Day 1.8

Day 1.8: Six and some hours later I have had time to think, and play, and write, and rewrite. Escaping formula, I have begun to recraft an earlier story that seems to be inclined to write itself: it’s a draw and I can feel progress, if in fact that is possible. In its new form it should also lend to a more fluid transformation to digital serialized publication. I hope to have something substantial soon to drop into my page for public viewing.

Background music: 167 tracks of random U2 I compiled for my mp3 machine, on a single disc, and spinning for many hours without repeat.

It sort of feels empty without the tv on. I haven’t gone this long without it for a loooooooong time. Vacations and camps don’t count: it only counts when I am sitting on my living room floor and I can see the black box lurking there, taunting me to turn it on. Does this sound crazy? Probably. But that’s how things go.

Last week I started reading through the Narnia series again. I realize that they are children’s books, but one thing I always regret is that I never did finish the whole series. Of course, I have since listened to the entire BBC radio dramatization a number of times (not quite as much as HHGG, but that’s another psychosis) and I now know how everything works out. But I have never actually read those last two elusive books. And they are darn good stories too.

Now throw in a dash of dark political criticism, a loaf of Dilbert, and a pinch of Stephen King – and you have a regular bedtime reading buffet. If only the weather would cooperate so I could stop being a wimp and do something outside for a change.

Day 1.4

Day 1.4: Wandering through Chapters at lunch I was struck with inspiration: one word on the cover of a book caught my glance and an idea that I had been playing with for my story shuffled the thousand little notes together into some sort of coherent pattern. Perhaps my writings tonight will be less blog than they will fiction. I’ll see if it holds.

Day 1.0

Day 1.0: I crawled from my bed this morning and instinctively went for the remote. Good thing the tv was unplugged. I know the best way to avoid temptation: go to the office and do some work.

Day 0

Day 0: the blogs of a TV-less infojunkie stretch out for seven days from this point. I have made the transition from the box and pulled the cord on the prodigal glass teat. The trial begins here.

The background story: In the simplest of words: it has become an addiction. It is like smoking, but it kills the brain instead of the lungs. It is like crack, but it melts away your time instead of your friends. It is like booze, but it thrashes your imagination rather than your liver.

I grew up on TV. This is no one’s fault. It is just reality. It is a simple pattern that we fall into: What’s on tv? I don’t know. Click. Ahhhhh….

And the justification: everyone watches. I remember watching Oprah one night – many years ago when I was still living with my parents and we stared at the tube over dinner. Oprah, to the amazement of many of her guests, and admittedly myself, had found a family that didn’t watch TV, didn’t own a TV, and – here’s the kicker – didn’t want a TV. They were against the idea of a television in their home. And the amazing thing was that their children were okay with this: at least I was amazed. This family was an oddity: they were people bizarre enough to be paraded through the modern freak-show that is talk tv. They were not normal. And we all tuned in to see a family on a television show they themselves would likely never watch.

Years later that show sticks in my head: I don’t know why. At first I think I was amued at the idea of a life without television: a life without Star Trek, the Simpsons, Jerry Springer, or a miriad of other shows concieved from the imaginations of a thousand faceless writers. And it stuck with me. But somewhere inside that gap a change occured: there was a switch of revolutionary proportions. I saw what it had been difficult to see those years ago: I was not facinated because they were freaks: I was facinated because at some level they were right. Maybe not exactly right: they were extreme – no tv? – I would like to see their kids today and find out if they ever rebelled and became drug addicts – addicts to rebel against the forced morality of the parents.

But tv in moderation: that is the “right” idea that seems to haunt my thoughts today. I reflect on what I accomplish with television, and what pops into my head are words like: vegging, relaxing, entertainment, and nothing. And then I start to thing of what I could do away from it: I realize there are too many words to write. And I wonder why it calls me back. calling… calling… braaa-aaaddd, watch me….. watch me…..watchmewatchmewatchme!

And I know that it IS an addiction and there may never be an escape. I understand that this all seems lke melodrama – that these words seem to be littered with some sort of exaggeration of the “pull of the box.” But try it. Walk away. If you can, you are stronger than I, because my week has just begun and I am already counting.

To fill the gap: words, ramblings, and things I don’t know yet what. Breathe deep, seek peace.


Tomorrow is the start of TV Turnoff Week: I’m unplugging my tube before I go to bed tonight and starting the endurance test called tv-cold-turkey. It’s a glimpse of my masochistic nature: I’m watching the regular Sunday line-up and they are throwing tempting previews of this weeks shows at me.

Must… resist… the… tempatation…

I went hiking with the cubs yesterday: we drove out to the Squamish Valley and climbed the side of a mountain to a pretty little waterfall dropping into a narrow canyon. Some scratched knees and a compliment of sore hands later and we were all glad to be back to the city with lots of great pictures. It was a shame that the camp were had originally planned was a no-go, but that’s how things work out sometimes.

Thoughts on one year ago today? Check the history report…
But now it’s time for the Simpsons, so you’ll need to be content with that for now.

Friday night lurks…

Friday night lurks, and shortly past nine I am sitting in the Java Hut nursing the last few sips of my strawberry tea, and wondering how long I should stay here: for those who care, the local video store dropped the price of it’s previously viewed DVDs to an amazing ten bucks. I couldn’t help but pick one up for myself. Instant gratification is fleeting though, and so now I am here contemplating words.

The project continues: I continue. I wonder how many words I can write before my thoughts turn into a blurred sludge of information without meaning. I wonder if it matters.

I think I would like to write a short story: it might be a lark. I could come up wit a single nugget of interest and milk the essence from it, building a shifting, but simple plot with no deep meaning but just simple entertainment value. I could write about something very simple, in fact: walking for example. That idea just materialzed from the depths of my muse’s lurking abode. He is unusually attentive tonight.

Walking. The story so far: the curse of the stroll. The bane of the stride when nothing can be accomplished without steps. Imagine if the people who made shoes decided to charge us for walking: imagine they put sensors in our soles and counted every step we took. It would give new meaning to the words “pay as you go” and the question would be: would we buy those shoes? And why wouldn’t we? If the shoes were the best shoes, and the price was reasonable? But then maybe… maybe things could happen, and I need to think more about this idea.

Redundant thoughts, and my tea is all gone.

an email

I just recieved an email from seti@home thanking me for all my hard work: apparently sometime just a few minutes ago I reached a milestone of 500 workunits complete. Too bad they don’t send me a free t-shirt or something.

on the tides of

Lamenting on the tides of the craft: Muse says, get you busy man, man! You no do nothin for a week, eh? I sit here all the day thinking and sending them ideas up to the brains way. You sit there, you sit, and you burn them. You burn them ideas, man. Why should I bother even then some to be sitting here thinking them thoughts and worry such? Why, eh, why when you need some inspiration someday and I won’t be here no then, eh, man?

Ah, but this could not be further from the truth. Whatever this means. I have been shuffling files around: building stucture, as it could be said. Ideas are only as solid as the mould into which they are poured. Some ideas are more solid than others, and in this thought I have found an unlikely chaperone. My drifting attentions have refocused on the musing of one Mr. King. I can’t say I’m a fan: the content of his books are not things that ever held my attentions. I did read some – only two or three – but beyond that my focus was sporadic at best. However, I have been flipping through the pages of some of his recent work – “On Writing” and “Everything’s Eventual” – and I have been tracing a vein of thoughtful insights into the craft: perhaps it is my lack of attention to older works, or my newly visioned attentions to watch for these blips on the creative radar, but Mr. King has brought me some needed inspiration – a gentle nudge of confidence – towards that fumbling goal.

But then again, maybe I’m just lamenting…

take 5

Reasons why today was different than every other day of the rest of my life…

1… I woke up this morning with a dull ache on the right side of my head. It was mildly annoying at first, grew sharper after lunch, and by 3 this afternoon I was checking the mirror to see if I had any of that mysterious blue fluid that someone once told me comes out of your ears. I don’t know if I still believe that: I used to. Fourty-five mintues studying the prenatal care poster on the wall of a local walk-in, and the doctor tells me I have a minor ear infection and prescribles ten bucks worth of big white pills that I get to take twice daily with lots of water. Joy, beyond joys.

2… After receiving the inane (hyperbole-free) number of over 45 calls from the Nature magazine subscription service, I flipped them the metaphorical bird and renewed my subscription through other means. I am hoping the little nerd who felt it necessary to call me sometimes as often as 4 times a day – I have call display, buddy – I hope he is working on commission and that he wallows in pity at the fact that he is not getting mine. I really do enjoy getting phone calls at 6:30 AM asking me for my credit card number so that I can continue recieving their lovely magazine without any interuption to my service: what about interuption to my sleep? That is something I am a little more concerned over. Well, perhaps those adventures are at last over for another year.

3… As Karin is now in the – literal – last leg of her University career, she is writing exams starting tomorrow: our phone conversations have been so long lately that I’m surprise my Telus stock is losing as much value as it is. Tonight – with a cram session undoubtably on the way – I was pre-empted for the study-lympics: I was only worthy of a short four minute phone call. My next book: “How to have a relationship in only four minutes a day” And as she might possibly – maybe if the universe doesn’t collapse weather-permitting kind of free ten seconds happens – she read this tomorrow: good luck on your exam, and don’t forget to read the questions!