a priori/a posteriori

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

So who out there is really PASSIONATE about Twitter?

That's why I had to admit Vanessa was right.

When we first started dating, I signed her up for Twitter.

Literally. I didn't give her a choice.

Her: that thing seems dumb.
Me:  NO!!! Twitter is amazing!!!
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Twitter seems dumb.

I remember when a bunch of people in Egypt 7sed it to start an uprising.  Then I think shit got weird IRL, and they used Twitter to track down who had said what.

Twitter seems dumb.

I get emails -- STILL - every day from Twitter.  2 years after I quit.

It's like the sad ex that keeps showing up at your job, every day.

That is what the "social media fad" will look like, to historians.

It will be looked back on as a drug.  Class 1 addictive substance. Lumped in with heroin and whatever-the-kids-call-it-nowadays.

As a nation, as a species, and as a PLANET, we spent the first 20 years of access to "The Internet" trying to connect to other humans.  We mistook it for a step in a positive process.

The truth was, we were driving closer to the goal of connection. But the road is a dead end.  We eventually stop in our tracks,; closer to connection than we were, but with no chance of reaching it.

Twitter seems dumb.
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That is the story of all drugs, by the way.  In case I ever get tempted to go on "a journey."

A drug is something that appears to be getting you closer, while simultaneously making the arrival impossible.
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Eventually, you advance forward less and less. You have to take more drug to get less distance.  Until one day, you look at yourself and realize you're not even hoping for progress, anymore.  You're just doing it because it's what you do when you're not thinking. You've reached a dead end.

Social Media is a drug.

That's not a metaphor. It's a belief.

Every drug becomes a cigarette.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Erin is the best cat in America

I think for a long time, I put a lot of pressure on myself to "blog well."

That always meant numbers, I guess.

My life has been numbers.  How do I *define* my successes.

I give up on "success."

I'm happy now.

Our cat is happy. The dog is happy. The guinea pig is happy.

When animals are happy, we're headed in the right direction.

Dear Dad 7,

Do you think Hillary and Ellen have slept together?

Think about it, dad.

First of all, I believe in the goodness of our leaders. I really do.

But I also believe in the idea of satire. I believe in being able to poke fun.

I believe in being honest. Even if your honest is not what everyone else sees.

I think the Christian thing to do would be to love Donald Trump.

That doesn't mean to vote for him.

But it means loving him.

Without actually knowing him. Which I don't. I've never met the man. His "persona" might be 100 percent made up for the cameras.

I've made up a lot of my "online persona."

Or at least tried to.
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I know I've embarrassed the family, a time or two. I know I embarrassed our church -- or at least probably, some members of it.

I was making poor decisions.  Which Christians do. Just like all other groups, and all other religions.

I was being flawed.

I am flawed.

Some days it's pride. Some days I judge others for doing something that I just stopped doing yesterday.

Some days I look down on people for something I've never done. That I'll do tomorrow.

Judgy. I'll be judge-y.

Sometimes grammar. Sometimes pronunciation. Sometimes driving. Sometimes parenting.

Always something.
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Every time I ever see myself as "ranked" compared to another human being, I am being un-Christ-like.

Because every time I compare, I am deciding that I have access to some sort of "grade sheet" that can only truly be seen by a God.

By something completely outside this world. Something not even in this plane.

I can't see that sheet.
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So I surrender to my fellow man. That is the most "God-like" -- amd therefore "Christ-like" -- thing I can think of to do.

If my fellow man tells me to pass the ball, I pass the ball. If my fellow men tell me to shoot, I'm going to shoot.

If my fellow men tell me to rest while they mow my lawn,

I'm going to trust God. And I'm going to let go of guilt and shame, because I trust that all people are God's messengers.

Does that make sense?

Monday, August 22, 2016

"High School Rivalries" are ruining kids lives

I can't believe I left the apostrophe off "kids" -- right mom?

And other Grammar Gandhi's

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Dear Dad 5, (Norfolk International Airport)

Talked to mom yesterday. Got an update. Keep remembering to enjoy the joys. And don't be above praying!  Both the please and the thank-you varieties.

We love you all up there (you, mom, and Heather)
Here's my silly letter:
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There's a certain joy that comes with an empty page.

I don't know what you would have done with your time, if you hadn't had 3 kids. Maybe most of the same stuff. Maybe hiked more. Maybe bought more model trains.

I don't know.

I can piece it together, though.  Flying, auctions, Montana.

Your kid-less life would have been pretty fun.

All the same, I'm glad I'm here.
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I'm sitting at the airport. Dragonfly (aka your granddaughter) is on her way to the wooded suburbs of Atlanta, to spend a week - plus with her dad.

Part of me says I will spend the next ten days transforming myself, and when she gets back, she won't even recognize Vanessa and I. We'll be playing a guitar duet at the gate with a welcome sign written in Spanish. I'll have put on ten pounds of muscle. I'll have two jobs and a tan.

Maybe. Or maybe, we'll go home and be bored by tomorrow.

I don't know.
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When we checked her in a few minutes ago, there was an athlete, at the next kiosk.

I don't know if you ever met a *specimen* in person.  Someone who has devoted their life to their ability to perform some physical act.

This guy was a nice guy. He was with his partner. We debated -- as a family -- whether to ask *who* he was.

There was no question he was *somebody*. Simply having a 6-foot-8, 240-pound Superhero body made him...SOMEbody.  As he walked through the airport, there was a circle of quiet excitement that followed him. Conversations stopped, You could the entire Concourse B asking each other, "Who IS that?"
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I say all that to say:

Sorry I wasted my money pursuing a basketball career. Sorry I wasted *our family's* money. My family's money.

It was a selfish move.

To pursue a career in a physical field requires complete focus and dedication. I wasn't willing to commit to that 24/7 lifestyle, and I should have recognized that.

In many ways, I feel the same about comedy. I probably shouldn't, since I was just about making a full living doing it, down in Austin.

But I didn't like *my life,* even as my dreams were supposedly coming true. I still felt like I was in 10th grade, trying to smooth - talk my way into a D, when I'd earned a failing grade.

Maybe if I'd stuck it out, I would have matured over time, and I'd be a fully-functioning adult with my career in comedy, right now.

We'll never know.

What I do know is, I wouldn't be at an airport with Vanessa right now, if I had.  And I probably wouldn't be writing you.
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I'm going to keep performing, in one way or another, for as long as I'm alive. If you're interested, I'll tell you more of Vanessa's and my plans, in future letters.
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Talk to you soon,
Bryson

Monday, August 15, 2016

Dear Koji,

Hey buddy.  I made a video for you.   A video to you.

I've been inspired by you, of late.  And always, of course.

I've started writing a little to my dad.  It's tough to open up to him, because he's got that rigid, raised-in-the-50s, John Wayne energy.  Or maybe I'm just projecting what's in my mind.  Who knows.

Keep up your good work, on the book.  And keep documenting it.

I didn't watch your videos at all.  And then today, I got caught up with the first 3 vlogs.

That's how it will work, I presume.  People won't be watching, for a while.  And then they'll get caught up.

I think people will look back at The Internet and remember people like you.  People that tried their best to document themselves without presentation.  And they will try to piece together what you were willing to give to the Internet.  Some people will binge watch your life, like a Netflix show.

Or they won't. 

Whether it ever happens or not, should not affect you.  Both realities should have their "today" perfectly overlap.

Right?  Isn't that one of the things you're trying to communicate?  To yourself and others?

Hope all is well.  I put up your video on the website.  If you missed it, it's here:




Keep going, buddy.  If this is the exact same world, and when people read the word "money" they picture trees and healthy green fields,

we're headed toward a bluer-greener marble than ever

Love,
Bryson

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Dear Dad 4,

Today is a good day. A Saturday.

Vanessa and I woke up before dawn, and drove to New York, to get Dragonfly. I am writing this as I ride, sardined into the back seat of Vanessa's Baby Blue Bug,

As the two of them have a mother-daughter bonding road trip, up front.
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It's wonderful.

I know not everything in this world is fair. But some days are nice.

Route 13 is like taking a time machine.  It's cornfields, and trees, and a chicken factories that make me think about going vegetarian.

Our road trips are different than the ones the Turners took. We blast our music, laugh loudly, and buy junk food at every stop.
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Dragonfly is rude, and brash, and unapologetic. She is also an amazing kid. A kid who talks more and more about how much she likes her home, how much she loves living by the beach, and how excited she is to go watch high school football games this fall.

Height and beauty confuse the world. When I was 15, the Heddaeus' were still giving me birthday cards.

15 is a baby.

Last gas station, we let her pump the gas. She wanted to learn how.  In a year, she'll have a Learner's Permit.

That law is insane. I guess parents really do get sick of driving kids around.
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When Vanessa and I met 3 years ago, I'd pretty much given up on a life of road trips. Vanessa had, too.

For both of us, it just seemed a million miles away.

Today is a happy day.

Not perfect. But happy.
My back hurts. But happy.
Vanessa has an M&M stain on her back seat. But happy.

If you're reading this,
Today is a good day.