kicked in the ass before and by experts

155558-chad-staples-scans-a-pregnant-ghost-bat

Why so much baseball? Once again, who knows. But we can hazard some guesses. Baseball is essentially a 19th century game. Before broadcast media or widely available audiovisual recording technology, the only way to see an MLB game was live, in meatspace. Without airplanes or a network of paved roads between cities, it was a lot harder to get your eyes to the specific meatspace coordinates at which a baseball game was to be played. So why not schedule as many games as possible? This makes even more sense when you consider that gate receipts—and the sale of root vegetables and moonshine or whatever people snacked on in 1904—were the only way pro baseball made money. The major leagues might have only grudgingly limited themselves to 154/162 because of practical limits.The prevailing climate in original big-league cities is kind of shitty (technical meteorological term) between the end of baseball in late October and its resumption in April. In the old Pacific Coast League, in California’s mild weather, teams routinely played 180+ games in a season. It is alleged that the 1905 San Francisco Seals played 230 games.

–yr boy, in the Classical’s new issue. Maybe you should buy it[?].

re iced coffee

Every time I pay more than $2 for a beverage I see an apparition of Grandma Beatty in the sky, scolding me earthily for my profligate and dudified weaknesses (which are many and persistent). She is not in the sky though, she’s in a small town outside of Toledo.

Screen Shot 2013-07-09 at 9.26.04 AM

4-hour soul

simple pleasures
simple pleasures

re evernote/if this then that/productivity lifehacks/timothy ferrisses/maximalists of human brainwork:

i will not be satisfied with the state of efficiency software until i can literally record my own thoughts without so much as the inconvenience of having to say them out loud. i want a USB 2.0 or SD port in my ear. maybe HDMI. i will plug in memory sticks and remember what i am thinking, and then i can just edit the meaningful parts of my lived experience into a commercially viable product. repeat until “gentleman of leisure” status unlocked.

until that day, i think richard nixon had the right approach: just tape record everything. he was a man ahead of his time in some ways.

(i bought a coat) b/w baby we’re really in love

i googled "magic coat"
i google-img-src’d “magic coat” and found this and used the heat map filter &c

I was super reluctant to get rid of my old coat because wearing it reminded me of buying it, an experience which had made me feel like an expert at being an adult. It was the first really cold winter day after I got sober/back to reality in October 2008. The realness of the cold impressed itself upon me while I was walk in the beau monde in an suboptimal junk-y coat I had probably bought at Village Discount and probably made me look like a potato. I went into Belmont Army Navy and bought a parka, probably using a credit card, and stuffed my thrift-store jacket in a trash can on milwaukee and got busy living. I still looked a little bit like a potato but a slick tactical potato with ripstop fabric and a dope camo lining.

RIP tactical potato coat, 2008-2013

(it’s not really dead I’m just not going to wear it when I am trying to not look like a poor)

marvelous possessions

Screen shot 2012-11-20 at 1

or, “Things Costco Sells”
Usually we can rely on spiritually inert bathroom reading at the dad & stepmom’s country dasha. Such as: Utne Reader, 8-month old issues of Fast Company, Stephen Colbert comedy books. But this holiday I have discovered the CostCo Connection, a lifestyle magazine for CostCo members only, so very exclusive content that I have been vouchsafed access to is what I am sharing with you all.

I have long since been at odds with the listicle, once my most beloved of genres, but it being the holidays and my sentimental nature being so kindled toward a universally pardoning nostalgia: I have made a partial list of the items in said exclusive magazine/catalog, focusing on the items I do not understand. I have selected several items of whose existence I was not aware prior to my trip to the bathroom. Includes parenthetical editorial notes.

-“Soymilk Maker”’
-“Personal Blender” (fucking neoliberalism)
-Wedding rings
-Bonsai trees
-Tactical flashlight
-“Hair Removal System”
-“Defend & Deter” full surveillance system with seriously like 20 HD cameras to better be a quivering dollop of paranoia about the lush garden that God/Penn Jillette created for you
-Fireproof safe (also available: wall safe– presumed not fireproof. Pls note also that the fireproofness of non-wall safe only lasts 30 minutes)
-So many different kinds of sectional couches
-Select Lysol products
-Driveway gates, in the style of Mr. Burns’ mansion
-Zero-waste reverse osmosis system
-6-person spa
-“Adventure Mountain Playset” (retail price $14,999.00, includes delivery)
-Snowshoes
-Caviar, from Russia
-A bunch of different kinds of upmarket meat. I don’t even know how you get the meat — do you pick it up at the store or do they send it via Stubhub or something

but we don’t want any best creatures


{when you get to the part about the semi-harmless drunk vagrant with a megaphone, this is the corner where he’s standing}

one of the things i am working on, as a human, is to be less peevish. the particular municipality that i have chosen as my setting for personhood has some notable UX flaws (speaking only for myself). some of these flaws exacerbate peeves. one of them is that you are just crammed right the hell next to lots of other human beings. in my more pastoral existence 1981-2008, the only times i really stood super close to other human beings were embraces of various friendly and marital dimensions. the average closeness of strangers on a 10x+/week basis isn’t as bad as knowing anything about their deodorant or oral hygiene choices (although sometimes perfume is a problem). but here in new york city, compared to other places of mine, there are just more people more near to me than i would call ideal.

this is one of the many small assaults to the bourgeois self that contemporary megalopolitan living throws off incessantly. it is a tax that some people ultimately don’t care to pay, opting for taxis or westchester or high-rises or towncars or places that cost various tokens of wealth or exclusivity to access. other places that are not new york assess and collect taxes of all different kinds. san francisco is just as expensive and the muni is useless, i gather. columbus, ohio has a budweiser plant, downwind of which it smells like mother nature lit her hair on fire. chicago has gun crime and winter and little unwalkable zeno’s paradoxes of distance between neighborhoods and train stops. small towns can smother plurality. the southwest suburbs of cleveland have a fleabitten apathy, at least for me. (these places are all wonderful, too: san francisco has burritos and golden gate park and innumerable earthly delights. columbus has punk music and a hockey team and … i’m sure there are other nice things. small towns have peace and togetherness and big yards. chicago is the hearth of the world and i’ll never not miss being there. and home is home).

back to new york city and peevishness: for my first few years here, i often found other people’s behavior patterns, consumption communities, haircuts annoying, sometimes at a fruit-fly level, othertimes in a way that gobbled up a lot more of my emotional bandwidth than i could accept. many solutions have availed–noise-cancelling headphones, blunted and blunting music, inside time, MLBtv, taking a deep enough breath to let my brain remember that life in this garden is a license to feel joy. part of it was learning to understand my own feelings, even the not-super-admirable ones about why are those fucking drunk yuppies talking so loud hate hate hate. i am pretty pleased with my progress, although i definitely whiff every once in a while. one of the aftermarket mods i’ve made to my life, outside of my skull, is to avoid things that i have a hard time not minding.

the intense proximity of my species-mates here isn’t just a question of navigating a cattle-pen sidewalk or having to gently push people out of my way on the subway or fred astaire my way around puddles of bum pee and other exotic fluids–there are also sounds and lights, more than anyone really could ever want or need, vying for your attention, some required by local zoning laws to be punishingly bright. the crowdedness of nyc has a linguistic aspect.

as a reflexive reader and hearer of the english language, it sometimes isn’t the sheer noise or sharpness or conceptual unpleasantness of the non-palpable that gets me, it’s the mere existence of it–and before i learned variously to understand myself, to learn to deal, and to buy good headphones and listen to dub reggae a lot, that mere existence of stimuli drove me a bit batty. the sheer sensory punishment of NYC did a pick-and-roll with my (also working on this) vibrant sense of class animosity and resentment. acts as routine (and unavoidable) as walking down a street in manhattan or yuppie brooklyn became tough mudders that i was not able to complete without getting my mental uniform just totally covered in shit.

in fact, a very small contributing factor (price, proximity to the subway+tacos, and wanderlust are all much more to blame) in my choice of neighborhood (sunset park) was that at least 2/3rds of my neighbors don’t speak english and aren’t white yuppies. rest assured that i am aware of my demographic hypocrisy etc etc. i won’t say much here about the class resentment thing, because that’s a thing i’m still turning over under a telescope in my brain–instead i just want to talk about the basic cultural/language barriers i live next to.

now, these barriers are porous, for me. lots of people speak english here. i am never really inconvenienced (here or anywhere) by being monolingual. but for some obscure reason i take comfort in the fact that most of the conversations i hear on the sidewalk, at the store, on the subway platform, are mostly just sounds, except for the odd spanish word that i pick out. i am curious about the cultures i live next to, but i haven’t had a chance to learn very much of the attendant languages, which is actually quite sad but not the kind of thing i’m going to regret on my dying day. i will never be fujianese or puerto rican or ecuadorean, at least not sufficiently so to unlock insider access to sunset park. so i sort of bob on the surface here. it’s a fine if slightly grubby neighborhood. i still like that it’s not park slope or williamsburg or the village or the upper west side. in part because i can’t afford the joiner’s fees in those places, i pride myself on my contempt of their fatuities (getting a little underground man vibe here–and also realizing that new york’s irritations have an economic aspect).

this post was meant to get around to my enjoyment that 1) the fujianese lady at the laundry place called me “amigo” when i dropped off laundry earlier 2) the semi-harmless drunk vagrant dude who haunts my closest intersection seems to have found a functioning megaphone and is yelling about tacos outside. i don’t know how to get there, just yet, in terms of just the actual writing, and also my brain hygiene in terms of privilege, compassion, universal personhood, etc. i want sunset park to have a business that sells prepackaged salads and emo soap, and i also want it to stay cheap. i am self-interested in my citizenship of the neighborhood, and i have a desire to be a community member, but also like 75% of the person-hours i spend here i am asleep or indoors brain-interfacing with the internet, so: my point is, as pretty much always this year: i and everyone else have a daily caloric need of community and quality meatspace emotional plate appearances. i am maybe not hitting my own RDAs on that front, for lots of fun reasons. but until then: these tacos, which i guarantee will make me and everyone else they meet way less peevish.

love them right or leave them alone

am proud to report that i was permitted to contribute a chapter to a forthcoming anthology about Cleveland called Rust Belt Chic from my people Richey Piiparinen and Anne Trubek. Topics addressed: Golden Corral, Taco Bell, dying, Robinson Crusoe, guns, heaven, etc. I am really, really kind of amazed that something I wrote is going to be in a book. next step is getting a book that’s all me. or maybe half me. let’s not get crazy.

Here is a special world exclusive preview:

There’s a graveyard in the parking lot of the Regal Cinemas, a carpet scrap left behind when a farm or several farms get turned into a strip mall. Some of the town founders of Middleburg Heights, to the extent that a non-place needs to have founders, are buried in this plot. For some reason or another, the real estate deal that brought the multiplex/shopping center into the world insisted that these dozen or so 19th century interments had to stay put. Whenever I am confronted with the dead people in the parking lot (which is not that often), I think about the hereafter. I think about where I might go after I close my eyes for the last time. I think about some of the first people to live where I was raised, and how their bones spend eternity rattling in the dulled sonic backwash of screenings of Transformers 3.