Monday, August 29, 2011

A kept man

We are funny animals, easy to please as dogs. I got up too early, dragged my butt out of the house to have a series of cheerful women torment me with pointed instruments. But I feel gratified, because I was told what a fine job I'm doing with the floss and the brush. Good boy. Doglike, too, in this way: There was a time when I needed a lot of work from myself, but these days I'm always looking for ways to keep me exercised, so I don't mope and pine. I have become my own pet.

Monday, August 22, 2011


Back when I was a kid I would sit around and imagine I was a teenager. Then when I was a teenager I'd enjoy just sitting around imagining I was in a band. When I was in a band I would sit around imagining I was an actor, and when I had chance to do some acting, I'd sit around imagining I was on the radio. I used to imagine what it would be like to write for a living. Now I've finally figured out what my favorite thing to do is. Turns out I like sitting around imagining things.

Monday, August 15, 2011


It's like trying to climb a ferris wheel; there's isn't time in a human life to write down even a single day. There's too much; you have to leave stuff out. Storytelling turns out to be subtractive, like coaxing Caesar's head out of a block of marble. Every sentence you write has an omission-to-inclusion ratio that's just staggeringly high. The thing is, every omission is a little falsehood. Like saying you went to the candy store but not mentioning you stole a box of Atomic Red Hots. All I'm saying is, don't expect to read the truth here.

Monday, August 8, 2011


Last Friday NASA launched a mission to Jupiter, named Juno, on a rocket called Atlas. This promises to be mythic- it's actually going to fly partway there, circle back, fly past Earth in 2012, then finally get serious and actually fly to Jupiter. The scenic route, I guess. But doesn't the phrase “unmanned probe” sound like something unpleasant and humiliating has occurred? Meanwhile, new evidence of water on Mars is leading some scientists to speculate that the red planet might support some form of life. So far, no Starbucks or WiFi, though, so you can't really call it living.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Mister Big Stuff

Normally, I'm in the droll observations and avuncular yet acerbic witticism racket, and let me tell you it's been paying off like gangbusters. Gangbusters, I tell ya. But let's get serious for a minute. It used to be the world largest pencil was hanging out front of an office supply store in Wytheville, Virginia. It was a big tin pencil on a small town main street. Then in about 2002, the Faber-Castell factory built a 65-footer out of real pencil materials.
Now there's a 76-footer, a new world's record, with a real rubber eraser. This, friends, is history writ large.