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Dear Mr./Ms. I’m-Too-Cool-For-School: Fuck You

So today the social mediaverse was alive with the news of BBC’s announcement of the 12th Doctor of its long-running show Doctor Who. I am a new Whovian, having only begun watching the show via Netflix late last year (I’m still waiting for Amazon Prime to get the second half of series 7, or Netflix the entirety of series 7). I intend to go back and watch what I can of what’s being called Classic Doctor Who on these streaming services. Because Doctor Who has exploded since its 2005 revival, today was a big day for nerds, geeks, purveyors of fine entertainment, science fiction aficionados, and the British public. My Twitter stream, my Facebook stream, everything has been posting and talking about The New Doctor Peter Capaldi.

With this excitement (fear? horror? disappointment?) has been the usual people who are Too Cool For School. The ones who go out of their way to let their Facebook friends and Twitter followers know they have no interest, not a scintilla, a microbe, a minute inkling of a teeny-tiny possibility of interest in who the new Doctor is. They have never seen, will never see, have no interest in ever seeing Doctor Who, Doctor What, Doctor Where, or Doctor How (though they’re probably lying on that one: Everybody wants to know How).

Look, I think we’ve all done this at some point. And if I cared to go through my Facebook musings since I signed on in 2008, I’m sure I could come up with a dozen examples. Sometimes I’ve done so as a joke (at some point in the last year about the TV show Once Upon a Time). But I had an epiphany at some point during some football game or hockey game or somedamnthing, in which I didn’t give one iota of a fuck about: Why piss on their parade? Some of these people on my feed care about whether Tom Brady or Lebron James or some other athlete or team wins, they’re really into it, so who am I to be Too Cool For School?

I see this as a moment of mature clarity for me. It’s so easy to dismiss out of hand something one does not like that everyone is talking about. All it is is the 12-year-old who decides to wear black clothing on Colorful Clothes Day. It’s the little kid who is going to say “No” even when they’re dying to say “Yes.” It’s the Republican who has scientific evidence in front of them but decides Climate Change doesn’t exist and stricter gun laws won’t save lives.

It’s silly.

So, for those of you who are too cool to care about Doctor Who, or the Superman/Batman movie, or Star Wars, or Stephen King, or Harry Potter…or even shit I don’t care for like Transformers, Twilight, or whatever else: Fuck you.

I’m not talking about opinion here. If you’ve seen it and want to say you didn’t like it, go for it, man. By all means, add your thoughts to the mix. But if you’re just too hip, too cool, too happening, too intellectual, too snobby to care about what, it seems, a lot of other people care about, keep it to yourself. Otherwise, go fuck yourself.

Now I’m going to write. Play nice.

The Blizzard of 2013, Or How I Gave Up Heat & the Internet and Found Out Where My Priorities Lie

Didja hear the one about the two massive winter storms that merged and battered the Northeastern United States over a 24-hour period? Yeah, I did, too. I lived it, man. I’m sure some of you did, too. It was something to behold and, in my mind, the worst storm I’ve lived through. That’s not to say there haven’t been worse storms in my lifetime, there have been. The Blizzard of ’78 and Hurricane Katrina come immediately to mind. Except, I was six months old for the former and didn’t live on the Gulf Coast for the latter (neither beforehand nor afterward). Like most people around here (Southeastern Massachusetts), I took the weather people’s warnings with a grain of salt. I’m not one of those who think the TV weather people are always wrong, I don’t. They’re right more often than not, welcome to the 21st century! But I’ve been around long enough now to know that when storms hit Southeastern New England, they tend to fizzle out.

So imagine my surprise by what happened next.

I went shopping Thursday night, not to load up with pre-storm frozen pizzas, chicken pot pies, milk, and bread, but to do my normal grocery order. Thursday was when I got paid and that’s when I went. I had my iPod Touch with me so when I finally got my groceries, I could read in the long, long lines. It helped. A voice in my head warned me as a grabbed the dozen eggs, and the two gallons of milk, and the package of chicken breast, but the few times we’ve lost power in my life, it’s been turned on fairly quickly. And the worst of it happened because of hurricanes when I was a child. Even the Superstorm that hit the Northeast only knocked out our power for about three hours.

We lost power sooner than I expected. Not all power, roughly half of our apartment still had power. But some of the lights and the tv went out at 6:50 Friday night. The refrigerator also went out at that time. As did the heat.

No sweat, I thought. They’ll get it back on soon.

Twenty-four hours later, I began to worry. Forty-eight hours later, I was downright scared. We did our best. What we could plug into the places where power existed, we did, which meant extension cords across the apartment Sunday night and Monday morning.

While shoveling on Saturday.

While shoveling on Saturday.

Oh, and I forgot to mention, my 3-month-old daughter had her first cold from her first week at day care.

Yeah, that put everything in perspective. Luckily, my 14-year-old was with her mother and they didn’t lose power. But the baby with the cold was bundled up and watched diligently for the 64 hours we went without power. Finally, the power came on at 11 AM on Monday morning.

The fucked-up thing is that when the power went out Friday night, my immediate thought was, Shit, we lost the internet. By Saturday night, I couldn’t have cared less about the internet. All I really cared about was getting the heat on so the baby would be okay.

She is okay. Her cold is mostly gone though she has an ear infection. I had two bonus days off from work, and next week is vacation, so that’s a good deal. It’s easy to forget when you deal with teenagers (which I do every day between my older daughter and my students) that they have to get there. They have to get to that point where they’re gaining independence. They have to be taught and nurtured to get there. Nothing brings that home like having a baby in your arms, whose cherub-sweet face turns up to yours and smiles, not because she wants something, not because something funny is happening, but because you’re Daddy.

It still happens with occasionally with the teenager, though I spend a great deal of time wondering how badly I’m screwing up, and those moments are sweet. But as a high school teacher, I’m all too aware that the clock on childhood is ticking and soon, she’ll be Away, At College. Making A Life For Herself. With the baby, I’m helping to make her life. And that means something huge.

We were lucky in this storm. I have friends who only just got their power back today. There are plenty who still don’t have power or heat. Or the internet. Hopefully, they have something to remind them about life, like I did.


I’m remiss that this is my first post of 2013. With the 3-month-old, you can imagine how easy it is to get to the computer. When I do, I tend to be catching up on work for the Day Job or working on The Novel. There is progress there, I promise. Hopefully, I’ll be back here sooner than later. Be safe and warm, my friends.

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