Thursday, February 5, 2015

Africa in Journals

I filled a lot of paper writing about my time in Africa.  Considering I've only managed to write in my journal a handful of times in the three months I've been back (yes, three damn months) I was quite impressed with my work.  Look!



Seems like a lot, yes?  Well I was just reading Paul Theroux's The Great Railway Bazaar.  He took a six month trek and he filled out six notebooks just like those!  Way to take the wind out of my sails…

But what, anyway, do I intend on doing with these tomes?  First I plan on typing them up.  I know, I know: why not type them up to begin with?  There is something much more intimate putting pen to paper.  You feel like you really created something.  Take a picture and impress me with anything you wrote on your computer.  When I write I use ink, because there is no taking back a thought after it has been born.  Plus typing them all up is to relive them.  Walk down memory lane.

Second is completely theoretical.  I'd like to turn them into a novel.  Based on the two journals from Italy and their current non-novella state, don't get your hopes up on fruition of that idea.  The hardest part?  Coming up with new names for everyone!  At the very least for the female characters of the show.  I was… more than a bit of an asshole.  I do apologize.  In my defense, you met me at a very strange time in my life…  Anyway, the only names I come up with sound fake: Sally or Larry or Gary or Mary or other names that end in "y".  You try renaming your friends; it's hard to even think of them without their names!  Ugh.


So, first step: type them up.  Second step: see if anything interesting is there.  Third step: pay someone else to turn it into something someone might want to read?  I really have no idea.  Let's just start with step one.

Friday, January 23, 2015

America is Weird

Number one question since I've returned: What is the best thing about being back in America?  I always answer food…  I don't even want to talk about food, but saying food just makes me smile and think of how delicious it is here.  In Africa I sometimes wouldn't eat just because food was difficult to come by.  You had to make it or find someone to make it for you and it would be the same food you've had every, single, damn day.  Why bother?

A close second is how easy everything is here.  If you want food, you go to your kitchen.  There is food there; I promise.  Even if you think there isn't, there is.  Maybe it's in a can or just some rice or pasta, but you have food.  If you managed to really fuck up your grocery shopping, you can go do that with ease.  Or stop at one of a billion types of restaurants.  OR, and I just discovered this, you can use an app on your phone to pay someone to shop for you!  They'll do your groceries or go pick up food at a restaurant.  They will bring you your beer and booze!  Two years from now the only time we will see rich people is when we are bringing them shit to their door.  Which will probably be answered by robots anyway.

Still, the most fun thing about being back?  Playing catch-up on culture.  SO MUCH HAS HAPPENED.  I spend an exorbitant amount of time reading things like "top 100 _____ of 2014".  I write off the rabbit hole of YouTube as research.  Come, take a tour with me…

So I was watching Saturday Night Live and saw a sketch with Jim Carry doing some weird dance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PKENd6Re5kk  You may have heard of this Sia person and her Chandelier.  I hadn't and it needed explaining.  I go to watch her video and it is somehow even weirder than the parody: http://youtu.be/2vjPBrBU-TM  Who is this woman?  Well further research brings me to the following (I don't care if you watch the two before, but this is special):


I watched this in awe.  At first it was just… why?  What does it mean?  Why have we created a music video with a grown man fighting a rabid eight year old?  AND HE CAN TOTALLY GET OUT OF THE CAGE!  Even more importantly… when did Shia LaBeouf get so buff and grow that awesome beard?

If you were to some reason follow that query, you might run into this even weirder song about Shia LaBeouf (stick around for the end):




And naturally I just watched all those videos again before posting this and ended up watching even more Shia LaBeouf videos.  Apparently for the movie Fury (which I need to see) actors ACTUALLY got to fight Brad Pitt every day before shooting.  That has been every growing boy's fantasy since Fight Club!  If that didn't make me want to be best friends with Shia LeBeouf, him telling a store about getting arrested certainly did: http://youtu.be/jtAkNf_b_TM.

But I'm losing the point of all this which is that I have no idea how I could explain basically ANY OF THIS to my friends in Africa.  America is just fucking weird.