And you’ll definitely forget all of it within a week…

As I’ve mentioned rather recently, I’ve been trying to stay the hell off Facebook as much as possible and enjoy life outside of a screen. While I’ve done rather well and curtailed my usage to what could be deemed only “moderately unhealthy” instead of my previously held “festering brain rot” level, there are times when I’ve done the odd scroll down the timeline. There’s been the usual assortment of crap ads, posts by people that make me wonder if dolphins wouldn’t be a better dominant species choice, and cat photos – but there’s also been the occasional bright spot.

I don’t know much about Tim Minchin except that he’s funny and delivered a pretty nifty graduation speech that has echoes which I found interesting. The video is embedded below, but there’s also a transcript for those who’d rather read than watch.

For no other reason, the video is worth a watch if only to see Minchin looking over for the reaction of the older gentlemen over his right shoulder.

I can’t say I agree with everything he says regarding meaning or life in general, I think there’s something to be said to the overall tone of his message. That maybe by taking life so seriously, many of us humans miss the fun, creativity, and absurdity that makes life actually worth living.

Free Range Idiocy Podcast

You Gotta Love A Nice Deep Geek

For a little something that started out as a good excuse for a conversation every couple weeks, this thing here is starting to get some legs! After spending the better part of the first three episodes of Free Range Idiocy finding some way to turn the conversation towards Battlestar Galactica, we’ve decided to go full-on deep geek and talk about our favorite episodes from each season. This past #TGIFRIday, we posted the first episode: a 3-hour marathon discussion of our personal top five lists from the first season of BSG.

Yes indeed, folks… After cursing podcasts that ran for 3 hours, we’ve managed to record two podcasts of that length in a month. As The Good Doctor’s friend Bob Braudis once said, “Life is a gradual release from ignorance.”

Originally, we’d planned to do an episode focusing on each season. After wading through this one, we’ve altered things a bit and will be proceeding with half seasons (as they were originally aired) and cutting down our lists to 3 episodes each. I mean, we’ll still wind up around 2 hours, but it’s an improvement of a sort. Right?

If this is at all interesting to you, then feel free to download and subscribe on Podbean or iTunes. You can follow us on Twitter or Facebook. Enjoy!

Time Suck, Thy Name Is Facebook

I’m not sure exactly when I joined Facebook. I just tried to check and wound up spending 10 minutes checking on a bunch of other stuff.

This is what my life has become.

At some point in the last 10 years or so, I joined Facebook and immediately got into the “who can get more friends” contest with my wife. It was fun to make contact with people I’d hadn’t seen in person since high school graduation, find some college friends, and generally putter around the site. But at some point, things took a turn. Continue reading →

Bill McElaney, 1956 - 2019

In Memoriam

Bill McElaney is the type of person that I hope each of you has in their life. That person that you find yourself saying something along the lines of “If it wasn’t _______, I wouldn’t believe it.”

On more than one occasion, I heard Bill advise someone to learn to play guitar because it could take you around the world. This much I know is true. Bill traveled the world as a musician. And now that he’s passed away, he’s had memorials in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, and more than likely in Ireland in the near future. If it wasn’t Bill, I wouldn’t believe that someone’s ashes could go on tour. But here we are. Continue reading →

Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.

Some writing wisdom from Neil Gaiman:

“You write. That’s the hard bit that nobody sees. You write on the good days and you write on the lousy days. Like a shark, you have to keep moving forward or you die. Writing may or may not be your salvation; it might or might not be your destiny. But that does not matter. What matters right now are the words, one after another. Find the next word. Write it down. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.”

Source

In reference to the article as a whole, guilty as charged. I was totally searching for writing tips as a way to put off writing. In fact, writing this post is just another way to put off writing the thing that I actually want to write but am scared spitless that I don’t really know how to write. But the catch is that I’ll never really know unless I… you guessed it… actually write the damn thing.

Excuses stripped away, guess I’ll be off to my word processor window now.

I Did It Right

Often times, when I’ve been asked to head out on either New Years Eve or St. Patrick’s Day, I politely decline.

Partly, it’s because these days have become Amateur Hour Serious Bummers and I’ve hit what I refer to as “The Murtaugh Point” in my life, where’s I’ve become (and openly acknowledge that I’ve become) too old for this sh**. There are people who should never drink and there are people who should never drink seriously. Unfortunately for the rest of us, both of those groups are in full bloom on those days and the shift from “bystander” to “collateral damage” happens quickly.

However, the other reason is because once upon a time, I managed to do both those days right and feel no need to try and improve at this point in my life.

I believe it was 2002 when I took the day off from work to dedicate an entire 24 hours to St. Patrick’s Day. My favorite band (Revels’ Glen) would be playing at my favorite pub (Biddy Mulligan’s) and I figured this was as good a chance as any to enjoy it.

I opened the pub with the bartenders, had lunch, a couple pints, and spent a lot of time listening to house music and writing in my journal. It began to fill up in mid-afternoon, but I already had my turf staked out and the band was showing up for an early set. Guinness was being served in plastic cups in order to keep up with demand and, I imagine, keep projectiles and breakage to a minimum. By early evening, friends began showing up and a couple pints were had with the band.

By the time dinner was done, the party was in full swing. I have no idea how much Guinness was in my system at this point, but I was openly dancing so we could easily classify that amount as “too much”. At some point in the night, I had a shot of peppermint schnapps – more as a breath mint than anything at that point. The night ended with us having pints with the band and gently being ushered out the door right as the lights were turned out.

Aside from one of the mightiest hangovers I’ve ever encountered, I escaped that night unscathed and with a smile on my face. Personally, I don’t see a reason to tempt fate by trying to top it.

I Don’t Suffer From Insomnia, I Enjoy Every Minute Of It

All right, so that’s not entirely true… There’s definitely times when I’d like to be asleep when my brain and basic body chemistry seem to be conspiring against me. However, by and large, I don’t “suffer” from insomnia in a traditional sense.

Back in the day, I used to survive on a couple hours of sleep for months at a time. It became a regular thing for me and I found my own ways to deal with it. In high school, it was watching the local PBS marathons in the hopes of catching a block for 2 or possibly even 4 episodes of Red Dwarf or maybe some Red Green. Remember, this is back before streaming, DVDs, and widespread TV-on-VHS. Cue the old man voice, but we had to actually wait for things to show up on TV!

To this day, I don’t “suffer” from insomnia. It’s a part of my life that I deal with and try to account for. Times when I need sleep, I’ll do everything possible to make myself conducive to being ready for bed – sleepy time tea, reading, and melatonin are fast friends at this point. It doesn’t work 100% of the time, but it’s better than nothing.

However, I’m not scared to be awake late at night (or early in the morning). As I type this, it’s half past midnight and I have no regrets. Of course, being self employed, I have the chance to account for this and adapt my schedule. It’s a luxury, but it’s also one that I pay for too – go ahead and ask me about my health insurance and pension plan.

Sitrep

At the moment, I’m working on a book which may or may not be good.

Maybe that sounds a bit pessimistic, but I don’t think so. After all, nothing is really decided until someone else reads the thing and even then, it’s still mostly that person’s opinion. And even then, that person’s opinion really only matters to them the most – anyone else is still free to read it.

Actually, I tend to look at this statement as a positive. Just because it might not be any good, that also means there’s a decent possibility that it could be good. At this point, I’m giving myself solid 50/50 odds, which is better than what you’ll get on most scratch tickets and definitely better than what you’ll get on the powerball.

Not to be coy, but I’d rather not get into what the whole thing is about, but I will say that it’s a concept book of sorts. In my own simplistic terms, it means that I’m writing poems around a certain theme or topic rather than collecting old poems or doing what I did with my previous attempt at this whole book thing, which was collect a bunch of poems and then realize there was a theme afterwards.

Nope, none of that. This time, the theme is right up front and I’m trying to write in a specific direction, which is a first for me when it comes to poetry. Which is exciting. It’s making my brain work in new and interesting ways. Either that, or I’ve begun to deteriorate mentally and have forgotten that my brain works that way normally. Either way, it’s a bit of a thrill.