My Google Chat with Tao Lin

Tao Lin is the author of at least two wonderful books (2/2 for the ones I’ve read), Eeeee Eee Eeee and his most recent, Shoplifting From American Apparel, which you should go buy right now; it’s one of my favorite books I read this year, easily. A few days ago, I won an eBay auction for a 30 minute conversation with him on Google Chat. Here it is. (We went a little bit over on time.)

‪me: ‬ ‪Hi Tao, I’m here if you’re ready‬
‪Tao: ‬ ‪hi geoff, i’m ready‬
‪me: ‬ ‪outstanding‬
‪Tao: ‬ ‪is your last name ‘litwack’‬
‪me: ‬ ‪Yes‬
‪Tao: ‬ ‪hehe, nice‬
thought it was something about ‘literary’ wack or something
‪me: ‬ ‪ha ha‬
no, family name
‪Tao: ‬ ‪interesting‬
‪me: ‬ ‪i believe it’s from the original name for belarus‬
which is ‘litwa’
‪Tao: ‬ ‪interesting‬
‪me: ‬ ‪but who knows‬
i have a name question for you
‪Tao: ‬ ‪ok‬
‪me: ‬ ‪is your first name‬
with a D sound?
‪Tao: ‬ ‪no, T‬
‪me: ‬ ‪I see‬
i thought so but wasn’t sure
‪Tao: ‬ ‪i’m ‘down’ with D‬
‪me: ‬ ‪mm‬
‪Tao: ‬ ‪what do you want to talk about?‬
‪me: ‬ ‪i have prepared questions‬
a few
‪Tao: ‬ ‪sweet‬
‪me: ‬ ‪after‬
i would like you to give me some life advice
‪Tao: ‬ ‪ok‬
‪me: ‬ ‪and then if we have time we can have a free form discussion‬
‪Tao: ‬ ‪sounds good‬
‪me: ‬ ‪also, feel free to ask me questions‬
‪Tao: ‬ ‪ok‬
where are you?
‪me: ‬ ‪first question‬
oh i’m in LA
the valley
‪Tao: ‬ ‪nice‬
‪me: ‬ ‪it’s ok‬
‪Tao: ‬ ‪ok, first question‬
‪me: ‬ ‪your current age‬
‪Tao: ‬ ‪26‬
‪me: ‬ ‪30‬
i don’t feel 30
‪Tao: ‬ ‪what do you feel‬
‪me: ‬ ‪i feel 17‬
and have for the past 13 years
‪Tao: ‬ ‪interesting‬
i feel 60 sometimes
‪me: ‬ ‪yeah‬
but that’s how i felt at 17
‪Tao: ‬ ‪damn‬
how old did you think i was
‪me: ‬ ‪i thought you were 25‬
i knew you were young
‪Tao: ‬ ‪i have turned 26‬
‪me: ‬ ‪what’s your birthday?‬
‪Tao: ‬ ‪july 2‬
‪me: ‬ ‪i see‬
i’m june XX [Nb. redacted; this is the only thing in this conversation i edited except for one stupid spelling error on my part]
so, close
‪Tao: ‬ ‪interesting‬
‪me: ‬ ‪i may censor this on my blog in the interest of online security‬
‪Tao: ‬ ‪online security, in what way?‬
‪me: ‬ ‪it’s a security question, your birthday‬
for banking
‪Tao: ‬ ‪oh, interesting‬
i don’t mind
‪me: ‬ ‪i sound jewish, huh‬
‪Tao: ‬ ‪i think i used my mother’s maiden name for security questions, or something‬
‪me: ‬ ‪yeah, that too‬
‪Tao: ‬ ‪i don’t anticipate having money that people can steal anyway‬
‪me: ‬ ‪aww c’mon‬
you are going to do fine
i know it’s been a struggle so far
‪Tao: ‬ ‪hehe‬
what other questions do you have?
‪me: ‬ ‪ok‬
i want to get the literary stuff out of the way
i’m not a journalist or something
so these are personal sort of
i read Shoplifting
that was your first work i encountered
i was v. impressed by it
‪Tao: ‬ ‪interesting‬
‪me: ‬ ‪my thought was‬
i’m going to use your single quote marks here
‘this is what i thought literature was going to be like in 2010, in 2000.’
‪Tao: ‬ ‪’jesus’‬
‪me: ‬ ‪sorry‬
‪Tao: ‬ ‪interesting‬
‪me: ‬ ‪then i used amazon prime to get e.e.e.‬
which i strongly disliked for 20 pages, and then loved
‪Tao: ‬ ‪hm, interesting‬
‪me: ‬ ‪i initially misunderstood your intent‬
‪Tao: ‬ ‪what did you think my intent was at first‬
‪me: ‬ ‪assuming i correctly understood it after those 20 pages‬
crude postmodernism
‪Tao: ‬ ‪i see‬
‪me: ‬ ‪in a reactionary way‬
‪Tao: ‬ ‪hm‬
‪me: ‬ ‪given that postmodernism is now a dated form‬
‪Tao: ‬ ‪how did you first ‘encounter’ ’sfaa’‬
‪me: ‬ ‪good question‬
on the web
rex sorgatz
‪Tao: ‬ ‪where‬
‪me: ‬ ‪Fimoculous‬
‪Tao: ‬ ‪who is that‬
‪me: ‬ ‪blog‬
he’s an old, old school blogger
‪Tao: ‬ ‪i’ve never heard of that‬
‪me: ‬ ‪awesome dude‬
‪Tao: ‬ ‪how old is he‬
‪me: ‬ ‪35ish?‬
‪Tao: ‬ ‪nice‬
what did he say
‪me: ‬ ‪he mentioned it‬
i believe he knew of you from before somehwo
‪Tao: ‬ ‪i see‬
‪me: ‬ ‪he’s from minnesota‬
friends with diablo cody, chuck klosterman
that set
‪Tao: ‬ ‪is he famous?‬
‪me: ‬ ‪no‬
‪Tao: ‬ ‪or seomthing‬
‪me: ‬ ‪he’s more of a connector‬
‪Tao: ‬ ‪a connector‬
‪me: ‬ ‪rex, if you read this, i apologize if i have mischaracterized you‬
‪Tao: ‬ ‪interesting‬
‪me: ‬ ‪so anyway‬
‪Tao: ‬ ‪rex‬
‪me: ‬ ‪your work reminds me most of certain french writers‬
‪Tao: ‬ ‪interesting, who‬
‪me: ‬ ‪Toussant, Robbe-Grillet and the Perec of “Things.”‬
Not Houellebecq, as some have said
‪Tao: ‬ ‪hm, i’ve read some of perec‬
‪me: ‬ ‪i love Perec‬
not his later oulipo work
i mean, i love that but you don’t remind me of it
‪Tao: ‬ ‪does he have an afro‬
‪me: ‬ ‪kind of actually‬
he’s dead
‪Tao: ‬ ‪’why’?‬
how did he get an afro, i mean
‪me: ‬ ‪jewish‬
‪Tao: ‬ ‪oh yeah‬
i see
‪me: ‬ ‪um‬
do you think of your work in the context of other writers?
‪Tao: ‬ ‪i’ve read half of a houllebecq novel‬
‪me: ‬ ‪which one?‬
‪Tao: ‬ ‪i don’t remember‬
where he goes on vacation
‪me: ‬ ‪oh uh‬
‪Tao: ‬ ‪and doesn’t ‘connect’ with the other people‬
‪me: ‬ ‪or whatever they call it here‬
‪Tao: ‬ ‪then i think he has sex with prostitutes‬
‪me: ‬ ‪yeah, lots of sex‬
‪Tao: ‬ ‪i view my work as in the tradition of the ‘kmart realists,’ as they were termed by tom wolfe and others‬
‪me: ‬ ‪but on the main point‬
this calvino idea of your book on a shelf with other books
‪Tao: ‬ ‪yes, the group of writers called ‘kmart realists’ by journalists‬
‪me: ‬ ‪okay‬
so you identify with them
ann beatie etc
‪Tao: ‬ ‪do you know them at all‬
‪me: ‬ ‪not all of them‬
‪Tao: ‬ ‪i just like their writing and have been influenced by it in my writing‬
‪me: ‬ ‪that’s good‬
i am going to read them more extensively
‪Tao: ‬ ‪i recommend ‘chilly scenes of winter’ or ‘distortions’ by ann beattie‬
and ‘honored guest’ by joy williams
‪me: ‬ ‪great‬
i will order those
‪Tao: ‬ ‪nice‬
‪me: ‬ ‪okay‬
this is my next question
about single quote marks
‪Tao: ‬ ‪yes‬
‪me: ‬ ‪i pretyped this so i’m just going to paste it in‬
‪Tao: ‬ ‪hehe, ok‬
‪me: ‬ ‪Your use of single quotation marks – my thought is you use them to sort of designate mind-watching-mind objects of what the buddhists call rigpa/vidya, to remove the reader from the flow of absorbtion and call their attention to the nature of a ‘cheeto’ or whatever. Or a feeling; ex. in your Twitter stream you write “found my ipod cord, ‘lightheadedly’ felt feelings toward it like it had been ‘disobedient’”. ‬
‪It seems like you’re trying to strike at something cognitive, not something anthropological.‬
do you agree with any part of that?
‪Tao: ‬ ‪good job quoting my twitter‬
‪me: ‬ ‪thank you‬
Sent at 12:14 PM on Wednesday
‪Tao: ‬ ‪it seems like what you typed could be one thing i’m doing‬
‪me: ‬ ‪okay‬
‪Tao: ‬ ‪i would say i’m not calling attention to the nature of a word, but calling attention to my ‘relationship’ with the word‬
‪me: ‬ ‪and we intuit the nature of this relationship from context?‬
obviously i guess
‪Tao: ‬ ‪that i’m using said word ‘not literally,’ ‘with a definition different than the conventional definition,’ or that i’m ‘using the word with some degree of irony or sarcasm,’ or that i’m ‘taking a perspective different than my normal perspective for a moment, therefore “quoting” the word, from someone else’s perspective, that i assume the reader will know, to some degree’ (i think my use of single quotes isn’t consistent in this paragraph)‬
‪me: ‬ ‪i see‬
thank you
‪Tao: ‬ ‪for example i feel uncomfortable using non literal language sometimes‬
‪me: ‬ ‪me too‬
‪Tao: ‬ ‪so i put quotes around it, so people know i feel uncomfortable, to some degree, using that language‬
so they can know ‘who i am’ better
‪me: ‬ ‪that discomfort is magic‬
‪Tao: ‬ ‪so we can ‘connect’ more effectively‬
for example if i read someone’s blog and they had a lot of non literal language or idioms i would feel less connceted to them, and less inclined to contact them to be friends with them
‪me: ‬ ‪i don’t know if you read my blog‬
‪Tao: ‬ ‪but if they put quote marks around some of those idioms i would feel closer to them, and might want to contact them or something‬
‪me: ‬ ‪did you feel it was literal or non literal?‬
‪Tao: ‬ ‪i read some of it‬
i think neutral
‪me: ‬ ‪mmm‬
that is fair
‪Tao: ‬ ‪i didn’t immediately label it literal or non literal, so maybe it was literal‬
based on what i read and the level of thought i used re what i was reading
‪me: ‬ ‪isee‬
i’m a screenwriter
‪Tao: ‬ ‪i saw your review of ‘the girlfriend experience’‬
‪me: ‬ ‪being literal and shaving descriptions is v. important to me‬
‪Tao: ‬ ‪did you say you didn’t feel it was substantial?‬
‪me: ‬ ‪sort of‬
‪Tao: ‬ ‪interesting‬
‪me: ‬ ‪i liked her performance‬
‪Tao: ‬ ‪would you say then that ’sfaa’ isn’t substantial, as they both ’stay on the surface’ of things‬
‪me: ‬ ‪no‬
SFAA is very substantial
‪Tao: ‬ ‪interesting‬
‪me: ‬ ‪in part because of your use of time‬
‪Tao: ‬ ‪i se‬
‪me: ‬ ‪girlfriend experience shies away from film tropes‬
which one level is good
but on another, limiting
‪Tao: ‬ ‪what are you working on screenplay wise right now?‬
‪me: ‬ ‪the spec i wrote with my little sister‬
we’re going out to studios with it next week
‪Tao: ‬ ‪how old is she?‬
‪me: ‬ ‪23‬
‪Tao: ‬ ‪sounds exciting‬
what do you expect to happen
‪me: ‬ ‪i expect to make $32000 after taxes‬
join the wga
and write another spec with her
‪Tao: ‬ ‪wow‬
‪me: ‬ ‪not wow, Tao!‬
‪Tao: ‬ ‪don’t have ‘need’ to get an agent though‬
‪me: ‬ ‪i have an agent‬
‪Tao: ‬ ‪and the agent tries to sell it‬
oh, nice
‪me: ‬ ‪i’m at CAA‬
blowing my own horn
‪Tao: ‬ ‪nice‬
‪me: ‬ ‪thank you‬
‪Tao: ‬ ‪i’ve made like $18000 in 6 years‬
‪me: ‬ ‪but uh‬
‪Tao: ‬ ‪on writing‬
‪me: ‬ ‪i know‬
i was going to ask you about that
‪Tao: ‬ ‪aren’t people supposed to be trying to option my books for movies‬
and paying me money
‪me: ‬ ‪yes‬
your work is not adaptable, of the two i read
‪Tao: ‬ ‪damn‬
‪me: ‬ ‪that’s what makes it good, in part‬
‪Tao: ‬ ‪i see‬
‪me: ‬ ‪if you want to write a film, write a film, but don’t write something as bait for adaptation‬
‪Tao: ‬ ‪seems like someone in hollywood should still be optioning my books‬
‪me: ‬ ‪you are too talented for that bullshit‬
‪Tao: ‬ ‪’just to be safe’‬
‪me: ‬ ‪perhaps‬
many options are for $0
‪Tao: ‬ ‪ben stiller or someone‬
i see
‪me: ‬ ‪his company is Red Hour‬
he has been working on an adaptation of Civillwarland In Bad Decline for ten years
‪Tao: ‬ ‪damn‬
‪me: ‬ ‪yeah‬
‪Tao: ‬ ‪what is he working on‬
‪me: ‬ ‪with civilwarland, or in general?‬
‪Tao: ‬ ‪civilwarland‬
‪me: ‬ ‪getting the script ‘just right’‬
‪Tao: ‬ ‪i see‬
‪me: ‬ ‪to make it commercial‬
‪Tao: ‬ ‪interesting‬
‪me: ‬ ‪we have four minutes‬
i have many more questions
‪Tao: ‬ ‪i can stay a little longer‬
‪me: ‬ ‪okay‬
‪Tao: ‬ ‪what is your next question‬
‪me: ‬ ‪your IQ‬
i read it was 172 or something
‪Tao: ‬ ‪haha damn‬
‪me: ‬ ‪did you say that, or was that a cruel dig‬
on the part of someone else
‪Tao: ‬ ‪i think it wasn’t about me‬
it was someone’s IQ in a book or something
i think my IQ was tested at 139 or something
‪me: ‬ ‪i see‬
‪Tao: ‬ ‪i didn’t speak english‬
or osmething
‪me: ‬ ‪jesus‬
‪Tao: ‬ ‪so it might not be accurate‬
‪me: ‬ ‪that’s a good result for no english‬
i’m sure not
‪Tao: ‬ ‪what is your IQ‬
‪me: ‬ ‪it was tested when i was four‬
‪Tao: ‬ ‪al gore’s IQ is 142‬
‪me: ‬ ‪so i am sure the multiplier fucked things up‬
i may still be the world’s smartest four year old
‪Tao: ‬ ‪damn‬
were you in the ‘gifted’ program
‪me: ‬ ‪i am not that smart‬
no, i didn’t go to school
‪Tao: ‬ ‪you didn’t go to school‬
‪me: ‬ ‪i was homeschooled‬
‪Tao: ‬ ‪i see‬
‪me: ‬ ‪i left home when i was 16, though‬
‪Tao: ‬ ‪i think i used to view people by their IQ, now i view people based on how well adjusted they are and how concretely they view things‬
‪me: ‬ ‪exactly‬
‪Tao: ‬ ‪which seems not on the same spectrum as IQ‬
‪me: ‬ ‪totally‬
‪Tao: ‬ ‪or not entirely on the same spectrum‬
‪me: ‬ ‪i prefer the new way‬
also, no one talked about asperger’s in the 80s
which i feel like is when iq was a popular measure
‪Tao: ‬ ‪interesting‬
what is your next question?
‪me: ‬ ‪next‬
do you know Andrea Seigel, my BFF?
‪Tao: ‬ ‪hm, the name seems familiar‬
‪me: ‬ ‪i think you may have exchanged email in 2007‬
‪Tao: ‬ ‪ill search my gmail‬
‪me: ‬ ‪ok‬
‪Tao: ‬ ‪oh, is she a writer‬
of ‘like the red panda’
‪me: ‬ ‪yes‬
‪Tao: ‬ ‪oh, cool‬
i read that book
i see she emailed me saying she liked my ‘the stranger’ article about fiction writers
i didn’t know that was her
‪me: ‬ ‪oh, i see‬
‪Tao: ‬ ‪how is she doing‬
‪me: ‬ ‪not well frankly‬
personal family reasons
otherwise fine
‪Tao: ‬ ‪how is her career going‬
‪me: ‬ ‪Well‬
she just signed with UTA
‪Tao: ‬ ‪what is that‬
‪me: ‬ ‪her junior adult book is coming out‬
another big film agency in la
‪Tao: ‬ ‪interesting‬
how old is she?
‪me: ‬ ‪29‬
turning 30 this year
‪Tao: ‬ ‪interesting‬
‪me: ‬ ‪we went to school together‬
although we were not friends there
she thought i was a stupid stoner
‪Tao: ‬ ‪bennington?‬
‪me: ‬ ‪i thought she was a weird goth‬
no, brown
‪Tao: ‬ ‪she was a goth?‬
‪me: ‬ ‪she got her mfa at bennington‬
‪Tao: ‬ ‪i think i remember her looking goth in her author photo‬
‪me: ‬ ‪she’s not goth now‬
on the outside
‪Tao: ‬ ‪damn‬
‪me: ‬ ‪i consider myself to be kind of a goth, inside‬
‪Tao: ‬ ‪damn‬
‪me: ‬ ‪although not with the victorian trappings, at all‬
‪Tao: ‬ ‪interesting‬
‪me: ‬ ‪i read your thing about juggalos‬
‪Tao: ‬ ‪gothic‬
‪me: ‬ ‪they’re kind of like degraded goths‬
‪Tao: ‬ ‪haha‬
degraded goths, damn
‪me: ‬ ‪goths without a philosophy‬
‪Tao: ‬ ‪what is the origin of the term ‘juggalo’‬
seems weird
‪me: ‬ ‪i don’t know‬
‪Tao: ‬ ‪jugs‬
‪me: ‬ ‪floridia must be involved‬
‪Tao: ‬ ‪seems really weird‬
seems good, though
there seem to be ‘millions’ of them
‪me: ‬ ‪yeah‬
‪Tao: ‬ ‪seems weird‬
what is your next question
‪me: ‬ ‪next‬
are there any visual artists you admire
‪Tao: ‬ ‪hm‬
i don’t think so
i don’t know of any really
‪me: ‬ ‪mmm‬
that’s fine
‪Tao: ‬ ‪i like graphic novels by adrian tomine, chris ware, daniel clowes, jeffrey brown, joe matt, chester brown‬
‪me: ‬ ‪i have read all of those authors‬
‪Tao: ‬ ‪julia wertz‬
‪me: ‬ ‪her i don’t know‬
‪Tao: ‬ ‪who is your favorite‬
‪me: ‬ ‪hard to say‬
i am moved by current art that
i would understand if people don’t like
‪Tao: ‬ ‪i see‬
‪me: ‬ ‪marc dean veca‬
‪Tao: ‬ ‪i don’t really feel ‘moved’ by anything that doesn’t have language, i think‬
even music, i feel
‪me: ‬ ‪even music?‬
‪Tao: ‬ ‪maybe‬
i’m not sure
‪me: ‬ ‪i remember crying to neutral milk hotel‬
‪Tao: ‬ ‪if it has lyrics that counts as ‘language’ for me‬
‪me: ‬ ‪i see‬
‪Tao: ‬ ‪i feel moved by music with lyrics‬
‪me: ‬ ‪i have been moved by non-lyrical music‬
‪Tao: ‬ ‪what is your next question‬
do i seem ‘mean’
‪me: ‬ ‪i wonder if you know my ex-girlfriend‬
not at all
‪Tao: ‬ ‪who is she?‬
oh, good
‪me: ‬ ‪Nathalie Chicha‬
‪Tao: ‬ ‪oh, damn‬
‪me: ‬ ‪she lives in brooklyn‬
you live in brooklyn
‪Tao: ‬ ‪i’ve never met her but i emailed a few times‬
‪me: ‬ ‪really‬
‪Tao: ‬ ‪let me serach my gmail‬
‪me: ‬ ‪what did you talk about?‬
‪Tao: ‬ ‪i think i was trying to get her job‬
as blogger for galleycat
‪me: ‬ ‪at gallycat?‬
‪Tao: ‬ ‪and then one time i was interviewing her‬
for my journalism class
‪me: ‬ ‪i see‬
i thought you might know her, even though i had no basis for that thought
‪Tao: ‬ ‪damn, seems like everyone knows everyone‬
‪me: ‬ ‪i am waaaay out at the fringe‬
‪Tao: ‬ ‪i think i read a short story by her one time on ‘xconnect’ or something‬
‪me: ‬ ‪she’s a talented writer‬
i wish she wrote more
‪Tao: ‬ ‪what is she doing now‬
‪me: ‬ ‪i don’t know‬
i keep trying to get in touch with her, and she keeps not answering my email
‪Tao: ‬ ‪damn‬
‪me: ‬ ‪nothing bad happened‬
‪Tao: ‬ ‪is she on the internet still‬
‪me: ‬ ‪she can just be avoidant‬
apparently not
‪Tao: ‬ ‪danb‬
‪me: ‬ ‪i still love her‬
not romantically
‪Tao: ‬ ‪damn‬
‪me: ‬ ‪however‬
i promised to love her always
‪Tao: ‬ ‪what is she doing, if she has left the internet‬
‪me: ‬ ‪and i am keeping that promise‬
i honestly don’t know
i know what her last job was, but i don’t know if she still has it
‪Tao: ‬ ‪seems like she must have moved to a foreign country, or become a school teacher or something, to leave the internet‬
‪me: ‬ ‪she left a while ago‬
abandoned her blog
‪Tao: ‬ ‪hm‬
how long did you date her
‪me: ‬ ‪three years almost to the day‬
‪Tao: ‬ ‪i just googled her and she has a tiwtter‬
‪me: ‬ ‪does she?‬
‪Tao: ‬ ‪with no tweets though‬
‪me: ‬ ‪oh‬
‪Tao: ‬ ‪are you fb friends with her‬
‪me: ‬ ‪yes‬
‪Tao: ‬ ‪interesting‬
does she just add anyone
‪me: ‬ ‪i don’t know‬
‪Tao: ‬ ‪or allow anyone to be her friend‬
‪me: ‬ ‪i’m sure she’ll add you though‬
‪Tao: ‬ ‪’guess i’ll add her’ since i clicekd her page and am here‬
‪me: ‬ ‪good idea‬
‪Tao: ‬ ‪3 years, seems like a long time‬
‪me: ‬ ‪it was my longest relationship‬
‪Tao: ‬ ‪hm‬
did you live in brooklyn then
‪me: ‬ ‪no‬
this was at college
then she moved to iowa to get her mfa and i couldn’t hack it
‪Tao: ‬ ‪interesting‬
‪me: ‬ ‪although we were basically breaking up before then‬
‪Tao: ‬ ‪i’ve known all the poeple you’ve asked me if i knew‬
‪me: ‬ ‪yes‬
‪Tao: ‬ ‪interesting‬
‪me: ‬ ‪but i’m out of people‬
‪Tao: ‬ ‪seems like everyone just knows eveyrone‬
do you have more questions
‪me: ‬ ‪advice‬
i know this is running on
three things, if you have time
‪Tao: ‬ ‪i have time‬
‪me: ‬ ‪while we’re on the topic‬
how should i find a new girlfriend?
‪Tao: ‬ ‪hm‬
i’ve found my girlfriends on the internet
my answer seems to be ‘internet’
‪me: ‬ ‪through your work, or institutional sites?‬
i don’t see you on okcupid
‪Tao: ‬ ‪my blog‬
and work
i haven’t used any ‘institutional’ things
‪me: ‬ ‪i am blogging wrong‬
‪Tao: ‬ ‪people i know have used those effectively, i think, though‬
‪me: ‬ ‪okay‬
‪Tao: ‬ ‪craigslist‬
‪me: ‬ ‪really? that i find frightening‬
‪Tao: ‬ ‪what other advice do you want‬
‪me: ‬ ‪you are extremely productive‬
five books in very few years
‪Tao: ‬ ‪i would avoid craigslist, i feel‬
‪me: ‬ ‪how do you stay so productive?‬
do you have ‘tips?’
Sent at 12:46 PM on Wednesday
‪Tao: ‬ ‪i think by naturally not having urges to ‘hang out’ with people, not having a tv, not having a personal or laptop computer for a long time (only library), and almost always wanting to ‘feel more sad’ or ‘analyze it more’ (causing ‘work’ to be produced) when feeling sad instead of ‘blocking it out’ by drinking alcohol or forcing myself to sleep‬
‪me: ‬ ‪that is amazing‬
‪Tao: ‬ ‪and when i have a girlfriend i feel satisfied in terms of ’social life’ with just the girlfriend‬
‪me: ‬ ‪i see‬
‪Tao: ‬ ‪so i spend all my time away from them ‘working’‬
‪me: ‬ ‪i understand‬
‪Tao: ‬ ‪what is your third item of advice‬
‪me: ‬ ‪what do you do when you feel anxious, to overcome it?‬
‪Tao: ‬ ‪hm‬
in social situations i just keep feeling anxious most of the time
while alone i don’t really feel anxious
‪me: ‬ ‪you don’t feel anxious alone no matter where you are in the world?‬
‪Tao: ‬ ‪maybe sometimes i’ll think about ‘death’ and ‘the arbitrary nature of the universe’ and i’ll feel more calm/detached‬
‪me: ‬ ‪that makes sense‬
‪Tao: ‬ ‪if i’m in an anxiety causing situation, like being late to meet someone, i just think that if i focus on the anxiety it will just create more problems, so if i want to be more effective in solving my problem i should logically ‘choose’ to not feel anxious, and that usually works to some degree‬
‪me: ‬ ‪you are more advanced than i am in that respect‬
but that is good advice
‪Tao: ‬ ‪well, it doesn’t usually work probably‬
i’m not ‘zen’ at all, in my view, i get frustrated and annoyed a lot, it seems
‪me: ‬ ‪mm‬
in my mid 20s, i lost most of my anger
that was a real loss
‪Tao: ‬ ‪hm‬
‪me: ‬ ‪so maybe the frustration is good‬
‪Tao: ‬ ‪i think i don’t have any anger at all‬
i don’t know
‪me: ‬ ‪i just meant that maybe things we characterize as ‘negative’ can sometimes be ‘positive’‬
‪Tao: ‬ ‪do you have other questions?‬
i see, that makes sense
‪me: ‬ ‪only if you are satisfied with this transaction‬
‪Tao: ‬ ‪yes, i am very satisfied, how about you?‬
‪me: ‬ ‪from the sale, to the execution of the conversation‬
very satisfied
‪Tao: ‬ ‪i see your bid as a sort of donation to me, of which i thank you for‬
and i’ll link the gchat if you post it, gaining you hits
‪me: ‬ ‪yes, thank you‬
‪Tao: ‬ ‪i enjoyed talking to you‬
seems interesting re andrea/nathalie
‪me: ‬ ‪yes‬
they’re both amazing
in their own ways
‪Tao: ‬ ‪i completely forgot about them both‬
but remember knowing a lot about each sort of at one time in the past
seems interesting
i am ‘holding in’ a lot of pee right now
‪me: ‬ ‪okay‬
‪Tao: ‬ ‪thank you for bidding on the gchat and for chatting w/ me‬
‪me: ‬ ‪i want to say, i count myself as a true fan of yours and‬
anxious await the next book
‪Tao: ‬ ‪oh, good‬
thank you
‪me: ‬ ‪i will now friend you on facebook and post this to my blog‬
‪Tao: ‬ ‪will check your blog periodically, i feel‬
‪me: ‬ ‪wonderful‬
‪Tao: ‬ ‪have a nice day‬
‪me: ‬ ‪you too Tao