I've been on a Rammstein kick lately, listening to their albums "Sehnsucht", "Mutter", and "Reise, Reise" probably half a dozen times each over the last couple weeks, consecutively or shuffled in with everything else. And they're a perfect example of the amateurity of my love of music. Allegedly their music is a German metal subgenre known as "Neue Deutsche Härte", but all I know or care about is that they have guitars and frequently sound too epic for German or English words to describe. And nicely enough, even though I thought I only remembered a couple dozen German words from both times I took the introductory course, I keep picking out additional words and phrases with further listenings. But recently I was very quietly singing along with "Keine Lust" on my headphones, trying to match Till Lindemann's voice, when Mackenzie gave me a weird look and asked "Are you okay?" And I said I was fine but she kept giving me the weird look, so I asked for clarification and she clarified, "You sound like you're whispering something evil."
That was when we were waiting for people to show up to go to a campfire, but no one had shown up except for us and another friend of hers who doesn't like me, so I was letting them talk and tuning out into my own little world of Neue Deutsche Härte. She tried to think of other people she could invite but several people were out of town and no one else knew who she was because she's always gone. I mentioned that the ward just wasn't as cohesive and didn't do so much stuff together since Debbie left. Then Mackenzie dropped a bombshell: "I don't actually love Debbie."
"What?" I said. "How -"
"Oh, I have nothing against her as a person," she said. "It's just I'm always hearing 'Debbie is so nice -'"
"Maybe if you were nice, people would say that about you too."
"Oh, I'm not jealous, I'm just tired of it."
All this drama simmering under the surface for who knows how long, and I had no idea. Wow. But anyway, no one else showed up so it was just the three of us going. On the way there, she predictably blared Taylor Swift from the car speakers loudly enough to cause hearing damage and I had to turn my own music up as high as it went to keep hearing it because as much as I like Taylor Swift, that wasn't the mood I was in. Then we got there and I took my headphones off and acted sociable, but she wouldn't let it go. Every time I said something under my breath she thought I was singing Rammstein again. For example, she said something that reminded me of a bit from the BBC's talking animal sketches, so I started quoting it under my breath and she gave me another weird look and said, "Maybe you shouldn't listen to that."
She kept getting annoyed at me (as she often does) for speaking too quietly like that. "I feel like your voice is just this frail, weak wispy thing," she said, "that could just be blown away in a moment by... anything." That's just the voice I was born with and she can't accept it.
But anyway, when we got there Mackenzie and her friend set about setting up the fire, rejoicing that there were no boys around to tell them they were doing it wrong, and Mackenzie went off gathering up little sticks and I wanted to be helpful so I went off gathering up little sticks too. But she got back first and she said she had enough sticks and mine weren't needed. Dejected, I tossed them in a little pile by the fire anyway, feeling that they were an apt metaphor for my entire life's work. But karma was swift in its execution for a change, as the fire died down not long afterward and she was forced to start putting those exact sticks on it. "Wow," I said, "it looks like my sticks are coming in handy after all."
"Thank you, Christopher," she said through gritted teeth and a forced smile.
I watched her put some more on and then couldn't resist adding for good measure, "It sure is convenient that these sticks were already lying here."
She looked me in the eyes across the fire and said, "I'm going to murder you."
But I'm still here, because underneath her mean callous heartless exterior, she is kind, loyal, fun-loving, phenomenally intelligent, and so on. And being afraid of her isn't even a big deal because really, it's just the same kind of high that normal people get from roller coasters and horror movies. Everyone needs a bit of fear in their lives or they feel unnatural. But anyway, a couple days later after ward prayer she and some other friend were lying in the grass talking about intellectual stuff and I invited myself to sit nearby and listen, and at one point he was like, "When things say 'Names have been changed', do you think they really change the names or just use the real names and say that to throw you off? Because who would know?"
And Mackenzie turned and flashed me an enormous grin and said, "Yeah, who changes names??"
(It was funny because I change her name on my blog. For all the good that did me.)
Rammstein - Amerika (Again)
I've posted this before, but what better way could there be to celebrate Independence Day than with this immensely patriotic and flattering song? More patriotic and flattering than "Born in the USA", anyway. I could literally listen to it eighteen times in a row.
A couple weeks ago Mackenzie was back from California where she spends most of her weekends for some reason, and I was sitting by her in church and she was wearing a funky skirt with two rings of pom-poms around it. The top leftmost pom-pom, closest to me, was badly disfigured by (I assume) all the people who had played with it. I tried to manipulate it back into its proper shape, touching only the pom-pom and that's all, but she huffed, loudly enough for the strangers in front of us to turn around, "Could you maybe not touch my skirt?"
"I was just trying to fix the pom-pom..." I said. The strangers turned back around, their interest already dissipated.
"It's not fixable," she said. And then she gave me a quizzical look. "Are you afraid of me?"
"Kind of," I said.
"Sometimes I think maybe," she said, "but then I think no, he couldn't be..."
I mumbled something. Probably "sorry". I don't remember.
"Can you understand," she continued, "how it might be kind of awkward to talk to someone who's afraid of you?"
"Yeah," I said. (Of course, the context would be completely different. As Margaret Atwood is often paraphrased, "Men are afraid that women will laugh at them. Women are afraid that men will kill them." And Mackenzie, being an ardent feminist, must be acutely aware of this.)
"What if you were afraid of them and they were afraid of you?" she went on. "Would that be easier, or would that make it worse?"
"I don't know, I guess it would depend... When I talk to awkward people, it's just twice as awkward."
"I sat by someone in Relief Society that you should talk to."
"How do you know she would be scared of me?"
"I can just tell. Let's see... that's her, in the blue dress. You don't need to like date her or anything, but I just think it would be good for you to talk to her."
"Go up to her and say, 'I like your dress.' And if she doesn't respond much to that, say something like 'Did you make it yourself?' And if she doesn't respond much to that, you're off the hook."
Alas, she slipped away before we could say anything to her. "I don't see her anywhere," Mackenzie said as she scanned the crowd. I did, but I opted not to mention it.
Later that day, at ward prayer, I said, "Do you want to know why I'm scared of you?"
"Because I'm a girl?" she guessed without missing a beat.
"No," I said. "I mean, yes, that's part of it, but not the primary part."
"It's so strange that you're scared of girls but you feel more comfortable hanging out with them than guys," she said.
"Normally, by this point, having known you for so long, I would be relaxed with you, like with Debbie -"
"You aren't scared of Debbie?"
"No. Did I seem like it?"
"When was that? Was it like at the beginning of last summer, before we hung out all the time, or?"
"I don't remember, it's been so long since we were all in one spot."
"Well, anyway, the main reason I'm scared of you is that I feel like I always have to walk on eggshells to -"
"Oh, yeah," she said, waving me to not continue, "you told me about that."
"And then, yes, the other reasons are that you're a girl, that you're pretty, that you're - never mind."
"I just was going to say that you're 'powerful' and stuff, for lack of a better word, but then you would think it was sexist of me to be intimidated by -"
"No, i's only sexist if you - never mind."
"How come you get to change your mind and not say things, but I have to say them anyway?"
She smiled. "Because I have the power in this relationship." ("Relationship" in the generic sense, obviously.)
"And if I tried to seize more power, and be assertive and stuff, would you push back?"
"Of course," she said. "That's how relationships work. They're a power struggle until someone comes out on top."
In the car afterward, Mackenzie asked, "Would it be all right if I criticized you?"
"You do that all the time," I said.
"No, it's more of just that we disagree," she said. (I feel like we actually agree 95% of the time, but she fixates on the other 5% instead and badgers me about it, and then as a result sometimes I play stupid and pretend to disagree just to mess with her.) "I mean, are you one of those people who would rather be told you have spinach in your teeth, or just find out on your own later?"
"I believe it's important to know the truth, even if it sucks beyond belief. If you break me into a thousand pieces, I will rebuild myself into a better me." (Not really. Broken things don't rebuild themselves.)
She laughed nervously. And we went on like that until in a very roundabout way she managed to convey what she had in mind. But that's none of your business.
One day one of my coworkers and sometimes bosses who normally doesn't work as late as me worked as late as me, and offered me a ride, and I had such a delightful time that at the next such opportunity I straight up asked her for one with no remorse for the mild inconvenience caused. What follows is my memory's best approximation of an exchange that occupied most of the journey to my house.
Her: Are you working tomorrow?
Me: Yeah. Every day...
Her: It'll be a party.
Me: Really? What's the occasion?
Her: Ummm... we're still alive and making money. That's the only occasion I can think of.
Me: But we don't know if we will be... you never know, we could crash thirty seconds from now and both die.
Her: You mean in the car, or like planets colliding?
Me: Uh... I guess either way.
Her: I don't plan on it.
Me: People usually don't.
Her: Maybe they should. Maybe we should all plan on dying and live like it.
Me: I would be such a jerk. I would tell so many people how I really feel about them.
Her: Past people, or present?
Me: Um... mostly past. I like most of my coworkers.
Her: Haha! That's good. If you have something to say to me, the door is open.
Me: Um... um... I hate... the way you do your hair. [Note: This is not true. But at the time, I was drawing for inspiration off of an Indiana Jones comic where he's being strangled to death and he thinks something to the effect of, "This is it... and I never got to tell Marion how much I... I... I hate those awful red shoes she always wears!" More about him in a bit.]
Her: Haha! What's wrong with it?
Me: It's like a crime against humanity.
Her: Haha! This is how it naturally is.
Me: Then I hate the way God does your hair.
Her: Haha! Sometimes I hate the way God does my hair too. I'll do it differently tomorrow... Anything else?
Me: I hate your clothes.
Her: A lot of times I just wear the company uniform.
Me: Well, it looks good on some people, but not you.
Her: What should I wear then?
Me: Um... a paper bag.
Her: Haha! A paper bag?
Me: I guess it would match your eyes...
Her: My eyes aren't brown.
Me: No? What are they then?
Her: They're hazel. Which is what people with brown eyes say to make themselves feel better.
Me: What's wrong with brown eyes?
Her: They're just boring...
Me: And what do you dislike about me?
Her: Chris, I don't like your height.
Me: My height? [Note: I assumed she just meant that she doesn't like that I'm taller than her because she's short.]
Her: If you were just an inch shorter, or an inch taller, it would be fine, but this height just doesn't work for you.
Me: What if I gained weight and expanded out a little, to kind of balance it, would that help?
Her: Mm, no, I don't think there's really anything you can do about it.
Me: I see... anything else?
Her: Your socks. They're just boring.
Me: Oh... well, I have some black socks with hamburgers on them.
Her: Really?? That's great!
Me: I usually wear them to church, because they're black, but I suppose I could wear them to work...
Her: You should, and you should roll your pant legs up so everybody can see them.
Me: Okay... and you know, you don't actually have to change your hair tomorrow...
Her: I was thinking about straightening it, but now I'm going to just to make you feel bad.
Her: Of course.
So she did, and I did the sock thing, and now we're friends enough that I just go talk to her every day without needing to come up with an excuse, and I just keep insulting her. She insists that she likes being insulted as long as it's not serious, so it's okay that I'm being unkind because I'm also lying, and it makes her laugh and gives me a warm feeling. Are all humans this weird, or just Americans?
Speaking of Dr. Jones...
VidAngel, a company that has elicited a disproportionate amount of rage from people who can't think of anywhere better to direct it, is back for the time being and released this video about the crap in Hollywood.
I agree with most of it. Female objectification makes me sick and Ferngully scared the bejeebers out of me as a kid. I loved Jar Jar Binks, though. He was intended as a comic relief device for children and whatever you may think of him, he fulfills that role just fine. I don't think we should "protect" our children from exposure to him. And the other bit I take issue with is their aspersion on Dr. Jones' character in their criticism of "scenes where it's the good guy forcing himself on a woman", briefly showing clips from Zorro and Indiana Jones and James Bond where the alleged good guys are allegedly doing that. And in the case of Zorro and James Bond, this criticism is entirely warranted. James Bond, in fact, in his very first film (Dr. No), also set the very first precedent for a movie protagonist to shoot someone in cold blood and still be considered a "good guy", so he's just kind of a jerk in general.
But in this clip from "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom", Indy is not forcing himself on Willy Scott. In both the film and the novelization (which states this explicitly) it's quite obvious that he isn't trying very hard to reel her in and she isn't trying at all to get away. She could just shrug it off and keep walking away if she wanted to, but she doesn't. You've seen him using that bullwhip on bad guys, right? You know what it looks like when he's actually trying, right? Maybe wrapping it around her in the first place is a jerk move regardless - certainly he must have broken some hips while practicing it on other occasions - but I don't think it would be any worse than an unsolicited hug, which may be objectionable but certainly not put him in a category with those other two jerks. A much better and equally famous, albeit less visually provocative example to use would have been Han "Stop what?" Solo in "The Empire Strikes Back". The same actor, no less. And then there's every single movie where the man kisses the woman without asking permission, aka virtually every movie that has kissing at all. This problem runs deep.
Does Indiana Jones routinely flout even the 1930s' accepted standards of archaeology with reckless disregard for artifact preservation? Of course. Does he habitually break the laws of every country he travels through? Pretty much. Does he consistently leave a trail of death and destruction in his wake? More or less. Does he fail to provide the timely grading, personal mentorship, and full attention that his students deserve? Usually. Is he a rapist? No. That is all. Thank you for your attention.
Mike Rees, aka the coolest guy in Utah according to me, sometimes throws parties in his backyard less than a block from my house and just makes it a public Facebook event so anyone who feels like it can show up. And he had one last week, which I figured I'd show up to just a few minutes late after I got off work at eight, so I came to work wearing my fancy tie-dyed dress shirt and with one thing each of lemonade, strawberry lemonade, raspberry lemonade, and limeade to keep in the fridge and then take with me. But Jaycee, who usually gives me a ride home on Fridays, wasn't there, so I had to jog the seven blocks or so to the bus stop with those lemonades in double-layered grocery bags digging into my arms. After I made it I was very pleased that I had been able to do this hard thing that I never want to do again. And then I wasn't able to get to the party until eight thirty-fiveish when I ran into several friendly neighbor girls going too and it was just about to start the beginning stages of getting underway, so that worked out nicely. I collapsed on one of the couches and rested instead of talking to people I didn't know, so that worked out nicely too.
I lounged on the couch for most of the evening except when I got up to get food and drink. I had mostly filled up on hot dogs already when they started grilling hamburgers that were even better. I had one. That was really good, I thought. I want another one. But I also don't want to move, so I have a bit of a dilemma here. Ah, first-world problems. I did muster up the stamina for two more. At one point I used their bathroom and took the liberty of weighing myself and discovered that I've gained seventeen pounds since the last time I weighed myself, which I think was in 2013.
On Sunday I ran into one of the high councilor guys who used to be Debbie's bishop. I first met him when she was giving me a ride home and brought me with her on a detour to his house for hot chocolate along with several other members of her ward. So he introduced himself and welcomed me into his home and it was kind of awkward because I'm awkward and he was too so there was a lot of silences and smiling and nodding. He has said on more than one occasion, "I used to be so shy I wouldn't talk to myself." But he's a stellar guy and has done quite well for himself now so that gives me some hope. I watched General Conference in his home last year and frequently see him around church doing his high council stuff and he always talks to me if he sees me. Last Sunday, after the usual checking up on my job and life he asked, "Do you have a place to eat today?" And I tried to remember if there was some kind of holiday going on, but Memorial Day was over and there wasn't anything else, was there? But he was just inviting me over out of friendliness, I guess.
One of their teenage daughters answered the door when I showed up, and I didn't recognize her because I have dementia with names and faces and she was holding a baby, so I hesitated as to whether this was the correct address, but it was and she let me in. I sat down in the living room where a toddler was watching "Sofia the First". I've seen a few Sofia the First books at work, so it was nice to finally get some clue what it actually is. The toddler started talking to me profusely and pointed out the different colors on the screen and on the little egg lip balm things she was holding. I wondered where she and the baby had come from. I didn't remember them and in any case, the heads of this household seemed just a bit chronologically advanced to have children so young. But that mystery was solved when their oldest daughter whom I'd never met came in the room and claimed them as her own. From now on I shall refer to the parties involved as Host, Hostess, Daughter 1, Daughter 2, Daughter 3, Granddaughter 1, and Granddaughter 2.
I sat at the head of the table between Daughter 2 and Daughter 3. I feel that I sort of gypped my hosts by not saying much the entire time, but I don't usually have much to say. Granddaughter 1 kept talking and engaged me in conversation the most, followed by Daughter 1 and Hostess. At one point the latter asked seemingly out of nowhere, "Are both your parents still living?" I thought she was going to end that sentence with "in New York?" or "in Indiana?" but she just ended it with a question mark. I said yes. She followed up, "Are they still married to each other?" I said yes, wondering where this was going. She said, "You just have to ask these days because you can't assume anything."
When I mentioned not being in school, Daughter 2 asked, "Do you have a job?" That was one of the few things she said to me. More notably, thrice she belched very deeply and loudly, keeping her mouth closed so that she sounded like a sando aqua monster and showing no concern about it afterward. After lunch was over and I went into the backyard she did it again with her mouth open, and now I couldn't any longer resist commenting, "You're very impressive!" Finally she seemed a little sheepish as she mumbled back, "Thank you. Sorry." Really, I'm not like a huge belching fan but anything done that well deserves recognition. I was also impressed, though I shouldn't have been, when Host and Hostess related the story (while she was sitting right there) of her leaving Relief Society early to take their van and go joyriding, and they thought it had been stolen and then they thought she had been kidnapped. I shouldn't admire that kind of irresponsible and reckless behavior, but I do. As far as I know my sisters have never done anything cool like that.
It came out at one point that Daughter 3 is a writer, so we talked about that for a couple minutes. She said she posted a book she wrote on some website and it had been read 20,000+ times. She said someone else once posted a Twilight fan-fiction there and it was so popular that she changed the names and published it and became a millionaire. Now this story sounded kind of familiar and I couldn't imagine it happening twice, so I inquired, with some hesitation as to whether it was even okay to speak these words at the dinner table, "Was that, ah, Fifty Shades of Grey?" Yes, it was. "Which you will not be reading," Hostess interjected. Good parenting. You know, I've seen a few passages from that book and they looked like they were written by a third-grader, albeit a strangely perverted one. Few things better illustrate H. L. Mencken's observation that "No one ever went broke underestimating the taste of the American public." And that's my backup plan if all else fails.
Kids Say the Darndest Things
I tried to remember Granddaughter 1's lines that I found particularly amusing, though she was so totes adorbs that almost anything she said could provoke a smile.
Can someone say the prayer that's me?
I just burped, but I said 'scuse me, so you still love me, right?
Sometimes I be a good girl, and sometimes my people mess me up.
Already blaming society for her misbehavior. I'm so proud.
There used to be two dogs, but now there's only one dog because the other dog died. Guess what? Sometimes dogs die.
At this point her mom said, "I kind of just want to all be quiet and see what she says to you."
After Granddaughter 2 loudly soiled herself
You did it!
When she wanted to go out and play on the tire swing
I want someone besides you to push me.
While Host and I were pushing her in circles on the tire swing
"I can't see you guys anymore. I can only see your colors. And your eyes. And your faces. And your hands. And your feet."
"Sometimes, every day, I do whatever I do."
When the tire swing hit me as it was spinning
A: Hahaha! I got you!
Me: You stinker.
A: I only stink when I need to poop.
Me: Does that happen a lot?
A: It helps a lot.
When I got home, the neighbor's similarly aged daughter was out playing in the weird alleyway that divides our house in half, and I smiled and waved like usual, and then I went inside and a moment later there was a tapping on my door so faint that I wasn't sure at first if I'd heard anything. But it came again, so I opened it and she was there and she said hi. So then her mom was all "Is she knocking on your door? I'm so sorry" and I was all "It's no problem" and really it wasn't because I wish my grown-up friends were that friendly. I actually really love children when they aren't being insufferable brats.
EMF - Children
The opening track of the album "Schubert Dip" whence also came the much more famous "Unbelievable". I may like this one a bit more. I'm not sure.
This post is full of LDS-specific references that probably no one else will get. I apologize for any inconvenience. I also don't think it's very good to begin with. I apologize for any inconvenience caused by that too.
One evening at ward prayer, as one of those annoying get-to-know-you things, everyone in the circle was supposed to go around and say their names and their biggest fear. I thought that was an interesting choice of trivia that could easily become dark and awkward if people were actually honest. A couple guys did say their biggest fear is "dying alone", which I guess is pretty normal but I don't understand it. Dying is dying, and my only preference is that it not be gratuitously slow and painful. I couldn't care less if I'm alone or surrounded by thirty thousand people at the time. I know that death is merely a portal to a better place. I can't count how many times I've nearly been struck by an idiot Utah driver while using the crosswalk, and I just stubbornly kept my pace and gave them this look that attempted to express a fraction of the magnitude of the contempt I felt for them in that moment. Once when it seemed that she wasn't going to slow down at all, I thought, "I can't believe I'm about to die because this person is a #@$% moron."
Anyway, I thought about some of the prospects I consider most terrifying - being raped, falling out of the sky, spending thirty years in prison for something I didn't do, getting a brain injury and becoming a vegetable, remaining invisible as I toil away in obscurity with no measurable impact on the world for my entire life, and so on. But aside from the last one, these things aren't likely enough to merit worrying about very often, so I said that my biggest fear is women. And of course everyone assumed I was speaking hyperbolically, and laughed.
"I think that's pretty normal," the woman next to me said.
I think if that were pretty normal, there wouldn't be seven billion people in the world, I thought back.
The guy on the other side of her and her friend had no such fear, as a few minutes later I overheard him saying, "You're from such-and-such town, right? I saw that on Facebook. Did you accept my request yet? You didn't, did you?" And she and her friend were both like, "Oh, we almost never get on Facebook, or any social media at all." (I calculate a 99% probability this was a lie.) And he was like, "Then why do you have them?" and they were like, "Just in case we feel like it" and he was like "Oh."
He's one of those weird guys who doesn't realize he's weird, as opposed to a weird guy like me who is well aware of it. Sometimes I don't know whether to pity or envy them. He always hits on the ladies and they never enjoy it. While he is a good guy and I don't look down on him or take pleasure in his misfortune when I happen to be nearby, it is therapeutic in a sick kind of way as it demolishes the optimistic lie people tell me about how you just need to be confident and you'll be attractive and successful. He's confident and the only thing it does is make him oblivious to the discomfort he causes his female quarries. I don't understand why he keeps trying. Doesn't he catch on that his methods aren't working? Maybe, like me, he's unable to learn more effective ones, but what I did to cope with that was just stop trying anything altogether and everyone is now better off. Especially me.
"Your boyfriend is really lucky, if I'm allowed to say that," he said to a woman once.
"Thank you," she said.
"Am I allowed to say that?" he pressed.
"Sure," she said.
"Do ya have one?" he pressed.
At this point I had to restrain myself from interjecting, "Oh for the love of..."
There's this other weird guy who got up and bore his testimony in church a few months ago. He rejoiced in the opportunity to "spend five minutes talking about Christ" and then went on to talk about anything else. It was random and disjointed and went into too much detail about some things and tried too hard to be funny. And I didn't envy the bishop, who I knew must be wondering what to do. You don't want to embarrass the guy, of course, but at some point if a line is crossed you might need to intervene and make him stop, yeah? Well, after a (for me anyway) very tense five plus minutes he finished up and sat down and that was that.
The next month he got up to do it again. All around me, people gave each other knowing glances and smiles. I tensed again, but then decided to relax because that wouldn't help anything. And he bore a beautiful, eloquent testimony that flowed naturally but seemed too good not to come from a script. I was blown away. And he prayed at ward prayer, and his prayer was the same way. I don't even care if he was showing off. I was pleased and impressed and thoroughly enjoyed it. I don't know if someone talked to him about it or what, but it just goes to show you can never judge what sort of potential people have in them.
The other thing, though, is that he has this habit of sometimes sharing personal "doctrines" about stuff like the nature of godhood and the location of Kolob. I had the privilege of listening in as he expounded some of them to the local sister missionaries. And one of them started talking to someone else instead after a while, but the other remained transfixed, her eyes wide, only glancing away on occasion and exchanging smiles with me as if to say "Now isn't this interesting stuff?" She didn't have much to contribute to the discussion, but when he had spoken his piece, she said, "Do you share these... ideas with people very often?"
"Nah," he said, "just when I feel prompted to, like when I can see in someone's eyes that they're going to perdition. There's a lot of people in this ward who are going to perdition, but I've got the light that can bring them through it."
Wha? Perdition's not even a place.
"I see," she said. I felt bad for her and wondered, as with the bishop, what kind of dilemma she was having about how to handled it. Tell the mission president, or the stake president, or just ignore it? I don't think they cover that kind of situation in the MTC. In the weeks since then she seemed fine though. And this guy, aside from the discomfort that he causes sometimes through this and other means, is really nice and offers me a ride whenever he gets a chance, even if I'm only going a block away. Of course I decline in that case. It had better be fifty degrees below zero or raining brimstone before I'm going to take that distance in a vehicle.
I wonder sometimes how I would come across if I were more extroverted and didn't know or care about my weirdness. I shudder to think of it.
Black Stalin - Staying Alive
Not a Bee Gees cover as one might expect, but some straightforward if vague advice about doing exactly what the title says. I've noticed that William Onyeabor and a lot of West African English musicians don't bother much with trying to sound poetic and metaphorical and stuff, sometimes not even with rhymes, and just say bluntly what they mean and it's kind of refreshing. Although Black Stalin is from Trinidad and Tobago he seems to come from a similar vein. Beats me, I don't actually know much at all about music classifications or terminology or technique or anything; I just know what I like.
"Guys. Chris's blog is the stuff of legends. If you’re ever looking for a good read, check this out!"
- Amelia Whitlock
"I don't know how well you know Christopher Randall Nicholson, but... he's trolling. You should read his blog. It's delightful."
- David Young
About the Author
C. Randall Nicholson is a white cisgender male and a Latter-day Saint, so you can hate him without guilt, but he's also autistic, so you can't. Unless you're an anti-vaxxer, in which case the feeling is mutual. This blog is where he periodically rants about life, the universe, and/or everything.