Notes: August 29th, 2012

Just a few quick notes:

Walter White: Live Free Or Die. If you’ve been following the show Breaking Bad so far – and, I just want it to be noted right in front of the many (very, very few) readers who frequent this blog and lavish me with praise and obsessive, bordering-on-delusional admiration, that god help will not help you if you have not witnessed every episode of this jaw-dropping masterpiece because, if you haven’t, expect a visit from me in the next few days (can’t guarantee that I won’t unexpectedly bust through your motherfucking window, Wesley Snipes style), three cases of Coca-Cola cradled under my arm and a bag of Blue Sky methamphetamine stuffed inside my jacket – then I’m sure you’re with me when I say HOLY SHIT, I CAN’T BELIEVE THIS IS ALL COMING TO AN END. Actually, let me first clarify something: why am I there in your living room, uninvited, with too much Coca-Cola and a bag of horribly stupid and dangerous drugs that I have not and will never try? Because we’re watching a marathon of this show together, that’s why, and we might be chilling there witnessing this marvelous program for a long time. Fifty hours, maybe; it doesn’t matter, we’re watching this shit whether you fucking want to or not. You’ll thank me later, I’m positive of it, because Jackson Williams will never lie to you. It might possibly be the greatest television drama of all-time, and many, many others agree with me. Don’t mind my momentary lapse in to talking in third person – it happens sometimes. Did I mention my ego and my confident, quirky demeanor that most people find charming and irresistible?

No? Oh well.

Back to my point: if you’ve been a disciple of this unbelievable show like myself, I’m sure you’re with me when I say HOLY SHIT, I CAN’T BELIEVE THIS IS ALL COMING TO AN END. The Whites have officially shattered, Skyler’s soul breaking under the massive amount of secrets she has kept to “protect this family from the man that protects this family.” She’s also an accomplice to Walt’s “criminal meth-empire,” but that kind of goes without saying. Nearly everyone on this show ends up in a barrel – fans of the show know what I mean by that – but, after all, when you’re a character living within the universe of this show, you’re probably used to that reality by now. It comes with the territory. Walter, the quiet, pathetic, milquetoast fifty-year old chemistry teacher with “a brain the size of Wisconsin” who we meet in episode 1, shocked by the newly discovered, terminal lung cancer hanging over him like the Grim Reaper biding his sweet time and forced to perch over the abyss like the dove from those early lines that I remember so clearly from Milton’s Paradise Lost, has now fully transformed in to a scary, scary monster. That genius of his, the kind he has never felt respected for, that intellect that has gotten him out of scrape after scrape through through this show’s amazing five-and-a-half seasons, has now led to an ego that will never, ever be satisfied. He is now officially alone – no Jesse for a partner, no family, no cook site, no rival threatening to kill him and bring him down like Gustavo Fring, or Mike, may he rest in the peace, the kind of peace that is reserved for a badass like Mike – and, by being alone and free and backed in to a corner from which there appears to be no escape, as many of us have surely (probably) experienced in our quick, fleeting lives, you find yourself not caring about just what the hell happens next to you. To quote the great Mr. Bob Dylan: “when you ain’t got nothin’, you got nothin’ to lose.” I’ve loved that line since the first time I heard it, and I love it because it’s true.

YO, MR. WHITE! SPRING BREAK! KEG STANDS, BITCH!

Walt’s pride and his ego will be his downfall, like what happens to many of us. Walt’s ego has turned him in to a murderous, manipulative, “my intellect and will alone makes me invincible!” type of socio-psychopath who will stop at nothing to continue doing the one thing he has left in his life: manufacturing the world’s purest methamphetamine, the “blue stuff,” the kind that only he, Walter “Heisenberg” White, can produce. He’d always felt ashamed for bailing out of Grey Matter over “personal reasons,” taking his 1/3 stake of the company (about $5000) a few years before it became a billion dollar company, missing his chance to show how much of a chemistry genius he really is. He will never be able to prove his self-worth EVER, and now all he has is the blue sky methamphetamine that in the underground world of meth-manufacturing makes him something akin to Lou Gehrig, Babe Ruth, and Albert Pujols all rolled in to one.

He will lose it all. And then, like the cold-open from the season five premiere showed us, he’s going to need that big machine gun – a fucking M-60 with tracers (TRACERS! TRACERS, FOR CHRIST’S SAKE!) to be exact – before all is said and done. Who else besides me wants to see the dad from Malcolm In The Middle go out like Scarface in a Denny’s parking lot? It’s must see television. And, hold on tight with me here, but imagine if the show ended with Frankie “Malcolm” Muniz showing up, machine gun in hand, and the show fades to black with Muniz and Cranston having a gun-fight in a Denny’s parking lot in Albuquerque. If only Malcolm In The Middle and Breaking Bad would have a cross-over episode. A boy can dream, can’t he?

Happy Belated Birthday, Little Brother. On Sunday, my little brother turned twenty-one years old. As his older brother, I wish to tell him that I’m shocked that he’s survived long enough to even make it this far, and I’m happy that he has. I’m sure he has enjoyed every last bit of it, as a Williams would. My little brother is the one who can drink like a fish, whereas I’m somewhat of a lightweight these days. I’ll drink a couple of White Russians and smoke a joint when I’m in the mood, or maybe head out to the bars with a group of friends and end up spending way too much money buying myself Rum & Cokes, not to mention buying drinks for various girls (sometimes you fail, and sometimes you succeed mightily. The greater the risk, the greater the reward. So it goes.). I miss the hell out of the guy – he’s a Marine who’s stationed over in North Carolina, and here in the next few weeks he’s getting married to my friend Karley in a courthouse ceremony. Just a quick little procedure to make things official. And, when my little brother gets some extended leave time from the Marines and they fly back here, they’re going to have the dun-dun-dun….BIG CEREMONY. I’m also guessing this means I’m going to be uncle soon, and let me just say that I am stoked for that as well. If you’ve ever met me/know me pretty personally, you definitely understand immediately that I will quite possibly be the coolest uncle ever. I shall be Joshua, the badass uncle that gives my niece or nephew cool records and books and takes them to museums and shit. “Uncle Josh” has quite a nice ring to it.

And you know what else? My little brother also asked me to be the best man when we have the big, official, symbolic (since technically they’re getting married in a courthouse in North Carolina) wedding with the family and friends gathering and what not. The usual type of event. Not only will I be the cool uncle, Uncle Josh, but I also get to be the best man at my little brother’s wedding, and his wife is also a really good friend of mine that I’ve been close with for about five years now. It’s going to be great. And you just know I’m going to write the greatest “obligatory Best Man speech” I possibly can. This speech is going to be epic.

The Murderboners. I am a novelist, I’ve wanted to be one since I wrote my first story when I was eight years old, and when you tell people that you’re a novelist they immediately get this idea in their head that by being a novelist you’re supposed to be mature. Maybe the idea they get in their head is that the novelist, in a romantic sense, is supposed to be “refined.” Do I believe that I’m mature? Yes, I’ve been told that I am. I believe that yes, in a gradual sense, I am becoming a mature adult; and, then, I decide to join a Fantasy Football League and name my team The Murderboners, as in: “Hey guys, I don’t know how to say this, but that incredibly violent act we just witnessed? It gave me a massive erection, or should I say…a murderboner?!” I’m almost ashamed at myself at how much just saying the name of my Fantasy Football team makes me giggle like I spent my childhood huffing glue and eating paint chips. I turned twenty-four years old back in April. Twenty-four. I expected to be past giggling at the name of my Fantasy Football team. I should be past nearly pissing my pants from laughing when I see some dude getting kicked in the nuts when they’re not expected it. Actually, to hell with it, I’ll just continue to be this way. I will remain permanently a teenager even when I’m old, decrepit, and hauling ass down the sidewalk on my Rascal scooter.

I Hereby Pre-Emptively Apologize For My Future Behavior. The summer has come and gone, and slowly but surely fall is descending upon us. For those of us who care quite a bit about sports, this is actually the most wonderful time of the year. On Saturday, college football returns and my god how I missed it. Go Ducks. September is pretty close, and after that comes October, and that’s when baseball, my favorite sport of all, goes in to playoff mode and all hell breaks loose as teams scramble to make it to the greatest sporting event of all: The World Series. One of my earliest memories is being two or so years old, sitting on the couch with my grandfather and watching The World Series, and every year I’ve never missed it. I’ve even turned in when my favorite team, the New York Yankees, isn’t playing in the big show. We’ve won twenty-seven of them already, so I hope that tastes good. The NFL is back on Sunday too, and of course we’ve got the NBA coming up in a couple of months, too.

“Hey Jackson, what do you mean by I Hereby Pre-Emptively Apologize For My Future Behavior?”

When I really care about a team, I can be an obnoxious asshole, especially when I’ve had a few beers in me and I really, really, really feel like debating someone – which, by the way, I have a tendency to do (debate) a lot and sometimes I can go a little too far. I like to talk, so what? I am the kind of Ducks fan that other fans from the Pac-12 complain about when they come to visit from out of state and watch a game at Autzen. I can get pretty damn passionate about it, to be honest with you, especially when it comes to the Ducks and the Yankees. So, I just want to get it out of the way and apologize to everyone right here and now: I’m sorry for all the terrible things I might end up saying to you over the next few months, a majority of those insults coming during the MLB playoffs + The World Series + whoever the Ducks are playing on Saturday. It’s not really who I am. I’m actually a very nice, intelligent, laid-back, funny dude, but when sports are on, I can be a bit over the top. I’m sorry for what I might end up saying in the heat of the moment. No, I don’t think you’re a “fucking idiot.” And, no, I don’t think your parents should’ve opted for the “fourth-term abortion.” You’re not stupid, you’re not less of a person just because you happen to support another team that isn’t my own, and no, I’m not seriously going to slash your tires/bust out the windows of whatever piece of shit car you drive. These things might happen, and that is why I’m apologizing to you beforehand. I’m the kid who wears glasses and reads The Brothers Karamazov more than once and then ends up nearly ruining a friendship because I started mocking a good friend because his team had a walk-off home run hit off of them in the ninth after blowing a 8-3 lead. This is why I’m getting this out of the way now. Thank you for your understanding. My team is better than yours and you know that I know that you know it….I’m sorry.

Sir Todd Akin of the Idiot Clan. Over the past week, this story has been beaten to death. It truly has. I watched the news when the story broke, and I’m sure you were as shocked and appalled as I was. For those haven’t heard what he said, here you go: “[Rape] victims rarely get pregnant. It seems to me, first of all, from what I understand from doctors, that’s very rare. If it’s a legitimate rape, uh, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.” That’s an exact fucking quote. Now, to put this in context, Todd Akin opposes abortion rights in all cases, including in cases of rape and incest. He is a Missouri Republican candidate for a Senate seat That’s the United States Senate, one of the great titans that roamed through the dreams of our Founding Fathers. Washington. Jefferson. Madison. Adams, who happens to be one of my ancestors on my mother’s side. These brilliant men built this country by both their intellects and putting their necks on the line (“we shall hang together, gentlemen!”) all in the name of liberty. And now what we do we have here in 2012, an election year of all years, primetime for the crazy, dumb bastards that seem to suddenly explode out of the woodwork? We get Todd Akin, a simple man from the great state of Missouri. First off, how does a man who obviously skipped basic science class end up on the House of Representative’s Committee on Science, Space and Technology? What kind of a sick fucking joke is that? Would you put Casey Anthony in charge of a daycare center? No, no you wouldn’t. And second of all, and this part is crucial: what the fuck is legitimate rape? Rape is rape, you simple-minded fucktard. My god, what the hell is happening in America? Are we losing our goddamn minds? Damn.

P.S. I’ll probably be posting more political articles in the future. Word.

And, I wanted to make a little toast:

HOLY SWEET GODDAMN.

Thank you, Kate Upton. Thanks. I want to say thank you to Kate Upton, the girl of the summer. I believe the phrases “holy sweet mary mother of god” and “Wooooooow” come to mind when it comes to Kate Upton. I’ll just keep it simple and stick to my tried and true “daaaamn, girl.” You have made this amazing summer that much better with your, uh….large tracts of land. Someone out there will get the reference, smile, and then say “nudge, nudge, wink, wink, say no more.” Fuck it, I’ll cut right to the chase: you have deposited untold riches in to the Spank-Banks of men all over the globe, and — as an elected representative of men everywhere — I feel I speak for all of us when I say thank you, Kate Upton. Thank you. You are proof that America is still the greatest country on earth.

A New (Untitled) Work In Progress. About a month ago, freshly recovered from writing/editing dilligently on some other project I was working on – writers need vacations after throwing everything in to an enterprise that may or may not work, and just ask James Joyce what commitment to work means – I found myself bored, head happy and clear which is nothing like what I’m usually like, and chilling back with a joint and a cup of coffee I decided to start writing a new novel. For some reason, who knows where it came from, I imagined a young man about my age laying on his back in his bedroom, high out of his mind from a line of pills he had just crushed up and snorted up his nose, and he’s completely numb/opiate-high and yet inside his mind he’s panicking oh my god I think I took too much shit am I overdosing this might be the end and he begins to slip out of consciousness. I started writing this little prologue/scene from inside the main character’s head, first-person point of view, and it becomes very obvious that this kid – Jacob is the name I’m going with for right now, but this is a Work In Progress after all – is obviously depressed and lost in his life, and maybe he subconsciously took too much to commit suicide and end his dysfunctional life that appears to be heading nowhere at all. But, as he’s right at the point where he’s slipping out, he has this sort of quasi-religious experience (I’m still a little vague, once again it’s a Work In Progress). During this big moment of clarity he realizes he wants to live and he has one of those cliche “whoah, I understand the universe now” moments and he feels like he understands his destiny and then…..he passes out. The next morning he wakes up, and without going in to too much detail Jacob awakes as a new person. He describes himself as “electric,” like he’s shaken off all the rust and cobwebs and depression that had built up over the years and tore him down as a functioning human being. He becomes a force to be reckoned with, and the bulk of the novel – which, even by my vaguage outline I wrote out in one of my notebooks, is going to be massive, as in somewhere north of five-hundred pages – will sort of be a bit like a 21st century version of Homer’s The Odyssey: Jacob sets out on an odyssey across Emerald (the literary alter-ego I give my home city, Eugene), and along the way our hero gets to in to all sorts of random, chaotic adventures, all of them leading up to the moment of his “Enlightenment” or whatever the hell name you wish to give it once you read it for yourself some day soon.

As I’ve said, I have an outline in a notebook I’m writing in as sort of a “companion piece/thought organizer,” and I’m about 40 pages in to the manuscript, but I’m constantly editing and experimenting as I go along. It’s just the way I’ve always worked. I’ve finally taken on a new writing voice for the project, one that I feel is actually closer to my own actual personality (and isn’t that what we as writers are supposed to be looking for and then hone or whatever the hell?). The hardest part about being a writer is finding your Voice, and sometimes it takes years and years to find it, if you ever find it at all. As of right now, I feel like I’ve found my Voice, and it’s leading to some pretty fantastic results. If I had to try to describe it and put it in to understandable terms that my fellow literary nerds would understand, my new & improved writing Voice would best be described as a crude synthesis of Jack Kerouac + Henry Miller + Lenny Bruce. Add my personality in to the mix and you get a pretty good idea/visualization of what I’m talking about.

I plan on posting an excerpt of it sometime in September, that is if there’s any interest in me doing that. Actually, forget interest, I will do it anyways. I just won’t say when. Bwuhahahahahahaha.

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