Having A Stake In The Game

The Great Basement Cleaning has now reached peak shifting-shit-around, leaving me with a tiny path in the garage and a very sore wrist; the former is inspiration and the second cautionary, neither of which really leave me a choice but make the next step interesting. That being, renting a big(ish) U-Haul and heading for the dump. It has to be done. It doesn’t have to be done this week, but if not now, when? I could wait a bit to see if my wrist feels better, but my best guess is that sooner is better than any other options. I admire the general notion that it’s possible at my age to get in better physical condition, but I tend to live in the real world. Sooner is always going to be better. I’m thinking Thursday. … I wrote this week about my unexpected sentimentality about books, the ones I was discarding. It just snuck up on me; I roll my eyes a lot at people in my Facebook feed who (it strikes me, anyway) fetishize books and reading. I mean, we all have our things, and given the platforms available we can get a little relentless about it. See: Me, weight, exercise. What makes the Book People different is I suspect they think it’s a free pass, that Ben Franklin’s advice about moderation in all things doesn’t apply to reading, of course. I can’t argue too much, if only because there are worse things, but time plays a long game, and it’s a zero-sum one. I love podcasts, for example, and I’m constantly looking for new ones to feed my habit, but I can’t sit and listen. If I don’t have something to do while listening, I can’t listen, and I listen because I have something to do, if you follow. I can’t read and move, in other words, and neither can you (and yes, you can, sort of, but the people I’m talking about don’t). So there’s that, particularly since a lot of these readers also tend to moan a little about weight and body issues. Anyway, it surprised me, this affection and sentiment over bound paper with words. This fondness for things, particularly things I need to get rid of. I tossed many of them into a recycle bin and found myself reminiscing and almost saying goodbye as I did. It was weird, although not disturbing. And I was only tempted to hold back on a few books, some just because I want to have them and a couple because I hold out hope that I might reread. Faint hope. What also surprised me was Buffy. My daughter (and wife, I must add) was a big Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan back in the day, which was 20 years ago, when she was 14 and primed for girl power. Years later, years after the show ended, I relented and watched a couple of episodes. And then all of them, compulsively, over a few weeks. A vampire immersion, and a fan is born. I didn’t revisit, and instead moved on with creator Joss Whedon’s canon, enjoying the spinoff, Angel, more, then reaching the zenith with Firefly. I haven’t seen every sci-fi show ever made, so I’ll be cautious and just say it’s the best. Hands down. But the Buffy residua was all over the basement, and even though I tossed a bunch of books, novelizations of both the textual and the graphic sort, I was judicious, respecting the feelz. And I was briefly tempted to watch a couple of episodes, just to remember, although they no longer reside on Netflix and instead are the property, currently, of Hulu, a service I refuse to engage with (you have to pay and sit through commercials). Then I found the DVDs, surprising myself by warm feelings about removable media. I gathered three seasons, all told, and the other day I stuck the first disc in. Stuck being the operative word here, since I’ve yet to come up for air. Even sticking with Whedonville, Buffy looks a little unsophisticated, and Sarah Michelle Gellar’s soap opera roots are showing. In fact, my overall reaction—and I have to recognize that most if not all of this has to do with my stage of life at this viewing—was that the adults were carrying the kids. Not that they were kids, and even given my willingness to suspend disbelief I found myself bumping against these 20-somethings playing high schoolers. That normally wouldn’t be a thing, given that it is, in fact, a norm, so I’m guessing this is mostly me. Still, Gellar is tremendous if limited and often stilted. David Boreanaz grows in the part of Angel, Charisma Carpenter is always good, and anyway I’m only a bit into season #3 (the earliest I have). If the Buffyspeak gets a little old on second look, and if Alyson Hannigan is mostly annoying and underdeveloped, it’s still great, I can tell it’s great, I know it’s great. And, as a fellow Buffy fan my age recently posted on Facebook, I’m glad Wonder Woman is giving young girls…whatever it’s giving them, empowerment or a positive role model or whatever, I’m unclear (and haven’t seen it. Yet), but it’s not the first time, not by a long shot. So, parents, if this is the thing you’re looking at for your daughters, look backwards. Buffy was kicking butt and taking names from the beginning, and this old guy knows all about it.

The Great Basement Cleaning has now reached peak shifting-shit-around, leaving me with a tiny path in the garage and a very sore wrist; the former is inspiration and the second cautionary, neither of which really leave me a choice but make the next step interesting.

That being, renting a big(ish) U-Haul and heading for the dump. It has to be done. It doesn’t have to be done this week, but if not now, when? I could wait a bit to see if my wrist feels better, but my best guess is that sooner is better than any other options. I admire the general notion that it’s possible at my age to get in better physical condition, but I tend to live in the real world. Sooner is always going to be better. I’m thinking Thursday.

I wrote this week about my unexpected sentimentality about books, the ones I was discarding. It just snuck up on me; I roll my eyes a lot at people in my Facebook feed who (it strikes me, anyway) fetishize books and reading. I mean, we all have our things, and given the platforms available we can get a little relentless about it. See: Me, weight, exercise.

What makes the Book People different is I suspect they think it’s a free pass, that Ben Franklin’s advice about moderation in all things doesn’t apply to reading, of course. I can’t argue too much, if only because there are worse things, but time plays a long game, and it’s a zero-sum one. I love podcasts, for example, and I’m constantly looking for new ones to feed my habit, but I can’t sit and listen. If I don’t have something to do while listening, I can’t listen, and I listen because I have something to do, if you follow.

I can’t read and move, in other words, and neither can you (and yes, you can, sort of, but the people I’m talking about don’t). So there’s that, particularly since a lot of these readers also tend to moan a little about weight and body issues.

Anyway, it surprised me, this affection and sentiment over bound paper with words. This fondness for things, particularly things I need to get rid of. I tossed many of them into a recycle bin and found myself reminiscing and almost saying goodbye as I did. It was weird, although not disturbing. And I was only tempted to hold back on a few books, some just because I want to have them and a couple because I hold out hope that I might reread. Faint hope.

What also surprised me was Buffy. My daughter (and wife, I must add) was a big Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan back in the day, which was 20 years ago, when she was 14 and primed for girl power. Years later, years after the show ended, I relented and watched a couple of episodes. And then all of them, compulsively, over a few weeks. A vampire immersion, and a fan is born.

I didn’t revisit, and instead moved on with creator Joss Whedon’s canon, enjoying the spinoff, Angel, more, then reaching the zenith with Firefly. I haven’t seen every sci-fi show ever made, so I’ll be cautious and just say it’s the best. Hands down.

But the Buffy residua was all over the basement, and even though I tossed a bunch of books, novelizations of both the textual and the graphic sort, I was judicious, respecting the feelz.

And I was briefly tempted to watch a couple of episodes, just to remember, although they no longer reside on Netflix and instead are the property, currently, of Hulu, a service I refuse to engage with (you have to pay and sit through commercials). Then I found the DVDs, surprising myself by warm feelings about removable media. I gathered three seasons, all told, and the other day I stuck the first disc in. Stuck being the operative word here, since I’ve yet to come up for air.

Even sticking with Whedonville, Buffy looks a little unsophisticated, and Sarah Michelle Gellar’s soap opera roots are showing. In fact, my overall reaction—and I have to recognize that most if not all of this has to do with my stage of life at this viewing—was that the adults were carrying the kids.

Not that they were kids, and even given my willingness to suspend disbelief I found myself bumping against these 20-somethings playing high schoolers. That normally wouldn’t be a thing, given that it is, in fact, a norm, so I’m guessing this is mostly me.

Still, Gellar is tremendous if limited and often stilted. David Boreanaz grows in the part of Angel, Charisma Carpenter is always good, and anyway I’m only a bit into season #3 (the earliest I have). If the Buffyspeak gets a little old on second look, and if Alyson Hannigan is mostly annoying and underdeveloped, it’s still great, I can tell it’s great, I know it’s great.

And, as a fellow Buffy fan my age recently posted on Facebook, I’m glad Wonder Woman is giving young girls…whatever it’s giving them, empowerment or a positive role model or whatever, I’m unclear (and haven’t seen it. Yet), but it’s not the first time, not by a long shot.

So, parents, if this is the thing you’re looking at for your daughters, look backwards. Buffy was kicking butt and taking names from the beginning, and this old guy knows all about it.

Chuck SigarsComment