Friday, April 17, 2009


You can't expect to understand, if you come in at the middle. My IQ is 190? That's like being nine feet tall. Please. Have a little common sense. Bright? Of course I'm bright. But I'm not a freak. I joke about it all, even the things that are important to me, many of them, because it pleases me to do so. I like the distortion of reality. I like being a moving target. I'm a flasher -- did you get a glimpse of it? -- or maybe I'm not, but instead I'm a quick-change artist. Or a nudist. Or a never-nude. It's not disrespect toward you. It's about me. Allow me that much honesty.

There's a bit of unrest in my family again. Some legal trouble for my poor foolish mother. Know any good cheap lawyers? No, of course you don't. There's no such thing. I wrote a letter for her that should have taken care of it, but it had factual errors that she did not bring to my attention. The letter was so good, you see, and she didn't want me to have to do any more work. You can imagine the level of my frustration, and the harshness that I attempt to suppress. She's not competent, you see. So now the problem is probably bigger, and I've done a second letter, subtly dealing with the errors of the first, and reframing the issue -- but you can imagine the level of my frustration. Incompetent.

I spoke this evening with a friend -- yes, I do have a friend -- about it. It was hard to open up, like prying nails out of a coffin lid. But it was good. Human. I'm trying to be human. Trusting without making a big production out of it. Just like normal people, who say things and it's no big deal. That takes practice. He offered to help. I guess that's what friends do. I should know that, shouldn't I. But accepting help is a sort of trust. It's hard to do, and it takes practice.

He spoke about being a kid and hearing his parents discuss financial problems. I never heard any discussions like that. But I wouldn't have. I never asked for anything. It was strange to say it out loud, but the reason I never asked is that I never expected to be given what I wanted. I didn't deserve it, I wasn't worth it -- something like that. Probably not fair on the parents.

Yesterday I was on my back in the crawlspace under my poor foolish mother's house, doing some plumbing. I didn't know I could do that, but it's just dirty work, not complicated. Several times now, in the past few months, I've been sprayed or drenched or dripped on with sewage water. Bath water is sewage, right? But the other time there's no question. Go shower, and get back to it. Because it needs to be done, and I can do it, and a plumber would want $400, which she doesn't have to spare. I know a plumber, but he's not trustworthy. Like the mechanic I know -- now I have car trouble again and I can't trust him. It's important to know people. I know hardly anyone.

It has to do with competence. I've concluded that my parents, in their various ways, are completely incompetent. My father manages to fool people long enough so that their disillusionment becomes hatred. My mother, poor and foolish, might yet manage somehow to make herself homeless. I'm doing what I can to prevent that, but I'm not competent either.

My friend is planning on starting his own business in the not very distant future. It's a field that could use some sound business practices. My son has also talked about starting his own business. You'd think somewhere in all this enterprise there'd be a place for little old me. Maybe they should go into it together. Sounds like a powerhouse. That should be the name: The POW-R HOW-S™, featuring the fantastic Infinite Dinosaurs Program guaranteed for total P-Factor ELIMINATION!!! It will totally IVAN YOU OUT!!! Point is, competence. I think that's my point. But no. The point is that I'm just talking about what's on my mind. I must trust you.

We did a p-factor workout tonight. In a week and a half I took 40 seconds off. From a 60% p-factor to none -- if I recall rightly. I'm pleased about it. P-factor is anything that takes you out of the moment, the past or the future used as an excuse for not being in the present doing the present task. My legs are sore: p-factor ... it's about what you did in the past that made your legs sore. I'm saving it for the last round: p-factor ... save nothing -- do your best right now. Sort of like how you should live your life. We've tweaked the workout a bit, so it should be a more sensitive tool. Very good. Useful concept. I knew that keeping a record of splits would be valuable. It took a while to see how, but it's turning out to be true. You know, I have to correct myself. It must really be 190. I'm amazing. An intellectual Ivan.

The reason I'm not competent is that I say no when I should say yes.


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