What do you do when you have an inferior product in a competitive marketplace? You change the name of your company.

So yeah. It's me. Surprise!

The thing is, while there isn't much I've written here that I'm not proud of (and the stuff I'm not proud of will be weeded out shortly) I started feeling like my online life and my real life don't really need the artificial separation of different names, and because I'm gunning for an editorial job or three, I figure that finding me would be easier if I didn't have to tell them that Pint was an unfortunate truncation that had very little to do with, you know, booze. Not a good first impression.

I'm still an editor here and I'm still here to write and learn and help and things, I'm just doing it as me now, not as 'that guy on the net.'

Name's Jack. Always has been. Nice to meet you.

Following the energy... acting on strange impulses... surfing the waves...

I've been diddling around with some experiments the last few days. They involve not suppressing the stranger impulses I have on a regular basis. These impulses are the type where I have no rational reasoning for following through on them, and many of them seem to be rather silly. They are not generally harmful, although sometimes they have the potential to be misunderstood. They are the result of thoughts that rise through the energy and enter my consciousness. They are constantly there, but normally I brush them aside.

A few years ago, my friend Mark, a professionally trained puppeteer who has never, to his knowledge, been inside John Malkovich's head, asked me if he would ever become "successful" to the point where he did not have to maintain a boring day job. I answered him with my first thought, rather than pausing to come up with a coherent response. My first impulse when he asked me the question as to tell him, "Only after you meet Parker Posey, fall in love and marry her." We had not been talking about Parker Posey, nor had we recently seen her in a film, and there was no good explanation for why this was my first response to his question.

Yesterday, while Mark was in New York City meeting with representatives from Sesame Street, most of whom he knows rather well, he was out in a hallway at the studio when Parker Posey walked past him, smiled and said "hello" to him. He returned the hello and they went on about their business. Later, in asking around about whether she was doing something with Sesame Street, which would explain her presence in the building, he was told she wasn't and no one had any idea why she was walking through the studio. They figured she was just cutting through the studio on her way to somewhere else.

So, then Mark called me to excitedly give me a report on what had happened and how he remembered my response years ago regarding his potential for success. The entire episode would have meant nothing if I had suppressed my first impulse in responding to his question.

Does it mean anything? Probably not, if you approach it from a dry, rational point of view, but from the perspective of personal mythology, it became a magical moment in Mark's life and also in mine.

This report was filed with my office in the midst of my current efforts to surf the energy waves by following my first impulse reactions and responses. I took it as confirmation that doing so is the right course of action at this time. Some of you out there in E2 land who have received strange messages from me over the past couple of days and haven't been sure why I sent them, they were impulses I acted on. Most of them involved referring you to certain writeups on this site after reading something you had written and making a connection between the two of them. What to some may have seemed like I was blatantly trying to trick them into reading something of mine was really a quest for a connection, to see if there was a reason beyond the obvious why their writeup caused me to think of one of my own.

It is my humble belief that we've been turning into machines, following the dictates of a rationalistic, cause and effect, glued to logic and scientific method lifestyle. This sort of life, where we attempt to function like the computers we are all sitting in front of, sucks out our spiritual dimension and leaves us feeling empty and mostly insignificant... at least until we feel a strong emotion we cannot deny... and it is my feeling that this is creating a culture of depression and anxiety we turn to medication to control... to keep the machines functioning at the request of a collective that demands we fulfill the roles we are assigned in the larger machine.

We don't need to reject the logos¹ of advancing science, we need to see it as the useful tool it is, and balance ourselves with a greater acceptance of the tools of mythos². Life can be filled with wonder if you open yourself to it. Beauty atrophies when unappreciated. It also disappears when you try to define it.

¹ "English-speaking mystics of the present day have been known to use {logos} to refer in an abstract way to the world of thought, and to the universe as information."
--From Logos by Oolong

² Whereas I use the term "logos" to encompass the world of rational thought where proofs are used to assert truth, I've adopted the term "mythos" to encompass the world of faith and beliefs that are outside the realm of logos. It is my assertion that both are needed in balance in order to create a meaningful existence.

This is dedicated to PyramidHead.

On First Encountering The Custodian

The big black car made a stylish and somewhat illegal U turn that placed it in front of Child Harold's. A very large man stepped off the curb and into the car. His driver hit the accelerator and zoomed through the traffic.

We arrived at a Thai place a few minutes later. I had been only 45 minutes late in meeting The Custodian, which was remarkably close to being on time for me. He was visiting from Boston for the weekend and was gracious enough to accept an invitation for dinner and drinks.

The first word that comes to mind, on meeting the man, is voluble. The man can talk. He began talking the moment he sat in the car and did not stop until five hours later, when he was dropped off close to his brother's house. I held my own, of course - I am no slouch in the talking department - but his torrent of words shock and awed my humble attempts into submission.

The Thai place did not permit cigar smoking, which we thought was horribly narrowminded. Sam and Harry's was right next door, but we felt the crowd a bit too snooty for our patronage. Fortunately, Ozio, one of the premier cigar bars in the area, was right around the corner.

We had met in Washington, D.C.'s Dupont Circle area. The Custodian was down from Boston to visit his brother. The street was alive with beauty and youth celebrating the city's unprecendented streak of good weather. We had mid seventies weather with zero humidity. Men in white shirts escorted women in little black dresses and heels. It was a grand evening to be out and about.

We headed to the second floor bar, which was quiet in the early part of the evening. Custo came armed with a fistfull of Avos and a formidable knowledge of Scotch.

The Scotch. Oh yes, the scotch.

He had the bartender pour us each some 12 year old Macallan, which he explained was a good mid-range Scotch, and would be pleasing to the inexperienced palate. I agreed. It was superb. We fired up the Avos and settled in for the night. Custo knew exactly which town produced this fine Scotch, and pointed out the subtle tastes: peat, and oceans and sunshine. Or something like that. His years at Princeton had certainly not gone to waste.

After this he had the man get us a Laga Vulin. No more open bottles, so the barkeep procured for us a brand new, unopened bottle of the stuff. As the bartender showed us the bottle, and pointed out that it was the good 16 year old stuff, The Custodian's face beamed as one might have imagined an early Christian beatified saint. There was a glow from within.

Now this, he said, large hands animated in the dimming light, is a real treat. It was produced in a town close to the ocean. Taste the different kind of peat, the seawater, the iodine. And indeed, one could.

A block of a man. A wall that moves.

I do not have a small frame. Nevertheless, The Custodian dwarfs me, much as the QEII ocean liner dwarfs its pilot ships. He is a large man.

When he was in fighting trim and working out five times a week, he was 240 lb. Good lord. I can't imagine him having gotten down to that weight. He is a block of a man, huge, graceful. He is the sort of man the professional football recruiters would look for on campus.

Never anything to write on when you need it. How to improvise.

We discussed the culture of E2. He discussed some of his favorite nodes and noders. His knowledge of military arcana is vast. He's also plugged into the E2 music scene. I took dictation a great portion of the evening, as the word torrent of recommendations washed over me lilke the thumping bar music. I wrote on napkins and business cards, whatever was at hand.

I was close to asking to write on the hand of the lovely looking woman to my left if paper ran out. Your arm. I want to borrow your arm. Her boyfriend may not have understood, but I had the Custodian sitting next to me. Would he really make a fuss if the Custo stood up and asked for the date's arm? We're writers, dammit. We write. It's for a good cause. Now hand over your girlfriend. We need more writing material.

I scribbled furiously: authors, titles, music. I couldn't keep up with the pace. So much to learn from this man. I was stuffing napkins into my pockets before they were lost to the bar's water puddles.

We stopped only when the bar was overcrowded, and the music forced us to scream at each other. It was not the sort of ambiance conducive toward really deep discussions on quantum mechanics. So we settled and we left. Thanks for the Scotch, Custo! You're a great mentor.

This is what happens when two grown men are left unsupervised by female companionship

We're both huge BMW fans. He's got the new model 5 series. I've got a six year old car which is showing its age, but still looks good. His car's got all the slick i-Drive nav and radar features. Mine's got a kickass music system. He was fiddling with the music knobs. I had Tiesto's In Search of Sunrise 5 Disc 1 on. Tracks 5 and 6 were perfect dance tunes, big bouncy soundy things with dance beat hooks. We rolled down the windows and opened the sunroof. The volume was comfortable for us, but was not nearly obnoxious enough for the Dupont Circle crowd.

I put my hand on the volume knob and looked over at him.

"Do we dare?"

His response was, of course, perfect.

"We dare, sir. We dare. Let the decibels rise to enormous levels."

Up went the volume.

Two big guys in a big black car, heads bobbing in unison, cruising the streets of Washington, D.C. on a Saturday night.


1. paraclete notes: "Lagavulin's just the one word, and if you liked that, you should try Laphroaig. The Macallan is similarly gorgeous, and might I recommend to you my personal favourite scotch, which is Bowmore. It's a fantastic one, a bit less peaty than most, but it encompases the best of the subtle flavours of the North, and the 'smack you down like a train' flavours of the south."
2. We suspect her of knowing her way around the oak and trim.

On self-pity

I am feeling extremely bitter today.

...And you know as well as I do - one is mostly angered by his/her own actions, not by the actions of others.

Well, maybe I'm not too sure about that.


I am feeling extremely sad today.

...And you know as well as I do - one is brought to tears by self-pity, not by the event per se.

I'm quite certain of this.


I miss you terribly.

...And you know as well as I do - one is brought to tears by your absence, not by our separation.

I know this is true.

Computers - or the lack hereof - as the cause of domestic unrest
We, my so and I, have two computers. We use them a lot. He uses 'The Big One' and I use 'The Small One'. They are in use almost 24/7, 365. I have all my wus stashed away on The Small One, I have my sumo statistics, I have a lot of msgs that I wish to keep... And, of course, I have a lot of other things as well.

And now, these last few days, The Small One hasn't been feeling well. It seems to have some kind of debilitating case of hiccups, which suddenly makes it believe, fervently, that it needs to restart. Only it can't. So it hiccups again. And again. Its tiny lights go on and off, and the cursor freezes in mid motion. It's rather pathetic...

I am a fairly balanced and docile person, so the first time this happened I just gently dented the computer casing, and pushed reset. That worked fine for a day. Then, it hiccuped again. Again I hit 'reset', and, while it restarted, picked up the pieces of the glass that had been sitting on top of the computer. (Note to self: do not keep beverages in fragile containers on top of computer.)

Now I ran Scandisc, and I ran a virus scan, and I removed a lot of cookies. And this seemed to help for a couple of days. Yay. It still made some weird noises when I fired it up, but, hey, it's an old computer...

And then, yesterday, it almost died on me! It went into some sort of cramps, hiccuping so badly, I had to turn it off. It was so alarming I didn't even break anything. I could only think of:

  1. All my archived msgs and wus, gone!
  2. All my stats, painstakingly put toghether after hours and hours of surfing, gone!
  3. In all fairness: all of my so's documents, gone!
  4. Endless, exhausting fights over who gets to use The Big One, when, and for how long...!

Today, I actually coaxed The Small One into working. And I am now uploading all my stuff - or trying to - to some online stash or whatever. This will take care of items 1 and 2. And then I'll have to adress item 4. Which is not going to be easy. If The Small One really dies, I have few options:
  • I could slip him (my so) a Mickey Finn whenever I need the computer, but I don't know about the long term effects of this (the short term effect would be along the lines of him coming around, being extremely pissed! This is undesirable).
  • I could nag, nag, nag, until he let me have the computer. This will cause very few health problems, but it would be murder to the overall ambience of this small home.
  • I could bide my time, and use the computer when he's not using it. Unacceptable. This modus operandum (or possibly 'operandi', what do I know?) will probably be hazardous to my health, since I am fairly addicted to this internet thing...
  • We could go forth and buy ourselves another computer...

Well, for now, The Small One is working. My files are still in the process of being uploaded to some site. The computer will probably crash before it's finished, but that's for another daylog, I guess.

Just needed to share... Thank you for your time.

Yes, I know some of my pipelinks are pretty non-sequitur...

On Becoming IWhoSawHeWhoSawTheFace

A long black car in much, much finer trim than mine pulled up in front of Childe Harold's. A beaming man was behind the wheel. There was nought to do but get in and be swept off to a place where, unlike less civilized environs, you can actually partake of alcohol and tobacco at the same time.

I shall dispense with the cheap copy of the format of a fine daylog (found just above this one). I shall humbly note, instead, that my car is older than his, smaller than his, and the brightwork is in much poorer shape. It does have the big engine and zippy bits, because I have fewer responsibilities and can indulge my vices.

I am in fact a loquacious fucker, there is no doubt, and I can only say that an excellent time was had by both. What words the poor man got in edgewise were highly treasured, and for future meetings, he should be aware that members of my immediate family have voted that (in my specific case) Tasers are considered acceptable conversational gambits.

Lagavulin, my dear paraclete, trumps Bowmore in my personal opinion, but only because it's a subjective comparison and I'm a peat masochist. I fully agree that the latter embodies more of the subtleties of the North. We had, for the record, the Macallan 12, the Lagavulin 16, and the Caol Ila 12 before exhausting the readily available (i.e. visible) options at Ozio. Plus, the unfortunate IWho was forced to chauffeur.

I would like to note that meeting noders has, in every case, made me realize why I can't seem to quit this place. IWho, ping me and remind me, "CDs. And Book titles."


Mothers Day

without a mother

Mothers Day to me is like Easter to a Jew. I am stoutly opposed to it, to be truthful. If anyone has been paying attention lately, my humanistic disdain for genderization has been tainting my writing lately.

However, I need to reflect on the significance of this day in my life. A tragic accident more than a score of years ago left me the child of one parent, not two...the remaining parent being of the male persuasion. The lack of her has been even bigger than the gonad the surgeon took from me.

Calling my stepmother for Mothers Day has always been awkward. This time was not any kind of exception. Such a funny obligation, with odd connotation. Honestly, I have gratitude for only a small part of her attempting to parent me for ten years. I intend that this round will be the last.

Everyone I know of the sort of age to have a living mother does have one, and calls her. I am strangely adrift on this day, without that kind of attachment. Attachments in general are rare in my life. It's something I would like to be different. For now, I imagine Mothers Day is for me kind of like Valentines Day is for someone without a lover. When I no longer observe the holiday, I think it will cease to concern me.

Still, I want my mom.

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