Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The Written Word Just Spoken Instead...

I wish I had time for books, physical books.
But I don't.
So instead I've been doing alot of audiobooks. They are insanely great because I can listen to them while I work which in an eight hour shift I can knock out a book a day if I don't get interrupted very much. And I can just finish listening on my way home or to work if it is especially long.
I'm going to have a few of those when I tackle "Infinite Jest".
It started out a couple months ago with listening to the full cast read version of World War Z. Listening to that made me not want to see the movie because how could they capture so much of the chaos that flows through the reading of the book in a two hour movie. They would need it to be a planned out trilogy (much like the Lord Of The Rings was) to really do the book justice.
I know enough about the movie version (from set accounts, reviews, reading the script that was online, the stories of the scrapped third act) to know it has nothing to do with the book besides a title. From what I've heard about movie WWZ, it shows almost no blood which for a zombie movie is akin to a biographical movie on Ron Jeremy and it be devoid of women. It renders everything else ridiculous. But I digress as that is another post altogether.

Back to the point, so I listened to the audiobook version of WWZ about 5 times before it stuck me to look up other books. Now I'm hooked. In the past few weeks I've listened to:
"The Bedwetter" by Sarah Silverman
"The God Delusion" By Richard Dawkins ( side note: the last chapter has him talking about quantum mechanics/physics and I'm pretty obsessed with the every day applications of QM)
"Assholes Finish First" and "Hilarity Ensues" both by Tucker Max. These two had me trying my hardest not double over laughing AT WORK or piss myself which did nearly happen an hour and a half into my workday. Close call on that one.
The following three are all by Christopher Hitchens:
"God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything" which I need to re-listen to because of how dense and full of insights I found profoundly interesting.
"Hitch-22" His autobiography.
"Mortality" this one had me all choked up because it was the last one he finished or mostly finished before he died and it was read by a friend of his from Vanity Fair along with a few quick stories about Hitch while he was being attacked by cancer. Very heavy to listen to. Alot of it was culled from stories written for Vanity Fair about the process of dealing with cancer. It's a great listen/read depending on if you're time limited like I am.
"God, No" and "Every Day Is An Atheist Holiday" both written and read by Penn Jillette.
I've loved his and Teller's show on Showtime named aptly "Bullshit" where they sift through the hype on a number of different topics from circumcision to spiritualists. These books were more that I was happy to come across without much effort. Most of his ideas in the books I agree with, some not so much. But the stories in between had me riveted.
Now I need to start in on some more fiction audiobooks which I'm currently searching for some good ones that I haven't physically read yet.

I can't remember if I've talked about this as my brain goes a mile a minute and I also don't usually re-read my previous blogs so I probably cover the same ground more than once.
I love mowing my lawn.
As a kid I hated having to do it at my parent's house but now it's my zen time. Twice a week I come home after a long day at work, put on some shitty old shorts and beaten up stained green shoes and lose myself in though while the mower blade twirls. My thought process actually slows down for once so I can ruminate on different ideas, possible projects, whatever is going on in my life or just have a conversation with myself in my head where if I were actually talking out loud I'd be the "crazy neighbor who mumbles to himself"
Even when it is scorching hot outside it feels good for that 45 minutes to an hour of attacking my yard.
Then come in to a slightly cold shower, and on rare occasions taking that cold shower while drinking a beer which is pure decadence.

I've started really buckling down on myself not to yell at Lucia when she is getting into trouble. A relative said that no matter how their child is acting they stay calm. And her kids are hella well behaved. So I've taken that to heart and when Lucia does something that would otherwise cause me to immediately go from placid to enraged in a snap (just like Dad use to do) I calmly tell her the options she has. "Do this please" then I'll usually hear a "NO!" Oh what a prefect stage to be in right now. Once she "NO!''s me I as calmly as I can give her option to do what I ask or time out in the corner" Then the next move is hers. If she is still defiant I swiftly put her in time out but I keep my voice at an even keel. As much as you can with a 2 1/2 year old who from what I hear is just like her mother at that age. And she turned out pretty good so I just have to remember I can endure this phase. It will get better.

In the back of my head I have this hope that I will win the lottery so I can pay off my house, bills, invest some and be able to retire early, maybe move somewhere I've always wanted to move.
Not going to happen.
I know this but I still buy that one dollar's worth of disappointment twice a week. I don't care because it keeps the dream alive.
"We are the music makers... and we are the dreamers of dreams."
Lastly, it looks like this is the year I will be able to cross off seeing TWO of my wish list musicians in concert. Earlier this year for my mom's 50th birthday we went to see Willie Nelson at the Overture Center. Now if everything goes right on September 15th I'll get to see The Replacements reunion show at Riot Fest. I am fully aware that what I will be seeing is NOT The Replacements. It's Tommy Stinson and Paul Westerberg and probably two other guys filling the other roles in the band. Since I had moved to Minneapolis it was my goal to some how some way see Paul Westerberg play live. After three years living there my goal went unfulfilled and three years on from moving it looks like I'm going to get my chance... in Chicago. I really hate Chicago but for this I'm all in. It will be well worth being IN Chicago to do so. And if memory (i'm not googling it) serves me The Replacements played their final show in that very city. On the 4th of July if I've got my facts straight.
The other bands on the bill are just icing on the cake: Against Me!, Bob Mould, The Pixies, Chuck Ragan, Suicidal Tendencies and a bunch more. OH OH, yeah that's right Saves The Day as well.
This is the most I've sat down to write in forever. I feel like facebook and twitter are stealing the best literary minds of this generation, 160 characters at a time. And i am in no way referencing myself in the former sentence. But I should use time like this to be working on my novel/short story project that has been slowly gestating for the better part of two years now. It may never see the light of day... but just maybe I'll sit my ass down and flesh out that  seedling.
No promises.

EDIT: I don't know why I didn't mention this but It makes me really happy to see how well my friend Adam is getting better after being hit by a car. Had me and alot of other people worried for time there. I told him already but it was seriously like a slower version of what happened to my dad. Glad the only thing that Adam lost was a spleen. Mopeds don't seem dangerous but they are when some cunt pulls out in front of you. When I first visited him in the hospital, he was so doped up that he was in and out of consciousness but he kept joining the conversation at the perfect timing, then right back out snoring. He's out of the hospital now which is amazing in and of itself but last friday we got into a sold out showing of The Conjuring because he was in a wheelchair. Can't wait til he is back to his old self as I am sure having to constantly sit has got to be driving him crazy. Makes me relieved and happy that he is back home. Hospitals are annoying and depressing. The less I or any of my friends have to be in one the better.

Now I will go back to mumbling to myself.
As you were, civilian.