Thursday, September 23, 2010

unrelated items [UPDATED ALREADY]

(via)

This is far from an original thought, but if you're wondering about the origins of America's obesity epidemic, look no further than the fact that you can have lunch at McDonald's for $2. This is about as cheap as food can possibly be. You can't have a PBR for $2. (Occasionally you'll find one that cheap, but it's remarkable when you do, and you've still got to tip the bartender a dollar.) I saw a diagram once—I guess it was a triangle?—and it was like, "Cheap, Tasty, Healthy: Pick Any Two." That's about right...

"Initially, Grimace was the 'Evil Grimace,' with two paris of arms with which to steal milkshakes." (via)

Why is the 10 so trafficky? I'm not complaining*—I'm sincerely curious. Is it just that there are so many darn people?

Most traffic jams are caused by superpowered computer monsters.

I was in Santa Monica (mascot: "Pac-Man tripping balls") because I've been temping. I have been making hundreds of dollars, literally hundreds! It's nice to make money, although I keep having to remind myself that these days (in which I haven't been able to work on my writing) are not "wasted." [IMPORTANT NOTE: "wasted" was not a pun.]

Am I late to the game as identifying this as a drugged-out Pac-Man? If so, I am ashamed. If not, I am proud, as proud as a cat dropping the mangled remains of some horrible rodent at your feet. Praise me!

I've been enjoying this album a few years behind the curve:


My appreciation can be explained only partly by my having just seen Feist do a guest appearance at a Grizzly Bear show and only partly by my recently having been praised very satisfyingly for a Feist cover that is probably the best thing I've recorded since I started fucking around with that shit again and only partly by my wanting her to be the mother of my child—also, it's just good! I was thinking (in the car, on the 10, in first gear—see above) that I'd maybe make music like this if I were a girl. How much of that thought is just a mindlessly misread duplicate experience† of the pride I felt about that cover I did I leave to you to determine.‡

Part of what's going here is these two want to be each other. (via§)



* I don't mind traffic. I don't like being late, and traffic can cause or exacerbate that, but traffic per se—meh, no big deal. I sit in a comfortable seat and listen to music that I like. This is especially true in an earthly paradise.

† This is one explanation I've heard for déjà vu: some kind of discomfort causes you to look at the present moment all askew in a way (an alienated way, I'm guessing?) that confuses you and makes you mistake current perception for memory, hence the duplicate effect. I don't know.

‡ Also—and I've sort of been meaning to write about this and maybe still will—whenever I imagine what it would be like to be a girl, I think I actually just end up fantasizing about what I want women to be like—just displaced sex fantasies, essentially—which makes a certain kind of sense! (Jeez Louise, I was going to link to the post I was sure I just must have written about how on a certain level we want to be the person we fuck [and want to fuck the person we want to be], but it seems like maybe I never wrote that! Did I never write that? It's like my favorite theory ever. I'm stunned. Stunned! To do: onto the to do list.)

§ NOTE: Not Safe For Work World is not safe for work.

Monday, September 20, 2010

more movies I don't actually remember [UPDATED]

[UPDATE: Now see Movies I Don't Remember: the blog!]

[Sometimes I like to summarize movies from memory when I essentially have no memory of those movies. (I look for images and check up on the actual story after writing my synopses.) Good fun. So: time to do it again like Brian Wilson. N.B.: This particular installment sucks.]

My Girl (1991)
A girl lives alone in a house with Dan Aykroyd after her mother dies, or skips town. She is friends with Macauley Culkin and kisses him and then he gets stung by bees and dies. Probably this teaches her something important about life because otherwise, what the fuck?*

"I will teach you something important about mortality."

That movie with the time-traveling aircraft carrier (1970-something?)
Army guys on an aircraft carrier go through a portal in the ocean and wind up in World War II, where they shoot down a Japanese plane (wuh-oh!) and then have to decide whether to win the war for America and probably destroy the universe because of space–time problems or just hang out and then go back to the future. They choose the second path (obviously), but maybe this one guy stays behind and then ends up pretty old.†

You built a time machine...out of an aircraft carrier?

Bedknobs and Broomsticks (1971)
These kids have a nanny who's magic and sends them into a cartoon world kind of like that place behind Mr. Rogers's walls with all the puppets. Then Nazis attack and the nanny defeats them with magic but does not, as far as I can recall, stop the Holocaust.

The definitive World War II film.

Heat (1995)
Robert De Niro and Al Pacino have coffee together. Tensions run high. Val Kilmer shoots somebody's face off with a machine gun. Maybe somebody's daughter is in peril. A bank is robbed. Helicopters? This movie is as long as a typical multi-season television drama. When I saw it in the theaters there were six intermissions and I wrote an opera in my head.‡

Like My Dinner with André but both more violent and more boring.

Lilo & Stitch (2002)
A little alien who can be a huge bad-ass like the iron giant comes to Hawaii, pursued by bounty hunters like Critters. Actually, this movie is basically just The Iron Giant meets Critters...meets E.T. There is probably a single mom in it, and I think I remember that when the little alien got all bad-ass, it was actually pretty bad-ass. I saw this movie alone in Paris because I had absolutely nothing at all else to do.

More than a little Fizzgiggy.

[SPECIAL SURPRISE BONUS: A TV series!]
The Wonder Years (1988–1993)
It occurred to me recently that although I remember this show fondly, I don't really remember it worth a damn. I remember that it was narrated by the older version of the protagonist, played by Fred Savage, and that he was friends with this Jewish kid who reportedly later in real life joined a fraternity at Yale and would punch you in the face if you mentioned The Wonder Years.  I remember that Fred Savage's older brother was Marty's uncle in Back to the Future and was maybe a bit of a bully? I remember that Fred Savage had a crush on Winnie Cooper and one time he made out with Becky Slater§ and she gave him a hickey and he said it was a bug bite and Becky Slater said, "Bug bite?!" I believe it was set in the 1950s. But honestly that's just about it. I can't imagine how a single episode might have panned out. I do think Fred Savage's character tended to humiliate himself. Essentially I think of this show as a 1950s, kiddy, goyische version of Curb Your Enthusiasm.

Curb + Freaks & Geeks ÷ Jewish?** [Cf.]



* The Internet reminds me that Dan Aykroyd's character is an undertaker. Ohhhhh.
† This movie is called The Final Countdown and is from 1980, and as far as I can tell, my summary of it is pretty complete and accurate. What is this movie, 20 minutes long?
‡ This is actually the first movie I ever thought of walking out of in the middle, I was so bored.
§ Played by the sister of the girl who played Winnie Cooper, TRUE STORY! (And she, too, went to Yale.)
** No, if only because Fred Savage is Jewish. Bee-tee-dubs, how cool is it that he now directs shit like It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia and Party Down? Go Fred Savage!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Another reason I hadn't been reading.

Neither fair nor accurate—but cute! (via, see also)

Now that I'm reading again—I finished the Shteyngart novel finally (nice ending!)—it hit me why, or rather another reason why, I haven't been reading much this year: I really only read fiction, and this year I haven't devoted much thought to the writing of fiction.*  You have to understand that I've devoted a pretty constant amount of thought to the writing of fiction since I had any thought to devote.  Now, though, I'm D.B. Caulfield (minus the success): all I've got in my writing brain these days is big-screen, little-screen, no pages.  And my dirty secret (or one of my dirty secrets) is that I'm very bad at motivating to do things I don't specifically want to do: turns out I've been such a good reader because I just really like reading (already knew that part) and, more specifically, because I'm basically engaged in a kind of research or reconnaissance mission for my own writing (what do you know)!  That's got to at least be part of it.†

Gary Shteyngart and his girlfriend (via)

Anyway, I'm back in the game, bursting back in: I assert that it is so.  I'm reading Number 9 Dream now and got C by Tom McCarthy and want to hit that Play It As It Lays by Joan Didion, and it's got to be about time to reread Gravity's Rainbow again, and I ought to take another look at Day of the Locust since I live in L.A. now, and I suddenly last night got this strong urge to hit Grace Paley again (that came out sounding wrong), and, and...

Anyway, so, yeah.  Reading.

[NOTE:  I've added the "Ernest Scribbler" label to this post even though I'd sort of been thinking of going back and removing it from similar posts.  Originally it was going to refer only to things I had written—not that this whole blog isn't things I had written: I mean pieces of short fiction, humorous shit...material I think of as my "real" writing, or at least "non-blog"-type stuff.  I'm not sure what point I'm trying to make here.  I can't remember a time before I started writing this note.]

Censored for your protection. (via <-- UNSAFE!!!)


* By which I mean novels and short stories—fiction as opposed to other forms of art as opposed to as opposed to nonfiction.  (I'm sorry, I just wanted to write "as opposed to as opposed to."  I'm ridiculous.)

† I can split an infinitive!  This is America!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Welcome, Maggie!

My "sister" had a baby yesterday.  (Sister goes in quotes roughly the same way ex-wife goes in quotes.)  Some of my friends have had babies, but this particular new mother happens to be my oldest friend: her mom and my mom met while they were both pregnant—that kind of thing.*  So I was, and I am, pretty much blown away.  I was writing about it last night a little in my journal:
just about as close as you can come to what you might be able to call the opposite of an original thought or experience, so definitively human and age old, built even into our own lives—but here I have no one to bore,† so: a life begins today!  A life!  This is the birthday of a person who was born this year on this day and whose parents, whose mother and father, are and will be and forever will have been my friends!
[NOTE:  The reason not to write about something that everybody already knows is not that there's no point—after all, brilliantly articulating universal experience is arguably one of the best things writing can do—but rather that you'd better do it fucking brilliantly.  Which I have not.  Or—I don't know, maybe it's not that you have to do it brilliantly but that you have to do it your way, which maybe I have done?  Oh, I've got it, I know the answer: doesn't fucking matter.]

I'd put up a picture of this beautiful brand-new little girl who I'm not-so-secretly hoping will eventually call me "Uncle," but I feel like maybe that's not too cool without express permission from the parents, so instead here's a picture of another baby.


I think when I meet this kid, I'm going to immediately start bawling.  (I mean my "sister"'s kid, not Baby Herman.  Although if I met Baby Herman it's possible I'd start bawling, too.)



* Exactly that kind of thing.
† As opposed to here.  Look at me go!

Friday, September 17, 2010

on confrontation

(via)


A while back a couple of awesome readers ("helpful citizens"?*) commented on a couple of posts and really got me thinking. Then I fell into the sarlaac and stopped posting† and all was lost—but now it's found! (Was blind, but now it sees!)

Let's see...where were these things? Oh! One of them was actually Mispogon's missing comment [see footnote, the one with the dagger‡] in reply to this post regarding confrontation. I asked whether the best response to an asshole might be to say, "What an asshole," and to walk away—as opposed to engaging, fighting, or even going around debunking or discrediting—and good old Mispogon had this to say (edited here for volume§):
I think, going with the morality of BttF III, that it's a middle-way, but not a conclusive one. If you say "he's an asshole," that's preferable to letting various Biffs control you by setting you off. But it's not as good as confronting that person on your own terms...

Marty's problem is he doesn't want to be chicken. Your and my problem is that we can't stand it when false information is out there pretending to be the truth.

Say Rush Limbaugh asks you to be on his show to debate whether President Obama is secretly working for Iran. Option A is the Kill Option: If you jump on it, you are Martin McFly, and by going you are just asking to get a knife shoved in your belly in Virginia City.

Option B is to turn down Rush Limbaugh when he asks you to be on his show as today's liberal punching bag, and say "he's an asshole," and that is the perfectly fine Seamus McFly response to Rush. This is the Fuck Option, for it feels good, momentarily, to say "He's an asshole" but then nobody is standing up to Rush and a lot more people are listening to him than you. You have saved yourself, but not added any good for others.

The Marry option, Option C, is to delegate the terms to Rush, barter so that he lets you on his show but so you have enough time to prepare a case so practiced and ironclad and attuned to his listeners that you will get on there and put that motherfucking Biff Tannen face-first in a cartload of horse shit before the eyes of the whole town. If you choose Option C once in your lifetime and you can pull it off, you would be a legend.
Then—technically unrelatedly, in response to this post about its maybe being silly to complain about ads—grandgaucheries wrote:
The thing is, though, there are so few people who have the ability (I'm guessing, otherwise what the fuck else explains the sorry state of the world?) to actively engage and question the bullshit status quo that I really think we need everyone capable of it on board. There are millions (billions?) of people who would never question why it is that our entire lives are commodified. Who seemingly see nothing wrong with our entire world financial system being based on exploitation and a false creation of need and desire (or a creation of false need and desire?).
What both of these excellent humans—separately and in accidental concert—led me to realize was that—as so often and interestingly happens—essentially my concern about not being an asshole led me to be just a different kind of asshole.

In other words, sure, not calling bullshit on bullshit may mean you're not fighting all the time, and fighting, as Yoda taught us, is arguably bad per se—but even if that's true about fighting, remember that certain things that are bad per se can actually be good in context, like (this is arguable, but) being cut open with a knife is just plain not good for you but is better than not being cut open if you require some kind of invasive surgery to survive.  AS SUCH—or not "as such" but, well, some other introductory phrase, maybe "BY THE SAME TOKEN"?—it pays to remember that not fighting the bad guy might be good for you in the moral short run but bad for others in the pragmatic long run (or even short run!) and therefore maybe bad for you in the moral...eh, forget runs, but you get what I'm saying.

Or, in case you don't get what I'm saying, I'll put it another way: maybe sometimes you ought to "take one for the team" morally (like Huck Finn saying, "All right, I'll go to hell"**) and engage with assholes so they can't—well, wipe their assholes all over everybody else.

Excuse me for that.

The real problem may be that I tend to call bullshit with a certain...  Well, a friend recently said she was troubled by the anger in the Fuck This Ads, and I told her I don't actually think they are angry, or at least usually aren't, and that in fact the issue is that it's a certain kind of mode, a certain kind of rhetorical mode, used actually in large part just to be funny—and then I told her she could take my fucking anger and cram it up her stupid "troubled" ass!!! [Ha ha! Jokes.] But either way, whatever it is, I think she may have hit the nail right on the head [such violent imagery! nails, hitting! –ed.]: the trick might be to take on your Buford Tannens and your Rush Limbaughs and your HSBC ads and to weaken but not destroy them?  Like, don't kill Magneto, just turn him into a baby?

Obviously I haven't quite worked this out. But anyway—thanks, Mispogon and grandgauche (can I call you grandgauche?), for knocking me off of this silly nonviolence kick.†† Back I go to barking meaninglessly at mailmen!

Off we go on another adventure! (via, see also)

* I'd call 'em heroes but in other corners of the Internet that would suggest they'd killed themselves.
† Mispogon, I swear I'm still going to post and respond to your missing comments on I don't even remember what anymore—but really, you have not been forgotten.
‡ See? I told you I'd do it.
§ Sorry, dude.
** Not really. –ed.
†† Actually, that's only a joke: nonviolence may in fact be a great model. Isn't it sort of the warfare equivalent of satire? I'ma think on that.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Fix yourself, girl.

You know what I haven't done since I don't know when?* Start watching a new season of a TV show that I've never seen except on DVD before! Like, my "ex-wife" and I watched the first however-many seasons of The Sopranos all in this insane Netflix rush and finished just in time to watch the final season together when it aired: I'm not sure when else I've done that. Well, you know when else I've done that? Right now, baby, with It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. And it's fun, I'll tell you—particularly since I'm working on an It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia spec script right now.

And what do you know—sort of a segue! [We call what you have right up here a "cold open."†]

portrait of the blogger (via)

I've been living in California for more than six months, now. It's time to renew the covenant with myself.

A day or two before 2010 started—not actually as a result of or specifically related to the upcoming New Year but in a way that essentially made use of that New Year—I came up with a list of basically what you might call resolutions, and I think it might actually not be too extreme to say I changed my life. Sure enough, I moved out to California just two months later in a kind of Tasmanian Devil–style tornado of drive and positivity,‡ and although I feel that a couple of factors (not least of which was finishing a script) sort dropped me into a kind of a couple-month valley for a while there, now I'm back on my feet again and feeling good about my direction and my momentum and whatnot, so I thought I might share a few words here about what it was that got me moving—and then moving again. Frankly 2010 has been very possibly my least depressed year in recent memory, or in any memory—and, yes, living in an earthly paradise has contributed enormously to that, but it's more than just that.

Unfortunately I modified my list of call-'em-resolutions as time went by, so I don't actually have the original list in its original form, but here it is as it wound up, reorganized with checkmarks and whatnot:§
REGULAR
Get more sleep: computer off by midnight
Cut down on Tumblr ... set goal? (One look daily, one posting daily. DO NOT NEED TO CATCH UP.)
Less dessert! √
[amazing thing omitted, sorry]
GENERAL
Be tall** [I don't stand up straight; people are too often surprised by how tall I am]
Be cheerful
Advance, do not wallow
Down with self-pity, no time for it
Don't put things off: DO
Less obsessive ratiocination and attempting to see into the future
UNDER CONTROL
Exercise regularly √
Start opening shades again [bedbug-related] √
Keep busy √
Anyway, I include all this mainly as a historical artifact, partly just to embarrass myself, but largely also to introduce my new quasi-resolutions, guiding my current life. My last week or so has been pretty great; I've been feeling more on track. Here are some of my new goals or guiding principles, already in effect:
  • watch more sitcoms (for work!)
  • read more, again, finally
  • do the money-making work at night, writing during the day
  • accordingly, stop wasting time with my goddamned friends
  • nothing tastes as good as paying the rent feels
FULL DISCLOSURE: Partly I'm posting this just because I haven't posted anything in a while [Q.v., Cf., whatever]. However, it is true that I feel I changed my life a while back, and it is true that I feel I'm back on my feet after a bit of a...hole, that now I'm sort of back on a...wave? (That was supposed to be a surfing metaphor, sort of.) It's good to look at those old resolutions, too. I've again been trying to work on my posture and get more exercise, and I could sure stand to cut back on Tumblr and dessert—actually, Tumblr I've gotten pretty well under control in the last week, at least relatively speaking. Anyway, there have been times in my life that I've felt I didn't know what to do with my time, and now instead I feel like my days are full and productive—if anything, not enough hours in the day—and honestly, what much more can you ask for than that?

FULL DISCLOSURE: I'm essentially broke and will surely be dead before winter.

(via)


* Write an Alt85 post?
† No.
‡ Was that really a tornado in Brooklyn today? Everyone on Facebook was going on about the tornado, but the news seemed to say it was just a big storm with tornado warnings. Oh, Brooklyn.
§ Important note: I do not like the word whatnot.
** I also included a reference to a note I had on my phone called "Fitness," which went like this:
Slim down while you wait in line. You can't lose five pounds just standing in a line, but you can work on good posture which can make you look like you've lost a few pounds. Focus on proper posture: back straight, bottom in, chest out, shoulders back, head high, jaw aligned, making sure your top and bottom teeth aren't touching each other. Feel good? Practice this every day (sitting and standing), and you'll be amazed at the changes in how you look and feel.
Wake up and firm up. Work on your abdominal strength by just holding your stomach in tightly. Then, squeeze your bottom in as if you're trying to pull on a pair of jeans that are too tight, and pretend that your head is being pulled towards the ceiling by a string. Hold that position. Nobody will notice anything apart from that you look far more awake than they do.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Friday, September 10, 2010

Thursday, September 9, 2010

cashin' in!

I asked for a car; I got a computer.

Some site I found on Google tells me that the estimated value of this blog is $1,015 American. Anybody want to buy me out?

(via)

Monday, September 6, 2010

Democracy: not necessarily right for every occasion.

Fæcebook ads

This isn't really a vote, is it?  Or is that how it works now—voting on facts?

Here's another thing that shouldn't be put up to popular vote, which we can add to our growing list, right next to "facts": the civil rights of minorities! :P *

[All right, now, kids...here's your chance to participate in the Alt85 magic by choosing your own "tag" for this post! Have fun!]

  1. I'M JUST SAYIN', FOLKS.
  2. Hiten Mitsurugi-ryu...SURPRISE POLITICAL TWIST ENDING!!!
  3. PUT THAT IN YOUR NECK AND CHOKE IT!†
  4. CHOK [see below]

(via)

* [Special bonus list] Things that shouldn't be accompanied by emoticons: (1) discussions or even mentions of the civil rights of minorities, (2) anything else.

Friday, September 3, 2010

damned Internet! [UPDATED ALREADY]

(via)

Having no idea what the average age of an Alt85 reader might be—WHOA, my roommate's dog just farted, sorry.  Where was I?

Doesn't matter where I was because average age is meaningless: you're reading this right now, and you could be a statistical anomaly, but does that make you matter any less?  No, and don't let anyone tell you otherwise! You are a unique flower!

But so I don't know, then, whether YOU, unique flower, will identify with the fact that I was very much "there" for the sudden switch from nobody having cell phones to everybody having cell phones  (N.B.: nobody and everybody are exaggerations.)  I graduated from college in the last year of the 20th century and remember specifically taking note, my senior year, of seeing some idiot walking across campus chatting on a cell phone: the note I took was something like, "What a dick."  Also, my friends and I made fun of someone we knew for having a cell phone because it made him look like what my "ex-wife" and I used to refer to "a fancy lad"*—"Why do you have a cell phone?!" we said to him—and this must have been as late as March 2000.

According to my superhuman memory, it was no longer at all remarkable to have a cell phone by the end of that year, and it was sort of weird not to have a cell phone by the end of 2002, at the latest.  That's a quick turnaround.†

But I'm not here to talk to you about cell phones. I brought that up to get to an anecdote that will introduce my main point (because, as discussed, I am introducey)—and here that anecdote is:

This picture will make sense later (maybe).  I put it up here because I have OCD.  (via

I remember that when I first got a cell phone, for work, in the summer of 2000, a friend of mine—to whom, you understand, the having of a cell phone was let's call it a newish thing, analogous probably to having, say, an iPad today‡—said, in response to what he (probably correctly) perceived as over-cautiousness on my part about the safety of my phone (worrying about dropping it or something), something like, "It's OK to have a cell phone if you own it.  It's not OK if it owns you."

This morning I woke up and the Internet was down.  My roommate, it turns out, had forgotten to pay the bill.  I worked this out pretty quickly and we got service reinstated, but my morning was shot.  Like, obliterated.  And this wasn't because it took the whole morning to fix it.  And it's almost noon and I'm essentially still reeling.

Now, this is a twofold problem, and what I'd identify as the second half has little to do with the main point I'm trying to make: that "second half" is that, due to severe mental illness and weakness of character, if the start of my day gets thrown off, the rest of my day tends to crumble.  (Think of a train the front half of which goes off a cliff, pulling the back half along with it.  That happened in a movie, didn't it?  [See not-actually-appropriate photo above.])

But the "first half," the thing I'm trying to get to with all this—and have finally, finally arrived at: this is so exciting!—is that the goddamned Internet and our goddamned computers are supposed to be tools that help us, and instead we spend a good deal of our time working to make sure they're OK!  And if they're not OK, we get all screwed up, in ways that go beyond the mere fact of our not being able to use these tools!  Am I right?  Am I right?  Yes I'm right!

That may be all I have to say for now.  Good payoff, eh?

(via)

UNRELATEDLY: a couple of superior human beings have left comments on this-here blog that I haven't gotten around to responding to yet.  You have not been forgotten!  Oh, and another unrelated thing, while I've got you here: Working Girl is a great movie.  I saw part of it on TV last night, pretty late, and I realized—I realized this, like I didn't quite know it before—that it's a favorite of mine.  It's funny, and well written, and Harrison Ford is sort of my role model!  But also, notably, I think my enjoyment of this movie is is upped, now, by my finally being able to recognize how sexy Melanie Griffith was: I watched it first when I was essentially presexual and then, the way arguably you rarely see faces that are already familiar to you, I never quite reevaluated it in later viewings.  The same thing happened to me the other day with Sigourney Weaver in Ghostbusters.  So I share with you this newfound wisdom—be amazed by it, and enlightened, and enriched: they put hot chicks in movies.

Go now!  Spread the word!§

For some reason this came up when I Googled "working girl melanie screenshots."  Apparently this is in fact a scene from Death Wish V, starring Charles Bronson.  But, you know, I'm not about to start second-guessing Google, so here is your illustration of how Melanie Griffith is hot in Working Girl.  It was either this or the topless vacuuming scene, and this is family blog!  In other news, the dog just farted again.



* A Cabin Boy reference, amazingly enough! I have not italicized Cabin Boy because I mean to emphasize it, and the convention is to deitalicize already italicized words for emphasis. (Surely this does not apply to titles, by the way. Surely not.)

† Neat, too—innit?—that this pretty major cultural shift coincided pretty much exactly with the turn of the millennium.  The enormous historical–geopolitical shift caused by 9/11 of course happened almost a year in, but I feel like the enormous cultural–technological shift of cell-phone universality might as well be pegged at Jan. 1, 2001 [which, by the way—are we still having this conversation?—was the first day of the 21st century].

‡ Unduly proud of this analogy, by the way.

§ P.S.  Alec Baldwin in Working Girl?  Ha!  ("Maybe means dick!  Fuck maybe!")

Thursday, September 2, 2010

And how about that: it's September.

This is a metaphor. (via)

I am stretched too thin—like Silly Putty when it separates into those saggy little near-weightless threads.  (Remember that?)  I'm talking about the Internet, here.  Facebook doesn't occupy much of my attention anymore—I've become a bit of an old man about Facebook, in a way*—but between Twitter, Tumblr, the journal I've kept since 1992 (which I've been deprivatizing† here and there: e.g.), and this very blog, I've set myself up to be pretty unfocused in terms of creative output.  Of course none of this even begins to take into account my "real" or "official" output (like: I'm writing at least one spec script, did you know?).  The good news is that all this stretching, to use the metaphor I started with, doesn't interfere with that "real" writing.  The bad news is—well, as I learned from Fast, Cheap, and Out of Control, the reason lion tamers hold up chairs sometimes is because the lions can't decide which chair leg to focus on and sort of give up.  Back in the day, if I had something I wanted to say that I didn't want to put in fiction or a screenplay or anything like that, I'd put it up on here.  Now it's like...

You get it.  The important part ("important," ha) is that I'm starting to feel stretched too thin.  (Did I mention that already?  I'm sitting on the patio in the late-afternoon Southern California sun‡ after a day of productive work I feel good enough about that I'm happy just sort of lazing§ now, so my attention here is hardly laser-focused.  One might ask why I'm "turning on the mic," then, if I'm not ready to say anything.  That's a valid-enough question, and if you'd like to kiss my ass, just let me know and I'll get it ready for you.)

What else can I tell you?  Oh, right, almost lost track of what I was saying, here.  (Fuckin' parentheticals.)  Here's the plan (and I think it will reduce the volume of rambly preposterous shit like what you're reading right now, by the way): drop Tumblr as much as possible and focus on Twitter, Alt85, and my private journal that you don't get to read—the loose thread being the auto-bio question that keeps popping up over here, but whatever, good thing none of any of this fucking matters even the slightest bit.  I feel like Alt85's been a little shitty lately; let's go ahead and make it better.  Besides which, I said the "stretching" doesn't hurt my writing, I think the "stretching" doesn't hurt my writing, but am I sure the "stretching" doesn't hurt my writing?  Fuck you, "stretch"!  [Also—I am 6'3": why has nobody ever called me "stretch" as an insult?  Didn't that used to be an insult for tall people?  What the fuck, man?!]

Here's a picture of me (slouching, as usual):

(via)



* Not 100% sure that I mean by that, but I'll let it stand.
† Wrong word, obviously.  So wrong it's right.
‡ Y'all notice that in the fuck-N.Y. Onion article everybody was so excited about today, the fuck-L.A. tag at the end couldn't come up with much negative to say about this place beyond its basically being too pleasant?  ("Laid-back" is hardly an insult, and lack of seasons basically means spring and fall all year round.)
§ Feels like it isn't a real word, is a real word!