Why it’s OK to be “That Guy”… sometimes

I woke this morning to the news of David Bowie’s death. That’s a really shitty way to wake up; as, I’m sure, many of you know.

I made a post to Facebook noting the passing, and promised that that was going to be the end of it. I’m a pretty damn big Bowie fan, but I really didn’t want to … lessen the impact by fumbling, maddeningly for the right words to honor such an idol. I have few idol’s. Fewer that I am tempted to write something that I feel does justice of their talents. Which is why I WAS NOT GOING TO:

  1. Quote song lyrics that have some kind of meaning.
  2. Write anything.

I went out to run some errands and put on the Best of David Bowie playlist that I made in iTunes (This should have been a mix tape I made in the 80’s. Then a CD in the 90’s.) I kept thinking about possibly finding some really oblique Bowie lyrics to quote, just to mess with people. The more I thought, the more I drove, the more I listened, the more I realized, “Sometimes it’s ok to be that guy.” Why not mourn by filling your day with your favorite artist? Why not take the time out of your day to mark the passing by enjoying what the artist gave us? Identify what they did that makes you especially happy, touches you, puts a grin on your face, or a stone in your stomach. What is wrong with that? Was it just my haughty, elitist music pretensions that made me feel that I was “above” that? It probably was. So why should I spend the day feeling better than thou by not doing what I would probably enjoy doing?

I’m just not going to do it on Facebook. I gotta keep some of my jaded, elitist, self-righteous, persona for myself.

“For in truth, it’s the beginning of an end
And nothing has changed
And everything has changed”

Hail and farewell David Bowie

BTW: After that revelation in the car, I actually started signing along with the songs, and feeling that ripple of embarrassment when I got the lyrics wrong. I enjoyed it just the same.

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The Year my Dad is Going to Die

I’ve never had something in my head that has both wanted, and not wanted, to come out. It doesn’t want to come out because I don’t think I really have the chops to write it. More honestly though, I don’t think I want to think about it. That’s the same reason that it wants to come out. It’s out, it can stay here, I don’t have to log in and read it, and it’s not in my head anymore.

My Dad’s cancer is … big. It started in his kidney’s and has spread to the lymph nodes between his lungs. It’s inoperable because it’s spread to the nerves that affect his vocal chords. Just for kicks, this particular type of cancer doesn’t really respond well to radiation. All they can do it slow it down. That’s it. A few months back he was given 8-10 months. That’s it. He’s not even going to make it to the new New Year. There’s stuff that needs done. Stuff that’s going to need to be done, and none of it is anything I want to do. Why would I?  Along with the reminder that the reason that I am doing this is because he’s dying, there’s also the fact that what needs to be done is going to be incredibly mundane. No BIG-FLASHY MOVIE-VIKING-SKY-DIVING-CROSS-COUNTRY-LAST-TRIP-WE’LL-LIGHT-THE-CAR-ON-FIRE-AND-DRIVE-IT-OFF-A-CLIFF ending.

Not that he would want one.

What an odd bunch of Vikings that would be, Huh?

So here I sit, not getting my ass in gear, not doing the first thing I want to get done, stalling since I came back from seeing him right at the beginning of Fall. I need to research and find out how to get a god damned RV towed away (and where I could tow it) so he doesn’t have to keep paying for storage on it. An RV. A dead, decaying RV. Christ.

No. I really wasn’t trying to make a parallel there. It just happens when I sit down to write this stuff out. Maybe I can use that as my next excuse to not write this. To not do what I have to do. “All of these things cause too much pain, I keep seeing the parallels between my task and it causes me too much pain.” Who wants to be that Emo though?

Fuck RV’s.

 

A PSA on Distracted Driving

OR: Why People That Can’t Spell Shouldn’t Quiz Their Child on Spelling Words While Driving to School

(But we’ll go with the shorter title.)

As I’m getting back into my routine of Dad: Master of The House! I’m also getting back to quizzing His Royal Butthead (The Zweeble) on his spelling words for the week. HRB is not happy with being quizzed on spelling words. The boy is far too much of a perfectionist to have to learn how to spell words, they should spring fully formed, perfectly spelled from his head. The boy actually gets upset and aggravated when he has to spell words over. There is an added bonus of, you-are-spelling-these-words-so-odd-that-I’m-not-sure-if-you-are-messing-with-me that adds extra drama. God in heaven if you were a fly on the wall in the car when I look at him and ask, “Are you messing with me?” your wings would singe. HRB is so upset about spelling he gets grumpy even before he gets into the car. The real problem though, is I have to check and re-check the spelling words from a list. This, this is what I am here to warn you of.

This morning, as I’m telling the boy to spell, subject, I’m at a stoplight in a turn lane. He starts spelling the word, and as he’s almost finished, the light changes and I have to make my turn. Now, the list I have is glued to the left front drink holder, right there on the dashboard of The Crappy Little Yaris. Normally this is a great place to have them because all I have to do is quickly glance down and see the list; in a turn though, the list is blocked by the steering wheel and my hand. Whoops. Instead of saying, “Hold on” I stare at the place where the list has been blocked from my view by the steering wheel and my hand. Whoops again! Fortunately for me, there wasn’t any accident. I didn’t hit a car, there were no squealing of brakes… nothing. Just my realization that I hadn’t been looking at the road for a good 3 – 4 seconds. I then realize that I’ve been doing this on and off for the entire drive thus far. Through a school zone, while crossing three lanes of traffic, and going through a turn. I find this a bit scary. I’m lucky something didn’t happen.

This is another one of those posts that was supposed to be funnier than it turned out to be. I’m going to have to work on a funny one for next time.

Have you met my Eight Year Old

Last night My Lovely Wife and I were trying to figure out what to do with a binder that was sent home from school. A binder. It’s not like it was just a binder, it had stuff in it. All sorts of papers that looked a lot like home work assignments. All we could get out of my eight year old was, “(Teacher) explained it early in the morning before my ears were turned on.” So to the parenting circle on Facebook Messenger. Two other parents were consulted and what we came up with was, an elephant. Well, and elephant described by three blind men. You know the old tale. Three blind guys feel around on an elephant, don’t bother to check more than a couple of inches on it, and don’t put each others findings together. Yeah. That one. It was lovely. Well, it’s funny in hindsight, but pretty annoying in the middle of it. It’s not only annoying that you have verbal proof that your child just does not pay that good of attention in class, but also that, with a school that pushes parental involvement (ours really does) the parents never get a heads up.

Last year I had a hard time dealing with common core math. No not just because it was common core math, but because I asked for help trying to figure it out (at least the kids discuss it in their class — they can’t teach it though, they’re still in the middle of learning it) and got nothing. No website, no handout, not even an explanation. All I got was the teacher telling me she was sorry that I didn’t get the answer I wanted. Let me make sure to point out, I do not have a problem with common core math. I really don’t. However, if you want me to help the kid with his homework, for the sake of my sanity, please explain it to me first. Just like with the binder, a note, a simple note, would have been great. Hey, here’s what you’re supposed to do with this.

Wow. I thought I was just going for the funny story about my kid.

 My Earworm

I wish I could figure out what it is. I thought it was either New Order or Joy Division, but I can’t find it listening to either of them.

This is going to drive me crazy.

What I’m Watching

Well, kind of watching. I gave Blindspot another go. I stopped paying attention to it soon after the episode started. For what should be a long, convoluted, game of a show it’s sure made up into a simple to follow police procedural. I may use this for when I want something on the in background.

What I’m Reading

Marvel Comic’s Weirdworld — I think I just miss comic books.

What I Should Be Reading

DC Comic’s Astro City — Because if I’m going to spend money on comic books, they should be good.

Bits and Bobbles

I think I’m going to stick with the random thoughts format for a while. It’s been a long time since I actually sat down and constantly wrote … anything. I used to write commercial copy on a regular basis. I used to blog on Live Journal (I think it’s still there, if you can crawl through a near abandoned website like you can crawl through run down buildings in Detroit.) A few years ago I started this blog with IMPORTANT BLOGS. I’ve deleted them. I was coming down off my high of going back to college and finding out that I enjoyed writing a research paper. I really did enjoy it.

Being in radio for … a long time, I had argued with my wife that I did better speaking. Problem was I wasn’t doing that either. I had considered starting a podcast, but I kept (still keep) thinking that my views are not that different than anyone’s. Why would anyone want to read what I have to write. No that wasn’t a question. It looks like a question, but it was never delivered as a question.

What’s changed? Little things here and there. I do see the necessity of getting my thoughts out. I’m stuck at home for large periods of time and only TV, NPR and iOS games to keep me occupied. My god that’s not enough. I’m a bit tired of not being able to communicate, so I put my thoughts here. Also, I’m really pissed at the Web Content Company that I applied to and never even got an interview with. There’s no reason I shouldn’t have had that job. So here I go. I’ll do this again and see.

Want To Feel Really Old?

Have you met my eight year old? He’s an amazing little guy. He really is. He’s also incredibly frustrating. Like in his TV habits. He’s been watching some really annoying crap on YouTube. There are a lot of unwrapping videos (videos of people opening toys and critiquing them.) The specific videos he watches though are like half an hour long and are exclusively rich, white, people opening huge amounts of toys and letting their kids play with them. I can’t tell you how annoying these videos are. The same family also puts our gamer videos. Videos where you get to watch them play video games. But that’s not why I feel old! I feel old because the other day, my boy came up to me and starts talking about how he wants to start his own YouTube channel! The technology gap has never hit me so hard before that conversation. I fell old. Right then, I fell old.

What I’m Playing

  1. Knights and Dragons, iOS
  2. Dungeon Boss, iOS
  3. Marvel Future Fight, iOS

There’s no critique. They are the same game with different skins. I took me way too long to figure that out.

What I’m listening to

I’m going to start a new phrase. Binge Casting: Binge listening to a podcast.

The whole first season is up. It doesn’t even take a full day to listen to it.

http://www.npr.org/podcasts/510307/invisibilia

Vignettes

Here’s What I Cooked

Under the If It’s Weird I’ll Drink It tag, I give you Switchel (http://food52.com/blog/13927-switchel-the-most-refreshing-drink-no-one-is-drinking-yet .) From Food 52. I was told it was like Lemonade. It’s not like Lemonade. Switchel is watered down vinegar. Yep, I said vinegar. I thought that since it was apple cider vinegar, it would be different. Nope. It was like watered down vinegar. I drank it anyway. To my shame.

Here’s What I Watched

  1. Minority Report: I read on NPR that they took a great concept and turned it into a standard police procedural. I cannot disagree with that. I can only add: They had a strong, intelligent female lead… and made sure that her cleavage was clearly highlighted in every scene she was in. While she was attractive and I didn’t mind, it really takes the point away from her being strong, intelligent, and competent.
  2. Gotham: Wow it only took Gotham a year to get good!
  3. The Muppets: Without a canned laugh track I couldn’t get over the it’s-funny-and-I-should-laugh hump. The jokes were nearly there. *That* close. *That* close.
  4. Scream Queens: It’s amazing how bad writing takes the social commentary and lampooning of racial stereo types and just makes them racist and homophobic. I’m a 44 year old man; I should be laughing at insensitive jokes. These weren’t funny. I could see the jokes. I could see why I was supposed to be laughing. I could see why it was supposed to be funny. I could also see how trite and derivative the jokes were. I’ve seen these jokes a million times. There’s nothing funny there anymore.
  5. Blindspot: The judgement is being held back until I see at least one more show. Could go wither way.

My Earworm

and

You can see that my brain is a wildly chaotic place in my musical tastes.