I've worked my ass off over the holiday weekend. The big development is probably that I completed "Girls of the Nimbus," which is over 5000 words long. Full-on masterpiece, in the "Fitty" category. I still have to work on it--will probably take anywhere from one to three more sit-downs. I don't like to say I have a draft, like other writers do. I don't like to call myself what they are either. There needs to be another word. The way I put it is the story is in manuscript. I sent out the proposal for my first hockey book. I came up with an idea for my second. I wrote seventy-five letters. I walked thirty-eight miles and ran 8000 stairs at Boston College. And wrote three journal entries on here. This is after the New York Daily News op-ed that led into the weekend.
When I am back in my house in Rockport, I should like to have a Christmas stocking that reads "Zulu Warrior."
I read Frank Cowper's "Christmas Eve on a Haunted Hulk"--reread, that is. Sat by the harbor this afternoon and read a piece on Pink Floyd bootlegs, and Myron Cope's The Game that Was. Watched Frosty the Snowman (1969) on Friday night. It's one of the only Rankin-Bass Christmas specials where Santa Claus is not a draconian, Old Testament-type dick. Though I rather like that version of Santa. Watched the new episode of The Mandalorian. What I like about it is it's okay with being a serial. Doesn't need to be bigger than it is. Doesn't strain. It's straight-up serial--this is what you got with those Buster Crabbe Flash Gordon serials. There's a loose arc, but the emphasis is on the adventure that week. The loose arc is almost an excuse. Listened to two more of those five-part episodes of Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar. "The Clinton Matter" and "The Plantagent Matter." Over the years I listened to episodes of this program on and off, but now I'm making a proper study. I am taken aback by the quality of these five-parters. Sometimes it's at that Orson Welles-level of radio, and up there with Quiet, Please.
In "The Plantagent Matter," Dollar is going home, having completed a job. He's out in the parking lot of a bar, getting his car to head to the airport, when he sees a man and woman quarreling. He helps her out, the guy calls him a hero, in that mocking way, they come to blows, and he lays the guy out, and then the guy scurries off. She's unsettled, so Dollar takes her into the bar, to buy her a drink, tries to crack some jokes to take her mind off things. They know each other for all of a half hour. He puts the woman in a cab after, and she has this attack, so Dollar jumps in and the cabbie takes them to the hospital, where the woman dies. It's pretty intense. Dollar cancels his flight, sticks around town, because he feels like they had a kind of friendship, him and this woman, despite not knowing her name. He wants to help her, even in death, if he can. Look, there isn't a writer in America who has anything that real right now. And here was that level of realness, on a radio program meant for Joe Average out there in Middle America. At the end of the episode, too, you get to hear Dollar beat the shit out of somebody. Fistfights in radio programs are usually pretty simple, so far as the sound effects go. But the crew for this program were clearly told to go all out, and they must have had a blast. Best fight I have ever heard. In "The Clinton Matter," there's actually a line I've been thinking about, as it pertains to what I'm dealing with right now--who I'm dealing with. "Don't push anybody around, don't let anybody push you around." I've been pushed around a lot, and I need to do more about it. On here. And elsewhere.
Saw a dude in an Andy Katzenmoyer 1999 Patriots jersey today. Odd/unlikely jersey sightings interest me. There was this guy at the Italian-American club down the street who would have on a Tony Esposito Blackhawks away jersey (beautiful sweater, incidentally). Favorite goalie of mine--underrated. Was better than Ken Dryden against the Soviets in 1972. Dryden never handled them well--on account of the side-to-side nature of the Soviet game. Their lateral-pass attacking style never seemed to allow him to get set, which was important with Dryden's style, in part because of his size.
Some other people were on the stairs today. I get competitive. There was a fit, hot woman. She started after me, ended before me. She had a good pace, and we were going in opposite directions, so each time we passed I tried to pass her at a further point than the time before--so my pace was faster. Then a guy showed up that I've seen there one other time. He also left before I was done. And finally there was a woman who would do half of the stairs, then sit and rest after each half-trip. I was actually more winded today, for some reason.
So. Have not eaten yet today. it's after four. Will tend to that, drink lots of water, and get ready to go hard this week. December will be a huge month for me. Going to watch some of the Kansas City-Tampa game.