Watched The War of the Worlds with my girlfriend this past weekend. Not the 2005 Tom Cruise vehicle (nor either of the other two versions that came out that same year to ride its coattails - I know, I hadn't heard of them either), but the 1953 George Pal classic. And why shouldn't I? It is, after all, a classic. One of the earliest and best alien invasion movies of a decade stuffed with them, it is a landmark of American science fiction.
o Day 1 of Offbalance care is underway.
We had a very sane plan where her folks would sit with her during the surgery, while I would stay home starting today, and take some days off to hang and play nursemaid.
Of course, as soon as I talked to her mom who was at the hospital, I felt immediately guilty and wanted nothing to more switch directions, and tell retail to fuck off one more day.
The thing is, I may be lovey dovey on a regular basis.. I don’t think I fail in that aspect. But everyonce in a while, the deep programming loveydovey stuff sneaks up on me. The “J_BKL DEFEND HIS WOMAN. SMASH BAD MEDICAL PROVIDERS!”
So.. yeah. Spending a chunk of the day not being in the same building as where my gal was being made better, faster, stronger was a hell of lot harder than I prepared for.
So now the nursemaid process begins. Which is easy because a certain young lady hates being taken care for. And, when I’m not puttering or playing Skyrim, we’ll be dissecting pop media together like scholars on the matter.
Although, that can be dangerous. “Waiting to Exhale” is on.. and I think I had about 3 pillows and 2 large sofa cushions thrown at me for the snark I can barely contain.
Back to the rest, relaxation, and enabling my gal’s recuperation. DUSTING… HOOOOOOOOOO!!!
So it was a glorious start to 2012. Survived another day of retail, joined friends for a party that was just right… just enough overeating, just enough overdrinking, just enough singing along to someone who could sing better and actually play a guitar.. just enough happiness for other people while people were happy for me and mine.
Yeah. That’s glorious. Maybe not to set the bards singing.. but that’s what Skyrim is for.
Yes, I gots. Yes, you wants. Yes, you will need to manage your habit or you will be merged with your chair, your controller shrieking its need for a recharge, while you desperately try to find one more shrine that won’t appear on the god damned map.
There are many things that need to happen in 2012. And while I repeatedly disavow New Year’s Resolutions, I have a couple of loose goals/
1) Sleep. Despite not having gotten enough sleep since 1984, I’m going to try to get some more. I’m told actually being rested will have benefits. Like, immediately.
No, I’m not afraid my hallucinatory friends will go away if I get enough sleep. I have to much faith in them.
2) Financial Awareness. I can’t promise restraint, but I will be much more aware of what money I don’t really have is being toward what I really don’t need.
So I eventually have more money that I actually have, going towards a better variety of need, don’t need, or I look damn good in.
3) Write something. More often Maybe even a long something.
No, I promise you no Brony rants, Though I do want Rainbow Dash as my warpony.
Because that would be cool.
4) No promises to flee America if we are stupid enough to let the Republicans get more power.
Because I don’t want them to be able to find me if I do need to
Now, 2012… GIVE ME SOME SUGAR YOU NEW YEAR YOU!
So Vermont has been an important part of my families life and mine.
My Dad and his sister went to University of Vermont. It was one of the best times of his life. The way the school reached out and embraced him as his classes’ 50th reunion came about was equally gratifying.
As a little kid, I remember fondly vacationing there a couple of times, going up for my dad’s 25th or 30th reunion. Vermie, the stuffed mouse I got from the Vermont book store was a star of my menagerie for years.
My sister went to Middlebury, and it was there on one visit that wee James became known as “Who’s the little dude puking off house porch?” and first had Olympia Beer. (Motto: “It’s the Water.” More like “It Is Water.) It was also in these visits I had my first aware glimpse of a winter Vermont sky. I saw more stars in one night than I’d had seen in all my life up to that point.
I think my first glimpse of the Milky Way was there.
Plus, I’m pretty sure I saw an early Phish tape or two laying around people’s dorm rooms.
For me, my time in Vermont was in the winter of ’93. I got a role in the Whetstone Theater’s Christmas Carol, playing young Scrooge and Bob Cratchit. The company was an amazing mix of characters.. Green mountain natives and transplanted New Yorkers, and me showing up after my Mon saw an add in a Amherst news paper.
The town itself.. was brilliant. I’ll admit to forgetting a lot of names.. I man, we’re going on 20 years since I was there. But the Latchis Theater featured mainstream movies and an amazing women’s film festival ( I saw “Wayne’s World 2,” “Adams Family Values” and “Ruby in Paradise” in this same theater. “Ruby…” was better than the other two, by the way.)
The cast was great. I crashed in a house with one of the staffers for a couple of months, and was really welcomed. And tolerated at points. Hey… new actors can suck some in rehearsals before things come together.
I left, lost touch. Heard some people in the company passed.
And then the Hurricane.
Folks, we are all broke beyond human belief and all have causes to help, towns in need. Fellow Empire staters need help as well.
But on behalf of old friends and old memories in Vermont, and some newer ones, I’m asking folks to consider giving some to the Green Mountain State.
Here’s a link to a great web page- http://7d.blogs.com/blurt/2011/08/after-irene-how-you-can-help-vermont.html
Cut, paste, and give a little.
So it’s July 4th. I’ve just had a day of customer service work, and just found out I have the 5th off.
On the subway back, well, good music, and training new TuneTroopers in Song Summoner. ( What is Song Summoners? Think Final Fantasy+Pokemon+Click Wheel iPods in a guilt free threeway, with lighting and costuming from 1983-1985. YEAH, a game THAT GOOD!!!)
So finally, I get to the roof top party. And it was great. Due thanks to the hosts for one of many fantastic bashes.
But, after a day of helping people find their consumeables, dealing with staff members who resent me doing my job right (getting them to do their job right), and the vagaries of my schedule, I found my mind in, well…
You know how the American Anthem is about Fort McHenry coming under English Naval Bombardment, right?
So I’m talking with this one dude, a good dude, as fire works start popping up.
“Yeah, those Jersey fireworks are whimpy.”
Two strikes at once. One, mocking Jersey unfairly. Hit the Garden State where it’s weeds are, but not where the sweet Jersey corn is. Two,dude, open your eyes, dude.
“Uh, that’s not Jersey. Look, you see the Statue of Liberty? The blasts are bigger than it, the black puffs of gun powder are in front of it. And look.. they are framed by the lights of a baseball park which is clearly by the highway, on our side of the East River. That’s not Jersey. That’s some local fireworks here in Brooklyn.”
And then, some fireworks popped off behind the Statue of Liberty. Like, in Liberty State Park.
“Now, look… see… size, relative distance. THOSE are Jersey.”
The dude, the good dude, nodded. A little startled. Either by my skill or by my being strange. Bit of both, I assure you.
And in fairness through to the attendees, much love was given to Jersey Fireworks when the Manhattan skyline blocked off a good portion of the Macy’s fireworks.
It was at this time, that two roof top parties, much drunker and less concerned with human life than ours, did a combination of roof-to-roof volleys, and vicious in fighting. It was cool to wash, especially when it looked like one of them may have set a church on fire… which didn’t happen. Burning churches bad, but seeing some drunken hipster being dragged away for poor marksmenship?
Anyhow, the dude, the good dude, mentioned if they started firing on us, we’d be screwed.
“Well, we don’t have any fireworks, and they do have slightly higher ground on us. But look… look at the roof.” The roof top was flat, then gently slopped up to what would make passable battlements.
“We have those slopes, which offer us protection, and a natural aid in directing fire towards them. I mean, yeah, they land something right in the middle of us, it would be bad, but we could totally take them in direct fire.”
Again, the sense of awkwardness. I smiled, drank more, and wandered off to different conversation in the company of a lovely young woman some of you may know.
I came to an important conclusion.
Should the world devolve into armed chaos, and we had to rely on each other a force of arms to survive, my 4th of July party goers would be genial companions. I know our barbecue chef of the day would be great in our party, able to grill any meat into something delicious. Our hosts would be great to have in our horde for their organizational skills, among other things.
But I would want no one, absolutely no one in a five block radius in the role of foreward artillery observer.
There would be no fire for effect.
And you know what?
I honestly think this doesn’t surprise any one of the McCain/ GOP National Committee people who vetted her. I mean, to some degree they turned a blind eye to some of her flaws. They had to have.
But I think they very easily put two and two together. They saw that she was so readily and easily bought, and thought
A: We can handle her.
B: We can get dirt on her.
And Jindahl, Sanford, Gingrich, Bennet, one after another of the GOP’s leaders or speakers is revealed to be an amazing, amazing hypocrite.
AND PEOPLE WONDER WHY THE GOP IS LOSING GROUND NATIONALLY?
Right minded right wingers, wake up. If you are a values voter, you’re leaders don’t share your values and never have.
If you are a cold hearted, marketeer… these people have nothing but disdain for a free and fair market, political or economic.
I mean, you guys are making the Democrats look better and better.
Except for in the New York State Assembly. There, they look like the putzes they’ve always been.
A while back, I recieved a stray email from some rightwing blog/’website/focus group/circle jerk- as opposed to my own leftwing b/w/fg/cj’s-, and sent them a really irritated letter telling them to take me off their mailing list. If I want exposure to more conservative thinking, I’ll read the Economist ( which I recommend to anyone regardless of political stripes), Fox News ( hey, I get to laugh, cry, and shriek in terror, better than Gremlins, better than ET), or one of the NYC tabloids.
Or the Wall Street Journal Editorial page. That is always a lot of scary rich people fun.
So while I can do more to read up on opposing view points, I really don’t want to go straight into their echo chamber, and I don’t want them adding the mountain of unread bits on various servers across the world on my behalf.
So out of the blue, I get an email from Ari Fleischer and “Freedom’s Watch”, thanking me for my support, and so forth. I’ve talked with other righties about this in the past. (http://cmss1971.wordpress.com/2007/09/22/thank-you-for-my-suppport-what-support/)
I’m not going to post the letter from Freedom’s Watch, but if you want to see what their about- freedomswatch.org. Only fair if I mock them, I give you a chance to see why they deserve it. Here’s the reply to Ari, error’s and all.
And why is it that if you name a man Ari, he’s likely a dick? Someone answer that for me.
*** Hi. Uhm, I have no idea how you got my address, but I'm a lefty. A liberal. In my mind, Ari Fleishcer is one of the people responsible for the most damaging presidential administration in my life time, my parents lifetime, and possibly our nations. Why would I respond to his call? So, as you can imagine, I'd be really, really happy if you remove my email address from your mailing lists. Thanks, and I hope the defeat of McCain/Palin will wake up American Conservatives from their reactionary slumber to the need to be a healthy, productive part of solving world issues. Yours, James Gerber
PS: ‘Re- Hey Elk’ Bunnies and Elk deseve their bridges, you heartless bastiches.
One of the joys of watching TV is noticing actors and tieing them to others. As EW has mentioned, just about everyone will or has walked through the Stargate. When watching ‘The L Word’, I love picking out the actors who have appeared in both shows. ( Galactica and L Word are both shot in Hollywood North, or Vancouver.)
In the season premiere of Life, there are two actors who have played characters with close personal ties to Shane.
You tell me.
Since I started living in the APT in the BKL, (WTfrak?), I’ve picked up a mess of magazine subscriptions. Some where through reupping on Salon, other on the stark denial that I really didn’t need to waste a hundred or so bucks on foreign music mags, especially the ones without the pics of hot chicks dancing on drugs that would make Ken Kesey say “No, no. No.”
So I’m letting some go. Just fade away. Who knows? I might even get around to recycling them…
1) Q. Since getting my first music magazine and mixtape back in the UK in ’92, I’ve always appreciated the English model. Buy a magazine, get a mix tape/CD, pillage said mix tape/CD for the obscure tracks that make your mix tapes/CD’s look so frikkin cool. And while CMJ is the American stand out, the Virigin Megastore at 14th’s street, the Tower in the Village, and assorted Universal News’ could keep you up to date with what was being published/compiled on the other side of the pond.
Select Magazine and Uncut were particular stand outs, Select disappearing from around 2001, Uncut becoming a favorite.
And then there was Q. Q features a very snarky vibe, something closer to a Britisn newspaper or gossip rag. Cheeky ,as the Brits might say. It regularly says nice things about an artist in one issue, than ganks them in the letter column in the next issue. It also featured some decent CD mixes, but fewer times over the years. What benefits I get on keeping up with British pop culture- not a bad thing when you work with tourists, are outweighed by the writers being such utter prats.
So good buy to Q.
2) Reason. Reason is one of the free subscriptions from rejoining Salon. It’s a Libertarian magazine, with a dose of Ayn Rand worship mixed in. The best things tend to be the Pete Bagge covers,
The magazine is kind of a right wing version of hanging out with Nader supporters. They know EVERYTHING IS WRONG, and have PERFECTLY REASONABLE ARGUMENTS AND SUGGESTIONS, but nothing that works outside their narrow frame of reference. If you want to get rid of government in people’s lives, but don’t have anything to protect people in it’s absence, what’s the use?
A last read of one or two back issues may be worth it, but Reason is just the converted preaching to the converted.
3) Plenty A bi-monthly environmentalist magazine. Another Salon freebie.
Never quite got around to reading it, caught an advice column. Someone was talking about how to save paper on wedding invites, and dried elephant dung paper was suggested.
Ok. Thanks. I get how screwed we are, but elephant dung paper? And are those local elephants? Are you telling me you would import elephant dung just for your weeding invites?
4) The New York Review of Books Literary Porn. Or Literature Porn.
Honestly, it’s smart. There is good writing. I think most bloggers wish they could be what the NYRB could be.
But ultimately, it’s like porn. Instead of watching people do things you may or may not want to do to/with people you may or may not want, you are reading about people reading books you may or may not want to read, and likely will never have the time to.
I wish I had the time to catch up on the NYRB, maybe even read a book or two it talks about. But if I had that time, wouldn’t it be better spent reading newspapers or keeping better clued into current events? The NYRB is the one I most regret letting go, just because it would be so geek cool to actually read it.
There are still magazines I don’t read enough, others that are less worthy, or needy, of my subscription than the ones above. But I have a chance in hell of reading them.
Thus, to each departing magazine in order:
1) bugger off, I’ll buy you when you have a cd worth getting you cheeky bastard
2) Uhm, a narrow philosophical viewpoint is not reasonable
3) sorry, not as scared of the end of the world as we know it as I should be
4) mock me in your mandals and turtleneck. I’ll enjoy and pop culture and not cry while I do it
Everyone has something they keep at home, bottled, and ready to go, so that when they come home, they can blow the day out of their mind and eventually collapse in a heap either on or somewhere near the bed.
Mine is not any kind of drug or booze. It should be exercise… lord knows, the satisfaction of a good workout can be enough to ease the kinks.
It’s not the relationship… no, that’s about enjoying life, not making it go away.
No, my delivery system is the PS3, the drug.. PUZZLE QUEST: CHALLENGE OF THE WARLORDS!!
Dude, G4 ‘meh’ed’ it, but this game is brilliant. Take Bejwelled, mix in a third-rate Final Fantasy RPG knock off and lots of text writing, and let the drooling begin.
Pretty soon you are fixating over 4 skull’s in a row, your morale, and how to capture that damn Orc so you can learn that spell.
There are MUCH better games out there. Elder Scrolls: Oblivion remains a personal favorite, often restarted as squeeze every single loophole for an extra perk or item. Katamari has the best music outside of Pizzicato Five concert, and while Civilization: Revolution pleases, a good week lost to a full blown, computer Civilization game is almost worth it.
But just the sheer, no eye-hand coordination needed joy of jewelling your way to conquest is breathtaking.
If only I didn’t have to bother with those damn capture puzzle’s….