Flicking ashes over teenage kids with poorly tuned guitars.

Yes, another Superjock segment is coming. No, I'm not done with it. No, I'm not entirely certain what it'll be about. Yes, I have writer's block. Yes, it will be awesome (when done).

I thought I'd make a post of random...things. Thoughts, concerns, questions, ideas, jokes. The whole shooting match.

-So I have a beard. This isn't the first time I've had one, but it's the first time it doesn't look horrid. There is a little area near the end of my mustache that never connected to the beard, and it's finally done so. But here's the weird part: over the weekend I had noticed that my beard isn't solid brown, like my hair. There are a few small patches of blonde hair that give the rest of the beard a "highlighted" vibe, and there are a few strands of red hair too. It's pretty cool.

-Over the past few months, I've been thinking of about some of the great Christian writers of the 20th century, especially of fiction. One thing I noticed is that a large number of them were Roman Catholic or Church of England, as far as tradition goes. C.S. Lewis: Anglican; J.R.R. Tolkien: Catholic; Dorothy Sayers: Anglican; Flannery O'Connor: Catholic; Walker Percy: Catholic; Graham Greene: Catholic; G.K. Chesterton: ...something in between; Madeleine L'Engle: Anglican. And on and on.

-The fifth season of "24" started this past Sunday night. Like last year, they had a premiere event, which translates to four episodes over the course of two consecutive days. I'm a big fan of this show. I've been watching it since the sixth episode of the first season. It's one of the most well-done shows on TV (though, story-wise, I enjoy "Lost" better). It's also one of the most violent. By the end of the fourth episode (which I just finished watching), Jack Bauer has killed seven men and knocked four unconscious. So far it's a slow year for him.

-If you know who has my DVD of Sunset Blvd., let me know, so I can kill them. It's been missing for three years. I don't know what sort of message you're trying to give me, pal, but I'm going to take it out on your face.

-Is this situation familiar. You're driving on the highway, people are zipping by you like your car is parked (despite the fact that you're in excess of the speed limit by 5 mph). You, along with the current pack of drivers who are streaking by you, crest a hill and spot a police cruiser (in)conspicuously parked behind a hill or something. Dozens of tail lights shine in unison as everyone cuts their speed in half, staring out their window as they crawl by the five-oh. See, in this case, I usually maintain my current speed and just pass everyone up. More often than not the badge can see a string of cars get all antsy when he's around (it's almost like in Star Wars when spacecraft shut their hyperdrives down). Seeing a whole line of cars screech to a halt won't, like, tip him off or anything, right?

-A man comes into the book store, grabs one of the "adult" 2006 calendars we have, brings it to the register, his wife in tow. "Man, can't wait to put this in the geeerage," he says. I ring him up and put the calendar in a bag, handing it to him. "Wow, my garage'll be complete now!" He sees I'm not responding, so reiterates: "No garage is complete without one-a these!" I respond, "I guess I don't have a complete garage then." Why is it that every time a man buys something pornographic at the store, he feels the need to nervously try to reaffirm his purchase with me? And why do I feel so satisfied when I shut them down?

-I'm working a "Winter tunes" mix CD. I'm shooting for songs that--musically--attach themselves to the season. I'm shooting from the hip, too. I'm aiming for stuff that's ethereal, creepy (in a not-creepy way), pristine, chilly. Like staring into a snow-covered field in Kansas at dusk, wind limiting your vision to a hundred paces. My track list so far:
1. "The End Is Not Near," the New Year
2. "Tell It to the Dust," Anders Parker
3. "Put You To Sleep," Dolorean
4. Something by the Arcade Fire
5. "Juliette," Crooked Fingers
6. "Lost of Love," the Bad Plus
7. "Sometimes," My Bloody Valentine
8. Either "Eskimo" or "Your Sweet Voice," both Matthew Sweet
9. Something by Codeine
10. Something Elliott Smith, probably "King's Crossing"
11. Something by Bedhead
12. "That Dress Looks Nice On You," Sufjan Stevens
13. "Marquee Moon," Television
14. "Battery In Your Leg," Blur

-There is some intense hatred for homeschoolers amongst those not homeschooled, and I don't understand it. I honestly cannot think of a legit reason for this. At all. I've always been grumpy about this, but read something tonight that pushed me into "contemplating steamrolling over houses and parked cars" mode. "But homeschoolers are dweebs that ride their OshKosh B'gosh jeans up to their navels and talk about yarn all day." Maybe, but I've met public-schoolers in the same boat. I've also heard of homeschoolers that can't add single-digit numbers together, and scrape together rent through back-alley drug deals. To everyone that feels the need to lump homeschoolers into one big group based on a misinformed stereotype: pull your head out from its current home and let it see some sun. And no, I was never homeschooled.

-Something that I've often thought about: If I ever get a book published, should I just go by "Jason Panella"? Or maybe one of the following: Jason C. Panella; J. C. Panella; J. Panella; C. Panella; J. Christopher Panella; Chris Panella; Rayford Cage. Mmmm?

-Every time I think of or mention the author Harry Turtledove, I think of that part in Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, when Mr. Duncan, the owner of Duncan's Toy Chest, gives Kevin the pair of turtledoves ornaments as subtle background music underscores the action and lets you know that they'll play a part in rekindling a friendship at the end of the film.

-I've been trying to form a band for the past few years. I don't think it'll happen this year either.

-My stint as assistant editor of the Cabinet during the '02-'03 year screwed up my sleep schedule. AND IT STILL HASN'T BEEN FIXED. I'd like to go to bed midnight-ish. I'm always in two a.m. or later. Grumble grumble Cabinet grumble grumble.

-When people on instant messanger type "lol" all of the time, are they really laughing out loud? If this is the case, there are some insanely jolly 14-year olds out there.

-The Harry Potter craze stirred up a lot of interest in any sort of young adult-geared book with magical/fantasy trappings, from recent fads to canonical, from Phillip Pullman's stuff to C.S. Lewis to "Eldest." But has anyone read Susan Cooper's "Dark is Rising" series? I was really into these when I was in middle school. They're like an odd mix of Lewis' Narnia books, Celtic folklore, Highlander and Chuck Norris (I'm joking about one of these). It's been years since I've read them, and--vague pagan subtext aside--I remember them as enjoyable reads.

-Salman Rushdie on "the Da Vinci Code:" "...a book so bad it makes bad books look good."

posted, with grace and poise, by Jason @ 1/16/2006 01:28:00 AM,


At 2:31 AM, Blogger Rebecca said...

This was a most enjoyable post. Random is good.

At 9:15 AM, Anonymous Janet said...

i remember/miss highlander...

At 1:18 PM, Blogger Keith Martel said...

1. did you count the man that Jack blew up remotely with his cell phone? (seven seems low, but i have not been counting)

2. Scott Calgaro has your Sunset Blvd.- take it out on his face first, ask questions later.

3. good thing I don't have a geerage (or a wife that would put up with jr high behavior).

4. something by zero 7

5. sometimes, i think that my elementary career was me living the as a homeschooler embedded in the life of a public school kid.

6. I have been trying to form a band since 1993. SOmething about my lack of musical prowess gets in the way. I can almost always sing the bass line in the psalter.

7. Often I want to write LOL to let people know that I am actually laughing, but it seems like strange practice. I would feel the need to convince the person- "no, really, i am really, really laughing outloud.)

8. not that your site is a waste of time, BUT i should really be doing something else right now.

At 11:54 AM, Blogger mattreed said...

I would add to your list T. S. Eliot and Thomas Merton.

One thing to notice about your list is that they were all from the first half of the 20th century. Alas, the liturgical reforms of the Vatican II and the seductive new forms of evangelical "worship" have taken their toll on traditional practice (Annie Dillard: "who gave these nice Catholics guitars"), and liberalism has taken its toll on traditional belief...

At 9:40 PM, Blogger Jason said...

Thanks Matt. I knew I was missing a few (I can't believe I forgot Eliot-- he was on the original list I made in my head).

And yes Keith, I counted the guy Jack blew up remotely. The kill count--guy Jack knifed in the refinery, the two in the car that he emptied his pistol into, Palmer's assassin, the remote bomb, and two during the firefight in the airport.

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At 9:17 PM, Blogger mattreed said...

oh, and i'm still crap, but i'll start a band w/ you if you want

At 12:40 AM, Anonymous Buddy said...

If Jason and Keith and Matt all started a band...

it would make Chuck Norris cry...

tears of bliss.


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