There are so many intelligent and articulate people covering the hard-hitting
issues in our country these days, that I felt it was my duty to cover the
rather inconsequential bullshit that tends to make up the vast majority of
our lives. Actually, I'll just be griping a lot which, if you weren't aware,
doubles as a synonym for complaining, and as a descriptor for
a sharp pain in the bowels.

Friday, September 30, 2011


I have a weird relationship with privacy, truth, and online personas, so when I saw the other day that The Department of Homeland Security had dropped by this place, I admit, I got a little worried. In general I don't say anything too sensational on here, but dating back to when Google started reading your email and offering targeted ads, well hey I read 1984 okay? I've already been on the cusp of minimizing my online visibility and footprint, because I prefer real-life interactions and perhaps just because of the change of the seasons. I can't exactly dictate why I go through these back-and-forth feelings, I just know that it happens. Sure, I like to be accessible, but most of the people I want to be accessible to would be capable of tracking me down without Facebook, a blog, or Twitter. I am also aware that this is not a unique feeling.

As far as discovering how discoverable I may be, I realized that I am the number 5 search result for "deaf people are assholes," (number 3 if you change assholes to "jerks") and the number 2 search result for "shitty boy bands." That last one really amazes me. For "backhair" I yield a solidly unlucky 13, but where I come in number 1 is for "'Me Want Honeycomb' ad." The old quotes within quotes thing really gets to me.

At any rate, welcome to October folks, an even more appropriate time for bourbon and whiskey (actually, when isn't?), and a time at which it's okay to consume the occasional pumpkin ale, now that they are available and all. The weather back in the Chi is decidedly fall, and while I'm a bit bummed to be unable to run in it, just walking around, smelling and drinking it in is pretty damn skippy. See ya in a jif.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Eastern Promise

It's damned hard for me to avoid getting nostalgic, a feeling that's only compounded when I revisit the east coast, as it is, after all, where I grew up and spent the greatest percentage of my life. Nostalgia allows you to revel in the changes that have and have not taken place and has the effect of making me simultaneously feel both old and young. I have heard it described as to be of a place, an identifier, a citizen, a denizen or any number of such related terms, when you can say that you can remember when. How it used to be back in the day.

And yet the interesting thing is that this is still not what I would call home. Everything about it is familiar and, yes, memories abound, but it isn't the place I feel the most myself. Or, to place it in better distinction, where I find I am the best version of myself. I am lazier, perhaps because of the comfort of these memories tangible and mental, knowing I can enshroud myself within them rather than doing or creating anything new. There is nothing wrong with this from time-to-time, and so I do enjoy a homecoming, but extended periods I find troubling and conducive to restlessness. It's not that I mind being at rest, but that I don't want to be at rest here.

This isn't precisely what I had in mind when I got going writing here, but so it goes, does it not Mr. Vonnegut? And it is not all for naught as it allows me to be contemplative and analytical about the world and my very small place in it. Again, the danger is how long you delve there. Walking down 10th Avenue the other evening, I had a spectacular view of The High Line, part of ambitious efforts these last few years to make the city of New York more pedestrian friendly and, in that one word popular to sum it up: livable.

It made for a pretty sight (and site) lit up to my left and, as I managed to reach 10th Avenue just past its start and exit it not far before its end, I could operate under the temporary illusion that it went on forever. For a time, I wasn't in New York at all, which made sense because rarely had I ever made my way to those precise cross streets. I thought how nice it is to have one's little pocket carved out within this gigantic space shared with others. To be so much a part and yet so separate. Which reminded me of what I consider the loneliness of cities. No matter who you are, there are those periods of downtime, or when you might find yourself traveling alone, and when you do, you can be struck by the group activity surrounding you, or by the astonishing number of people existing as individuals. I can never decide if it is conspiratorial or just creepy when cities grow quiet. For the first time I verbalized that New Yorkers aren't rude they're just, in general, not concerned with your existing around them. How could they be, when so much is going on? If one did, one might never move, paralyzed by observation and endless ocular assault.

This is the path I sometimes see the whole world headed: overstimulated by a glut of access to an immense tome of information. Someone or some ones will surely figure the way to navigate this great mass efficiently and effectively, but even for those my age, who grew into the new technological age, it can be difficult to remember what it is to be somewhere physically and mentally in the same moment. In a sense technology has become part of our environment. You could delineate this to say that happened with the earliest tools and innovations and you would have a point, but I speak instead of perhaps watching a sporting event on one's phone while being in attendance at another sporting event. And further and broader, the idea summarized as being off the grid.

But the point is that the east coast is where I'm from. And whether or not I define it as home, it certainly has helped to define what I have become. And I like this place. So thanks east coast, for always inviting me back.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Yesterday I Had a Title for This

You can't hurry posts, no you just have to wait, words don't come easy, when it's new content you seek to create.

Looking over a lot of my writing from the past couple of years, I've realized I should probably spend more time editing and less time creating new content. The problem arises when I look back at something written, and regardless of my feelings towards its quality, the content is largely foreign to me. It's as if I black-out in fits of inspiration and compose thousands of words. Except that at lot of it, on rereading, is rather less than inspired.

Having forgotten not only a title for the entry but also what I had intended to write about, I might as well talk Contagion. I decided to check it out in spite of an uninspired preview and the usual curse of too many stars in one place. It was a perfectly fine movie I suppose, but nothing too special. Here come a few spoilers of sorts. The best part might have been this ad installation done in Toronto to promote the film.

But right, the movie. I'm going to tell you how it ends. It starts on Day 2, so you don't know how the virus really began its spread and it concludes, surprise, on Day 1. And you know, I could have done without that. Lord knows I don't know how to end the bulk of my own stories, nor are the interim details necessarily well-crafted, but I can tell you what would have made the ending of this movie better. Here are three alternate endings, only one of them remotely PG-13.

So first, the legitimate alternate ending:
There is a doctor that discovers the cure for the virus. She injects herself to test it. In the conclusion, the camera should be on her coughing, and then it should fade out, like a classic X-Files
episode. Then they'd even be all set if they wanted to milk it for a Contagion 2.

The incest conlusion:
Matt Damon's daughter is locked away in their fortress of solitude in Minneapolis. This makes me want a house one day to raise a family, but that's not related to this ending. Said daughter has a boyfriend and they act out prom in the picturesque living room. But instead, Matt should take matters into his own hands. Just in case his daughter might die from the virus, he wouldn't want her to die a virgin...

The Punny Conclusion (with hints of stereotype):
This one I really like, because it contains a pun, and I really like puns. On day 1, some bat eats a piece of fruit, which only happens because the evil big corporation Gwyneth Paltrow works for knocked down some trees in Hong Kong. The bat spits this into a pigpen, a pig eats it, this pig is brought to a restaurant/casino where Gwyneth is hanging out on her business trip. Chef is cutting up the pig and wipes his hands on his filthy apron then shakes hands with Gwyneth. Further Rube Goldberging takes place. I feel like the take-away here is supposed to be that big corporations are evil and helped set in place the creation of this virus, which is consistent with the CDC being hand-in-glove with pharmaceutical companies and so on that goes on during the film. But this is just about an alternate ending, not analysis!

So yeah, instead, in a decidedly not PG moment, the chef employs the dead pig as a sexual device to please Gwyneth. Later one of his friends at the casino asks, "What happen to pretty white lady?" Chef replies, "Awww, I porked her." Annnnnnd scene.

The takeway? Watch 12 Monkeys instead and/or again.

Also, because it's Friday. Happy just-over-halfway-done-with September everybody.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011


In the spirit of some consistency in this here blog, let's say I am again amazed at how quick time is passing by and that we're a week into September. I'm not gonna lie, September got off to a rather shit start for me when I strained or tore some muscle or tendon in my leg while running this past Friday. It's also possible I fractured my fibula. In any event, it's less than ideal, though I am accustomed to injuries incurred from running.

Much of the shame is that fall descended in a hurry, and the weather, even the very smell of the air, is something I love. And yes, it leads to fond reminiscences of autumns past. It signals the start for me due to it being when school begins, even though my schooling days are well behind me. For the runner in me, cross country was the best season of the year. The heat of summer training was endured for the pay-off of the fall, when the running mattered, and when the weather was more conducive to the activity.

In the past 24 hours, my brain has been infected by the Gorillaz' "On Melancholy Hill". Where I caught it, it's hard to say, as it had been a while since I'd listened to the tune but I found myself whistling it—side note: whistling is so annoying when it's not you, right?—and now listening it. Yes, I omitted that "to" on purpose. Pointing that out says plenty about me. I'd love, for now, to be up on melancholy hill, lungs bursting and legs full of acid from physical exertion. Instead, I shall limp about looking like a bad polio impersonator.

If you don't check out the Google homepage everyday—I don't—here is a little reminder why you should, in the form of yesterday's Freddie Mercury tribute.

To celebrate the frustration of injuring my leg, I chose to imbibe well, actually, about the same amount as usual, but perhaps a touch more on the side of derelict. Meeting a few friends to work on our respective writing projects at a local coffee house, I opted to empty a flask into my stomach. This led to a glassy afternoon that appeared perfectly acceptable as it was a) a Saturday and b) College Football had kicked off. As day turned to evening and an even level of inebriation was maintained, a new drink was born, one that shall henceforth be referred to as the Charles Barkley. The reasoning behind this name shall be made clear—or, at least, clearer—at the conclusion of the following recipe presentation and explanation.

Finding myself in a local CVS, I noted a whiskey bottle I'd never seen, called Canadian LTD and, as that link proves, for which I overpaid, even at $14 for a handle. The plastic bottle and the assurance that it was "bottled under the supervision of the Canadian government" made it a must purchase. I pictured Parliament sitting around presiding over its distillation, just as I picture some goofy Rabbi scene for all products deemed Kosher. A quick taste verified all expectations on quality. With the addition of some flat Mountain Dew, some Sourpatch Kids, and a Pepperidge Farm cookie for classy garnish, the Charles Barkley was born.

Since I started college a math major, the breakdown:




while wearing:


That concoction may rot your liver and/or brain and/or reduce one's ability to produce new memories during the duration of its consumption. But it sure helps make for a fun game of Catchphrase.

It's best to snack on Doritos concurrently, so MSG (not this MSG) can be blamed for any ill feelings. And it was damp that night, so you could always blame it on the rain.

Thanks for stopping by…you stay classy Planet Earth.