Let me state that I have never wondered whether lettuce is alive or not. Until this:
It has the dual effect of putting me off lettuce entirely - either because it is DEAD, or because it is ALIVE.
Got sidetracked watching a documentary about Egyptian afterlife rituals and beliefs. It started simple - hey, you’re going to be heading to the other side, pack a lunch and bring beer - and within a few centuries it turned into an elaborate ritual that required beating your servants to death so you’d have someone to carry your luggage. They spent years micromanaging the details, like someone who spent half his life packing for a plane voyage he knew would crash on takeoff.
It’s remarkably detailed: in Hour Nine of the Pharoah’s voyage, he commands a serpent demon to torment the souls of his enemy. Isn’t that remarkable? You never find a moment in ancient Egyptian mythology where the King has to confront the souls of all the people he screwed over, and prepare his heard to be pierced by a Fanged God of Shame for eternity.
I mean, it all comes down to the dead king performing feats in the afterlife to make sure the sun comes up. And it works! Ergo it’s true.
It's fascinating, though. I love Egyptian documentaries, even if they mostly consist of underlit shakycam pictures of sweaty blank-faced people performing solemn rituals, interspersed with scenes of rubble. Why does it intrigue? Because Rome survived. Rome maintained. Rome passed along its culture in the form of ideas, sounds, and structures. Egypt evaporated and left a million bones.
Goodbye September. Goodbye the week. You know, I like Mondays. I like the start of things. I like Thursdays, because Friday bleeds into Thursday, somehow. I like Friday nights the best. All the treats: a night of work without anything due the next day; an episode of M Squad while I work; a bourbon around 9 PM, followed by its kith and kin; a movie - “The Avengers” this time - and a dish of ice cream.
Used to have ice cream every night. Told myself it was okay because it was Reduced Sugar. That’s why I went up to the Fat Jeans during the days when I was mostly concerned with either watching Natalie to make sure she didn’t put a fork in her eye or an outlet, or working at the kitchen table while she played her games on her hand-me-down laptop, or taking her to that Early Childhood Family Whatever thing at the church across from the Russian Art Museum, where I sat with ten moms and we all shared our parenting experiences.
That was the only time I was ever accepted as a full-time parent. Otherwise, you’d say you were a stay-at-home dad, and you got an indulgent smile. I’m sure you think so. Poor wife probably has to come home to grease fires and a brimming Diaper Genie.
Then the Wii told me I was borderline obese, something I wrote about in a column last week. I used the column to cast an askance glance at the BMI idea - there was no possible way I was borderline obese, even with the ice-cream habit and the thrice-weekly junk-food lunch. A doctor wrote me this week to say the column was “despicable.”
Seems a bit much.
Anyway, I’m back on the Wii Fit, because I lost some definition, and if there’s anything you don’t want to lose, aside from a limb, a spouse, or a house, or a job, it’s definition. The usual steps: move around more, eat less, feel better. Because I’m fifty-bloody-four years old and an offer to be a swimsuit model is going to come around any day now.
While stepping up and down on a piece of plastic, I watched “The Trip,” with Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon. Really, they were right there, in folding chairs, watching along with me. As I’ve said over and over again, Coogan is my hero, and his willingness to play himself as an unlikeable character is one of the things I just love. In “The Trip,” he’s paired with Rob, who always seems centered and decent and well-aware that Coogan is ten-times more famous and wealthy. I was referred to this movie for the Dueling Michael Caine sequence.
The movie’s on Netflix. It’s humor, but the humor of a different universe where I really wished I lived.
Friday Face. He's one of those guys you know or you don't.
For the first time on Friday Face: there's a Star Trek connection!
So: new site. What is it? Why it’s WNAX, of course. you’ve all been waiting for some NAX action, I know. For some reason I have three old radio albums - a form of promotion long evaporated. It’s a thick book with pictures of all the radio station’s staff, as well as program guides, and a potent example of the relationship between radio and The People. Radio was different than any other medium, and there’s a reason I never see in anyone else’s analysis. You can do something else meanwhile.
There are few mediums that don’t require you to stare at it.
So: head off to that radio site. It's just the start - seven pages - but I'm sure when it's done it'll be 200 pages. Sigh.