Tag Archives: random journals

Had a dream I was throwing these rubber balls

So while phone is restarting, let me finally finish these journals. Had a plan to go to Rockford today — don’t think I will. I will need to go to bank soon, tho, and maybe get treats in Byron. But, so, yesterday morn, 8:30 to 10:45 or 11, met with KF and J, then just KF, as we first went over the English 2 final and then planned a new skills-based plan for next year …

So, then luncheon — I didn’t sit with [certain colleagues]. I sat between J.R. and D.O. and then after, J. and I talked ’til about 2:20. Then back to school and I left, all packed up, a little before 4. Didn’t go thru any of the binders I had thought to — no time, wanted to be done yesterday. And so, today, I napped 11 – 12:20 or so (Had a dream I was throwing these rubber balls as if they’d go into orbit but then I realized I was fooling myself, these rubber balls (maybe with rubber pegs, like a dog toy, and with some kind of transponder inside to reveal location) weren’t going to orbit — and soon after, I woke up.

[From journal of Thurs., 28 May 2015, Journal 208, page 191]

The water comes from the west, the field there

It was still snowing …, but warm, mid-30s [°F], and slushy when we got back up to the houses. [My uncle] Luck and I played in the meltwater running thru his yard. Luck acknowledged it was play, but he also wanted to break up any slush dams holding water in his dogs’ pen, so we tried to clean snow and slush out of the culverts in Luck’s driveway. I made a channel thru his front yard. The water comes from the west, the field there, and runs by his dog pens and under the culvert just south of his house and then east thru his yard — there’s a waterway there — and down the pasture ’til it joins the water flowing north at the foot of the sled hill.

[From journal of Mon., 26 Feb. 2007, Journal 82, pages 16-17]

When I’m writing a journal in an continuous session, I’m alive each moment

I’ve watched Rick Beato (bee-A-toe) videos on Youtube for a while. He talks about music theory, etc. — and in recent days he posted one called something like “Coming to an End” or “All Things End,” and he said he likes watching videos of Youtubers declaring that they’re done posting to their account/channel. And Beato said most creative careers last about seven years and he said he wouldn’t make a video saying he’s done — so, I gathered that he might be saying that he’s done. And so it’s not a deep — not a hard-to-draw conclusion — that he’s quitting. But somehow this reminded me of a thing I saw yesterday in a Tex Avery Droopy cartoon — where Droopy appears everywhere a wolf in prison stripes goes to try to get away from him. Early on in their chase, there’s an image of a garbage can and a placard above it saying something like, “I’m not hiding in this can.” I think what I like about this gag and the Beato vid is that they make you (the viewer) aware of the conditions outside of the content of the statement.

{I had thought yesterday that maybe one reason I like cartoons, especially the seven-minute M.G.M. & Warner Bros. shorts, is because they have little structure. Sure there’s an intro to the scene (but for recurring bits, like Coyote & Roadrunner, intros are minimal) and some kind of ending (not always relating to the intro) but in between intros and endings are usually just gags — no building of plot points to a climax, no learning, just ongoing struggle of Sylvester to find a bird to eat, and bird evading Sylvester. That’s kinda existential, in a way. Yes, it’s gag-y, and yes, these scenarios, even for a starving cat and coyote [A neighbor’s blue-and-gray Mustang roars west. I hear an idling truck engine through north doors — there roars the Mustang, north on [intersecting] road, it sounds like] have no dire stakes. And yet, I’m more [idling ended — it was nice — then there’s a different truck, maybe the idling one, passing by on [our street]. I heard sound coming through front door and then I heard it through west window] drawn to stories where there’s little learned. I watched so many of these early in my life, perhaps they did influence me.}

Continuing from above: Maybe like these two example statements I talked about, perhaps I too am asking readers to think about the context of a statement, and not just the statement alone, when I post random bits of journal to my blog. I’m making a point about reality (about all moments in a life, in lived experience, being equal) when I post anything I write, meaning, I’m willing to post not just the selected highlights of my journals but whatever I find on that randomly selected page, even banal things. I’m implying that the moments of great insight and the moments of mere description are, well, equally valid moments — maybe not equally interesting as statements, but these are equally valid moments. Both types are moments I lived. When I’m writing a journal in an continuous session (as opposed to pocket pages notes, which are written only after I’ve plucked a moment’s idea or observation (or overheard quote) out of the flow of experience, the stream of consciousness ideas), I’m alive each moment — and that seems important to say. It’s a simple idea, really: that each moment I’m alive and conscious is worth as much, is equally a moment I could attend to and find possibility and awareness of the moment in. And this is, well, kind of a profound idea — it’s one that seems to be opposed by so much other media in our culture, which media presents selected moments, packaged, edited-together, dull parts removed (the Elmore Leonard line about editing out the parts readers would skip). So much of our cultural production (so many products) imply that what’s in the book or movie or song, etc., matters more than what’s outside of that book or movie or song — “shut up, I’m trying to listen to the dialogue,” people say to each other (M and I sometimes say it to each other while one of us is watching TV and the other (usually me) is talking — though we aren’t “shut up”-rude about it.)

Sure, Leonard’s statement makes sense if you’re writing a book that you intend to follow that “only the key parts” model (as I often tell my students, if something’s in the publish text, the author wanted it to be there — each piece of text is serving some function — and it’s this approach that I like to question in my own publishing — which isn’t to say that I leave in useless statements. Rather, that by my leaving in statements that seem disjointed or unconnected, I’m making a larger point about how texts work or how minds work (as I’ve long said that any non-traditional-form text is doing).

[From journal of Sun., 14 Aug. 2022, pages 204-7]

Sometimes being conscious is glorious

Last night, as we talked about the science classification of humans (Chordata, Mammalia, etc.), I looked up a Wikipedia article on humans and read some funny lines about how humans are “bipedal” animals and one thing said human women go through menopause at about age 50 — and I read that (and other lines) to M and she said “yep” or something. Anyway, yeah, we’re nearly safe from the risk of reproduction! We’ll soon have escaped from that rat race — that biological trap — of making new individuals of our own kind. I don’t mean to sound too snarky here, but, well, you know, I don’t feel bad — other than for a brief, sentimental moment at a time — about not having had kids, not having made other humans. Sometimes being conscious is glorious — but certainly not at other times. I mean, I guess it’s not that I have a problem with consciousness. But, dang, it feels like it has taken me most of my 48 years to figure out what I want from life, to understand myself, and some of that not-knowing was painful. (And, well, it’s hard not to think of the material wastefulness of our contemporary lifestyles: carbon skies, landfills of plastic, economic exploitation of poorer people. Yes, those are things I participate in, too, though I don’t feel good — I certainly don’t feel I’ve resolved my feelings — about it.) And even now that I know what I like about being alive — I know that I like writing and observing , etc. — I still find social interaction difficult. I wish I had more people in my Ogle Co. life I could talk to.

[From journal of Thurs., 18 Aug. 2022, Journal 364, pages 228-229]

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]