I love to sleep on my couch. My summer-weight sleeping bag is laid out on the couch like a house guest who won’t leave. Slipping inside my sleeping bag on the couch is about as cozy as it gets. It’s like slipping back into the womb. It is especially nice on these cold winter days we’ve had here in Seattle over the past week or so. My apartment is as warm as a toaster but I like to open a window that faces out to the Puget Sound to feel the salt air and to hear the yawing of gulls.
This may sound silly but I think the sea air improves the quality of my dreams. Falling asleep one evening while reading a Patrick O’Brian novel I dreamt I was sailing on a big square rigged ship. I swear that I was able to smell the sea in my dream. My couch, sleeping bag, and Puget Sound-facing window combine to give me a Proustian comfort and Disneyland ride.
The weather predictors predicted snow for Seattle. The storm was to begin late last night. I went to bed at a very late hour and not a single flake had fallen on the city. I decided to sleep on the couch with the window open. I wanted to be able to check the storm’s progress if I woke up in the middle of the night.
I didn’t wake up until early this morning. It wasn’t completely light yet and the first thing I noticed was the quiet. I couldn’t hear a single automobile. Usually when day is breaking the seagulls make a terrific racket but today they were silent. Nobody in Seattle gets much done when there is snow on the ground—even the gulls take the day off. We only get snow every couple of years (This is only the second time I’ve seen snow in my five years of residence) so you’ll have to excuse my enthusiasm.
There probably won’t be much open in Seattle for the short time the snow sticks. I’m going to go out and take a walk and look for coffee. I’ll probably spend the day in my sleeping bag on the couch, looking out the window and reading my new book Castles in Spain: A Traveler’s Guide Featuring the National Parador Inns.
In my relentless effort to keep this website on the cutting edge of the lowest common denominator I have decided to print all of the comments for this entry in the block of the text.
Jan 07 2004, 08:16 am
You sound like a real slacker. Lying on the couch listening to classical music? Please! You'll be a happier person when you admit to yourself that there are things you want out of life, then go out and get them. Fame, pussy, money. It's all good, and you know you want it.
I am a real slacker. Please tell me how to acquire the three sacred objects of which you speak.
By your writing you seem to be a decent guy, and you say you strive to live your life accordingly. Yet your writing also reveals an untapped vein of megalomania. Every human being is trying to 'win' this game of life, but you allow yourself to believe that you are an exception. You are not. Go out there. Adapt. Survive. Make yourself a positive, creative force in this world and you will find support where you imagined none exists. We're all counting on you.
Dear Hippie Person,
Your advice (words of wisdom?) makes absolutely no sense. First of all, I hate hippies, so you're already suspicious to me just from your stupid signature tag. Secondly, what exactly are humans trying to "win" in this "game of life" of which you speak? More Cheetos? A new SUV? Free passes to Vegas? A larger penis? Bigger boobs? The Lotto?
Also, please cite concrete examples of this so-called "untapped vein of megalomania" you say runs through Leftie's writing. Megalomania is defined as "a delusional mental disorder that is marked by infantile feelings of personal omnipotence and grandeur." If anything, Leftbanker is more critical—and rather harshly, I might add—of himself and his life than he is critical of the world around him. As far as I know, no one suffering from megalomania is in the least bit self-critical. In fact, the complete lack of self-criticism is one major reason megalomaniacs are megalomaniacs.
Lastly, why should anyone care what you think? More to the point: why should anyone want to take your advice, which makes no sense?
To quote Hippie Person:
Go out there. Adapt. Survive. Make yourself a positive, creative force in this world and you will find support where you imagined none exists. We're all counting on you.
You've just brought coals to Newcastle, since Leftbanker writes almost exclusively about how hard he tries to improve himself every day. I don't know anyone who writes more openly and honestly about his or her struggles to make life more interesting and better than Leftbanker; it's why I am his biggest fan.
Here's some free advice for you, Hippie Person:
1) Start making sense and others will listen. The ability to communicate begins by having a REAL point, and then being able to communicate that point clearly, concisely, and coherently. You have done none of the above. You think you are much more clever than you really are.
2) Get your own weblog—since you have left no URL here pointing to your own bastion of wisdom, we’ll assume you don’t have one, or are too cowardly to point in it its direction.
Although I appreciate you coming to my defense, Mat, I have to agree with the Hippie on this one. I am a big pile. I'm going to go read a book on how to get ahead in business.
There's a new breed of websurfers who go around leaving pejorative, unjustifiably critical comments on other people's sites, without leaving links to their own blogs, either (a) because they don't have blogs and therefore feel the need to voice their opinions through comment boards, or (b) because they do have blogs which they know suck ass.
Their first and most obvious mistake is judging a person entirely from what's written on his/her web site. Um, hi -- if I had a quarter for every fuckwit to do no more than skim 1/2 a paragraph of my writing and promptly lash out at me for being a horrible person based on an out-of-context mention of, like, Brooks Brothers, I'd be one rich mo' fo'.
Hippiecakes, go peddle your advice to people you actually KNOW. Or, if you insist on continuing to grace this web site with your presence, how about first enrolling in a remedial reading tutorial or something, as clearly your comprehension could use a bit of work.
I think Type-A Hippie is a great moniker even though you gleaned it from the contents of my essay. I wish I would have come up with it first. I accidentally banned your address so I hope you didn't think I was being a nerd (it was quickly unbanned). As I've said many times, I'm the first person to admit that I'm a big left-wing jackass but I think my heart has always been in the right place. Look at the top of my comments box. If you can't say something nice, say it here. Insult me all you want, just keep reading. I would give Type-A Hippie a big hug except you can get Salmonella from touching hippies.
What you all don't realize is that Type-a -hippie is actually Leftbanker's alter ego and he is essentially having conversations with himself on his own comment page. Very twisted.
...Megalomania in the colloquial - not the clinical - sense. When someone says 'that chick is psycho' no one imagines the speaker to be making a medical diagnosis.
Leftbanker is an often funny and always spirited writer. That's why I drop in. It's clear to me, though, that the scale of his hopes and ambitions might be better realized outside the limiting confines of a weblog. If you want to hunt big game, why stop at the petting zoo?
See, Hippie, if you try hard and bypass the corporate productivity seminar clichés, you too can articulate your thoughts. Thank you.
And I agree with you: Leftie needs to get off his lazy ass and do something with his obvious talent for articulating his thoughts. There are far too many writers (or vapid celebrities with their ghost writers) out there getting published who don't say a damn thing. I am sick of walking in bookstores and seeing the smiling mugs of dipshits like Dr. Phil and Deepak Chopra peddling their knee-jerk, drooling buttwipe philosophies to the starving masses. Or ghostwritten celebrity tell-alls that don’t tell diddley-squat except rehash the boring life story of some silly, illiterate, inarticulate actor, athlete, or musician. If Pete Rose, Madonna, and Tom Cruise really have something to say, they’d fucking write the book themselves, the morons.
So a foot upside the ass of Mr. Procrastinating Leftbanker ain’t such a bad idea.
I'm taking a Tony Robins seminar this weekend so I promise to be completely self-actualized by Monday. Then can I hang out with you guys?
P.S. Have you ever hunted at a petting zoo? It's so fucking easy that I don't even bother going out in the woods anymore. The down side is that sometimes parents get a bit hostile when you shoot a rabbit out of their kid's hands.
P.P.S. I've decided to ditch my dumbass blog and just jerk-off full-time in the comments box.
A friend of mine, his name is "Steve," married a woman nameb "Barbara." Steve and Barbara (or Babs, as she calls herself), traveled to Cincinnati, her home town, over Christmas 2003. There, Steve shot game with Babs' father, at his hunting club. There, they raise pheasants in cages, release them for "the hunt" in a large field, and then blast away at them. Some of the birds actually get away. I guess this "hunting club practice" is quite common in that part of the US, among elites and notables. The first time I heard this story, I thought Steve was joking--and laughed in Babs' face. When I realized that it was no joke, I was simultaneously embarrased and incredulous. Having grown up on an Iowa farm, hunting and fishing in the creeks and fields where I lived, I never would have guess that this is the way the noblemen live. I'd call that "hunting in a petting zoo." But what the hell do I know; I'm from Iowa, right?