You picked the subjects. Your wishes are my commands. Here we go:
Bella suggested good book titles.
That's easy enough. My favorite novel is The Great Gatsby. Those of you who blew off the reading assignment in high school “just cheated yourself.” The teacher was right! So make amends. Read this wonderful tome chock full of unrequited love, unchecked ambition, friendship, bittersweet sentiment and disillusionment vis-a-vis the American Dream.
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance was great, too. Atlas Shrugged is a literary masterpiece that will keep you flipping through 1100 pages. Both of these feature some heavy philosophical stuff that will appeal to niche readers.
I read a few psychology books that changed my life: Stumbling on Happiness, The Psychology of Self-Esteem, The Peter Prescription, Your Erroneous Zones. These books go beyond pop psych and delve into the science of thought. Interesting reads, all, even if you're already deliriously happy and fulfilled.
Animal Farm and Brave, New World are incredible satires.
The Bell Curve is the best sociology book I've ever read (send hate mail to: email@example.com). Don't believe the critics. Read the book and decide whether it has merit.
I can recommend tons of political thought and current events books, but they'll only appeal to readers who already believe what the author writes before the reader reads it. That's how politics is: we look for affirmation, not clarification.
Hammer asked how I chose my blog name.
I love the sight of lightning bugs in the evening. I wanted my blog to evoke the same feeling in my readers as I have when I watch those little lightning bugs float and beam in the distance. I figured my blog was just little flashes of insight that don't mean much, but that, hopefully, induce a sense of joy, delight and mystery, just like those little lightning bugs.
Random Moments suggested a bad date story.
I never had a bad date. Some were lackluster. But most went well. But I have something close to a bad date – I planned to ask a girl on a date, but I committed the biggest faux pas conceivable and consequently aborted mission. I still cringe when I think about this.
I liked a girl who worked at a fried chicken restaurant. I popped in with plans of asking her out. With some subtle maneuvering and a bit of conniving, I got her sitting at my table. We talked. The conversation flowed like Mozart concerto. She had a sparkle in her eye. I had this girl stuck in my tractor beam. The poor thing had no chance of escape. In a few short hours, I'd be boarding her “Milennium Falcon,” if you know what I mean. What I mean is, I'd be fucking her soon, for those of you slow on the uptake.
It was time for me to leave so she could finish the end of her shift. She stood up. I stood up. I followed her down the aisle. Then, a bizarre cataclysmic anomaly of physics manifested and arrested fate. I still don't understand this phenomenon. I doubt Carl Sagan could explain it. Anyway, I punched the girl. Hard. Imagine something on the order of a prime Mike Tyson after his opponent mocked his speech impediment. Now multiply that punch by the speed of light. That's how hard I decked this poor bitch.
Here's how it happened. Like I wrote, I was following her. She stopped to get my food tray. I raised my hand to execute a patented shoulder embrace, a soft gesture meant to say, don't worry; I'll get it; you just keep moving your fine self along your original trajectory and let ole LBB take care of that tray. A subtle touch here and there is the difference between “just friends” and “tits-and-ass soup.” One can use the touch to either set the mood, or assess conditions and plan accordingly. Then again, what do I know about romance? I punched a girl out while trying to seduce her.
Anyway, she stopped abruptly. The calculations for my shoulder-caressing gesture, therefore, were off by several inches. Instead of my open hand meeting ever-so-delicately with her shoulder, the punching side of my hand whacked the living crap out of her scapula. It was a haymaker. The impulse force was immense. It was one of those hits were all the kinetic energy transfers from the striker to the object. Baseball players and golfers call it the “sweet spot.” I literally couldn't have hit this girl any harder if I'd tried. The whole restaurant heard the punch as it reverberated off the walls and from plates of friend chicken and rolls. The next day, the local newspaper featured a story about an anomalous reading on a seismograph outside of Las Angeles, California.
She was in pain for like, 10 minutes. She was rubbing her shoulder and wincing. I stood there, speechless and sniveling, at the zenith of my douchebaggery. She realized it was accidental. But that didn't make it any less painful. Do you know how hard it is to recover a romantic interlude after you punch the girl out? Let me assure you, my friend, that it's almost impossible. I apologized about 56 times and bid the poor thing goodnight. I never disclosed my intent that evening to ask her for a date.
Ms. Puddin requested I write about the craziest place I had sex and the craziest place I farted.
I had sex with my future wife in the basement of the business at which we both worked. Neither of us works for that organization anymore. So I suppose I can disclose the fact that we engaged in sexual congress while on the clock. Because I'm still married to the girl, I can't disclose further details. Let me assure the reader that nothing is more thrilling than both parties getting paid while in sexual congress.
I let a fart rip at work a couple years ago, but I played it off beautifully. I was terribly embarrassed, but to the several ladies within earshot, I appeared to be deliberately flatulating for comedic effect. I had them convinced I was proud of it. I had only milliseconds to pose as a comedic farter. In that time I recovered from the shock, collected myself and hit my mark. It was brilliant. Sir Lawrence Olivier couldn't have cuddled one out with more poise and grace than I.
RoxRocks asked me to write about my biggest regret.
Great question. Let me see. My biggest regret is letting shyness rob me of a robust childhood. I wish I would have realized that shyness was a form of selfishness in time to enjoy the thousands of kids I ignored and shunned at school. Instead, I drudged my way through school speaking with few, knowing even fewer, joining virtually nothing, and cheating myself of what would have been some amazing times. I checked my shyness at the door years ago and simultaneously discovered the joy of other people – even though most people suck. I have no tolerance for shy people. My shyness derived from self-centeredness and conceit. It's the same with others, I suspect.
R.E.H. invited me to write about the deep meaning of sexual intercourse in all it's different forms.
I don't believe sex has a deep meaning. I believe it's a simple act. I also believe it triggers physiological events, such as pleasure-inducing hormones, that trick us into thinking something profound has taken place, much like hallucinogenic drugs do. It's evolution. Sex is important business in biological terms. So is sticking around to care for offspring. The way to trick humans into having sex often – and with a single partner, ideally – is to give them the vague sense that sexual intercourse is a profound act transcending biology and delving into love, spirituality, etc. As cynical as I may sound, I LOVE this effect. But I know Darwin is bamboozling me.
NWJR requested embedded microprocessor design.
That subject exceeds my scope of expertise. In fact, I'm void of expertise in any variety. But I can't let a great blogger and loyal reader leave empty handed. So I'll offer this. I'm fascinated by Moore's Law, a mathematical relationship between microchip processing power versus time (at ideal production cost), that has proved remarkably accurate over the last 40 years of computer science. Moore postulated that microchip processors double in power every 18 months. I have my own law regarding computer power, and I thank NWJR for giving me the opportunity to publish it. It goes like this:
Programmers will negate the gains quantified in Moore's Law by inflating code inefficiency to outstrip processing power such that (exempting improvements in graphics), computer users will become no more productive than at any previous time, and such that the likelihood of an application either freezing or pissing off the user remains constant. As with girls, programs get prettier with time, but they remain just as illogical and aggravating.
The Peanut Queen requested a sex story. I have several, but the worthwhile ones involve the wife. As I don't have her expressed written consent to publish our sexual adventures, I must pass on this request.
For Tornwordo: How much puke could a spook gook puke if a spook gook could puke puke?
I'm still working on the rest. Please know I'll address all of your fine picks. Thanks to all of you for your input.
Much love and regards,