Sunday, October 14, 2018

Salsa Timberjack NX Eagle

It was time for a new bike. Rather than put money into my old bike this new bike kept talking to my thalamus, pons, and cerebellum. So, I bought it after special ordering it from a local store. I went riding today - about 3 hours, 16 miles, and 2400 feet in elevation differential (for the Strava nerds that might be reading). 

It has several attributes that my other mountain bike - a 2016 Kona Honzo AL - did not: 27.5" wheels, dropper post, and a 1x12 cassette for greater gear range.

So, now I own two mountain bikes. My needs outgrew my possessions.

CS is still in the hospital. I, of course, worry about him. So many things are unfair, but to be hospitalized for long periods of time can be dispiriting, to say the least. Recovery is not always the word to describe what happens afterwards, either. 

I once had a pretty terrible accident with my foot. I was about 17 and CS would have been in his early 30s. This was about the time when we first met. I almost lost my foot, but a French laser microsurgeon - Lionel Foncea - was able to save it. I was told that I might not ever be able to walk normally again. CS sent a card to the hospital, letting me know of his concern. It was not the reason we became friends, but I remember it as being a sympathetic generosity many years later. 

I'm not sure why I have developed such an interest in mountain biking as I approach 50 years of age. Maybe the answer is dull and obvious - that I am just having an existential crisis, one of chronology. The decades distant somehow narrowing the impending.  Perhaps I am looking for an escape route, a loophole, an alibi carved along the fibers of the heart, a getaway from decades gone. A getaway from getaways.


Saturday, October 13, 2018

What life is like for a Pentecostal

My buddy CS has been in a terrible accident. He is still in the hospital, has been for several days now.  There was a collision involving himself and a truck, and the Vespa. It was a near head-on incident, from what I gathered. He is now in some agony. It is dismaying, of course, to know that he is in this condition, and in pain. If he is anything like me then pain brings other concerns, ones that are not so easily dismissed when the relative absence of physical suffering arrives. 

Perhaps I think of my own mortality too much. Or, not enough. I guess it depends on whether you embrace westernism or not. Everybody seems to have an opinion on how much is too much when it comes to thoughts of death and dying. 

Why think about things you can't change? seems to be the general attitude. 

Why think about things you can? is my response. 

Why think at all?

Has extreme self-consciousness helped any of us? I wonder, mostly for myself. We were sold on the idea of such self-scrutiny as being a vague sort of "therapy" to help us recover from being humans, a task to which there is no apparent goal, nor end. 

Fuck all of that, I say. I hope that saying that helps. 

Well, I'm worried about my old buddy. It's no fun to suffer. I know this, too. 

I would pray for him, but I make neither grand nor modest appeals to the beyond. I am often hesitant in such matters, when sober minded, perhaps fearful that as I move closer to the edge of the known that something hidden there in the darkness might begin to recognize the sound of my voice, then call out to me, like a voice of whispers, like one of sleep.


Sunday, October 7, 2018

Between Scylla and Charybdis

I am happiest here when documenting the simple events of my life. The politics and bloviating prove their dual uselessness, though uselessness alone is not enough to kill them. I re-read the political pieces and experience shame, but even the combined effect of shame and uselessness is not enough.

The only thing missing from the Kavanaugh testimony, for liberals, was him wildly screaming with bloodshot eyes as he was dragged away from the Senate building, "BUILD THE GOD-DAMNED WALL!!!

Other than that unexpected outburst he seemed quite temperate and judicious - America's guy. 

The Clintons are a conspiracy at this point. Brett was quite astute on that very important fact. Does anybody even question the international subterfuge of the Clinton cabal any longer? Only those who wish to see more children being traded along the underground sex trafficking railroad maybe. The old Chuck E. Cheese Express. 

We now have a supreme court justice who, as part of his confirmation hearing, floated a Clinton conspiracy theory about his own alleged sexual misbehavior in high school. Should we give him a handful of mulligans just to get him started in his new life?

America always wins.

But that's not why I'm here this morning, and hopefully that's not the reason that you are here, either. There must be better sites out there for child sex trafficking conspiracies. We must assume that you stumbled in here entirely by chance, as what was once my "regular readership" have gone on to enjoy their own lives. That's what I've been trying to do, also. 

But I have nothing to report from yesterday. It was a relatively non-eventful day spent bumbling around the little hamlet we live in buying bagels, croissants, coffee and socks. Then, a little siesta at home while Rhys and one of his six year old buddies giggled throughout the house, playing with Legos and having their creations compete in mock interstellar battle. With me napping, adrift somewhere between heedless bureaucracy and and grievous boredom. 


Saturday, October 6, 2018

Everybody gets the bogeyman they hope for

Perhaps America did not stop being fun for everybody all at once. It happens in degrees, for each to each. Watching it flail now, on the morning of the vote to confirm a new justice to the Supreme Court, is a strange and unsettling experience. It seems that everybody feels and knows that Kavanaugh did something ranging somewhere from naughty to horrible. How horrible the thing he did is seems to reflect the inner-being of each person speaking more than any objective act of crime. None of us are permitted to question the certainty of those who were not there. 

One side holds to belief in the accuser's testimony, the other wishes to mock it away. Or if the conversation becomes serious, there emerges angry denial. My friends comprise a collection of both reactions. Both versions of the story can seem as true to its believers as it needs to be. Though each side requires an annihilation of the other's truth. The result can't possibly be any good. 

Certainly there must be other justices? so ask the liberals.

For something that she claims happened in high school...? arrives further inquiry from conservatives.

Both of those things are probably true. And on and on. Men are scared, either for the women they love or for their own hides. 

If only Kavanaugh would have acknowledged that he acted inappropriately...

As if we would all magically agree on the outcome of that, as if we could. Of course he's going to indignantly deny. That's what he has been trained to do his whole life. He wrote an opinion/apology piece in the WSJ. It was odd, reading it. A part of me wanted to sympathize with his circumstance, but the memory of his indignant testimony was still too fresh. He probably is a very good father, husband, and coach of a girl's basketball team. He probably has spent much of his life being respectful and courteous and even protective of the women around him. None of that erases the frenzy of youth, of course, but for him it seems as if it probably should. He has proven his worth to those around him, and he does love beer. His testimony attests to his own sense of victimhood in all of this. There was no mistaking that. It's a witch hunt! 

But certainly you must see, he has proven that he relinquished witchery so long ago. 

All else is hearsay, says the honorable he.

To surmise and mock the judge's attitude: There is no word that a man can call a woman that is nearly as awful as rapist.

Now, did you hear all of that, you cunt?

There are those that attack the motives of Professor Ford, and make claims about how she has been sadly manipulated by those sleazy Dems. Fear, I guess. Fear that they might also be one day held accountable for their youthful indiscretions, or even their adult ones. Who knows. If you use the word courageous to describe Ford's decision and actions then expect and accept what you already know to be the response. When it comes to people mattering, just look at what they've done to that poor man...

All of America seems to think and act as if they are on the verge of soon winning a lottery that will open the future wide and extinguish their narrow past. 

It has been said already, that perhaps they are both telling the truth: Brett Kavanaugh did something horrible to Christine Ford that he does not quite remember, or not in the way that she does. That seems plausible enough. Though for whom does such an axiom matter, the rape apologists or the simply reasonable? If I was to study the conversation then I would conclude that most men think groping high school girls is okay. It's when the word rape is used that things begin to get very uncomfortable. If you buy the narrative then you might surmise that conservative women miss being groped and they instruct their daughters on how to be receptive to it. Liberal women don't have daughters, they have warriors.  

For what it's worth, I believe Professor Ford. Her testimony was credible and precise where it mattered most. Kavanaugh was also very believable, though not at all how he must have intended. 

Nearly every woman that I know has been the victim of some type of sexual assault or harassment. Nearly every woman I know has advanced a significant untruth about their romantic partners. Both of those things can be true, also, without any need for one to erase the other. The same two sentences can be said about men, though you will not find many men that will admit to the first. Men sexually harass other men so often that it simply gets ignored. I can barely interact with many of my adult male friends without there being some form of sexual harassment involved. We have all just learned to ignore or enjoy it, reinforcing an idea that it is all just harmless. Those dual truths help underpin much of the derision and suspicion that I see people expressing as reaction to this dilemma. We are made deeply uncomfortable by parallel truths, few are taught to accept them. 

This seems more clear to me now; I wish that I was wiser in my youth. 

People insist upon their imaginary experiences in near equal proportion to their actual encounters. It is one of the ways that memory and persona interact, to create the story of self. America seems determined to embrace only one version of anything - not even their own version, of course, but that of another. We marvel angrily at any brute who could choose some other plausibly deniable version of unknown fact. What we choose to hate becomes equal and indistinguishable from what we believe.  

America should move to Northern Ireland.

By the end of today we will have a man appointed to our highest court who has claimed that he has been treated unfairly simply by having to respond to an accusation of impropriety. That same man might also be guilty of the sexual assault of that accuser. He will likely be the deciding vote on women's issues for the foreseeable future, a truth that can not possibly extinguish its counterpart.

America, what have you done, where have you gone?