It takes a while, but eventually you can appreciate certain types of internet commenter for their inner beauty, their style, their utter poetic ridiculousness.
One that struck me today was the hotness judge. People who prattle on endlessly about how "hot" various celebrities are. "Yeah, she wasn't that hot, I wouldn't do her" they pronounce, sadly, as if a great tragedy has occurred. As if the twitching of their trousersnake is somehow important in the vastness of the universe, and, damn it, people need to know. As if successful, young, attractive, wealthy actors need their genital's approval.
These people are useful in long comment threads as punctuation. Often they snap me out of a reading trance and let me move on to other pastures. They are also handy if I need to, for whatever reason, shake my head in amused dismay.
There's other types, of course. Perhaps a taxonomic breakdown will come in handy. There's quite a few related types to the hotness judge, people who weigh in on what they like about anything solemnly, from cars to planets, jewelry to yachts, but primarily things they a) have zero chance of ever acquiring and 2) were not, indeed, asked for their opinion in regards to. I'll see if I have the wherewithal to do so.
Well, in the last few weeks I got a job, diverticulitis, and a girl baby. I saw her ultrasound-represented face a couple days ago. Early signs point to "cute baby".
Being on antibiotics has kept me from drinking, and I've gone to bed earlier as a result. I'm interested in what will happen that first night I feel okay to have a beer again. I'm doing okay not drinking.
My kid came home from school for her 21st birthday party. Indicative of my recent life: I was hired, celebrated a birthday milestone, had a baby shower, and was hospitalized all in less than 20 days. Quite a run.
I'm enjoying a song by the band Deer Tick right now. Quite good.
The house renovation is slow since I basically have one day a week of skilled labor, the rest of the time is just me and Des. But it's happening. This week is "no sink week" in the kitchen. I don't think it's as catchy as "Shark Week" but it may take off. Perhaps a viral video is in order.
I don't take enough videos. I bet I could do something fun with them, and it's good practice to keep my editing skills up to snuff. This week will also be "video week". Sinkless video week.
Fringe is quite a good show. They manage to convey quite a complex set of motivations and emotions for characters, without a lot of the typical blank spots TV characters must have to make a season work. I'm sad it's over. I guess there may be a movie?
I keep getting scratches and cuts at an amazing rate.
I'm in a state. I quit smoking. My glands and other parts are all aquiver. I tore my house to bits and am slowly reconstructing it from leftover bodyparts and Lowes delivery vans. There's wood on my floors. Something shed like a million leaves behind my oven. I'm not even kidding, I wish my withdrawal-addled mind had been working better and I'd taken a photo. It's almost as weird as the approx. billion bees behind my grandpa's microwave.
I swam in a lake recently, in Arizona. I suppose I may have drifted into California while in the lake.
A furniture delivery guy banged on my door at midnight. I didn't answer. That's just not cool, furniture delivery guy. You scared me.
I feel like sores are not healing as quickly on me.
There's a 15 week old fetus growing in the other room. Little booger. It has developed recognizable junk, and we'll be able to say "girl" or "boy" next week or the week after. I'm curious.
I'll be 60 when this kid is 20 and my kid will be 40.
Life is weird and weirder and I'm just a damn lens it is blasting through. Maybe I can flex a little and alter its pattern & patter.
My boys went down in a blaze, losing in five games to the Chicago Blackhawks in the Western Conference Finals of the NHL, three wins shy of returning to the series they won last year for their first ever Stanley Cup. It's always bittersweet when your team flames out, short of the goal. I used to have a far more emotional attachment to sports teams, perhaps a reaction to my own weird inability to truly emotionally connect with humans in front of me, or at least my own lack of understanding of that connection, and fear of it. But I've mellowed a lot over the years in that regards. Fandom is a bizarre thing, this attachment to people you actually don't know, probably never will. It's all messed up in tribalism and star worship and escapism and a bunch of other weird shit. After long years of living and dying and frankly inappropriately acting out for the teams I followed I finally figured out that not only am I not really willing to spend that kind of emotional currency on strangers playing a game, but that it doesn't really gain me much. Except the Kings.
For whatever reason I can't let go of my hockey team. They're a screwy thing in a screwy sport, a team that plays a Canadian game in Los Angeles, which is notably lacking in frozen lakes at the best of times (or any lakes at all, ask the Lakers). They have been around since 1967 and I've rooted for them since 1987, when I met my step-dad and the native New Yorker introduced me to this wholly alien sport. Since then I've become a screwy thing myself, a relative hockey expert who can't skate, and has never played the game. I've personally played all of the other sports I've gotten intensely into other than hockey. But man, there's nothing like it. Go to a game if you don't believe me. It's astonishingly good in person. It's not as good on TV for non-fans, which is why it's not as popular as some sports in the US. That and the fact that outside of northern climes few people play it, relatively speaking. The cost of entry is high, compared to basketball and even baseball. You have to have a rink, which puts it out of reach of a lot of kids. But damn it's exciting.
Last year the boys captured the championship for the first time, and I didn't really believe they were going to do it until they actually sounded the horn ending the last game against my second-favorite team, the New Jersey Devils (the NHL has Eastern and Western conferences, the champions of which play each other in a best-of-seven series to determine the Stanley Cup winner). The Kings didn't just win it, they absolutely dominated the playoffs from start to finish, and in so doing were the lowest-seeded team to ever take home the hardware. The NHL seeds 8 teams from each conference 1 through 8, with 1 playing 8, 2 playing 7, etc. The Kings beat the #1 team, the #2 team, and the #3 team in the west, leading each best of seven series 3-0, and did the same in the Finals. It was an absolute demolishing of the competition and came out of nowhere.
But that was last year, however glorious it was. They played almost completely opposite in this year's playoffs, after an abbreviated season due to labor strife and a management lockout. They ended up with a higher seed, but couldn't win on the road, going 1-8. They were nearly unbeatable at home, and their sublime goalie Jonathan Quick was a wall on his home ice, yielding only one loss. Sadly it was critical given they couldn't win on the road this year, and ended up putting them in a 3-1 hole against the Blackhawks heading back to Chicago. Ultimately they Kings managed to score an amazing game-tying goal with less than ten seconds left in the game, forcing overtime, but fell in the second overtime period on a two-on-one breakaway.
All in all I'm impressed by the fortitude and willpower the Kings showed. Midway through the shortened season I was pretty sure they'd miss the playoffs. They turned things up and ended up grabbing a decent #5 seed, and won through to the third round in two gritty, defensive, hard fought series against the St. Louis Blues and San Jose Sharks. But a repeat wasn't in the cards...the Hawks played too well in their own zone, and seemed to disrupt the Kings every time they tried to get it out of their end. They were hardly blown out in any game this postseason, losing by more than one goal in only a single game out of 18 played.
I hope they come back hungry next season, and I plan on rooting for them as avidly as I have this year, and for the last 26 or so years I've followed the guys. They've got a good young core of players, not yet in their 30s, and could conceivably put together another championship run, though that's never a clear thing with an 80 game season and four rounds of playoff hockey. Congratulations for a heck of a season all the same, boys, and heal up for next year. I'll be there.
Recently I had a vaguely friendish person on facebook post a "question", the kind of leading BS question where you already know the answer and you're trying to inculcate your ideas in others, in regards to water fluoridation. It was something along the lines of "Does anyone know if this is true?" and then a link to a conspiracy site claiming that "government" is poisoning people by "dumping toxic waste" into our water supply. It had all the conspiracy bullshit flags...fringe sources, misunderstanding of the topic, misrepresentation of science, implications of shilling for "big something something", in this case, "big chemical". I responded briefly, and politely, that water fluoridation is no big deal, and often involves removing fluoride that occurs naturally. I provided source links to scientific sites.
The friendish person replied with, in hindsight, predictable vitriol, claiming I was mocking him, and that I was ignoring the evidence. He then went on a nearly page-long rant about how scientists are all in the pocket of industry and using "toxic waste" to keep the sheeple placid and accepting, and that I was indeed a sheep myself for believing their lies. Of course I at that point had realized my mistake, and responded very briefly that I was simply pointing out facts, never attacked him personally (like he was doing right then), and referenced the science again. Then I unfollowed the post. Shortly after that he began messaging me angrily, accusing me of everything under the sun, after two of which I blocked him. I won't accept personal attacks on FB or anywhere else.
I've got friends who believe all sorts of screwy stuff, and in general I just let it go. I'm not the thought police, and I'll generally only respond to things I perceive as harmful to the humanity, and even then sparingly. As Mr. Anti-fluoride proved, most people hold these crackpot beliefs dear to their hearts, and will defend them with vigor, despite their inherent stupidity. Anti-fluoridators, anti-vaxers, pro-"alternate medicine" people, and a list of others are pretty much all I'll respond to, and for very good reasons. A lot of those stances actually kill people (anti-fluoridation people aren't responsible for death generally, just making life a little worse for poor people). I'm not, however, a genius who somehow knows everything about everything, and don't intend to browbeat people over anything that doesn't violate my personal space. I'll try to engage people gently on some subjects, and sometimes it pays off.
One such time a friend posted something about homeopathy. Homeopathy is straight-up garbage and quackery, and many people don't actually know what it is...which is charging outrageous prices for completely pure water that has no clinical effect other than slightly greater hydration. I posted something along the lines of "Hey [friend], homeopathy doesn't really do anything, don't waste your money", and got a slightly irritated response. I figured that he didn't know what it was, and posted links explaining homeopathy. Indeed, he was thinking more of herbal remedies and naturopathy, which is completely separate, and responded with thanks. So a gentle engagement gave an opportunity to spread a little knowledge, and was well-received.
Most people I know will respond to logic and evidence. The thing I've learned which, looking back to my own more vitriolic past seems now obvious, is that not many people like to be insulted or bullied. While I've had to cut ties with some folks over various personal beliefs in the past, such as the Prop 8 fight here in California, and anti-vaccination stances, I'm generally more easy-going these days.
Our time is so brief.
I just got told that I need to write, because I'm good at it. It feels odd, having someone tell me I'm good at something. I have a reflexive reaction to deflect praise and pretend I'm not good at anything. I don't know, honestly, if I have any chops as a writer, but I suppose it's worth a go. I'll try to write more updates here, for a start. But less personal stuff. That's changed, there's other things happening that don't allow for the public catharsis I was going for before, and I'm going to try and come up with either more abstract or downright fictional things I can write. Maybe short stories? They're excellent practice, and honestly, my main problem is not practicing. Writing, at least in the crude way I understand it, responds to practice, to putting blood on the line. Moving your mind and your hands to make something. Like any creative endeavor it requires an overall idea, blocked out in large swathes, then whittled down to its essence. Like finding the shape within a block of marble, or some bullshit metaphor like that.
I enjoyed writing about books. I just wrapped up The Twelve, the second book of Justin Cronin's Passage trilogy. It's odd...it didn't hook me in. The world is so insanely stark that I think maybe I ended up with some scarring from the first novel, and The Twelve simply didn't hammer me as hard emotionally as The Passage did. Excellent adventure stories, and some very wonderfully written descriptive scenes. Cronin has an interesting approach to metaphor as well, and I occasionally found myself laughing happily at the imagery he employs...other times kind of skimming over it. A worthwhile read, all things taken together, and I recommend it.
I also not too long ago read Stephen King's The Stand, which came highly recommended (it's been around quite a while I know. I just haven't read much King). I had a good time reading this book, right up til the ending. No spoilers, but I was pretty disappointed with how it ended. I'd read McCarthy's The Road right before it, and was much more satisfied with that read, ultimately, than with The Stand. I'm kind of a homer for Cormac McCarthy, though, so take that with a grain of salt.
Apparently I'm on an apocalypse kick lately. Anyone got any suggestions for good end-of-the-world books? I've always been more interested in the aftermath than the actual whatever happened to initiate it, so bear that in mind.
I'm kind of stunned right now. For a lot of reasons. I thought I had poisons in me but I guess I don't. My head is spinning a little...I think I'll just post some songs. Listen to them carefully, OK? They're fucking good songs.
I am a breathing time machine.
I got a big big mouth that just won't shut up!
I thought I knew, but I don't know if I know.
It's weird hearing songs proclaiming love and thinking "damn. I got no one to sing those for." Like these ones. I suppose I can think of them as songs for potential. I'll probably at some point fall in love, or heavy like, with someone cool again. Not everyone in the world is like my ex-wife. So I can sing to that ghost-shape of future maybes.
I've tried hard to listen to stuff that we listened to, but man...some of it's too fraught. Like Holland, 1945 below...that was our walk-out music for the wedding. I high-fived a surprised-looking Everette on the way out. She cried so hard trying to read the vows I wrote (I wrote both our vows at the last minute because she wouldn't, by the way) that she barely got through. Her dad got lost or had to lasso her insane (literally!) sister to the bumper of his car so her brother walked her down the aisle. To "The Trapeze Swinger".
Oh man. I've been thinking about my birthday coming up. I'm going to be forty. 40! four zero. Who woulda thunk that shit, right? I was completely convinced, as a teen, that I'd never make it out of my twenties. I literally had a vision when I was 17 that I would die when I was 24 and fucking went nuts doing everything I could. I didn't to a lot because I was lazy as fuck, but I tried. But then I turned 25 and I was still alive. So shit! there's something to figure out. Anyhoo, I'm glad the whole fate thing turned out to be bullshit.
I got my passport! I'm officially...passported? Port-passed? Dunno what the operative word is. But I'm it.
I'm still watching Lost Girl, it's horribly bad. But I can't stop. It's like crack TV. I suppose I'll run out of episodes soon.
Blake sent me this tonight. What an astonishing voice. Thanks Blake.
Oh yeah, the ex-wife is back in town. I looked to get her social info from her mom, for taxes, and her mom told me she was back living with her. So either she ditched her grotesque animal or he ditched her. I keep running through what I'll say to her whenever she comes back and is in my face. It ranges from harsh, to gentle, to blank. To nothing. I don't actually think she'll come back. I was harsh with her the last time I spoke to her, hoping it would keep her away. I was never good for her, and she was never good for me, and I hope she stays away, and lets it fade. She'll find someone she likes and so will I, someone who's nice to her how she wants someone to be nice to her, not how I was, which made her hate her life. So that's that.