Friday, December 23, 2005

Meandering, subject-less, self-absorbed nonsense

I'm home, and everyone else has gone to bed. It's left me with a glass or two of red wine to sip, and a dog-eared copy of The Proud Highway to mull over.

Perhaps one of the most interesting news items I've come across lately is the Red Sox selling Johnny Damon to the Yankees. My brother told me about that two days ago, and since then, it's been a media madhouse in Boston.

Later, I watched my brother pull on a Yankees ballcap and told him that only half the people in New York State would hate him, but everyone outside the state would definitely hate him were he to wear it in public. The reaction to this latest move is going to be drastic and will definitely have long-term fallout (an apt term, since it'll likely be able to be measured in half-lives). And Sox fans undoubtedly have already turned on Damon, who will be hated like Roger Clemens for the rest of eternity. However, some hard-core fans have called on Red Sox nation to be calm, since it's supposedly easy to forget that Damon has the throwing arm of a "girl throwing lefty."

It doesn't matter, though, since everyone everywhere outside the City can't wait to add another reason to hate the Yankees to their already well-notched stick, and this'll definitely be another king-hell notch. It goes to show that the Yankees can have whoever they damn well want -- Steinbrenner just has that much money to throw around.

Speaking of Steinbrenner, it'll be weird to see J. Damon without his trademark Jesus-cut -- how long has it been since anyone's seen him without the beard and Fabio-do? Frankly, I think that's worth the price of admission. Well, that, and the look on Denis Leary's face.

I didn't even mean to get off onto sports here. At all. As I write this, though, there's no title in the Title box, and I have no idea what I'm writing about -- I just had the compulsion to write. Which is good, certainly, and which I attribute completely and fully to Dr. Thompson's letters.

(Finch, if you're reading this, I owe you 10 Kuwaiti Dinars. Apparently you used a bank note as a bookmark while you were in that godforsaken country. I'll send you the equivalent in Won as soon as I get a chance.)

What I'd really meant to get into tonight was that I'm reinspired. Not only from the Thompson book, but from the prospect of maybe -- just maybe -- being freed up to do as I please in 18 months. I'm starting to become excited at the prospect of writing professionally again, despite Thompson's constant warnings about the destitution that neccessarily accompanies an early-stage freelancer. The incredible part is that once you've found someone interested in what you're doing (okay, that's a big step), your limit is basically what you can fit into your imagination and, in many cases, an expense account linked to any guarantee the publication can offer.

If that's not clear... well, shit. It makes sense to me, and I'm excited. Ideas are rocketing through my head, and the only problem is that it throws my current situation -- as an Army "journalist" -- into high-relief. I'm not doing the kind of work I ought to be, and I'm certainly not devoting the time or energy to it that I ought to be. But that's because I simply can't... there are too many limitations on my writing and movement to allow me to cover things properly, or to really flex whatever ability I have.

However, it doesn't change the fact that I've got some good ideas in mind already -- provided they're not stale by the time my active-duty contract expires. Starting from here, I can look at some issue I actually care about and ask the questions I want to find the answers to -- "Where does the money come from?" "Why do people care about this movement and what draws them to it?" "Who's profitting from all this?" "What caused such a huge change?"

And I can ask the people who matter. And have them contradict each other. That's a freedom a lot of writers take for granted. I don't have it, at the moment, and I'm yearning for it.

Enough on my own vague interpretations of my recent motivation. While I'm home, I also have to sift through the past year's contributions to The Turret and figure out what I want to submit for the yearly Army journalism competition. Maybe something on the Company E trials, maybe a commentary. I don't really know -- nothing's jumping out at me at the moment as something I want to pit against everything else Army writers have produced. Few, if any, contain the words "Iraq" or "insurgent," so I figure I'm scuttled from the get-go anyway. We'll see on that count.

Now to come up with a title for this meandering, subject-less, and self-absorbed nonsense. Selah.


EDIT: Yeah, if you didn't believe me the first time, Red Sox Nation is pissed.