Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Too Sweet To Be Sour Too Nice To Be Me

I added some crude stick figure cartoons I drew a few years ago so that this wasn't a wall of text. You can thank me by not disappearing forever while I restructure my entire life.

Hello all!

As you may have noticed, my update schedule has slipped across the board. Luckily, I have three very good excuses reasons for this:

1.) I am looking for a new job.
2.) I am moving to a different state.

And most importantly,

3.) I am getting married.

In other words, not quite the vague “I’ve got some stuff going on” I was once worried I’d have to put up here to explain delays and/or lack of content. In fact, I’m “death of an immediate family member” and “birth of a first child” away from winning Change of Life Event Bingo.


I try not to let my personal life intrude on here, insofar as that’s possible when I’m busy telling you about how my family almost killed me by “teaching” me to swim or about all the sicknesses the Neti pot didn’t cure me of. Oh, and sometimes about how fucking depressed I get. That’s pretty personal right there.

This seems different, though. It’s too much like the popular notion of a blog, in which I tell everyone about my life and all the sandwiches I eat. Wait, we have twitter for that last part now. #mundane

Even so, I figured I owed it to anyone who regularly reads what I put on here to explain what was going on.

I’m busier than I’ve ever been in my life. This makes every finals week I’ve been through, graduate or undergraduate, seem like a cake walk by comparison. (Side note: what the hell is a cake walk?) With the exception of the sad/happy day when I do win Change of Life Event Bingo, I don’t expect to ever have more things going on at the same time.


There’s no time when there’s not something with an impending deadline that I could be doing. Those drapes gotta come down. Have I checked government jobs today? I need to call that restaurant and make sure we get our catering order reserved.

In the middle of that, writing has taken a backseat. It’s frustrating but true. I’m comforted by the fact that it’s also temporary. No one plans a wedding all the time, except for wedding planners, those sick freaks. This is your life? Really? Choke on a three tiered cherries jubilee cake with vanilla bean icing.

A tangent to a tangent, wedding planning is hard. It in no way resembles what I had in my head. I expected Lord of the Rings, I got A Game of Thrones; I expected Mad Max, I got The Road.


Everything is much more complicated and stressful. For example, flowers. It’s like, “What kind of flowers do you want?” “I want red.” “There is no flower named red. Which of the available 34 kinds of red flowers do you want, in what size, in what arrangement, in wharrr raggga HRRRR GRAAAAA!”

At that point the flower lady turns into some kind of monster designed by Guillermo del Toro, one with mouths for eyes and genitalia that also function as wings. Tears of blood may be involved.

For someone who occasionally spends way more time than is rational trying to pick out salad dressing at the grocery store, or reading reviews of things like slotted spoons on Amazon, making all of these tiny decisions is challenging. There are a lot of decisions to be made, decisions that branch into other decisions like the tech tree in a turn based strategy game.


If wedding planning was as easy as researching ion engines and colonizing Beta Rygel IV, planetary class 29, I’d have conquered matrimony many months ago.

In addition to being logistically complicated, it's also emotionally involved. While the transistor radio I call a heart is only capable of feeling three and a half human emotions, all of those emotions pile on board the party bus when it’s time for wedding planning.

It’s more or less the same thing with looking for an apartment two states away and a job search in a depressed market. I have to remember not to get sick, and to try to move around or something, because everyone I’ve ever known will be looking at me in formal wear soon.

Lest I sound bitter, I am excited about all the things that are happening. The downsides of wedding planning do not translate for me into the downsides of being married. That part I am happy about beyond the telling of it. I am also looking forward to exploring a new city and finding something different to do with myself during daylight hours.


I told a friend that by October my life will be perfect, and that when she sees it in the light of the newly risen sun, she will weep tears of joy, the perfect ones where there’s neither strange hiccupping nor snot bubbles - just a single runner of saline from the corner of a perfectly moistened eye.

However, as an old farmer I just made up always says, “October ain’t tomorrow!” I’ve got a lot of month between now and then, and in that time I’ve still got to keep this thing going.

I’ve reached out to a few friends who are creative types, asking for some submissions. This place isn’t big enough for me to call it anything as fancy as “guest content”, so I’ll call it “People helping me out so this blog doesn’t go as fallow as a fictional farmer’s corn field.”


As for Batman recaps, I want to get back to regular updates. I’m not kidding when I say that I feel like I’m letting Batman down. I think he’d understand, but it really depends on which incarnation we’re talking about and which writer is filling his speech bubbles.

I know Frank Miller’s Batman doesn’t have time for my wedding shit; there’s a war on crime, on every sick necked junkie and two bit hood who thinks Gotham is a devil’s playground. I’m the devil in this concrete Inferno. I’ll dole out hell night after night, one broken bone at a time. I’m burning the trash, whether it wears a uniform or holds an office. So go ahead and have your little ceremony. Dress everything up in lace so you can forget this city is rotting.

Sorry, got carried away there. It happens.


As for fiction, there’s a lot I was working on. I’m excited about it. I keep getting new ideas, ideas that don’t care whether I have free time right now or not. They’re the chorus of voices I try to silence so I can measure my furniture or buy spackle. I’m having mixed success.

In closing, as this is way longer than I intended it to be, hang in there. I’m not done, but I am delayed.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

BEES

There are a surprising number of pictures on the internet of people covered in bees. Here are seven, but that number could easily have been seventeen or seventy. I feel I've only skimmed the surface of self-immersion in bees.







Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Slow

Does anyone else want to murder people at the supermarket?

Just grab a can of pineapple and not stop swinging until the man with the bullhorn tells you to put the weapon down? Who moves this slow without a reason? There are handicapped mosquitos trapped in amber that move faster.

I must be missing something. Maybe they have a new disability I haven't heard about because I don't pay attention to the news. Where I live the news is sports highlights that segue sans transition into yet another barn that burned down. In the almost eight years I've lived here, no one has found a way to keep barns from burning down. Additionally, no one has found a magic formula to regrow teeth, so the witnesses to said barn burnings continue to look like pale human jack-o-lanterns.

When I worked at a grocery store as a stock boy, I called the slow people "moths". They'd hover in the aisle, facing the shelf, presumably performing an incantation to find the cheapest kind of corn. I'd stand there, holding a pallet of product meant to go right where they were standing. Did the product packaging paralyze the part of their brain responsible for awareness? Was my work shirt an invisibility cloak? They must get bad reception on Planet I'm-The-Only-One-Who-Matters.

In moments of true honesty, which are rare, I realize I'm the problem. I have no patience. That's not the full picture, though; I have plenty of patience, but it's long term patience.

Long term patience is save your paycheck, gravy is not a condiment, you don't know that girl well enough to kiss her patience. I can live a successful life because I have long term patience, and I'm thankful for that.

Short term patience is what I don't have. What that means is that my brain, without asking me if it was okay, put together a list of things that should happen instantaneously. When anything on that list takes a single second longer than my brain decrees it should, adrenaline dumps into my system like I'm running with the bulls at Pamplona.

Single second is not an exaggeration. My brain is an arrogant bastard. "I move at the speed of thought," it says, "why shouldn't everything else?" Because of that unrealistic expectation, I get kicked around all day long by that high and mighty grey jerk.

If I open a tab, and Chrome gives me that spinning circle instead of the page I want...

If the light turns green, and the car in front of me doesn't slam on the gas immediately...

If I tilt my phone, and it lags as it switches from vertical to horizontal...

All of those first world problems tell my brain that it just got locked in a room with twelve naked rapists on crystal meth and it better pump out the hormones to deal with that problem. I instantly go from normal human being to normal human being trapped in a prison shower, incoherently shouting at a universe that wants him dead and defiled for reasons he doesn't understand.

There is nowhere worse for my short term patience problem than traffic.

The town I live in - burning-barn-jack-o-lantern town - has traffic that's disproportionate to its size. It takes me half an hour in the morning to drive five miles. Not hyperbole. Six minutes a mile, while an admirable target for a runner, is not acceptable for a city of this size. Los Angeles has traffic that bad or worse, but we have 3% the population they do. Again, not hyperbole - I did the math. I did the math while sitting in traffic, because it's that slow.

So I sit there, my entire being a boiling cauldron of rage, loathing, and impatience. I press the button on my gear shift repeatedly, praying to whatever god will have me that just once rockets will shoot out of the front of my car. Just once. I watch the blinking lights as they sync up, pass one another, and sync up again. I think about frequency, sine waves, and wish I knew enough physics to solve this problem.

It's too late, though- this city's streets were built by a hobo who had a bet with the Planning Commission, and by god, he won the bet - he could read blueprints while double fisting Mad Dog 20/20. Sucks to everyone who thought differently.

Sometimes, in traffic, I wonder if the streets weren't built this way on purpose, as opposed to in a drunken haze. They look kind of like a bicycle wheel from space, or maybe some kind of eye. What if they're a summoning rune, like those found in the Lesser Key of Solomon?

What if the roads, avenues, and boulevards are really the sigil of a demon lord, and the impatience, frustration, and accumulated dark emotions of a thousand drivers are fueling his advent? What if every day I participate in the dark necromancy of the transportation system, and when The Beast rises, I'll have no one to thank but myself?

I knew my impatience was going to kill me eventually.