The sale of our last home officially closed. 15 months and ten years worth of lost equity, but I really think we’ll be able to build some of it back up with this house. We could close on that as early as Tuesday, definitely within the week… I hope.
I have two storage units full of cheap but good furniture to restore that I’ve picked up over the last year. I’m trying to take pictures of everything I do to post here.
Our community is still dealing with fires. We’ve lost one firefighter, but no other life or property. The smoke is bad and we’ll be dealing with it to some extent until it snows I believe. Our school district hasn’t closed school and a monster mommy war erupted over it. Embarrassing.
My earworm of the week is The Head and The Heart’s Down in the Valley, probably because these fires have reminded me how fortunate I am to live where I do, the people and locale. It’s comforting and sometimes painful to be surrounded by people who’ve known me for a long, long time again, but I’m more at peace and feel more like myself than I have in years.
She attempted to explain on her Tumblr… hang on I need to stab myself in the face. Go look, it’s weird. It’s the PR version of one of those giant steaks a restaurant won’t charge you for if you eat the whole thing. If you can get through it you should get a prize. You should, but you won’t.
She attempts to rationalize her actions by linking them to her attempt to quit being famous, except for when she claims to have made millions of dollars for other people by being famous. I do like the idea of famous people paying all the taxes. I also like the idea of a torrid affair with Dan Auerbach.
The good news is since she’s into withdrawing from society she should love prison.
My dad missed WWII by a few weeks. He early enlisted in the Navy, so he wouldn’t get drafted into the Army and have to sleep in the dirt. At least that’s what he used to say. A few years before he died something about Normandy came on the TV. He was visibly shaken, pissed and said something to the effect of, “they just threw those boys off the boat.”
I’m not interested in arguing about whether he was right or wrong, but that was the moment it finally got through my head, as much as it can, that this shit isn’t a story from an old book or movie. Real lives… thousands and thousands and thousands of them. My dad’s reaction was because they were his peers and his friends, and in recent wars they volunteered.
Most of us “honor” them by changing our profile pics – maybe a parade, then we eat and go to white sales or watch war movies on AMC and congratulate each other for it. Most of us are pussies.
The Awl has this series where they revisit careers of respected writers who maybe had not so hot beginnings. This one’s on Joan Didion. I just love her. Every criticism I can find of her is something I love about her (usually about her being a cold woman and/or a crummy mom).
This lesson: Screw ‘em. Write the crap in your head that keeps spinning around and can’t get out. In fact, that should be why you write. To get that out. And money.
Update: I feel like a bit of a dick for feeling this, but I’m listening to a 45 minute interview with Didion about Blue Nights, which is the book about the death of her daughter. My sweet, brilliant, Lord of the Flies is very much alive, but her expressions about dealing with well-meaning friends and family and grief (autism has caused me a greater degree of grief than all the deaths I’ve experienced combined, and I’ve experienced quite a bit of death) rang truer than any specific autism recollection I’ve ever heard. She unknowingly acknowledges and permits my grief. She relates, or I related to her. Regardless, I feel less alone. Finally.
To write the book I’ve been working on about Jack, and been blocked about, I may need to read and process Blue Nights. I dunno.
I still can’t settle on a headline capitalization policy.
It’s 11:45. Between the supermoon and our city’s version of Mardi Gras I ain’t sleepin’. My brother-in-law is in town helping remodel my mother’s bathroom, so every room in the house with upholstered seating has a slumbering human in it. I’m holed up in the half bath, wide awake and worried about loud typing. The woman who was literally howling for four hours straight finally quit as Vlad’s creepy snoring started up.
Jenny is so awake.
Earlier, I read this Adam Yauch profile at The Awl. Turns out Dave Bry has what it takes to win a round of Six Degrees of MCA. He talks about Yauch’s gracefulness in accepting his cancer diagnosis. I’m not surprised. My rudimentary knowledge of Buddhism tells me they believe in rebirth and that human life in itself is suffering.
What I found more notable was Yauch’s ease in regards to his own growth as a human being. The Beastie Boys I invoked in yesterday’s post were superficial party boys without much regard for respecting people or thinking too deeply about much of anything. Yauch was all in, yet we watched him mature to be a man of impeccable integrity. Bry remarks that Yauch was open, honest, at peace and very matter of fact about his past. Another tenet of Buddhism is not dwelling on the past. I assume this attitude of his that I envy…
There’s movement. I’m definitely typing too loud. Oh, faster makes it worse. Switching bathrooms. I’m back.
is due to his faith. I don’t dwell on the past, but I also find the cliche about not regretting your mistakes because they made you who you are today complete and utter bullshit. I’ve done things that have really hurt people in ways I’ll never make amends for. We all have. It is what it is, but it’s not okay. It’s not worth it, and I find any other sentiment offensive. It’s self-centered. These things don’t define me or effect my life in any meaningful way, but they will always bug me. they eat at me a little, and I don’t know that I want to be the kind of person not bugged by these things.
But Yauch seemed to accept himself, almost compartmentalized it. That would come in pretty handy. It’s odd how in many other areas of my life I find compartmentalizing a little too easy.
That’s it. No neat conclusion this time. Just needed to get those sheep counted.
It’s one of those things you always remember. Where you were when you first heard/fell in love with the Beastie Boys. For me it was at a kickball game in East Moline, Illinois in what must have been 1987. I know it was fifth grade because of who was there. License to Ill, specifically Brass Monkey. I picked up a new copy a few months ago, and we had no business listening to that. It’s gloriously vulgar, yet innocent, like adolescent boys with makeshift dry bars and panty-related agendas tend to be.
There aren’t many non-people things I’ve held on to consistently since then. Perhaps unconditional love for the Chicago Cubs (shut up) and the midwest. For most of my generation the Beastie Boys were responsible for a huge part of the soundtrack of our youth. As grown as we get cranking License to Ill, Paul’s Boutique or Check Your Head can, for a moment, take us back to an unincumbered, debaucherous and oddly innocent time, despite knowing the music was made by three pretty deep and thoughtful guys. Maybe that’s what makes it ok.
Today we lost Adam Yauch, MCA, to cancer at age 47. A beautiful contradiction. He leaves behind a wife, teenage daughter, his good works and an abbreviated lifetime of art that will continue to challenge us and provide us a reprieve from our adult woes.
“We can learn to ignore the bull—t in the Bible about gay people, the same way, the same way we have learned to ignore the bull—t in the Bible about shellfish, about slavery, about dinner, about farming, about menstruation, about virginity, about masturbation. We ignore bull—t in the Bible about all sorts of things,”
Some Christian students walked out. Savage finished those remarks moments later and referred to the students who left as pansy-asses.
For this there is now a call from conservatives (many of whom I call friends) to Viacom (owner of MTV where Savage just launched his own show) to fire him.
I find that absurd and short-sighted. Perhaps he should be criticized for using words like bullshit and pansy-assed when addressing an audience that young, but it’s not worth sharpening your pitchforks over (chill, it’s metaphor).
I’m not going to get into the merits of Dan Savage’s Bible interpretation. Him being right or wrong isn’t the point. I will say that Christians attacking him have once again missed an opportunity to defend scripture. Instead of walking out (which started the second he said Bible, before there was anything to deem offensive) and pressuring his boss to can him, those offended should have used this as an opportunity to counter his theology. They instead chose to send a message that Christians are intolerant and unable or unwilling to bother defending or explaining their faith, to which the conclusion is often that it’s because they can’t.
Besides all of that, this boycott mentality that both political extremes use now is hypocritical, wrong and short-sighted. This is no different from Media Matters having a team dedicated to bullying Glenn Beck’s sponsors, effectively trying to get him fired for saying things they didn’t like. I will say this is a little more serious than Don Imus. He was villified over one word, but you can see how the same faulty logic was used there. There are plenty more examples of this silliness on both ends of the spectrum.
This crap is wrong because the punishment just doesn’t fit the crime. It’s hypocritical because both sides do it, and it’s short-sighted because you’re giving the opponent grounds to give it back to you when the opportunity presents itself (and it will). No, technically Dan Savage’s free speech wasn’t violated, but creating this environment where anyone with a controversial opinion and notable platform are having their livelihoods routinely threatened for using it is truly regressive.
That’s not good for liberty or free speech or progress or unity.
And refusing to listening to opposing points of view sure as hell isn’t good for aspiring journalists who are still expected to at least pretend to set their personal feelings aside when covering a story. On the other hand, points for non-conformity.
*Some are invoking other provocative things Savage has said as grounds for their overreaction. That’s the political equivalent of a spouse bringing up past when losing a marital spat. I’m not interested.
*I’m also not buying that this is a case of the guy who started “It Gets Better” being guilty of bullying. Although I wonder if Bret Easton Ellis’s approach isn’t better? Probably not though.
Hey, you guys. Still waiting to be let out of limbo, so I read another book. Pretty by Jillian Lauren is reminiscent of the bad girl memoirs I seem to be a sucker for. (Huh? No reason.)
Bebe Baker recounts events leading up to her current circumstances, in a halfway house and trying to finish cosmetology school, where she’s trying to really put her life together for the first time. I wouldn’t say she’s reinventing herself since she’s essentially been fumbling around up until this point.
I give it 3 stars. Good book, easy to dance to.
I’m more interested in the author. Jillian Lauren really is a former stripper and cosmetologist. She’s also a former escort, including a couple stints in the harem that prince in Brunei. Now she’s married to Weezer’s bass player and they adopted a son she has nicknamed T-Bone.