Politically Motivated Noir Parody in Ten Tweets

(posted on Twitter 12/6/2017 

Sitting at my PC and trying to decide if staring at Twitter or the half-empty bottle of gin on my desk was going to do me more damage. The bottle used to be half full, but at 9 am I realized the day wasn’t even half-over yet, so I improvised. #TweetNoir 1/10

Then she walked in. And by she I mean another tweet from one of them liberal types with the long legs and a longer list of grievances. Actually, I’m guessing about the legs. But never mind. She had something to say re: Trump #TweetNoir 2/10

“Look here, dick.’ She cooed. “How’d you know my name?” I snarled. “It’s written on your door.” And she wasn’t lying. There on the cheap glass in cheaper acrylic, “Dick Detective, Twitter Addict.” Not the pithiest, but then I’m not even sure what pithiest means. #TweetNoir 3/10

“Alright,” I burbled. “Let’s hear it.” She took a seat in my feed and let loose. “Mueller’s got Trump’s bank records, see. The big cheese is about to get busted or embarrassed.” She smiled the smile of a thousand lethal retweets. #TweetNoir 4/10

“What do you want me to do about it,” I said. “I’ve got, maybe, a 100 followers, 150 tops on a good day if I lure a few ‘bots with gratuitous hashtags.” #GratuitousHashtags, by the way, is my middle name. I guess Mom was on some major painkillers when I was born. #TweetNoir 5/10

“Every little bit counts,” she said. “Get creative. Write one of those stupid #TweetNoir things. Make it a thread. Go crazy, ya lazy, privileged, upper-middle class white man.” That one wasn’t written on my door, but she had me pegged, but good. 6/10

“Fine. I’ll see what I can do,” I managed. I started rummaging in my desk for a pencil and the legal pad I’d swiped from a lawyer’s office, which is just the kind of self-indulgent irony that kept me from getting too many followers in the first place. #TweetNoir 7/10

“That’s all I’m asking,” she coo’ed. Again with the cooing. Either she was trying to seduce me or I was in serious need of a thesaurus. Most likely the latter. I’m good with words like I’m good with booze: the more I have, the less I know what I’m doin’. #TweetNoir 8/10

She got up and left, which is to say, my feed was starting to fill up with video game tweets and dad jokes. It ain’t easy, being a Twitter addict. Hence the booze. But then nothing that’s easy is worth it, according to some crap I read in a book once. #TweetNoir 9/10

Speaking of booze, I took another look at that bottle of gin. Now that I had a case, something to occupy me for a few minutes, the bottle was starting to look half full. I guess I’d call that a win. #TweetNoir #ImpeachTrump #GoMuellerGo theguardian.com/us-news/2017/d… 10/10

The Gun Industry Rubs Another One Out

A long time ago I read a book about a guy who could stop time (The Fermata by Nicholson Baker). Everyone and everything would freeze, including clocks, and he could walk around and do whatever he wanted. Mostly what he did was grope women and masturbate.

I think the book was supposed to be an extended metaphor about fantasizing. Basically, if someone fantasizes about you, sexually, do you have a problem with that? If a man stops time, grabs your boob, then starts time and never says a thing to you, did he do anything wrong?

Of course he did, some of you say. It depends on if I find out, others say. And the idea is, telling people they’ve been violated is a kind of violation, isn’t it. In the real world, someone could send you a text message, explaining all of the things they think about doing to you. That could be a terrible message to receive.

And while you can make an attempt to block such messages, you can’t block a person from having thoughts. Your only defense against that is to not think about it yourself.

gunder2Here’s my point: I think the vast majority of gun-loving Americans don’t want to think about all of the very rich people getting very much richer from gun sales. They’d rather think about patriotism and rights and freedom instead of imagining a man in a lounge chair in Acapulco masturbating with a fist full of hundred dollar bills.

The trillion-dollar arms business doesn’t care even a little bit if Joe Smalldick in Buttcrack, Idaho is able to exercise his rights, defend his family, or get drunk and kill a couple of brown people.
All it cares about it how profitable mass-shootings are.

And it’s using these gun-lovers to make that money. Money that gun-nuts might otherwise spend on improving their communities, getting educations, paying for healthcare. Can you imagine what life would be like in Buttcrack if, instead of spending millions of dollars on guns, they instead spent millions of dollars on their grade schools?

My point is: if I found out an industry was metaphorically rubbing up against me on a subway and getting off, I’d be mad. Someone needs to tell this people they’re being used.

Then again, the only people they listen to, at Fox, are sporting some turgid members themselves.

Father’s Day—Ok

me-n-the-kid,-footI’ve never been one much for holidays. It’s not like I hate them, as such, I’m just usually not all that enthused about whatever is being celebrated. I know other people get excited, though, and I’ll join in; I’m a cynic, not a curmudgeon. But for me, by myself, holidays are usually a take-em-or-leave-em kinda thing

This is my first Father’s day as a father. It kind of snuck on me, and true to form, all things considered, it’s really no big deal. I mean, I love my son to pieces. He’s almost nine months old, and he’s wonderful. He’s hilarious and demanding and beautiful and exhausting. All those cliché’s about having kids that make you roll your eyes? Yes, apply them to me. I like being a dad. My boy pushes me to my limits, and those limits have even been exceeded at times, but I’m a dad and that’s a permanent part of my identity now, a title I wear with pride.

I don’t think the title is worthy of a whole heck of a lot of celebration, is all. I mean, every day is a celebration, right? Something like that. As I write this, I’m watching the kid, via baby monitor, roll around in his crib as he decides to wake up. When he does we’ll have some breakfast, play for a bit, take a nap. Then we’ll eat again, maybe run to the store for a few errands, sleep one more time. Another feeding, make dinner, give mommy a hug when she comes home from work. Take another nap, etc.

It’s the etc, you see. Being a father, to me, is the etc. I don’t see the point of celebrating et ceteras. I breathe, and when I go for a run a breathe harder, and when I go to sleep I breathe deeper, but do I celebrate the wonder and joy and pleasure of all that breathing? Nah.

For what it’s worth, along with this being my first father’s day as a father, it’s also my 45th father’s day as a son. I love my dad to pieces, too. He’s my best friend, and like my kid, he’s hilarious. More cliché’s: if my son is going to turn out like anyone, and he turns out to be like his grandad—intelligent, thoughtful, creative, hard-working—well then, I’d say I was an exceptionally successful father.

I totally respect everyone else who wants to celebrate fatherhood today. Whether it’s a companion holiday to mother’s day, or because, let’s face it, not all dads are awesome and the ones who are deserve recognition. I get it and I will click like on all of the Facebook posts. But for me, it’s just another holiday. Just another day. I guess I’m saying I’d rather be happy every day, and when I look at ym son, and think about my own dad, I realize that I am.

Make Conversation Great Again

I posted this as a “Note” on Facebook, since I easily have a better chances of someone’s reading it there than here. But I’ll post it here too, for posterity).

Having a discussion—or an argument—with someone, without mutual respect, is just fighting. And in my opinion, pointless; you might as well be two dogs barking at each other.

And if you’re fighting with someone who is pro-Trump, or pro-Sanders, or pro-Cruz, or pro-Clinton, you will only further their resolve. That’s right: you will make them even more sure of themselves, more dedicated to ideals that you oppose.

So, if you know someone who is for a candidate you despise, you need to start the conversation with respect. This doesn’t mean you have to respect the candidate: just respect the person you’re talking to.

“But how can I respect people who don’t respect me?” Good question. But the people you’re fighting with are asking that question too. Maybe if you offer some respect, some of them will do the same. Eventually.

(This won’t be at all easy, and I’m not saying I am even up to the task myself. Which is why, when I can muster the restraint, I choose not to speak at all. I don’t want to add fire to the bellies of those I disagree with.)

Things are more heated than ever in all of the political discussion forums. From Facebook to Reddit to the comments section underneath any news article. It is up to us to see to it that these discussions yield positive results.

Find common ground. Ask questions. Cite your sources. Re-read everything you write several times before clicking that “post” button.

(And by the way, this is not directed at anyone in particular, for anything you’ve posted or said. I’ve had this on my mind for a while, and I’m still trying to find the best way to articulate it. Nor am I the first person to have these ideas—I’m just trying to put them in my own words.)

Thank you for reading the above.

The Mean Tree

What if there was a tree in a town square that had branches on it such that, when the wind blew just right, it sounded as if the tree was saying “You fat ass.”

I mean, that would be hilarious, right?

Well, maybe not for someone who was self-conscious. Or someone who had been called that before by someone with hatred in their heart.

But lots of us would laugh.

Some of us would wonder if the tree grew like that naturally, or if there was some designer involved.

Some people would want to chop down the tree. Or at least prune the branches a bit.

There would be arguments. “If you don’t like it, don’t walk by it.” “Don’t go outside when it’s windy.” “Maybe lose a little weight?” “IT’S JUSTA TREE.”

I don’t want to be too philosophical here, but it seems to me that until you’ve been inside someone’s heart and felt their pain, you can’t really tell them they’re not in pain. Doesn’t matter if they hurt because a real person said nasty things to them, or if it was just the sound of the wind in a weird tree. Pain is pain.

Which is not to say I would want to cut down the tree.

Rather, I’d like to get people to start talking, maybe see if we can shift our perspective.

You know, it’s not that the tree sounds like a person. It’s that those people sound like the tree.

Somebody called you a fat ass? That’s not a person talking. That’s just some wind blowing, and it has nothing to do with you.

This is easy for me to say, I know—no one has ever called me a fat-ass. But I’ve been called other things.

I try to remember that, 99% of the time, when a person opens his mouth, he’s only describing himself.

“You’re kind of stupid” really means “I’m kind of a jerk.”

“You fat ass” is the tree’s way of saying “I’m a weird tree.”

And the only real reply to that is “Okay.”

So, maybe, the next time someone says something hateful, instead of yelling back, try saying “Okay.”

Cause then you’ve told them you understand that they’re just being a jerk. And while it’s not necessarily “okay” to be a jerk, some people just need to be allowed to work on their issues on their own.

Who knows what kind of pain is in the heart of someone who feels the need to shout “I’m a big jerk” all the time.

At least we know the tree isn’t in pain.

It’s just a tree.

Writing Exercise: Narrated Monologue

The following needs work, a lot of work, but will do for now, as an experiment. More or less I wrote the parts in quotes first. Then I decided to write the rest as if someone was listening and disagreeing. I think it’s a fine exercise, and one I can do again sometime, as it establishes conflict and tension, the basic energy which moves any story. Where it goes wrong is when the narrator starts talking back, instead of just describing. I maybe got a little too close to the subject matter. Oh well.

A big ol’ fat guy, too fat for the little suit he was wearin’, lookin’ like a punk except for punks is skinny little shits and this guy wasn’t skinny, like I said, but you know, he had that punk attitude, call it punkitude, like he was always sniffin’ back and snortin’ cause he thought the world belong on his pinkie ring (he wasn’t wearing no rings, that’s just a description) walked up to the mic and tapped like he wanted to make sure it worked even though we all heard what the last asshole had to say, and then he says:

“We are looking at this from the bottom-up; let’s look at it from the top-down.”

And I’m all like, what the hell? Bottoms and tops and shit like that, this is a government proceeding, this ain’t no philosophy class. Damn it I hate liberals, I really do, like they went and got an education, big whoop, and now they want to use it all the time. God damn. So then he goes:

“Why is that, in this country, a black un-armed teen can be gunned-down without consequence, while a group of armed white men can get away with pointing guns at police?”

Because of statistics you fat dumb shit heel. Looks like you picked the wrong set of classes at that college of yours. Look at the numbers, they’re right there for anyone to see them. Black crime, black on black crime…when was the last time you saw a bunch of white kids walking along the street and another white kid drives by in a mini-van and opens fire? never, you dumb sumbitch.

“Because there’s no single unifying voice for black teenagers. There IS a unifying voice for armed white men.”

Oh really? You’re saying there’s one voice who speaks for all the god-fearing men out there who respect and practice their second amendment rights? You mean, besides Jesus? Don’t get me started, brother. If Jesus was alive today, hell yeah he’d carry. He’d take one look at your suit and your education and your holier-than thou attitude and he’d go money-changer-crazy all over again.

“And it’s as simple as that. What one voice will tell the most people how to vote in the next election?”

Well, you got me there, pardner. I have no idea what you’re talking about. Which is typical– y’all open up your big fat mouths and puke words all over the place and you don’t say a god damned thing. For all your feel-good and do-right and peace-love-bullshit, you sure do confuse the ever loving crap out of folks. And I’m thinkin’ you do it on purpose.

“I’m all for fighting police corruption, dismantling institutional racism, creating better gun laws, and raising the standard of living for all Americans.”

Better gun laws? I think you mean fewer gun laws? Gun laws don’t save lives, jack-ass. Men with guns save lives. Its a war out there, fella, and you don’t fight wars with regulations and rulebooks. You do it with hit lead and body bags. I see a guy with a gun, I don’t care what color he is, black, hispanic, asian, doesn’t matter. I don’t discriminate. And as for police corruption? You’re going to say some guy who beat up a junkie without reading him his rights represents all of the cops who put their lives on the line to protect us every day? Go ahead, get rid of the cops, you idiot, and we’l;l see how long you last without a gun on your hip.

“But the number one most destructive force in this country, right now, is the voice that lies.”

At last we agree. Well, no we don’t agree, but at least I know what you’re saying now. You are the liar. You’re the one spreads sedition and infamy, to quote the founders. But I’d be flattering you if I told you that you’re the most destructive force in this country right now. I don’t want to give you that satisfaction. Nah son, the most destructive force is the liberal conspiracy to turn all of us into welfare queers and drug addicts. It’s the government that forces us to pay taxes so shits like you don’t have to work. Its socialism, and taking away our guns, and lesbians and comedians on TV bringing up ‘facts’ as a a way to trick people into thinking they’re the problem, not the cure. Well don’t worry, dumbass. I know which side of the fence I’m standing on.

“Want to fix America? Find a way to silence the liars.”

Amen, brother. Now shut up.

What Are You Reading, Stupid?

Lest you start thinking you’re an intelligent person with discerning tastes, let me remind you that you’re not. You’re an idiot. And I know you’re an idiot because Slate and Flavorwire told me so. They didn’t use the word “idiot” but then they didn’t have to, because people who are intelligent and have discerning tastes can read between the lines. People like me!

So, you’re an idiot. You read Young Adult fiction, Donna Tart, and nothing else. I put those last three words in italics to emphasize them. You should be ashamed of yourselves, and your idea that these books are the kinds of things that represent literature today is completely wrong. Don’t you know that YOU are contributing to the death of literary criticism by buying books that other people will also end up buying?

I mean, look at you. With your education and your job and your family and your, ugh, life. Are you on Reddit? Are you even on Tumblr? Then how in the HELL do you even KNOW what’s even REAL? You wouldn’t know good literature if it glued you to a chair and made you watch Shakespeare. Did you know that Teller of Penn & Teller fame is currently directing The Tempest? Of course not: you read Divergent and The Goldfinch instead of listening to podcasts. Scum.

You are scum. You read your books (plural!) and listen to your music (collective plural!) and watch your television shows, when the real, actual critics don’t even own a TV. Who has time to own a TV when there’s Netflix and Hulu Plus and Amazon Prime subscriptions to maintain on laptops? Who has time for, what are they called, sports? Who has time for sports when the World Cup is on in bars that sells beers you haven’t even heard of?

I’m avoiding the H word, because it would hurt your feelings, but I am so tempted to use it. You know the word I mean. Rhymes with “dipster.” You dipster. I haven’t found it yet, because I only read websites even I haven’t heard of (like Flavorwire), but I know there’s a website that describes how my calling you the H word means I’m an H word and admitting I’m an H word means I’m not really an H word and so you are one.

The point is, you have got to stop. Stop reading things that you enjoy. Stop getting so much satisfaction out of your entertainment choices. Stop being an idiot. Literary criticism (which, for the purpose of this essay and the ones on Slate and Flavorwire is the same as writin’ reviews, even though it’s not at all, even) will die if you don’t start reading… well, reading things that are so good no plebian like you would read them.

And if literary criticism dies, how will people adequately contextualize my essay about some essays that were about reviews of books that these essays say you shouldn’t read? Idiot. Scum. Dipster.

Embrace Crap

macaroni-and-cheeseI call it crap because that’s what other people call it, but that’s just a label, a convenience for conveying judgment. I don’t really think it’s crap, but I do think calling it crap is crap. I’ll let your noodle noodle through that one.

You see, I’m sick. Not permanently! Just a small cold, or flu or cancer or something. I’m not sure. Started a few days ago, scratchy throat, and has moved out of my throat into my head. My theory, based on my medical degree, years of research, successfully guessed and executed experiments, and my extremely high IQ, is that I over did it (running), and along with allergies thanks to a few days sunshine, my immune system took a hit. Opportunistic bugs brought home by my wife (who works in the filthiest place a human can work: hospital) pounced and thus I’m feeling purty low.

And I’m craving macaroni and cheese. And not just any: Kraft Mac n Cheese. And not just any: K M&C eaten straight from the sauce pan. Which I’m told is crap.

Cause that’s the world we live in, where every time a person describes a thing, there’s a bunch of people ready to jump in and call it crap: “My gramma made the BEST mac and cheese. She used REAL cheese, not that fake crap Kraft uses. Corporations ruin everything. What you need is an herbal tea infusion and lots of rest. Go to bed and read that author who writes about prisoner rights in Indochina. At least you don’t have it as bad as they do!”

Yes I do. I have it worse than they do. I’m sick, god damn it, and I feel like crap. I don’t like books about prisoners. Herbal tea tastes terrible. Corporations employ thousands of people, and processed cheese “food” is made of the same carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen as that so-called real “crap” your gramma used. And screw your gramma—I heard she was a racist and a homophobe.

You see what this cold/flu/meningitis has done to me? Turned me into a republican hipster. @#$%^&*

Anyhoo, I just want to encourage you to ignore the idiots, and embrace crap. You like Vegas? Go to Vegas. You like watching CSI? Get it on DVD and watch the extras and outtakes. You like Coors? Drink your Coors. And I apologize for all the times I call your joy crap.

I could try to say, now, that people are judgmental because they’re insecure—but that’s a load of horse shit. People are judgmental because they’re assholes. I mean, yeah, maybe they are insecure, and they’re hypocrites, and cynical to the point of killing hard-ons. But who cares: ignorning them is easier than understanding them.

Embrace crap. Life’s too short. Your time on earth is no Sistine Chapel, and you’re no Michelangelo—and even if it was and you were, that just means you’d wind up with fat tourists stomping around in your memories. Screw that.

Unsolicited Advice to a 12-Year-Old Writing Genius

(An open letter to a friend of mine).

Once again it has been brought to my attention your ability with writing, more importantly your love of writing. So I thought I would take it upon myself to offer some advice, along the lines of “things I wish someone had told me sooner.” Of course, I expect you to take all of this with a grain of salt, indeed, to ignore most of it. Remember, Mr. Edwards is a curmudgeon and a cynic, a bitter old man, a wannabe-dissident, a malcontent, never published, and wont to submerge himself in self-indulgent dissatisfaction. On the other hand, I have written well over a million words of fiction, some of which, I’m sure, your mother will let your read when you’re well into your twenties.

  1. Don’t bother trying to make your writing “good.” You’re old enough to understand words like gestalt, zeitgeist, and paradigm. These are the factors that will determine if your writing is considered “good” or not, and you don’t really have any control over them. So just write.
  2. But if you still insist on getting “better,” here’s a trick: help other people first. Help your sister and brother, encourage them and tell them what you like about what they’ve written. Help your cousins, your friends. Yes, you can help adults as well, if they have written something they want to share. Hey, look at this, this essay I’ve written. Want to help me make it better? I welcome your suggestions.
  3. Don’t try to fix the first sentence until you finished the last sentence. This goes for paragraphs too, and pages, and chapters. Have you ever watched a movie for the second time? Notice how the beginning is different, since you know how the film’s going to end? How can you know how to fix the first chapter if you don’t even know how the book ends?
  4. Don’t listen to anyone’s advice or criticism. Well, it’s okay to listen, and consider, but don’t worry about what they say too much. This goes for spelling, punctuation, and grammar, as well as voice, tone, characterization, and plot. People have a billion ways to tell you what’s wrong, but so few ways to tell you what’s right. Don’t let them bog you down with those billions.
  5. Ignore the so-called “write what you know” rule. It’s poppycock. Most of the time we write to discover, so of course we have to write what we don’t know. Can you imagine how many fantasy or sci-fi books would have been written if people had followed this absurd rule? Certainly there is a place for writing what you know, and some people do like that kind of autobiography, or expertise. But there’s no sense in limiting yourself. Write about whatever you want, and if you don’t know it, make it up.
  6. Ignore, also, the “show don’t tell” rule. You’re going to hear this one a lot. It’s such nonsense. It’s vague advice from people who don’t care enough to read what you’ve actually written, trying to sound all wise and useful. Showing versus telling depends entirely on the tone you’re trying to set, the mood, even the themes involved with what you’re writing. It has everything to do with the situation at hand, and you are on control of that in your writing, you alone.
  7. You don’t have to show what you’ve written to anyone, ever. Writing begins as a deeply personal act, and I wish someone had told me this, a long time ago. I self-censored myself, eschewing certain topics, ideas, even words, for fear nobody would like them. And in doing so I limited myself, I left whole parts unexplored. Don’t worry about anyone’s judgment—not even your own, if you can help it.
  8. However, once you do share your writing, it doesn’t really belong to you anymore. Sort of. People bring all kinds of things with them when they read, and you can’t control that. If someone reads your story and it reminds them of something, how can you tell them they were wrong to have a memory? It’s okay to explain yourself, but someday you’re going to write things that will be read by people you’ll never meet. So, once your done with a story or a book, let it go.
  9. Write every day, if you can. But if you can’t, don’t give up. If you find you haven’t written in days, weeks, months, years, that’s okay. You can always come back to it. Always. Writing is going to be something that stays with you forever. It can be your best friend (and sometimes your worst enemy), it will always be a part of you. Cherish it, nurture it, trust it, rely upon it. And when you write, write about anything, everything. Break the rules, be silly, see how hard it is to make no sense at all. Every word you write is exercise, and exercise will only make you stronger.
  10. Don’t only write, however. Yes, exercise can make you stronger, but it can also make you tired. It’s okay to not write sometimes. To do things, to explore the world, explore your friends, to have other interests. The great thing about writing is that it’s compatible with everything, so you don’t have to worry about choosing between writing and something else. So feel free to try as many something-elses as possible. At the very least, that will give you something to write about.

I could go on, (ask your mother, she knows how I tend to prattle) but I think that’s a good start. The truth is, everyone should write, not just geniuses like you, but everyone, all the time. Writing is a gift, a wonderful gift, better than any other gift I’ve ever received, and it’s free for everyone. And you know I’m always available to discuss writing, (at your mother’s discretion of course), whenever you like. Which reminds me—your mom’s no slouch either, when it comes to pen and paper; you’ve got more than one gift there, it seems, so use them well. And thanks for listening to an old man babble.

Random Coincidence Usually Isn’t

Here’s this: “Not Allerigc to Adventure” to run-inspire you, write-inspire you, and love-whatever-you-do-inspire you. It’s the blog of ultramarathoner Sabrina Moran, and if you don’t delight in her running 100 miles or 24 hours at a time (guess which one is longer) then delight in how funny she is. Know what’s funny? I wrote the above before reading her post called “You’re Not an Inspiration.” Ha!

I have been lax in my writing. So what I’m doing is taking an email I wrote to someone and using it to write a blog post. I don’t know if that’s kosher, but I just read a quote from Johnny Depp who said “Just keep moving forward and don’t give a shit about what anyone thinks.” That resonates with my favorite Robert Downey Jr. quote: “Listen, smile, agree, and then do whatever the fuck you were gonna do anyway.”

You see what I’m doing there? I’m associating my attitudes with the attitudes of two very talented, very good-looking men. (Both of whom are older than me! But can you guess who of the two is oldest?)

Speaking of kosher, we had Hebrew Nationals last week. True Story. Here’s an ironic link, brought to you by Yahoo, now run by my wife’s sister’s old boss, who I have never formally met, but who I walked by once as she entered a house I was exiting, all 300 million dollars of her. (You see what I’m doing there?)

I’m sleepy. We went to Portland on Sunday, and I opted to drive back rather late instead of crashing and driving back the next day. It’s getting harder and harder as I get older and older to recover from bad or no sleep. While I was there, a friend of mine (call him Charles) told me about a friend of ours (call her Hanna) who had a severe psychotic break as a result of a misdiagnosed bipolar disorder and a serious case of sleep deprivation. Not that I’m at risk of that, but still. Sleep is so needed.

I know I’m not sleeping well when I have vivid dreams. I don’t like having them. Not because they’re bad, as such, but just because the imagery lingers and it makes the day’s thoughts cloudy. I read a theory that dreams are an interpretation of your brain re-arranging neurons to move memories from short-term into long-term. Last night I had a dream I was running around a deserted vacation resort, and then it turned into a casino and I saw an old (ex) friend and then another (current) friend chased me because he thought I was ignoring him. He caught me, and said “stop, damn it.”

That dream has no meaning; more telling is how vivid it was, that the resort was sort of all bed-rock and tarnished brass, the casino was plush red velvet, and my friend’s hands were very strong. And what it tells me is I am not sleeping well, probably because I’m drinking too much caffeine. But Ragnar is in a few days, and I’m excited, and I won’t be sleeping well that night, or the next night. Isn’t it weird how having a bad night’s sleep can make you have another bad night’s sleep the next day? It’s silly.

And lends itself to… a thing that there’s a name for, when you start seeing coincidences all over the place. For example, on Boing Boing, there was a post about Nocebos which are like placebos but make you feel bad, not good. Add to that that ultramarathoners blog, where she in a post mentions “Doxastic penetration” which “refers to when your beliefs color your perceptions.” Now can I add those ideas to a TED talk I saw the other day, by the founder of SuperBetter, and to that add a blog post at the Happiness Project called “Want To Have More Fun? Go On a Mission.”

And shall I add to that those quotes by Depp n’ Downey? And you see where I’m going with all these? Can you see what I am doing there? WELL I CAN’T BECAUSE I HAVE NOT SLEPT ENOUGH.

But I don’t care because Ragnar is in a few days. Ohmygodohmygodohmygod. I will not sleep well but so what: I’m on a mission, a mission to do one of things that makes me happy like no other, and I think Johnny and Robert would approve. No, really, I genuinely think they would provide applause.