* Today is Edgar Allan Poe's birthday. I have a story which is slightly pornographic, called "EAP and Abe," which is about Poe and Abraham Lincoln in the afterlife together. It would be good if I sold that, as it is one of 100 stories in my giant story warehouse of short fiction works that need to go forth into the world. But: Most people do not know that Poe wrote scads and scads of nonfiction and criticism. You could make the argument that at the level of the sentence, he wrote better in those mediums than in his fiction--though the fiction did more, went more places, invented more. (Read Poe's handful--and it was but a single handful--of detective stories and it will astound you how much Arthur Conan Doyle plucked from them. Borders on shocking.) I'd argue that Poe is one of the three most important writers in history. Not one of the three best, but three most important. One should also realize that there is not an MFA program in the world that would allow the likes of a Poe into it, and to thrive in it. And I know it is a relatively tiny thing, but my spirit buckles when I see people--and so often it is people in academia--spell "Allan" as "Allen."
* Football today. My picks: Chiefs win, Forty-Niners win, Chiefs win it all.
* Yesterday Alexander Ovechkin--with whom I share a birthday, as we both share one with Hank Williams (the good Hank Williams)--tallied another hat trick, his second in a row, to move into the top ten in all-time NHL goals. As I said a couple years ago--I may have even said it in a piece for Sports Illustrated--he is going to break Gretzky's goal record, which is the one major Gretzky record that is closest to breakable. Not that it's not far away from not breakable. His points and assists records may not fall for a couple centuries. Ovechkin is kind of a like a glorified Tim Kerr writer now--most of his game is shooting. But yesterday he logged a ton of ice, crushed people up and down the ice, looked like 2007 Ovechkin. Here is something to consider: He may be the best shooter in league history. Mike Bossy had the best release and was the best in the slot and in-close. But Ovechkin scores from faraway, often. You should not be able to beat goalies nearly as much as he does from above the face-off dots.
* Woman who bills herself as a nerd/dork/perpetual student writes me today: "how r u this morning lol." Greetings, vomit. Anyway, that ended that.
* Rich Kimball said something on the air the other day that I thought was astute: This blog is the antithesis of social media. What he meant by that was social media is all about pose, veneer, playing a part--it's often about lies. It's not about honest self-expression. It's not about being honest with others, being outwardly honest with yourself in the sense that what we read back--in terms of what we wrote--we often recognize as a lie to ourselves.
* This is pretty typical. Talking to a woman today as I walked to Charlestown to climb. (Monument was closed--that's pretty weak. It was warm, there is hardly any snow, and it was melting). On the Tinder. She had the word "irreverent" in her profile. I stated that irreverence was a rare quality--the organic brand, that is--and underrated; she replied that many mistake it for irrelevance, saying "It is fun to correct men." Ah, sexism. If you talk that way, you are sexist. You are as bad or worse than the people you go after for their alleged sexism, which is usually not there. Imagine if I said, "It's fun to correct women." Can you imagine me talking like that? If I even sunk to a portion of this mindless notion/construction, I'd say, "it's fun to correct people when they think they know what a word means and have no idea." People. See that? People. Not "Big Bad Evil Men Patriarchy." Absolutely moronic. I wished her well with her sexism.
* People like this are the ones who are going to get Trump elected again, because they are more sexist, less intelligent, more prejudiced, less able to deal with reality, more addled with hate, than he is. Frothing legions who are, in fact, the reason why society is why society is what it is, an entire group worse than anything Trump is, which is quite the terrifying feat. But it is that group and that thinking that is the far, far larger problem. He's benign, comparatively. He's going to be a footnote in history. The toxicity and insanity that people like this have introduced into society is like a giant scar on the neck of humanity, culture, that will always be there. Like a rope scar from an attempted hanging that didn't work. Allowing that it doesn't work. I will have to be a sizable part of that.
* And it has nothing to do with politics. It is the tribalism of shared nullity. The stomping, stammering herds of the broken.
* David Brooks of The New York Times is an incredibly poor writer. I saw someone claim the other day that he is worth fifteen million dollars. He has no talent. He uses little tricks--because he has nothing intelligent to say--that I used when I wrote papers in ninth grade. That is, he'll arrange these word combinations that could mean anything, but the words will have three or more syllables, a lot of people won't know what the words mean, and it's even better if a word ends in, say, "-osity" or some such. So I'd write papers and I'd use the word "nebulousity," but stick an adjective or two in front of it. And it wouldn't mean anything. It was just what I did. Because I was immature and dumb and I could trick people and trick myself, and I cared less about communicating and was more about the ego boost--which was so childish and stupid--which came from writing as if to say, "Behold! I am mighty! I am powerful!" And that's how he writes. A lot of what he says could mean absolutely anything. It's nonsense. He like a drunk at last call who thinks he's smarter than everyone, who is going to say a lot of words, just to say them. You know who talks like David Brooks writes? Kyrie Irving. Same idea.
* Tonight I heard a guy say, "Even when I'm not all right, I'm all right, you understand?" Yes, I do. I think I may take that.
* Received a text today from my old NPR producer, which was a little surprise. I don't hear from him that much out of the blue, but he wanted to know if I was rooting for the Titans, and I said, no, I was rooting for the Chiefs, because if they win it all, that will help the Patriots next season, because the Chiefs will be highly unlikely to repeat. You know who repeats? All-time great teams. And the Pittsburgh Penguins a few years ago.
* Mahomes is the best quarterback in the NFL right now. It could be Brady again next year. I still think, right now, Brady is the guy to have for a final drive you have to have. It is easier than ever, physically, to be a great NFL quarterback. You need less touch than ever. If you have potent weapons around you, you can miss throws and still rack up huge numbers. Quarterback play right now is about the mental component, and zip on the ball. People leave this out when thinking about how long Brady can play. Manning could have kept going until he lost that zip. Most guys don't figure it out well enough mentally. Once you do, you don't lose that. Weapons, zip. You don't have to be very good to throw for 4800 yards and 27 TDs.
* 1324 days without a drink today.
E: What the HELL
C: On the road to G.
C: Don't make gingivitis your mouth-based bride
C: Because she'll never let you go
C: No matter the amount of discord in your mouth-y marriage
C: When did Minecraft first come out
E: A pro doesn't knowwwwww
E: A couple days after my birthday in 2009
C: I know when the Elite Level Edition I play came out
C: Ha ha