On the art of painting

You paint so much better than I do.

That’s not true. I love the way you paint.
No, no. I’ll never paint as well as you do.
Your paintings are great.
Yours are much better. I wish I could paint as well as you do.
I’m 47. I’ve been painting longer. When I was 9, painting totally frustrated me too.
I don’t believe it. You paint so well.
All I do is paint an abstract painting, then when that dries, I paint another one over it, then scrape it off with a knife before it dries. Sometimes it looks cool.
You’re such a good painter.
You’re actually far better.
No way. You’re better.
No, you.
No, you.

    [continue ad absurdum]

Little-known facts about the manatee


  • Strictly speaking, the manatee is not a fish, although it is often mistaken for a mermaid, which is half fish. Historians think at least one of the three mermaids sighted by Columbus was actually a manatee.

  • Severely reduced populations excessive hunting yadda-yadda.
  • Manatees are both diurnal and nocturnal, so logically they never sleep.
  • They are only weakly social, with few friends. The only lasting bond is between a cow and her calf, and nothing flatters a manatee more than being told that its offspring resemble it strongly.
  • Manatees are prone to intense lower back pain, and males have been sighted in front of toilets, clinging to the windowsill with tears in their eyes and their dicks hanging helplessly from their pajamas, waiting for a nasty spasm to pass.
  • Manatee are prone to melancholy, which is okay, and depression, which they usually fight with exercise, although if they have sore backs they’re fucked because the muscle relaxants they take for it have side effects including: suicidal depression, irritability, constipation, amnesia, fatigue, insomnia and dizzyness
  • The manatee often deals with conflict by withdrawing, to the extent that you can enter a house where the manatee lives and yet notice no evidence of its presence even though it’s right there talking to you.
  • Driving to work through 22 degree water at a depth of 6 meters, the only sounds audible to a manatee are Mongolian throat-singing, which provides great comfort, and a high-pitched whistling sound, which could be the throat singing or something wrong with the car.
  • Manatees crush vegetation with their molars, because molars are the only teeth they have.

Putting the grim back into pilgrim

Another weekend like this last one and I’ll have to hire Francis Strand to ghostwrite posts for me. Like,

    The Wife, the Pharmacist and I had some delicious penne with porcini mushrooms before visiting the nuns at Maria Langegg. Then, on Monday, Beta and I went to Salzburg where we met the Cellist and had antipasti with her at the Triangel before she snuck us into the opera dress-rehearsal through the stage-door, where we rubbed elbows with the Famous Conductor before all driving back to our house (minus the Conductor) in the middle of the night, where I got the best cello lesson of my life.

The German word of the day is nobel, which means posh.

But, I’m not Francis.

Continue reading


A secretary, who is pretty in a rather prim way, was standing by my desk as I worked on some text for her.
Blah blah blah, I said.
My iTunes was playing in the background.
Blah, blah blah, I said.
I had my iTunes organized by artist. It hit a patch of Yat-Kha. Their Re-Covers album.
I highly recommend it for any occasion.
I feel obligated to explain my music, I said to her.
Oh? she said.
These are Mongolian throat singing covers of classic rock songs, I said.
Oh, she said. Rock?
Blah blah, blah, I said.


You’re not very wrinkly at all, she said.
Is that right? he said.
Most people seem to get more wrinkles when they get old, she said.
Hrm, he said.
I mean, you have these fat rolls around your throat, but otherwise…, she said.
I see, he said.
I mean, not that you’re getting old. I don’t mean to suggest that, she said.
Getting old beats the alternative, he said. It’s my goal to get old.
I don’t mean like you have this really fat neck or anything. I didn’t mean like rolls of fat, she said.
I see, he said.

Relationship Tip #3

One of the main advantages of the modern cylinder lock is the fact that it is not necesary to alter the boltwork to change the cylinder. In fact, changing your average door lock requires the removal of exactly one screw, removal of the cylinder, going to the hardware store or the lock guy with the cylinder (best) or measurements of said cylinder (if you want to lock your door while you are absent) showing the length of cylinder and the distance right and left from the moveable pin part so you get the right replacement. Depending on the cylinder, it costs (where I live) between

Getting things done

  1. I was chatting with a friend and mentioned a problem that plagues me, an inability to get things done, either due to never starting or starting but not finishing. She recommended a book about “how to get things done” and within 30 seconds, I had ordered it from Amazon. Impressed by my speed and decisiveness, I wondered whether I needed the book after all.

  2. About a week later, Amazon sent me an email informing me that it was going to take longer than the 4 day estimate they’d promised to deliver the book to me, a week or two longer in fact, but they hadn’t forgotten and were working on it, but in the unlikely case that they would be unable to ship, they’d let me know.