Jaybird is Birdmojo on Xbox Live and Jaybirdmojo on Playstation's network. He's been playing consoles since the Atari 2600 and it was Zork that taught him how to touch-type. If you've got a song for Wednesday, a commercial for Saturday, a recommendation for Tuesday, an essay for Monday, or, heck, just a handful a questions, fire off an email to

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50 Responses

  1. Avatar Saul Degraw says:

    I just read post-break up (we broke up in May) morose and probably drunk texting from my ex. What a fun read!

    Not really but what is strange is that we apologized quickly post-break for various things (relationships that start LDR cross nation are very very hard) and seemed to be getting along. The texts she was sending me were rather cruel in many ways.Report

    • Avatar aaron david says:

      Sorry to hear about the breakup Saul. I tried once to have an LDR from Sac to Seattle, and yes, it sucks.Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw says:

        Try San Francisco to New York.Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw says:

        This gets really funny in the Bay Area or LA. I’ve know LA people who refuse to date out of their neighborhood because the traffic can turn it into a long distance relationship. In the Bay Area, people sometimes refuse to date out of their respective cities or Bays.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird says:

      Dude, long distance relationships have some really, really funky dynamics. You spend more time with the person in your head than with the actual other person.

      For what it’s worth, she wasn’t trying to be cruel to you but cruel to the person in her head.Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw says:

        I get that intellectually.

        There was also some interesting revisionism. I am suddenly not a dog person and this is bad but she seemed back down when I corrected her on this.

        We also have some really funky dynamics because we knew each other in college and I was not the most with-it person in college and some of her old college friend’s remember this and have apparently brought it up to her when we were dating.Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw says:


        My friend thinks that she still really cares about me but is frustrated about not being able to make things work out. The next best thing is to convince herself that I am not the best option for her.Report

      • Avatar Zac says:

        Wow, dude, that really sucks, I’m sorry to hear that. You seem like a cool dude and a snappy dresser so I’m sure you’ll find someone new before long. 😉Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw says:


        Thanks. We probably were both too optimistic about the long-distance thing. The funny thing is that we were getting along really well for the past few weeks and for most of the post-break up period. Yesterday was really bad. She was hanging with married friends and I think that probably made her feel a bit down.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird says:

        Reconciling the person in your head with the actual person is exceptionally difficult.

        The person in your head is witty and laughs at your jokes while the actual person farts and, worse than that, considers a fart to be a punchline in and of itself.

        I’ll tell a quick story about Maribou and me: we met online back in the mid-90’s. Pictures took up too much bandwidth, we interacted primarily with ascii. We had each other’s best angels to work with. I was reading Nietzsche and Kierkegaard and we discussed religion, she was studying herpetology and theology and it was downright awesome…

        And then we had to go out to eat and I realized that I didn’t know what she liked to eat.

        Hell, even after we got married, we went to the grocery store and I had no idea what staples we needed to have in the cupboard. What kind of hamburger helper do we buy?

        I knew her favorite songs and her favorite philosophers but I didn’t know whether she was a mayo person or a mustard person.

        All that to say: long distance relationships suck. If you are to salvage this, it’ll require something like a road trip where the two of you are no longer able to interact with each other’s best angels but are forced to interact with each other’s, yes, farts.

        Good luck.Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw says:


        I would say we have the opposite problem right now where the person in her head is a lesser version of me.

        She is remembering the dorky kind of guy I was in college somewhat combined with Joaquim Phoenix’s character from Her.Report

  2. Avatar Saul Degraw says:

    On a note that fits more with the theme, I am reading the Safety Net by Heinrich Boll and The Gods of Olympus: A History.Report

    • Avatar LeeEsq says:

      The Gods of Olympus: A History was interesting but a bit of a disappointment. I felt there was a lot of information being left out of the book.Report

  3. Avatar aaron david says:

    I am starting True Detective with the wife tonight, so I am not reading this (sticks fingers in ears, runs in circles screaming “LaLaLa…”)
    We just finished Damages, first season is really good, goes sharply downhill from there. I am reading The Haunted Wood, about soviet spies in America during the reign of Stalin, dry but fascinating. Also just started Dr Zhivago, its been kicking around on my shelf for a few years and I thought I would give it a go.
    On a Aaron is a Dork level, I picked up a Simpson 260 super cheap last weekend, so I have been going through all of the tech manuals that are online for that.Report

  4. Avatar Glyph says:

    This is a bunch of useless text designed only to occupy the Gifts of Gab at the right-hand column on the site’s front page. If you have seen the show, you can skip this part entirely, and be warned that below there be SPOILERS.

    Nothing supernatural or paranormal out there. No gods, elder or otherwise. It’s just us.

    So what’s your take then on Rust’s pursuit of Errol in the Carcosan lair? The whispered voices from all directions, the “vision” he has of a vortex (galaxy?), the killer’s seemingly superhuman strength? Merely symbolic, for the viewers? Flashbacks and hallucinated trickery from Rust’s drug-damaged mind?

    I think in the end TD was a very good show, perhaps not a great one, lacking the courage to fully follow through on its more fantastical elements or thought-provoking concepts (it also has not one, but two kind of ridiculous “noooooooooooo!” moments). Still totally worth watching for Woody and Matthew and the long take in episode 4 (and honestly, you can make a counterargument that HAD TD gone more fantastical with its resolution, that could have been just as unsatisfying, maybe more so – see also, Lost, BSG and most relevantly, Twin Peaks.)Report

    • Avatar James Pearce says:

      “So what’s your take then on Rust’s pursuit…”

      Will cypher this one:

      Gur juvfcrerq ibvprf: N ybg bs cevzvgvir eryvtvbaf hfrq fzbxr naq zveebef va gurve grzcyrf gb vzcerff gur qribhg. Nanfnmv ehvaf unir snyfr sybbef juvpu cevrfgf pbhyq hfr gb “evfr” sebz gur fzbxl haqrejbeyq. Ner jr gb oryvrir gung, va n fubj gung erwrpgf fhcreangheny rkcynangvbaf, gung Reeby vf ernyyl fbzr xvaq bs phyg tbq…be vf ur zber yvxr gur Jvmneq bs Bm?

      Gur ibegrk Ehfg frrf…vs vg jnf fhcreangheny va bevtva, jul tb guebhtu nyy gur gebhoyr rfgnoyvfuvat ur unf qeht-eryngrq unyyhpvangvbaf? Znlor gb znxr vg inthr naq nzovthbhf…ohg jr’er abg gnyxvat Qnzba Yvaqryqbes urer. V guvax gung’f Avp Cvmmbynggb cvpxvat n fvqr, fnlvat, “Vg’f n unyyhpvangvba.”

      Naq gur fhcreuhzna fgeratgu sbe Reeby? Qbrf bar ernyyl arrq gb unir fhcreuhzna fgeratgu gb yvsg n zna fvk vapurf bss gur tebhaq be gb fheivir orvat fubg va gur fubhyqre?

      (Gung’f abg gb fnl vg’f irel cynhfvoyr gung Ehfg jbhyq fheivir orvat “phg cerggl tbbq.” Ur’f chyyvat n xavsr fvk vapurf bhg bs uvf oryyl gung fbzrubj qvqa’g gbhpu uvf fcvar? Lrnu, evtug.)

      Curious about this, though:

      “it also has not one, but two kind of ridiculous “noooooooooooo!” moments”

      It does? Where at?Report

      • Avatar Glyph says:

        Here’s some more placeholder text to take up space in Gifts of Gab, and again there be SPOILERS below.

        ” in a show that rejects supernatural explanations” – well, this is what we are talking about, so let’s not assume the conclusion.

        I only watched the series once, so my memory may be off, but don’t Rust’s hallucinations point him towards valuable info at least once? Maybe in one of the first eps with the painting on the church walls? So are they completely random neuronal firings, or not? Also, Errol didn’t seem intelligent/together enough to be the “Wizard” (though of course, he may not have been the one who designed the Carcosa lair, perhaps the “Wizard” was some other murder cult member or prior “priest”.)

        Re: superhuman strength – again, apply the usual caveats on only watching once but sure, one can survive being shot; but to *then* gut/lift a full grown man off the ground and hold him there, for quite some time, only relinquishing after further mayhem, didn’t scream totally ‘realistic’ to me (particularly taken in concert with the other elements I mentioned). Sure, adrenalin and big guy and all, but seems to stray more into Jason Vorhees or Michael Myers territory – those are “men”, but are also somewhat “unstoppable evil forces”.

        The noooo! moments were when Woody sees the tape (cut to his face) and then when they show it to the corrupt sheriff (cut to long shot of his boat). These may even be semi-realistic descriptions of what would happen, but they unfortunately are also sort of comedy cliche by now.

        I don’t mean to imply I didn’t enjoy it, I did, very much (and your excellent comment below is an apt statement of why). But its resolution wasn’t totally 100% perfect for me, and I thought that the complaints about the underutilization of its female characters had some validity (though so does the counterargument that this is a story of these two men, and the way they see/treat women is in fact part of the story’s point).Report

      • Avatar James Pearce says:

        Both Elvis and Frank Sinatra did it their way…which is to say, if you’re reading this, you’re not reading me address True Detective details which you may not want to have addressed.

        Now….back to the program:

        “I only watched the series once, so my memory may be off, but don’t Rust’s hallucinations point him towards valuable info at least once?”

        That scene is unclear. Rust sees a flock of birds fly off, form a spiral, and then disperse. It’s quite obviously a CGI effect. It occurs roughly at the same time in the narrative that Rust is discussing his hallucinations.

        But it is not clear that those birds are indeed a hallucination. It may just be a flock of birds…flying off in a spiral. It’s not really that weird.

        Also, from Rust’s perspective, he mentions how he knows when he’s hallucinating, and he himself rejects a supernatural explanation for, well, pretty much anything.

        As for the NOOOO moments, I dunno. It was a deliberate decision not to show what was on the Tuttle tape, as per the creators, and to instead focus on the reaction.

        It may have seemed silly, especially the corrupt sheriff on the boat. (I’ve seen that gag before…in Raiders of the Lost Ark.) But…..and this is a truth we often forget in this day and age….obscured horrors are more terrifying than explicit ones.

        I don’t know what was on that tape…but I don’t want to see it.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird says:

      This is a bunch of useless text designed only to occupy the Gifts of Gab at the right-hand column on the site’s front page. If you have seen the show, you can skip this part entirely, and be warned that below there be SPOILERS.

      So what’s your take then on Rust’s pursuit of Errol in the Carcosan lair?

      I thought that that was one of the most beautiful/terrifying shots in the show. He saw the universe and it had an axe.

      I think that that was not him experiencing anything particularly extranormal (but it may have been, for lack of a better term, a mystical experience… or, perhaps, that was the moment that how Errol saw things dawned on him). It also picked a very bad time to happen.

      I think it was awesome… but not representative of anything out there, really.Report

  5. Avatar Michael Cain says:

    Listened to a few hours from the middle of Stephen King’s Salem’s Lot yesterday. The second half of the drive back to Denver from my Mom’s near Omaha is always tough, particularly in the afternoon. Staying alert is a problem because I-76 runs pretty much straight southwest, so the sun is beating in through the windshield, and the landscape is mostly Great Plains empty. I decided to try an audiobook this time, vampires seemed likely to keep me awake (I occasionally have nightmares about vampires), and I could download the audio track from YouTube to my tablet. It was a successful experiment; I was still exhausted when I got home, but I didn’t have nearly as much trouble staying alert.Report

  6. Avatar Will Truman says:

    V fbeg bs yvxr gur fyvtug zvfqverpgvba bs gur vb9 cbfg naq gur pbairefngvba urer cerivbhfyl unq. V jnf fbeg bs jnvgvat sbe Pguhyh gb whzc bhg sebz gur ohfurf, juvpu nqqrq n yriry bs ratntrzrag naq qvqa’g unir zr srryvat qvfnccbvagrq jura gung qvqa’g unccra.

    V npghnyyl unq n inthr srryvat nobhg gur ynja thl, gubhtu vg cnffrq jura gur pbairefngvba jnf phg fubeg naq Ehfg yrsg.Report

  7. Avatar James Pearce says:

    –Warning….DO NOT READ if you have not seen the show, not to avoid spoilers per se, but because this won’t make sense without the context–

    “I’m not watching HP Lovecraft. I’m watching Frank Miller.”

    The Miller connection didn’t occur to me until you just mentioned it, but yes, it’s a more sophisticated Millerism. (Miller seems to truck almost exclusively in comic-book style fantasy, whereas I think True Detective had weightier thematic concerns.)

    One of the things that I really liked about the show was how it eschewed the normal rules for mystery stories.

    * The red herrings, absurd to hear at first, were all true. Charlie Lang talking about how “there’s so much good killing up in those woods” in the second episode could have been a BIG spoiler in the hands of lesser filmmakers.

    * There is no big reveal. No cackling villain explaining why he did it. The whys are never answered. The whos are never fully revealed. “We got our guy,” is the mantra, knowing full well that they didn’t get them all and, with the scale and scope of the murder cult, probably never could. (It took them 20 years to “get our guy.”) It’s a mystery that is basically never solved…and I love that.

    The most interesting thing of a mystery story should not be the actual mystery. It should be the characters and the themes they conjure up, and True Detective had that in spades.

    We’re presented with characters who had two very different approaches to life.

    Marty sees himself at the center of his own universe, an idea he uses to justify cheating on his wife or ignoring his daughters. It’s why he gets unusually territorial, whether it’s about his side piece or his lawn.

    Rust, on the other hand, regards his “self” as an illusion of biological programming. He has no need for possessions, ambition, personal relationships, all the things we use to define a “self” for ourselves.

    It’s almost the difference between a benign selfishness (Marty) and a malignant selflessness (Rust). They spend a lot of time on the show clashing over this very concept.

    By the end of the show, we get to the realization that they’re both wrong. Marty’s selfishness only pushed away his wife and daughters, which is why I think he weeps as they stand over his hospital bed in the last episode. He’s realizing for the first time in a long time that there are bigger things outside himself.

    Rust, for his own part, comes to the same realization only for him it’s coming from a slightly different angle. Since there are bigger things outside himself, it means he has a self. He’s not in a locked room having a dream of being a person. He’s not “sentient meat” going through the motions of an algorithm. He is a person. He has choices.

    And when it’s all said and done, he chooses to live, chooses to not let go, to continue being the “light in the darkness” so to speak. Previously, he thought it was his duty, his obligation…and turns out, it’s his choice.

    The cool thing is that none of this is apparent as you’re watching the show. It only becomes apparent when the curtain goes up.

    There are a lot of other things bubbling under the surface, too: Rust’s atheistic pessimism being sufficient cause to suspect him of murder while Rev. Tuttle’s overt religiosity shields him and his family from general suspicion. Fraud in religious schools. The legacy of destructive hurricanes in the gulf. The seedy underside of the drug business. Police corruption and rank incompetence. (I loved Rust and Cohle’s “are you kidding me?” reaction to the religious crimes task force.)

    In short, I think this show was vibrating on a dozen different levels, some more resonant than others. I have high hopes for the second season and the new story. I hope it is as uninterested in the tropes of episodic television as the first season was, and just as interested in character and theme.Report

    • Avatar Glyph says:

      Great comment James.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird says:

      I did think that Rust’s monologues were worth the price of admission and everything else on top of them were gravy.

      For what it’s worth, I wasn’t using Miller to try to denigrate what True Detective pulled off… but when we kept meeting and/or hearing about the Tuttles, I couldn’t help but think about the Roarks. And then, at the end, when neither detective went mad? That was the only place I could go.

      Last week, Brother Will pointed out that season two takes place Somewhere Else Entirely with entirely different characters.

      I wonder if a Tuttle will show up, though.Report

      • Avatar Glyph says:

        “Rust’s monologues were worth the price of admission and everything else on top of them were gravy.”

        Now that you’ve seen the series, you may enjoy this:

        Also, just curious: you stuck with this, but Hannibal lost you early. Why is that, do you think?Report

      • Avatar Jaybird says:

        I had Maribou in the next room for this one, for one thing.

        But just looking at the shows, Hannibal was a very particular kind of… evil evolved. Very intelligent, very urbane, he’s done the required reading. True Detective’s bad guys were a Lovecraftian cult that kinda remind me of the culture in the Wicker Man (OH NO NOT THE BEES NOT THE BEES). Something that feels pre-Christian (and, despite the revival imagery, is something that is extra-Christian).

        All that to say, Hannibal scares me using my cultural memes. Lovecraft scares me by using foreign ones.Report

      • Avatar James Pearce says:

        Also very Milleresque:

        “World needs bad men, Marty. We keep the other bad men from the door.”

        It’s a very apt comparison.Report

  8. Avatar Chris says:

    Reading A Bend in the River and watching The Wire still. I just started Season 3, which really feels like Season 2 after a pause for a political statement.

    I think this week I might finally have time for non-work writing, so maybe I’ll review seasons 1 and 2 a decade late. And finish touching up work posts (reading Jameson so I’ll probably have to add another 3000 words) a month too late.Report

    • Avatar Glyph says:

      “after a pause for a political statement.”

      Heh. Well, the whole series is really a political statement. A lot of people really disliked season 2 because it is seemingly such a left turn from where the show seemed to be going, but I love the way S2 pulls the lens out and shows an entirely different facet of the city (“it’s all connected” and “all the pieces matter”, indeed).

      In the end the story of Sobotkas et al is as memorable as any other on the show. Ziggy is annoying as hell, but we’ve all known a Ziggy (maybe some of us have even been a Ziggy).

      And it all starts with a petty feud with fishing Valchek, over a stupid stained glass window…Report

      • Avatar Chris says:

        I didn’t dislike Season 2, even if I have some issues with it. Season 3 essentially picks up where Season 1 left off, though, so it really does feel like the real Season 2.Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling says:

        Keep watching. Things will fall into place in ways you won’t anticipate,Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling says:

        Ziggy was pretty good with computers. If he and Frank had ever actually talked, and Ziggy had realized that his dad didn’t need him to be a stevedore to respect him, Ziggy might have had a chance. (Trivia: Chris Bauer is only 13 years older than James Ransone.)Report

      • Avatar Glyph says:

        @mike-schilling Ziggy was pretty good with computers.

        Lrf, ur jnf gur bayl fgrirqber jub frrzrq gb xabj q*px nobhg gurz.Report

      • Avatar Chris says:

        The scene in which they were using a search engine on a library computer, and Nick had no idea what it was or what Ziggy was doing, made me nostalgic.Report

    • Avatar ScarletNumbers says:

      I appreciate the sentiment, but that is Jim Rockford.Report

    • Avatar Snarky McSnarkSnark says:

      I’m sad now.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird says:

      I’m trying to think of a better send-up than “Support Your Local Sheriff”.

      That movie managed to not only mock every single western trope, it managed to run with a handful of new ones that improved the genre as a whole.

      On top of that, I think Rockford Files was the first show to incorporate the “unpleasant answering machine message” as a recurring gag.

      He was decades ahead of his time.Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling says:

        Not always completely unpleasant. There was the female loan officer listing all the ways he was overdrawn, behind on his payments, and on the hook for having everything he owned repossessed, followed by a breathy “Call me, Jim.”Report

      • Avatar ScarletNumbers says:

        On top of that, I think Rockford Files was the first show to incorporate the “unpleasant answering machine message” as a recurring gag.

        With the ubiquity of voice mail, this might be one of those things that is lost on the younger generation.Report

  9. Avatar Maribou says:

    The best book I read all week was Chris Abani’s Secret History of Las Vegas. All the right bits from very many genres.

    Jay and I are (finally) at the same place in Babylon 5, about 1 episode ahead of the book club postts.Report

    • Avatar Mike Schilling says:

      The title Secret History of Las Vegas evokes Tim Powers’s Last Call, which is a secret history of Las Vegas.Report

      • Avatar Maribou says:

        Yes. That one is also sitting around my house waiting to be read. And I think, but do not know, that Abani has read that particular book by Powers.Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling says:

        Quite possible, since Power is a well-regarded fantasist, and Last Call is one of his two best-known books. (The other being The Anubis Gates, which is one of my favorite books by anyone, ever.)Report

  10. Avatar spivak says:

    So, True Detective before Baking Bread? ?_?Report