Get Used to the Bear Behind You

From Werner Herzog – A Guide for the Perplexed:

1. Always take the initiative.
2. There is nothing wrong with spending a night in jail if it means getting the shot you need.
3. Send out all your dogs and one might return with prey.
4. Never wallow in your troubles; despair must be kept private and brief.
5. Learn to live with your mistakes.
6. Expand your knowledge and understanding of music and literature, old and modern.
7. That roll of unexposed celluloid you have in your hand might be the last in existence, so do something impressive with it.
8. There is never an excuse not to finish a film.
9. Carry bolt cutters everywhere.
10. Thwart institutional cowardice.
11. Ask for forgiveness, not permission.
12. Take your fate into your own hands.
13. Learn to read the inner essence of a landscape.
14. Ignite the fire within and explore unknown territory.
15. Walk straight ahead, never detour.
16. Manoeuvre and mislead, but always deliver.
17. Don’t be fearful of rejection.
18. Develop your own voice.
19. Day one is the point of no return.
20. A badge of honor is to fail a film theory class.
21. Chance is the lifeblood of cinema.
22. Guerrilla tactics are best.
23. Take revenge if need be.
24. Get used to the bear behind you.


I’m going to start swimming tomorrow.

I know how to swim, just not very well. I could rescue a drowning puppy, for instance, but probably not a drowning human. Rescues aside, swimming seems like a fun and joint-friendly way to get exercise.

Intimidation factor: old ladies.

I tried swimming at the local YMCA a few years ago and lost heart. It’s embarrassing to be the person who tires after a half-dozen laps, especially under the bored but watchful eye of a teenage lifeguard. Far more embarrassing when there’s an octogenarian in the next lane zipping past me, lap after lap, like a motorized dolphin.

My challenge, then, is to swim often enough that I may share a pool with aquatic senior citizens. Which is to say, “Strong old ladies: I hope to earn your respect.”