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A mystical time zone

Thursday 5/20/21

Things continue to get worse. Scarier. I bring out the darkest, most evil demons in people. I am like an innocent behind a closed curtain, where they think they can do anything, where they cannot help themselves from doing anything. What I have learned in this life, too, is the people who were meant to be the closest to me, to be on my side, to love me, are the worst people I have known. They are so because of context. Not that they're, in and of themselves, more evil than, say, a bigot in publishing who would sooner give up the life of their first born than allow me to get what I deserve. Each day, for so long, has been a battle of life and death. Each day can go either way. Each day I have to have this intense internal argument with myself not to kill myself. The argument is exhausting, and it would be so easy to give in. The Google searches I do to get a gun, to just shoot myself.

Then I just work harder. It gets worse. The hate increases. I do everything right. I am kind, I create the best work there has ever been, and so much of it. I hurt no one, I strive to help people. I don't drink, I am up at four in the morning, every day, seven days a week. I create. I have no even been touched by another human since 2019. But people who know all of this, seek to end me. To behave towards me in a manner that pushes me over the edge. I have come to have a different definition of murderer than most people. For I know now that one can be a murderer and not have killed somebody. Because of their intention. I have learned that being as I am, doing everything right, doing what no one else could do, always doing it, in the hardest circumstances, and completely alone, with no hope, no money, no quality of life, days you cannot afford food, living an existence that would kill someone in two days, and being brilliant, honorable, strong, will make people hate you with a power that goes beyond the hate they could have for anything else. It doesn't matter their relation to you. This is the single biggest piece of my pie, so far as the divvying up goes of everything against me. It's bigger than being blackballed by an entire industry. This is why everyone keeps away. This is why there is no interest, no support, not even Twitter followers. It's because of what Thoreau called "absolute greatness." One becomes the tabla rasa for someone else's darkest and deepest self-loathing. Their awareness of their lack of purpose, drive, knowledge, character. Their guilt. Their failures. Perhaps their entire life has been a failure. Their lack of self-esteem. I bring all of that out of people in total ways. And then I pay the price of, apparently, my life. I have known such evil in people.

It's been a while since I've done what I think of as a proper entry, accounting for the days. Entries of late--save the one on the LAFFs--have tended to a collage style, with pitches, excerpts, that kind of thing, flown in from external sources. I will attempt to catch up now on the past little bit. When one reads reviews of journals and diaries, there's often the frequent complaint of overlap and repetition. The diarist does not recall what they'd already mentioned. There is some repetition here, but not much, and when there is a degree of it, there are new thoughts to the old subject. That may happen here.

I sold--for a pittance--essays on Toni Morrison and Babe Ruth. The Morrison essay was about her novel Jazz and jazz itself. The Ruth essay centered on how he transformed the game of baseball 100 years ago and played it in a manner that hitters now seek to play it. This is he did despite his reputation as a "lunkhead." But Ruth had an entirely different strategy as a batsman than any other player during his era. He was a radical. Wasn't just a "I'm big and brawny" thing.

The other day I would have had an op-ed on the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame run in the New York Daily News, but I failed to check my email in time--which is still a reality of my breakdown--and okay the edit. Angry at myself, for costing myself money I can't afford to cost myself. That's the second time I've done that this year, the other time being a USA Today op-ed.

Also, this was relayed to me in late March, but I only saw it the other day, but If You [ ]: Fabula, Fantasy, F**kery, Hope, has been pushed back by Dzanc to late January 2022. It was supposed to come out in January of this year, but because I suck, I screwed that up, and then it was supposed to come out in July, and I screwed that up, too. I can't afford to create a year's delay with a book, only because that means another book, if they'd do it, gets pushed back. I am always on the clock. I am not twenty-three. I am not old, but I am trying to change the world more than one person has ever changed it, and that is going to require so much to happen, and not any of it has yet. The clock. My thoughts are always on the clock. I awake at four, and my first thought is of time. If it's 4:11 and I haven't started going hard, I begin to panic.

There was also a change to the cover of the book that I did not like at all, which seemed to me at cross purposes with the book, which I've asked them to remove. The phrase "Stories by" was inserted--the preferred cover is on the Books page of this site--when before it had just said "By." The "By" alone also worked because the cover is a sketch, a doodle, a grocery list that one scribbles in the margins of, and you could totally add a jokey "By" then your name. I don't want to break that organic wall, do you know what I mean? I don't want to shatter the mood of the visual with a foreign hand, which is what happens when it becomes "Stories by." That takes some of the power out of the coffee-stained doodle and what that doodle is putting over. It's not a story collection as one thinks of a collection. It's an assembly of what the subtitle says: fabula, fantasy, fuckery, and hope. It's like a punk rock triple album in terms of range and style. No one else could have written this book. It's a White Album, a Black Album. The cover can reflect that. Think of the covers of those records by the Beatles and Prince. Reflect some mystery. It's good mystery. Not, "eh, I'm so confused mystery" but rather, "Hmmm, what do we have here?" mystery and then one can flip the book over and read the description anyway.

At the same time, that's not going to happen, because I am blackballed, and the industry will make sure there is no coverage whatsoever. Even someone who does not know who I am right now, within publishing, would make sure to give the book no coverage when they learned who I was. Because of what I said above. What I am, what they are, what that brings out in them. I cause them too much doubt. I rock their foundations with what I am. I'm not like them at all. They seek to cover people who are exactly like them, because that is more comforting. But I want to get this cover right. The thing about these books is that they come out when they come out, but they also haven't come out. I don't know if that makes sense to someone. For instance: Buried on the Beaches: Cape Stories for Hooked Hearts and Driftwood Souls. I love this book and have come to appreciate it more since it came out in May 2019. It's the ultimate beach read. The person who composed the inner psychological hell and nightmare felt and broken heart autopsy and Lewis and Clark-style mapping of the extreme edges of pain of The Anglerfish Comedy Troupe wrote the ultimate beach book. (I actually wrote them simultaneously.)

The way someone in publishing looks at a book is that it comes out, sells some, goes away. The sales happen early on. First of all, I don't write books like that. Books that would get a flurry of purchases because of the empty, half-assed reviews. That kind of purchasing isn't what I think of as sincere purchasing. It's "to do it" purchasing. An "eh, meh" purchase. A "might as well, I guess, whatever" purchase. Those reviews cease to come out, and that's it. There was the flurry. Or even the storm. Everything happens early.

My books have their appeal, and will endure, because they are things other books are not. A Fleming book is a passionate affair of energy and life and knowledge and emotion. They are self-sustaining books--with sales, too--when they get their chance. The chance thus far has been denied. Buried is for everyone because of the nature of the characters. The books is ultimately about the characters, and is set where it is set. Now, I'd say that that setting itself becomes a character. But one need not even know what Cape Cod is to love that book as much as someone who loves Cape Cod, treasures their memories of vacations there as a child so much so that they saved up and bought a cottage in Chatham in their fifties which is now their favorite spot on earth, that place they're always looking forward to visiting again. The big family cookouts and the bracing swims and the crack of lobster shells and a cold beer to wash down the meat.

But though these books have come out, they have not come out. They've not come out because they've had no chance. They don't exist in any real numbers, even as a print run. There is of course no coverage. There is of course suppression. People on the Cape, for instance, have no clue that Buried on the Beaches exists. Obviously you'd like this book if you lived there or went there, and I've already talked about the people who don't know where there is. And obviously Cape Cod places would want to feature it, and cover it, and do an interview about it, and write a piece on it, but it's really as if the book does not exist. Save for the few people who might have stumbled across me, via this site or blog. Something I happened to write elsewhere. But when someone finds something you wrote, they're very rarely going to look you up and buy your book. No matter who much they loved what you wrote. Sometimes. But it's rare. That's not how people come to the goods that they buy. They come to them because they're singled out By a lot of people. They're praised in a highly public place. The legwork, as such, needs to be taken care of that way. People won't do their own legwork.

What I'm going to need someone to understand is that this was not a normal situation. These books were not released in a normal situation. They're not normal books as other books are what they are, either. They didn't come out, get seen, and do nothing, so they're over and done with. When someone else--larger, with a budge, with a big marketing department behind you--takes me on later, they need to realize that these are really new books--all of my old books--that no one has ever seen. They should be treated as such. It's really a start for each book. Not a do-over because, well, they came out, there was apathy, that's the way of things, sales at first, then none after. Buried on the Beaches has never been seen by anyone on Cape Cod. Even just that. Something as basic a tie-in as that. As easy and obvious a tie-in. There was just no way to get word of this book to those people. Not in my current situation. Someone is going to look at me and be like, "You published constantly, you were in everything," and they're really going to have to think. To understand what has truly happened here. They're going to have to use their brains. They're going to have to read entries like this one, and they're going to have to listen to me, because this isn't anything that has ever happened before. My book to date exist, but in a very real way, they also do not exist. A few hundred people might even know about any of them. That's it. And it can get really confusing, given my publication track record. The assumption will be that of course I had a real shot, and even that I must be well liked to have been in all of those places. And anyone who has read these pages here for a week, will know that is the furthest thing from the truth.

On Mother's Day, I wrote a couple of people early in the morning who had lost their mothers, to let them know I was thinking of them. And also texted a publisher of mine who is a mother herself. She's only forty and she thinks she's old--or she refers to herself as middle aged, anyway--and I can tell this gets her down, so I also try to convey that she is not old at all, which is certainly true. As I wrote in that USA Today op-ed, you can't look at yourself as old at fifty or whatever. Because then what are you when you're ninety? You're not even being consistent in the sense of the language behind the actual math. But everything is also how you are. How you "be." How you live. Your energy. What you do. What you are doing as much of and what you're doing more of. One can be old at thirty. One can be not old at sixty.

Here is a pitch that went out yesterday to the LA Times titled "when Sandy got good":

Dear Chris,

How are you, sir? Had an idea I was pretty stoked about that I wanted to shoot your way, if that's cool. I ardently follow and admire your section from a distance, but none the less every day. I've written for the LA Times a lot (actually, I'm owed money presently). Wrote for Sports Illustrated a bunch when you were there--and frequently encounter those pieces being discussed in various forums. I'm the author of eight books. Other work appears in Rolling Stone, Harper's, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, The New Yorker, NY Daily News, The Washington Post.

Here's what I got. I've been obsessed with Sandy Koufax for a long time, which I can pinpoint to fourth grade, when I read this biography of him after racing to bang out my little writing assignment. It had this phrase that has always stuck in my mind--"It was time for Sandy to wind up his arm for his annual no hitter." I was hooked on the guy.

But what has fascinated me most about Koufax was that he was so, well, middling, I suppose, would be the charitable word, sub-average or worse might be more on the nose, for so long, until sixty years ago, when, in 1961, he becomes something else entirely.

There's no real career arc like this, in any of the sports. There are late bloomers, yes--actually, for SI I wrote a piece several years back on how Brad Marchand could end up a Hall of Famer--but nothing like Koufax. He was young age-wise when he started, but then again, so was Bob Feller. He had a stack of years, though, going back to the "dem Bums" days and the Yankees wars of the middle 1950s. He easily, were it not for the money the Dodgers had invested in him, could have washed out of the league following 1961, and he may have done just that, were it not for this giant leap.

He only had, of course, a half dozen elite seasons, but that first one of 1961 compels me the most. Because where the hell did it come from? Now, it's not as dominant as Koufax gets. His final two campaigns might be the best back-to-back seasons any hurler has ever notched; dyadic brilliance. He's still flawed in '61, but he's figuring it out. You take away this season, I don't know if he gets in the Hall.

I'd go inside his transformation, his numbers, and also the views at the time. Namely, that Koufax may have just had his career year. That one year that a lot of guys seem to have an never duplicate again. But this was, for Koufax himself, a figure-it-out year, a flux year, a transition year, interregnum year--the Beatles doing, let us say, Help! on the road to Rubber Soul.

In some ways, it's one of the most important individual seasons a Dodger player has ever had, because think how different the franchise and its history might be without this "putting it together"--to use a phrase of F. Scott Fitzgerald's--annum from Koufax. No titles in '63 and '65, no Pennant in '66. Maybe the Dodgers don't become this haven/heaven of pitching largess, which is the meatiest part of the franchise's legacy, outside of the heroic revolution of Jackie Robinson.

I could do it at any word length. 800. 1000. 600. Anything you might prefer.

Thanks for the time.

Recently I have experienced what it is like not to be believed by a sibling. I can tell. It feels like being raped and tortured daily, and that is the entirety of an existence. It's just how it is. What is contended with. As real as sunlight or the oxygen one breathes. No fancy involved. No speculation, no imagination. No embellishment. And not believed. You can tell. I can tell. I also know that my sister does not know me at all as a person. Which is a very strange thing. Especially as I am. With all of the...words. I'm not some creature in a corner who rarely speaks or writes. Leaves one very cold. Very alienated. There's nothing mean-spirited or cruel involved. I love my sister and I believe my sister loves me. But she does not know me. There is no one in my family--it's become one of those words that I think about forever striking from my experiental vocabulary--who has any idea who I am. Most fundamentally am. People often get boxed in and limited by their own experiences. Experience, curiously, has a way of limiting, though no one discusses this. Experience can curtail empathy. Experience can shrink the paradigms of what one can conceive of. I am not someone who exaggerates anything. I am not someone who misremembers anything. As someone who does know me, somewhat, said to me the other day, "You are a like a rape and torture victim who blames yourself for everything now." My nature is always to blame myself. That has become more pronounced here in my isolation, here knowing how alone I am, how hated I am by thousands of people, how the people who ought to have cared the most showed the most intense hate. Completely alone. Creating. No support. I try to make myself the cause of everything that has happened to me.

I have a cousin. She lost her job. She lives on Instagram. She would hit the "like" button for anyone on there, save for me. I am kind to this person. We have a cousin, for instance, that is a total bitch. Everyone knows this. Always has been. A nasty piece of work. Also, a thief and criminal. If she posted anything, this other person would hit the like button. Anyway, I reached out to her with kind words after she lost her job. I gave her my phone number, saying she could text if she needed anything, or if she wanted someone to give a resume a look. Anything at all. She did text me. Which surprised me somewhat. Her car had some damage, and it was a bad time for her. I was very supportive. Even as I am here in a hell she could never imagine. Easter rolled around while this was happening, and I sent a text saying chin up and all of that, time of renewal and rebirth, and happy Easter.

You know what the response was? "Thanks." That's typical of how anyone like this would be with me. "Friend" or relative. Now, if I put the cover of a new book on Instagram, this person will make a point of not hitting the like button. And people like her. Because it's me. Now, am I not kind to this person? And that's just how it goes, right? You hit the like button for friends and family no mater what. But a book, right? That's kind of a big deal, I think, to people. They can recognize it as a life thing. The bitch I mentioned? If she self-published a book about being a bitch, this person, who doesn't like her, would hit that like button. This is what I mean. The piece of the pie. A person makes a conscious decision to not even do this most basic thing with me, for me, on my behalf. I can post a photo of a family of mallards with cute ducklings swimming alongside their mother and father. Same thing. It's not a book thing. It's a Colin Fleming thing. Dan Wickett will hit that like button. Aaron Cohen. Kimball sometimes. But people hate me. I mean, "thanks?" That's appropriate? Not even, "you too"? People avoid me at all costs. Some way even not want to. They may have more respect or regard for me than anyone. But they think I'm too cool, or too smart, or too whatever for them, so they sit it out. Even something as simple as hitting the bloody like button.

I wrote an op-ed yesterday on what I believe is one of the most overrated records in sports, which is also among the most revered, that being Joe DiMaggio's 56-game hitting streak from eighty years ago, which ties in to right now insofar as how a narrative can take the place of truth; or make truth harder to see, anyway, for most people. It's an excellent piece, but this is never about that, so I don't know how it will go, but I desperately need the money. I need to go to the dentist and I can't put it off any longer.

I still cannot insert the hyperlinks into this journal--the bug is not fixed--as I had before, so one would have to go to either the News or On air pages of this site to access the audio, but a couple Tuesdays back on Downtown I discussed the lost opportunity of the 1990-91 Boston Bruins, the somewhat overrated Red Sox career of Fred Lynn (which was still very good), Nick Drake's Bryter Layer upon its fiftieth anniversary, and a Sam Cooke concept album called My Kind of Blues, upon its sixtieth. Then this past Tuesday I discussed another Bruins missed opportunity in the 1970-71 squad, what I think is among the best sports documentaries in The Boys on the Bus about the Edmonton Oilers trying to recapture the Cup during the 1986-87 season, a concert tape from 1968 that is quite rare in that it features both bill-toppers the Who and opening act Blue Cheer, and one of the very best--maybe the best--five-part Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar episodes called "The Broderick Matter" about a broken twenty-seven-year-old woman who ghosts a lot of men.

Next week I'll discuss Finnegans Wake and not being scared by "difficult" works of art. Also, the Grateful Dead's "Ripple," the 1958 Boris Karloff picture, The Haunted Strangler, and the end portion of Carlton Fisk's career--which borders on the shocking--and Gary Carter, who I've come to believe is one of the greatest players in baseball who is never discussed as an all-time great. Yes, he's a Hall of Famer. But I don't think he gets the recognition he deserves. There's also that docu-series on the 1986 Mets coming up. I'm hoping I'll be able to find someone to write about it for.

I had a feature come out in JazzTimes on Eric Dolphy's transposition of Billie Holiday's "God Bless the Child" to solo bass clarinet. That's also up in the News section, though it's not yet up in the Music section which is a mess and very out of date, both in terms of recent pieces--I don't think a new one has been added in a couple years--and the ones older than the oldest that is up now.

I have a new personal essay in Salmagundi called "You're Up, You're Down, You're Up," which is about me running up and down the Bunker Hill Monument as a means to both keep going, to remain alive, to grow, and to create.

Speer Morgan editor at The Missouri Review throws away my emails without opening them. He'd rather do that than look at a masterpiece like "Girls of the Nimbus," "Dead Thomas," or "Fitty" because he is an envious, bigot of a man. He gets to be the king of his meaningless kingdom. Ego is everything for such a person. Protecting that ego. Lying to one's self about what one is and what one does and what one's importance is.

Someone at Hachette will look at the proposal for Same Band You've Never Known: An Alternative Musical History of the Beatles. They're a person I'd like to do this book with. I know a lot about this editor.

I finished revising Glue God: Essays (and Tips) for Repairing a Broken Self. Or, I should say, I finished pass one. I'm going to go through it again before i send it to this one place. There was an excerpt on this journal, which Norberg was a big admirer of, though he wrote me with a tip, or something to consider, regarding a couple of sentences. These things will be judgment calls. They won't be a "this sucks, that has to go" kinds of things, because that kind of thing I've largely removed or altered before I get to the stage where I send work to the members of the Inner Circle. (Though in this case, the text was up on here.) I consider his input, and then made the changes he had suggested.

There is something that is helpful for me to make sure I keep in mind from time to time. My very simple, rote, even, is going to be more sophisticated than someone else's very deep, very thoughtful, whatever. Like, if i tried to write some utter crap, it's going to be more accomplished than what these people will ever come up with. Not that I'd try to do that. But my "way less" is far more than their "super more." Red Sox analyst Dennis Eckersley will say that a pitcher has "easy cheese." He's talking about that kind of guy who looks like he's barely trying, who has these effortless mechanics, and yet he's humming the ball up to the plate at 100 mph. I have the easiest cheese with my writing and art. It's helpful to remember that sometimes, and get the ball up to the plate. I don't need to overthrow.

The same thing also recently happened with Dan Wickett and a story from Longer on the Inside: Very Short Fictions of Infinitely Human Lives called "Bird Skulls."

He had read it a few times, found a couple typos, and suggested that I could remove two sentences, given that they said outright what the story and tone and mood had already conveyed. I know when someone has the interest of the work in mind. Just as I know when someone is up to no good. Because of their own insecurities. For instance, I will be doing a blog entry on one sad little man, Nate Brown of American Short Fiction, illustrating, at length, exactly what I mean by this latter type of person.

The typos were minor--the word "a" was repeated in one case--and that encouraged me, that there were only the two. Wickett said he was very surprised, given the amount of my output, that there were so few typos. I looked at the story--it was one of those stories I move on fast from, all but efface from my head--which, if I am given cause to revisit, I end up thinking, "holy shit,, this is good? You did this? And you just effaced it from your mind?" I do this in part because it's so depressing--and traumatizing--for me to be sitting here with 400 masterpieces that no one will touch because I am the ultimate pariah of the industry right now. Again, this was a judgment call. And, again, I went with the person who provided the input, and took out the two sentences. It's an amazing nature story. I offered it to Orion, but, of course, we have the blackballing, so that editor wasn't going to respond, and didn't.

I've written six short stories lately. "Fellow Members," "Cartoon Hearts," "Coalescences," "Drama I.," "A Gooseneck Lamp," "A Village Hero." One writer called "Cartoon Hearts" one of the best things they'd ever read. A work that would always last. "Drama I." explodes form.

I completed a new book. It's called Become Your Own (Super) Hero: Modern Fiction in Twenty Easy Steps (Stories). The book begins and ends with a story about a super hero. That first one is "Eyejaculator," which has come up in several recent entries in this journal, so I thought I'd get into what "Eyejaculator" is about.

The story is told by a middle-aged man who begins by saying he'd like to create a comic book character. A super hero. The story is going to operate on multiple levels at once. As this guy describes the comic book hero he's come up with, a portrait also emerges of a man who believes, or fears, or worries, the world has passed him by. That he has no place in it. Not that he's this fossil, or relic, or bad guy. The opposite, in fact, seems true. He creates this character--as he's kind of angry, kind of joking, and certainly frustrated--called Eyejaculator, who subdues his enemies--threats to society--with his mighty spermatic blasts. Blinding them. Then capturing them. Done without their consent. So his results aren't the issue, but his methodology.

As this guy tells us about Eyejaculator, and Eyejaculator's own story plays out, we learn more about the guy's life. He's an empty nester, and he and his wife are finding out that they don't have that much now. The basis for their relationship is missing. He spends a lot of his time in his man cave, where he has all of this sports memorabilia he describes--and there's a good reason why he describes it--while she's up in their bedroom reading Simenon mysteries. He wishes he saw his grand kids more. We get to know his neighbor, who is this mega-dick, but "one of the good ones," based upon the signage he has out in his lawn. And he pressures the guy telling the story to get the same signage, or else he's this racist, this bad guy, when we repeatedly see how wretched the neighbor is.

Parts of the story are hilarious. I've never written anything that has more energy than this story. Someone told me they'd never seen linguistic invention at this level. They've been teaching literature for forty years. This is the same story from that entry on here earlier this week where someone else texted me about how I'd be on all the major news outlets talking about this story, that if I had written nothing else in the last twenty years this would make my name, to whom I had to reply, well, first of all, I'm blackballed, second of all, I don't think anyone--let a lone a major venue--has it in them to put out something so alive and radical and innovative and exciting.

So in the story--and the story within the story--we have BLM, Stop Asian Hate, The New York Times, Soviet cinema of the 1970s, Dostoevsky, consent, cancel culture, sci-fi, Camus, F. Scott Fitzgerald, comic book history, Billie Holiday, a small liberal arts college in Oberlin and the controversy when Eyejaculator comes to town for a talk and then has to save everyone therefrom this bootleg Green Goblin type of fellow. Or make a decision to save them or not.

It's an unreal work of art. But, of course, the situation is the situation. There is nothing like this story.

Been reading a lot of Daniil Kharms.

Despite my love of The Golden Girls, I have never had cheesecake. I am not sure I understand what it is. The idea of a cake being made out of cheese makes me uneasy, but I am mostly certain it's not actually a cake made out of cheese. But there has to be something in there, right? I also have no clue what bitcoin is.

My buddy Howard saw that he was mentioned in the acknowledgments for the Sam Cook 33 1/3 book and he seemed pretty excited, and I was glad. Howard does a lot for me. He found me a copy of FTD's Elvis set The Wonderful World of Christmas, and asked me what other FTD releases I'm looking for, which is actually a lot. FTD puts out these Elvis albums that are pretty pricey and they go out of print, which are mostly previously unreleased material. I'm sending Howard some things in the mail--a volume of Father Brown mysteries, a soul box set, a copy of hard-to-find American Christmas fiction from the late 1800s.

I have been listening to a lot of Grateful Dead of late. Which surprises me somewhat. I'm only now realizing how good they were. This began on Easter, as I documented in an earlier entry. I am paying special focus on the 1970 period--gigs from that time, Workingman's Dead and American Beauty, and the studio sessions for those records; and the shows from May 1977.

"Ripple," I should add, is so beautiful that I cannot hear it and not cry.

I have been listening to a lot of the Smiths lately--Strangeways, Here We Come, the debut, The Queen is Dead, Hatful of Hollow. Also, Oasis' Heathen Chemistry. And a goodly amount of Radiohead's OK Computer.

I have watched a number of Robert Ryan films lately. Caught, Odds Against Tomorrow, Bad Day at Black Rock. He's an interesting actor, but I don't feel his films tend to add up to much. Odds Against Tomorrow is weak, save for the actual heist scene. That strikes me as very believable. Until they get to the power plant. But the part at the bank at night strikes true. Crossfire is the best, but mostly because of Mitchum.

I watched the first three episodes of that Disney Star Wars series, The Bad Batch and actually found it effective. The relationship with the girl and the leader of the unit works. That's the actual hook of the show. And it's a human thing.

Sunday marked 1785 days, or 255 weeks, without a drink of alcohol. My exercise efforts have been checkered. Many days I walk five miles. I've run the Boston College stairs, most recently on Tuesday of this week, when I ran them ten times and also walked eleven miles. My hair is making me very hot. I last had it cut last year when the Bruins were in that Round Robin thing before the start of the playoffs.

Here's a nonsensical note someone sent me, that is nonetheless clear in its passive aggressive, insulting quality:

"Colin do you have a sister named Sarah? I'm searching for a long lost friend Sarah Fleming who had a brother Colin. They moved from Seattle to Massachusetts in 1977. Probably not you, judging by your photo, but people can be vain, and you might actually be in your 50s!"

Great. Thanks.

The Bruins are up 2-1 in their series with the Capitals. Before the series started, I predicted on Twitter that it would go seven games, and there would be multiple OT games. So far, all three games have required the extra session. My thought after Game 1 was that the Bruins played tentatively because they were trying to keep the Caps off the powerplay, and they didn't shoot enough on a forty-year-old goalie who had only played in three games and been a taxi squad netminder for most of the year. Taylor Hall was the B's best player. I'm not awake for a lot of these things, I admit, given that I'm up at four. Jake DeBrusk started to chip in by going to the net in Game 2. As I also said on Twitter, "As in hockey, as in life: go to the dirty areas/the net and ye shall be rewarded." Also put this up: "Today’s random hockey stat: only nineteen players have averaged half a goal a game for their careers. Three are unlikely to ever reach the Hall of Fame. I think two of them should." No one responds to any of it, of course. Like I said, it's me. Those three, by the way: Rick Vaive, Rick Martin, Tim Kerr, the latter two of whom I think should be in the Hall.

Continuing the Twitter theme, I also posted this: "I've worked 20 hours at least each of the past 4 days. Wonderful time in an evil industry. Even I just went outside for the first time since Tuesday. If the truth ever got out about publishing, I don't think people's imaginations could even process that anything works this way." To which someone did reply, "You work harder than anyone. Day after day you go harder and harder. The truth needs to come out these people need to be exposed for what they have done to you."

And I had mulled on who the finalists should be for the Hart trophy as MVP in the NHL, going with McDavid, Marchand, and Crosby. McDavid should win unanimously. He had the best season anyone's had this century. Truly remarkable to score that clip in this era of the league. But Marchand deserves that nomination, certainly. I don't think Crosby will get one. Matthews is more likely. Voter fatigue.

I need to write a big feature for JazzTimes on John Coltrane's Ascension. Will be some money at least, though it's a lot of work and the work and the money aren't close to proportional.

I found a couple of old notes yesterday from the girl I had mentored. They made me sad. I didn't throw them away and instead tucked them into a book.


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