Uncle Josh Tries to Solve for X: Watching the second X-Men trilogy in a single day

Boxing day. I don’t know what it’s supposed to be about but in our house it usually means a movie marathon. We have a dearth of superhero movies in the theaters right now, and no Star Wars, and we are saving Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse for New Year’s Eve.

So I decided to get caught up with the X-Men franchise which kept cranking out movies over the years and I kept thinking *yawn* each time except for Logan which was incredible.

Did it help trying to recall everything I knew about the X-Men comics? Not really. That kind of knowledge gets in the way of watching the stories Bryan Singer wanted to tell in this trilogy..

Did it help trying to recall everything about the first three X-Men Movies? Not really. That kind of knowledge gets in the way of watching the stories Brian Singer wanted to tell in this trilogy.

At least this is normal for X-Men. Multiple intersectioning timelines and sometimes even multiple versions of the the same character at different ages fighting with each other or along side each other.

The original trilogy came out before Iron Man, so the idea of a cinematic universe was probably planned and hoped for. I don’t think the idea of anything more than the series came up in planning sessions.

With all of the stories the comics available, they chose a few.

When they tried a reboot I think they made a few stupid errors. Messing with the timeline and when we introduce characters seem way out of whack and having three movies set 10 years apart filmed two or three years apart means everyone ages really frickin’ slow. I think the Marvel standard is three real-world years pass in a comic-book year, but I may be wrong.

There were parts of the movies I liked, but the overall affect was meh. Maybe too much backstory in my head interfering with trying to understand what these stories were trying to do. I didn’t like Days of Future Past relegating Kitty to a small role with apparently different powers. I think the original comic had a version of Rachel Summers and the rebooted movies hadn’t introduced her parents at that point.

Apocalypse was a poor choice for a villain, too. He’s too damned powerful and they could only defeat him with the Phoenix Force which has its own complicated history.

I guess I watched them for something to watch. I didn’t want to think and there was too much thinking trying to sort these movies out.

Uncle Josh Ranks the Grinch

Not individual Grinches, but covers of the classic song “You’re a Mean One Mr. Grinch”.

#4 Straight No Chaser

This ranking is most likely because of my general distaste for SNC. It’s nothing to have the bass vocal growl through the very bottom of the range without a whole lot of personality.

#3 Moosebutter

It’s crazy. It’s wacky. It’s bizarre. It’s hard to sing along to because it’s not a cover predicated on a lot of patterns. But, it’s Mossebutter. It’s the typical for them.

#2 The Coats

They may have been The Trench Coats when they recorded this one. It’s a solid version that is fun to sing along with, which is really the whole point of a christmas song, right?

#1 Thurl Ravenscroft

You can’t beat the original.

Uncle Josh Run the Gauntlet (2/?)

I stayed home from work for a couple of days last week trying to not get my co-workers sick. While I worked from home I finished the Gauntlet: the latest Mystery Science Theater 3000 run.

These were just awful. I had to spend some time to recover from watching these. Stephanie, being the wiser partner in this marriage, decided not to finish the Gauntlet.

The second move, Atlantic Rim, is so awful it does nothing right as a film as far as I can tell. Nothing works. The characters don’t work. The plot doesn’t work. The effects certainly don’t work. The only thing this shitshow has going for it is the main character is a black man, which is unexpected.

I can only think the black guy is the hero because he’s the only one that gets a true heroic moment: Saving a kid from something,  I think a fire or collapsing building or something. It’s hard to tell because the effects are just so bad here. 

The movie doesn’t even present an anti-hero (the white guy who gets locked up) properly, because he’s completely unlikable and has no redeeming qualities at all. He even acts like he’s the hero of the story because he’s the white guy, I guess, and he “has” the girl. 

An anti-hero isn’t just a lead character with a bad reputation. They are morally ambiguous at best with a code of morals they define for themselves and they do not break their own honor code. Any story highlighting an anti-hero has to show that honor code in action. It could be anything, really, that shows they are capable of caring about anything other than themselves. Ebeneezer Scrooge, to pull a name out of the pre-Christmas zeitgeist, is not an anti-hero because he’s reprehensible and our sympathy for him is built up slowly and it pays off because we see the heartbreak that shaped him and when he turns around he’s a delightful scamp. I don’t even expect a good anti-hero to turn around like Joe Hallenbeck in The Last Boy Scout, because any character who does loses series potential. 

The sick, sad part of this is this stupid movie has a sequel, but only because the movie it’s mocking got one.

Now I’m depressed even just thinking about this one.

Uncle Josh Quantifies Cool

When I came into the office this morning two of my co-workers were bickering over which animal was cooler: the polar bear or the Siberian tiger. Apparently this is a Facebook thing run by a friend of theirs every week. (My local coworkers are all good friends and younger than my beard, so I don’t participate in their gang-related activities.) 

I really had no choice but to kibbitz and side with the polar bears, not because I really care, but anything that draws attention to their plight and dying ecosystem could be important. 

Cool, after all, is subjective. There is only thing that is cool in the objective universe and that is The Fonz.

This led me down a bit of the memory lane because I was one of those kids who had a “Fonzie for President” bumber sticker about 10 years before I could drive a car. The Fonz was important to me as a kid. I have never unpacked this piece of my childhood idol worship. 

I know at some point I stopped watching Happy Days, probably when Joanie and Chachi were the big story because Richie Cunningham had gone off to college or something. I don’t recall. But I do remember in the early 90s there was a retrospective on the series and they highlighted the finale, which I don’t remember watching (unlike the final episode of M*A*S*H which had me in tears I think). But the retrospective kicked something off in my head, too. It was probably the first time in my life I remembered feeling nostalgia, and it was not a good feeling.

At the time I was struggling in school (I had no business being in an art program) and struggling through a horrendous first marriage. Maybe all it was was realizing my life had been simpler as a child and I was just trying to process the crap that comes with being an adult in a generation where childhood never really ends and adulthood never really begins.

So why the Fonz? The leather jacket, for one. The only leather jackets in my life were the Fonz and some cousins who I thought were really cool (they are all at least ten years older than I am, so that’s just cool when you’re a kid). There was the popularity. Everyone liked the Fonz, it seemed, and very few people liked me. I made an effort to be unlikable. Not mean or cruel (although I unintentionally was) but I was determined to be myself and that was never going to win me popularity points. 

I also hated myself, which I think is a different story for a different  time, but maybe, just maybe, that’s what I liked about the Fonz. He liked himself. He liked other people, too, but he was happy with his life. Looking back on it I have to wonder why. He lived in a studio apartment over a garage. He owned a bike shop and I rarely meet a small business owner who is generally happy. Mr. Cunningham owned a hardware store, if I recall (so why did he wear a suit?) and I don’t remember it being a source of joy and happiness for him. The Fonz could fix a juke box with a thump and get girls on his arms with a snap of his fingers. He was most likely having an affair with his landlady.

The Fonz also pretended not to care about other people but he really did, and that fact slipped out often enough to keep me going. Was his disinterest a thing I admired? Probably. Part of being cool is not caring about things, about being dispassionate, which is probably stems from some strange idea we share that being passionate about things is either a) being influenced by other people or b) uncool. Damn. I think I hit a useless tautology here. I mean, the joke about hipsters is they don’t care about anything but justify it as “I was into that back when it was cool but it’s passe now”.

But being passionate about things is a hallmark of the geek. The geek loves things openly and proselytizes about them and in darker moments just can’t understand how other’s don’t get how frikkin’ cool this thing is that they love so much.

This is the trouble with reduced vocabulary. We ask too much of our words. 

I’m wandering around the point, but I think what I liked about the Fonz was that he lived his life on his own terms. Nobody told the Fonz what to do. Okay, most likely he paid his rent and I don’t remember any storylines about wild parties being thrown above the garage. One of the strongest episodes that stayed with me was the time the Fonz lost his sight in an accident and had to be coddled and he didn’t handle it well. It was a time when an idol lost his cool.

I paused writing this to review the Wikipedia page on The Fonz and I’m not entirely wrong in my memories, but that rabbit holed a bit. There was one line in the Wikipedia entry that stood out though. The Fonz considered Ralph and Potsie nerds because they were constantly trying to fit in, but Richie was okay with the Fonz because he kept to his principles. 

It’s like an entry level drug of communal respect. The Fonz can disagree with Richie but because Richie shows some backbone, the Fonz can respect him. The dark side of this is the extreme form were assholes decide they can’t respect anyone who isn’t an asshole. I don’t want to be that person.

Do I still want to be the Fonz? Not really. Do I want to live my life on my terms? Hell yes. Do I want to spend the effort to appear disinterested in things? Hell no. I’m a geek and my enthusiasm for things is really who I am. I dive deep and take things seriously. 

I evangelize for The Bobs and The Doubleclicks and the PDX Broadsides. I think everyone should read Terry Pratchett and Douglas Adams. 

I am a geek. I think what I want to be is more of a cool geek. A geek that doesn’t froth at the mouth when evangelizing. A geek that listens more and draws connections that really matter. A geek that doesn’t giggle in public. Or in private.

Uncle Josh watches The Maltese Falcon

It’s a sick day, which means I’m working at home and working is really about checking my email and handling emergencies and trying to think about solving problems that are much easier on three screens than the single laptop screen I have today.

This means I am finally watching the Netflix DVD of Casablanca, only it wasn’t Casablanca like I thought it was. It was The Maltese Falcon, which is fine because I it’s been ages since I’ve seen the movie (it’s also been ages since I got the DVD from Netflix. I wonder when they start worrying about these things).

When I write I tend toward the hard-boiled prototype, and Sam Spade is one of the big ones. I relied on The Continental Op and Philip Marlowe as my model more than Sam Spade. Spade is in a single book that has been turned into a few movies so there isn’t a lot of original material to pull from. This is still quite enough and now I’m wondering if I could create a Sam Spade style character.

My current stable of hard-boiled narrators include:

  • Murdock Collins (1 published story: Live Feed) who solves problems in a future Portland
  • John Tarakona who solves problems in the same future Portland
  • “Space Cowboy’ – a marshall on a space station who greases wheels with human-xenic relationships

None of them really go wild with stories and words like Spade does. Spade is making shit up left and right. He’s a talker and I’m not quite sure how much of that was Spade being in control of the situation or trying to take control of the situation. He’s thrust into a layered mystery where everyone lies. In the end it appears he did everything simply in an act of revenge, or at least to save face for his profession.

Could I write like this? Could I save Tarakona from the trunk by turning him into a babbler? I think I’ve only got one story even close to done with him and frankly I don’t remember what it was really about. Like most of my trunk it is just a hook and I’m not sure I had a plan with the story.

I think to build a story, like any mystery, there needs to be plans and lies built on top of them and that’s like a whole new level of plotting I haven’t dared.

Uncle Josh Tries to Find that Advent Spirit

Maybe it’s the head cold I’m fighting. 

Maybe it’s the seasonal depression.

Maybe it’s the damned world.

Maybe I’m just too tired.

Christmas isn’t happening for me. I’m being selfish and struggling to get out of my own head. I am turning to desperate measures to try to get me out of this rainy-day funk.

Tonight, for example, we watched part one of Hogfather.

This is one of those strange movies that doesn’t work, yet it does. It’s got so much fan service buried in it that people who have read not just Hogfather but most of the Discworld Books will chuckle at all the bits they catch, but if someone doesn’t keep that cyclopedia in their brain, it’s confusing. 

The timing of the movie is strange. It all takes place in one night but it also seems like days pass at the same time. Things seem to be out of order. Characters go from being strangers to being family. 

And yet I love the  mish mash of the whole thing. It’s a love letter to the fans, certainly, and I guess I can accept it as part of the love letter. I can forgive a lot of storytelling sins because the individual bits of it are so damned charming.

When I first watched it I didn’t like Marc Warren’s Teatime but it grew on me over the years. I wasn’t sure about Nicholas Tennant’s Nobby Nobbs but that also has worn me down. 

It’s charming, it’s fun, it’s our tradition, and this year it isn’t helping.

Uncle Josh Pokes 2018 with a Stick (3/3): Words, Words, Words

According to Goodreads I read 62 out of 50 books I had challenged myself with this year and that’s probably not-quite fair. There are several graphic novels that may or may not be counted as one for the series or not at all. For example, I finally finished collecting Akira and read the whole thing, so that’s 6 books but really one story (or 50-some-odd if you look at the original publications).

Immediate highlights from new-to-me authors were the Murderbot series (again, four novellas that are now bound as a single book but I got credit for 4) by Martha Wells. I loved the attitude and the fact that each bit was its own story in a larger story so none of the four were filler episodes (I’m looking at you, FB2). The Quantum Magician by Derek Künsken was a new and fun, serialized in Analog so I’m counting it.  Too Like the Lightning by Ada Palmer wowed the ever-living — out of me. The length was enough to make me think I’d miss my challenge completely. I have purchased the rest but not read them yet.

I also read a lot of Tor.com novellas and that kind of feels like cheating, but I also read the Great Gatsby, so what the hell. In some ways the reading challenge is kind of like NaNoWriMo. Whatever makes the number go up works, right?

I pushed myself to read a couple of westerns because a) I’ve only read one in my life and b) I heard somewhere the great cowboy heroes were in the same vein as the hardboiled detectives I love to read. I saw a little bit of stoicism that was worth reading, but not the great love of horses I’d expect and I was shocked to see “injun” used as a verb.

One of my struggles is understanding non-binary or transgender folk so I turned to fiction to try to get some answers and frankly what I read was: boys are awful; there’s nothing good about being a boy; men are manipulative and cannot be trusted. I read to try to understand, and got yelled at by the author. I’ll keep trying, though.

I had my literary comfort food of John Scalzi and Devon Monk (and there’s a new Monk out today: Spark. I’m looking forward to being under a comforter in the Kindle-glow of a fun read).  Actually, those 4 plus Alan Dean Foster’s Force Awakens novelization may be the only things in the comfort-read category this year.

There were too many books that I read and don’t remember reading. Frankly, even one is too many in the category, and that’s frustrating. I don’t like thinking something made so little of an impression on me.

I also learned that when I read books, I usually mean fiction. Yes, I read non-fiction but it doesn’t feel like reading to me. It’s research or learning or just absorbing ideas, but it’s not reading. Reading is adventure and excitement and drama. I know in the end it doesn’t matter, but it was strange to realize I wasn’t counting the non-fiction nor do I reach for non-fiction when I just need a bit of words to pass time. The exception is the bathroom book of blog posts, which suit that purpose just fine.

Looking ahead I think I’ll bump my challenge to 80 books next year with a couple of knows boulders in the way: Ada Palmer and a feeling I should do more to review each work that I read, not just the highlights of the year. I know in Amazon/Goodreads world, a simple 4 or 5-star and “great read” or “lotsa fun” may be enough, but for someone who aspires to write (and get paid for it) I need to put a little more thinking into the endeavor, but not so much that I forget to actually read for enjoyment and adventure and really wild things.

Uncle Josh Pokes 2018 with a Stick (2/3): Movie Edition

The calendar year started with a movie. I think The Last Jedi on second viewing. The rest of my movie-watching year was superhero flicks. I think I only went to the movies to watch:

  • Black Panther
  • A Wrinkle in Time
  • Solo
  • Avengers: Infinity War
  • Ant-Man and the Wasp

I did watch most of Grumpygus v ActionJesus: Wonder Woman Ex Machina in a hotel room (because I wouldn’t pay for that crap) in Bellevue and it was easily the type of movie the MST3K crowd would have a field day with. Bad writing, bad acting, bad lighting, bad everything.

Black Panther

This movie made me smile oh-so-much. The performances were great, the character interaction was great, the moral dilemma worked for me through this one. In fact the only thing that I didn’t like was a single line said by T’Challa in a normal voice while he was flying through the air. It threw me. It happens in comic books all the time but every time I watch that car chase that line just throws me. 

Other than that it’s a damn-near perfect superhero movie. It’s not an origin story which is great because I’m a little tired of the formula, but it has an origin-like quality to it with the battle for being King. We’ve seen the Black Panther in earlier movies, again with no origin. The character doesn’t lend itself to an origin story because the title and powers are passed down from generation to generation.

I loved how the movie presented a clear conflict between maintaining tradition and living in the modern world. I loved it even more that T’Challa rejected the false dichotomy and found his own way through it all. I loved how he interacted with his sister. I loved the cool gadgets and technology and they didn’t over shadow any part of the story.

A Wrinkle in Time

I didn’t get into the book as a kid. My mother tried. Oh how she tried but I couldn’t get it. Then we watched a play of it at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland a few years ago and that blew my mind. The movie was visually stunning and fun to watch. The performances were fantastic. It inspired me to try to re-read the book. Still couldn’t get into the book. Ah well.

Solo

This movie was unnecessary but fun anyway. I couldn’t help thinking Disney was milking the Star Wars Cash Cow and taking a lot of trouble to make for the fact that George Lucas is a crappy writer. I don’t like the way prequels of any kind always look more advanced that the story they precede in the timeline. This usually happens because of the ability of storytelling and the available budget. The TV show Enterprise had a great looking ship but in the universe there is no way it would have evolved into the plain boring plastic of the original series.

The problem with the Star Wars prequel trilogy was cleanliness. Everything was CGI and so damned clean. Solo at least had the decency to look lived in. 

It also didn’t rack up the tension well enough to really make me care. Solo has a love interest. Yawn. She’s going to die, I thought through most of the film. She’s dead. The fact that  she didn’t die but still abandoned Solo was refreshing, but not enough. 

Avengers: Infinity War

According to my FitBit I burned a lot of calories. I was in the  Zone for most of the movie because it was unrelenting and was the most comic-booky of all the comic book movies and I let myself be taken away by it even though I’m pretty sure (as is most of the fan base) that it will be retconned  in the next movie. 

I’ve watched it on Blu-Ray at least once since, and the tension has gone down a bit. 

Ant-Man and the Wasp

This was the palette cleanser after Infinity War and perfect for being so. Fun, light, manages to ignore the horrors going on for a smaller story. (Sorry.) The characters were still fun but the ex-wife didn’t work as well but Cassie worked even better.

That final credit tag, though…. ouch.

Fantastic Beasts 2: I really wish you wouldn’t

I wanted to like this one. I loved the first one. I loved the awkward heroics of Newt and the tragedy he felt was real to me.

Then there was this second movie that did nothing but try to set up the rest of the series. Newt kept his principals but now I’m afraid he’s throwing them away. The writing was pretty bad. I think these movies would be a hell of a lot better (I’m clearly not optimistic about the rest of them now) if Rowling just wrote the damn books first and then adapted them (or had some adapt them) to movies.

Next Year

Expected highlights include:

  • Captain Marvel
  • Avengers: Let’s Wrap this Up
  • Star Wars Episode IX

It looks like there’s another Godzilla Movie and a Nick Park animation, A new Spider Man and New Mutants movie, yet another Terminator movie and Kingsman flick, and (for some unfathomable reason) a Charlie’s Angels reboot and (again–why?–) an Addams Family Reboot.

I’m going to have to go through the list with a fine-tooth comb and start picking out things that may actually be worthwhile to see.

Uncle Josh Pokes 2018 with a Stick (1/3)

The big thing this year was my internet provider, web host provider, and personal website were crushed when John Ogden shuttered SpiritOne. I started with SpiritOne back in the 90’s on dial up when I was on a Mac and a few other local ISPs told me they didn’t support Macintosh connections. I had stopped using my SpiritOne email address years ago, but the internet access and web hosting were nice. I have a backup copy of my old WordPress site but I haven’t had much luck restoring it. My new page and new blog are hosted on BlueHost and my phone provider has a decent enough DSL for our purposes.

Without the blog, recounting my year could be a little more difficult. I’ll have to scan Facebook, Twitter, and the pile of Moleskine notebooks by my computer (and bed, and chair, and under the bed, and under the chair….).

One thing I recently remembered was taking an online happiness course: The Science of Well Being which started in May or June.

I usually do these things month by month, but that can be kind of boring and I don’t have a list of publications to squee over, so maybe just some bullet points on the highlights.

2018 was the first year I worked a real job with real pay and real benefits, which has led me to not fearing homelessness or starvation or premature death. I was a contractor for a couple of years which was pretty good, then I was brought on full time in November for about 60% more pay. Last Christmas was good.

I took my first Goodreads challenge with 50 books. I’m sitting at 62 and haven’t recorded all the books I read. I’ll save that for a different post.

  • Flew to Las Vegas for work. Got fatshamed in both flights.
  • Did Broadway Night, our annual church music program fundraiser. I sang a tepid version of Sit Down You’re Rocking the Boat, marking the second year in a row I had to pull a song out of a hat to fill the program.
  • At work I had to learn Power Query and Power BI to do a lot of magic. Mischief Managed.
  • Flew to Reno for the memorial service of Father Paul Towner, who was my rector from 14 months old to 18 when I did my petulant “I’m too good for God” shtick. Saw old friends. Beth Hastings and I looked at the list of people confirmed in 1984, remembering all the names and the pointing to one name  and saying “who was that?” in almost perfect unison. Fatshamed by too-small seat belts.
  • Bought Stephanie a car for her 50th birthday: A Kia Niro. Damn good car. We feel better knowing we’re helping the environment and really enjoying it when we get out of the car and see “AVG TRIP MILEAGE: 67”. We used to cry out “Fuck you Rex Tillerson” but we’ve calmed down now.
  • Went to a Deadlift Seminar in Bellevue from the Starting Strength program. Also went to Seattle Art Museum MoPop history of Marvel. We followed this up by buying rubber matting for the garage and bumper plates for the bar so I could deadlift on something better that bare concrete. Things went swimmingly until early October when I damn-near hurt myself failing a 345 lb squat.
  • We walked Southwest Walking Trail number 4, which we should have done last year, or the year before. There are parks and stairwells in the crevices all over this city.
  • I replaced my dying Pebble with a FitBit. Someday I will have the smart pocket watch of by dreams.
  • The June Ashland trip triggered some sort of Sword and Sandal Serialized Saga but for the life of my I can’t remember what it was.
  • I made a prediction in September that the blue wave of November 18, should it happen, could be followed by “Trump is a Democrat Sleeper Agent.” I was wrong. The accusation never came up that I found.
  • The October Oregon Shakespeare Festival trip coincided with a big move in the office. I came back not sure where I was, who I was, or if I had a job.
  • I failed NaNoWriMo, and I’ve already autopsied that bastard.
  • I did create a Twitter Bot called “NaNoWhineMo” that spat out excuses all month. Got some attention from the self-pub crowd.
  • I instituted a new holiday in honor of Douglas Adams: Hoopy and Frood day. I called out several people on social media and in my life who were good to me in small ways.

Reality continued to suck with more school shootings and public shootings that made the news than I care to contemplate.

Some things I posted or saw on social media that I want to remind myself of:

When you find yourself contemplating exclusions to the Golden Rule you are on the wrong path.

I didn’t post it but I shared it and it’s worth keeping around:

“What happened to civility? You labeled it ‘political correctness’ and decided it was a bad thing” — Posted by Gabriel Gentile on June 26

And I said this:

I always thought true geeking-out fandom involved “I LOVE THIS THING AND I WANT TO SHARE IT WITH YOU” and not “I LOVE THIS THING AND YOU’RE NOT GOOD ENOUGH FOR IT!”

https://twitter.com/JoshuaREnglish/status/1034204544039710721

And this:

Whenever I try to kill time it fights back by piling up on my to-do list.

I will cover movies and books in other posts.

Uncle Josh Stops Eating

The only time I successfully lost weight was in 2016 when we did the Whole 30. I lost 15 pounds in a month. Unfortunately it’s a lot of meal prep and dishes and planning and it hit us at all our weak points and I put 40 pounds on my frame in the two years since we stopped.

So I moved on to another program that should also, according to the research, help me prevent developing Type II Diabetes, which is in my family history and my doctors are shocked that I’m not already diabetic. That program is Intermittent Fasting. I was inspired by Dr. Jason Fung’s book and I’ve been doing a lot of reading and the whole things seems safe enough.

The great thing about fasting is you can stop any time you like. I’m working on two days a week with a “24 hour” fast which means in all practical terms I eat dinner one night, and don’t eat again until dinnertime the next night. Lots of water. Lots of coffee. Tea, even. And a whole lotta trips to the men’s room.

I experimented with a two-day fast, going from Sunday dinner to Tuesday dinner and I made it through until about 1 o’clock Tuesday.

My weight came down and plateaued because I haven’t solved the other half of the problem: on the days I eat, I eat like a 300 lb. man. We had some good habits coming out of Whole 30 that weren’t too onerous but even those did not stick. Changes in our work schedules mean we are out of the house for 11 hours a day most days and eating out is the easiest option.

I don’t love to cook, and I don’t love food that I care to do it well, and I don’t respect myself enough to make the effort. That is the core of my weight problem. I don’t care about myself. I tried getting strong and I got to a point where my weight didn’t matter as much because my body does not actually wear me down, except the soles of my feet and by butt after a long day of sitting in bad chairs.

The momentum towards not caring is so strong that I’m not sure even a major event like a heart attack would turn me around. I remember being more physically active as a teenager. I guess my twenties really did a number on me in many ways . My worst impulses towards depression and nihilism took over and I stayed there and despite being married to a wonderful woman for over 17 years I haven’t been able to crawl out of it.

I’m done.