Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Time's Arrow

I feel like I used to be better at time.  I used to have a little kid who required a lot of attention, which I happily gave.  Now I have a tween kid whom I rarely see because, I believe, she has some sort of inter-dimensional portal in her room that takes her to a land of magic and wonder - a place where there are no Trumps and wifi fucking everywhere.  I used to update my blog a couple of times a week and managed to find time to write a book.  Now I just hit this blog monthly or so when something big happens like Don turns 50 or I come up with some elaborately strained metaphor.  Once I found the time (and it was so much time) to learn how to play Moonlight Sonata on my cute little spinet.  Now I can barely be bothered to get to the end of a song on Spotify before I skip to the next one.

Is this a symptom of age?  I thought when we got older we were supposed to be better at this kind of stuff.  Actually, I thought we were supposed to be better at all the stuff except maybe metabolizing food. It turns out you retain amateur status well into mid-life.  What's up with that?

I believe I've written about this here before, but help me out: once I read this book about a town where everything was real nice and then out of nowhere these furtive strangers showed up. I can't remember the name of the story (which is what I'm hoping you'll help me out with), but I picture the strangers looking like the evil aliens from Star Trek TNG's Time's Arrow.  Here's a visual if you're not cool enough (that's right!  I said "cool enough") to know without one:

The furtive strangers made bargains with the townspeople.  They'd grant you one of your dearest wishes in exchange for a little of your time.  But you wouldn't remember making the deal.  Instead, all of the sudden you'd just have less time. But then you'd make another wish and then have less time.  And so everyone started rushing everywhere and no one knew why. And the nice little town was no longer a nice town. There was one hold-out, though.  One guy refused to make the deal and, instead, just slowly spent his days sweeping the streets, with all the time in the world.  Have you read this story?  And, if you have, what was it?  Also, did you wonder why the one hold-out didn't think of something better to do with all his ample time than sweep the damn street?  I mean Beethoven wrote a TON of stuff he could have taken the time to learn to play.  He could have read Ulysses.

I have no plans to spend what little time I have left after I've traded so much to the Time Bandits or whatever on Ulysses. I started it once.  I'm pretty sure Joyce is playing some kind of an elaborate practical joke.

(Was the story I'm thinking of Time Bandits?  That was a movie, right?  Did they steal time in that movie?  Was there a guy sweeping the streets, strangely pleased with his weird career choice?)

I suppose the secret is, as it is so often, to quit worrying about it so much.  Also: aggressive scheduling.  It's a bit hard to put those two things together.  Aggressive scheduling does not, generally, pair well with a laissez-faire attitude. But I'm confident I can figure it out.

After all, I'm the only one of you dummies smart enough to have sussed out that James Joyce was just fucking with us on that whole Ulysses thing.


Saturday, April 9, 2016

Conversations Around the Bon House

Scene: MegBon is in the kitchen, tidying up while watching Archer.  DonBon wanders in to watch Archer or procrastinate before going to work out (column a... column b....)

MegBon (pauses TV): You know what's great about this modern world?
DonBon: What?
MegBon: When you're watching Archer and a guest actor's voice is so familiar and it's bugging you, but you just have to pull out your phone and you find out it's Keith David.  And Keith David is amazing.
DonBon: Keith David is Archer?
MegBon: No.  Keith David was Lana's father.  You may remember him from such films as They Live
DonBon: ??
MegBon: I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass.  And I'm all out of bubblegum
DonBon: I do remember him from coming into the health club when I worked there.
MegBon: Really?  Was he nice?  He seems nice.
DonBon: Yeah...
MegBon: Was he funny? I bet he was funny.
DonBon: What I remember is that he walked around the health club in a towel and flip flops
MegBon: ??
DonBon: Like he'd come into the bar wearing a towel and flip flops, sit down at the bar and say "I like this place.  Why don't they have places like this in L.A.?"
MegBon: Did you see his thing?
DonBon: I didn't look.  But I noticed that a lot of the women were looking at him and, like, nodding.
MegBon: So Keith David probably has a pretty nice penis.
DonBon:  Seems like it

The moral of this story is that the internet can tell you Keith David's roles, but you need DonBon to tell you what the health club ladies were thinking when confronted with Keith David's casual deshabille: 

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Happy Birthday to Me: The Quilt

On Don's last birthday we went to a Friday night showing of Deadpool, where we had a solid 20 years on just about everyone else in the theater. But it was cool. We're cool.  We had a good time and laughed at the jokes and got them all (I think).  At dinner afterwards, we were talking about the music in the movie and I said, "You know, everyone laughed when they played Careless Whisper, but we were the only ones there who had real memories attached to that song - so we got it more. Dammit."

Don then told me a story about dancing with a girl to that song at some long distant school dance, and trying to hide, er, just how much he was enjoying the dance with her.

We had some fun memories over old 80s songs.

So, I have this theory about aging... but first, let's be honest: In almost every way, aging sucks.  My back hurts, and my skin is no where near as fabulous as it used to be.  My neck is a little crepe-y (this is the thing I hate the most).  Everything makes me fat.  No one on TV is ever trying to sell me anything cool anymore.

On the other hand, I have all this past to wrap up around me.

Look: please forgive me now for what is fixing to be a super schlocky metaphor.  I hate schlock.  I am not sentimental. I hate schmaltzy facile bullshit that aims to soothe through oversimplification.  But maybe this isn't bullshitty and, fuck it, it's my birthday and I get to air out my secret shameful schlocky metaphor that I've been thinking on for a while.

So, here goes with the Quilt Theory (I mean it's so schlocky, the metaphor is built on QUILTS):  I sometimes find myself feeling like all the experiences I've had are like patches on a quilt and I've spent the past 47 years building up moments that are stitched up into a past that I can wrap up all around me and it's warming and wonderful.

When I hear Careless Whisper, I get to think "I was there!  I was there for that song, for that moment.  It's real."  This doesn't make the reference less funny in Deadpool - but it means I got to go to a place there that the young folks in the theater didn't.

I can hear songs, or see patterns, or feel something in the air that takes me back to some moment and rather than feel sad that it's over, I get to feel lucky that I got to be there.

I got to be there.  There is something soothing, maybe even a little miraculously so, about about having more past - I've got a bigger quilt.

So I don't feel bad about getting older since there are all these moments I've had and still more to come.  Although (full credit to the late, lamented Nora Ephron), I do feel bad about my neck.  But I have George Michael.  And it's not that we could have been so good together. We were!

Happy birthday to me!