Things pass in and out of my porous brain with such alarming rapidity, I often use Facebook as a digital notepad to catch some of it. Some are things I see that I want to capture for future use, some just musings I’m too ego-maniacal to keep to myself, mostly it’s just random gibberish. My hope, of course, is that it’s also entertaining and that you’ll get a smile or positive juju from it!
I dreamt a panther stole through my bedroom window while I slept – I now realize I have zero strategy for panthers in my bedroom.
1st Runner Up
Random realization: It struck me that my daily commute oddly echoes Joseph Campbell’s Monomyth (or Hero’s Journey) – I leave home, descend into the dark cave eventually arriving in the underworld, I’m swallowed by a monster then get spat back out, eventually ascending into the light. I bring this up only to remind you (and me), there’s something interesting in everything, no matter how routine.
5 things I think are important: 1. Decide for yourself the meaning of life (as often an required) 2. Decide what is important and not, act accordingly 3. Accept paradox, take comfort in it 4. Treat the other better than or as you would be treated 5. Cultivate continuous curiosity
5 Book Series I Love: James Ellroy’s L.A. Quartet, Earl Stanley Gardner’s Perry Mason, Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child’s Pendergast, Lawrence Sanders Original Sin, Raymond Chandler’s Philip Marlowe – What series/characters do you love?
5 Sensations I Love: The last moment between awake and asleep, a strong handshake delivered by an old man, the smell of smoke on winter air, the scratch of graphite on toothy paper, the smell of printing ink (books, magazines, comics, anything) – What sensations do you love?
5 Things I Love: Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream, Old Time Radio, The Library of Congress, The bunnies in my ‘hood, Film Noir (What do you love?)
4 Steps to Self-Reliance: 1. Assume responsibility 2. Be informed 3. Know where you are going 4. Make your own decisions
3 words (five really but no need to be anal) that I love the music of – lascivious, masquerade, and nom de guerre – what words do you love?
Observations & Aphorisms
Observation: As I walked the final leg of the journey back from the gym, I was paced momentarily by a bunny. When she veered off into the shrubs it struck me that what I look down upon as random foliage, she looks up to like an amazonian canopy – I love this nutty planet!
Observation: Demanding excellence of yourself doesn’t mean beating yourself up over not being excellent – it means noticing when you’re not being excellent and doing something about it. Have a great week to come, be kind, be excellent!
I miss Hunter S. Thompson, our rhetoric has grown banal, juvenile and weak – need to get this kind of juice back: “Richard Nixon was an evil man – evil in a way that only those who believe in the physical reality of the Devil can understand it. He was utterly without ethics or morals or any bedrock sense of decency.”
Was feeling pleased with myself this morning: a solid editing session followed by a good hour of exercise at the gym, arriving at the office a smidge past 8:00 where I promptly splattered my white oxford with mustard. Moral: Inattention rarely goes unpunished!
Random Observation: If you ask others if you’re a nice person, or verbally identify yourself as a nice person – it’s a good bet you’re not a nice person (the upside is you can become one).
Digital Surrealism: The CNN headline reads “South Carolina father held in deaths of five children” while below video plays of an anthropomorphic pig bragging about his car insurance company’s app (I think the thing that disturbs me most is that we’re so affluent our pigs have smart phones)
Observation: As a child I was terribly concerned with being perceived as smart – now I’m continuously amazed at how much I accomplish while being so stupid! Have a great weekend people – be kind, be excellent.
Labor Day, 6:45 am CVS Parking Lot: The first thing I notice is the pink boa on a sea of trash and clutter in the back seat, Pennsylvania plates, in the drivers seat a beat bottle blonde speaks meaningfully into an iPhone, the passenger seat and foot-well also filled with detritus. When I return from the store, she’s slouched forward, forehead pressed to the backs of her hands clenched on the wheel, whether its from exhaustion, frustration, or sadness I’ll never know.
Random observation: Self-reliance (financial, emotional, practical) gives us power, defines boundaries, and is the primary distinction between the child and adult state. Be mindful that if you ask people to “cut you some slack”, frequently ask small favors, or have trouble keeping your word you’re relying on the forbearance of others.
Got some ample reminders today that life can be nasty, brutish and short – if you’re engaged in anything (relationship, job, lifestyle) that bums you out start immediately your plan to get out – nobody’s going to give you a cookie for extra suffering when you wink out, your happiness is on you. Be kind, be excellent, dig life!
Dry Cleaners 12:35 pm – The old, thick, deep scar runs from the base of his bald skull disappearing into his collar – I wonder if he thought of running banal errands when he got it.
Subway 8:40 am – My p.o.v is over the shoulder of a young man, what I see is the young Chinese woman who is caressing, kissing his neck, inhaling his essence – she is besotted, her eyes opium unfocused – I’m in pre-corporate prostitution mode, and intensely aware of how different our emotional states are at that moment.
I had a mental image of my appearance when I left home this morning (I look great!), new tie, starched shirt, fresh shave. Halfway through my commute, I caught sight of myself in a subway partition and I looked like the body at a crime scene just taken from it’s hiding spot folded deep in the sofa bed. Humidity is a bitch!
Suicide, Ebola, Ukraine, Syria, Iraq, Missouri, Bacall – It’s easy to get caught up in the bummer of it all, do what it takes to resist it – create, be kind, be passionate, be curious, be relentless
The dream was vivid, intimately scaled but operatically themed. Filled with isolation, passion, lament, invisibility, self-annihilation and ultimately deeper understanding. I awoke feeling an existential hunger I never want to lose.
Random observation: Genuine self-expression by a person who has transitioned from child to adult state can be eccentric, but is rarely crazy. On the other hand, the (let’s say 35+) person who has not transitioned from the child state, no matter how they choose to express themselves, always seem (at least a little) crazy.
I took action last night, and in the moment didn’t think it was particularly successful, finding out today that it had some real and positive impact. I mention this only to remind ya’ll: Always take action, if you do your best what you think about “how you did” is irrelevant, let your results do the talking – good or bad – then take your next action.
Nothing drives humans more bugnuts than the sense of being caught in an existential prison (hated jobs no end in sight) – I see this more in civil service jobs, odd, inappropriate eruptions – lashing out at an invisible cage that only grows stronger with each impotent gesture of rebellion.
It’s a blast seeing that first glimmer of hope in a colleagues eyes (particularly younger, smart, driven ones), when for the first time they believe what was unchangeable, not only might change, but has the whiff of inevitability.
I’m thankful I didn’t encounter genuine evil until well into my teens – this allowed me to see the world as essentially bright with pockets of combatable darkness, not one of impenetrable darkness laughing at impotent light.
Random: Was trying to recall all the things I’ve gotten a paycheck for, it’s an eclectic list – Fast food cook/cashier, Dry Cleaner cashier, Movie usher/janitor, Hotel gardener, Hotel houseman, Personal trainer/janitor, Gym manager/sales, Magazine paste-up artist, Freelance graphic artist, Construction laborer, Illustrator/graphic artist, Art director, Graphic designer, Interface designer, Usability analyst, Usability consultant, Business analyst, Information architect, User experience designer!
Random observation: A common paradox is that those who would most benefit from tolerance and forgiveness are the most likely to perceive them as capitulation and approval. Life’s short people, be kind, be excellent.
A quick reminder as I prep for tonight’s success meetup: decisions = life, the more decisions you make the more alive you feel, the fewer you make the more dead you feel – good or bad decisions – don’t matter!