Tag Archives: 2020

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]

We’re all kinda like nesting dolls. 

Just another day, really, in this stretch of 90° [F] days (one week down, one more to go). 


New life comes from crotches. OK, I don’t think that’s universally valid. But my thought about humans (and other placental mammals) is that new life comes from the inside of existing bodies — we don’t sprout children off our fingers. We’re all kinda like nesting dolls. 

9:36 a.m. phone time. I had cereal and am sleepy already. I learned last night that Rob & Laura Petrie married in or soon after the war, and she was only 17! 2 DVD show episodes were on CBS last night, in honor of Carl Reiner’s death this week, I saw somewhere. 

Ah, f*** — my body felt stiff this morning. I’ve still got chafing. I didn’t feel like doing anything active yesterday. I read online and watched Youtubes while dog shivered on our bed (because of occasional firesworks). And I don’t know if I need to change something or what. I don’t feel depressed exactly, but maybe it’s a different kind of depression. A few minutes ago, as I colored above, I thought for some reason about going to Rhinelander, Wisc. I’m not sure why that place came [to mind]. 

I read at the DVD show page that Rob’s (I think it was his) mother didn’t like that Rob & Laura got married without telling their families. And so I looked up Carl Reiner — I hadn’t realized he’d been the creator of DVD show and that he’d based the Rob character on himself — and I see he married his wife, Estelle, in 1943. Carl’s wiki page says he was drafted in 1942 at about age 20. I was watching a History Channel thing (“WW2 in H.D.”) this morn and it said there was a draft before Pearl Harbor (I’m not sure exactly when it started) but it was for 21–30-year-olds. and yesterday I heard (on some Youtube vid?) that the average age of U.S. solders in WW2 was 26 — but U.S. soldiers in Vietnam were 19.

I just (at 10:09 a.m.) pulled a beetle out of my t-shirt, from between neck and left shoulder. I’ve already been out to catch falling beetles from birch tree. I went off deck so dog would go into grass and pee. He’d wanted out to deck but hadn’t left deck and wanted back in. I went out because I thought he might pee. 

[From journal of Sat., 4 July 2020, J327, page 71]

‘Oh, man, what does toad homework look like?’

Washington Post (updated June 28 at 8:05 a.m.): World: At least 9.995M reported cases [of COVID], at least 497K deaths reported.

Illinois COVID (as of 6/27 2:30 p.m.): 141,077 positive tests confirmed, +786 in a day; 6,873 deaths; 1,521,189 total tests performed …

See previous two pages for cute [neighbor girl] Gwinny quotes. M said as she filmed that we had to stock up on Gwinny cuteness, as we soon won’t have her around [after her family moves].

[Here’s one sample from the previous page: Gwinny said to a toad: “I think you had enough time to play. Now you have to do your homework.” Me: “Oh, man, what does toad homework look like?” Gwinny: “It just means the toad has to sneak out somewhere.” M & I laughed. Gwinny: “She’s gonna be a spy when she grows up.” Me: “Sneaking out is good spy homework.” Five-year-old Gwinny gets it, though she’s never yet gone to school. She learns from her older siblings, I guess.]

Dog and I walked to park and back between 5:30 and 6:20. I think we went via M____ [street], but I could be remembering another day. I napped 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. yesterday. We made burritos late (8 p.m. hour) and ate while watching a Shakespeare & Hathaway — gardening kerfuffle. Bed 11:30 after watching SNL rerun of ‘06 with Nat Portman and some of the 2019 K-Stew SNL at 10:30.

I blogged yesterday. Got to 61 (I think) for the month of June. There was a post I liked, from 12 Aug. 2017, when M and I had gone to Chicago, and I had made an erasure from a Red Eye (paper article) and I put in pics of those pages and the erasure, and a 2010 piece, I had typed in a couple paragraphs I liked, about how I wasn’t keen on … but I took them out and ended the post earlier. I thought that I just don’t want to risk a confrontation with … over it.

[From Sun., 28 June 2020, Journal 327, page 9]

‘Purpose is just an illusion of dreams and desires’

Anyway, I don’t want to get caught up in abstractions and outrages and abstract outrages. I thought about telling M about the ___ but then I thought, meh, I could confine this to my journal and not demand M’s attention. And after I thought of letting go, I felt lighter, unburdened, and more conscious/aware of being alive here and now.

On my camera — no, my phone’s — photos, I saw a pic I took earlier this week, a pic of one of the sayings on (one of the Exquisite Corpse poems) the hallway billboard. It seemed key, somehow, pertinent to me at that moment when I took pic (and here’s what I photo’d): “Purpose is just an illusion of dreams and desires.” (Of course this wasn’t the only saying from Ex. Corpse in the pic — there’s also: “So I learned a new chapter in life: You only live once. Or twice.”)

[From journal of Thurs., 26 Nov., 2020, Journal 335, pages 83+]

We sat in shade of a small tree in parking lot and ate

Home about 5 or after, after M. and I got Beef-Roo at place a couple blocks southwest of State & Perryville and we sat in shade of a small tree in parking lot and ate. I had veg. burger with Swiss & fries & some of M’s chocolate shake. At one point, on drive home, I wanted more shake and I found more shake! (I also texted Doug last evening some pics I took off ABC News (on TV) of Hurricanes Douglas and Hanna — Doug and his daughter are hurricaning (I verbed it).

I got some red screws 3″ long, densely threaded, Phillips heads, out of one part of the ledger board Saturday night. I need to get wheel barrow & rake for making our concrete for pads (not posts) for deck. I need too to clear a place in garage for ladder and wheelbarrow.

I like that idea yesterday (pg. 119, I think) of thinking of these journals as improvs — improv sessions, or jam sessions. People don’t market jam sessions (though there were recorders of G.Dead concerts. And fans swapped bootlegs. People liked to groove (after getting high?) on a jam session. It’s harder to follow along when high to a text — though reading my texts would still provide an experience.

[From journal of Mon., 27 July 2020, Journal 328, pgs. 123-4]

And so it ages

Ok, so, yeah, heay — I didn’t mean to write it backgwards but that’s what I’ve done. I’v also now put a “g” in “backgwards” and I’ve left out the silent “e” in “I’ve” — and English keeps its old spellings — it’s a good language in which to do etymology. I learned over weekend that “gnosis” — root word of diagnosis, prognosis — is also a shared root with “know” — and that’s back in the Indo-European proto-language that the etymologists speculate/theorize into existence. And now it’s 3rd hour and I’ve graded some today but it never feels like enough. That’s OK, — it isn’t enough. Ha! And so it oges. And so it ages. [From journals of 8 Sept. 2020]

Instead of ‘now vs. then,’ different ‘nows’ — this now vs. that now

I grant that I have this new publishing approach that I like. That doesn’t mean I should judge others for not having this idea. But after I blogged last night, I thought of a way to explain, a simple way to explain, what I like about blogging just bits of my journal — and not introducing them as journal bits (which is a newer thing — not putting “journal” in the post title, but only at the very end, where I cite it kinda as a Works Cited source). Instead of thinking about moments as “now vs. then” (where “then” could refer to future or past, expected or prior (in the sequence) moments) — instead of that, think of “different nows” — this now vs. that now. Since we live (are alive) only now, we can’t live through — experience — a “then” moment, not directly.  “Then” is an abstraction, verging on story, that arbitrary construct. …

And this “different nows” is subtle but it’s the key, I think, behind why (as to why) I like my publishing of bits — a paragraph or so, each idea as roughly paragraph-length.

I like my publishing of bits from journals because each bit was written at/during a “now” — and so, different writings in any (all) journals pages are just the product of different nows.  … Royko writing his columns at different times, those are writings written for others within a historical (political, cultural, societal) context, written for the moment. And they don’t have much shelf life past the moment. They are merely historical documents. But because I’m not writing to an audience — I’m writing journals to a readership of one (of me) — well, then, it’s ever-present. I think something and then I write it. My ideas are fresh from my mind, and meant to be read only by my mind, at nearly the same time as I think them. I’m not thinking about when my audience will read my column — today, next week, tomorrow, whatever, So since I’m not in time, I’m timeless. I’m not writing to or for any moment but the very present moment, the now, and so somehow the texts seem alive to the reading moment of years later.

Of course, my journal texts are also historical documents. If you look at the date, the text is what I wrote on that date. By extension, it’s what I thought about on that date, and I couldn’t have known then what would happen next. So I do cite date and journal and page at the bottom of my text-selection.

I haven’t gotten feedback from M or Mom or Doug or readers making comments. I’m going on my own interpretation and adjudication. But also, I don’t seem to require others’ feedback. I’m not making a carving that’s smoothed for the public. What I’m making has some sharp edges, and that’s OK. You can touch my sculpture (as an image-metaphor for my blogs of journal bits), but carefully, mindfully, attentively.

And I wondered just now if I were feeling I had to defend myself and my project — nope. Sure, I am publishing these, making these publicly available, but I’m not promoting them. I’m not saying people should come read these. I’m not Disneyland, creating something thrilling (pandering to those who like speeds, scares, through roller coasters, which is most people) and safe (no real risk in riding a roller coaster) — or, there is real risk — ride could break — but the roller coaster marketers want to downplay that, make people feel safe.

I feel I could talk more about my blogs of journal bits — how I’m both putting particular flavor, concerns, specificity into an ostensibly dull, monolithic adulthood experience — and I’m capturing some kind of subtle-but-interesting ideas, interesting not in the history of human experience (or of human written-about experience) but interesting in a subtle way. Maybe my written-in-the-now blog posts also draw readers’ attention to their own present (in that my blog posts are subtly weird, that I’m not participating with new entries in familiar forms, like the one-panel meme is a form, like the op-ed column is a familiar form).

[From journal of Sat., 18 April 2020, Journal 321, page 157-160]

I see a bright but indirect-sun lawn to the north

I see a bright but indirect-sun lawn to the north. I was reminded of seeing something in this particular light from when I was a kid, maybe on a garage-sale venture with mom—looking at others’ lawns while bored, maybe in the car.

So, pictures, art, made randomly and randomly chosen to show others might not be efficient but it can be surprising. “Fu*k dramatic tension. I like to watch kids pick daises” was title of one of my blog posts last night. Random editing requires audience to be patient but it can show them things they wouldn’t otherwise see or notice.

So, I had this distinction to make between what Brautigan did and what I do—that I’m not trying too hard to give meaning-(or mood)-packets like R. Brautigan seemed to be doing in his poems. Some artists who work more fully from (or within) an imagined world than I do. They need to pick things to go in their frame. I’m thinking here especially of painters as compared to photographers, who see the world they find and select bits from that. A painter can be like Dali throwing sh!t together, or like a Renaissance painter, throwing symbols together.

The celebrity impressionists (like Chloe Fineman on SNL) pick out, or tend to pick out, a few things the person does—mannerisms, phrases—and Mathew McConaughey’s “alright, alright, alright,” he’s promoted that, or used that phrase himself. Maybe it’s better for an actor to have a catchphrase than to not have one, even if the actor gets a bit stereotyped, a bit boxed into the narrow definition of that actor that’s known to the public.

Dang, I thought I had maybe a deeper point to make about my blog posts vs. R.B.’s.

[From journal of Tues., 26 May 2020, Journal 325, page 26-7]

All we experience are particular moments, of course

Weds., 24 June 2020, page 167

I’ve drawn for a while. It could be 9:30 or after by now. I should probably make lines darker here so I can read them more easily later. Ah, well.

So, walked dog west on Water and back on Breckenridge (I thought what I’d read last week, about the Colorado town changing its spelling to “en” instead of “in,” once its namesake became a Confederate traitor).

And so, D__ was here and we decided we’d replace whole deck.

I blogged six pieces yesterday—I’m up to 47 for the month, that 2/day average for the month so far. …

We walked past—well, she passed us on west E__, then met us on Water near Blaine.

I mowed and showered last evening and was in bed, ready for bed (except for last walk of dog and last scoop of cat-crap) but stayed up watching Youtube videos—comedy bits, mostly—’til late, about midnight.

It’s the pathetic fallacy to say that weather predicts or matches someone’s feelings, and it’s a cliché to have “a dark and stormy night” in a spooky story. But the particular day’s atmospheric conditions do affect our choices and actions at particular moments (and all we experience are particular moments, of course).

[From journal of Weds., 24 June 2020, Journal 326, page 167-8]

I was waiting, partly/mostly, to want to do something

Even this paper can’t quite convey what it was, what my experience was, as I lay there in library—I was waiting, partly/mostly, to want to do something, to feel I wanted to do something—even to feel what I want to eat (I had a vague idea of that but it wasn’t grasped—something like maybe Brussels sprouts and sushi—a sushi made of B-sprouts? I wasn’t sure—and I don’t really know what dish that would be, or where to get it).

But I’m here, I’m alive. That’s good. This is where I’d return if I were rich and famous and went off to do rich and famous things—I’d return to a place where people don’t care about my mythic origin story or my public image. Let’s say I was friends with Norman Mailer’s grandson or granddaughter. I’m not sure why he came to mind, but I’d also been thinking how dude had many wives and probably affairs and he was probably a scoundrel (what’s the Charlie Harper term—a “rascal”?). Hell, he even stabbed his wife! But he got away with all this bad behavior, or, he seemed to get away with it in court of public opinion (which isn’t a court at all—it’s just whether certain producers and publishers and talk-show bookers think people in the general audience would want to see a person and would want to pay for an actor’s movie or an author’s book).

But of course those close to the person know the person behind the B.S. persona, and the family members did get hurt by their famous person’s f**king other people and ignoring his kids.  (C__ made some connection between E. Hemingway and some H-way descendant who’s on Fox News. I was thinking of how little care H-way gave his kids while he was off fishing or reporting from war zones or whatever).

(M’s playing something, I assume, as I hear clapping and chanting, audio from what sounds like a political speech, maybe Sanders’ last night. But why haven’t we gotten beyond the rally and the protest in our political-acting?)

So if I were friends with a grandson/daughter of Mailer’s, that’d be fun to know, and then we wouldn’t talk about it much, though, of course, it’s the kind of thing I might use to introduce that friend to my other friends. It’s a thing by which we’d know him/her, which is a label, a tag, but also meaningless. But perhaps so much of what we do and say socially is meaningless?

[From journal of Sun., 23 Feb. 2020, Journal 318, pages 70-2]