Good news. Candy & Cigarettes is getting an upgrade. Don't know when. Don't know how. But I've talked to Jesus, who handles all Joe-related web work. He's down. We're going to marry my website www.joeclifford.com) with the blog, install some fancy new graphics, smoke, fire, actual candy (probably Skittles) and cigarettes (most certainly Camels, my brand of choice back when I smoked, and a shout-out to the Boys of Belvedere). Might even add some laser cats (http://tinyurl.com/3jgx68t), really upgrade the goddamn thing. Like Ryan Reynolds.
I have nothing against Alanis Morrissette. I mean, I think her music is shit. Except this:
Which is fucking brilliant. Still, going from Morrissette to Scarlett Johansson has to be the single biggest upgrade in the history of dating, making Reynolds my hero.
The new blog will be like the original trilogy of Star Wars after it's been given a total Lucasification.
Jesus and I have been talking, and he's got a lot of ideas. Jesus did my website (www.joeclifford.com), or rather he installed it; the actual site design was done by Tracey Snelling (http://traceysnelling.com/home.html), who also is a part of SPAD, the organization that sponsors Lip Service West.
I decided it was time to invest some money in this blog, which, for some reason, you people seem to love. Beats fuckall out of me why you read it every day. But you do, and I feel I owe you something better than the blogging version of the .99 store with cheap graphic baubles and Mary candle widgets. And it's for purely selfish reasons as well. Candy & Cigarettes gets read more than all my short stories and poetry and novel (excerpts) combined. Not even close.
Like I said, not sure how long this will take. Jesus usually works pretty fast. His turnaround is generally three days or so. But that's for the smaller stuff. When he was handling bigger jobs, like my site, it has been closer to 40 days (and nights). Sorry.
Now for no particular reason, other than this is funny as fuck, here is an article from the Onion.
One night, Jim, you had a dream. You dreamed you were walking along the beach with Me. Across the sky flashed scenes from your life. For each scene, you noticed two sets of footprints in the sand; one belonging to you, and the other to Me. When the last scene of your life flashed before you, you looked back at the footprints in the sand. You noticed that many times along the path of your life there was only one set of footprints. You also noticed that it happened at the very lowest and saddest times in your life. This bothered you, and you questioned Me about it. "Lord, you said that once I decided to follow you, you would walk with me all the way. But I have noticed that during the most troublesome times in my life, there is only one set of footprints. I don't understand why when I needed you most you would leave me." I replied, "My precious, precious child. I love you and I would never leave you. During your times of trial and suffering, when you see only one set of footprints, it was then that I carried you."
Bullshit, Jesus, Those Are Obviously My Footprints
BY JIM STEINHAUER
Sorry to have to break it to you, Jesus, but those are obviously my footprints.
Look closely. See how those footprints have that wavy tread pattern on the bottom, just like my docksiders? If they were yours, they'd make a sandal mark, like the footprints next to mine a little farther up the beach when I was going through better times.
See the footprints at the time of my divorce? You'll notice that the sandaled footprints drift off from the docksider ones. They lead to that picnic bench over there, the one with the cigarette butts scattered all over. It appears that in my darkest hour, instead of carrying me, you sat on a stump and had a couple of smokes. Real helpful, Jesus. Real helpful.
Sure, the sandal footprints came back when I got that big job promotion, but right at the point where my son Tommy died, they veer off again. Actually, now that I look again, it seems like there's an unusually large distance between each of the sandal-wearer's footprints around the time of my son's death, as if the person were actually running away.
I'm sorry, Jesus, but your whole story about carrying me during my worst moments just doesn't gibe with the facts. Besides, you'd certainly think a person would remember being carried by the Son of God, right? That's a pretty memorable thing, wouldn't you say? Well, either I've got amnesia, or you're a liar, because I don't recall ever being toted around by the Messiah. The only thing I do remember about my worst moments on the path of life is the horrible feeling of plodding along the cold sand all alone while icy rain fell in sheets and chill winds assailed me.
So thanks, Jesus. Thanks a bunch. You were really there for me when things got tough. Asshole.
Anyway, as we wait for Jesus to get ready my new and improved site, which I promise will still have all the cool, interactive features you've come to know and love, basically, You Tube videos and goofy pictures of cats, and, oh, the writing, because everyone loves large, uninterrupted blocks of text, just see yesterday's post, which took, like, 12 hours to write, and which, like, 6 people read (but I am not a literary snob; I give the people what they want),
maybe you can start thinking of what topics you'd like to see covered. Love and acceptance beats being alone.
You can't predict what posts are going to be a hit. Yesterday's post (http://tinyurl.com/7zkcqev) was as well written a piece as I've put on here. Took me a couple hours to finish. And it proved woefully unpopular. The Burning Man series (available in I, II, and III form at the righthand side of this block) has been wildly successful (shit probably gonna get turned into a movie one day), and given the topicality of the subject, perhaps that isn't to be totally unexpected. But when a post like "Russian Corpse Dolls" http://tinyurl.com/7owg8oh goes through the roof, I have to wonder. Then again, maybe I answered my own question. Like Miss Hallbach's 8th grade, current events rule.
Here's a look at some of the most popular posts to date, in no particular order, the three Burning Man posts, "Top Ten Insults I've Received from Women"; "Hate Mail"; "Perfect Day"; "Top Ten Dating Disasters." You might think that lists factor favorably, but "The Making of a Good Mixed Tape" tanked about as badly as "Island Living Pt. II." One characteristic seems to cut through all of the these, a certain mean-spiritedness, I guess you'd call it. Except the one about my wedding, which was pretty fucking sweet. I think. Trying to extrapolate what a hit makes, I guess we have lists, snarky, topical. Hmm.
Who the fuck knows. But here is your chance to have Joe write on topics you'd like to read about. This is because A.) I love you, my fans. And B.) because I am running out of fucking things to write about. And a goofy cat video out of context is just a goofy cat video.
And to my friends in fucking Micronesia, please please please drop a line. If only to say, "Hey, my name is Yhoselin/Danniel de Jesus (the two most popular Micronesian names), and I like...random You Tube clips, goofy pictures of cats, and short blogs of text."