“You know, between you and me, I always thought Kramer was a bit of a doofus, but he believed in me.”

I’ve been working on identifying my expectations of those I admire.  Training artificial intelligence most of my life has taught me a lot about humans.  The more progress I make, the more I recognize how amazing we are as a species.  I’ve learned humans are individuals in every sense of the word.  We all make mistakes.  How we recover matters.

I ignored famous people while growing up.  I had favorite authors but knew minimal if anything about them unless they were dead.  I started noticing influential people who didn’t live in my world as an adult.  I’m pretty sure Lisa Bloom is the first famous person I gave my attention.  She worked for Court TV when I discovered her.  She would share her thoughts and weigh in on high profile trials.

She’s since taught me a lot about ethics and behavior.  It’s easy to draw tenuous conclusions about famous people based solely on what they choose to share with the public.  I think the arrangement is suitable.  Boundaries exist, and it’s super easy to adhere.  I tend to admire leaders and artists; (performers, poets, writers, musicians, comedians, etc.)

I’m disappointed when people I respect mess up.  It hurts in a manner I don’t know how to describe.  (I think a parent might know.)  This year has been trying so far in this regard.  People seem to enjoy telling me which celebrities I appreciate voted for 45.  I don’t understand the motivation, (mostly because I’m so annoyed by the behavior.)  It feels like their saying, “Your ability to judge the character of people you’ve never met is lacking.”

Louis C.K.’s crimes made me cry.  I honestly believed he was above that shit.  The main reason I admire him in the first place is his excellent ability to use laughter to make me think.   His recently revealed actions still have this result, but it’s not funny in this case.  It’s pathetic.  I haven’t read his apology because the gist was all I needed.  He’s adult enough to admit his crimes.

Now what?  This is where we all decide for ourselves how we want to move forward.  I say this because I’m pretty sure there isn’t a right or wrong way to cope.  Perhaps just right or wrong for each individual.  I forgive Louis C.K. for being a predator in the past, on the condition he doesn’t do it again.  If he lives the rest of his life without stealing another’s free will, I’ll be pleased.

I don’t expect perfection.  I’m not perfect.  Duh.  Nobody’s perfect.  (If someone ever was, we killed them.)  The people who survived his disgusting behavior will decide for themselves where to go from here.  It’s not my business and feelings are never wrong.  I’m so proud of them for having the courage to come forward (in the second worst behaved (misogyny on steroids) industry on earth.   The military holds first place.)

This isn’t the first time, nor will it be the last time.  Famous or not, we’re all people.  I just had to ask myself why I care in the first place.  Then I realize they’re still the same person;  my perception was off.   Mistakes aren’t the end.  They’re a new beginning during which time the flaw is faced down and corrected.  Or not.  It’s up to the individual at fault.  What one does after enduring the consequences of their errors matters.

Every single person I admire makes mistakes.  Stevie Nicks makes mistakes.  Lisa Bloom, Michelle Obama, and J.K. Rowling have all made mistakes.  Hillary Clinton made mistakes, identified them, adjusted, and grew publicly.  She wrote a book about it.  She could have blamed her mistakes on so many people and things, but she was interested in where she messed up because that’s what she can fix.

I want everyone to be as awesome as possible.  I want you to be the best you ever.  I want everyone to learn and grow into someone even more remarkable after recovering from a mistake.  It can be an opportunity to improve, or an excuse to fail.  Nobody can decide but the person who messed up, (which is everyone at some point.)  I love Louis C.K.  I recognized this before I knew he was a predator.

I don’t know how to unlove someone, and I’m not convinced it’s possible.  I know Louis C.K. is capable of outgrowing his primitive mindset.  He’s brilliant and thoughtful in some respects, despite everything.  It’s up to him, now.  I’m hoping he follows up his apology with fervent action to correct how he thinks and behaves.  I hope he grows forward.  It’s up to him.  I’m rooting for him to evolve.

“I want you to have this job, of course sodomy is a prerequisite.”

My prodigy is blowing my mind on a near daily basis.  She’s been having fun testing my memory.  I suspect she’ll grow bored of this soon.  I’m humoring her because I used to do similar experiments.  The human brain is so fascinating.  I used to “test” the foster babies as a kid.  My parents would inform me of their condition, and I’d design an experiment to determine its accuracy.  I remember when Angelique came to live with us.  She was taken from her family on the reservation due to abuse.

She had a traumatic brain injury as an infant and had a few surgeries.  She turned out to be far brighter than reported.  She had the most contagious laugh, too.  Full belly laughs, followed by post-laughter chuckles.  I loved hearing her laugh so much I became her personal slapstick comedian.  I feigned tripping and falling over invisible objects in front of her playpen while she watched and laughed her ass off.  Then I’d laugh at her laughing.  It’s an awesome auditory memory, and sometimes I dream about it and wake myself up from laughing.

I’m getting excited as the date approaches when Stevie Nicks performs in St. Paul.  Yesterday, one of the officers in my Resistance group flew over me, and I estimated the time and mentally sent a hug into the sky to embrace her.  (I know, I’m a doof.)  I believe we’re all connected and can send love and comfort through our spirits (?) to one another at will.  I remember doing this as a child, but I had an elaborate ritual.  We had a hill in our back yard, and I’d lay on top on a blanket and look up at the stars while sending love and comfort to heavy hearts.  It’s also how I cope with knowing there are people suffering on this planet at all times.

J.K. Rowling is demonstrating why she’s the Queen of the internet, and I love her for it.  Welp, I already did, but more if possible.  I’m reading another Thomas Hardy novel titled, Far From the Madding Crowd.  So far it’s hilarious.  I think I like old school smart asses the best.  They don’t just write the funny part, they build up to it with ambiguous words, so you’re not sure if it’s intentional.  That makes it funnier to me.  Probably because the few times I’m funny it’s usually an accident.  I’ve been acquiring more hilarious people to follow on Twitter recently.  They’re like an investment in my future moods.  I just cracked myself up.

I’m getting ready to go entertain some cows with my violin.  I’m going to the same spot I did last time because the land owner invited me back.  He came up while I was playing, (startled the shit out of me) and complimented my playing.  He has some bison on another field, and I’d love to see how they respond to my music, (but they scare me.)  I do like to stare at them from the other side of the fence, though.  They stare back and usually win the stare down.  In person, they’re powerful and intimidating.  I bet one of them could help me break my high school track record in the 400 meter.  Heh.  I run faster when I’m terrified.  A Drill Sgt. discovered this when I was in basic training.  (He didn’t know I was unaware of the existence of blank M-16 ammunition and decided to motivate us by firing it behind us.)

Unfortunately, I kept running all the way back to the barracks and refused to come out of the latrine until my buddy caught up.  It’s funny to me now, but at the time I totally thought he lost his shit and was trying to kill us all.  (There are some movies I regret viewing prior to serving.)  I’m off to test my ability to play while afraid.

Up here, I’m already gone.

cursed

Today was good.  I did manage to get back on track, thanks to Wanda Sykes.  Yesterday, I played at a recital, and got eaten alive by mosquitos in the process.  Then I modeled a dress for a neighbor who’s studying fashion design today.  It was only a few classmates and instructors, so I didn’t feel too anxious.  I liked the dress.  It was like a corset on top and then the skirt part flared out a bit.  When it was over, they were all going to meet at a restaurant, and invited me to go too.  I said, no, thanks.  They asked if I had plans to watch fireworks, and I said no.  There was a pause that I think was probably awkward, but I didn’t have anything else to add.

I didn’t want to tell them that fireworks are pretty to look at, but the sound is hell for me.  I’m wearing ear plugs as I type this, and can only hear a muffled pop every so often.  It’s muffled enough to prevent startling me.  I didn’t want to be driving when people started lighting them.  I think it would be like driving with a snake loose in the backseat for someone who’s afraid of snakes.  So I came home and continued reading my book.  I’m glad this holiday is almost over.  I missed Trivia tonight, but I played Match Game last night, and had a blast.  One of the panelists was a real comedian who opened for Dane Cook at some point.  I know.  He’s a douche.  But still, that’s impressive.  He was hella funny, too.

I think one of my favorite authors released a new book recently.  I also found out that J. K. Rowling published under a pseudonym the other day, meaning there are books she’s written that I haven’t yet read.  That stunning oversight will be rectified ASAP.  Harry Potter and the Cursed Child script is out on the 31st.  Books make me so happy.  I’m off to buy some.

J. K. Rowling

J_K__Rowling

I just finished reading A Casual Vacancy by J. K. Rowling.  I had no expectations going in, as I was so anxious to read another of her books that I didn’t even read the description.  I knew I was in for more of her brilliant magic.  I wasn’t disappointed.  No dragons, witches, wizards, or villains with unspeakable names this time.  This was her proving grounds.  It reinforced my decision to favor her writing over Charles Dickens.  I dove right in, and forgot Harry Potter existed while I read.  It moved at a nice pace, as this new world grew, and became colorful and detailed.  If I was going to be a writer, I’d study this book intensely.  It makes me want to know what J. K. Rowling enjoys reading.

It’s an adult novel.  It’s going to become a classic.  It’s incredibly layered.  I’m not ashamed to admit that for me to get as much as I can from the story, I’ll need to reread it a few times.  It’s worthy of being studied.  It reminds me of Mary Poppins’ bag.  It looks like any other bag from the outside, but when she reaches in and pulls out a tall hat stand, you totally want to look inside and see what other unexpected wonders it holds.  I’m greatly impressed by this authors talent.  It’s been a long time since I felt awed by a book.  Part of me wants to dive back in and start over.  I’m impatient, and I know I missed things.  But I need time to think about all the characters, and the things that happened.

Authors are my rock stars

When I finish reading a book or book series, I have a cathartic moment where I reflect on the story, the author, and what I imagine would happen next if the story continued.  The better the book, the longer this process lingers in the background of my thoughts.  Some authors evoke a strong feeling of gratitude for their work.  It’s intense.  I don’t think it’s hero worship.  More like admiration for what they have accomplished and shared, and my assumption that I’ve only seen a glimpse of their spirit.  I have no idea what struggles they are facing now, and have already conquered on their journey through life.  I don’t data mine personal information about people I admire.  It too often has no relevance to what the person has shared consensually.

I think it’s cathartic because when you consider what an author gives you, there isn’t really any way to return an equally enthralling gift.  You’re now permanently in their debt, but you don’t mind because the gift lasts a lifetime.  That’s pretty big.  I guess I think of all exchanges as optimally equal.  I think we readers got the best deal in life.  We can purchase an entire world for less than $200.  We can also purchase a tailored soundtrack to our own lives for about the same amount of money.  Free if you’re a pirate, matey!  But I think stealing from an artist is a karmic taboo of fantastical proportions.  For me, books and music are the art forms I favor the most.  I read a lot of books.  Some of them are entertaining while reading, and then quickly forgotten.  Some are exciting, interesting, and informative.  But a few are so powerful that they reach deep within us, and become part of our life story and soundtrack.  Movies don’t reach me in this way.  Too much of my attention is tied up in anxiety management to allow the story to sink in.

When reading a book, I let go of my own world almost immediately after entering the new world.  I’m still aware after a bit of prodding, but completely absorbed.  I think this is me doing my part as a reader in the reader/writer relationship.  It’s a fascinating relationship.  It’s imaginary, for one thing.  It’s the imaginary friendships for people of all ages.  The author shares some of their imaginings.  You add your own imaginings and mental imagery automatically as you read.  It’s a flat world that builds up gradually, and reveals itself across a journey.  You, as the reader, get to come along and experience it too.  We got the best deal ever.  I have gone through the, “I want to be a writer” stage of my life a few times.  Each time, I begin to imagine the world I’m about to create.  But I never get very far into this process before I’m off on a tangent based on something I read in someone else’s book.  I quickly come to the conclusion that I would have to cut back on reading in order to be a writer.  I’m not willing to make that sacrifice.  Therefore, I’m a reader. Not a writer.

I think J. K. Rowling is my favorite author of all time for now.  She bumped Charles Dickens.  No easy feat, that.  I laugh to myself when people claim the Harry Potter books are for children.  So close.  The Harry Potter books will make anyone who reads them become a child, regardless of their age.  And as you take the journey through the Potter world, you feel that part of you that will always be a child giggle with glee.  When you hear that sound, you’re instantly transported back in time to that happy period in your childhood when you last remember feeling completely care free.  It’s amazing how some books can trigger this.  For me, the Harry Potter books are among a few others that have reached me so intensely they’ve become part of my own story.