What the Gosh-Dingle-Damn?!

Won’t lie, y’all, forgot what day it was. That goes for yesterday, too – which is why this is late. ALSO, I’m writing this from a potato pretending to be a phone, with a keyboard that doesn’t have a Return key. So in that spirit, today, I’m going to pose a question that we’re going to answer tomorrow: What was going through the mind of the guy who discovered cheese? (Scheduled post subject to change based on the author’s whimsy.)

I Forgot it’s Halloween…

Are…are you reading this?

Are you…are you still reading this? I said that I forgot it’s Halloween. That means it is currently Halloween.

Get outta here. Scat. Shoo. Go eat some candy, hug a loved one.

I’ll see ya Tuesday.

Much love.

-Evan

END

Heh…I signed off like it’s a letter.

And I said “scat.” Heh. That’s another word for “poop.”

Why are you STILL HERE!? GO! Watch a scary movie!! Get wasted! Pants someone in a funny costume!

Tale from ‘Round the Fire

Sup y’all. I live in Northern California and we’re having a bit of a wildfire problem right now. Our house is a nice, comfy refugee camp of friends and family at the moment. So, from my phone, here is (literally) the first campfire joke I googled:

“An army ranger, navy seal, and green beret are sitting at a campfire swapping tough guy stories.

The army ranger pipes up by bragging, “One time I had to parachute 4 miles behind enemy lines, take out a platoon of enemy soldiers, and escape with fifty pounds of intel strapped to my back.”

Not to be out done by the ranger, the seal chimes in. “We navy seals are so tough, one time I swam upstream 8 miles into enemy lines. Once there, I took out a whole company of enemy special forces, and snuck back out with 100 pounds of their top secret weapons.”

The green beret sat there nodding his head listening while stirring the coals with his dick.”

Stay frosty, friends. -snap and a wink-

Mama’s Moving Day!

Happy Tuesday, every’all’er’body! What’s up?

Tomorrow sees the end (probably) of a year-long “struggle” (in quotes only because the power of accomplishment washes out how fucking difficult it’s been), because it’s moving day for my mom! But this ain’t a diary (all the time) and we didn’t come here for that. So are you ready for some fucking stories!? Yeeeeeaaaaah! Ooo! Yeeeeeaaaaah!!

Well, wait until Thursday because all I had time for was some quotes that offer some solid life advice that’s gotten me through some tough shit recently and because when I finally made it to a cafe where I was suppose to write and publish this their WiFi was down so it had to be done in Open Office and then put up once I got home which is why it’s so late in the evening rather than noontime but it’s okay because maybe it is noontime where you are so I’m not mad about it!

Yeeeeaaaah!!!

1
“It’s possible to do everything correctly and still lose. This isn’t a failure on your part, it’s just life. Do your best.” -anonymous

The Take: This is “anonymous” because I found it while scrolling Facebook the other day, but it had a picture of Captain Picard as part of it, so I like to pretend it was said by Patrick Stewart. Anyway, all of us, at some point or another has likely had this happen – you play by the rules, perform as best you can, even excel, but a matter outside your control makes you come up short. I think as kids our parents told us to just “do your best and that’s all you can do” partly because it’s some cliché conventional wisdom, yeah, but also because it’s true.
As kids, we think it’s an even trade – effort in exchange for the desired outcome, and that’s almost it. You need the effort put in, that’s true, but the trade isn’t a guarantee. I think the real message in “just do the best you can” is partially accepting that it’s all that’s in your control, but also accepting that that doesn’t mean 100% or even 110% effort means you’ll get what you want.
But if it doesn’t, pick up, dust off, deep breath, and get back in it.

2
“Learn to be okay with people not knowing your side of the story.” -also anonymous

The Take: This one is sort of a spiritual sibling to number one, and it’s anonymous because I also don’t know who said this one, but I think it was on either Reddit or a bumper sticker. Strangely, I think of Aretha Franklin saying it, and it sounds inspirational as shit in her voice, so let’s go with it.
That said, it’s a tough one to live with, but also pretty freeing. An example I can think of personally is going to the bank with my mom in recent months. For quite a few necessary expenses, we’ve funded them out of her savings account through my checking since I’m cutting the checks for them (long story) all from the same bank branch. Through this process, though, we haven’t sat down with the tellers and associates to explain the project of renovating her house and my managing her money – yatta yatta – so, when we went today, they just saw a mother and her grown son, again, coming in to put money from her savings into his checking account.
So while, when they look at me during these transactions, I want badly to explain that I haven’t touched a cent of hers, as it all goes to contractors, painters, deposits, and the like, and instead actually have spent thousands of my own savings (that I really shouldn’t, being unemployed with no income n’ credit bills n’ whatnot) to help her…I don’t. A) That conversation would be long as fuck with a high chance of, “Okay…I wasn’t even thinking that” reactions. B) It doesn’t really matter, in the end. I know what we’re doing, and that’s good enough.

3
“Will that dog ever shut the fuck up?!” -Amanda

The Take: This one isn’t meant to be inspirational. It’s just because our next door neighbor’s dog barks all the time and I thought it was kind of funny.

4
“In these bodies we live
“In these bodies we die.
“The way you invest your love,
“you invest your life.” -Mumford and Sons

The Take: And this one I just thought was nice. They were song lyrics in my notebook, they made me smile, so I put them here. What I WILL say is that I find it funny how many romantic song lyrics and proverbs really do boil down to the bottom line of roughly: “Life is short, don’t be a dick.”

Anyway, I’ve preached enough. Got a U-HAUL to rent. Catch you lovely bastards (you too, ladies) Thursday.

Ciao.

A Place to Be

A bit outside the usual posting schedule, but that makes sense for this one. A warning up top, this is going to be pretty unplanned, unstructured, and probably unedited – we’re gonna barf a rant here, so bear with me.

Do you have a “happy place” that you go to?

Actually, different question (but hold onto that one).

Have you ever seen Ratatouille? It’s the movie with a little rat named Remy in Paris (I’m pretty sure), voiced by Patton Oswald, who discovers there more to food than eating trash. There’s a scene somewhere near the mid-beginning wherein he tries introducing his brother to flavors besides trash. He has him close his eyes, eat a piece of cheese, then a piece of grape, then try the two together. The entire time his brother is chewing, the background behind him goes to black and these ribbons of color trace themselves and dance around to reflect the sensations brought on by the flavors.

Since seeing that movie, I’ve done the same thing with a really good meal probably a thousand times (my friends can attest, as they make fun of me for it). But it’s an excellent way to just…savor.

Somewhere else I’ve found a similar experience is with music, and God just writing it out it feels a little woo-woo. I feel like it comes off like a Grateful Dead hippie who talks about “feeling the music, maaaaan,” but it’s real.

I want to be – and I mean this – a pretentious douche who can honestly say that I’m way classier than you because I appreciate the orchestra and classical music, but I can’t; I hate it; I’m just not that person even though I want to be (I have similar feelings about coconut water).

However, somewhere I’ve found I can appreciate the body that is orchestra and the wonderful phenomenon that is several dozen instruments coming together harmoniously in a symphony…

…are soundtracks. Soundtracks to movies and video games. Those things that give the subconscious, subliminal flavor to a storytelling experience.

Even as I tippy-type this on out, I’m listening to the soundtrack to ‘Detroit: Become Human’ and if you don’t know what it is or haven’t experienced it yet, you owe it to yourself to try it. Don’t think of it as a video game, even. It’s a piece of interactive fiction. It’s an exploration of narrative and a masterfully done composition of character, experience, empathy, choice, and music. Don’t look up a play-through, don’t listen to a friend tell you about it, do it yourself. Trust me. And when you do, go into the Extras and pore through the “Making of” and “Behind the Scenes” style videos.

I say all that because it brings me to this: remember that question about happy places?

Maybe not a happy one, exactly, but one of my favorite places to be is a place where I appreciate and wonder. I enjoy writing and feel a compulsion to do it whether people read and listen or not because of the process that goes into it. Loosely quoting Chuck Palahniuk, the man who wrote Fight Club, he said “real writing shouldn’t be easy, it should tear you apart.” And by and large I agree with that wholeheartedly.

The process of storytelling in a fictional capacity is creating a conflict in your mind and others by describing people, events, decisions, consequences, feelings, and mistakes that by right don’t physically exist, then resolving it in a very real way that reflect aspects of what it means to experience the life of a living being. It’s…it’s a privilege we have.

An art form I’ve never understood but have long wanted to: music composition, which brings me back to soundtracks. Nowadays, they’re cinematic enough to have grabbed my attention, but they employ the means of orchestra, so my interest has a foot in the door of that hoity-toity interest I said earlier I can’t be classist about.

And that note about happy places? One of my favorite places to exist, and I hope you can either relate or give it a try sometime, is putting myself in the mind of a composer. I love listening to the soundtracks and scores of movies and games (Detroit is obviously one, but really pick any that you enjoy) and picking out the instruments I can hear and identify, then picturing them being played alongside the others.

But it makes me so envious. It’s one thing to observe and appreciate something an artist does, but it’s something else entirely to think of the place in the mind that made it. Like Remy’s brother in Ratatouille, I imagine it’s like that: an empty black background, and then sounds bleed out of the ether like ribbons of light and dance, singing just to you; but then it’s up to you to capture it. And it’s that first step that has me so jealous. To be in the quiet and slowly begin to hear the timpani, the horn, the cellos in concert, and violins above it all come out of the silence and begin to fit together.

Or maybe it isn’t like that at all. Maybe you walk down the street and start to just feel a rhythm that exists in that moment like we’ve seen in commercials: the construction crew down the road and its jackhammer lay a background that car horns and doors opening and closing fit into to create a symphony only you see.

I got to speak recently with a friend who graduated with his Master’s studying music and is going onto teach. I thought it was the perfect opportunity to ask him about all of this stuff about a composer’s mind and was floored to hear him say he doesn’t have an interest in it, that he enjoys playing clarinet and that process, but not creating music for symphony. To each their own, but all that did was reinforce my want to exist in the mind of someone who hears what I imagine they do.

So, Philip Sheppard, Nima Fakhrara, John Paesano, if you’re reading this, just know: I’m a fan and I’d love to talk to you.

Anyway, thanks for stopping by. I’ll catch you guys tomorrow.

Anecdote from a Gentleman

Happy Thursday, everybody.

Did you know that people with a sensitive enough sense of smell can actually detect storms because of the change in atmosphere and creation of ozone? Apparently it wasn’t just a Kyle XY thing.

Anyway, um…today…okay, I’m just going to say it: Skip over this one.

If you’re a regular follower of these, I’m sorry; if you’re just passing through and happened across it, look the other way. I went digging a little bit for today’s post and came across this gem.

I’m…I’m not proud of it. Just know that about five years ago, I popped this little gem out of my noggin’ and was overly proud of myself.

Okay, enough gabbing. Just…-sigh-

Anecdote from a Gentleman

“Have I ever been at odds with the law? Well yes, there was a time, once. I had been caught, red-handed mind you, surpassing the established limit on vehicle speed for that particular stretch of the road. You must understand, however, that I was not without my reasons. If you’ve the time, I would be glad to recount the tale, as it was quite an experience; one, I should challenge, that does not take place every day. Mind you, it is not without certain graphic nature. You’re sure? Splendid! It went as thus…

“’Yes sir,’ I greeted the uniformed officer as he approached my window and inquired as to whether or not I was aware of my offense. ‘Yes, I realize I was speeding and I fully deserve and accept the ticket you are prepared to write, as doing so is part of your duty. If I may ask you to, as a servant of the public and of the common good, postpone its scripting and simply follow me to my home, a short three miles from here, where I may use the restroom; the need of which is the primary reason for my haste.’

“To this point, the officer had not said a word since his opening question and had simply allowed me to explain myself. He preserved this condition by quietly giving me a look that on its own granted that I continue onto voicing my reasoning. ‘For if you must know,’ I began genially, ‘ I currently need to shit like a wildebeest. There is a pain in my colon at this moment so severe I can feel it in the pit of my stomach. I’ve never before engaged in intercourse with another man before, sir, but if I may only illustrate my point by telling you that I feel as if I’m being penetrated as a virgin, and every slight bump and imperfection in the road is yet another thrust for which I am unprepared.’

“The lawman graciously accepted my appeal and from there escorted me to my home where I put some water on for tea before excusing myself for my task. My trousers were around my ankles whilst I was still a solid ten feet from the restroom’s threshold, forcing me to hop the rest of the way. Not to worry, for I crossed that distance in a few short, albeit tortuous, bounds. My bottom touched the seat to the sound of a chorus of angels’ resounding hallelujah. The smell was at once both atrocious and the sweetest scent of relief ever to grace my senses.

“’How do I know it was the voice of angels’, you ask? An astute question to be sure, one I undoubtedly would have been remiss not to ask myself. You see, it was the precision of the song with the almost crippling light-headedness and dizziness that took place at the time of my hearing it. I believe, as a respectable, God-fearing man, that an experience such as that is reserved alone for direct communion with the heavenly host.

“With the completion of my ordeal, I reentered my home’s living space to the kettle’s whistle and found my lawman friend had departed. In his place there was the written citation which had brought us together. Curiously, I noticed that on its backside something was written, which made me smile. It read: ‘I didn’t believe you at first, but I’ve heard things in war that shocked me less. Any day you can take a shit like that is a good day. Just watch your speed and stay safe. -Jeff’”

FIN

The Take: I mean, what I WILL say for it is that it was a nice opportunity to work out a thought experiment (but that’s really goddamn generous). I’ve only ever gotten one speeding ticket, and in the moment I didn’t want to try anything like this on account of being sort of nervous and not actually an idiot, but I HAVE always wondered – if sold just right – if a move like this could get you out of a ticket. If you’ve done it, successfully or otherwise, God, please let me know. If not, well…try it sometime?

Anyway, after that, I’ll see you guy Tuesday.

Ciao!

Today’s FableFact source: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/storm-scents-smell-rain/