Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Watering: Relapse

Watering entries are personal diaries, alluding to this post's conclusion. They are a potpourri of recent thoughts and experiences (one might even call them a blog, if one were to be so common), published when I have no other projects to work on, in order to ensure I've written something for the day.

It was picture day. The results were mediocre, but I don't know that I would have been satisfied with anything, considering this month's decrepit stagnancy. I woke up with the thought in my mind that if I hadn't lost, I'd finally broach to my father the subject of a cheat meal.

After the run, I came to my senses and broached EC stacking instead. During the course of the conversation, however, wherein I offered the cheat meal as a, in some ways, less risky alternative, and he expressed misgivings about both, I decided that I didn't want to overlook either.

So my father went out and, as I nervously and eagerly awaited his return, pliably picked me up everything for which I'd asked. I didn't think to ask for a blood pressure monitor. That might come next.

With Peep Show on shuffle, the same show I was watching as I consumed my farewell giant trough of pasta in September, I relapsed. It's interesting, entering a meal that you know will have detrimental physical effects, trying to determine when ketosis breaks, to scrutinize every sensation.

One tortilla chip didn't do it.

Then the entire quesadilla and its sides were gone and I felt fine. I began to wonder if I'd ever been in ketosis at all. If the reason I never suffered keto flu was that I was mistaken, getting false positives on the strips, losing solely by calorie restriction.

I was full after the first burrito. The food wasn't delicious. Before I'd begun, I'd hoped that I would become instantly sick; so wracked with fever and nausea that I'd never want to do this again. Instead, I was utterly normal. Just full.

So I started eating ice cream. It lit up my brain. This motherfucker is indescribable. I have to think it was the flavor, rather than the mere fact that it was ice cream. A simple vanilla would not have been so amazing, it was the texture in as equal part as any. I do not enjoy writing this kowtowing appraisal of sugar, but were anything to draw me back to it, it was this perfect pint.

The sickness began. I could not finish, or even complete by half, the final burrito. It wasn't tempting. Nauseated, and experiencing a feeling that must have been stomach cramping, I left for the bathroom.

Returning, I got further down in the ice cream, leaving less than a third of it before the pain became too great. The final spoonfuls, taken as I was trying to quickly clean up so that I could lie down and let this not unlooked-for illness dissipate, were comedic. They tasted so good and became bullets as they traveled down my esophagus. I cachinnated as I gestured, alone, to my mouth and then to my stomach, indicating the bliss upstairs and the pain below.

I threw what was left out. For the rest of the day I considered digging them out of the trash bin. Didn't.

The frustration is not being entirely sure if the pain was entirely from exiting my seven month ketogenic state or simply from binge eating. It's really been since 2010 that I've eaten classically - that is, to the point of physical pain and exhaustion.

I am indeed out of ketosis. For the first time, the strip was entirely unresponsive to my licentious urine's advances.

My weight stayed exactly the same.

I am currently high on ephedrine and caffeine. A half-pill of both, eliciting a slight rush, a modestly elevated pulse, but no true palpitations or jitters. I feel sharp. And more, I feel as though I've unnaturally recovered from the depression with which I woke this morning. I admit, I'm enticed. Though, perhaps the Jekyll & Hyde link belongs here more than there.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Watering: Anus Burger, Lists, Hebdomadal

Watering entries are personal diaries, alluding to this post's conclusion. They are a potpourri of recent thoughts and experiences (one might even call them a blog, if one were to be so common), published when I have no other projects to work on, in order to ensure I've written something for the day.

Butter on peanut butter toast. I should have lost a hundred pounds by now, but I haven't. I was within one-fifth of a pound of doing so (technically), then bounced back up. This is excruciating.

Broccoli casserole, with mozzarella. I've been eating more calories now that I've started lifting. At first I lost anyway, so I thought it was OK. Now I don't know what to think. It's only going to get harder to force myself under twelve hundred while I continue to stall.

I asked my father for fiber supplements and he got me fiber laxatives, which, well, good. I never could have asked him for those. Of anything, they're probably to credit for the bout of loss. It's time to talk to him about EC stacking, if I'm going to just start shoveling pills into me in the hopes of them expelling fat out of me.

I wanted to get through the last of my regular cream cheese, so that's old school chicken stuffed with it. Don't know that I'll ever crack the nut of getting perfectly crispy bacon wrapped around it without breaking. Lifting weight has been all right. The equipment is not correct, but the chat was actually pretty ameliorating when I confessed how infantilized I felt by having my father influence my purchase so wholly. I'm very discouraged and confused.

Chicken, spinach and an egg. Frozen spinach has really become a true friend. It seems like the Deus Ex plate effect wasn't so anomalous. Only makes me want to play the game again, but I've got too much else to play.

I know that for a fact, now. Instead of doing real work, I made a list of every game I own but have not finished. Then I made a list of every game I do not own but want to either play or finish. Then I added every game I've finished but want to play again. Then finally, every game yet unreleased that I want to play. Organized by priority, alphabetically, alphabetically, and by release time, respectively. As I tweeted, making the list put me into a crisis of mortality. I will be dead before I ever find the time or will to play Ben There, Dan That.

I love making lists, though. The next day, I finally tried to list every game I've ever played by year. Still going. Doubtlessly losing many SNES platformers rented from Blockbuster in the aphotic recesses of my memory, and those games I do remember under the wrong year, but I'll forgive myself. Writing the list kept me oscillating between nostalgic misery and that old, comforting blanket of hobby.

For posterity (posteriority), the beef anus I made after seeing a life tip to poke a hole in your burger to keep it from shrinking or something. I also mixed this with ranch seasoning, so while it looked a mess, it was modestly watershed. Mixing the beef before cooking it improved the texture, and I also baked it in the oven, leaving me a lot of gravy to pour on the spinach.

Butterfish, which tastes better than it smells (after cooking it in two tablespoons of actual butter, obviously). I stopped writing weekly for The Player Character. Reading old Seasonal Lags, there was no comparison. I need time to work to my potential, and I'm also very lazy. I feel genuinely indebted to the other staff now that I'm not holding myself to their same standard, but for what it's worth, writing news came easily today. I do feel slightly unburdened. And I feel more optimistic about future Player Character projects. I do wish that I did have it in me to offer hebdomadal spiels at a consistent quality, but that wish is nowhere near as powerful as my wish to not bother.

I fucking went for it and added water to the second peanut butter bread batter, stupidly doing it straight from the faucet so I couldn't even see how much I'd added. Whatever. It paid off. The bread didn't rise significantly higher, but its texture is extremely breadlike. That's a ham, mayonnaise, and provolone sandwich. If you were physically (or emotionally) unable to taste peanut butter, you'd never know the difference.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Life in Song: Man on the Moon

Life in Song is a series which will likely never finish. It is not, as originally conceived, a span of my hundred favorite songs; rather, each post covers one song randomly selected from a list of those which immediately evoke a memory or other emotional response. Entries will likely be uncomfortably candid and melancholic, as they attempt to recount a song's personal significance and also its context in my psychotically detailed fantasy life.

Song: R.E.M. - Man on the Moon

Thoughts: It's not a song that immediately gets me excited to write an entry, but neither is it so dull that I immediately regretted attempting one tonight. I love its melody and hook and can still get really into it occasionally. Michael Stipe's adenoidal voice has always sounded very expressive to me.

Defining Era: 2000.

Vital Lyric: "Andy, are you goofing on Elvis? (Hey baby.) Are we losing touch?"

First Exposure: I first came across Andy Kaufman at a pretty young age, maybe eleven or thirteen, when two specials about him were in rotation on Comedy Central. I was taken with the idea of eccentric, provocatively inscrutable comedy. I took the idea that I was his reincarnation. I don't know if I heard the song before the film of the same name came out. Being also a massive, unabashed (if fading) fan of Jim Carrey as a child, it was a dream project. After reading about it in TV Guide, I told my father about it, who told me about the song. As the movie was 1999, "Man on the Moon" is likely among the first crop of songs I had on Napster.

Prominent Memory: Seeing Man on the Moon with my father in the Forest Hills theater. I'm not sure why we saw it there. It was where we also saw Beyond the Mat, so maybe it didn't come to our regular spots, although that seems unlikely. We walked along that street afterward, not the main strip but the one to the side, past the theater. I don't remember how I began the sentence but I was probably responding to the mediocre review it received in the newspaper we had at the diner earlier that day, which said that the film was simply Jim Carrey being Andy Kaufman through different scenes, never really displaying any insight. I told my father how truly touched I was (I may have said it was hard not to cry) at the final scene when "they blare 'Man on the Moon.'" I may have also said "when they show 'Dedicated to Andy Kaufman,'" but I can't find footage of the closing credits to confirm that that's actually true.

Alternate Memories: In boarding school, Bobby comparing himself to Andy Kaufman. It was the last time I said in earnest that I was Kaufman reincarnated. We were standing outside of the computer building. One of us on the steps. I meant it as a big, defiant punctuation mark on the conversation. It certainly was. I don't know which of us was less respectable, him trying to justify his malcontent abnormality with the Kaufman allusion or me contending that I had a spiritual kinship with him.

It was me, actually. I was less respectable.

Bobby isn't on Facebook, I've just found. It's difficult to imagine someone that idiosyncratic, possibly more so than anyone I've known, not eventually achieving fame or an early death. His alias is apt, I'd almost be disappointed to have located him.

Fantasy: Interestingly, this song was most relevant to me in the Cliché Teenager days that predate H Street. Which means that I was picturing a different club when I fantasized about us coming on stage after being informed of Andy Kaufman's re-timed death and performing this in his honor, as it wasn't at the standard summer camp stage. Or perhaps it was, and it's morphed, as I got into R.E.M. in full with the formation of H Street. Either way, this is a mainstay, even with Artist on Artist. It needs recontextualizing.

Out of Ten: 7.2

Audiosurf Score: 295,862 (Global: 4, Nearby: 2)

Some Levity: Possibly just after coming home from seeing the movie or earlier than that, looking up the song's lyrics and finding an interpretation. It explained a lot of the lines but did say that the song itself was calling the moon landing a hoax. I doubt now that R.E.M. actually believes so, but I told my father about seeing that, proudly.

This isn't that funny, especially because on the same night I found some Andy Kaufman message board with a lot of people being very hostile to Bob Zmuda and other names. One of my earliest exposures to vindictive cursing. I'm not sure what they were arguing about.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Watering: Food Backlog, Comments, Invitations

Watering entries are personal diaries, alluding to this post's conclusion. They are a potpourri of recent thoughts and experiences (one might even call them a blog, if one were to be so common), published when I have no other projects to work on, in order to ensure I've written something for the day.

Too much to cover. I'd like to get the pictures in first.

One egg over a toasted slice of peanut butter bread. The way the light of my lamp hits my plate in this picture makes it the closest I've come to food porn or at least reminiscent of a Deus Ex: Human Revolution screenshot.

Far less tantalizing, canned chicken with mayonnaise and pickles over toasted peanut butter bread. Tasted nicer and more in-focus than it looks.

This morning's breakfast. Two Gordon Ramsay eggs (sour cream gone off) over toasted peanut butter bread.

The bread. See it a lot on r/keto and finally made it. I believe I screwed up the preparation by mixing all the ingredients at once until it simply became a slightly eggier peanut butter, which was so adhesive that I ended up eating too much off of my fingers while trying to get it in the pan. Possibly made myself sick ingesting so much raw egg, possibly placebo. Should mix the peanut butter and eggs until liquid, not further to thickening, then add rest. Should look thin and with sediments. I am not a sedimental man, but it might have helped in this case.

It rose more than I expected it to, but not enough to function for sandwiches. Good as a little plate for servings like this. Nice taste and texture contrast. Got a baker's dozen slices from it, could have narrowed them even further.

Last Player Character column got hotter than I could have imagined on N4G, which was a double-edged sword. It drew some comments and one was pretty negative, although the person who wrote it clearly didn't read the article carefully or fully. I am pleased with how I responded. Remember: priority in running my site is accessibility. I must pride myself on taking criticism, even kowtowing to it. My ego wasn't too bruised. Then linked the comments to the chat chums; Ben's criticism of the column, while mostly fair and polite, was too difficult to swallow.

Couple of nights ago, dreamed of Shiva. Very odd, that. I remembered her exactly as she looked at fourteen. Perfectly beautiful, in a bright blue shirt. Dreamed that I had tried to blackmail or threaten her, then was trying to avoid her in the streets of Forest Hills, walking with Serj.

Found her on Facebook. Friends with Serj. Amazingly, I always knew her last name - I was never certain. She's married now, possibly a mother.

Perhaps I dreamed of her because it was 4/20, and my earliest memory of the day was having Serj tell me that she had been saying "Love you plenty, happy 4/20" to people. I quoted that on Sans Pants. I've never forgotten it. Don't know. Tangential.

Two nights ago sucked badly. Then the love affair which dare not speak its name became more engrossing with the introduction of sexual pictures sent to my phone; you know, like what happens in the movies. Then it sucked amazingly.

Reviewing the pictures this morning, they were adjacent to old pictures of Verse. Trying to find her screen name, I made the minatory mistake of venturing into my AIM logs. Some conversations later, I found myself reading through always painfully pleasant chats I had with Mary. My memory of us barely speaking in 2004 is wrong. We spoke, then and afterwards, and were close.

Two things:

Autumn 2005.

Mary: Dude
Mary: Bella came out
Jason: Just now?
Mary: Well, I dunno when. Clark told me
Jason: I see.
Jason: Fucking Charles made me gay too.
Mary: OH MAN
Mary: hahahaha
Mary: you're funny
Jason: It was a very easy joke.
Mary: I know, but you executed it with such panache

That was a good joke. I don't know if I knew it at the time and just played miserable to be distant or if I've fallen so far by now that my standards for myself have lowered. I had to stop reading there. I feel as though I've let so much slip through my fingers.

To whit:

Spring 2004.

Mary: Hey, you doing anything tonight?
Mary: Robin and Charles and Bella and Lenny and I are all going out to party. Wanna come?
Jason: No.
Mary: Ya sure?
Jason: Very.
Mary: Dammit, Jason!
Mary: You would totally have fun
Mary: Probablly
Jason: First: I wouldn't. Second: I already have a date for tonight.
Mary: Oooooh...
Mary: Nice.
Mary: Have fun, okay? I'm signing off. Bye.

I notice myself acting very cold to her in these conversations. Could be lover's spurn. Could be depression. Could be confidence. I would never act like that to someone now, and I wonder if that's a good thing. I do sound cool, but only by her grace was I tolerated.

As for the invitation, I'd completely forgotten that. I remember Oswald asking me, noncommittally, once if I'd be interested in going to a party. That's mostly all I think of when I reference turning down invitations back then. Apparently, I did better than that. There was no date, obviously. I got to fard myself in fantasy instead of partaking in an experience which could have been pivotal. I wonder what would have happened if I'd gone. If I'd still know them now. If it would have gotten me closer to Allison.

When I still pine for Allison, I wonder what I could have done to break through to her back then. Obviously, there's the old stalwarts of not being fat and being more outgoing. This is something concrete. I could have tried to mingle, to party. I could have gotten invited more often.

But it's a lie to say I still don't feel a certain pride that I didn't. Pride, along with a pain of missed opportunities and forsaken memories that almost has me in tears.

Perhaps it was a lie to say I am not sedimental.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Watering: Legendary, Chicken and Spinach

Watering entries are personal diaries, alluding to this post's conclusion. They are a potpourri of recent thoughts and experiences (one might even call them a blog, if one were to be so common), published when I have no other projects to work on, in order to ensure I've written something for the day.

Damn, I'd meant to write this all damn day and now it's tomorrow.

First off: The book was finally closed on Annie. An arduous Band-Aid to pull, but the pain is lessening fairly quickly. Was quivering following our final, typically vitriolic conversation. All I can do is hope that I hurt her. My desperate to do so was probably obvious. She was passive aggressively vindictive and all I can do now is hope that the pain of those last two conversations eventually dulls to the point that I can masturbate to her again without the sadness becoming prohibitive.

I immediately started crushing on Sarah even harder, when it was done. That's the cycle. Enormous suffering transposed into infatuation, yielding enormous suffering, and so on. What must it be like to live unhindered by women? I remember wishing for saltpeter when I was young and desperately making sense of my sex drive. Now I wish I could keep my sex drive compartmentalized by pornography and stop looking for love.

I want my heart castrated.

Sarah is so charmingly gregarious and approachably sexy. I feel uncharacteristically capable of winning her affections if I could just find the opportunity.

About that. I think I'm - well, let's not say confident. Let's say my mind is projecting itself into the future. I am thinking from that perspective. No longer staring at the light at the end of the tunnel of weight loss. I am mentally inhabiting the light, ahead of my body. I began at 330. I aim at 180. I am nearly 230. I am two-thirds there.

Maybe that is it. Or, maybe the news that I've slipped under Paul is what did it. I knew I was no longer the fattest person I know, on account of Jeremy. Now, I'm no longer the fattest person I've met. And he's a couple of inches shorter. That makes the loss real. That makes it transcend fantasy. It is the change of one's number on the roster that is the bona fides of progress.

Two eggs and a tablespoon of heavy cream. No flip, which allowed a nicely formed circumference. The bottom did not burn before the top had cooked. No rawness.

Becoming standard. I am no longer embarrassed by the spinach's luster, having had it affirmed by friends in prior images. This is a good dinner. The salad could go.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Watering: Pressures, Scene of the Crime

Watering entries are personal diaries, alluding to this post's conclusion. They are a potpourri of recent thoughts and experiences (one might even call them a blog, if one were to be so common), published when I have no other projects to work on, in order to ensure I've written something for the day.

You know, talking about the banality of social media is extremely tired. Despite having never partaken in it until this month, I never found stand-up comedy jokes about the uselessness of "twittering" very funny or relatable. What is fertile ground: the utter anxiety of it. Wondering if you're saying too much, too frequently. Trying to glean the best way to acknowledge another person without feeling like an encumbrance on their feed. Reconnoitering the appropriate etiquette is made all the more difficult by those people who probably feel similarly cavalier when it comes to actual socialization, who insist that there's nothing to worry about.

Yeah, that'll keep Sarah from thinking I'm a big ol' goof.

Head is clearer today than yesterday, in which it was clearer than the day before. Weight stalled, teased lower. Dinner plans have changed for tonight. Could improvise portion adjustment? Dinner past two nights has been good: chicken coated reasonably well and a complete meal.

The spinach has made a commendable comeback in taste. And while it will never truly bedizen my plate, it doesn't necessarily look disgusting.

Dreamed last night of confirmation that CM Punk is a Republican. It's probably moot at this point. Whether he is or isn't, he's good friends with a devout one. Speaks ill of his character either way. And it's not like he was as admirable as I ever wished him to be in the first place.

In boarding school, we had an English assignment to write a week's journal entries for a fictional character. I attempted to write a man who had committed a murder. A really insightful take on the criminal mind, I'd intended. It was garbage, and I had to go with something else, but I remember one entry. It read, probably exclusively: "Don't return to the scene of the crime. Don't return to the scene of the crime. Don't return to the scene of the crime."

Follow by the next day's "I returned to the scene of the crime."

I remember when Jon's website was discovered, because he'd tweeted a Dragon Ball Z reference. He said he understood criminals now, how they make the mistakes they make, how maybe they want to get caught.

I don't want to get caught, but I also want to write down that I recently had a conversation turn sexual in slow motion. I should have stopped it, but I didn't, and it was a mistake. That's the funny thing about trying to actually do that thing people are supposed to do, ceasing flirtation. It's really difficult, not only on account of one's libido, but also just out of care for the partner. You don't want to hurt them by doing the right thing. He or she must have felt the same way too. It is so sensitive that I can't even use the person's alias. A lot of fears are hovering. It would be silly to expect that this will remain forever a secret. How wonderful it is to be such a weak-willed toy of consanguineous lust.

I must update this blog tomorrow in order to push this entry from prime viewing.

Funny how getting involved in a terrible situation like this makes the sexual aspects of the media I watch seem so much more empathetic. Maybe this is how everyone feels, and why people don't mind them as much as I do. The last Mad Men was just something else. It makes me think of that one episode of Sopranos I watched in bed in college, which will someday be recounted in Life in Song.

Wardrox was helpful in correspondence regarding The Player Character, which I am currently neglecting. News is going to get harder the longer I put it off. I'll go check my feeds now.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Life in Song: The Everglow

Life in Song is a series which will likely never finish. It is not, as originally conceived, a span of my hundred favorite songs; rather, each post covers one song randomly selected from a list of those which immediately evoke a memory or other emotional response. Entries will likely be uncomfortably candid and melancholic, as they attempt to recount a song's personal significance and also its context in my psychotically detailed fantasy life.

Song: Mae - The Everglow

Thoughts: This song, and the whole album, is deeply collegiate, so it's coincidental that it came up today, as I've been recuperating from a strong dream of college this morning, featuring Billy and, more distressingly, Sally. The Everglow predates my love for her, as I was still transfixed by my high school idols (more on that with future Mae songs). The dream involved me forgetting lines and screwing up in a musical theater performance. Billy comforted without dulling the truth, and Victoria (and, curiously, Andrea [Mary's friend]) entered my room while I was alone, still the laughingstock of campus. Both were naked. It was both a consolation and a taunt. "Can I take a picture?" I asked. They refused. Victoria's breasts looked worse than I believe they would in reality.

Defining Era: 2005, spring.

Vital Lyric: "I think that we've got what it takes to get this heart to start beating again."

First Exposure: The title track to Mae's second album, which I discovered when Jay is Games covered the Flash game made to promote it. I'd heard earlier Mae songs, probably what prompted me to investigate, and was instantly taken with the album.

Prominent Memory: Jay is Games was a constant in the latter half of my freshman year, not merely as a tool of procrastination or unoccupied satiation but eventually a companion during generally bleak emotional periods. I've never been able to reunite with it since. It's difficult to pinpoint which Everglow songs were which nights, as the album was a caparison for a couple of weeks, but the title track vaguely covers all.

Alternate Memories: I remember walking down my home street, the path from the bus, on my way home. This memory could easily be fabricated. It would have had to occur in the early winter of 2006, during that year's museum internship. I was thinking about its place in the Night at H Street set, see below.

Fantasy: "The Everglow" isn't firmly within our song roster anymore, but for a moment it seemed crucial. A Night at H Street (or One Night in H Street) is the six or more hour special aired on a premium cable channel that launches Artist on Artist into mainstream consciousness. Our set becomes legendary. The encore is usually a combination of "The Buzz Kill," "The World You Love" (perhaps in the first set), and "Searching for a Former Clarity." For at least one day, I considered "The Everglow" for the big, blow-away number immediately preceding or following "Searching." This is now likely the position of "The World You Love," as I could never tease enough meaning into "Everglow"'s lyrics to give the big chorus as much impact.

Out of Ten: 5.4

Audiosurf Score: 116,956 (Nearby: 2, Global: 2)

Some Levity: Spring of 2005, then. Let's see. I can summon one which I need to save for another song. Instead, I'll retrieve one of my more cherished memories, a talk I gave in that semester's computer science class for which I was completely unprepared. I relied on humor and, maybe, charm instead and for once it worked. I impressed and was commended, was almost picaresque. I can remember one joke, a complaint about Frogger (having no actual computing insight, I talked about games on the Mac II) which I excused with the thought that, as it was made in the eighties, people weren't as highly evolved back then. Derivative, and I thought so at the time, but it went over.

Give anything to get that morning back.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Watering: Writing, the Emotional Hazards of Video

Watering entries are personal diaries, alluding to this post's conclusion. They are a potpourri of recent thoughts and experiences (one might even call them a blog, if one were to be so common), published when I have no other projects to work on, in order to ensure I've written something for the day.

The culmination of a month spent rolling downhill has come. I hope, at least. I operate a new computer, built myself. I am an editor for Flixist. My videogame website, The Player Character, is, nominally, alive.

I understand what is meant by responsibility, now. When will I find time for anything now that I have so many things to write? The buffer between my next Player Character column and now will never be thick enough.

Traffic bothers me more than I'd anticipated. I don't need to monetize my site or expect a cumshaw from each visitor, but I want to imagine that people will read it. I don't know how to begin that. I suppose it's not meant to be a simple nut to crack. Rebel Yell will sit comfortably at four approvals on N4G.

To think of when I had just started writing Seasonal Lag, less than two months ago, and my brain had atrophied to the point that its seventeen hundred words were so daunting that they took me weeks. Writing every day may have diminished the quality of my prose, I admit - I play too fast, too loose now, knowing that I'll always have something else, of greater importance, tomorrow. Or later that day. I would like to believe that even though I've become less meticulous, my average quality of writing has improved. Can't say for certain. What I do know is that my confidence has dropped today. Days like these can offer some real perspective.

I remember when everything of mine was poured into video editing; when I could point to my music videos as what I was proudest to have produced. Perspective came to those too, eventually. I am friends with one of the most talented editors I've seen and know by name others who outclass me enormously. I can't isolate what separates me from them. Natural talent has never meant much to me, as a concept. I've never known anyone who lucked into skill. Perhaps I'm right in thinking I've developed greater forbearance since the height of my editing, which will pay creative dividends in the future when I return to it. Perhaps I'm wrong, but the only way to alleviate such anxiety to finally start.

But heavens, when will I find the time?

Friday, April 6, 2012

Life in Song: We Like Sportz

Life in Song is a series which will likely never finish. It is not, as originally conceived, a span of my hundred favorite songs; rather, each post covers one song randomly selected from a list of those which immediately evoke a memory or other emotional response. Entries will likely be uncomfortably candid and melancholic, as they attempt to recount a song's personal significance and also its context in my psychotically detailed fantasy life.

Song: The Lonely Island - We Like Sportz

Thoughts: I certainly was not expecting this to come up. The sort of song that I would have skipped over were I trying to begin the Life in Song series, "We Like Sportz" is a comedy track propelled into personal meaning by a slew of excellent lines, a great video and fondness for its deadpan witticism shared by friends. I'd forgotten I'd put it on the list of eligible titles, but who am I to argue with the exhausted self that composed that list?

Defining Era: 2009, summer.

Vital Lyric: "I'm the other team captain and I choose you too."

First Exposure: It took a while for Incredibad to find me. I don't recall feeling particularly indignant about The Lonely Island's mainstream popularity but I had become less enthusiastic about them than I had been in one collegiate period. 2009 is an unfortunately hazy year, as my surroundings were more homogeneous than any other, making it difficult to place at what point the dam broke between it and me. (I wouldn't pursue The Lonely Island with as much vigor as I had in 2006 until last year when "Jack Sparrow" reignited it all over again.)

Prominent Memory: Yes, in keeping with the flavor of Life in Song, it is certainly possible for me to ground such a silly song into my standard melancholy carping. No one I know appreciates the song, quoting it still to this day, as well as the other Guy 1 and Guy 2 videos, as much as Kevin. His AIM icon was, perhaps still is, a picture of Jorma's face in the music video and, at my behest, he made me one of Akiva's. Thus, I remember the night in the closing winter of 2009, where we fought, possibly over Lady Gaga (and why I was at fault for not liking her), or possibly something later, quite disastrously; in a way we hadn't for some years but would many times since. So stunned and distraught that our friendship had gone agley, I changed my AIM icon to what it remained until, well, today, if I'm not mistaken.

It is incidents like that which will forever keep him and I from having the 2 Guyz friendship I wish that we could.

Alternate Memories: This one is simple. Skyping with the chums, discussing Lonely Island, meaning that Jeremy was present. Without needing the slightest substantive provocation, I began to blast the song loud enough for my cohorts to hear it. I didn't keep it on too long, not too long, but I remember feeling acutely into the melody of the song at that moment. It stands out.

Fantasy: Like most Lonely Island videos, this one has its place on Kids in the Hall, my fantasy sketch comedy show, taking the name of the actual sketch comedy show from which relatively little content has been mentally appropriated. As this song is one in a series, it would appear on the second or third season. I would need further consideration to determine which of the Guys I would replace.

Out of Ten: 5.9

Audiosurf Score: 59,412 (Nearby: 2, Global: 7)

Some Levity: Difficult. Alternate Memories is fairly positive, considering that the conversation was with (as of now) sustained chums rather than with lost ones. Guess I'll travel to that mostly excellent visit I had with Paul and Amy in the summer of that year, the former of which played me a few of the CD's tracks that I hadn't heard; the latter of which became abruptly far too drunk one night of my stay, a night in which we'd earlier watched Dragonball Evolution for some damn reason, and collapsed miserably in the bathroom. The next morning, the first thing she said was "Man, that movie was so bad it made me throw up."

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Life in Song: Dressed to Kill

Life in Song is a series which will likely never finish. It is not, as originally conceived, a span of my hundred favorite songs; rather, each post covers one song randomly selected from a list of those which immediately evoke a memory or other emotional response. Entries will likely be uncomfortably candid and melancholic, as they attempt to recount a song's personal significance and also its context in my psychotically detailed fantasy life.

Song: New Found Glory - Dressed to Kill

Thoughts: Still catchy after all these years (this may be something I end up saying a lot). This was a good song to come up, although it will be difficult to determine what to write for this and what to write for its sister track.

Defining Era: 2001, season unknown.

Vital Lyric: "'Cheer up,' my friends all say. You're better alone anyway."

First Exposure: After their cover of "My Heart Will Go On" first led me to New Found Glory, it was "Better Off Dead" and "Dressed to Kill" that seemed to arise arbitrarily from Napster. This was the era where I, as a young and ignorant ephebe, saw my musical triumvirate transition from "Weird Al, showtunes, and Japanese techno," to "New Found Glory, Less Than Jake, and the Bloodhound Gang." Not necessarily a change for the better, but it did allow a few more options.

Prominent Memory: This one is highly connected to its fantasy. In ninth grade I was still dream-pining for Shiva, whom this song transports me to quickly, and the first zygote of my imaginary band was taking shape. Thus, "Dressed to Kill" is one of its first songs, along with some others I'll write about and many that I won't. I contextualized this one a degree further than most others. This takes us all the way back to performing at my summer camp as the Cliché Teenagers. (To go further back than this, which I don't think I'll have to do for Life in Song, would be to reach the Naked Oompa-Loompas).

Alternate Memories: It was in boarding school that I got my first New Found Glory CD, New Found Glory (aha). I suppose I should first recount that initial work program in which I had the audacity to bring my portable CD player with me and listen, visually rocking out, to the disc while standing in formation to chuck chopped wood down the basement. Dolores noticed (everyone noticed, but I noticed her noticing), asked what I was listening and was not visually disgusted when I told her. Sink would condemn me for my taste in the band.

Fantasy: So, the lyrics do sort of lend themselves to fantasy. The singer references going on tour (no, he references being always on tour, which I've mentally changed for so long that I forget what it was originally), which I applied to myself as, I suppose, the Cliché Teenagers began their burgeoning success and I dealt with the ramifications of that in my rocky relationship with Shiva. The lyric "I'm always dressed to kill" is still pertinent, as Artist on Artist favors that kind of ironic cockalorum. That said, I doubt this is actually one of my songs in that universe; if so, it is a vestige.

"I can't dream anymore," the song repeats (I think I heard this once as "can't train anymore"), which I suppose struck me as too poorly poetic even then, so I conjured up Shiva being a sort of mentoring songwriter for me, at camp, who called the process of writing "dreaming." Dumb, but there's something that seems, to me, lovely and innocent about it, which was endemic of my fantasy loves at the time.

It's too bad that "Dressed to Kill" seems neolithic to me now, as lyrics such as "And I can't stop pretending that you're forever mine" could be plucked from any modern Artist on Artist number. Perhaps this was one of our songs in our early, faltering days at H Street.

Out of Ten: 6.1

Audiosurf Score: 163,694 (Nearby: 1, Global: 1)

Some Levity: Many memories arise from the self-titled album on which this song appeared, the brightest one forever being its indelible and inarguable sticker declaring the CD "catchy pop punk from the heart." More than a decennium stands between it and me but it remains unforgettable.

On Audiosurf, someone called Atma commented "I listened to this when I was still happy." I don't know if that counts.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Watering: The A.V. Club, Patrick Klepek

Watering entries are personal diaries, alluding to this post's conclusion. They are a potpourri of recent thoughts and experiences (one might even call them a blog, if one were to be so common), published when I have no other projects to work on, in order to ensure I've written something for the day.

I wonder if I should create a "Fuck The A.V. Club" post label. It's a sentence I think disproportionately often compared to how much of their stuff I actually read. I don't know if it will come up regularly.

Can't quite tease that last sentence into a joke about their staff having trendy bouts of New York City bulimia, so I'll just move on.

I am open to correction, but The A.V. Club bothers me initially because I find something pretentiously indulgent about its genesis. While yes, it existed nominally prior to The Onion's Internet presence and installation in the mainstream, it didn't earn its sententious identity until it finally came to fruition in the last decade. And that was seemingly only a result of funneling the well-meaning hip, young audience of The Onion into a charmlessly sincere and ostentatious cesspool of yuppie bohemia. I've seen the site refer to The Onion as its sister, rather than its parent. That's the sort of thing that gets my goat, and I'm not even an Onion fan.

So, I bring this up because I was searching for information on what is happening between Chevy Chase and Community, hoping to find confirmation that his character was being killed off. I was led to this article, which prompted yet another Watering entry, meaning I probably won't actually get to another Life in Song before the countdown to realizing it was a rash and very bad idea reaches zero.

I want someone to tell Sean O'Neil that putting the word "feud" in quotation marks doesn't actually spare you the indignity of covering a Hollywood feud. I know that after Rachel Maddow criticized chest-beating, pugilistic political headlines it's unfashionably masculine to treat an animosity between two people as an animosity between two people but you don't get to have your cake and eat it while writing an incendiary gossip column and maintaining the prideful insistence that "no one really feuds, this isn't pro wrestling," just because you threw down some dissociative punctuation.

In the article, O'Neal uses the "feud" once normally (must have slipped by the editor) and twice thereafter in quotes. He uses it, in quotes, a further two times in his follow-up. Who is he ostensibly quoting? Deadline? Himself, having allowed the word to originally escape naked, shivering the cold winter without its protective coat of irony? To hell with that. He admits further down that he perpetuates (I'd say "peddles") gossip, but with the same textual smirk of nonconfrontational nonconformity.

Fuck The A.V. Club.

Dreamed the other night about Patrick Klepek of Giant Bomb. A lot of issues there, although in finding that link I did see that he is a year older than me, so that's one issue resolved? I had dreams, years ago, about Anthony Burch. This probably isn't normal. Can't decide whether these unrequited astral connections are more or less emotionally harrowing with male gaming journalists than with the standard imaginary night sylphs. Dreams about those I envy make me feel sycophantic, insecurely reverent. Patrick was nice to me, we shared a chocolate pastry.

There's projection and other problems in this post, hovering like flies over my forthcoming Player Character column. I accused Sean O'Neil of being incendiary and not copping to it - a very apparent theme in Rebel Yell, in which I reiterate a number of times that I hope not to offend (most of) the people I mention, then proceed to indict them from my little computer chair. As well, admitting to envying the "them" about whom I write might not be any sort of revelation, but it could undermine the point I try to make.

I hope the column stands.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Watering: Hauppauge troubles, WrestleMania thoughts

Watering entries are personal diaries, alluding to this post's conclusion. They are a potpourri of recent thoughts and experiences (one might even call them a blog, if one were to be so common), published when I have no other projects to work on, in order to ensure I've written something for the day.

It's nice to wake every day with something to be excited about. With all the budding projects I have encircling me right now, my personal space is one of boundless potential, soon to be desaturated into a destitute aura of obligation and tedium.

One such happiness marred was my receipt of the Hauppauge 1445 HD-PVR Gaming Edition (along with my SSD). Curiously, it's fifteen dollars more expensive now, looking at Amazon. I suppose that pleases me in some spiteful way. I initially thought their included component cable was faulty, when strange horizontal lines began running through the image on my PlayStation 3. While there are cases of people attributing this to the Hauppauge, it seems that the real problem is some electrical gibberish on account of using components. Will try using a two prong adapter.

Didn't isolate this problem without some frustration. Tried the cables on the 360, compared with standard, no noticeable different. Had the 360 sat on my chair as the television was covering most of the table. Worried about ventilation but couldn't see any obvious problems. When I went to turn it on again, I saw my console red ring for the very first time.

It was rather pretty, in a terrifying way. The contrast of colors, the haunting significance, the immediate rush of adrenaline. Like looking at a beautiful, poisonous flower or staring into the face of God before you're liquidated into LCL. (I can't believe I was able to make that reference from memory.)

An immediate moment of clarity: I could purchase another 360 from eBay and give no money to Microsoft. But perhaps that's similar to perpetuating the diamond trade even by wearing synthetics. I searched for temporary, towel-based solutions (later, I would commend myself for not panicking - quite an Adamsian morning), leading me to discover that the truly dreaded red ring was three sections of the circle, not the full four. I'd simply not plugged my AV cable in all the way.

The so-called fear of God dissipated. I was left with the feeling that I ought to repent.

The Wii looked fine as well, although, having returned Skyward Sword, I had no games with which to see if switching cables had miraculously cured my black dots. Selected Super Mario Bros. 3 from my downloaded incunabula, not the most strenuous test for my newly acquired technology.

Combined breakfast and lunch into a nice meal over an episode of Peep Show I'd had in mind, having been too busy with the PVR to acknowledge the zeitgeber of morning.

Was going to write a Life in Song this morning, actually, before things became eventful. Now that I'm watering, I suppose I should talk about WrestleMania.

The conversation was good and pleasant, so I'm happy to say that I was wrong in my prediction that I'd regret looking forward to it, even despite Banky's absence for much of the show. Skype also helped expedite the evening, keeping the demons of delivery at bay. I was wrong when I assumed they would become worse with time. Now, I only think they'll become worse with depression or frustration. Perhaps it is working it against me that I've been in a good mood lately.

This is cyclical.

WrestleMania: Punk and Jericho did not open, which was good. Dragon's eighteen second loss did. Rock won, which surprised until it was made clear that he's in for Backlash, at least, the following night. Two people later, in the chat, were fans of Triple H and Undertaker. In Skype, we found it hysterically bad. Tim kept a count of finishers, marking attempts as halves but not counting sledgehammer shots. Eleven. We may have been petulant, laughing at their now seemingly lauded match, but it was a lot of fun.

My consoles work. My computer will arrive in total tomorrow. I know what my next step is to fix my PlayStation's issues. All in all, not as bad a day as it could have been.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Life in Song: Walter Reed

Life in Song is a series which will likely never finish. It is not, as originally conceived, a span of my hundred favorite songs; rather, each post covers one song randomly selected from a list of those which immediately evoke a memory or other emotional response. Entries will likely be uncomfortably candid and melancholic, as they attempt to recount a song's personal significance and also its context in my psychotically detailed fantasy life.

Song: Michael Penn - Walter Reed

Thoughts: This is the very first episode of Life in Song. I'd considered starting yesterday but chose not to for reasons of time. Additionally, just as finding the perfect song on my iPod with which to begin my walk in the morning is often a fifty-skip struggle, none of the songs that came up then were just right to be number one. Today, as though blessed, this song was the number drawn and I immediately knew it was the right place to begin.

Defining Era: 2007, winter.

Vital Lyric: "Tell me now what more do you need? Take me to Walter Reed tonight."

First Exposure: Home from college for the winter, I was able to catch up on the third season of House. This song plays at the end of "Fools for Love," which began the Michael Tritter arc. (It is also featured the medical mystery resolution of the two lovers actually being half-siblings, which struck me quite sadly that this was apparently devastating for them). Featuring a nice hook and somewhat ambiguous historical allusions, two things which will captivate me quite reliably, it transformed the otherwise dull scene of House's arrest into something that seemed fairly momentous.

Prominent Memory: I had had an online romance with Flower since the summer of 2006. She was at that point and possibly still the most attractive woman I'd conned into undressing for me, while lying about my weight and identity. That December, learning I'd returned to New York, she was insistent that we finally meet. I resisted at first. She wanted me to come on the thirtieth, claiming she was lonely, being sexually explicit, threatening that I would no longer see her on camera if I didn't. I caved, but it was too late by then. We agreed I'd come the next day, the thirty-first, the last day of the year. She was having a New Year's Eve party that night, but I could arrive, make love and leave before then.

She was staying alone in her father's apartment in the Battery Park Ritz-Carlton (half-hotel, half-apartment building). I spent the subway ride staring at my reflection in the opposite window, trying to convince myself that I wasn't too fat, that my hair wasn't too unkempt and haphazardly dyed, that my clothes weren't too poor. Thinking it totally sensible that she could grok me in person as she had over the Internet. Disembarking in a section of Manhattan to which I'd never before been, I considered trying to buy condoms at a Rite Aid, but was running late and lost.

"What a way to conclude 2006," I thought, wondering if everything could really work out.

I found the building hours after I should have. She was becoming frustrated waiting for me. The door man let me in. I still believe he thought I was a drug dealer, on account of my appearance and the brevity of my stay. I did not belong there. The apartment was the greatest I've ever entered, worth millions of dollars, window-walls overlooking the water south of Manhattan. This changed everything from that point of my life onward.

We sat. I felt the sexual tremors of imminence. She was not outwardly disgusted with me, but she didn't initiate anything either. Then, so quickly, the first of her friends arrived. I will never be convinced that she didn't have some silent way to signal them, once she saw me. They were courteous; they offered me marijuana, which I declined with the persistent lie that a friend and I had a contest to see who could stay sober longest. That sounded plausible to me, at the time. I left. I went home.

I listened to "Walter Reed," affixing my pain and turmoil to it. Days later I pressed her until she admitted that she found me unattractive. We never spoke much after that. Our differing interpretations of the events caused a rift between me and Kate. I skipped work (having just begun my internship two days prior), prompting my stepmother to grow enraged and complain that she needed space, and other things. I relayed her ranting to anyone I could reach on AIM, none of whom should have been told. It was a mistake. Later, in the gap of time before our first show, I sat on a bench with Leo and told him how much I love songs that allude to history, despite my lack of historical knowledge. It must have been apparent that I was bothered. He asked and I stayed coy. It was a good moment.

To grouse: I feel that this memory may set an inaccurate precedent for the Life in Song series. I believe very few will actually have such relatively meaningful stories. More will just be the soundtrack to my depression in various rooms.

Alternate Memories: "Walter Reed" came up twice more. Once, the drive home from college. ("All I want to die is hide, it's graduation day.") Of course, it wasn't meant to be the drive home, it was meant to be the drive to Philadelphia, but that's another story. I believe I chose it manually before shuffling the rest. "There's nothing here worth saving," the song said, reflecting on how fleeting I saw college by its end. Then, years later, I began the move to California with this song. I don't know if I chose it. I thought I would play music, but we switched to comedy and podcasts immediately afterward. My father asked about the aforementioned lyric. Of course it was intentional. The song was funereal then, as I looked back at my home for what has remained the final time.

Fantasy: While not a showstopper, "Walter Reed" is a reliable weapon in fantasy band Artist on Artist's arsenal. Its use of historical and military references make it characteristic of my more painful lyrics. Probably early-mid tenure at H Street, retired and used sparingly in later years.

Out of Ten: 8.3

Audiosurf Score: 58,553 (Nearby: 1, Global: 5)

Some Levity: I bet this space will be the hardest of any to fill. Let's see: "Walter Reed" led me to look up its namesake and his hospitals on Wikipedia. For some reason, he came up in conversation during my internship. I was able to note his influence in treating yellow fever, or something. Criminy, who brought up the person, seemed dubious - I think he had a different concept of Reed. That's not the levity. The levity is the time, at the same job, I sat on the couch as I did often and one of the other employees didn't realize that my arm was between his and the armrest, and failed to realize it for a long moment as it slowly downed on everyone that he had embraced me in this minor way. Barton commented something to the effect of: "When ten seconds lasts a lifetime."

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Seasonal Lag: It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia (S7)

Seasonal Lag began as a Flixist c-blog. It covers the most recent season of a given television show, examining it episode by episode as well as against the series as a whole. So named because I am very poor at following shows weekly, or at all.

Note: This blog was originally written for and published on Flixist.

Hello, my name is Jason Savior and this is Seasonal Lag, an attempt at a regular community blog which takes its name from an obscure atmospheric phenomenon in order to offer a haranguing and frequently dilatory retrospective on the most recent seasons of some of my favorite (or most ably tolerated) television shows.

Rejected title: Seasons Beatings, alluding to that charmingly effete way Internet critics have of threatening verbal whallopings to the subjects of their scrutiny which don't impress.

This week's box set is the seventh season of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, now extensively truncated to It's Always Sunny in the same irritatingly marketing-approved manner that a certain News Corp-owned science and nature channel was rechristened Nat Geo to better its odds of survival in the hazardous ecosystem of basic cable, a rare implicit endorsement of such a concept by its parent company.

Where We're At

Premiering on September 15, 2011 and concluding three months to the date later, Sunny's ten episode seventh set a new high in viewership for the series while generally maintaining the same low of its brow. As raucous and grotesque as the show has become, the early seasons of Sunny bear as much similarity to its most recent as the Frank Reynolds-portraying Danny DeVito does to the former star of such family-friendly, biology-based comedies as Junior.

While the scatological depths to which it sank in 2008 irreparably soured me on the show in some ways, I remain as much of a fan as anyone of the instantly recognizable patter style of its dialogue. Season seven preserves the status quo of late, keeping topical episodes to a relative minimum and focusing mainly on gang escapades and hijinx. Season four is spiritually reprised with another out-of-time Holodeck episode as well as a continuity-honoring finale. Treading new ground is what garnered the most buzz prior to the premiere: Rob McElhenney's Bale-esque weight gain in order to advance Mac's character. It was a bold move that fit the character well and left me genuinely impressed, particularly as I was forced to alter my mind's eye fantasies of he and Kaitlin Olson having rapidly paced quip-ridden sessions of lovemaking in order to include another fifty pounds of fleshy anatomy (not Axel Lee).

Episodes 1 - 4: Hummingbirds

The season opens strong with "Frank's Pretty Woman," an episode which intelligently highlights some comedically compelling aspects of the non-Garbage Pail characters and introduces viewers well to Fat Mac (Big Mac?). A later episode explains Mac's portliness in greater fashion, yet without the knowledge that this was forthcoming, I was actually quite content with the only exposition being Mac's stubborn and characteristic insistence that he was bulking and the rest of the gang's disgust. Throughout the first several episodes, Mac's wordless background eating provides a very funny bit of business (one might say he chews the scenery by chewing chimichangas, but they'd be misusing the expression and would have to edit their original draft of this c-blog in order to note as much).

The titular prostitute, by the way, is played by Alanna Ubach, whom my childhood brethren will remember as being the original lab girl on Beakman's World. She is pictured below, preparing for the role as Frank's lover opposite another cartoonish man-rat.

Using the episode to reference Dennis and Dee's crack addiction went a long way for me as a sign that the show is set in the real world with some sort of modest facsimile of consequences, which I believe makes the gang's behavior funnier than if it were ultimately a random series of inanity.

A thread ties episodes two and three together, as they (along with episode eight) are the season's only ostensibly au courant offerings. Both tackle pop culture items which are, if not totally reviled by the mainstream, at least viewed with a certain condemnation: the modern Jersey Shore and child beauty pageants. These two aspects of quintessential Americana owe their recent spotlight to nauseous reality programs. Interestingly, "The Gang Goes to the Jersey Shore" and "Frank Reynolds' Little Beauties" both refuse to indict in any meaningful way these subjects of popular scorn, deliberately keeping the gang as the most hapless and deplorable people on your screen. While upon consideration this is consistent with the show, as it has never been one to use its license for transgressive comedy as a soapbox, it did seem somewhat odd to present every Toddlers & Tiaras mother in a Philadelphia dive bar as a supportive parent in possession of a healthy moral barometer. The Jersey Shore episode, likewise, concludes the Mac and Frank B story with a guido ex machina, to satisfying comedic effect.

Finally, the first RCG-penned episode of the season, "Sweet Dee Gets Audited," is an early high point, marrying a fitting coda to season six to an in-bar subplot which acknowledges Frank's seedy business background. It also features, helped in good part by a physical performance from Olson worthy of an animated GIF, the best classic Sunny title card smash of the season, a comic novelty of which I'll never tire.

Episodes 5 - 9: Emotional Battery

We hit a mid-season lull with "Frank's Brother," commonly considered the worst of the lot, despite the guest appearance of multi-talented Wire alumnus and heartthrob Lance Reddick, whose performance is so competent that one forgets this is possibly his only credit in comedy. Like "The Gang Cracks the Liberty Bell" in 2008, such episodes almost demand sympathy from the viewer - the makers of the show know as well as the audience that the concept is kitsch, but we're expected to allow it so that the regulars have a chance to stretch out of the confines of the established setting. I'm reminded of interviews with the cast of Next Generation I saw as a child in which they all seemed genuinely grateful to get out of their Starfleet uniforms and into a malfunctioning Holodeck at any given opportunity, while the audience was left to grin and bear noir detective Picard or Deputy Alexander.

In "The Storm of the Century," Dennis' sexual parasitism is played well, although hardly approaching previous heights such as "The D.E.N.N.I.S. System." Aside from the payoff of Dee's sudden distrust of machinery, the episode falls flat and, in an extremely unjustified claim, feels something like a webisode. A step up from "Frank's Brother," but the show wouldn't return to form until the following week with "Chardee MacDennis: The Game of Games," my favorite of the season. A bottle episode, of which I am continually a fan, it delivers a potent dose of gang antics without the hit or miss element of an intrusive straight man or one-off oddball. Additionally, it further mines the rich vein of the gang's history growing up together; the various hints of their high school and college years bearing fruits such as Chardee MacDennis greatly enhances the show's present.

"The Anti-Social Network" works well, particularly because of how great seeing the characters' egos bruised by minutiae is as a story seed when it doesn't lead to wild, costumed overcompensation. The labyrinthine Catfish subplot is actually difficult to parse and may or may not completely, fully make sense. Allow me to seductively disrobe and don my "Genius at Work" t-shirt in order to ask: why would Sally's fake Dylan page be friends with the gin bar? Boy, I really hope somebody got fired for that blunder.

Some consider "The Gang Gets Trapped" the season's best and, while the concept is intriguing and the final reveal is succulent, it is somewha -

Wait! Maybe Catfish, in an attempt to inhabit the Dylan character, mentioned being a patron of the gin bar in her conversations with Sally, who then friended the bar in an unnecessary and potentially dangerous attempt to add to the profile's authenticity. Shit.

Perhaps... this genius at work... must humbly acknowledge the work... of geniuses.

Episodes 10 - 13: Plan B

Randall Einhorn is credited as co-director of "How Mac Got Fat," evidence of the fact that the episode's pre-Big Mac scenes were filmed but unused last season. I'd like to know more about this - if episodes reaching production but being dropped is common, if it was dropped in prospective service of Mac's weight gain, so on - but I've been unable to find any interviews on the subject. One thing is certain: seeing thin Mac again sheds total illumination to McElhenney's decision, as the contrast leads the viewer to, more than ever before, experience that sensation of "Wow, does anyone else realize how incidentally attractive and doe-eyed this guy is? I wonder if that's positively influencing my opinion of his performance. I bet it's not, I bet he's just very talented and also happens to be very handsome. I wonder what kind of father he'd be."

It is a private monologue which all actors hope that their audience members have individually recited.

"How Mac Got Fat," as I stated earlier, is in some ways superfluous. The embiggening may have been funnier without explanation, although it doesn't obviously detract. Similarly, "Thunder Gun Express," whose thin premise and obtrusively cheesy countdown clock deflates the season's momentum at first, no major apparent problems and some especially funny interplay between Dennis and Mac are memorable upon second viewing.

And like Glenn Howerton defibrillating Jason Statham at gunpoint, the season jolts to its conclusion on a high. "The High School Reunion," parts one and two, echo "The Nightman Cometh" in their grand nod to the series as a whole and surpasses it in their writing and scope. The reveal of Mac's name, despite the distracting continuity error on the placement of the tag itself, is very rewarding, as is Dennis' feverish descent in the second half. Returning cameos from Judy Greer and Jason Sudeikis draw good reactions from the gang, while Mary Elizabeth Ellis' drunken Waitress exudes an irresistibly vulgar eroticism. The dance routine is sublimely haunting.


It's Always Sunny is signed for another two seasons and it will be interesting to see how things continue, as there remains a muffled progression in the lives of the characters within the show. With the quiet cessation of Boldy Going Nowhere's development early last year, only the three leads' blossoming film careers could take attention away from the series. The seventh season, with few outright moments of disgust and the occasional modicum of lucidity displayed by Charlie, keeps the quality of the show afloat, so far abating yet another case of virtually all long-running sitcoms' moribund predilection toward utter caricature.

That's it for Seasonal Lag this week. Thank you for sparing me some time.

Seasons Beatings might have been the title of a WCW pay-per-view.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Watering: Namecheap, WrestleMania lethargy.

Watering entries are personal diaries, alluding to this post's conclusion. They are a potpourri of recent thoughts and experiences (one might even call them a blog, if one were to be so common), published when I have no other projects to work on, in order to ensure I've written something for the day.

I woke up this morning expecting to find an email from Namecheap stating that "propagation" had completed and I was now free to access my website via their hosting interface. No such email had arrived, although propagation was indeed finished, and I did not have access to my cPanel. How curious.

Once, in first grade, we had an assignment to make papier-mâché (Did you like that? My first attempt was "paper machete.") masks or something. We had to stand in front of the class and describe their creation. I went on in such detail, recounting every pitfall and dead end, that I was told to resile to my seat and allow all the other students to go before I could continue. I often think of that day when I realize I'm belaboring my point.

Suffice it to say, I was able to deduce, in conversation with fake-American tech support girl Mary, that having web hosting for overwrote the email forwarding from its domain service. After that, not only were my problems rectified, but the installation of WordPress went dubiously smoothly. Literally, in seconds. I am still skeptical that the site is up and not just cached on my browser.

I made a Mass Effect-like decision to apply both of my WhoisGuard vouchers to The Player Character instead of one to that and one to 1-uprising. I'll have to wait until the end of the trilogy to see if that was the right call. In consolation, I can probably assume the difference will not be dramatic, but merely a matter of War Assets.

Time constraints and all. We're dealing with a lot of variables.

I also woke up hoping for another message, one that I really shouldn't have been. Signs of life, overtly erotic, from Storm which immediately sunk my heart. I've done a good job today keeping that issue from occupying my thoughts, but it's not night yet. Sunday will be harshest.

That is to say: Sunday, tomorrow, there's a date to Skype. It began with my suggestion, later imploration, to that we all purchase and watch the special two dollar Dragon Gate USA iPPV being streamed, featuring Low Ki vs. PAC in the main event. I've heard many good things about PAC, only seeing him live once in a match the crowd mired, and Ki is always a favorite of mine, so I really think I'd have enjoyed the show. Plus, there is still something to be said for supporting a product and not obtaining what little independent wrestling I'm still exposed to like a brigand.

Instead, it was decided that we should instead watch WrestleMania together, for spectacle's sake. The big deal is John Cena and The Rock. I never saw X8, so I've nothing to compare this to. I like Rock in theory. Eh. Tim and Jeremy projected last night that the show will open with CM Punk's title match, which, man, how could my excitement for the show be further extinguished? No Money in the Bank, as that's its own desperate thing now, so the only gimmick match is Triple H and Undertaker, both of whom are so old that it is assured nothing outrageous will happen.

I'm relieved that no wrestling fans (or anyone) will ever read this post. Were my heart into it, I imagine I could write about the art without sounding like a stereotypical (unfairly so, of course) indie smark, or hokey gimmick fan, but frankly, I just feel generally languid about the whole event. The only boon of the situation is getting to spend it socially with the Skype chums and I am past certain that I'll feel sheepish for having written that come Monday.