IT’S BEEN AWHILE
So I’m sittin’ around, watching “Redbelt” on Netflix instant viewing. It’s good. Just ate some wings from the Hannford “wing bar” and a salad with fat-free Italian dressing. Tasty. General Tso’s flavored wings and honey-fried wings. Both shredded yellow cheese and cubed white cheese on the salad. What’s especially good is the combination of Italian dressing, cheese, and a dried cranberry placed on a cucumber slice. Everything is fine right now. It hasn’t been cold or snowy outside. The baby is the size of an apple and it has a heartbeat that sounds like a lightsaber. I have a pint of Americone Dream in the freezer, just waiting for me to lay waste to it. Riding out the end of a reasonably restful Thanksgiving break, during which I ate a great deal of good food (I am related to good cooks) and enjoyed spending time with my family. I ate blueberry pie and coconut cream pie, both of which I assure you were even tastier than you’re imagining them right now.
What else? Moving to a new place come January. Nothing special lookswise, but it has two bedrooms, is in a calm environment, and includes high-speed Internet, cable, phone, and heat within the rent price, which isn’t drastically more expensive than what we’re currently paying. Planning on getting rid of our current cumbersome and saggy couches and replacing them with something that can successfully provide both comfort and support. Ditto with our shit bed. Christmas is coming up. I don’t feel a whole lot concerning that. It’ll come and go, and we’ll no doubt have a nice time. We’ll get things and give things.
Everything is starting to feel different. Without really being able to verbalize the sensation to my satisfaction, I can only tell you that the knowledge that one is about to introduce a child into their life feels something like suddenly caring about everything and nothing all at once. The act of classifying items and concepts as “important” or “unimportant” is very much in the former camp. Though as of yet it rarely stops me from engaging in same, I am more aware now when an activity that I’m in the process of engaging in is a waste of my time, from the most general of standpoints. Time seems to be passing even more quickly than before, and yet I am more cognizant of the moment. I hear myself a bit more clearly when I talk, especially when it comes to idle chitchat, in the act of which I seem to be more able than usual to forgive myself comments that are inane or flat out untrue (or quite possibly both), and yet in these moments I have felt myself actually wincing with embarrassed disbelief in mid-utterance. I am able to pick up a belonging – a paperback from a bookshelf, for example – and within seconds discern whether or not it is something that needs to remain in my possession. I can recognize a voiced opinion – good, bad, or indifferent – as just that, and not a hurtful, deadening blueprint for later action and trains of thought on my own part. Recognition is a start.
Because I don’t want to sound or be crazy, I don’t think the act of fertilizing an egg and thereby creating an organism that will eventually develop into an alternately intrusive and poignant little person whose hopeful happiness and continued existence both depend on a steady siphoning of ones time and finances magically or scientifically enhances ones sense of self. It probably just follows that a huge, unfamiliar change of this magnitude tends to lead to a lot of sitting back and grasping for perspective. That’s a disappointingly level-headed explanation that I privately reject because I’d like to believe that life is more of a fairy tale than that, but for the sake of a coherent blog let’s go ahead and assume that it’s valid. Big changes lead to big feelings which potentially lead to big changes in another direction. Whatever the cause, and whether it prompts me to evolve (however tentatively) or not, these feelings and perceived realizations are useful to me. They feel positive, and the normally unquashable tendency to deflate them with humor or out-and-out denial via fear or embarrassment has become more of a selectively permeable membrane than a big, grey, retarded wall. My hope is that this encouraging if vague aura is something that will either linger or intensify upon the actual birth of my son or daughter (still no word on that yet), and isn’t the type of thing that will crawl back up my asshole and suffocate once I’m looking down at and struggling to contain/rationalize the helpless alien wriggling in my unaccomodating arms.
So what about the rest of you guys or gals who’ve had kids? You feel anything weird while you were expecting? Concentrate on the weirder aspects of the experience, if you could. The joy upon birth is a given and thus less interesting to hear about. I’ll thank you to keep your commonplace happiness to yourselves! You don’t necessarily need to respond if you’d prefer not. It’s just that the act of conceiving a child has turned me into a superhero and I’d like to discuss that with someone.
“Redbelt” just ended. A solid effort. I found it admirably unselfconscious for a David Mamet movie, except for whenever Ricky Jay or Joe Mantegna were talking, but I guess those guys had to be in it so people didn’t forget that David Mamet wrote it. Chipolte Egalitarianism was excellent in the lead role, and somehow managed to make both leadership and principles seem neither boring nor lame. Tim Allen, in an unexpected turnaround of events, managed to disgrace neither himself nor the entire human race in his supporting role. I have nothing whatsoever against Tim Allen in the grand scheme of things; I am only saying derogatory things about him because this is the Internet and I am writing about Tim Allen. That doesn’t seem fair. I’m sorry, Tim Allen. You did a good job in “Redbelt”. I’ll now post a picture of something having to do with “Redbelt” because who wants to look at a big pile of words?
All glib glazing aside, if you like fighting and writing, you could do a lot worse than “Redbelt”. Storywise, the basic deal is that the guy in the poster who just reduced that other guy to a crumpled heap of bruises and gi is a noble sensei who gets himself into a tragically awkward situation through a series of well-intentioned actions that all go horribly wrong, and he must extricate himself from the resultant unpleasantness without compromising his morals or integrity while looking tough and handsome throughout. This being David Mamet, people say “fuck” and interupt each other’s sentences with fair frequency, but not to the point where it’s ridiculous. Refreshingly few scenes play like the following:
MIKE: See, the thing is –
BOB: I know.
MIKE: No, look, the thing, the fucking thing –
BOB: It’s fucked. It’s a fucked-up thing.
MIKE: What you need to see, to understand here, is this thing, which is fucking all of us, me and you both…
BOB: It’s fucking us both, and Charlie too…
MIKE: Fuck Charlie.
BOB: Fuck Charlie?
MIKE: What did I say?
BOB: You said fuck Charlie.
MIKE: I know what I fucking said.
BOB: You asked me what you said. I’m just saying what you said.
MIKE: What I said – and what I’m saying to you here, what I’m saying, Bob, is this thing, this fucking script, was written by David Mamet.
BOB: I know it. I know.
MIKE: David fucking Mamet.
BOB: I know.
In fact, the characters who take up the majority of the screen time in “Redbelt” could be easily confused with characters who do not happen to appear in a film written by David Mamet, and to that end I hereby congratulate David Mamet for not writing like himself all the time. And there’s even a few good scenes of people kicking each other, so there you go with that.
So to sum up, having a baby is weird, and “Redbelt” is a decent flick. Thanksgiving break is almost over, meaning that I will be expected to get up at a certain time tomorrow and drive to a building that is not my home where I will remain for several hours for the purpose of accomodating future commerce for myself and my wife. You can only be so happy about that kind of thing (The driving to and remaining inside the building that is. Commerce I like. ). Time to cling to the remaining shreds of my protracted weekend, by which I mean time to go use Flickchart. I hope everybody had a nice Thanksgiving and we’ll do this again soon.