Category Archives: From the journals

‘You’re whiter than I am.’ ‘I don’t know how to respond to that.’

“What’d you find to eat, boys?” Floral Brunette says to a dude who just showed up and to the other woman’s husband/fiancé (who said he saw “produce” along the road to the golf course he went to this morning, maybe).

“How’s your pedicure, Joe [or Jo?]” said Floral Bikini’s husband, apparently. She’d earlier — when dude said as first statement to me, “you’re whiter than I am,” and I said, “I don’t know how to respond to that,” and Floral Bikini said something like, if my husband (Mike? David? She might have said his name) would be worse. I pointed out my farmer tan and she said he’d have [that, too]. He’s also a little heavy — enough so that I don’t feel that bad in comparison. One of the couples is talking about their pastor, getting married — earlier they said someone asked what should the pastor wear, and they answered, clothes.

I heard they talked about Cubs — maybe they’re from Midwest. I could ask them where they’re from — but even if they’re from near where we live, they might be more like our partying neighbors … than we’d want to be friends with — eh, here by the pool, we’re OK.

[From journal of Fri., 29 July 2022, pages 160-1, written while I was poolside at our hotel in Aptos, Calif.]

There’s a third evergreen again

There’s a third evergreen again along edge of [neighbor’s] yard and ours. A second tree had died there last year, and I noticed just yesterday that there’s a new tree there. TV doesn’t work this morning. I got up with cat about 5:30 (bed about 11 p.m.) and went back to bed but got up about 5:50 (I hear bird songs, a  “chop chop chop” song — a cardinal’s?) and … walked dog aprox. 6:45 to 7:30 and then made tea and streched and here I am. I didn’t make dinner last night — after late diner breakfast, I ate a cheese sandwich, half of an apple (golden delicious) M didn’t want to finish, tortilla chips left over from the night before’s Mexican take-out, and chocolate chips. And I ate popcorn as we watched La Belle et la Bête, the 1991 Disney. It was on TV but TV signal just quit — the screen went black, cable went out — and I put in DVD and we watched it, mostly in French, and then I put in Hello, Dolly! DVD (we don’t watch that many DVDs but maybe we will if cable’s out. Still, though, we pay nearly $10/day ($260 lately each month) for cable TV and [Internet service] modem and I couldn’t get the modem to work yesterday p.m.

[From journal of Sun., 1 May 2022, Journal 360, page 236-7]

The retreat of the ignorant

Why Bush so valuing of us/them, loyalty?

How dare they call names — it shuts down debate, conversation. It’s the retreat of the ignorant.

Or M: maybe Bush doesn’t have good reasons if he can only defend other side. If your argument makes sense, people likely to go along, and you can tolerate dissent. Bush resorts to ad hominem attack all the time. M: “It’s like he has no other tool.”

What’s amazing is how incompetent Bush and staff really are.

Seeing [Michael Moore’s “Fahrenheit 9/11”] movie reminded me of how absurd so many things have been the last four years — Ashcroft losing to dead guy and then getting appointed Attorney General. I’d forgotten (or gotten used to) them. Maybe one day we’ll look back and this will all seem absurd.

[From journal of Sunday, 27 June 2004, Journal 36, pg. 152]

We napped in early p.m.

We napped in early p.m. I had thoughts of finishing covers on the two text blocks under the heavy books to my left, but I didn’t, and it’s back to school and that’s fine, too. A nearly full moon again this morning. … I’m making rice. The crackles are getting quieter.

And I’m back after shutting off the crackles — off the stove burner, I mean. What about charging phone? (There was another deck pop — and here jingles the dog. It could have been a deck cold-pop that prompted him to seek refuge with me before.) Phone’s charged to 85%. Had thought yesterday that I could avoid writing about — critiquing — things I don’t like and could just write about things I do like (I’m back after getting Sam away from bedroom door — I think I heard him scratch at it — as if to seek refuge there.) Things I like, things I like — hmm. Well, yeah, this is an interesting (another deck pop — and dog’s on the move again. Deck pops didn’t used to bother him so much, even as of a few weeks ago, I thought.) I mean, I don’t think I want just a listing of things I like — though that could happen, too — but I actually feel freed from critique. Thinking about stating positive things feels like a thrilling new perspective (which is maybe a shame, but here I am).

Just now I thought about driving past Weld Park on my commutes. Even after all my family is dead, I’ll still have thoughts of Weld Park’s history — and of mom or someone showing me the flat spot — like a cut in the slope — that this show-er labeled as old wagon tracks. As I recall, they were north-south through the park, which would fit with what else I know about that route.

I heard M. open her door after dog scratched at it again. I said from her that dog seemed scared of deck pops, and I heard M talk sweetly to dog. 6:17 [a.m.]

[From journal of Mon., 10 Feb. 2020, Journal 317, pages 210-2]

I called Sam ‘Lampbreaker’

I called Sam “Lampbreaker” (like “Kingslayer” from Game of the Throne) because he seemed to knock over the lamp with the three colored glass shades on the tiny oblong bulbs. Like a sitcom parent, I said, “What now?” exasperatedly when I was on floor to stretch and heard that.

So, yeah, I took notes on pocket page last night after I left mom’s. I didn’t, but slightly regret now, take a pic of the drive lane that heads north from Chana Road at Brick Road — it was in shade, in afternoon light. Ah, well. It’s not like I

M says she “dreamt that my mom got to come back.” “She got a blank slate and got to come back.” I know the science idea (Eagleman?) that we dream to keep visual brain active as we sleep — but why not just show shapes, designs? Why are there plots and characters in our dreams — and, hey, here’s a question: did dreams have plots before we humans had stories, before we had narrative cultural learning? On other hand, I’ve seen the dog whine and twitch his legs while he sleeps. He seems to dream events, not just images. Perhaps my mind is used to processing a world of experience, so it reflects that back to me in dreams. It’s not like my mind works at showing kaleidoscope images.

[From journal of Sat., 29 Jan. 2022, Journal 358, page 80-1]

What I saw was a red-striped paper shopping bag zoom from the stairs

Markson’s Vanishing Point: It’s this disjoint, well, not really — it’s mostly a set of facts, quotes, etc. And they aren’t random — yes, they relate to artists’ lives, and death, as the book jacket points out/describes it. I feel like there could be many different interpretations. Well, yes, duh. I feel like it’s a rich text, and I don’t yet know what to think, except that I like it as a model — in the sense not that I would copy it, imitate it, but it’s a model that shows there are many possibilities for arranging texts. …

M. accused me yesterday of wanting to keep the cat here so her dad would have to stay away. All he does when he comes to house is bring us more furniture we don’t want anyway, I said. M said something about herself being soft-hearted Nano when she picked up Justice (I think we should call him “Judge”) at courthouse last May.

11:16: Back inside at 11:12 after 24 minutes outside with dog. His spit froze in little globs on his coat.
Cat was hilarious — what I saw was a red-striped paper shopping bag zoom from the stairs across living room, around the Xmas tree, and back downstairs. Later I found the bag downstairs missing a twine handle and I found the cat behind some things downstairs with a twine handle and bag part around his middle.

[From journal of Tues., 3 Jan. 2012, Journal 152, pages 41-42]

When I get tired, depressed, my mind narrows

Dog’s been quiet but now barks at FedEx truck headed to [neighbor’s], so it seems. Sam seems to bark at FedEx and, after most single barks, he looks back toward me as I sit inside here.

I think what happens when I get tired, depressed (as maybe I was during that grumpy post last Sunday), is that my mind narrows. As I get tired and depressed, my mind gets more judgmental, more critical, less accepting, and that that’s why I shouldn’t try to edit when I’m tired. When I’m feeling better, I’m more accepting of many kinds of writing as interesting, and I’m less worried about impressing others.

Ah, ok, moving on. Yeah. So, yeah, it’s a Saturday morning in February. I’ve slept well — longer hours, especially — since last weekend. No Saturday Night Live tonight, so I’ll sleep well tonight, too. And it’s been sunnier this week, so that too helps my mood.

[From journal of Sat., 18 Feb. 2017, Journal 246, pages 243-44]

It’s perhaps only the changes from then to now that seem interesting

5:51 A.M. (smartphonetime).

Whatever year it is — 1999, 2018, or, presumably, 1871 — things around you will seem boring when compared to, say, things in books — fic or nonfic. I mean, I have an interest now in building a picture of Rochelle circa 1871but there probably wasn’t actually much that happened in that year, and even less that happened on any particular day (I mean, maybe things seem more hectic now because we have more media telling us more problems from more places — well, and the madness of the president — in this day and age, huh?). So, it’s perhaps only the changes from then to now that seem interesting — fast-forwarding through all the changes from 1871 to 2018 — that would seem like a lot has happened. Surely it would seem that way if you fast-forward through time like that.

[From journal of Thurs., 27 Sept. 2018, Journal 284, pages 161-2]

Once the lust boils off

I watched a clip of J. Kimmel, where he shows a bit of minor squabbling between Judic. Comm. Chair Grassley and Ranking Member Feinstein, and Kimmel’s comment is, how long have those 2 been married? And that prompted the thought that people in long-term marriages might squabble — [I asked [Uncle] Glenn where he wanted to go and he said something about having learned to be a good husband and agree to whatever is suggested to him.] — as if that initial glee of first love, of new love, always curdles into minor annoyance — and maybe it does. I mean, as a general trend. And maybe that’s OK — that hopefully there’s some good companionship left once the lust boils off.

[From journal of Mon., 1 October 2018, Journal 284, pages 237-238]

This place has become more normal for me

Show went very well. I’m becoming more accustomed to speaking on the radio and not sounding dumb or nervous.

[Roommate] was an asshole today — talked on the phone at 10 this morning, while I was trying to sleep. I was mad, but I didn’t say anything — why start an argument now? And I didn’t feel like spending all the energy arguing takes.  

Read some more of Life 101 — what a great book. It’s like the authors took their ideas about life and put them in a book. 

Called mom around 2. Told her that I’ve been thinking about who I am and who I want to be.  

I feel pretty happy lately. I’ve been troubled, of course, but overall I’ve felt contented. My sense of humor seems to be back, and I’ve had an easy time talking to people lately. This place has become more normal for me.

Also, I’ve been thinking about who I am and what interests me, who I want to associate with, etc. I think I’m a fairly intellectual, mature person. Not that I want to script myself into being just intellectual (and therefore stuffy), but I do like to read, like to learn, and like to discuss issues. I also like spending time with other similarly intellectual people, rather than uninformed hillbillies like [roommate], for example.  

I also don’t drink. I thought about it the other day — the pros and cons of drinking. I came up with 8 cons, 2 weak pros. I know I don’t want to drink, so why even try it? I know it’s detrimental to my health, studies, extra currics, mind, etc., so why do it?

That’s why I don’t, and I don’t associate with people who do. There is still a little part of me that keeps telling me that alcohol isn’t that bad, go ahead and try it, but my intellect and reason always intervenes.  Not to say that I’ll never drink, but I don’t feel a real need to drink any time soon.

Both of these reasons say to me that I’m different from the crowd, I’m an individual. Not that we all aren’t, but my intellect and beliefs seem much different from other peoples’.

I never really thought about it before, but I guess I really am different.

I also told mom about how the Todd guy from tennis thought I was much older than I am. That’s funny — other people see you so differently than you see your self.

Worked on this journal. Read some SS318. Went over to house after dinner to watch Superbowl. I told Chad I didn’t think I was going to call Kasey for a while, and he thought that was a good idea. [Chad’s girlfriend] Trish thinks Kasey is just leading me on. Oh, well. I’ll just play it cool and see what happens.

[Journal of Sun., 31 January 1993]