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"Mouse" complete, Beatles Red Album done, hockey Hall of Fame, fitness goal

Thursday 6/22/23

Finally finished “What the Mouse Knew” yesterday and wanted to acknowledge that in this record.

Perfect. Timeless. 1500 words and all of that work and energy. But the number of those words don’t come close to telling the story of the story or giving a hint of its universal breadth. You took the time and the care to get it right. No one else could have written it. And there was a time when I couldn’t have either. It’s just so beautiful and wise and true. And it cares so much.

People don’t think of stories that way. Or fiction. Art. But this is a story that cares deeply about people. The human race. I believe that comes across in an unmistakable way. Each sentence is a treasurable world. A relishable world in which one can swim, going deeper and deeper, letting it wash over you.

The part where the mouse signs the note. That wasn't in the version I sent to my niece. I hadn't come up with that yet. And not just that she signs the note. But how she signs it. Who could ever see that coming?

The people of the publishing industry are going to try and make sure that no one sees this story right now. Right now. Right now isn't always. Right now is just right now. But it's truly a story to be loved for all time by people of all ages, and I think it will be.

Then there's the irony that the person who wrote the story really doesn't like cats.

Finished the Beatles piece on the Red Album. 1800 words. This is from it:

These Beatles of the early years were master melodists. To impressionable ears, the very tunes of “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” “Can’t Buy Me Love,” “Please Please Me,” and “From Me to Yours,” are enough to make a person believe that never has joy been more effectively codified in musical form.

A child remarks that they just feel good today, and in that pithy summation is a universe of refulgent feeling. The child, in a manner, has said all, because the child has conveyed how we all wish to feel.

These early numbers function similarly. To be walloped by them in succession is to be the salubrious form of dazed, and also cognizant of possibilities within the world. For just as nothing sounds like the Beatles of the Red Album sound, you start to think of what could be over what already is.

Paul McCartney has one of the largest gifts for melody a human has ever possessed. When his songs sometimes lacked bite during the Beatles’ later years, they survived and thrived because of that melodic gift. When they had both the bite and the melody—as with “Hey Jude”—McCartney compositions immediately registered as works that could be around thousands of years after you are not.

Lennon did the bulk of the writing through 1965. The competition between the two men as composers was real, and that competition, combined with a lot of fire in the bellies of both Lennon and McCartney, caused the former to up his melodic game such that it sometimes reached the McCartney level.

The same can’t be said about Lennon later on. “Strawberry Fields Forever” and “A Day in the Life” are tour-de-force pieces of compositional brilliance, but it’s not because of melody.

Their power comes from other channels, just as the power of “Don’t Let Me Down” is the power of the raw confessional. Lennon lost something that he once had. A vestige of what that was checked in every now and again—“Oh Yoko,” for instance, in the post-Beatles timeframe. The Red Album Beatles, though, had everything you could wish to have.

One might say that they lacked for worldly wisdom, given all that they still had to go through and experience together. And yet, there is no platonically wiser song than “She Loves You,” no wearier lament of the need to get away than “Ticket to Ride,” no testament to romantic epiphany of greater potency than “Can’t Buy Me Love.”

Clearly the hockey Hall of Fame attempted to do a course correction and make up for the paucity of goalies who are enshrined. I was glad to see that Tom Barrasso got in. I had made my case for him in Sports Illustrated.

Ran another 5000 stairs at City Hall yesterday. 30,000 for the week. I have a workout goal over the next three days, and if I reach it I'd say that I'm probably in a decent spot, physically.

Heading out now for stairs. Late for me, but I came up with and completed a new work from scratch. It is a 2500 word story called "Someone Who Knew Things," and it tells the story of a life in days from that life, starting with a day when the protagonist was wearing a shirt that said, I Drink and I Know Things.


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