Roderick on the Line

Ep. 244: "Super Cartoid"


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  slash supertrain hello hi John

  hi Merlin how's it going good how are

  you I'm doing great

  wow you do you sound great

  yes I've decided that I'm Pepe today or


  oh I don't know you know just try to

  look on the bright side of life you

  don't know saying yeah I mean that

  lasted for a minute or two there yep yep

  you just keep looking at the chimneys

  you know I'm saying

  looking at the chimney that's what they

  say they say look at the chimneys when

  you're walking around

  most people will like stare at the

  ground or stare at the middle-distance

  try to remember to look up look at the

  chimneys it will look you look at the

  chimneys it'll elevate your mood yeah

  you'll see the chimbley sleeps bear oh

  boy oh yeah look at the chimneys I don't

  know it's like diets

  who knows if those things actually work

  looking at the chimneys looking at the

  chimneys but if you tell yourself it

  works it might work yeah smile when you

  sing that's right and smile when you

  talking to the phone not as good as a

  wink to a blind bat is that right smile

  when you're talking to the phone I guess

  so that's my mom I try that said that

  she's in sales she learned that when

  you're talking to someone smile yeah how

  does this is this podcast sound better

  what - deranged clap let's try and set

  up them it sounds pretty good kind of

  weird if we could do the whole show like

  this that we could I bet from now on if

  we just smiled through the whole show

  it'd be a much more we said scared

  we sound very scared have you noticed

  that I mention this before but if you

  listen to a sportscaster talking about

  sports yeah the sound that they make is

  the same exact sound as if you were

  yelling at somebody because you're

  really mad at

  anything is heavily compressed probably

  no no I mean I don't mean the asana

  thing they're normal they're normal

  voice it sounds like they're like

  yelling somebody in traffic or something

  yeah exactly like here he comes that is

  that you know it's just like it's uh

  it's the same it evokes the same that is

  so interesting like if you like you know

  you think about like when you listen to

  like people calling like South American

  as they say football games you can get

  that vibe clearer if you're not a native

  speaker because the tone just sounds so

  manic oh yeah they're really upset I'm

  interested in in the radio host Alex

  Jones I'm very interested in him and so

  well I don't want to get too far into it

  I've talked about this a lot of places a

  lot of times very interested in Alex

  Jones but you know I turned to you as an

  industry expert like I've heard him when

  he just talks and yells he has a very

  low and very kind of grindy voice in

  real life but but when they record him

  for his show for his YouTube stuff for

  his radio show they do something I think

  they do something to his voice I think

  it's something they do to a lot of talk

  voices and I always it I'm right it

  sounds bigger it sounds growler it

  sounds more evenly growly do you know

  saying is that is that quality of the

  microphone do you think it's compression

  like would aural enhancement like what

  do you do to make some noise out like

  this like not how we're talking it's

  mega compressed mm-hmm um you know

  because it's compressed it's compressed

  at the source and it's compressed up the

  chain and then it's you know it's got

  that crazy radio compression on it too

  okay when I think of like AM radio

  especially and that the particular kind

  of sound somebody on like talk radio he

  that's mostly compression well so what's

  funny about that compression is I was

  having a very very interesting

  conversation with the radio DJ not very

  long ago a professional professional was

  somewhat better KEXP John well he was

  describing an experience of going to kxb

  he is himself not a KEXP DJ

  but but he was going there to do an

  interview and talk to some KEXP

  people you know talk to talk to the

  professional KEXP DJ's and he got there

  and he said that little trick of the

  trade that the KEXP DJ who is a who's

  fairly famous person in these parts at

  least not your morning guy well you know

  let's just say for the sake of yeah for

  the sake of argument let's just say it's

  a morning guy give some legal reason

  that you're being so desi about who

  these people are

  well you know small town here huh and

  people get really you know that he's

  always brought times John Frye you know

  you want to be careful who you tell

  people you know yeah yeah so Amos st

  setup so here he is and he's doing this

  interview with the guy and he

  immediately recognizes that he's got the

  he's got the compression on on their

  interview like it's super slammed and

  he's got it so that his voice the the

  host is just always going to be a little

  bit louder a little bit like better then

  the guest he gets the Alpha setting the

  the gorilla mindset setting yeah but but

  my my my um my companion in this

  conversation says he recognized the

  compression was so crazy that he just

  started talking really quietly and the

  compressor then because he was talking

  so quietly the compressor would would

  super super grab on to his voice and and

  it made him the louder of the two

  because he was he was working with the

  be understood that the compressor was

  set in such a way that the more quietly

  you spoke the more the compressor would

  work and and it was it was actually

  making his voice appear louder by virtue

  of just talking more and more

  quietly why so he was he was he was like

  gaming this guy's compressor settings in

  the interview and and you could you buy

  the story you could tell that that the

  other DJ recognized what he was doing

  but you know is some somewhat powerless

  because this is his tone missus his

  setting this is his tone he can't start

  to get weird and tell you going I can

  all get all like uh AOR yeah he had a

  mage a he had to maintain his tone his

  vocal sciences that's his local brand so

  this other you know this other character

  was just like yeah that's very

  interesting good question and it was

  like really you know his voice was

  really I think filling up people's ear

  ear holes so Alex Jones may in fact not

  be making that much noise he's got the

  gravel and his voice he's talking yeah

  I'm a nice guy but he's but he's maybe

  not making that much volume it might be

  that that his compressors are doing all

  the work cuz if you talked like that all

  the time you would be blowing your voice

  look like you could say I remember

  hearing a thing on public radio where I

  hear about these things about I believe

  you can take a class to learn how to do

  like shredding metal vocals in a way

  that doesn't wreck your voice apparently

  there's a method for doing that if you

  do it the way it sounds like you should

  do it you'll just you'll shred your

  voice how did Bobcat Goldthwait do that

  all those years oh I don't know I think

  he's just a little broken inside he's uh

  but you know that you're right this part

  of the brand so it's probably also

  fairly heavily gated so every word but

  like with a fast gait like a strong but

  fast gait right mm-hmm strong Bathgate

  I'm this more than really understand is

  a great TV show Bathgate also didn't

  they do that song daenam in linen linen

  a nail down fast course fascinate

  clothes you will what yeah I'm still


  uh well the you know uh the big big

  reveal for us in the in the Rock and

  Roll scene was realizing that Chris

  Cornell made almost no sound at all huh

  Chris Cornell of Soundgarden rumor was

  that he earned through monitor guys

  because he had this sort of him that

  this impossible situation which was he's

  fronting this massive band and if you

  listen to the records you know is

  fucking killing it but in fact he's

  making like he's moving very very little

  air and he's just like oh yeah what now

  and he figures it out oh that wrote that

  means that in the midst of all of that

  very very loud noise they've got to be

  able to bring up his vocals without

  causing feedback correct

  that sounds very challenging correct

  they've got to be able to bring up his

  vocals in the monitors right like it at

  the front of the house trigger ly if

  you're playing super big rooms you know

  you've got a lot of you can do a lot up

  there right to make everything sound

  right if you're good at at front of

  house but you know that I think

  especially before in-ear monitors your

  monitor guys just like look man I'm

  giving you all that I can and he's that

  play he's up there saying I can't hear

  myself Oh fine fine more uh-huh pretty

  crazy but but that may have been true of

  that may actually be true this and I've

  wondered this for a long time it may in

  some or another way be true of all those


  maybe Kurt Cobain wasn't seeing that

  loud maybe none of them sing that loud

  maybe I'm an idiot because I didn't

  understand now I didn't understand how

  microphones work

  Django so working harder not smarter

  that's exactly what what I terrified him

  like I got up there when I first started

  playing rock music and I thought that's

  what it sounded like and

  I was capable of making that much noise

  what I was capable of making as much

  noise as it sounded like and so I would

  just scream into these microphones I

  didn't need to I could have just been

  like lot of data data data instead of

  you know I was really going for it at

  the end of a show I lay down on the

  floor panting and did when I was 20

  uh-huh did you have to I could have just

  been using the microphone I could have

  just turned up the knob just use the mic

  but this isn't something we revisited

  several times in the past but the

  especially when you're when you're

  touring and let's say you're in Europe

  or you know really anywhere it's really

  it's a different night every night in

  terms of the setup and the sound you

  know what all your stuff should sound

  like but you know it could be you just

  get the you know the sound man is too

  high and the bartender has to run sound

  or something right where you have to be

  don't you have to be very self

  sufficient to like where you could

  almost do without monitors if you had to

  I mean in the way that you prepare you

  can't assume that you're going to get

  those Radiohead ear buds and stuff like

  that yeah but you I mean you work - I

  think what you you you work with in the

  house that you built in your own mind so

  if if if I had started out singing you

  know like well I just have these words

  to sing at this volume I would I would I

  would be adjusted intended by your ex

  you're so good thank you I just be

  sitting on the couch while you're

  recording right you read out you write a

  hit song it's just a listen I am looking

  out the door and I can see the outside

  crying chorus door door door

  you see spoon means different things

  it's different oh yeah right geez oh

  that's what I kept saying to people

  didn't they're not really listening

  teaspoon every time I say teaspoon it

  means a different things it's different

  thing yes it's your fault that you don't

  understand that there's five teaspoon

  and their five to fucking shame on them

  you have to explain your teaspoons to

  anybody boo yeah so he's like oh that

  Lulu says teaspoon no it says five

  different things about teaspoon teaspoon

  maybe wasn't down with the heist piece

  boom baby wasn't down with the heist

  just trying to do what I thought was

  right baby wasn't dead was down with it

  she was not down was not down with it I

  was you know using street vernacular

  there how that's true uh but you know I

  can't go back I can't go back and do

  that I can about you've already built in

  your mind and like now that mortgage is

  paid off whether you like it or not

  let's be honest you live in your house

  mine yes yes yes all right as long as

  we're talking tech and this is where

  we're really gonna lose a lot of people

  yeah you know I don't know if you've

  ever noticed when we're recording you

  have better ears than I I don't know if

  you've ever noticed but sometimes when

  we're recording you may occasionally

  hear the sound of a streetcar a going by

  yeah yeah probably I don't notice it if

  you go back and listen you'll probably

  you've heard it probably a couple times

  ding ding okay here's my question to you

  there's only a minimum of things that I

  can do with damping there are some

  things I could do but that is is it's a

  multi-ton train here comes one right now

  rattling the ground and shaking where I

  am let's set aside that I made a

  terrible decision to be next to a

  streetcar line - oh the corner goes you

  might know you probably didn't hear it

  but that was a train that just went by

  yeah and would I be well-served to get

  I'm just these are words I've read on

  the internet and never said out loud

  what I be well-served to get a car toy

  or supercar toyed microphone would that

  help minimize the amount of occasional

  streetcar sound that people hear on this


  hmm I'm currently using a shure uh i

  think it's an 87 a beta 87 a is what i

  use right that's a that's a nice

  microphone and you you are on a classic

  SMB right no right now I'm on my own you

  dingus my B caster remote microphone

  that's the one you can put in your tummy

  when you talk right that's right that's


  currently I

  a staged on a book a giant coffee table

  book about the history of the Brooks

  Brothers company the people who make

  suits yes huh

  now the people that make suits you know

  it's a venerable company we it's that's

  one of those terms that we use when we

  don't know what else to say its

  venerable and this different Bobbie

  Brooks like in the John Cougar song it's

  different yeah you know blame Bobby

  Brooks let him do what he pleased uh

  that must be some kind of short short Oh

  Bobbie Brooks okay or busy ISM yeah

  maybe it's a maybe it's a saddle shoe or

  something okay sorry I've got a Midwest

  thing figures in one of the little text

  uh doesn't matter talking with some

  other people who do these things they

  were talking about the need to do

  interviews yeah um and being in a an

  environment where picked up lots of

  background sound and one suggestion was

  to get something called car toy tour

  super car toy now is that a super tight

  grouping of where that it will pick up

  the sound is that what that means a

  super tight car toy is you're saying is

  a car toys oh it's a I think it's I'm

  gonna look it up I think it's a kind of

  car toy super yeah car toy boy see my

  pretty further okay it could be hyper

  car toys a car - car - what the what

  they're talking about is car totality Oh

  car card cardioid cardioid cardioid is

  part of the body part okay so so what

  will edit that out party oh yeah

  cardioid is an artery okay so I should

  not get one that has a narrow arteries

  that would not be good for me as a man

  of my age no I think you're gonna want I

  think you're gonna want one with this

  big car toyed artery as you dare to put

  a stent in my mic yeah yeah the thing

  now so in terms of your in terms of your

  like your Carty ID microphones you can

  you can adjust that on a lot of

  microphones the one that you have right

  now you cannot the the the sure the the

  big dildo one that everybody likes the

  one you like for singing that what is

  that SMB so what's called that's some


  seven that one you get little clickers

  on the bottom right yeah you can you can

  adjust I mean a lot of microphones like

  the one that I'm I'm talking into right

  now um has has settings it doesn't it it

  doesn't it doesn't actually say cardioid

  but it does say like you've got your get

  your mono and then you can switch it to

  your stereo really and key do the

  roll-off thingy the roller thingy isn't

  their thing yet on the bottom of the of

  the sure there's a little wave I don't

  know what it does but if you get

  yourself a little a little tiny like

  eyeglasses screwdriver you can puck

  scoot that over and that doesn't that

  change your amount of base and whatnot

  yeah you can you so there are things

  called high-pass filters and they're

  things called low-pass filters and just

  as they sound if you put a high-pass

  filter on something it lets the high

  sounds pass and does not let the low

  sounds through it will it'll roll the

  low off because there's things in in in

  audio there are at the low end and at

  the high end there are sounds that

  although you can't hear them let's say

  you can't hear them they can take up a

  lot of space in your mind house hmm

  so interesting there's all this low-end

  information that can get put into a

  recording that I mean there's certainly

  there's a lot of it that you can hear

  but there's also a lot of it that maybe

  you can't hear but when you take it away

  you can hear the absence of all this

  garbage you know like it it's not it's

  it's it's sonic information that is

  below the level of like a recognizable

  note interesting so it's not going to be

  jamming up the signal with something

  that doesn't need to be there yeah you

  cut it out then you get and yen you you

  cut it out up to the level that you're

  getting like oh that's a note that

  belongs there or like in a kick drum

  you know you you don't want you don't

  want unlimited low-end

  because it goes down there and it

  collects in the corners and it's full of

  dust and skin flakes oh you have to

  probably like drain it or get like it's

  a detail it like you get a q-tip and get

  all that stand out of there it's it's

  all it's all down there and it's going a

  little lower and it just adds garbage to

  your sound and it's true in our voices

  right if you have a double a double kick

  drum you get but I imagine at least

  twice as much you get it's three times

  as much but it's an additive quality

  it's a logarithmic curve that's science


  okay and at the top-end it's also true

  that way way up high again not stuff

  that you maybe necessarily can actually

  hear like pinpoint and say like I hear

  that but way up there there's all this

  way way up at the top that is also

  clouding your sound and and and causing

  you disarmed me and I think I think the

  way it's described is that that stuff

  will harmonically resonate with things

  that you can hear it affects the sound

  of the things that you that are audible

  to you because sound interacts with

  these with itself right and so high-pass

  filters and low-pass filters you put on

  in order to kind of collect this the

  information that you want which is here

  in this area where we can hear but you

  can add weird top-end

  to things to make the make it sound

  brighter or make it feel like the roof

  is taller there's all its sound is this

  crazy thing where you can you can make

  the room sound like it's a different

  room by virtue of how you how much of

  this strange top-end that you put in it

  that you that you're not actually

  consciously here it's such a it's such a

  dark art I mean I guess this is really

  obviously somebody who's done this for a

  living and you know I've done some of

  this not so much for a living but like

  she's amazing how many factors are

  involved I watched a pretty interesting

  YouTube video the other night does just

  in passing

  that was about this guy in I want to say

  England who has gone to great time

  expense to essentially recreate every

  aspect conceivable a 1950s Sun studio

  type setup and it was and he just even

  as an amateur it was fascinating to

  watch I'll find the link for you but

  basically he's this guy who wanted to

  say say like he's he's try this is his

  you know his differentiating factor is

  that he has like a legit like operating

  50s it's just all the whole stack is all

  like you know no later than the 50s

  technology and what the experiment they

  did was to see what you could do the

  best way to do like a Bill Monroe type

  one mic setup to record a band versus

  what you can do with two mics and it was

  so fascinating hear him talk about like

  I guess you know mics have different

  dead spots like having to do with the

  car Toit as you say but basically like

  how you put the drums up this far away

  and in this area so that they only get

  picked up by this part of the mic it was

  fascinating the what a dark art it was

  to get that done right unbelievable and

  what's crazy is that now we we all are

  listening to stereo music recorded

  stereo and mix stereo what's a mixed

  stereo which means that across the

  stereo field typically what we do is we

  put the drums on the bass right up the

  middle which means that they are equally

  present in both sides of the stereo

  field because if you put the bass over

  one side the low end the bass

  information is so for lack of a better

  term heavy it's really distracting the

  Ramones for stoutness like that yeah I

  think the memory serves the Ramones is

  drums in the middle

  I believe bass is all on one left the

  right channel and then guitars on the

  other channel yeah it's it just feels

  miss it feels unbalanced it feels poorly

  weighted your your your attention is

  drawn over to the heavy you know bass

  has gravity and it pulls you it pulls

  your ear now on on the on the Beatles

  records of course we've

  finally made it to the Beatles mm-hmm

  hello because those records were so

  pioneering the you know the original

  mixes of all those Beatles records word

  mono and when it was time to mix them

  for stereo which was considered a novel

  like kind of weird experimental thing

  that only weirdos would listen to nobody

  had stereo music equipment at the time

  you know like stereo home listening

  equipment they made these stereo mixes

  and in those cases they did put the

  drums over here and the bass over there

  but it was just that we're dealing with

  George Martin who was genius and somehow

  those are really fascinating to listen

  to but but we have we've fallen into

  these habits in recorded music bass and

  drums up the middle guitars panned wide

  this guitar over here that guitar over

  there and then your vocals right up the

  middle - but then harmony vocals spread

  liberally over here and then you're

  gonna get your little piano on the you

  know half way over on the right where a

  little bit of it's on the left but it

  sounds like it's in the space right yeah

  and and the worst offenders are those

  drum drum recordings where they actually

  record the drums and and mix them

  stereophonic lee so when the drummer

  starts to start his fill it starts in

  your left ear and goes to your right ear

  it's like a buddy buddy buddy did this

  on commander thinks aloud to much

  acclaim well well but but that was a

  that was a different trick which was

  that different parts every different

  spread yeah every one of those was a

  mono recording of a full drum kit and we

  just situated those different mono

  recordings across the stereo field so it

  wasn't alike but boo-boo-boo-boo-boo in

  the in that same way of like we have a

  we have 10 mics on this drum kit and we

  have each one of them arranged

  differently in the in the stereo field

  it was like no his kick drum is


  in six different drum tracks know how

  you hit I don't know how person's mind

  could work like that no it's not a mind

  it's a he did something else it's a you

  know is that that anyway so Chamberlain

  was that I want magic but so your your

  cardioid what that is is it's a

  microphone it's a it's a directionality

  of the microphone and if you're talking

  into just sort of an omnidirectional

  microphone it's picking up everything

  all the way around it equally and that

  would be very distracting if you were

  sitting talking into a microphone like

  that because it's a train would go by

  and it would be just as loud as as your

  voice that's not good I don't want that

  right well that's not what you're doing

  you know your your little your little

  sure beta 87 is it's very directional I

  mean if you if you turn the mic away and

  talk into the side of it it's gonna it's

  going to pick up your voice not as well

  right right and then that and your

  microphone is actually very like

  proximity effect is very important if

  you get right up on that microphone it

  sounds very different than if you're

  five feet away from it or if you're even

  two feet away from some right yeah I

  mean the you know will your chair back a

  foot and talking to it huh

  okay here's me back here and we're

  closer to it wanna know or I can speak

  quietly and I'm proximity it so yeah

  it's absolutely you know and so do these

  things if you use that microphone

  properly your you know your lips are not

  going to be that far away from it at a

  windscreen on it I got a I got this a

  really cheap windscreen thing that Marco

  recommended that's going to keep the

  sibling Sena message on my plosives your

  plosive sound amazing thank you thank

  you but the closer you get to that

  microphone the more the microphone is

  going to pick up and the better it's

  going to work but so all this cardioid

  stuff it's like ah here you're not going

  to be able I don't think with with uh


  adjusting the directionality of your mic

  to like hyper-cardioid I still think

  you're going to get that train in the

  background because people would miss it

  it's mostly it's a thought experiment

  because I think their people would miss

  the train let's be honest I would miss

  it you could put a weird noise gate on

  what you're doing but if you're talking

  the mics gonna be open if you're if

  you're worried about like the train

  interrupting your co-hosts you could put

  a you could put a like a some kind of

  noise gate on it but I think that would

  sound weird to you would hear this gate

  opening and closing unless you had it

  set really really nicely I think you

  just I think it's just your sound I was

  going to make a terrible dad joke about

  a something a notional Joe pass filter

  it would be too obscure of a joke to

  make but I did discover that Joe passes

  full name is Joseph Anthony Jacobi poss


  oh my goodness isn't that a fantastic

  name pause ilaqua

  fossil aqua that is double aqua is

  drinking water what is posilac well

  people love it by the way in passing

  people love it when we guess what words

  mean in other languages you know really

  loves that in my experience the Germans

  the chaco the Germans love it when you

  guess what things mean like you

  stipulated we know now we know what ver

  MOC means it means make war right uh

  means that well I'm man who knows maybe

  that's what possible aqua means possible

  means make war when it made it maybe it

  means passing water uh-huh pasa la qua

  yeah pasa la aqua in English I passing

  I'm passing the water transitively urban

  dictionary pasal aqua is a baller a

  person I see I ever been dictionary has

  gotten real fast and loose about what

  Allah accept that's a lot Urban

  Dictionary has turned into you know it's

  a great resource but it also like I

  don't know there are 40 entries all

  saying essentially the same thing but

  everybody gets just everybody gets to

  say it in their own way and that's

  starting to get boring like it happened

  with twin when the Republican candidate

  made a remark on Twitter about something

  being easy easy D what's up easy D and I

  heard yeah so I know don't email me I

  don't care but several people very

  confidently gave very different

  conclusive readings of what that means

  some people said it's a sex thing

  obviously you do yeah I'm going it's an

  easy D and and I think it's maybe some

  people think it's like a like a sports

  term you know you know maybe it's like

  easy defense or something but you know

  or dictionary you know I actually

  haven't looked up easy D on there lately

  let me see what it says easy D uh-huh

  easy easy D according to the dictionary

  a top that's just really nice to say a

  easy D you see this is a mess this is a

  mess people see the jackals the Jackals

  have gotten in here and now they're

  monkeying around top definition easy to

  the penis deeply desired by Donald Trump

  see ya a CD second definition a man that

  is easy to get sex from as in a woman

  saying gosh I could really use some easy

  D right now easy D stands for douchebag

  president see you guys your students are

  really drop in here yeah yeah a guy

  that's easy the thing is the D has got

  to represent something does it represent

  Deez Nuts this episode of Roderick on

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  line and all the great shows like what

  is the D it's represent Deez Nuts

  if somebody says give me the D yeah what

  is the D in this case well I don't in

  the vernacular in the parlance of our

  time I I'm guessing it means dick Oh


  yeah easy D yeah in my experience dick

  is a word and I don't I'm not trying to

  be normative here oh but I think dick is

  a word that men use more often than


  when specifically referring to a penis

  of note uh in my experience they don't

  say dick as much whoo girls yeah dick

  sort of sort

  boobs and tits type situation mm-hmm

  mm-hmm I mean don't you feel like

  there's differences in in in who uses

  that in a not meant to be offensive way

  but just like this is how I talk about

  my body I have never heard a woman used

  the word boobs I don't think really I I

  knew some wife heard very few women say

  tits hmm it's ugly its tits

  tinnie tinnie word I get with it that

  would write the word boobs BEW be s

  that's really cute she would send that

  in written communication Eve's but I but

  I don't you know this is the thing right

  I mean dirty talk how do you how do you

  affect how do you pull it off even work

  yeah it's a it's very confusing you

  don't know you don't know exactly where

  because it's all very all the words are

  bad yeah you gotta be careful remarks

  when you're exploring that kind of thing

  you need you need to be real careful

  well careful just because it's because

  of it is spell breaking like it's it's

  not it's not that it's not that it's

  offensive so much it is or offense or

  not offensive or whatever but you don't

  want to make the other person laugh when

  you are being serious right when here

  laughs my dick and they go and he say

  what that's something something bad has

  happened it's gone off the rails you

  know and if she says like oh I'm sorry

  the only person that ever used the word

  dick was my grandfather hmm you know

  like I I mean I I knew a girl who said

  one time like her grandmother used the

  word twat what at just as a just as a

  descriptor just as you now would say

  vagina it was just some fucking

  Appalachian thing where she would be

  changing like the little girl's diaper

  and like oh well here wipe her little

  twat or whatever my goodness really

  so this girl like that word which Allah

  of us would feel like was like a pretty

  tough work pretty edgy to her it was

  just like a sweet little old comfortable

  like country grandma word so everybody's

  got a different everybody's got brings a

  whole different bunch of suitcases into

  that mind room and how the hell do you

  do it you know like for a long time I

  would never use vagina in that context

  because it sounded like something that

  your OBGYN

  yeah it sounds a little bit kind of

  collage achill but there but it is the

  it is the term of art it's true and so I

  think there are a lot of people that are

  like listen there's not a lot of good

  words here so just stick to the you know

  stick to the main one stick to the road

  right don't go off into the UM are you I

  had I was fortunate enough to be seeing

  a girl in college who had a really cute

  one and it was so she had a she had a

  little sister who was one of those

  miracle babies like she was she was 21

  her brother was 19 and then her baby

  sister was two yeah yeah yes her mom got

  pregnant like 42 like out of nowhere you

  imagine the surprise surprise guess what

  a few things around yeah you thought you

  were gonna go live on a cruise ship

  didn't you and and her her mother would

  when referring to her her swimsuit area

  downstairs we'll call it all bottom and

  I still think that's really cute yeah

  but that's you don't want it you don't

  want to be interacting with a girl

  bottom I think it's sweet unless it's a

  babble this is the thing this is the

  thing boy bottoms I mean it in a fraught

  power exchange no no I gotta get a girl

  bottom there's also a bottom that's also

  in as part of the mix down there like an

  actual bottom hang on what yeah you're

  right the beep the UH the the word so

  for a while I was like look the word


  is it's a nice word it's a sweet word it

  means like a kitty cat yeah it's like a

  sweet little it's it's so much better

  than the other words can I just at least

  eliminate the confusion in my own

  universe by just using that word we'll

  just that's it's a fine word I don't

  mean anything bad by it it's just like

  it just seems sweeter and I'd like to

  refer to that part of your body let's

  say I'm saying to someone as an

  introduction like hey now that we're

  getting close let's work on so what's

  the secondary yeah um and I encountered

  quite a bit of uh like about the word

  pussy which seemed very sweet but but at

  least to people I know it's like sounds

  it's cringy and I'm like at the same

  time it is a word that many women I know

  would use to privately refer to their

  girl bottom mmm-hmm I'd say more so than

  twat well I don't think anybody use this

  twat unless you're a policeman yeah

  clean out our twats so get so many

  letters from what from the from the

  McElroy brothers you know not all West

  Virginians ha ha but you know like I'd I

  can't use the word dick with a straight

  face because it just I don't know it

  passed on to the other so that's like

  that's like a word ass like it that's

  now a term of art dick I mean it's

  somebody who behaves like a dick oh I

  see what you're saying you know well

  don't be an ass I use that I use it that

  way but has come a long way but but bu

  TT mm-hmm that's another very tricky

  thing because everybody thinks about

  their butt right everybody's got a thing

  some thoughts about their own butt yeah

  and it's unclear who wants what aspect

  of their butt well who wants

  attention call - what aspect of their

  own but like oh I'm so glad you brought

  this up yeah I really really am because

  I think I think you can run into some

  real danger zones if you're not fairly

  specific about what you mean what we

  talk about when we talk about butts I

  think you can say you have a nice butt

  which in that case might mean that the

  shape of your posterior looks good in


  right I mean I think everyone at a base

  level wants to hear that they have a

  nice butt oh yeah yeah if you're getting

  intimate with somebody to say just

  casually sometime like not you know like

  you can say it in the in the boudoir but

  even if you're just like out on the town

  and you've been dating for a while you

  know to lean over and say like you know

  what you've got a really nice butt that

  will I think 40 years later that will

  still be in their mind room that's a

  really nice thing you said one time my

  favorite mind room in their mind house

  yeah that is a that's a freaking oil

  painting over the fireplace of their

  mind house right like my other once said

  that you know just sort of like off hand

  you have a really nice butt I got a


  along those lines having to do with with

  the with the swimsuit area I got a

  compliment in 1986 that I still think

  about yeah isn't that nice it's just

  you're right I know well paying in my

  mind house it was I was like what would

  have put a nice thing to say and she

  said in a way that didn't feel forced it

  was very it seemed like she she offered

  it freely and of her own accord just in

  passing and I still think about that was

  those a long time ago that's what 30

  years ago yeah I mean that's the key I

  was walking with my girlfriend one time

  in a group of guys a group of all my

  friends and we're kind of bringing up

  the rear if you will and and we're on

  the way down to the bar we're going to

  the NAR Tavern and there's you know six

  guys ahead of us and we're walking along

  and she just sort of casually under her

  breath says you know like six guys I'm

  not a single good but

  and I was like whoa it had not occurred

  to me that that she was looking at you

  know and she was casual remark yeah but

  I looked ahead and I was like okay

  alright so looking at these six butts

  none of them are good okay okay

  memorize this memorize these butts and

  understand that these do not these are

  not goodbye so you went into Terminator

  heads-up mode at this point like you're

  just gathering information about this

  new environment that you would later use

  you're like an AI John you're gay I know

  this this corpus of information to have

  to apply in other circumstances looking

  at these six guys ahead of us I would

  have made a lot of assessments right

  like oh this is a bunch of that you know

  like this is a bunch of ding-a-lings or

  none of these guys has any fashion sense

  or you know whatever look like a bunch

  of soccer players or whatever but I

  would not have said that's gotta be up

  there with is this your first day soccer

  play what are you a bunch of soccer

  buddy hey hey soccer player keep driving

  but once you put a soccer on your head

  and play but I but now yeah she had

  given me this whole new field of

  information to consider which was six

  guys not a nice button in the bunch and

  you know and of course the next nation

  rich sentence yeah and here are levels

  I'm the seventh guy right and she's

  walking next to me she if I was up there

  with those soccer players would she be

  like there's one nice but in the group

  or what it were or would there be sort

  of a blanket like I mean it and at a

  certain point if you're in if you're in

  a crowd of six guys with not a nice but

  how nice does your bud have to be to

  stand out yeah yeah you know like is if

  your butt is being assessed in all by

  itself it might be like yeah it's a nice

  butt huh

  but if you're in a group of bad butts

  yeah oh you get lumped in with them

  interesting okay yeah so so uh so that's

  the type of thing like the but if you go

  any deeper into

  a into like what you like about

  someone's but it gets tricky right away

  boy does it ever oh there's just levels

  and levels it's it's a minefield the but

  it's really tricky and particularly now

  like the the the fashion for the

  millenniums is these high-waisted jeans

  that we wore those were the fashion when

  I was in high school too and they are

  not the most becoming style because they

  look really good on someone who has a

  very pear-shaped bottom but they don't

  really look good on everybody and

  because yet because they're designed for

  like a narrow waist and a sort of very

  curvy you know like if they look they're

  meant to look like a pair mm-hmm

  exaggerated that particular curve do you

  think they go up high like could it be

  to like cover up a lower back tattoo or

  do you think it's mostly to provide a

  certain shape a suggestion of shape good

  question I find them to be in the main

  create less shape than them other pairs

  of jeans because it in the in the early

  2000s the late nineties in the early

  2000s the gene technology I think really

  focused your attention strictly on the

  butt so that your lower back was not

  engaged and your you know like your even

  your your I mean I guess your your

  thighs are engaged in a sort of general

  but frame mmm-hmm this part the lamb is

  the continuum of the synecdoche or

  metonymy but there's there's a whole lot

  of pieces and parts to talk about here

  so much going on uh-huh but if you if

  the if the jeans were focused strictly

  on making the butt seem high and tight

  which I think was the that was the

  version of like seven jeans or whatever

  that was that 90s 2000s late 90s early

  2000s like gene technology you could

  have a narrow waist or why

  waste you could have a you could be

  hourglass-shaped or you could be square

  and none of that was being the gene was

  not interacting with the rest of your

  body really it was just focused on

  making your bottom look good

  you're just the just the bottom and so

  those genes were very successful and I

  think they're very popular with people

  my generation because we'd been

  struggling always struggling to figure

  out how to make your bottom look good

  and making the maybe classic error of

  thinking that your bottom starts up

  under your arm and how do I make my

  bottom look good when I don't have a

  waist or how do I make my bottom look

  good when I have a high waist or you

  know and all this stuff and it was just

  like oh no these jeans are low waisted

  so they're not trying to be up in your

  back and they just start thinking about

  like how to make your bottom well so now

  we're into these high-waisted jeans and

  the high-waisted jeans are just by their

  very nature they are including your back

  in your bottom hmm there including waist

  in your bottom and they're a lot there's

  now there's a lot more going on and it's

  part of them it's part of normcore I

  feel like I said still a thing well I

  just feel like in general the

  millenniums are less fashion uh they're

  I mean they they fashion still matters

  but they're let they less give a damn

  you know I just I feel like they're a

  lot more free with you know you rep

  whatever you want to rep I agree I think

  there's a lot to admire about the

  millenniums mm but my kids they don't

  Jeff as they say they don't give an F

  but the high waist Regina I think is a

  is an error if I can if I can just be

  like a ghost of Christmas past here

  mm-hmm you don't if if you have a choice

  just leave it unless you are unless you

  really know for a fact that you are one

  of the rare rare individuals you know

  and let in the nineteen seventies you

  have those Gloria Vanderbilt jeans and

  they look bad on everybody except for

  one out of a thousand people if you're

  one of if you know for a fact you're one

  of those

  like yes you can wear anything yes but

  just in general you're not going to find

  happiness I don't think in high-waisted

  jeans I just don't think it's there but

  you know like for instance if you if you

  are somebody who's lette if you ever

  were to say to somebody like you've got

  a really big but I feel like you just

  pulled the pin out of a grenade and

  you're holding it in your hand and

  you're also holding with your other hand

  you're holding on to the edge of a clip

  and you're and your feet are not your

  feet are just swinging the air if you oh

  but the grenade is also tied to a string

  which is tied around your neck so if you

  let go the grenade I was wondering how

  you pull out the pin if you only have

  one hand do the guy like a sergeant in a

  movie that's right that's right you

  pulled it out pulled out the pin and now

  you're holding the grenade if you let go

  of it in order to grab the cliff wall

  okay then you've got a live grenade tied

  around your neck

  what if you're holding on to the cliff

  by the grenade I don't think you can how

  do you hold on to a cliff with the

  grenade but I've never been in the

  situation about saying it would really

  work for the narratives that maybe maybe

  it's just one little one little bit that

  got stuck on there maybe it's on a root

  right you know I'm saying but your your

  only way your only survival is going to

  be keep holding the grenade that's a lot

  like that's a lot like talking about

  somebody's but I see you went a

  different direction with it I was going

  in the like year there's no way out here

  now I see I see but you were you were

  saying like you're now you're

  permanently lodged on the side of this

  when the clip is made of grenades hold

  it in head maybe if you zoom out far

  enough you realize that the whole cliff

  is a grenade

  maybe the hole maybe the world is

  exhibit is a universe it's not so

  different than like the win are you

  expecting gasps oh that's bad I mean you

  know that the pad the powder that runs

  do all of this I think is like before

  you open your big mouth make sure you

  understand what the play is right

  what yeah I mean I have I have had

  success with the had success with the

  listen within the larger context you

  have a very small but but within the

  context of small buts you have a nice

  big putt you understand yeah it's nice

  that you know that did PowerPoint if you

  can get you things you can't explain it

  but if you can create an atmosphere

  where you are able to say you have a big

  butt but it's within the context of

  being of having like a very small but oh

  yeah but I mean couldn't you go with

  something I don't know well see it

  depends on what you're trying to

  embarrass well like comically small not

  like this abling Lisa yeah like you are

  we have you a small bubble within that

  context it's pretty large

  right that was just being a baffling

  depending on what you're trying to


  like if part of what you're trying to

  accomplish is to just pay a pay a

  compliment and walk away which could I

  kill a stranger I don't think you can

  refer to their butt at all just talking

  about people's bodies is dangerous in

  the Big Dance I'm talking strictly

  within the context of somebody that you

  are romantically involved in because you

  should not be commenting on the body of

  anybody else yeah unless you are just

  unless you are strictly like in a

  situation where you are either naked

  with them or on your way to being naked

  with them yeah and in that case and it

  should in that case I think it should

  always be only complimentary that's you

  know until it's like high-waisted jeans

  unless you have a reason I would stick

  with complimentary oh there's no I don't

  think there's any way you can make a

  remark about someone else's body that

  you are sexually gay is that supposed to

  be like that yeah that's good in your

  considered there's so many ways that you

  can offer someone constructive criticism

  but not in their not in their body now

  while they're literally naked one of the

  oil paintings in my uh in my mind house

  which is not over the fireplace it's one

  of those oil paintings that you're like

  do I put this in a bathroom where do I

  put this bat what do I put this oil

  painting but but a girl at college said

  to me it's one of these great

  compliments you have a great body if you

  just did a few sit-ups oh wow that's and

  I was like I have a great body thank you

  if I just did a few sit-ups which I know

  already I knew that I knew that I should

  do some sit-ups

  and ah thank you

  you know like occasion in the

  destructive she meant it

  she was a she but she yeah it sounds

  like consolation like she's consoling

  you like hey fuck up little guy oh no no

  it wasn't that it was that she was

  trying to make me you know like like

  I've dated a lot of she's like Nixon you

  that's right who are trying to shape me

  into they love me

  ninety percent of Who I am is exactly

  what they want

  John John a project sent yeah that's

  right it's the ten percent that's a

  project that's very exciting to them and

  in her case the ten percent was she was

  just going to shape my body a little bit

  just craft it a little bit so that it

  was more to her liking and that involved

  a little bit of sit-ups now at 23 I had

  a dad bod and at 48 I haven't really

  much exactly the same dad Bob so in that

  sense I mean I'm not one of those 48

  year olds that still has a flat stomach

  but it's because I never had a flat

  stomach that single v in my life it's

  just you doing you yeah that's right I'm

  doing I think can I tell somebody I

  think you can tell somebody that they

  have a cute butt okay again they'd

  better be somebody you're dating I do

  not think you can say that to someone on

  the bus or so they don't talk about

  bodies at all John with anybody ever

  oh dude this is all just speculative I

  could not imagine saying any of these

  words to people to like the to the clear

  secretary to my second at your office

  look Janice no Janice committed which

  will give me a twirl

  haha working nine to five yep cut about

  you have kind of a big ass Janice Irene

  was in the context of having a small I

  think I'm a big one get back to that

  dictation if someone said to me you have

  a cute butt and and I have heard it over

  the years but not and that's what are

  you to work that in I had a feeling that

  was coming that's one of your smaller

  oil paintings but not enough times that

  I believe it you know what I mean like

  you know something was said universally

  I would be like gee that's one of the

  things that I know of

  myself like universally women have said

  that I have good legs

  everyone is that right yeah and so I

  believe it uh-huh because because

  unbidden yeah it's just one of those

  offhand comments like you know what

  you're good legs

  I heard back I feel like you could think

  about you can think about your life and

  what to believe in your life a little

  bit like like my daughter was recently

  looking at some of my old yearbooks and

  from like like junior high and so many

  of the things people wrote in my

  yearbook are nearly identical and taken

  as a whole they form a certain truth

  that I could I could choose today sweet

  well I could choose not we'll see stay

  sweet even that you get enough of those

  that mean something like this that's not

  people filling up a whole page with that

  time we made out at the roller rink

  most of them many of them are uh you're

  you're weird but cool you're weird but

  cool you're weird but nice you're weird

  but smart and the thing is that the

  consistency to too many of these remarks

  is that I am weird

  that is the characteristic if you were

  to put these into Excel what would

  emerge is that in when I was 14 I was

  weird and everyone said so right so in

  that case I feel like that is whether I

  like that or not or feel that's

  distinctive or not the point is that's

  the people speaking I heard that enough

  noun open set in there you know and you

  have sexy legs that was never an item

  touch like right I could choose that

  again I don't know if it's a synecdoche

  arm autonomy or making things up but I

  could just choose to believe that about

  myself but I have not heard that often

  enough that I think it's meaningful but

  you have you've heard about your legs if

  you look at my yearbook I think the I

  think what you would put together over

  the overall the comments it would be you

  were a bastard to me for four years but

  for some reason everyone likes you still

  good luck and this continues now on

  Facebook right don't get remarks from

  people I think I hear still such an

  asshole yeah you were absolutely

  terrible to me but for some reason I

  could never hate you


  this is very confusing I hope I never

  see you again but I also wish you well

  um can forget that girl our license

  plate back yeah I did we're friends now

  um I feel like when I first met you and

  when I would look at pictures of you



  early pictures of you when you were in

  college I my feeling was that Merlin man

  was a very handsome guy and I have heard

  several my friends have said this i

  don't i don't see it i think i think

  yeah i appreciate you saying that that

  was your impression at the time uh well

  you know the thing is you had feel like

  you've aged well you have a kind of but

  you know you have aged into a very like

  appropriately interesting looking middle

  aged man it's tough that you know you

  have not fallen apart as well you know

  there's always taught you like become

  him more intensely I'm coming you I'm if

  I were casting a catalog yeah a modeling

  session like you'd be one of the type of

  people that I would think like could

  sell sell things still just with your

  face Wow and that's not you know a lot

  of people like there they face falls

  apart um and it's just it's just that

  God it's just what God chooses you know

  it's not like it's not that for any for

  any particular reason but I always felt

  like you were handsome and did not

  believe it did not know it or believe it

  such that you never really capitalized

  on your handsomeness you say anything is

  this your is this your setup statement

  for me like I could have been

  good-looking if I like clean myself up a

  little bit probably no no no it wasn't

  that at all because you know I'll I I

  think dirty is handsome no it was that

  you didn't believe that you were

  handsome so you never exploited it he

  never went into a situation where you

  where you please said well I'm handsome

  that's all I'm gonna I'm gonna pull this

  off because I'm handsome right yeah you

  always you always carried yourself as

  though the last thing you were the last

  thing you believed was that you were

  handsome or at least it wasn't like a

  primary that's a that's a good

  conclusion yeah yeah yeah yeah I think

  for me I did not think I was handsome it

  was clear I wasn't I was because I was

  under I was undercooked

  but at a certain point like a scallop I

  did but at a certain point I think I

  grew into my looks enough that now I

  bamboozled people because I have

  dramatic yeah charismatic right which is

  you know which is this which is another

  kind of awful comment now a really

  really nice personality

  yeah body room clothes good cook actly

  exactly this is the thing type of thing

  that my friend's parents said to me in

  high school you know you're gonna grow

  into your looks you're you're you're

  very handsome ah in the sense that it as

  an adult you will be handsome the things

  people say to other people yeah where

  you're just like yeah I was trying to be

  helper for I would have preferred to be

  like cute in high school but I guess

  that wasn't what that wasn't my fate

  like I was so we played a show the other

  day and we got this three guys from my

  high school showed up and you know three

  guys that had never seen me play

  actually one guy wasn't from my high

  school he was from my ski team but he

  was you know within Anchorage

  if you were on the ski team by which I

  mean initially the Alyeska mighty mites

  and then ultimately graduate to the

  Alyeska junior racers it was not a ski

  team in the sense that we it wasn't like

  a high school ski team where you

  competed against other ski teams it was

  a ski Kolob a ski culture where we you

  competed against one another and then

  the great ones went on to compete

  nationally and then internationally it

  was like it was like a like a like a

  farm club for the for the world and I

  think now in Alaska the high schools

  have ski team downhill ski teams I'm

  talking about they always had

  cross-country teams that competed

  against each other but now I think they

  have downhill teams and it might be a

  club sport like a like a what intramural

  sport yeah but so one of the guys from

  the ski team who went to a different

  high school but he was part of our

  larger gang because he because we were

  all skiers together

  so these three guys came to my came to

  my my rock show and the in particular

  the one that I knew from ski club that

  was not from my high school he looks

  exactly the same he looks the same as he

  did when he was 16 and we're reaching an

  age where that that's strange now when

  that happens it's it's but I mean he

  looks like a man he doesn't he's not

  like he doesn't have a like a like a

  sweet face or something he looks like a

  full-grown adult yeah but he looks he

  looks the same he would be instantly

  identifiable as himself in a way that a

  lot of people my age aren't a lot of

  people I see that are my age and I'm

  like I know you don't I and they're like

  yes we know each other very well and

  then I'm like ah it's you hi you know

  like they've changed considerably he

  just looked exactly like himself and

  what's amazing is that of everybody I

  know he has created exactly the Alaska

  life he's a doctor and I grew up in a

  neighborhood that was close to the

  hospital in the college and most of my

  friends parents were doctors and a lot

  of my friends went on to become doctors

  but they all moved out of Alaska right

  so there a doctor here there a doctor

  there their doctor there and they're

  living some other doctor life some

  Bellingham doctor life or some you know

  California doctor life but he's a doctor

  he has an airplane which he uses all the

  time ski plane in the winter and a flow

  plane in the summer which is very Alaska

  thing to do and he uses that airplane

  both to or I'm sorry he uses it to hunt

  mm-hmm and so he'll post pictures on

  facebook of like we just went out and

  shot this giant elk or this mountain

  sheep or whatever that is that they're

  they're just out like hunting as part of

  one of the things that they do as

  Alaskans or they fly in somewhere and

  catch giant king salmon

  they they also put skis on it and fly

  way up on the side of mountains and

  everybody jumps out and you know and my

  friend then flies the airplane down to

  the bottom of the mountain and everybody

  skis down the mountain and then gets

  back in the airplane and fly back up and

  land on the glacier and do it again like

  this is the life that he is providing

  for his children his teenage kids are

  like let's go skiing dad and they get in

  the airplane and they fly up and land on

  the glacier and ski down like it's a

  it's so Alaskan it just blows me away

  how completely successfully he has

  created this thing that seems almost

  almost fantastical to me now having

  lived in Seattle as long as I have but

  was exactly kind of what that was the

  environment I grew up in right your

  friend's dad had a plane he flew you up

  to their lake cabin and then you went

  waterskiing and then he would fly you up

  on the mountain and drop him it's just

  like what kind of universe okay somebody

  sent me a link to a video the other day

  about this young woman who's like a

  she's a young mother now and she'd been

  an Alpine guide on Mount McKinley for

  many many years and then after she had

  her daughter she felt like being an

  Alpina sk's was no longer I know was no

  longer a safe job because she had a she

  had a little daughter and every time you

  go up on the mountain you risk dying

  it's just the nature of going up on the

  mountain the mountain decides whether

  you get down or not and so up until that

  point she'd been living a life where

  every time you know her job was to go up

  on the side of the mountain and try to

  keep these people that are paying her

  from dying and also as a you know as a

  corollary to that try to keep herself

  from dying but now she's a mom and that

  doesn't feel right so she decided that

  she was going to transfer her energy


  becoming a bush pilot to fly the

  climbers up and land them on the

  mountain and her description of it why

  it's way better is like well every night

  I get to come home and sleep in my own

  bed every morning I get to be up at

  14,000 feet on the side of this mountain

  why uh you know like dropping climbers

  off up there and then I get to fly home

  and go to bed in my little house in

  Talkeetna and I was watching this and

  just like Jesus this is this is totally

  another version of this same weird

  Alaskan life but when I was a kid it was

  always the grown-ups doing it now I'm

  watching this video this to me she still

  reads as a young woman right she's

  younger than I am she's like a young

  mother and she and she's like this -

  Havilland beaver and land hit on the

  side of the freaking mountain and she's

  flying with her little daughter it's

  super cute like - there's a shot where

  they're in a they're in a little cub and

  they're taking off and her little

  four-year-old is in the backseat like

  the Sun is in my eyes and one of the

  things about being in an airplane is

  that uh there aren't in a small plane

  that you don't have window shades mm-hmm

  you want a lot of windows because you

  want to be able to look out and make

  sure you're not gonna fly into anything

  and the way that you're like just by the

  nature of it you're up in the sky

  there's no trees shading you and the Sun

  can come into a little plane and it's

  just really blinding my dad used to fly

  with two sets of sunglasses he would

  have his sunglasses on and then it would

  then the Sun would just be like adding

  put another part another parable asshole

  double sunglass anyway so I'm watching

  this video I'm just like fucking ah

  Alaska there's a part of me that is

  there's a part of me that really feels

  like I have done a poor job because I'm

  not a bush pilot it's it's the weirdest

  thing I didn't expected that that's

  that's very interesting yeah it just

  feels weird it feels weird to watch

  those videos would be like ah my pals

  are up there just you know fly

  to get a burger in talkeetna what's

  gonna be very muscular it sounds like a

  very muscular lifestyle it doesn't feel

  like that to them because they they feel

  like the plane is a necessary tool it's

  just like learning to drive a car if you

  want to get up there where things are

  interesting then that's what you need

  and of course you want to get up where

  things are interesting because once

  you've skied up in the glacier why do

  you want to go ride the chairlift I mean

  the only reason you ride the chairlift

  is because you do that Tuesdays

  Wednesdays and Thursdays but if you have

  all day why not fire the plane up and go

  skip the real pal pal you go right I

  could have known it's it's so utterly

  foreign to me I mean all these different

  modes of transportation and leaving the

  house so often it's all very very

  foreign to me

  yeah leaving the house with the

  expectation that all day long you're

  going to be putting in effort it's not

  easy to get the plane going and get it

  up into the and fly up into the

  mountains like it's tough I just sort

  was so much danger my gosh danger

  okay so let's explore this then you so

  you feel like you she maybe should have

  been a bush pilot no because if I had

  wanted to be a bush pilot I guy

  absolutely could have you know I I stood

  at the I stood at the crossroads I

  looked at the the road of bending off

  into the wood and then took the other as

  just as fair uh I was perfectly

  positioned to be a bush pilot and I just

  felt like oh yeah or I could go ride

  freight trains yeah and the riding

  freight trains felt more interesting

  because being a bush pilot felt somewhat

  men mundane just like going to medical

  school did huh and then having gone and

  ridden freight trains for a couple of

  years then I followed then I went where

  the day took me and ended up where I am

  because I you know

  Merlin I went where the day took me you

  went with three took you yeah I never

  had a plan I don't know if you did did

  you have a plan uh I mean I had I had

  notions but I never had a plan but I

  think the day the day is a very

  important unit for you

  yeah the day the day is there's

  important patterns to the day in your

  life things like what is the uniform of

  the day right you've gotten these dated

  like reflect like you know might be how

  you slept last night like what we know

  where you have to be the day seems I'm

  not saying you think merely in days but

  the day is a very significant uh

  quantity of time for you yeah yeah I

  approach each day as though it is a new

  well yeah each day is new I didn't so

  for instance yesterday my plan for today

  was to do this podcast with you that was

  the thing that was the tentpole yeah for

  the first that was the reason I was

  going to get up in the morning was to do

  this podcast and then after this I

  immediately had immediately my notion of

  the rest of the day became very vague it

  was like I got to get up I got up to the

  podcast with Merlin now after I'm done

  doing the podcast with Merlin do I get

  dressed well we'll figure that out when

  we get there mmm does that govern partly

  by like what are you getting dressed for

  yeah that's gonna have Lee I mean are

  you gonna wear like something we can go

  out into the bush arm you know do I even

  need to if I don't need to get dressed

  why go through the whole rigmarole

  that's true

  am I gonna play guitar tomorrow could be

  now - that's a pretty good idea put on

  your guitar pants baby no no you don't

  need pants for guitar

  that's a sanitary you put a napkin or

  something the thing is I'm not gonna

  that guitar it's not like I'm gonna hand

  it to somebody else

  sometime and be like here play my play

  the guitar that I was playing by me my

  my nakedness but yeah but I do feel like

  a lot of people in life had not just

  like more of a plan than I did

  that they had a real plan that they had

  a plan this is why I was that I was

  trying to differentiate between like

  having a guess or a reckon there are

  people who really had a plan and buy

  which is like we're talking about here

  like you're the red hair girl in my

  going to you know medical school and

  stuff people where there are

  dependencies to what you're going to do

  there's time commitment

  there is stick-to-itiveness and grit and

  with those kinds of people a funny side

  effect is that those are often the kind

  of people that if the plan goes wrong

  they very quickly have another plan

  they're ready to stick to I think there

  are plan people but butcher land people

  are executing on the plan not merely

  ruminating about the plan that's the

  difference between them and me I feel

  like the danger for me of a plan was

  always that well the you know the plan

  can go sideways right away so like you

  know if you want to make God laugh right

  Woody Allen's famous lines you want to

  make God laugh tell him your plans it's

  a pretty good assessment of where I come

  from although you have to look at Woody

  Allen's accomplishments and say like

  well you had a plan yeah or at least had

  multiple plans every time he started a

  new film it must have been a new plan

  but I am I am maybe one of the more

  planless and and I come up against

  people with a plan all the time people

  ask me questions that suggest that they

  think that I had a plan or that I have

  one now not sorry yes the simplest

  question that people ask you is like

  well what do you want and it presumes

  that I really want anything or that I

  have a particular interest in one or

  another outcome and that is a that's a

  weird presupposition because if today I

  followed the day where it took me and it

  ended up that by the end of the day

  something had something had arrived in

  my life where it made sense for me to

  move to Ankara Turkey I would be in I if

  it made sense for me to do that that

  would that them that has its own logic

  and I would be making prepper

  to move to Ankara uh because it doesn't

  conflict with a plan that I have already

  see I see um and I think there are a lot

  of people that if at the end of the day

  it made sense for them to move Ankara

  they would say what no it mean it

  doesn't make sense absolutely no

  conflicts with my plan it makes it

  completion to plan yeah that's right and

  and the only reason I haven't made it

  made like the decision to move to Turkey

  at any point in my life is that at the

  end of every day it never made sense and

  I and I never made it my plan but it is

  it's very different because I'm because

  confronted with the question what do you

  want my answer is always like the best

  or most sensible option of those

  presented and that doesn't satisfy some

  kinds of parts to it I mean I'm

  projecting here which is all I really

  can do but I think again it's important

  to distinguish between a plan which has

  several aspects to it that are important

  and then versus having something like a

  lightly structured sense of hope about

  how things will go that feels like a

  plan but it's not really a plan that's

  it that's an intransitive plan like

  where you're kind of like mostly hoping

  things turn out a certain way if I stay

  at this job long enough surely I will

  make more money and get promoted that's

  maybe a silly example but I think it's a

  common example right like if I get the

  security of having a job plus it just

  seems reasonable that I will move up and

  make more money here well it's not

  that's not exactly a plan if your plan

  requires you not changing very much or

  doing things by a certain time it's not

  really a plan it's it's I mean it's just

  doing stuff yeah I feel like you are

  really you got to the core of it really

  fast and I think would it this is a

  weird thing I've discovered just very

  recently in in like examining the

  choices that I make

  and it maybe relies on optimism like I

  never would have thought of myself as

  optimistic because I thought because I'm

  you know a trend toward thinking darkly

  thinking darkly about myself thinking

  darkly about the you know the

  contemporary world thinking darkly about

  human interaction with one another like

  I'm I'm I tend to be not misanthropic

  but certainly I have my suspicions about

  other people you're human agnostic a

  human agnostic right I've just you know

  like life is definitely somewhat of a

  scramble and I embrace it but what I

  what I realized recently is that I am an

  optimist in that I wake up every morning

  and assume everything is going to sort

  of just roll like when I get in the car

  and start the engine and imagine making

  the trip to wherever it is that I'm I'm

  going I don't have was that a was that

  little toot premiere and he probably

  didn't hear that that was the train

  going by and they didn't like what

  somebody was doing on the road so they

  give a little sometimes they give a

  little toot to out front okay you know

  Mike is gonna prevent that showing up

  but it's what I the day sort of unwinds

  the way that it does you've got a

  general to check three through the day

  well I mean I know that I have to be

  certain places at certain times but I am

  i planning consists of when i have to be

  somewhere at a certain time mostly yeah

  but i'm operating on the assumption that

  I'm gonna get in the car and I'm going

  to drive to where I'm going and that

  drive is going to be largely event free

  I don't assume someone is going to cut

  me off

  I'm not afraid that I'm gonna get into a


  I don't worry about getting there you

  know like late I'm not worried about

  getting lost you know all of those

  anxieties about what's going to happen

  in the in the immediate future and in

  the long-term future I just don't have I

  assumed that everything is probably

  going to roll and that I'm realizing now

  is actually a kind of optimism

  that I bring to two events I assume you

  know when people like people said when

  my daughter was born her mother said

  like it's gonna cost her a million

  dollars a year to go to college what are

  we gonna do we should have been saving

  money this whole time and my and I was

  just stunned by this because my feeling

  was all what she needs to go to college

  when it's time to go to college we find

  she'll go to college there'll be some

  solution to the problem and that has

  that has been my attitude throughout my

  entire life and and and it is you know

  like I know that there are listeners

  right now who love who love it love love

  that I have arrived here where I can now

  make a statement about privilege and now

  having made that statement like it is

  also a like and maybe my optimism is

  also a function of privilege because

  that is the lens through which a lot of

  people want to look at everything now

  but I I also feel like there are a lot

  of people whose nature like they have

  just as much privilege as I do in the

  world but their nature compels them to

  be anxious about all these things that

  they can't control the drive the other

  drivers the whether or not they're you

  know whether or not things are going to

  go well all day they're anxious about

  them and that anxiety makes choices for

  them and their uh and and so the plan

  helps alleviate that anxiety because

  they know you know that there are steps

  to follow and if the if something goes

  sideways you know you just get get on to

  the next step you follow the you follow

  the plan and so I'm I am at liberty and

  a lot of the Liberty I guess that that I

  have or that people perceive in me is I

  think rooted in in that like spiritual

  confidence that it's going to turn out

  even if I have a heart attack and die


  that's fine it's a it's all going to

  work out my daughter's going to be fine

  somebody's gonna have to go through all

  this stuff but that's I mean it'll

  probably be my mom and she'll just put

  it all into the dumper yeah just been at

  all if like 20 like 25 pairs of vintage

  Levi's that have holes in the knees she

  doesn't see the value in them yeah

  nicely doesn't recognize that there's a

  lot of value there and that's fine yeah

  I sometimes wonder if the absence of

  anxiety feels like optimism we're like

  you know it's funny because like you

  know we tend to think in these sort of

  um sort of looking for like Hegelian I

  guess sorts of ways I don't know like

  which I always see like the two sides

  just bicameral approach to life and are

  you not the minister are you a pessimist

  it's like well you know that's really

  very very general you know but as

  somebody who is anxious about lots of

  things I sometimes wonder if to repeat

  myself if if what if not having anxiety

  is what optimism feels like yeah or

  maybe there isn't a distinction between

  those things well there's a certain kind

  of and I'm sorry to keep using this this

  word that is a term of art and I not

  going to be able list but there is a

  certain kind of mania to optimism that

  I'm very suspicious of like people who

  are too optimistic or people who are too

  happy are very suspicious to me they

  just seem like they're up to something

  or they're just not wired right like how

  are you like this all that and there are

  some people who are just charming and

  that's just their personality and

  they're not somebody who you know again

  the absence of something makes you seem

  like it's a thing like you just people

  who don't bitch about everything people

  who aren't snarky people who don't talk

  behind other people's backs and stuff

  like that you know I mean that's that's

  a nice you know kind of a person I don't

  know if that makes them still an

  optimist but so I guess one version of

  optimism is that you tend to see the

  positive side of a situation that you

  tend to assume that things will go well

  rather than

  that you have a kind of rosy prospect

  about a given situation or the future in

  general yeah and all the seems to an

  opposite of pessimism means that roughly

  fair to say um pessimist tends to look

  at to pick nits with the negative side

  of things they tend to assume that given

  all the things being equal things will

  probably get worse

  yeah no that's that that doesn't

  describe me at all it's the it's the

  other thing

  yeah and that but I but I'm not a

  Pollyanna right I don't think I either

  like what if or what if you haven't

  liked it I don't know I just this kinds

  of like polar things are so that's such

  a blunt instrument right it is but it

  it's very I mean you there there needs

  to be a way to describe um because

  because it's because it's one of those

  like is the green that you see the same

  green that I see right um you know if

  you're having a conversation with

  somebody about something that you're

  undertaking and they honestly feel like

  the chances of it failing are much

  greater than the chances of it

  succeeding and you feel the opposite and

  those are just sort of native feelings

  not based on the actual facts of the of

  the moment but rather the intrinsic

  interpretation of what those facts mean

  you know like we don't have enough money

  to do this but it's going to be fine

  we'll find the money or we don't know

  something likes maybe if you're a

  entrepreneurial type and you're somebody

  who wants to start a Patino

  theoretically potentially very

  profitable high value company in some

  kind of an industry that is risky or

  costly to get into but if you're that

  sort of person and you decide to start a

  company like that and then hue to a

  developing but still very

  well-thought-out plan like if you have a

  plan for what you're going to do like no

  does that make you an optimist or a

  pessimist because they're people

  everybody says well obviously that

  person's an op

  because they think they're going to be

  that rare person who's able to pull off

  success in this thing that's very

  difficult to do and I would say that

  another person might say well no they're

  probably a pessimist because they

  realize that in order to get the things

  they want they have to have a

  contingency plan and risk management

  that gets them where they want to go

  without assuming that everything will go

  perfect so I don't know if either one of

  those labels really fits in that

  situation I don't know I mean there are

  companies right that that began that

  process and then somewhere down the road

  in their development they realized that

  what the product what they thought the

  product was isn't the product right what

  they discover is that the thing that

  they were making in order to make the

  product was the actual product and in

  order to be that flexible I think you do

  have to be very I think you have to have

  a rough plan and not a strict plan and

  that and that flexibility which isn't

  true of most startups I guess is the

  thing that that you know would describe

  my approach which is like you get in

  there and it's when we were making you

  know it thought we were making straw

  hats but it turns out we're making the

  framework to make straw hats because

  that's what the world really needs you

  know with now we can sell that right and

  that's interesting nothing but I'm not

  being so so wrapped up in your plan that

  you lose track of not only like whether

  it's working that we expect it but that

  you know there are things that you

  should be picking up about how to as I

  say pivot what you're doing yeah and I

  think I think it is a question of is

  your plan something that you put in

  place in order to dispel fear or is your

  plan a thing that you put in place in

  order to limit uh either let either put

  like artificial limitations on what

  you're doing in order to keep focused or

  limit the amount of chaos they can

  intrude but I really do think there's a

  difference because because you know

  there are a lot

  plans out there that are just to shore

  up um the number of you know of

  different like paralyzing anxieties

  right like like great um and to plan

  like almost like a form of OCD a little

  bit yeah like I've got this I've got a

  plan and therefore like it you know I

  cannot be I don't I cannot know all the

  things that are going to happen but I

  know that I'm not going to kids get

  derailed this way because I have a plan

  to to account for it and my problem

  being plan list is that I'm derailed by

  I mean I'm literally drilled by

  everything not literally I I often get

  to the door of my own room

  reach for the doorknob and then take

  another look at the doorknob and go huh

  interesting I never in all the years

  noticed that about this doorknob and

  then I then my next thought is I should

  get a tool and start to work on that

  doorknob I can't believe you're saying

  this because because just this morning I

  was putting my shoes on I was sitting on

  the side of my bed and I noticed a part

  of my house I never noticed before and I

  became a little bit in trance because

  I'd never paid any attention to the area

  between where these two doors are and I

  was just looking at it think I've never

  really looked at this I've never really

  looked at the nails in the paneling I've

  never really noticed like you know and I

  felt it felt very strange it felt like

  something from West world you know we're

  like you know it doesn't look anything

  to me like I certainly look a this is a

  very minor part of my house that I've

  never given any thought to and that's no

  door always been there are there gnomes

  coming in and they're not my own

  perception so much now there's a there's

  a quote that I have quoted many many

  times and I just took the time to

  actually look it up and I want to

  provide it in full for once this is

  actually a quote that is an actual thing

  that was actually said by an actual

  person that was not Mark Twain this is

  um very happily Abraham Lincoln yeah you

  got Carl Sandburg now this is a

  Eisenhower in 1957 I tell the story to

  illustrate the truth of the statement I

  heard long ago in the army plans are

  worthless but planning is

  everything there's a very great

  distinction because when you are

  planning for an emergency you must start

  with this one thing the very definition

  of emergency is that it is unexpected

  therefore it is not going to happen in

  the way that you are planning plans are

  worthless but planning is everything

  what a great quote yeah yes and that is

  what's missing for me I do not have

  plans and that is what makes me feel

  that I'm at Liberty gets more applicant

  on that I think you're nominated you're

  more complicated than that because it

  isn't that you like a plan it seems to

  me but you have a nine sensation that

  you're not sure what you want that

  destination to be to even plan for yeah

  we like that in which which if true I

  said he can't you can't just have a plan

  to just you know what you could I mean

  you can sit around and move you know

  make Thomas train tracks all day long

  but like ordinarily you would think of a

  plan as something that you execute in

  the service of a given goal over time

  with a given budget least as a project

  management that manager that's how I

  would think about it yeah well so for

  instance about five years ago six years

  ago I was standing around with my mom

  whose very plan oriented and she said

  look here's a plan for you why don't you

  why don't you just decide to make a

  million dollars like you have made money

  and bursts before that in ways that

  suggests that you would be able to make

  a million dollars if you set your mind

  to it because you do you throw some

  stuff off and then some money comes and

  then you live on it for a while and then

  when it runs out you're like oh shit I

  should do something and you do something

  else you toss something else off and

  then you know and money comes in for a

  while but what if you decided that your

  number one plan was just to make

  $1,000,000 that's it like you would just

  do whatever it took to do this to make

  this $1,000,000 and then you would have

  1 million dollars and after that you

  could say that that was the goal you'd

  accomplished and you could do whatever

  the hell you wanted but you would have

  this million dollars

  and I said huh interesting and I went

  around and I chewed on that for a while

  like that seems like a that is an

  example of a plan that doesn't restrict

  me very much you know it just gives me a

  reason it's not a plan or a goal I guess

  it's a goal I guess it's a goal like

  that is that our goal might be to land a

  man on the moon and bring him home

  safely within the next nine years that's

  a goal that the plan to get that to

  happen is a pretty different animal yeah

  right and but but but the goal would

  then would then necessitate various

  plans right I would have to yeah what is

  this not a lot ends a lot of outs a lot

  of what-have-yous if you want to make a

  million dollars you probably gonna have

  to do some things you know again you

  gotta move so it's like having a baby

  when you're 40 you have to move some

  things or yeah upstairs Downstairs

  change a little bit about your about

  your budgeting and invoicing system you

  figure out a way to make a million

  dollars you start planning the things

  that you're gonna buy right I mean it's

  a lot do you you probably want to write

  it down maybe get a legal pad I think I

  think you would I mean I think in my

  case what what she was trying to do is

  she said you've got all these projects

  but the all you have is the only reason

  you would complete any one of those

  projects right now is just to have the

  satisfaction of having created a project

  and yet you get it seems like equal

  satisfaction by just staring at a

  doorknob all day like it doesn't seem to

  be more gratifying to you to complete a

  record album than it does to just sit

  with it like the other day I got down on

  my hands and knees at my dishwasher and

  I took two toothpicks and I cleaned all

  the little nozzles of my dishwasher out

  two toothpicks I was there for you know

  for half the day just humming along putt

  putt sounds very meditative yeah I was

  making I was having success I was

  successfully clean the dishwasher works

  better now nice and I and I felt like

  using the toothpicks as tools was also

  like this is fun I bet that's a that's a

  that's a thought technology yeah I could

  have found other tools but these are the

  tools that I found you go to war with

  the tools you have yes map tools you

  want as Abraham Lincoln said and she

  said you know she said it if if

  completing like a large-scale project

  doesn't really scratch any hitch in you

  that's any different than just waking up

  in the morning and saying you know what

  I'm gonna do today I'm gonna wear all

  pink she said you'll never get any of

  these things done what if the what if

  the overarching thing was not finished

  this project for its own sake but

  finished this project as part of this

  larger project very simple one-sentence

  project make a million dollars right and

  and it was the first kind of

  over-the-top overlay that I'd had in a

  long long time and I think the only

  other one that I ever had was one that I

  got when I was 16 or something that was

  just like be famous and a very big man

  on campus that's right big man on campus

  he ran out on the blotter rotted wrote

  it on the blotter and then everything I

  did that year was under this Lake does

  this help me be the big man on campus

  yeah I think it does like every I mean

  even sitting and monkeying with this

  doorknob is part of that I get I guess

  but since that time I didn't I never had

  another like uh I never had another tall

  flag I just had I just had a forest of

  small flags so I have not still fully

  embraced they like to make a million

  dollars a million of them that's a

  that's a lot of dollars I said it's a

  very clear metric yeah and and the

  reason my mom said a million dollars is

  that she has this she does this social

  she had this lifelong thing she said to

  me at one point your father spent his

  whole life thinking that success was to

  have $50,000 in the bank if you had

  50,000 on $50,000 metal

  not something else in 1964 paid up on

  everything and that that was free and


  yeah yep you had 50,000 bucks in the

  bank in it if you had that it was smooth

  sailing from then on and she said in his

  entire life you net he never ever ever

  had $50,000 in the bank and he just

  couldn't put it together because as soon

  as he had some money in the bank he

  spent it on something he was like oh

  shit you know I'm gonna buy a boat or

  whatever and it was just like no just

  stop just keep doing your $50,000 in the

  bank thing and so in my mom's mind if

  you had a million million dollars and

  didn't tell a soul

  he wouldn't say nothing about it to no

  one because as soon as they see it there

  your money gets stole hmm no her idea

  was that if you had a million dollars

  you could live on the interest sure you

  become like their own endowment yeah you

  get 5% interest you get $50,000 a year

  and free money and then that becomes

  like the fear foundation and so you

  never touch the you never touch the

  million dollars you just get this steady

  sort of five six percent interest you

  you know and and I think she originally

  conceived of this plan back when there

  was like the interest rate was 14% I

  could see yourself a certificate of

  deposit Yeah right

  right you know you buy some bond some

  t-bills whatever that's our and and

  through and in her logic in her mind if

  you had 1 million dollars which to a lot

  of people nowadays even people that do

  not have anywhere close to any of that

  kind of money but but when we imagine

  being wealthy yeah a million dollars

  doesn't seem like wealthy now it's you

  know they're you can't buy a house in

  Seattle for less than six hundred

  thousand dollars now yeah but 1 million

  dollars actually represents like you

  could live on that the rest of your life

  or it could it could certainly keep you

  comforts of your life some some

  right right I mean certainly if you move

  to Thailand or something

  Thailand yeah but even living in even if

  I had a million dollar Steichen continue

  to do this make podcasts and put out

  records every 10 years I would have to

  be I would have to put out a record I

  think in order to accomplish making a

  million dollars now should be listen

  okay you write that down put that put

  that in the legal pad that should be

  part of the plan make a record that's

  part of the plan make a record and and

  find a way you know Ted Leo just got a

  hundred and sixty thousand dollars in a

  Kickstarter for his record which I just

  decided that yeah that's why I didn't I

  did the the the Jonathan think to his

  records already done

  he made it at home like the hundred

  sixty thousand dollars is part of

  putting the record out and it's also

  just like paying him for the record this

  is a distinction I had not heard put

  this I'm so out of the loop I hadn't

  heard the distinction made until this

  week who was talking about this

  oh hello internet podcast talking about

  the difference between and I forgive me

  if I'm mangling this but basically the

  distinction between being a consumer of

  the product and a funder of the

  production which i think is such an

  interesting distinction because like

  obviously historically you've been you

  voted with your wallet by buying the

  finished product but that the on the

  model today is much more along the lines

  of well maybe a much smaller but more

  generous group of people it is hoped

  will fund the production of whatever it

  is you want to make that's where you get

  into stuff like patreon things like that

  interesting I mean I that sounds dumb

  and obvious but like that's a pretty

  different distinction rather than well

  gosh I sure hope the economy for how you

  get paid for streaming vastly improves

  in the next 10 years I mean it's

  completely novel to us but when I look

  at the money that I made from any given

  album just in terms of album sales like

  I was thinking you know I we played this

  show the other day which was a fun show

  and inevitably as you as you do you put

  something like that on the internet and

  then you get 500 comments from people

  like come play s in Germany right it's

  been years since it's been years since

  you played

  fucking you know uh like worms gets it

  comes from you comes from it comes from

  such a nice and such a generous place

  but it's still all I can do not to

  respond to that with a little bit of

  snark not to be mean because and that's

  why I don't say it I don't want to be

  mean but when I say hey we're having a

  comic meetup you know near my house in

  on this doesn't such day people say oh

  you should come to warms bottom West

  Virginian do that here I do a lot of

  things sure welcome to Wiesbaden I'll do


  dust dust comic Klein of dust meter sure

  I'll do that let me just put that on my


  let me just dumping yeah yeah let me

  just let me get somebody else to take of

  my daughter every afternoon for the next

  ten days oh I'll just have my wife do

  that she she has a big lady job where

  she goes in office but I'll say honey

  here's the things I'm wanted I've

  received the Merlin signal has been shot

  into the Gotham City sky I am now needed

  in Wiesbaden

  I see don't say that except here amongst

  friends but no I mean like you know you

  know what here's the thing anybody who

  wants us to do this podcast where they

  live we will totally do that that's

  something like one thing that we ask

  that's right that we not exactly right

  yet in order to do it is not super

  complicated well and that is what that's

  what's crazy if I look at the money of

  because I toured extensively right and

  there were a lot and a lot of times I

  did go to Wiesbaden and then came home

  at the end of six weeks and after I paid

  everybody I had made two thousand

  dollars right and it was like ah look

  you know that you're like you become

  your own company store right you're

  paying from the infrastructure of doing

  all that you're you're funny it out of

  your pocket up front hoping nothing goes

  wrong hoping the van doesn't explode

  right right and and you're doing it

  or you're doing it because the promise


  you know you are being promised by a you

  know by a system that if you do that

  enough that you the word will get out

  and you will and then the and then you

  will make $1,000,000 something good in

  life to not count on too many promises

  that come to you via a system a system

  right so for six years I went out and I

  went to Muenster and I went to Dresden

  and I played my songs for the people in

  those places that came to hear them and

  we had a wonderful time together and it

  was awesome and I ate a lot of pretzels

  and I ate a lot of sausages with mustard

  on them and I made really good friends

  in those places and I loved to see all

  those things and feel like a citizen of

  the world but at the end of the day if I

  played one show in Seattle I made more

  money than that entire tour and so I

  truly was being paid in experience which

  is a thing that gets old after a while

  uh you can't you can't actually can't go

  to the bank and cash exposure no and

  even if even if you take all of our

  American tours by the end of our long

  career as a touring band not the longest

  career but you know uh ten years of it

  uh the shows that we played in Chicago


  as well not even Boston but yeah kind of

  Boston Chicago Boston New York uh West


  Austin LA San Francisco and Seattle they

  were the shows and everything else even

  even when we got to a point where we

  were getting paid pretty well for an

  indie band everything else was fucking

  gas money and if we had just if we had

  just gotten in an airplane and flown to

  those five two to eight cities and

  played our shows oh we probably would

  have made a big bout the same because

  flying there spending one night in a

  hotel and coming home is the same as

  spending three days try

  there and rains but and that's and

  that's what the the presidents were able

  to do at scale right was that whole like

  drop in for a Saturday night show with a

  really big audience

  yeah the presidents could fly to

  Stockholm make $40,000 and fly home and

  to them you know does what it was

  basically was we're going to spend 30

  hours doing this and for 30 hours we

  each get fifteen thousand dollars so uh

  ready go

  and even that ended up being too much

  work for for them you know they were

  just like now that's that's 30 hours

  that I'd rather spend doing something

  else and we didn't you know we didn't

  have that option we had to do those

  shows but it but it's true of my record

  sales too if you look at the record

  sales over the course when I pretend to

  fall came out in 2003 between two that I

  between 2003 and now I have the data to

  say how many dollars that record has

  produced for me in toto all of the

  records I've sold from the first one I

  sold out of the back of the truck to a

  girl in Milwaukee Wisconsin to the you

  know to the download that it probably

  happened today and if you think about

  Kickstarter or patreon and you think

  about the successful versions of that I

  could make that amount of money from

  those funding sources exclusively you

  know if Ted Leo makes 160 thousand

  dollars on his patreon or his uh his bid

  what should I call it his Kickstarter

  that is more money than he would have

  made putting that album out on a label

  and touring it for two years and so you

  go Wow okay

  it truly is if you can do a successful

  one I mean in the end the terror is that

  I would put up a Kickstarter for my new

  album and then make eleven thousand


  and then it would be like okay I guess

  selfies at the trunk of my car

  hi ho hi ho yeah right like oh maybe

  that's a got to do another thing to make

  a million dollars but it is it is not

  part of the rules that had to be only

  one thing you're allowed to get there

  right huh yeah

  then it'd be like well yes I gotta write

  a novel whoa another 11 grand okay I'm

  really gonna have to kick it into high

  gear here if I'm gonna make a million

  dollars but but you know this whole

  thing of like for the last 10 years of

  the music business of saying like well

  you know bands really sell t-shirts or

  they really sell kazoos that's what the

  real business model is and you're just

  like no fuck you but now it really is

  possible to make 160 thousand dollars

  just on your Kickstarter and I guess

  that there's some fulfillment

  he asked to do he's promised people that

  he'll come play piano in their living

  room or he's done said midnight I didn't

  follow the Kickstarter very carefully

  but right if they're there it's like at

  the $5,000 level I give you my car yeah

  at the $10,000 level like I will I will

  donate sperm to the to the to the sperm

  bank of your choice or whatever it's a

  nice gesture

  you know what I'll put that in my kicks

  to them put that on the legal pad listen

  well donate sperm the $7 level I will

  give you two vials of sperm and you can

  do whatever you want with them will you

  deliver them personally yeah I'll come

  to your house you can tell I was gonna

  give it to you I'll go into your

  bathroom for 15 minutes yeah and then I

  will give you a coke Campbellsburg

  is your groaning I love my fans