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04/01 Direct Link
"Opposite Day" is not what we're going for, here, where you simply upturn the existing facts.

That is too easy. What we're going for is a kind of looseness with the truth, but more than that, we would like for someone who had followed us around for a while to see what we've done and conclude that we've lost our grip on reality.

Unfortunately nobody was willing to follow us around, but if we can honestly say that a reasonable person would see what we've done and tell his children to stay well away from us, we will have succeeded.

04/02 Direct Link
I am typing this entry on the beach.

It is warm here, and I have a tropical alcoholic drink on a little table by my side. The drink features a colorful paper umbrella that really opens and closes. I am super impressed with the umbrella.

I want to bash this entry out as quickly as possible, because coed beach volleyball is scheduled in ten minutes, and I don't want to miss it. My accurate and fearsome serve makes me very much in demand. They are probably on the court right now, arguing over who gets to be on my team.

04/03 Direct Link
I decided to start smoking this afternoon.

I was in the store and on impulse I bought my first pack. Was there a lot of coughing? Did I make myself horribly sick? For a time there, did I actually wish I were actually dead? Yes.

But I'm going to stick with it, because I expect a big payoff down the road. I am sure I'll be discovered by an agent soon, and then I'll be whisked into the glamorous smokers' lifestyle that is off-limits to those timid clean-lunged nobodies I now all of a sudden look down on.

04/04 Direct Link
There was another epic battle between Good and Evil out in the parking lot today.

Most of us are so fed up with the whole thing by now we didn't even glance at it. A few of the guys stood around the window and watched, saying they "like the effects," but I suspect they were just desperate for an excuse to get away from work for a few minutes.

While the combatants were out there making speeches and posing, we were trying our best to live our lives. Nowadays we're more interested in character development, but instead we get spectacle.

04/05 Direct Link
I was up late last night and bought one o' them ninja swords from the TV shopping network.

The guy was demonstrating how sharp it was, and yeah, I had a few beers in me, and I decided I needed one for chopping winter squash, which is a seasonal problem around here, and to a lesser extent for personal defense.

I am not a ninja, nor am I trained in the art of swordplay, but I plan to watch some videos online until I get to the point where I don't hurt anyone with it unless I actually mean to.

04/06 Direct Link
I am a founding member of Sticker Club.

We are mostly men in our thirties with an enthusiasm for collecting and trading stickers. It is hard to make new friends at our age, and having a shared hobby makes it easier.

Sticker trades are made over beer and pretzels. I recently traded two crocodiles and a koala for a monkey holding a pair of scissors.

Society frowns on sticker mania in our demographic, so we meet in secret. Sticker Club is an underground scene.

If you like stickers, and if you can find us, maybe you can join...

STICKER CLUB

04/07 Direct Link
They're building a series of tunnels just for me under the city.

One tunnel runs directly from my apartment, then branches out with a path to the grocery store and another to my office.

They've very kindly given me a flashlight and a big stick which I can use to see where I'm going and fight off any aggressive animals that might take up residence in the tunnels.

I have agreed to use the tunnels rather than walking around the sidewalks and hallways, where I frighten people. In fact, the whole thing was my idea, and my fellow citizens approved.

04/08 Direct Link
I have given up sleep.

Sleep is a vice of the wicked and indolent. We're told we need it because they're too afraid of what we might do with those extra eight hours.

Scientists disagree on the nature of sleep, but I can tell you that willpower alone is going to keep me awake, and I'm going to have so much fun while the rest of you are abed.

The spider hallucinations are part of a spiritual awakening. My doors of perception are being cleansed, that's all. I can see things as they truly are: terrifying and full of spiders.

04/09 Direct Link
I want to start a giant cafe.

The door will be half the size of a normal door, and the seats will be tiny, and the coffee cups will be like the size of shot glasses and the knife and fork will be like toys for infants.

And the person behind the counter (who is also a giant, BTW) will give you a tiny plate of spaghetti or whatever, and you'll eat it with your tiny fork and you'll feel enormous and important.

"This cafe makes me feel the way I feel on the Internet" will be my first review.

04/10 Direct Link
I am not concerned with the passage of time, because I find that it moves at a reasonable rate.

Some people do not share this view. They see the sand in the hourglass gushing out and they are alarmed.

I tell them the good times are here to stay, and we can just hold onto them forever.

I tell them the bad times can be banished with a smile and a happy song.

I tell them permanence is a wonderful feature of our world.

I tell them we never need to lose anyone or anything, so relax!

They are unconvinced.

04/11 Direct Link
Yesterday I played "cat or log," trying to distinguish distant shapes in the twilight on my evening walk. Disappointingly, most of the shapes turned out to be logs.

Today I played "leaf or chip" with an item on the stairs. Stepping on the item*, I discovered it was a chip. (I did not pick up the shattered chip pieces because I was in a hurry.)

Try "twig or worm."

Play "stone or potato."

Enjoy "alpaca or fluffypuff."

The world is full of many good games of this sort.


*I did not use the same method to distinguish cat from log.

04/12 Direct Link
I met a guy from Estonia today.

The only thing I know about Estonia is that Skype was originally developed there. If you gave me three chances, I could find it on a map.

As I considered whether I should bring up Skype to demonstrate that I had at least heard of Estonia, he asked me whether I knew that Skype was originally developed in his country.

"Whaaaaat, really?" I asked.

I pretended to be surprised and delighted by the news. I felt like it was much more considerate than saying "Yeah, I know." He was pleased with my reaction.

04/13 Direct Link
I am excited to invite you to my new corporate web site!

Loyal visitors* will receive my newest recipe booklet as a FREE download. Try my no-bake zucchini rolls and my raisin-pumpkin jump-ups. Set your browser to "fun"! There are pictures! Visit NOW!

---

*Loyalty to be determined by in-person interview conducted by me or one of my associates. Please have income and expense records from the past five years available for review. Arrange for clergy to be there so you can denounce your current religion, in order to devote yourself more fully to my web site.

04/14 Direct Link
The world will end on May 6, 2016.

Think about it: 5/5/16. The numbers add up. I have consulted the relevant ancient texts, and they all point to the same date.

On the evening of May 5th, you should cling closely to the one you love and drink seventeen margaritas. Explain the situation to that special someone: there won't be a tomorrow, and then open yourself up and tell them all the things you wish you had been able to tell them but wouldn't or couldn't due to fear and foolish pride. It's almost definitely a good idea.

04/15 Direct Link
My day had a satisfying conclusion.

As I was heading home for the night after a string of mini-adventures, I jumped and clicked my heels in the parking lot and something unusual happened:

I hung there, suspended in the air, and all the world froze for a moment, too. Normally after you feel good about something for a fraction of a second, you need to prepare for the next wave of annoying nonsense life is going to throw at you, but today I got to pause. Enough time for the closing credits passed, and then life returned to normal.

04/16 Direct Link
A carefree summer song is playing on the radio.

I cannot identify with its theme. What does it mean to live in the sunshine and play in the sea? How does one leave one's troubles on the towel? Is it advisable to make out with beach beauties in the intermission of a beach picnic until your woes get discouraged and leave you alone, as the song unrhythmically suggests?

What about chipping away at a boulder with a toy hammer as a summer song theme? Or having a sad ghost following you around and learning your best to live with him?

04/17 Direct Link
This afternoon I helped my neighbor look for his cat.

We walked around yelling "Thomas!" which is a joke, because that asshole won't so much as glance at you if he thinks it's what you want him to do, so he certainly wouldn't respond if you called his name.

A police officer pulled over and asked us if we had seen an orange cat -- one had been reported missing.

"Oh, that's my cat, we're looking for him," my neighbor said.

I was happy to know that crime was at a low enough level that Thomas was a top police priority.

04/18 Direct Link
The Peanut Butter God is passing wroth.

I made a vow to keep PB in my place at all times. Like a sacred and eternal flame, I was the keeper, even as I ate prodigious amounts of it. PB was my fuel, even as it fueled the oil lamp that was our covenant.

Now there is no PB, and The Peanut Butter God is punishing me by withholding PB from me. There is none to be found. Forsaken, I slump in a corner, smash the terra cotta pot that held my Sansevieria, and quietly scrape at myself with the sherds.

04/19 Direct Link
I sent a letter to the person who assembled my coffee grinder.

I sent another one to the person who designed it, the person who figured out how to make the blades spin, the person who figured out how to make the lid fit perfectly.

The content of the letters are personal, but the main idea in them was, "Thank you for your work on something that I use every day. I know you'll probably say that you were just doing your boring job, but your work is meaningful to me and has had a positive influence on my life."

04/20 Direct Link
We're coming to you today from the world-famous petrified forest of upstate New York, one of the world's famous wonders.

I'm here joined by my friend Dan. Dan, your thoughts?

...

Dan is looking at trees and doesn't want to engage with the viewers of this video, so sorry about that, folks, but maybe he'd like to tell us a little something about these trees, and how they got so, um, gray and rocky. Dan?

...

Errrr, Dan is fascinated with the trees and not so fascinated with my new video camera, Dan you rotten son a bitch, say something interesting.
04/21 Direct Link
I know this lady who's into mystical stuff, and one of the things she sometimes does is she gets in the mood to do some automatic writing. So we all sat around the table and she got out some paper and a pen and she closed her eyes, and she just started writing. We soon saw that she was scribbling a dire warning about the imminent arrival of a dark force inimical to human life, and we said, stop, stop, let's just go out for drinks. And she said, don't you want to know the rest, and we said no.

04/22 Direct Link
XFD1048576

[If u work long enough, u'll eventually get to the end of ur spreadsheet. There are no more columns or rows -- all u can do is look up at the data u've entered and remember the good times u've had.]

Don't let the end of the spreadsheet make you frown,
You know that sheet was never really yours; life is just a hand-me-down.

And the SUM of all our work is this:
We're here to love one another,
You can't put that in a chart,
Baby have a heart,
Be good to your sister and your brother...

04/23 Direct Link
There's a brown rabbit who likes to hide in the narrow grassy area between my apartment and the fence. Sometimes I watch him from the laundry room window.

He just sits there, shivering. He has found enough clover to eat, and now there's nothing to do but sit and shiver, killing time before night comes. Then he'll be able to close his eyes and get some sleep. In the meantime, he has to stay alert for all the things in our safe little town that would like to eat him. He'll be back again tomorrow afternoon if he makes it.

04/24 Direct Link
Some older houses have the stairway that leads upstairs almost right in front of the front door. It's almost the first thing you notice when you step inside.

This architectural feature says on behalf of the host to you, the visitor, "I have a private life up there, a life that you can't see when you're sitting in my kitchen eating crackers or even when you're in my living room inspecting my bookshelves. You don't know what sort of stuff I get up to up there. You don't know whether some day you will be invited to share in it."

04/25 Direct Link
I had to make a run to the pillow store again today.

It's only April and I've already been in there six times.

After the fourth time, it stopped being funny to them. "We appreciate the business," one of them told me, "but we're starting to worry about you as a fellow human being."

I know it isn't funny any more, but what else can I do but cover up my embarrassment by smiling sheepishly and saying that I don't know just what I do to my pillows at night, but I've chewed or thrashed my way through another one.

04/26 Direct Link
She laughed nervously as she opened the door, and she told me she was always uncomfortable bringing friends over to her apartment.

There's a chair in the corner with a lamp and a mug on the table. That's where she sits before bed on weekday nights. On the kitchen table is the last magazine she bought. There's a ukulele with a month's worth of dust on it.

These things have become invisible to her, but she saw in my eyes that I was taking it all in, and she knew she had lost some control over my perception of her.

04/27 Direct Link
My friend invented the animal ray.

First of all, finally.

Second, does it turn you into any animal you choose, or does it sort of turn you into the animal that matches your personality? Can I be turned back when I'm ready, or will I be stuck as an animal? Will I retain all of my human memories and capacity to reason, or will I just actually become an animal with that animal's mind? Can we work out some sort of communication system beforehand, since I assume I'll lose the ability to speak? Unless maybe I won't?

OK, I'm ready.

04/28 Direct Link
When I was sixteen, I had a boss who told me the secret to success with women.

According to this guy (who was full of interesting pseudo-adult quote-unquote "advice") the secret is to casually invite them into a bubble bath.

He claimed this is a harmless invitation that cannot be construed as anything other than a friendly gesture, but which is, in fact, the opposite of platonic in its motive. I did not buy it, and even then questioned whether he had ever tried this (successfully or otherwise) himself.

I remember nodding politely and getting back to work.

04/29 Direct Link
We drugged the coffee because we thought it would be funny.

It was Friday, people were feeling light and free, and what would be the harm, we thought, in making it lighter and freer?

What was the drug in question? At the time we didn't know. My coworker knows this guy who's into a little bit of everything. When she made her request, he snapped his fingers, gave her a small paper envelope, and said it was just the thing. Put it in the coffee, he said.

Now we regret it. Now we are hiding in the coat closet, afraid.

04/30 Direct Link
The opening of my first show is tonight, and I am excited.

They are black and white photographs of all of the sandwiches I've eaten this month. Mostly macro-lens stuff, taken at table-level. You can more or less see what is inside of the sandwich, but sometimes a pickle or carrot slice is inside, invisible.

The thing is, these sandwiches really meant something to me, and I can remember them vividly. I'm nervous that other people will find the theme repetitive and strange. I'm worried that since other people never tasted these sandwiches, they won't care about them.