To the top of gravity

15 04 2014

Ta-Nehisi Coates wants to teach his students to write honestly.

I said, Well, yes, but. . . .

To which he replied, Sure, and. . . .

It’s marvelous to tell writers to write the naked truth, to get the courage to strip oneself naked by remembering that everyone else is naked, too.

Human condition: a talisman for bravery.

Except that, well, maybe not so much “Except that” as “In addition to” the call to honesty one must remind the student-writers to be brave, that honesty often requires bravery, because honesty is a hard good to handle.

To be honest requires bravery because you might get your teeth kicked in.

It is also the case that to be honest can be, as I put it, “giddifying”: you are loosed from yourself as helium bubbles pop through your skin and you can’t quite believe that the words you wrote and are about to send out are your words meant for everyone. You have broken the sound barrier and speed of light and are now stretching beyond time.

You think I’m exaggerating. I’m not. I’m being honest, at least how I can feel after having written: discombobulated and disoriented and blinking and wondering just where the gravity went.

Not always, not most times. But sometimes, still.

Such a glorious sensation: I’d chase it forever if it weren’t so unreliable.

Or I, braver.





Shmatta, shmatta, shmatta

13 04 2014

1. Sometimes free  cost too much.

Exhibit A: Under My Skin preview. Boy o boy o boy. The actors were. . . fine, given the script, but that script? Holy hell.

2. I’d stopped bitching about Bones because I’d given up expecting anything better than it had become. I still watched it, though, out of some, lingering, interest.

No more. It’s sliding down, losing whatever bits of charm it had retained. When Fox decides to lay those tired bones down I’ll probably watch the finale, but between now and that day in 2025, I’m out.

3. Oh thou fookin’ Zeus! DO NOT CUT YOUR NAILS ON THE TRAIN! In which of the multiverses is it OKAY TO CUT YOUR NAILS ON THE TRAIN?

None of them! That’s how many: NONE OF THEM!

4. To end on a good note: I finally got out my bike to ride to the gym yesterday.

Last year, I rode all winter, but this year the snow gave me the excuse I needed not to bundle up against the cold.

I’d been biking at the gym—(ma-)lingering health issues have kept me off the treadmill—but I’d much rather peddle my way somewhere than nowhere.

And look, I even refrained from using the requisite Talking Heads lyric. . . .





Here kitty kitty

10 04 2014

Jasper, who normally leaves me to eat my meals in peace, will grab my plate and try to stick his nose into my food whenever I eat one of my spicy homemade bean or mushroom burritos.

I know it’s the spice which draws him: when I spritzed my plants with a capsaicin spray to deter him from munching on the leaves, he responded by munching avidly.

Trickster, on the other hand, prefers dairy products: yogurt (both Greek and regular), and Parmesan—or, in a pinch, Asiago or Pecorino Romano—cheese. She’s also a water baby who likes to drink from the droplets dripping down her face.

Weirdos.





We’re still marching toward Algiers

9 04 2014

“Is it spring break yet? No? Christ.”





I’m free to do what I want any old time

3 04 2014

I don’t care about Mozilla.

I don’t care that they hired Brendan Eich as CEO, and I don’t care that he resigned.

For the record, my browser is Firefox. If a better open-source alternative comes along, I”ll flick that switch—the browser has freeze issues and, of course, brand loyalty is for suckers—but there was nothing about the Brendan Eich scandale that made me want to switch. Mainly because I thought there was no scandale.

Oh, a CEO is an asshole? Surprise! I bet the CEOs of all of the companies which products I purchase are assholes. Nature of the beast.

But let’s get serious: Is this about who can best lead a company which has to compete for workers from a workforce which is generally pro-gay rights? About just desserts for a man who sought to strip rights from his neighbors and fellow citizens? About illiberal leftists suppressing speech? About gay mafiosi threatening to scour the corporate world clean of any queer-rights deviationists?

Yes? No?

There are no free speech or any other rights in the workplace. You can be fired for voting for the wrong guy, criticizing someone the boss likes, for gaining weight, because the shareholders want to enrich themselves by laying off you or tens or hundreds or thousands of workers, and just for you being you.

And I’m supposed to rend my garments because some asshole found out he didn’t have any more protections than the people who work for him?

There may be a scandal in all of this, but it ain’t what happened to Brandon Eich.





Take it easy

2 04 2014

Man, I have been all kinds of out of sorts recently.

Don’t know what it is. I’m not particularly sad, and there’s nothing going on to make me more stressed than usual.

I can teach, am not having any particular problems leading discussions; in fact, my best times are in the classroom.

But outside, outside my mood and mind just keep skittering off and sideways.

I’m not terrible. Just. . . can’t get easy.





Better not look down

31 03 2014

It is apparently only okay to talk about how bad things used to be if you contrast it with how great things are now.

Things used to be overwhelmingly terrible and are now just ordinarily terrible! Progress!

And if it’s progress, then maybe it’s not so terrible, hmmm? So maybe you should just turn that frown upside down, Mr. Coates and go back to talking about stuff that makes us feel good.








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