Saturday, March 26, 2011

Sad Sack.

Here's the line that appeared in my head the other day:
Reading too much Kerouac
has turned me into a sad sack
It's true. I've been reading a bunch of Kerouac stuff lately, mostly re-reading old stuff that I've read a few times before, biding my time until the new DFW book comes out on tax day. I've also been watching and listening to Kerouac interviews that I've found on Youtube and the rest of the internet. Most of them are pretty sad, because he's usually pretty drunk, especially the interviews from the 60's. The ones from the 50's are pretty good, though. He comes across as extremely shy, and a little drunk, and sad. And egotistical. I found one audio interview from it sounds like around 1958 or '59 where Ben Hecht is interviewing him, and that one was pretty interesting. It sounds a bit like Hecht was mocking him a little bit.

The internet has made my relationship with authors a strange thing, because until its invention, I would read a lot of books and have no real idea what the author looked like or sounded like or acted like. They were entirely mysterious beings who could speak in my head, with my voice, with words that were not mine. Pretty powerful stuff. Now I can watch videos of DFW or Kerouac on Youtube and see that they were not, in fact, otherwordly beings but just normal people, with voices that sound entirely different from mine and their own weirdnesses. It's powerful to watch videos of them, powerful in a different way, and definitely much sadder. Sadder maybe because they're dead and it's always sad to watch videos of dead people, but sadder because they're so normal, and their normalness makes the things they wrote seem that much more brilliant. Who knows. Whatever. Nothing. Nevermind.

Jeannie and I had a damn productive day today. Rented a truck, loaded up our scrap metal, took it to the scrap metal recycling joint, got piz-zayed (paid), headed to the Home Depot, (ate a Home Depot hotdog), bought 20 sheets o' drywall and some lumber, came home and unloaded it all, ate a quick dinnersnack, and framed up the ceiling in the back bedroom. We were busting ass mostly because in the middle of the day I proposed that we bust ass today and then take tomorrow off. So that's what we're gonna do. We're gonna take tomorrow off and maybe head out to some museums and spend a nice day together out and about.

That sounds freakin' wonderful to me.

Remember when I used to eat like 6 hotdogs a day? That was fun.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Duffy Moon

When I was a kid, my friend Doug used to always quote an after school special that he had seen called The Amazing Cosmic Awareness of Duffy Moon, which apparently aired in 1976, according to IMDB. He used to say, "You can do it, Duffy Moon!" which is, apparently, a phrase used in the film, perhaps repeatedly. Enough to stick in my friend Doug's head. After hanging around with Doug for a while, I picked up on the use of the phrase, "You can do it, Duffy Moon!", even though I had never (and still haven't) seen the original movie. Then quite a few years later, I had been using the phrase fairly regularly when I met Jeannie, who had also never seen The Amazing Cosmic awareness of Duffy Moon, but who, in time, also started using the phrase. Then, after Jeannie and I went off to our respective colleges, Jeannie was using the phrase "You can do it, Duffy Moon!" and met her friend Gena, who also had never seen The Amazing Cosmic Adventures of Duffy Moon. Tonight Jeannie was talking with Gena on the phone and learned that Gena still uses that phrase. And thus, a phrase has been passed down through 3 degrees of separation from someone who has actually seen the film from which it was taken. Is this how figures of speech get started?

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Dead Letter Office

Yesterday my sister called and left a message asking if I would write a letter to my nephew, who is going on retreat soon, and apparently when these high school kids go on retreat they get letters from family members offering words of love and encouragement or advice or something like that. And I've written letters like this before to various members of my family when they've gone on retreats, and I'm sure at some point in my life I got a letter from someone in my family when I was on a retreat, although I don't remember it. Anyway, my sister asked if I would write to my nephew, because she says that he reminds her of me, and I would agree, I think that he's a lot like I was when I was in high school. And she's worried about him, which makes me think that he's probably getting involved with drinking or pot or sex or something like that. Who knows. But he's basically a real good kid. So anyway, Jesus, what the fuck am I supposed to write? I remember getting a letter from my other sister when I was 17 years old, and she gave me all kinds of advice that I didn't need and I didn't heed, and I've held it against her to this day. So the last thing I wanted to do was write a letter to my nephew, who I like, and have it become something that from this point on makes him think I'm a dick. So anyway, I did it, immediately after listening to my sister's message, I sat down and started typing away, writing a lot about things that were going on with me when I was in high school, and being fairly honest and down-to-earth about everything, and saying that I basically have no idea about what sort of place he's in right now. I have no idea about what he likes, who he spends his time with, what he wants out of life, etc. But I also said that I know his mom is worried about him, and that his mom is one of my absolute favorite people on earth, that if I was ever on top of a building about to jump off, his mom would be one of probably two people that could talk me down. So anyway, i wrote about a three page letter, and I think it was pretty honest and not presumptious, so I hope to god that it doesn't make him hate me. Really, I'm probably not the person in my family that should be writing encouraging letters to family members. The end result is that I feel like a dick anyway, and I think I would feel like a dick no matter what I wrote. Ugh. But it's been mailed so who knows what will happen.

In other non-news, I've been running and gyming and trying to eat well and staying away from the booze. Haven't had any alcohol for about 2 weeks, although tomorrow I am planning on going off the wagon on both my dieting and booze-abstention. Hanging out after work with folks from work, heading over to the rec room where I will have, most likely, nachos and G&T's and perhaps chickin fingers. Maybe not chicken fingers.

The weather is gettin' nice! Jeannie got home from work early this evening and we sat out on the porch! Felt great.

Lotsa work planned this weekend...

Monday, March 14, 2011

A Door? A Pocket?

I've started and stopped and restarted this blog post several times now, on a couple of different days. Things seem a little pointless at the moment. It is a "one foot in front of the other. One foot in front of the other" kind of day. Week. Month. Trudge, trudge, trudge up the hill. Head down.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Mutha Board

I am writing this from the laptop that was dead, and has risen. I decided, on the advice of both Jeannie's brother and a tech-savvy coworker, not to attempt to solder the chips that needed to be replaced. So I ordered a new motherboard online for $70 and replaced the whole thing myself. Which I'm pleased about, considering a week ago I knew jack shit about the insides of computers and now I can take this thing apart and put it back together in about 10 minutes.

The Jeanners and I had a meeting yesterday with a guy that's going to be doing some grading, excavation, and masonry work for us, and it was a bit frustrating. As much as doing most of work ourselves has made this an insanely long project, it has been mostly a project with a low bullshit level, and pretty much 100% of the bullshit has come about when we've had to work with other people, whether it's folks doing work or folks arranging money or whatever. Sartre was right, hell is other people.

On a positive note, however, on Friday we had a company come in to remove some asbestos floor tiles that were in a back bedroom, and it was pretty dreamy to leave for work in the morning and then come home and have the job finished. It was pretty much exactly like the "elves come in the night and finish all the work" fantasies that I have been having several times a week for the last year or so. So now the floor back there looks like this:

I'm gonna try and lose a few winter pounds over the next few weeks. That means no delicious treats and no booze. And lots of running. This is either gonna make me feel really good or really grumpy.