Sunday, January 29, 2017


I see people posting (still, somehow) that both sides in politics do it, and give Trump a chance, and Clinton would've had her problems, too.

"Both sides do it" is insidious and attractive as a theory. It lets you appear to be aware of the flaws of the Democrats and Republicans both. It lets you seem fair minded and judicious. It gives an illusion of thoughtfulness. I say an illusion, because it's actually thoughtless and stupid, entirely so. It's the political equivalent of a 19 year old reading On The Road for the first time and having a really deep conversation with a friend while they're both high.

Both sides do it is often true enough. Both sides have lobbyists who court them. Both sides have politically questionable issues they support for no reason but to fire up their base. Both sides cozy up to foreign governments of their particular choice. So yes, both sides do it. But they don't do it equally; when you say "both sides do it" you're trying to make it seem as if they're the same, and they aren't. When people said Clinton was as bad as Trump, and there was no difference (the evidence is now clear that there were massive differences) they were full of shit, and stupid to boot.

It's like saying of the Amazon and the Atacama that they both get rain. That's true enough, but the Amazon is a rainforest, and the Atacama a desert. It's like saying Mt. Everest and Mt. Washington are both mountains, an evident fact that still obscures the obvious truth that Everest is 5 times higher than Mt. Washington. It's like having a protein bar for lunch and a seven course dinner a that evening and calling them both meals.

Whatever "it" is, it's very likely that both sides (all sides) do "it" because "it" will be something the speaker finds bad about politics, and all people in politics pretty much have to do "bad" things. It's not true that they do them equally though. It's not true that you can assign equal weight to a minor slight and a massive issue.

The next time someone tells you "both sides do it" you should just ask them what they mean, and after they provide their bullshit reasoning, call them the idiot they deserve to be called.

What am I reading? The Oregon Trail by Rinker Buck. History and Travel Writing rolled into one, it's pretty great. Took a bit to accept it wasn't just a history, but after I got over that, it was great. The Dark Forest turned out to be really clunky yet still compelling.

How's the brain chemistry? Seems to be improving steadily. I'm pretty happy about that.

What do you think about the Oscars? That La La Land is going to win a bunch of stuff that it doesn't merit because it's a movie about Hollywood and actors and dreamers and that kind of shit will go over well with the voters. It's not that great. I don't have a good counter-choice though, because I haven't seen hardly anything this year. Going to see Fences today, so that's one more, at least.

Writing? Not really. Busy, busy week. Bullshit excuse, I realize, but there it is. I'm going to try for some words tonight and tomorrow.

Anything else? There's a great board game called Tokaido that is lovely to look at and pretty easy to learn and pretty hard to figure out strategy for. It's intriguing. I'm not sure if it's good yet. Played that a couple of times, want to play it a couple more.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Early Morning Update

I'm yawning a lot right now. Which is weird; I get up this early pretty much every day, and I got to bed about 10, and so I had a full night of sleep. A night full of dreams about old apartment buildings with cheap rent (living in Seattle haunts me with such things) one of which was interrupted by the morning alarm, which maybe is why I'm yawning. Interrupting dreams is disruptive.

Barely able to keep up with all the political nonsense. Executive orders to build walls. Confirmations of idiots left and right. No mention of a Supreme Court nominee. That worries me a lot. I suspect Trump may not appoint any people to the Court at all, and let its power and authority wither away. Less for him to be bothered with, and less to bother him.

I've been off Facebook for five days now. Seems like an odd time to have dropped off (Womxn's March would have been nice to see through that lens, and Brad's dad passed away yesterday and FB offers a simple way to sympathize.) There's never a moment when it's not odd, would be my guess. That's the point. You get so used to it being there, the updates and tiny tidbits of lives, and so you almost need it. Almost.

What am I reading?: Still the Dark Forest. The writing is terrible and clunky, really; it's like sci fi from the 50s, here, where everything is technical explanations and asides. The narrative will jump five years and begin with a character saying "For five years now, we've..." as if they were reading the title headers and know we haven't seen the narrative for that long. It's probably even worse than the first book in that regard, though maybe not? But there's still something compulsive and fascinating about it. I'm not quite sure what it is, because it's really not the genius of the book or anything. It's not that great. But I'm reading on, so there's something.

And writing?: Maybe I wrote something? I mean, I did. A little bit. A few pages. It's the reworking of the think I didn't keep. I might keep this. We'll see. There's these siblings, and they have magic, and there's an invasion coming, and there's also primal chaos that they help hold back but the invaders don't care aabout. Most of that isn't in the text just yet. But whatever. Maybe I like it.

How're them pills?: They seem to continue to work. Today I start my full doses. We'll see how that goes.

How's the weather? Rainy off and on, still warmish but a little less so.

Wait, Adam's tooth, what's going on with that? It's getting better post extraction. Swelling is almost gone. Infection is dwindling. He ate solid food last night, which he could have done a day before but was kind of scared of. He's understandably concerned about anything happening to his teeth after the last couple years of root canal/implant/abscess.

Yawns have passed. I guess I'm awake.

Monday, January 23, 2017


I haven't dreamed a lot lately. Like, for years, if I remember even the vestige of a dream, it's been pretty remarkable. But the last few nights, I've had dreams. I can't remember them at all, really. Not even tattered remnants. What I can remember is that they happened, that I experienced them.

I assume I dreamt the whole time. Humans do. But my perception of them was nonexistent, so it felt like I wasn't. Now I am, again, and for a few days in a row. Is it the pills? I hope it is. It's another sign that things are working for me if that's the case.

The husband has terrible teeth, to change the subject. He's always had problems with them. The most recent is an abscessed root canal tooth, which he had to have pulled. It's miserable for him: a ton of pain and suffering and he can't really eat anything so he's hungry all the time. He's on penicillin to clear out the infection, and that takes a couple of days, so it's going to be a bit longer that he's hurting. Poor guy.

As a positive thing (sort of) we got cable, so that while Adam's stuck sitting in a chair to keep his head above his heart to hold off any bleeding, he gets to watch more things. We had a really lame version of cable before, just to get local channels and a few oddities, because we have cable internet and so we had to have something. Now we have a better version, with a couple hundred channels. I like it because there are commercials again. That's oddly what I missed. I am such a child of television.

What I'm Reading: Neverending Story was terrible, once Bastian gets to Fantastica. I couldn't bear finishing it. I've started reading Cixin Liu's The Dark Forest, sequel to The Three Body Problem. Like the latter, this one is difficult to follow, and comes from an entirely different tradition of writing, but it's fascinating and I really do like it rather a lot. I'm not quite sure why. One thing is that I appreciate the massively skewed view of science fiction as a genre, the way that it takes something I know well and lets me see it from a wholly other perspective.

How's the Weather? Lovely, really. Sunny and warmish, and I'm going to go out for a walk to enjoy it.

Did you write anything today? Yesterday, really; yes I did. I wrote a couple pages. I'm not keeping them, because I decided the concept was good but the entry point was bad, but they gave me at least some hope that I could write things. I'm going to do some more today. Start over, I suppose. After my walk, when I'll be fresh and happy, as much as that applies these days.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Pulling off the drop cloth...

There's a lot of dust in this joint. Oh, well. No one comes to visit but me, so it's no matter.

I am returning here to put down longer thoughts that will be satisfied by Facebook snippets or 140 characters. Not necessarily really deep thoughts or anything. Just thoughts.

Today was the day of the big Womxn's March, here and in D.C. and all over the world. Millions of people turned out for it. I went into work while folks were making their way to the march. There were so many powerful, grim, determined women hustling past me. Pink pussyhats all over, rolled up banners, signs fancily printed or in crude block letters. I couldn't stop smiling. I should have told every group that they were heroes, that I admired them so deeply. I was too embarrassed to do anything of the sort. I'm sorry about that.

At least we're a day into Trumpocalypse, and nothing has gone terribly wrong yet. I mean, he got rid of a bunch of good policy, and he's already started some bad policy, but he hasn't started a war. I supposed because he's taking the week off.

How am I feeling: I'm three days into my new Wellbutrin regimen, and it feels like it's making a difference. I've never taken pills like this; never needed chemistry to feel like a human. I do now, though. Probably there's no actual effect yet; it's supposed to take 2 weeks for anything to really happen But there's something to be said for placebo effects, and I'll take what I can get. In a few days maybe I'll be able to write for fun again? That would be nice.

I need to lose some weight. Stress eating is making me fat. Also, I need to minimize my stress. Which is hard because work continues to be a nightmare of people leaving, jobs I can't fill, short staff resulting from these things, and masses of work to be done with short deadlines. After February, it will ease up, I think, but we'll see.

What Am I Reading: I just finished The Earth is Weeping by Peter Cozzens. It was a hard read. Took almost two weeks to finish. It's well written, but it's brutal. I don't know though; Cozzens has sympathy for the soldiers trying to mitigate the harm of American policy, and most of them, based on the evidence at hand, deserve none of it. He gives out too much forgiveness of a sort to them. Shouldn't. They were murderous thugs, and if the military was less awful than the local militias, they were still terrible.

I've moved on to The Neverending Story, and it's much like the movie only with additional bits and bobs, and then, the movie ends about halfway through the book. Bastion gets to have adventures in Fantastica as it's called. It's a quick read, but kind of odd. Possibly because it's German? I'm half way done.

Weather: A little sun, a good bit of sprinkling rain, lots of clouds. It was warmish.

And now I'm going to my weekend. I'll be taking it easy, trying to get Adam's bum tooth yanked out and going to Costco. More tomorrow or the next day.