ed_rex: (Default)
2017-09-30 03:15 am

"Is that me?! My God! It is!!"

What have I become or, The Devolution of Young Geoffrey!

Young Geoffrey Simpson!?!

There are times when looking oneself in even a metaphorical mirror is a sobering thing indeed.

Jesus, god, two written apologies in eight days! What in the world has happened to Young Edifice? Did I somehow turn into that middle-aged white guy? The one whose idea of conversation is to "share" his opinions about this, that and especially the other thing, whether or not anyone has asked for it.

The first incident I might have just chalked up to social awkwardness born of my long hermatose years in Ottawa. Outside of Raven and family, and my weekly soccer games, I could count most years' social interactions on the fingers of one hand. So I suppose a gaffe or two might be in order.

The other two, though, were the sort of explosions of ego that I have always found appalling in others; hearing them in myself is frankly a little nauseating.

That first incident happened two Sundays ago, after a soccer game (we won, thank you very much) which featured a former team-mate as the opposing captain.

Robyn and I last played together two or three years ago, and our sole contact since has been a LinkedIn "friendship", and three or four email exchanges when I've been looking for a sub for one of my teams.

She is an athletic young woman, and one with whom I enjoyed talking when we played together and, yes, I liked the look of her as well. Had I been single, she was someone I might have pursued, if had she wasn't a vegetarian. (I know. Not as big a deal as politics or religion, but still ...) Whether any of that contributed to my behaviour a week-and-a-half ago I leave to the judgment of the reader; for me, I don't think so, but it's possible.

Anyway. As opposing captains we shook hands before the game and then, as fellow cyclists, afterwards we talked on the way to the bike rack, and rode off together, catching up as acquaintances will do.

And then, when there was a brief lull in the conversation, I leaned into my handlebars and said over my shoulder, "Well, and with that I will bid you adieu!" And I stepped hard on my peddles and pulled away as if I was being chased by the devil himself.

Why? Why ever would I be so rude to someone I liked? As best I can recall, I was worried that I was presuming too much, that she might feel I was pursuing her in some unseemly way. That, despite the fact she seemed for all the world happy to see me and to be enjoying our chat. And when I made my sudden departure, her "Okay," came with a distinctly confused tone of voice.

It's one thing to not be an aggressive prick, Young Edifice, but you are actually allowed to talk with women. You used to do it all the time. Hell, there have been long periods in your life when most of your friends were women!

Another incident came on a return trip from Montreal, when one of my passengers directed me to where he had parked his car. A 1970 Thunderbird, all bright red paint job and obviously one that had been lovably restored.

As, in fact, the pilot explained. And he asked for a few appreciative words about his classic automobile. His crew made the appropriate sounds but what I heard coming from my own mouth appalled me, even as I was unable to stop the words from spilling forth. "Well, if I was one who liked sports cars, I guess I'd like it."

Jesus. God. What a fucking ass. Did anybody, I asked myself, actually ask whether you liked sports cars, Young Edifice!?! Just say, "Nice car," would that be so hard?

Then there was this past Sunday, another soccer game. (We lost that one, and I was filling in as keeper. Ten balls got past me. It took me a while longer to process my behaviour because of that.)

One of my team-mates is a young journalist (since when are national magazine writers allowed to look like they're barely out of high school? When did Young Edifice get to be so old!) and when she arrived we got to talking, almost as if we were carrying on from a chat we'd had the previous game.

Anyway, she told me that she was covering the NAFTA negotiations — and I fucking cut her off.

Cut her off and — again, almost as if I were listening to some asshole who wasn't me, except that, y'know: it was my mouth that was flapping, my voice that was spouting off.

Because spouting off was what I was doing. "I haven't really been paying much attention to the negotiations," I started off by saying. And then, rather than asking her to fill me in — since she was, y'know, paying a lot of attention to the proceedings — I launched into a mini-rant on how I didn't trust Trudeau &ct &ct &ct.

For some strange reason, that kind of killed the "conversation", though I didn't really notice it in the moment, since we spoke at half-time and it was time to get back out onto the field.

And on the field, I let in another four goals (for a grand total of 10 — not my most shining hour as keeper!), so it wasn't until I was home and recovered from the defeat that I replayed my words and voice in my mind and realized what I must have sounded like: That Guy. That middle-aged white guy whose idea of conversation is to opine, to lecture, and god knows, not to listen — especially not to a younger woman even if she is actually involved in the topic at hand.

Yuck.

I wrote both women letters of apology (the pilot? Well, I don't have his email address anyway), and both graciously said it was fine, but I still don't feel like it's fine. I can only hope that I'll be given the chance to behave better in the future.

I don't think I've always been like this, so what happened? When did I turn into That Guy? Will I soon by loudly proclaiming that all modern music — everything made since I turned 20 or so — is crap? God knows, I keep running into men (and they are usually men, no question) who make such statements with no apparent sense of irony, or awareness that they are surely channelling their own parents, who doubtless said the same about the music they now idolize as The Best of All Time.

Please, Lord: I do not want this to be a taste of my future self. Self-monitoring — intense self-monitoring! — must become the order of the day from now until at last I slide from this mortal coil into eternal darkness.

Emmy the Great describes the type (I don't want to become) with a wonderfully acerbic wit.

You say you're looking for the truth,
Like you got rifles in your books,
But up above your parents' roof
I saw no star tonight,
Only the black from whence you came,
And where they'll send you back again,
And no blue plaque will keep your name
From falling out of sight.

And you can wage this war of one,
And I am still the only one
Who will remember you when you are gone.

ed_rex: (Default)
2017-06-28 02:03 am

Farewell, Mr. Adams, I sorta new ye (Or, we'll always have "Shut up and reboot!")

One of the things LJ has that I don't think DW does, is feeds from such things as Scott Adams' Dilbert. I can't much abide Adams' politics, but his comic still makes me laugh more than most, and so when reading my LJ friends' page, I have for years clicking the link that would take me to the latest installment of his comic.

But, I've been ridiculously busy of late; keeping up with my reading has been a matter of desperate baling while the waters pour over the gunnel's at best.

And so it was that, maybe four or five weeks ago, I decided to just skip a Dilbert as it came down my feed. And then I skipped another, and another, and another. And cetera.

Three weeks into the experiment, I realized that I hadn't missed his cartoon at all. And a week or two after that — tonight — I said to hell with it. If I'm not going to read the damned thing, I might as well unsubscribe.

And so I did. Farewell, Mr. Adams!

ed_rex: (Default)
2017-04-17 03:11 pm

LJ 18th anniversary, or The irony, it burns!

Car crash at Somerset Street & Percy, Ottawa, taken in January or February of 2017. Click for full-size image.

It's pretty hard to believe it's been 13 and a half years since I joined Livejournal. Paradoxically, it's also pretty hard to believe it's only been 13 and a half years since I joined Livejournal.

What's even harder to believe, is that I've been on Dreamwidth since May of 2009, just shy of eight years, – more than half the time I've been on Livejournal – during which I have made DW my home, cross-posting to LJ from here.

14 years. 8 years. Either way, the mind boggles.

Anyway, over the years, LJ/DW (but especially) it has at times been a central part of my online life, if recent years have seen its importance diminish (almost the only posts I've made directly to LJ since moving to DW have been an automated record of my tweets). And now, the movement away from LJ to DW, which started fitfully back in 2009, seems to have really taken off. Last I checked (two or three days ago) there were a half-dozen dead journals listed on my LJ Friends List; there might be more now).

I'm not closing my LJ. Not yet, anyway. Nostalgia and inertia are powerful forces, and the Doctor Who community over there is still pretty strong. More importantly, I'm not much more concerned about servers being located in Russia than I am about DW's being located in the United States. Indeed, a case could be made that, as a Canadian, I am more likely to be targeted by nefarious forces in the USA than I am by the powers-that-be in Russia.

But regardless, as a wannabe writer and sometime publisher, the vast majority of my on-line life is conducted in public. And I harbor no illusions that anything I post on someone else's server is not accessible to government forces should they happen to put me in their cross-hairs.

So here I am; and there I will stay. And a happy anniversary to me, and to Livejournal.

#mylivejournal #lj18 #happybirthday

ed_rex: (Default)
2017-03-02 05:09 am

Appropos of nothing much in particular ...

12-hour shifts &mdash even relatively easy 12 hour shifts — are hard.

It's 05:09 as I type this. I've been home from about 1 hour and 40 minutes after a 12 hour shift. 12 hour shifts are long. And become 14 hour shifts if you take travel times into account.

I've managed to eat, and watch the latest episode of The Expanse, which is that bloody rare example (perhaps Game of Thrones rare — or maybe that's a bad example, since I've never read the books and gave up on the show a season or two back. But I think it serves to illustrate the point) of a television adaptation which is very nearly as good as the books on which it's based.

But for now, it's time for a shower and some rest.

Just thought it was more than time this space (LJ version) showed more than bloody tweets (and, DW version, showed anything at all). (Hi Nellie!)

Exeunt! (But have a picture! After almost a week of rain, it's hard to believe this was the scene on my street only a week and a half-ago (February 19th, 2017, to be precise).

Where are the snows of yestermonth?

ed_rex: (Default)
2017-01-13 01:21 am

Popularity problems

Not my popularity, but Dreamwidth's.

A whole bunch of my Livejournal Friends (well, maybe a half-dozen) have gone and done what I did a few years back - duplicated their journals here. Worse, they're now cross-posting new entries. Er, as I do.

So, my heretofore almost-moribund DW Reading page is suddenly a lot busier. But (which two exceptions so far), busier with people whose words I will also see on LJ.

It's not nearly as onerous as scrolling through Facebook, but the duplication isn't actually welcome.

Aw well. First-world problems, I guess.

ed_rex: (1980)
2017-01-05 05:59 am

"You're dead after school, Dow!"

Back in grades seven and eight, I was bullied in a pretty big way. Death threats (however rhetorical) were a more or less daily occurrence. Elbows in the hall happened regularly, and actual assaults on school property (inside the school itself, more than once) were, if not frequent, were not exactly rare.

And deciding which route to take home was a matter of balancing my desire to get home quickly vs the odds of being attacked by the thugs who had decided I was the one they would pick on.

Probably my biggest moment of shame and pride happened in (I think) grade eight, when the halls were full with students streaming from one class to another.

I was attacked by three or four guys, who took me to the floor and got in a few shots, then, laughing in triumph, took their leave. At which point I got to my feet and leapt upon the leader — Terry Scovron was his name, I'm pretty sure — and got in a few licks of my own.

Naturally, his thugs came to his aid and I was once again put down, but I felt a certain amount of satisfaction in having gotten in a few of my own.

What rankled, though, was hearing later, that word had gotten 'round that Scovron had beaten me up, no mention of his three or four henchmen.

Anyway, I digress.

I was actually friendly with one member of that gang. He was a nice enough kid, I guess. He hung with the bullies to protect himself, I think. They'd abuse him — mock him and hit him, but not too hard, and in exchange he had their protection and, presumably, some measure of prestige.

Anyway, one day after a test, when we had some free time in the same class-room, I asked him, "Why? Why don't they just leave me alone?"

"They're scared of you," he said. And when, baffled, I asked him how they could possibly be scared of me, he told me that it was because I didn't play their game. I just wanted to be left alone. He said (and I paraphrase; it's been a few years, and he didn't use the kind of vocabulary I'm gifting him with now) if I would just accept their dominance, they'd let me be. But because I kept fighting back, they had to keep putting me down. And because I didn't seem to care about their barnyard strutting, they had to keep putting me down. So that I would care about the grade seven, then eight, pecking order.

(This shit went on for two fucking years; and yes, the constant worry that I might be attacked for no good reason did do some long-term damage. Although, on the other hand, I think it's given me a little more empathy for how women feel when walking a dark street, or navigating a mostly-male workplace, than a lot of men have.)

Anyway, flash-forward to the present. The boss' mother (and titular owner) aside, my workplace is entirely male. Many of them immigrants, almost of us working class. Some, like me, with book-larnin, most without much of it.

I don't have a regular shift there, but get a new schedule every two weeks. And further, if I am going to be driving a crew out of town, I get an email with the specifics of time and (sometimes) of which vehicle I'll be driving.

A few days before Christmas I got one of those emails, with a note about the weather: you'd better come in at least 15 minutes early, so you can scrape the ice off the windows.

I texted back, "Thanks for the heads' up. And if [R] is fretting, tell him I'm already on the bus."

Fretting. I guess I should have known better.

R has made a point of using the word, fretting, every god damned time I've been in the office at the same time as him ever since.

Unlike grade school, it's okay. Instead of punches, my co-workers throw jokes. They tease, "the way men do".

One of the nice things about being a grown up, is that other people (usually) grow up too, at least to some extent. Where once my eccentricities elicited violence, now they are an identifying trait, not a threat. I'm weird, but I'm okay, I'm liked.

Which is a really nice change, even after all these years, let me tell you!

But even so, I think I'm going to get pretty damned sick of the word fretting before too long.

ed_rex: (Default)
2017-01-02 05:49 pm

2016: Confessions of a procrastinator (2017 edition)

A New Year's post-mortem

Cover of Self-Loathing Comics #1, by R. Crumb. Click image for more information.
Image from the cover of Self-Loathing Comics #1, by R. Crumb. Published by Fantagraphics Books. Click image for full cover.

It's a sobering fact that Neil Young manages to make records faster than I can absorb them, and that Kristine Kathryn Rusch writes books faster than I can fucking read them.

As John Lennon put it, "And so happy Christmas, and what have you done? Another year over ..."

Am I going to manage to do something with the new year just begun?

A look at what Young Geoffrey has left undone. If you're not interested, just skip to the video below. Emmy the Great is exactly what Emma-Lee Moss wrote on the tin when she was young and un-selfconscious. )

"You say you love me like a sister
Then you walk me to the cafe
where the drinks cost more than music ..."

ed_rex: (Default)
2016-12-18 11:53 pm

Mon pays, c'est l'hiver!

Have I mentioned that I love soccer? And also, cycling? And even, winter?

Young Geoffrey sets out for his soccer afternoon in Ottawa.

ed_rex: Winter Warrior icon (Weekend Warrior)
2016-12-12 12:05 am

Fight or flight?

Fright or flight?

The author takes the right seat - just don't touch anything! Photo by Raven

The strangeness of fear (or lack thereof)

December 11, 2016, OTTAWA — Fear — pure, irrational fear — is the damnedest thing.

I'm talking about the fears that don't make sense, or at least, that don't make sense when taken out of context. Fear of spiders that aren't poisonous, of rodents nott dangerous, of heights well-barricaded.

This last — heights — is my especial irrational bugaboo. Standing on a chair to reach a high shelf makes me uneasy. Getting onto the counter to change a light-bulb makes me nervous verging on frightened.

Hell, one of my earliest childhood memories comes from a terror near paralysis I experienced when I had to ride a down escalator at the old Eaton's in Montreal. In fact, it's only in the past five — maybe 10 — years, that I've learned to travel the moving staircases in more or less complete serenity.

But put me in an elevator or on an aeroplane, no matter that the latter, especially, is objectively much more dangerous than riding an escalator, and I feel no fear whatsoever.

At least, that's always been my experience on commercial airplanes. But I've wondered, ever since I first flew as a passenger in a Dash-8, how I would react were I to ride in the cockpit of a small aircraft, without the illusion of safety even a small passenger liner provides.

Would my fear of heights reassert itself in such a flimsy platform?

Last month, I finally found out whether I have any fear of flying.

_______

ed_rex: (Default)
2016-11-13 04:09 pm

The waves of virtue are ...

I'm sick. 2nd degree hacking cough and a head full of mucus.

The cold came on fast Friday afternoon and evening, during what turned out to be an 11 hour shift. Nevertheless, I hoped on my bicycle for home come about 02:15 Saturday morning, then got back on it at about 11:15 for a return trip and another 11 hour shift on Saturday. I returned home a little after midnight, having cycled about 35 kilometres since the onset of symptoms.

I say all this not to brag (or not to brag much), but to note:

Less than 10 years ago, when I caught a cold it was my practice to take to my bed, to suck down Neocitrin, and basically spend the next four to seven days in bed.

Since then, though, I stopped smoking, cut my drinking by more than half and started biking a lot more and playing soccer. And — fancy that! — now when I catch a cold, I function. I doubt I get over it any faster, but I don't take to my bed like some upper-class Victorian lady with The Vapours, I just carry on. (And, probably, spread my illness around to my passengers, but what the hell; I'm pretty sure one of them gave it to me in the first place.)

And speaking of that cycling, I've long maintained that my bicycle is my primary mode of transportation; now I have proof.

After I bought a new machine some time back in August, I decided to splurge on an odometer. Which turned out to be an unreliable piece of junk, which I was fortunately able to return. At which point I took Raven's advice and tried out a GPS-based cellphone app called Strava — which works like a charm (so long as I remember to enable my location services). I started recording my rides on August 23rd. I've missed a few and will manually enter the information later, so the image below does not include all the miles (kilometres) I've cycled since then, but it's not too far off.

1,290 km in less that three months, damn it! And you know what? I'm proud!

1200 km cycled in less than 3 months!

ed_rex: (Default)
2016-10-25 01:34 pm

Pee Story or, Good Cops or White Privilege?

After dropping off passengers at the Trudeau International Airport in Dorval, I headed back to Ottawa driving an empty van, torn between the comforting inanities of the sports station on the radio (go Habs go!) and the distorted eco-rock of the eternally-rejuvenating Neil Young, playing with the much-younger men of Promise of the Real.

Anyway, though I'd make a quick stop at a nearby hotel to pee, about half-way back to Ottawa I began to feel that pressure again, the one that says, Really, Young Geoffrey! You do like your fluids, don't you! And it's true, I do.

After balancing the twin desires — the relief of a good pee vs the desire to get home as soon as possible — the urge to pee won out over a frankly pretty brief stop.

I flicked my turn signal on and pulled off the highway, stopping entirely off the paved shoulder, turned on my hazard lights (yes, as a cyclist, a driver and a pedestrian, I've become a bit of a signal-nazi; and no apologies), and got out from behind the wheel, walked around back to the passenger side and opened the front passenger door, in order to more discretely go about my business.

Job done, I zipped up, closed the door and started back around the vehicle again. Only to see, as I reached the driver's side, a car pulling up onto the shoulder behind me. One with flashing lights on the roof.

Oh my Christ! was my first thought, am I going to be busted for indecent exposure!?!

But surely not! There was no proof I'd exposed anything, was there? It was dark and I'd completed my ablutions before they were anywhere near me!

Still, I could only wait to find out. I turned to face them as an officer emerged from either side of the car. The driver carried a flashlight, but she didn't point it aggressively towards me, but rather just illuminated the ground between us. "Good evening!" I said, waving at them with my gloved right hand.

"Hi," said the cop, "are you all right?"

"Oh," I said, a little non-plussed. "Yes, yes, I'm fine thank you."

"Well good," she said, "we just stopped to make sure everything is okay."

"Yes, it is," I said, then added with completely unnecessary candour, "I just had to, y'know, empty my bladder." (Idiot! came a voice from the back of mind, never volunteer anything!) But no harm done. She smiled and said, "Well good night, then," and she and her partner turned back to their car.

"Okay, thanks," I said, waving. And I thought, making sure "everything is okay" is what cops should do!

But when I got back in the car, I had to wonder, would that have been the whole of the interaction if I'd been a brown or a black man?

And that — after she finished laughing — was just what Raven said when I told her the story after I got home" "Yeah, because you're white!"

I'd like to think that she (and I) are wrong about that, that those particular cops really were among those "good cops" we hear about every time a Sammy Yatim is gunned down like a made dog that's not even on the loose, but it's hard not to wonder if I was only benefiting from my white skin.

Anyway, here's Neil Young and Promise of the Real, to give you something else to be angry about. ("Monsanto").

ed_rex: (Default)
2016-10-14 12:28 pm

A tale of burns and aloe or, Farenheit five-oh-oh

You know what's scary? That moment when you realize you've grabbed the handle of a copper pan just out of a 500 degree (Farenheit) oven, just before you start to feel the burn.

I let it go awfully fast, so that only my fore-finger and, to a lesser extent, my thumb, sizzled. But even so, I knew it was going to hurt. I went immediately to the freezer and pulled out a bag of frozen corn and held it tight for some minutes, even as we ate.

The conversation, as it will, turned to the wound, which pulsed with pain every time I took it away from the icy kernels. I wondered if I could try analgesic I'd bought for a sore tooth a couple of months ago, and Raven wondered whether there was some sort of natural remedy I might try.

And that question turned on the proverbial light-bulb: Aloe!.

Raven has been carrying for an aloe plant longer than I've known her, and so she made her way upstairs and snipped off a bit for me to try.

And ladies and gentlemen and fair folk (hmm ... does that last term work?), let me tell you, it worked like a fucking wonder. The sap went on cool and soothed the burns instantly. Within an hour, the pain had vanished almost entirely. This morning, the dead skin is dry to the touch, but it doesn't hurt.

Kids! If you don't have an aloe plant in the house, get one! They don't take a lot of care. As Raven pointed out last night, it doesn't like a lot of water and she never fertilizes it, and yet it grows and it grows and it grows. Just keep it away from frost. And when you need it, snip a little off and apply liberally until the pain goes away.

A tale of burns and aloe: photo shows burned finger with aloe plant in background
ed_rex: (dhalgren)
2016-09-27 01:14 am

Preliminary remarks on the final phase of US Election 2016

Should any of you be interested, I think Trump is likely to win this election. I'm not cheering for him, mind you, but neither am I cheering for the war-criminal Hillary ("we came, we saw, he died!") Clinton. As a foreigner, I see no good outcome in the short term, and probably not in the long, unless Black Lives Matter and the renewed anti-pipeline native movement(s) can somehow coalesce in a broader, genuinely revolutionary movement with whatever remains of Bernie Sanders' supporters.

In the short run, whoever wins the Presidency, the Pentagon will ensure lots of foreign wars and lots of foreign casualties; and most likely, President Trump will prove just as friendly to the 1%, the class to which he belongs, as President Clinton.

All that said, I watched the debate with a sort of morbid fascination. Was surprised that Trump was so well-coached and impressed by his cool body language; when he wasn't interrupting, he appeared to be listening to his opponent. Clinton surprised me by being mostly fairly personable, much less stiff than I expected. But the eye-rolling and impatient smiles at Trump's more outrageous lies and innuendo probably did her no good.

No clear winner to my eyes, though; it's going to be a long couple of months. So I'll leave you with a picture.

ed_rex: (Default)
2016-09-25 02:04 am

On the importance of having pockets (or not)

The pocket is political

She's got hands in her pockets ...

Women’s pockets were private spaces they carried into the public with increasing freedom, and during a revolutionary time, this freedom was very, very frightening. The less women could carry, the less freedom they had. Take away pockets happily hidden under garments, and you limit women’s ability to navigate public spaces, to carry seditious (or merely amorous) writing, or to travel unaccompanied.

Normally this is the sort of thing I would just post a link to on the faceplace or the twit, but the person I am almost certain would find this interesting (if they haven't already seen it) has withdrawn from the hurly-gurly of Zuckerealm, if only temporarily.

And so, I commend to your attention the surprising history of pockets and why — if you're a woman — your clothes probably don't have any. None usuful, at least.

The Politics of Pockets.

ed_rex: (Default)
2016-08-18 04:08 pm

Healthy - ish

I think I mentioned it in a comment on someone else's journal, but I haven't said anything about it here.

I had an appointment with my MDeity this morning, on account of Raven having noticed a scaly kind of discoloration on the side of my neck way back around Easter. At the time, I dismissed as probably being a result of my bike helmet strat abrading it or something, but she took a photo of it around the end of July and that was enough to make place a call to Doctor Chow's office.

If you want the details, they're below the cut, hidden for those who don't want to be reminded that human skin is flawed and patchy and full of holes. )

Anyway, the news today was mostly good. She told me the markings aren't cancer (the big worry, 'natch), but since she doesn't know what they are, referred me to a specialist. Figures it will be about four months until I see her.

She also told me that the blood tests she'd sent me for blood tests to check for adult-onset diabetes (I'd complained of a series of "near colds", maybe a month in which I felt like I was coming down with something every two or three days). Not only were my results good, she said, they were "very good. I pee a lot 'cause I drink plenty of fluids — and the near-colds stopped happening the moment I walked out of her office last time.)

And finally, the arthritis. She says it will subside with time, and approves of my desire to stay away from meds that would see me getting blood tests to make sure I'm not fucking up my liver every three months.

So, yeah. For now I deal with the pain, take ASA and see if the twice-daily does of turmeric tea (which I started trying this week) does any good. When I mentioned that I can't do push-ups because of the pain, she made the very sensible suggestion that I do them on my knuckles and I'll give that a try.

So. All things considered, not to bad. The process of deterioration is ongoing, but moving at a pleasantly slow clip. And there's nothing stopping me from playing soccer or carrying on my 25 kilometre round-trip commute to work on my new bicycle.

Now if I can only get back to writing, I'll be in clover.

ed_rex: (Default)
2016-08-12 03:42 pm

44 questions, not beers, in the meme ...

Yoinked from sabotabby's LJ.

And cut for the protection of your friends' page. )

44. What song do you want played at your funeral?

I want more than one, but it certainly wouldn't hurt to include this one:

ed_rex: (Default)
2016-08-12 03:03 pm

Heatwave dreams

The pitch was bright, all hard sun baking wilting astro-turn, the mid crowded with bodies of the enemy. I punted a cautious pass towards my downstream team-mate, calling out his name as the ball left the toe of my shoe and floated over the defenders' heads. He turned, but mis-calculated and the ball bounced, then dribbled toward the enemy.

I pinched, fast and hard, reaching the ball only milliseconds before my opponent. Kicked out, hard and ...

... and hurled myself right off my bed and into the wall, down which I slid to the floor.

From above, I heard Raven cry out, "Honey, what happened? Are you all right?" She burst into laughter when I explained what had happened, and I did too, as I got to my knees, checked for damages (slight scrape on the inside of one thigh), and clambered back onto the bed.

Soccer dreams are all well and good, but somebody's gonna get hurt if this keeps up. A rude awakening indeed.

ed_rex: (Default)
2016-07-08 01:43 pm

A road not taken (by me)

When I was a kid, a teenager (and beyond, in fact), I played the guitar and I hitch-hiked quite a lot. As a grubby-looking, long-haired guy, that latter activity meant I spent a lot of time standing by the side of the road, day-dreaming. And a recurring day-dream was that I would master the guitar to the point where I might find myself someday sharing a stage with Jerry Garcia and the Grateful Dead, noodling away like a 'head from the Haight.

Obviously, it never happened. I didn't have the drive to become a good guitarist nor, I suspect, did (or do) I have the innate talent. Sometimes biology is destiny.

But last night, I happened on a video of a very recent concert by Dead & Company, a band made up of former members of the Grateful Dead and others, younger players.

I don't expect many (or even, probably, any) of you to watch the video — it's more than 3 hours long, but who knows? Maybe someone's trippin' ...

Anyway, listening to it and (sometimes) watching it and it hit me: John Mayer, the lead guitarist (whose name but not work rings a bell with me), though 12 years my junior, is doing something I fantasized I might do on those long, dusty days with my thumb out waiting for a ride.

No wonder he bounces. No wonder he looks so happy. He's jamming with the Dead, man!

Dead & Company is a nostalgia act, sure, but there's still some creative life in the old bones, if only through the input of young(ish) blood. The Rolling Stones could take a lesson.

ed_rex: (Default)
2016-05-02 11:25 pm

Game of Thrones or Orphan Black?

Not that anyone cares (nor should they) but I for some reason feel compelled to announce publicly that I have grown so disenchanted with Game of Thrones I can't even be bothered to read episode synopses, let alone actually watch it any more.

Pity. It was fun for a a while.

But on the other hand, last week's Orphan Black made me squee like the greenest fanboy. If you're not watching it, why in the hell aren't you?

Happy (Orthodox) Easter, everybody.

Image: Mock poster showing Marx, Engels(?), Lenin and Christ with hammer and sicle.

ed_rex: (Default)
2016-04-13 07:26 pm

Brought to you by the letter M!

silverflight8 gave me the letter M.

Something I hate: Mortality. See "Someone I know", below.

Something I love: That's easier. Kim Stanley Robinson's Mars trilogy, a series of novels that puts the E back int eh word epic. And more, a story that is forever noting a reader's expectations, then giving them something very different. Robinson kills three of his most charismatic players in the first volume and has the heir apparent simply ignore his "destiny" in the subsequent two. And what's not to like about a series that features middle-aged (and then old women among its prime movers, as well as not one, but two, constitutional conventions as part of its action?

Somewhere I've been: Montebello. A very small town on the Quebec side of the Ottawa River/Rivière des Outaouais, about halfway between Ottawa and Montreal. It features a hotel that is (I think) the world's largest log cabin, and is a 10 or 15 minute drive from Parc Omega, a drive-through animal "safari" in which moose demand carrots at your window, wolves loll about only metres away and wild boar engage in public sex acts without so much as a by-your-leave. Great snow-showing, too.

Somewhere I'd like to go: Manzanillo, Cuba. Why? Because it starts with the letter M and 9 days was not nearly long enough a visit to that country.

Someone I know: Maria. Well, I don't know her well, but we went out once for a pint, to talk books and publishing two or three years ago. She's a Serious Christian and it turned out we didn't share much in common philosophically or aesthetically, but what made it memorable for me was that (a) she was an attractive woman who was (b) roughly my age and (c) a fucking grandmother. See "Something I Hate", above.

A film I like: My Own Private Idaho, which is in part a really ideosyncratic modern-dress re-telling of Shakespeare's Henry IV diptych, with Prince Hal as a narcoleptic rent-boy. I showed it to an ex-girlfriend whose response — "That's the dumbest movie I ever saw!" — probably set the stage for that relationship's demise.

A book I like: The Motion of Light In Water, Samuel R. Delany's 1980s memoir of "sex and science fiction writing in the East Village, 1957-1965." Part literary memoir, part social history, part personal recollections of a sexual life that, by now (according to the author himself) includes sexual encounters with something on the order of 50,000 (yes, 50K) different (almost all) men. Fascinating on all kinds of levels and, of course, brilliantly-written.

A (actress in a) television show I like: Tatiana Maslany. Because she plays something like 8 different characters on Orphan Black, and Orphan Black's 4th series starts tomorrow night, and she's brilliant and I am hoping against hope that the writers know where they're going with what is so far a brilliant show. Another Battlestar Galactica will break my heart.

Comment if you want to get a letter too! (You can cheat too, if you want to.)

ETA: I am shocked, appalled, and kind of disgusted that, given the letter M, I was unable to remember just how much (a lot) I love the work of Hayao Miyazaki. *Young Geoffrey hangs his head in shame*