Thursday, April 28, 2016

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I need a new phone. Or maybe I need a better phone. That's it. The second one. The phone I have now seems to do whatever the fuck it wants and it's driving me nuts. I've spent the last twelve minutes trying to send a text message, but since the piece of shit decides to download whenever I actually get active on my phone, my text messages won't send. But thank God Lyft, a program I've used exactly twice, has patched itself. PS--all my other apps (why don't we call them programs anymore?) updated yesterday. Why isn't it coordinated? Why isn't it programmable to download at, oh I don't know, a period of LOW activity? Like 2 am?

I'm a bit media-saturated right now. I finally watched the new Ep of Game of Thrones (more on that later), got a Hulu account and started watching 11.22.63 (more on that later), I'm on my second badge in Pokemon Ruby and now I'm watching Seinfeld while I write this. It's the pilot episode, because I haven't seen all of them and didn't really watch it when it was popular (I saw it many, many times but I didn't watch it if you know what I mean) and so I had to start at the beginning. And it's helping me realize how distracted I am. If I pause it, I wonder what happens next, if I turn it off, I lose the ability to stop and start and drift off.  The idea is to have something in the background that I can kind of ignore, roll out on to every now and again, then come back in and do what I have to do.

The other "problem" is that I'm distracted by successful shows and projects around me that seem to be compelling and not totally out of the reach of someone who can string a couple-three ideas together, but for some reason I can only watch for a few hours before I have to change the show/do something else. Game of Thrones, now almost completely out in the woods beyond the "hope-it-gets-finished-before-he-dies" George RR Martin plotlines seems to be cramming a whole bunch of stuff into the season, just like the last. I predict lots of cliffhangers and no conclusions. 11.22.63, though, when it's not cramming exposition, is pretty interesting so far. I'm not all the way through it yet, but it's pretty great so far. James Franco is kind of awesome in it--which is hard to swallow since he's such a fucking goofball whenever I see him in anything else. Every now and then he crinkles his eyes a bit like he does in The Interview and I can't help but laughing out loud. To myself. In my empty apartment. I feel like a weirdo.

The thing is too that I am watching commercials again. Between Youtube and now my Hulu free trial, I now get some of the advertisements I see on the subway--it's almost like the posters now are designed to remind you of a commercial you saw on TV. That way you get the same message twice worked into your brain. Not subliminal, mind you, more hiding in the open. Still feels pretty much like advertisers have no idea how to reach their audiences. It is weird coming back to it, though, even in the small way that I have (what, 12 commercials in an hour? Most less than 30 seconds? I just realized that it's probably more than that--by a lot--oh no) and it's so strange how easily I've come back into it when it's in small doses. The last time I left my apartment and got a real spike of television into my head-vein the commercials were more numerous than the show and four-times as loud. Here on Hulu (the one where I can't skip the commercials) if they're louder I haven't noticed, and for the most part I just do something else while they run. Sometimes I think I don't notice them, but then I start thinking about my insurance premiums or eating at Applebees while listening to Spotify.

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Tuesday, April 26, 2016

There's a clinical name for it, isn't there?

I don't know why the formatting is fucked up It's driving me nuts looking at it. Sorry...
"To begin... To begin... How to start? I'm hungry. I should get coffee. Coffee would help me think. Maybe I should write something first, then reward myself with coffee. Coffee and a muffin. Okay, so I need to establish the themes. Maybe a banana-nut. That's a good muffin."  --Charlie Kaufman, Adaptation

I haven't given up, but starting is difficult. And every time you stop and start it's like going back to school, going back to the start it feels like its a taller hill, mountain, cliff. Whatever.
I haven't watched the new Game of Thrones, but I have watched The first episode of Horace and Pete (twice, technically), Breaking the Maya Code and the first half of Jaws (again). Is this why I don't write? Overabundance of Media? Or is it lack of idle time? Or is it lack of gumption, or some weird mellowing of my dreams? Or have I given up? Let's talk about something else.Pancakes are great, aren't they? Out of all the things I can have for breakfast, pancakes are definitively up there, though I must be honest in my old age I enjoy scrambled eggs and a good western/Denver omelette better on most days because they're easier to make at home. Omelette is a funny word--theres at least 1/3 more "e"s in there than I think rightfully belong there, but it's French, so it kind of makes sense that the "e"s are a bit excessive. French is an interesting language--I tried to take it as a kid (mainly because everyone else was doing Spanish and fuck that--an opinion I later pooh-poohed with the same self-satisfaction [God, I really am a monster--look at all these dashes and half-self-effacing declarations, who do I think I am, anyway? I'm so deep in this segue I'm using BRACKETS for Christ's sake!]) but mainly what I learned was that learning other languages is harder than I really want to try. Even now I make jokes about how I've flunked Spanish a bunch of times (I'm still churning my way through Duolingo and dropping it after two months only to pick it back up once the mood strikes again). Wow, this got depressing, lets back track a bit before I get too deep in this wall of self-pity.

Honestly my most normalized breakfast at this point is a bagel with cream cheese a couple times a week with a coffee. My favorite breakfast is probably the breakfast sandwich, which isn't my favorite sandwich, which I don't even know what that would be. Bacon cheese steak? Turkey Club? Cheeseburger? I mean, sandwiches probably entail a good bit of my chosen food type, but I would think most people would consider a cheese burger a cheese burger and not necessarily a sandwich (though technically, we can all agree that it is, and that the question is unarguable). I also like making grilled cheese, and would prefer that you learn how to mix your goddamn cheese when you make it, and for the love of christ use butter, you're already eating literally a fat sandwich coated in fat, why the hell would you use whole-wheat bread? Healthy eating is ridiculous when it comes to grilled cheese. For realz.

But making a real sandwich takes time and love. It's not like chasing bluegills or tommycocks. You have to toast the bread, use crisp lettuce. Get a real tomato for crying out loud--something local grown local, certainly not one of those rose-colored shitty-chemical-colored tomatoes you get everywhere else. And maybe that's why so many people just go to shitty places and let some slack-jawed idiot slap fake meat onto the cold bread they pulled out of a fridge that was loaded with wilted produce. What I mean is maybe it's also why I put it all off--the writing, I mean. Maybe it's my desire for perfection that hold me back. Maybe I'm afraid that I'm just going to make a bad sandwich.

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Friday, April 22, 2016


What's missing?

I wrote something earlier, deleted it. Will I delete this one? Right now I'm reading Mysteries of Pittsburgh--debut novel of one Michael Chabon--probably one of my favorite writers. I haven't read everything he's got, but I read a couple and he's fucking good. I don't know what it is about him that fascinates me, or why his prose is so easy for me to gobble up like cheeseburgers straight from the grill (with those little squares of american cheese laid oh-so-perfectly upon their tops). But every time I start one of his books I feel like I have landed inside a strange bubble of reality and time--usually one that is almost my own but not quite. This one is less maddeningly confusing as the first I read, The Yiddish Policeman's Union but not as epic as The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Klay, but that's okay, because it's about being drunk and confused in college. I know that undersells it, who cares? If you want to read it, go do that, or you can borrow my copy, alright? If you're reading this than maybe my opinion matters to you. Either way, this isn't a book review.

On the other hand, I'm listening to Anderson.Paak's album Malibu and I kinda dig it but I don't get it. It's weird and unruly and not repetitive and I haven't changed it. This following a week where I listened to Minor Threat by Dave's suggestion as well as Arcade Fire's Funeral which of course which's genius I am only now discovering like 10 years after the fact. It's usually how it goes.

I'm not trying to structure an argument here, I'm a little too self-aware that I haven't written here in three years and the last things I wrote were for my friend teecozee's blog called "theoretical Thursdays" (found here) and the last thing I wrote for myself was a little over a year ago. Can't let it get me down though, gotta power through the weariness and the nightmare of self-effacement before it unspools into whatever that other article was about (don't worry, it's gone now. Shhhh, shhhh, I'm here now, all will be okay and the mean truths can again go unspoken).

Before I read Mysteries of Pittsburgh I read Unknown Man #89 by Elmore Leonard, who is an author every single person (especially aspiring authors) shoud read. His dialogue is spot-on and I like that his charaters are visceral and give absolutely no fucks about anything else but what they're up to.

There is a fire-siren going off every forty seconds or so, starting low and reaching a crescendo within seconds and holding there, right on the outer edge of steel-blade slicing evil, mind-numbing, wriggling excruciation before dropping down below the line of hearing. And then of course it winds right.the.fuck.back. UP. If it goes on for another hour it will drive the entire neighborhood insane. I'll have to cordone off the stairwell as sound-induced zombies crawl up the banisters and toss molotov cocktails up onto the foyer, parents will overturn carriages, skip over the baby formula for the hard liquor and hand soap, drinking both with fevor only matched by the way the children throw chunks of the torn up street through the windows of local businesses. Fire will start in the corner of the gas station and the whole thing will go up, engulfing the whole block, and probably half of the next one, an M conductor traveling past with be inundated with sound, drive the train too hard and fast and whip through the station and rattle the bridge until it collapses onto the street, filling it with wrecked debris and cars and train parts and lives and then they'll call the locals, and they'll come in, go mad and start gunning down the innocent, then they'll call in the SWAT and the same thing will happen, and my normally mild, boring street will fill quickly with warring factions of madness driven by a sound that holy fuck it finally stopped. Whew. That was trouble.

I am 8 songs into this album and still haven't changed it. I think that is a good sign. I don't really know how to listen to music anymore, or how to find good shit. I don't even know if this album I'm listening to is any good. I do know it's not shitty. So I like it. I recently tried to discuss how I am an album person with Dave (after he called himself "an album guy") and realized that it's a topic that doesn't really warrant a conversation. We're the new Old, aren't we, Dave? Give us another fifteen years and our children will draw comics about us gumming our food we're so old.

In conclusion, this is my conclusive paragraph. In it, I will make vague references to my earlier statements and try to tie them together in a conclusive way, so that I may conclude this paragraph as well as this group of paragraphs that couldn't be called an essay even if I wrote it in double-spaced type in 14 pt font (Times New Roman). With any maybes, I will be back soon to put more thoughts into your heads. Hopefully with more, "you know"s and long-winded extrapolation of what I really meant earlier when I said. Not to mention the unmentionables and the way sometimes you just want to write something and say it instead of having to have a real point. It's nice.

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