Fail, fail, fail, fail, succeed

Monthly Archives: July 2023

How To Live To Be 112

After following more than 700 people enrolled in a study since 1998 at the Albert Einstein School of Medicine in the Bronx, all 95 or older, Dr. Nir Bazilai had this to say about super centenarians:

Did they do what we know we should do — exercise, diet and sleep and have social connectivity? The answer is mostly no. Sixty percent were smoking. Less than 50 percent did much household activity or biking. Fifty percent were overweight or obese. Less than three percent were vegetarians. So they weren’t special in that sense.

So there’s that.

Let’s Hope This Isn’t True, But it Probably Is

Just listened to a brilliant author on a podcast discussing our collective failure to address climate change over the last 70 years or so. The issue was a story element in his latest novel, so it was something he’d thought about deeply. The host asked him what he’d concluded, and his response was both honest and chilling.

“What do I really think? I don’t want to say what I really think.”

It was obvious they were friends. “C’mon, just say it…”

What I think is we’re too stupid to live.”

How to Get Better at Art (Or Anything Else)

Step 1) Jump in and go for it. Become intoxicated by your excitement. Love every fucking minute of it.

Step 2) Realize you suck, but don’t let that deter you…

Step 3) Start studying the shit that inspired you to go down this road in the first place. Take it apart and try to figure out how they did it.

Step 4) Keep working at the craft, day in, day out. Never let up.

Step 5) When professionals critique your work, use your emotional response as fuel to push harder. Then analyze their comments unemotionally, address the ones that seem legitimate, and discard the rest.

Step 6) Whenever someone tells you how much better you’re getting, take a moment to appreciate it. Your hard work got you here.

Step 7) Keep going through this list, disregarding step 2. You no longer suck.

Maybe, just maybe, if you started out with a modicum of talent for whatever it is you’re trying to do, you’ll become great at it. But if the simple act of going for it fills you with joy, then you’ve already won. Your voice will eventually emerge, and it will be yours and yours alone. Spend the rest of your days making art and die knowing you lived creating cool shit. It all ends up in the dustbin of eternity anyway.

The world always needs more art. Roll up your sleeves and get to it.

“Lamb Vindaloo, Weaponized Please”

Ok, I didn’t really order it like that. More like, “I’ll have the lamb vindaloo, very spicy.” The waiter eyed me just long enough so I could add, “Indian spicy.

Now, I love Indian food, and over the years I’ve found a few restaurants that would actually give me what I asked for. Most, if they didn’t know me, would just see a white guy and serve me accordingly. I get it, why take a chance I might send it back?

The first bite triggered a neurological response of hiccups, like my brain was confused and didn’t know how to respond. Was this some kind of poison? I plowed on, undeterred. Vindaloo, chutney, bread, beer. My wife took a small bite and said, “Oh my,” before returning to her more reasonable dish.

Vindaloo, chutney, bread, beer. Vindaloo, chutney, bread, beer. As if somehow this combination could end the holocaust going on in my mouth.

“Are you alright?” I heard her ask, as my brain misfired, disoriented from the napalm I keep shoveling in. I managed to choke out, “Can’t talk now,” as reality gave way to an altered state somewhere between pain and pleasure. Is it tasty or torture?

Vindaloo, chutney, bread, beer. Vindaloo, chutney, bread, beer. Losing my sense of time and space, I can’t stop now. I’m on a mission, passing through a tunnel connecting our world with some other dimension. Starting to see a light up ahead.

Vindaloo, chutney, bread, beer. Vindaloo, chutney, bread, beer.

“Should I call an ambulance?” I hear someone say as I put down my fork and call it a day. My senses begin to return as I blow my nose and wipe the tears out of my eyes. The waiter walks over and asks, How was everything?”

“Delicious,” I reply, still dazed.

And I meant it.

The Becoming (Part 1)

All living things are in a perpetual state of motion, constantly moving forward or backward, never static.

So if becoming is the state of growth; entropy and decay are the state of what? Unbecoming, I guess.

Either we are actively engaged, or we’re slipping toward the abyss.

Best to choose wisely.