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Digital Currency

In by Michael on June 28, 2016 at 8:01 pm

He turned on his VR headset and scanned through the porn menus. Options laid out in front of him, as he chose among friends, celebrities, strangers, deciding who to have fake sex with tonight.

He found her, an old friend from undergrad.

He picked a scene called Library Stacks, put in his earbuds, and began enjoying himself.

When the session ended, his account was charged $20. Somewhere a thousand miles away in LA, his old friend from undergrad made a commission. She had done a naked body scan, licensed it out, and made a good chunk of change each month.


New York Fucking City

In by Michael on September 29, 2015 at 12:42 am

As she rode to the Minneapolis airport, to catch a flight to New York, she felt a piece missing.

The first time she made the trip, she was a precocious high school sophomore, travelling with her family, bubbling over her stack of books and printouts with plans and ideas and sights to see.

Her next trip was after her first year of college, visiting friends interning there for the summer. Freedom! Chance! Adventure in the big city!

She’d been back a dozen times since, both for vacation and business. And today, for the first time, it felt like a chore.

When You Fall Off Your Horse

In by Michael on July 13, 2015 at 11:23 am

When you fall off your horse, you can start to have doubts. You wonder what you could be doing better. You wonder if you’re cut out for this whole horse-riding thing. You wonder if maybe you’re good at riding horses, but maybe this is just the wrong horse for me? You start thinking about other horses, and those lucky winners who ride them. You think of their perfect focus and their perfect technique and their inevitable successes. Why are they good but I am bad? Why am I never good enough?

Or you can get back up on the horse.

Havana Tuesday

In by Michael on June 1, 2015 at 5:28 pm

As I walked down a narrow road, an old man in dress pants and a loose linen shirt stood up and pointed at me. He ran his other hand through his hair and made a scissors motion.

I walked over and looked into the doorway of his barbershop. The air was rich with jazz, laughter and quick sharp scissors.

The long narrow shop had a mirror running the entire length of the right wall, and a line of a dozen chairs bolted into the ground, each occupied.

The man out front winked and smiled and said “best haircut in Havana.”

Paul Getty’s Playbook

In by Michael on January 4, 2015 at 11:51 am

It was my first week as CEO. I made a list of all of my store managers, ranked in order of revenue per dollar spent.

I noted the 3 names at the bottom list, and saw to it that they would each have $5 docked from their next paycheck.

To nobody’s surprise, they each came to me after the next paycheck.

“Listen,” I said, “Your store has been underperforming for the last year. Low sales, high waste, leaking 10’s of thousands of dollars per month. Yet when I subtract $5 from your paycheck, you notice immediately and take direct action.”

Miami Departure

In by Michael on December 1, 2014 at 7:15 pm

“Nope, never been to Miami before.”

“What brought you here? Work?”

“My younger brother lives here. He called me a week ago to say he’s dying. Cancer.”

I blinked. The flight attendant walked by, explaining the oxygen masks.

“Yeah, everyone flew out to visit him, say our goodbyes.”

“He’s still -”

“Alive? Yeah. Has maybe three weeks, who knows. This is the last time I’ll see him.”

Blink. “How’d that go?”

“He’s the same prick he’s always been, ha. But we made our peace. My conscious is clear.”

“So you’re never gonna come back to Miami, are you?”

“No sir.”

Library of Candy

In by Michael on September 26, 2014 at 2:15 pm

“Come come!” says Francis as he welcomes us into the Library of Candy.

The main hall, which engulfs you as you enter through the front doors, has walls 6 stories high, lined with countless small drawers. Each drawer has a window, offering a peek at a new color, size, and shape of sweet.

He asks us what we like, what we’ve tried, if we prefer spicy or sour, crunchy or chewy. As we answer, he barks out orders – childhood favorites, foreign delectables, oddball names for limited editions – to nameless assistants who scale the ladders that line the walls.

“I do not conquer, I submit” – Giacomo Casanova

In by Michael on August 23, 2014 at 9:11 pm

It becomes truer with each step of the journey.

There is no conquer. This is not arm wrestling, this is not war. Her love cannot be taken. It must be given.

You gain her love by giving love. The true master flows like water in any situation. He guides the relationship towards meaningful, open, emotional, vulnerable moments. Moments he genuinely enjoys sharing with her, because those are the stuff of life. This is a dance.

Be curious. Be honest. Be willing to have your heart broken. Go for the ones that truly rock you off the back of your heels.

To Robin

In by Michael on August 13, 2014 at 11:21 am

To laugh.

To yell, to whisper, to sing and dance.

To play a character. To put on an accent, a costume, a mannerism. To play a genie, a doctor, a professor, a husband.

To play yourself.

To spark in the eyes of children as well as adults.

To have something to say about everything.

To to be funny, to be hairy, to be an everyman, to be a superman, to be an old lady when the role calls for it.

To swear, to pause, to stare, to blink. To breathe, to wonder, to challenge.

To inspire, to listen.

To live.


The Game

In by Michael on June 16, 2014 at 11:38 am

You get good at the game you play.

We each have 24 hours in the day. The homeless lady on the street, the president, Michael Phelps. 24 hours.

Whatever it is, whatever you’re doing day in and day out, that’s the thing you’re getting better at.

Are you building things, selling things, searching for things? Making friends? Making enemies? Training your body, sharpening your mind? Reading? Writing? Creating? Critiquing?

As life rolls on like a snowball, what snow are you packing on?

You get good at the game you play. So play the game you want to get good at.