Friday, April 29, 2011

SOME THINGS ARE WORKING (EVEN IF I DON'T HAVE A JOB)

Earlier today I had so much to say. What happened?

Here's a funny story. I took 2.5mgs of Adderall today, thinking it would help me push through the dregs of my house ... yes, we are getting to those things that niggle you to death. They're around simply because you don't know what to do with them.

Shortly after I medicated myself, I had to move my car for street cleaning. I had a short list of car errands to run, going to Fairway to buy as much Mash as I can afford as I drink it every day. And then there is the never-ending pile of library books.

Off to the library I go, virtuous returning books I had not finished with, but had not paid attention to in weeks. Slimming down the checked-out books I thought.

I found the book I had on hold and began to peruse the new books as I often do. I pulled down a pile, sat at a table and considered whether I really needed to check out 11 or 12 more books. I whittled out two. I returned them to the shelves.

Several minutes later, I realized that I had begun to straighten and re-organize all the books on the new books shelves. (They were in a big big mess.) What was I doing, I asked myself. And then I remembered the Adderall. As if I need to go out to find a mess to clean up.

I found that hugely amusing. Maybe you had to be there. So like me to take on the world at large, instead of my smaller one.

In other news, even though I have not been consciously dieting or paying a lot of attention to what I have been eating, I put on a pair of summer pants that had previously been a bit tight to find them looser and more comfortable.

Some things are working.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

MARGO BY LAMPLIGHT

A cool yet steamy night, the room suffused in lamplight, and Margo Timmins and those Cowboy Junkies waxing poetic and mournful ... that's the setting here on 8th Avenue.

Cats asleep and happy as I opened another can of tuna ... and did not put it down on the floor. I think there are cat magnets in tuna. They aren't like dogs, (my cats at least), who are generally on the watch for anything falling from human hands. When gravity pulls the tidbit down, dogs are generally right underneath to receive and gulpingly consume, ready for the next. Cats, on the other hand, are waiting to be convinced, interestedly lingering nearby. But when tuna get on the plate on the floor, a smooth, and quite gravitational forces impels them to get right to it. They don't break stride, regard the tuna progentitor with gratitude, or inhale the food. (Allright, I have seen some cats do this, mine don't.)

Embroiled in a bit of an emotional storm this week. This has slowed but not stopped me. I have not made a lot of organizational progress, but I haven't spent the week eating, sleeping, or spending money I don't have, so that seems like a plus.

I had to give up on Skippy Dies. Call me old. Call me feminist. Tell me you don't want to fuck me and that I don't have a sense of humor, but I am pretty tired of boys-in-boarding-school books. Especially ones that feel like Lucky Jim at the beginnning, if they are not, indeed Lucky Jim. I don't need to read about another disaffected, lost boyman in his 20s about to cheat on his honest but not exciting girlfriend who rescued him for loneliness and thorough jerkhood, soon to have her heartbroken. I do not fault the book for being caddish and derivative, because it boring. (Although not badly written.) And I am really quite tired of sex-crazed teenage boys on drugs. Not interesting at all.

So, I picked up Elegy for Iris again, and although it is sad, it is quite the opposite side of the coin.

Upon seeing Piero della Francesca's The Resurrection,

" ... the picture is not only supremely satsifying but also electrifying. It inspires awe. We ate our spaghetti that day with a sense of high achievement, for who can see a great picture or read a great book without taking some of the credit for it himself..."





I find Bayley's musings on marriage quite comforting and sweet and a different language of what draws people, or drew them together.

"Iris seemed to be in a reverie, too. I took her hand and it pressed mine. What was she thinking? I had no idea, any more than I had in the case of Kafka, and I knew very well there was no way to find out. But this realisation reassured me deeply: it made me happy as the hypothetical woes of Kafka had made me feel sad. Such ignorance, such solitude! They suddenly seemed the very best of love and marriage. We were together because we were comforted and reassured by the solitariness each saw and was aware of in the other."

And later:

"So married life began. And the joys of solitude. No contradiction was involved. The one went perfectly with the other. To feel oneself held and cherished and accompanied, and yet to be alone. To be closely and physically entwined, and yet feel solitude's friendly presence, as warm and undesolating as contiguity itself."

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

HOWLING IN COMPLICTY: SOME DRUNKARDS TALES

Loud drunks across the street again, even though it is not so pleasant outside. I am predicting a dog's mouth summer, with many sticky days. We've lived through them before. I find it early in the year for mugginess. The neither-here-nor-there-weather is making it difficult to get dressed again. Just bring a shawl. More practical than almost anything else. I dislike being overheated and carrying a bunch of things. Cranky. Shirty.

I would that moods were more readily described like geologic layers or perhaps making a lasagna. There's the base mood and then various nuances of other things making a hefty whole. My base level is deep, somewhat sad, and processing some slow information. As computers can do. I am emotionally "rendering" on the bottom layer, in the background. When I stop or I am by myself (which was not all the time today), the other layers or processes stop and I just feel slow and emotional and not entirely focussed.

What were the metaphors for this before computers?

I am a techno-slut at the moment: my laptop in bed (no-no that that is), iPhone charging next to the bed, and an old iPod playing through an alarm clock dock.

I had to take some bendadryl for my allergies, so sleep is rising up.

However, I did want to note an article in the NY Times titled

Culture of Complicity Tied to Stricken Nuclear Plant

and point out that the culture of complicty is tied to all sorts of bad shit in this world. Hel-lo. Nothing new there. 

Susan, I am sorry I forgot to wish you happy birthday yesterday.

Anon, mes amies.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

THE TRENCHES OF SPRING

How this ear worm got into my mind, I do not know, but I keep replaying the song about the Wicked Witch of the West from The Wizard Of Oz. I'll spare as all a link.

The warm season is upon us if the opening of the patio across the street at Johnny Mack's Home for Inconsiderate Smokers and Drunks is any indication. There was a party tonight. Tinkling glasses and hearty laughter do sound sweet on a warm night, and the revelries seem to have quieted. I can hear them washing silverware though.

Still in the trenches of organization and Spring cleaning. I think I think I think I see some light drifting in.

And although these digging and organization tasks (both the house and my head) make me anxious and maybe "little d" depressed, I'd say half of me is feeling reasonably well. While perusing jobs today, I could actually think of ways in which different things might suit me. I might be stumbling toward a new and different self-image and way of describing myself and my experience.

As I was walking from the subway station to see K, I found a perfectly fine sky blue cashmere scarf in the trash. Yes, it needs cleaning, but other than that, this is a beauty. I began to understand myself as a finder, although I think I need a more elegant way to say it. I am always looking for something: an object, a person, an idea, a joy, a juxtaposition, a new way of looking at things, and, of course, answers. Does that make me a discoverer, an explorer?

Any thoughts?

Miep is trying to atone for another vicious and unmotivated attack on Cooder by chasing her tail as she settles into bed. I am not buying. (But it is cute.)

CH-CH-CHANGES

Guess I crossed over today. My much beloved Blackberry would not charge, a problem I had with it two years ago. Planned obsolesence, I imagine. I had the time today, so I took the subway and headed to the Verizon store in Brooklyn.

I came home with an iPhone. In the American way, I charged it to my Verizon account. I had to make this cell phone upgrade last for two years and I knew I wanted an iPhone. I rather need one, in my line of business ... although an iTouch would have been okay. Perhaps I will be able to write posts on it from the road.

Until I realized my cell phone problem, I was continuing the march of spring cleaning. I am herding my stuff into one terrible area, but other areas are beginning to look okay. And clean.

Miep entreated me for some serious petting, and after I acquiesed she attacked poor Cooder meatloafing on the rocking chair. What is wrong with her? (Miep.) Fur was flying. Miep had on her porcupine fur. Cooder was dazed. I threw Miep in the tub where there were some hand washables soaking. She didn't like the water at all. But she didn't chase Cooder anymore.

I wonder if she has a mental condition. Besides being a cat.

It is late, again. Feeling all right. Making progress. I think a breakthrough of some sort is on the horizon? Work? Love? Sanity?

Monday, April 25, 2011

EASTER WITH CATS

Parts of the day, it seemed that Spring was here, ready to reveal all the glory of itself. Then again, there were lots of April showers on and off, even with some lightning and thunder.

The Hamfest Chez Johnson Lagasse was just that, a total gas. We all ate and drank and laughed ourselves silly, made good fun of one another, and generally moved around the apartment and patio in a pack. I don't remember too much besides eating and laughing. And as I was pretty darn functional today, I managed to stay just this side of wasted. I hadn't had that much fun in awhile.

I did take a copy of grazing naps ... the nibbling edge of a real sleep. Are doze and graze equivalent? Whilst in the midst of one, I came upon a feng shui problem and solution for some of my odd pieces of furniture and the larger issue of the mess. I moved the two or three pieces and suddenly, even with the mess, it feels much better.

i continued on with my Spring cleaning ... amazing how dusty it gets in here, what with cat food and car exhaust soot, and might even even even see a little light at the end of the tunnel. There will still be plenty to sort and throw away, but at least there will be a baseline of organization and order.

Miep says miao and now here comes Cooder. I broke my rule about computers in bed tonight. The cats are here to remind me what this area is for! Curling up with them.

Oh, the toe is healing nicely. Thank you for asking. Doesn't even hurt as much as my arm where I got a tetanus shot.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

SAY WHA? . 1

Now, more than ever, am I ill-equipped to write anything of substance.

I passed the day engrossed in the minute to minute needs and little else. And while that may not be any kind of edifying reality, it is the truth of my day.

Friday, April 22, 2011

HAND OF KINDNESS

Just so you know, there is still kindness and grace in the world. My excellent doctor treated me for my toe at no charge, just for the tetanus shot she decided I needed even though I had had one in 2006. I really cut myself.

The drunksters are yukking it up across the street which does not bode well for my sleeping.

I had an okay day. I even started in on the dreaded refrigerator cleaning process. Sometimes it is okay to do things a little bit at a time. Breaking it down, I believe it is called.

Tomorrow is therapy and dinner at the happy ham haven (aka chez LaGasse/Johnson).

Making good progress in Proust, nearly done with Swann's Way. Cooder is happy as I cleaned off the chair that is behind my work chair, so she can sleep nearby me. She can keep a close eye and make sure I am not sneaking an ice cream bar without including her.

Is that all there is? For today, I think so.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

THE TROUBLE WITH TUNA

As I said, yesterday was orders of magnitude better than the day before. At least until the middle of the night when I got up and made that long and dangerous trek through my messy house to use the toilet. And then I thought I wanted a cookie. And from then on, trouble.

4:00 a.m. I was so-o-o not awake. I stumbled into the kitchen and straight onto the empty can of tuna I had left on the floor for kitties delight. Blood. Nice deep cut. No health insurance. Not really conscious. Not good.

Anyway, happily, I had the right first aid supplies and knew the right things to do, so the bleeding stopped and I could sleep. Might have needed stitches, but had a nurse look at it today. Definitely need tetanus shot. Allora. Zut alors! And tomorrow pay cash at the doctor.

Could have been worse. The good? Didn't get depressed. Didn't go into a spiral of misery or anything. Nothing insupportable.

And so it goes.

DEMENTORS MOVIN' ON

Today was better. The sleeping pill helped. And I went to bed much earlier than tonight for instance. I didn't spend very much time with myself today. You might be wondering, given the bummer I've been on, why I would want to spend any time with that crazy bee-yatch anyway. All I can tell you is that she means well, and she is trying.

I woke up, more or less on time. I drank my morning caffeine allotment. I worked with Robert. Then I headed to the Upper West Side to work with Jason and Louise on the MW script. I was mostly working from 1:00 to 9:00 with only a short sojourn for air, coffee, and The Goodwill. Creative concentration is tiring. Or should that be concentrated creativity? We did excellent work (kudos to Louise here) but I am somewhat burnt out.

I'm taking a bit of a break from M. Swann and his amor désastre, for some lighter reading: Join the Club: How Peer Pressure Can Transform the World. Where I saw the book recommendation, I cannot remember, however, it it enlightening and perhaps encouraging. Those jaded among you would not appreciate, enjoy, nor embrace as it is necessary to allow that things can improve in the world. Difficult to comprehend in these days of perfidy, venerated greed, cupidity, stupidity, and likely other -idities I cannot, at this moment, name. (Here's a more ... well, negative review. Some good points are made.)

So, laundry dropped off, kitchen clean, kitties extra happy because they got kitty tuna which is a rare occurrence, and at least a sincere attempt at writing, I think I can lay down my weary load.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

HYPNOTIZING CHICKENS

The red tulips help some. So does seeing the buds on the tree outside my window. The birds yak and chirp madly, keeping both Miep and I from a good deep nap. But the grey is still here, spitting rain as if it could barely be bothered to be wet weather.

My mood does not improve with this low light and slightly inconvenient weather. Finding that Iggy-Pop-lust-for life is not a simple matter.

I've been hurting since I bought the gimmick
About something called love
Yeah, something called love
Well, that's like hypnotising chickens ...




Hypnotizing chickens ... that is a pretty good metaphor for life in general, not just love. All for naught?


The dementors banged on my door today. Maybe that's why I couldn't hear the UPS folks ringing the bell. Even without actually keeping company with the messengers, the bringers of depression, I felt a strong pull to the dark side. 


Not sure if I have ... um ... shared it with y'all here, but I am going to see my mental health professional three times a week. That's a lot. So between that psycho-emotional time and wrangling with the demons of stuff and regret, AND the schvitzing sky, staying up, upright, and all that is quite a task. Just not in top of the world form. 


Stressed out and exhausted with this hypnotizing.

SHORT ONE

Here's the deal for Sunday. And it is a short one, Just worked on the house. And staying focused used up most of the mental/emotional getting-things-done space. So, there is nothing deep or erudite for me to comment on at the moment.

Fun watching HBO and Showtime with John. And one snort over the line. I really can't drink anymore. A little goes a long way.

RANSACK AND RAMBLE

What is it about stuff? About possessions? About having objects? I really don't understand.

As I am digging deeply into my boxes of aforementioned stuff, there are many moments of the pleasure of viewing, say, some of my vintage linens. I am glad I have them. But what do I think they say about me? Why do I need so many of them? I understand why I have lots of books and (lots and lots) of CDs although I plan to spend some time examining that, too.

I am dismayed by the accumulation and yet I am not ready to part with it, dispose of it. But I feel I need to.

Still working through Proust. That likely adds to some convoluted thinking. I think it his writing is amazing, but his analysis of Swann's mind and heart is daunting in the complicated detail.

I liked this:

"How often we sacrifice the fulfillment of a possible happiness to our impatience for an immediate pleasure."

Nearly always? A corollary to the "road to hell is paved with good intentions."

That was a bit of an aside. There is something brewing and stewing in me. I am not depressed or particularly down. Maybe this is the midlife crisis my cousin Dan thinks I am having ... the change of life. Well, yeah. I hope so. I need to change my life. I am working to change my life.

I feel that I am ransacking myself to find some thought or memory that will make all of this, my (and I do mean) so-called life. I am going through my belongings and my penchants for possessions to ... what? Free myself? Understand myself?

Saturday, April 16, 2011

RAINY NIGHT IN BROOKLYN

Wasn't that a famous song back in the late '60s, early '70s, A Rainy Night in Brooklyn? (1970).

Not much thinking going on again today. I went to therapy, worked on my house ... and I can definitely see improvement even with things still strewn about. John and I picked up my mothership computer.

And yes, I am tired. So, back to the sounds of tires on the wet road, a bit more of M. Swann's convoluted love, and some sleep.

It did feel good to unpack boxes of books that were falling apart and contained not just the tomes but the dust of a few years. Onward!

PROGRESS IS IN THE MIND OF THE BEHOLDER?

There must be a boredom-with-SallyAnne-factor out there by now, what with the day-to-day hijinks of personal minutia and struggles with self-administered problems. Today was no different. Well, save for one thing. In a moment of being overcome with the task of sorting through my stuff and making a living space that others could be in, I dosed myself with some pharmaceutical (and prescribed) amphetamine.

Cue: Dinah Washington, What A Difference Some Speed Makes ...

Of course, I found myself completely distracted from my desk and paperwork related piles into less pressing issues such as repotting plants, cleaning the spice rack, and hanging a new kitchen tools rack. I still can't get into my bed as it is covered with boxes of patterns, fabric, scraps, and doilies. And you can't walk from one end of the house to the other without stepping over several half-sorted piles of paper.

But progress is being made! And at this rate, who knows when I will sleep. I didn't get outside much today, but I've mostly been on my feet and moving around. I think I will take a break from this to go in search of some bebidas (that's Spanish for drinks, should you not know).

Update: 12:35 a.m. — after some Torrontes, Richard Thompson live (thanks again, J.), and some Jeff Beck, I can see progress amongst the disorder. So, I am going to take a relaxing bath and have at it again tomorrow afternoon.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

SPRINGING CLEAN

"Then the rain let up and the sun came up
And we were gettin dry"

Which is to say that it is gettin' on Spring maybe. Still a bit chilly here and there, but light out there.

In the desk trenches again, for most of the day, throwing away bank statements and expense reports that are pushing on 20 years old. Ugh. What keeps me going is the idea that I've discussed here a few times, that I am doing this for myself, to make my life better, more comfortable and generally pleasant.

I had a thought the other night that I am only barely putting into practice. That is, that every day I will attempt to do one thing that I am ignoring or avoiding. That thing can be as small as walking across the street to drop off something at the dry cleaner's or as big as cleaning out the refrigerator. 

Learning to keep my kitchen clean has made a "brain reprogramming believer" out of me. And the subtle yet present inclination to exercise and/or get out of the house every day is another change of habit.

So, I told myself today that I just had to hang in there, and keep sifting, pitching out, and filing. That besides the neater desk, there could be the added benefit of the task becoming less monumental and less onerous.

I really need a deep sleep, so I took a 50mg trazadone which is hitting me. Wish me sweet dreams!


ACCUMULATED CHOICES

Lucinda Williams has a song about Car Wheels on A Gravel Road. Last night, I had the lullaby of car wheels on a rainy night road, and it was sweet. There was lots of lightning, too, but not much thunder. Sleep is not coming easily to me, but at least I was cozy.


Finished Just Kids and can go back to re-reading Swann in Love (for the umpteenth time in English). 


Rather simultaneous to my reading the following passage


"He had for so long given up directing his life toward an ideal goal and limited it to the pursuit of everyday satisfactions that he believed, without ever saying so formally to himself, that this would not change as long as he lived; much worse, since his mind no longer entertained any lofty ideas, he had ceased to believe in their reality, though without being able to deny it altogether. Thus he had acquired the habit of taking refuge in unimportant thoughts that allowed him to ignore the fundamental essence of things."


Dear Dreamfarm Sue sent me this link to Buddhist Geeks with this


The Choosing to Die Syndrome

What is it? It’s the slow accumulation of decisions towards a fixed identity and away from the fresh aliveness of your life. It’s giving in to the prevailing views of what life is about, and the building up of habits and defenses that maintain those views. It’s the murder of curiosity, and the killing off of exploration. It’s the embracing of certain certainties in order to soothe to pain of living in an ever changing world.
We are clearly not the first people to experience confusion and ennui, but the easy access to mindlessness certainly makes dulling it all quite simple and seductive. Although I don't watch much television and even less reality tv, I certainly make-time-wasting-do with solitaire and catching up on the entire run of Roseanne on streaming Netflix. I fight with myself to get up and do even one small task, just one thing to improve and get on with my life.


I find it challenging to choose life and change and to keep on pushing. But, so far, I do.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

WHERE, OH WHERE CAN MY LITTLE BRAIN BE?

Oh, oh, oh love love
Cry, cry if it makes you feel better
Write it all out in a blog-like letter ....


Sorry, RT. I have been listening to so much RT that I think my fallback communication needs to come from quoting song lyrics. Guess it is a good thing that I can't really hum a shredding guitar solo. 


I would like to trade in my back at this time. Not that it is terrible terrible pain, but just enough to be annoying. I can get behind the idea of pain killers or muscle relaxers about now. (My yoga teachers will be aghast. Sorry Kira and Susannah. I'm high on Altoids.)


There's nothing wrong with me. I have flashes of ... well, not happiness, but okay-ness. I tried to explain this to K today. It's as if I am one of those multi-layered vegetarian pates ... no, the food pyramid ... no ... it's as if much of my current being is doing something, running some process that my brain is neither privy nor contributing to. My brain and attention are free to take care of more mundane things, like sorting, cheerfully, or running errands. 


My chakra energies are all working together except for my third eye. And it is just goofing off and looking around. I will probably explode like a geyser through my crown chakra at some point. 


Clearly, the subconscious parts of me, whatever it is doing, needs my writing and insight, because it certainly is not here now.


And so to bed? I can finish that damn, addicting Patti Smith book.







Tuesday, April 12, 2011

INCREMENTAL ACCOMPLISHMENTS

Not writing. Not thinking. But not drinking either. My brain is somewhere else. Could it be somewhere in these piles of papers and cds that I am making myself sort? It's as if my brain is running some sub-conscious/-rosa/-terranean program which uses a lot of my bandwidth leaving me (Me!) with only enough power to get around without too much danger.

And then these are brain-numbing tasks, this paperwork. Maybe I am channeling all the people stressing about tax time out there. Or maybe I have just turned off my critical facilities and pain/pleasure sensors so that I can keep working on the piles around my house. I did empty two boxes today ... or consolidated them. There's much more to do, but I seem to have a certain amount of focus, even without extra drugs.

The largest accomplishment of the day must have been this: when I felt myself drifting to a bummed-out bottom, I thought I should ... eat? sleep? shop? read? bathe? play solitaire? Nope. Nah. Nein. Un-uh. Non. Pshaw. I thought I should get some EXERCISE. Yep. That's what came to mind first. Let us hope that it is an actual re-wiring and not just an anomaly.

I had not been outside, notwithstanding the ephemeral beauty of a spring day. And I took myself out as the dusk darkened for a mile walk. There were flushes of runners darting about and, always a sign of spring, beauties displaying the lithe limbs of warmer weather. I listened to Aretha as I walked around the 'hood. There were lots of storefront accountants burning the evening oil.

And I have burned enough for the evening, myself. After all, tomorrow is another day.

Monday, April 11, 2011

THINK BELIEVE KNOW

I didn't have a bad day. I was fairly productive, finally tackling the monumental task of organizing all of the mix cds, mine and those I have acquired. These boxes have been sitting in my living room for two years. There's one less box of stuff sitting around. And I continued with the spring cleaning and took my walk to the post office, even though it was already dark. So, I am trying, right?

I still kind of lost and unmotivated. Writing this daily entry has suddenly become difficult again. If I am not particularly thinking or feeling anything, I must be numb. Musn't I? My back has hurt for a few days, so I am not thoroughly without feeling. 

I did some reading today. That Patti Smith book, Just Kids, is really quite a bit better than I expected. Thanks, Stuart and Lili!! I perused a rather strange writing book, Ensouling Language: On the Art of Nonfiction and The Writer's Life. The tone is a bit superior and dictatorial. Buhner is a bit of a know-it-all for a kind of nobody. He quotes Robert Bly A LOT. That should tell you something. (Grain of salt time?) But there are some good bits and I will keep nibbling at the tome until I have to return it to the library.

I leave you with two good quotes included in the book (and there seem to be a few).

A poet is somebody who feels, and who expresses feelings through words. This may sound easy. It isn't. A lot of people think or believe or know they feel—but that's thinking or believing or knowing; not feeling. And poetry is feeling—not knowing or believing or thinking. Almost anybody can learn to think or believe or know, but not a single human can be taught to feel. Why? Because whenever you think or you believe or you know, you're a lot of other people, but the moment you feel, you're nobody but yourself.
— e.e. cummings

Sounds accurate to me.

Beginnings are such delicate times.
— Frank Herbert

I feel as if I am beginning many things again: 
  • living in my apartment (getting all the way unpacked will be some kind of beginning, even if I have been here for two years);
  • letting go of a lover (ready to begin new relationships);
  • finding a new career (speaks for itself);
  • getting to bed (beginning to get sleepy - it is after 1:31 a.m.).




My dreamfarm sis, Susan, says it is a disaster out there, astrologically speaking. I can say the stars or something else were ag'in me out in the subway system today. Lots of breakdowns, detours, and other not so fun surprises.

I have been having the focus problem, previously mentioned. In order to re-train myself in the ways of a more normal working person, I have been setting a few appointments on what is currently the "early side" for me. I overslept and rushed out the door, having first kind of tossed the bag holding my MacBook Air on the ground carelessly and forgotten my iPod and coffee. As I nearly tripped down my somewhat steep front steps I thought to myself, "Sally, you are not operating on all fours."

Although I still generally think of myself as a biped. Or was I thinking of myself as a car? Or a cat? At any rate, it was fairly clear to me that I was in some state of confusion and cognitive blurriness.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

GIVE UP AND GET UP

Tomorrow is supposed to be a sunny day. I sure hope so. Grey grey go away, come again another day. It won't be long, because that's how things seem to roll these days, that it will be screaming hot. The sweat will roll down the fingers making it hard to type. So, before we leave this season, this last bit about snow.

When the snow comes, it's the light and not the cold that lets you know.


My dad says that snow is how you know if you are a kid. If it makes you happy, you're a kid. It's that simple.
— Blythe Woolston, The Freak Observer

Good book that. Snow generally makes me happy. Then again, it is a bit new for me still.

Focus continues to elude me. When I try to nap, I can't relax with all the thoughts of things to do and be running through me. When I give up and get up, I feel tired and listless.

I pushed through a bit today. Trying to break the solitaire and mouth-breathing I am falling into. I managed to do errands, arrange to get both computers running, had an inspirational talk with a dear friend, make pizza, listen to some great music, and clean the kitchen.

Another day, another dollar (spent).

Thursday, April 7, 2011

BIG BLUES AND BAD BEHAVIOR?

Playing solitaire makes me feel like a mouse in a maze looking for cheese. Or so I imagine the frustration of repeatedly doing something for not such a big payoff. Maybe it relaxes me. It feels more like avoidance before some useful activity, treading water without benefit of calorie burning.

Yes, I am feeling a little cranky. I think it will pass. The continued rainy weather and occasional snow flurries do not lift my spirits into feeling the warmth and goodness of life. I need more light. More Vitamin D. I have managed, this week, to stave off any big blues and bad behavior, so I need to see the good in that.

Here's me looking for a silver lining: I came home from a Paul Krugman lecture and a birthday dinner for my friend Iris. I was all set to write, feeling rather groovy because I had been listening to the Los Lobos/Bobby Womack song, Wicked Rain/Across 110th Street, all the way home on my iPod. My homeboys of Whittier with Bobby singing about my adopted home town. And great musicianship. Made me cry.

Makes me digress. I tried turning on my laptop, the mothership unit still in sick bay. No go.
I waited a few minutes (shorter than it seemed, I am sure.) Tried again. Not even the pictogram of the file with a question mark. The grand nada.

Panic. No money. No computer. Shit. Despair. Terror. HASSLE!! I took meself to bed wherein I called my ever-patient mother to whine. And then I tossed and turned all night, berating myself, picturing various kinds of doom and misery. I dozed.

I got up. Computer turned on. Turned it off when I left. Same situation. Wouldn't start. And now here's the silver lining part you have waited for so patiently. When I got the computer on again, I immediately called Apple to see if this machine is still under warranty. Why yes. It is. For 55 more days. So, although there is a problem, it didn't happen 55 days from now.

So, that's accentuating the positive, right?

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

A HUNGER TO CONNECT?

The sky was a pale lemonade yellow this morning. I had never seen anything like it. It was as if there was too much white mixed into the sky, or nearly an absence of color. When I opened my eyes again, a while later, it was the same intensity of hue, but blue, milky blue. And by the time I actually got up, the sky was grey and the rain was here.

As I was dashing out the door to head into an appointment in Manhattan this afternoon, I noticed that both my New Yorker and New York Magazine had arrived on a Tuesday. Something must be up. At any rate, I grabbed the New York as it is easier to read and I always like to check out The Approval Matrix.

I flipped to a review of David Foster Wallace's posthumously-released, The Pale King. I had no real plan to try to read Infinite Jest as I had failed to get through anything remotely like it (no Gravity's Rainbow, no The Recognitions, no Underworld). The review, written by Garth Risk Hallberg, caused me to at least consider putting The Pale King on the (quite long) to-read list.

Wallace seems to have been concerned with some subjects I natter about.

"As Wallace writes at one point, though, in what amounts to an ars poetica, “almost anything you pay close, direct attention to becomes interesting..."


A comment not entirely unrelated to some of the Jane Hirschfield comments I quote early on in this blog. (11/17/10). 



Even wastoids, it seems, are hungry to connect.
I’d like to advance the idea that the true heart of Wallace’s enduring appeal is that we share that hunger ...

Much to my surprise, the half of a sleeping pill I took a little while ago has kicked in fully force, so I will have to end this one here.

Monday, April 4, 2011

THE THEN THAT MARKS THE CHANGE

"We are all haunted by the ghost of the present as we recollect the long distant past, so clear now in its shifts and phases. The present lives alongside our sweep of memory, all unknowing about its own nature, existing minute by minute, wondering if this means something, or that signifies something else, but unable to grasp the nature of its own time. All the while the present has its own past to look back to, but there is no guidance in it, submerged as it is by the present now. Only when it's all over, when it's too late, can you know for sure that then marks the change that altered the course of a life. The present is blind. Just as well, I suppose. What was there to do about anything at the time? But what is there to do about anything when all is said and done?"
— Jenny Diski, Only Human: A Divine Comedy

What I missed, what I didn't do, opportunities ignored, these subject occupy me often enough. I know there is nothing to do about them now.

That was enough thought fodder for the day. That Jenny Diski book is very good but unsettling also. Interrupting?

Spring cleaning. Is that enough of an interruption. Why clean the desk or the table, when you can start on the soot filled window-sills and the books that need dusting? Underneath the bed is a dust bunny breeding ground. I cleaned until I felt so filthy from dust and cat hair (love them but they are work), that I ran to the bath and scrubbed with dead sea salt to get the past out of my pores.

I wish I better understood either my method or my madness. I am the princess of iteration. Start over and over and over again, each time getting a bit further, but never really getting to completion. I think there is something there.

And while I am cleaning, I am questioning my amount of stuff. Why do I need it? Why do I want it? Why can't I let it go?

On the other hand, I am napping more efficiently. Setting the alarm and just being quiet for twenty minutes is revitalizing. And although I didn't deal with the brussels sprouts or the fresh asparagus, I did get two pizzas made and the kitchen cleaned up again.

We try.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

REASONABLE EXPECTATIONS

The day certainly went by. It was a beautiful cool morning again. The benches outside Ladybird Bakery were full of families munching on some weekend specialities and basking in the sun.

I didn't go out, which is not so good. I haven't been doing my walkies as much. I was, however, on my feet most of the day. I suppose that might cause my current tiredness. I had some crazy idea that I would be able to, in proper ADHD chain reaction, finish ironing, finish the hand wash, and then after taking down the ironing board, finish cleaning off the dining room table. That, of course, would lead to my finally putting away all the things on my desk and voila! room to write again. Not.

But I did listen to music and watch dvds from the library that really need to go back. I took a short nap, only about 25 minutes. That seems to be the trick. I need only an REM cycle or two and then I feel rested. If I go for any more dreaming, I tend to be down for more than an hour and am quite groggy for the rest of the day/evening.

Someone suggested that I overplan and expect to get more done than is reasonable. I do feel that way today. Not much reading, not much thinking, not much writing. At least on the discernible plane. Perhaps I will wake up to find I made more progress than I get see with these weary orbs.

Only one way to find out. G'night, Gracie.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

THE PROMISED LAND?

Not THAT late. But after an unfocussed day and some torrontes, I don't really feel up to philosophical or introspective writing at all.

Going through my head are two songs, one my mother made up for us as infants, and the other, the Rolling Stones' It's Only Rock and Roll. Although as I listen to it right now, I can see how derivative is of Chuck Berry's The Promised Land. It's a wonder that there was no lawsuit. (Here are the lyrics.)

A perfectly okay day, good in spots. But I had a difficult time being actually productive. And that is not to say that I failed. I couldn't find my groove of comfort and doing. I did however have a nice nap with a soft cat belly in my face, lots of purring, and some very interesting dreaming. And maybe I should just go back to that.

And I woke up high over Albuquerque
On a jet to the promised land.

IN THE BEGINNING

"In the beginning there was love. No. Love comes early, but not quite at the beginning. In the beginning, and in each of our beginnings, there was the precursor to all else: interruption. This is how love starts."
— Jenny Diski, Only Human: A Divine Comedy


That rather struck me as true. The introduction of a new feeling, a new person, even a new idea is interrupting. Some thing, some ongoing, perhaps quotidian flow of consciousness stops, pays attention, and direction is slightly altered.

A week or so ago, I wrote about looking for epiphanies and serendipity. I am always looking for that which will get me smarter, higher, richer, more amused or entertained, or more loved. An interruption in the fabric of my being that will change me. And no matter what I am going on to love, it does start this way, with a new attention, a change in focus or feeling or perception.

Went to the Knitting Factory over in Billyburg. Fun. But out of thoughts.

Friday, April 1, 2011

NOT EVEN A TOKEN

Deep in Proust Country, dontcha-ya know. And even though I am there, I am not sure what it all means. I might have mentioned that I have read the first book, Combray, about four or five times now. And it seems like the first time. I think I got it this time.

So much of this work, or what I have read so far is about our imaginations, what we bring to situations and people. And that, of course, ties in with my ongoing ruminations about Romanticism.

...Our belief that a person takes part in an unknown life which his or her love would allow us to enter is, of all that love demands in order to come into being, what it prizes the most, and what makes it care little for the rest.

I am still teasing out the person and the reality behind my last long relationship, although it ended awhile ago. Giving up my ideas about who he was, and who I was, and how we acted and why, is difficult.

"...I had not yet had time to imagine that the woman who appeared before me could be Mme. de Guermantes)... this entirely recent, unchangeable image, the idea: ... But this Mme. de Guermantes of whom I had so often dreamed, now that I could see that she actually existed outside of me, acquired an even greater power over my imagination ...
  And—oh, the marvelous independence of the human gaze, tied to the face by a cord so lax, so long, so extensible that it can travel out alone far away from it..."
...I was impelled to consider it beautiful by all the thoughts I had brought to bear on it—and perhaps most of all by what is a kind of instinct to preserve the best parts of ourselves, by the desire we always have not to be disappointed...."

I hope these excerpts make sense. It has been noisy tonight with car tires on the road, the smoking drunks laughing on a Thursday night, and some frustrated pacing footsteps in the building.

And I think of my favorite Richard Thompson song, When The Spell Is Broken.


All your magic and your ways and schemes
All your lies come and tear at your dreams
When the spell is broken 
(Can't cry if you don't know how)
When the spell is broken
Now you're handing her that same old line
It's just straws in the wind this time
When love has died, 
There's none starry-eyed
No kiss, no tears, 
No farewell souvenirs
Not even a token, 
when the spell is broken