Diary, 5/1 to 5/5/19

Copyright 2019 by Alan Carl Nicoll
All Rights Reserved


{5/1/19}  Weight 222.8.  Back to normal?

Watching Free Speech TV this morning and feeling overwhelmed by all the bad shit going on in the U.S.  It’s like I see our country disintegrating before my eyes, and I want to reach out and save this piece and that piece, but that means letting go of ten thousand other pieces.  And I put off doing, actually, anything except observing, plus the occasional tweet.

Seeing video of Representative Ilhan Omar speaking at the rally on the Capitol steps yesterday, I was impressed and inspired by this much-threatened woman of courage.  I am not watching the Barr excrescence in the Senate (committee led by Lindsay Graham) because I wanted to preserve my appetite for breakfast.  On The Laura Flanders Show seeing graphics by Nate Powell, and graphics by Mohammad Saba’aneh, powerful graphics about violence and injustice.  Seeing Miguel Salas and Jeffrey Sachs regarding our horrifying assault on Venezuela, which is killing children and other living things.  So I’m feeling overwhelmed and wanting to turn everything off and go to bed.


I write down notes about what I see and a few days later I can’t even remember writing the notes, much less what the notes are about and why they’re “important.”  This is not normal and I am concerned.  But by writing these things down, I give myself an excuse not to remember them [permission to forget].  If I didn’t write them down, would I remember more?

Okay, let’s move on.

I saw Salomé yesterday at Dagny’s, at her request, and received a number of her works as gifts, and bought one for a hundred bucks.  I told her she’d have to wait until my next payday, but I’m thinking that I’ll just give her the money now, because I could still get the air conditioner that I want.  I just have to lay off buying other stuff, and I don’t mean groceries.

I had envisioned riding the trike today, and still could, but…

I don’t want to make a decision about that, because if I do, the decision would be not to ride, and I want to leave open the slim chance that I actually will.

Last night I got up about 11:50 and stayed up until about 1:30.  My sleep has been very fragmented for the past week, which again is not good for forming new memories.

My grandmother (father’s mother) once bought me an LP record of Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique, which came as a surprise and puzzlement, since I had never heard of the composer or the work.  I think that I had just “gotten into” classical music, and maybe didn’t even have another record of same.

Anyway, last night I listened to my CD of this work, and tried to follow along in the score of the book I mentioned in yesterday’s entry.  I’ve never tried to do such a thing before, I think.  But it proved surprisingly difficult, and I kept losing my place and not finding it again.  I’m not sure what the point was.  It was just something I wanted to try, since that was more or less why I had gotten the book in the first place.

Library book sale starting Friday.  Oh, good, more books.


{5/2/19}  Weight 224.0 at 3:00 am.  Blech.  At 7:30, 222.8.

This insomnia is getting tiresome, especially right now because I didn’t have a nap today.  Dining at Leo’s yesterday pretty much accounts for my weight this morning, though I avoided some calories I might otherwise be expected to consume, i.e., no lunch, not even a “snack,” and nothing after dinner.  I had indeed been looking for a loss…we’ll see what my weight is at, say, 7:00.  Ate with Pablo and discussed the possibility of more activities among the Hemlock group (i.e., me, Pablo, and J).  He was open to the idea but didn’t exactly gush.  Instead, he spent about an hour whining about J—not an hour’s worth of different complaints, but rather an endless rehashing of one or maybe two ancient complaints that I had thought totally forgotten.

Saw Salomé yesterday at Dagny’s to pay her the hundred.  She gave me a digital recorder which, alas, doesn’t record.

The Hari book is pretty exciting because I’m finding it very relevant to my occasional depression and anxiety, as well as for likely future discussions with the Hemlockers (or in future, “Hems,” perhaps).

“The Days Run Away Like Horses Over the Hills,” a title by Charles Bukowski.  I’m feeling it at the moment.


{5/3/19}  Weight 222.8.

A too-brief bit of a dream:  a scene from a silent movie, a “sheik,” possibly Rudolph Valentino, necking and petting with a topless Brigette Bardot.  Delightful.

Lost my hat and sunglasses yesterday, just like any other befuddled old doofus.  The good news is that I’ve come up with a painless way to commit suicide that doesn’t endanger anyone else or leave an uncommonly awful mess behind:  carbon dioxide.  I don’t plan to do this any time soon, but at least it’s there when I want it, and it beats trying to get into the desert to die of thirst, starvation, and exposure.  My understanding of carbon dioxide is that you just get sleepy.  That is, I’ve heard this.


{5/4/19}  Weight 222.2.

Went to the Southwest Library book sale yesterday and bought $22 worth of books.  The biggest purchase, literally, was Stephen Jay Gould’s The Structure of Evolutionary Theory, weighing in at 1432 pages.  The old four-volume World of Mathematics was available in hardcover at $10, but I’ve owned this before and read little or nothing of it, so decided to pass.  A major factor was not wanting to carry it home, and if I bought it, then I’d likely want to send it to Zena O’Brien—though perhaps it would be of no more use to her than to me.  Picked up another book by Tony Judt, whose Postwar so impressed me.  When I got home, I got two more books in the mail, a biographical dictionary and a geographic dictionary.  They also had Benet’s Reader’s Encyclopedia, Fourth Edition, which I wanted, since mine is the third, but I didn’t want to carry it.  There was also an Oxford desktop encyclopedia, the very kind of thing I’ve been wanting, another massive volume.  I talked myself out of it because they didn’t have an article on Alan Watts.  I may yet go over there today to pick up those two.  I want all these reference books because I got rid of home Internet and so can’t look things up like I used to.

Watched the movie Suspiria last night, so bad that I fast forwarded through some of it.  Amazingly, Videohound gives it three bones and praises its special effects.  I like Jessica Harper; Joan Bennett alas was so old I didn’t recognize her at first.  A complete waste of time, though it only cost me a dollar (library sale).  Also picked up Princess Mononoke for a dollar, which I saw once and enjoyed.

Another long, frustrating conversation with Pablo yesterday.  Pointless to say more, I suppose, but I want to.  He was talking about “robots taking over our jobs” but I corrected this to “capitalists buying robots to replace us.”  He concluded, after much prodding from me to “get to the point,” that “the Indigo Children will save us, and I am one of them.”  That’s not literally the quote, but close enough.  He said that the IC are people who “think outside the box.”  I told him this was laughable.

Went to Food Maxx early, ended up eating three cherry turnovers for “breakfast.”  This is a sorry diet, and I did no work on Kick Me today, which I had sorta intended.

So, now I lost my bus pass.  Befuddled old doofus indeed.  Well, it took me three years to lose it, so I guess that’s not too terrible.

Watched a movie on TCM, The Train, which I’ve seen before but is worth seeing twice.  Good action, fun with steam engines, wrecks with real trains, the usual Burt Lancaster acrobatics and teeth, evil Nazis, silly denouement, etc.  Ate the two cherry pies I bought at Walmart, after buying replacement sunglasses and an inferior but cheap hat.  Thinking about dinner, and perhaps not having dinner.

Finished reading A. E. van Vogt:  The Weapon Shops of Isher, a book I’ve read many times, starting in my early teens, I believe.  It was the science fiction book I ever bought, though of course that copy went the way of all my pre-prison possessions.  It’s probably his most complicated novel, and one of his earliest (1950) and best.  Now on to The Weapon Makers.  Given that I’m rereading all these old escapist novels, I bought a volume of five H. Rider Haggard novels to relive those adventures.  I won’t be reading any Edgar Rice Burroughs, however—they’re too childish.

Today I’ve been feeling a minor depression; I think that I’m escaping it into reading, though better I should just do what I’m avoiding and a) ride the trike again, and b) work on Kick Me.  All in good time, or not.

Watched Split by M. Night Shyamalan.  His movies are always interesting, but almost always disappoint in one way or another.  This one is not his most ambitious, but it is undeniably very effective for most of its two hours.  My only complaint is more of a quibble:  the ravings of James McAvoy become progressively more unhinged, frightening, and finally, tedious.


{5/5/19}  Weight 220.8.  The cherry-pie diet, I guess.  Though I also took my diuretic pill yesterday morning.

Had a dream of which only fragments remain:  one man says to another about “going to the Wild West,” and the other responds with something like, “Good, I’ll be able to do my baking.”  Then there is an image of an index card with a line of handwriting in tidy script (thus not written by me), with the lower half taken up by boxes with printed words—possibly a kind of library card?

One more comment about Split:  the lead actress, Anya Taylor-Joy, is a beauty with something a little peculiar about her face.  Also an excellent actress.  In other words, a real find.

Over a couple of days I watched a DVD of a Metropolitan Opera production from the 1990s of La Fanciulla del West, starring Placido Domingo and Barbara Hendricks.  I bought this recently because I love the music, or at least some parts of it—not that much of it, as it turns out.  Anyway, since yesterday morning I’ve had the tunes going through my head, to the point of annoyance at times.  Domingo is very good, no surprise, though Hendricks’s voice seems a bit screechy on the high notes.

Bought a puzzle box which contained three other puzzles.  The hardest puzzle was getting the box open, which took almost an hour.  The puzzles inside include the Soma cube, a device that I owned back in my late teens or early twenties and spent many, many hours playing with because one of Martin Gardner’s “Mathematical Games” columns from Scientific American was devoted to it.  I had visions of getting back into this pastime, but suspected even when I bought it that I wouldn’t.  And I likely won’t.  Now I think that Soma shapes (i.e., other than the cube) should be available on the Internet.  I had spent some time looking for a game to buy at Barnes & Noble, but ended up with only this thing.  The other two puzzles, regrettably, are too easy to be worth much, though the other guys may struggle with them.

The thing is, I proposed to Pablo that we get together with J for “other activities,” as I mentioned on 5/2, one of which was board games.  Some of the games there were almost a hundred bucks, including Catan, which I played many times while at Terminal Island.  Scrabble would be good for us, too.  I would probably have bought a game if I knew that J wanted in, but since I haven’t talked to him about it, I wanted to wait.  I already have two games that have been totally unused (chess and go), and had another that I got rid of after trying it once solo, Sid Meier’s Civilization, which was terrible and stupid compared to the computer game.

Salomé left for Florida yesterday, I presume.  Her flight time was something like 4:30 am or I would have gone to the airport to see her off.  I couldn’t see paying for taxis just for that.  Thus ends a pleasant episode in my life, though we may correspond a little via email.

My diary entries lately seem to be “all about movies,” not that I have much to say about each one.  I do actually listen to music and read and watch a lot of news.

Traffic at my blog lately is down, though I now have 62 followers.  For a while, each new diary post was getting about five views, but the last few have gotten almost, or exactly, zero views.  That’s disappointing, of course, but not important.

What is important is my lack of progress on Kick Me.  And even that is only “important,” i.e., comparatively important in relation to my other activities.

I feel a bit of a sense of dread this morning as I realize that for quite a while I’ve been afraid of becoming seriously depressed.  I feel like I’ve got a battle going on in my unconscious, one side pushing for depression and the other resisting, so far.  Hari’s book has been a help and I’m excited about it, but I’m not sure at this point that it will make any practical difference.  What I really need is a companion, preferably a roommate or significant other, which of course has been true all my life, with occasional exceptions.

Copyright 2019 by Alan Carl Nicoll
All Rights Reserved

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