Saturday, March 7, 2009

Odds and Ends

I suppose the time for discussion of the coffee progression has passed. I will say only that, as it ought to be, it is brown and aromatic. Also, a tasty beverage. This is an important distinction.

I wore my tennis-themed hooded-sweatshirt to rehearsal today in the hope that someone would say "Oh, you play tennis? We should go play some." This did not happen (some people cannot take a hint). Later that day, I discovered my cousin was in town, who upon my paying a visit said "Oh, you play tennis? We should go play some." Apparently things sometimes work out, but not as expected. There even was a conspicuous lack of the precipitation promised for the day. I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop, prepared with racket in hand to beat it back into the air if necessary.

I fear I may be playing Final Fantasy Tactics A2 for the rest of time. This would not in and of itself be a bad thing, necessarily, except the release of a third iteration seems inevitable. I've played thirty-two hours and have completed about a fifth of the game, if I'm lucky. There just isn't as much time to do this sort of thing anymore, which makes me sad and also mathematically-challenged as to how I'm going to pull off the laundry-list of worthies I have (once again) accumulated. I am beginning to worry that I cannot in fact be and do all good things there are to be and do, but haven't yet figured out how to deal with this (what can only be described as) unfortunate truth.

Perhaps a new slogan is appropriate here, as much for these current times as for my own more-metaphysical perplexity: Got Bilked?

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Hot Stuff

It has been only a week and already the Coffee has attained heights never hitherto attained (which is to say, heights), undergoing a vertical translation of states. Grounds unto (new) grounds, as it were, boo onto brew, blahfee into coffee, etc. Each successive rendition - an earthly attempt at the Form of the beverage - completes further the transition from undrinkable mess to elixer of life. It's getting better, in other words. These days, when I start that Maker a-workin' a savory smell comes a-lurkin, as do all the deer living round these parts, drawn from the lawn to the door by the scent of caffeine and the possibility of getting some dunkin' on. But they poop on the grass and are generally unneighborly, so I keep 'em out. In the meantime I must now concentrate on attaining the perfect mixture of sweetener and, er, whatever it is that the milk does. Still, the drink's true value is less in the flavor and more in its medicinal capacity.

I'm trying harder lately to practice grammatical tolerance. It's so hard, though. Even ignoring such obvious issues as people using double-negatives with abandon and gleefully misplacing objects of prepositions, it grinds my nerves something fierce when I hear a pronunciation of a word that is so far off the 'correct' way that it actually sounds like a different word and becomes confusing. Frustrating. I bite my tongue, though, because nobody asked me to correct his (ultimately-incosequential, admittedly) mistakes, and there are few ways more efficacious at souring a new relationship than putting the other person in the position of feeling corrected, chastised, and even the dreaded 'talked down to.'

I don't know, though - it's not even that I feel superior to others and want to flout that superiority. Rather I want everyone to do everything he can as well as he can, and there's no reason why errors such as are the type I notice most easily should go uncorrected. I believe everyone is capable of, say, using correct grammar and enunciating when he speaks. Noble sentiments, one might think. On the other hand, I suppose there are far worse people than I who have done some actually-Bad work under the banner of "improving other people, whether they feel like it or not." Ultimately I guess we each must decide what we want for ourselves and how best to seek that out. If that means some people decide they don't care so much about sounding (or even being) well-educated, and as an unintended consequence they irritate me occasionally, that is their decision to make and I must live with being irritated, at least until such time as they come to me and say "Oh Sage Mathias, we now know the error of our aimless ways and have come to seek of ye instruction in the grete werkes of Wysdome." This being about as likely as a Best Actor Oscar for me, I'll just do my best to grin and bear it, perhaps with the aid of a large cup of coffee.

...Good grief, I come off sounding like such an elitist jerk in this posting. How does this happen? Education is a wonderful and beautiful thing to have, and it should be no shame to want to bring it to others. Perhaps the problem is that I care more for the sake of freeing myself of irritants than for the sake of bringing benefit to others. Terrific. Ah well, I suppose it doesn't matter. I'm not sufficiently brilliant to make my correction stick in the mind, anyway...

Sunday, February 15, 2009


The barrier has been crossed; the old laws have fallen away. The shift has occurred. Quanta have leaped. I have learned to make coffee. When I bought the instant coffee mix and had at it the first few cups, I couldn't figure out why I kept on crafting such an odious concoction and, more importantly, why so much of the mix remained on the bottom of the cop, unblended, despite my best efforts. First I thought I needed to add the boiling water to the mix rather than the other way around; then I thought it needed more time to dissolve and a considerably-greater amount of stirring. Finally I realized what I'd bought was coffee grounds. This could explain a few things.

Fortunately I had a coffee maker, and I even figured out how to work it, despite the lack of both a manual and an inherent logic to the process. Now I realize there is an inherent logic to the process, but in the midst of it I wasn't sure things weren't going to burst into flame until I'd actually poured the cup. What I finally lifted to my lips and tasted on my tongue was the sweet flavor of victory. Victory, and perhaps a touch too much milk. These things take practice to get right.

It's only been three months since my last posting, hardly a time period of significance. All order in this online universe of mine has descended into chaos in the interim, but it's a descent in direct proportionality to the restoration of order in the rest of my life, a trade-off I'm quite pleased to make. The purpose this "blog" served at first is no longer a pressing one and my priorities and ambitions have changed somewhat, but two things remain true. It is satisfying to produce, and I need to write. All sorts of interesting writing ideas are arising in my head on a regular basis, but here's what usually happens to them, conveyed via my thought process: "Huh. That seems like a really great idea for a short story/novel/play/opera/epic poem/theo-philosophical treatise. However, as it is late and I am on my way to bed, I will just tuck it away in the back corner for writing later." Later: "Huh. That great idea seems rather pretentious, boring and downright ridiculous now. It is a Bad Idea and I regret thinking of it. I'd rather spend my writing time on the persistently-great idea I will come up with shortly." End result: nothing gets written. (Incidentally, I'm still not sure why I thought an animated, to-scale bunny-rabbit going paw-to-toe with John Malkovich in the sumo ring while torches on trapezes overhead juggle flaming humans and Matt Damon sings ballads could possibly be a bad idea, but I've forgotten how the dialogue for the love scene went, so it's a bit of a moot point.)

Words are pretty great; that at least is my attitude. I like putting them together; I like playing with them; I like criticizing the inadequate usage of them by others; as such, here I am once again. This is the one venue where I'm at all likely to keep up writing on a regular basis, at least until true inspiration strikes me. Right now - and I realize this may change - I do not care whether anyone reads this. I have no mission, no catchy hook with which to snare the reading populace and make me famous. I just want to write, because when I actually sit down and do it, I love it.

I also enjoy elevating scenarios from the mundane and "merely" imaginary to the ridiculous. Maybe there will be some of that in the next post.