Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Memoir Fodder 00: The premise

At work the other night it occurred to me that with the paucity of letters from my youth when I am famous later in life the biographers will lack good information on the early years to flesh out the pages of my biography. My intention here is to write down what memories I have of the early years.

Some of my memories may be memories of stories I was told by other people. I'm going to try and stick with what I remember. The thing with old memories is they are not really reliable sometimes. There are some things I only have a vague feeling about but don't remember much else.

For example: I remember seeing Bambi in the theater but don't remember anything about it except the big fire scene. I don't remember being sad the mother died, spoiler(?), but I remember the awesome terribleness of the fire. I don't remember it being something I was afraid of as much something that was terrible and awful (as in full of awe). That's not much of a memory really, but it's what I've got to work with sometimes. I'll try and be a little more interesting in my tidbits that I share.

My plan is to talk about:
  • Mount Vernon - 1976 (?)
  • Citronelle school & summers, two posts probably.
  • Growing up in Southern Alabama in the '70s
  • Germany arrival & getting used to another country
  • Germany touring favorites
I don't expect anyone will think of this as terribly interesting but I do think it would be cool for other people to do the same thing. C'mon, talk about your childhood before you get old and feeble and forget it.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Podcast Suggestion: Myths and Legends Podcast

radioThe Myths and Legends Podcast is becoming one of my favorites. The host, Jason, researches a myth, legend, or fairy tale and tells it during the podcast with some background information for color before, during and after.

He tells the story like that, a story and it's fun and engaging. He's got a good sense of timing and knows when to interject an observation or comment for the modern listener.

He has chosen both stories I thought I was familiar with, and stories I've never heard of and I find both interesting and they hold my attention. He's an excellent story teller in retelling these stories to a modern audience he doesn't forget, or allow us to forget their source and that he's aware of how ridiculous some of the stuff sounds, talking animals again, nobody questions this? Without making fun of or belittling the story or the people who told it. The episodes are short, only a half hour or so I think, and they go quickly. Some are longer than can be managed in half an hour, like the King Arthur story, and it is done in multiple parts. Several of them are that way, but they can stand alone if they needed to because you had a long gap when you didn't listen.

The first few podcast episodes didn't include the mythical monster of the week but later on he added that feature and I like it. Oddly, my favorite was on the Australian Drop Bear and it was listener(s) submitted.

If you have at least a half-hour drive you do on the regular give the Myths and Legends Podcast a try. If you like it tell a friend.

Saturday, April 09, 2016

I don't get it... (Warning: Adult language)

So, I thought we'd get a break after trans-person Caitlyn Jenner came out and things cooled down. Well, that didn't happen. Evidently now the issue is where people can use the bathroom.

I'm going to start out with I don't care. If there are stalls and not urinals in the bathroom knock yourselves out. I don't care. Shut the door and piss or crap away. Not my problem. I'm going to do the same and don't care who's next door to me expelling waste. There are those who can't seem to stop the ideas of sex from springing to mind whenever discussions of waste spewing out of their bodies is brought up though and they're full of "OMG THINK OF THE CHILDREN!" right now that if a trans-person is in the stall next to their Little Billy or Little Mary then some harm will come to the kids and for that reason alone the trans need to go use... I guess their own, third bathroom.

Issues of why waste removal and sex with kids leap to mind whenever the topic of voiding ones bladder or butt aside, the issue is clear to me as one of comfort. The people against it aren't comfortable with trans-people. That's fine. I don't care.

Truth time: I'm not comfortable either. I get pronoun-confused. I want to ask inappropriate questions. I just plain don't GET it.

Doesn't matter. There are a lot of things I don't get.

I don't get Uggs. I don't get dreadlocks. I don't get how anyone can watch Big Brother, or professional wrestling, or Dance Moms. I don't get liking tofu. I don't get the why anyone would choose dark meat over white meat when there are wings and breasts RIGHT there why would you pick up a thigh? Gross!

There are a lot of things I don't get. That's MY problem. It's not their problem. If nobody else is actually hurt by something then it's not my problem and my opinion isn't one that matters. I don't have to get it. I don't have to like it. I don't have to understand it. I don't have to approve of it. In the case of trans-people. I don't get it. But, to me, it doesn't matter. Their sense of self, their identity, the things they do to their body are no more my business than if they get a tattoo. It's their body. It's their life. It's THEIR business. It doesn't affect or impact me in the slightest unless they're a friend and I have to pay attention to pronouns and I fuck it up.

They want to live their lives. I want to live my life. There's probably something about my life they don't get. I don't want people who just don't understand me, to be able to tell me I can't do a thing because it's not their thing. That's not how this works. That's not how ANY of this works.

I'm not a SJW (Social Justice Warrior). I'm a guy who thinks we should pull our noses out of other people's asses and let them live their lives.

Quit clutching your pearls and screaming to "think of the children" because honestly... I'm taking a crap here, and thinking of kids while doing that appears to be the purview of those who are bitching so much about it all and I just don't get that either.

Tuesday, April 05, 2016

Podcast Suggestion: Art of Manliness

I'm listening to a lot of podcasts because I drive a lot. One of the sites I discovered a long time ago when I was looking at shaving and finally decided to take up shaving with a badger hair brush, a lavender shave soap to make a nice lather, and a Merkur safety razor like my grampa used to use, is Art of Manliness.

I go to the website periodically and read the articles there that catch my attention. They aren't all aimed at me, but all men aren't like me so I get that. The ones on style, for instance... I'm not very stylish or fashionable so those I pretty much skip.

I recently discovered Art of Manliness has podcasts and I really enjoy them. I've been listening to mostly interviews of authors who write books that I would never read because I tend to read escapist fiction and these are books about, here are some topics I've listened to and enjoyed:

There's a wide variety of topics and authors and ideas presented and they're man-centric. That's not to say they're anti-female. I recently encountered two very good friends of mine who are men around my age (They're between late-30s and mid-40s) who independently of each other started a conversation saying, "I know I shouldn't say this but..." then they went on to talk about something somewhat man-centric. It was pro-male without being anti-female. It's not a zero sum game. It bugged me that they seemed to be apologizing for being male. That's annoying.

One of the things I hear/see is white, CIS-male privilege being figuratively shouted at white males online when we espouse an opinion on a topic that differs from someone who is not born a white male. I get it. My experience will differ from someone who is not a middle aged white males experience. I have the privilege of being who I am in the culture in which we live. I'm not apologizing for that though. Nor do I feel ANYONE should apologize for it.

These podcasts are nice in that they address being a man in today's world and what that means, what it has meant historically, and things we, as men, might find interesting. I enjoy it. I think many people would enjoy it and I recommend it. I think many people would enjoy it and I recommend it to anyone regardless of gender. They interview both male & female authors or scientists about topics on a variety of subjects.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Review: The Flash Crossover episode of Supergirl

I don't usually review TV shows. That's not my thing but I'm a huge fan of The Flash and have been watching Supergirl and giving it a chance to see if it turns into a good show. I've been looking forward to what they would do with this cross-network cross-over for a while now. The first one to air was the Supergirl episode that had Flash going to her world. What'd I think?

(SPOILERS -- Don't read if you haven't seen it!!!)

I hated it. I hated everything about it.

Barry Allen/The Flash, by himself, showed, by his contrast, how bad the acting and writing and story are in Supergirl. He was so much better than they were that it made their bad acting look even worse. It was painful to watch.

First Scene: Supergirl: Most powerful woman on the planet is introduced to perhaps new viewers having relationship problems and getting dating advice from Ally McBeal. That's like getting dinner party advice from Mary Tyler Moore. If you get that reference you're older than I am. But seriously. "Why can't I get him to like me?" is the driving force behind almost every B story line on Supergirl since the show started. It is a SHIT way to introduce her to new viewers. Pissed off already.

Introduction of The Flash? Annoying. He's a brilliant CSI and computer guy. But, sadly, OOPS! I ran to the wrong universe. OOPS! I ran clear out to North Dakota or some shit. WTH? Really? He oopsed himself into another universe? Ugh.

New Super-villain created: A female: What's the first thing she does? She does her make-up. Then she and the supervillain she frees from the most secure super-prison in the world, how? No clue how she got there, perhaps she used the PLOT DEVICE, the two of them, our heroes, take off, with no plan at Supergirl's insistence they go to fight the two baddies...

Remember super smart CSI hacker? Well, he attacks a villain with a name like LiveWire that uses electricity as a weapon WITH electricity. Charges her up so she can kick some butt. Which she does. So, Supergirl and The Flash are knocked down and what happens next? The most sexually charged scene in the show.
  • Does Supergirl use her heat vision to melt a hole in the villain's heart killing her instantly?
  • Does Supergirl use her super strength to punch the villain's head off her shoulders?
  • Does Supergirl use her ability to fly to whisk the villain off to outerspace and chuck her into the sun? 
  • Does Supergirl use... 
You know what? No. She doesn't do ANY of that. She uses her superbreath and gives a super blowjob to the chick obviously showing The Flash what he could have. He immediately responds by showing that he's quite adept at using both hands in a repeated oscillating motion rather than succumb to super blow-job. Then they leave.

What happens next? Well, she admitted to The Flash, that she just met, that not only is she crushed that she can't get a boy to like her, the whole city doesn't like her either and in spite of being super powerful... she just doesn't know what to do and she needs a man to help her and tell her what to do. Fortunately The Flash does just that and she, of course follows his advice because she, in spite of being Supergirl, always does what a man tells her to do.

There's a scene that desperately wants to be the subway scene from Spiderman 2 that makes me cry every time I see it but is, instead, just a shitty scene that is unbelievable and badly acted. Ending with the two super villains who consistently beat the hell out of Supergirl and The Flash being beaten by some men with a hose.

That's right. They turned the hose on them and beat them. I wish to hell I was kidding. I'm not. The solution for the villains that the Fastest Man Alive and The Most Powerful Woman on the Planet couldn't beat was to get them wet.

Ugh. Kill me now.