Aitch-Bar

Two Almost Physicists With Almost Something To Say


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Zombs On The Tee-Vee

I am going to stick my neck out, or extend my arm outside of the moving vehicle, or avail myself of the glory hole, or whatever your preferred metaphor for risky behavior may be. I am going to make the statement that I enjoy watching The Walking Dead mostly because of the outrageous violence. Feel free to pontificate on character development, well-maintained evolving story lines, and great camera work. Agreed that those are all positives. But if you are a hardcore subscriber to those things, try tuning in to any other AMC production, because they do it much better. This show is made great by unrepentant head trauma infliction. I refuse to carry on bloviated discussions that dance around this core facet any longer. Along that line of thought, Talking Dead is a truly stupid thing, and Chris Hardwick irritates me to no end. Between that guy and the entire Ghost Hunters team, I have spent a lot of time recently praying for people to be reincarnated as toilets.

Edit: spolier alert, season 2 mid-season finale, next sentence.

Yes, the girl was in the barn the whole time and they had to put her down, that’s whatever. Consider that point as read. I tune in for the facial perforations. I do acknowledge that the folks doing makeup deserve all of their awards and nominations. Were I to be completely candid, however, this is just icing. The walkers could look like they just staggered out of an 8-bit video game, and I would not particularly mind. In fact, that might be preferable, vis-a-vis escapism. My entire life is a constantly evolving character-driven narrative, and I see people who look like they’re dead every time I leave the apartment. The only thing in that show that doesn’t resemble my daily routine is the use of a katana in anger.

I realize that claiming enjoyment of that sort of thing calls into question my entire moral character. To quote Biggie: fuck ’em, I didn’t want to go to Heaven anyway.

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Got Damp, Didn’t Sleep, Ate Chinese

My return to the east coast has been five Magic School Bus books’ worth of self-discovery. All but two of these discoveries relate to how difficult it is to carry out my life whilst entirely submerged in water. Normally I love humidity because it means I don’t have to perm my hair and I can grow mold directly in my sinuses instead of having to snort it out of the vegetable crisper. But, after returning from a place with lunar aridity, I feel overpowered. Holler at me if you enjoy moist, because you’ll fucking love every goddamned floor, wall, and table surface in my apartment. You’ll be mashing your body against them like you’ve taken a double hit of ecstasy while singing Marvin Gaye and bathing in rainbows. I’ll be in the corner, wearing shoes.

I’ve slowly been replacing “sleep” with “writing.” I have a lot of buffer here, thanks to the past twenty-seven years where I slept a few extra minutes each day. Those minutes were stored somewhere safe, or invested wisely in some Roth 401A, from which the return dividends are then tax advantaged with subprime deposit withdrawals and rollover minutes. It’s going well, words are moving. The time and manner of the inevitable endgame is less clear; I can tell that eventually I will simply owe the world an apology.

Monday was the first annual Labor Day dinner outing at P.F. Chang’s. Between the three of our group, we had it from an estimated 0 people that this was a worthwhile endeavor, and one person told us literally five minutes before our arrival that we were all going to contract what was made to sound as some form of Montezuma’s revenge. But we pressed on, as we had just donned our supper jackets and the private reservation had already been made. What was most impressive was the restaurant’s dismissal of the idea that food was actually requisite for our enjoyment of their establishment. Over the next six hours I observed the same tray of eight wonton soups delivered over and over again to the same distant table, to a man whose face was never seen, by a boy who has never aged and knows nothing of greed or petty jealousy. I had a Coke that must have refilled at least twelve times. And then at one point I looked down and discovered that, not only was there food, but there was food no longer. I opened my mouth in wonder, and it was blocked by something. That something is known as The Great Wall of Chocolate; it is an admixture of the darkest cocoa, lead, and original sin. Two of the really real actual Terracotta Army knelt behind us in silence, a twinkle in their eye that bespeaks having just watched three souls eat product containing horsemeat soaked in brine. We checked in with one another after twenty-four hours. Ryan reports an overall decrease in his desire for food of any sort. My atrophy is more universal; I could go either way on nutrition, motion, and breathing under my own power. And Chris is gone as far as I know.


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Wedding Reparations

20120901-111256.jpgChicago is exactly how I left it six weeks ago: Tropical, with a haughty disdain for conditioned air. Upon arrival at the hotel, Jacob and I immediately set about a terraforming operation. Our success is shown at right. The fact that a thermostat even goes that low is simply stellar. That the room can actually start to approach that goal is incomprehensible. But comprehense one must; it is goddamned cold in hurr. Were I to make advertising for this hotel, it would be something direct like “Red Roof Inn. Go Ahead. Freeze Your Balls Off.®” For the first time in recent memory, I’ve gotten to use a comforter without having to peel it off in the morning. I don’t think I’ve slept so well in years.

And while I was laying in bed, surrounded by stuffed animals and half-eaten, stolen Dunkin, I considered the past. I can think of no greater gift on the day of Isaac’s wedding ceremony than reparations. Thus do Jacob, Preyas and I formally apologize to said Isaac for the following, in approximate chronological order:

  • Tying your hair to a chair
  • Getting you stuck under that row of desks and then keeping you in there after Mr. O’ Malley showed up
  • Carrying you around in that trash can and bolting when Mr. Curtis showed up. There is no defendable answer to “Explain why you are in a trash can”
  • Characterizing your handwriting as “seismograph barcode” even though that was dead-on
  • Stealing your iPod for like three years and returning it when its market value had decreased substantially
  • Putting you in the overhead compartment of a Coach bus
  • Repeatedly using you as a suicide bomber to get through Halo on Legendary difficulty
  • Treadmill launching
  • Not properly conveying how much fun driving is. It’s a lot of fun, actually
  • More or less everything Preyas has ever said or done
  • Possibly spilling beer on you at your rehearsal dinner and then, non-consecutively, telling you to “suck it”
  • Not getting you a better wedding present than this

Our adolescence was truly some insane crucible. Good thing we’ve matured.

We love you, we miss you, we wish you and yours the best. I’m excited to finally be able to use this in close to proper context: Mazel Tov.