|Dr. Robert Puff|
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Issue #1271 - Thursday, November 28, 2002 - Edited by Jerry
Markopoulou Kalamara is hailed as one of the world's
most promising young physicists. See link at Gene Poole's entry.
from Daily Dharma
I have sat at the table and
blessed the bird,
Thanked the Unknown for
fortune great and small.
I laughed with the children,
Snoozed off the mashed potatoes,
And even sat on the balmy beach
for a couple hours.
The waves lapped my feet.
Do you want to know what has been
since the beginning of time?
Just THIS! Just THIS!
None else my soul hath known,
None else is its rejoicing.
Hope you all have had fine holiday!
broken, like the first morning
Blackbird has spoken, like the first bird
Praise for the singing, praise for the morning
Praise for the springing fresh from the world
Sweet the rain's new fall, sunlit from heaven
Like the first dewfall, on the first grass
Praise for the sweetness of the wet garden
Sprung in completeness where his feet pass
Mine is the sunlight, mine is the morning
Born of the one light, Eden saw play
Praise with elation, praise every morning
God's recreation of the new day
from Live Journal
Boston Charlie Time
"Deck us all with Boston Charlie,
Walla Walla, Wash., an' Kalamazoo!
Nora's freezin' on the trolley,
Swaller dollar cauliflower alley-garoo!
Don't we know archaic barrel
Lullaby Lilla Boy, Louisville Lou?
Trolley Molly don't love Harold,
Boola boola Pensacola hullabaloo!
Bark us all bow-wows of folly,
Polly wolly cracker 'n' too-da-loo!
Donkey Bonny brays a carol,
Antelope cantaloupe, 'lope with you!
Hunky Dory's pop is lolly
Gaggin' on the wagon, willy, folly go through!
Chollie's collie barks at Barrow,
Harum scarum five alarm bung-a-loo!
Dunk us all in bowls of barley,
Hinky dinky dink an' polly voo!
Chilly Filly's name is Chollie,
Chollie Filly's jolly chilly view halloo!
Bark us all bow-wows of folly,
Double-bubble, toyland trouble! Woof, woof, woof!
Tizzy seas on melon collie!
Dibble-dabble, scribble-scrabble! Goof, goof, goof!
at the pebble beach
red from friction with the sea
strands an asteroid
shipwrecked with a sense of me
fearing what's perceived as void
from Live Journal
Don't give a damn
all sense impressions appear in silence
are born from silence
are silence manifest from core to surface
subside back into silence when their task is done
and leave only silence
even sleep appears out of the silence, woven from the
silence and folds back into silence when you wake up
but I wonder, what do I do with all this freedom ? Some
things are so malleable. A friend of mine said he'd see
the world. I said I'd read for 200 years and then let the
world carry on it's own course and don't bother with the
rest. I would like to and wouldn't like to shape things
according to my own mind. I think I would like to but
when it comes down to it, I can't be bothered trying to
change or control things. Why should things go in my
direction ? Why should I steer things according to
whatever passing whim I have ? There are things other ppl
can do better than I can, so why not let them do it ?
Again the vampire allegory is useful. One person said:
they're 300 years old and don't give a damn. That
describes my situation pretty closely, give or take a few
I keep thinking about Douglas Harding's wife who wandered
the moors in joy after she read his old books and
encountered the silence. I feel like wandering that moor
too and just walk wherever the wind takes me.
Uh well right now I'd like a real mausoleum and stone
sarcophagus when I die and I'd like to go and play some
TR2, the dark Opera House level. I like wandering around
in the dark alone. Want some action. When my life lacks
action, I habitually turn to that game and that level.
Here is an article of interest from this month's
Scientific American online magazine:
result was networks that do not live in space
and are not made of matter. Rather their very
architecture gives rise to space and matter. In this
picture, there are no things, only geometric
relationships. Space ceases to be a place where objects
such as particles bump and jitter and instead becomes a
kaleidoscope of ever changing patterns and processes."
I think I'm in love...
Talk Show Host
I'm not one to brag, but I just might be the smartest
person who ever lived. I was multilingual in the womb,
and my brain, when submerged in a saline solution,
displaces over eight liters. By comparison, Einstein's
brain displaces only six liters and has a weird smell.
Like Uri Geller, I can bend steel simply with my thoughts
and, also like Uri Geller, my fame peaked in the late
Although none of the above is true, it is a fact that my
strength has always been my mind. It's not that I'm
inordinately bright, it's just that my complete lack of
physical skills and my quaint "chimney sweep" fashion
sense, have, by process of eliminations, made my mental
ability my main asset. I was always thought of as kind of
"quick", and this quality saw me through four years at an
accredited college and a career in comedy second only to
Gerald Ford's. In short, if the first twenty-two years of
my life taught me anything, it was that my meal ticket in
life was going to be my mind.
Maybe that's why I was taken aback when I was first told
to "Stop thinking so much."
These were the words of an improvisation instructor I met
in 1985. I had just arrived in Los Angeles to take a job
as a comedy writer and I was interested in doing some
performing. So, I signed up for a class taught by a wise
and charismatic woman named Cynthia Szigeti. Her words
added an entirely new dimension to my life, and, I
believe, ultimately made a big difference in my career.
Were it not for her, I would be driving a bus somewhere
and earning just about what I make today. (I really need
to speak to my agent.....)
Honestly though, Cynthia opened a door for me. When i
entered her class, I was determined to blow everyone away
with my wit and verbal agility. When asked to get up
onstage and spontaneously create a scene with another
actor, I was going to "write" everything in my head and
thus, reveal my innate genius. I was going to use this
advantage to spare myself any humiliation.
But there i was, scheming away, and she barked out, "Stop
thinking so much," from some where on the sidelines. I
didnt know what to do. I didnt even know how to get off
the stage without writing my exit.
Cynthia could see that writing was a crutch for me. Real
performing is much more fluid than the measured,
carefully crafted job of composing. Writers draft
outlines and plot plots. They write and rewrite. It's
exactly as you see it in the movies and on television: We
furrow our brows, crumple up pages, order Chinese food,
and sexually satisy women in a way that no one else can.
But this kind of overthinking in your brain is anathema
to the process of thinking on your feet. Which is what
performing is all about.
Eastern philosophy teaches that our strength is our
weakness and our weakness is our strength. My mental
abiltiy was stopping me from reacting in the moment.
Instead of thinking onstage I needed to be onstage. To
really perform, you have to give yourself over to the
fact that you dont know what youre creating until you are
done. If this all sounds too Zen, well--I am at peace
On the show now,I sometimes find myself doing something
odd when a guest is speaking; I shut up and listen. While
once my instinct would have been to mentally race ahead
to find a funny place, I instead listen to a guest and
find the funny moment there. Or not. Unfortunately, we
have a lot of archival footage of Conan O'Brien failing
to say something funny. But my favorite moments on the
show are when a joke dies an ugly death, because the
recovery afterward makes the moment memorable. These
recoveries dont always work, but when they do, the moment
is so sweet that all mistakes tend to be forgiven.
"Stop thinking so much" proved to be the mantra of my
subsequent weird career. People ask me all the time how I
wound up with my own talk show or how I managed to make
it last nine years. The truth is I dont know. It's like
asking someone, "So how did you get hit by a meteor?" My
Late Night career has largely been the result of reacting
honestly and spontaneously to people and problems around
me. I dont know how I got here and I certainly dont know
where I'm going. This is the essence of my philosophy,
and coincidentally, the words to most Jimmy Buffet songs.
Which finally reminds me of one last piece of wisdom I
heard a running back say about football. He said that,
despite the best planning and blocking, "The hole is
never where it's supposed to be." What this man was
saying is that real life is about reacting quickly to the
opportunity at hand, not the opportunity you envisioned.
Not thinking and scheming the future, but letting it
happen and reacting. In this way life is a lot like
football, right down to the part where you pat the ass of
the man next to you.
"Stop thinking so much." I still think about that
today--in fact, I think I think about it too much. Which
means I've learned nothing. Which isnt what I planned. So
I guess that's okay.
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|Dr. Robert Puff|