calvado’s chopper

I love songs that bring with them a sense of place and time, and listening to State Radio tends to do that, as did the weird 9-11 version of Linkin Park’s Crawling I listened to this morning. Songs that make you feel horror, as did Crawling combining news reports of the planes hitting the towers with the Linkin Park classic.

Songs that make you feel love. Pain. Sorrow. Anger. Mania. Laughter.

You know. Music. Essentially, anything that doesn’t spend its time promoting someone’s ego or regressive political stances in that “aw, shucks” way (I’m looking at you, country.) It’s why I didn’t have any respect for Kanye even before all this political nonsense. Other rappers may carry across truths about the street; that dude has only ever sung about his own ego.

And that’s fucking boring, no matter which way you slice it.

Target: 1100 words
Written: 450 words, novella: The Mungk

new routine

It’s not perfect yet, but I’m liking this 5AM wake-up call. I get time to myself in the morning. I’m getting some things done. It’s not terrible.

Whether it’s sustainable, that, I’m not sure. We shall see.

Target: 1100 words
Written: 358 words, novella: The Mungk

morning chili

It’s five AM and I’m starting a fresh batch of Mom’s chili, with some jalapeno thrown in for good measure. My mom was never a spicy person, but I am. We rebel against the things our parents teach us or we follow them wholeheartedly, don’t we?

Target: 1100 words
Written: 192 words, novella: The Mungk

day drinking

It’s a tough life, but someone has to do it. Part of me always wanted to be Hemingway or Bukowski, one of those other tough mid-century writers. Drinking and fighting and fucking their way to their own doom. Of course, I’m a pacific, so probably just the drinking and fucking part. Maybe some mushrooms as well. They were always fun.

Not sure if I’m cool enough for all that, but hey, a boy can always dream.

Target: 1100 words
Written: 745 words, novella: The Mungk

tao te ching

I’m not a religious man. Christianity taught me early on that religion is just another bullshit way to control people, and while I still lean more agnostic than straight atheist (if only in acknowledgement of the finite nature of human understanding of existence and the cosmos), I would not join a formal religion for any reason.

That said, I’m drawn to certain aspects of religious theory. I like Jesus teaching people to be nice. I like the Buddha’s sense of presence. I admire the hopefulness of prayer and the stillness of meditation.

And I love the Tao. If anything, I would consider myself an informal Taoist. I’m certainly no scholar, but I do my best to understand.

I generally work off the Stephen Mitchell or Ursula K. Leguin translations. I try to read a passage each day, to remind me of the closeness the Tao tends to hew to my own beliefs about what life is and could be.

I am going to attempt to explain my attachment to each stanza going forward, not all at once, but in pieces. I will undoubtedly anger some Taoist scholars who will scoff at my understanding, but this is about a personal understanding and connection. If it helps someone else, who gives a shit if some academic somewhere disagrees with the interpretation?

Tomorrow.

Target: 1100 words
Written: 325 words, novella: The Mungk

this isn’t working

I don’t want to reboot and change all my goals, because hell, I’m forty-five. I don’t need to begin again at this phase of my life. I’ve come too far to give up my gains.

But this work thing is really interfering with my whole shit.

Target: 1100 words
Written: 447 words, novella: The Mungk

no time

Having to figure out how to maintain my goals while still being at the office is a pain in the ass. I used to be able to do it on lunches and breaks, but with the rules at the office unclear on having tablets and cell phones out, I don’t want to risk not getting hired full-time because I broke the rules.

Nothing ever quite works out, does it?

Target: 1100 words
Written: 1990 words, novella: The Mungk

the office

I have to go into the office today. I feel like that’s going to screw up my schedule, and I might have to start getting up earlier or staying up later to do all the things I need to do in a day.

Stupid work. Gets in the way of everything.

Target: 1100 words
Written: 328 words, novella: The Mungk

lost in space

There are certain shows and stories that, for whatever reason, hit me so hard that the endorphin spot in my brain explodes in a shower of “holy shit”.

Lost In Space, the Netflix version, did that for me. I felt like the writers really understand the concept of put your characters in danger and keep them there. The tension was palpable, right from the start. The magnetized aliens, Penny and Dr. Smith in the box, Judy in the water, it goes on and on. Terrifically done.

One of the best series I’ve seen in this new “golden age” of television. Beginning to end. Great characterization, well done weaving all the threads together, good mix of tension, humour and conflict.

I like when a story really sucks me in. Like the way you can feel the Alabama sticky in Jasons Aaron and Latour’s Southern Bastards or the chill vibe of Dazed And Confused. There’s a reason I don’t limit myself to certain genres. It’s all about experience and empathy, and that can be found in stories about elves or stories about football. It can live in a love story or a revenge kick.

Creating closer connections and greater understanding (or at least, having a good time trying) is the whole point of art. Exploration. Understanding. Joy in the thing, even if it’s insanely dark.

As always, the day I decide to up my target is the day I miss it. I hope I’m retired in twenty years so these ever increasing targets don’t grow out of my reach.

Target: 1100 words
Written: 764 words, novella: The Mungk