Monthly Archives: February 2012

nānā i kou moʻī, kalani aliʻi, ke aliʻi

2/13/12

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“Hey oversharing blogger type!”

Um, yes?

“What’re you doing this week?”

I’m glad you asked, fictional writer’s prop! As we discussed some weeks ago, my entire family is going to Hawaii for my mom’s 80th birthday. However, since this is our first time to America’s 50th State, we wanted to see a couple of things before meeting everyone else on Thursday.

Today we’re flying to Honolulu to see the effervescent and wonderful Stasia Droze & Family for a day, then we’re going to the Big Island to (hopefully) see the lava empty into the ocean. Then to Kauai where my sister rented a house in Poipu. We have no idea what to expect and we’re panting with excitement.

Now, hear me out: I know Other People’s Vacations™ can be as boring as watching snot dry on a wall, and travelogues to tropical climes can be especially dull. I have leafed through pictures of perfectly-nice couples’ sojourns to sandy beaches and WANTED TO STICK MY HEAD IN A VAT OF BOILING DONUT OIL.

I like to think I keep things entertaining, and will spare you any horrifying clichés, but I warn you now: neither Tessa nor I have ever taken a real “vacation” where you’re not, like, supposed to do anything. We’ve gone to Europe and other Important places, but we were always a tight itinerary.

This schedulelessness might make us insane, or it will zen us into pureed bliss, I don’t know. I will, however, be reporting from our only island State, and if you find it irksome and dreary, then you can always choose the ever-present option of sucking my balls. Ua Mau ke Ea o ka ʻĀina i ka Pono!

reckon i owe you one now

2/9/12

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Ah, but it has been a long week. I was at RDU at 2am California time in order to make it back to Los Angeles to play the music for my daughter’s class play. The whole trip was whirlwind, but I was struck by a few things.

First off, the comments from the mid-week of sexual lamentation were as revelatory, and perhaps even more engrossing, than the original. They serve to remind us that there is no normal. We have no idea what goes on in the private lives of some of our best friends, which is how it should be, until something important disintegrates. Then, there is suffering in silence until an inevitable explosion.

Another Anony asked what may be the ultimate question: what are we entitled to expect in a marriage? While admitting there is no baseline (again, no normal), we all have our basic needs, and it’s obviously a question for next week.

Amidst the sadness of some of my friends – and of course, a game that is still freshly sickening to ponder – I can say this: win or lose, good news or bad, it is always worth the sometimes-Herculean effort it takes to come to Chapel Hill every year. I occasionally question why I do it, and then the plane touches down at RDU and I see everybody, and I’m immediately put to rights.

It reminds me of the lyric from our own James Taylor:

Some are like summer coming back every year

Got your baby, got your blanket, got your bucket of beer

I break into a grin from ear to ear

And suddenly it’s perfectly clear

That’s why I’m here

fueled by scotch and righteous indignation

2/8/12

Man, SCREW being a sore loser. I’m happy to be gracious to pretty much any team south of the Al Qaeda All-Stars, but this last game at the Dean Dome encapsulated everything I hate about Dook-branded basketball.

Yes, they ultimately scored more points. If you look at life in terms of W’s and L’s and don’t know anything about sports, then sure, it’s a binary equation. But believe me, every time Dook wins, basketball loses.

I’m not even going to apologize for my next move, which is to blame the refs (usually the last refuge of a scoundrel), because just like last February’s game in Durham, they motherfucking JOBBED us out of that game. Fuck the blown call when the airball was ruled “out on John Henson”. Fuck the four steps Seth Curry and Austin Punch My Face Rivers took on both their last 3-point shots. Fuck Zeller’s own-goal tip-in while being shoved.

This game was not called equally. UNC had… what? Eight defensive series with a foul called in a row? Ghost, bullshit fouls on McAdoo and Zeller? A Dook player drew a foul by doing the shimmy on the floor in front of Bullock?

Dook operates on the supposition that if they foul the other team every .3 seconds, there’s no way to keep track. They hack, push, poke, swipe, manhandle, cajole, whine, flop, chop and they are RUINING MY FAVORITE SPORT.

Call me a sore loser, I don’t care. Say our team doesn’t have the heart of a champion, I might even agree right now. Tell me we can’t close the deal, we’re soft, we lack the guy who refuses to lose… what the fuck ever. I have no profundity to offer this evening. All I can feel through my clenched, bloodshot eyes is the afterglow of deep burning

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turns out prostrate and prostate ARE different

2/5/12

About two years ago around this time, I had a few days of blogs that accidentally (on purpose) ended up asking the regular commenters and lurkers how much sex they were having. I blame my darling LFMD, of course, but it resulted in a blog that made several of my younger friends rethink marriage. Go back and read the original entry if you want, but the basic consensus was pretty dire.

Apparently certain clichés about marriage (and longterm relationships) were coming to bear for a lot of couples, and the revelations managed to be both heartbreaking and cathartic. Some of the conversations continued off-blog, and all I can say is “thank god I was a music and psychology major.”

I know this sort of thing tends to be self-selecting, which skews your comments one way or another, but the people involved used pseudonyms, and I didn’t see any glaring psychological reason why couples having great sex would avoid posting.

Anyway.

For some reason, Tessa’s recent article on maiden-name-changing and last week’s Mormon discussion brought the subject back, as I’ve gotten four or five emails and FB requests to revisit the topic. Put simply, there were some of you who seemed despondent, and people wanted to know if you got a happy ending (as it were).

Since I don’t know who the commenters were – they used anonymous animal names – I’m not sure if the natural turnover of a blog audience means they’ve been replaced. But if you were, say, “hippo”, “Fucky the squirrel”, “lynx”, “Makoshark”, “Hermit crab”, “wildebeest” or any of the other commenters in flux, YOU ARE BEING ASKED ABOUT.

If you missed that particular debate, put yourself in scathingly honest mode, and try it. Give yourself an anonymous animal name, and answer as they did, the following questions:

• How often (times per week or month or year) do you have sex, as you define it?

• What are you and your partner’s ages, and how long have you been together?


• What does it lack, and what do you want? (be as specific or graphic as necessary)


• What is awesome?

…And if you were one of the originals, how have things altered in the last two years? I’ll leave this up tomorrow as well, just to give the crowd enough latitude to unlatch from the Great Facebook Teat to see it in real time.

To quote from the earlier blog:

Hopefully this can go beyond titillating and actually be educational, as these sorts of queries – however informal – are notoriously hard to pull off.

Remember to put zebra@zebra.com (or whatever you choose to be) in the “email” field as well. Okay, get it off your chest! (as it were)

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UPDATE… – I’m leaving this blog up another day due to popular demand and folks wanting more, which says (to me, anyway) there’s a real need to talk about these things in this particular way.

There need to be more places where we can have this kind of… “anonymous honesty”. You need to be able to say whatever the hell you want without all the pressures of direct human expectation. Therapy and heart-to-heart confrontation is always the best policy, but having a place to vent is needed as well.

Some of the comments are being caught by the spam filter (because of your filthy language!) but give it a few minutes and it’ll get it on the blog. Don’t let its prissy nature stop you!

OH, AND ONE MORE THING: I’ll be in the Pit today, on UNC’s campus, at noon to hang with Andy Bagwell, smash a Dook piñata, and sell some books!

perchance to scheme

2/2/12

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As part of my ongoing series Anecdotally Snooping On Your Personal Habits, here is today’s question:

Obviously this changes day-to-day, but in general, how tired do you feel on average during the day?

I’ll make it on a scale of 1 to 10 and rate it like this…

10 – lively, hyper, ready, able, psyched

9 – awake and ready with very rare slow moments

8 – alert, on an even keel, coasting nicely

7 – okay, pretty much alert, but a daily “fatigue” moment

6 – fine, but with a very thin layer of weariness

5 – kinda tired, but can usually swim through it

4 – knackered, doing things always takes a little effort

3 – flagging, in the weeds, a little burnt-out

2 – exhausted, raddled, bleary and dog-tired

1 – moribund, funereal, limping and empty

knock it down, michael

2/1/12

Yes, this is going to be college basketball-related, but bear with me, because it’s relevant to a lot of other experiences we’re having right now.

Some buddies of mine on a UNC email listserv were asking why the Carolina @ Wake Forest game seemed so… unimportant. Accounts of the game (we won, 68-53) called it “ugly”, “sluggish”, “painful” and “a slog”. Another friend called it “the quietest ACC game involving Carolina I’ve ever seen.”

Ironically, this it was the first game Lucy watched with me from start to finish, memorizing everyone’s name and jersey number, and paying very close attention to the referees. I realized that I hadn’t actually looked at a ref during a game in about 15 years.

There are several reasons why this game was vaguely blah: Wake isn’t very good, it was an “away” game (which is always a drag), and it was the second game in three days (which is rare). But I, too, felt the odd pang of “why am I not as ravenous?”

The guys on the listserv thought it might have something to do with either our age, or the fact that technology has made gameviewing a home experience. Further, it could be that sports in general are holding less sway to a young populace glued to their various screens, and believe me, just writing that sentence made me feel complicit.

But I think it’s something else – you can’t hold on to your irrational passions if you’re experiencing them almost totally by yourself. Tribalism of sport must be ingested in a group setting, or else you start to feel adrift. The reason the Wake Forest game seemed so pointless was because we – all 700 or so of my Carolina Facebook friends and email correspondents – were watching this game ALONE.

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Not all of us, of course, since my daughter and my wife made the game awesome for me, but you can’t go on like this forever. It’s why I drive, train or fly to Chapel Hill every year for the Dook game NO MATTER WHAT. This will be my 27th year in a row, since I was a li’l wide-eyed 18-year-old.

It’s why you should buy Duke Sucks: A Completely Evenhanded, Unbiased Investigation into the Most Evil Team on Planet Earth, now available from Amazon (or wherever fine books are sold) with a foreword by yours goddamn truly. It’s why you should download this week’s Tar Heel Bred, Tar Heel Dead podcast, featuring the authors Andy Bagwell and Reed Tucker AND YOURS GODDAMN TRULY.

They say Dook can’t even fill their arena with students – that isn’t good news, that’s miserable. I want them to be GOOD and I want to BEAT THEM WHILE THEY’RE GOOD. Like I said, every religion needs its Devil, and ours is Blue.

Let’s arrest this slide into torpor! Don’t let your irrational loves slip into something you used to care about! I have half a mind to call my old roommates Jon, Chip and Bud and force them to Google Hangout with me for the next game. Fuck getting old and scattered and smothered and covered! I DEMAND A REMATCH!