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Archive for October, 2014

I climbed up a mountain this weekend. It was marvelous.

I climbed up a mountain this weekend. It was marvelous.

Howdy. Once again, I’ve no excuse for not updating this space more frequently. I think it may be related to making sure I’m clear on what exactly I want to put down, which is a bit of a different approach than I’ve taken in the past. Writing here has been useful in helping me figure out what I think and feel about what’s going on in my life or in the news or in whatever other thing is shining at the time. But something happened — the process shifted and now much of that “figuring out” happens in my head and I’m not as eager — or perhaps I’m better at something — to use the process of writing to formulate and solidify my thoughts. Now, my thoughts are formed before I start and the challenge comes in writing about them coherently and without bitterness or overindulgence. “Treat those two imposters just the same.” Anyway, here are a few thoughts and perhaps I’ll be a little more proactive in the future. But then, there are other places I write…

First things: strangest, weirdest experience. I got the check in the mail over the weekend from that client that hired me to ghostwrite, then tired to weasel out of paying me. And, because one of the last things this person said to me in trying to justify the con was, “I expected better work from you, frankly”, I had this bizarre psychological moment where I actually felt like I DIDN’T DESERVE THE MONEY. How’s that for messing with someone’s head? Same thing happened some time ago when someone I know but a little accused me of basically dropping their name to get ahead. For a half a second – even though I knew my intention was to connect them with someone working on a project that could benefit my acquaintance — I actually believed the suggestion I was going against EVERYTHING I AM AND HAVE ALWAYS BEEN. I don’t care about that name-droppy stuff or who the hell you think you are. Never have and never will. But nice ego you have there. Must be heavy. You should set it down, take a load off, and relax. Also, not for nothing, but the people I’d like to take me seriously very likely don’t care about that stuff either (at least I hope they don’t); and, even if they did, my association with you may not be considered a plus. So, I mean really, just check yourself.

Okay, to bust this stuff out so I can walk up the street and have a beer with my buddies while watching some of this baseball game…Hopefully the next time we talk it’ll be in celebratory terms because those midterms will have everyone breathing a sigh of relief. Till then, stuff and things:

The new Dem meme is this notion that “trickle down” economics didn’t work. I mentioned on Twitter the other day that this was a ludicrous argument, primarily because it always has worked when it’s been embraced, and this idea that it hasn’t hinges on this ridiculous notion that somehow George W. Bush (who had to fund a war) and Barack Obama were STILL TRYING IT. Jesus. And then, I found this. So, “trickle down” was a pejorative, huh? These people are fascinating. From here on in I’ll be sure to only refer to “supply side” economics.

What’s the name of that book? Oh yeah, The Confederacy of Dunces. I mean, come on. And really, if Solyndra has never made much sense to you, read McCarthy’s piece. It’s remarkable how easy the lie came.

Well I mean, yeah. The question is: when does that start becoming a federal crime? Then we’ll know we have a problem.

Speaking of firepower.

But voter fraud is crazy talk…

Journalists, it’s on you if you don’t understand why their model is only to be taken very lightly and never emulated in hard reporting. When you get busted for reporting garbage because you think Buzzfeed is anything more than entertainment, there’ll be little sympathy.

Oh…okay, then. I know my pops was about my age when his business began, and then it took some years to really flourish. He keeps telling me to be patient.

Funny thing happens when you don’t freak out. Things can sometimes change for the better.

Gorgeous. I see things like this and I do feel that thing that only men of faith and astronomers feel all the time: the cohesive thread of humanity.

The McConnaissance continues. I love the movie Fool’s Gold. Love it. Go away with your criticism.

Where curse words come from.

Possibly one of the greatest concert reviews ever written, and I wish I had been the one to create it. There is so much really fine country music out there it’s beyond me why this stuff — it’s fine, just really saccharine — rises to the top.

Ha, Christian Bale is pretty mercurial his own damn self. I’m sure the movie will be good. And what he’s saying is worth debating. The ability to remain objective and still retain your belief is a remarkable skill.

My foot twinges the further we go into the year…

Been watching a lot of Pacino lately. This is one of his best speeches, and that’s saying something. But I do like the thrust of this scene. I believe every word of it.

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I learned something about myself recently: When confronted with a situation where someone is condescending while attempting to stiff me out of payment for good, timely work (and telling me that work is subpar but that they’re still going to use it), it takes everything in me not to go straight up, chicken neck ATL, Southern accent, Reese Witherspoon in Sweet Home Alabama, “Aw Hell Naw!” on them. It’s a tremendous battle of wills between my finer self and the little girl who took off her shoes the minute she walked outside to play, despite her mother’s repeated disappointment in such behavior. And even though I grew up inside the Atlanta Perimeter, there were pine trees everywhere. Pine trees = pine cones. My feet were tough. And that’s a metaphor, in case you need it spelled out.

Anyway, a few minutes after learning that, I came to another realization: there are some personality types that lend themselves to hiring a ghost writer to help them out of a jam. Those personality types can distinguish between poor writing and writing that is simply stylistically different from their own. If you cannot accept that denser paragraphs that are still grammatically correct (and I know this because the MSWord application tends to point out things like run-on sentences and poor spelling) can still be indicative of quality work (despite your tendency to write shorter sentences and paragraphs), then you should probably not hire someone to be your voice. Also, maybe, say thank you to the person who gave you 6,000 words over a period of 4 drafts and 2 weeks to save your behind, instead of threatening not to pay them and telling them how disappointed you are in their work (even though you still intend to use it). It’s the right thing to do. And, by the way, someone whose opinion I trust way more than yours got on to me today to update this space because he enjoys what I write here. He’s a pretty well-regarded guy in the field of journalism so I think I’m just going to put your criticisms behind me. You’re welcome anyway.

Speaking of Reese Witherspoon, she is the owner of one of my all time favorite dresses.

I love it so much.

I love it so much.

Okay, on to other things…

Do you really believe this Hagel? I’m serious, do you?

“We are almost done with a baseline survey to assess the vulnerability of our military’s more than 7,000 bases, installations, and other facilities. In places like the Hampton Roads region in Virginia, which houses the largest concentration of US military sites in the world, we see recurrent flooding today, and we are beginning work to address a projected sea-level rise of 1.5 feet over the next 20 to 50 years,” the report reads.

I mean it just flies in the face of any kind of tested scientific method and you’re going to be structuring our national defense strategy and spending around it? Isn’t this kind of what’s been happening with the whole Ebola thing and all the stupid spending by the NIH? At what point do our fearless leaders stop pandering to the people that got them placed in their positions, grow spines, and start thinking for themselves? Or…do you really believe this Hagel? Because this is a more significant threat to our security, and we could probably help matters by increasing our energy production. Entering the market, as it were. But, in fine ironic style, that wouldn’t be environmentally friendly.

I haven’t worked it out yet, but I think I want to write about this. I push the envelope a little with my libertarian friends, and I know that. But I feel like it’s important not to get swept up into any movement at the expense of reason.

Possibly attending this show with a friend of mine who clued me into a wonderful little deal called Fill-A-Seat. I’ll let you know what we think if we go.

Grandpa had a small orchard and a fantastic winery out in Southern Maryland. There are times I dream about making him proud and carrying on the tradition, at the very least by learning the trade. He was a seriously cool guy.

Speaking of Grandpa Dix, he was a Potomac River Rat, and his accent wasn’t terribly removed from this one. Something about the pronunciation of the vowel “o”. My friend Bay just flew himself and some friends out there and said it was pretty cool. I’m hoping he’ll take me sometime (how’s that for a hint?).

Wow. It would be hard to improve on the original movie. Jason Robards is one of the greats. But I’d see this. The book remains one of my top 5 favorites.

God bless him. The shallow is also really, really, really, really boring.

At some point, there might be something to say about all this. But no one’s ready to hear it. So I’ll wait. But I love the rationalizing and the attempts to carry the same narrative in light of new information. Man is a weird animal that isn’t all that great at negotiating the remarkable gift of reason.

And I’m out. Trying to will the Orioles to win it for their Gipper, who happens to be named Buck.

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Hey, been a while. I’m adrift again people. Again. I don’t really want to talk about it but I feel like that nerd in high school who gets bullied into writing some jerk’s AP English paper and then threatened with getting their butt kicked if they ever tell anyone. It’s complicated. (It’s actually not. It’s exactly like that.) But I tell ya, if I manage to pull a Good Will Hunting (“Because f*ck him, that’s why.”) and actually weather all this nonsense and stick around and make something of myself in spite of the mean, spoiled kids, and the duplicitous “overachievers”, and the transactional (wink, wink, nudge, nudge) relationship-line-crossers, one day I may actually have a book in me. So. Many. Characters. Anyway, maybe I won’t do that at all. Maybe I’ll pack it in and go back home. But I doubt it. Because f*ck him, that’s why. And because I can see the outcomes that are ahead. And I want to be here for them. Maybe that’s a terrible reason and makes me a horrible person. But I want to be around for them when they come. And I want to sit and read about them, or see them on social media, and drink a beer, and know that some truths are unavoidable. You will reap what you sow. I’d like to see the reaping. And I will smile.

Just watched the O’s — well, followed the action online — come back in a truly stunning game to win Game #2 in the ALDS playoffs. It sometimes feels like I’m cheating on the Braves but they will always be my guys in the postseason when they go. Anyway, The Orioles look really, really good. I don’t write the Tigers off just yet — this series will go longer than 4 games I expect — but the O’s are playing like gods. It makes me happy.

Makes sense to me. Psychologists have discovered that if you’re a jerk, you expect the world to behave like jerks. I’ve recently had a little issue with that truth pop up. I’ll be avoiding those peeps in the future. They’re a little dangerous.

This looks good.

Just had a pretty good talk with a guy friend of mine about this. I’ve lived with boyfriends. I wouldn’t do it again without an engagement ring. My friend agreed (!) Just seems like a good way to get lost in what is ultimately the illusion of commitment. Also, I do think it puts pressure on a married couple to live together first. I don’t care what the recent research says.

Cool.

Ha, pretty much. What a dirtbag.

Okay I’m going home. I’m tired and I want my dog. Maybe football tomorrow will make things seem a little brighter. Every day’s a new day right? Y’all be good.

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