If anyone’s curious

We’re going to divorce. She got in touch with our facilitator and finally responded to something. So we should be on our way by the end of the week to a glorious dissolution of our 12 year relationship.

I’m going back and forth but primarily I’m feeling some relief. She had the same problems with me and her life the entire time we were together, and she never seemed to want to fix it. She caught me off-guard with this a couple months ago, and things fell apart pretty rapidly. As I told her, numerous times: if you’re not happy, you owe it to yourself to move on. I tried everything I could to get her to come work things out with me, but in the end she couldn’t do it.

I honestly hope she’s happy someday, and finds whatever it is she’s looking for. I refuse to regret my life with her…I did my damnedest to be a good man. I’m going to go forward continuing to try and be a good man, a good father, and look at the world, in the words of Ashitaka, “with eyes unclouded by hate”.

Such a time

Right now I feel so low.

I’ve got a lot of bad things happening. My job has disappeared, and I’m not sure how I’m going to make my mortgage payment. My kid’s car is basically collapsing and I’m not sure how I’m going to pay her tuition to school. And my marriage is basically in complete collapse, with my understanding wife saying she may want to possibly at some ill-defined point in the future work things out.

Honestly, I’m not feeling all that great.

I thought it would be good to write about it here, since I haven’t written here in a long time and no one reads it anyway, but it does. not. feel. good.

So fuck this

Happy Halloween

When I was a kid the big Halloween kerfuffle was razor blades being hidden in candy to slice up children’s mouths. It never happened as far as anyone knows. A friend of mine did have his little brother put a thumbtack in his mashed potatoes once, but that’s just a fucked-up little kid thing. He totally bit into it, too. That hurts my face just thinking of it. But I digress. More kids will get killed by drunk drivers this year than by razor-blade candy, yet people are hardly hysterical about the unbelievable carnage drunk driving leaves on the roadways. I think “safety theater” is more important than actually attempting to be safer, for most people. Like carefully putting on a seat belt, then driving ten feet off another car’s ass on the freeway at 90 MPH. You literally cannot save yourself from a collision at that point. There’s physically nothing you can do. But that seat belt! You’re being safe!

Since the wifey is off in LA being fantastic I have nobody to trick or treat with, and kids never come to our condo complex. Maybe it’s because I sit on the front porch in my underpants cleaning my shotgun, but maybe not. I am a little bummed we get no trick or treaters. It seems it would be fun to scare children. “Soon you will be fat and old! OoooOOOooo!”

I just recently read through the “500 Greatest Albums” list by Rolling Stone put together a while back, and “Nothing’s Shocking” clocks in at #312, “Ritual De Lo Habitual” way up at #55. It’s subjective of course. There’s plenty of albums on there that I wouldn’t wipe my ass with, and a shiiitload too many Dylan albums. We get it, you middle-aged Rolling Stone editors like Bob Dylan. Quit it. Personally, I think Jane’s “XXX” album should have been on there as well.  The funniest part about any subjective list on the internet, of course, is that nearly EVERY FUCKING PERSON IN THE WORLD will instantly start arguing about how your subjective list is TOTALLY WRONG AND HERE’S WHY. Endlessly until your house fills up with bile. In the past, I’ve remedied this by fixing the person arguing with me with a look and asking “Are you telling me my opinion of this [subjective thing] is wrong? You know what I like better than I do?” and that usually changes the subject pretty fast, or ends up in a fistfight. But the internet…oh the internet. So full of anger.

Omari and Reddit

So Omari is the caretaker of an orphanage in Kenya. Pretty dire situation. At one point some local thugs, for unknown reasons, decide to raid the orphanage. Omari, asleep, manages to fight them off. They come back. Eventually, he’s hit in the face with a machete, and ends up in the hospital. When he gets back, after a hard stay, he looks like this:

Yes, that’s a huge machete wound. Notice the smile though? Omari has bigger balls than anyone I’ve ever heard of. So a local American volunteer hears about this. He’s posted about the orphanage before. He puts a link up to this pic on reddit.com, and asks if he community can come up with $2K to build a new fence around the orphanage. Reddit gets over two billion unique hits a month. Within 8 hours or so, they’re over 48 thousand dollars.

That’s right.

The user (“TheLake”) stayed up all night updating the thread as the money poured in. They beat two grand in about an hour. So TheLake posts this pic the next morning (now, here):

On behalf of anyone who reads this site, I want to say Thank YOU, Omari, and TheLake. You give me hope for humanity.

The money’s still coming in! Their webhost kicked in TEN GRAND.

Veteran’s Day

I have a deep appreciation for veterans as a class. I know that sonds bloodless but the feeling behind it isn’t. On an individual basis, they are just the same as any other group, some are assholes, vain, stupid, entitled, some are brilliant, honest, courageous, amazing, most are just doing their jobs. But as a group I stand in awe. The word veteran brings me to the verge of losing it, generally. I don’t believe we do enough to support them.

But (not a dismissive but, a additive but) there’s another class of vets, vets who need vets.

Service dogs who went unquestioning to help their people. No larger purpose, no hesitation. The dog is the definition of love and loyalty for a reason. They made a pact with mankind millenia ago, and have held up their end of the bargain spectacularly.

Stupid commercials: Buffalo Wild Wings

I watch commercials pretty closely. I work in advertising, and although I don’t get to make many TV commercials (and I’m so low on the totem pole that anything I contribute seems to get destroyed) I still try to pay attention to what’s being down, and how, and break them down in my head.

There’s many ways for a commercial to get fucked up. From obstinate clients who insist on making it “feel” a certain way (GoDaddy’s spots strike me that way…painfully horrible, while technically well-made) to just badly conceived, written and executed.

Buffalo Wild Wings’ “Overtime” spot falls into the badly conceived and written category. It’s filmed, edited, and produced just fine, and the concept is bearable, but executed so fucking poorly that it makes one wonder if there was a head injury to a key writer, and everyone else just signed off on the shit show.

The basic concept is that people are having so much fun at Buffalo Wild Wings that they want the game they’re watching to keep going. Thus, they think the only thing that could make the game better is overtime. To whit:

This spot seriously makes me think that the people who wrote it have not only never seen a football game, but are actually the propaganda arm of an alien invasion fleet trying to get people to eat at Buffalo Wild Wings because they’ve spiked it with dick-exploding viruses. I can’t picture any NFL fan who would wish for overtime as a pure statement of enjoying the game. If overtime is their team’s only chance of winning, yes, they’ll root for it. If overtime means they score big on a bet, OK. But unless they’ve got a fucking IED rammed up their ass that’s going to blow the second the final horn goes off, no fan, ever, has said “Golly! Overtime would be super!” These fuckers are all in their god damn jerseys, so they’re clearly rooting. The proper reaction for the fan who hears this “the only thing better” comment would be to punch this cock in the face and apologize to the people around him for not punching him harder.

That shit just went awry.

Bonus: These spots are so much worse than the previous Old Spice ads that I am driven to drink.

I’d drink anyway, but because of Old Spice’s failure, I’m drinking really sadly.

Oh Epiduo you so silly

I’m listening to this Epiduo commercial, and they say “It seems like everything in your life is going great, and then your face says otherwise”, and I laugh. Then I anger at every other thing in the commercial.

I’m trying to get people to set up a Scrabble club in Escondido. I need to vanquish people face to face. This online Scrabble is irritating me, I can’t actually see people’s hearts breaking.

Sitting here listening

I’ve got a night alone, with Desi off doing her thing somewhere, applying the makeups to the faces. I haven’t turned on the TV or the lights, for that matter. I’ve glared at myself in the mirror a few times, daring myself to do something cool with this odd block of ill-defined time that’s laid itself over me like a vague tarp.

My answer to that dare has been to sit and listen to things, and look at things as well, words, written by people. I’ve been on a crazy tear of reading lately, and I think it’s put something of a crimp on my finances, despite the ephemeral nature of electronic books. The cost is real enough. I suppose I could download most of them for free. But I don’t like to.

The George Martin stuff came along first and reignited my interest in fiction, as I’d only been sporadically reading non-fiction to that point (specific point: a couple hours after I watched the first episode of Game Of Thrones (Specific non-fiction, A History of Vikings, by someone whose book is still sitting in my trunk, 1/3 read(I like mulitple parantheses))). I read A Game of Thrones in about three days, then the next three books at the same pace. After finishing that I knew I had a bit to wait (nothing like early followers of the series, who’d been waiting six years for A Dance With Dragons to come out, me, only a few weeks), so I dug into the old internets to see what was out there, having been out of the sci-fi/fantasy world for as long as I had.

First up was The Passage, by Justin Cronin, which was a fun read that flattened out a bit at the end, but I’d still recommend and await the sequel of happily. A nice blend of Apocalypse and hope.

After that I took a stab at someone I’d never heard of before (but the rest of the sci-fi/fantasy world certainly had), China Miéville. Oddly enough I read pretty much every damn thing he’d published. Pick one. Start out there, finish them all. Miéville is really that good. It is no use listing his best books. They are all outstanding.

When I ran out of Miéville and Martin, with a dash of Cronin, I did a bit of research and came across a fellow named Scott Lynch, who despite being less well-known (but still his work was Hollywood-optioned), seemed appealing. What a lucky strike! The Lies of Locke Lamora was as refreshing a fantasy read as I’ve had in my entire life. I followed that with a bit less-awestriking Red Seas Under Red Skies, but still it was good enough to make me write the author in hopes of getting some more. While the awe struck may have been less, the initial ringing was still in my ears, and it was good.

The Half-Made World, but Felix Gilman, was next, and it was good. It has a very engaging Western style to it, in a vexing unnatural world full of weird demons and mole-men.

Terry Pratchett came along after that with a sweet, sweet, mist of Discworld in Unseen Academicals. I will take every opportunity to bask on the back of A’Tuin the world turtle and he knows it. Wonderful, amazing, Pratchett.

After that I was a bit asea, so did my familiar backstroke across the internets. At some point I caught the title The Loving Dead, by Amelia Beamer (the link lets you read the first four chapters for nothin’), and while a little lighter weight than some of the other stuff I’d been rapaciously consuming, it was quite a fun read, with a shitload of laughs and shouts. I exchanged emails with the author, who was quite happy to receive random praise in the middle of the night (or early morning).

Having binged mightily on a few dozen books at this point, I cast my gaze backwards, and picked up a book I’d gone over as a teenager and barely understood, Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson. While the tech was outdated you can’t outdate a good story, and Stephenson can tell a good story. That was followed by Cryptonomicon , by Stephenson again, and another good story with outsized ambition, which, if what I read of the Baroque Cycle is true, the author carries around in a huge-ass wheelbarrow and flings all over the place.

Right now I’m reading Old Man’s War, by John Scalzi, who I hadn’t heard of (despite numerous Hugo nominations) til I read a blog post at his place Whatever, about, of all things, George Martin. What a fucking read. I’ve been lucky over the last few months in that I’m basically reading the already-published work of the best sci-fi authors out there. If you have an opening, however, read The Lies of Locke Lamora, you won’t be sorry.


Happy weekend, all.

Nick Drake
Pink Moon
“Pink Moon”

I saw it written and I saw it say
Pink moon is on its way
And none of you stand so tall
Pink moon gonna get you all
It’s a pink moon
It’s a pink, pink, pink, pink, pink moon




Via digby: So libertarian (I won’t dignify that crapfest with a cap L) Nick Gillepsie knows exactly why Social Security is “immoral”, in his words:

Those who wish to devote their wealth to saving the irresponsible from the consequences of their own actions should be free to do so through private charity, but to loot the savings of untold millions of innocent, responsible, hard-working young people in the name of such a goal is a monstrous injustice.

Assuming, idiotically, of course, that everyone acts either completely rationally, or completely irrationally, and that there are never accidents, illnesses, natural disasters, crimes, fraud, national emergencies, or any of the other myriad ways life has of fucking us over. Also, idiotically, assuming that everyone somehow starts from the same spot, on a level playing field, with a social structure composed of rational deciders. In other words, Gillepsie is 100% right about a fucking made-up computer program, and in all other ways a blithering cocksucking idiot. And I mean cocksucking in the bad way, not the awesome way.

So Nick, if you ever read this, fuck you and your idiocy.