Game (Almost) Over

I’ve said it before, but for good measure: I’m just not that into you, football.  Oh, it was romantic at the start, watching with my dad as the USC Trojans played Ohio State in the Rose Bowl with that great running back whose name is right on the tip of my tongue (O.J. Simpson?  Yeah, that’s the one).  And flag football was kind of fun when I was in elementary school.  I always enjoyed pickup games, because at least in those there was a chance I’d get to go out for a pass, as opposed to high school, when they stuck me on the defensive line and asked me to enjoy pain.

As far as spectating, I followed the LA Rams for a long time, only sliding away after our move to Seattle, when we had a local team with, as it turned out, a few years of potential glory.  In fact, my daughter was born on a big football day, a Saturday game between the Seahawks and the Broncos.

Which, by the way, the Broncos won.  And that baby grew up and now has her own baby, and the Hawks moved over to the NFC, giving us this rematch of sorts, and some symmetry, and here we are.

But I moved on, learned to like the sport less, sometimes rallying around the flag when the team got hot but otherwise passing entire seasons just barely paying attention.  Peyton Manning?  I missed him, just completely.  Same with Brady.  I watched Super Bowls because it’s a big ol’ American day and all, but I wasn’t keeping up.

I like sports, I do.  I love to follow baseball, but I can admire all of them except hockey, which I do not understand and do not expect to.  I appreciate the shared excitement, the socialization, the community aspects.  I like to watch superior performers do amazing things.  I like the way my pulse races and my eyes widen, and how anticipation is sometimes far more rewarding than the actual event, and how certain smells and sounds can activate sensations I forget I once knew, and what were we talking about again?  Got a little heated there for a second, sorry.  Gotta calm down.

Football.  Go team.  This area has had a nice jolt of winter excitement, and it’s been fun to watch.  All the green and blue and silver, the jerseys worn by everyone, the endless feel-good stories.  The Big Game.  It’s a lot of fun.

And it will be over, to the relief of some, some who have been vocal about their frustration with all the “12th Man” hullaballoo in this area, and I understand and am just so puh-leese.  Give me one of these folks publicly decrying all the fuss about football and I want to know when they last saw a movie or went to a concert, and then explain to me the difference.  Entertainment, people.  It juices us up.

It goes away, though, in the case of football.  I’m not foolish enough to predict my behavior on Sunday, but my assumption is that I will be mildly disappointed if my team loses, and mildly excited if they win, and much more excited to be staying in the immediate vicinity of a four-month-old boy who cares not at all about the big game.  I didn’t exactly plan it this way, but I’m sure glad it turned out.

I photoshopped a picture of the Austin skyline with a ghostly Space Needle, and it got far less appreciation than it should have.  So I will place it here, where I am today, knowing I’m going to be somewhere else tomorrow.

And Monday morning we can all go back to business, and save the world.  Whose with me?

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As I’ve told I-don’t-know-how-many-people in the past days, it’s not about the Grammy.  Which, I think we would all admit, is kinda cool.  Of course.   A line item on the resume and a place on the mantle, etc.  Good to have.

And it’s not that Roomful of Teeth performed at the Grammys, although that’s a pretty big deal too.  Even if it wasn’t in prime time.

It’s that people keep talking about it.  It’s that they made an impression.  It’s that Kathy Griffin, on winning her comedy Grammy,  referred to them as “my new opening act,” although you know that’s not gonna happen (I had no idea Kathy Griffin was still around).

But they very well might be somebody’s opening act, because they’re stunningly talented and unique and rippling with energy and training, and quite possibly an actual classical crossover, who knows?  They don’t need to tart up the act with show bizzy biz or candelabras or topless dancers, although I’m generally in favor of topless dancers (I mean, artistically.  You know).  They wouldn’t have to go Vegas, in other words.

They could play Vegas, though.  They really are something to see in concert.  You’ll just have to trust me.

Again, the biggest woomph of this past Sunday was it felt as though something got started.  After a big year for the boys and girls, what with Caroline Shaw’s Pulitzer Prize and the release of their debut album, they made a splash and became “the best moment you didn’t see” on the Grammys, which makes a lot of sense to me.  They’re meant to be heard.  And now it looks like they will be.

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The Day After

My daughter, currently flying back home to Austin from LA, says that it’s too soon to process the experience.  I believe her, and I feel the same way.  Too soon.  Even though I just wrote 900 words, partly about my experience yesterday, watching Cameron bound up to the stage at the Nokia Theater to grab his Grammy.  Thrilling isn’t quite enough of a word, but it’s at least in the ballpark.

In the meantime, here’s a mention of Roomful of Teeth in *fake yawn” Rolling Stone, and another piece where you really need to scroll down to the part that says, “Best performance you probably didn’t see.”  I guarantee you I saw it.

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Getting In Hot Water And Out Again

Good times and bum times, I’ve seen them all
And, my dear, I’m still here
Plush velvet sometimes
Sometimes just pretzels and beer, but I’m here

–I’m Still Here (Follies) by Stephen Sondheim


You can live without a lot of things, if my experience has any relevance (always dicey).  Most things, maybe, or it seems, looking around the world.  I can certainly live without smallpox, for example.

But you know.  Even within the tiny realm of possible, given a specific situation, there are plenty of painless omissions.  I can live without two cars for two drivers in this household, although today it turns out that means I have to walk 2 miles to get a haircut, and then 2 miles back.  In sunny, brisk weather without a raindrop or snowflake or hail (whatever hail is, pellets, chunks, whatever).  Doable.

I can, as I understand it, live without food for about a month.  Although not, apparently, ice cream.

Other things.  You get it.  Warped kitchen floors are doable too, particularly when you have medical bills stacking up.  You can walk on the warp, and spill on it guilt-free, too.

We had that slow drain I mentioned the other day, in the bathroom sink.  What was up with that?  Just hair and dental floss, collected over the ages, but I exhausted my meager plumbing talents and my wife took to putting a mixing bowl in the sink to catch the water rather than fill up the sink with slooooow drainage.  And I brushed my teeth in the kitchen, and so on.  I put off calling a plumber because we could live with it and because I put things off.

But the water pressure in that shower dipped seriously, and I don’t know much but I recognized that these two things might be connected and even if they weren’t (they weren’t), while you can live with low water pressure you really don’t want to.  Not really.

So I called my plumber guy and he came and plumbed real good, cleared up that drain and discovered the pressure problem, which was debris thrown out by an aging water heater.  A water heater with a lifespan of 8-10 years that had doubled that.  I hired some handyman guy to replace our water heater in 1996 because it seemed like a lot of work that I would probably screw up, and he must have done a good job.

So the water heater got replaced this week, expensive but what are you going to do?  You can live without hot water but only if you have to.  You can replace your water heater yourself if you’re handy like that and save half the cost, assuming you also have the time, but this is all moot for me.

And now we know what the mysterious problems with our water system are, mostly.  Those little white granules that collect in the screen of the faucet are the arthritic joints and thinning hair of a common household appliance, and we’re fortunate that we could afford to get a new one and not have to try that little 30-days-without-food experiment up there.

Here’s the fun part.  A while ago (a relative term, you will note), my wife plugged a space heater into an outlet and tripped a breaker downstairs.  I flicked it back in place but there was a problem in the kitchen, another mystery, in that our lights wouldn’t come back on and the microwave over the stovetop wouldn’t work.  Other things apparently on that circuit seemed fine, weird.  Like I know from electricity.

We are long overdue for an electrician to pay us a visit, by the way.  There are more mysteries here, but as I said: You can live without stuff.  Especially if you have extension cords and don’t mind using them.  Eventually I would like to solve all of these mysteries, but there is just so much money and somebody else has most of it.  And I put things off.

Anyway.  I flipped a lot of breakers when the plumber was installing the water heater, since that breaker box has some mysteries of its own, most of them revolving around mislabeling, and when that was all installed and up and producing hot water again, after a few hours, I noticed something odd.

That microwave had a flashing light.  And yes, we had overhead lights again in the kitchen.  And in an adjacent room, where we stopped even checking it seems like years ago.  Who knows?  It’s an old house.  There are lamps, etc.

So here’s how I’m framing this.  I hired a plumber to do a job, and as a bonus he fixed one of my electrical problems for free.  It just feels better to think of it that way.

And while you can live without a lot of light, you’d rather not.  Particularly when cooking, or cleaning.  In my experience, I mean.

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Depending on what I’m willing to do, how much boredom I’m willing to tolerate and how hard I’m willing to work, I can make a living sitting right here at this keyboard, in front of this monitor, manipulating the alphabet and a few special characters.  I will write for food.  And type.  And code.

With the caveats that maybe I won’t be able to do that forever and then I’m toast, and that it’s just a living.  Not a great living.  It’s OK.  I’m OK.  I feel fortunate, really, even when it wears me down.  Sitting here in sweatpants with a great big hole in the crotch and hair standing straight up, 9:30 in the morning, puttering around on this blog.  You would have thought maybe I planned it this way, given my tendencies.

The darker aspects are easy to imagine, one of them being that I can get socially isolated.  Especially over the past few years, since I decided we could ditch a second car because hey, I’m here at home and I can walk, we all know I can walk.  But there are limits to walking, and the rest of the world has to work for a living, etc.  I’ve made any number of jokes about my relationship with transient friends, the UPS people, the mail carriers, the grocery store clerks.

My most substantial (using the term loosely, and not as a synonym for “important”) relationships, in fact, are unseen and mostly unheard.  People who benefit in some business sense from my lonely typing here, and people who read what I write.

I don’t know who the readers are.  I hear from readers, but not usually the same ones, and even the few regulars I have aren’t constant.  I’ve heard, many times, people say, “I turn to your column as soon as I get the paper!” but that’s just being nice, I think, and also: It’s such a small part of life, right?  Nobody waits all week to see what I have to say.  If they did I would be horrified.

I probably have regular readers, though, people who make a point of it, most weeks.  I have no idea how many.  Probably at least 100.  Maybe 10,000.  Maybe many more.  Probably 100 is safe.

On any given week?  I have no idea and neither does anyone else.  In a primarily print delivery system, without analytics except for subscriptions and old-school estimates, you’re never really going to know.  It could be 100,000.  Could be half that.  Could be less, could be more.  It’s not my concern and I rarely think about it, except for my fantasy that each of them might send me a dollar on my birthday.  Read anything throughout the year that entertains or enlightens you, send Chuck a dollar on July 26, that’s my fantasy business model.

The important point here, though, is that I don’t know.  Even a smattering of emails every week (or some weeks) doesn’t tell us much.  Every once in a while I get surprised by something, then.

Last week, I got an email from Chris Cook, a woman who was just appointed to fill out the remaining Mukilteo City Council seat of Jennifer Gregerson, who was just elected mayor.  She mentioned that she got inspired by something I wrote, once.  This was weird.  I’m not in the inspiration business, for one thing.

And I knew immediately what she was referring to, since it’s a theme that I’ve reused several times, just a notion I have, on observation, that men tend to flail in middle age and women tend to get busy.  It’s not an absolute, it’s not based on statistics of any sort, it’s a JOKE.  Just a joke.  If observational.

It came from a column I wrote in 2002 called “A Dumb Blond Joke,” a column written with the intent to amuse only, the story of how my daughter decided her father would look good with some highlights in his hair and a local columnist who pretty much does whatever she says.  That’s all.  Jokey jokester.

But Chris Cook, I guess, decided she wanted to be one of those women.  Here’s the paragraph:

It’s a story as old as time itself, proving once again that God created man, thought about it a bit, then decided to make some improvements.  Women reach middle age, have a couple of hot flashes, then get Master’s degrees or start businesses or run for office.  Men, on the other hand, sulk for a long time and then buy Viagra by the case and try to fit into pants that apparently were made for another species.

So she’s now a city council member and it’s all my fault.  FINE.

Actually, she sounds perfect for the job.  Left her professional career to be a mother, volunteered a LOT, particularly in the school system, and now with her youngest out of the house she looks for new challenges.  I suspect she’ll be very good at this.

And I’m flattered and very amused by the whole thing, really.  It’d be great if I’d written something intended to help readers think about an issue in a new way, instead of just trying to get them to snort their latte, but it’s still nice.

Again, I wish Chris Cook well in her new adventure.  I wish us all well, why not?  I’m just sitting here on a Friday, with this big gaping hole in my sweatpants, not doing anything.  I might as well be optimistic.

And Chris Cook owes me a dollar.  BTW.


Here’s a nice letter Chris Cook wrote about this whole thing.

And here’s the column I wrote this week about the ethics of watching football.  I think.

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Game Over

We survived Sunday, although I guess you could say that every week.  Maybe every day.

But we made it through the NFC Championship game intact, maybe a little hoarse, and my wife a little surprised by her emotions.  With the Seahawks ahead by 6 points, 20-odd seconds left and the 49ers 20-odd yards from the end zone, the Tip Heard ‘Round The World happened and Julie burst into tears.

I imagine this was what it was, just relief after tension, after ups and downs, after the investment of three hours.  I strutted around, arms in the air, shouting “GAME OVER” until I made sure everyone knew it was so, and then it really was over.

As someone who’s had his share of experiences with compulsive behavior, this has been an interesting season.  I’ve been stepping back and forth over the line of fan behavior, moving from Casual to Crazy (picture a Candyland board) and then reversing, trying to enjoy this…whatever you call this.  Community…something.  Collective…something else.  If you really like football, then the hometown team doing well is a bonus.  If you only have a tangential relationship with the sport, even with a long and passionate history (describing myself, and my wife, here), peeking at standings and maybe sitting down to watch one or two games a season, it’s different.  I would suggest.  From my limited viewpoint.

It’s dangerous, for one thing.  If people can literally end relationships over arguments about the intricacies of health insurance regulations  — and they have – then this sort of sports passion isn’t to be messed with.  Now add to that the appeal of social media to narcissists (Facebook: It’s All About YOU), and you might have a situation where bitter 49ers fans make it clear that they think anyone who finds cheer in a Seattle Seahawks victory might just be inclined to release child molesters out onto local playgrounds just because they enjoy the sound of screaming.  Or worse than that, maybe.  I don’t feel like I’m exaggerating.

It did encourage insight, and that was sort of a second victory.  I always enjoy insight when it involves other people and their behavior, and not having to look at my own.  A win-win situation.  And there were a couple of San Francisco fans who cleared some stuff up for me after Sunday’s game, people I don’t know very well at all but have some sort of online connection with, people who have confused me from time to time, and now I get it.

But, y’know.  Football.  Games.  Sports.  I don’t need to back away to see the big picture; I generally get a picture every couple of days, with a big baby in it, and that beats football any day.  I booked a February trip to Austin months ago, when I found amazingly cheap tickets, with no eyes on the calendar to tell me that it would be Super Bowl Weekend and no crystal ball to suggest that Seattle would be playing in that game, but I’m going and I’m glad.  I do hope the Hawks win, but I think I will survive just fine either way.  When I last saw this grandson of mine in person, he was just one month old and starting to become a person.  He’s more personable now, apparently, and I plan on getting some insight into this particular boy.  It’s another win-win, and no bitterness will be involved.  I’m ready for some football.

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What’s Wrong With This Picture?










Here’s a hint: Jonah Hill has twice as many Academy Award nominations for acting than Robert Redford.

Whoops.  That’s way more than a hint.  That’s pretty much it.

None of this matters to me.  I haven’t watched the Oscars in years, although I keep an eye on it.  I have plenty of affection for film glamour and hoopla; it’s the movies.  But there’s no rhyme or reason to these things, and even if there actually is, nobody knows what it is.  Nobody knows who votes for whom and why, unless they talk about it, and even then, this is the movies.  Who ya gonna believe?  Me or a bunch of Hollywood types?

Man.  I love me some Robert Redford.  I know why, exactly and without a doubt, and you do too.  Look at the timeframe: He was not only one of the male actors who populated my teenage movie-watching experience (along with Dustin, Al, Jack, and of course Clint).  He became the first superstar, although there were plenty before him (that is, he was the first to wear that neologism, although it wasn’t even, you know, neo.  The term has been around a long time, first used in sports, and Andy Warhol popularized it in a general sense.  I stand by my history, though.  When we started referring to celebrities as superstars, we were talking about Robert Redford).

And he was one of the stars of “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,” a seminal movie for me for various reasons.  Don’t get me started.

I have no problems with Jonah Hill, of course.  Even though I picked a particularly unflattering picture (he’s lost a lot of weight).  He’s funny and interesting and I’m sure he deserves the attention.

And Oscar nominations, again, have no structure we can analyze and come to any conclusion about.  We can talk about snubs but it’s just talk.  Nobody snubbed anybody.  Redford gave what a lot of critics say was a tremendous performance in “All Is Lost” but it sounds like an unusual film and performance.  Jonah Hill was in a big, splashy Scorsese.

I probably won’t watch, at any rate, or pay attention.  My movie sensibilities have changed and I can’t figure out why.  I haven’t seen a film recently, for one thing, and by recently I mean in a real long time, at least in a theater.  Even at home, where I have access to thousands, I seem to prefer TV episodes, little chunks of entertainment before I go to bed.  I’m shy of commitment to a self-contained piece of work that begins and ends in one viewing, maybe.  Maybe I’ve seen too many movies.  Maybe I haven’t seen enough.

I just note that I probably have a big ol’ man crush on Robert Redford, and I should just admit it and be done.  Look at that picture up there.

And really?  The only awards ceremony I’m interested in right now is the Grammys.  My daughter is going to the Grammys next week.  I mean.  I’ve always theoretically held my kids at arm’s length in terms of achievement, mostly glad they survived me, acknowledging that I had influence but knowing that cuts both ways, and also knowing that we’re all pretty unique creatures and on our own.  My daughter is, personality-wise, the human who most resembles me, and even that is pretty minimal.  My son, despite supposedly being neurologically incapable of this, reads me like a book.

But they are themselves, not me, and I have no interest in taking credit where credit is definitely not due.

Still.  I can’t help accepting the urge to grab complete strangers and say My daughter is going to the Grammys!  Just because it’s pretty cool.

You know what?  That’s really what I wanted to say in this week’s column.  I just couldn’t find a cute way of doing it, and there were other things on my mind, and I ran out of room, and so it turned out to be confusing and meandering, even for me.  But that’s what I wanted to say.  My daughter is going to the Grammys next week, along with McCartney and Starr, and a bunch of other superstars, and I know what I’ll be watching.

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Water, Water, Everywhere But There

I got a fun email last night, but how to share?  Hmm.  Probably by not doing so.  Although, actually, I think the gist will be shared eventually.  At which point I will share the gist.

But it was still fun, an email that goes into the Reader Mail folder, a place I never look.  Think about it and you’ll understand.  Re-reading pleasant commentary on silly stuff I write does nothing for inspiration, and re-reading the negative stuff is a good way to have a bad day.

It was one of those, though (not negative, I mean).  A dusty column from the archives, written in 2002, a jokey piece about nothing much except ME ME ME, with a throw-away line that somebody remembered.  A line that stuck around, and has come to some sort of conclusion now.  As I say, fun.  But I was the messenger, not the inspiration.  My feet are firmly on the ground.

I discovered long ago that if I have an idea about an issue, even if it’s only broadly political, it’s usually best to keep it to myself unless I can hide my brilliant insights inside a whole bunch of jokes.  The ones who agree with me will feel justified; the ones who won’t will insult my ancestors.  Some of whom might deserve it, how would I know?  People are funny.

But few if any will stop and think, from my experience, which means I can better serve the dwindling newspaper readership by sticking with jokes.  Jokes, and sentimentality, which is not highly thought of but will, as it turns out, produce a lot of emails.  We do like our warms and fuzzys.

Let’s call it a good day, though.  My ego-meter dial didn’t budge; as I say, it was a stray sentence, not an insight.  Although I’ve used a similar stray sentence before.  It’s a thing with me.  I try not to repeat it too often.  Now maybe I should reconsider.  It may have changed a life, a little.  Amazing what you can do with jokes.


No one who knows me well (or, actually, reads me even a little) is confused about my status when it comes to mechanical stuff and household repairs, etc.  Big et cetera there, too.  My brain fogs over and I stare at screws and nuts and hinges and other static, simple things.  They exist, I interact with them daily, but they remain above my pay grade.

And well within the pay grade of other people, something I know firsthand.  I do write the checks.

Conversely, many people who do know me well would be surprised at how adept I am at certain mechanical things.  A few things.  But adept.  And some other things I can manage, particularly if they involve digging holes.

Anyway.  We have a number of metaphorical chickens calling it a night and heading toward this house.  It’s an old house, and it was born old anyway.  So electrical outlets don’t work and the roof leaks and a deck is missing, and we had a slow drain in the bathroom.

Real slow.  Slow for a long time, too.  Sometimes I’d get it cleared up, but soon enough it would be a reluctant drain again.  Then, our water pressure in that same bathroom, in the shower, got amazingly slow.  Just dribbling.

So I called a plumbing company, a small one I’d used in the fall for a water line leak.  Great people.  Friendly.  Reasonable prices.  Efficient, prompt, whatever, you name it.  Good guys.  Fun to hang out with.

It turns out the sink just had a bunch of hair and dental floss clogging the drain, which will happen over decades.  Easy snake-and-clean.

The shower was a build up of little white granules, which I recognized from our kitchen faucet.  I thought maybe this was debris left over from the water line leak, but it turns out to be a sign of a dying water heater.  Electric heaters of this sort usually have a life expectancy of 8-10 years, so we knew anyway it was getting close.  It was taking longer to heat up, etc.

So after the two bathroom issues were resolved, plumber and I went down to the basement to check out the water heater, which carries a handy sticker that only plumbers can read, or bother to.  Turns out this water heater has been here for a while, even though I remember when it was installed.  Then again, I’ve been here a long time.

A lot longer than 18 years, which is the approximate age of said water heater.  Quite a lifespan.  I admire this water heater for sticking around.

But here in the winter, we like our hot water, so a new one it is.  I was tempted to buy one and install it myself, until it occurred to me that it was mechanical, and no digging would be involved.  Also, I have no truck to haul a new one in and an old one out.  I am all around lacking in skills and equipment, I’m afraid, so I will be writing more checks.

And writing more reviews for this plumbing company, which will be positive, and that, as they say, is the true gist of that.

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Observing the Observing

There are two things going on here, in the above XKCD offering.  I will explain.

The first is (was) a notion, less than a meme and noticed maybe by only a relatively few, and it’s been a while; I’ve lost the provenance of the original, but it was an article grumbling about how we’re all taking pictures now, all the time, and IGNORING LIFE!  C’mon, people.  Put the camera/phone down.

And then there was push-back on this notion, best summed up by the above but there was more.  This is just the best.

But there’s more here, and that’s why I bookmarked this and held it, wondering.  I’d come back to it occasionally over the past week or so since it was first published, trying to suss out the reason it kept buzzing my consciousness, and now I think I’ve got it.

This is what I experience every day.

Here is my day, by the way.  Some mornings I have to drive my wife to the park and ride to pick up her bus, depending on her schedule.  Occasionally (as today), I have to take my son to an appointment.  In either case, I’m usually up well before I have to do anything other than open my mouth and pour caffeine in.  The source is irrelevant and changes, depending on my mood and quality of sleep.

So the first thing I do, after beginning the caffeination process, is power up the PC.  I look at headlines first, just in case the world ended while I slept, and then I either check the 25 or so websites I pay attention to (via Feedly) or head straight to Facebook.  I’ll then sometimes wander by the other social media sites, just to get an overview of what my acquaintances are up to today.  I then read a few longer pieces, bookmark some for later, send some to my Kindle for whenever, and carry on.  I can get stuck in front of the screen for a couple of hours some days, and less on others, but this is how my day starts and then repeats at intervals.  Skim, spy, lurk, read, repeat.

And there’s writing, and cleaning and exercising and socializing.  My life isn’t interesting but it’s not all one thing.  I have to make a living, for example.  It just might be a slightly different way than most.

But back to the routine.  I relish the social media aspect of these mornings, catching a few pictures or funny thoughts from old friends.  I can’t be with them but I can observe and know they’re alive and well on this day.

I curate my reading, of course, and my social media.  I have roughly 300 Facebook friends, for example, but interact with maybe 10 of them on any given day (interact = pushing the “like” button or maybe, occasionally, leaving a comment, and vice-versa).  On a busy day or with a popular post, that number might rise to 40.  Most of my friends, in fact, are hidden from my feed.  I used a little app to track my Facebook usage over a couple of weeks, once, and got an average time of just over 9 minutes per day.  I can live with that, but I have to be careful.  Really, I just like the pictures, mostly.

And still, there are days when I hear almost nothing but grumbling.  Grumbling about other people and what they do, how they live, what they say and how ungrammatically they say it, and it leaves a taste in my mouth that I’m sure (pretty sure, anyway) isn’t the coffee I keep sipping.

And Mr. Munroe up there nailed it, finally.  “Other people having experiences incorrectly.”  That’s what bothers us?  Seems to, some days.  Seems to.

Look, I get annoyed.  And I get annoyed at things that have absolutely no effect on my quality of life.  I get annoyed when people post comments that have absolutely no punctuation.  A comma would kill you?  I get annoyed when people have loud phone conversations in the grocery store when I’m trying to remember what I forgot to remember to add to my shopping list, which I forgot.  I get annoyed when people post scams or untruths or relentlessly ignorant articles that are easily debunked with a five-second Google search.

I even get annoyed when I read the occasional blog post (blogs?) that is personal and anecdotal and entirely lacking, as far as I can see, in even a shred of self-awareness.  Not to mention grammar again (I know that objects and subjects can be confusing, and that “its” and “it’s” can be tricky, but you are writing with the expectation that someone is reading.  It’s disrespectful not to at least spellcheck.

But I can shake that off, that annoyance, and I’m working on it.  Because sunsets are sometimes just lovely, you know?  And sometimes you want to preserve them, and sometimes you do, and all the times you do, I assure you it’s absolutely none of my business.

Plus, I usually like the pictures.  Click.

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And On The Seventh Day

It was fun to hang around the TV yesterday with my wife and (sometimes) my son, cheering on the Seattle Seahawks.  Tense, in that given do-or-die playoff game way, but fun.

The rest is not fun.  The rest is an ugly reminder of why I wandered away from aggressive sports fandom in the first place, finding comfort in a game played out in 162 leisurely installments, best listened to while cutting the grass or walking on the beach in warm weather.

I don’t care for the meaningless competitive urges I get when I get involved in sports watching: I have nothing to do with this team, they don’t represent me in anything but a superficial logo way, the players and coaches are from all over the country and are paid to come here, their style of play represents squat in terms of regional culture, assuming there even issuch a thing…I don’t become a better person because the team I follow wins a big team, but try telling that to the Internet.  Or even your non-Internet fan of another team.  As I said, ugly.

But it is what it is.  So now I’ll wait a week, hope for the best and be relieved, actually, at the worst.  And reconsider my watching habits next year.  There are other uses for four hours.

Got a game to watch, sorry.  Go Panthers.

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