» Radiation tri-blade » I just noticed that a new mini-series premieres tonight » Manh(A)ttan. Subttled » Nuclear. Family. The (A) in Manh(A)ttan seems to stand for » Atomic.

Manh(A)ttan. Nuclear. Family. (Mini-Series)

I have only seen the trailer so far, but it reminds me very much of the book I read (listened to audiobook) titled » American Prometheus.

And about the entry I made (.. two years ago).

I am very excited about this new (13-part) mini-series. (Boner city. You know how geeks are.)

The story, I recall, was so vast and sweeping and it came with such forever-world-changing consequences .. that I can see how you might need 13 episodes to do it justice.

Manh(A)ttan. Nuclear. Family.WGN is Chicago .. same city where the Rad server is physically located (mid-country, between the two coasts).

Their website is » WGN America.

USA Today did a first-look at the cast.

This is a big story. The story about the building of the bomb.

Big, big, BIG. If they can pull it off, that would be a major accomplishment. Something to be proud of.

Okay, WGN is not like Frontline (WGBH), where you can watch shows online. With WGN, you can only watch on TV. In other words, consult your local programming


» Radiation tri-blade » Not long after I arrived in California [ San Clemente ] two cousins came out from the East coast to visit for a few weeks. They were not really my cousins, but rather one of them was married to my cousin (cousin-in-law?) and the other was her best friend. But I treated them like cousins anyway.

L'Wren & Celebrity

Two Italian girls. With hard East coast accents.

And they were not really interested in seeing me, per se, but rather the area » southern California. Hollywood, to be more precise. Beverly Hills. Rodeo drive. Sunset Blvd. The Roxy. Every Hard Rock Cafe in southern California.

They crashed in the living room .. on a plastic blow-up air mattress that I had left over. (Myself, I had since upgraded to a futon.)

In this particular apartment, the living room was upstairs and the bedrooms were downstairs (being cooler down there).

The Famous Hollywood SignThey kinda took over the living room. The upstairs. (You know how girls are.)

It was nice to have them. They were lots of fun. I had to work during that time, but I did my best to show them a good time. Especially on my days off.

To be honest, they knew more about Hollywood and Hollywood stars than I did. And they knew exactly where they wanted to go and what they wanted to do.

One of the most memorable moments came at a gas station on PCH up in Malibu .. where they spied some hot girl gassing up her pink Corvette.

"Who?" I said.

I had never even heard of this girl, but the girls were speechless. I mean, they were freaked out. Totally. You could tell that they were both beside themselves. For real. You cannot imagine.

A few minutes later and the girl (who was pretty hot, yes) finished filling her tank and drove off.

To be honest, I dont recall the name of the girl at the gas station. Guess I could call my cousin-in-law, but they have since divorced. (Actually, my cousin remarried and he divorced that girl, too.)

Here's my point » celebrity does not freak me out. Never has. Sure, I like to spot them .. but only because I can tell a friend » "Guess who I ran into today at the taco shop?" Or in the sauna.

I normally just let them be .. because you know they are constantly getting worked.

The Dog, when he lived up in the hills above Hollywood, frequently ran into celebs. He chatted up John Goodman at a bar, for example, and ran into Travolta in a sauna. "He's a lot bigger naked than he looks on screen." But the Dog also tends to let them have their space.

And the Film school girl .. it seemed like every other day she would come home saying things like, "I ran into Dustin Hoffman today." Or, "I ran into Reese Witherspoon today. She's so nice .. so down to earth."

I feel for celebrities. Who was it that said » "fame is the excrement of creativity" ?

I almost feel sorry for them .. in a way. Not for the wealth that their fame berings them, no. But rather for the obvious challenges that fame brings.

The loss of just being a normal person and being able to live a normal life. You have to be on your guard against wacko's. Or people breaking into your house just because you're famous.

It probably doesnt suck as badly as I imagine it does .. but the idea of people running up on me everywhere I go .. that sounds pretty sucky to me.

» Are People Being Nice to Me Only Because I'm Wealthy?

Also .. it might be worth noting that I used to make a lot of money. I have made over three grand a week, and over twenty-five hundred a week many times (.. working lots of overtime).

If you are the boss, or you are wealthy .. how do you know if/when people are being nice to you because you have lots of money .. or because they genuinely like you? (As a person.)

If I myself had such questions .. then it seems only reasonable that these same questions must come to the celebrity who has much more wealth and much more influence. No?

I want people to like me (genuinely) for WHO I AM .. and not what I can do for them. This is another topic entirely .. beyond the scope of today's entry .. but worth noting in the context of celebrity ..

.. because you hear many stories about how some of these famous celebrities are so lonesone. (Marilyn Monroe comes to mind. There are others. Many others.)

Fortunately, today I neednt concern myself with with worries that people might like me only for my money or because I am their boss.

» The Gentle Elderly Man and His Deli Sausage

There was a guy, I recall (no names), back before I became management material .. who I heard people describe thusly » "He's got his head so far up ______'s_ [ « name of boss ] ass that he has a permanent shit-stain around his neck."

After I had become a boss, there was another guy, an older gentleman, who we employed in a position that involved minimal technical expertise. A meek and quiet elderly man.

Every few months this man would travel down to a major city where he would purchase ethnic foodstuffs at an ethnic deli there, and he would bring me back some ethnic sausage.

I had never had sausage like this before. The best sausage you ever tasted. Very fatty, yes. He tried to decline, but I insisted on paying him for the sausage. I think it was like five or ten dollars. Not much. (And I was making way more money than him.)

But yes, something inside me felt a special kindness for that man. No one else knew what he did. Neither of us ever discussed our thing with anyone else, and when lay-off time came around, I always made sure that he was not on it.

I should note that he did his job as expected, never missed a day, and made my work-life easy because he rarely (if ever) asked for special favors.

When you have a hundred people, if 10 percent of them want special favors, it greatly complicates your job because an adjustment here usually requires another adjustment there, and you can spend a lot of time adjusting things.

[ I seem to have a knack for management and administration .. even if there are things about it that I don't care for. You have to work within the structure of the organization in which you find yourself, and they are all different. The lever you pulled at one place to accomplish a certain end .. might not necessarily work at another. ]

Anyway, I will say no more on this topic .. except to say that I no longer have this problem. But if a man possesses a strong skill-set, and much experience, and is good at what he does .. he neednt bring you incredibly yummy sausage for you to want to keep him around.

If I had not been the boss, would he have felt inspired to bring back the yummy sausage for me? Probably not. Probably not.

L'Wren Scott and Mick JaggerHere's my real point for telling you this story » When I found myself curious about the story of L'Wren Scott ..

.. who hung herself on March 17th, St. Patty's day .. two weeks before Philip Seymour Hoffman overdosed ..

.. and not unlike the way Aaron Swartz also hung himself last year .. it was not the element of celebrity that caught my attention.

Geeks are people who » try to figure shit out. Who try to craft an algorithm to undo life's gnarlier knots. And the more perplexing something is .. the more Gordian it is .. the more is calls to them. (Seemingly on its own.)

And in the story about » L'Wren Scott, everybody is asking » "What the fuck?"

So it is talking to me. Which surprises me .. because (as I said) celebrity is not something I am drawn to. (Au contraire.)

But this girl (L'Wren) and her story is something I find interesting. Notice how the article says » "she wasn't especially impressed by the trappings of fame." In other words » it was something else that motivated her. [ Tho this article suggests otherwise. ]

Notice also how her sister called her a "super-strong woman".

I remember when the wow-girl said to me » "You're the strongest man I've ever met." So I know a little something along these lines. There are other things .. which I will address.

I could be wrong .. but I feel like I have an intuitive feel for this girl (L'Wren). I feel like I have insight.

Which surprises me .. because of this quote which says » "Women loved her and responded to her. She was a girl's girl." And I don't really 'get' girls .. at least, not girly-girls. I only really 'get' girls who get guys.

People are interesting, fascinating creatures .. and trying to figure them out .. well, that is a challenge to say the least. Why they do the crazy shit they do. Seemingly bizarre shit.

I would like to thank Elizabeth Day for writing that article (published two days ago). Without it, I would never have written today's entry. Lots of things in her article speak to me.

L'Wren reminds me of the girl that I dated who worked in the fashion industry. She was a tall, dark-haired girl, too. She also had long, atraight dark hair with a flair of natural curl to it. When she wore her heels and we slow-danced, she was right up there. But that's another story.

Speaking of celebrity .. look at this » Jagger is producing the new James Brown biopic » Get On Up (August 1). I saw the trailer on the big screen and I was totally impressed.

Karl Ove KnausgaardThe Norwegian Celebrity » Karl Ove Knausgård

Along these lines (of fame and celebrity), I found this article by the Norwegian Karl Ove Knausgaard downright fascinating » I Am Someone, Look At Me (posted 10 June) ..

.. which addresses his » "tortured relationship with fame".

I had never heard of him before that article, which caught my attention due to the reference to and comparison with Proust (.. who I am familair with).

Tho it seems like everybody is talking about him .. due to his book titled » Min Kamp (My Struggle in English) .. same as the title of Hitler's book.

I would like to say to Mr. Knausgård » "Sir, I can confirm » yes, you *are* somebody. And your look makes you interesting to look at. Very interesting."

I have never been to Norway myself, but back when I lived in San Clemente, during the time I mention up above .. I had a roommate who had relatives in Norway. He took a couple of weeks off to fly there and visit these relatives (for the first time).

He came back something of a changed man. More relaxed. More easy-going. More confident. Funner to be around.

Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900)He liked to read Nietzsche and Dostoevsky. Smart dude.

I always remember the story he told me about how his dad was so cheap that he refused to pay for novacaine when he needed a root canal.

"It hurt so bad," he said, "that it felt like the pain went all the way down into your soul."

l never said anything, but thought to myself » "The pain from the dentist's drill or from your dad being too cheap to sping for a shot of novacaine?"

Also, the girl who I mention here, the one who took me to Puerto Rico, she had been to Norway and told me that it was her best vacation ever .. the fjords, in particular (they took a cruise up the fiords).

She was blown away by the grandeur of the natural beauty there .. and she was not easily blown away .. let me tell you. (She was older than me .. in more ways than one.)

» The Greeks Want to Meet You

One the subject of celebrity .. I find it interesting what Jesus said when his followers (Andrew and Philip) came and told him » "The Greeks want to meet you."

He basically said (not in these words, no) » "That means it's time for me to be crucified. Let's do this thing. I'm pumped."

Especially interesting because that passage contains the verse of scripture found on Dostoevsky's tombstone.

John Lennon (1940-1980)» John Lennon

When I think of celebrity, I think of » John Lennon ..

.. because he was famous for saying » "Look at me here on the streets of New York.

Where I can live pretty close to the life of a regular person.

'High, John. How are you, John? Good to see you, John'."

John was dead not long after. So much for carefree fame and celebrity.

Today's entry remains a work-in-progress. To be continued.

I am not even done yet with the previous entries, so it will take some time to craft this thing.


» Radiation tri-blade » Did you notice that the book I was pimping earlier this year [ » Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty ] was released last month and shot straight to #1 on Amazon? .. surprising everybody, myself included. ( "How do ya like me now?" ) Paul Solmon at PBS Newshour calls it » "Perhaps the most unlikely bestseller in America." Remarkable, no?

Thomas PikettyPiketty's Capital Debuts at #1

Speaking of 'pimping' .. the very last college class I ever signed up for was » Marketing ..

.. cuz I could see that marketing (especially here in the States) is a big thing.

But I dropped that class .. cuz I didnt need it and wasnt feeling the vibe I expected.

(Is marketing about the creativity associated with framing your product in the best possible light? Dealing with people's » wants and needs. Or is it about » following » an » established » set » of » rules?)

I took two (extra) classes beyond what I needed for my degree. Marketing woulda been #3.

My point » I am stoked! that our nation is reading up on and educating themselves on such things.

Because we (badly) need some new ideas ..

.. that dont end in serfdom for you and me and our kids (.. and the rest of us without a hedge fund).

Oh, seems that John says that folks are buying the hard-copy version because » ".. even those who know they will never read it want it on their bookcase."

That's kinda sad. (Or is it?)

This Piketty guy .. he seems so down-to-earth. So grounded. So unaffected by the flash of the lights. That's a good trick, I must admit. A French trick, maybe. (I would be beating my chest like a silverback on Viagra.)

Capital is an » Accounting Construct (Smoke & Mirrors)

Speaking of the economy .. notice in this video here, which features Bethany McLean [ who co-wrote » Enron: Smartest Guys in the Room, which I saw at the Lido theater there in Newport Beach ].

Bethany McLeanShe is contributing at Vanity Fair (.. where Monica dishes on Bill, which sounds interesting).

But after writing about the Enron story, she can probably do whatever she wants.

She is friends with Alex Gibney .. who ranks near the top of my list, after he did Taxi to the Darkside and Park Avenue.

I have not yet seen » We Steal Secrets, but it does look interesting.

[ By the way, congrats Mr. G on the Guggenheim thing. Arent the Guggenheims wealthy philanthropists? Known for donating money to worthy causes? What an amazing legacy of films you have. ]

Bethany and Alex are both definitely bad dudes. Tag team style. If they come calling with cameras, you are fucked, my friend.

Oh, looks like she was born in Dylan's home town. Too weird. I was just talking about Dylan, it seems. Must be a coincidence.

Oh look » Vincent is also from Hibbing (Minnesota). Must be some good water they have there in Hibbing. Good for them. Nice names to have on any list.

She also co-wrote » All the Devils Are Here [.. not in hell where they should be ] with Nocera. Lucky man that Joe. (I like Joe.)

Did you see her in » Money, Power & Wall Street? [ released exactly two years ago ] Try t=22:30 here.

She has a little voice, and says such big things. The contrast works very well. She says the kinds of things that you can only say when you know your shit .. down to the level of nuance.

Rad note » Bethany's statement from her interview with Lauren is so fascinating that I have created a separate entry in order to focus better on the truth that the concept .. see here » Capital is an Accounting Construct (Smoke & Mirrors).

The "Greatest" Monetary Policy Experiment in History

It is not really part of my theme today, but you should hear this guy (David Zervos) call [ at t=3:30 remaining ] the Federal Reserve's response to the crises of 2008 » "the greatests monetary policy experiment in history."

James Joyce (1882-1941)Dont get me wrong .. he is not saying it in a bad way. No, sir.

Rather he is like » "More champagne! Way to go, Federal Reserve!"

I only cite his quote because it seems to support my notion of the Federal Reserve wax'ing avant-garde ..

.. like James Joyce and avant-garde artists blazing new trails out there on the bleeding edge ..

.. making it up as they go.

This guy [ David Zervos ] plays with real money. [ "Or does he?" I can hear Bethany saying. ] By that I mean » he is not (merely) a theorist.

But I can see now [ thanks to Bethany ] that he is not playing with real money. Nonetheless, you can bet your ass that he believes that money is real. =)

These accounting construsts that he plays with .. seem to have some value assigned to them. Some disputable, illusory value.

» Accounting & Moral Reckoning at USC

Later I am going to compare what Bethany said with what this guy said about Accounting. Key word » accounting .. a class which, unlike Marketing, I *did* take.

I got an 89, but the guy would not give me an 'A'. So it is one of the three 'B's on my transcripts. [ The rest of the letter-grades are all 'A's. ]

So I know a little something about accounting. That is one of the classes I took at Franklin & Marshall.

Anyway, the guy who wrote that NYTimes article about Accounting is a professor of History and Accounting at USC. [ Go Trojans! ] Very interesting. Thought-provoking shit. Its ideas have lingered on.

Thanks, Lauren. Thanks for conducting that interview with Bethany. I see you are using my stuff with Heidi's victory lap. (It's okay. Lots of people use my stuff.) You're right .. she was right.

You're such a natural. You look like you enjoy yourself. And in such a male-oriented environment, too. Did you have lots of brothers growing up? (I can feel myself trying to figure you out.)

Speaking of natural, I don't know how Aaron does it. I could never do his job. I would be in trouble and get fired. Two weeks, max.

Rad Bedroom» Flirting in the Digital Age

Would you say that I am flirting right now? What would you call this?

I might have a blindspot in this area .. because it seems to come very naturally. (At times.)

And people sometimes think that I am flirting when I don't think I am. In middle school (grades 6-7-8) I was voted "Class Flirt".

Which surprised me. Really. Very much. But I won't get into that right now.

My point is that (as I already said) » people (obviously) think I'm flirting when I don't think I am. (I feel that » If I was flirting with you .. you would know it.)

And sometimes people have told me that a girl was flirting with me ( "Dude, that girl was *totally* flirting with you!" ) when I did not recognize it. (I just thought she was acting wierd, strange.)

So maybe for me, flirting involves a sexual suggestion. Something that carries a sexual connotation. A playfully vague reference. That sounds resonable to me. Does that make sense? Does that make me an anomoly? Does that make me different from most people? (I am just being honest here.)

But if you like someone, a member of the opposite sex .. and appreciate them .. for whatever reason .. and you find yourself attracted to them .. do not your sexual faculties become activated? Whether or not you even want them to (become activated).

But regarding the act of flirting itself (for me, anyway) .. the situation must present itself, no? If you go out of your way to flirt, the flirt loses its _______ (« you fill in the word. I am actually on another thought, right now).

Then, if the situation presents itself and the spirit moves you .. you can either go with the flow (.. and see where it leads) .. or thwart mother nature herself.

But the organic-ness of the thing is what gives a flirt its special electricity. No?

And I normally go for a bit of the startle effect, myself. If a girl can handle with grace something that might disorient an ordinary girl .. then she has a better chance of success with me.

So there is something of a test in the flirt. Two birds, one stone. After a while, you just cut straight to the chase .. forgoing the games.

See, I told you that I could easily get off on a tangent here.

The other thought that I am on right now .. is » how I can be bad for girls. But that is another story. Which needs explaining. It goes with the idea of women saying » "We want your soul."

My point (I know you won't believe it) » I can't flirt on demand, no. Rather, I have to feel it. And even then, I am often reluctant. (Tho rarely reticent.)

People have told me that I am a natural flirt, at times. (Know thyself.) Tho I must admit that I have not flirted with anyone in quite some time ..

.. probably the result of classical conditioning (Pavlov) from the anguish brought about by relationships gone sour. So I have had no desire to.

I mean, yes, I am trying to hold myself back right now .. probably because of the bell that I hear Pavlov ringing. Ding-a-ling. Ding-a-ling.

Yet I can feel something propeling me forward .. in that direction. Something that feels natural. Kinda interesting, in a way. Definitely some resonance there.

And repression, you know, has been linked to many psychological disorders. So maybe I should just go with the flow .. and see where it leads.

You must admit, I am creative. I surprise myself, at times.

Normally these things (flirting) are done mano-a-mano. So this is where the creativity comes in.

But no, I never think » "Oh, I am going to flirt with this girl." Rather, it's usually because I can't stop myself .. or don't even recognize that I am doing it.

Me to myself » "Dude I can't believe what I am hearing you say to this girl. Have you forgotten so quickly? Does the word » 'trouble' mean anything to you?"

There has to be chemistry. How can you flirt with someone with whom you feel no chemistry?

I have never given it much thought before, but now that I am trying to » know thyself (better all the time) I have been looking more closely.

Obama with Denmark's Helle Thorning-Schmidt at Mandela's funeral on December 10, 2013, as Michele looks on, obviously not happy» What is Flirting?

As a recognized expert on the subject ..

.. I think that flirting is merely reaching out and touching someone ..

.. who you feel resonates at/with a similar frequency (as your own) ..

.. in such a way as to express that there is something about this person that you appreciate.

But it takes time to get to know someone that well .. so there is a feeling-out phase. Which is only respectful .. so you don't offend. In other words .. I rarely have someone with whom I am flirting respond in a negative way.

No, flirting doesnt mean that you have to make babies tonight. Altho when I think of how both the Bug and I were born in January (one day apart) ..

.. it seems that the month of April (+9) is when the reproductive genes really seem to kick into high gear.

My point » you only 'flirt' with people with whom you feel there is something there. Some kind of connection. Some kind of mutual understanding, or at least perceived as so.

» Red Hot

Oh, I see you have gone to wearing a red shirt. Hot red. Very clever. We should probably cool it .. or people will start to talk.

Speaking about the color of shirts .. here is a shirt with an interesting color. Something about that color makes me feel right at home. You are very photogenic. You dont look nervous at all talking to these big mucky-mucks. Very comfortable.

If I were a pretty girl like you, I would say » "Steve, could you put me on your top-400 list?"

By the way, I would bounce off what Steve said and also what this guy said .. with what Edsall wrote about here. See the problem? The disconnect?

That other guy seems to be living in the past. In other words, today's economic problems transcend and eclipse yesterday's solutions. (To his credit, he at least acknowledges a crisis.)

[ The theme of Edsall's piece reminded me of my 2011 piece here. I love Edsall. He kicks much ass. ]

Lauren yearning in her red-hot shirt» The Yearning

Oh, the red hot shirt is back. I have always like the way Yahoo Finance videos start talking (for a few secs) before you see the image (of the speaker).

Tho I am not sure why.

Anyway » yearning. Now there's a word you don't hear every day.

Unfortunately the yearning that I have will not likely be satisfied with anything you can find at Netflix or by anything you can purchase from Amazon. [ Yeah, that's flirting. ]

Oh .. I just noticed that I used the word 'yearning' myself .. down below. Are you vibing off me? I think you are.

[ My ego says » "Dude, how can she not?" Tho another part of me is entertaining the notion of plausible deniability of the whole thing. (To protect you.) ]

Speaking of my ego .. it is saying » "Dude, tell her that this shit is NOT as easy as you make it look."

Vibing .. now THERE is a concept worth exploring, no? But now is not the time to go there. But remind me to tell you about how we were trained to PASS THRU QUICKLY the (destructive) "resonance frequency". ..

.. when starting up the main engines (steam turbines) of a reactor plant on a nuclear submarine.

You can't AVOID the resonance frequency .. no. Rather you minimize the damage by » passing thru quickly. (And going beyond to something higher, faster, more stable, in the zone, so to speak.).

In other words, there is a certain speed, a certain RPM, where all the IMBALANCES in a high-speed main engine (steam turbine) congregate. And if you spend very much time there the main engine will start to come apart.

The main engines (2) are the motive force that turns the big screw that propels a submarine thru the water. There are also two other steam turbines that turn electrical generators that power all of a ship's electrical needs.

It is a very cool thing to start up a reactor plant. My favorite part comes when you hear the announcement » "Attention in the engineering spaces. The reactor is critical." Ooh, baby.

[ I can't believe that I'm writing this shit .. who knows where this comes from? .. but it does sound interesting.

Because some people seem to LOVE hanging out in that (destructive) resonance frequency. Not me. I have spent so much time there ..

.. that, if I never spend another day .. that is fine by me. Thank-you, very much. Feel me?

Joyce said » "A man's mistakes are portals of discovery." I have had many such portals.

Besides, that is not where I excel. No. I suk at that. Rather my talents lie in other areas. But we won't go there right now. Maybe later I will give you a tour of my talents. ]

To be honest .. regarding my use of the word 'yearning' .. I often work on multiple entries at different times and may actually forget what I have (already) written .. in other parts of other entries.

This is why I try to lift out sections that focus on a particular theme or on a single topic and transfer them to their own, separate entry-page. They allow for better focus.

I have not "reached out" to you (.. beyond what I do here) .. because (it has beenm my experience that) few women can handle me. The real me. Maybe that sounds a little pretentious, but it's something which I can totally understand. I have trouble handling myself at times. I am who I am. I am what I am. And things often end badly. Disasterously. And I do not want such disaster to come to you.

And if a woman wants me to change .. to be something that I am not .. for her .. then it seems that she does not really care for me or about me. The real me.

Love always gives more than it demands. This is why I feel that someone who demands more than they give does not really love me or care about me.

And if someone does not really love you or care about you .. then why would you ever want to be with them? (Yes. that's a rhetorical question.)

If things are meant to be, then the universe will make that happen. Until then .. we can have lots of fun playing with the possibility.

I definitely like you .. on a level beyond (merely) the physical. And I respect you and admire you. This seems, to me, to offer unlimited possibilities .. far as relationships go.

You may not believe it, but I am trying to restrain myself. But it is not working very well. And I admit that it is not wise to thwart mother nature.

Lauren teasing AaronI like the way you tease Aaron. "I know this is the one that you're excited about, Aaron."

[ .. the Rent-the-Runway service that features dresses and purses .]

Very nice. You made him laugh. Touché. That kind of gentle busting seems to be a New York thing, no?

[ The Dog is a master of that. Tho you obviously need a certain sensitivity in order to pull it off with grace. A sensitivity that you seem to have. You will not find many girls who are able to pull that off. This is another discussion entirely, but worth mentioning here, perhaps. In order to pull this off, the person who you are giving shit to must know that you genuinely cares for them. Or you risk offending them. And I know it seems far-fetched and maybe even fantastic, but not-everybody has the genuine caring thing decoded. ]

Aaron totally has the geek/nerd look going on .. does he not?

You and Aaron should sign up for Wipeout's » Hotties vs Nerds. (I will root for you.)

But before I leave this section on yearning .. don't you think that most people have a yearning to be noticed and appreciated and admired? I read somewhere (Maslow maybe?) that this is a key human desire.

Maybe even thee key desire (a craving maybe). Ooh .. craving. Now there's an interesting word, no?

Oh, look at that .. craving » means yearning. (No, I did not plan that.) I think I see a pattern starting to develop here.

Okay .. fuck it .. let's try this cool, new Twenty-first century avant-gardist thing. Here is how it works .. I am going to send you a message .. that resonates at/with a certain frequency ..

.. and you see if you get my message. Are you feeling it? Should I turn up the volume? Or turn it down? Or shift over into 'experimental' mode?

What can you handle? Should I unleash the beast? And morph into various shades-of-gray?

» Sexy, Intimate, Creative, Fun, Smart, Educated, with the Glow

Okay .. I see you are getting my message. Wow, you are a quick learner. (It must be true what everybody says about you.)

Miss Lauren | Yahoo FanaceHas the airline industry become sexy?

It has when you're the only one on the plane, saying » "Imagine this," and "Imagine that."

"Much sexier," says my imagination.

So we will do this thing .. this secret, creative thing .. that only we know about. Our own private secret.

I will configure the site so that only you can read what is written here.

With a special next-generation encryption. That I have designed myself. (Or at least we can pretend that no one is watching.)

And if anyone does crack the code and peek .. and eavesdrop on us .. then that will make them something of a voyeur. Kinky voyeurs .. who like to watch. I'm sure that is one of the fifty shades.

We will create something that has never been created before. (Tho who knows how it will turn out.)

In our own special place .. where nobody else but we can go. A place of trust .. where you can let your guard down and relax. This is what intimacy is all about.

Rad Art HouseA cottage in the woods .. near a lake, or a pond. With a garden surrounding it. Or maybe near a river.

A place where poetry is read. And where the coffee is yummy. And wine. Red in the winter and white in the summer.

There is nothing more beautiful, I am convinced, than a woman in love. That glow. That indescribable glow .. that no amount of make-up can replicate.

That no amount of skill or artistry can truly mimic. You know I'm right.

I think they call it » oxytocin. The "neurotransmitter of intimacy."

The "bonding hormone". The "trust hormone." The "love molecule." Au nauturel, baby. The real deal. No artificial sweetners added. Arent neurotransmitters wonderful?

One of my goals here .. I am learning .. as a writer .. is to » leave the reader feeling like » it has really happened for them. Or maybe even » is still happening for them.

Hemingway talks about this. I will go find you the exact quote later. But this is what he calls the "the magic" and "the secret".

Because you tend to operate over in this intuitive area .. which can defy rational logic. But insists very strongly that you do indeed defy logic.

I sorta think that the writer can only use himself is determining what and how to write .. so that this feeling of really having experienced the thing about which he is writing .. feels like it actually happened for the reader.

I would not object to someone using the term » esoteric .. in order to describe the process.

And I could wax verbose here .. tho a part of me is skeptical of anything that you can measure with a ruler or weigh with a scale.

But my point is this (and it should seem obvious) » if the reader IS LIKE YOU (you the writer) .. then they will receive the feeling behind the message. And if they ARENT .. then how can they possibly relate?

And the more they resonate with you .. the more they will 'get it.' Seems plausible, no?

I mean, sure, I could just come over there and throw you down and whip some serious oxytocin on you. Of course. But that's the easy way. That's almost like cheating.

But as a writer .. how do you convert that same effect using only words? Using only sentences? Using only paragraphs? Using only pages? Which contain pictures and other graphics? See my point? Not so easy.

Oh .. check out paragraph #6 in this (seemingly unrelated) » article.. which begins by saying » "The human brain can be exquisitely attuned to other people, thanks in part to its so-called mirror system."

and ends by saying » "Our brains appear to be able to intimately resonate with others’ actions, and this process may allow us not only to understand what they are doing, but also, in some sense, to experience it ourselves — i.e., to empathize."

Is this not very close to what I am talking about? (or trying to.) They call it a "mirror system."

Sometimes I think people from the Times read my site and then post shit they know I will enjoy.

I was struck particularly by the last part .. where it says » "in some sense, to experience it ourselves."

Sharing cool experiences with cool people (.. my experience has been) » is a very cool thing.

I also took note that they used the word » exquisitely. Not all of the experiences that we share with others can be described as » exquisite. But some can.

Here are some definitions of the word »

  1. Characterized by intricate and beautiful design or execution
  2. Of such beauty or delicacy as to arouse intense delight
  3. Acutely perceptive or discriminating
  4. Of special beauty or rare excellence

I am something of a neck-man, myself. I must have some vampire blood in me. Because the panther in me (automatically) goes straight for the hair. Firm grab, and peels back access to the throat.

And I can feel the fangs come out .. which I scrape up and down the entire length. Rather roughly. But I can't help myself.

And when you talk sometimes .. the muscles in your neck flex. And something in me imagines peeling your neck .. like a banana. We'll call him 'the beast'. (I will grab you a screen shot of what I'm talking about.)

In relationships, people adapt to the person who they are with .. hopefully because you want to express the love that you have for them .. and not to express anything negative. (Except for a few days each month.)

Phillip Seymour Hoffman has spoken about (9th paragraph) this "magic secret" .. whereby you (somehow) convince the viewer that something that is not really happening .. is really happening.

The fact that such a thing is even possible .. is remarkable in itself. But paragraph #6 here seems to suggest that you can take it the next level. From believing it is happening .. to » experiencing it.

Stranger in a Strange Land | Jillian Boardman and Valentine Michael SmithEnough of this esoteric stuff. But, if you are gonna be a muse .. then I guess you have a right to know.

When I think of the concept of how something » esoteric might work ..

.. I think about what John wrote that Jesus said » here.

All relationships, I have heard, need to involve a creative outlet .. where you can focus the ecstasy and bliss that you get from creatively vibing with someone whose company you genuinely enjoy.

I will fix for you my puttanesca. No mere mortal woman has ever been able to resist my puttanesca.

If you're scared, SAY your scared. If not, let's do this thing .. this Twenty-first century thing.

Do you like when the guy grabs the reins and runs? Or do you have your own tricks to bring to the rodeo?

I have pretty impressive array of creative tricks myself .. if you just wanna chill and let me go to work.

But I am always up for learning a new trick or two. [ Is it getting hot in here, or what? I'm sweating. ]

I guess we need to come up with a secret song .. like they do in Moulin Rouge (.. the secret lovers). Any ideas? Any themes of inspiration?

Have you ever been a muse before? What are your feelings on muses in general?

From what I have been able to ascertain .. and I am no expert, trust me .. is that .. the core functions of a muse are these » inspire, stimulate, challenge to greatness. By bringing out that within him that he cannot get out by himself .. and which causes him to go beyond himself. (Transcend himself by turning his limitations into advantages and stepping stones.)

Then there comes a whole slew of auxilary functions that come under the heading of » negotiable. Which we can discuss later .. at the appropriate time .. and in the appropriate place.

But this typically involves some sort of liberating cathartic experience .. provided on a periodic basis.

The Monster Tour | Los Angeles, New York, Detroit» The Monster Interview

Speaking of unleashing the beast and things that are red-hot in the Twenty-first century ..

.. and while I feel at liberty to make suggestions .. something I am reluctant to do .. since you are already doing such a great job at what you do ..

.. I would try to schedule an interview with Marshall & Rihanna .. regarding their upcoming tour.

They obviously do not need the publicity .. so it would have to be something else to motivate them.

But I resonate with them .. on multiple levels .. so that would suggest that they would (also) resonate with you. And it's always nice to be in the company of those with whom you (naturally) resonate.

Certainly these tours have an economic effect on the local economies (Los Angles, New York, Detroit). Seems like much fruitful ground to explore .. on numerous fronts. Heck, Detroit is an economic story in itself.

They seem so different, yet they seem to work together so well (creatively). I am genuinely interested in their chemistry.

No doubt they will be very busy preparing, but capturing the essense of this controlled chaos would be part of the challenge.

Interviewing either one of them alone would be great .. but both together .. well, you know. Big, big, big .. 720 million is a lot of views.

Here's a question I would ask » "So, do you guys have any surprise special guests planned?"

Also » "How do you deal with the ego-stoking effects of selling out such large venues so quickly?"

Also » "Do you ever long to perform in smaller, more intimate settings?"

Also » "How's Spike doing?"

Also » "Have you seen the new James Brown flick yet?"

If they havent » "Can I join you guys when you go see it? My treat. And I'll even spring for a large bucket of popcorn."

If you can get Spike to go, you would have a perfect foursome .. with an interesting color/gender mix.

Also » "Have you seen Dre's new place yet? Has he invited you over for a bar-b-q?"

If they havent » "Tell him to put me on the invite-list."

I have no idea about how these things are arranged .. but you do. (And they do, also.)

If you do .. that will make plausible deniability much more difficult. But it will also demonstrate how this Twenty-first century thing (.. which includes embracing duality) works.

Tho my intuition senses that timing there is somehow important.

Speaking of seeing the new James Brown biopic .. what do you think about interviewing Jagger? He produced the film and enjoys the company of young, attractive talented women. From what I've heard.

Tho a closer look reveals that you might be a bit old for him.

I don't get the same intuitive sense of importance of timing with him. No idea why there might be a difference.

But you know what they say » greatest rock-n-roll band of all time.

» The JFL Look

Oh, I see the shirt is back. Hopefully you had a chance to wash it. And now you have the hair thing going on .. the messy hair. My friend Maria calls that the » "JFL-look" .. tho she never told me what the initials stand for.

You are definitely a pretty girl. (« Wow, you look good there. Holy moly. Yikes. That is totally cheating .. putting you next to an old, ugly guy like that. I didnt hear a thing Sam said.)

Have you noticed how, when some people think you are hot, then other people think you are hot, to? (I call that the clooney-effect.)

Heidi Moore at The Guardian» Heidi Always has Interesting Things to Say

You and Heidi make a good team. I like her. Heidi kicks ass. And she always has interesting stuff to say. And she articulates her concepts and points well. Very clearly.

After the Film school girl left to move back in with her mom, I moved my shit into the living room and put an add in the Penny-Saver for roomies .. to help pay rent (there in Laguna).

One of the girls who moved in was named Heidi. It was actually the utility room .. where the washer & dryer had been removed. Not even as big as a jail cell but it had its own entrance and you could get to the bathroom without going thru the rest of the house. $400/mo. She took it the same day I placed the ad and was thrilled to get it.

This place, I hear, had been a church 50 or 60 years earlier. Good vibes. Right there on PCH (noisy). A few blocks from Shaw's Cove. Maria remodeled it and runs it as a vacation rental now .. for big bucks.

That's where I was living when I met the Bug's mom. She said, "You gotta get out of this crazy place." That was before she became the Bug's mom. 'Crazy,' I learned, is a relative term.

» Pastor Gives Me Shit about Sexual Innuendo

On the subject of flirting, remind me to tell you the story about the pastor who - right in the middle of his sermon - looked me dead in the eye and quoted some verse of scripture that he said referred to » sexual innuendo (.. as being a thing we should not do). Like he was talking directly to me. (And nobody else.)

Maybe it's just me, but it seemed like that part of his sermon had nothing to do with anything else that he was talking about.

Notice how the word innuendo implies a » derogatory thing. I can assure you that I in no way mean my flirting in/as a derogatory way/thing. Far from it.

At the time of pastor's speech I had (very previously) been dating this girl who sang at this church .. and then I wasnt. And I think she talked to him about me » "And do you know what else he does..."

She was a good singer. Very good. Gifted, even. Little girl. Big voice. Long story. (I've always had a thing for singers. Who knows why?)

Anyway, does this feel in any way derogatory? If it did, I would delete the whole flirt-thing in a nano-sec.

But it's a challenging topic to discuss with finesse and I can best discuss it while I am actually doing it.

Jesse Discusses » the Secrets to Flirting

Oh, update (July 12, 2014) .. look at this » Salon posted an article titled » The Secret to Successful Flirting. Subtitled » New research suggests that it's not WHAT you say that attracts the opposite sex but HOW you say it.

This article (by Jesse Bering, I like him already) was originally published in the Scientific American (on July 10, 2014) under the title » Voices Carry (Signals of Your Sexual Intent and Reproductive Value).

But since the pastor gave me shit about it .. maybe I should just say that I appreciate your professional contributions there at Yahoo Finance .. and not flirt with you (.. or whatever you want to call it).

Tho I must admit that there is a part of me that wants to off-load this section into a separate entry titled » Flirting with Lauren. Catchy, no? Or how about » Flirting in the Twenty-first Century? .. to play off Piketty's book. Or my favorite » Flirting in the Digital Age.

But first I need to pull out my trip to the Commodore's office. Oh, (update) look at that .. it is » done-y done-done. You are so in trouble, now, girl. (This, I admit, is fun. Lots of fun.) But note how » it is done thru (via) » bits and bytes. In other words » digitally.

Sure, everybody knows that the web is a powerful thing .. and that it uses digital technology to allow the authos/artist/person an impressive array of tools that allow you to create nearly any message imaginable.

[ Is there life out there? ]

But how to wield that power .. that will take some exploring, I am sure, in order to finesse the range of that power.

Which is a different thing .. than live in the flesh. No? (And I am a big fan of live in the flesh .. let me tell you.) Digital technology allows you to transcent the limitations of the flesh .. which, of course, I have none.

There are some .. you probably know a few yourself. People who .. the thing that really turns them on .. is something that happens » in the mind.

And I must admit that .. the first time I heard you talking .. I thought to myself » that girl is too hot to be taken very seriously. But I was wrong. (I am hot, right now, arent I? I can totally felel it. I am kinda exploring it. You can tell me to stop at any time.

Oh, wait. There might be another entry I need to lift first. What do you think? .. if I pull-out the part of this entry that deals with George Bush and transfer it to a separate entry titled » Thanks for the Memories, George. [ Update, done. ]

There are basically two types of girls that I have found .. those who like to be teased .. and those who don't.

This here is the 'natural' part thingie that I was trying to describe .. but seems difficult to describe. So I have been trying to figure out o way .. as they say in the wring world » show, don't tell.

But sometimes .. in order to show something .. you first need to understand this other thing (about me). So let me just be direct and tell you what this other thing is .. so that I can go ahead and show you the thing that I want to show you.

In a way that challenges me. My skills. Not only my digital skills, and not only my writing skills .. but also my ability hone the message I send over/via/thru those other tools/techniques.

I'm talking about the thing that you receive on the receiving end. Because even the flesh is limited in its 'understanding' by electro-chemical impulses in the brain.

I somehow feel like I am talking about communication skills. And exploring the range of those tools using digital (and writing) technologies to their fullest.

Most recently, I have exploring the use of these skills to try to get a message to our leaders .. our elected leaders .. to provide a 'google-street-view,' if you will .. send it up to their palaces.

And my message, more or less, has been »s "Kind sir, this shit down here looks pretty ugly. You can come down here yourself and take a look if you would like."

But experience has shown me that they pay such nicities no mind. So they have forced me to sharpen my message. "Have your it way, dawg. Sharpen, this I can do."

Anyway, I feel like you have helped in that area .. so (to me, anyway) you seem like something of a kindred spirit on a parallel path. For a while, anyway.

And that makes me like you. That makes me sympathise with you .. dare I say? » resonate with.

xx

Oh, I see the end .. the completion of the circle ..

xx

And the fact that you are an attractive woman .. well, here we are. I will let today's entry speak for itself.

You will notice that I really like Martin Smith, but I am not flirting with him, am I?

I know how to do this flirting thing .. but I need to be inspired.

This looks like the perfect place, then .. to say that I can see the completion of my (flirting) circle .. which actually began with a link to the engineer-girl .. with whom I was also running parallel .. for a season, anyway.

And really, no one would catch the flirt unless they clicked on the link. The flirter must be cautious .. because you never know.

But then I came right out and asked the question. I seemed to be asking myself that same question. "Dude, are you flirting with this girl? Cuz I think you are."

And the ideas / advice / suggestions to » write what you know .. and » show dont tell came to mind. This really lets me explore these topics far more than I thought imaginable.

This is very much writing right now. No editing going on here. Not yet anyway. I feel like I am using the energy from the flirt .. to explore things and ideas in the movie that I find interesting.

How could you ever plan something like that? I dont think you could.

That is why I am exploring. There is a part of me that feels naked when I write a lot without editing. When I can go back later and sculpt the text to make it says exactly what I want it to say.

But on the bleeding edge, there is a feeling like » you don't even know what you are saying. At least not yet. And that is the thing that makes you feel naked.

But if you do it enough .. you start to get used to it. And maybe even enjoy it.

And I sorta feel that the more of the creative juicy-juice that you can process (produce) .. this somehow helps to enlarge your capacity for more the next time.

Tho they definitely seem to be getting bigger .. in a way more than merely word-count. I am kinda checking out myself and narrating a tour so maybe I can return here and help me figure shit out.

Optimize the skill/technique by empathizing.

How about this for a title? » Flirting at the Edge of Tomorrow? This means I would have to blend the flirting with the movie.

To be honest, I have no idea of how that would play out .. but it would involve the fusing of some real stuff also with imaginary elements in/from the movie. What could go wrong?

Tho the movie would totally open up and give legs (freedom of expression) to the flirting energy.

I might just go with it and see where it takes me.

But ordinarily it is usually the part where (as Bukowski and Dylan both say) » where the girl wants my soul .. the the relationship tends to run in to trouble. For me, anyway.

Now I am actually pretty good about doing casualty control .. cause of all the other times that girls have 'educated' me .. about what NOT to do.

But (as you know) guys can be slooow learners .. specially in shit they are not too crazy about learning. Feel me? (I know you do. I can tell.)

But, you know a few cracks in the head with a baseball bat will get the attention of the most untrainable of the untrained.

I will share a secret .. this is how I work .. I throw up (post) the next entry .. and while folks are reading about (thinking of) that .. I sneak down here and do this.

It is easier to wax intimate / thoughtful / honest .. when you don't feel like the spotlight in on you.

That's why I could never do you job. Tho you make it looks eay. And fun. And educational. Concisely.

That is .. by the way .. what makes a good team .. when one person is good at something that other other person is not. And vice versa.

A voice in my head is saying right now » "Dude .. slow it the fuck down, okay? You're starting to freak me out."

Experience has told me he's usually right.

This is very creative .. what I am doing now. I am kinda freaking myself out. But I have done crazier shit, before.

I have noticed .. say what you will .. that when the really creative stuff comes .. it brings along with it .. something that converts very easily into sexual energy. Very easily. (Don't say I didnt warn you.)

I am flirting right now somewhere above level 1. At least level 2 .. maybe even level three .. cuz it got so hot that my conscience (who gives me much leeway) was starting to give me shit.

And yes, I have been so caught up with the thingie thing .. that I have gone and thrown down anyway.

But you will get your ass kicked for that .. so you gotta really want it. (Bad.)

There is a school of thought that says > write what you know. The downside of this approach (they say) is that » you lose imagination.

To which the writer must concede some validity, no? So if you write what you know (like me), then I (consciously) try to evoke imagination. Somehow. It is never far .. always suggesting things.

But the main rails .. the main structural scaffolding .. if you will, I try to [ this is me being somewhat intimate ] I try to have that be > experiental. There is actually a better word for it .. but I am very abstract right now and I will lose the flow if I go find that (better) word.

Once you have the juicy-juice, you try to stay with it. Ride the dragon .. is what it feels like for me. Because it can take such drastic turns .. that are hard to stay with.

There is a part of me [ i just saw it ] that wants you to like me. Normally I (easily) reject that .. because I have so disappointed. You are sorely tempted to call it quits and chalk it up to a nice science experiment ..

.. one in which you learned a lot of valuable shit .. such as » what NOT to do. Some people call these » critical errors. [ As I began to update this entry with info about my initial+a_few_days my inner editor glaced up at this text here and said » "Dude, what in the world are you talking about (there)?" ]

Edge of Tomorrow | Live. Die. Repeat.» Edge of Tomorrow with Tom Cruise

By the way .. did you see the new Tom Cruise movie? » Edge of Toworrow » subtilted » Live. Die. Repeat. (Very strong reviews.

Some have said that it reminds them of the Matrix, but I think it went beyond.)

I am totally gonna talk about that movie. I just saw it. Actually .. that is "the thing" that I first need to talk about .. before I can focus on flirting with you.

Because I just saw it a few days ago and I want to capture my initial impressions. Before they start to fade (.. but afer I have had time to absorb them).

But I a impressed. Waay.

So, after I finish doing that .. I am coming back to *really* flirt. Maybe. Flirting involves setting the anticipation. But I have only been playing so far. I can see that I will have to unleash the heavy artillary. So you might wanna look around for something sturdy to grab hold of. [ Did you notice, by the way .. that I make good babies? ]

I think that I am going to lift out the section on flirting .. and post it in its own, separate entry on August 1st. That will be the 1-year anniversary of my » Writing entry.

That would certainly set a high standard. I'll see what I can do.

It is actually a lot of work to throw-together these entries. [ My ego is saying » "Dude, tell her that it's not as easy as you make it look." ]

Yin-yang tattoo, well-placedBut I have been learning that TIMING is involved in what I do (.. resonating).

In being a guy .. in order to resonate from you power, you have to be yourself. (And the girl has to be herself, too.)

That is why girls who want to change into THEIR mold, rather than trying to make the other person be more of THEMSELF (..uh, are these called muses?).

Soif you can get into a relationship where you cann help the girl be more of herself and she can help you become more of yourself .. then these types of relationships tend to produce the best (healthiest) results.

But this is no easy feat to pull off. (Even for me.) But every once in a while this crazy voice starts talking to me. "It's NOT a unicorn."

And I say, "Dude, every time I listen you, In get my ass kicked. Very badly."

And the dude says, "Yeah, but wasnt it totally worth it? Easily?"

And I hate to admit it .. but he's right.

And I go » "Fuck, here we go again." [ Relate / compare this here what I am talking about right now to how Tom Cruise keeps getting shot in the head by that pretty girl who does yoga amid the whirling death-machines.

He's like » "You kill me, girl."

There was a scene along those lines where I caught myself laughing out loud .. where she just shoots him a whole shitload of times in the head, and he is like » "Fuck it. Shoot me now. Go ahead and get it over with. I hope you dont think I find this fun .. this getting shot in the head every fucking day ..

.. but if you say that it what I need to do. Because the idea of mimics in London right now does not seem so bad to me, right about now. This shit sucks and it sucks pretty badly. In fact [ i am into streram of consciousness right now, btw. if i say more about it, i may lose it. ] ..

.. here it is » and truth be told, you are the only reason i am doing this. and you are going to sacrifice yourself in the end, so that i can do what i need to do.

so you are somewhat shaming me into doing what i am doing [ in am into the edge of tomorrow movie right now. i was gonna talk about that in another place .. so i should quit. But I am playing it off you .. so maybe I should cheat and break some of the rules and continue with this train of thought.

Here's the thing .. I really do feel like I am living this day over .. no, not in a Edge of Tomorrow way .. but in another way. Just today. Not yesterday. And I will have to see tomorrow if tomorrow is today. But far as I can tell, it is only for today. Or a glitch in the Matrix, maybe.

Oh, update .. now it is tomorrow .. like I originally thought it was. What is going on? Oh, I see where I misundertood. But I still thought today was yesterday. As long as tomorrow is tomorrow, we're good.

If you were a writer, you would probably write things to yourself .. so that when you go back to tomorrow .. you are smarter than you are today.

Along these lines of strange-ness I got this thing about » 10-28 and 10-29. You will think I'm crazy if I tell you how I got them .. but if something out of the ordinary happens on 10-28 and 10:29 .. then you can say » "He knew. He somehow knew."

Right now I have no idea what might happen on thise days .. I dont even know what days of the week they are. But I can certainly (try to) find out.

Here's what I know for sure » June 28th is day WWI began [ 100 years ago, to the day ] and June 29th is the day after. The day after WWI began.

It kind freaks me out a little, but I can't really write it publically. And it's really no big thing. But, yes earlier I was feeling like it was yesterday. Really, really.

In that respect » Edge of Tomorrow is a love story. I really like that she gives him one and only one kiss .. at the very end. Talk about a meaningful kiss.

"What's that you say? I have to face the whirling killers of death every day until I can proceed onto the real death machines themselves? Okay .. let's DO this thing."

On the way home, I had a friend ask me what I thought and I said that I was somewhat blown away and that I probably needed a few days to fully digest the "experience."

Well, now is "a few days." I totally did not expect that to go here. Wow. It's kinda of freaking me out. Cuz I keep trying to set it aside and it keeps coming here.

Let me try to quit one more time .. by saying this (let's see if this works) .. let me (try to) conclude by telling you what I told my friend » "I was struck by, first of all, Tom Cruise's ability to show vulnerability." Almost blown away.

I did not know Tom Cruise had it in him. Or maybe I just associate (in my mind) Tom Cruise with something or someone who does not know vulnerability.

» Sweaty Warrior Chick Does Yoga Amid the Whirling Blades of Death

Emily Blunt doing yoga amid the whirling blades of death in Edge of TomorrowSecondly, I told my friend that "I was struck by the girl doing yoga amid the whirling blades of death ..

.. peace and calm and tranquility in the midst of the storm."

That shit got my attention .. in a big way. [ Full Metal Bitch. ]

Notice how she refuses to let him fail .. no matter how badly he might want to. (At times.)

"Hey, I'm not even qualified for combat."

"I'll teach you."

"Again!"

" Again! You must succeed or die."

The Tom Cruise line that made me laugh out loud (I was the only one laughing.) » "Oh! Come ON now!"

I totally am familair with the frustration and exasperation that this scene evokes. "No, please! I can still feel my toes."

Whenever I laugh out loud by myself like that .. it makes me think of the Writing class I had a F&M. Cuz I laughed out loud by myself in that class, too. [ You can't help it if something strikes you fancy or plays off of your sense of humor. ]

Notice also, that this is the very place/scene where the MOVIE ENDS. [ The place where she does yoga amid the whirling blades of death. ]

That was a great look by Tom at the end. And he made it look easy. From there the imagination is set loose to run free.

Regarding the ultimate warrior chick doing yoga amid the whirling blades of death .. there is a scene in Deepak Chopra's book on Buddha. It also is a creative thing based on what facts can be ascertained from anything that happened twenty-five hundred years ago.

And in Deepak's story .. he has an old ascetic explore and wander up to this place where super-duper devils hang out. (No air to breathe.)

And the ascetic is meditating in front of this bad-ass demon .. who starts giving him shit and telling him how badly he is going to fuck him up for daring to enter his domain.

Until the old ascetic guy says, "Buddha is coming, dawg. Just thought you might wanna know. And he will have your ass." It's like he's fucking with the demon.

Anyway, maybe you can see why I thought of that scene in Deepak's story about Buddha when I saw that girl perfectly still amid the whirling blades of death.

And she is sweating .. and doing a cobra. Dude, cobra is hard to do. If you can do a real cobra .. you are a real yoga chick (like Kino).

Tho being hot-n-sweaty makes the body, the muscles, the joints, more pliable. In other words, you can stretch better and further when you're hot and sweaty.

And everybody knows that yoga chicks ruin you for all other women. It's like wrestling with a python. A strong muscular python. A most sensuous constrictor.

Hemingway says that .. good writing is when the reader feels like it really happened to them. Like it becomes real for them.

If (when) I am really going to summon the full range of my artistic abilities for an entry .. I will not drink any coffee for three days (..HeadachesVille) and then, on the fourth, have a cup .. and go to work. Eating only fresh oranges if you get hungry or tired.

The effect is dramatic. You not only reap the sense of self-control by denying your body something (demonstrating self-control) .. but you also get the vrrrrmmm that comes after the cup . And now, if you dont eat very much for the next day or two .. you are feeling the energy very strongly.

The NSA must have control of my computer .. because the words » "that is crazy" just flashed up on the screen.

No, you can't do this often. And yes, it is manipulating body chemistry .. so you have to make sure that your intention (aim, goal, desire, outcome) is defensible.

And I am there now for that .. but it is coming here. What does that mean? It doesnt always mean what you think it means .. usually it means FAR MORE THAN you think it means.

But my entry on the movie seems to be COMING WITH the flirt. I feel like I need to think about that.

Fear of the unknown. Edge of the lunar landscape. "Hello?"

Hmm .. maybe I do not need to first off-load / write my impressions of the movie. I have much more to say about the movie, tho. Thoughts. Impressions. How the movie resonates with me in particular.

My biggest question .. that I found myself pondering .. is » how much of the movie is the director and how much is the writer?

Either way, that means that the director kicks ass. Even if the writer kicked ass ass and was responsible for much of the story.

Let me throw out some words that capture, maybe, my sense of the film » imaginative. expansive (in a mind-expanding sort of way).

It challenges you to be persistent and keep at it (whatever "it" might happen to be for you) .. until you get it .. even if you keep getting your ass kicked.

By those clever fucks who seem to know what you're thinking .. who seem to know what you're going to do before you do.

And the crew that you have to work with is certainly a motely looking bunch. So you are gonna have to figure out a way to whip them into shape .. and do it quickly because you don't have much time.

Was not the arc of Tom Cruise's character rather dramatic?

At the very end, the girl is like » "Who said you can talk to me?"

And he is like » "You're not going to believe this, but .. the more I talk the more believable it will sound. Let me tell you some things about yourself that no one else in the entire universe knows." [ That always gets their attention. ]

And you can only really get to that place with someone when you have told them things that nobody else knows. [ That's called intimacy. ]

But the more you know about a person .. the more intimately connected to them you feel. Which tends to complicate things and can affect your rational sense of judgment. So maybe you shouldnt tell me your middle name. Cuz it only seems to make it harder to do what I need to do.

<ignore this intentional text marker>

But most girls do not want to go out to the edge of a lunar landscape with you. No. Thery are like, "What the fuck are you doing?"

And I say, "I am doing what I must do. If you don't want to come along, I can totally understand that. If fact, I would think it crazy that you would want to come. So I won't tell you what to do if you don't tell me what to do? Deal? But this is what I was doing when I met you, isnt it? How many times can you insist that a man change to accomodate your desires before you start to lose respect for him? So if you can't reconcile yourself to those facts-on-the-ground .. then we should probably call it quits here and protect the memory of the good times we had. Because they were indeed good. Very cool. Double very."

But does it not seem like the way that Tom Cruise keeps getting killed (everyday) plays into my relationships with girls?

This feels very organic. Not easy to do it like that. (I've never done anything like this before. At least, I don't think I have.)

» The Yearning

But there is a yearning inside the heart of every man to resonate with a person who can explore the depths of each other. You might use the term soul-mate, but that term seems to be the object of _____ (you fill in the word) due to people who find the object so elusive. (illusive?)

That word will work for now .. but I am actually talking about transcending that. Or at least I think am.

And when you communicate on an intimate level .. you natural must look to yourself .. in order to really see the truth in and the gist of the thing that you want to communicate.

You have four or five minutes. As you can see, I do not have that limit. But I do not have video. I have text and images .. and only links to other videos that others have made. Actually, I get my images from the web, too. But I re-size them .. so give me some credit there.

Along with the skill involved in choosing an image that resonates with the text .. in a clever, artistic, even funny way.

Have you ever noticed that you said something to somebody and they took it the wrong way because they did not have the same experiences that you yourself have had. (That usually suks.)

Hold on a sec while I go do some yoga and meditate and pump iron .. okay, I'm back. Whew .. that felt good. (No, I didnt actually go do it, it was a joke, but the idea does sound appealing. Down-dog back-stretch.)

Guys are, generally speaking, more into things that you do with their bodies .. than with their minds .. as if you didnt already know. But if we must do the mind thing in order to be welcomed into the body thing .. then let me put on my thinking cap ..

.. because I seem to have the body thing figured out rather well, if I don't say so myself. (Tho I most certainly do.)

I did not mean to go off on a tangent there .. I was intending to discuss something else. But before I tell you that .. I first need to tell you this other. No, just kidding. But maybe not.

One of the best things about an intimate relationship .. is that, you can learn lot about yourself by the things that the other person can see about you .. that you-yourself can't see .. from your perspective of looking out from the inside.

Now, sometimes, unfortunately, some people can only see the bad. They even seem to see bad that you yourself can't see .. no matter how hard and long you look.

There is much here we [ ooh, I am talking about relationships now. cool. ] we could talk about .. but the short version is this » you don't want to be around people who can only see bad things in you. Rather, you want to be with people who see mostly good (.. for at least 26 or 27 days a month).

And if you let me help, I bet we can get it up to 28 or 29. You should always leave yourself something short of perfection. Something to strive for.

Nobody wants to be around anybody who cannot see how truly cool you really are. At least, not for very long.

My inner critic is funny. He is like, "Dude, how am I supposed to edit this shit?"

But he is the best of the best. What what he does with. It may take him a while, cuz I give him so much to do. And he will probably give me shit while he's doing it .. but he usually impresses me.

The entry on » Writing .. is good because it allows me to SHOW you something .. when I tell you something. (That's actually a cool thing.)

To be honest, I somehow feel that my 'thing' for Miss Lauren is beyond mere physical attraction. Beyond flirting. Beyond even sex (.. if such a thing is possible). Women have caused me so much pain in my life that I don't go there unless big horses are dragging me. It's probably a Pavlovian thing.

I will also admit that flirting need not include sexual innuendo. Sure. But humans are (naturally) sexual creatures. That's how we make the next generation come alive. Afternoon delight. In other words » it's hard-wired into our genes. And people who repress mother nature usually pay a price.

I once had a girl tell me » "You have a very healthy approach to sex." (Or something like that.)

I did not follow up with questions seeking to understand more about what (precisely) she meant .. which, I guess, would explore what, to her, represented an 'unhealthy' approach.

But yes, sex should be (is) a beautiful, sacred, intimate thing. A union of two souls exploring the universe together. This is why hostility in a relationship is so destructive .. because it makes you reluctant to let down your guard, which is necessary for intimacy. And sex without intimacy .. why bother?

Too let down your guard .. that involves » vulnerability, no? That takes courage. I have always admired people who are confident enough to let themselves become vulnerable.

Because I know how hard it can be.

What do you call a relationship that involves no vulnerability? I don't know .. but it hardly seems worth pursuing.

Franklin & Marshall campus | Lancaster, PennsylvaniaSpeaking of innuendo (earlier) .. while I was at F&M, the English professor there returned a paper to me once, marked with the word » 'innuendo'.

(He used green ink, btw, to mark up your essays, which I thought was clever on his part. We submitted one essay each week for the entire semester.)

I had heard of the word, but wasnt sure what it meant by it, so I looked it up in a dictionary to see what he was saying.

My understanding after reading the definition was that innuendo was an indirect implication, where you are (merely) suggesting something rather than coming right out and saying it directly.

Which yes, I was trying to do in that particular paper. Subtlety. Nuance. Nobody comes right out says » "I would like to have sex with you" .. even if they would.

My point is that I was using a technique that I did not even know had a name. He did not say the technique was wrong or bad (.. I dont think, anyway) .. only that he identified it (by name). So it was a natural thing for me. (Know thyself.)

I should also note that I can be direct .. if the situation warrants it. (Watch me talk to Lanny a little further down the page.)

Oh, I see you have sat down with the Bond King. And posted three or four segments. It looks like you are here in Newport Beach.

I would come and take you out for a taco at La Fogata there in Corona del Mar (.. where Kobe goes) and introduce you to Norman, who runs the joint. [ Norman is very cool. His daughter is the same age as my son.

Lean, tight, strong, athletic, flexible, muscularTho he says that Kobe has been sending his "personal assistant" to pick up lunches lately. He says "she's in great shape". "I bet," I said. ]

Then I would even invite you to join my blue-eyed son and me to see How to Train your Dragon II (strong reviews) at the Big Newport .. but I have no car, no driver's license. (Long story. Very long.) It would take all day to get there on the bus.

Update - I saw this movie with him the day before the Fourth of July. Oh my God. I had such a good time with him. Hadnt seen him in a while. I so badly wanted our time together to be flawless. It was better than I could have imagined.

He is such a cool kid. I am so proud of him. I mean, he is impressive. He is able to hold a decent conversation about a wide array of topics .. for a nine year old.

And then fireworks together on the Four. Best fireworks ever .. specially the grand finale. Wow. Double wow.

The Fourth has always been my favorite holiday. The Fourth is also the day that his mom left with him. Nine years ago. To the day. His age makes the need for counting unnecessary.

Anyway, I think this is our 3rd Fourth together. I had such a great time with him that it actually reminded me of the time I had when my mom came down to Lancaster with Nana .. to spend a long weekend with me there.

Supernaturally good. Fun. Easy. Lots of laughs. The best restaurants. A piano player named Fess tickling keys in the background somewhere.

I think she knew that she was going to die. Not consciously, no. Because she didnt find out about the cancer until the week after she left to return home. But I think she knew. And I've always been grateful for that weekend. Beyond what (mere) words can express.

Anyway .. one of the first things that the Bug and I like to do (on the evening of our first night together) .. is to watch the latest episode of Wipeout ..

Jill Wagner busts a move on Wipeout.. with the Johns (serious John and silly John) and Jill Wagner ..

.. who just dyed her hair blond. (She's very funny. She 'gets' guy-humor.)

We laugh our asses off. These people, the contestants, they get smacked down like you wouldnt believe.

For $50,000. So they're motivated.

This was the first time that the Bug rooted for some and against others. Before, we used to watch only for the entertainment value. (Splat.)

Now he has favorites. Interesting to watch kids and see how they develop. How their preferences change over time.

We saw season 7 on YouTube, but they probably banned it by now, and I am having trouble getting video to play from their site. From the Wipeout site. I have tried several different browsers.

Oh, look at this » I did not even know that they had a Wipeout for kids. 30 million views. Must be popular.

He was tops in his class in reading. He started out in the middle of the pack, his mom told me. And then climbed up to position #3 for the longest time, and right at the end, he slipped in to first place. #1. "Just like I did in Calculus," I said.

They have been reading Harry Potter books. 750 pages? In third grade? You gotta be kidding me.

He is on book #4 in the series. I have not read any of them, but my rock-climbing buddy said they were excellent.

The students read a book and then log in to take a computerized test that evaluates their reading comprehension.

» Repression Plays a Role in Many Mental Illnesses

When he comes over .. he wants to play all the games that his mom won't let him play (.. cuz she says they are violent).

I do not see these games as violent. Moreover, it is clear to me how the effects of repression can be detrimental. Notice particularly how it says that repression » "plays a major role in many mental illnesses." (unquote)

When we got to high school, my Catholic friends went wild. Because .. my theory goes .. they were all repressed in grade school (K-thru-8).

I mean, on weekend mornings, we would hear rumors circulating around the neighborhood about the crazy shit they had gotten into the previous night. Lots of steam needed to be blown off .. so naturally, it took a while.

My point is that parents must guard against creating pent-up frustrations by repressing natural desires.

I could really get off the porch here .. in a big way. But this is not the place. Tho mentioning it here will likely remind me to take up the cause later against the effects of parental repression.

He asked me to make my pasta, and I had just made it a few days prior. But I made another fresh batch anyway .. plus I made him a taco. But he is really a bacon hound.

"What are your favorite foods?" I once asked. "Bacon," he said right away. Before adding, ".. and candy." (You can't make this up.)

You should hook up with one of those super-smart, super-rich guys who work for the Bond King. (I hear he pays top dollar in order to recruit the very best talent.) I'm sure they would be more than happy to show you the town (.. in one of their Ferrari's). They can tell you the true-true about Bill .. the inside-scoop on his management style (.. off the record, of course).

Better yet, call up Mohamed and say, "What's up, dawg. It's Lauren. I'm here in Newport, interviewing Bill. Can you come by and pick me up at his office? You know where that is, right? What's that? Tell Bill to go fuck himself? That's funny .. cuz that's exactly what he told me to tell you. You guys should kiss and make up .. cuz Marissa specifically told me not to tell anybody to go fuck themselves .. even if I might want to, sometimes."

"The proof is in the numbers," Bill said. True that. Can't argue with performance. Even John Bogle says that Bill Gross defies gravity. Investing gravity. If anybody would know .. Mr. Jack would.

I like that you asked him those uncomfortable questions. That gave me respect for him that he would entertain them. [ Outflows and succession. ] He didnt have to field those questions.

I was actually surprised to hear you use the d-word (de-stabilizing). That's a big word. Because it carries big implications. But it plays into Roger's article (who quotes Mark Carney) and also to what the other guys who you mentioned (Lloyd & Larry) have said.

That makes you look sexy (even more than usual) when you throw out the d-word to Bill. That shit turns me on something fierce. You're lucky it wasnt me there holding the camera. [ Now, *that's* (what I call) flirting. Harmless, I assure you. Tho I should probably take a cold shower. ]

Oh, look at this. Too funny. Here I thought I was being totally original. Digitally avant-garde. Tho check the date » June 28. That means they're totally stealing & adapting my technique.

[ Note that today's entry is dated » May 2nd. Nearly two months earlier. Tho I did not start flirting right away. Rather it took a while .. 'til I couldnt stop myself. But it was feeling organic, natural.

» Flirting with my Sociology Professor

Speaking of natural and organic .. let me share with you a vignette about my flirting. Now, the Dog dated (secretly) his writing professor at Columbia. I have never dated any of my professors. My balls werre not that big.

But I sometimes found myself flirting with them. It was during the semester when I had both Sociology and Economics (.. the only two classes I had that semester, cuz I was working full time. More than full-time, actually. Macro-economics. Big picture concepts, as opposed to Micro-economics..)

Anyway, we had a black-lady professor for the Sociology class. I want to say that she was the dept head, but I am not sure about that. In other words, it wasnt her position that intrigued me.

Yes, we had a text-book, but she also assigned » Tally's Corner for us to read, and which we would discuss in class, along with topics in the text.

I would say that she was the young-side of middle-aged, but she had a certain spark about her .. hard to describe, but the effect was that I felt she was in some (noble) ways » a superior human being. A feeling which I do not often get. From very many people.

Which I don't often feel. I felt genuine respect for her .. in a refreshing kinda way. An inspiring sort of way.

And I was learning very cool things in her classs. And I felt myself resonating with her .. to a degree.

After the first major exam (50 questions .. multiple-guess), I brought an apple to school with me that night. These were both night classes (7-10PM).

And I normally arrive early, but this night I was a few minutes late (California traffic), which was no big deal, cuz kids wandered in late all the time.

So she was already addressing the class and talking about how she was going to return the exams and we were going to discuss the questions, so you could see what you got wrong.

And my seat was all the on the other side of the room .. so I had to walk right in front of her while she was addressing the class.

And as I made my was across the front of the class, I pulled the apple out of my pocket and transferred it to my left hand.

As I passed her desk, I made solid (intimate?) eye contact as I set the apple down in front of her. She returned eye contact, then looked down at the apple as I set it down.

Then she looked back up at me as I broke eye-contact on my way to my seat, but she never stopped talking .. as I walked to the far end of the room.

To be honest, I did not plan it like that .. it just kind of happened as the situation presented itself.

I enjoy shit like this .. throwing out a spur-of-the-moment wildcard and taking careful note of how the object responds.

And sometimes they disappoint you. And sometimes the meet your expectations. And sometimes they exceed them.

It seems to me that people tend to remember those responses that exceed your expectations, no?

She did not stutter .. not one bit. She cooly finished her professorial spiel (shpiel?), then turned (left) to address me and (very nicely, right on the edge of » sweetly) said, "Thank-you."

"Ooh, she's smooth," I thought. [ I had already been thru six years in the nuclear Navy and several commercial nuclear plants, so I was no teeny-booper .. like most of the other students. ]

During the subsequent break, after we had reviewed the questions on the exam .. I was going to walk out and she said to me as I walked by, "So .. you're not just another pretty face."

I couldnt help but smiled

"Which one did you get wrong?" she asked. [ I had gotten 49 out of 50 right. ]

So I returned to my desk and got the exam and set it down on her desk next to the apple. She came along-side, rather closely, and looked at the question. I could feel the electricity sparking between us and its strength surprised me.

It's strength and its .. what's the word? .. complexity? Its sophistication? I'm not sure how to describe it. But it felt beyond playful. She was not intimidated or flustered. Not hardly. "Oh, you know that," she said.

"Actually, I didnt," I said.

You readers probably want me to tell you more of the juicy-juice, but I will not go there right now. Like I said, tho, I do not have the balls that the Dog has.

I think my point in sharing this story, other than to reveal my flirting techniques .. is to say that » it is MORE THAN a merely physical thing that attracts me .. that gets my attention. It is that feeling you get when you (naturally) feel like you resonate with someone.

It was in this very same (Sociology) class where there was a girl, who followed me around from seat to seat. I am not going to say to a girl, "Leave me alone." .. but finally the professor, this same lady, finally said to this girl in the class, "Will you please leave that man alone."

She said it with just enough sharpness to make it effective, but with tact. Yes, right there in front of the whole class. Where she discussed how some girls go to college in order to get "an M. R. S. degree". I had never heard that phrase before.

But yes, I have had trouble with people being clingy .. so I sometimes find myself in a quandary .. in which people help extricate me from.

This is the reason I brought the apple .. to express my appreciation for helping me out there .. with that girl who was chasing me around the room .. as I tried to get away.

She rescued me from the crazy girl. And made it look easy. And taught the whole class a lesson in college sociology. How can you not be impressed?

In other words > I appreciated what she had done for me and I felt a desire to express that appreciation. Which is very similar to how I feel about the pretty, intelligent girl at Yahoo Finanace.

Speaking of the allowing things to evolve organically .. I am a big believer in the organic relationship. If it works, it works. If you have to make it work, or force it to work .. then maybe it wasnt meant to be. Rather » LET it work.

In Portrait of the Artist of a Young Man (1916) Joyce recounts his youth growing up in late nineteenth century Ireland, where he describes his dad as » something of a flirt.

[ Yes, I have more than a little first-hand experience in this area. ]

Oh, look at this » In the New York Times, Egan is quoting Bill from your interview. Score! (for you). Egan rocks. He has that edge that I like. He slices and he dices. The Times' Ginsu man. I particularly enjoyed this sentence » "As long as the Supreme Court says that corporations are citizens, they may as well act like them." That's definitely a Ginsu sentence.

Remind me to come back and talk about the decision behind Super-Rich-Citizens-United and what it says about the values of those who revere money.

(I grew up with an Egan. He took no shit from anybody. One tough fucker. Catholic boy. In high school, when the cops threw him in the back seat of the cop car one Saturday night, he simply climbed out the door on the other side and ran away. You can't make this shit up. He was best friends with All-American Lance, who lived across the street. Both Irish boys. Fast runners.)

I would have asked Bill, "Dude, is it true that you're an asshole to work for? You seem like such a nice guy to me. You have such a gentle voice."

To be honest, I cannot picture Bill as an asshole. He seems genuinely genial to me. But I know from personal experience how some people can seem charming in public, but turn into total jerks behind closed doors.

Most of all I was struck by his side-comment that he (jokingly) says his wife says that he "can never retire."

I find this telling .. because (.. they obviously don't need the money, and ..) it has been my observation that the biggest (micro-managing) assholes at work are those who wives boss them around at home.

I actually stumbled upon this observation .. quite unexpectedly. But do your own research and I'll bet you will find truth in my observation. (Yes, I have stories. Good ones. Too good to publish.)

I try to explain this phenomenon by the fact that most people tend to strive for balance in their lives. If they are getting bossed around at home, then they seek to balance that out by bossing around (micro-managing, nit-picking, control-freaking) their employees at work.

I cannot work for these types of people, I have found. I can work for strong ("driver") bosses and actually get along with them very well (if they are good at what they do).

But not with those who are getting henpecked at home .. tho I do not understand the reason for the difference. If I do not respect a man, it comes out. I find it difficult to hide my contempt. Which causes problems .. as you might imagine.

My best situations come when I work for a strong, competent boss who puts me in charge and lets me do my thing. Usually our differing management styles work well together.

Oh, I see you have addressed the issue. It looks like they totally rolled out the red carpet for you. And gave you the E-ticket tour. Good for you.

What a place. They HAVE TO get there early because the markets open at 6:30 local time. I bet they are out of there earlier than they lead on.

That annual meeting-conference thingie looks very cool. You should work Bill for an invite to that. Just sit in the back and listen to minds for a few days. That would be fascinating, no?

Bill said his bad rap is a misunderstanding. I could believe that. You look good in those full-body shots. Very photogenic. The camera likes you.

Oh, speaking of the camera liking you .. I just saw your piece on NetJets. Nicely done. I admit that my imagination got carried away there a little.

I like the point at which you ask him, "What specifically?" .. because this says to me that you do not assume that everybody knows what people are talking about. I feel that most people would avoid such clarifying questions.

And it seemed like the second guy there was present only to make sure that the tall guy didnt say anything stupid.

I have never had sex on a plane. Seems like I am the only one who has not. The 30 thousand foot club .. you know.

But those bathrooms on commercial planes are so cramped and the harsh lighting in there features that unromantic florescent glare. Myself, I need a bed the size of a boxing ring.

Speaking of sex aboard moving mass transportation .. remind me to tell you the story about my train ride from New Haven down to boot camp in Orlando, Florida (a 2-day trip), when I was 18. That's a good story.

Your suggestion to imagine traveling with a group of 9 of your closest friends made me think of the time a friend named Matto (in Lancaster, Pennsylvaina) came by the house on New Year's eve drving a huge Winnebago and picked us up for a rolling party on wheels .. where we went to one party after another.

That was one of the best New Years eve's I ever had .. maybe thee best. Picked up at your doorstep and dropped off later that night. No driving. No worries.

When a dozen people walk into a house, the party comes alive. I wore a bright, sparkly tie that everybody seemed to like. We spent 45 minutes to an hour at each party before moving on to the next place.

Anyway .. you're fortunate that it wasnt me there on that plane holding the camera. NetJet guy » "Hey, why is that cameraman closing the door?" [ I could probably figure out how to operate a digital camcorder if your regular goes on vacation. ]

Paul McCulley Uses the Term » Construct (Say what, Paul?)

Also, I just saw your interview with Paul McCulley, the Chief Economist at Pimco (.. who seems very nice).

Floating TreeI couldnt help but notice that he used the word » construct.

At t=3:03 remaining) ..

.. which I made note of in reference to the interview you did with Bethany ..

.. to the point of pulling down the definition of the term from Wikipedia. And throwing up the floating tree graphic.

I wasnt going to bring it up [ .. Paul's use of the word » construct ] but my ego is like » "Dude, come on now .. really .. who (outside of programmers) ever uses the word 'construct'? He is *totally* reading your shit."

Notice how he actually pauses (for effect) for a few seconds .. before uttering the word. Camera zooms to a close-up of his face. Love it!

Regarding the effect of the taper itself, I read somewhere that the end of this year (Nov-Dec) will be a revealing time as to how markets respond to elimination of the stimulus.

I will also note, as a viewer, that in some of your newer videos, you speak very s.l.o.w.l.y. Is that something Katie Couric told you to do? Cuz I prefer your more-rapid speech patterns.

That's actually one of the things .. one of the key things .. that drew me to you .. wherein I resonate (.. automatically, without trying). That seemingly fearless live-liness that comes with a broad command of the relevant topics .. readily at your disposal. At your finger tips, so to speak. (This is not flirting, no. This is honest feedback. Hopefully the difference is apparent.)

Plus I feel it shows you that you know your shit .. that you are not at a loss for related concepts, and that you neednt search long for what you are trying to say.

Your quicker cadence seems more natural (.. for you, anyway). More engaging. Maybe in front of the camera, when you are not interviewing someone, perhaps then a slower cadence is more appropriate.

I am no public speaker, but I have always felt more comfortable when the speaker has a livlier cadence .. because it does not give my mind a chance to wander. I stay with the speaker better that way. But that's just me.

After a class one time, in the commercial Nuclear industry, I approached the dude who taught it and told him that I appreciated his lively cadence .. that (like I told you) it was easy for me stay with him .. that I jibed with the flow of his delivery.

He thanked me for that comment, and I'm sure he enjoyed getting a compliment. (Dont we all?) He was from Massachusetts, I noted, which produces some of our nations more intelligent (and funnier) citizens .. it has been my experience over the years.

Also, it seems like you guys have done away with the Daily Ticker. What's up with that? Now you just have all your (individual) names listed. I like the Daily Ticker better .. if you want my opinion. Teams are harder to build but more powerful.

But maybe Aaron's wife likes things more separate? That would certainly be understandable, no?

Oh, update. You guys are tweaking the menu. Now they have only Aaron's name and the rest of you get » "More »". But the "More »" link is not working.

Must be Javascript (enabled by). Do not require JavaScript for menu navigation. That is web design 101. Hopefully somebody will fix it soon. But even *with* JavaScript enabled, the "More »" link was doing jack shit.

[ The problem with the "More »" link is that the webpage already has so much JavaScript enabled stuff going on that the "More »" link is competeing with with so many other things in order to be executed. And sometimes there is a pronounced delay that makes it seem like the "More »" navaigation link is not working. Which is why I don't like the "More »" link used in navaigation .. especially on a page that already uses tons of JavaScript. ]

You can use JavaScript, sure .. but don't let its disablement (like I and others do) mean that your navigation is broke. To find your entries I had to search Google. It's almost like somebody doesnt want your entries found. Here is your page at Yahoo Finance.

Oh, look at this. Speaking of Bill being an asshole .. wow. I am speechless. I will need to think about that for a while. Go, Bill. Kick some ass and take names while you are doing it. See what you started, Lauren? You got Bill feeling his litigating oats.

Oh, I see you are back in New York. That was quick. With Lord John Browne. I see. You are clever. That makes sense. Clears up a lot of questions. I am kinda clueless about these things. You would think after living for in Laguna ten years I would be more savvy. To be honest, the thought never even occurred to me.

I asked the Google a little about you (not much, really) and the Google said you had (among other things) gender studies in school. Dbl major. That makes sense, I guess. Hey, I studied a gender or two myself .. tho I am sure that my techniques are not listed on any officially authorized document.

It's always best to learn these (intimate) things one-on-one. That's what I always say. Isnt it fun to meet new, interesting people?

I hope that you are collecting a database of phone numbers that you can turn to should you ever need to ask future questions these people who you are (have been) interviewing.

Come on now .. what man is not going to want to give you his number? Puh_leeez.

But such a database would give you access to an impressive array of minds .. with a wide variety of specialties. I guess email addresses would also work.

I have some good stories for you along these lines. Not publishable. But I have long noticed the (downright cruel) heterosexual nastiness [ fuck that noise ] that can come into a relationship not long after a marriage performed by a priest in a church.

So I could quickly see that there are more important things than conforming to societal norms. Things like love and respect and trust and thoughtfulness and kindness and consideration and empathy. I could go on here, but these things are more important in a relationship. Any relationship.

But when you are not a certain way, these alternative things do not even occur to you (uh, me). We tend to project ourselves onto others.

One time in Hawaii, one of our co-workers (a shipmate) was "coming out". Or trying to work up the courage. You know. And the Dog says to me, "Come on .. we're going to support our friend and take him to a gay bar and try to find a nice gay guy for him."

[ Hula's there in downtown Waikiki .. mere walking distance from where I was living with the Dog. They had a big banyan tree growing from the ground right there in the courtyard. Very cool place. Like being in a jungle. ]

Three of us straight guys went with him. I thought myself very modern. Very liberal. I was a little freaked out, but being with a group of straight guys made me feel more safe. But when I had to go to the bathroom, I made one of them come with me .. cuz I was scared of being alone there in a gay bar by myself. I was afraid some gay guy would hit on me on my way to the bathroom. (Silly me.)

Actually, later, after I'd had a drink, one of the boys serving drinks there walked by me as I was standing there. He stopped right in front of me and turned and said (most enthusiastically), "Where have you BEEN all my life?" Which made me laugh.

I was not threatened (surprisingly). He wanted to take me home. He kept telling me what time he got off. He made me laugh. But he was not masculine. He was very small, petitish, girlish. Maybe that is why he didnt freak me out.

Our friend who was coming out was very masculine. He was very nervous about the whole thing and was very thankful for our being there to support him. Tho it was really the Dog who put the whole thing together.

Uh, looks like I got side-tracked there. Speaking of flirting in a way that is not meant to be derogatory ..

Obama with Denmark's Helle Thorning-Schmidt at Mandela's funeral on December 10, 2013, as Michele looks on, obviously not happy.. look at his photo of Obama with the cutie from Denmark (at Mandela's funeral).

That looks like more than flirting, to me. What do you call the stage that comes after flirting?

Notice how he is » physically touching her (.. with his right hand). Is he not acting on impulse here? She looks smitten, no?

I imagine Helle asking » "You ever been to Denmark? What happens in Denmark, stays in Denmark."

I so badly want to put words into Michelle's mouth here, for this photo. But I won't. Yes, it is hard for me to stop them. Remarkable restraint I am showing, wouldnt you say?

I know that it is probably not as bad as it looks (.. here in this photo of Obama with Helle the Supreme Dane-ette). But you must admit » it *does* look bad. (They are glowing, no?)

» Martin Smith

Oh, I see you have interviewed Martin Smith. Wow. You get to sit down with and talk to the coolest people. You have the best job.

Of all the people in Media who I appreciate (of which you and Aaron are certainly a part .. heck, I'm even warming to Mackie) .. Martin Smith is probably my #1 favorite.

If I would've known that you were gonna be interviewing him, I would have asked you to to give him a kiss for me. (On the cheek, with lipstick.) And say, "That's from an admirer who appreciates your work."

It was while watching » The Unfucking Touchables (January 22, 2013) that I realized I could never do Martin Smith's job.

I am talking about the scene [ at t=50:00 ] where he is interviewing Lanny Breuer, the chief of the criminal division at the department of Justice, who says the reason that he declined to bring criminal charges against the big banks ..

.. is because he stays awake at night, worrying that a criminal case against a big bank might have "a ripple effect" in the economy.

And Martin asks Lanny » "Dude, do you really think it's your job as head of the criminal division at the department of Justice to worry about protecting the banks?"

Because, at that point, my head would have popped off and I would no longer be able to ask any more questions.

Actually, if you watch the video a minute before that [ at t=48:25 ] you will see where Martin's head actually does start to come off.

But by some superhuman feat which we will never understand .. he manages to keep his head on. A mere mortal would have been reduced to rivets long ago.

» Shame on you, Lanny

[ Shame the fuck on you, Lanny. You will go down in history as the prosecutor who couldnt, wouldnt, or just plain » didnt. (Probably all three.) You are obviously in the wrong job. You should be working for the banks instead of the people. I had such a slimy feeling after watching that program that I had to take a shower afterwards. You want shit to keep you up at night? Try making payments that you can't afford to stay in a house that you can't sell because your mortgage is underwater. While the bill collectors are gnawing on your ass regularly.

Let me tell you what keeps us regular American schmucks up at night. It's the stark realization that their government has been bought by rich fucks .. not unlike the people you refuse to prosecute. And that they will convince our government to shift the blame for their economy-wrecking fuck-ups on little people like us .. because they themselves refuse to accept responsibility for even the most egregious shit imaginable. Meanwhile they can't wait to foreclose on our asses so they can buy our homes out from under us for pennies on the dollar. You suck, Lanny. You are what's wrong with America. With post-2008, with post-Lehman America. You and slimy lawyers like you. ]

I am very much looking forward to watching that » United States of Secrets. Maybe tonight I will stay up late and get started on it. Three hours worth.

» Enlightening Hillary

Hillary should also watch these episodes. They should clear up many of her questions. I'm sure Thomas Drake and Jesselyn Radack or even Bill Binney would be more than happy to help enlighten her. Better yet, spend a few days in a prison cell next to Chelsea Manning and I bet most of her questions will magically disappear. (What does Elizabeth Warren have to say on the subject? This here is starting to resonate .. when Hillary talks disparagingly against Edward Snowden.)

Edward Snowden | July 10, 2014» Edward Snowden

How fun it would be to watch it with Edward Snowden. "Dude, did that really happen like that? Pass the Stoli."

I am just kidding about the Stoli, of course. Nobody who has been charged with espionage by Big Brother remains "zen-like and serene" by drinking Stoli. Not for long, anyway.

Oh, dude. Look at » this. Which says that Tech companies have withdrawn their support for the bill.

Is that a seismic event? Is that a fracture? An earthquake? That will be interesting to see how it plays out. Something about that is talking to me.

Oh, and look at » this. Ooh, I like that. I like that a lot.

I was glad to hear Barton describe you as » "Zen-like and serene."

I feel that your age works well as a validator .. because your generation grew up with technology. So that makes you better-qualified to make a judgment on things pertaining to technology ..

.. than some bureaucratic Luddite who is still trying to transition from the pre-digital era .. and who will be dead for a long time ..

.. while you and your generation are still dealing with Big Brother, and his penchant for inserting specially-designed tools into society's ass and threatens to hurt anybody who would dare tell a soul about it.

Your age gives you not only standing on the topic .. but also an expertise that the Luddite from the previous generation does not have.

I heard Glenn Greenwald say (something like) » "When we first saw Snowden there in Hong Kong holding the rubics cube, this young kid, I was kinda freaked out. Cuz we were expecting some old, grizzled CIA dude."

So I felt that Glenn missed the whole point there. Of which I could write a lot. But I won't. Cuz you already know what I am talking about.

Oh, I just saw this. Very nice. That says that you have been chatting with Oliver Stone. Wow. That blows me away. Good for you. Oliver Fucking Stone. Wow.

Anyway Lauren (I got carried away there talking to Edward), say hi to Heidi for me. I first became interested in the Guardian after Matt Damon had one of its reporters killed off.

I know the logic seems skewed, but I figure » any reporter who gets killed for talking to Jason Bourne .. must be working at a cool place. (And look, I was right!)

Everybody who works at the Guardian must be feeling the thrill of victory .. after they won the Pulitzer. Everybody even remotely associated with Edward Snowden, I'm sure, feels like they share in the prize.

Alan Rusbridger, Editor-in-Chief » The Guardian

Perhaps I should congratulate Heidi myself. You guys [ at the Guardian ] totally deserve the Pulitzer. Your editor, Mr. Rusbridger .. that is » one impressive fucker.

Mandela (1918-2013) with raised fistHe is tough .. Mandela-tough.

Who would want that job? You know they have a wide assortment of eyeballs inserted up into every available orifice.

"What's that tingling sensation I feel down there?" I'm sure they know about his bowel movements before he does.

Please give him my best.

One of the most haunting quotes that echoes in my ear after the Snowden revelations .. came from your editor. When he said (something like) » "This is beyond anything Orwell could ever have imagined. Way beyond."

This is probably why I feel a sense of kinship with him. So, if he ever needs a reference...

Seems only fitting that the character of Big Brother was created and defined by a Brit, no?

And I know that you guys dont have a First Amendment .. not that our government pays very much attention to it, anyway. But you must admit » it looks good on paper.

I would love to come visit and have a spot of tea, but Big Brother has seized my passport. (Long story. But it's about the money.)

If I were running the Guardian, I would send an autographed copy of the Pulitzer to my friends over at GCHQ, and then make a huge copy-enlargement and fix it to the front of the building ..

.. where everybody could see it. From far away. At night, I would have a light shining on it.

Oh, I just read » this. Very nice. It's resonates on multiple levels. You are kicking ass and taking names. People can't spend what they don't have.

Nice representative graphic. Do you pick that? Or does someone else?

Speaking of resonating .. see » this, by Druckenmiller and a friend. The WSJ page requires a subscription. (Money.) ]

Uh, looks like I got a little carried away there. I apologize. Speaking of thought-provoking shit that contains ideas which have lingered on ..

.. is (unrelatedly) this article by David Brooks » Stairway to Wisdom (.. maybe a little nod to Led Zepplin) .. because it seems to confirm one of my favorite quotes from Einstein » The only source of knowledge is experience.

No, that is not what Brooks is saying, but he is heading in that general direction.

Does not Einstein seem to be saying? » the man who has had the most experiences has the most knowledge?

Certainly you can read about what it is like to go to jail, but I can confirm that .. until they put on the shiny bracelets and take you away .. you don't really know what it's like to be incarcerated. (And maybe that is my point. Feel me?)

I used to not like David Brooks. He used to irritate me. But now he is one of my favorites. Not all his stuff, no. But he gets you thinking very nicely sometimes. (Such as » this one, for example. Yes. Totally. That's it.) Like it speaks to me in a way that challenges me. Or somehow causes me to grow.

My favorite Brooks article is » Archipelago of Pain. I gave him a big promotion for that.

Sometimes I make little comments like this to keep an article I like from getting lost. (Sorta like the way I feel about this piece by Krugman.) Later I may return and see/find a clever way to characterize Einstein's quote/idea. Or even play off Brooks himself.

Iron sharpens iron.

But let's return to accounting. My #1 least-favorite class ever. LIFO, FIFO. Go FIFO yourself. (First In First Out.)

Medici » Renaissance Bankers (Accountants)

And then maybe I will even tie it all in with the Medici bankers of the Renaissance (.. who knew a little something about how to maintain accurate accounting). God's bankers.

But here's my point ala Bethany » if you have a construct (any construct) that appears to be working only for a very few (.. maybe 400 people, total, according to some recent accounting audits) ..

.. at the expense of everyone else ..

.. then maybe you can see how the system that creates this accounting construct is » at risk. I mean, is this not intuitively obvious? To even the most casual of observers?

Accounting is a Necessary Skill, tho Not Much Fun

I should probably mention that my accounting class (at F&M) was my least favorite .. of any college class. I only took it (as an elective) because the course description said (something like) » if you are going to do even the most basic shit with a business, you need to know the fundamentals of good accounting.

So I took it cuz I thought I needed those skills .. and not because I found those skills necessarily interesting.

But I have been looking at our economic mess (historic inequality) and I can see that the people need to know wtf. At least, at a fundamental level. And that is where you find accounting.

This guy who taught my accounting class was not staff at F&M (.. whose professors truly enchanted me). Rather he was an actual, working accountant .. for many years.

And he live right next to me. In the very next building (condos). When he showed up at the front of the classroom, I said, "Hey .. I know that guy." We drank beers together after class once. So I was surprised when he capped my 89 at a B.

Colleges do A or B. Not A- or B+ like in grade school.

And since I saw his ass regularly (out there in the common parking lot, where he parked his silver Taurus, the ideal car for an accountant), I didnt want him to think I was a dumb shit .. so I actually learned my accounting rather well.

I was taking three other classes at that time and they were all vastly more interesting than accounting. So I had to really discipline myself there. This was in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Very nice city. Nice people. Fun.

Do they still have the farmers market that opens every Tuesday and Friday from 6 AM to 2 PM .. in that big red-brick building downtown? .. supposedly left to the people of the city by Thomas Jefferson himself. A super-prime piece of real estate that sits right in the heart of the city. It must be worth a fortune now.

Does that guy still blow the strong aroma of horseradish in your face with the fan .. on your way to the coffee stand? I loved that place. Great sense of community.

I would always arrive early .. 6:45 or 7 o'clock. Before the crowds began arriving. And while the merchants were still setting up their stands, their booths, their tables. I was always a sucker for the baklava. Yummy with a cup of coffee early in the morning. By the time I left, it would be crowded. The noise volume at a low roar.

During this semester at F&M, I took 4 classes. I had taken a lay-off from work. I had originally gone to Pennsylvania for a "four-to-six-week job" .. and ended up staying for five years. So I was able to collect UC, too. And use my GI Bill benefits. The old GI Bill. The good one. I was one of the last.

I would get home after 10 PM on Monday thru Thurs nights .. and sometimes pour myself a Tanqueray-n-tonic. And take a sip of the pine-needles concoction and think » "Ah, this is living." [ Remind me to tell you the story about the time the Bug said the very same thing to me. ]

I had been working 12-hour days forever-and-a-half. (You dont even know who you are after a while.)

Franklin & Marshall campus | Lancaster, PennsylvaniaThe F&M campus is very nice. I remember walking thru it ..

.. loving every minute of it.

The Dog told me that it is ranked one of the top-20 liberal arts colleges in the country. Sure, I could believe that.

"A hot-bed of liberalism in a decidedly conservative community."

Here in California, I might compare it to Chapman.

I am sure that I was enjoying myself far more intensely than any other student there.

Fall semester. So the leaves were changing. Plenty of trees on that campus. Some enormous.

Beautiful. Thank-God-beautiful.

I was driving a white 911 Targa back in those days. So my drives over to the campus were suh-weet. Warm enough to put the top down.

And I know I am a smart fucker who has seen some shit .. so yes, I am looking to compare ideas with intellectually inclined people. Very much so.

Anyway, I had to go back to work after that. That's when I went up to New York. Which let me be within a 75-minute drive to Nana's (.. where I grew up in Connecticut).

An Entire Semester Distilled into 10 Seconds

Anyway .. here is the dealy-O with accounting. The heart of it. The gist. I am going to break it down for you. One semester into 10 seconds. Ready? On your marks ..

Here we go! » you have two piles of shit. And these two piles must match » exactly. (To the kernel of corn.) Or your life becomes a miserable living hell .. looking for why and where (why & where these kernels of corn might be hiding).

Hit the stopwatch. How many seconds does it say?

Of course, if the people with the shit are trying to hide some of it .. then that only makes your job all the more difficult. (Shoot me now and put me out of my misery says the corporate accountant.)

Perhaps what I am trying to say is » I feel qualified to talk about » accounting.

My mom did the books for a guy who owned a local car wash, who gave me a job when I young. Wiping off wet cars and spritzing their white walls with that caustic shit that eats the rubber off of your sneakers.

Remind me to tell you the story about the two other kids that worked there with me. Two older dudes (17). After I got to know them, they were very funny. Kept me laughing. Educated me in ways I knew not. (The popcorn trick.)

Ah, but that's another story.

Accounting is all about » rules. These generally accepted rules of what constitutes good accounting practices. But that is where accounting starts to get ugly. So we wont go there.

But I should probably just note that .. if you are a government, then these rules do not apply to you. No, sir. Rather » you make it up as you go. Sounds like lots of fun, no?

But the main thing that you need to remember about accounting is » the two piles must match.

Eternal Vigilance is the Price of Liberty

Speaking of two piles .. notice that here in the States, for example, we see that about 400 people have an enormous pile (of shit) .. while the rest of us have a few kernels. "How can that be?" you say? Ah, now you're thinking.

More School Horror in Connecticut (Milford)

Perhaps I should say something about the student stabbing in Connecticut last Friday.

Speaking of Milford .. remind me to tell you the Tunie story of her going to Milford. I probably can't write that. But it's good. It ties in with the garage slam. "Know thyself," said Socrates. Tunie is like my sister.

Milford represents some of the happiest times of my life. Milford sits on the Sound. Long Island sound. So it feels like you are at the beach. Cuz you are. But the waves are not very big.

My grandfather used to take my cousin and I there a lot. More than anyone. It was a 30-minute ride, if you took the back roads. It was a very cool drive to the beach. Scenic Connecticut back roads. Gramps knew where all the best hot-dog stands were hiding, too.

When I was really small, my mom would take me there to feed the ducks (our old, stale bread). That shit was probably close as I ever came to experiencing Nirvana.

You would feel the temperature drop as you came near. And then the smell of the salty air. Gramps would take us fishing. We actually caught shit. Usually flat fish. But they fought hard.

So, to me, the idea of something like that happening there in Milford makes no sense. Maybe it has changed.

I knew people who knew people .. who had a place at the shore. In Connecticut, the summer does not last very long .. at least, not like it does here in California. So you wanna make sure that you take advantage of it.

The Dog once took me out to a place of a friend of his .. out in the Hamptons. Very nice. Easy to get used to. Life at the shore seems so fresh. Relaxed. Social.

Lance once took me to a place at the shore in Connecticut .. a classmate of his whose dad was wealthy. This place was sitting in a sand dune. Amid clumps of that cool tall grass that grows at the beach.

Light-colored hardwood floors. Multi-level. Windows and more windows. Fresh salty breeze. Whatever cocktail you might like to go along with college football. Six or eight college students just hanging out on the weekend and relaxing at a beautiful place. A nice lifestyle.

This is where I learned about » "Hash Under the Glass". But that's another story. Very cool glass, tho.


» Radiation tri-blade » I hesitate to use the term "solitary" to describe the time I spent in jail .. because I did such a short span. (Four days. Friday to Tuesday.) In other words, I dont want to insult the man who has done decades. (Yes, decades.)

Man sitting in a barred jail cell aloneSolitary Confinement

But if you go back and read my old Incarceration entry, you will see that I left myself a spot ..

.. to fill in my thoughts and observations under that very heading ..

.. because I could see that it was a topic of much consequence. For many people. Powerless people.

I sense that today would be a good day to discuss this topic in greater detail. And I have a few nice spins that my fingers are itching to twist.

And also because you might consider life aboard a nuclear submarine anything but private. Anything but solitary. With 150 dudes .. up close & personal. So that represents the expanse of my experience. My range. Respectable, no?

I would feel comfortable sitting around a campfire in Yosemite or Big Sur, discussing the topic of solitary with pretty much any intelligent person. (Long as it wasnt too cold out.)

So I feel like I can provide nicely nuanced perspectives. Either way, I am stoked about it.

Go to jail, go directly to jail, do not collect $200Cuz even if it suks, the illuminating quality of intelligent dialogue will be therapeutic.

Oh, this is an interesting development.

Yes, I was alone during my most recent visit, but I would call that 'isolated,' not alone. Yet I specifically tried to monitor myself .. to observe how the isolation was affecting me ..

.. to be aware, conscious, whatever term you care to call it when you are checking up to see whether you are freaking out ..

.. especially after what that dude told me about his experience.

"When They Opened the Door, I Exploded Out & Started Crying"

So let me tell you about the dude I met during my first time. To be honest, I forget his name. He had been in before, and he was sorta showing me the ropes, which is nice. Cuz he was good at it.

Tho he snored like a volcano for 20 hours a day. And when my coffee headache came, it was not pretty. Not in that concrete-n-stainless echo chamber. Not hardly.

If a representative from the Guinness Book of Records had been walking by our cell during that time, I am confident that he would have felt compelled to award us some certificate-of-achievement.

He told me how he had previously done six days in solitary and he was so freaked out by the experience that when they finally let him out .. he "exploded" out and started crying. Like it fucked him up.

The portion of today's entry that deals with solitary confinement has been off-loaded to Ye Olde Rad Blog v4 .. see here » Solitary Confinement. (This will help keep my topics better organized.)

» The Vatican Embraces Wealthy Pedophiles (Literally)

Did you see the Frontline special on the Vatican? (Released Feb 25. Two weeks ago.)

Pope John Paul II Gives a Warm Papal Embrace to Marcial MacielOh. My. Gawd. I was raised Catholic and I never knew this stuff.

John Paul II .. not cool, dude. That's him with arms wide .. embracing Marcial Maciel the pedophile. Over and over, again.

Why would the pope embrace a known pedophile? That's exactly the question I had myself. Watch the video, yourself. I dare you. I double-dog dare you.

This gives new meaning to the phrase » the system is about the money. I did not think that the sentiment in my earlier entry could get any uglier. I was wrong.

And all this has an interwoven narrative that involves the new pope. The job .. is to put the child-abuse scandal behind. But old ways are entrenched. It is really a battle of epic proportions.

And the side of good has been getting its ass kicked for one decade after another. And this last pope, the one who quit (.. Benedict, real name » Joseph Ratzinger, a German) something that hadnt happened in 600 years .. it was *his* job the bury that thing.

And he failed.

Pope Francis Does Not Judge GaysThis is why I feel that such a radically different pope was chosen.

The first-ever Jesuit. The first non-European pope in many centuries.

It is as tho the Catholic church is saying, "We're willing to try pretty much anything right now. Cuz we been getting our ass kicked by this child abuse sex scandal for so long."

When I heard what the new pope said about gays .. it made me think about what Peter said here.

The portion of today's entry that deals with the Vatican embracing wealthy pedophiles has been off-loaded to Ye Olde Rad Blog v4 .. see here » The Vatican Embraces Wealthy Pedophiles (Literally)

Sitting on a Red Park Bench on a Rainy DayThe Writer Behind the Writer

Sometimes I write .. and sometimes I am sitting back on the bleachers .. alone, sorta .. reclining back and resting on my elbows .. watching the writer in me write.

And I call out, "Who are you, dude? Who writes like this? Who says things like that? Who are you really?"

But he pays me no mind and remains focused. But he smiles. Because he finds it encouraging.

"I hope you dont think anybody is taking this seriously," I call out, teasingly.

No response. Laser beam focus.

And a few minutes later, I say more quietly » "Dude, you *are* the man. Let's DO this thing .. this righteous thing."

And then I say » "Oh look .. a few people are coming."

Post-apocalyptic WarriorAnd he says, "Cool. They must have got my message. That means it's time."

And I say, "Time for what?"

And he stands up and says, "Time to get this party started."

And these people came bearing special gifts .. that it gave them immense pleasure to use. The most amazing gifts.

And I say, "You're right .. I would never have believed this."

On the Trail of » Dostoevsky

Dostoevsky also plays off this notion of a writer behind a writer (.. behind a writer) .. in » Notes From Underground.

Speaking of Dostoevsky .. I have been on his trail for quite some time now .. but I have not yet caught up with him. Like Stanley chasing Livingstone thru the heart of Africa.

Fyodor Dostoevsky (1821-1881)But I have indeed found signs that he has been this way. Yes, sir.

Let me tell you what I've found. More than just broken branches and footprints.

As the one-year anniversary of Newtown approached and especially after the new reports that came out at that time .. I found myself (automatically) reaching for Dostoevsky.

For me, the most meaningful thing about Dostoevsky can be found on the inside flap of the Everyman copy of The Brothers Karamazov .. which begins

"Dostoevsky's towering reputation as one of a handful of thinkers who forged the modern sensibility .. [ and ends like this » ] .. told with hair-raising intellectual clarity and a feeling for the human condition unsurpassed in world literature."

In particular, note where he says » an unsurpassed feeling for the human condition. I would contend here that you cannot write with a feeling for the human condition if you do not HAVE ONE. (And a very good one at that.)

It is beyond the scope of today's entry .. but let me quote for you a short passage from chapter three [ titled » Second Marriage, Second Children ] that (for me) plays into the claim of Dostoevsky's "unsurpassed feel for the human condition."

In this passage Dostoevsky is talking about Ivan, the middle son, the middle brother, and how he was a "boy-of-genius" .. but how his father was a piece-of-shit (my words) who did nothing to support his son's education.

When I read this passage, it validated for me the claim of Dostoevsky's "unsurpassed feel for the human condition," which, until that point, seemed downright outlandish. See here »

» It must be noted that he [ Ivan ] did not even try at that time [ during his first two years at university, when he had no money ] to communicate with his father — perhaps out of pride or contempt for him, perhaps because his cold common sense told him that he would not get even the smallest token of support from his papa.

I could write much on this topic. Very much. But I won't. Only to say that the claim of Dostoevsky's "unsurpassed feel for the human condition" ceased to be hyperbole for me at that point. (With that sentence.)

The fourth paragraph of the [ 16-page ] introduction to this book talks about how one of the more remarkable things about this book is that it speaks fresh to each succeeding generation. .. "like that famous portrait whose eyes seem to follow you around the room."

Yes, I most certainly concur. It feels (somehow) like the book was written JUST TO ME. How can this be? A book written in 1879 and 1880. [ 135 years ago. ]

The novel's introduction [ written by Malcolm V Jones of England, not Pevear the translator ] begins by looking at what makes the Brothers such a classic. He says a lot of shit, of course, but none more awe-inspiring than this »

» "it echoes and develops some of the most ancient paradoxes and preoccupations [ neuroses? ] of humanity .. and foresees intellectual, social and political developments of our time."

What are the most ancient paradoxes and preoccupations of humanity? Whatever they are .. they seem to be calling me. Ancient things are very powerful. They must be .. in order to endure so long. This seems to induce a sense of reverence.

Does the phrase "foresees-developments-of-our-time" not sound a little like » prophecy?

The Brother Karamazov | Written 1879-1880 by Fyodor DostoevskyAnd the book also manages (somehow) to say different things to different people. How can this be?

Well, here is my take. The reason that it speaks fresh to each succeeding generation is because .. each generation must confront some the same challenges. To a certain degree, the song remains the same ..

.. at least until we get it right.

And as to the question about how the same book / story / novel / section can speak different things to different people, I will leave that for you to figure out.

But .. if while you are figuring out this riddle .. may I suggest that .. if you find yourself standing on a red X labeled » lightning-bolt of morality strike here .. step away.

I will send a hoverboard come to pick you up. Do not delay. And then you will also say » "You're right .. I would have never believed this."

Oh look. There is a new movie coming out in May based on one of Dostoevsky's novellas. The Double, starring Jesse Eisenberg, the guy who played Mark Zuckerberg. And Mia.

It was originally published in 1846. That means 168 years later, it still resonates.

As a reader, I find myself looking at different things in Dostoevsky than I do as a writer. And as a writer, the thing I keep coming back to is what Mikhail Bakhtin said.

Where he says that the principal distinguishing feature of Dostoevsky's major novels (.. this sounds to me like » the thing that makes Dostoevsky Dostoevsky) and the Brothers Karamazov in particular ..

.. which Bakhtin says never happened before Dostoevsky .. is that Dostoevsky gives all of his characters their own voice .. whereas all other writers (merely) give their characters a voice that is subbordinate to that of the author himself.

So it seems that Bakhtin is saying that Dostoevsky says to his characters » "Go do your own thing, and let me know when you're done, and I'll turn loose the next character."

I can't help but think that his mock execution had something to do with this. When he was marked for death. Because, if that doesnt fracture your personality, what will?

Along these lines I find interesting what Frank says here.

Brunelleschi Puts the Dome On .. Where Other Have Failed

On the subject of working up to one's ability .. let's look at Brunelleschi. Fillipo Brunelleschi (1377-1446). He's the dude who did what no one could do .. at least not for 140 years. No one.

Brunelleschi's Dome (1436) Sitting On the Florence CathedralHe's the dude who put the dome on the Florence Cathedral (completed in 1436, nearly seven centuries ago) .. and made Florence » the place to be.

One of the greatest engineering feats of all time.

For the artist or craftman who does what no one has been able to do .. that must be the sweetest, juiciest most-nectar feeling.

He lived for another 10 years after he finished the job. So he was able to enjoy the fruit of his labor .. unlike many other artists.

Nearly seven centuries later people are still trying to figure out how he did it. In this video you can hear master craftsmen say, "I've been laying brick for twenty years and I've never seen shit like this."

Botticelli was born (1445) the YEAR BEFORE Brunelleschi died.

Leonardo was born (1452) on the SAME DAY (April 15th) that Brunelleschi died (1446) .. exactly six years later. You've heard of Leonardo, yes?

Michelangelo (1475-1564) - was born 29 years after Brunelleschi died. He was born 39 years after Brunelleschi finished putting the dome on and Florence strutted about the world stage.

Guttenberg (1395-1468) had invented the printing press (movable type) in 1440-ish .. a few years after Brunelleschi finished the dome. The printing press has many parallels with the Internet, and especially with the Web. It is one of the main things (if not THE thing) that brought about the Renaissance (.. Rinascimento in Italian, rebirth).

Get-Out-of-Jail-Free cardMartin Luther posted his Nine-five theses in 1517 and the shit was on. Game the fuck on, dawg.

With the Catholic church, does it not seem like the problem remains the same? In Martin Luther's day, they were selling Get-Out-of-Jail-Free cards, signed by God himself (forgeries) ..

.. upon which Martin called 'bullshit'. And during more recent decades they've been selling other things .. things much worse.

Along the lines of "putting the dome on" .. remind me to tell you how I sometimes feel how I have been able to put on the dome .. where Dostevsky could not (.. who died 135 years ago, coincidentally). Because of censors and society and the culture of the day.

I know this is a ballsy statement. Sometimes the size of my cojones surprises even me. But the artist must push on .. cojones and all.

But I feel as tho I have evidence to back-up my admittedly, seemingly outrageous claim. Seeing that Dostoevsky has been called » "one of a handful of thinkers who have forged the modern sensibility."

What does that even mean? How do you help forge the modern, contemporary sensibility? How muscular does your arm need to be? What tests and trials are involved?

If you read on, those others dudes referenced by his "handful of thinkers" include the likes of » Shakespeare (Hamlet, 1602) and Cervantes (Don Quixote, 1605) and Goethe (Faust, 1808).

Tho I will probably conveniently forget to return and complete my boast .. leaving you wondering what it might have been. Then, when you least expect it, I will throw-down in some future post.

» More Sex With Powerful Women

Talking about sex with powerful women .. I went to see Monuments Men (which I thoroughly enjoyed) .. but we arrived 30 minutes early. So I sat in on some of 300: Rise of an Empire.

Obama with Denmark's Helle Thorning-Schmidt at Mandela's funeral on December 10, 2013, as Michele looks on, oviously not happyI think it was the latter portion .. but which included the scene from the trailer ..

.. where the dude runs and jumps off the cliff .. descending like a falcon in freefall.

You know the scene. The one where you can almost hear him thinking » "Your ass is mine, bitch."

At the turn of the next century, Film buffs will look back on that as one of the greatest cinematic scenes ever to grace a screen. Right up there with » "Say hello to my little friend."

I love shit like that. But I also saw the scene where the Spartan Numero Uno Stud goes for a ride to the Bad Girl's barge. They play. Wow. Tho the woman is left unsatisfied.

In the very next scene, she systematically demonlishes his entire fleet .. nearly single-handedly. Which was about the time I had to go (.. MM was starting).

The scene where the Bad Girl walks away in dreamy slow-motion, and everything behind her on fire .. and you can almost hear her thinking » "I *told* you I would light this bitch up. Didnt I?

As I walked out, I thought » "they got that shit right." [ « Frustrated woman singlehandedly wrecks death and destruction far as the eye can see. ]

I thought that the encounter at the barge was strong .. if not downright surprising. I just want to mention it here because I may have some more thoughts to share on the subject.

Who'd-a ever thunk that such a pretty little girl might enjoy getting thrown around a room.

TexasSnowden Does SXSW » Live From Moscow

You didnt think I was going to omit mentioning Snowden at SXSW, did you? I am so happy that I going to tell you stories I ordinarily would not. Relevant stories .. perhaps.

When I heard that .. I thought » "It's a new world, dawg. Can you believe that shit?"

I did not even know such a thing was possible. I thought somebody would trace the connection and go shoot him. Or poison him, you know.

Okay, you went thru seven proxies (proxy servers). To be honest, I did not even know that you could go thru more than one proxy. That is so cool. Wow.

My afterthought from his talk left me feeling like the government tried to fuck up the internet ..

.. and we said, "No, no. Don't touch. Or we will be all up in your shit. Would you care for a free, complimentary sample demonstration? We got this digital twenty-first century shit going on, dawg. Connectivity and friends. Don't you have anywhere better to bring your world-famous dysfunction?"

Oh, dude. I just saw this » TED. Is that for real? The video was posted two days after SXSW ended. "From an undisclosed location .. somewhere in Russia."

I am going to tell you about my connection to Texas. It is based on the time I spent (4 years) stationed aboard a nuclear powered ballistic missile submarine (.. which you probably shaved with this morning).

There are TWO CREWS for an operating FBM (Fleet Ballistic Missile) submarine. And the people who STAFF these 150-man crews .. I do not know anything about them, no.

But I *do* know a thing or two about » staffing. And basically, of course, after competence, you want people who can work together.

And my crew, the GOLD crew (of course) .. especially in the tightly-knit engineering spaces .. consisted very much of New England boys .. New York (especially Long Island) and Jersey (like the Dog) and Massachusetts. Being from Connecticut .. I got these guys. I understood where they were coming from.

Yes, they were all impressively smart and capable, but on a social level, I got them.

Then Washington cuts a deal with Moscow to limit nuclear weapons (sounds like a good thing, no?) .. and we have to take off our missiles .. and in the process the two crews become one (.. called 'crew consolidation')

And they ask you,"Dude, do you want to stay here or do you want to go to another boomer?"

And I say, "Fuck, I only have another two years. I guess I'll just stay. This way I wont have to requalify at a new boat. I already know this one."

But the other crew is all southern boys. And many from Texas. All of them saying » "When I get out I'm using my GI-Bill and I'm going to the University of Texas at Austin. That is the best school in Texas."

And I am going to tell you about this big black guy .. who I became close with .. we shared the same watch-section (6 on, 12 off, repeat. For months.)

Southern blacks are different from northern blacks .. at least that is my experience. Just as southern whites can be different from northern whites. I am not going to get far into this, but it definitely helps set context and tone.

So I am basically one of the few Gold crew members who came over to their ship. That's kinda the way it worked out. Which gave me the advantage of seeing how BOTH crews ran things. Whereas they never got the chance to see how the Gold crew ran things.

If I had an advantage over them, that was it. Far as disadvantages go, I was a 'yankee' among an overwhelming number of Texans. Open season.

It was their ship, their crew, their captain, their XO, their engineer. Their everything. And me. Yankee boy.

[ Goldies had better ORSE scores than the Bluies, which would represent an unbiased opinion. ]

So I learned a lot about southern boys. They are much smarter than they sound, sometimes. In ways I never would have imagined.

Now I very much enjoy learning shit about people .. yes, even if I have to take a beating to do it. I can handle myself in a wide variety of hostile environments. If necessary.

So I remembered how these guys would gang up on me about being a yankee and shit like that. Playful sure, but this yankee "is gonna hear another side of the story" (.. which is similar to what Bob Marley said).

For me, all I knew about the south was that they lost the war a long-ass time ago .. before my grandparents ever sailed here from "the old country". And I watched a little Beverly Hillbillies on TV. That was all I knew.

Oh, these southern boys educated me right proper. We're talking months and even years together. They were smart, capable guys. And I guess the short version is » they earned my respect. And gave me an appreciation for southern boys that I did not have before. Certainly for Texans.

You do a lot of dreaming during your last dwindling months of enlistment. And the experience leaves you with the feeling that you can handle pretty much anything that comes down the pike.

But before I get to far down that road .. let me say that I heard » Tim Berners-Lee was there at SXSW for the Snowden broadcast. And that TB-L was actually able to ASK Snowden a question. Live!

That is the thing that made me think » it's a new world, dawg.

SXSW basically costs a thousand bucks .. for the whole dealy-o .. if you buy your ticket early. $1,700 gets you everything, everywhere at the last minute.

So I feel like my shipmates from Texas said to Snowden, "You're cool with us."

I read that last year, it was estimated that SXSW brought in a few hundred million dollars to the area. That makes SXSW a player.

Dude, did you go to the Olympics? Incognito? They were looking for you. The News people. Trying to see if they could spot you.

Did you see the closing ceremonies where they paid tribute to the Russian writers? That was my favorite part of the whole deal. I was spellbound. They have so many kick-ass writers. Giants in the land. And the way they did it. I'm still not sure how they did it.

Regarding the time when I arrived at the submarine in Hawaii .. I will just say this .. I was very immature when I arrived at the ship. At the "boat" as we called it.

I had just turned 21 a week before I landed in Honolulu. It would be an exaggeration to say that you had a punk running a reactor on a nuclear submarine .. but you catch my drift.

I stepped ONTO the plane in the middle of a blizzard (mid-January) in Connecticut .. and stepped OFF the next day (after a rather uncomfortable sleepover in the San Francisco terminal) .. in Hololulu, 73 degrees ..

Waikiki, Hawaii.. palm trees swaying gently in the balmy ocean breeze .. sunshine casting minimal shadows.

"What just happened? Let's go to the beach! Yesterday I was freezing my ass off in arctic temps. I could totally get used to this shit.

They said my sportster is here already. Wanna go down to the warehouse with me and pick it up tomorrow? This is Sportster country if ever I done laid eyes on such a thing. Do you ride?"

Anyway, this big black dude from Texas and I would always walk forward (.. to go eat) after getting relieved by the on-coming watch station. If he got relieved early, he would wait for me. If I were relived first, I would wait for him. But usually we got off at the same time.

[ This guy was 300 pounds of solid muscle. You should see him in the gym, "Help me put another plate on here, will ya?" I've seen him bench 350#. Legs like tree trunks. ]

And he would die laughing whenever I did my black shuck-n-jive walk. "Let me show you how the bro's walk up north."

He would collapse against the wall (the "bulkhead") .. because he was laughing so hard. It didnt matter how many times I did it. It would crack him up every time. And then HE would try it. (No, I'm not gonna tell you his name.)

So we got to be friends. Because he and I were scheduled to get out of the Navy at about the same time. And we were the same age.

The Wise Old Texan

But even more than these shipmates, perhaps, there was my old Texan friend from the coffee shop there in Laguna. (At Main Beach. The gang. All smart guys. Professionals.) I actually wrote a little about him » here.

That was one the most difficult things I have ever wrote. I think because of the implications. I was shaking. Tho I wasnt exactly sure why.

It felt like I had a window-of-opportunity that I could take advantage of, but for which another would be most unlikely, because of its nature. (Far fucking out.)

So in a way, I felt like I wasnt ready.

Anyway, beyond the writing itself, I have always appreciated the things that old man shared with me .. from the negative side, sorta. What *not* to do. (If you dont want live your remaining years as a bitter old men.)

To be honest, I'm not even sure if that is the way he meant it .. or if he were just venting family frustrations. But I definitely got the message.

He had a script for legal, medical cannabis. He would take a hit to help him fall asleep at night.

Did I say that I appreciate this man? This Texan. The wise, old, experienced, well-travelled Texan. Because I do.

Going to See » the Commodore (the Wizard)

Heck, I might even tell you the story about the time that I had to go talk to the Commodore. Dude, a commodore is the guy in charge of a bunch of Captains .. who are guys in charge of an entire warship. (And everybody on it.)

Nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarineAdmirals are in charge of whole fleets (.. such as the Atlantic fleet or the Pacific fleet). A commodore is in charge of a part of that fleet.

Do you know that scene in the Wizard of Oz .. where Dorothy and her three friends walk down that long hallway to go see the wizard?

Well, that is pretty close to what is was like for me the time that I had to go talk to the Commodore. Because his office was at the end of a very long hallway. And I was shaking like the tinman.

Not really, but I was definitely on high-alert. I think it was better the way that the Master Chief did it. He just came and got me and said, "Come on, let's go."

This section about going to see the commodore has been off-loaded into a separate entry in Ye Olde Rad Blog v4 .. see here » Going to See the Commodore (the Wizard).

Yin-yang | A well-placed tattoo» Embracing Duality

Sometimes when I am writing and in the flow .. or maybe I am feeling strongly about a topic ..

.. and I feel like I am operating in a zone where I am performing at a level ABOVE which I am probably capable of .. if such a thing is possible ..

.. sometimes I write things .. things that come to me (.. who knows how?) .. things that surprise me .. in various sundry ways.

I could write at length here [ for example, see quote #10 here by Ezra Pound ] but one such example is » embracing duality .. which followed the idea / notion of yin-yang.

[ Uh, I have gone back after some time and reviewed this section, and I could not see why the quote from Ezra spoke to me here.

So, if I dont get it myself, it seems unlikely that the reader will get it. But now I remember.

It's because Ezra talks about the "natural object" always being adequate. And a woman's butt is about as "natural" as you can get.

I did not know about Ezra's quote before I selected that image. Hemingway talks about hanging out with Ezra in his book » A Moveable Feast. So I feel like I have a sense of him. ]

And sometimes when I want an image or a graphic that represents an idea or thing I am addressing in a large block of text ..

.. I will search Google images for the term(s). And the one of the tattoo on the girls butt (lower back?) was the image that spoke best to me. Why that is you can guess at.

Now you will not believe me but I am going to say it anyway. The fact that the notion of "embracing" as something a man might do to a woman's butt .. that did not occur to me until a month or two later.

At least not consciously. And there is a feeling that comes .. when you feel like somerthing is trying to write thru you .. something smarter than you. And stronger. And maybe even more virile.

[ Here I will inject some of my experience regarding my creative process. Here in the fold of this other topic.

Being a nuclear kind of guy, I would like to have control over my creative process. (Who wouldnt?) The nuclear industry being (understandably so) very much about control and the rules of this control.

But it does not work this way. No, sir. You cannot use nuclear rules to control the artistic, creative process.

The creative process, as I experience it .. seems to come when you least expect it .. and even when you are least prepared for it.

You may be tired. Exhausted. Spent. Ready for bed.

And the thought comes > "This is the *worst* time, right now." And you know (tho, how you know, I don't know) .. that you have this window. This very narrow window. (Right now, because in 30 seconds, it might be gone .. never to return .. at least, not for this particular thing.)

And you can go ahead and throw down or you can go to bed and think that you'll capture it in the morning .. when you are rested. And fed. And showered. And have your taxes done. Etc.

But that is not how it works (.. not for me, anyway). No. Rather, you get this opportunity to throw-down (capture) the thing that comes with this creative impulse.

So the feeling is something along the lines of riding a dragon. Trying your best to hang on and ride it out. To stay with it, and it twists and turns and leads in unpredictable directions.

And you wish that you were better prepared. Better rested. Better everything.

And sometimes, when I am feeling like shit, I say, "Fuck it." And I go for it. And I jump on and ride the dragon of creativity.

And everything (physically) may hurt. But you try your best to ignore that and remain conscious of the staying with (on) the dragon.

Which seems to be galloping three times faster than you are capable of handling. Yes, and sometimes you lose hold. And sometimes you say, "Ah, there he is," and you can jump back on.

I am talking about my creative process here. My point is that .. it is rarely a pretty thing. (Type-o's, grammer, spelling, etc.) But the more you do it .. the better you get at it.

So that .. sometimes, when he (the dragon) shows up, you can say, "Your ass is mine, bitch." (.. even tho this might be the worst time for me)

Sure, later you can go back and polish your rough-looking art. It may not mean anything but to you.

But that's not the point. The point is .. ah, I lost it. Dang! What's the point?

Ah, here it is .. the point is that you take advantage of the dragon of creativity when he shows up. This takes determination. Focus. Tenacity. And even courage, sometimes.

What kind of artist gives a shit about what anybody thinks? (Yes, that's a rhetorical question.) Except their inner artist.

I once sent off a copy of a manuscript to a potential publisher, who responded by saying, "You're not following the rules."

To which I thought, "Uh, that's my whole point. I'm not a clone."

When you are ready for him, he rarely shows up. "Here dragon, dragon. Where are you? I would like to go for a ride." It's only when you are not .. or maybe it just seems that way.

Sure, there are minor creative rides. But I am not talking about them. I am not talking about the rides where you are very much in control.

No.

Rather I am talking about those surprising flashes of inspiration that seem to come out of the blue at the most inopportune times.

When you are like » "Shit! This is the worst fucking time for this." And either you jump on that dragon and you let him get away.

Here I am talking primarily about publishing. But there are also times when I capture the inspiration on Moleskine. Cuz I am not near my laptop. Physically impossible to capture electronically.

And these things (ideas, memories of experiences, etc.) may sit in my Moleskine for much time (weeks or maybe even months) ..

.. and then, when I am writing about something seemingly unrelated .. they come. They return. The ideas.

And here they are MORE DEVELOPED .. because my subconscious has had a chance to ponder them.

I *love* this kind of throw-down .. because it LOOKS LIKE spur-of-the-moment thing .. but actually I have been working on it for weeks or months.

Because back then, when I Moleskine capture .. it was not the right time. And I feel like I wasted my time with that particular topic. But when I seen how it fits in later, I think "That was very cool .. how I captured the rudimentary elements back then .. and how they developed inside me over time.

And when they come (later) they are usually quite different from my orignial (Moleskine) capture.

Public publishing is always more ______ (word?) than Moleskine capture (private, cuz no one sees Moleskine but me).

Moleskine can be very raw .. and I sometimes feel like I do not have the strength to capture these raw, fleeting ideas in Moleskine).

So it (Moleskine) takes, or seems to takes/require) much tenacity. Whereas, when I am writing at keyboard to publish, I usually feel more of the spitit moving me.

Dylan once said in an interview about his creative process (something like), "I know that sounds _____ (word = ethereal-ish) .. but I actually have a pretty good handle on it."

My point is .. you have to want it pretty badly. And you have to take what comes .. when it comes.

In other words .. it seems to come from BEYOND you. ]

Speaking of embracing duality .. remind me to tell you about the dream I had .. where I am standing on the top of a reactor vessel (which contains the core) ..

.. and I am a white angel standing and wrestling with a black angel. We each have hold of each other about the shoulders and upper arms. And we launch off the side of the reactor vessel and head down toward the concrete floor below. (Head first.)

Which is a long way .. a few stories maybe. And on the way down .. I am thinking to the black angel, "Dude, do you really wanna do this?" Because I am thinking that we are both going to die.

And a second or two later there is a giant explosion (.. in which I think I am going to die). But I come up out of the smoke and dust no problemo. And the dark angel has been turned into the smokey dust.

And my first thought is » "Wow, that was very cool. Can I do it again?"

I dated a girl once who had read a book on dreams. She had interesting interpretations (.. according to this book). Sometimes what she would say would be more interesting than the dream itself.

Anyway, back to embracing duality and this curious intuitive thing .. that is actually better demonstated than explained, perhaps.

I guess my point is that .. after a while you start to trust this intuitive thing .. strange as it might seem sometimes ..

.. cuz there definitely is a sense of awe and respect and reverence that comes .. yes.

And when I finally saw how the phrase 'embracing duality' could be construed sexually .. even tho that is definitely NOT the way I intended it .. I thought of that dream.

James Joyce (1882-1941)Does that makes sense? Can you trace my thread? I admit that I may have gotten off onto a bleeding avante-garde edge.

Which I might conceptualize as an abstract consciousness .. or an attempt that heads in that general direction.

Something like that. Multi-dimensional. Throwing down artistic flair for points in authenticity. I am operating very much on intuitive feel right now. My inner-critic hates this shit.

Later, when I go back to edit and distill .. my inner-critic (editor) is going to say, "Dude, have you totally lost your mind? How am I supposed to edit this shit? Were you on acid? Does the word » coherence mean anything to you?"

[ Can you now see why the artist needs to embrace duality? ]

Now I have had many cool dreams .. but none that evoke the idea of » "What the fuck does *that* mean?" .. as this one about the white angel wrestling with (embracing) the black angel.

And when I saw how "embracing duality" could be construed sexually, I (shortly thereafter) saw that the term "embracing duality" could be applied to my dream ..

.. of a white angel embracing a black angel. Tho here, the term 'embrace' is used differently than the way is which I use it to conceptualize yin-yang. Very differently.

Which makes me think of » pair-annihilation .. in radiation physics. No?

I mean, I had this dream » years ago. So it has had impressive staying power. What could such a dream mean?

I must admit. I like the idea that I am a white angel. If I were the black angel, that would suck. You know how dreams are. You can't really control them. Tho I knew this girl who claimed to be able to dream lucidly.

If any of this sounds "like so much horse shit" .. then I definitely would not feel bad. Because it sounds like so much horse shit to me, too, sometimes.

Now it might take a while, I admit, but sometimes you start to think » maybe it wasnt so much horse shit after all.

Sometimes when I am neck-deep in the flow .. trying to hold on (to it) for dear life .. the thought comes (paraphrase) » "Your ass aint bad enough to hold onto something like this for very long. So you must have been given a special pass. So try not to fuck it up."

Hemingway writingHemingway talks about "not emptying the well". He means that you should quit writing while things are still going good.

This is probably the #1 way in which I differ from Hemingway. Dude, when I am in the love-groove .. I stay with it.

Sure, I may not be able to write (or even think very much) for a few days. [ That's the reason why Hem says you should quit while you're still good-to-go.]

With my technique, I can get to places that Hemingway can't. Much to say here for such an outrageous statement .. but I'll just leave it at that.

But my thoughts on this run parallel to the notion that writing should evoke a sense of the zeitgeist.

And you will notice that Hemingway is famous for making his appear » seamless. Of all one piece.

And none of his novels epitomize this all-one-pieceness more than » Old Man & the Sea.

Now I know a little about making shit seamless. And it is work. Focused concentration. Discipline. Wonderful work ethic for any writer.

The Schnooner Escape, all wood, anchored in Catalina, built in 1933But Hemingway wrote this book in '51. Dude, that's how life was back in the early 50's. The book was published in '52.

I read it sitting on Sidney's schooner (the Escape, now in France somewhere) .. while anchored at the isthmus at Catalina for the Fourth of July one year.

But our twenty-first society feels very fragmented, no? Which shows up politically, to a degree. Tho I am speaking about » culturally. Or is it just me?

I do try to channel some of the spirit of the age into my writing, yes, You want somebody from the next century to be able to get a feel what it is like to live when you lived. With just the right touch, a few small dabs on a canvas can evoke the atmosphere in a telling way.

Also note how Hemingway was thinking in terms of writing the novel, which is a long and often painful process. Whereas the twenty-first century writer can better adapt to the technology (and also with it).

Anyway, these are my thoughts on why I may differ with Hemingway in some respects .. who I normally find myself resonating with. So these areas of mismatching catch my attention.

It is sort of like comparing a long, slow weave with a focused throw-down right now » blammo! Hemingway is not a blammo type of guy. He's a long-distance runner.

By the way, what do you think of this Hemingway quote?

It can hard, difficult to stay is the juiciest-juice of a flow. It's like » this is what you train for. The Olympian trains for his few minutes in the pool, or on the balance beam. While the artist trains to be able to get into that creative flow .. and stay there long as possible. Like being in love. Pure heroin.

And sometimes you work very hard and shit doesnt come. And other times you seemingly FALL INTO a river. So you can feel pretty undeserving, at times, even tho maybe you have poured out your soul trying to get there.

And yes, part of you is saying, "Dude, try to remember how you got here .. so we can come back here after this rollercoaster ride is over."

But you are trying so completely to be and remain one with this flow .. like riding a tiger .. the bobsled of creativity. It is so good (for the artist) that you just want to stay there long as you can.

But the whole thing is, sure, you might be able to retrace your steps .. but that shit gets old.

[ I once asked an older co-worker what sex was like with his wife of many years. He said » "Just like brushing your teeth: same old thing."

I remember having sex with this girl and thinking, "This feels so new and fresh and different every time. How can that be? Is that me or is that her?" I never aked, tho.

It's sorta like every time you explore a new galaxy together.

I prefer the constellation of Pather, myself .. but am open to suggestions .. if you have other ideas. ]

And you want the freshy-fresh. We may go there .. ideas about how to get in line (resonate) with the master sine-wave. [ The word » commitment comes to mind. Also » tenacity. ]

But I can say that you have to leave logic behind. You operate more on 'feel'. Intuition. Degrees of variation more than on/off, yes/no, good/bad. (strict duality)

Here's my point » if the stuff I write doesnt make sense .. give it a while.

Student-of-the-Month

By the way, the Bug is student-of-the-month. His picture is hanging in the main office.

I am so proud of him. You can't imagine how good that makes me feel. I said, "How does it feel?"

"It feels good," he said.

I told him that I was glad that other people were recognizing how cool he is .. something that I have known all along.

To be continued. Or maybe not.