Any thought that I have right now
isn't worth a shit because I'm totally
— Loading Mercury With A Pitchfork, Richard Brautigan
My Weekend schedule
Walk in the park
Turn off mirrors
Draw a big circle
Stare at the circle
Steal the golden ████
Hide the robot
Impersonate a dead writer
Coffee @ 40.426, -3.706
Think about sharks
Destroy the sphere
PAY FOR SOUP
BUILD A FORT
SET THE FORT ON FIRE
Read about koalas
Turn on mirrors
I like hiding messages in other things (not only in the digital space: I used to leave notes inside of the books of my friends whenever I visited their houses and also in bookshops and libraries *). Is there such a thing as a "professional steganographer"? I'd like to be one. Anyway, it's good that this is here, I think. And it's good that I don't know if you are reading this (you're probably here and you're probably not reading this). And, ultimately, it is good not to have to worry about pairs of eyes looking at these poorly written sentences and half-assed ideas. But why am I writing this here in the first place? Well, because, as I said before, I like to hide messages in other things.
* I used to think of libraries/bookshops as secret postal offices.
READ THIS WORD
READ THIS WORD THEN READ THIS WORD READ THIS WORD NEXT READ THIS WORD NOW SEE ONE WORD SEE ONE WORD NEXT SEE ONE WORD NOW AND THEN SEE ONE WORD AGAIN LOOK AT THREE WORDS HERE LOOK AT THREE WORDS NOW LOOK AT THREE WORDS NOW TOO TAKE IN FIVE WORDS AGAIN TAKE IN FIVE WORDS SO TAKE IN FIVE WORDS DO IT NOW SEE THESE WORDS AT A GLANCE SEE THESE WORDS AT THIS GLANCE AT THIS GLANCE HOLD THIS LINE IN VIEW HOLD THIS LINE IN ANOTHER VIEW AND IN A THIRD VIEW SPOT SEVEN LINES AT ONCE THEN TWICE THEN THRICE THEN A FOURTH TIME A FIFTH A SIXTH A SEVENTH AN EIGHTH
Then, about five years ago, a friend of mine moved here from Kelowna, British Columbia. She said, You know, in Toronto, friendships are all based around talking. What you do with your friends is you go out for coffee or drinks, or you go to their apartment and you talk about stuff. In Kelowna, what you do with your friends is go swimming. It seemed really beautiful to me that in Kelowna your friends might just be these people who liked floating around in the water with you—that the people floating near you are your friends.
— The Chairs Are Where the People Go: How to Live, Work, and Play in the City, Misha Glouberman, Sheila Heti
West of House
You are standing in an open field west of a white house, with a boarded front door.
There is a small mailbox here.
"Worship power, you will end up feeling weak and afraid, and you will need ever more power over others to numb you to your own fear. Worship your intellect, being seen as smart, you will end up feeling stupid, a fraud, always on the verge of being found out. But the insidious thing about these forms of worship is not that they’re evil or sinful, it’s that they’re unconscious. They are default settings…
The really important kind of freedom involves attention and awareness and discipline, and being able truly to care about other people and to sacrifice for them over and over in myriad petty, unsexy ways every day.
That is real freedom. That is being educated, and understanding how to think. The alternative is unconsciousness, the default setting, the rat race, the constant gnawing sense of having had, and lost, some infinite thing.”
— David Foster Wallace
"At six o’clock in the morning I have my hair dressed, and have finished my toilet by seven o’clock. I write till nine. From nine to one I give lessons. I then dine, unless I am invited out, when dinner is usually at two o’clock, sometimes at three, as it was to-day, and will be to-morrow at Countess Zichi’s and Countess Thun’s. I cannot begin to work before five or six o’clock in the evening, and I am often prevented doing so by some concert; otherwise I write till nine o’clock. I then go to my dear Constanze, though our pleasure in meeting is frequently embittered by the unkind speeches of her mother, which I will explain to my father in my next letter. Thence comes my wish to liberate and rescue her as soon as possible. At half-past ten or eleven I go home, but this depends on the mother’s humor, or on my patience in bearing it. Owing to the number of concerts, and also the uncertainty whether I may not be summoned to one place or another, I cannot rely on my evening writing, so it is my custom (especially when I come home early) to write for a time before going to bed. I often sit up writing till one, and rise again at six."
— The Letters of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Join the announce list for the Coffee+Code mornings in Madrid.
Couchers de soleil
Tout le monde parle des couchers de soleil
Tous les voyageurs sont d’accord pour parler des couchers
de soleil dans les parages
Il y a plein de bouquins où l’on ne décrit que les couchers
Les couchers de soleil des tropiques
Oui c’est vrai c’est splendide
Mais je préfère de beaucoup les levers de soleil
Je n’en rate pas une
Je suis toujours sur le pont
Et je suis toujours le seul à les admirer
Mais je ne vais pas décrire les aubes
Je vais les garder pour moi seul
— Blaise Cendrars, Feuilles de route, 1924
Praise for this website
"A timeless classic"
★★★★☆ "Not to be missed on any account. Terribly funny!"
★★★☆☆ "It probably seemed more daring in 1960, but it's still adult entertainment in the best sense of the term."
★☆☆☆☆ "Most of the gags were juvenile."
★★★★★ "Witty, great fun. Dietrich is top notch."
Contents of this page
A crypto diary.
A map of the places where my heart has been broken.
A homage to Georges Perec's La Disaparition.
A battery icon that shows my overall happinness level.
A list of the things you can see on this page (i.e., this very list).
I spend a lot of time thinking about
Richard Feynman and Georges Perec. West with the Wind. The Neistat Brothers. Whales and The Royal Tenenbaums. Chashu ramen and Olimpia Zagnoli. 826. Doodling and this American Life and Radiolab and that sound you do with your lips sometimes. Oulipo and Carrot-Orange-Ginger juices. 13 Assassins. Paul Rand and reading in the park (and Junot Díaz). A supposedly fun thing I'll never do again. Sam Vanallemeersch and Calvin and Hobbes. And Ted Chiang's short stories and Michael Caine. Richard Williams, Michael DeForge, feminism, McSweeney's, Puño and Kurt Vonnegut. Jiro Dreams of Sushi, Atlas of Remote Islands and Alexandre Desplat. Spoon, Tom Gauld and Fee Reega (<3) Adventure Time and the School for Poetic Computation. Peter Mendelsund, 'La prose du Transsibérien et de la Petite Jehanne de France' and kissing. Unknown Mortal Orchestra, De Hortus Botanicus and taking pictures (instagram → @javier). Luke Pearson and Paul Erdős and Foxygen and The Eames. Javier Jaén, Hark, a vagrant and NOBROW. Fudegokochis, Sushi and the Little Printer. POSTALCO, Team Society League and books and the future of books (and also more books). Pixel illustration and Kiga Koyata and Jacques Henri Lartigue and Yasutaka Tsutsui. Ryohei Yanagihara, Punch-Drunk Love and the Codex Seraphinianus and There Will Be Blood and Jonathan Glazer movies and long lists of… things.
In March 1959 an unusual group of scientists, government officials, and lesser worthies assembled for a dinner party in the dining hall of the Royal Commonwealth Society, London. Unbeknownst to them, one of the courses was a strange strain of American peanuts: ‘NC 4x', ‘North Carolina 4th generation X-rayed' peanuts, produced from seeds that had been exposed to 18,500 roentgen units of x-rays in order to induce mutations. The irradiated peanuts were unusually large—big as almonds, according to those in attendance, outshowing the British groundnuts served alongside—and had reached the dining table through the generosity of their inventor Walter C. Gregory of North Carolina State College, who sent them as a gift to Mrs. Muriel Howorth, Eastbourne, enthusiast for all things atomic.
There is also a tradition of giving names with unpleasant qualities to children born to a couple whose previous children have died, in the belief that the unpleasant name will mislead evil spirits seeking to steal the child. Muunokhoi 'Vicious Dog' may seem a strange name, but Mongolians have traditionally been given such taboo names to avoid misfortune and confuse evil spirits. Other examples include Nekhii 'Sheepskin', Nergüi 'No Name', Medekhgüi, 'I Don't Know', Khünbish 'Not A Human Being', Khenbish 'Nobody', Ogtbish 'Not At All', Enebish 'Not This One', Terbish 'Not That One'.
Couples whose previous boys have died, would give female names to their son to mislead the evil spirits. Synchronically, taboo meaning may be stronger or obliterated: Nergüi, for example, is very common and does not immediately raise any association, while Khünbish might semantically be perceived as khün bish (cf. the same phenomenon in German with the unremarkable Burkhart (lit. 'castle-strong') versus the unusual Fürchtegott ('fear-God')).
One of the most difficult parts of being a cartoonist is being your own editor, since every line affects every other line on the page. Perhaps the single most difficult part, however, is just starting a page. One trick is to make sure you draw something, even one panel, before going to bed; it will raise your spirits and "carry" you over into the next day's work. Do not wait until you are "in the mood" to draw, or until you "snap out of your funk." You must force yourself to draw even if it feels joyless and pointless. You will feel better the next morning. Feeling follows behavior, not the other way around, as my therapist constantly has to remind me. Finally, both Seth and Chris Ware have told me this, and I have grudgingly come to realize that they are absolutely right: when you sit down to draw, you should "dress for work." Have respect for your craft. Put on a pair of pants.
— Cartooning, Philosophy and Practice, Ivan Brunetti
Aparte de exigirse un alto grado de locura, quedaron fijados los otros dos requisitos indispensables para pertenecer a esa sociedad: junto a que la obra de uno no fuera pesada y cupiera fácilmente en un maletín, la otra condición indispensable sería la de funcionar como una máquina soltera.
Aunque no indispensables, se recomendaba también poseer ciertos rasgos que eran considerados como típicamente shandys: espíritu innovador, sexualidad extrema, ausencia de grandes propósitos, nomadismo infatigable, tensa convivencia con la figura del doble, simpatía por la negritud, cultivar el arte de la insolencia.
— Enrique Vila-Matas, Historia Abreviada De La Literatura Portátil
The slender delicate palpi, with the fury of starved serpents, quivered a moment over her head, then as if instinct with demoniac intelligence fastened upon her in sudden coils round and round her neck and arms; then while her awful screams and yet more awful laughter rose wildly to be instantly strangled down again into a gurgling moan, the tendrils one after another, like great green serpents, with brutal energy and infernal rapidity, rose, retracted themselves, and wrapped her about in fold after fold, ever tightening with cruel swiftness and savage tenacity of anacondas fastening upon their prey.
— Tyson, Peter. "A Forest Full of Frights, part 2". The Wilds of Madagascar. Nova Online.
YOUR AD ABOUT MAN-EATING TREES HERE
Computer generated proverb
— Books I want to put my eyes on —
A Burglar's Guide to the City, Geoff Manaugh.
The Tao of Pooh, Benjamin Hoff.
The Inner Game of Tennis, Timothy Gallwey.
How to Write a Thesis, Umberto Eco.
The Book, Alan Watts.
Women, Fire and Dangerous Things, George Lakoff.
Sorting Things Out, Geoffrey C.
Psychogeographical Game Of The Week
Depending on what you are after, choose an area, a more or less populous city, a more or less lively street. Build a house. Furnish it. Make the most of its decoration and surroundings. Choose the season and the time. Gather together the right people, the best records and drinks. Lighting and conversation must of course be appropriate, along with the weather and your memories.
If your calculations are correct, you should find the outcome satisfying. (Please inform the editors of the results.)
Unattributed, Potlatch Magazine #1, 22 June 1954
On nous inflige
Des désirs qui nous affligent.
— Alain Souchon
If you like this page or if
you think that it was a complete waste of your time and you regret
reading it, please:
Always sprinkle pepper in your hair,
Always sprinkle pepper in your hair.
For then if you are kidnapped by a Wild Barbazzoop,
Who sells you to a Ragged Hag
Who wants you for her soup,
She'll pick you up and sniff you,
And then she'll sneeze "Achooo,"
And say, "My tot, you're much too hot,
I fear you'll never do."
And with a shout she'll throw you out,
And you'll run away from there,
And soon you will be safe at home a-sittin' in your chair,
If you always, always, always,
Always, always, always, always,
Always, always sprinkle pepper in your hair.
— Shel Silverstein
And there are certain kinds of visual acts which I'm always hoping to stumble upon. Unusual juxtapositions, surprising color combinations, new modes of visual expression…I am always interested by anything graphical that strikes me as (this is difficult to put into words) excitingly wrong. There is a cool-factor to certain images that lie just on this side of disagreeable…pictorial effects that make me think "this will bother a lot of unimaginative people." Whenever I see something like that, a piece of art or graphic design that has that special kind of wrongness about it, I think "I need to do something like this myself." Attendant to this is always the feeling of "in the future, this will be done a lot." In other words, today's ugly is tomorrow's beautiful.
— Peter Mendelsund
Adjust the Nostalgia Level for an Optimal Life Experience
Nostalgia Level: 50%
Proceed with caution (like you used to, remember?)
A (SMALL) REMARK IN THE FORM OF A (SMALL) LIST TO THE CURRENT EDITION OF THIS (SMALL) SUMMARY
Dear reader, please note that for the sake of clarity (and also to avoid a lawsuit for copyright infringement in the UK) I have removed the following items from this page:
I. Several diagrams illustrating my proficiency in a) the art of kissing under rainy circumstances and b) having silly bike accidents (not necessarily in a simultaneous fashion)
II. An excruciating account of the multiple times I've gotten lost in the city of Madrid in the last three months (including some beautiful maps pointing to the [possible] locations of the events).
III. A pretty funny story involving: a fake beard, a pigeon, a Lalo Schifrin's record and the Royal Australasian Ornithologists Union (spoiler: the pigeon dies at the end).
IV. A short passage on love, loneliness and fate.
VIII. A brief explanation of my difficulties dealing with the roman numerals.
VI. A serious and straightforward self-description.
Thanks for your letter inviting me to join the committee of the Arts and Sciences for Eisenhower.
I must decline, for secret reasons.
‘I read,’ I say. ‘I study and read. I bet I’ve read everything you’ve read. Don’t think I haven’t. I consume libraries. I wear out spines and ROM-drives. I do things like get in a taxi and say, “The library, and step on it.” My instincts concerning syntax and mechanics are better than your own, I can tell, with due respect. ‘But it transcends the mechanics. I’m not a machine. I feel and believe. I have opinions. Some of them are interesting. I could, if you’d let me, talk and talk. Let’s talk about anything. I believe the influence of Kierkegaard on Camus is underestimated. I believe Dennis Gabor may very well have been the Antichrist. I believe Hobbes is just Rousseau in a dark mirror. I believe, with Hegel, that transcendence is absorption. I could interface you guys right under the table,’ I say. ‘I’m not just a creātus, manufactured, conditioned, bred for a function.’ I open my eyes. ‘Please don’t think I don’t care.’
— Infinite Jest, DFW
Continued on Page A3
Library of Uncollected Collections
Books that I'm reading, red recently, or want to read