Category Archives: Ramble

The Marathon is Over


So, here we are.

There are a lot of political things to be said today and in the coming weeks, and they should be said by people smarter than me.

But I just want to point out that today is the finish line of a marathon. (To be fair, it’s a marathon that we thought ended two months ago, but just like the actual finish line of a race, it turned out to be just a bit farther off than it actually was.)

And at the end of a marathon, you see a sea of humanity. Some people are overjoyed. Some people are totally wrecked. Some are bewildered, delusional. You see people staggering about, zombie-like. You see people sprawled out, nearly lifeless, on the grass. You see people high-fiving and hugging strangers. (Maybe not so much this year. Y’know, COVID and all.)

Because a marathon is this incredibly demanding, physically destructive thing, right? You train and train and then on the day, you just keep putting one foot in front of the other for mile upon mile and you stop and catch your breath at the aid station but there’s really nothing to do except keep on running toward the next one and the sun’s getting higher in the sky and your nipples are chafing and that twinge in your ankle transforms to white fire with every step and all you hear, all you trust, all you know is the soft metronome of your footsteps, the muffled roar of the breath going in and out, the blood pumping in your ears.

We’ve all been through it over the last four years, and the last year, especially. We’ve all been running a mental marathon, and it’s been absolutely brutal.

No matter which “team” we’re on, 2020 was a rough one, and 2021 seems not to want to be outdone so far.

But we’ve all crossed the finish line, or at least, *a* finish line. There are more miles to be run. But not today.

Today is a day for celebration at reaching the end, it’s a day for nursing injuries. It’s a day for walking down the stairs backwards because your legs just can’t handle the strain.

And it’s worth remembering that all our neighbors have just run the same race, even if they’re not showing it on the outside. And even if, instead of the jubilation that I feel, they’re shell-shocked and lying at the grass or screaming at the sun in hopes of somehow changing reality.

Nobody’s mind is right after a marathon.

Take a few days, at least, to recover. And know that everybody else is recovering, too. And spread a little kindness.

Because a marathon is a hell of a thing to go through. We’ve earned a couple of mental rest days.


2021 is Here


And I still can’t get anything done.

There’s a bit of wisdom going around in social media circles: that the real New Year doesn’t begin — here in America, at least — until Jan 20 (not incidentally the day we have a new president). I like that and I need that, because so far, 2021 is delivering no relief from the constant, unrelenting pain 2020 wrought.

This Is Fine GIF

I mean, we’re still losing thousands of people every day (more than ever, in fact). And less than a week ago, our actual capitol was literally assaulted by people who somehow think that our soon-to-be-ex-president actually won re-election, despite zero evidence in favor of their argument and piles and piles of evidence against it. And, oh, by the way, they plan to come back in greater numbers in capitol cities across the nation in a week’s time. No big deal!

Everything Is Fine Reaction GIF

As is no great surprise, the turning of the page on the calendar offers little in the way of change for things in the world. These numbers and assignations are all made up, of course… January 1st, 2021, could just as easily have been Hunsplith the 89th, 86742, for all the care the universe has for our resolutions and the new year.

Yelling Kyle Hill GIF by Because Science

And I know some people out there and even our own backyards have managed to be productive and to make forward progress despite all this turbulence … but it’s been nigh impossible for me. To have any awareness of the news at all is like listening to ambulances, fire trucks and police vehicles blasting down a residential street at three in the morning … all the time, every day.

this is fine GIF

Can we improve ourselves in times like these? Or is surviving, making it through one day to the next, all we can ask of ourselves?

This Is Fine Over It GIF by Film Riot


WriteMonkey on my Back


I fired up WriteMonkey again a few weeks ago, as I mentioned back then. And I don’t mean to harp on a thing or make too big a deal of something that’s ultimately not that big a deal, but I love this little program. It makes me want to write, and it has all these little bells and whistles that set off little dopamine hits while I’m writing. Word counters and progress bars and clickety clackety sound effects and all sorts of little whatnots.

I fired off 1000+ words in something like the space of 30 minutes because I just … wanted to. And I was having fun with it. Just poking at the edges of this new project. Outlining. Brainstorming. Course-plotting. It didn’t feel like work, it felt like play, which is, you know, what a hobby is supposed to feel like, right? At least, sometimes?

If you struggle as I do with getting the words flowing sometimes, it’s worth trying out. Did I make this same post a few weeks ago? I don’t know. But I’m enjoying it today and it’s worth mentioning.


Back in Action


Well, we came through our COVID scare.

I don’t know if I’ve ever felt more useless in my life. No energy, no drive to do anything, with a vicious head cold that nothing could really assuage, for about five days.

And I had it easy. My wife had it a lot worse, more like two weeks, and she’s still not 100%.

But even that isn’t on the *bad* end of this thing. Lots of people have had it way worse.

We’re back at work now, but we are far from the only people in our schools to contract this thing lately. It’s going around.

Wear a mask. Be smart out there. Stay healthy.


SUPERHERO


A giant inflatable Lego Batman was assaulting the city.

Stomping on cars, picking people up and depositing them (unharmed, he’s not a monster) several blocks away, dragging his rough rubber exterior across the facades of buildings and making a nuisance of himself. When he got to MOMA, it had gone far enough. (I don’t know what MOMA looks like or whether the cityscape this was happening in was anything remotely like where you would find MOMA, but this was a dream, so … you know, logic has no place.)

Luckily, I was there, and I was ready to leap into action. Because I was Batman. Too. Yes, I was Batman too, except I was the real Batman, and I was also Will Smith. So my wife and I (yes, my real wife, because real Batman needs a Real Wife) hopped in the Batmobile which was really just a fancy black Lincoln — real smooth, you know, clean lines, tasteful, refined, not flashy like those other Batmobiles have to be — and, well, getting to the site of the inflatable Lego Batman was a problem because it was during rush hour traffic, and you know how it can be, so it took us a few minutes.

Also, the Batmobile flew, which was fortunate, because the Batmobile had no tires. Somebody had stolen them or something, I dunno.

Anyway, we got to the scene of the crime where inflatable Lego Batman was dragging his body across the front of MOMA and really causing a heck of an inconvenience to everybody and the first thing I did was throw a car at him, which because he’s inflatable and made of rubber didn’t work out so hot; it just kinda came right back at me. What also came back at me was Lego Batman’s mom (looked kinda like Susan Sarandon) with a claim for damages against her son. Yeah, turns out this whole thing was an insurance scam somehow, but screw that lady, I don’t have time for your lawsuits, I have to save MOMA, so I ran over to inflatable Lego Batman with a well-sharpened Batarang (are Batarangs sharp? I dunno. Mine was), sliced inflatable Lego Batman’s feet wide open and he deflated like an old waterbed.

Uhh…. dreams are weird.

Interpret that one for me.


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