The Renew Year

A year ago today I checked into the hospital at the insistence of my parents for what would be nine pretty awful days. My stupid broken body had fought against itself to the point where I could not eat or drink at all. I was skin and bones with an IV in my arm keeping me alive. Something clearly needed to change. So a few days later, a surgeon who I had only met three days before but who I will never forget sliced open my stomach, through the muscles and sinew to cut out a foot of my small intestine, viciously inflamed and days, or perhaps hours, away from a sepsis inducing and likely deadly perforation.

Today I hate to touch or even look at my stomach and the deep purple scar that cuts across it. But I have skin hue like a human again. I have light behind my eyes. I can eat. I get medication that tells my immune system to cool it and stop fighting itself.

The nature of my disease is that I’ll never be better, but today I feel good. And for that I am grateful.

HIDE YOURSELF IN THE INTERNET

Let’s try something else.

Look, I know this is reductive and you can bet your balls I don’t have all the answers, but the news today broke my heart.

Juicy.

It was all a dream. I used to read Word Up Magazine. Then slowly at first–and soon quickly–the internet began to overtake the publishing industry. Some saw it as a digital democratization. Others feared the worst, and were perhaps correct in stating that it begat the death of quality journalism. Fewer and fewer advertisers bought physical ad space as blogs were created literally faster than we could count. Several notable publications ultimately would go fully digital or die entirely. Some lived on in an ugly state of stasis or half-life unfit for their past glories. Salt-n-Peppa and Heavy D up in the limousine.

One giant leap for a man.

May 2, 2014 was my last day at Ziba, the employer that put up with me for the past five+ years. I had fun and I learned a lot. I’m tremendously excited for what I’m up to next and I think it’s a good step forward. But that starts Monday. Today is a good time to look back for a minute. (Click for full size.)

Design is like all the things.

I wrote a thing at Medium. Read it and tell literally everyone you know.

Design is like all the things.

Soon this will be the abstract for my doctoral thesis.

Beyond it’s feasibility, we worry a lot about the moral and ethical issues of time travel. However, I’m confident that in the future scientists and philosophers alike will agree that the ultimate butterfly effect question to consider is what would our technological, cultural and societal landscapes look like today if, on that fateful afternoon he WAS feeling it and thus Drake never chugged that Sprite and therefore did not transform himself into a terrifying genocidal Sprite robot?

We, the Portland Trailblazers.

image

Photo by Bruce Ely for the Oregonian.

I am not a professional basketball player. I am certainly not a member of my favorite NBA team, the Portland Trailblazers. Truthfully, and even though I go hard in the paint, I’m not all that good at basketball. And so it goes that I can be kind of militant about making sure that I and everyone in my vicinity say ‘they’ instead of ‘we’ when referring to a sports team in particular the Blazers. We aren’t they. As much as we wish we were, most of us aren’t world class athletes. We didn’t put in the hours and the shots and we certainly don’t make the money. We aren’t on the team. Words mean things and we shouldn’t say that we are part of the Portland Trailblazers organization. Does this view and propensity to correct make me kind of a dick? Perhaps.

Here’s the thing, thanks to a pretty darn tremendous last second shot by Damian Lillard that I watched projected onto a brick wall at the outdoor patio of Bar Bar on Mississippi Street Friday and that conjured up images and spectres of all of our favorite Brandon Roy shot (also against the Rockets), the Blazers won a playoff series for the first time since 2000. Not incidentally that was the longest ongoing playoff series victory drought in the NBA. Was. And it all makes me feel dangerously and hypocritically invested.

I was 14 during that 2000 Western Conference Finals series. I was probably wearing cargo shorts, I had a haircut that in retrospect I have named ‘curtains’ and I had a very difficult time coming to terms with the result. The Blazers came back from a 3-1 deficit and were up by 15 in the fourth quarter of game seven before it all fell apart. They lost and Shaq made a crazy Shaq face that I wanted to punch after he slammed home the ostensibly game sealing alley-oop. It made me hate the Los Angeles Lakers in a way that I’m not sure I can ever get over. It makes me, to this day, petulantly remind people that Kobe Bryant is an alleged rapist.

With the win on Friday and really with this whole season, Damian Lillard and Lamarcus Aldridge and Terry Stotts and Wes Matthews and Robin Lopez and Nic Batum and to a much much smaller and very different extent, seemingly always confused 14 year old Meyers Leonard are all working together to heal my non-insignificant and weirdly identity-building wounds.

Friday was also my last day at Ziba, my employer for the past five plus years. I’m moving on and now so are the Blazers. Friday marked an end of an era for both of us and it just all felt so solipsistic. Maybe their success is a harbinger for the success I think and hope I will find at my new job. Of course I know I’ve placed far too much importance on Friday and on that terrible evening in May of 2000. I know the Blazers aren’t doing all of this for me. They are doing it because it is their jobs. But more than ever I feel kind of a little bit like it’s for me. It feels like it’s a we thing. We, the Blazers, won. And maybe, just for a little while, just for this playoff-run, maybe that is alright.

Everything in the NBA is a tire or dumpster fire.

Check out my newest, dumbest project yet: Everything in the NBA is a tire or dumpster fire.

I read a lot of NBA blogs and noticed that, sort of like when we all started using tilt-shift on our Instagram photos for like six months, writers writing about pro hoops were often comparing players, games, and teams, mostly the Knicks, to tire fires and/or dumpster fires. To be fair, it is a pretty evocative image. Since I’m the worst I am documenting the trend. If you find any instances of this cool thing, send them my way.

http://thenbaisatirefire.tumblr.com

jcv1:

Siri likes it when I talk dirty to her.

"Negging". Gross.

jcv1:

Siri likes it when I talk dirty to her.

"Negging". Gross.