Thursday, April 28, 2016

Exercise is Bad For You

Exercise is bad for you.

Especially when you are trying to get things done.

Let me break it down for you.

I haven't stopped in here for a while. You probably assumed I had a meltdown, or maybe The Lovely Carol had me committed to an old tymey asylum, complete with Nurse Ratched type minders, electro-shock therapy and straight jackets.

Nope. I've been exercising. Exercising like a fiend.

Been about two months now, hammering away almost every chance I get. And I am proud to say I have lost 1/4 of an ounce.

I say almost because I am only human. There are times when I sleep late or come home to whiskey, but for the most part I have been a goddamn fanatic.

If I am due in to work at 10:00, I get up at 6:00, sip some tea, read a bit, then jump on the exercise bike around 8:00, take a shower and blow out the door at 9:15.

If I get out of work at 4:30, I have on occasion jumped straight into the exercise routine as soon as I get home. I deserve a medal for this one. You know how hard it is to exercise when you get home from work. Especially for an old guy like me who spends his day on his feet and lifting a fair share of cases of booze.

My exercise regimen is amusing but age specific.

First I do 85 sit ups, you know, girly sit ups with knees bent. Then I do 85 phony baloney push ups, standing up against the counter and pushing off. I do the push ups this way because I had a hernia operation 26 years ago that left me unable to do traditional pull ups or sit ups. Also a pinched nerve in my neck a few years ago that impedes normal strength moves.

Perhaps I should look in to that.

Then I do 25 one arm curls with 12.5 pounds on the bar.

Then I jump on the exercise bike for 20 minutes and go at it pretty hard.

You may laugh but this routine works for me.

Here is the catch. When I am not exercising, I would normally be writing at 8:00 a.m., or at 5:15 p.m. when I get home.

If I exercise in the morning I have no time to write; if I exercise at night I get lazy.

Truly driven people find the time to get everything done during the day, somehow, someway, no matter what the schedule, no matter what they have to accomplish.

I know I am making excuses. I could find the time to write if I truly pushed myself.

Recently I have been unable to do that.

Still, even though I haven't lost the 100 pounds that I would like to, I feel good about my heart and lungs and the fact that I am slowing down the flabbification process that makes old people look like walruses.

But writing is my soul. I must tend to business.

I'll figure it all out.

Nice talking to you. I gotta believe somebody out there, at least one person, cares about me and what I am doing.

I will write something of depth soon.

Until then...........happy trails.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Lying As A Way Of Life

You gotta lie. You got no choice.

People ask how your day went or how you're doing but they absolutely do not want to hear the truth.

If you are truthful you might say: "You know what? My day sucked. It ripped my guts out. My day was blood sucking torture. My day was like razor blades dragged across my eyeballs. In fact every day is like this. My whole life is like this"

You could be truthful - you could explain that your life is nothing more than an open wound, a viciously painful thing that torments you during every waking hour and most of the hours allocated to sleep.

You could offer that answer but that would be the truth and nobody wants to deal with anybody else's truth.

If you said those things, the person you said them to would respond "Oh, please - suck it up. Just suck it up."

Because that is how they are conditioned. That is the go to response for unfeeling, unsympathetic, empathy challenged semi-humans.

There is no room for truth in our lives.

Conversations are a fantasy. There are no conversations.

The person who is hurting, the person who desperately needs someone to understand will say: "I am pretty good. I'm doin' alright."

And even though the listener knows this is a lie, they will respond: "Good. You got through the day. That is definitely a good thing."

There is no communication going on there. None at all, whatsoever in any form or permutation.

It is all a game, a lie, pure bullshit; and it definitely does not improve or advance human emotion or connection; it does not create a space for pure honesty that might result in a life changed for the good.

Human beings are fragile. But there is no room to express the pain that fragility creates.

It is not allowed.

And we wonder why this world is overwhelmed with violence and torture and injustice.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Me & Kobe

Yeah, I admit it - I watched the pre-game stuff on the night Kobe retired. Sorry Keith.

I am soft for that kind of stuff.

Kobe said that he could not believe how fast 20 years went by.

Buckle up, Kobe - I am 62 and that fact is so inconceivable to me that it feels like a Wavy Gravy, mind melting, non-stop trip on acid.

And I have yet to achieve.

Giving it my best shot in 2016, though.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Important Distinctions

When I ask someone how they're doing and they say "well", I find it pretentious.

I want to slap them in the face.

When somebody is leaving me and they say to me "Be well", I love it.

Think it is very cool.

How does my brain work?

Seminars Make Us Soft

Last Tuesday I attended a mandatory "training session" entitled "Sexual Harassment and Respect in the Workplace."

This was particularly tough because the day (and night) before I participated in yet another liquor store inventory. Got to bed at 12:30 a.m., had to be in "class" at 8:30.

Believe me, the class lasted only an hour but it was supreme torture to stay awake.

I am cynical about classes like this, not because of the topic but because I have been to enough of them to know that they are designed to be understood by six year olds.

Actually the topic does disturb me a bit because I believe it is overdone in this day and age.

I am not advocating that we go back to work environments like that of "Mad Men", but I do believe the sensitivity level is way over the top. And I think many people use this ridiculous environment to unfairly accuse co-workers just because they can, and because they know the powers that be most likely are going to side with the accuser because these situations represent dangerous legal environments for antsy employers.

I'm sure the majority of these cases are brought by women against men because men are generally stupid when it comes to flirtatious situations. Although I am happy to inform you that in the store I work in, a guy was inadvertently forced to bring a complaint against a woman.

Pretty cool.

It is a strange environment today. I work with a lot of young women, and I am talking young - 20 years old, 21 etc. I go out of my way to avoid complimenting them about the cool earrings they are wearing or to notice that they have lost weight or are working out or any one of a hundred situations that could be interpreted as flirtatious.

Even though I am more than forty years older than they are.

Of course the male mind is a weak and pathetic thing; there are moments when I can almost believe a 20 year old woman might find a 62 year old guy attractive. I have no empirical proof but I believe it is easily accepted that most young women are attracted to older guys with beer guts, grey hair and bald spots.

Why wouldn't they be?

But this is not why I am here today.

The guy that ran the class was pathetic. Droning on in a boring monotone and making ridiculous analogies.

He flashed a picture on the screen of Mike and Carol Brady from "The Brady Bunch." Talked about how the show was considered controversial at the time because Carol was previously divorced and Mike was a widower and because they were shown in bed together, the first time this had been done on TV.

The guy kept trying to get the class involved in his very amateurish way. He asked if we knew why he flashed the Brady's on the screen.

Dead silence.

"Because this shows that things change. Previous TV shows were not as bold and, obviously, things have changed dramatically between then and now on TV."

I was stunned to learn this. Things have changed dramatically in the last 50 years?

I was glad to have gotten up early, groggy and irritable as I was, to be in the position to learn new things.

His attempts to involve the class became more laughable.

I am going to use hyperbole to make a point here. He would do something akin to flashing a picture of a chocolate cake up on the screen and ask "Does anybody know what this is?"

Dead silence. The attendees were stubborn and refused to participate.

I loved it.

Then he handed out four scenarios, we were forced to split into groups, read the ridiculous little stories and "discuss" whether or not we considered each situation to be "inappropriate."

Another lame attempt to inspire interest in the attendees.

After ten minutes of reflection he asked who wanted to read out loud, one of the "vignettes", as he called them.

Dead silence. Really uncomfortable silence.

Until a woman representing human resources had to step up and do the dirty deed, out of embarrassment.

It was delicious.

You get the picture. The class was a joke.

I understand the need to hold sessions like this. I just wish they were conducted on a more elevated level, in a more intelligent way.

I don't appreciate being treated like a first grader. Of course part of the problem is the incompetence of the presenter. The class requires someone who can inspire learning and do it in a challenging way.

The topic is a serious one. It could be discussed in depth. Attendees could gain new insights and learn how to better navigate the minefield that currently exists in the workplace.

Anyway, I got home at 10:30, scarfed down the Big Mac, double cheeseburger and medium fries I had picked up on the way home ( I had medicated myself the night before because that is a requirement when I suffer through inventory torture) and then took a 2 and 1/2 hour nap with a cat on my lap.

11:30 to 2:00.

That, my friends, was the highlight of my day.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Just Checking In With You

Been a good week from the standpoint of freedom.

Monday was inventory time which obviously sucked but on Tuesday I attended a seminar from 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m and took the rest of the day off. Thursday was my regularly scheduled day off.

I suffered through Friday and Saturday like Jesus on the cross. Got today off ( and it is seventy beautiful degrees, baby) and tomorrow off.

Tuesday I have to attend a managers meeting in Manchester from 9:00 to 2:30 and then head home.

So in a 9 day stretch I will have spent 5 days not in the store.

That, my friends, is fucking paradise.

Distance To Empty

The Big Ride has one of those "distance to empty" gas indicators on the dashboard.

I'm sure your car does too.

When I am down to 50 mile to go it chimes, as a warning.

Wish I had one of those on my body.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Me, The Written Word, and Heaven On Earth

I have not kept you current on my reading lately and I realize that the unknowing is killing you, so here we go.

I recently read "Stories I Tell Myself. Growing Up With Hunter S. Thompson." Written by Juan F. Thompson, Hunter's son and only child.

I worship Hunter as a writer and, to a certain extent, as a person. I know everything there is to know about the man and have read most of his books and columns. So it was interesting to me to get the inside scoop from his son on what life was like at Owl Farm and around the world with this man and his many insane and intellectual and accomplished friends.

Juan held nothing back, revealing the evil side of Hunter's nature, a side warped by his alcoholism, drug use and erratic nature. He also revealed the very human side of HST, a side you don't get to hear about very often.

Juan was in the house the day Hunter committed suicide, which I knew. I have always been curious about that scene. Juan heard the gunshot and saw his father dead at the kitchen counter. He described the event unflinchingly, how Hunter had spent a peaceful night the night before with Juan, and Juan's wife and son. How that day had been spent in peace and love until everyone was out of the room and Hunter pulled the trigger.

Juan also described the over the top memorial service that was held at Owl Farm some time later, a memorial service orchestrated by Hunter many years before.  A massive tower was built (Johnny Depp paid for it) with his famous logo at the top - a two thumbed fist with a peyote button in the palm.

There was a large gathering of Hunter's friends and relatives complete with music and testimonials and tears.

At the right moment Hunter's ashes were blasted out of this tower to the accompaniment of "Spirit In The Sky", to eventually settle on his beloved property.

This book gave me intimate insight into Hunter's life and made me feel a little closer to the man.

I picked up a book called "The Armies Of The Night" by Norman Mailer. It is a factual account of a march on the Pentagon that occurred on October 21, 1967 to protest the Viet Nam war. Mailer was there as a protester.

The plan was to get to the Pentagon and, as planned by Abbie Hoffman, the crowd would "sing and chant until it levitated and turned orange driving out the evil spirits and ending the war in Viet Nam."

Surprisingly, it didn't work. Still I am proud of my generation.

Unfortunately Mailer was a pretentious son of a bitch and it permeated his writing. I couldn't finish the book. I set it aside, bookmark intact. I will get back to it, though, because it is such an interesting piece of history and a great documentary of the enormous clash between the youth who wanted to change the world and the old guard who wanted to hold on to their corrupt power.

I recently read "Steve Jobs" by Walter Isaacson.

This book was riveting; it read like a work of great fiction. The man was fascinating both as a genius and as a severely flawed human being.

I was blown away by the way Jobs thought, especially how he could anticipate the future and go out and make it happen.

Think about the impact this man had on your life and in the world. Mind blowing.

I loved his point of view. When asked if he used focus groups to get a feel for what people wanted he said: "never. People don't know what they want until you show it to them."

Apparently, he was right.

I tried to dig into the blues a little deeper with "Blue Smoke" by Roger House. It is a biography of Big Bill Broonzy, who lived from 1893 to 1958.

This story fascinated me because he made his mark singing the blues but he was never successful enough to be able to stop working the demeaning, soul crushing jobs blacks were forced to endure in those times.

Unfortunately I couldn't finish this book either. It is written in a dry manner that does not excite my emotions or satisfy my love of the blues.

I have a Proud Democrat bumper sticker sitting at page 28 as a bookmark. I will finish the book at some point because my love of the blues is insatiable.

I was in Hannaford's on Tuesday of this week buying bottled water, kitty litter and some snack food.

They have a used book bin there that I love. It has paperbacks and hardcovers and you are on the honor system as far as payment goes. $1 for paperbacks, $2 for hardcover, which you slip into a slot.

I have not read any easy fiction lately, the kind that satisfies my soul without bruising my brain. I browsed for approximately 38 seconds and came across "The Rainmaker" by John Grisham.

Boom. I removed $1 from my wallet, representing 50% of what was in there, and walked out into the rain a smugly satisfied man.

I now have 598 pages of John Grisham waiting for me whenever the mood is right.

Of course, I still have "Infinite Jest" waiting for me, lurking in the dark on the bottom shelf of the end table that flanks the recliner. Written by David Foster Wallace who was supposed to be the next big thing in the literary world until he committed suicide.

This book was his magnum opus.

It is 981 pages of tightly written prose.

My problem is that this book cannot be read in fits and starts. Once I dive in I will be compelled to read it every day until I make it through. Right now my work schedule does not allow that.

So the book waits.

What got my juices flowing this morning, resulting in this fascinating post, was that I started a new book, a supreme and delicious book.

It is called "Beatlebone", written by Kevin Barry. It is one of many books that Carol has recommended to me over the years (including Juan Thompson's book.)

She reads a review in the newspaper, hears something about a book on NHPR and knows intuitively that it would interest me.

This is a comforting feeling for me. She is almost always on the mark because she knows me better than God.

I hide things from God. I can't hide anything from Carol.

"Beatlebone" is a book that mixes fact with fiction and is absolutely original and entertaining in the telling. The story is about John Lennon in 1978, when he was kind of retired from the music business and living as a house husband, taking care of Sean.

In real life Lennon purchased an island in 1967 off the coast of Ireland, a place he planned on using as a peaceful retreat. Unfortunately he only got back there one more time before he died and never got a chance to build the cottage there that he and Yoko dreamed about.

In this story he decides to visit the island, to get away, to get some peace and find a way to rekindle his creative juices.

The story is original, the writing is superb and stimulating, and John Lennon's character is captured beautifully. It is a unique book, the kind that thrills me to read.

I can't wait to see where this story takes me.

So there you have it. I got you all caught up.

I hope you are still awake.

As for me............I read therefore I am.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Clay Buchholz - Game 2

Here's your update.

In his second start last night Buchholz pitched 5 innings, gave up five hits and five runs, 2 home runs, 3 walks, struck out 5 and lost the game.

He took a 4-2 lead into the sixth. He gave up a single, and then a home run. He walked a batter and gave up a double and that was the name of that tune.

He got yanked from the game and was booed as he left the game.

What a nancy boy.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Clay Buchholz & The Fragility of Being Human

Clay Buchholz is a fragile human being.

No doubt about it. He is fragile physically and mentally.

He pitched his first game of the 2016 season and lasted four innings, giving up six hits, five earned runs, and three walks while striking out four.

He got trashed on sports talk radio for a couple of days afterward and I mean trashed. These guys were vicious.

Scott Zolak said watching Buchholz pitch is exhausting, which is true. If a batter gets to first base you are condemned to watching Clay throw to first 104 times between pitches to the next hitter. He slows the game down so badly you could paint the outside of your entire house and come back to the same inning when you return to the recliner.

Zolak went so far as to admit that he roots against Buchholz when he starts to crumble. That is kind of funny, and also kind of revealing when you consider that a fellow athlete wants to see a hometown comrade fail.

Heavy duty, baby - heavy duty.

I find CB exhausting because I want the guy to do well, I really do. There is hope in my brain when he first takes the mound. Until he walks a couple of guys, or gives up a couple of serious hits and then gets "that look" on his face.

"That look" is a mix of fear, disbelief and the crumbling of confidence.

Here is what I don't understand. How the hell did Clay make it to this level? To "the bigs ?"

He has obviously been competing for his whole life, ever since he was a wee lad, and succeeding at it, rising through the ranks to the highest level of achievement in his sport.

I cannot reconcile a fragile ego with decades of beating out thousands of other guys, unless he was so much better than them that he had no real competition, which I find unlikely.

Still, he is here and with his well earned reputation as a China doll.

As I cringed at the verbal beating he was taking on the radio, it occurred to me that professional sports take the unforgiving side of our nature and ratchet it up to the highest, most vicious level. In this case - a lack of empathy, liberally spiced with a dose of insensitivity.

One of the talk show guys asked how anybody at any level in life could function at all with the kind of sensitivity Buchholz demonstrates.

The truth is there are a hell of a lot of people out there who are sensitive, who hurt every day, who wake up bewildered and go to bed destroyed because they cannot understand or deal with the harshness of the world and the randomness of a life.

There is a general disdain for sensitivity in our society.

Suck it up. You hear it all the time.

A bullshit comment if I ever heard one.

The truth is that most of us are hurting. Most of us have a soft, gooey center. Some hide it with a false show of bravado, which is also bullshit.

There are some genuine tough guys in the world; the rest are poseurs who bluster their way through the day and go home and drink and drug their way away from themselves.

If you are a deeply sensitive person you better have some creative talent. It seems the worlds of art and music and theater and dance and....................are worlds where sensitivity can thrive.

The last thing you want to be is a professional athlete.

I am not happy with the inconsistency of Clay Buchholz. I want him to win. I want the Red Sox to win.

I feel bad for the guy, though. I feel bad for the very public beating he takes every time his sensitive nature is exposed.

An odd thought just occurred to me. Maybe he picked the wrong profession. Maybe he made a mistake becoming a baseball player.

An odd thought indeed.

Most of us end up working jobs that we hate,  jobs that are ice picks in our eyes.

You would think anyone playing professional sports was born to do so, expressing their soul for the world to see.

But maybe not.

Anyway, my point is (if there even is one) is that I feel empathy for sensitive souls. I don't like the way our society mocks sensitivity. I don't appreciate people who use a vicious veneer to mask their own vulnerabilities.

Honesty is not a strong point for the human race.

(Editor's note #1: I have verbally trashed Clay Buchholz many times in his career. I am an unworthy human being.)

(Editor's note #2: I started writing this post shortly after Clay's disastrous outing. It took me about a week because I am distracted, wandering, occasionally vacuous, and just generally distorted. BUT I had to get this in here today because Clay makes his 2nd start of the season tonight. I hope he kicks ass. We shall see.)

Friday, April 8, 2016

A Universal Truth

And as I think about the movie "Angels Crest" I think about how the place where the movie takes place affects me.

It is a universal reaction in my soul and I don't quite understand it.

The town is located at the foot of the Rocky Mountains and it is a typical, rural, small community.

A town where houses are run down, and old, where everybody drives beat up pick up trucks, where nobody has any money and where everybody is struggling and where the corner bar is a basic no frills hangout.

Two movies Carol and I love, "Nobody's Fool" and "Beautiful Girls" are set in similar locations.If I had the energy to think long and hard I'm sure I could come up with fifty additional movies I have seen that take place in rural towns, movies that moved me.

I don't have that kind of energy right now.

Here's the deal: I love the movies for the story and for the characters but the location is like another character to me. I love the look of the houses, the sound of a slamming door on an old pick up truck and the sound the engine makes and how the truck looks.

I love the corner bars.  Bars are antiseptic today, devoid of character. I crave old corner bars, I need them. I spent many years drinking in a bar called Manginis - a real bar - and I miss it. I'll probably never set foot in another bar like it and my soul shrivels to know this.

Character is the word. Small town living reeks of character and authenticity.

These towns provoke a reaction in my gut. A feeling, a warmth, a comfort. It is possible that it is all about truth.

It seems like there is more honesty in settings like that, people who live small and rely on straight ahead honesty to survive.

And trust. A small town with a tiny population where everybody knows everybody else and their business.

Of course I am dramatizing the reality; I'm sure many things in small towns suck just like they do anywhere else and in the same way.

Still, my emotions and my mind respond. Just like desert scenes. Any desert scene or movie set in a desert moves me. It feels like my body is saying "this is where I belong." The reaction comes from the gut, not the mind. So I believe it is genuine.

I watch these movies and think that I would love to live in these small places but I am not convinced I am being honest with myself.

I don't want to live in poverty.

Although I joke about it, Carol and I don't live in poverty. We live a solid middle class existence.

The kind that traps and cripples you. You live comfortable enough but you still got to drag your ass out of bed every day to earn the bucks to maintain this middle of the road lifestyle, like a hamster on a wheel.

It is a life of humble comfort, a life that can never approach luxury, seasoned with a healthy dose of financial anxiety and no chance ever of living independently and with dignity.

A strange place to dwell.

Still, if I lived in a rural town, if I had to scramble, maybe it would draw out whatever true character lurks in my soul.

If not, at least I could get a cheap shot of whiskey in a funky bar that speaks to my soul.

There are worse things in life.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

A Vengeance and A Purpose

I got down and dirty with my own psyche Tuesday night.

I need to be shocked, stunned and amazed. I am so bored with my life that I walk through it like a zombie.

The alarm goes off and I perform the tasks expected of me that day like a well programmed automaton. I absorb all the punches and body blows, internalizing the pain. I stagger home at night and collapse into the anti-ambition chair and wonder in muted horror how my life devolved to this nightmare.

Living a life I don't believe in, a life so foreign to my natural essence that I look upon it as if I were an outsider.

I say I wonder how I got here but the truth is that I know in my heart, my head and my soul that I put myself here. There is no blame to be distributed except for the blame that destroys me in the mirror every morning.

The  true wonder in my head is how I allowed this to happen with eyes wide open.

This is why I read what I read. This is why I watch the movies that I watch. This is why I listen to the music that I listen to. This is why the topics that interest me, interest me.

I cannot stand the artificially sweetened life that I walk through every day.  The playacting, the false reality, the lost and lonely people who lie to themselves and to me.

I need to be jolted, I need it like a drug.

I watched a movie called "Angels Crest" on Tuesday night. In the dark, alone, except for my cats, two slices of extra cheese pizza and a beer.

On NETFLIX, the movie is described this way: "A young father inadvertently allows his 3 year old son to freeze to death. But as he tries to manage his grief, the man comes under harsh criticism."

If you are interested in watching this movie, stop reading.

The father takes his son out for a ride in the dead of winter. Dad sees a deer, decides to track it, leaves his son in the car seat with the truck running and heater on high and lurches through the snow. The car seat is defective, the kid releases himself, climbs out of the truck and wanders through the woods.

When dad comes back to the truck he realizes the kid is gone. He searches, the search escalates as time goes by and people volunteer to help. Ultimately dad finds his son dead in the snow.

Please do not misunderstand me. I love children and animals. I worship them because they are pure.

Purity does not exist in any form in any other avenue of our existence. We yearn for purity but it escapes us because poison seeps into every life.

The fact that the son died made me uncomfortable, which is what I liked about the beginnings of this story. I need uncomfortable.

The story goes on from there, you get tangled up in the lives that dad's life is tangled up in, and in the end dad commits suicide.

Not a happy story, not a happy ending.

I enjoy a story like that deeply. It resonates with me. I don't know what that says about me and frankly I don't care.

On the most basic of levels a story like that makes me feel.

A story like that is honest to me, it reflects life back at you in a harsh and truthful way.

I would rather be slapped in the face and hurt in the heart by a sad song or a dark story than to perpetuate the boredom in my life through predictability.

Boring lyrics, happy endings.

My life is anathema to me.

I seek release and relief through raw emotion and disturbing feelings. I seek it in the written word, movies, philosophies, music, and art.

I seek it with a vengeance and a purpose.

I don't apologize for that and I never will.

Monday, April 4, 2016


"That God does not exist I cannot deny. That my whole being cries out for God I cannot forget."

Jean-Paul Sartre

Trump The Clown

Donald Trump recently addressed an organization called AIPAC.

AIPAC stands for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee; it is the most powerful pro Israel lobbying advocacy group in the United States. It's agenda includes continuous efforts to ensure U.S military aid to Israel, and a sharp focus on limiting Iran's nuclear program.

At the conference, when talking about the Iran nuclear deal, Trump said: "I've studied this issue in great detail. I would say actually greater by far than anybody else," and the audience laughed.

They laughed right in Donald Trump's face.

That is because these are educated, intelligent people. People who are well versed in international politics and especially knowledgeable about the Iran nuclear deal, because of its ominous implications for Israel.

These are not people who drive pickup trucks with two large American flags stuck in the frame of the truck bed. They are not people who respond to hateful words, bluffing, and sizzle over substance.

The beauty of this is that Trump, or his people, worked on a speech. He did not speak off the cuff as he usually does.

He read from a teleprompter, which he never does.

He tried to appear "Presidential."

Instead, he came off as a clown.

Which is what he is.