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I have a deep and enduring affection for Kurt Russell. Even above and beyond his movies, there is just something about the man that makes my knees weak. This perplexes and worries my wife, but there isn’t much I can do about it. I love his performances, his manner, his aw-shucks grin, his interviews – you name it. But there is one thing above everything else about the man that impresses me and leaves me swooning.
My birthday was a few weeks ago, and I got some cool shit. I got to TOUCH AN OTTER’S PAW AND NOSE. I got a fire hook/marshmallow roaster that looks LIKE A FREAKING RAPIER. I got a mandolin that’s over a hundred years old because MY WIFE KNOWS I LIKE TO PRETEND TO BE A BARD. It was a good birthday, I’m sayin’.
But the greatest gift of them all was a song. It was a song my wife wrote for me, and she recorded it, and played it for me, and I cried like a baby. Derenemyn is the name we gave our home. It means Hill of Oaks in Elvish. We’re nerds. It is a song about us and our time together. I wanted to share it with the world, so here it is. The lyrics are below. (She also wanted me to apologize on her behalf for the shitty midi instruments. I will not. I love it.)
The Song of Derenemyn
Once before and long ago
A brave young man was made to know
A year of joy and bitter woe
In his loving of a maiden
He met her at an olden fair
With whipping wit and golden hair
Like magic, she did him ensnare,
This maid of Derenemyn
A year went by, and still he yearned
And when the fair at last returned
He told her how his heart had burned
For the maid of Derenemyn
In summer sweet, they planned to wed
They laid in groves as marriage beds
As fairies light around them tread
Midsummer’s joy proclaimin’
And yet one day, the maid grew ill
He held her, but it worsened still
He eased her and he tried to will
The balm of Derenemyn
But fear and tears and furrowed brows
Could not keep them from their sacred vows
So Summer’s beauty once more roused
And they wed on Derenemyn
Though Summer is not made to last
And yellow took the green of grass
So Autumn made the leaves of brass
And set the hills aflamin’
And as it did, they tried to find
A cure to ease her troubled mind
And leave this sickness soon behind
And return to Derenemyn
Though the crisp of air filled her heart with song
She knew the journey would be long
But with him, she knew where she belonged
To him, on Derenemyn
The bitter chill whipped in the air
The leaves turned brown and the oaks were bare
So he built a fire beside her chair
As the dark of winter came in
She struggled all the day and night
Her body weary from the fight
And all joy vanished from her sight
All joy but Derenemyn
So the hailing oak threw his arms up high
And touched his hand to the silver sky
And the snow came falling by and by
On the side of Derenemyn
As all things come and all things go
Like summer and like melting snow
So spring with creeping green did grow
The forest’s soul reclaimin’
And so her weary body healed
And spring in her was soon revealed
Her eyes glowed like the greenest field
In her home of Derenemyn
And they danced and laughed and they sang once more
Twice happy as they were before
And loved each other ever more
In the woods of Derenemyn
Once before and long ago
All things did come, and then did go
But lucky few will come to know
The joy of Derenemyn.
I wrote this nearly 7 years ago. Apparently, where we went from that point is straight into the shitter.
According to Wikipedia, the United States is the world’s largest producer of corn and soybeans. Although it doesn’t say, I am beginning to believe that we also lead the world in producing outrage. I don’t mean that we make more people in the world angry than anyone else, which may be possible, but that the average American produces more outrage than anyone else. Getting outraged is what we do. It’s the new national pastime, which is fine because baseball is so horribly dull anyway. What I wonder, though, is how much more polarized and outraged our society may become. Will it get better, or will it only get worse?
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This is the sixth chapter in what was once a short story that has morphed into a novella, which is entirely Corrigan’s fault and in no way mine, since I am the very soul of brevity. Unless reading it backwards is your thing, you might want to start with the earlier chapters:
I’ve never had much luck introducing myself to women. In the last day alone I’d introduced myself to two, and one threw me into a wall and the other took me into custody. As things go, those were two of my more successful attempts. In retrospect, all of five seconds later, dragging my missing person into a rapidly-closing ambush and hinting that she was about to be arrested in the middle of a black market were both exceedingly stupid things to do. I’ve always listened to my instincts and trusted them, which has earned me more ass-kickings than I can count. Sucker me always ends up giving them another chance.
When I heard that Marvel was planning on making a Daredevil series on Netflix, I was skeptical. I didn’t know if they could do a Daredevil live-action story right, I wasn’t sure Netflix was a good place for it, I was afraid they were overextending themselves and by seeking too hard to spread the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe, in case you’ve just gotten out of a bunker Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt-style, which by the way if you haven’t watched that show yet you really, really should, because it is seriously excellent) beyond the big screen and the not-the-greatest ABC shows (they are very solid shows that manage to not completely capture my interest enough to watch them week-to-week – more on that later) Marvel would risk their run of success by producing a bunch of mediocre stuff that would jeopardize the entire endeavor.
Now, that might happen someday, but Daredevil made me look like the idiot I am for doubting them.
A few years ago, I gave out awards in random categories for the following reason:
…Coming up with a top ten list has to be the easiest writing job in the world. Jot down ten things, come up with superficial reasons for their inclusion, and then explain how blatantly wrong you are as just “a way to get people talking about it.” It’s the ultimate mail-it-in, who-gives-a-shit approach to writing.
So I am TOTALLY in!
I followed it up with the Second Annual Aravan Awards for 2011, then didn’t do one for 2012 or 2013 because my life fell completely to shit and it took me a while to climb back out of it. But now I have, so it’s time to dust off the formulaic and simplistic content generating machine…
THE THIRD SOMETIMES-ANNUAL ARAVAN AWARDS!!!!
What are the Aravan Awards, you probably didn’t ask? I’ll tell you anyway! The Aravan Awards are completely arbitrary awards in arbitrary categories that I give out for arbitrary reasons. For example, the 2010 Aravan Award for Best Movie I Watched in 2010 went to Pulp Fiction, which did not come out in 2010 and I’d seen years previously but happened to rewatch it in 2010 and it was better than anything I saw that year. So you know what you’re in for. Plus, the awards are arbitrary because I don’t always remember what year something happened, so it’s kind’ve a grab bag of Shit That Happened At Some Point. Bear with me. The Aravan part of the awards name comes from the pseudonym I originally used here until I published my first book and changed the blog over to my real name (OR IS IT?!?!) and I’ve stuck with it because Tradition. And now you can’t un-know any of that useless information.
Anyway, on to the cheap shitty statuettes!
A blast from the past that I felt like re-running instead of generating new content because I am exhausted in every conceivable way but I wanted to put something out there. This little piece is essentially the protagonist of Waiting on the Dead, a novel I’ve been Waiting to Finish since I lost the ability to be that guy for a while but I’m hoping to recapture that voice so I can finish it and get that monkey off my back. Anyway, consider this an introduction to The Waiter.
That short story idea I mentioned? I carved some time today to bang it out.
There’s a lot to hate about the world today. I mean, between the lack of electricity, horrendous snarls of traffic from abandoned cars, the total absence of a friendly face, and hordes of disgusting rotting cannibalistic walking corpses – let’s face it, there isn’t much to be happy about. Unless you count being alive in the face of all this, which is sort of a mixed curse and a blessing when all is said and done.
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The male side of the sexuality equation, and one that I plan on offering my own personal perspective on. Consider that a warning for those who’d rather not know more about me than they already do.
I think it’s impossible to start a discussion about male sexuality without prefacing it with the following:
1. I’m a woman. I cannot know the male experience, but I do my best to empathize with the stories and observations I witness and that have been volunteered to me. I expect some people will disagree with what I have to say, but if you do so, please don’t do it on the basis that I’m not a guy so I couldn’t know. I am happy to be proven wrong if the argument is persuasive, but that argument just isn’t. We cool?
2. Traditional notions of masculinity feed directly, and indirectly, into male sexuality. Traits that society deems acceptable for traditionally masculine men to have include strength, power, courage, confidence, independence, assertiveness/aggression, and, last but not least, lust. I know that this list is by no means exhaustive, but, just so you understand…
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