Monthly Archives: September 2012

Marriage is Awesome!

Being married is awesome. You get to go to sleep with someone, wake up with someone. You get to have sex, obviously. You get to watch T.V. shows in bed and wake up and have coffee together. You get to bike to cafes and have bottles of wine at night. It’s pretty nice. I am thoroughly enjoying it.

 

The only hard part for me is learning how to adjust to a new schedule. Since I am basically unemployed, I used to stay up late into the night reading or writing or watching something and drinking bourbon. It didn’t matter what time I stayed up to cause I could mostly sleep in. I mean, I usually would wake up at nine or ten, so I wasn’t too much of a worthless piece of crap. It’s not like I was getting high in my basement room at the Cox’s, eating Doritos, and watching Seinfeld and sleeping in till noon (although that does sound awesome).

 

So now, I wake up at the butt crack of dawn every morning with Cat, because I really would feel like a worthless piece of crap If I stayed in bed while she went off to work to make the big bucks every day (the butt crack of dawn being 7:30).  “Bye honey” I’d mumble while drooling in my pillow, “have fun…job today…work good…mmemme.”I’m sure Cat would be incredibly attracted to it.

 

The other thing getting used to is all of our new kitchen appliances. My friend Mike told me to watch out because I would one day cut the shit out of myself with one of our new knives. I mostly shrugged him off, but last night, I cut the shit out of myself and it was no joke.

 

I was making nachos. The Tillamook cheddar cheese was almost out so I was grating a chunk of cheese probably no bigger than the size of a quarter when all of a sudden, in one fluid motion, a piece of my left thumb went missing. Blood started drizzling down my wrists onto the countertops. I had just grated the top of my thumb like it was a piece of Tillamook cheese! Now there’s something that doesn’t happen every day. Shades of Kilgore Trout.

 

The bleeding didn’t stop for two hours. I started getting lightheaded after hour one and went to bed a little like what I imagine it would be like to go to bed after sucking the tap off a hydrogen balloon tank.

 

But because I was married, there was someone lying down next to me, making sure I didn’t bleed out in my sleep. Marriage is great for so many reasons. 

Advertisements

Breaking Bad Part II

Image

This is the second part of an article I wrote on man’s bent towards self destruction in the TV show Breaking Bad.

Walt on the other hand is a force of active destruction. True, he may not know the consequences of every step he takes at first, starting out in a blind haze of naivety, but very soon he becomes the moving force of destruction within the show. Walt’s destruction is nearly always towards others: lying to his family, letting Jesse’s girlfriend die, and by proxy in that event, killing over a hundred and fifty people in an airplane crash. However, what Walt either sees and doesn’t care about, or what he is blind to, is the loss of his own soul. Either Walt knows where this path takes him and doesn’t care, or he is naïve enough to believe he can have both. He can have his family and be a respected drug dealer. He can rise to power without inflicting harm on others. He is either unaware of his own destruction or chooses not to care about it. True, there are still moments when we see a genuine older Walter White trying to win back his family and become a good person, whatever that means, but by and large Walt is on the path to self-destruction. If he doesn’t care, which, I don’t think he does, it is because of the ironic fact that for most of his life he has been like Jesse, the passive recipient of whatever came at him.

However, there came a point, obviously ignited by his cancer but exacerbated by the success of former colleagues while he languished into nothing, where Walt made a choice to stop becoming the recipient and begin to come the aggressor. In a sense, you can’t blame him; Walt chooses self-destruction because self-destruction within the context of power is a much better life than destruction at the hands of a random and unfair world.

The other theme of self-destruction is most noticeably captured in Jesse’s girlfriend. She is a former heroin addict who relapses and od’s one night next to Jesse. In many ways she is the archetype of self-inflicted suffering for no reason. Everything we know about her seems to indicate she has a good family, people who care about her, and a decent life. And yet, whether it be for pleasure or some other reason, she continues to relapse to heroine.

She is both like and unlike Jesse in very distinct ways. It appears that Jesse had a good family too, one who cared about him and tried to help him, but Jesse naturally falls into the events around him. She is a much more active force than Jesse as we see when she threatens Walt. It appears she should have the resolve to stop using, however, heroin is the devil and the bent of human nature towards destruction will always seem a mystery.

Really heroin itself is the perfect example of something everyone knows is destructive but continues to do anyways.

Why does she choose death when she is so close to life? Her and Jesse have a bag full of money and they have their love for each other. They are this close to starting a new life. Is it the momentary pleasure that outweighs the long-term consequences? Is it the rush of fast living that blurs out human rationality?

Why would I, after knowing all there is to know about smoking, knowing that it will lead to my death one day, either through lung cancer or heart disease, continue to smoke?

The answer, I think, lies in tomorrow. Tomorrow always seems so far away. Tomorrow will be a better day to change. In two weeks we think, once the craziness has died down, we can change. But we never do, we hold onto today. But tomorrow comes and tomorrow becomes today.

Perhaps we humans have an unhealthy ability to compartmentalize. What happens today we think, does not effect tomorrow.  I mean it could. But it probably won’t. So we have affairs because for now, this is good, and in our brains at the moment, the rationality of this action affecting tomorrow becomes less and less until we somehow believe that what we are participating in is isolated instances of life which we can subjugate and organize.

But we are sweaters, with one thread tied to the whole piece, and the more we pull, the more things fall apart.

Blah

I’m not a very good blogger. I think good bloggers talk about all the hot issues. They give you their take on Mitt Romney and the Republican National Convention. They talk about Chic-Fil-A and opine on whether it’s terrible or ridiculous or both. When a senator makes a statement about rape all the bloggers immediately fill their blogs with opinions and sentiments about how much of jack ass this person is or they applaud said person. Bloggers write about their kids and how wonderful they are or how much of a pain in the ass they are.

 

Bloggers talk about the liberal media. Give their advice on economic issues. They tell you what to think about Barrack Obama.

 

I am not a good blogger. I don’t really do any of these things. Sometimes I write about my life, but it always seems rather self-indulgent to do so. I have opinions on Mitt Romney, on Chic-Fil-A. I guess I could tell them to you. I could tell you why I don’t really care who becomes president or why Christians acted like idiots buying all those chicken sandwiches.

 

Bloggers try and get web traffic. You need to. It helps your writing platform. Apparently, if you want to be a writer you need a good blog, with lots of writing comments to you.

 

I’m not very good at getting traffic. People don’t really comment on the blog. I wouldn’t either.

 

Now, please read my blog so you can hear me complain more about blogging and appreciate the irony, deep and thick, like red meat or leather strung across the ocean.

 

 

Breaking Bad Part I

 

 

Lately, I’ve been thinking about man’s bent toward self-destruction. Real positive stuff, I know. Questions like why is it that some people just can’t say no? Why is it that some people give in to the very things that are killing them, day after day? Why do I do the same?

The thought stems from Breaking Bad. My wife and I recently started the series though we are incredibly behind—I think we started the first season as the fifth was about to air. Really it’s a shame because I could write a million things about the show but since we just barely made it into the third season, there’s nothing I can really write that hasn’t been said before or that isn’t completely outdated. No one wants to hear commentary about the second season of a show that aired three years ago. It’s like trying to submit a movie review about Schindler’s List. But I will attempt nonetheless. Even though I may say something about how profound or confusing a moment in some episode was and everyone else is going to say, “Duh, you idiot, haven’t you seen the last season?”

As I see it there are three faces of self-destruction throughout the series. Personified, as they should be, by the two main characters themselves and other minor characters.

Jesses version of self-destruction is a passive destruction. Jesse, so far, has always been the passive recipient of what happens to him, he never makes anything happen on his own, it is always in response to what someone else does to him.  At the core, Jesse is a good soul with a compassionate heart, though he is a very misguided and young individual. How he deals with life as it happens to him is to check out. He gets high in response to the events around him. This is the only real action he takes, an action that is and has been his downfall. Others do not trust him for his drug use. His parents despise him for giving him so many second chances without any success, and are frustrated by his lack of ambition, his lies, and his inevitable return to using.  Walt gets frustrated with Jesse for similar reasons, repeatedly denigrates him for being worthless, almost never paying Jesse a compliment through the entire series. Therefore, Jesse chooses self-destruction because he believes he will always be this way. In one episode he even remarks in reference to the business of meth, “It’s the only thing I’m good at.” He knows, perhaps subconsciously that either using or selling will land him in jail or dead in a ditch, but he has too little belief in himself to ever change, a belief reinforced by the fact that no one around him encourages or supports him to be a better person. Walt is Jesse’s only real role model. He is the only one pushing Jesse to do better, although ironically, the better is smarter and more efficient ways of peddling and producing meth.

On the Months I’ve Been Engaged

This is a poem I wrote for Cat before we got married last Saturday. I read it last Friday for our rehearsal dinner. 

 

On the Months I’ve Been Engaged

 

First there were the stress marks

you could see them on my lungs

unclear as to whether you’d answer yes

or no

in definitive fashion

 

I threw up blood you know

gave myself an ulcer

I did it all for you…

Baby.

 

Then, there was Bend

full of pine trees and snow

pine tress and snow

like Bend does best

 

There was the one knee dip, the wine on top of mountaintops

The music, the silly little piece of metal I slipped upon your finger petals.

 

There were trumpets

Not literal trumpets

But celebration

An end to all this unnecessary anticipation

And God declared that it was good.

 

But in the beginning there was death.

Ugly, cold, miserable death

I’m deeming two thousand and twelve the year of death

 

 

So much for spring, the lighter things

new beginnings

the singing of the robin in the windowpanes

 

What is new?

There is….

nothing new

nothing new

there is nothing new

under the sun.

 

We awoke to a robin heralding a return

to grim reaper winter

 

but we pressed on,

through Michigan and beyond

 

We had our nights

I collected your tears in a

vase I kept around my heart

 

Sometimes I caused them tears

–I never wanted to

 

 

My heart wore the smell of used cigarettes

And bourbon vignettes

 

I never was a sanctuary

            —you loved me anyway

 

 

There was your father,

dementia ridden and confused

shipped to Salt Lake in a late-night fright van

by a man who played saxophone in an Atlanta band

 

We read your father baseball books

Fed him pureed vegetables and mashed potatoes

Asked for a straw so he could sip his orange juice

Told him the walls were not closing in,

Not yet, we said

Not yet at least

 

We pressed on,

we did

through relational conflict,

personality conflict

love language conflict

external hard drive, existential supernatural theological conflict

 

We pressed through the sludge of it all

like a French press with an American attitude

Ikea fights included

 

We stopped at dusk

 to press into each other

Late-night make-out nights

We really pressed on those

(with our bodies, I mean)

 

We got an apartment on Fourth North

Cute and small like the both of us

in all this terrible mess of a world

 

We had to replace an oven,

 A sinner of a refrigerator

We had to navigate the cluster cuss of

Internet wireless providers

An hour and twenty minutes on the phone with century link

Can lead a man like me

to a serious desire to smash everything within his sight.

Especially dressers,

 I have disturbing visions of smashing dressers…

 

We had bed bugs even,

Freaking bed bugs.

After all of this

 

But we freaking killed them all.

We killed them all

At least we hope,

I sprayed enough chemicals to make

Chernobyl look like Disneyland

 

But we made it.

To Mordor and back again

We have stared Voldemort himself in the face

Snake eyes and all

We are the gold through which fire purifies

the tired blood anesthetized

 

I love you Cat, like Ron Weasley loves Hermione Granger

Like Harry loves Ginny

I love you like slow music on late night lit Parisian avenues

 

You are the dusk on a summer evening

Shooting through dilapidated oak trees branches

Shiny, shimmering, and perfectly golden

You are the billows of an autumn breeze

You are the smoke upon the winter trees

 

We know there are still precipices

with dark mouths

awaiting to swallow us

But we are not afraid

We are not afraid

 

 

I have a ring for you,

A silly little piece of metal to slip upon you finger petals

 

I have a vase of tears around my heart

But when I look again

They have turned to prism window chimes

Tuned to the key

 of my best friend.