Ahh, yes, fall. The witching season is upon us. By “witching”, of course I mean “reminded daily of the futility of existence due to a dramatically-shortened amount of daylight hitting the old eye-rods, causing extreme, occasionally-volatile mood shifts and long fits of sleep, also known as seasonal effective disorder” season. Fuck fall. FUCK FALL. No offense, the wife and I do love a good punkin patch, as best represented here:
So what am I blogging for? I generally only post things here when they get rejected multiple times by cool 26-year-old editors of online publications who can’t recognize my HILARIOUS GENIUS. ANYWAY. All this to say, this happened:
Got a compliment on my blog last night and spent several panicked seconds wondering who I was being confused with.
— Catherine McCormick (@McCormCorp) September 25, 2016
Huge shout out to Lori. She loves lists! Honest-to-god reads this old blob. So I am making a list. IN HONOR OF LORI AND HER DEEPLY MOVING COMPLIMENT.
And since it’s the time of pumpkin spice and creeping morbidity, I thought I’d make a list of things to live for, even while at the same time life is utter garbage and I hate everything. Consider it “McCormick Soup for the Chicken Soul”.
NOTE: this post is not a cry for help. A cry for hope, possibly. Suicidal ideation is NO JOKE and I am neither feeling that way nor making light of it. But I have a pretty funny joke about my dream suicide, DM me if you’re interested. K BYE
After all that preamble, here’s my list of things to keep me chugging away at the hedonic treadmill of ego wounds that I call my life:
- WEIRD TORONTO. If you live in Toronto, and you’re not in this facebook group, you’re truly missing out. A thread today actually made me happy to be alive. Why? Because someone posted a MYSTERIOUS and ALLURING headstone featuring some very strange and arcane symbols on it. And people discussed it, whipped-out their A-game knowledge, actually pulled out their reference books, and were just generally smart and awesome and thoughtful and interesting. That’s still to say you WILL find a lot of pics of like, dumb things people spray paint on curb furniture, which inevitably descends into a nested multithread argument about bed bugs. HOWEVER. Weird Toronto, you give this rattling husk a fresh breath of life. Bless u.
- Taupe makeup:
- COMPLIMENTS FROM TECHS. If a sound and light technician at a comedy club gives you a compliment on a show you did like four years ago, and that show was just a random, slightly-hammed rant about hating your office job, and it is a well-known fact that most tech people are so fucking bored of all the ceaseless mediocre dick jokes they hear, this is literally a compliment of the highest order. BLESS the techs and all the shriveling mediocrity they must endure for any of us to become actually okay at the jokes thing.
- That Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Movie. Even though I’ve already heard snarking preview-reviews saying it isn’t good, I really enjoyed those books in their unrepentant Teen Goth-ery, and I am fine with Tim Burton and also with Samuel L Jackson, my dream Oscar date. Which brings me to:
- The ten best facts from Samuel L Jackson’s wikipedia page:
- He played French horn in high school.
- He and his wife LaTanya have been married since 1980.
- He has had a stutter his whole life, which he mostly overcame but still occasionally struggles with.
- He was an usher at MLK’s funeral and later very involved in non-passive civil rights activism, used to work with Stokely Carmichael, but left the Black Power movement at the behest of his mom, who was told by the FBI that he would die within a year if he didn’t step away from the movement (?!?)
- He is bald, but enjoys wearing wigs in his films.
- He likes watching his own movies in regular theaters with regular audience members.
- He has a clause in all of his contracts to allow him to play golf on film shoots.
- He supports Irish football team Bohemian FC.
- He is vegan.
- “Jackson is the world’s highest grossing actor, having earned $7.42 billion in 68 films.” OBVIOUSLY.
- Makeup nerds. As much as I hate every other kind of nerd, which is to say I hate the competitive hoarding of facts and trivia as a sort of patriarchal beta-male bonding exercise, I fucking love makeup nerds. Not just like, people who are good at makeup (love them too) but people who are like, hardcore fucking nerds about it. These are individuals who will write incredible and extensive blog posts where they systematically rate under-$3 eyeshadow primer, index and cross-compare the ingredients, document the way it works under different conditions, and then wrap it up by telling you which fucking primer to get. No one is paying them to do this – they just do it because they must, the way that a dog has to run in a field or a mountain goat has to clip-clop its little hoofies up a big cliff. It’s their nature, that of ruthless and clearheaded analysis of makeup products, and I fucking love them for it.
- My Wife’s Scorn: My wife is literally the most unfailingly pleasant person on earth, and then once in a while she will do or say something with so much scorn that I screech like a dying-witch-harpy, for I am so delighted by it, she so rarely matches my dark evil soul in such a complimentary fashion. In this case, she gave a waiter a very mild talking-to about how my toast at brunch was burnt, saying something along the lines of “She ordered toast, not BURNT BREAD”. I AM IN LOVE AND I’M GOING TO LIVE FOREVER.
- Stealth Feminism. I don’t need my feminism to be quiet and hidden, but I am actually very truly feeling the stealth feminism I’m encountering these days. Ladies helping ladies and not remarking upon it. Ladies working in the Entertainment industry (gag) firmly and insistently pushing for more women of color characters, or queer characters, or complex women characters, and being so sharp and capable that if anyone tries to push them out they will pounce and destroy those motherfuckers, just fully rip them to shreds. Dudes refusing to book dude comics who are awful piglets and instead moving on and picking up the slack and booking all the chicks the piglets pretend don’t exist.
- Moms on Facebook. This one can be pretty fraught, honestly I have de-friended and re-friended my parents (and, if we’re being honest, everyone else I know) like at least ten times for this very reason. HOWEVER. Getting a lot of sweet mom compliments rn. How’s this little beauty from a friend’s mom on the taupe makeup picture featured above: “Omg! !! What beautiful eyes you have! !! I mean I know you are beautiful but this is over the top! !!!!” Also I saw my 80-something year old great Aunt wish her son a happy birthday on his facebook wall and cried laughing because, come on, that’s great.
- Soup! I love soup, eating it and making it and having it will a little hunk of side-cheese and a piece of a roll with a ton of butter on it and a gingerale on the side. More importantly, Danz and I had our first date at Soupstock, just about 4 years ago now, which was the most lesbian date of all time for the following reasons:
- It was a festival of soup.
- George Stroumboloupolis was there.
- It was David Suzuki’s event so everything was sustainable, zero-trash, you had to bring your own bowls and glasses and there was no bottled drinks just a WATER TRUCK and coffee you could buy and put in your own cup if you brought one.
- It was in the Beaches.
- It was a protest event. A PROTEST SOUP FESTIVAL to stop a mega-quarry from being built. I to this day have no idea a) what a mega-quarry is or b) why that’s bad.
- The soup festival worked and the mega-quarry was not built. The PROTEST SOUP FESTIVAL ACTUALLY STOPPED A THING FROM HAPPENING THROUGH SOUP, ACTIVISM AND HAVING TO TAKE YOUR GARBAGE HOME WITH YOU.
- My friend, her mom and her older sister were our escorts on this date. We sat very chastely together on a sunny hillside during this near-Victorian novel of a date and talked about soup and soup ingredients and how nice the leaves were. We did not touch though I wanted to kiss her very badly. Vice-versa also, I ASSUME.
- First Winter. A classic NFB short film, now available on Canadian Netflix. It’s ostensibly about an Irish immigrant family’s first winter in the Ottawa Valley in the 1800s and how hard it is, but actually it’s a nihilistic treatise on the mystery of how and why people keep going when the world is literally trying to destroy them (and succeeding) at all times. It’s classic Canadiana, it’s got that sweet film-to-video transfer look that reminds me of my early childhood, it’s like, pure CanCon genius and also makes you say to yourself, WHAT THE FUCK IS LIFE? WHY IS IT HARD? THESE PEOPLE FLED FAMINE AND PERSECUTION TO FREEZE SOMEWHERE IN THE FUCKING “DEEP OTTAWA VALLEY” TO STARVE AND YET AGAIN RUN OUT OF POTATOES? AND THE DAD JUST LEAVES HIS WIFE AND KIDS TO FUCKING TRY NOT TO DIE ALL WINTER? AND ASLO? WHERE ARE THE FUCKING ALGONQUINS, CAN WE TALK ABOUT THAT FACT? JUST A QUICK LINE IN THERE ABOUT THE VIOLENCE OF WHITE SETTLERS AND FUR TRAPPERS AND BIOLOGICAL WARFARE AND GENOCIDE INFLICTED UPON THEM WOULD DO, OR AT LEAST SING A COUPLE BARS OF “LAND OF THE SILVER BIRCH“, THANKS GUYS. But seriously, watch First Winter for a good dose of frosty woodfire-lit dreary Gaelic existential dread.
- MENNONITES. Living in the Kitchener-Waterloo region as we now do (sorry if that wasn’t enough warning to some of you but yeah, we skipped out of Toronto because it’s a pit of deep-blasting to the mouth of hell in order to install parking garages), we now find ourselves deeply ensconced in the heart of Mennonite Country. The short of it is REALLY GREAT CURED MEATS AND SMOKED CHEESES AND BAKED GOODS AND LIKE, JAM AND SHIT. On demand, essentially. I have a deep abiding love/obsession with Anabaptists. My favorites actually being the Hutterites, those pinko communal-living sweetheart bastards. Read the book I Am Hutterite or Secrets of a Hutterite Kitchen, I promise you, it’s life changing in its description of teenage nannies called lukelas and proofing yeast rolls and cooking savory meat meals for a community of 120 people, and they have the old women teach the little kids and then they all nap together, and no one ever retires until they die because the old ladies don’t want to miss out on the kind of gossip you get when peeling potatoes in the kitchen. The Hutterites are like the Amish but they are allowed to eat Snickers and use cars, and they are actually functioning, sexually buttoned-up versions of what the hippie commune folks thought life should be like. Anyway, this story happened when we were deep in Mennonite country (buying cured meats obvi): Danz and I pull up to the literal meat market, get out of the car to go inside. Danz stops and says to me, in a frantic whisper-yell voice, “Babe, babe, babe, babe, look across the street! Look!” I look, and lo and behold there’s an honest-to-tits Mennonite dude over there, in the outfit and the horse-and-buggy, the whole thing. And I was like “babe come on, he can hear you!” and Danz is like, “No he can’t!” But then I realize he is full-on staring at us, ACTUALLY slack-jawed – just as shocked, bewildered and agog as we are. And then I lose my mind laughing, because I had a moment of deep knowing that he was also freaking out, pretty much like, “HOLY SHIT LOOK AT THOSE CITY LESBIANS IN THEIR WEIRD OUTFITS AND ALTERNATIVE HAIR STYLES WTF THIS IS SO CRAZY”. And when I peeked back at him again laughing, after pointing this out to Danz, I am pretty sure he was ALSO LAUGHING? So basically life is amazing and we are all stuck doing it until we die anyway so fuck it lets just laugh and acknowledge we’re all silly clusters of people huddling for warmth and sameness, caught up in proscribed notions of living, prancing about like goofy lil mountain goats trip-tropping about in our silly and ridiculous outfits. The End.