Monday, October 17, 2011

Quick Takes - Dear Diary

Met some new friends today. Ate them all. Lonely again.

When I was in college, I had a professor who demanded that we wrote for 15 minutes at the start of every class. It didn't matter what we wrote about, just that we sat down, pen to paper, and wrote until the time was up. We never had to read them out loud, we never had to turn them in, we just had to perform the activity of writing. It was often painful and embarrassing -- like having to write dreamy "Dear Diary" letters to yourself -- but it was an effective tool. Whenever I'm flummoxed by the blinking cursor of a virgin page now, I think back to those moments and force myself to start writing.

Of course, what comes out is usually complete, utter trash. Since I started this post, I have written poorly about warm toilet seats, fantasy football, "Star Wars," aliens (the creatures, not the movie ... although now I'm thinking about the movie and will have to force myself not to write about it), and the movie "Aliens" (damn). But the simple act of writing the previously mentioned trash begins to open up my mind.

I think about the "creative brain" as a house. When all the windows in your house are shut, you may feel cozy and safe, but after a day or two, a swarm of unidentifiable smells percolates through the air. Is that kitty litter? Dirty laundry? The old lady who used to live here who died in her bed? But if I start opening the windows, a cool breeze of fresh air comes rushing into the house, wraps itself around the boring, overused, unformed ideas and sweeps them away. What replaces those nasty smells are new ideas; ideas with context, some connection to the outside world. I don't normally like leaving my brain (or my house), but there's something necessary about doing so when you write.

  • After the San Francisco 49ers beat the previously-undefeated Detroit Lions on their own home turf, first-year head coach Jim Harbaugh skipped across the field toward Lions coach Jim Schwartz (be with you) and gave him a classic white guy bro-five (over-exuberant and delightfully awkward half high-five/half-chest bump). But before he'd nearly missed Schwartz's hand, he'd ripped his polo shirt out of his khakis (I don't actually know if he was wearing khakis, I just assume all men over 40 are wearing khakis 100% of the time) and bared his stomach to his defeated opponent. As someone who is passionate about primatology, I think we're all fortunate to wake up this morning having not witnessed a demonstrative genital display from Coach Harbaugh.
  • Packers linebacker A.J. Hawk flipped off the Rams sideline during Green Bay's blowout win on Sunday. When asked about the gesture, Hawk said, "It was a joke, and I kind of got caught up in the emotion of the game. I definitely apologize if any kids or anyone else saw it. I have a daughter myself, so I wouldn't want her doing that. I got excited and I got caught up in the game. It was just, I guess, a bad joke. I definitely won't do it again." There's still a long way to go on concussion research, everyone.
  • New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton tore his meniscus and broke his leg on Sunday after Saints tight end Jimmy Graham was tackled along the sideline and bowled over his coach (or as it's known in the NCAA, "Getting Paterno-ed"). Can someone explain to me why everyone has to stand so goddamn close to the field during the game? Especially the coaches? Is it just easier to yell at the referees from there?
  • More details are emerging about the Boston Red Sox clubhouse antics this year, with pitcher Jon Lester admitting that he and a few teammates drank beer in the clubhouse during games and "ordered chicken from Popeye's like once a month." Fuck me, I didn't know Popeye's delivered!
  • You know why I love football? Because of plays like this.
  • Business owners in Oklahoma City are stewing because of the NBA lockout, claiming that the missed home games are going to devastate the local economy. Allow me to remove the world's smallest violin from David Stern's puckered arse and play it for you. Go Sonics.
  • Former Seattle Seahawks linebacker Aaron Curry started in his first game with the Oakland Raiders, and he finished with a very Aaron Curry type of day: Three tackles, no sacks. But Curry is optimistic about his new team: "I feel like this is a defense that allows me to utilize what I do best, which is run. They blitzed me one time but my best attribute is when the ball is snapped, who has the ball and go and get it and play smart." It might just be me, but it seems like there's some incongruity to "who has the ball and go get it" and "play smart."
  • 46-year-old light heavyweight champion Bernard Hopkins lost his belt to Chad Dawson on Saturday after a bizarre UFC-style takedown ended in a separated shoulder for Hopkins and a TKO "win" for Dawson. I only mention boxing because grown men hitting each other is apparently something other people are interested in.

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