And it came to pass, that rock and roll was born (the artist formerly known as the Smallest Man in the World, continued)

TAFKATSMITW comes home from his top-secret seminar and his wife says, your mother called.

He laughs and says, we were just talking about her.

He goes through the house with a bucket of fairy dust or something, maybe love, tossing it like confetti.

He sees the cracks in his daughter’s evil adolescent facade, he convinces himself. This too shall pass, he thinks, in a good way.

He gets along with his wife.

His mother calls and tries to negate him for an hour with her negativity and he shuts that down too. All the right buttons were pressed, but the dancing chicken didn’t dance and his energy is not depleted when he hangs up.

All sorts of things.

He prays to Nikola Tesla he’ll figure out how to channel this energy.

Different group with the seminar this time, bunch of guys. He wondered if it was because he always ended up with a woman on his lap in the other group, in the constellations they did. Or hugging. But it turns out that’s the way these things work – he ended up with a guy on his lap this time. And his arm around another.

TAFKATSMITW is more surprised than you or I, believe me.

He laughed all the way home.

You know what his dream home used to be? A zombie-proof bunker.

They did this guided meditation, among a million other things. Blah-blah spiral staircase blah breathing. There’s a house, what’s it look like? Smell? Who’s in there? The punchline is it’s your heart. Does the door open easily? Added bonus: you can kick people out who don’t belong there.

His is made of cedar and glass and looks like a cathedral and the doors are huge and swing open easily. His family’s in there and favorite people and when he sees his grandmother and her husband, whom he never knew, he has to cry.

It looks like a church, only with a Tesla coil on top instead of a cross, crackling.

The zombies were all in his imagination.

The man formerly known as the Smallest Man in the World

The man formerly known as the Smallest Man in the World half expected to be overwhelmed with a rush of joy the moment he shrank to nothing, but he didn’t. Maybe he was too tired; he hadn’t had much sleep around that time, for the usual reasons.

One day he embarked, experimentally-like, on an expensive course of the sort of therapy and non-self-improvement (as opposed to self-improvement and self-non-improvement) that he more typically enjoyed making fun of. Complete with various inner children.

The shadow, though, was the central item, and he was fascinated with that concept (cause the shadow, you know, knows)  so he figured, you only live once, and it’s only money, right?

He was the only guy at the first seminar. He was okay with that, although he suspected that since being a guy was one of his issues, it might not have been bad were there a couple other guys around.

It went fine, though.

He was a new person afterwards.

Here was his rush of joy, baby.

Everyone told him the bags under his eyes were gone, he looked energetic, ten pounds lighter and five years younger.

Or five pounds lighter and ten years younger. Or twice as young.

Various people said different things. One said he looked as if he’d just been to the barber.

He knew this condition wouldn’t last but hoped to preserve at least some of it. During the course, he realized he would be unable to draw cartoons in the future since his cartoons were rooted in self-deprecation, sarcasm, cynicism, that kind of thing.

You can laugh or you can feel, someone said.

And the condition did fade, but not entirely and he had learned things and had food for thought and met delightful people.

Thing is, no matter how much it costs, or how little, you have to do the work.

You have to go through the shit, someone said. Someone else said the same thing, except they said pain.

He came to realize the therapist had his number.

She had his fucking number, baby. She saw through him.

Three things, in fact: she had his number, she knew she had his number, and she thought she had his number.

Thinking you have someone’s number is an unlikeable thing. It’s a form of unlikeable cockiness and presumption and a little patronizing. Unfortunately for the person whose number is being had, them actually having your number cancels that out. And knowing you have someone’s number is simply a value-free knowledge of fact.

The MFKATSMITW was used to therapists who kept you coming back for more talking, not therapists who gave you fucking homework. Not therapists who said, ok, look, this is your problem, now do this, and it works.

He was not used to that at all.

Time goes by

Once she was sweet, and liked you.

And laughed at your jokes. It was like you were a team.

Now she’s grounded for whatever.

And you’re in your room feeling sad and ashamed, scratches on your hands from confiscating her mobile over a “fuck you” and a couple other expressions, and all the keys that fit in your pockets because she threatened suicide. And her mobile phone.

And she’s in her room, unlocked door closed, bruises on her arms from the wrestling, hating you.

This too shall pass, maybe.

Watch your honey drip, can’t keep away

One summer to help me make money my windowasher uncle let me wash windows with him. He probably split the money with me 50:50 on the jobs I helped him on, although he worked ten times as fast as I did. One hot day we washed windows at a beekeeper’s home, coincidentally on the same day as the beekeeper extracted honey from a bunch of hives, so as we balanced up on our high ladders and washed windows swarms of angry honeybees stung us.

After the first dozen stings, it doesn’t hurt so much.

Speaking of insects, after ten years or so on this blog it feels as if it’s finally lived up to  its name. Assuming I keep flapping my wings. I haven’t been happy non-stop, but I’ve been closer to my heart than I have been in decades, and rather joyous/blissful/whateverwe’vediscussedthisbefore as opposed to sarcastic and cynical.

I haven’t been as funny, though, IMO, YMMV, and I miss that, but maybe it just takes a while for self-deprecation and snarkiness to be replaced by something else just as funny.

What I’m trying to say is, there’s a pine tree outside my office window that is beautiful. It reminds me of Japan, especially but not only when it has snow on it, as it did last month, and now when it reminds me of Japan it not only makes me nostalgic, but also rather sad and concerned, but it’s still a beautiful tree.

I go stand on the balcony of my office and look at it and think, sure is beautiful, this world.

That’s what I think. Even on a hot day, getting stung by lots of bees.

I’ve been sad all day because Gamma is mad at me because I’m ruining her life by not letting her spend the night partying at a boy’s house with a girlfriend and allegedly three boys. She’s 13.

I found out about it last night. My wife was all, she told you about it three weeks ago and I was all, she still can’t go and anyhow, what? My wife suggested I talk to Gamma about it and so I did and got such details as, she doesn’t know his last name and his house is in another town near a bus stop, and, yes, of course, dad, his parents will be home. That all made me feel a lot better but I still said no.

Don’t tell anyone, but I’m always shocked whenever I put my foot down about something and people take me seriously. Like I’m some big scary guy when I don’t feel that way at all.

But, hey, if they buy it I’m selling it.

Excuse me, I have to go look at a tree.

One of those weeks

You know those times when you change for the better and you know it because everyone around you is happier and the world is friendly and you can feel the joy of living coursing through your veins like stormy surf and making your ears ring so that when your wife tells you she hit another car in the parking lot you say, oh that’s too bad honey and nothing more and give her a hug, and when your dentist’s assistant calls to change an appointment you say ok that’s fine and wish her a nice day and the wrong number after that gets the same treatment and you look in the mirror and don’t look tired or creepy and you wonder, how long will this last and what will it do to me?

I’m having one of those weeks. Knock on wood.

It’s hard work. The butterfly has to keep on flying or he turns back into a caterpillar.

The frog croaks and croaks, because if he stops, he turns back into that pollywog.

That’t how it works I guess.

Brainstorm: Names for electric cars

Time  to copyright a few good names for electric cars before they are all taken. Just saw Ampera on a new car. Chevy has the Volt. There is the Tesla – who wouldn’t want to drive an electric car named after a genuine mad scientist?

Beta and I were brainstorming on the way into town yesterday.

My favorite is the Short, which Fiat should produce.

Or the Ohmster. The Chevy Static. The Charger would have been good, but Dodge used that a long time ago. Ion, is that taken?

How about the Faraday Cage?


Farad would be good for an electric bicycle, because the German word for bicycle is Fahrrad and people would think it was a typo.

Or you could name them after scientists or inventors associated with electricity, like the Tesla. The Ford Edison?


Beta is down from Oslo so I can fix her favorite sunglasses that I fixed once before when the frame broke over the right lens and I glued it with superglue. Also she is filling up on sunlight and doing something vague with friends in Vienna.

So last night after dinner, and after her sister Gamma had gone to a friend’s house for the night to do something vague with other 13 and 14 year old girls, and after I had driven Beta to the train station to go to Vienna, and Alpha and I had finished the bottle of Moet, I sat down at the kitchen table with the sunglasses (this time, the frame had broken over the left lens) and the superglue, which was runnier than I remembered. After a couple tries, I had successfully glued the fingers of my left hand to the glasses, and the fingers of my right hand to my left hand.

I  got everything apart again. The glasses are more fixed now than when I started, but now they look less like something a movie star would wear and more like what the movie star’s crazy stalker would wear.