Random things, of varying levels of import

• Up early. The old eyes popped open at 8:30ish for some reason. This is what happens when I don’t drink for a few days, I guess. Scary.

I have to take Felix to the vet at noon for his blood tests to see how we can get that insulinoma under control. I’m not looking forward to driving all the way out to bumfuck (Winchester and Riverdale), but I am looking forward to getting the treatment ball rolling.

(Ha, I love how I’m all “omfg, driving 25 minutes east is such a drag, lolz.” Oh how things have changed from the time when I grew up in a town 17 miles and 30 minutes from the nearest Wal-Mart, where if you needed milk and hadn’t gotten it at your local “convenience” store, which closed at 7 p.m., you were SOL and had to just make do ’til morning, unless you wanted to make an hour round trip to Savannah. Moving to a city sure has spoiled me something fierce. Although, I suppose I pay for it in the sheer amount of siren squeals I have to hear.)

• I decided last night that were I to ever meet a man wearing a Turkey Volume Guessing Man costume, I’d marry him on the spot.

• Why, dear god, why won’t my heat come and stay on? The radiators are open wide and yet it can’t be much more than 50 degrees in here. And yes, jerks, I’ve got plenty of layers on and it’s possible that I’m exaggerating about the temperature (it could be more like 55). Is it any wonder that I have a hard time getting out of bed when it’s the only heated space in this godforsaken place?

• Man, I just poured a cup of coffee and went to get a spoon for some sugar, and noticed that it had a crusty little rusty little something on it. I scratched at it but it didn’t budge, so I figured it was a now permanent feature of the spoon. But when I removed the spoon from the coffee, it came out clean. Delicious. I just love the thought of drinking crusty rust.

• My dad’s knee surgery (torn cartilage) went well yesterday. He called me, all mellow from the drugs, just to let me know he was doing fine. He said that the doctors told him he’d need knee replacement surgery in a few years, which is a bummer but I guess it’s best to have a little bit of warning.

• I ate at Do* yesterday with hotshot reporter T-bagz McScoop (that’s his Christian name) and saw @rakuette and @fancycwabs, randomly enough. I ordered off the noodle bar menu (chicken pho; my dining companion got the Tom Yum Gung Hot + Sour Soup) and it was quite good, even though — I’m not gonna lie — trying to maneuver my way around Asian food makes me feel completely idiotic. As I explained to T-bagz while fumbling awkwardly with chopsticks and that cute little thing that looks like a spoon rest, I didn’t grow up around Asian food (we had a wok and made stir-fry once a week, but we ate with forks and all I did was pick out and eat the chicken anyway), so the learning curve for me is a little steep. It’s just that unless you’ve been taught how to eat it — which container goes where, which utensil for what, what pours into and over what, etc. — it just comes to your table like it’s a fucking puzzle on an IQ test. And I maintain that as neat-o as chopsticks are in theory (they are aesthetically smashing, it’s true), they need to be retired from the cultural lexicon. Seriously**.

• Some dude favorited one of my Flickr pictures of my brother — one where he’s wearing work boots. The dude said in the comments, simply, “HUNK!” I followed the user’s link and saw that he has a bit of a thing for dudes in stovepipe boots. It takes all kinds, man. I wish to shit I could tell my brother about his secret admirer, but he just wouldn’t enjoy it as much as he should.

* I spent more time than I care to admit to looking for a way to get the long-vowel symbol over that O. I even copied one from Dictionary.com but it published as a question mark. This could be the thing that finally drives me insane. HOW DO I MAKE A LONG O?!?

** I don’t want this idea to be mistaken for me being all white and privileged and “oooh look how exotic Asian food is!” because that’s not what I’m getting it. Alls I’m saying is that it’s something I’m pretty unfamiliar with, and something about which my ignorance causes me a fair bit of shame, because Asian food is obviously awesome. So I’m trying to learn. But it’s tough getting through the initial humiliation of not knowing how shit works. And, granted, it’s a self-created humiliation, but it’s there nonetheless. Wow, I am neurotic. Also, I blink and breathe a lot.

Thankfulness

My mom called me the other night, crying. I thought something was wrong. Turns out she had just seen this Mother’s Day tribute on my Flickr for the first time, and it moved her to tears. She got all choked up while leaving me a voicemail, and again when I called her right back. “Well, I just have to know. Were you drunk?” she joked. I assured her that no, I hadn’t been. Or well, maybe I had been. I was drunk all summer. But I meant it, every word of it. “Well, that was six months ago,” mom said. “Maybe you’ve changed your mind since then.”

Nope. I am so grateful for her. For her humor. For her strength. And for my entire family, even though — no, especially because — they are crazy and quirky and, as we say around the house, gommy.

This was the first Thanksgiving I ever spent away from my family. I tried not to be too morose about it; I’m the one who d’ohfully picked a career in an industry that doesn’t actually take holidays.

Work was pleasant enough. They catered some pretty tasty deli stuff for us, and everyone pitched in and brought dessert. And then I got off work and went over to Amy and Dave‘s and and they had a warm plate of deliciousness and a cold glass of wine waiting on me. I tell you what. Kings could live worse than this.

I started making a list three days ago of things I’m thankful for, and it just kept growing and growing so I’m going to go ahead and post it before it devolves into “electricity, eyelash mites, carbon.”

music in my ears
moments of light and heat
cds, made and received
books, borrowed and bought
someecards
good vets
office supplies
early shifts
late nights
Triple T Farms
hope
not working retail anymore
time off and away
amazing groups of friends scattered in so many directions
kitty purrs
BentonSans
mailorder
health
health insurance
backrubs
wordplay
nephews
hoodies
nicknames
dishwashers
recombobulation areas
CafePress
orange juice
wine
30 Rock
my camera and my eyes
unselfconscious moments
wiggle room
still being sentimental at times
the fact that my mother pointed out that i misspelled “blatantly” in the thanksgiving video I made (and I promise I am mildly ashlamed of my misspellnig)

and this:


And many more from Lindsey Turner on Vimeo.

The afterglow

All morning (okay, all three hours I’ve been up), I’ve been crawling all over the interwebs, devouring everything I could find about what happened last night. The whole Proposition 8 nonsense out in California is dampening an otherwise banner day. But as other people have pointed out quite eloquently and diplomatically, tides turn — Obama’s parents’ union was illegal in many states at one time and now look how far we’ve come — and social justice will prevail. We have taken a step in the right direction nationally; let’s keep up the momentum.

I’ve been trying and trying to get Newseum to play nice and let me see the foreign front pages but it just won’t cooperate. But I have a pretty good idea of what they say and show. And that thought makes me warm and fuzzy with pride.

I did get the site to work long enough to notice that a lot of American papers went with a poster treatment. Here’s what The CA did (Incidentally, I just noticed that “commercialappeal.com” in the top right ear is not centered correctly; how did that happen!?!?!). I’m a nerd, so I’ve got a roundup of some of the more interesting pages after the jump.
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Rituals

pumpkinking

I find cracking open a pumpkin and scooping out its guts to be soothing and meditative on the level of peeling pomegranates. It’s not always been this way; when I was little, I’d balk at the concept of gutting my own pumpkin and make mom do it. But now? If I want that pumpkin to have a face, I have to get it done myself, guts and all. The process has become so familiar now that I can’t imagine not doing it, not taking time out once a year to sit down with a giant squash and wrap my fingers around its interior tendrils, dig my nails into its flesh and scrape it clean, or just clean enough to house some tinfoil and votive candles.

I don’t have a lot of rituals in my life, probably because I’m too lazy to keep up with most of them. But this one has stuck. I’m not sure why it’s stuck so fiercely. I start to get antsy if the end of October is near and I’ve not yet put out a jack-o-lantern. In some ways, I think maybe it’s my own way of acknowledging and accepting the inevitable end of the year. Like, “Year, I am going to gut this gourd and light it on fire and set it outside and then it will be okay for you to put Christmas trees up at Walgreens.”

So anyway, I give you CrazyEyes McPalin:

huhhuhhuhhhuhhh
“Compulsory pregnancy, my friends! Neverending war, you betcha! Fear of brown people, by golly! Creepy snickering and suggestive winking!! Heheheheheuhuhuhuhhuh!”

I bought two pumpkins this year, so I’ve got one more to carve. I had originally thought about doing Brett- and Jemaine-o-lanterns, but let’s face it, I am not that supernaturally talented when it comes to pumpkin-carving, so I’ll settle for making quasi-creepy, passive-aggressive political statements.

Pumpkins past:
2007, 2006, 2005, 2004

Body politic

What a week this has been. I feel like complete crap. I called out sick Wednesday with some head trouble and today I’m at home in my sweats, watching football (it’s a bit more palatable now that I’m on the fantasy football horse), battling the barf monster. This is a real bummer, as I had big plans for tonight. Also, I don’t like hanging around the house, puking.

I don’t know what’s going on with my body, except maybe that I’ve been exceptionally unkind to it lately and it’s finally fighting back and refusing to take the abuse. Yeah, body, I hear you. Loud and clear. Now stop being such a jerk.

Ugh. Okay, time to get horizontal again. Here’s some nightmare fodder for you:

HT: BWE

Bear with me, pets

I’m dinking around with some template designs and will be periodically activating them to see how they look. So if you see something you think you weren’t supposed to see, cover your eyes, back away, and never ever tell anyone what you saw.

We’ll be back to the regularly scheduled orange and blue goodness before you know it.

I want some of whatever Crispin Glover is smoking/sniffing/huffing

For two months now, I’ve been excited about seeing Crispin Glover present his feature film, What Is It? at the theater on Old Summer. The gig was delayed nearly a month, but finally, finally!, the spectacle actually occurred tonight, and holy shit. Holy. Shit. My brain was ill-equipped to handle the absolute insanity that confronted it and tried to put it in a full nelson and box its ears.

Here‘s a trailer for the film in question. Don’t bother trying to watch it at work; it’s quite saucy.

Let me try to lay this out as coherently as possible.

Lady Sarah Saint and I headed out to the old theater off of Summer shortly before 7. We could tell immediately which people milling about in the parking lot were meant for the Glover screening, even though, strangely enough, none of them had a lighter so she could have a fucking pre-show cigarette. A poor showing by the Memphis eccentrics, for sure.

Inside, the theater wasn’t necessarily packed, but it was heartily populated. We staked out a couple of seats near the middle and proceeded to cackle like insane witches high on endorphins until the lights dimmed and a stark red spotlight appeared, into which Crispin Glover slipped and announced that he was going to be reading from several (six or eight? I forget) of his books. Thus began a slideshow of printed book pages, scrawled notes, old illustrations, and impassioned declarations from Glover himself, narrating the stories and gesturing emphatically toward the screen. We laughed, we tittered, we wondered what the fuck the point was.

And that would become the theme of the night: What the fuck am I watching, and why? But to say that is necessarily to impart some sort of judgment onto what it was we witnessed, which is not necessarily what I wish to do. At least not so early in my analysis. At this point in the night, we were merely gobsmacked by the aching randomness of it all. And just as the randomness became tedious, it gave way to pure and sincere hilarity, as Glover — in his sixth or so book — inhabited the character of a man, an inventor of sorts, who had killed a young boy, caught up in some kind of courtroom drama in which he must plead his innocence. Oh, lord. I can’t possibly try to explain it. But I can tell you we laughed and laughed.

Anyway, book narratives completed, Sir Glover stepped aside and his feature film began playing. And our brains were, at that point, more or less, fisted. I don’t know. I’m not sure I can possibly explain what the movie is about, or what we saw, but perhaps I can break it down into sentence fragments, since I am far too stupid to have actually understood what I was watching: Snails voiced by Fairuza Balk, people with Down Syndrome pouring salt on snails, snails screaming, an old dude with cerebral palsy getting a handjob from a woman in a monkey mask, watermelons, Crispin Glover in a fur coat with lovely long hair and sharp features, people with Down Syndrome bonking each other on the head with various lawn tools, demi-gods, Shirley Temple, swastikas, a song called “Some Niggers Never Die,” a house key, an elderly lady smoking a pipe, a minstrel in blackface, Michael Jackson and Arnold Schwarzeneggar references, a puppet made out of a box of Tide … um … do I need to keep going?

Anyway, the film was absolutely hilarious in spots, and absolutely painful in others. I never quite understood exactly what I was watching, which, granted, might have been somewhat the point of the exercise, but it also meant that I never went from being a basic voyeur into being emotionally invested. Not that my emotional investment in a film matters a lick; I’m just saying, I had no idea what was happening nor did I particularly care. I was content to sit, slack-jawed, waiting on the next insane package of offensively comical imagery. Maybe that means I’m a cynic. I don’t know.

The Q&A after the film was quite a bit longer than I imagined it would be. I can’t say I learned much from it; Glover’s got a real chip on his shoulder about corporate constraints on modern mainstream filmmaking. He claims that’s what What Is It? is actually about; I suppose I’d need to watch it a few more times before I could actually even begin to think about what it actually means. Right now I’m still too stuck on the absolute absurdity of it all.

Which is why, when we all got to file into the hallway to buy books/take pictures with him, and he asked us if we had any preconceived notions of the film beforehand, I said, “Yeah, we watched the trailer and I had read some things and knew it was going to be weird and it totally was and it boggled my mind!!!” while Sarah, who has had something of a thing for Sir Glover since her adolescence, probably just stood there, wondering why I had to lame up the place. Well, the answer is this: BECAUSE I AM A FUCKING DISASTER AND CANNOT BE TAKEN ANYWHERE. We spent all of thirty seconds with this eccentric man, me speed talking our way through it because I am neurotic and actually felt bad for having not bought one of his $25 books for him to sign, and assuming that he hated us for our lack of purchasing power. Still, he was gracious with a firm handshake and a generally sporting attitude. See? First Sarah.

american gothic 1

And then me. (He totally thinks we’re related, hyuk!)

american gothic 2

Oh my god, I am framing these pictures as soon as I get some printer ink.

We promised him we’d be back when he screens part two of the trilogy — It is Fine. Everything is Fine!. And we totally meant it, Crispin, you insane, beautiful man. We will be there.