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For the First time in a Decade I am watching TV & it still sucks (1) – Give me some recommendations


download (13)“I find television very educational. Every time someone switches it on I go
into another room & read a good book.” – Groucho Marx

When I decided to stop watching tv about a decade ago I have found it way too predictable and mind-numbing. I couldn’t understand why anyone would want to come home have working a job(s) and then sit passively in front of a screen that intimated action.  I found that my creativity was stifled by how much TV I watched. The more TV I watched the less I had time for what was important. I decided to use my time to further my personal goals and aspirations.

A few weeks ago my wife and sister decided to get direct TV and since our household is run like a democracy I couldn’t protest.  A lot of relatives didn’t visit me often because there was nothing to do at my place, they always pestered with questions like: How can you not have a TV? Why do you do with all that time ? I still never understood how when you come over to someone’s house to visit you need things to do.  But that is another point entirely. Occasionally I might bing watch something on Netflix, like avatar the last air bender I watched  or some anime with my niece but that is it.

Did you know that:

  1. Nielsen research showed the average American watched an average of 5.1 hours per day,
  2. Research has shown that when you are watching TV, your higher brain regions shut down, and activities shift to the lower brain regions. In the long run, your higher brain regions experience atrophy due to lack of usage. There have been studies that TV viewing among children leads to lower attention and poorer brain development.
  3. The average TV show is all about the lowest common denominator

That was enough for me to stop watching. I generally go to another room. MrsMary loves watching TV and to each her own. When we do watch something together I bit my tongue. It’s still all too predictable

But Maybe I’m whacky

I could also be crazy. Share with me your favorite shows and why. Maybe I am jut watching the wrong things? I will get back to you after I have watched enough stuff.

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What It’s Like @32 || Drinking and growing up


While for many it’s an abstract word, salvation for me was something tangible. From 1999 to about 2006 salvation was the sense of euphoria that washed over me nine to twelve beers into the night. During those youthful days I drank and performed sexually as if I had something to prove. Friday Nights revolved around pounding shot, after shot, after shot. Then of course after I’d finish, I’d shower and then go for some drinks. There was no drink too foul, no dare to egregious.

Back in the Day

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There were no drinking games. There was just this need to yank myself away from the uniformity of life either with friends or solitarily. Alcohol sublimated the emotional and psychological pain I felt. It quieted my general misanthropy. It wasn’t too long before being yanked out of mind and body I fell in love with this new sense of levity. While under the influence I could be extremely amorous, however more often than not I drank alone in complete silence lost in thought.

My alcohol tolerance then was legendary, as were my antics. There was nudity, screaming hollering and hysterical jokes. In one instance if not for my friend’s fast-thinking I would have gotten arrested for disturbing the peace. Alcohol was basically an accelerant. Depending on where I was in my oscillations between the extremes of depression and mania, it push me towards whichever extreme I was closest. Sobering up was the worst, not just because of the hangover but I could feel the shackles on again. Gone was that sense of levity. Gone was the euphoria. and there was a pervasive chagrin in their stead.

Now @32

guinness_0Now I am not in the same place. The pain is there and real, but I am older and more mature. I have other healthier ways of dealing with it. Every now and then I go to a pub and sit there and drink, make conversation with strangers and  the usual 3-5 pints of Guinness and 2 shots of Jameson. I usually drink at home once a week, and I end up playing  some songs steeped in nostalgia. I sing out loud off key to annoy MrsMary who eventually joins in because I’m that irritating. games of Wii tennis are played.

But you know what I’ve noticed the most?

There is a significant change in energy. Robert Bly in his Iron John has said of adolescence that” It [adolescence] is the time of risk-taking for boys, and that risk taking is also a yearning for initiation.”  In what we would call traditional societies adolescence is the time where the older men of the tribe or community take the young males and initiate them into adulthood. One of the failures of our society is the lack of initiation of adolescent boys into men. I think the prevalence of gangs, and gang culture is a testimony to that. With no one there  young men initiate each other into their gangs and you see the result in the news.

This is one of the major themes of Kerouac’s On the Road. With no one there for Sal or Dean, what do they do ? They go on the road, it is an act of defiance and rebellion.

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According to Kingsley Widmer’s The Literary Rebel, “to take to the road is initiation ritual and educational foray, as well as a rebellion against the given circum­stances”. Taking to the road in Kerouac’s novel is both escaping and returning, or circling and criss-crossing the continent, “leaving con­fusion and nonsense behind and performing our one and noble function of the time, move” 

“We gotta go and never stop going till we get there.”
“Where are we going, man?”
“I don’t know but we gotta go.”  

The saddest part about on the road is that they do not have a clear site of the goal and often return again to how they were. The book ends as it begins with Sal thinking about Dean Moriarity. Look at the last paragraph of on the Road:

“So in America when the sun goes down and I sit on the old broken-down river pier watching the long, long skies over New Jersey and sense all that raw land that rolls in one unbelievable huge bulge over to the West Coast, and all that road going, and all the people dreaming in the immensity of it, and in Iowa I know by now the children must be crying in the land where they let the children cry, and tonight the stars’ll be out, and don’t you know that God is Pooh Bear? the evening star must be drooping and shedding her sparkler dims on the prairie, which is just before the coming of complete night that blesses the earth, darkens all the rivers, cups the peaks and folds the final shore in, and nobody, nobody knows what’s going to happen to anybody besides the forlorn rags of growing old, I think of Dean Moriarty, I even think of Old Dean Moriarty the father we never found, I think of Dean Moriarty.”

Adolescence some have argued continues on nowadays til 25 and I can looking at my life, vouch for that. Things are very different now. Thirty-two feels very different from 25. The craziness has died down a lot, and I found my own “initiation into society”. It still peaks out  here and there, but for the most part unless I am in Vegas or  celebrating something I feel much more stable.

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Dear Me || A Letter to my 65 year old Self & Truck Nuts


Ah yes!

It’s 3:09 AM and I am still awake for reasons unknown. I am going to write something unprecedented for your viewing pleasure. Have you noticed that every month or so there is somebody who write a letter to their future self or to their loved one to be read after they shuffle off their mortal coil? Those things go viral! I thought I would join the trend just to be a dick. I too want to go viral, safely without getting an STD. Every day we are given so many reasons to leave behind our pettiness and live life more fully. Yet we, myself included, spend all this time going through the motions and pretending we are better than we think we are. So with that in mind here is my letter

To My 65 Year old Self

Dear 65 years old MrMary

I cannot imagine what it feels like to overcome yet another statistic. You dodged being incarcerated, having a child out of wedlock and that dying from a serious crack addiction narrative which was part of your social contract. Now you managed to live till 65. Of course, living so long comes with a price. I’m guessing that at 65 your prostate is enlarged and to add insult to injury no chicks want to fuck a 65 year old. Correction: no hot chick wants to fuck a 65 year old living from pension check to pension check. But it’s all good though. I imagine watching porn is less of an investment. You can turn it off after the guy delivers the pizza, because that’s probably all the thrill you can take at your age:food. Food makes the pain of loss go down easier, am I right?

I’m sure your glad I am not wasting words telling you trite platitudes like everyone else does at this point in their letter. You know what I mean:

  1. Life is messy
  2. Just  because I did that girls gone wild video, I’m still a good person
  3. All the struggling was worth it,
  4. What doesn’t kill you make’s you stronger.

truck-nutz-girls-10That last one is my favorite, I always wanted to ask a soldier who survived being wounded in the genitals how he felt stronger having to stick a pair of truck nuts down his trouser to feel like a man again?

We learned long ago that life isn’t beautiful or alluring or sad or painful. Life just is. It continues on long after we’ve died. Sad, alluring, painful and happy are just terms we apply to situations that either benefit us or not. When we feel pain life is painful. When we feel happy life is happy. When we feel itchy from having a bad case of the crabs life is trying.

Right now I’m 32, and I like to think I live as free as I can. I have no box of pictures or mementos of times past. A hundred years after the last person to have seen me alive (hopefully a blond nurse that like to sponge bathe me) dies there will be no trace that I ever walked the earth. So why bother? Did I get to do all the stuff on my sarcastic bucket list? Did I finally open a jewelry store named pearl necklace? Did I get to put that All persons fictitious disclaimer sticker (All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental) in the inside cover of all the hotel bibles I stayed in? Did I ever ask an effeminate tattoo artist to draw the map of Hawaii on my chest, ya know for shits and giggles? Or how about the books store named Stacked with all the aspiring voluptuous women who make up for their illiteracy with over the top enthusiasm?

I don’t know what else I’m supposed to say. Looking at these other people’s letters to themselves there is always some sort of pep talk about working hard, and taking chances because they pay off. Only people who didn’t struggle much say that. You remember the time  there was that gun fight downstairs in the lobby and our pops only walked away with a piece of a bullet in his foot and his life. I would have loved for those people then to come in with a pep talk about life being hard and taking chances.

I wonder if I had a family. I mean that would change things. If I did you are probably reading this in a sanitized home where you will die in the care of strangers. If not you probably live in an old apartment hopefully not far from the beach where the sound of the waves lapping gentling over the sand , sounds like a second heart beat to your ears. I remember and you may too, when we were little and used to think that if we put our ear to everyone’s chest it would sound like the ocean, because it always felt so hollow and empty there?

But you know, I have nothing nice to say and I can’t keep my mouth shut.

I only hope that despite your memory fading, you remember the nights you spent up late: listening to everyone snore and sleep. You weren’t so worried about what tomorrow would bring and you were not distraught by what the past had taken from you. You just wanted to get into it already and get things over with so you can rest. I have always found it strange that for an eternity before we found ourselves here we were non existent. For an eternity after  we pass we  will be non-existent. Yet we hold onto the few scenes that comprise a human life? That like trying to prolong the feeling of a single orgasm. Well not really but imagine walking around with your face contorted like your having an orgasm all the time: when you withdrawing money from the bank, where you are Church shouting those ejaculatory  pronouncements of faith. You could never walk around a playground, everyone would think you were an undercover catholic priest.

Yea man

Don’t take any wooden nickel

MrMary

_________

“You will remember this when all else fades, this moment, here, together, by this well. There will be certain days, and certain nights, you’ll feel my presence near you, hear my voice. You’ll think you have imagined it and yet, inside you, you will catch an answering cry. On April evenings, when the rain has ceased, your heart will shake, you’ll weep for nothing, pine for what’s not there. For you, this life will never be enough, there will forever be an emptiness, where once the god was all in all in you.”
― John BanvilleThe Infinities 

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ASK MRMARY || Are you more worried about doing things right, or doing the right things?


You all have over the last 2 years gotten to know my sense of humor, well some aspects of it. You have also gotten to know a bit of my world view. So I figure I would answer random questions that you or others have asked me, Dave the person behind the blog known rapscallion and from this picture Conan O Brian impersonator. Enjoy

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Are you more worried about doing things right, or doing

the right things?

I used to work in a garden at one point in my life and I discovered that I could just make a hole in the ground throw in some seeds dump some water on it and go. Within a few days the seeds would germinate. I then had the opportunity to watch a gardener to plant seeds. It Turns out that there is the right time of the day, the right amount of water and a host of small unknown factors to me at the time, that when taken into consideration allow the seed to grow into a strong plant. What this thought me was that it is not about doing things right or doing the right things, but being deeply in tune to and committed to what we are doing. When I am doing something, or I am driving towards a goal I inundate myself in it. I want to know all the fine details!

I find that after I lose myself in the detail things “happen”. So I am worried about 1) having an honest enough reason to something 2)Can I let go enough to let things happen. I find the less “I” am involved the better the outcome and the more what I do seems “right” to those I am working with.

I think that we tend to make a lot of decisions or even domestic policies without every at least interfacing with the people we deal with or the groups of people. Like the people who often time make pivotal decisions on foreign policy or aid to Africa or the poor never really interface with them, or have familiarized themselves beyond 2nd hand information at best about the people who will be affected by their decisions.

Just my two cents

MrMary

If You would like to ask me any question just leave a comment or fill out the form below.

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