* This has been a frustrating morning. I wrote 9000 words between two pieces for nothing. They're not going to run. An angry old man sent me a note saying how much my nonfiction sucks. His thing is to be angry, etc., but still. Annoying. Then said angry old man lectured me about Boston sports. I know people have empty lives and can barely live with themselves, but I still don't know how they manage to live with themselves even in the very limited, crumb-like way that they do. I don't know how they justify to themselves that they're in the right with their behavior, when it's so apparent that behavior is a result of their emptiness, their smallness, their anger. Their lack of anything of substance. Then they're just so bad at things, and yet they will condescend to someone who isn't because they can't help themselves. Query: Is there a greater indication of how pathetic a person is than that? Truly pathetic, in the truest meaning of the word. They're to be pitied, but it's hard to pity a gnat buzzing around your face. A gnat with bad breath. Spittle coming out of its mouth and getting on your chin. A gnat who wants to compete with me, realizes they are galaxies out of their league and depth, and can't help themselves.
* A woman clearly focused on a personal attack said Brackets sucks, while threading their remarks through with lies and vague left-handed compliments--to try and cover up what they are clearly doing--that are so blatantly passive aggressive and sexist. Again, I know what a person like that is up to. You see the motive and all of that person's baggage and agenda leaking through in every sentence which becomes more obvious with the relentless and intentional misrepresentation of what the book is about, what the stories are about--a complete fabrication at every level, even basic plot level. If you put what they said on the back cover, a reader would then read the stories, having seen those descriptions, and think, "Wait, that's not about that at all," "That's a lie," "What gives with this totally falsified advertising?" But it's still annoying, despite what is so plainly happening, and which anyone would recognize for what it is. At the same time, I just become more driven. There's a surge in energy. Then I do things. I do a lot of things. I move forward--harder than I already was.
* It looks like the awesome essay on Snoopy Go Home for Charles Schulz's centennial is also not going to run. I sent a letter to a place where I was a regular, and now where I am dealing with years of discrimination. Last letter kind of deal, before taking matters to this journal for a public airing of the facts of the case. I sold two essays as well. But that's not enough. I had to revise one of them, though it didn't need it, and it was a case of revising it for the wrong reason, but whatever. I made it work, because I need the money. To make this particular revision--about a historical point--would have resulted in saying things that are false, but I managed to do it in a way that everything was still true. There is an art to making changes you shouldn't have to make, that don't belong in a piece, and not making the piece worse.
* When I say these things aren't going to run, I mean right now. Books are the catch-all. Certain kinds of books are going to have to "save" pieces I've written so that they can be seen. I'm not talking about kinds of nonfiction right now. Essays, arts pieces, op-eds.
* Yesterday a twenty-eight-year-old woman wrote me and said that she couldn't forget my handsome face. That was less annoying. She is also the most beautiful person I think I've ever seen. I'm not normally overwhelmed by someone's physical beauty, but that was about the closest I come. Nothing will likely come of it, but who knows.
* I saw a woman in line at the store yesterday who sent the guy she was with--her husband, her father, I couldn't tell--back to get her another bottle of Sprite. He had a pack of Marlboros in his sweatshirt pouch. She said that she was on a diet, which is why she wanted the regular Sprite instead. I guess there's a souped-up version of Sprite? I don't know. I thought, "maybe just get a water, right?" Is that bad? Seems like a better solution at no cost or sacrifice or not that much sacrifice.
* The Astros will win the World Series and essentially be the team the Dodgers should have been legacy-wise over the last half dozen years, though dogged by a cheating scandal.
* By Saturday afternoon they are practically giving the fruit and vegetables away for free at Haymarket. The C-Dawg cleaned up. I’m like the bell pepper bandit.
* One's enjoyment in eating blueberries is in direct proportion to how big the blueberries are. The bigger the better.
* I had a strong feeling that Syracuse was going to beat Clemson, and regretted not mentioning that a couple days ago. I was wrong anyway. Seems like they had the Tigers where they want them, as they say, but couldn't finish the deal.
* Boston College is a lousy football team. But yesterday's game against Wake Forest would have actually been a game if their quarterback play wasn't abysmal. Zay Flowers will be in the NFL next year and I think he'll make some noise in the league. He's an excellent player. Then I think people will look at how saddled he must have been by the Boston College football program, because his game is even better than it shows right now on Saturdays. He's hampered by what BC does and can't do.
* There is a woman in my building who is on the board. Late forties, angry, bulky, bitchy, mean, joyless, petty. She tried to prevent my little mentee from getting her dog, which was supposed to help her with anxiety. She has a lot of it. I had to write a letter to the board on this this girl's behalf. Anyway, I saw this horrid woman downstairs yesterday in the basement. She smiles this ice smile at you. It's so fake, because she's always plotting what pettiness she can indulge herself in. She's not around a lot, but she was yesterday, making her miserable rounds. So this morning I get an email saying "there have been complaints from people"--which means this woman, and no one else--about excess items in the hallway. Too many shoes outside of doors. Miserable cow. She essentially complained about my shoe rack, which as we've seen, has a vase of flowers on it. She complained about some flowers. What a toxic shrew monster. People in this building are quite rude. They're loud, they slam doors, they yell from floor to floor. But you can't do much about that, because it's fleeting. But a vase of flowers? That just sits there. What a loser.
* Someone yesterday asked me what smells reminded me of childhood. I though that was an interesting question. I answered: Cut grass. Decaying vegetive matter in fall. Turned up soil. The sea at the close of day. All my answers were nature-based, I realized. Nature has been a huge part of my life, from the very first moments of it. If I get to where I am going, nature will become an even much bigger part of my life than it has ever been.
* One could argue that James Whale’s Bride of Frankenstein (1935) is the first modern horror film. Its predecessor from 1931 and that same year’s Dracula are comparative cave dwellers. Which isn’t to say Bride is better. Just more modern. A cool behind-the-scenes shot here. That's Boris Karloff as the Monster, Colin Clive as Henry Frankenstein, and Ernest Thesiger--who features in my book on Scrooge--as Doctor Pretorius.