Lee Wochner: Writer. Director. Writing instructor. Thinker about things.


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Today’s music

September 21st, 2019

My 17-year-old son had plans today to spend the day with some friends. Getting ready to take a shower, he asked, “Do you mind if I play some music?”

I was lying down in the adjoining bedroom, hanging out with the dogs and reading.

“No,” I said, bracing myself for some harsh rap.

But instead I heard some sort of modern rock come on. It sounded pretty good! In fact, song after song sounded pretty good. I recognized the Killers, a band I like, and some others; one song summoned a sense of familiarity, but I couldn’t place it, so I got closer and hit the Shazam app on my phone and found it was by Foster the People. Of course! It sounded just like Foster the People, and I like Foster the People. I went back to my reading.

When he came out of the shower, I called for him. He came into the room. I was thrilled to hear all this new music and wanted to share my excitement. I’ve been concerned that I was finally falling behind in what’s current in music, or what I could relate to — but this was good stuff! Maybe I’d find out what it was and load it onto my phone.

“Hey!” I said. “I liked what you were playing. In fact, I liked all of what you were playing! That was really good.”

“Yeah,” he said. “It’s the music of my childhood.”

“Huh?”

“The music of my childhood. That music is from the 2000’s. My childhood.” Then he left.

Well, it’s still new music to me.

(un)fitness

September 21st, 2019

I could probably write a book about my experiences with my gym, and maybe, with this blog, I am. After all, I’ve written here about possible mistaken identities, the lack of soap, shit in the showers, and so much more.

Just after writing that last post, I decided to fulfill my pledge of earlier that day to absolutely, positively, go to the gym. Even though it was 11 p.m. As I’ve said here before, one of the things I like about 24 Hour Fitness is that 24 hour part. It eliminates excuses. No matter when you’re ready, the gym is there and open.

My usual habit at the gym is this:  I start with 20 minutes of “stretching,” which includes setups, planking, some other things, and about 10 minutes on a diabolical bicycle-like thing that contorts you into various positions as you tilt all the way back, like something being dumped into an imaginary hamper; follow with a circuit of lifting, then cardio. Because I don’t wear ear buds or head phones, or fiddle around with my iPhone — I’m not there to exercise my thumbs — I’m completely alone with my thoughts. During the cardio portion, my thoughts are generally this:  “Man, I can’t wait to get home and have a beer.” After cardio, I change into my swimsuit, shower off, use the steam room, shower off again, use the jacuzzi, then take a full-on actual shower after first using the swim-a-rator, or whatever it’s called, to drain the water from my swimsuit.

On this particular night I’m mentioning, I come out from jacuzzi and I’m standing there naked straining my swim suit in the swim-a-rator. A white haired little guy, also naked, comes over and stands slightly behind and next to me and looks at me, and says, “It’s cold standing there, no?”

I wonder what he means by that.

I tell him that I don’t think the swimsuit strainer is working well.

He says, “Are you from Russia?”

I say, “No, I’m from New Jersey. Where are you from?”

“I’m from Russia,” he says.

I think, gee, being from New Jersey, I can always tell a New Jersey accent; if this guy is from Russia, why can’t he tell I don’t have a Russian accent? He seems less Russian to me than… Armenian or something. I know a guy from the former Soviet Union whose country disappeared when the U.S.S.R. broke up. He’s not from Russia; he’s from one of the little satellite areas that no longer exists by that name or identity. He’s told me its name several times, but I can’t remember it and it no longer exists to look on a map. A similar thing happened to Franz Kafka, by the way – complete alienation from place – as a Jew growing up in an empire that dissolved in his lifetime, and speaking the language of his oppressor. So, now, whenever I see the guy from the country that no longer exists, I think of Franz Kafka. For a moment, I wonder if the man who says he’s from Russia is also actually from a country that no longer exists.

I’m thinking this while wondering if he’s ogling me.

I move away and go to weigh myself – once again, I’m the same weight I have been, which is simultaneously comforting and disappointing – and when I return holding a towel because I’m headed to the showers, the man is there again.

“How old are you?” he asks.

I’m wondering if, being from “Russia,” he doesn’t know how impertinent this is. “How old are you?” I ask.

“You first,” he says.

“57. Your turn.”

“I am 60,” he says. To me, he looks older. Do I really look three years younger than he does? And why am I having this conversation, both with him and in my head with myself?

“You look very good,” he says. “You have a good body. You are built.”

(I’m not.)

“Uhh, thanks,” I say. “Thanks.”

Then I walk to the showers, still naked, and go to a shower cubicle and close the door tightly.

When I come out, he’s gone.

Three weeks later, I haven’t seen him again. Not that I’m looking. Not that I would need to. I suspect he’d announce himself.

The Main Thing

August 31st, 2019

BryanFerry190829

On Thursday night, my wife and I went to see Bryan Ferry at the Greek Theatre here in Los Angeles. This was the eleventy billionth time we’ve seen Mr. Ferry in concert, so I think we qualify as committed fans. We’re not alone in that; the venue was sold out, and we fell into a nice exchange with other committed fans all around us. The singer, who doesn’t have a new album out, billed this world tour as doing songs from Avalon, by his old band Roxy Music, as well as solo hits, and at the end the guy behind me, of similar age as me, pointed out to me that Ferry hadn’t performed “To Turn You On” from Avalon. Which was true. So it was that sort of crowd.

The first time I saw Bryan Ferry was with Roxy Music, in 1983 in Philadelphia, on what was also the last time anyone saw Roxy Music for a very long time. (They did a reunion tour in 2001, and a few since then.) When you’ve seen the same performer many, many (many) times, and you’ve also seen many, many other concerts (I’m seeing three within the course of eight days — Ferry, King Crimson, and Karen O & Danger Mouse) you can tell the people who are really committed to their act and to their performance. I have a close friend who adores Sting and who has complained about the times when Sting has phoned it in. Mike Love’s version of the Beach Boys, which sounds great in the way a well-trained Beach Boys cover band that happens to have Mike Love and Bruce Johnston in it would sound great, plays for 90 minutes on the dot, and then they are out of there; Brian Wilson, meanwhile, will give it his all, but his all is vastly diminished from what it once was, and the last time I saw the legendary and extremely important-to-me Brian Wilson, well, he sang off-key, and it broke my heart. I’ve seen Elton John all of once (not a fan of his music), but after seeing him early this year at the Staples Center, I came away understanding people’s fanatic devotion to him. I still don’t like his records  — much of it sounds like rollerskating-rink music to me — but in concert, it turns out that he lives up to his reputation as an incredible showman, but that he delivers like a blues singer. I don’t know if that’s because his register has dropped, but whatever the cause, the vocals were administered in an almost thunderous gospel sense, and the tinny sound of the records was gone, his aged three drummers can really hit it, and his show was 100% incredibly enjoyable, especially to a non-fan who quickly found himself converted.

What I would say about Bryan Ferry — in every concert I’ve seen him play and, seriously, that’s at least 10 times  — is that he loves performing and that he brings everything he’s got every time. He also seems to love Los Angeles. In 2014, we saw him in Santa Barbara; he put on a fine show, but it wasn’t the love fest we’ve seen in L.A.  At the Greek the other night, he was positively beaming, because we were beaming at him. He sounds great, and he’s got a great band who’ve been with him a while and who seem to know the entire catalog. On any given tour, Ferry will play the Roxy songs you want, many of his own songs that you want, and then do unexpected deeper cuts you didn’t expect. This time, he played “The 39 Steps” from his 1994 solo album Mamouna, which I think I last heard him play… never.

Top to bottom, we had a glorious evening. The tickets weren’t inexpensive — let’s just note here that the parking was $45 — but our seats were 13th row, which afforded enough proximity to get the full physical effect of a band right in front of you, without getting your ears sheared off. The Greek has excellent acoustics, and its open-air quality assists the atmosphere immeasurably. When you’ve got seats like that, you’re less likely to be obstructed by a human wind sock dancing for two hours directly in front of you, as happened once to a friend next to me in a cheap seat near the back of the venue. You’re also less likely to encounter a middle-aged boozer couple tormenting their young children by 1) bringing them to a Monkees concert they’re not interested in, and 2) getting thoroughly smashed in front of them. No, down in the 13th row, it’s the responsible people, who have made an investment in the evening and are now seeking their return on investment.

Back in the car, and on the way home, and in our house, neither of us had one negative thing to say about the show or any aspect of the experience. We are smart, educated people, surrounded by offbeat highly educated intellects who come to our house and promptly debate things, which means that at heart we are critical people. Even when we’ve said nothing, usually, we’ve made critical notes.

This time? Nothing. It was all splendid. We felt fortunate.

Then, just before bed, the dogs having been patted and the house secured, my wife said, “You know… I hate to say anything… but I hated that jacket he was wearing. It was like… an old man jacket.”

I looked her in the eye and said, “I know! Did you see the cuffs on his shirt? The cuffs of his shirt were huckered! And what about that cheap-ass tie? I used to have a tie like that — when I was 18!”

Bryan Ferry, who from Day One has been an immaculate fashion plate, a rock star noted for performing in tuxedos and for starring in glamour layouts, in our eyes showed up looking like a geezer waiting at a bus stop. We couldn’t believe it.

Otherwise, though, great show!

How to never finish anything you write

August 18th, 2019

Sit in judgment of yourself while you’re writing it.

Oh, I know the temptation is great. You sit down and soon the questions build:

  1. “Is this as good as that other thing I once wrote?”
  2. “Is this any good at all?”
  3. “Am I any good at all?”
  4. “What’s new on Netflix instead?”

The solution to this is to separate the editing function from the writing function. The editing function is to catch mistakes, or find improvements, but, and here’s the fun part, for that to work you must have written something first. So do the writing function first:  Just free yourself to write what you’re writing; write what may, and leave the editing for later, after you’ve done the writing.

For those of us who write plays, there’s also a fifth question:

       5. “Is anybody actually going to produce this?”

And here’s the answer for that:  Have you ever seen a bad play? I have — plenty of them. If people are going to produce other people’s bad plays, they might as well produce yours. So don’t worry if it’s any good. So just keep writing it the best you can.

Lesser greatness

August 18th, 2019
scythed-chariot

Impractical war machines of Leonardo da Vinci

Last Sunday, I went to see the Leonardo da Vinci exhibit at the Reagan Presidential Library not too far from my house. This was the second time in a year I’d been to the library to see a special exhibit — last summer, it was the spectacular Genghis Khan exhibit — and also the second time I breezed through the Reagan section without looking at any of it. (Having lived through it suffices.)

Leonardo has been a lifelong subject of interest for me. When I was a boy, I saw a television special about him that left an indelible impression. Then, I was interested in the gruesome dissections, the high weirdness of writing everything backward, the fantastical war machines and flying machines, and the paintings not at all. As an adult, I’m interested in the exact opposite:  the paintings, and his life as an artist. It wasn’t until reading Walter Isaacson’s biography of the man two Christmases ago that I really came to understand perhaps the most significant aspect of Leonardo’s personal history:  As a left-handed, vegetarian, illegitimate, gay man growing up in the mid-1400’s, he almost had to become a genius — all of the peculiarities otherwise added up to too much. That I got through twelve years of elementary education and high school without being taught that makes a sad statement about how we whitewash history.

The other signal impression left by the Isaacson book was this:  that Leonardo’s genius lay in a heightened curiosity matched with impeccable powers of observation — hence, the hydraulic machines resulting from closely watching how water works; the proposed flying machines emulating the structural flaps of birds, long before the Wright Brothers — and that Leonardo’s fault lay in a perfectionism that too frequently left his works unfinished. According to Isaacson, Leonardo appears to have completed only about 12 paintings (estimates vary) and kept others traveling around what is now Italy with him as he dabbled at improving them; did not publish a book in his lifetime; performed exquisite dissections and examinations of corpses and perfectly illustrated the full interior and exterior of the human body but never published an anatomy, therefore ceding the credit to Henry Gray, for Gray’s Anatomy, published almost 400 years later; and more. What Leonardo was able to accomplish is a testament to his astounding genius; what he left unfinished speaks to the perfectionism that simultaneously reflects that genius and confounds it. In a time that predated the distractions of Netflix, the Internet, video games and more, how much more could Leonardo have achieved had he stopped reworking even the minor pieces?

My son, in reviewing the models and prints of various proposed fantastical and wildly impractical war machines designed by Leonardo, said, “These are like your story about ACC, when you just kept stuffing the ballot box with ideas.”

When I was a student at Atlantic Community College, in the 1980s, the college ran a contest for best new marketing slogan. I zipped off about 50 of these, each on a separate entry form, and stuffed them into the box. Among them:

  • “ACC for me, see?”
  • “ACC — Route 322 U.”
  • “ACC — Harvard on the Highway.”
  • “ACC — A Great Place to Go to School Because Marge Battestelli Works There.”
  • and on and on

I later heard that the administration was rather peeved by this. No award was ever made.

Looking at the war machines, I could see what Dietrich meant. Like my (intentionally) bad slogan ideas, these were reckless whims put forth at speed. One was a floating ship entirely encircled with cannons, somewhat guaranteed to hit one’s own forces as well; another ship had a giant claw intended to swoop down and cleave an enemy ship in two — leaving out the fact that to get close enough for use, everyone on that ship would be shot dead first; a rolling wooden tank of sorts was supposed to cut and gouge people on three sides, ignoring somehow the force (and people!) needed to move it into action.

Dead set on becoming a munitions manufacturer of sorts, as per the Isaacson biography and the sheer volume of wacky weapons of war proposed, Leonardo lost sight of the thing he was actually good at:  reflecting artistically what already existed in nature. With war, he was a dilettante; with painting, he was a perfectionist.

What leads to mass shootings (and what doesn’t)

August 4th, 2019

What are the 4 things all the mass shooters have in common? The people who run the Violence Project helpfully tell us in this piece in the Los Angeles Times. I have lots of friends on Facebook who are ready to blame Donald Trump — and, look, I can’t stand the guy either — but his name isn’t on the list of causes.

Con-viviality

July 29th, 2019

Comic-Con was only four days — July 17th through the 21st — but it was even more excitingly overpowering, so much so that I took a week off blogging just to recuperate. Sure, I had plans to post things here during the Con, but I’m not sure how I would have done that. The event was stuffed — overstuffed! — with things competing for my attention (which isn’t unusual, even though this was the 50th anniversary celebration), so finding the time would have been challenge enough. Add in the fact that, as tracked by my phone, I walked seven to eight miles a day and did it on five or six hours of sleep each night, and you get a frenetic pace that fully required some recovery time.

(Plus, I was pretty busy when I got back.)

A few highlights:

  • Finding many excellent Silver Age and Bronze Age comics at reader’s prices. What qualifies to me as a “reader’s price”? Under the current cover price of (gasp) $3.99. I found lots of great old comics in $2 bins, half-price bins, and even, sometimes, for a buck each. Awesome sauce!
  • Seeing “Shazam!” the first night we got there. It was loads of fun and laugh-out-loud funny, Zachary Levi’s enthusiasm in the role was catchy, and it rather faithfully built on the source material while in plot points and in tone. A real joy.
  • Catching the documentary “Closer Than We Think,” about futurist artist and industrial designer Arthur Radebaugh. I’d never heard of Radebaugh, whose sleek designs and stunning artwork of the 1930s and 1940s made me jump online to buy a book of it… only to discover that no book of his work exists. Somebody:  Go collect this stuff into a book! In the meantime, you can see some of it here.
  • Getting to talk with Eddie Campbell, a comics writer and artist I follow (From Hell; The Playwright; Bacchus) and picking up his new book
  • Hearing comics great Jim Steranko take an hour to share three anecdotes — but one of them was pure brilliance, from his years as an escape artist, when he came up with what promised to be his greatest stunt:  escaping from a moving ferris wheel. Let’s just say that when he was rotated to the top, 80 feet up in the air, he got out of the coiled ropes a little early. “And what happened?” someone asked. “I fell,” he said. Luckily, one of the bucket cars on the wheel caught him after about 15 feet, purely by chance.

I got to see lots of other great things — Scott Shaw!’s “Oddball Comics” slideshow, which never disappoints; the “Quick Draw” live sketch event; lots of clever costumes; and the sheer amazement of my 15-year-old great nephew at his first Comic-Con experience, both at the excitement in the convention center and the near-pandemonium spilling onto all the streets of San Diego for about a square mile — but here, bar none, was my favorite bit of Comic-Con this year:

David Rosing (NASA JPL Mars Sample Return system engineer), Shonte J. Tucker (JPL thermal engineer), Kobie Boykins (JPL Mechatronics Engineer), and Laura Kerber (NASA JPL Mars research scientist) discuss how they go boldly where there’s no one around to fix it. Hear stories from the trenches of the heartbreaks, close calls, and adventures of real-life solar system exploration on the 50th anniversary of the moon landing. Q&A session following.

Yeah… no. That in no way conveys what the panel really was. Here’s what the panel really was:  government-funded scientists giddy with excitement about all the cool stuff they’re working on for the moon, Mars, and beyond, and what those new discoveries and possibilities might mean for us, all of it positive.

I cannot tell you how thrilled I was to hear government-funded scientists beside themselves with glee about science and what we’re learning every day, and about their hope for the future.

So I decided to get up and tell them that.

I got to the microphone and said, “I can’t tell you how glad I am to be here in a room with scientists who are so excited about the future. Usually it’s not you guys in the headlines — instead it’s the anti-science guys from the government. So:  thank you. I’m really glad you’re here!”

That elicited big cheers and applause from the room, which was packed with about 200 people feeling exactly the way I did about it. We were all cheering the scientists.

Then Dr. Rosing noted what a good investment science is, and how careful they are with how they spend taxpayer money.

“Oh, I’m happy to have you get my tax money,” I said. “It’s the other guys I don’t want to fund!”

More cheers and applause from the crowd for that.

As much as I loved the comic-book part of it, and all the costumes, and the great time with family and friends, hearing Dr. Laura Kerber excitedly pitch just how much we’re going to learn when she finally gets to launch her project exploring the deepest part of the moon in a crater so vast it’s wider than a football field and deep enough to accommodate Big Ben… well… that’s something I’m going to remember. If it’ll help, I’ll gladly send her $20 to help with Project: Crater Diver.

The price of freedom

July 19th, 2019

My 15-year-old great-nephew Brody is here in San Diego with me, my son Dietrich, and my two friends for Comic-Con. He lives in Galloway, New Jersey, where I grew up, and says he’s loving California.

Our first night at Comic-Con when we got back to our room he asked me an economic question that I answered thoughtfully. I told him that history has shown that the free flow of ideas and culture between societies benefits everyone:  that the secret to Genghis Khan’s stunning success was that when he took control over a group he shared with them the technology he’d gathered elsewhere, and let them keep their own culture. This meant that the people Khan conquered generally did better under his rule than under previous rulers, and did so because Khan supported the exchange of ideas and commerce. China, by contrast, had a literally walled-off society that halted progress for hundreds of years.

Thinking about China brought to mind the joys of true capitalism, and the irony that Communist China, with its mandated economy, is working to succeed with capitalism. True capitalism, I told Brody, benefits everyone:  As opposed to other systems where you might wind up stranded your entire life in your current low position, people allowed into the market have a chance to improve their lot, and a stake in doing so. A truly open, free market encourages innovation and the spread of wealth. Unfortunately, our current system, which benefits the massively wealthy at the terrible expense of the middle class, is closer to the rigged economy our elected leaders say they abhor. As we strip-mine the middle class, through taxes and fees, and move toward shrinking benefits in order to continue this massive transfer of wealth upward, we increase economic anxiety, which is fueling so much of the ground-level horror we’re seeing on the streets:  rampant homelessness, enraged shooters, road rage, and an overall creeping psychosis. Want to improve the feelings of everyone in our community? Fix the tax code.

Finally, I said, the further shame is that we’re so indebting your generation — via absurdly high college tuition, expensive student loans, and a federal deficit that will throw a lid onto the economy — that we’re making you pay the mortgage on our current, short-term success. If we really wanted to invest in the future, we’d build out our infrastructure so that we weren’t lagging the Scandinavian nations (!!!) and the emerging Asian nations, and we’d actually invest in young people:  restructure the cost and burden of higher education, and figure out a way to help young people afford homes earlier in their lives so that they could accrue wealth.

At this point, I caught myself and wondered just how far afield I’d wandered from his initiating question. So I looked at him and said, “Wait, what was your question?”

He said, “Do you ever actually find anything good in the dollar boxes of comic books?”

What’s unfilmable?

July 8th, 2019

Now that Netflix has taken on adapting Neil Gaiman’s Sandman — with Mr. Gaiman on board, thankfully — the internet is once again having the discussion of “what are some unfilmable books?”

Let me settle it:  There are no unfilmable books.

There are also no filmable books. And no bookable films.

These are separate media, and even if you do your best to closely approximate each, it’s impossible.

Last week, I was going on about Dan Simmons’ novel The Terror. The book was excellent. So, in numerous ways, was the miniseries. But there are seemingly subtle differences that dramatically alter the shape of the story, differences of character and motivation — but also necessary plot differences, because of what is lost in a film lacking interior monologue and epistolary exchanges, versus a novel where those literary elements were crucial. (And, also, in a book where we can conjure an image of the devastating monster stalking the explorers, versus the miniseries where the CGI thing just looks silly.)

Samuel Beckett and Nathalie Sarraute, among others, wrote anti-novels. Some form of those could be filmed, but does anyone want to watch a two-hour movie about someone slicing a tomato? (Anyone other than Andy Warhol, who did the same sort of thing with film.)

So the question isn’t what’s an unfilmable book. The question is:  Do we really want to make a film version of this book? Does it add anything, or does it just damage our fond memory of the book?

Weekend revelations!

July 7th, 2019

1.

On Friday night at almost midnight, I finally finished humping all those heavy boxes of comic books back and forth. At some point in my past, I weighed some comics boxes and discovered that each one, fully loaded with comic books, weighs about 60 pounds. Did I mention that I was moving 20 of these boxes from the “office” in my house to the kitchen to a staging area to sort, then out to the back yard, and some of them back inside? So that’s 1200 pounds hither and yon for about 12 hours.

My first revelation was:  Maybe I should give up that gym membership and just do this three times a week.

My second revelation was:  My life would have been completely different if I had collected baseball cards instead.

 

 

2.

On Saturday, my playwriting workshop resumed. I started running this workshop, “Words That Speak,” in 1993. Twenty-six years later, it and I are still here, and in the same location. (Moving Arts, in Silver Lake.) We’ve got stick-to-it-iveness.

When you invest three hours most Saturdays for 26 years in going over people’s pages and trying to relate why something is working well in them, or is not working well, or could work better, you dip into not only past playwriting and teaching experience, but also life experience. I heard myself share this, about how your perspective changes as you age:  “When I was a kid, I was always right, and my parents were doing everything wrong. Now I’m mostly a parent, and it’s my kids who are doing everything wrong.”

Driving home, I realized:  Hey, but I was always right!

 

 

3.

Most Sundays, I do the grocery shopping. That’s because I have a budget of $180/week and I stick to it. I mean, If I had extra money to throw around on groceries, I’d rather spend it on more comic books or more theatre tickets. (My wife’s version of grocery shopping is to spend twice that amount and crow about how much she “saved.”) I make a grocery list, yes I clip coupons, I stick to my list, I tabulate the expenditures as they pile up in the cart so as to ensure that I’m within budget, and then I carefully select a preferred checker, one who will ring me up correctly and accept all my coupons. Last year, there was a lady who not only rang me up wrong three weeks in a row but was quite nasty about it even when, I promise you, I was quite nice about her almost costing me six dollars extra. The whole endeavor takes me 45 minutes. You could set your watch by it. I don’t know how the invasion of Normandy was planned, but the weekly incursion of Ralph’s supermarket is plotted to a tee.

My favorite checker is a guy about my age named Raul. I like Raul for three reasons:  He rings me up right; he’s a store manager, so if there’s anything questionable, he never has to call for a store manager; and if there’s ever any question about any of my coupons or any sale item, he just takes my word for it. (As he should; I would never cheat them.)

Today he asked, “Why’s your hair look different?”

“I just left the gym,” I said, thinking momentarily of the dime I’d found at the gym and slipped happily into my pocket. “I took a shower there and dried my hair, but I didn’t style it. If I put in styling paste now, then I’d have to wash it in the morning, when I don’t need a shower — because I just took that shower at the gym. This way, I can just wet it and go. And get 10 minutes’ more sleep.”

“You’re like me,” he said, “always thinking two steps ahead. You have to when you have kids!”

Raul’s always grumbling about his kids. I didn’t know what they had to do with it — but on the other matter, the more I thought about it, I thought he could be right:  Maybe I am always thinking two steps ahead!

In 2006, I took the employee of a client out to lunch so I could learn more about the client’s company. She asked me what I was doing for them, and how it worked, and then when she fully understood, she turned to me and said, “So you think all the time? How exhausting!”

Well, it can be exhausting. (And it sure isn’t helpful for sleeping.) But… maybe… it also helps me stay two steps ahead.

I’ll have to think more about this.