Monday, May 17, 2010

Half a Krapp of Something Abbatt (=3.33)

NOTE: I've been told by a couple of folks now that the original title of this post, which came to me in a dream, is insulting to Jewish people. I had absolutely no intention of insulting anyone, and I have great respect for the strength and courage of the Jews down through history. I would not willingly give offense to them, and so I've changed the title.

The title of my post today came from last night’s dream. I dreamt I was reading a book and found this line. I thought to myself in the dream that it made no sense. But across the day it’s grown on me. I think it’s going to become one of my “sayings.” Aren’t you all happy for me?

I’ve also rediscovered something the last few days that I knew but wasn’t applying. I’ve been writing longer hours but often finding my concentration fading in and out. I’d try to focus, only to find my mind wandering again a moment later. When my concentration waned I’d click over to my email window to see if I’d gotten anything interesting. Then it occurred to me. Half a krapp of something abbatt, what was I doing with my email open while I was trying to write?

The mind doesn’t much like to work and will seek any way it can to get out of it. You can’t give it an easy escape. I shut down all my windows except the word processing one, and, amazingly, the work started to flow much better! Who’d a thunk it?

I shouldn’t have to remind myself of such things, but it’s a habit I pick up while school is in session. My days at work are constantly interrupted, many times by emails that require immediate (or near immediate) attention. That’s a habit I just broke as I move into full summer writing mode.
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55 comments:

laughingwolf said...

good idea, charles... so is the krapp bit ;)

David Cranmer said...

Half a krapp of shabbatt! It's catching on. Ha. Love it.

Paul R. McNamee said...

Sounds like a Cabbalistic ritual ingredient...

SQT said...

I swear, I'm getting more ADD as I get older. If I try to do anything, but mostly write, I'm prone to distraction like nobody's business. I absolutely get this.

Ello said...

I cracked up when I saw your post title! Love it! And closing the email is a great idea. Must try to do same... ARGH! too hard!

Charles Gramlich said...

Laughingwolf, you can't make "krapp" like that up.

David, I should copyright it eh?

Paul, could be for all I know. I hope I didn't just insult someone's religion. At least someone who will try to kill me.

SQT, I've found it to be pretty bad for me lately too. Maybe this will help, though.

Ello, it is difficult, but be strong!

sage said...

I too have a job where I am constantly interrupted and then, instead of getting back to writing, I read your blog! It's interesting how things come out of our dream.s

David J. West said...

I have to do the same thing or I start surfing.

I am certain a novel I am about to submit would have been done in a fourth of the time If I wasn't surfing.

Richard Prosch said...

I totally relate to the distractions! Like the dog in UP: "Squirrel!"

Here's something to ponder. Would a full Krapp of Shabbat equal the "number of the beast?" (But, y'know...with a, uh, decimal point in there.)

Angie said...

I try that sort of thing periodically, but with mixed results. If the words don't want to flow, then they don't, even if I don't have e-mail or whatever as a ready distraction. And if they are flowing, then having e-mail open doesn't matter. :/

Angie

Heff said...

I have to tune out certain things (blogging) to get work done quite often.

and NOTE TO HEFF : Charles Gramlich doesn't think Ac/Dc is worth a half a krapp of shabbatt. I'll "heavy up" the setlist, dude, lol !

ivan said...

Remember that Monty Python line about Norman (Two Sheds) Taylor or somebody.
They asked Taylor about his nickname and he replied he was born between two sheds...No brainer, actually.

But "Norman Two Sheds Taylor", with the John Cleese humour sounds like a crockfull more than Half a krapp of shabbatt!
...The Two Sheds sounded a lot like two shits.

(Oh well, I think TomCat said I was become a little obtuse of late...Maybe even abstruse?)

=3.33?

ArtSparker said...

Um, actually...shabbat is Hebrew for Sabbath. Just saying...

Charles Gramlich said...

sage, yeah, but my blog is important. ;)

David J. West, it's easier to turn the email off than it is to not check it if it's up. At least for me.

Richard Prosch, my goodness man, I didn't even realize what a full krapp of shabbatt would equal. Now you may be on to something!

Angie, it seems to make a difference for me getting 'into' the flow though.

Heff, actually, I thought you guys rocked it pretty damn good. But if you can't insult your friends is life worth living? My wife always sings the chorus of that one as: "Dirty deeds. Done with Sheep. Baaaaa"

ivan, the 3.33 confuses me too. but 3.33, 1/3rd roughly, is about half a krapp of shabbatt. That much is clear.

ArtSparker, Lana pointed that out to me. I'm not Jewish so it's not from my back ground but that may be where the word came from in the dream. I do not intend it to relate to the sabbath, though. And I'm sure my mind wasn't going in that direction.

Steve Malley said...

I'm struggling with this issue myself lately. I beat my Minesweeper addiction only to have Soliltaire claim me... :)

Shauna Roberts said...

I have the same bad habit of checking my email when I can't think what to write next. Unfortunately, I get enough urgent emails that I can't just close Entourage for the afternoon.

JR's Thumbprints said...

With so many gadgets in our everchanging society I'm starting to think we're all getting to be A.D.D. Ironically, it seems as if my writing is much better when done in the presence of convicts.

jodi said...

Charles, I think you have a winner here! Isn't it amazing how opportunistic our brains are?

James Reasoner said...

Best blog post title ever!

Ocean Girl said...

It came in your dream? It must have a meaning for you to discover.

(I don't believe in dreams, it is just our subconscious mind working)

BernardL said...

Whatever works... um... even that line. :)

Travis Cody said...

I do the same thing. If I'm not reading and answering an email, I'm wondering why someone hasn't responded yet to an email I sent.

But Huzzah for full summer writing mode!

Scott said...

Charles,

Dreams can be funny...like when I dreamt that I saw boxes of Limited Edition Ted Nugent Wango Tango Honey-Nut Cheerios at the grocery store.

I'm going to try to work 'half a krapp of shabbatt' into as many conversations as I can, if that's Ok with you. :)

Charles Gramlich said...

Steve Malley, mine is Age of Empires.

Shauna Roberts, I can’t either during the school year but I can now.

JR, hum, there’s a story in there somewhere.


jodi, or out of control perhaps!

James Reasoner, not a bad one if I do say so myself.

Ocean Girl, it provided me with a blog post, or part of one. I think it’s probably done it’s part. :)

BernardL, it even rhymes.

Travis Cody, it’s addicting for sure.

ArtSparker said...

Yes. Did you know Kafka wrote a book called Krapp's Last Tape?

Charles Gramlich said...

Scott, you are welcome to use it to your heart's desire. I'd eat some Ted Nugent cheerios. Maybe without the nuts, though.

laughingwolf said...

in north america, once published, even online, it's already copyrighted... as you know :)

Rachel V. Olivier said...

That's a good reminder.

cs harris said...

I'm guilty as charged, too. Unfortunately, every so often I get something from NY that needs to be dealt with immediately, so I can't turn it off. It's why I like going up to the lake. No excuses or distractions.

Charles Gramlich said...

laughingwolf, the next step is t-shirts maybe.

Rachel V. Olivier, I'm still practicing it as of tonight. Although I've taken a break after a couple of solid hours of work.

Candy, and I like to get out on the deck with my laptop. Can't do it at night though because of the mosquitoes.

Cloudia said...

Great "catch."
Know thyself is the key to wisdom, Charles! Happy Summer writing.




Aloha from Waikiki!


Comfort Spiral

the walking man said...

Is that a third of a krapp then? Not wanting to exert yourself on the sabbath?

Charles Gramlich said...

ArtSparker, I did not know that.

Cloudia, what if you know yourself and don't much care for yourself? lol.

Mark, one might think that but maybe half a Krapp of Shabbatt is one third of something else, something I haven't dreamed of yet.

Avery DeBow said...

The windows are indeed evil. That stupid little red circle that pops up over my mail icon with the amount of new messages I have is really distracting. I can see it out of the corner of my eye, beckoning. And it is so much more interesting than work, and might be important, and I'll just pop over to it for a quick second to see... Ten minutes later, I'm knee deep in the web and have forgotten everything.

ivan said...

As every schoolboy knows (hee!), it was Thomas Crapper who popularized the flush toilet.

(...My first flush of sucess on looking him up in Wikipedia).

Charles Gramlich said...

Avery, it could be mind control exerted by the computer god that rules us all from the shadows.

Ivan, well, my saying may not become quite as famous as crap but it's all I got.

Lana Gramlich said...

...but I hear "Age of Empires" sounds from your side of the house. ;)

(BTW, I wouldn't use that saying around any Jews, considering they won't understand the context & that the sound of the words "crap" & "shabbat" used together could be taken VERY wrongly. Make sure you leave out your German ancestry, too.)

Charles Gramlich said...

Lana, hum, isn't it spelled shabbat though? I don't mean anything, of course. It's just a term that came to me in a dream and having no real background in Judaism I know nothing about it. You know me and I've never been one to insult anyone's religion.

Angie said...

I have to say that an extra T isn't going to make it look like anything less than what it looks like, and that if you use that expression in the hearing (or type it in view) of a pius Jewish person, or any Jewish person who's sensitive to anti-Semitism, they're quite likely to assume that's exactly what it's meant as, regardless of spelling details. :/ It's like adding an extra R to the N-word -- it really wouldn't help, and the fact that you didn't intend any offense wouldn't make a difference.

Angie

Charles Gramlich said...

Angie, and here I thought it was funny. Because of the rhyme and the Krapp. Of course, the intent is what it is all about. And people who don't understand that are the ones with the issue. If someone hates me for that then I can't find myself terribly upset. If people would just laugh a little bit, things would be a lot better. I grew up Catholic but I've heard a million Catholic jokes that were intentionally mean spirited. I've got long hair and I've heard a million long haired jokes that were mean spirited. Even those didn't bother me, much less some totally off the wall thing that had nothing to do with me or my world. It's a shame we can't have a little fun with life without worrying about offending someone with too much time and a chip on their shoulder.

Greg Schwartz said...

"Half a krapp of something abbatt" has a great ring to it!

laughingwolf said...

can't be pc with everyone, especially when the 'offense' was unintentional... no way in hell to know EVERY culture's nuances....

Bernita said...

A few well-placed apostrophes( K'rapp, A'batt) and your expression adapts to SF.

I should be writing, but I wanted to check out Charles's blog...

Charles Gramlich said...

Greg Schwartz, I almost changed it to Half a Krapp of Labatt, but then I realized there is a type of Canadian beer spelled that way, and I sure didn't want to insult the beer folks or the whole country of Canada. ;)

laughingwolf, see my comment to Greg above about not wanting to insult Canada!

Bernita, excellent. It sounds pretty Klingonish.

laughingwolf said...

i'm sure all the drinkers of john labatt brews would love the publicity, charles ;) lol

only ones to take offense: those whose brands you did not plug! hahaha

Lana Gramlich said...

Generally speaking, but I'm referring more to the sounds of the spoken words than the look of the written ones (which are fine, actually.) My comment was written a bit tongue in cheek--sorry it didn't come off that way.

ivan said...

Sounds like tonguetwisters we had to practise while in broadcast school at Ryerson Poytech.

"Half a Krapp of Something Abbatt" is durn hard to say.

Just like "rubber baby buggy bumpers"
and "she sells seashells down by the seashore."
Corollary:
Is this the switch for Ipswitch, Miss?

One graduate, who finally got a job with the CBC here piped up one foggy morning with:

"This is the Canadian Broadcorping Castration."

...Actually back in those zany days
a cable puller would start, as s joke, fondling the broadcaster-- and for the reader on air,there was no defense but to keep on reading...what else could the poor announcer-victim say?
...That or set his script on fire just to see how he would ad lib.

Small wonder some would call those CBC employees "those Jarvis Street Degenerates."

er, I think some of them were. :)

Charles Gramlich said...

Laughingwolf, I imagine you are right. STrangely, I just had a dream about people stealilng beer.

Lana, as soon as you mentioned how it sounded I should have changed it. The possible connection had just never occurred to me.

Ivan, I wonder if there is a market for writing tongue twisters. Maybe I could supplement my income that way.

laughingwolf said...

nazdarovja! ;)

ivan said...

Laughingwolf,

Nice driveway.

Richard Prosch said...

Y'know...the more I run this through the mumbling voice in my head, the more it sounds like Yosemite Sam cursing, as in: "Brakkin' frakkin' haffa krappa shumpin' abba." Can't you just hear it?

Charles Gramlich said...

Laughingwolf and Ivan, ;)

Richard, you know it does sound like that. Hum. And I haven't watched that in a long time, but I have watched a lot of it.

laughingwolf said...

:D lol

Merisi said...

Oh yes, diversions.
Would you believe that I can concentrate on working while sitting in a coffee house full of people? I wonder if anybody has ever researched the phenomenon. ;-)

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