Rest in Peace, Chris Cornell. (And Gen-X. And okayness.)

Man, I’m in a dark and strange mood this morning. I shouldn’t be. It’s gorgeous out there.

I live in Arizona and it’s May 19 and we’ve been sleeping with the windows open. It’s been like this for almost two weeks. The bedroom air is slightly chilly in the morning, so I reach for a light robe. This bizarre behavior can only mean one thing: we’re entering a new Ice Age.

It’s not just at night, either. After I get up, I go around the house and open one or two other windows and the front door, and leave them open for a good half-day, if not longer. I open them again in the evenings. This, my friends in other places, is paradise. We desert-dwellers love the desert, but we also love an unseasonably cool breeze through our security screen doors.

For posterity, here’s me this morning:

 

May 19, 2017 – in a light sweatshirt. In Arizona.

 

At the same time, awful things have been happening in the world, including the recent and tragic departure of Chris Cornell, whose widespread fame was launched with his Seattle grunge band Soundgarden. His death was not only shocking and sad, but also somewhat alarming for we “lost ones” of Generation X.

When you spend your childhood in the 70’s, your teens in the 80’s, and your twenties in the 90’s –and when the 90’s was your favorite decade, and Ten is one of your all-time favorite albums – the untimely deaths of icons like Kurt Cobain and Chris Cornell are sobering. It makes you want to watch Singles (older Gen-Xers), Reality Bites (younger Gen-Xers), and Office Space all day, kicked back on the couch eating chips and not looking for a job, all of us stereotypical, slovenly losers and slackers of Generation X.

Should I complete my own stereotype as a Gen-X writer and install a coffee pot on my desk?

Should I stare off into space and then write a letter? (“Dear Eddie Vedder: please don’t.”)

But I’m lucky. My depression is under control. I’m okay. We’re okay. Everything is okay. Everything is fine, despite global shenanigans at the highest levels of power, shenanigans of which there’s no need to speak. It’s like that one meme… that one where the dog is sitting in a house that’s burning down around him, and then he perks up and says, “This is fine.”

That’s a sign of our times, though, isn’t it? “Okay” and “fine” have long since been code for “things aren’t exactly hunky-dory.”  

“How are you?”

“I’m okay.”

“JUST okay?”

Commence questioning all of your life choices as you’re prompted to consider why you said just “okay.” You can’t be okay if you say you’re okay, because okay isn’t good enough. To tell the well-meaning inquirer that you’re okay is to send yourself an invitation to spill all of your not-okayness right there in the office hallway on your way to the water cooler.

Is this the product of a society defined by extremes? If we’re not flying high on the vaporous joy of life at all times, then something is wrong?

I’ll take “okay.”

Maybe this entire post was a sort of tangent. Maybe I just wanted to say, Rest in Peace, Chris Cornell.

 

 

Happy Friday the 13th!

It’s already 1:00 in the afternoon here. I woke up at 8:00, but my brain’s still struggling in the residual quicksand of a pair of disconcerting dreams. You know how it is when you wake up in the middle of a deep dream-state… it takes forever to feel “awake,” especially if the dreams were complicated, multi-dimensional and disturbing.

That aside, things of note this week!

–Pulp fiction gratification par excellence… I got my hands on Lee Child’s new Jack Reacher novel, Never Go Back, and it was a kick-ass good time. I loved it. Reacher hasn’t changed a bit on the written page; he’s the same blond, blue-eyed, ugly (self-described) Reacher, bigger and more powerful than most of his huge foes, an “animal” with “extreme genetics.”

Puberty had brought him many things unbidden, including height and weight and an extreme mesomorph physique, with a six-pack like a cobbled city street, and a chest like a suit of NFL armor, and biceps like basketballs, and subcutaneous fat like a Kleenex tissue.  

Same old Reacher!

–We met up with one of Callaghan’s long-time labusas.org friends at Fast Eddie’s in Round Rock. Labusas.org is a Los Angeles-based online forum about crotch rockets, with a focus on Hayabusas (Suzuki) and Zx12s (Kawasaki).

 

Chris, Eddie and Callaghan at Fast Eddie's in Round Rock

Chris, Eddie and Callaghan at Fast Eddie’s in Round Rock

 

It was "crazy glasses" night at Fast Eddie's, so Callaghan whipped these up on our way out (literally).

It was “crazy glasses” night at Fast Eddie’s, so Callaghan whipped these up on our way out (literally).

 

He made these beer stein glasses, too, which Eddie's modeling here.

He made these beer stein glasses, too, which Eddie’s modeling here.

 

Callaghan, Eddie and me

Callaghan, Eddie and me

 

 

–As the weather’s cooling down, we’re realizing the extent of the humidity (it’s not hot, but we’re sweating). This prompts consideration of where we might land in the future, in accordance with our plan to come here and evaluate how we like it from all angles before deciding that it’s a “permanent” place. Arid and semi-arid climates do the trick for us, a fact we’re coming to fully appreciate.  We’ll see what happens!

–Our place is slowly coming together in the aftermath of The Shipping. Here’s my “office” so far (it’s a section of wall in our bedroom):

 

Sitting in my "office," and damn, I need to clean my laptop - funny how you don't see the grunge until someone takes a picture of it!

Sitting in my “office,” and damn, I need to clean my laptop – funny how you don’t see the grunge until someone takes a picture of it!

 

 

This is a limited view of my office area, basically just me sitting here as Callaghan stood in the doorway with the camera. I’ll show you a full, detailed view after it’s completed. I’m shooting for Monday.

Dressed for Success

Well. A week from tomorrow, we move!

We spent most of the last week visiting friends and family. So for the second year in a row, we were on the French Riviera during the Cannes Film Festival, and for the second year in a row, it was raining and cold down there at the time. After we got back, I came across some online photos of attendees in their red carpet attire and shivered just looking at them, thinking of how I’d spent the last four days in layers of clothing over my jeans – t-shirt, sweater, jacket.

For instance:

 

The intrepid Emma Watson at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival

The intrepid Emma Watson at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival

 

You know how powerful the mind is? My first-hand knowledge of the weather where this picture was taken kills the adorableness for me. I’m distracted by wanting to wrap her up in something warm. I’m glad I didn’t see this picture while we were there, because if I had, I might have been overcome by the urge to rush over to her with a fur-lined cloak (of invisibility?) – such as it is that the weather triggers my maternal impulses.

Still, in a weird way, I admire these festival-goers. You’ve got to be some kind of a badass to deliberately go around dressed for summer when it feels like winter. It’s not like these people don’t have access to weather forecast reports. We knew what it was going to be like down there before we went – they must have known, too.

Here we are on the train coming home, all cozy and warm:

 

We got up at 5:00 in the morning to stumble onto this train from Cannes. It got us home in three hours! Awesome. I'm wearing the previous day's make-up (I don't usually go to sleep without removing it, but that night, I did), a ponytail elastic (which is a poor substitute for a hairbrush, but whatever), and you can't see it, but I'm clutching a Kit-Kat (candy bar) like it's the answer to life. Because at that moment, it was. And it was damn good.

We got up at 5:00 in the morning to stumble onto this train from Cannes. It got us home in three hours! Awesome. I’m wearing the previous day’s make-up (I don’t usually go to sleep without removing it, but that night, I did), a ponytail elastic (which is a poor substitute for a hairbrush, but whatever), and you can’t see it, but I’m clutching a Kit-Kat (candy bar) like it’s the answer to life. Because at that moment, it was. And it was damn good.