Trained Thoughts

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Pernish McTavish
- 4/1/2017 2:48pm

The Antarctic journals of Dr. Odin Fiddlesticks only appeared sporadically in the Journal of Applied Apophenia following the March 1985 posts. Presumably this was because of the difficulty in recovering them after his disappearance. Also, that they were initially used as bedding in the cage of Hermes the Hamster, the school trip's mascot and pet, and only discovered later in a forensic examination of the expedition's garbage.


April 2, 1985
The snowcat is running fine again. Turns out you can't start it when it's in gear! Who knew? All this technology can be such a hassle. Which is why I've turned off the RDF (Radio Direction Finding) because all I need are the sun and the moon and the stars to help guide my way through this beautiful, cloud-covered, icy wasteland. Also, it helps save the battery since I'm cranking the Footloose soundtrack I brought along on cassette.

April 4, 1985
So.... did the kids move camp? Seems like St. Dymphna station would be hard to just pick up and relocate. Without a trace. But I'm sure it was right here, because I have an unerring sense of direction. Even in the whiteout we've been having for 36 hours. Luckily I have four cases of Cup Noodle. And I prefer them dry anyway.

April 7, 1985
These kids picked a heck of a time to play hide & seek. But I figured out their game--it's a cave! Don't know why we didn't spot it before, because the cave-mouth is eNORMous. Huge limestone paving stones, huge five-pointed pillars holding up the ceiling. One might even call them "cyclopean" if we still used that word that way. Which we don't. Anyways, you could land a plane in here! Or a snowcat. I've parked just inside the entrance and am headed in to find those kids and we'll all have a good laugh. I've got to admit I'm surprised they'd go this far for a prank, considering how attentive to their school work they seemed. Maybe we CAN get along!

April 12, 1985
I am so worn out from all the dancing. Of course I was thrilled to befriend Kevin Bacon here and practice our moves, but it seems like it's prom every single night! Still no sign of my students, however. Time to head deeper into the caves.

April 20, 1985
I've now accepted the Nobel Prize for Archaeology seven times. I didn't even know they had one! Sure, I'm appreciative, but it's starting to ring a little hollow. Perhaps it's time to move on again.

April 29, 1985
If I see another Utopia I think I'll die of boredom. Ecological utopias, science utopias... so many togas! Also, cheeseburgers and milkshakes every night. Frankly, I'm starting to think something fishy is going on here...


Empress Jingles
- 4/15/2017 6:41pm

Just a quick note that Empress Jingles' Thought Training Academy is now completely booked up thru the end of Spring. A handful of your most talented students have been accepted and will be learning the True Art of Thought Training from the Empress Herself. And once you see them in action you'll see why only truly apprenticed and properly trained Thought Artists are really worth watching perform. Certainly, some self-trained individuals with a modicum of natural talent can put on a show on a street corner and provide some minor amusement for passersby, but once the Empress's newest students graduate and take their place on the stage of Mesmer Hall on June 9th, you'll see why ONLY the Empress has been so acclaimed by the Crowned Heads of Europe, as well as the Disembodied Wonder Heads of Saturn and the Seven Realms.

You won't BELIEVE your eyes! Or that Thoughts could attain such heights!

See us at Mesmer Hall on June 9th! Tickets on sale now!

Dylan Ashcroft
- 4/25/2017 1:16pm

My thoughts have been getting stronger and more well defined each day. We've been doing little impromptu routines in the cafeteria and on the bus and they've been performing well. Of course it's not the same pressure as being on the "big stage," and the close-up street busking can get a little David Blaine, but it's still good practice.

The best part is that Mr. Fiddlesticks has been laying low. Probably too much to hope for that he's gone for good, but haven't seen his creepy mug around for awhile.

And speaking of creeps, I'd suggest everybody keep their distance from that @Empress Jingles in her trailer in the woods. Those kind of "professional" trainers are inevitably washed-up hyperactive show biz moms, who probably drove their own daughters literally INSANE forcing them into a life of Thought Training. It's grueling enough without some psychotic stage mother pushing you over the edge. Maybe she should hook up with Mr. Fiddlesticks. Ewwwwww.

Pernish McTavish
- 5/6/2017 9:44pm

The recovered Antarctic journals of Dr. Odin Fiddlesticks end with the April 29, 1985 entry, but the last known statements of the doctor were taken in the deposition following his rescue in 1988. They were published in the Journal of Applied Apophenia's special edition on the ill-fated expedition, complete with fold-out maps, full bios of all the students, and a special centerfold full-length photo of Dr. Fiddlesticks wearing nothing but a pith helmet and a pair of stained, ragged tighty-whities, just as he was found on the enormous piece of toast floating in the Ross Sea. The deposition was taken on the research vessel Daniel Wegner, which was the ship that discovered him.


INTERVIEWER: Please state your name.

DR. FIDDLESTICKS: Dr. Odin Fiddlesticks, Master of Breakfast and Mental Surfing.

INTERVIEWER: Why were you floating on a piece of toast?
DR. FIDDLESTICKS: A sunnyside up egg seemed too slippery. Toast is comforting.

INTERVIEWER: How did you get here?

DR. FIDDLESTICKS: I thought about it.

INTERVIEWER: Thought about it?

DR. FIDDLESTICKS: Yes but I have to be very careful.


DR. FIDDLESTICKS: Careful what I think about. Because it comes true.

INTERVIEWER: What you think about comes true?

DR. FIDDLESTICKS: Don't think of a polar bear!


DR. FIDDLESTICKS: Wait, no, it's ME who's not supposed to think of a polar bear.

INTERVIEWER: You're not supposed to think of a polar bear? But there are no polar bears in Antarctica. Penguins, yes.

DR. FIDDLESTICKS: Ah! Yes! Very good! You're getting me to not think of the polar bear by mentioning penguins!

INTERVIEWER: You're not supposed to think about these things?

DR. FIDDLESTICKS: I spent months in a cave learning not to think about them. They taught me.

INTERVIEWER: Who taught you?


The interview was interrupted by a rampaging polar bear that suddenly appeared in the infirmary of the ship where the doctor was being questioned. The polar bear was accompanied by a waddle of penguins.


- 5/16/2017 11:03pm

Slow thoughts are are worth two beats and quick thoughts are worth one, but @Empress Jingles just keeps pounding her cane against the wooden floor of her trailer like she's hammering nails into our heads. S,S,Q,Q,S and S,S,Q,Q,Q, and then she throws in an X like we know what it's supposed to mean? Why did I even sign up for this Thought Training Course? It's hard to remember anything except the pounding of her damn cane. It keeps on pounding between classes and after dinner and in my dreams and when I wake up.

@Octopus is doing the better in class than any of us. Teamo and Winifred dropped out after the first week. The rest of us try and keep up with the beat but honestly I don't feel like my thoughts are in any better shape than when I started. I think this whole "show" we're supposed to put on next month is just a distraction to keep us from asking for our money back.

Empress Jingles
- 6/2/2017 9:29am

In preparation for our upcoming recital at Mesmer Hall on June 9th (get your tickets now before it sells out!), we're hosting a very special guest teacher at Empress Jingles' Thought Training Academy this week--it's the multiversaly renown Dick Sledsfit!

Dick has just returned from his own tour of the Seven Realms, where he engaged in a command performance for the Disembodied Wonder Heads of Saturn, demonstrating his consummate expertise in the True Art of Thought Training for one of the most discerning audiences in the known universe.

Dick will be providing pointers to Empress Jingle's Thought Training students all week, as well as giving us a short performance of his own at the June 9th show. Truly a once in a lifetime opportunity to see this master performer at work.

Tickets available at the main office in the administration building, the Mesmer Hall box office (open from 1pm to 2pm daily), as well as directly from Empress Jingle's trailer in the woods.

Seats are limited! Get your tickets today!

Dylan Ashcroft
- 6/7/2017 9:10am

As much as I like to rip on them, I suppose I should turn up for the @Empress Jingles show this Friday. I don't want my criticism to just sound like sour grapes, so I should see exactly what passes for "professional" Thought Training here and now at Psyhigh. But I expect it to be filled with all the crowd pleasing tropes audiences are trained to expect, which has less and less to do with sincere art.

But for some reason this Dick Sledsfit intrigues me. Everybody's heard about the Disembodied Wonder Heads of Saturn--there's usually a chapter on them in every history of Thought Training you pick up--and if he really did play for them, well, it doesn't really get any bigger than that. Even being in their presence, in their icy palace on Enceladus, is a freak-out that would break most people's minds. Their thoughts are supposedly so powerful that local reality breaks down around them entirely. So it takes a lot to impress them.

Meanwhile, my own act just keeps getting better everyday. X139 has really stepped up in terms of leading the other thoughts and getting the best out of them. The other morning I woke up and they were already at it, slowly turning color and merging in and out of one another--a routine that X139 had apparently composed itself. It's kind of amazing just to sit back and watch them create themselves.

- 6/9/2017 11:21pm


Dylan Ashcroft
- 6/11/2017 1:22pm

It's taken me this long to start to process it. I slept for the past two days straight. Or at least I just lay in bed. Processing.

When Mr. Fiddlesticks took the stage at @Empress Jingle's Trained Thought recital I almost barfed. I definitely felt ill and wanted to leave, but felt paralyzed. I couldn't take my eyes off the stage.

"Dick Sledsfit" turned out to be, of course, just a stage name. We'd known him on campus as Mr. Fiddlesticks, and the research done by @Pernish McTavish confirmed it. He'd been a teacher at Psyhigh a long time ago (and not a very good one), but then was seriously messed up by something that happened to him in Antarctica, and kind of disappeared.

But on Friday he told us what happened. Through his performance. And though I say told "us," I think it's more accurate to say he told "me."

His staging was truly amazing. As his thoughts unfurled you really did forget you were watching a stage--instead, we were wrapped into a series of scenes like VR worlds. His time alone, wandering in India. His almost-recovery in Canada, and meeting the love of is life. Then losing the love of his life following the loss of control of his incredibly off-the-scale powers (as taught to him by his benefactors in the cave in Antarctica), culminating in the well-known "Wild Night in Winnipeg."

{I'm not sure there'd ever been an official explanation for the "Wild Night in Winnipeg" before, and while no one was injured, the warping of the skyline and architecture is still evident today.}

It was in the aftermath of that incident that I was conceived.

Through the combination of his extreme loneliness and incredible powers, he imagined me. And my parents, and grandparents, and great-grand parents--everything he needed to create me, the child he never had, never could have... the "fresh start" for him to live through. The living embodiment of his thoughts, with a built-in backstory so that I would never suspect.

And he never intended for me to suspect, but through the years he couldn't help but wonder about me, and then keep track of me from a distance, then keep track of me first hand, creeping around the school.

And now we've met. Almost. I guess he felt he could only tell me all this on stage, as performance, instead of one-to-one to my face. But I guess I understand that. I mean, if he looked me in the eye and told me this story... what would happen? Do I have enough of a life of my own after all these years that I could just "handle" it? Or, is there some level of creator/creation relations (especially when it comes to Trained Thoughts) that means I would wink out of existence if we both truly faced the facts?

But I seem to still be here, and solid. Does it make a difference if I'm just an idea that someone thought of--as long as I have my own free will? How is that different from being any body else? From being you? Or from being X139, the star of my own trained thoughts?

Like I said, I'm still processing. And will likely be processing for some time to come.

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