Sunday, April 08, 2007



I made up this prayer up this morning:

“Dear God,


Love, Michael”


April is not the cruelest month. It is the coldest. At least in terms of its actual to expected temperature ratio: the ratio of actual air temperature to expected. Expressed as a ratio, this April is more like January or February.

The sight of limp white snow early this morning was sad, wasn’t it? Was anyone else saddened by it? Sometimes being a level 1 “EMPATH” is a drag.

I was watching an enfeebled Winter shaking a bony fist with a Parkinson’s tremor at the ensuing spring, knowing all the while May and June were snickering on the sidelines, just waiting in the wings.

I believe in prayer, but not the supplicant type. This is not do say I don’t do it. I just don’t really expect God to take a minute from his or her busy day just so that I can make a stop light.

Prayer of gratitude is the most important type to do I think and it’s the one we do least of. It involves being aware of things outside ourselves and really that is a kind of listening isn’t it? Listening involves being aware of the “otherness” of things around us.

I’ve always loved the C.S. Lewis line about his needing to pray not because it changes God, but because it changes me. (I’m not sure if he actually said that, but it was attributed to him in the movie about his life “Shadowlands”.)


So a group of friends and I were sitting around and the subject of Einstein’s basic question about the universe came up. You know the question: at the end of the day, each of us has to decide do we live in a friendly or unfriendly universe. What do you think?

Incidentally, I just learned that Einstein had an illegitimate daughter named Lieserl when he was in his twenties. He had two other children by two other women – married to each one.

So let me recap this for you: Einstein had 3 children by 3 different women.

I find this comforting. The thought of loveable avuncular rumpled Einstein getting his groove on fills me with great hope.

I have this idea of making t-shirts that read “EINTSTEIN WAS A SLUT” on the front, with “GOD REALLY DOES PLAY DICE WITH THE UNIVERSE – DEAL WITH IT” on the back.

No one knows what became of Lieserl though. Somewhere out there Einstein’s DNA is floating around unaccounted for. Now when people say about another person, “Well, he’s no Einstein, is he?” - well, maybe he or she really is. It’s worth considering, no?

But the issue of a friendly or unfriendly universe is one that I wasn’t really prepared to respond to. I sat by considering the arguments being put forth by my friends, and could not render an opinion.

Part of the problem is the terminology. “Friendly or Unfriendly” universe sounds so anthropomorphic to me. Do I believe the universe moves to act for me and just for me? Could I possibly be that self-centered to think this is so? Something inside me chafes at the very notion that this collection of amino acids, DNA, molecules and shit ass chance has any more sway over the collective conscience of the universe than say a lamp. Even a lamp with one of those compact energy saving light bulbs that everyone thinks is so sexy now.

Part of me really wants to come down on the “unfriendly” side of this argument, or really, the idea of an indifferent universe, set up with laws and where I am a marble that bangs off other marbles. So there is interaction. But is it intelligent? And does it need to be for me to have a meaningful life?

So then I look down at myself and wonder why I am dressed like an inmate from prison in gray? Maybe I am just stuck inside of “Mobile with the Folsom prison blues” again.

These are the dangers of dressing in the dark, rising early in the morning 5:00AM to make my way to the gym because believe it or not, this is the most peaceful part of my waking life right now.


So just where do you stand on the subject of light? Some people like it bright, others darker. It is clear though that if it is not of your liking, i.e., too bright or too dark, nothing else can get done until this is remedied. Then again, what is the purpose of the light? (Light has many uses.) For mood or ambience, a darker huskier shade will do. For reading, or fine detailed work, one cannot get enough. Bring me one of those 6 million candle power lanterns with a lens the size of Jupiter and runs on car batteries and can very nearly provide you with an x-ray of your body parts if you hold them to the lamp just right.


Why are there leaf blowers? What deranged lunatic could possibly have dreamt up this device. “I got it”, the young inventor must have exclaimed. “I’m going to invent a device that sounds like a cat being tossed into a blender with razor blades, and I will have it blow the leaves into an amorphous mess so I will have to stand there with this Ghostbuster-like Proton Pack, this massive tumor-like thing on my back for three times the number of hours it takes just to rake the leaves.” Brilliant. At least I don’t have to move my arms though. Now THERE is a savings. Because arm movement has been associated with so many human atrocities. Where is the machine to replace masturbation then --- no – wait. I just don’t want to know.

Nothing like taking a wholly organic and meditative activity like leaf raking, add a small engine to it so it could use even MORE fossil fuel (because we are not using enough), to create a smoky, noisy excuse for productivity. I’d really like to know who invented this device. Why is it we DON’T know who this is? Because this device does not stack up against things like the polio vaccine, landing on the moon, the Camp David Peace accords. No Nobel prize for you, pigfucker – whoever you are.


When you dial an out of region phone number, you have often as I have had the experience of receiving the message: “Please dial the number 1 before entering the phone number.” Here’s the thing: this is software that does this. I know a little something about software because I write it. If they can instruct a computer program to decide if the phone number requires the number “1” in front of it, why can’t the program insert the fucking errant digit in the number and send the call on its way without stopping to piss us off? Why?


Why is it when people use the expression, “To make a long story short,” it is usually after about fifteen minutes into the story, when it is already too late to make that long story short? “Too late!” is what I want to say, but I don’t.


Getting into the car tonight to come over here, there were snow flurries. Say it slow: SNOW - FLURRIES. I could see my breath.

So I sat down and I wrote this email to the channels 40 and 22 weather forecasters:

“Dear Weather People:



Michael Biegner
Easthampton, MA”


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