Wednesday, July 30, 2003
Wow, this place
looks like something out of a Tolkien novel. [Place linked from the Mountain Radio website.]
Tuesday, July 29, 2003
I just spoke with J__
on the phone, and he told me a few jokes. Here's one I'd like to share with you:
This 85 year old man runs into a woman he hasn't seen for many years, and they get to talking. The woman says, "Your wife died about 5 years ago, isn't that right? Have you ever thought about having another woman in you life?" The man replies, "Well, I haven't really given it much thought." The woman continues, "The right woman would provide you with many things: someone to keep you company, good meals to warm your belly, and someone to tuck you in bed at night." The man replies, "I never thought of it that way. Where could I find such a woman?", to which the woman answers, "I could be that woman for you. I'd even climb into your bed at night and give you super sex." The man thinks about this for a moment, then answers, "I'll take the soup."
On my birthday I received a card from my stepmom L__'s father. I was surprised to receive the card, which included cash and the signature, "Grandad J__". The card, and especially the signature, touched me. I've gotten to know L__'s dad over the past few years, having surprised him and his late wife J__ at their house in Morro Bay one time a few years ago on my way back from a solo road trip to Santa Cruz, and since then on several occasions with either my girlfriend or with my dad and stepmom. At the time of my initial visit I hadn't seen L__'s parents in years, probably since I was a teenager. My dad and L__ had mentioned that I should stop by and say hello to my stepmom's parents the next time I went on one of my famously long drives, an offer I would usually file away but probably never act on; but when I found myself cruising through Morro Bay during a beautiful sunset on my drive homeward, something compelled me to stop at a gas station and see if I could locate them. I found a payphone and dialed 411 to see if I could get their number, was surprised to find it listed, and the next thing I knew I was enjoying coffee and cookies with newly-reacquainted friends.
A few years later, L__'s stepmom passed on, after succumbing to one of many strokes. J__, now in his eighties, lives alone. He collects cans every day, which he donates to the Ronald McDonald House charity, he loves to share a good joke, and he travels as often as he can. The Price Is Right gives him some daily comfort, but he is still lonely and misses his wife. He's Scottish and has lived most of his life in the U.S. These details are superficial and tell you nothing about the man, and I don't know why I mention them; he's simply been a man who has always been kind to me, like a grandad, and now I'm really glad I pulled off the highway that quiet fall evening.
Yesterday some neighbors and I had a discussion about blogging. We spoke about the many utilities of blogs, including their ability to be a used as a therapeutic tool, as a way to keep in touch with loved ones, and as a space to practice your craft every day--for example, writing. Seems one of my new neighbors has a blog of his own, and is also working on developing a website. I was pleasantly surprised to discover this; he is the first blogger I've encountered offline. We'll have to trade URLs and secrets of the trade. As I am a burgeoning HTML wizard myself, it would be nice to be able to discuss website development and web technologies with someone.
Monday, July 28, 2003
So I'm enjoying myself today, but I also miss the one that causes me trouble. How selfish I am to make that statement. ___ doesn't cause me trouble--if I am troubled by her, then that's my own deficiency. I love her dearly, and she will always be my best friend, and I'm scared and I love her.
was nonsense. Headache, shmedache. I simply didn't have anything else to say. I've been spending way too much time on the look of this blog rather than posting, that's all. My head's fine.
, however, I'm not so sure about.
And now, a message from our sponsors: it's time for the Steinbeck country rodeo
I have a headache that keeps recurring. It seems to have cropped up recently, or maybe I've had it always but have just started noticing it. I especially notice it when I am sleeping. It's not a migraine or anything, it's simply a headache. Sometimes it feels like my brain is overworked, like it's overheating from exhaustion. I probably sound like a spoiled little brat here, but I'm not complaining here--I'm releasing. That's how these blogs can help, you know?
Some days are excruciatingly difficult to get through. There are a few that are better, but it seems that they are fewer and far between. The better days are the more relaxed ones, but I can't be that slow every day. Most days we have to move, do things, make appointments. So I appreciate these slower, more relaxed days, but you can't repeat them. Not right away. I wish I could, and I'll try, and I'll be hopeful, but how can I be this relaxed and hope to get things done? I just don't see how. I'll try, but I can't afford to fall behind anymore than I already am.
Sunday, July 27, 2003
The links to other blogs (in the side panel at left) are all new, using a service called Blogrolling
. Thanks to Todd Stauffer's book Blog On
for explaining how to use the service. I enjoy Mr. Stauffer's writing style and would like to read his blog, if he has one, but I couldn't locate one, and it seems that others have had this same problem
Labels: blogging, Blogrolling, blogs, books, Todd Stauffer, writing
Saturday, July 26, 2003
He announced himself as he entered the facility,
"Good morning, Officer R___ is here. How is everyone?"
The first time mom said he looked like a robot I almost burst out laughing, except that I rarely burst out laughing. My dad has that belly-laugh thing, but someone I've lost that gene, and it's too bad; I really wish I had it. But I laugh inside as The Robot enters the room, announces himself, and makes the rounds, making sure everyone is pacified and safe. When an incident starts up, Officer R___ simply jokes with the customer, or patron, or client, or whatever you call us. Once in awhile he says "I see you!" in the playful tone of voice usually reserved for a child, but when I look to see who he's speaking to, I don't find the soft face of a child, but rather the hardened face of someone much older--and distressed, perturbed, or angry. A grown man or woman, agitated and tired of waiting, wanting to go home, or to a ballgame, or to the beach. Sometimes this person looks explosive, ready to go postal, ready to take out everyone with a dirty bomb. Officer R___ simply approaches the person and strikes up a conversation, carefully maneuvering their personality. I watch with fascination. Officer R___ is skilled--he knows what he's doing. I talk to him and he says 30 years--that's how long he's been doing this, in some form or another--and he's like the rest of us, just trying to get through the day, his aging long bones moving along as best they can. He does his job, and he does it well--and he has to, because you never know who's going to snap at the ___.
Wednesday, July 23, 2003
Then there was the robot. The robot was a tall black man, probably in his 60s, with arms longer than his legs...
[TO BE CONTINUED]
Tuesday, July 22, 2003
Funny, those kids at McSweeney's, messing with Radiohead
[Spotted on Fimoculous.]
Thursday, July 17, 2003
Every day is another trial, another adventure, another test. (Dad called it a test. I would like to agree--I even told him yes, if I looked at it as a challenge I might find the climb more agreeable--but I'm not sure I really believed myself. I like some tests, but this test is just testing my mental endurance. This is not a formula that needs to be worked out; there are too many variables. There is no simple solution; this is not a math equation. This is more like an essay, to be judged by a random arbiter of taste; and if the judge is stoned, who knows how they'll perceive my results? Then again, if they're stoned, perhaps the judgement will fall in my favor.) Every day is another miracle, especially when it's done, and I wish so bad that I didn't just want to get through every moment. I wish that I could enjoy every moment, even the bad moments, for the thrill of the experience, perhaps. I wish I did enjoy every moment--that I somehow found the energy and the willpower within me to overcome that nagging piece of me that seems to fall more often these days than not--that piece of me that I hate, that dirty little part of me that turns mean once in awhile. I want things to be perfect--I realize that, and I also know that things can never be perfect--but still, I want them to be, and I strive towards perfection, always, and nothing can live up to my expectations.
Every day I make it through, somehow, but some days I feel as if we are falling behind. That we are sliding backwards on the treadmill. Through all we accomplish, the feeling that things are spiralling out of control persists--that time is slipping away, and nothing will ever get done in time. That some horror awaits around the corner. Other days, all is well, the sun is shining and everything is in equilibrium. Everything is connected, the gears of the world are slick, polished, and working together--a perfect symphony of gears turning and moving towards an ultimate goal of better living, better health, better everything--the air is sweet and crisp. On hot days, however, the world seems against you, and every task is an olympic feat.
Wednesday, July 09, 2003
We went back to the ___ yesterday and finally got everything done, for now. You wouldn't believe the characters you see there, both the folks that work there and those who visit. We like to come up with names for everyone; mom calls one gentleman The Dandy, also known as The Peacock, who prances around the place in a showy display, choreographing the movement of the entire facility--Newcomers over here, returnees over there--Does everyone have their paperwork?
--pointing us this way and that. I'm not quite sure why she calls him a dandy
; although he dresses nice I wouldn't say he's foppish, and he certainly doesn't bring to mind a "chorus girl" from Blazing Saddles
. Still, his manner is somewhat extravagant, and he's certainly a character.
Then there's The Robot...well, I'll tell you about The Robot later.
Monday, July 07, 2003
Did I mention how sunny it's been in SoCal lately? Beautiful, gorgeous weather, and I have only one caveat: wear sunblock if you go outside here. I made the mistake of jumping into the pool for about and hour or two without sunblock the other day, and I'm still suffering for my mistake. Sunblock for us albinos is an imperative--okay, I'm not really albino, but I'm damn near close, due to all the time I spend indoors! And with good reason--I burn way too easily. I've always hated that result of my skin pigmentation.
Today at the ___ I almost witnessed a fight. There is a constant vibe of tension in the air at the ___ nearly all the time, but that's simply because the folks there are all subjected to constant waiting for something they need but will ultimately not get enough of. The fight began to brew as one woman began speaking aloud, possibly to herself, as many folks do in this setting: amongst strangers for several hours, uncomfortable and, as I already mentioned, tired of waiting. So this woman began to voice her unhappiness with the situation, or something to that effect, and another woman seemed to have heard her say something derogatory, because the next thing you know the two woman are nearly embroiled in a fistfight. Security arrives and separates the two before they are enjoined and both women are escorted out of the premises, as the latter woman insists that she wants to meet the first woman outside.
This kind of situation always seems to be on the horizon at the ___; it's like a visit to the DMV--nobody really wants to be there but they are required to in order to obtain what they need. I only hope that I can be in and out of there before someone truly goes postal. Luckily, they have a mini airport-style security entry point, aimed at reducing the possibility of arms.
Thursday, July 03, 2003
It's hotter than hell in sunny Southern California right now. Great days for the beach, or entire days spent kicking back in the library, which is exactly what we did yesterday. There's nothing like curling up with a good book, such as We Blog (oh no, we're not going to blog about blogs here, are we?) or The Road To Wellville, which is turning out to be a really fun read. I remember writing a parody (satire? I often get them confused, but I believe this was a parody) of T. C. Boyle's short story Greasy Lake some years ago in a city college course. I had enjoyed Mr. Boyle's story, and I thought my version turned out well, but I never read another of T. C. Boyle's stories until this year, after catching him at the Festival of Books in Los Angeles. After enjoying him read from his latest, Drop City, I simply had to pick up something by him, so the library turned up a collection of shorts, After The Plague, and the aforementioned Wellville.
I'm a slow reader, so you won't be seeing any reviews of Wellville any time soon, but I will say that After The Plague was a pleasure to read, and certainly demonstrates the range of Mr. Boyle's imagination. I don't have any marker besides Greasy Lake to compare to, but the stories collected in this book ranged from funny to frightening, and although most demonstrated a brevity of words, there certainly wasn't a shortage of ideas. Stories covered territories such as voyeur websites, an author's superstardom, and the end (and rebirth) of civilization. Some stories compelled me more than others, of course, but every story was a delight. I'm enjoying Mr. Boyle's style and looking forward to reading more, which I shall do as soon as I have the time.