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Up for it

Tuesday 6/29/21

* Someone will have to explain the appeal of the heat to me. The air is thicker. You can feel its resistance against your arms when you move them forward. The skin becomes hot to the touch. Is that desirable? One perspires quickly. Do people like to feel wet? Do they enjoy having a fever? That's what the heat feels like to me. It's uncomfortable. One doesn't breathe as well. Can do less. People are lazy, so maybe they like that. I wrote a 2800 word story today called "The Ghost Grew Legs," then I went to Government Center and ran the stairs fifteen times. Back I came and I went over the story for several hours at different intervals. Then I went back out to Government Center and ran the stairs ten more times. I've inspired someone to start running stairs, and they keep sending me their tallies, and I don't want them to think they can beat me. We'll see if they stick with it.

* At the top of the Government Center stairs there are always heavyset people smoking, but they have their masks ready to go, dangling around their wrists, which I think is hilarious. I get that that's grim. But honestly--maybe just stop smoking, maybe exercise, eat a tad better. But hail, the cloth.

* We'll see if this person sticks with it. Anyone can run stairs once or twice. I'm not sure if they will. Most everyone won't. I could see this person perhaps keeping at it, though. I think they're in a rut in their life, with a long way to go, and they realize things will be pretty boring until they die. They said to me, "This is the most excited I've been in years." And I thought, "it's stairs, dude."

* Still, they did a really good job for just starting. I was impressed. All stairs are different. You tend not to know that until you run them. Each set of stairs will give you a different workout. Depending upon the incline, the depth of the stairs, the spacing of the stairs. Out of the stairs I run, the Monument stairs are the deepest. The Government Center stairs are the shallowest. The BC stairs are also fairly shallow. You can't do the Monument stairs two-at-a-time. The BC stairs and Government Center stairs you have to decide if you want to do it that way or just one at a time. Each way has advantages. The first portion of the Corey Hill stairs might be the steepest.

* I sat at the Starbucks outside and drank free water. There were two attractive women--about thirty-years-old--next to me. They trashed everyone! I feel like now I know all of their friends. I don't like their friends, but hey--they don't either. They were talking about this one couple, and were saying she has no energy, she even speaks slowly, and he has no energy, and neither of them have energy, and they don't talk, and they don't seem to talk to each other, and what must it be like when no one is around, do they talk at all, because they're both so "chill" and "low key" and yeah, I thought, these people suck. Though apparently the guy is "super horny" and I was like, OMG! Right? They sound like passive zombies. Anyway, the two women ripped everyone. I pitched a threesome and then they ripped me. I'm kidding. I didn't pitch a threesome. Though based on her talk, I think one of them might have been up for it.

* The larger question is, "Are you?"

* Okay. I'll stop. It's hot, man. Heat gets in your brain.

* I read J.M. Barrie's "The Ghost of Christmas Eve," as I'm in ghost story mode the last little bit. It's from a weird book of his called My Lady Nicotine, which is about smoking, and then not smoking. Also read W.F. Harvey's "August Heat" again. It's so well done. You don't need any more than what he does with it. One of those "why didn't I think of that?" stories you want.

* Came up with two new op-ed ideas, one pertaining to fandom and how you're really kind of a tosser if you're like "I hate this guy on this team because he plays for my team's rival." The game is first. Then you have your allegiance to the team you grew up with, the team of your region. And it's like a nice diversionary news story to follow when you get up in the morning. You should never use the word "hate" in this context. It just shouldn't work you up. The other idea is about Jeopardy, and how I think it's a bad thing because it glamorizes trivia, and people are now apt to conflate trivia with knowledge, here in this world where no one knows anything, and we could use knowledge. Also wrote out a mess of things to talk about on Downtown. Think about it--most weeks I talk about four, five, six things. Fifty-two weeks a year. What an audio record this is now, what a body of work it is. I've heard, for instance, every single word of every taped interview Orson Welles gave. Some fascinating stuff. But there's not that much of it. You don't even need a full day to go through everything. So think of what I'm doing here. That's why I do it--to create that body of work. Here, in the short term, it's not doing anything for me. Doesn't bring people here, doesn't get me jobs, doesn't sell books, station managers don't reach out, even as I'm eating the lunch of the very same people on this air that they give high-paying gigs to on their air. It seems to do absolutely nothing at all, and I'll keep my thoughts private on their skill-set in this medium of those other people I just mentioned. But come on. Anyone who listens to a second of them and a second of me knows it's infinitely different. Obviously I like the people a lot, and those relationships have progressed beyond the on air aspect. That's the nature of working with good people.

* I saw very little of the hockey game last night, because I was working. Think the Canadiens will be fortunate to take it to six games. I don't expect them to. Lightning in five. I did see a comment today from a "hockey expert" that if McDavid was on the Lightning, he'd "literally" get sixty plus points each year in the playoffs. What can you say? People are utter morons. Moron upon moron. Wayne Gretzky's playoff high was 47 points. But sure, McDavid would trash that year in, year out. Sometimes I look up the salary of these morons. It's just not good for me.

* I know someone who is suing a doctor because the doctor messed up their kid's back/spine because she couldn't read a chart properly. She went to Yale. And the person I know showed me this doctor's emails to them. And it was all "OMG" and "LOL." Complete airhead. You could practically hear the wind blowing through these emails. Once upon a time, I would have thought they were written by a fifth grader. Fifth graders are smarter. Children are smarter. They have better language skills. They will lose those language skills and become stupid adults, but in the meanwhile, they're smarter. Usually.

* Today's Downtown interview was excellent. The Dead, the Band, Creature from the Black Lagoon, Edgar Allan Poe, Ted Williams, Mickey Mantle, Willie Stargell, Yaz, the 1955 Brooklyn Dodgers, stairs, the heat, ghosts.

* Kimball is the best person I've talked to in a format like this in part because he understood very early on what I am and no one else I've worked with in this capacity has. He knows I know everything about everything and can ask me anything and have confidence I will be the leading expert on that subject. He accepts this. Sounds simple, but it is not. At least until what I am is "official." So today in the middle of everything else he can fire off questions about Stephen Foster, Whit Bissell, and Alan Freed. These are not things we planned to speak about. Many things are not.

* I wrote a 2800 word story today called "The Ghost Grew Legs." As strong as anything I have ever composed. Unique masterpiece. The story is the title work of my ghost story collection, The Ghost Grew Legs: Stories of the Dead for the More or Less Living. I started going through the enormous list of stories from the past three years, and there are more ghost stories here than I thought. They are slanted ghost stories, as I call them, in that they're sociologically relevant, often, to what is happening in the world right now. They're ghost stories that are far more than ghost stories. I knew the title of the book before I wrote the story today, so it was a bit like Lennon writing "A Hard Day's Night" when he had the title for the film first. The idea is also that the ghosts of these stories have legs--they go out into the world, are relevant to what is occurring in our world.


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