“How do you make God laugh? Make a plan.”

I never planned on quoting Woody Allen (in fact, I didn’t know Woody Allen was originally responsible for that particular piece of dark humor)  – to open this orientation page of sorts, but as you know, constructing a plan usually means inviting unforeseen variables. Truthfully, I first heard the witticism while reading an interview with Ben Gibbard, the lead singer and lyricist for one of my most treasured bands, Death Cab for Cutie.  I know he wasn’t the creator of that saying, but that article was my first exposure to it and it’s stuck with me ever since. You, reader, needed to know, though. I have to attribute the quote. That’s journalism 101, to which I am a degree holder. I certainly didn’t say it because I’m not that smart. Maybe Woody Allen didn’t say it either. Maybe Wikiquotes is lying. I don’t know. It’s irrelevant.

I began the concept for this site with those words as a jumping off point. Back in April, I was throwing one of my many annual thought parties (which I do frequently). Once again, I was the only one who showed up, so I spiked the punch and drunkenly wailed on and on about how miserable my life was to myself. Apparently the workings of my surroundings remain devastating. Apparently they always will be. The difference at this meeting of my mind was that I had found a solution to what was troubling me. Recognizing pain and acting on it is typically the first step toward redemption. It has been for me. I decided that I needed to return to the only thing I’ve ever been good at, my only form of personal escape, and that is writing.

I don’t enjoy the process of writing, never will. I do, however, enjoy having written. Sometimes the satisfaction of a finished product outweighs the agony I went through in getting it to a substantially less embarrassing place. Sometimes it doesn’t. In any creative capacity, I imagine, there is a yearning for perfection. For the definitive idea. Even when you’re unconditionally aware that nothing in the universe is without flaws. For me, writing anything – a news article, a column, a short story, a review, whatever –  isn’t unlike an exorcism. After I’ve drawn out my deepest demons (or, to revert back to a slightly less morbid analogy, imagination), I’m always emotionally exhausted. I don’t want to assemble words together ever again. I feel like my brain has given birth to three “Inception” sequels. Three inferior “Inception” sequels. Then I begin an intervention with myself and harvest the reasonable argument that at least someone will read it, someone will like it, someone will hate it, someone will react to it and do it all over again.

Buried in this quest for perfection, of course, is the deflating truth that’s it’s all for nothing. Which brings me to cloud blueprints. A cloud is ever-changing. In a lot of ways, it’s unquantifiable while also being absolute. You can’t box it in or map it out. Clouds evaporate and reform, lower and rise. Clouds just go with it. You can see where they’re going but not where they’ve been. Just when you feel like you can touch one, sit on one or – my favorite aspiration – bounce on one , you only cut through it along with the breeze.  A cloud can be the most beautiful image you’ve ever seen, or it can level your home to the ground. A cloud is unpredictable. It’s also reliable. Designing such a paradox would be a fools errand.

I wanted to maybe philosophically (and without a doubt pretentiously) capture that kind of range here. I wanted to create a space where any type of subject matter, or cloud, can formulate without restriction. A blueprint of a cloud is a great irony because one can’t exist. You can’t plan out spontaneity, just as you can’t really plan out your day. Not really. You could slip on an old newspaper lying at the top  of the stairs on your way out to an interview and spend the rest of the day in the E.R. Because your roommate finished reading the Opinions section at precisely the same time that you made morning coffee, and placed it conveniently on the edge of the top stair, at an angle that created a hazardous crease perpendicular to the fold of the paper, all but inviting an eight foot tumble, you missed the interview and didn’t get the job. You ruined your Calvin Klein trousers with a fresh blend of hazelnut decaf and you may have missed the opportunity to meet your future spouse. Until you meet someone who appears to actually be your soul mate, the result of taking up a different occupation as a Safety Coordinator and meeting another victim of newspaper treachery.

None of this may work. I could be wasting my time. I have no illusions. Even though I consider myself a professional daydreamer, I know when to wake up.  If you live your life in a castle of glass, the view is charming until a storm rolls through. You can’t fully appreciate the light until you embrace the darkness. In other words, I believe in karma. I believe that blind faith can be rewarded – not religious faith, leaps of faith – and ignorance (eventually) will be punished. I’ve made decisions in the past that validate having hope. Hope is once again the crutch I’m leaning on for the readership of Cloud Blueprints, a celebration of both overcast topics and sunny prose, imperfect schematics and flawless catastrophes. I’m just rolling with it. I’ll provide the best insight that I can, if you’ll have me.

This isn’t a film review site, though my opinions on countless movies are unquestionably going to appear (I can’t help myself, it’s in my blood). This isn’t a platform for me to indulge in my sense of humor, though if many passages don’t make you literally laugh out loud, I don’t believe I’m doing my job. This isn’t a platform for me to wax poetic, though don’t be surprised if I go abstract in posts now and again. And, most definitely, this is not a site dedicated to discussing clouds. This is my blog. In effect, this DNA strand of the Internet is about everything.

~ GO