At the end of this entry (that you're reading now) I have included a link that will return you to the exact spot from where this entry originated. Here ya go ...
Tuck-n-roll, Mary. I've almost been run over a few times myself.
<ignore this intentional body-text marker>
••• today's entry continues here below •••
She is an English professor at Syracuse, which lies some 50 miles from Ithaca. I would take her class if I were attending Syracuse.
I bet she has slept with some of her more promising students.
The Dog slept with his Writing prof at Columbia, so I know that this naughty academic stuff goes on behind closed academic doors. (What happens in Acadamia stays in Acadamia.)
» The Queen of the Memoir
"Oh, I've appeared in all kinds of shit." I bet. I was most interested by what she said about the slipperiness of truth. (Especially since she refuses to talk about the thing that we all really want to hear.)
But I caught myself thinking about some of her comments, because I do some of those same things myself. "That's an interesting way of putting it," I thought. "I've never thought of it like that."
The singular most transformative (deformative?) moment(s) in a person's life. Ooh .. the thought of that gets my juices going. Addressing these critical moments from all the various perspectives.
Like a 360-degree pan-around of Trinity in the Matrix .. right before she kicks that dude across the room.
It seems only natural that sex is going to be involved in/at such life junctures. (You have probably already written this stuff in your Art of Memoir book.)
Tho Petraeus' biographer, Paula, got naughty with the general and became his living memoir.
» Skills of the Memoirist
But I cant help but wonder how much of that involves playing the therapist. The shrink.
I would probably hire a good shrink to run my client's story by them .. to see where maybe I should pry a little deeper.
I would be like, "Here, smoke this and we'll talk some more."
I cant help but wonder how much of your success depends on your ability and skills at developing a trusting relationship with the client.
It seems to me that this would be nigh unto crucial .. and that means that you would need the skills associated with compassion .. in order to develop such a relationship .. no? (The writing seems like the easy part.)
» Amy Can't Wait
» Pondering the Meaning of Conflicting Perspectives on the Penis
So I was reading Mary's concluding statement that it's » not about the penis .. which Ana Marie totally instigates. "Dont encourage her, Ana Marie." [ I like that bold/regular text format, by the way. That works well. ]
And they are women themselves .. so you naturally have to take their word for it. I mean, they would know, right? Men must defer.
I actually spent some time thinking about this. And the thing that I came away with afterwards was »
"Okay, it may not be about the penis .. but you can bet your ass that the penis will be involved in whatever it is that does it for you. It will definitely be playing a part. An important part. And that penis had better be doing its penis thing or momma is NOT gonna be a happy camper." (Love is the drug that you're thinking of.)
» The Lust and Rue of Mary-Louise
What a photo .. kinda freaks me out the way she looks right thru you.
I had to put my hand over her picture in order to read .. cuz she wouldnt stop looking at me.
Her looks reminds me very much of cousin, Patty. (Just put a big smile on her face. I sent an email with the link to her, asking what she thought. Cuz-Patty was in the Miss CT pageant twice .. 5th & 3rd.)
That article says that Mary-Louise's book is not a memoir. What says the Queen?
She is talking to these old lovers (.. with "lust and rue"). Kinda like what I am doing.
» The Lust and Rue of Mary-Louise Remind Me
.. because it comes into play here with M-LP's book. Or at least, reading that article made me think of it.
Because this was a very crucial moment for me. Certainly up there will all of the biggies.
Rad note » I got carried away there with Mary-Louise. Wow, what a tangent. (That was a lot of fun.) I have lifted out her section and transferred it to its own page ..
.. where I can give it the care and attention that it obviously deserves .. see here » The Sexiest Being on the Planet Evokes Memories of Lust & Rue
In order to make beautiful music together, all of the instruments need to be working and properly tuned, no?
I doubt that Mary has read many bio's of Zelda, because Hemingway says that Scott says that Zelda was very interested in the penis. (And not just Scott's, either.)
Tho I will tell you that I have always approached sex with an air of respect. Sure, sometimes you are purely animalistic in your hormonal pursuits .. particularly when the moon is full .. but in general, I approach it like the sacred thing that it is.
And I get involved in the process. I contribute to the direction we take. Very much so. And the same creative flow (or at least, very similar) that I follow during writing .. is what I tune into and follow during love-making. Is that not how it is for you, too?
Because, as a writer, you need to tune into your audience. And as a lover, you need to tune into your partner .. no?
And to the degree that you can tune into and even b.e.c.o.m.e "the other" .. that makes you better at both. (Feeling what they feel allows you to shape your 'narrative' accordingly.)
So I am saying that I put a lot into it .. to make each journey a different voyage to explore different galaxies .. never the same one twice. Always better than the last.
Because once it becomes "like brushing your teeth" .. why bother? So perhaps you and Ana Marie have just never found the right penis?
I once had a girl tell me that, "I am going to fuck you so good that, if this ever does not work out between us, you will be ruined for all other women."
It did not seem to matter to her that the relationship seemed doomed from the git-go. Or perhaps that even somehow played an erotic role in her obviously ferocious motivation.
Would you consider that cruel? Or just unusual? Is this how it is with you and Ana Marie? (There must be a reason why DFW tried to push you out of that moving car. Tuck-n-roll, Mary.)
Okay .. I know that this next part is gonna sound ________ (word?) but hear me out and I will wager that you will agree that it was worth mentioning. Perhaps even instructive. Because I thought of it a few times now, but rejected writing it. (Cuz of the way it sounds.)
But .. I once had a girl tell me, "Wow, I've never felt anything like that before," as she was popping her eyeballs back into their sockets.
And I did not say anything, but I heard the words blow thru my brain, "That's what they all say."
And it is because of these g.i.r.l.s that I have these skills. They all teach you tricks .. and before long, you have yourself a merry little collection.
But the reason I said that unseemly thing .. is because I might want to segue over to energy and particularly sexual energy.
Because it was the wow girl who first brought this up .. as energy being a thing that does it for (some?) women.
I mean, I know what she is saying (about energy) .. but not really.
See, I only know myself. I do not have anyone but myself to compare with (experientially). But during love-making, there is a sync'ing of sorts with your sexual energy.
You sync your physical movements and touches so that you best give expression to this powerful energy that you are feeling.
I feel at a loss for how to express this .. but really, isnt there an aspect to sexual energy and its expression that is beyond words? (I certainly think so.)
I may return later to this line of reflection, but these girls talking about the penis obviously got me thinking about things.
I should lift out this section on Mary Karr and Ana Marie. But what title would I give it? » Mary Karr Says It's Not About the Penis?
Update » The lift-n-tranfer has been completed, which you are reading now. Wow .. what a tangent. What a wormhole.
I never would have come down this crazy detoured path if I didnt see that thing in the Wikipedia page that said David Foster Wallace tried to push Mary Karr out of a moving car.
I dont know why, but that just cracked me up .. the bizarreness of it .. maybe because it made me feel more normal.
My imagination feels confident that Mary Karr has been at more than one party where people come up to her and say, "Hey .. you're that mean-chick who David Foster Wallace tried to push out of his car."
And one thing led to another .. and I would look for another quick link and find another bizarre oddity .. like breadcrumbs leading you to a place that you could never possibly imagine. (A fun place.)
So let us all pause a moment here and offer a thought of gratitude for David Foster Wallace .. who died waay too young. (My mom was only 47 when she died, so perhaps this is why I feel a special, connecting sympathy for him.)
I know that it might seem insensitive .. but I'm kinda glad that he tried to push you out of that car. The idea of it still cracks me up, and I'm more convinced now than ever .. that you deserved it.
And it's really such a loaded question, because at least a part of the writer would shout, "Run!" Because the odds are overwhelming that your life is not going to be very happy.
[ Update - On the subject of advice to the young artist .. I just stumbled across this video.
This thing is so amazingly good .. that I am sticking up here at the beginning af where I offer mine.
That's better than I could do.
So much of that rings true. These kinds of things make me feel less fucked up.
And they ended so perfectly. I dont know who made that video .. but I think I love them.
It trips me out a little to think how deeply the things said there affect me.
Here is another video along these lines. ]
But many of these responses are genuinely helpful. And I recall from Hank Moody that everybody tells him that you cant teach a person to write. (Oh, and is that ever a juicy rabbit hole to explore.)
So I have thought about these things, and there is the sense here of a new recruit asking the battle-hardened warrior, "How do you become a great warrior?"
And the warrior says, "Do you see all these scars? That's how you do it."
Because there is no easy way. There are no shortcuts .. no real shortcuts. Steinbeck said that Writing makes horse-racing seem like a stable profession. (Hemingway actually devotes a chapter in Moveable Feast to exploring exactly what it takes .. in order to make a living on betting the horses.)
But really, writing is, in a sense, jumping off into the ocean of life .. and just writing what you see and what you hear and how that makes you feel and what others may have said about such things. "I know it might sound farfetched, but this is the way I see it."
And these things that you see and hear and feel and think will be different at the different seasons of your life.
And the same is for the writer as with any other thing we might do in life .. that you continue to drive yourself, and to push yourself (out of your comfort zone) in order to grow and develop and expand not only in your craft but also as a person. As a soulful human being.
I know this sounds corny, but here is where this aspect comes into play of when you jump off into this thing that you know not much of .. and just trust that the universe will take care of you and not leave you to rot inside a jail cell somewhere.
There is definitely no shortcut around that. So it is always nice when you find another soulful person out there in the sea of life.
And along the way you will pick up tricks from others and develop them even further and some you might even invent yourself. (If you find something really inspires you.)
And if you are diligent enough about this .. stories will appear to you .. asking you to write them .. because you are so good at it.
Cool stories. Fun stories, Sad stories. Outrageous stories. It doesnt really matter what kind of story, only that you write them.
And if you remain diligent and have not drank yourself to death or blown out your brains with a shotgun .. then you may find life leading you to the strangest places .. places that you didnt even know existed.
And you will know that the only reason you are here is because you are to write about it.
Here is where you will have an experience. Believe it or not, writing is very much about having experiences. (You will see what I mean.)
And there is a sense that you are never quite up to the task .. because the tasks become ever more challenging and complicated and even distressing.
So you summon those things that you need to summon and you throwdown .. with varying degrees of success, no doubt.
But take heart, because your writing muscles will grow as you continue to exercise them and feed them nourishing experiences about which to write.
So the question ever hovering before you is » what are we saying here? And » how can I say it better?
And the only way that you can really answer those questions .. is by sitting down and writing.
And watch out for the yoga chicks .. they are very clever.
So, my advice would be to keep your eyes open and keep your ears open.
And watch out for people who try to tell you what to think about the things that you see and hear. And who try to tell you that the things you see and hear are not really what you are seeing and hearing.
Because you are going to become many different people, so to speak. Dostoevsky had already become Dmitry, Ivan & Alexei. Which is why he was able to make them seem so real and come alive so vividly.
And tying this back into David Foster Wallace .. who I dont know and who I havent read .. but I do know writing .. and who was the inspiration for my advice.
And herein lies the writer's rub .. the writer's paradox, if you will. Because once you become famous .. people stop telling you what they really think .. and they start telling you what they think you want to hear.
» The Writer Enters the Pool of Life as Undisturbingly as Possible
[ I could get off on such a tangent here, but normally in life, we find ourselves trying to influence our environment in ways that make it more conducive to our preferences. More favorable.
But the writer is looking to affect the waters of life as little as possible .. because he wants to capture the natural state of things as cleanly as possible.
It is a far more complex thing, and counterintuitive in many ways. But you can definitely feel it at work. (And at play.)
You cannot help but affect and influence your environment by your very presence .. but the writer can feel himself getting into the pool of life as undisturbingly as possible (.. without making any waves himself).
I mean, I can feel myself doing this and it still feels weird. Counterintuitive. All of the things that we use to influence our environment are put away. Your access to them feels disabled, blocked, thwarted.
But the general feeling here is that you just let this thing take you. And sometimes it takes you to places that are very sucky. And other times it takes you to places that are very cool.
And sometimes it takes you to places where people are primarily taking things away from you. While other times it takes you to places where people are primarily giving you things.
But have you never crafted an environment just the way you wanted .. only to discover that it sucked?
And have you not also found yourself in an environment, in a situation, in circumstances far beyond your control .. and said, "Wow .. this is totally bitchin'." ?
[ Oh, there is my tangent right there. But we are not going there. Can you see it? ]
Some of the most interesting things happen when you find yourself in the company of people who, for whatever reason, are people that are adept at influencing and crafting their environment.
If this sounds a litte crazy to you, then welcome to my world .. where things dont always make sense. ]
My point is that .. and this is actually where I was heading when I first mentioned the initial conversation that I had on the beach at Crystal Cove with the Bug's mom ..
.. is that the writer wants people to be speaking to him » their heart's truth. [ and not what they might think he wants to hear ]
And a similar principle applies when you meet a new girl .. especially if she is interesting.
I find it somewhat curious that it is taking me so long to get to this thing that I started with so long ago. But I knew it would be a difficult and challenging thing to address.
One of the most pivotal and ________ moments in my life.
I know that I shouldnt be surprised that I wound up back here where I started .. but I am. Perhaps it's true what they say .. that life is really about the journey .. and not the destination.
Didnt I tell you that you'd never believe it? Doesnt it seem like life continues to give us experiences that are far more unusual than we could ever imagine for ourselves?
Speaking of telling stories .. do you think that meeting someone while running on a pristine stretch of beach represents a good story? Compared to say, meeting someone in a bar? (Or at a crack den?)
Because people, particularly if they see that you are happy together and in love .. they always want to know, "So, how did you two meet?"
I got distracted there, because I looped back in with the initial thrust of this entry, or at least a major part of it .. and I was really talking about advise to the young, aspiring writer.
You have no doubt heard the adage that a life is built thru a series of decisions. A series of choices (.. which implies a free will). And it is hard to disagree with this concept.
» The True-True
And if you are going to write .. then you will find yourself making decisions and making choices .. that are in accordance with the "true-true" that Tom Hanks and Halle Berry talk about above.
And this will force you to make rather unusual decisions in life, which will no doubt perplex some people. There are certainly countless variations on a theme, but the basic pattern looks something like this »
Am I saying anything that you dont already know?
The phrase 'live the true-true' simply means to live in a such a way as to not betray your innermost values and priorities. The term 'conscience' comes to mind.
Of course, you must first determine what your innermost values are. And that is trickier than you might imagine.
And no one can tell you what your own conscience is telling you. (Tho I'm sure some would like to tell that they can.)
The artistry comes into play on where you add the color and how you set the highlights and which things you move around to juxtapose and contrast.
Remind me to share with you what Dostoevsky wrote to his brother Mikhail, regarding the feeling of the true-true (from page 56/57 of Joseph Frank's single-volume bio).
Because this is the only time that I've seen Dostoevsky get 'belligerent' with his brother, who he obviously loves very much.
» Nothing Can Really Prepare You For This
And then, when you are 45 or so .. that is the time to throw down most muscularly. You probably have until age 50.
Because that is when humans begin a pronounced physical decline. And if you wait until much past age 45 or so, you risk running out of jam.
After physical decline sets in, you be forced to write other types of things. Less muscular .. more of other stuff.
Speaking of keeping open your eyes for people who try to tell you things that they think you want to hear ..
» The Proof Contained in John Oliver's Giant Penis
John Oliver called today to call bullshit on what Mary & Ana Marie said .. that's it's not about the penis.
He said that the minute I posted that link to John Oliver's Giant Penis, his email has been blowing up with offers from women wanting to meet him.
So there it is, ladies .. proof of what we men knew all the time .. that it is very much about the penis.
This is the part where you ladies say, "Touché."
I'll give you girls a second to recover here .. because I just blew your minds.
Did you notice, by the way, that the end of this article says that John Oliver is often the only show they watch to stay informed? Because one show is all that they have time for.
If I were John Oliver, that would make me feel pretty good.
Tho Stephen Colbert is also excellent. That thing he did with Jeb Bush loving his brother .. wow. The planning that must have went into that. With Stephen's brother sitting in the audience. I think my jaw really dropped. (Why cannot I find a clip of that exchange? I looked hard.)
Notice where he said, "Better than any joke I could ever devise in a million years."
I dont even know what kind of humor that is considered .. but it tickles me really good. "I'll give you a second to recover now, because I just blew your mind."
I like John Oliver. He is tackling important subjects that nobody else is addressing.
One time, I was having a particularly rough day .. when even the narcotics werent cutting it. And you are seeking any glimmer of escape from the compounding effects of the relentless treatment .. no matter how brief.
And the only thing that delivered any respite that day was a video by John Oliver. His humor was so good that it actually cut through my very thick misery.
That really gave me an appreciation for John Oliver .. because I was needing that. (in the worst way)
I could feel the soul-fucking grip of treatment loosen just a little. And sometimes, that's all you need.
<end update March 27, 2016 John Oliver's illuminati eye>
The end. ■
» How Can I Feel This Way About DFW?
That surprised me. The emotional aspect. I didnt expect that at all. Because I wasnt even feeling emotional.
So I wasnt even really thinking about this movie. (Or David Foster Wallace.) So I am feeling a little confused right now.
But when he said, "I'm not so sure you wanna be me .. just be a good guy." That is the thing that made me cry.
If you want the fame so much that you are willing to be a asshole .. you're missing the point. (The point of living a meaningful life.)
» Reading You is Another Way of Meeting You
And I actually fell in love with him a minute before that part .. when Jesse says, "If they're responding to your work and your work is really personal, then reading you is another way of meeting you .. isnt that right?"
And the guy playing David Foster Wallace says, "That's soo good."
See .. *that* guy I know. The guy who said, "That's soo good." And that's why I feel like crying. Cuz it's such a shame. It's really such a shame.
And even tho I've never met DFW in the flesh, nor have I even read him .. now I feel like I know him.
I cannot really deal with this now. This is sad stuff. Very sad. But there it is.
Oh, and the other thing that really spoke to me .. and which I almost couldnt believe I was hearing .. such that I actually stopped the trailer and backed it up to make sure that I had heard him correctly .. was when he said ..
» I Treasure My Regular-Guyness
"I got a real serious fear of being a certain way. I treasure my regular-guyness."
How can you ever explain to someone what that feels like? Because it seems to make no sense. (To most people.)
Is this not what I was just saying earlier?
And Jesse jumps on him right quick when he responds by saying, "You dont crack open a thousand-page book because you heard the author was a regular guy. You do it [ pause for effect ] because he's brilliant."
It's just a trailer and already I feel like I have enough of a feel for him .. that I am crying for him. Does that even make sense?
If you have a "real serious fear" of something .. then, another way of saying this .. is that you dread this thing. Dread.
You can do this thing, sure .. but you are ever in danger while you are doing this thing that you dread.
I dont really understand it myself, to be honest. But I can definitely feel it there. It is very clear.
If you must cross this dangerous street, then you must cross it. But if you fuck up, you will die. Make no mistake. Because many already have. (died) That is the feeling.
And if you stop to play in this street for very long, your dumb ass will get run the fuck over. Just watch-n-see. And dont say you werent warned.
» Staying Alive as a Writer Can Be Tricky
Then the writer must be intelligent and disinterested and above all he must survive. Try to get all these in one person and have him come through all the influences that press on a writer. That is the hardest thing, because time is so short, is for him to survive and get his work done.
Now, I am not trying to put words into Hemingway's mouth .. but, doesnt it seem like he is saying here, "If you are going to write, then you are going to find it a challenge to stay alive. A difficult challenge." ?
And sure, this is experimental. But this feeling of dread that I have been referring to .. is the thing behind the reason why I am experimenting in this area.
Staying alive as a writer is trickier than you might imagine. A lot trickier .. in some cases.
» Flirting with Padma (to Get to Salman)
Update March 17, 2016 » Speaking of writing directly to individual people in new, experimental ways here in the twenty-first century ..
.. I couldnt help but notice that Ana Marie published another talk .. this time with Padma. Sexy Padma.
Where Padma says that Mary Karr bought her a boxing lesson, saying, "This will change your life."
Did Mary Karr help write your new memoir (March 8, 2016)? Provide helpful insight, perhaps?
There were many things that spoke to me in that talk .. I'm not sure that I should even start. (You girls know how I get. Do you feel, btw, that a parenthetical aside conveys a sense of intimacy?)
You have this photo of her .. this large, lead-off photo. And the reader must s.c.r.o.l.l d.o.w.n .. in order to continue reading.
» Sex in Public Places
Where there is a room on the top floor of one of the buildings. A big room .. on the 4th floor, if I recall correctly ..
.. which contains nothing but life-sized carved-stone statues from India, which are thousands of years old. Very sexy, erotic stuff.
I remember saying to my friend, "I am actually getting kinda turned on .. looking at all these stone statues of naked, large-breasted women."
This girl was into having sex in public places. That turned her on. And she was like, "We are the only ones here. This room is so isolated from the rest of the museum."
At first, I thought she was joking. But then she says, "I just happen to be wearing this little girly sundress .. and look, my panties just fell on the floor. Oops."
I am not going to tell you the naughty details, but I was definitely a naughty boy that day. And nobody was any the wiser (.. at least, not until today).
But I remember looking around, while I was being so naughty .. and wondering if Indian women were as freely sexual and sexy as these stone statues seemed to suggest.
And when I read this piece about Padma, and after I googled a sampling of images, I thought, "Maybe they are."
I was raised Catholic .. which tends to associate guilt with sex. And this was something that I had to get over. Tho it certainly took some effort.
But the women from the Indian culture seemed to be the most anti-Catholic guilt of any culture I am aware of. And that in itself appears attractive to me .. where sex is more sacred than guilt-ridden.
Most of all I was surprised that she was married for Salman Rushdie .. who I have tons of respect for.
The photo of her here, standing there with Salman. Now, I am not even a breast man .. but that is probably the best breast shot I have ever seen.
Is it just me .. or does she not have the most perfect breasts? [ I am not even flirting here .. I am just stating the obvious. ]
Before I get too carried away with Padma's breasts .. I should mention that I am discovering that » WHO I write to .. determines (to a large degree) » WHAT I write.
I know this seems obvious in retrospect, but I didnt see it until I was well into doing it. I am going to write things to Padma that I would never write to Obama .. and vice versa.
Do I have anything to say to Padma? (Other than a hearty, genuine, "You have beautiful breasts," I mean.) There's only one way to find out.
But I have to be feeling it. I cant just write whatever. It has to come to me first. It has to feel right. (For me.)
[ Well, I guess you technically could .. but then it wouldnt have that genuine, authentic, home-grown feel .. so why would you? (You wouldnt.) ]
So there is an experimental part of me that seems to want me to write to different people .. just to see what happens. Just to see what comes out.
Because I'm finding that I often dont know myself .. what will come out. Yes, it surprises me.
This experimental writing thing .. it is not to woo. Not used for woo'ing. I know how to woo, sure. I am actually pretty good at it.
But this is not about woo'ing. Tho, to be honest, I'm not really sure what it's about. (Guess we'll find out.)
I had to laugh because this article says that Salman wanted lots of sex.
And I thought, "I dont know how often Salman wanted sex, but if it was me, I can guarantee you that it woulda been more .. probably a lot more."
Some day I hope to become a great writer like the great Salman Rushdie .. a writer truly for the ages. And if this means that I must sleep with Padma in order to accomplish this dream of mine .. then, send her to me.
I can almost hear her saying, "Alright, listen .. I'll introduce you to Salman. But it's gonna cost you. And it's not going to be cheap. Just so you know."
This stuff that I am writing here now .. this is new. I have never written stuff like this before. I am not sure what this means, but I'm sure we'll find out.
But basically, the writer must first grow as a person .. before they can write at higher levels. I can see that now. (Padma helped me see that.)
I'm sure that I could help her see some new things, too .. signposts on the road to Nirvana.
I must say that other cultures fascinate me .. the way they see things. The way they see the world.
And it is the s.t.r.e.t.c.h.i.n.g of your mind and your imagination .. to try to see the world from their perspective ..
.. that enlarges your own world by expanding your mind. This form of growth is one of the coolest things you can do ..
.. entering this other world, this other culture, that this person is sharing with you. Very satisfying. Almost as satisfying as sex.
I should note that, even before writing this section here today .. I had already used Ana Marie's talk with Padma as a link to something I previously wrote in the page I wrote about Mary-Louise.
About 5 or 6 paragraphs down from this in-page insertion point .. notice the part where I wrote » "Can I just be myself with this girl, or does she need me to be someone else?"
Regarding Ana Marie's title stating that Padma doesnt date guys who arent feminists. (I am not really sure what that means .. to be honest. Because feminism seems to mean different things to different people.)
Clever of me? To link that page to those words?
But really Ana Marie, Padma doesnt date guys who arent billionaires. (What does she think of the Donald? He's a billionaire.)
In order to date Padma, you either need to be a billionaire or a writer who has placed a novel on both the list of the 100 Best Books of the Century and also on the 100 Best Books Ever Written in Any Language.
He told me how he went out to look into some prospective work. The Dog said, "The super usually takes you around on these jobs, but Salman took me himself."
Anyway, if the Dog says that somebody is cool, then they are cool. They are legit in my book. And the Dog was clearly impressed by Salman.
I said, "I thought he was in hiding for his life .. after he wrote that book."
( Speaking of fabulously talented writers .. do you know this guy named Siddhartha Deb? )
The Dog also mentioned, "And he's got a real pretty wife, too." [ Which did not surprise me. ]
But now I am thinking .. that you were the "pretty wife" that the Dog was talking about.
So we might already be down to 1-degree of separation. (Am I feeling close?)
.. there is a biological, reptillian part of me that kicks in .. which feels like a panther ready to pounce.
Did you plan it that way? ( Easy and exotic are two words you never see together. )
Oh, I see your new book is selling very well. You must be more popular than I thought. I wonder how your memoir would compare with Mary-Louise's?
I might have to flirt with you. And I might have to give you your own page .. instead of sharing one with Mary.
If you get your own page, then you will know that you are in trouble.
» My Indian Chemistry Professor and the Most Difficult Exam Ever
My ego wants me to tell Padma about my experience with my Chemistry professor, who was a woman from India .. a full-blown PhD, teaching at a Comminity college here in southern California. (Obviously over-qualified.)
My ego is stoked and excited that I am going to tell Padma this story .. because there are a few places where it will have an opportunity to thump its academic chest, like a silverback in heat.
Whenever a man is dealing with these women who successful and wealthy and attractive and sexy and educated and smart, it can be an intimidating thing .. for any man.
This was during the semester when I also took Calculus and Statistics .. after taking a lay-off from work and went to school full time. (7 units for the Chem class, 4 for Calculus and 3 for Statistics)
These are classes that are too difficult and demanding to tackle while you are working full-time.
This was the Chem class for doctors and engineers. It was the most difficult of the various Chem classes offered, with a lab. (My advisor specified it as the one I needed.)
One day our professor came in wear a brightly-colored, flowing dress .. and she had the dot on her forehead. She was just a little thing.
[ Oh, is the term 'dot' an ethnic slur? I certainly dont mean it that way. I think the dot is cool. Whatever the official name for it, she had one on her forehead. ]
So I asked her about it and if she might share a little about her culture .. which she was glad to do for the class.
It was for some traditional ceremonial holiday .. which lasted a while, tho I forget how many days. I think she said a week or two. Maybe the whole month.
It was my favorite part of the class. The rest of the time, she was all business .. throwing the formulas at you.
Anyway, this professor had the hardest exam I've ever taken. Never before (or since) have I gone straight home afterwards and gone staight to bed .. from sheer mental exhaustion.
I did good on this test, having been exposed to chemistry in the military. The class mean was down around 55 and all the kids were mad that she gave such a difficult test. Many of them actually went and reported her to the administration.
(If you do not get at least a 'C' they make you take the class over before continuing, which is why many of the kids were freaking out.)
A few of the kids came up to me after she returned the exams to ask, "How did you do?"
When one kid saw the red 95 written at the top of my exam, he said, "Dude! .. you ARE the man." ( I was older than these kids. )
At the end of the class, the prof came over and mentioned that many of the students had complained about her exam to the administration and gave me a blank exam and asked if I could stay after class and comment on the exam.
Which I gladly did. Many of her questions were multi-part questions .. meaning that you first had to solve for some quality that you needed to plug into the main part of the question. And then she would only count 2 or 3 points for such a complicated question. (It was really like 2 or 3 questions in one.)
And this was what made her exam so difficult and fatiguing. I agreed with the other students that it was indeed a difficult exam.
I could see from some of the things that she told me that she felt American kids had it easy and didnt like to work very hard. She did not come right out and say these things. But that was clearly her opinion .. as contrasted with her own more rigorous studies in India.
She also asked me about my training and schools in the military .. in the Navy's nuclear power program. We spent some time going over that and she seemed genuinely interested.
I respected her. She clearly knew her stuff. Inside out. And being from another culture made her seem exotic to me.
And she never tried any funny stuff. (I am always a little apprehensive whenever a female professor asks me to stay after class.)
She thanked me for the comments I made regarding her most difficult exam ever and said could could see how so many multi-part questions for such few points made the exam more difficult that it appeared on the surface.
I mean, I went home at like 2 or 3 in the afternoon and laid down and fell fast asleep. Heck, I didnt even stop at In-n-Out that day, which I always did following that class.
I got the highest grade in all three classes that semester. This was the semester that I met the Film school girl in the Statistics class.
Regarding the guy who taught the Statistics class, she told me, "He told me to tell you that you got the highest grade in both classes." (He taught two different Statistics classes that semester, and he let you attend either class, since both were the same.)
Since she was already at the college, I told her my student ID and asked her to go upstairs and check the posting of grades in the window of the Calculus class. She said, "You got the highest grade." (She wanted to have sex with me after she saw that.)
Anyway, that was probably my most muscular semester. It's easy to do well in college when you dont have to work 6 days a week, and 12 hours a day.
Is it true that the Indian culture highly values intelligence and education?
Your photo takes up most of the page. I am very much looking forward to reading this. Like a special treat .. delivered right to your doorstep.
Which I cook up once a week or so and snack on from time to time. Good carbs .. with a little olive oil to keep them from sticking to each other. It's more of a nutritional thing than a culinary thing.
Anyway, reading about you eating pasta with a white sweater .. this turned me on something fierce. "What kind of woman dares to eat pasta swimming in a red sauce while wearing a white sweater?"
I am not even that daring myself. I have ruined so many white shirts. No matter how careful you might be .. there always seems to be red spot on your white shirt.
Many times, I have said, "Oh .. we're going out for Italian? Let me change my shirt and put on something dark."
I also gave you points for bringing along your daughter. Nice. It's good for kids to spend time with their parents.
» Not Afraid to Appear Imperfect
Your scar .. when I saw the photo of you with Salman, I thought, "Good for her." .. the way you werent hiding it. Our flaws are part of what make us who we are.
There is something courageous about a woman who is not afraid to be seen as less than perfect. Something attractive. It makes me want to explore further.
Have you been to the LACMA lately?
The end. ■■
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