I'll get back to this

Everything good in life

Please Flush the Toilet

 

Yellow kernel, how do you feel?

Bounded by porcelain walls.

 

Yellow kernel, you float a sea

of stained water the color of tea.

There is no sky, but bright fluorescence.

 

Yellow kernel, are you lonely?

Your sphincter-shot brothers and sisters

Devoured by the maelstrom that cracked up underneath.

 

The half-flushed water you float on,

All that’s left of them.

 

Yellow kernel, do you hear the roar?

It is coming to take you.


For a special someone


I’ve missed my handwriting

I decided to become a monk at a Wendy’s in Wyoming. I thought about it a little before. And I’ve thought about it a little since. I must have been twelve or some similarly precocious age. I announced my intent over a baconator, with a captive audience that consisted of my parents and my sister.

The baconator was not very good, with cheese similar to the kind that goes on plastic patties in a kid’s kitchen-set. The bacon was limp and did not live up to expectations.

I’m not sure which is more interesting, that I wanted to be a monk, or that I am not. Why did I want to become one? Why am I not?

Memory doesn’t unspool like thread, but condenses, more like dew. Or perhaps freezes, frost before the sun. There is no neat order to recollection, so I am not sure whether I’ve wanted to become a monk before that. Though I must have. The thought must have grown in my mind somehow. I think I wanted to become a monk through a gradual accretion, like the skin on warmed milk, thought growing over time, becoming something I could use to justify these feelings inside of me.  Feelings of inadequacy, greed, a fear of loss and death.

I remember church. A warm basement, potlucks, everything stripped by my discomfort. When people went up to the podium to read from the bible, how much was genuine? Felt like things were staged, for some sort of christmas postcard. False cheer, smiles. I wasn’t there for the right reasons. All of us wanting recognition, praise, couldn’t help but be helplessly smug—to at least hint that they were there… in the right place, mentally, spiritually.

Spiritually. Spirituality. The spirit. I don’t believe in it. I don’t care if you do. You shouldn’t care if I do.


To be continued? If I can step off my podium long enough to write another one. Thanks for the read.

Bleeding Edge/Reincarnation/Thoughts

Bleeding Edge

Finished Bleeding Edge. I’m not going to do a synopsis. There are better synopses out there. (Side note:  synopses clearly is some kind of Wiccan curse and not a word at all).

One of the questions that I asked, or maybe the book asked for me went something along the lines of what kind of morality is left behind after a tragedy (9/11 in this book), what kind was there before? Why are they different, and why did things change?

I suppose, to answer this, I’ll assume that morality isn’t just a constant human thing. Like saying we’re just as moral now as we were when we developed the first set of rules (were we moral before rules?). So, if morality fluctuates, one generation can (theoretically) be more enlightened than the next.

Where are we? Is capitalism post-morals? I think the answer is pretty obvious—yes, in the form we practice it now. Bleeding Edge is largely about the crash of the tech bubble before 9/11 and then kind of shifts gears into a post-9/11 landscape (Pynchon shows how the shittiness of “pre” segues quite cleanly into the even more shitty “post”).

He basically says, if 9/11 was the opportunity for a tidal shift, where everybody comes together and things somehow get better (I am not smart enough to explain how, but let’s just assume people get nicer and less selfish) how did we miss the wave? We’re behaving worse than we were before, and on top of it, we’re using 9/11 as a justification for our behavior. Whaaaaat is wrong with us?

(To be clear, that was a blatant generalization, but I think it holds a fraction of truth).

Obviously, I’m not going to throw some sort of answer to that in your face. I’m not that presumptuous. Pynchon does give us an un-presumptuous hint as to what we can do right. But I think you already know the answer to this one, yourself.

Good read. I liked it.

I was gonna write on reincarnation and how it offends the shiiiiiit out of me, but eh—another day. Time to drink tea and get ready for bed.

Night, all.

An Ode to Friends

“No one told you life was going to be this way.”My eyes roll back into my head, endorphins flood the appropriate receptacles, life itself is nudged back another 22 minutes, things become okay.

CLAPCLAPCLAPCLAP. Fuck I missed it,  I’ll get it next time, I tell myself. The mystery of life is contained in the timing of the clap, I am sure of it. What is the sound of one hand clapping? This. The sound of a tree falling in the forest? This, also.

“Your job’s a joke, you’re broke, your love life’s D.O.A.” Yes. Yes. Yes. All true. Whisper to me more of your sweet nothings, and tell me it’s going to be alright and cradle my head in your arms.

“It’s like you’re always stuck in second gear, it’s like it hasn’t been your day, your week, your month, or even your year” Second gear. Sputtering up a long hillside, merging to the right, waving traffic past. Grinning in apology. This engine doesn’t quite cut it. Well, this is a long-ass hill, isn’t it?

“I’ll be there for you. When the rain starts to pour” Will you? Will you really? Because that would be okay, I wouldn’t mind it, with Friends like you. Rachel, Monica, Phoebe, the three titans. Joey, Chandler, and Ross, no less elemental, no less substantial. Some version of the furies, or something out of Greek myth—figures iconic and ever-lasting. Will future generations worship at your feet? They will, I say. Allow me to substitute my time in front of the television for the sacrificial incense.

“I’ll be there for you. Just like I’ve been there before.” So you will. The sofa. The fountain. Dancing. Questionable 90’s haircuts, and gratuitous amounts of hair product. Your televised embrace like sinking into a warm bath.

“Just like you’re there for me too.” I am! For you redeem me. I am. I am a good and holy person, baptized by the wash of light over my corneas. Please, please, let the show begin, your humble audience awaits.

I just can never understand when the fucking clapping happens.

Teledildonics

  • I have a new favorite word (see above)
  • Fruit beer sucks ass
  • Artificially flavored alcoholic beverages are even worse
  • Monica is the hottest castmember on Friends
  • Watch Skeleton Twins if you haven’t already
  • There is no such thing as too many headshots (John Wick)
  • I miss the days of Halo multiplayer
  • Mogwai makes good writing music
  • Music with spoken lyrics gets annoying real quick when you don’t know what’s being said.
  • Does proliferation devalue content?
    • Or perhaps a better way of saying it: does quantity reduce quality?
  • Fountain pens are the like transmitting your thoughts directly to paper
  • What if Harry Potter accidentally looked into one of Dumbledore’s steamier memories when he first found the pensieve?
  • Why did I just realize that pensieve = pensive?
  • Astronauts are the cowboys of the future
  • I sometimes wish I were an astronaut
  • Somebody read China Mieville, please
    • Did his parents give him that name?
  • Sandra Bullock in Gravity. Bullllllshit. But pretty good, all things considered.
  • I need to start a garden
  • Carpentry (or any kind of woodworking) seems like an admirably useful skill
  • Which leads to a quicker end: ignoring the environment or an escalating conflict?
  • Excited for physical therapy. Weird.
  • Want vs. need
  • Barbell squats suck. Front squats suck less.

Watching Stuff and Reading Stuff

Sooooooooooo, fresh from the library with a couple of books. Pynchon’s Bleeding Edge, and Lowry’s Under the Volcano. Pretty psyched about both, plus I just miss reading Pynchon. Ahh. Nostalgia. Definitely a fanboy of his, because who else has such an explosive voice? Pynchon screams what he wants to be said, and I appreciate that more than hiding behind political correctness or relying on the strictures of art. Plus, dude’s funny. Funny people are just better than regular people.

Been watching movies, reading a bit. But I’m all movied out right now. Read The Martian by Martian Weir in about a day and really enjoyed it. I didn’t know it was possible to be so engaged by numbers and science. Also read The Magician’s Land by Lev Grossman, which was a great cap to the trilogy. I enjoy alternating between tougher books and books that I designate strictly as pleasure reading.

Enjoyed Broad City, True Detective, the second season of Maron and Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee. Jerry Seinfeld is never not funny, and coffee just gives me another reason to watch Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee. Maron is the guy I’ll grow up to be, should I be single the rest of my life. Broad City is just hilarious, and makes everything bad about my generation funny and therefore somewhat acceptable. True Detective is True Detective, and I was really late to this, but am already looking forward to season 2 (Not to mention the upcoming seasons of Game of Thrones and House of Cards).

Rewatched the first two parts of the Hobbit, plus caught the third in the theater. Lord of the Rings, my love for you is eternal and undying (in spite of that ridiculous barrel rafting/fight scene).

Dad bought some new weight plates, so I can work towards a more impressive deadlift, whicccch excites me. I’ll post something once my numbers are better. I’ve been starting to work in a bit more of stationary biking, in the hopes of hashing (running+beer) once the weather warms up. I don’t like being out of breath and immobile, and would like to be more capable, physically speaking. I’ve also started adding in some bodyweight progressions (front lever, L-sit, handbalancing) into my routine, because bodyweight stuff is generally way more fun than mobility work, and actually makes you stronger.

Visited a doctor about a month and a half ago, apparently I may have torn a small muscle in my left shoulder (and continued weightlifting, despite having torn it about a year ago). On top of that, messed up my right shoulder pretty bad a little after that visit. Needless to say, I’ve figured out what has led to those injuries, and am looking forward to benching and pressing again. Will have to visit a physical therapist for both shoulders before doing so, though.

Movies

So, I have been on a serious, serious movie binge lately. Here are the ones I’ve watched in a month or so (with exception for awesome movies), in roughly chronological order. I wrote a few words beneath the ones I figured were worth watching/talking about.

Protip: Have IMDB open as you’re reading this.

Bunraku

Movie was alright. Seemed like some kind of cross between a play/movie, and a western/samurai film. Interesting, but wouldn’t particularly recommend.

Man of Steel

Batman is better, Superman is such a wuss.

Synecdoche, New York (rewatch)

First time I watched this, I didn’t understand anything. Second time I watched this, I didn’t understand anything. Well, a little more the second time. Philip Seymour Hoffman stars, and Charlie Kaufman directs, pretty much the dream team.

I watched this as a black comedy the second time around (though I don’t think it fits in any particular genre), and got more out of it that way. Fans of absurd/existential/meta/post whatever stuff will like this.

Leviathan

This movie was such a slap to the face, definitely recommend. Basically a wordless documentary of the “routine” on a commercial trawler. Kind of a hellish watch, felt like I was becoming some kind of animal. The camera work in this is amazing and really makes you question what would otherwise seem like the mundane.

Trollhunter

Trolls! Pretty interesting.

Locke

Actually, a lot better than I thought. I love Tom Hardy, and the movie was interesting, given that it’s only one person, one car. It did stretch things out at times, but was earnest enough to be believeable, and alllmost like something that could happen to an everyday person.

Is the Man Who is Tall Happy?

Chomsky! Gondry! Once you get into the movie, it’s a really good watch. Definitely recommend this. Chomsky is so good at making you think, and Gondry does a great job of not only explaining the way Chomsky thinks, but also telling the story of their meetings.

Obvious Child

Surprisingly good. Gave me the warm fuzzies, which is difficult to do. Good take on the one-night stand “film” that blends both realism and the fuzzy feelings that you want.

Big Trouble in Little China

I feel like Kurt Russell in this movie is the genesis of the bumbling, witty hero (like Chris Pratt in Guardians of the Galaxy, RDJr as Ironman, Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow) of course, I have no proof of that. Regardless, this film would be great to watch with friends and some beer. Recommend.

Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure

I was actually kind of disappointed by this movie, given it’s cult classic status. Still pretty good, though.

Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World (rewatch)

Edgar Wright, I would like to declare my undying love for you. Actually watched the Extras on this thing. Strongly recommend.

Bigger, Stronger, Faster

Steroids? Steroids! First time I tried this, I wasn’t too into it. But I picked this one up from the middle, and finished it. Solid documentary that gives a fair shake to the reasons why one would use anabolic steroids.

House of Cards (Seasons 1&2)

This show actually made me miss DC a bit, something that I did not think was possible. I feel like the stylistic touch kind of puttered out once David Fincher left as director, but I have a new respect for Kevin Spacey. Sometimes the show does go too far in order to get cheap thrills, and the second season wasn’t as tightly written as the first. However, would definitely recommend.

Guardians of the Galaxy

The epitome of a summer blockbuster. Plot, explosions, jokes, sadness, and the fuzzies. Recommend (but you’ve probably watched this).

Lawless

Sooo disappointed. Also, the wardrobe irritated the hell out of me. Who dresses like that? The writing did too, actually. Damn you, Lawless. So much wasted potential.

The One I Love

This is such an indie movie. Buuuut also sci-fi? Quite the thinker. Recommend.

Dredd

Judge, jury, and executioner. Do you like shoot ’em ups? You’ll like this.

Also: how did Karl Urban manage to keep that scowl through the entire film? I feel like there would be cramping involved.

Charlie Countryman

One of the strongest movies I’ve seen, stylistically speaking. Shia LeBeouf was pretty aight, Mads Mikkelsen was awesome as usual (you goddamn jackass), and Rupert Grint makes a great character. Felt like the whole movie did a really good job: camera work, music, acting, and writing was really well done. I do feel like it fell a teensy tinsy bit short of what it could have been, but I’m not sure what I’m grounding that feeling on. Definitely recommend. You’re in for a treat.

Mud

Even more respect for the career transformation of McConaughey. I feel like I knew a few people like Mud himself. Quite a pleasure to watch. Story got kind of obvious towards the end, though.

Joe

Nick Cage, goddamn you. I don’t know what to think about you. Really good movie. Mud and Joe both pair together well, and I can’t put one above the other. I think there was better acting in Mud, but Joe had the writing.

X-Men: Days of Future Past

Ah, X-Men, how far you’ve come. Solid.

HIMYM (Season 9)

I’ve mentioned many times that Jason Segel is my man-crush. Slap-bet was hilarious as always. But my god, who fucked up the ending? Terrible.

Edge of Tomorrow

Tom Cruise with another solid sci-fi movie. Was weird seeing Emily Blunt act like a hardass. Still not quite sure I believe it.

Filth

What in the world happened with this movie? So strange. James McAvoy pulls this one off brilliantly. Recommend for the strangeness and the acting, but still have mixed feelings about the directing.

In a World…

Solid 3.5/4 stars out of five. Fred Melamed was hilarious. Lake Bell made her character seem like a real person.

Killing Them Softly

Sucker for this kind of stylish/Guy Ritchie-esque gangster flick. Brad Pitt. Strongly recommend.

Blue Ruin

I liked it initially, but after a while, I kind of liked it less the more time passed.

Sabotage

The crew is a bunch of badasses. Schwarzenegger. Just a fun watch.

Mad Max

I accidentally started the Mad Max trilogy with  the last film in the series, so I wasn’t as impressed by this one.

Horns

Daniel Radcliffe pulls this role off. Pretty safe movie. Felt like it was overreaching a lot, and didn’t do a good job setting itself up.

Frank

Why the hell are these guys not a real band? I had no idea Fassbender was Frank. Loved the writing. Apparently based on a true story, so I’ll have to do some research on this. Overall a really, really good film, and one of my favorites of the lot. Recommend.

The Rover

I watched this movie in two parts. Pretty solid, but definitely picked up speed towards the end. Apocalyptic movies haven’t yet gotten old. But they will pretty damn soon.

Only Lovers Left Alive

Jim Jarmusch, thank you for being a director. Very good film. I would have a hard time recommending it, though. It doesn’t pack the punch that a blockbuster would, so you have to wait for your gratification with this one. But if you want to wait, and if you like vampires, watch.

The Station Agent

Sooooo good. Peter Dinklage. Do you really need another reason to watch this? Strongly recommend.

Nymphomaniac Vol I. (And some of Vol. II)

Uhhhhhh, so. Yeah. Actually a great discussion of sex. Loved the Seligman [played by Stellan Skarsgard (you’ll know him when you see him)] character, even though he was not realistic at allllll. There’s a hell of a lot to talk about in this movie. Which is the beauty of a Lars von Trier film.

And Lars: No, you will not stop being creative because you stopped drinking (dumbass).

Under the Skin

Scarlett Johannsson, we can all safely agree is a babe. She kicks ass in this movie, and makes you remember that she can actually act pretty damn well. This movie is a great sci-fi movie. Nooooo plot. So much style, and I feel like it’s a practice in theory. That’s okay, though, if you direct a movie like this. Theorize away. Definitely recommend.

Neighbors

COMEDIES ARE THE BEST

22 Jump Street

COMEDIES ARE THE BEST

Bullhead

Actually watched this last summer. I really enjoyed it. Dark, intense movie with fucking incredible acting by Matthias Schoenaerts. Interesting twist to this movie that really makes you think about the characters. Recommend.

What is with all these Scandinavian sounding actors? Whatever it is, keep doing it.

Jodorowsky’s Dune

Jodorowsky is so enthusiastic. I love this guy. Wish he had directed Dune.

That reminds me, I have to watch The Holy Mountain. How could I not?

Leon: The Professional

Totally deserves it’s cult status. Good movie.

Happy People: A Year in the Taiga

I love Werner Herzog, and I love how… right this movie felt. Strongly recommend.

Going Nowhere, Fast

That Rapala jerkbait I mentioned in the previous post? Sailed into Spinney on the first cast.

If nothing, fishing teaches me humility. It’s almost more about the time I get to stand outside and think, than a fish on the end of my line.

Life teaches me a lot of things, but sometimes I do not listen.

Recently, I’ve been half-heartedly looking for another job. I cannot figure out why I’ve been dragging in the quest for a new job. I think I feel pulled in different directions by what I’ve been looking for out of my life, leading me to queue away my days on Netflix.

I think I’m also afraid because picking up a new job, especially one you know nothing about, is fucking tough. I loved my last job at MHYC, but I only really grew closer to my coworkers the last week. Otherwise, I would bury myself in my work, promise to work the hardest, and get through the day with just coffee, solitude, and no small amount of anger.

I think I am also frustrated because I want to be working towards a tangible career, but I have a limited understanding of how to get there. Knowing that the sort of jobs I need are scarce in winter does not help much.

But complaining doesn’t help me.

Now Would be a Good Time to Write Something

But what to write? I don’t know. Probably doesn’t matter at this stage. If you’re reading this, thank you for indulging my indulgences. And for putting up with that sentence.

So, I went to Sportsman’s today and bought some fishing gear: wire leader, some 8 lb fluorocarbon, a crawdad crankbait, and a huge-ass Rapala crankbait (full disclosure: I always get the terms crankbait and jerkbait confused, so be wary). The fluoro is to replace the .99 cent spool of 12# mono that I bought from Walmart. I swear the fish see that thing coming from a mile away. The crawdad cause I keep seeing crawdads at the places I fish, and I figure I could use an imitation. The huge Rapala for (hopefully) Northern Pike. Pike are such prehistoric, cool looking fish. I’ve been dreaming of catching one and making Pike Almondine. I dunno if either will happen, but one can dream. I’m not even sure if the dish is called that.

Lately I’ve still been sifting through Shadow Country by Peter Matthiessen, and have been making much better progress with Karl Ove Knausgaard’s My Struggle, which I am reading along with a cool friend. I’m really glad I don’t have to analyze books anymore. It’s always seemed a ridiculously shitty and dumb thing to do to a book.

Also went to Amy’s Doughnuts again, and got four doughnuts (in the order of consumption): Lemon Crumb, 3/4 of Cake Pistachio, 1/2 of Maple Pumpkin, 1/4 of Pistachio, 1/2 of Maple Pumpkin, Strawberry Frosted. I was unhappy with the Pistachio, but otherwise everything was delicious, as usual. I’ve been kind of working a cheat meal into my week, and it’s been pretty successful. It used to be a whole day of junk, but after having to ride a wave of nausea to bed one day, I realized my body just couldn’t handle that anymore (brag). The cheat meal seems more fulfilling, as well, because I can plan a ridiculously disgusting meal, and not feel guilty about it at all. I don’t think I’ll ever be super militant about my diet, but I like eating healthy because: A. it usually tastes better, and B. there’s no guilt.

Don’t get me started on eating morally. I still have yet to solve that conundrum, even though I have strong feelings about it. Usually health and moral eating seem to go hand in hand, though. Grass fed beef being better for you, omega 3’s, less saturated fat, etc. Organic veggies having more nutrients, etc etc.

Also been working on refining my bedtime routine. I think I’ve had sleeping problems for almost a decade now. I’ve mostly managed to get it under control, even if I dislike the idea of spending 8-9 hours in bed, plus the additional hour or so of pre-bedtime preparing (read: getting all my chores done). I’ve been meditating intermittently to control my stress and to improve the quality of my sleep. I’ve also been trying to read before bed. I think I will also add two more things: making some sort of to-do list before sleep, to help me relax, and to cut off all electronic use an hour or two before bed. Looking into curbing water and food consumption before sleep.

Lately I think worrying about getting a good night of sleep has actually made my sleep poorer. Only in the 21st century would such a frivolous problem exist. I’ll occasionally wake in the middle of the night and run to the toilet, ready to throw up, take a breather, then struggle to head back to sleep. I’m a worrier. But some things are too silly to worry about. Unfortunately, haven’t gotten myself to believe that yet. I think I just want to do a really good job at work, so I worry about my sleep affecting my performance at work as well.

Never fear, though. I’ll figure that dumb shit out.

So, my job at MHYC is about to end. This is the final week. I’ve been applying to other places, and will likely continue to do so the next week or two. Also been thinking about resuming knife-sharpening as a way to make some money on the side. Will keep everybody notified, job-wise.

Get a Job, Griffin!

First of all, apologies for the last blog post. Just a bunch of thinly disguised bragging.

But then, isn’t much of blogging/online life the same? Guess I had to prove something to myself, to present myself as busy and accomplished. Did I succeed? Doesn’t matter.

Soo, what have I been up to lately? Work. A lot of it. The work at MHYC is tough stuff. We’re working in Ute Valley Park, but it seems like that project is allllmost over. Which is sweet. Damn you, hills, I’ll miss trudging up you with a couple armfuls of lumber. The job itself ends November 7th. Sheeeit.

Been putting a bit of thought into what I want to do next. I think forestry, or working outside is something I’d really appreciate, and enjoy. So, I’ve been researching a bit towards that end, and am trying to line up the appropriate jobs/experience before netting some kind of forestry job. When I talk about interest in a career, conservation is the name of the game.

I want a job that I can justify. A job that at the end of the day, I can say: I made something better. And there are few jobs with more direct impact than a humanitarian, or an environmental job. Though I think we would not need environmental jobs in the first place, had we not massively fucked everything up (and are still continuing to do so).

People are not exactly my strength, so that’s right out. I guess environment is it, then.

But honestly, I really enjoy being outside. I enjoy the moral superiority I have over everybody else, too. That too.