Sunny and Mild

Ten o’clock.

Something happened just now that changed my whole mood for a day. It’s a very simple thing. I made a call to my pharmacy to request a prescription refill and dealt with an individual who was exceedingly nice to me and who made the process much easier. Her name is Laura. With some people you just have a certain chemistry and with others it’s more of a battle, and nothing can explain it save for the stars and planets or the vibrations of names and numbers. I think sometimes that the initial letter of a name can tell you a little about human interaction. In this case, “Laura” begins with L, whose number is 3 on the Pythagorean chart. The traits of the 3 are mostly creative expression and maybe emotive qualities. The R in Robert is a 9, meaning humanitarianism and the arts.

Is it all a lot of baloney? But even if it is, people need a way to make sense of life. We need a calculus of human and social chemistry to navigate the maze of this existence, and occult science seems as good as any method.

Quarter after eleven.

I ate a salad for lunch and then hit the street, carrying the little owl in a bag for Kim. On the way I felt dizzy and lightheaded but managed to get to the salon. I found out that Kim wouldn’t start work until noon; so I put the toy on the counter with Kim’s things and Karen said she would call her attention to it. I turned around to go home then. Roger is outside doing his pet project and I saw a team of Mexicans busy with some construction work. Actually they were just talking among themselves in Spanish and I felt like addressing them in their own language. But often it makes them a bit paranoid if you do that, so I thought better of it. I just said hi in English. I got home and ate a lot of chocolate to help with my dizziness, if that makes any sense. All the while, it’s a clear and sunny day and the temperature is very mild and pleasant. I think back to the times when my yard guy was a Mexican named Juan and his friend Geronimo fixed my truck’s electronic problem— and then wanted to buy the vehicle from me. I haven’t seen those guys since the politics got unfavorable for them, which is a sad story in itself. And sometimes I’d like to just drown my sorrows and forget everything happening today. Pass the chocolate… 


Keep What You Got!


I went to the little store just now, and again Lisa asked me if I was getting enough food to eat; so I asked her curiously if Suk would do anything if I answered no. She said she didn’t know about him, but she would do something… With Kim in mind, I bought still another Ty stuffed animal: a little white owl with a big funny beak and a clueless expression on its face. The Ty toys are one sign that some people still care about each other, even if our government is cold and corrupt and doesn’t give a damn for the citizens. In this regard, the USA now resembles the more authoritarian countries in the world and seems less like a democracy. The next vote will probably be a joke, down to the same old clowns, while people are not credited with having any intelligence at all. God help you if you’re the invisible person on the street. You just ask yourself what in the world is wrong with society.

My dog is very vocal for his breakfast, finally barking at me to feed him… Done.

In the market parking lot I saw a red Nissan truck with a canopy, 90s vintage, that made me think of my old green pickup which I couldn’t afford to maintain anymore: so I sold it to some drunkard for a humiliating price and now I’m stuck without a car.

You can’t have everything you want, so be happy with what you do have. And if you have something, by all means keep it. 

Forlorn and a Slip


Between seven and ten o’clock I slept, then got up when the sky had gone inky black with the nighttime. Sunday was a better day than Saturday, though it had its share of anxieties and worries; and maybe I magnify molehills into mountains, another irrational thing identified by a forgotten therapy. They used to tell me that it was okay to be imperfect; indeed, perfectionism would make you unhappy and depressed because no such thing as perfect exists. But as it happens, a useful tool, accurate and intelligent, got lost in the shuffle of human confusion if not intentionally crushed by the Church. Americans dislike a perspective of realism and reason, instead going with something fanciful and wild. I used to know a person who told me she was very ordinary, and her reality also was centered and avoided extremes to either side. She said her dad and her sister would often clash and have horrific fights. She learned from observation. I wonder why people today can’t find the gray area in the middle of the poles as we did ten years ago? The situation of the public grows more and more volatile and it’s a huge rack of confusion. If we could be guided by common sense; but no, we insist on the things we cannot see, chasing ghosts and phantoms and expecting Armageddon at any moment. The ones sitting down and shutting up nonetheless think what they think, and you hear it slip out in speech from time to time.

I’m just mulling over something my PCA said Saturday morning, an unfortunate remark that got my imagination spinning. I sometimes think we should call the whole thing off. Meanwhile, the church can keep blithering about demons and whatever medieval crap it can conceive. I long to turn back the calendar 10 or 12 years to a better, more rational time. And maybe it was all a dream in the end. And maybe I discovered a whole world in one person, the one who got away.

Sweet Grapes


The song I hear is still “Duchess” by Genesis, because of some friends I first met in June after my ninth grade school year. They were a young couple who played guitar and bass and were looking for a drummer for a summer project doing Rush covers. Eventually they planned to be a Top 40 band to play for parties and such. But the thing that impressed me at the time was how talented they were. They were one phenomenon in a few million from around here and the outlying towns like Pleasant Hill. I guess the thing called “talent” is a reality. I knew another person like that at my own school, whose destiny was to become a Grammy winning Nashville producer. The other friends I just mentioned still play in Eugene’s biggest act (arguably) which started as a disco band. At one time, all of us came together in the same band and played some important gigs. It’s funny how a thing like conscience can be a rain on the parade. Some people prefer not to stop and think about what they’re doing in the light of ethics and morality: to prioritize humanity from the business of life. I think having principles of honesty and self reflection is essential to any lifetime, and “the unexamined life is not worth living.” You may end up the lone philosopher, or you may meet a person to be your likeminded friend. There is life and then there’s the meta life of speculation that some people consider a waste of time. It depends on what you value and whether you’re willing to forego what most people call success. 

Hardball; Epitaph


As the church seems to cut me off, I feel more deserted and aimless; I don’t even have the church to beat up anymore: nothing to wrestle with to give my thoughts direction and purpose. Once I heard a political song on the radio years ago with the chorus, “Without this system, you guys would have nothing to bitch about.” Now it’s a point taken. The weather today is beautiful with irrepressible sunshine coloring things on the ground with orange juice. The high temperature should be 79 degrees. But I feel very alone in the world, and the perfect weather just rubs it in. It’s like being all dressed up and nowhere to go. “Waiting for someone to come / And turn your world around…” And Rush was probably right. But also there’s The Beatles: “Nowhere Man, don’t worry / Take your time, don’t hurry / Leave it all till somebody else lends you a hand.” I think I like the John Lennon version better.

I was considering reading Daisy Miller again, but it’ll likely turn into another unfinished project. Besides, I still have to read to the end of The Portrait of a Lady.

Karen is bringing me a whole rotisserie chicken from Costco this afternoon. So at least I know that somebody cares about me and won’t let me starve. At the same time, I feel kind of like a bum to take charity from my friends. And maybe I ought to try to support myself; see a specialist at the agency and hunt for a job. I remember how a local bookstore hired an older man when I used to frequent the place a long time ago. Again, there’s the difficulty of not having a car. I’d have to take the bus to work every day.

The cards seem stacked against me, but even so, you know that something has to give. In the meantime it’s a game of waiting and seeing. Does anyone still believe that the pen is mightier than the sword? Or I should say the dollar. And the game of cards has really become a game of hardball. Hardly anyone lives for love nowadays. People are still saying that money makes the world go around. I think this will be the inscription on our stone.

My mother taught me two main lessons. First, to be honest. The second, to despise money. Was this a disservice to me? But there it is and I can’t change it. I’m not sure I would if I could. 

True Minds

Nine o’clock.

Like a typical Sunday, it’s quiet and rather lifeless, especially outdoors. Suddenly Roger throws open his garage door across the street, getting ready to tinker with his truck project. Aesop, my dog, is in a good mood today so far, which makes a difference to us both. I’ve got music in my brain from Genesis a long time ago, an album titled Duke. I miss sharing music with my old friend ten years ago; she was very literate and intelligent with it, and her brother was a big fan of Genesis and Steve Hackett. But now I just have to muddle along until a new friend comes into my life with the same brilliance. I believe that appearance is not reality in many cases and you can’t judge a book by its cover. I’ve learned how to be platonic and to love rationally as Boethius prescribes, as well as Chaucer and Shakespeare (the marriage of true minds). And even so, it seems that nothing lasts forever and most relationships fall apart when circumstances change. We had a cool transatlantic friendship for six years. Maybe it was coincidence that the complexion of American politics changed when I lost contact with her. It still feels pretty messed up, with two visions of what America should be grappling for supremacy. Life hasn’t been very fun for a long time. Any message in a bottle on the stormy sea is a godsend.

Glory Days


I just remembered that Gloria said she would take me to breakfast this morning, her treat. It doesn’t get any better than that; looking forward to it. Also I was thinking of an old coworker a long time ago who was pretty neat to be around. We didn’t have a lot in common but we got along okay. A few times we had an early lunch at a Mexican buffet called Mucho Gusto. The food disagreed with her but I actually liked it pretty well. I believe her birthday would be this month, since she was a Taurus. She retired from the agency probably quite a while ago, but not before she had worked there 20 years. It was from her that I picked up the astrology bug, though I’d been susceptible to it before we ever met. When I was pretty handy with a computer I would copy images of Saturn from the internet and set them as desktop background at work. Or I would use pictures of whales I’d find on the web. During my last year at the agency, the CEO finally invested in a new lcd monitor for me to use in my job as document scanner. The scanning area was rather neglected because we only kept records and didn’t contribute much to making money for the organization… I hadn’t thought about my old workplace in quite a while, but now that I do, I kind of miss having a clerical job. I wasn’t bad at what I did, just not very fast. I always put more quality into it than quantity. 

Best Friend

Quarter after ten at night.

The sun went down 90 minutes ago and it was cloudy, windy, and hot outside. A minute ago I rolled my trash and recycle bins to the curbside for pickup in the morning. Thanks to the air conditioner, Aesop and I are quite comfortable in the house. At the moment I can’t complain about anything. The older I get, the more life is about feeling comfortable and painless than about the active pursuit of pleasure. Both conditions are epicurean, which is what I grew up with. But you know, I spend a lot of time looking back on times of intense pleasure, and the memory still gives me a warm sensation in my heart. I knew a woman who referred to Bertrand Russell familiarly as “Bertie,” so now I associate her with his mentality. Sometimes I think that no ideas exist but in the real people I’ve known personally: therefore the slogan of Carlos Williams may be modified to say no ideas but in people… It’s strange how people come and go in your life; and perhaps all human relationships eventually fall apart for one reason or another. Maybe that’s why man’s best friend is a furry quadruped: do dogs have ideas? What is their belief system? Why are they so devoted to their owners, so loving and forgiving? Why are human beings not like that?

Rabbit’s Feet

It’s a good day today. It sounds like Gloria has been doing a lot of reading. She’s still on the Hamilton but also she read Life after Life and has started the Williams poetry. I told her not to worry about the critical introduction and just enjoy the poetry. Really, Carlos Williams is perfect for simplicity and the details alone, in pieces like “The Great Figure” and “The Red Wheelbarrow;” also “This Is Just to Say,” one of the pastorals, “To a Poor Old Woman,” and many others. Gloria observed how he tends to venerate poor people, or to justify them in some way. He even wrote one about a poor drunkard that doesn’t really condemn him. Gloria got a little bogged down with the Greek mythology, but that’s okay. The names are unfamiliar and difficult, and Hamilton is actually more a reference book than the kind you read through. She got through the story of Hercules and his 12 tasks, etc, but she was surprised by his violence. Maybe I should go read the play by Euripides about Heracles.

The weather is very nice; it’s over 60 degrees and partly cloudy— great puffy white clouds in the blue sky. So, I took a hike to the market and the salon. I saw Lisa just driving away out of the parking lot as I arrived. Kathy and a newer guy were working inside. When I was returning home, Karen waved me to stop in, and she gave me some food and two rawhides for Aesop. The dog was pretty happy with his treats and right now he seems rather tired, resting by the door.

Gloria came after ten o’clock and took me to Bi Mart where I bought six items. She also helped me put the ac back together, with the hose to the window and all that. She cleaned the bathrooms with Fantastik spray, but first we had the Snapple (obligatory) and sat and talked. Her leg was very sore from the surgery; she noticed it more this time. But she said it was getting better each day. Funny but she got hearing aids for both ears and hasn’t told her family yet. I think they put pressure on her to get them, so now she doesn’t want to hear them say they told her so.

Wow. I almost had a big deja vu. I could swear I’d written that before sometime. I kind of like that experience, where an event is familiar to you but you can’t place it. It’s the repetition of something or some strange coincidence, and you want to believe it’s spooky. I can remember having 8th grade English class early in the morning, when the sleep was still in our eyes and we were still half dreaming. Junior high school was an odd mix of realism and superstition before I got to 9th grade. We read about the Hope Diamond curse, saw The Monkey’s Paw, and heard The Pearl by Steinbeck. We wore Rabbit’s Foot socks and carried real rabbit’s feet around the halls every day. Kids played D&D the whole school day.

Well, the rabbit’s feet might’ve been imitation, though they had a toenail in the fur.

I think one of the most intelligent things Ayn Rand ever said concerned how primitive our ethics was. She said Americans have a nuclear bomb in one hand and a rabbit’s foot in the other. Our morals are way behind our technology, in other words.

Sometimes I still kind of like her writing. It interests me that she was a Russian Jewish immigrant and how her background shaped her personality and her philosophy. There are much better writers, but I find Rand quite interesting.

I liked The Fountainhead.


Six forty.

It was already daylight at six, though the streetlights were still lit. I looked in my mailbox and found nothing. There was just a hint of rain. In front of Dell’s house, I heard an electronic beep as I passed by: some kind of sensor like a theft alarm. At that hour, I couldn’t expect to see anyone else about the streets. Then I gained the parking lot of the store where Lisa’s Jeep Liberty was backed into its usual spot. The only thing that distinguishes today so far is Cinco de Mayo: Mexican Independence Day, but for a lot of people, an excuse to get hammered. Lisa said she was glad she didn’t have to work at night, particularly tonight with all the drunk and rowdy people making trouble… I bought three items this morning. I’m not really sure what I was thinking while I walked there and back. I felt fairly relaxed and easy. In my journal yesterday I wrote a lot of retrospective stuff on the past three decades, maybe with the object of absolving myself. I wasn’t to blame for a couple of situations where I was involved: a workplace and a church. The wheels were in motion with or without me, yet it makes you wonder what kind of difference one person can effect. It’s similar to the words that compose a sentence: every word counts towards its meaning, and adding or removing a single word alters the whole sense. Therefore each person is like a word in a vast book of words…