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So I haven't been writing because I suck and I'm lazy and I suck. Plus, and I don't know if I've mentioned it before, but writing is hard!

I should be posting to LJ more, I know, but really I'm talking about fictioning. I need to commit to doing at least an hour a day, even if I only grind out four or five sentences. I've noticed that's how it goes for me: if I put in the time and do the 50 word days, I'll eventually hit a day or two where I do over a thousand words. If I expect to have thousand word days, I don't get anywhere.

I suppose I could make that my Lenten resolution, except it's not really giving anything up. Anyway, I just felt like getting that off my chest.


They gave a funeral and I didn't care

Feeling a bit weird today about Tom Clancy's passing. A lot of people are very saddened by Mr. Clancy's death and understandably so. He was an immensely popular author with a rabid following, and a pretty amazing rags to riches (or at least polyester suits to riches) story. I feel like I should be sad, but I'm not.

I just don't like the guy. I never read one of his books and I don't like his politics. I think, because of things like Tom Clancy's Op Center, that his career arc is marked out by what's wrong with modern publishing. And he came across, to me anyway, as the kind of smug, entitled jerk who, once he made the big time, felt he could look down on anyone. But I feel guilty because I'm probably wrong. I felt the same way when Michael Crichton died.

After all, he doesn't fall into the "makes the world worse by being in it" category. He's not Jerry Falwell or Jesse Helms, so it's not like I'm going to dance a jig or anything. And like I said, I know many, many people, including friends of mine, are very sad right now-—as sad as I was when Jim Rigney or Mike Ford passed. But I'm not sharing in the sadness, and I feel the need to address it somewhere. So here it is, and I hope you don't mind.

And maybe somewhere Tom Clancy and Michael Crichton are hanging out, talking writing, and feeling good that so many people enjoyed their life's work.


Can't not post about Mo

I'd love to write a meandering, elegiac post about the greatness of Mariano Rivera and what he's meant to me as a Yankee fan and to the world as a person, but I really can't. His performance, his elegance on the mound, his humility off it, all defy description. So instead, I'll say this:

Thank you, Mr. Rivera. You've been a great pitcher and an even better person. It's been an honor and a joy to watch you ply your trade. Baseball will never see your like again.


I love my kitty. Sue me.

Still adjusting to the pet ownership thing and being slightly loopy about it. Hence this:

To the tune of "The Ballad of Senor Don Gato" (anyone besides me remember this?):

Oh our Missy Gato is a cat!
She is gray and sleek and not that fat!
Though she's no longer itty-bitty,
She's still such a pretty kitty.
We love our Missy Gato!

There are five or six more verses, but I'm done.


Tread that fine line

So I find myself wondering how many people are political independents because they are free thinkers who decide their votes based on what the candidates are saying. And how many people are political independents so they can pretend they don't have to own the fuckups of their not-so-secretly preferred political party?

Just wondering.

Stupid damn emotions

So on Sunday, Liz and I were driving back from a friend's son's christening in Suffield, CT, when "The Living Years" by Mike and the Mechanics came on the radio. "The Living Years" is dull by-the-numbers pop music without much of a hook and with gooey saccharine lyrics that a Hallmark writer would hesitate to put in a greeting card. It's a terrible song, and I know it's a terrible song.

The gooey, saccharine lyrics happen to be about a man reflecting on his father's death and regretting all the things he didn't share with his father when the old man was alive—in the living years. Gag, right? But this losing a parent thing doesn't ever really go away, so I sat in the car, singing along and hoping Liz wound't notice the tears running down my face. I miss you, Dad.


Elegies and fantasies

One of my Boston-area friends used to through a Pearl Harbor Party every year on or around Dec. 7. "Drop in and get bombed" (or something like that) was always the tag line. Another friend pointed out such a party might be offensive to people who lived through Pearl Harbor, which is right. But since no one alive during Pearl Harbor was ever invited to the party, my friend carried on until his thirties and his children put an end to Pearl Harbor.

I mention this because it's Sept. 11 again, and once again social media is ablaze with the imperative to "never forget" and to do this, think that, and believe the other to propitiate the souls of everyone lost that day, 12 years ago. The thing is, I want to forget. I want very, very badly for 9/11 to have never happened and for the world, where 9/11s happen every day or even are possible, to change. I don't think remembering and waving a flag will get us there.

Maybe, instead of focusing on what happened on 9/11, we can think about the causes and the systems that create the impetus for such acts and correct them. And maybe then we can live in a world where 9/11s were "the bad old days" and people can live in peace and harmony.

This makes me a bad person, doesn't it?

So, I'm going to be horrible this morning. This morning'sMetro featured some of the details of Whitey Bulger's conviction. For example, he was convicted on 11 of 19 counts of murder, with the other 8 declared Not Proven—i.e., we know you're guilty as sin, you sonofabitch, but the proof isn't there. And apparently, some victims' families are unhappy about the Not Proven verdicts. One even went to far as to say, "My father was murdered again today, 40 years later."

To which I say, "Nuts." This isn't a matter of a criminal getting away with his crimes. Justice, long-delayed, has finally caught up with James Joseph Bulger. He's going to spend the rest of what's left of his life in jail, and the only complaint should be that they didn't haul him in until he was 83, so he'll have less time to rot. It's a matter of having your own specific concerns, your personal feelings, addressed and soothed. And you know what? That ain't what the law is about. It should be about protecting the innocent and punishing the guilty, but it don't really get close to that either. In fact, I'm not sure what the law is about, but I know it's not coddling people's pwecious fee-fees, even if those people happen to be the family members of murder victims.

This may make me something of an ass, but I feel like the people in question should be grateful that a killer is going to jail, rather than splitting hairs about whether their long-dead relative's grievance was perfectly addressed.


A musical interlude

Rescued from facebook, because I'm an attention whore, a little ditty about Antonin Scalia:

Little dittie for Antonin Scalia (with apologies to Santana):

You got to change your evil ways, Nino.
You're just plain embarrasing.
You've got to change, Nino.
Your bigotry has lost its sting.

You mess around, Nino,
with voting rights and peoples lives.
You think it's bad, Nino,
when two women are each others wives.
You're just a jerk, lord knows you've got to change.

When I get home, Nino,
you're on the news; I'm sick of you.
You run around, Nino,
With Clarence, John, and who knows who.

I'm getting tire of blather and your bullying.
Want new appointee to restore nobiity
to the Supreme Court!

Yeah, yeah, yeah!

(With apologies to Santana.)


Eat your heart out, Chuck Norris

South Park
From a great mind (and mine), okapi_jeff and I present Yasiel Puig Facts:

1. Yasiel Puig hit a game tying two run home run with two outs in the bottom of the ninth and no one on base.
2. Yasiel Puig broke up Matt Harvey's no-hitter, while playing the Yankees.
3. Yasiel Puig finished his cycle with a five-base hit.
4. Yasiel Puig once drove himself in from first.
5. Yasiel Puig has an unassisted quadruple play.
6. Yasiel Puig once got thrown out at third, trying to stretch a sextuple.
7. Yasiel Puig has a 1.100 OBP.
8. Yasiel Puig hit a ball out of the Astrodome.
9. Yasiel Puig stole home... and kept it.
10. Yasiel Puig fouled a ball off into the centerfield bleachers.
11. Yasiel Puig threw a runner out at home in Chavez Ravine, from Pac Bell Park.
12. The third leading cause of earthquakes in California is Yasiel Puig.
13. Yasiel Puig started the game that Old Hoss Radbourne didn't.
14. Nolan Ryan retired because he might one day have to pitch to Yasiel Puig.
15. The original name for the fastball was the Puig.
16. Yasiel Puig made Babe Ruth give up pitching.