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.
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.
So apparently my roommate has a feed for my site and she was concerned that my last post was due to drunken craziness instead of my normal brain malfunctions. I can say, happily, that while I was indeed drunk while writing it, I stand by every word.
Sarah woke up with Trampled by Turtles running through her head, so I found this live version of “Wait So Long” for her to enjoy:
The bass player is so endearingly awkward.
The Kings put a third period all up in the Blues’ backsides last night. They come in trailing 4 to 1 and then go out with a 6-4 win. How much do the Blues hate playing my fellas? Love it. Also: Never fight Kyle Clifford. He will fuck you up so bad. Lucky #13, the Big Red Dog.
Note also the lack of fucks given while he skates off after hitting that guy so hard he forgets his kids’ names.
Heavy shit I’ve been writing! Maybe something less heavy today. Media consumption perhaps?
I read the Cormac McCarthy book The Road, which was made into a movie starring Viggo Mortensen (Mac from Sunny: “VIRGO MORTENSTEIN!”[punches a girl in the face]) . I liked the book fine, it was a bit brutal. But knowing Viggo was in it, and making the character in the book look like him, was tough in my brain because I haven’t seen the movie, I just know he was in it. So while I mentally invented the kid from whole cloth, I had to use Aragorn to stand in for the man, which made for some odd moments in the story, in my head anyway.
I’ve begun watching a series on Netflix called “Lost Girl“. It’s possibly the worst show ever. Take the cheesiness of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and remove the charm of the writing, replace that with awkward Canadians trying to act like wise-cracking Americans (but oooh how they struggle not to apologize every time they insult each other!). Sprinkle liberal doses of side-boob, butts, and near-Cinemax-level sex scenes (they refuse to show a nipple for some reason, on a female at least, but everything short of full frontal seems to fly), and for some reason I can’t stop watching. Luckily there’s only two seasons on Netflix and I’m almost done, the fever will run its course. One redeeming quality is the sidekick chick Kenzi. She hits my right in the golly-she’s-pretty areas. No officer not the bathing suit areas. I’ve always been a sucker for the waify big eyed lots of eyeliner type. See Fig. 1.
I started re-reading The Kraken by China Miéville (still no idea how to spell that dirty Marxist’s name). Still as enjoyable as I remember. You go, Mee-yeh-ville? My-ay-vee? My-vile?
The second book in Justin Cronin’s Passage series is out. I’m going to wait a bit to get it, I don’t have money to spend $18 on an ebook right now. I may re-read the first one, too. That story was pretty funky if I remember correctly, with like a hundred years just popping up between chapters at one point. I will report!
Here’s a song for Nikki.
Early in the morning too hungover to go back to sleep.
Every sound is amplified, every light so dizzying.
Listen for a while to the neighbors having sex
Wishing I could lay my aching head upon your breast.
Can’t I dream another dream?
Can’t I close my eyes and wander back to sleep?
But I’m daydreaming about you.
I know that it’s wrong.
That I’m daydreaming about you
Cuz I’ve been daydreaming for so long.
A Bloody Mary afternoon, waste my time out in the sun.
Hum myself some melodies, maybe I can sing you one.
Maybe I could find you sitting down at the cafe.
Maybe I could join you at your table today.
Can’t I just get what I want?
Can’t I be the man that steals away your heart?
But I’m daydreaming about you.
I know that it’s wrong.
That I’m daydreaming about you.
I’ve been daydreaming for so long.
Yeah, I’ve been daydreaming for so long.
Later in the evening take the bus down and see the show.
He’ll be behind the bar. I’ll get a beer, leave a tip and lay low.
I went over to my grandfather’s old place this morning to help my mom move things. Apparently my great aunt or what your grandpa’s sister is had been staying there for the last couple years after he passed away and had basically left it a ruin, cat claw marks everywhere, fridge is broken, blah blah blah. She was going to stay for four months. Anyway, we went through a lot of stuff, I took pics of all of it. My mom wanted to share the pics to see if anyone wanted any mementos or anything. Then we started bagging things up and boxing em. There’s a ficus on the back porch I got my eye on. Found a couple fishing reels I took with me too, and some fridge magnets. Forgot the sailboat painting. I want that sailboat painting.
Then I got home, did a few emails and worky things, and did almost an hour on the old eliptical. I’m feeling pretty ok, not terrible. Three days in a row of about an hour of moderate exercise. Let’s make it four tomorrow.
I learned how to play “Infinite Arms” by Band of Horses on guitar also.
Just the chords, not the dreamy parts.
I had a dream
I had a dream
That I was your neighbor
About to give birth
And then everything
Was really hurt
And I was so lonely
I didn’t see It’s like
Living in a movie
Twisting the plot
My friends and family
The little things I’ve got, I’ve got
When my thoughts drift to youI love the morning
I like to listen
To 4am birdies
Begging to feed
Now there’s something here before me
A figure, I think
Isn’t there a warning
Or something to drink
My god, my god
When my thoughts drift to you
These mended bones
The storms approach
Ever so slowly
Out on the sea
There’s an animal below me
Lack of control
Others came before me
Others to come, to come
When my thoughts drift to you
F, Em7 repeats for the verses
then G, Am, Bm, C for the “when my thoughts drift to you part. There’s two times they do the drift chorus twice, and between you go back to the F for a few strums before it’s G time again. The last one you play slowing down. What do they call that in musicality-based societies?
I took a stroll around Kit Carson Park today. I hadn’t been there in a while, and Ikoi and I powerwalked the length of it. It was good to get a tiny little sweat on, after my potato-like sitting about ways lately. I’d not seen the sculpture garden they built in there. I took a pic of Ikoi celebrating.
I also stopped by the pond and communed with the ducks for a while.
They did not seem to give a fuck. Ducks are like that.