Blog Tag

I've been tagged. For those of you who don't know what this means, click here: http://pulverblog.pulver.com/archives/006087.html. CrankyPants doesn't like being tagged any more than he likes being run over by an 18-wheeler barreling down the highway at near the speed of light, but that's because CrankyPants doesn't like to be told what to do. CrankyPants also hates it when CrankyPants refers to himself in the the third person, but that's a topic for another day. So my friend, let's call him Alan Shepperd (http://philipshane.com/), tagged me. Alan is the sort of uncranky sort who loves the site of beautiful vistas in the morning, who gets off climbing mountains and walking in the desert, who can't bear the clusterfuck atmosphere of New York City so has to escape, tail between legs, to Los Angeles (with his lovely and talented wife) where everyone drives like a human being and people smile and say hello and wave to you from their cars if you wave at them, and where the temperature is 70 degrees and sunny on the worst days of winter and where the Mexican food tastes like Mexican food and where fruits and vegetables taste like fruits and vegetables. You call that living?

I was going to write a nasty letter to Alan and to the CIA (and, just for spite, to Steve Jobs), but I had a large bowl of bran cereal this morning so I'm feeling unusually mellow. Still, I wasn't going to be coerced into a tag response until I talked the matter over with my Grandpa Schlomo who said, "Oy, my blog is so bad in the morning sometimes I have to squeeze my own juice, if you know what I mean." I didn't, but that made me realize that life is short and I shouldn't waste it sitting at my computer reading thought-provoking essays and the New York Times when I could, instead, be joining the mass of self-important blogophiles. So without further ado (and sadly, no accompaniment), here are FIVE THINGS YOU DIDN'T KNOW ABOUT ME:

1) I hate blogs. It's a paradox, I know, but why didn't you know this about me? Haven't you been paying attention? Blogs are another of those cultural memes that have come to represent "everything that's wrong about us." It's all about "me, me, me, so shut up and pay attention to me." Alas, CrankyPants is many things: an elite cultural critic, a gourmet chef, the former star of the television show "Emergency," and a victim of the very culturalness that he so haughtily critiques. That is, I'm split into two crankypanted people, the one who loves and embraces all things new and American and wasteful, and the one who'd rather watch a Patrick Swayze film marathon while sitting next to Dick Cheney than read another self-indulgent blog. That's right, the truth is out, and the Culture Lovin' CrankyPants has finally to confess this: if I could be any Star Trek character in the world, it'd be Captain Kirk, fighting lizard-like aliens and making love to sweet, green alien ladies, and NOT that CrankyPanted vulcan, Spock! Bonus: I also hate that my blogger spellcheck flags the word "blog."

2) I like sports. Many of you do know this about me, but I'm always amazed that people who first meet me (and don't go running off to Los Angeles) are stunned to learn I follow several sports teams and captain a softball team. Sure, sports culture around the world is a disturbing example of the worst aspects of humanity, such as our intransigent desire to be part of a tribe, to identify with something bigger, cooler and better looking than ourselves (because we're afraid to confront our own "I-ness"). Sports fandomness is surely a sign of an immature mind, but I'm CrankyPants. Did you think I was Albert Schweister or Elvis Presley or something? Here's hoping the Colts fall on their faces in the SuperBowl!

3) I used to be short. That's right, I'm a strapping lad of six foot, one inch now, but I grew very, very slowly, so when I was a freshman in high school I was one of the shortest kids in my class. Ditto my sophomore year, but then I started eating fruits, vegetables and Mexican food and something amazing happened. I kept growing, and growing and by my senior year, I was taller than all of my friends. Very satisfying at the time, but alas, the dye was cast before I sprouted: deep down, I still think and act like a short guy who can't get attention unless he jumps up on a hotel bed, strips off his clothes and sings his favorite musical numbers. Oh yeah, I did that once in a hotel room in front of my friends and my sister when I was eleven years old.

4) My favorite word is weltschmerz. \VELT-shmairts\ noun, often capitalized: "a mental depression or apathy caused by comparison of the actual state of the world with an ideal state." It's my favorite because I think there should be an English word for this, and because I think Weltschmerz is the source of all the suffering and misunderstanding in the world, and on soap operas. I know it's the biggest problem I have, because I'm always comparing reality to an idealized state and thinking, "damn, if only they didn't call that one penalty on Troy Brown in the first half of the game, the Patriots would have beaten the Colts," or "if only I'd spoken to that woman on the subway platform I'd be married now with two smart kids and living in a warm, happy place like Los Angeles instead of living here, in this institution where they insist daily I shake my pesky valium habit..." Bonus: I also really like the word katzenjammer. \KAT-zun-jam-er\ noun "1 : hangover 2 : distress 3 : a discordant clamor." As in, "I'd get a lot more done in the morning if I didn't drink all night and wake with this blinding katzenjammer."

5) I love living things. Sure, I enjoy the mountains, the cliffs, the streams and the desert as much as Alan Sheppard, but I'm always more fascinated by living creatures. When I go to the desert I want to see a lizard or a cactus tree or an eagle. I even love bugs (except cockroaches) and I'm amazed by Sequoia trees. Standing before them always fills me with incredible awe, thinking they were alive and unbending way before blackberrys, Apple IPhones, Pontiac LeMans', George Burns and the "discovery" of America. If only they could talk, we'd all be better off. Weltschmerz!