was two blocks from my house, a deep sense of panic overcame me as I realized the garage door that I had just closed might in fact still be open. Astute readers will notice this wasn’t because of a poor memory, but because I reminded myself of a very important thing I needed to tell my brother as I was doing another task — and brains don’t like to concentrate on multiple things at the same time. Of course, I’ve long suspected that people who have good memories can turn off the everyday torrent of thoughts and focus single-mindedly on specific tasks and/or facts. And therefore their ability to recollect information isn’t based on innate brain chemistry, but rather on the skill of turning down their inner monologue so the details don’t get lost in the din of consciousness. I’ve never figured out how to do that — and frankly, I’m not sure if I want to. Overthinking every aspect of life with a clamorous internal monologue is kind of my thing. WHEN I TELL YOU I HAVEN’T HEARD A SINGLE TAYLOR SWIFT SONG, COULD YOU PLEASE NOT GET ALL INCREDULOUS AND PLAY ONE FOR ME? I’M DELIBERATELY TRYING TO AVOID THESE THINGS The same goes for Beyoncé, Kanye West and Oasis. Listen, there’s not a lot I enjoy about popular culture, and it’s fine. I’m doing okay and my life still has meaning. I’m almost positive you’ve never heard of Nomeansno or Alice Donut, but I’m not going to say, “No way! You’ve never heard of them? I don’t believe it. Come here and listen to this.” Because I’m sure you’re doing okay and your life still has meaning. Here’s the deal: I’m not asking for much. I just want a little understanding in this particular area of life. So for the love of God, please don’t make me watch any more Taylor Swift videos. I simply do not like them. I WAS OFF TO A PROMISING START ON THIS CROSSWORD PUZZLE, BUT THEN IT ALL WENT TO SHIT When I first started solving this puzzle, it was a breeze. I filled in all the clues in the upper left corner in record time. But as I moved throughout the rest of the crossword, I began to get discouraged. By the time I made it to the bottom right corner, I had only solved an additional two clues and was all but demoralized. After that, I did what any normal person would do in this situation, and I chucked it in the recycling bin and pretended it never made me feel so dumb. ALRIGHT EVERYONE, WE’RE SHORT-STAFFED TODAY, SO WE’RE GOING TO NEED YOU ALL TO GIVE IT 11O% — EXCEPT OF COURSE FOR YOU CARL. WE’D BE BOTH GRATEFUL AND AMAZED IF YOU COULD BRING IT UP TO 6O% We all know how committed Carl is to not working hard. And we know he has to take a break every 27 minutes or so. So while the rest of us really need to give it our all and then some, if Carl could bring it up to slightly over half, then we’d really have something here. SHAMELESS SELF-PROMOTION TIME I am releasing a new book entitled, A Lifetime Of Ephemera: 25 Years In Punk Told Through Ticket Stubs, Flyers, & Memorabilia. It comes out on September 30th and will be for sale on the interwebs. Check it out if you get a chance!

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