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Count Magnus

Thursday 4/4/19

Going to be quick about this because I don't feel like writing anymore right now.

Set a personal best today by climbing the Bunker Hill Monument twelve straight times. (Also walked three miles.) Ran the first 100 steps the first five times, ran the first seventy-five steps each of the last seven times. Didn't stop once. That's 7200 stairs. Here is the breakdown of Zulu status, as per Monument climbs:

1-2 climbs: Zulu intern

3-4 climbs: Zulu back-up

5-7 climbs: Zulu warrior

8-9 climbs: Zulu king

10-12 climbs: Zulu emperor

I wrote four more chapters, too, of Meatheads Say the Craziest Things: Satire for the End of Civilization. What this means is that the book I began from scratch on Sunday is now anywhere from 1/3-1/2 complete. I am dealing. I do not know how I keep getting better all the time, but I feel it and know it and I do. Here is the breakdown thus far of the first eleven chapters.

Chapter 1: Meathead phone call to mother

Chapter 2: At the symphony

Chapter 3: At the therapist

Chapter 4: Chaperoning a field trip to the seashore

Chapter 5: Meathead at a sleep study

Chapter 6: Meathead at a jazz bar

Chapter 7: Meathead fishing trip and lost at sea

Chapter 8: Meathead visited by his dead dad's ghost

Chapter 9: Meathead and neighbor at Comic-Con

Chapter 10: Meathead at sensitivity training at work

Chapter 11: Meathead on sports radio

The people who have seen the manuscript thus far will recognize how much I am holding back in those descriptions.

A book to sell a million copies and make millions of dollars. There is not a funnier book, and there is no one too smart for it, nor too stupid for it, and it crosses all demographics. I believe it will be done by next week. A book in less than two weeks. It is effortless for me to write. I've hit on everything in terms of tone, voice, psychological acuity--which is as much in abundance as in any novel one might name--and, of course, humor. It is, first and foremost, a humor book. Other than that, I don't know what one would call it. It's not nonfiction, of course. It's not a story collection, of course. I guess it might be a kind of novel, but it's a new kind of novel. The last chapter will involve the meathead coming to another planet, now that humanity is over.

A couple stray hockey thoughts. I think Ovechkin has a real chance to break Gretzky's career goal-scoring mark. A good chance. Like, 40%. Also, with Marchand hitting the century mark in points for the Bruins, I tried to think of other Bruins to have reached that milestone. By my unofficial count--which I am pretty sure is correct--I think Marchand is the tenth. The others being: Esposito, Orr, Bucyk, Hodge, Middleton, Pederson, Oates, Juneau, Thornton. Neely didn't do it. Bourque didn't do it. Ratelle didn't do it. At first I thought ten wasn't a lot for a club, but now I think it is. Guys didn't score 100 points prior to 1968-69. Obviously it happened a lot in the 1980s, and a lot of people did it in 1992-93, but by the end of the 1990s you had the Dead Puck era. Interesting follow-up to that note about Juneau having the most assists ever for a left winger: He didn't crack the top ten in the league in assists that season. Such an odd stat a couple ways.

Red Sox lost again. Alex Cora was way overconfident. He didn't have this pitchers or his team ready. He should be getting blasted. I am now wondering if he's a front runner. Listening to his post-game interviews, he sounds a lot weaker than he ever did last year. Cowed, and prone to excuses. The 2013 and 2018 Sox never lost more than three games in a row. They've already lost four in a row this year, by April 4, and their two wins were soft and fortunate.

That was Emma, by the way, on that text chain earlier. She was at school. She's so bright that they run out of stuff to give her to do, so I guess she texted me. Criterion sent me Detour for work. Went to Starbucks to re-gather, make notes for what I will compose tomorrow--I'm getting my audience and making my fortune no matter what it takes, and I am feeling it right now. As an artist I am dominating and there are so many projects here that either fully exist, or will shortly fully exist, that all should be massive revenue streams once I get my problem solved. And I will. I am not losing to these people. That's what I tell myself when I climb the Monument, to make sure my heart and fitness can handle what I am asking of my strength and will right now. I feel like I am sitting on a billion dollars just waiting to happen. I hope I get unleashed. I read some more of Lord Dunsany's The Curse of the Wise Woman. What arresting opening chapters. The book begins on Christmas Eve in Ireland when four men come--from "over the bog"--to kill the narrator's father who disappears. It's very dramatic, very exciting, and Dunsany thinks of some really clever plot devices. And it's so odd, but so believable, because the narrator, once his father goes, is just focused on bird hunting the next morning. He assumes his father, who escaped through some trap door, will either return or he won't. There is this believable disconnect between what has happened and what the narrator feels, and Dunsany pulls it off. I also read the first chapter of a Three Investigators book, The Mystery of the Kidnapped Whale. Obviously very different, but nicely tight. it's really well set up. Same principles govern a good YA book as a Fitzgerald story or a Tolstoy novel. And also listened to Miles Davis's Dark Magus. Boy did he make some contrasting music at different points at Carnegie Hall.

"Count Magnus," by the way, is an M.R. James story. Close to Magus. Just had both on my mind of late. I need to file an essay tomorrow that I just wrote on M.R. James. It should be out in The Daily Beast shortly before Easter, with a second Easter piece to follow there on Easter itself, looking at Renan's Life of Jesus.


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