Saturday, November 29, 2008

"it is time to purge this place of the cult"

An NPC just said the titular line to me while I was doing this quest in World of Warcraft. I might safeguard a copy of "She Sells Sanctuary," but other than that, yeah, let's purge those hookless morons all to hell!

I remember them being pretty popular on WRVU back in '88 when I moved to Nashville, in some sort of "so uncool they're cool" reverse hipster move. Now, if it was AC/DC, well, they deserve some nods from the cognoscenti - if they'd emerged four years later than their actual debut, a lot of people who scoff at them would revere them as much as they do the Ramones - but... the Cult? My mind's still thoroughly boggled by that. I know a few weeks ago I blogged about sons of Jim Morrison that I like better than the Doors, but Ian Astbury is proof that the bombastic excesses of the progenitor sometimes still predominate in the DNA. Plus Asbury is far more dumb than his hero, and Jimbo himself wasn't always the sharpest knife in the drawer.

Also, I kept wishing the Cult would keep dropping parts of their name with every release. Remember how they went from "Southern Death Cult" to "Death Cult" to "Cult"? I kept waiting for them to be the "ult" or even just "C" (though "C" will always really be for "Cookie"). Now that, I could have respected.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

i know when to fold 'em, i just don't know how to fold 'em

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! And I want to send out a special "happy birfday" to my friend Sue!

I've got a lot of blog ideas bubbling around and should have more time off over the next couple of weeks than I've been having, so expect more posts, probably in concentrated bursts (i.e., several in a day instead of only one per day). It's just a matter of writing up my notes.

Today's "thing I've been meaning to mention" is inspired by my straighten-the-house efforts to clear the dining room table for tonight's nice just-me-and-the-wife dinner (the family event is a midday gathering at her aunt's): For the life o' me, I cannot fold clothes.

It's one of those things that the people who already know how to do it seem incapable of explaining, or at least I feel incapable of understanding what they are telling me.

When I'd ask my mother what to do, she'd give a simple two-step direction, then her hands turned into a motion blur. And out of the blur would emerge a perfectly-folded shirt: sleeves tucked neatly in back, center of the shirt (design, if a t-shirt) facing up and looking crisp, like something from a store shelf. And then I'd try to follow her directions, but the moment I started to make folds on the sides, the sleeves would escape my grasp and enter some kind of gravity field where they absolutely defied all efforts to be submitted. Instead of my mom's perfect rectangle, I'd end up with something decidedly wrinkly, lumpy, and irregular, whose surface area could only be measured with an arcane calculation that would trip up even the most-prepared math field day contestants.

Then my mom would shake her head and just do it herself.

It was like when I'd make an attempt to learn to swim. I remember conversations with my ex-wife about this topic, usually while she was supine in epic relaxation aboard her yellow float at the pool, while I clung for dear life to the side of the shallow end:

"How do you float?"

"I dunno, you just float."

"But what are you doing?"

"I'm not doing anything. You just relax and float."

"You must be doing something. Because when I do nothing, I sink."

"Here, I'll show you."

She'd slide off her float into the pool, and demonstrate floating.

"Looks to me like you're doing something. You're moving your legs a little, wiggling your arms every now and then. You're making adjustments."

"Well, to me, it's not doing anything. I'm just floating."

"Yeah, but you're doing something."

"Well, try it and let me see what happens."

So I'd relax, let the water lift my legs up, and try to do nothing...

...and my butt would start sinking to the bottom immediately.

Then she'd look at me like my mom looked at me when I was trying to fold shirts, shake her head, and exit pool left (usually not pursued by bear or by Rush).

Surely, some of you, dear readers, must be able not only to fold but able to explain how to fold. If so, I'm all ears. Or, since this here blog stuff is readin', all eyes, I guess.

Oh, and for those of you who read this via RSS, sorry for the early appearance of a blank post. Somehow "enter" got pressed when I was still working on the title, so you got nothin'! Hopefully you clicked on the post and eventually got something. Well, you wouldn't be reading this unless you did, would you? :)

Monday, November 24, 2008

suddenly, it's last summer

Today I was listening to Fresh Air on NPR, and while host Terry Gross was talking with actor James Franco (being a baseball nut and a Reds fan, I almost typed it "John Franco"), she mentioned Pineapple Express as a movie from "last summer." My immediate reaction was "no, that wasn't 2007! That was this past summer!"

Then I realized that she also meant 2008. But I have always found this specific "last" formulation misleading. To me, the summer of 2008 won't be "last summer" until at least January 1st, 2009, and maybe not even until June 21st, 2009. Until then, it's "this past summer."

I hear this most often in sports, where a number of talking heads and writers start talking about "last season" a minute after the regular season ends. For the sports calendar to turn over to "last" for me, we need to be in the next season. So for me, the 2008 baseball season won't be "last season" until pitchers and catchers show up for Spring Training in February 2009.

However, this will be my "last" blog entry until my next one goes up.