Monkey: You sure seem distracted.
Monkey: And not just now. Seems like all the time.
Monkey: Well, that's a shocker. I've never heard that before.
DAH: I thought we'd discussed how sacrasm doesn't work for you?
Monkey: Nah, I think that was about you.
DAH: Well, since we're both ... never mind.
Monkey: Sorry, but I do mind. And I'm here to remind you of something you and Rusty used to say.
DAH: What's that?
Monkey: So what?
DAH: What, so what?
Monkey: That's it. So what. And stop sucking.
DAH: I'm sipping. A cup of tea.
Monkey: In what you do. Suck less. You're always saying that. You should live it. Suck less, and be awesome more. And remember.
Monkey: So what. Whatever you're doing, whatever you're putting out into the universe, ask yourself "so what?" And read this thingy below, for clarification.
The world just isn't that into you. Unless what you're sharing …
- solves their problem
- provides useful information
- entertains them
- makes them feel like they rule
…why would they care?
Every time you share something - ask yourself "so what?" If you can't answer convincingly, reformulate and try again.
(from a Coding Horror PowerPoint slideshow shared on lifehacker.com on 01-Jun-2012)
DAH is David Anthony Hance at DAHplaytime. Monkey is annoying, but right.
DAH: I'm surprised.
Monkey: About me having adventures?
DAH: No, about you thinking.
Monkey: Ha, Ha, Mr. Wise-Guy.
DAH: Sorry. So, what kind of adventures are you thinking about? Rock climbing? Bungee jumping? River rafting?
Monkey: More waking up, doing stuff, helping you.
DAH: Those don't sound much like adventures.
Monkey: Maybe not to you, but for me, they are the biggest adventures.
DAH: How are "waking up, doing stuff, and helping me" adventures?
Monkey: OK, so, first of all, you've got to shoot high, and accept some risk.
DAH: Just to wake up in the morning?
Monkey: Maybe that, most of all. Wake up ready to shoot high and accept some risk.
DAH: I guess that could be a little scary.
Monkey: It's an adventure.
DAH: I better start jumping out of bed. What else?
Monkey: When you're doing stuff, you've got to be fully committed and focused.
DAH: True. Shooting high would pretty much require that.
Monkey: And if you're not fully committed and focused, what' s the point? Why do you bother?
DAH: I could be doing stuff just because someone's making me do it, or because it feels good.
Monkey: Fully committed and focused still works better, for both those things.
DAH: What if I have doubts or insecurities?
Monkey: Commit or quit. What are you, a monkey-man or a mouse?
DAH: Monkey-man, I guess.
Monkey: If you're going to live, live. Otherwise, go back to bed. And, number three.
DAH: Number three?
Monkey: There will be adversity.
DAH: I knew this would be too difficult.
Monkey: And I'll be there, helping you. Any way I can. And so will everyone else who loves you.
DAH: Now you're just getting sappy.
Monkey: I'm telling you, life's an adventure.
DAH: "Life is a gamble at terrible odds."
Monkey: See? Risk! Focus! Adversity! We're in it anyway. Waking up, doing stuff, helping each other.
DAH: Shooting high, fully committed, supported by those who love us.
Monkey: I've been thinking about adventures.
DAH: Thanks. And thanks for remembering my rule of threes.
Monkey: You're welcome. One more thing. Where I come from we have a tradition. We do a little dance at the beginning of each adventure. You should do that.
DAH: Every morning when I wake?
Monkey: A little dance, at the beginning of each adventure.
DAH is David Anthony Hance at DAHplaytime.com. Monkey is a little pushy today. Well, Monkey is a little pushy every day.
DAH: Who are you?
Another Monkey: Another Monkey.
Another Monkey: Can't make up your mind?
DAH: Maybe. Or maybe procrastinating. I've been kind of anxious and overwhelmed and overwrought lately. Maybe just uncertain.
Another Monkey: "Uncertainty: Turning Fear and Doubt into Fuel for Brilliance."
DAH: Wow. Where did that come from?
Another Monkey: Book jacket. On the shelf to your left.
DAH: Oh, yeah. Got it.
Another Monkey: Can't that help you? That book?
DAH: Maybe. Well, probably. But then I'd have to read it. Or, at least, take a quick look at the Table of Contents.
Another Monkey: You haven't even cracked it open yet, have you?
DAH: I just did, at your instigation. I looked at several pages and noticed the publication design.
Another Monkey: And is your life better now? Have you turned your fear and doubt into fuel for brilliance?
DAH: Not yet. But I will. And I'm starting by taking you off my keyboard and getting back to work.
Another Monkey: That's the spirit DAH. Put yourself back in the game.
DAH: Sometimes you just have to begin. Even if you don't know where you're going.
Another Monkey: You are so profound.
DAH: Off my keyboard, Another Monkey!
DAH is David Anthony Hance at DAHplaytime.com. Another Monkey sits by the radio on the four-foot folding table DAH uses as a desk. "Uncertainty" is a book by Jonathan Fields.
DAH: I live here.
Monkey: Not much lately. I've been lonely. Where've you been?
DAH: Well, most of May I was in the British Isles with Mum and CHance.
Monkey: I remember. You didn't take me.
DAH: No, sorry about that. We did discuss it.
Monkey: I'm sure.
DAH: The day we got back from that trip, I started rehearsals for the Central Coast Shakespeare Festival.
Monkey: I know this already, too.
DAH: And that took up six evenings plus Sunday afternoon every week. We just closed the season last weekend.
Monkey: Uh, huh.
DAH: Oh, and I tucked in work travel to San Francisco and Walla Walla, too.
Monkey: While your "How Busy Be DAH" report is thrilling, it isn't exactly news.
DAH: Well, you asked.
Monkey: I asked "What're you doing here?" and "Where've you been?"
DAH: Yeah. And I told you.
Monkey: I didn't mean here here.
DAH: Then what did you mean mean?
Monkey: Sarcasm is wasted on monkeys. Remember that.
DAH: Sorry, but what did you mean?
Monkey: You've been gone from this process. Gone from this life. I wasn't asking about your physical presence. I was asking about your real life.
DAH: So, more why than what.
Monkey: Right, because sometimes with you there's no there there.
DAH: Like Gertrude Stein said of Oakland.
DAH: The "so what" and "why it matters."
Monkey: That's it. So, where've you been?
DAH: I get busy. I get anxious. And I occasionally lose track of my "why it matters" and invest all in the immediate urgency.
Monkey: That seems like a poor choice.
DAH: I don't always know that I'm making that choice.
Monkey: That's why you ought to spend more time with me.
DAH: You're right.
Monkey: Damn straight. I'll help make sure there's a there in your there.
DAH: Thank you.
Monkey: You're welcome.
DAH is David Anthony Hance at DAHplaytime.com. He's there. So is Monkey.
DAH: So, how's your week going?
Monkey: "How's my week going?" How do you think my week's going? I'm a sock monkey. I just sit here until you talk to me.
DAH: Yeah, OK. So, how's it going?
Monkey: Fine. Are you bored, or what?
DAH: No, not bored.
Monkey: So, what?
DAH: Uninspired and under-accomplished.
Monkey: You? The oh-so-busy DAH-boy? Not getting anything done?
DAH: Not getting anything worthwhile done.
Monkey: I'm just sitting here, watching you work, hour after hour, day after day, you sitting at your computer, you talking on the phone, you (occasionally) getting up and going somewhere to do something, and you're telling me none of that was worthwhile?
DAH: I didn't feel like I accomplished anything.
DAH: And don't call me "DAH-boy." Call me "DAH-man."
Monkey: I will not. That doesn't make you any less pathetic.
DAH: Maybe not, but it does make me feel more mature.
Monkey: Have your mature-self give a little thought to the importance of just doing what you must, day by day.
DAH: If only there were some bigger emergency, or fire drill, to raise the stakes a bit.
Monkey: Urgency and adrenalin are not key features of "accomplishing something that matters," not in monkey-land, anyway.
DAH: Not in DAH-man-land, either.
Monkey: So just do what you have to do. If you're not bored, you must have things you need to do.
DAH: And I'm doing them.
Monkey: And don't they matter?
DAH: They just don't seem urgent and essential, not this week.
Monkey: Stop thinking in circles. What's that Garrison Keillor thing you're always saying?
DAH: "You can only do so much. But you have to do that much."
Monkey: There you go.
DAH: But what about the other Garrison Keillor thing I'm always saying?
Monkey: What's that?
DAH: "They're doing their best. They don't know that their best isn't good enough."
Monkey: That's Garrison Keillor? Are your sure?
DAH: What if that's me? Doing my best, but it isn't good enough?
Monkey: Then you're screwed.
DAH: That's what I thought. Thanks.
Monkey: Don't mention it.
DAH: Maybe next week will be better. Maybe next week I'll feel more necessary.
Monkey: And maybe pigs will fly.
DAH: Maybe they will.
Monkey: You can but hope, DAH-man.
DAH is David Anthony Hance at www.DAHplaytime.com
I'm reading Youngme Moon's "Different" (non-fiction, business book) and I'm thrilled and depressed by it, all at once. About business, sure, but personal options, too. So, here's the list of things, in order, I blame for my current exhiliration and despair: Kermit Lynch, Jerry Brown and his new dog "Sutter" (a Welsh Corgi), Jay McInerney, the unwooded Santa Rita Hills Chardonnays of Greg Brewer, Derrick Schneider (with the complicity of the San Francisco Chronicle), K & L Wines, Randall Grahm, the Spanish Padres who planted what we call "Mission" grapes at the California Missions in the 18th Century, the pop-up retailing phenomenon, unrest in North Africa and the Middle East, PRWCA's Zin Man (who looks and sounds like my grandfather, according to my mother, and I agree), Cambria's Pewter Plough Playhouse, and Youngme Moon ... especially Youngme Moon because I'm reading her with all the urgencies and ideas of the other stuff top-of-my-mind. It's really quite maddening. What next! Oh, also, I overuse commas, and that bugs me. Hemingway hardly ever relied on the comma.
Monkey: Hey, hey, hey! Who are you? Or, maybe, WHAT are you?
A Stranger: A Stranger.
Monkey: Well, you're certainly strange. Are you a sock monkey?
A Stranger: I am souk, but no mounkee.
Monkey: Whoa. Weird accent, dude.
A Stranger: I am no dood.
Monkey: Figure of speech, buddy. Where're you from?
A Stranger: I am be veezeetor.
Monkey: A visitor? That's not a place.
A Stranger: Ees good as any odor.
Monkey: I smell you friend. Well, welcome to Bonne Chance, Too! DAH isn't around right now, if you're looking for him.
A Stranger: Not look for DAH. What ees dees "Bone Chons Two?"
Monkey: Bonne Chance was 777 Live Oak Avenue in Ukiah, where we used to live. We hated to leave that house, and all our friends, but we like it here, too. Thus, "Bonne Chance, Too!"
A Stranger: Doos you tink lightning strikes twice?
Monkey: DAH would say that lightning strikes lots of times, if you make yourself a lightning rod.
A Stranger: Lightning rod doos what?
Monkey: Makes the lightning come to you.
A Stranger: Ees you no skeered?
Monkey: Sure, calling down the lightning might be scary, but if you don't call it, you have no hope of controlling it. Me and DAH, we want to capture the lightning, ride the lightning. You know, have adventures! DAH always says, "None of us is getting out of here alive, so we might as well make the most of it."
A Stranger: Dees my home now.
Monkey: Excuse me?
A Stranger: Me like capture new oppertooniddy. Me like Bone Chons, too!
Monkey: So, OK, we have plenty of room. And DAH likes whimsical things. But you're going to need a name. "A Stranger" and "A veezeetor" don't cut it.
A Stranger: What call me den?
Monkey: We'll call you "Quizzle" 'cause you're puzzling to me.
A Stranger: "Kwizzelle?"
Monkey: No, "Quizzle."
A Stranger No More: OK, me Quizzle now at Bonne Chance, Too.
DAH is David Anthony Hance at DAHplaytime.com. Monkey is. Quizzle came out of the closet (thank you, Chris)
Monkey: What're you doing with that pile of books?
DAH: I'm trying to decide what to read next.
Monkey: You already have twelve books next to the bed.
DAH: Well, I guess I'm not really reading all those.
Monkey: They all have bookmarks in them.
DAH: I STARTED reading them all, and I haven't given up on them.
Monkey: There's a few more "started" books stacked downstairs.
DAH: I really ought to bring those back upstairs.
Monkey: How many in this pile you just made?
Monkey: And those others on your desk?
DAH: They're not in the pile.
Monkey: And those others on your desk?
DAH: Eight, nine.
Monkey: Tell me about some of them. I'll help you choose.
DAH: Which ones?
Monkey: Begin at the beginning -- top of the pile.
DAH: "Four Fish" by Paul Greenburg.
Monkey: What's that about?
DAH: Its subtitle is "The future of the last wild food" and it's about the oceans, and their ongoing potential to provide fresh fish. It's organized around sections about four fish: salmon, tuna, bass, and cod.
DAH: What? This is a great book. I've already started it.
Monkey: You've already started all of them. You need a long train trip or something for "Four Fish." You're going to read it all at once, skim it, or forget about it.
DAH: Maybe …
DAH: "Frank: The Voice" by James Kaplan. It's a new biography of Frank Sinatra. It's had great reviews.
Monkey: How long is it?
DAH: More than 700 pages.
Monkey: Too long. Next!
DAH: "Remarkable Creatures" by Tracy Chevalier. It's a novel about this fossil-hunting woman in England.
Monkey: Like "Bones" on TV?
DAH: Not at all. It's historical fiction. It looks thoughtful and moving.
Monkey: And sounds boring. Next!
DAH: "Free For All" by Kenneth Turan and Joseph Papp. It's about Joe Papp and The Public Theater in New York.
Monkey: It looks long, too.
DAH: Almost 600 pages.
Monkey: Too long. Next! No, wait. Just give me a quick overview of the rest of your pile.
DAH: "Blood, Iron, and Gold" by Christian Wolmar, about how railroads changed the world. "Cloudstreet" by Tim Winton, a novel about these two families thrown together in one house. And "In Search of Bacchus" by George M. Taber, about wine tourism around the world, moving from country to country.
Monkey: Start with the Bacchus one.
Monkey: Because it sounds like you could read about one country, then drop it for a while, without feeling like you had to start over.
DAH: You think I'm better off with episodes than epics?
Monkey: These days, yeah. You have too many balls in the air. You can't focus. That's why you have so many books going at once.
DAH: It's nice to have different books for different moods.
Monkey: Yes, it is. And it's nice to make choices that won't frustrate and dissappoint. Discreet episodes and projects until you're ready to bite off something bigger.
DAH: Are we talking just about books?
Monkey: We're talking about whatever you like, DAH. You choose what works for you. The world can be your oyster!
DAH: And you're my monkey.
Monkey: At least until the wind changes.
DAH is David Anthony Hance. Monkey's not Mary Poppins.