Tag Archives: 1999

On vacation, at Urbana, 9:50 a.m.

On vacation, at Urbana, 9:50 a.m.

A while since I’ve been here. Can be explained by work on the feature [radio story] after the 13th, then M’s grad that weekend and no privacy in this apartment for writing, and then at home gardening all last week (and in fact I lost track of this notebook during our cleanup).

God, I really need to write this morning—feel my life is out of control otherwise. God—huge puffy clouds now, blazing white against brilliant blue sky—and for a moment, a cloud blocked the sun directly overhead, so it was brilliant sky, muted trees right here.

Anyway, Da_ here all weekend. That’s good. M said he finally started to loosen up some around her. Jesus, he will have to if he’s every going to have a relationship.

So I just feel I need to get back in control of my life, somewhat. I just wrote down my expenses of the past week or so. Jesus, I’ve been spending too much money again. I’m not going to get out of debt until I stop putting more on than I can pay off. It’s little stuff, sneaks in. I had costly car repairs last month but towards the end of the pay period, I put lots of little sh!t on, Schnucks’s, gas, WallMart, etc. Oh, well.


Friday May 14th: Wrote a draft of the bushel story. CL said it’s good. We cleaned house that evening, and B__s arrived at 11 or so.

Sat. 15th: M’s grad at Krannert, loud lunch with her relatives at Lindo Mexico, garden with the B__s for a while, then we cooked stir-fry at home. Broccoli from Market on Square—first day for that this year!

Sun. 16th: I left home at 8:30 as B__s slept on futon, got coffee & bagel at St. Louis Bread and went to work, though didn’t start feature til 12 or so, done at 4. CL said Monday it’s best I’ve done in a while. I took B__s to work and played it for them this evening. M said it’s best, too. At 5, we went and registered at Pier 1 and Target, dinner at Olive Garden between.

Mon. 17th: Got on great with B__s on Sunday but I think everybody a little grouchy on Monday. I went to work 8 to 10, to finish intro, etc., then we started packing to leave. Went to garden and planted alyssum I got Sat. at Market on Square. Lunch at Strawberry Fields. We left at 3 or so. I went home, made salad from garden—nearly overgrown with weeds. Coffee at Petro.

Tues. 18th: Chopped weeds by hand. Weeded some rows, watched the sun move across the sky. Shoveled straw out of barn. Was outside from 10 til 5 or so. Up late watching TV.

Weds. 19th: Body sore. Rented tiller in Oregon—didn’t cut through tall weeds like I wanted. Tilled the manure into the one part and tilled feedlot. Talked with mom on the gate into hay mow. Read in “All the Presidents Men.”

Thurs. 20th: Weeded and put pea sticks in before lunch, then went to lunch in Rochelle with Dad. Stopped at Wally, looking for black plastic. Put some potatoes in later and spread straw, started transplants but mosquitoes chased me inside at 8:30.

Fri. 5/21: Up early at 7, put in rest of 3 trays of eggplant, tomato, pepper. Didn’t leave until 11 to pick up M—went down Rt. 47, got check at 5:07 and talked to Charlie. Dinner later at Thai place. Da_ & Do_ arrived at 2 a.m., up all Sat. morning until 6 a.m. We went to Perkins til 4:30, then walked to the Gateway fountain—it marks the apartment where we used to live.

Sat. 5/22: Slept 6 to 9, Market at Square, talked to Jon about working for him, went to Strawberry Fields, bank, garden, Bagelman’s, and by that time, 11:30,  Do__ left with his mom at noon. We laid around, made dinner here, Star Wars at 6:30, Pages, me and Da__ to The Office in Urbana from 10 ’til 12.

[Three dates below written 3 June]

Sun. 5/23: Breakfast at Elite Diner, bought $100 of books at Priceless. It rained some. New front tires for Da__ at Farm & Fleet, dinner at Lindo Mexico, glance at the retention pond, he left at 5-ish. … I read more of “All the Presidents Men,” and then the movie “Election.”

Mon. 5/24: Up and wrote some in here, then brief tooth-cleaning, then mostly didn’t do much all afternoon. Made a couple calls on houses to rent, etc. Didn’t do as much packing and cooking as I could’ve and so it was left until

Tuesday 5/25: Got lettuce for salad and packed salad into cooler, and with other packing, we didn’t get on the road until 130 or 2. M drove the Tri-State I-80 to Michigan border. Stayed at our Comfort Inn on Sprinkle Road. Gardenburgers at TGI Fridays out near 131. M didn’t feel so good, loud bartending contest at the restaurant.

[From journal for Mon., 24 May 1999, Journal 24, page 269-71]

No spending on things I don’t need

No spending on things I don’t need, because I want to pay off credit cards with all the money I can. This is my goal, my purpose—with clarity and strictness. I don’t want to waste my money. I want to get paid up.

It’s a personal challenge of sorts—keeping track of  my spending keeps me occupied. But more than that, I feel I’m gaining on my debt, lessening the weight on my shoulders and my spirit, and that feels great, certainly better than it feels to buy a new book I don’t have time to read with money I don’t have to spend. That’s how I had to get it through to myself: I don’t have money to spend. I have it to save. 

Another way to put it: Instead of going into the stores and looking around and resisting the urge to buy, I just don’t go into those stores.

Also, I wrote in one of my notebooks recently how another year has passed and I haven’t done any more fiction writing (well, just a little bit). That’s true—no novel’s in the works.

But look what I did do, see how I did change over the last year: vegetarian, small farm, etc. Lots of new thoughts about farming, environment, energy, etc. My whole attitude about health, lifestyle, economics, questioning the status quo and questioning authority. What I want out of life—to live in the country, grow my own food, not go to regular employment, maybe even home-school our kids. I recently did a lot of growing and changing—and maturing—this year.

And I got engaged and began planning my life with Nano! [my nickname for M] It’s neat—we grew more and more together in our values and beliefs about lifestyle, economics, politics, etc.

[From journal of 20 Jan. 1999, Journal 25, page 14-5]

Direction of my life being altered by nudges

10/8 FRI night

〉 Haven’t taken much time for myself lately—no writing, etc. I’ve just gotten up and been on the go all day.

〉 My culture—I think I still like gardening, etc., but it’s been so long since I’ve practiced and lived my culture—whole foods, etc. First step is to quit smoking.


〉 Sitting outside tonight (smoking, but I didn’t until 6:30 or so—I’m cutting back), I realized that I really am moving/moved home (home area), indefinitely, for first time since high school.

〉 This whole few weeks has really amounted to a big change—direction of my life being altered by nudges. I won’t be same person as before.

Sat. 10/16 11:30 pm

〉 I miss Dad. I got to feeling tonight that I wished I could just call him up and chat, hear his voice, etc. Just to be there, with him.

〉 So many questions, riddles—he was first to get to work and last to leave, so he liked to be around people, right? But then why not fix the phone? Why didn’t he just invite us boys, or uncle G. or aunt J. over to his house?

〉 J. and G. were down tonight about 4. We talked outside for about 2 hours, then went to eat in Oregon (Sunrise diner, where Dad and I ate after Grandmas’s visitation).

[Fri. night, 8 October 1999; 9 Oct. 2000; Sat. 16 Oct. 1999; all from Journal 26, pages 191-2]