Nothing is Happening

Today’s my day off! I could try and rope someone into taking me to Grand Marais, but I’d much rather sit around and do nothing. But I also wanted to write a blog post. And since I’m doing nothing, I’m going to write about nothing. Real stream of consciousness shit. Completely different from my other blog posts. I was going to write about all the Comic-Con announcements from last week because my dad told me I should write about things that excite me. But it’s been a week and I didn’t throw it together in time. I will say this. Marvel announced a bunch of stuff, including two Avengers movies that are coming out in 2025 and an eighteen episode Daredevil TV show in 2024. They released trailers for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever and She-Hulk: Attorney at Law. Both trailers were great and I love most of the things Marvel announced. DC did very little, but they did release trailers for Shazam! Fury of the Gods and Black Adam. They both look good. So there’s your Comic-Con talk. Back to nothing!
I actually kind of slept in today, which was nice. I do a lot of different things at this camp, but I work primarily in the kitchen, which means I occasionally have to wake up at 5:00 for morning shifts. I have a hard time waking up for those shifts and on my days off I have a hard time sleeping in. But today I managed to sleep until 9:30. I watched a bunch of shows on my phone(I’m doing a great job unplugging and experiencing nature) and went for a walk and now I’m just hanging out in the staff lounge. I come up here when I really need a break and try to relax and think about nothing. But almost every time I take a break I’m plagued by one question: Why do people watch hospital shows?
I’ve been trying to get to the bottom of it in my spare time every since I accidentally discovered that there are 331 episodes of ER. That’s far too many, right? And nobody was even in every episode. What’s the point? I know in my heart that someone out there must like ER and hundreds of people have to exist who have seen all 331 episodes. But it doesn’t make any sense. I’ve never seen ER, but I can tell you for a fact that each episode is exactly the same without a slight variation. Each of the doctors has some patient they’re helping and they can’t quite figure out how to make them better but then they figure out the answer which somehow ties in to whatever personal problem they’re going through at that exact time. Occasionally the whole hospital will go through some bad shit or one of the doctors will get really sick and maybe even die. And they’re all dating each other and getting jealous all the time. It’s just like Grey’s Anatomy or Scrubs or New Amsterdam or Nurse Jackie or House or The Good Doctor or Chicago Med or Private Practice.
And I know what you’re thinking. Why didn’t I mention General Hospital? It’s a soap opera that I’m pretty sure was only tangentially about a hospital. House, Nurse Jackie and The Good Doctor are all about main characters while the others are ensemble shows with one kind of focal character. Doesn’t that disprove your theory that they’re all the same? Scrubs and Grey’s Anatomy clearly both have main characters. And who cares? They’re all slight variations on the same basic model. Don’t you like Scrubs though? And why does any of this matter? If people watch the shows they must like them. It kind of seems like this whole post was pretense to bring up your dislike of hospital shows. All I’m saying is that this genre has been used as a weird career stepping stone for years and all of the shows are the same episode after episode. The police shows are the same, but they tend to not have as many horrific things happen to their main characters. One of the long-running Grey’s Anatomy characters died by getting dragged for multiple blocks by an ambulance until nobody could recognize him.
And sure, if we look at these shows as stepping stones, then it kind of makes sense. Hollywood has decided they’ll make more shows like ER in order to find the next Clooney or Stamos, and in the process they found Katherine Heigl, Patrick Dempsey, Sandra Oh, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Zach Braff, Hugh Laurie, and Kate Walsh. But that’s not the thing that frustrates me. WHY ARE THESE SHOWS STILL BEING WATCHED?!?! There are eighteen seasons and 400 episodes of Grey’s Anatomy and pretty much everyone has left except for Ellen Pompeo. Yet it endures for some reason. Obviously they’ve made some sort of cultural impact because I know so much about these stupid shows. And again, I know this is a weird thing to focus brainpower on. But it’s confusing.
So that’s my rant about hospital shows. Now on to other things! A month ago I bought one of those bug zappers that looks like a tennis racket, because this beautiful, serene island is absolutely infested with mosquitoes and black flies. So now I can’t spend too much time in my cabin because the smell of burnt mosquito makes me feel lightheaded. I hope this post is somewhat enjoyable to read, by the way. I’ve been keeping a daily journal since I came up here and a lot of my entries are like this. Just long and confusing diatribes with no real meaning. I mean, I could write about how terrible everything going on in the world always is and how the Supreme Court is full of idiots. But the anger is just so exhausting. Let’s keep it light, right? To add to the confused direction of this whole thing I’ve decided I could throw in some old journal entries so you can get an idea of where my head’s been at.

Monday May 30th, 2022: Day Four
I’ve been thinking about things I should write for my blog while I’m up here. So far I have three ideas. I thought I could write about how I fell in the lake today, but that really only works as a two sentence anecdote. The second idea is barely a joke, and I suspect I’m not the first person to think of it. Basically the idea is you have Darth Vader, the Emperor and a few Storm Troopers eating cotton candy at the beach in front of an arcade and a bunch of rides. And then there’s a caption that says “Boardwalk Empire”. It’s a pun based on the popular TV show Boardwalk Empire, which I’ve never seen. It’s obviously too visual to be a blog post. It’s more of a novelty t-shirt idea than anything else. I bet it would make me tons of money though, so I’ll file that idea away for later. And the third idea is that I would write a parody of Beyonce’s famous song Single Ladies(Put A Ring On It) about an infected finger that could have been saved if it was treated in time. One of the lyrics would be “If you liked it then you should have put a salve on it.” Of the three ideas, this is the only good one. I would even argue it’s genius. But I bet Weird Al did it already.

Tuesday May 31st, 2022: Day Five
I spend a lot of time thinking about impossible hypotheticals. Like what would I do with this superpower or what if I had all the money in the world? Today’s hypothetical, much like the rest of my hypotheticals, is barely a hypothetical at all. I paused in the middle of writing this, and in doing so realized my hypotheticals are just me saying “I sure wish this could happen.” So my latest improbable wish was that I could go through life without ever sweating or becoming dirty in any way. Now in theory, this would be a beautiful world in which I remain pristine and dry, looking exactly the way I want to. But would it truly be a perfect world? If I’m never dirty, am I ever really clean? This is obviously my version of Syndrome’s argument in The Incredibles; “If everyone is super, no one will be.” I don’t know why I spend so much time thinking about stuff like this, because it’s kind of a waste. I guess I’m just training for when someone asks me if I would want to live in a world where I don’t sweat or get dirty and I can say “Thank you for asking. I’ve given this very specific subject matter quite a bit of thought and I have several considered opinions.”

Thursday June 23rd, 2022: Day Twenty-Eight
I was in no way under the illusion that I was becoming smarter in some way. Rather, I am fully aware that I need to get better at listening to my instincts and better judgement. Today I was looking for someone to help move a mattress from one cabin to another. I went looking for one specific person over by the closest set of cabins. She wasn’t there. So I went to the second set of cabins. Nothing. The third set of cabins. Nothing. The yurts. Nothing. Then I saw a sign that said “Janzig”. I thought “Hey, I’ve been here for almost a month. That sounds like a cabin and not one of the dozens of trails we have on this island. Twenty minutes later I had still found no cabin. So I went back the way I came and decided to just go down a random signless path instead of learning my lesson and going back to base. Another twenty minutes passed and I found myself at the top of a small hill next to what I thought were solar panels. They were septic tanks. There was a vague sort-of path leading down the hill. I walked down that oath and ended up next to the outhouse closest to my cabin. So I walked back to base and found someone to help me move the mattress that we didn’t even end up needing in the ling run. And yeah, it didn’t really matter and I shouldn’t dwell on it. But my back is a bit itchy.

Tuesday June 28th, 2022: Day Thirty-Three
About a week ago I was sauntering around the kitchen and acting cool and someone asked me to grab a trail cup from the back corner. So I slid there to look even cooler and wound up sliding into a very severe splits on top of a giant puddle. Today I managed to outdo myself. I was helping maintenance haul trash and stuff and I went to clip the pontoon to the dock. I had one foot on the dock and one foot on the pontoon and before I could clip on the pontoon drifted fully away and I was suddenly doing the splits between the dock and the pontoon. I yelled to Jackson for help, but even the tallest man I know couldn’t save me from my position. My shorts split from the zipper all the way down and I fell in the water with my phone, AirPods and favorite shoes. Everything’s fine, but my dignity is a little bruised. On the bright side I had been trying to convince Jackson to take me to Grand Marais tomorrow and now he said he will because he felt pity for me post-incident. And you know, whatever gets me there. I’ve had enough weird clumsy accidents in my time and I’m more than willing to own this.

Friday July 15th, 2022: Day Fifty
I’ve been journaling for fifty days! That’s pretty cool. It’s cool in the sense that I’m not very good at keeping up on things like this. I’m gonna try not to fall behind and stop journaling when I go back to school. Anyway, I am wiped out. I showered after dinner and fled to the cabin. I’ve been chilling here for about an hour, just writing and thinking about random shit. Like how much would it suck if I went blind? Speaking of, I don’t think I’ve ever met a blind person. If I were a Truman Show style character whose whole life was a reality TV show then this is when they would have me meet a blind person to reinforce the illusion. And obviously if that were the case, their cameras would see me writing this and realize I’m on to them. If that is what’s happening then you should know it was a stupid idea to let me watch The Truman Show. It doesn’t work like The Matrix where you release a movie about the Matrix so people seem crazy if they say we’re in a simulation. Well, crazier. But The Truman Show is such a weird concept and I never in a million years would have suspected a thing if you didn’t let me see the movie. So if I am in a The Truman Show situation and you’re running it, please know that you’re an idiot. And if I’m on trial for something and this has been submitted as evidence that proves I should be in an insane asylum, please know that I don’t believe any of this and I’m just an idiot. Anyway, my friend Tion just ran into my cabin and “stole” my knees. It’s a game we’ve been playing, but I wish he had done it when I was wearing more than just underwear.

So yeah. This has been a post about random assorted things that are going on in my life. Typically I try to have more of a structure to this, but I’m trying to be more loosey goosey and casual as a human being in general. So enjoy more forthcoming posts from the new and improved laid-back John. I might even rename the blog Too Many Servings of J-Dog. Who knows what I’ll do next? I certainly don’t. The small amount of sanity I had left is fading away the more tired I get. And I am very, very tired. Long live insanity! Long live my blog!

Also apologies to anyone who read this whole thing. I’m in a weird mood. Posts about other things should be forthcoming.

One thought on “Nothing is Happening

  1. I assume people watch hospital shows for the same reason they watch cop shows – because it’s always the same. It’s the comfort or a rote story that you don’t have to pay much attention to.


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