We went to see Kevin Smith a little over a week ago at The Midland. Great show,I wasn’t sure what to expect, but he’s a gifted speaker/communicator and he went for three full hours. Part standup, part industry insider gossip, and questions from the audience running the gambit from the finer points of ass to mouth to nerdy shit dealing with the extras on the recent Blu-Ray release of Chasing Amy. Smith’s career has run the gambit from creating the indie flick phenomenon Clerks to the recent release of Cop-Out. I’ve heard a lot of people poo-poo him for selling out or becoming irrelevant, and I’ve ridden the fence on that one myself. Smith brought this up the other night and made a point that spoke to me personally in relation to my blog. He said everyone keeps expecting him to make the next Clerks, but when he made clerks he was living in his parent’s basement and was one miserable fucker. He added that if you want him to be able to write something like Clerks again, then let him come home and see his beloved wife blowing you….then he may be able to get some of the angst back long enough to whip out another dose of misery. The point was, he’s happy now, he’s older, he’s rich, a family man, and he’s no longer the guy who can do Clerks. So he has to do other things that make him happy, and hopefully keep him relevant….to his fans, the people who will always relate, if nobody else.
Other than being a fat guy, I’m no Kevin Smith. However, after listening to him I really believe he is one of the few people in the world I would never have to edit myself in front of…his off-the-cuff humor is pretty twisted, and no matter how “normal” I become I’ll always, thankfully, have a part of my brain that is positively fucked. Lately, in casual conversation when watching TV, I’ve been on this kick where I’ll (for example) see someone holding a folder in a business meeting and I’ll say “I wonder what would happen if they were standing there holding a child’s disembodied hand?”. And it will go on like that for about a week….not just a disembodied hand, but a child’s disembodied hand. And of course it doesn’t pop to mind when I’m watching The Office, it’s always at a time when Tim Gunn is holding a ruler on Project Runway, or something else completely benign.
“So seriously, how do you think everyone would act if that was a child’s disembodied hand he was using to point at the garments? Do you think they’d just respect it because it was Tim Gunn? Because there is NO DENYING that fucking hand has been hacked off of the end of a kid’s arm like twenty minutes ago.”
So there’s that. And those moments come and go, and usually I could give less of a shit if anyone else thinks it’s funny, because to me it is hysterical. I always imagine some bleeding heart like Rob Reiner starting a coalition to ban the use of children’s limbs as props on television, for fear that the general public will then believe it’s okay for them to run around playgrounds with pruning shears having their way with youngster flesh. He’d come up with some stupid acronym like W.I.G.B.A.M. (Will It Grow Back Again, Mommy?), that would be all the rage for the limousine liberal set.
ANYWAY, I’ve been too uncomfortable, even apologetic, about the direction of my blog after sobering up. I’m definitely not saying it was always fueled by alcohol, that was usually NOT the case, but things were different. I was different. And I don’t think anyone who reads it regularly would appreciate non-stop insanity for the sake of shock value. I’m a real guy with real shit going on, and I know the absolute worst thing to do would be to enforce a regular schedule here. I can’t depend on recreating something that was funny two years ago to keep it afloat. Life goes on, I keep writing this thing as the motivation comes, and that’s pretty much it.
Right now, things are just good. Life is normal. The new job started last week, so I’m generally up a little after 6am to take a shower, let the dog out, make coffee and hang out checking email and Facebook until it’s time to get dressed and hit the road with my lunch that my wife usually packs for me. Not a bad situation. Then work is a pretty steady 9-5 with no big surprises or pressure…….I cannot overstate the greatness of a government gig, even as a contractor. It is THE way to slide into middle age, it is my personal version of creating an easy big studio flick like Cop Out. Being financially responsible and living within our means without having to worry about pinching every penny. Things like buying the good Farm to Market bread instead of whatever happens to be on sale….THAT is the good life.
And the obsession with cooking never stops. My father in law and his wife are in town this weekend, so I’ll get the smoker going. Then in a couple of weeks I get to do a for-real hyper-planned meal for friends who are about to have a baby. In the middle of all of that is school, which I’m losing enthusiasm for now that I’m working, but even that isn’t so bad. You do meet some batshit crazy people who just don’t get what school is all about….but I have to expect that kind of culture shock since the last schooling I had was grad school, and now I’m at a junior college in their addiction counseling program. If nothing else, it’s damn easy to get an “A”. Throw in evening walks in the park with my wife and my dog, working together to plan the week’s evening meals, and figuring out what to do with the weekend since we’re both working now….and I have no complaints. After a few years of intermittent insanity, this is the life. The American Dream, as far as I’m concerned. If that’s selling out, then fuck it, selling out is awesome.
Of course, probably none of this would be possible without the calm and rational approach to life that comes with sobriety. At almost nine months, it’s not always the first thing on my mind in the morning or the last thing on my mind at night, but I do know that meetings are something I’ll have to do for the rest of my life, and I’m thankful for the insurance and the structure. The Saturday 8am meeting that I’m leading now is something I genuinely look forward to all week. I go to other meetings, it’s just my favorite, and I provide the good donuts. I just finished my fifth step with my sponsor a couple of weeks ago, so the focus now is that this is indeed not just a new life….it’s life. This is the beginning of all things, and the strength that comes from that is what will get you through the intermittent insanity that is sure to come. If nothing else, I now everything will be better than it would be if I was drinking….especially the crazy, unmanageable surprises, losses and failures.
So when the good times are here, I’ll take them. And with spring in the air as a bonus, and the farmer’s markets on their way…..these are the good times. New furniture is being delivered this weekend, and I’ve begun pricing thermal immersion circulators to take my cooking to the next level.
And I do keep seeing some crazy spikes in readership from time to time, I know people are out there reading, so thanks for the repeat business. To some degree, this is all for me and about me….but my ego demands attention from others as well. And that’s all I’ve got for right now. Feel free to take the hand thing and run with it.