a priori/a posteriori

Saturday, November 9, 2019

Low Key this blog has been brilliant the whole time

Right?
Note the terrible fluorescent lighting of high school


I've maintained it.  I've kept it alive.

Seriously.  Think about it.

You've been teaching me since Gawker.

I outlasted Deadspin.

You even got tired of Onions.

And here you are,  taking a free ride

I am proud.

And I am sorry.

Humor like paint in resin

Just a drop or two

The color explodes 

An apology for "I Don't Know Vanessa at All"

I know it seemed like my phone was incorrectly auto- correcting the "to" every time I wrote it.  But I'm going to be honest this time.  I won't blame auto correct.

I thought the word "to" was spelled "t-o-p." I just thought it was a silent "p" like at the beginning of pneumonia.

I made an honest mistake, about 6 times in a row,  and I just wanted to own that, and apologize.

Even though I don't know who I'm apologizing top. 

write-in vote?



Does anyone know?

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Vote Turner
Openly Hypocritical
HATES Politics

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Suspending Bill Simmons for 12 months (Review: The Book of Bullshit 2.0)

Hi, my blog sucks, get over it.
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I'm suspending Bill Simmons for one year, effective immediately.  The appeal will be denied.  In fact, I'm mailing the denial letter along with the suspension.

I am a grown ass woman, and I listen to a grown man's opinions about sports.

I AM AN ADULT BABY.  Waaaa
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Today, November 5, 2019, New York Times Bestselling author Bill Simmons debuted a new book of---

wait, what's that?  It's not a new book, he debuted?  It's new bullshit -- for adults who still believe in the Tooth Fairy?

Close.

Pretty close.
This close.
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If you don't know, Bill Simmons is a Boston-born sports columnist who gained fame as a blogger for ESPN during the late-1990s and 2000s.  His conversational, hear-him-saying-it-as-you're-reading-it style did two things:

1) It connected with my generation perfectly:  5-20 years younger than him.

2) It created a very natural transition to a budding industry during that time:  podcasting.

And so for 20 years or whatever, Bill Simmons has had a podcast.  He is the Steve Allen of podcasts, or maybe the Steve Jobs and Paul Allen of podcasts.  He got in early and his place is history is secure, because of it.

He is a part of podcast history.
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Never has "history" been an insult, until today.  Tuesday, November 5, a day that will go down in frustration, for any idiot like me, hoping to be distracted from a frustrating adulthood for just a few more hours.

I read all 704 pages of Bill Simmons' bestseller.  And I am not a reader.  But I read it.

I read all the footnotes.

That was 11 years ago, when I had 0 spouses, and 0 kids.  I probably had a boyfriend I was mostly using as an alarm clock.  I don't care enough to do the math and figure it out.

Now, I have a life.  So if someone asks me to buy into a new project, I expect it to be...I don't know...

anything?
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Bill Simmons' new project is nothing.  It needs to be canceled.  Not any given Wednesday.  THIS wednesday.

Not because it's bad.  Because it's applesauce.  It's broth.  It's...nothing.

Bill thinks he is LeBron, and maybe he is.  But his game is not aging like LeBron's.  It has aged like Carmelo's.

Maybe there is some unwritten rule that you have to start a podcast with a 30-minute book-signing of the previous book.  Why would anyone do that?  Why would anyone be so stale in such a fresh art form?

I am angry.  Not because I wasted 90 minutes today.  But because I cast idiotic votes in my local election, because I was literally listening to that crap on my way to the polls, and while I was voting.  Meanwhile clever groups were handing me flyers, telling me who to vote for.  Promising that our local teacher's association was in favor of all the names on the flyer.

As it turns out, the group formed two months ago and has very little to do with any local teachers.  I made myself  a victim of voter fraud partly because I was distracted by Bill Simmons.

For that, I am suspending him one year, without pay.  (ing attention)
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Oh, and if you want to suspend me for a year too, I'm at peace with that.  I actually love your idea!  Once you start checking every day to see if I've posted anything, you're ready.  If you are checking multiple times a day, you are officially in a place where taking a year off would benefit your life. 

Take a year off and watch yourself soar

Candy Cane Coffees (short)

I just made my morning cup of coffee.  I used a candy cane to stir the milk and creamer.  It gives the whole cup a peppermint vibe.

The best part is the last sip, because the melted stick settles at the bottom of the cup, and your last sip is half coffee, half liquid-sugar-mint-uppercut.  It wakes you up like Christmas morning.

These are the 50-cent miracles.

These are the things that make me think life will be okay, even after it all falls apart.

If Vanessa and I can have our candy cane coffees, we'll be good.
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And for the record,

when I met Vanessa at the Tea Lounge,

she was the candy cane coffee that punched me back to life.

Our Aunt Heather (long)

My Aunt Heather is a beautiful person.

I am lucky enough to be truly welcomed into Vanessa's family.

Earlier in my life, this would not have meant much.  She's my partner.  The mother of my son.  Of course I'm welcomed into her family.

But life is not always so...assured.
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As Vanessa and I pursued the life we wanted to paint together, it required taping two paint-filled canvases together.  That doesn't sound like a beautiful analogy.

When Vanessa and Nyah came to my brother's wedding, my father was already sick.  He had health issues for a number of years, and moving back home had been a convenient excuse for me to derail the momentum of a potential career in stand-up.  Maybe I'll write more about that someday.

My brother's wife is Italian, and we are not Italian, and so we were seated at a different place in the wedding.  I believe the common term is "the back."

On some level, it was nice to be invited.  On another level, it felt odd.

It is important that in this moment, I write about the kindness I was given by Danina's father and entire family, while Preston and Danina were dating.  I was invited into their home for family holidays, I was given intimate access to their family's world.  And that experience lingers in my mind, like the savory aftertaste of a well-made Italian meal.
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The wedding, like many others, was in early fall.  September.  Unbeknownst* to Preston and Danina, this was also the fall we moved away from New York and into the sleepy beachy suburbs of Virginia Beach.

So in order to make it to their wedding, Nyah would have had to go to her first four days of high school, in a new school, in a new town, in a new state, and then ride in the back of a Toyota Corolla overnight, spend Saturday morning with her homeless-ish step-dad shopping for pants that didn't start with the word "sweat," spend Saturday afternoon and evening having conversations with a bunch of grown-ups she didn't know, spend all day Sunday riding in a Corolla back to her new this-doesn't-feel-like-my-home, and then wake up Monday morning to walk to the bus stop by 6:38 am.

So...yeah.  We told her she didn't have to go.  It would be cruel to do that to a 14 year-old girl.
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If you don't know Nyah yet, you will after this sentence:  She came to her mother during that first week of school, and she said she wanted to go.

And so we went.  As a family.  We made the trip, and we went to my brother's wedding.  We went to her uncle's wedding.  Her aunt and uncle, Preston and Danina.

This is what families do.  We patch our lives together with duct tape.  Lives already filled, lives with no more room for new paint.  We get together, and we make it beautiful.
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At the wedding, they sat Nyah next to Aunt Heather.  Heather, as I said, is a beautiful human being.  She spent a large portion of her life living in her childhood home, with her mother, until her mother passed away eight years ago.  Living alone has been a challenge for Heather, but she has done very well.  She has held down the same job for years now.  She has a lot of reasons to not try hard, and she doesn't use them as an excuse.  She struggles and she perseveres.

I feel like there is a lot I'm not writing, as I write this.  And that's okay.  The decision to write is not a decision to write everything.  Please, as the reader, just know that Aunt Heather has a special place in our family.

Nyah not only sat next to Heather, but she talked with her throughout the whole wedding and reception.  Aunt Heather has been in love ever since.  She never had children, and she watched as her two brothers gave her a total of five nephews.  It had been over half a century since my father's side of the family welcomed a girl into their world.  Heather was ready.

And so they have kept up, and I think it has made Nyah feel like a part of our family.  At least I hope it has.  Heather, for all her imperfections, is a color of paint as sticky as duct tape.  She is a unifying force.

At that wedding, my father was not himself.  He had lost weight and was not as nimble and youthful as he used to be.  We would find out later he had Lou Gehrig's Disease.

I remember him thanking Nyah for coming, and saying that it meant a lot.  He gave her a hug, and I think it was the only hug they ever shared.  I look back to four years ago and remember myself as a child, watching it across the table.  That hug means the world to me.  The memory of it is like roots woven into fertile soil.  I watched my 60 year-old father have the courage to welcome a girl into his painting.  I watched a 14 year-old girl show the same courage.  At 14.

My father was not a dumb man.  He knew from a young age that, as the eldest son, he would spend his adult life caring for his baby sister.  He knew that society would not always have the patience with her that she needed.  He was a parent, even as an older brother.

The fear for any parent is how your child will be treated once you are gone.  I believe, looking back at that hug, that my father recognized the kindness and patience in Nyah's heart.  He recognized that she must have been guided to that kind heart in large part thanks to her mother.  And he recognized that even though he would not be around forever, the world would still love Aunt Heather.  Flaws and all.
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One year later, Nyah skipped her Christmas break to come to my father's funeral.  I have many regrets from that weekend, but I guess when you're a mess you fail in a lot of different ways.  I spoke a little.  I regret not referencing Nyah and Nathanael by name.  Nathanael is our nephew. Nyah's cousin.  They were both there.

Now, three years later, we have a son named Noah.  He was already forming and growing inside Vanessa at that funeral, though we didn't know it at the time.

Aunt Heather loves Noah.  He is super cute, and he wore a bright yellow Baby Shark costume for Halloween.  So...of course she loves him.

But he has a lot of work to do before he catches up to Nyah.  Aunt Heather still calls her regularly.  She loves hearing about her life, how she's doing in college (she is a sophomore now, a Psychology major), how her love life is going (great), and a bunch of other girl stuff that she wouldn't tell her nephew Bryson in a million years.

Heather is thrilled to have Vanessa and Nyah in her life.  I should call her way more often than I do.  Maybe I will after I press "Publish."
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Maybe I should call my Aunt in Georgia, too.  Vanessa's aunt.  The one who's mother and father hoped would be treated well, by the world.  The one who could use some extra love, and loves when the phone rings and it's not "Scam Likely"

Aunt Laverne.  Maybe I should call them both.

* I consider this to be a complete asshole word.  Nobody uses "unbeknownst" unless they are an asshole.  And so, I am really sorry that I am an asshole.  I'm trying to iron this weird better-than-you literary bullshit out of my system.  It's a flawed value system.  My bad