On exhaustion and bad parenting

I have done some grading tonight, but not much, and I regret to inform you that you cannot make me do any more. Nor can you make me get any lesson planning done; this week is going to be by the seat of my pants, more or less, and it’s going to be fine anyway because this shit is muscle memory by now. This weekend was kind of nuts; my father-in-law’s memorial service was Saturday morning in Plainwell, Michigan, which means I got up earlier on Saturday than I typically get up during the week and spent the drive up hurriedly composing the eulogy I was supposed to deliver in my head, sans paper, because for some fucking stupid reason I hadn’t written it yet.

Don’t leave eulogies to the last minute, people. I pulled it off and everything went fine because I am exceptionally talented, but … don’t do that.

Oh, and the … hole? Is it still a grave if you’re just using a box with an urn and some Beefeater Gin in it and not a casket? Well, whatever it was, the Goddamned thing was too small, and everyone got to take turns digging the hole wider and deeper with what I think were technically stolen shovels before the service started. My wife briefly considered putting the box in sideways, an idea that was quickly vetoed out of existence, and we all just sucked it up and got to digging, my father-in-law’s amused laughter echoing from inside his box.

Afterwards the whole extended family went out for Mexican, because really, what else are you going to do? Sure.

And because emotional whiplash is how we do things nowadays, we had tickets to see Barenaked Ladies Saturday night. By “we” I mean all three of us; it was slated to be the boy’s first concert, and I think he was pretty excited about it. Which meant we were all a bit surprised to be leading a sobbing child out of the theater barely four songs into BNL’s set, meaning that we really only got to hear the (shitty) opening band’s set, and we didn’t get to hear the one BNL song that the boy has memorized and really wanted to hear, as I’m sure it was the last song of the night.

Parenting advice! Concerts are fucking loud. This particular concert was perhaps too loud. And, like, I mean that as a reasonably veteran concertgoer; it was too loud for me, and I’ve seen shows in that venue before. That said, though, like, BNL doesn’t need to be blowing my Goddamned eardrums out. This isn’t a hard rock band or some shit like that, and even the shitty opening band was too fucking loud, and they were going for some sort of pop/bluegrass nonsense or something like that, so they definitely didn’t need to be super loud.

Anyway, we were unprepared. We should have brought headphones and/or earplugs, or at least warned him thoroughly, and we did none of those things. I’m not mad at him and this is one hundred percent our fault as the adults in the scenario. He doesn’t necessarily Have Sensory Issues in the way people generally mean that, but we should have been able to see this coming and we didn’t. The worst thing is that he was clearly upset about ruining the concert for us, and it’s hard to convince an upset eleven-year-old that you’re not mad at him and you’re not disappointed in him when he’s absolutely certain that both of those things are true.

So … yeah. I’ve mostly laid around like a lump today. I have started the new Stephen King book; it is terrible, and I am currently deciding if I’m going to drop it or hate-read it. It is about a seventeen-year-old who is somehow actually however old Stephen King is, and said fake teenager uses slang that no teenager, including King when he was a teenager, has ever used, except it’s not about that somehow. We’re supposed to believe that this ancient old man who refers to earning money as “folding green” is just a regular teenager and pay attention to the rest of the story, where he’s inexplicably befriending an old man, except the old man is actually an old man and not an old man masquerading as a teenager.

Anyway, it’s bad and I’m tired and I’m a shitty dad and somehow I have to go to work again tomorrow and I kind of want a redo on the last couple of days.

It’s Wednesday and I’ve got nothing

I’ve been sitting here staring at the screen for twenty minutes and this is the first sentence I’ve managed to write, so clearly I don’t have a strong agenda for today’s post. In other news, I have watched this TikTok video four thousand times today and you need to know about it, so at least I’ve done a good deed today.

In which I discover music

Dax has been around for a minute, but I just found out he existed, like, yesterday, and hoooooooly shit y’all is this guy talented. Trust me, it’s worth watching.

So this is happening

My son, who clearly does not realize what he has gotten himself into, has to do a report on a Famous Person from Indiana, and has somehow chosen Axl Rose, born in Lafayette in 1962. The ensuing discussion among my wife and I about what GnR song is their most iconic led to my brother suggesting that I get an immediate divorce. While I suspect I’m probably not going that route– I would be homeless in a month without my wife– her opinions on GnR are Wrong. My son, at one point during the conversation, looked at us and, I swear to you, quietly mumbled “What have I started?” to himself.

The correct answer is Sweet Child O’ Mine, by the way.

I think what’s probably going to happen is I’m going to write a 75-page pamphlet on GnR and give it to him, and he can edit it down to three pages or a hundred words or whatever passes for hard work in fourth grade nowadays.

I don’t have to go in to work tomorrow, as I have a training thing in the morning, which means that I’ll actually have my afternoon to myself. I’m going to take the rest of the night off after I finish this brief post and curl up with a book; I started John Scalzi’s The Kaiju Preservation Society last night and it’s going to demand my full attention until I finish it, I think.

Something I didn’t like and something I did

This is at least the second time that a Neal Stephenson book has started off really really cool and then flubbed the landing. I was all ready to write an effusively positive review of this book, which is a near-future novel about climate change and geoengineering, and then it just sort of … ends, with several storylines unresolved and the overall feeling that Stephenson had a page count he was expected to stick to and didn’t feel like going back and cutting anything out so he just ended the book. You may remember my review of Seveneves from several years ago, which is roughly five hundred pages of good, then a massive time skip and another three hundred pages of garbage. This does not do that; there is a brief time skip at one point but it keeps with the same characters afterwards and generally isn’t a huge misstep, even though it scared the hell out of me. But it does this thing where you’re following several characters whose stories knit together and one character whose story doesn’t until the end of the book, when they finally do come together, and they come together in such a ridiculous and unnecessary way that it made me feel like the extra character would probably have been best cut entirely from the book. Don’t get me wrong; it’s a Neal Stephenson book, so there’s a lot of interesting stuff here, but I’m starting to feel like this guy’s move is that he writes books that are chock full of cool stuff and interesting ideas and do not actually knit together into satisfying books. I gave it three stars on Goodreads; I could probably justify four or two depending on my mood.

Also, the novel is horrendously misnamed.

I went with the Termination Shock cover for my post image because the cover of Miley Cyrus’ new live album, Attention, is a close-up of her ass in a thong. Which, like, I don’t disapprove of, exactly, but neither do I need it spread all over my blog, and my normal way of listening to music on my computer involves the album art being visible and I had to turn that off too. I’m not even sure why I bought this, to be honest, it kind of happened without my conscious mind being involved, but I liked it a hell of a lot and I really want Miley to do an album of Janis Joplin covers. Her most recent incarnation seems to be leaning into the raspy, twangy nature of her voice and into rock much more than the pop music she used to do, and I like it a lot. The weirdest thing? The audience interaction is pretty good throughout the album, but the last song is Party in the USA, as you might expect, and the audience acts as if they’ve never heard the song before. It’s really weird.

Anyway, give it a look.