Thus revealed, the creature buried its nose in the tire-tilled soil...
February 19, 2019
Promises from God for Men of Color. Ugh.
Category: Books … Serious

So I was in Walmart late the other night and was looking over the books on their Black History Month table, and my eyes settled on a book titled "Promises from God for Men of Color." I think I was in the mood to be annoyed or amused or confused -- or possibly, though doubtfully, enlightened -- or whatever, because it was this book that I decided to pick up and flip through.

Eventually, after finding nothing particularly arresting on the pages I found upon first opening the book, I skimmed the table of contents to see if it would point me to something more interesting... whereupon I found a section called "Positive Thinking." For myriad reasons -- many of which are related to my experience as a so-called man of color -- I do find it difficult to think positively about events. So, curious as to what advice the book might have for me on the subject, I turned to the page indicated.

Firstly, the page indicated didn't actually point to the "Positive Thinking" section -- that section was in fact two pages later. So a book that purported to communicate the promises found in the infallible Word of God to a particular audience couldn't even get the TOC right, which is discouraging but somehow apropos given the hand God's dealt men of color. Anyway, I did ultimately find the "Positive Thinking" section and settled in to read the verse expressly chosen for the subject. (more...)

-posted by Wes | 12:53 pm | Comments (0)
January 29, 2019
How do you X?
Category: Linkage

I find this debate about how people produce their X's oddly fascinating! For me, my technique very much depends upon whether I'm *drawing* or *writing* an X. When I *draw* an X -- where precision matters -- apparently I do 7 or 8, depending upon where I'm positioning the X in relation to other elements on the page. But when *writing* an X -- where my primary objective is to get the letters out and not interrupt the progression of my instrument -- I'm mostly doing 5, likely in part because that follows from cursive and leaves my pen in a better place to begin the next letter. Hm.

-posted by Wes | 8:50 pm | Comments (0)
January 9, 2019
The president needs better speechwriters.
Category: Current Events … Serious

So... any thoughts on Trump's address last night? For my part, I found it highly discouraging -- not just because Trump is Trump, but also because he apparently doesn't have competent writers behind him. I honestly wish I'd had a chance to look it over and better organize and support his talking points; I feel like I could've helped him make a more compelling case for his wall without the faulty sensational appeals and the needless and sometimes false attacks on Democrats. Like, insofar as border patrol agents really are convinced a wall would aid their efforts, that's a great point -- I'd probably have stressed that more heavily. Honestly, insofar as it's true (in which case Trump should put more effort into convincing us that it is), it's arguably the only point Trump really needs to build an effective argument for his wall. (more...)

-posted by Wes | 2:52 pm | Comments (0)
December 30, 2018
The Actor’s Nightmare, Idealized.
Category: Dreams

Sooo last night I had a really great version of the actor's nightmare. I was backstage in a cuddle pile that was moving in the direction of an orgy, when in the midst of a flirtatious chat with the actress nearest me it occurred to me to inquire when I was due onstage. I was under the impression that my only scene was much later in the play -- well after intermission, even -- but as I retrieved and flipped through the script it became clear to me that I appeared in far more scenes and had highlighted far more lines than I'd realized. Another actor was standing over the cuddle pile in full costume (I was not in costume; most of us in the pile were half-dressed at best) waiting for his cue; I looked up at him and asked, "When do I go on?"

He responded nervously, "You're supposed to be out there now."

For a moment I felt overtaken by a wave of anxiety -- but only for a moment. Then all of the sounds around me subsided, and I listened: the play was going on just fine without me. As I flipped through the script, I realized that I didn't know any of my lines or the blocking. I couldn't recall having attended any of the rehearsals; I didn't even know which play we were performing. I would be terrible out there and potentially mess everything up. But the show was going on without me, and the audience was laughing and applauding, and everything was fine as it was.

I turned back to the actress beside me, found her mouth with my own, and put the play out of my mind entirely.

-posted by Wes | 9:17 pm | Comments (0)
December 20, 2018
Shouts in the night
Category: Miscellany … Travels

So last night was the first time I ever shouted (in part) out of fear.

First, let me note that I've never properly understood screaming or yelling in terror. Like, I get that it could have certain altruistic advantages -- warning others of danger, for instance. It might also be useful for driving back certain kinds of danger. But also -- at least insofar as the danger isn't right on top of one -- it alerts danger to one's location and betrays one's fearful state. Making noise has never been my instinctive answer to a threat. And when I think about that response, particularly as it relates to my own situation, it seems... unwise.

But last night I was at a stoplight in downtown Baltimore, my thoughts occupied with serious subject matter as I stared into the distance... and then suddenly a face loomed large to my right and a hand seemed to be reaching toward me. I was definitely startled; I jerked back in my seat threw up my hands as if to defend myself. And even before I had consciously registered what this figure was or what was happening, I was waving my arms back and forth and shaking my head and yelling, "Ahhhh! No! No! NO!!!!"

The guy had already squirted and begun to wipe down my windshield, but he held up a hand by way of apology and silently retreated back to the curb.

-posted by Wes | 6:38 pm | Comments (0)
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