My Diary, 12/19 to 12/22/18

Copyright 2018 by Alan Carl Nicoll
All Rights Reserved

{12/19/18}  Weight 218.4.

A fragment of a dream:  I was with a couple of men, friends or acquaintances, and I needed to urinate.  There was some thought of a beer I had drunk the day before, some concern about being tested for alcohol in my blood.  We all went together into a foul-smelling public restroom, where some work was being done on the toilets.  I went into a stall and was about to urinate into a toilet bowl that was displaced, leaning, inside which was a large eggshell, like half an ostrich egg, but the toilet was removed before I could start.  I urinated into a hole, where the toilet had been, where flowing water was visible.  One of the men came up next to me as I finished, and he touched the end of my penis, then put that finger in his mouth and thoughtfully tasted.  He said I was okay, meaning that there was no trace of alcohol in my urine.  I woke up.

This was a strange dream.  I often dream of disgusting and defective bathrooms where I need to urinate, but I don’t recall ever having been accompanied.  As for the beer, I don’t like beer and almost certainly haven’t had any since my army days—1969 in Vietnam.

Yesterday was not great.  Except for a diary entry, I did no writing or other “work,” aside from a blog post, slept a lot, and did only a little reading.  Watched most of Moonlight Kingdom, a quirky, unsettling, but mostly charming bit of nonsense, something of a black comedy.  And spent a lot of wasted time on Twitter.  I did manage, however, to avoid overeating, largely because I’ve already consumed all the things that keep me fat:  ice cream and cookies/cakes/pies/chips.

I want today to be different, but I need to do some shopping—bug bombs and food (notably orange juice)—and I need to wash bedding so I can take advantage of my brand-new, bedbug-free bed.  It’s not obvious that I’ll do much of anything, however.  The food can wait, and I can continue sleeping on the floor until I’m motivated to get the laundry done.  Of all the places I’ve lived, aside from when mother or wife did laundry, this is about the easiest setup I’ve had for laundry.  The work involved is trivial and I have everything I need.  Yet I still find it difficult to flog myself into getting it done.

And I’m feeling low in energy this morning, and probably somewhat depressed.  Eating breakfast might turn that around, probably will.  But I feel like I’m not making a lot of progress, despite the euphoria of a couple of days ago, when I was jazzed about the Hemlock Club.  Euphoria is a most uncommon emotion for me, generally happening only after I’ve hooked up with a woman.  The HC is my primary social outlet, so I suppose it fills the same need and thus inspired the same mood.  I could push the friendship thing a bit by asking if anybody plays board games; the thing is, I’m not really that interested and soon would be looking on playing as a distraction from my work.

I feel an almost constant internal pressure to work—which means basically “writing other than the diary.”  When I think about it a bit, I include the diary as well, and even “important” reading, such as Bartley or Hall.  Art, foreign languages, reading poetry, and exercise are hardly on my radar, though I consider all of them to be of more importance than “mere entertainment.”

This pressure is a new thing, in a sense.  I’ve felt something like it for decades, but never to the extent I do now.  Now I don’t even want to take the time to read novels, even classic novels like, say, The Way of All Flesh, which I read multiple decades ago and have been thinking that I’d like to again.  Or Chinese or Japanese novels, of which I have perhaps ten that I haven’t read already.

There are other categories, but who cares?  This is just the “800 books clamoring to be read” that I sometimes mention in conversation, and the categories are numerous:  science, psych, Native American stuff, memoirs and biographies—I bought John Cleese’s book new in hardback a year ago and have never looked at it.  Now, when I think of moving, the quantity of books to pack up and move just seems like a huge burden, but I don’t want to part with enough of them to make moving easier.

Perhaps what’s behind a lot of this—lassitude?—is my physical condition.  And that’s what the tricycle is supposed to fix.  But I also seem to have a phobia now about seeing a doctor.  Phobia, or stinginess, or a little of both.

Two options:  buy the tricycle and ride it and see how I feel; see a doctor and get advice about the tricycle.  I want to do the first; I need to do the second.  Perhaps the clincher is this:  if I buy the tricycle and use it to get around, as I dream of doing, then find that I’m getting weaker, wouldn’t that be awful!  I guess I can’t risk that outcome, so plan B is the only option.

There is a third, and very easy possibility:  read the Merck Manual.  Get advice without having to go to a doctor.  Of course, the first thing the MM will tell me is to “see your doctor.”


{12/20/18}  Weight 218.8.

My laptop seems to have lost its Wi-Fi.  It’s fortunate that it’s near payday, but otherwise very unfortunate, of course.  In any case, I’ll have no email, Internet, or Twitter for a week or so.  The hardware may be under warranty yet.

Reading the Merck Manual on heart failure, I see that the main thing I’m not doing, apart from seeing a doctor, is checking my blood pressure.  I’ll be doing that from now on.  It also did not warn against exercise, so it looks like the trike is good.

Doing laundry today to prepare to use the new bed.  I’ll insect-bomb the apartment when I go to my group meeting tonight.  I also need to vacuum, but that can wait a while.  Then we’ll see how it goes.

As for saving money, I have $100 in the bank and $35 in cash, with six days until payday.  I might, indeed, should be able to hang on to that hundred, which is encouraging and will make buying a new computer easier (if that’s necessary).  Can I do both that and the trike?  Possibly, if Pablo will cough up the locks and accessories I gave him with the bicycle.  (Amusing metaphor.)

208 pages of this diary in just over a year.  However, I’ve been slacking on the Prison Diary dictation and most other work.

Wi-Fi working again.  All it took was powering down and up again.  Big relief.


{12/21/18}  Weight 220.4.  BP 124/82 60.


{12/22/18}  Weight 219.8?

Writers Writing this morning was just me, finishing my first complete read-through/edit of my book-in-progress, Kick Me:  A Lifetime of Humiliations.  An easy milestone, but an important one.  Next step is to edit the computer file, which will be harder and more labor-intensive.  I’m hoping that that will be “enough,” but of course I’ll want at least one more reading before I’m done.  It would help to get an impartial reader…

Surprisingly, Salomé showed up, though too late for the “group.”  Brought her portfolio of watercolors, all of which I liked a lot except for the rather primitive, and clearly old, ones.  I suggested that she remove them from the group, and she didn’t seem to think that out of line.

Had breakfast with Pablo at Lorene’s Coffee Shop, your basic “greasy spoon.”  I had their 2-poached-egg-on-toast special.  Their orange juice tastes pretty good, but it comes from a bottle.  It’s conceivable that they squeeze a lot of oranges in the morning…that’s how it tastes, anyway.


Went to Barnes & Noble yesterday with Pablo, mainly because I had a 20% off coupon; but then, I left in such a hurry (it was already 2:00) that I forgot the coupon!  Despite that, I bought Kieran Setiya:  Midlife:  A Philosophical Guide, for $14.95 plus.  Read to p. 23 last night (and at 4:00 in the morning), but so far it’s dull, an examination of the “midlife crisis throughout history.”  But I have hopes, of course.

Bartley’s Retreat to Commitment gets better and better, about halfway through, I think.  I should have much to say about it, eventually.  The “important” stuff is, essentially, “making rationalism an option.”  I have always resisted the “rationalist” label, though it’s accurate enough; Bartley’s tweaks make rationalism respectable, in the form of “Pancritical Rationalism”–a clunky term that I could do without, because, unlike “critical rationalism,” it offers no clue to its meaning.

Received notice from Social Security about next year’s Cost of Living increase, amounts to I think $54 to me.  Also received notice from Spectrum that my Wi-Fi is going up to $71/mo (from $49.99).  Thinking about cancelling it and just going back to hanging out in libraries and malls and Starbucks, but I know that would get old fast.

Copyright 2018 by Alan Carl Nicoll
All Rights Reserved


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