Feb 282009
 

Dad sent this poignant video of comedian/commentator Louis C.K. on Conan O’Brien my way a week or so ago.  (I’d love to embed it, but it’s been disabled for this video.)  Take four minutes and watch it.  It’s worth it.  I’ll be here when you get back.

I’ve written and said several times that one of the most tragic things about growing up is that it takes more and more to truly impress you.  When the world loses its newness, it can take a little effort to rediscover the marvels of everyday life.

Isn’t it worth it, though?  Technological advances are easy to miss because they’re gradual and ever-evolving, but take a snapshot of your life today and try to think back to a typical day of 20 years ago.  There’s a hard drive in your iPod that wasn’t available for any computer at any price until very recently.  When was the last time you considered how incredibly complex, yet freakishly reliable, your car is?  Do you even remember what it feels like not to have access to a robust World Wide Web?  I’ve written about that one before.

Louis C.K.’s comments on air travel really ring true with me.  I don’t care for all of the logistics of flying, and I really dislike the near-fully relinquished control.  But wow, the actual act of sitting in that airplane and looking out the window still rocks me.  Flying home from Atlanta—a common last leg of any trip that only takes about half an hour—I usually look out continuously.  I don’t expect I’ll ever “get over” that, because I don’t intend to.

The wonder isn’t only looking up into the heavens, or feeling the ocean lapping at your toes, or gazing out across a tree-lined valley.  Sometimes it’s on an IC in your pocket.  That wonder is just as genuine, if you remember to consider it.

 Posted by at 12:46 pm
Feb 272009
 

We’re waiting for what looks to be at least another inch of rain.  I hope it hits right when I put my head on my pillow.  “They” are sticking to their forecasts for snow tomorrow night.  We’re running out of winter.  Might be our last shot.

I’m coaching Nathan’s Upward team again tomorrow morning.  Tomorrow afternoon Lea and her sister are taking the boys to the circus.  I don’t carry huge disdain for circuses around with me, and objectively I think I understand their appeal; they’ve just never been my thing.  As a tot I went with my friend Edwin, who always tilted his head back to look at you because his mother never kept his bangs cut.  My most vivid circus memory is having cotton candy nastiness all over my hands and face.

(Now cotton candy is something I can’t believe anyone likes.)

I’ve got some cleaning up and cleaning out to do, so maybe I’ll use some of tomorrow’s alone time on that.  I’m also the last person in the Western Hemisphere who hasn’t seen The Dark Knight, and that’s waiting for me on Blu-ray.

Oh, and along with unplugged Sundays, I went ahead and tossed alcoholic beverages on the Lent abstention pile.  (Well, I did fudge just a bit; Charles and I hung out last night, so I started today.  I’ll go until Tuesday after Easter.)  I’m sure I’ll reliably miss them, which of course is a large part of the point.  Plus, subbing diet ginger ale for beer in the evening ought to pay a side dividend in my waistline if I keep everything else the same, right?

Have a good weekend.

 Posted by at 9:35 pm
Feb 262009
 
  • The first offline Sunday approaches.  Right now I’m slightly more excited about the novelty than I am anxious about the denial.  We’ll see.
  • I think I want a product that doesn’t exist.  Does anyone know of a simple Bluetooth indicator light, i.e. something I could stick on the dashboard that would light up when my phone rang?  Occasionally I miss calls because of the stereo, and the phone is too hard to get out of my pocket while driving if I set it to vibrate, and my headset is for when I know I’m going to be on the phone (not for when someone might call), and I’m not turning the music down.
  • Karl Rove had a good piece in the Wall Street Journal today about Obama’s straw man rhetorical tactics.  He regularly rails against positions no reasonable person holds (or has ever held), and implies (or even straight-out says) they are Republican positions.  Obama would have you believe that none of his opponents think the federal government has any advantage over the private sector for anything, for example.
  • My favorite word this week is cerulean.  There is no obvious reason it made itself comfortable in my consciousness, but there it is.
  • I was on a humor writing mailing list a hundred years ago that contained, among many others, a friend of mine named Caroline and another woman named, umm…call her Betty.  Now Caroline was way funnier than Betty, but they were two of very few prominent women on the list, so Betty would always lump herself together with Caroline—in conversation, scenarios, or whatever.  This irked Caroline unendingly.  I privately suggested she might be overreacting, and she fired back “Bo, it’s like if the Elephant Man put his arm around you and said ‘chicks don’t dig guys like us.'”  I still enjoy that.
  • A comment I made on this Saintseester post has me wondering:  are the marketing blurbs on “fortified” wines (you know, MD 20/20, Thunderbird, and so forth) all flowery and evocative like on respectable wines?  Do they regale you with tales of the whimsy of the Tuscan countryside and such, perhaps even with suggestions for food pairing?  Or are they honest?  “Hey man, you’re about to have an unbelievably nasty morning for the next couple of days, but who are we kidding?  This shit’ll knock your dick in the dirt like nothing else for $5 will.”
  • Go build yourself a high-end custom lightsaber (hat tip, The Corner).
 Posted by at 5:48 pm
Feb 252009
 

If you haven’t known me for at least 15 years, you wouldn’t believe how much better I am at not sweating the small stuff than I used to be.  Recently more than one person has actually hung the word “easygoing” on me.

(I shall now pause so that the aforementioned long acquaintees have a chance to compose themselves after fits of generous laughter.)

I suppose the wisdom that generally trends upward with age gets some of the credit for that, but Lea gets more.

Anyway, today was a day of relentless mini-tragedies such as I have not experienced in quite some time.  “SHIT HAPPENS,” the bumper sticker glibly reports, and man, did it ever today.  As I type, I am exhausted, exasperated, and just feeling fucked with in general.

When I sat down to write this post, it was to be a venomous diatribe against rudeness and lack of consideration.  Each of my slights was to be magnificently detailed so that you could feel my rage, and many comments of solidarity would roll in.  Funny thing happened, though.  As I started, I rapidly lost interest, and realized I wouldn’t be writing the post in my head after all.

When I’m asked for advice, I do a lot of preaching about choosing your reaction.  I’m generally good about that myself, but I missed it for most of today.  A few minutes ago I realized that my anger was probably a) excessive; and b) threatening to compromise a nice night with the boys while Lea is at stained glass class.

So I’m not telling you what happened to me today.  Instead, I’m telling you that I’m considerably calmer now than I was when I started typing, and that I’m going to try hard to remember today as an example when I’m faced with future quotidian adversity.

Hug your children.  Have a cookie.

 Posted by at 6:05 pm

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