This Is the Good Stuff Vol. 7

Man, this week has been a little trying. A little taxing. I have emerged out of my sickness and bad food choices that have lingered since the holidays, but I'm having a difficult time getting back into the flow of things. The work. The responsibilities. The stuff that makes the money energy flow in the desired direction. Stuff like that.

Nevertheless, there is much good stuff to praise. So that's what I'm going to try to do here. Are you ready?

This Stuff Made Me Smile

All right. Today I want to focus on stuff that has made me happy recently. Especially the stuff that has made me happy during times when I was predisposed to being not happy. Here we go.

Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage

I feel like I might have written about this in one of my other recent blog posts, but who can keep track of that shit?

Anyway, Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage is a documentary about the legendary Canadian progressive rock group Rush. Their drummer and primary lyricist Neil Peart passed away recently. In fact, he was escorted from his body by the same thing that ushered my brother from his body prematurely: A form of brain cancer known as glioblastoma.

I fucking love Neil Peart as a musician. I also love the other two members of Rush, Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson. They seem like real swell guys who truly love each other. They just happen to be iconic rock musicians. Beyond the Lighted Stage does a great job of bringing those facts to light.

The film takes a chronological tour through the band's career, beginning with its formation in the early '70s and continuing through the late 2000s. So it doesn't cover the final few years of the band's existence and Peart's retirement. But it's got everything you need to understand the band and why they seem to connect so hard with people like me.

I watched it again recently. My tears of sadness over Neil Peart's passing transformed into cries of joy over the fact that I got to be alive at a time when Rush music was available to listen to. How awesome!

It's on Netflix right now if you wanna watch it.

Peeing in the Woods

Right now Annie and I are looking at houses to buy. One of our must-haves is multiple bathrooms. We both work from home, keep ourselves very well-hydrated and have extensive beauty routines. One bathroom just doesn't cut it for us.

Thankfully, we live in a part of Albuquerque that gives us easy access to the Rio Grande Bosque, a strip of cottonwood forest that borders the river on either side. It takes me five minutes to walk there from our current home. While I'm there, the bathroom opportunities are virtually unlimited.

I drink lots of coffee and lots of water, so I pee a lot. I love how the Bosque gives me endless urinary freedom. I mean, yeah, I have to watch for other people and stuff; I don't have the whole forest to myself, as it turns out. But there is ample time and space for answering nature's call.

Yesterday I indulged in an 11.11-mile walk. I must have peed seven times. It was AMAZING.

Waterproof Footwear

I bought a pair of Keen hiking boots about seven or eight years ago. I didn't need to get waterproof boots; I bought them to hike in the mountains here near Albuquerque where conditions are almost always completely dry. But I got waterproof boots anyway, and I'm sure glad I did.

We've been getting a weird amount of precipitation lately. And I've been addicted to these long-ass walks. So I've had to get myself a little messy to get to where I want to go (and to find the good trees to pee on). Mud, puddles and flooded areas. My feet have remained dry and comfortable. Ahhh!

The tread has worn off the bottoms of my boots. I should get new ones soon. But for now, these guys are working really well for me, and that makes me smile.

Midsommar

I sure do love disturbing films. Not, like, Faces of Death-style extreme stuff. I just love weird-ass horror movies.

I watched Midsommar over the weekend and I think it might be my new favorite movie. It's certainly in the top ten. I'll let you know where it lands once the recency bias wears off.

But anyway, the movie is a contribution to the "folk horror" genre, which, I've learned, is a thing. It follows a group of young Americans to Sweden to participate in an isolated community's summer celebration. Wackiness ensues! Nearly every scene takes place in bright daylight, yet the movie is terrifying as fuck. There is a psychedelic angle to the story, too, so they got me with that, too.

Without spoiling the movie, I want to say the ending is not what you might expect. It was not quite what I expected. I was surprised. Pleasantly so. I smiled.

Midsommar is available to watch now on Amazon Prime, in case you're interested. Hereditary, also written and directed by Ari Aster, is great, too. That one is not available, as far as I can tell, on any streaming service at this time, but it's worth seeking out if you're into that sort of thing like I am.

The Milwaukee Bucks

Here we go. This is the most controversial topic in my big bag of topics. Some people love it when I get all sports-y. Others see it as a major character flaw.

Actually, I don't know if any of that is true; I'm just projecting. Forgive me.

Anyhow, the Bucks just keep fucking winning, man. Damn. They are now on pace for 71 wins. Which is ridiculous. They will probably reach that tally without even trying. They are just that good. Their starters regularly play less than 30 minutes a game, which is almost unheard of. They are simply demolishing the rest of the league. And there seems to be nothing anyone can do to stop them or even slow them down.

All this winning by my favorite basketball team makes me happy. I love it!

Of course, the season is going to be disrupted in some big ways: my team is currently in Paris, France, where they will play the Charlotte Hornets this afternoon in a game meant to get Europeans to develop an emotional connection to the NBA product. Most teams don't travel to another continent to play regular-season games. I'm not worried about this specific game; I just wonder how it will affect the team when they return.

Later in February, the All-Star break happens. So that's another potential momentum killer.

But the Bucks will be fine. They will wrap up the number-one seed in the east soon. They will keep their key players free from injury. They may even make a trade before the deadline on February sixth that moves them from super-great to super-duper great status. I believe.

How Are You?

Are you doing okay? Have you, like me, struggled a bit with the realities of life in January? What's good in your life?

As always, I encourage your correspondence. Leave a comment below or hit me up on social media. Send me an email, too! I love emails!

See you next week, friends. Be safe out there, okay?

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