Diary: 6/5 to 6/8/19

Copyright 2019 by Alan Carl Nicoll
All Rights Reserved

Death by Bergman
Nothing by Bergman to see here, just our DOOM

{6/5/19}  Weight 223.0.  Clearly, I cannot be trusted with cookies.

A bit of a dream:  Scout Finch is sitting in Atticus’s lap, looking at his watch and reading the inscription aloud:  “To my beloved Atticus.”  Also, there is at first no picture inside, but a moment later there is a picture of Jem and Scout.  That’s it.  In the movie, I believe that a similar scene takes place when Scout is in bed.

I guess I was awake then, and I thought of the watch I had received as a gift when I was younger than ten.  I broke it almost immediately, having pulled the winder clean out.  I didn’t tell anyone—I wanted to hide the fact, and if I remember correctly (very tough to say at this point) I wanted to spare the feelings of whoever it was who had given me the watch, almost certainly my parents, and not because I was ashamed of having broken it.  But surely there must have been shame also, or only?  I don’t remember having been asked about the watch later.

After I got up and returned to bed, I had a second dream, of Scout walking towards me or the camera, holding something in her arms that is flailing wildly, perhaps a small dog with lots of long hair, or perhaps something else.  Caught between her arm and her body is the front, lower edge of her nightshirt.

Still later a dream vision of Scout in a bathtub with about six other children.

It’s 6:30 am.  I was awake at 4:00 and thought I’d never get to sleep, but clearly I did.  It was very warm last night, I think 83 inside when I went to bed, and 80 outside.  This morning it’s 76 inside and 72 outside.

Watched The Cold Equations last night, or at least most of it.  It was so tedious, annoying, and stupid that I soon began fast forwarding through a lot of the dialogue.  This is one of the four movies in a $2.99 package that I got at Bookhounds.  I think they’re all Sci-Fi Channel originals, which means they’ll all be marginal at best.  I’m not even going to try the one called Leeches.  In fact I bought another such package at the same time, then when I got home realized that I had had it before and donated it because it was junk.  These are both called “Sci-Fi Collector’s Set.”

Reading D Wallace-Wells:  The Uninhabitable Earth:  Life After Warming, after I ran out to buy Dahr Jamail:  The End of Ice:  Bearing Witness and Finding Meaning in the Path of Climate Disaster, then told myself that I needed first to read “the one I already just bought.”  W-W says that extinction of the human species is pretty unlikely.  I think he means as a direct result of climate change.  I am, I think, more concerned about nuclear war as an extinction event than about the direct effects of climate change, which I think we might be able to cope with to a degree.  But the war doesn’t have to happen, surely.  In any case, it seems likely that I’ll have died before I see it happen.

I wanted to find out the elevation of Bakersfield, but the geo dictionary didn’t have it, and the encyclopedia had no article on Bakersfield.  I was thinking about how I might be affected by sea level rise.

Our coming doom has sort of killed my enthusiasm for completing Kick Me, making me see it as futile, and “not how I should be spending my time in the face of these facts.”  What I should be doing instead is not at all clear, since I’ve tried to get into Bakersfield activism and not succeeded in connecting with others.  I cannot be Greta Thunberg and do it on my own.  Why not?  For starters, Bakersfield is a lot less promising territory for such an effort.  For another, I’m old and tired and depressed and have no heart for noble, hopeless gestures.

Unlike the current political situation, both in the U.S. and worldwide (which is looking more and more like “Trump light”), climate catastrophe is not panic-inducing.  It’s more like recognizing that you, like everyone else, are doomed to grow old and die, like all who have gone before us since the beginning.  This is not the sort of thing that gets you out of your chair to run about and do things.  But it does make you rethink, for the ten-millionth time, your priorities.

Well, what I should be doing “instead” is finding Oliver, which is not exactly a project, more like a decision.  I’ve tried the Internet and keep getting offers to spend money; the next step would be to accept one or more of those offers, even though they might be scams.  Because the alternative I’ve had in mind is private detective.


{6/6/19}  Weight 224.0.  Oh my god.

101 degrees yesterday.  I felt so overwhelmed at one point, around 4 pm, that I took the fan in the bedroom and put it on the bed so it could blow over my nude body, and there I lay, finally falling asleep.  It was about 85 inside.  Supposed to be less hot today, but there are many hot days to come.  85 doesn’t seem like a big deal, but when it’s inside, you just can’t escape.

I’ve been putting off getting the portable air conditioner, hoping that the coolness of May would continue until (as always) my next payday.  I’d get one now except that I can’t get the $300 kind, I’d have to go cheap, and that seems unlikely to be a good use of my money.  I just bought too many books this month, $216; that, and the five-week-month, and the usual unpleasant surprises, all combined to make me look stupid.  Which, of course, is accurate.  I allow $40 per week for groceries, $200 for the month; I’ve spent $132 so far, yet I have three full weeks to go, so, $68 for the three weeks.  Next month I have $70 going to McAfee for their antivirus software.

I’ve been without hot water for about a week, but it was restored yesterday.  Today is looking joyless…but it’s seeking joy through spending that gets me into money troubles (not that I have real troubles, just trying to cover too many unnecessary things with the money left for the month).

The worst of many worsts of our President overseas is that he is incapable of realizing, regardless of the situation, that it’s not about him.  No matter how inappropriate it is, like at the D-Day memorial services, he has to talk about himself, which means, praise himself.

I keep thinking, or even “deciding,” that the Stephanie Miller show on FSTV is “not worth my time,” because frivolous, but the thing is, there are no good alternatives, and I want news first thing in the morning.  Thom Hartmann is somewhat better, but “talk radio on TV” is still talk radio, thus stupid callers.  MS NBC is painfully stupid because it’s MSM after all:  Trump and the 2020 “race” is all they talk about.  So I conclude yet again, read books.

I’m thinking now that I’ll take diary pages to Dagny’s for dictation.  I just don’t see a better alternative for getting that project moving again.

On 6/1/19 I wrote:  “…when asking, ‘What is it like to be me?’ perhaps the most ‘telling’ single question is, ‘What are your addictions?’”  Perhaps as important is the question, “What eats at you?”  This question occurs to me after reading in Carl R. Rogers and Barry Stevens:  Person to Person:  The Problem of Being Human, about Ms. Stevens’s reflections on the suicide of her husband some decades earlier.  This book has many good things in it.  I just finished Stevens’s Burst Out Laughing, which seems to me less valuable.  What is most valuable about her work is her personality, her quest, her questions, her story.  She also wrote Don’t Push the River, which I read a long time ago and perhaps again more recently, and liked but not enough to rush out and buy another copy after prison.  Stevens reminds me somewhat of Natalie Goldberg.

A random thought about Kick Me:  write it “in Bleakspeak.”  Or at least give it a try and see what that would be like.

In my “100 Ideas” notebook I wrote:  “81.  ‘What a perfect moment this is’ is a self-fulfilling statement—it makes itself true.  Are there other such statements?  Like, maybe, ‘I’m bored’?”


{6/7/19}  Weight 225.0 at 4:45 am.  A pound a day gain?

1:52 am, a fantastic dream which will pale into sawdust (?) in the telling.  Imagine a graphic novel turned into a rapid-fire cartoon.  A young man in a classroom with a teacher—young, female, slender, you get the picture, our young man is there to learn creative writing.  In silhouette we see the young man lusting after the teacher… poof… young man bends over teacher’s hand, then straightens up with a heel click and marches out the door.

He is a farmer.  He can walk and chew gum… we see something stuck to the bottom of his shoe, which he peels off and pops in his mouth… poof, he’s a farmer, something stuck to the bottom of his shoe, not safe for work!

Giant hand crumples paper, leaving it in a wadded ball.  (Indicates restart.)

Young man in classroom with young teacher.  He sees a giant, gleaming apple on her desk.  Snakelike, he checks it out, sees a gift tag on the stem, saying, “Student #2.”  He recoils with a hiss… crumpled ball…

So, that’s about it.  There was some more, but, as I said, “rapid-fire.”  The dream was mostly unusual in the presentation:  silhouettes flowing and morphing into altered versions… the “lusting after” went through two “rewrites” but the middle one was lost in the above retelling.  The “comic strip” which started linearly and cinematically eventually gelled into silhouettes along the top, indicating the young man’s thoughts, while the archaically-drawn (think “Blondie”) lower half showed the action.

I went to bed early, like eight o’clock, feeling very depressed, quickly gave up reading and slept, and so here I am.  Now, back to bed.

My mission statement:  make the world a better place through my writing.

But global warming guarantees that the world cannot be made a better place.  At best, now, we can slow the catastrophe.

If my mission statement is now rendered ridiculous, that would explain my sudden lack of interest in Kick Me.  And suicide becomes the logical conclusion?

In this case, I prefer to be illogical.


{6/8/19}  Weight 225.2.

No dreams to record at 5:20 am.  After waking in the fourth hour, I was turning over in my mind some things I had read about Julius Caesar last night in Michael Grant:  The History of Rome.  I read this because yesterday at the Beale Library, in conversation with Pablo, I tried to remember some details of Caesar’s life and death, and in particular, what titles did he have when he was assassinated?  Turns out that he had assumed the title “Imperator,” which meant, more or less, “greatest of generals.”  Then he released coins bearing his portrait, which was an innovation because he was still alive (just imagine if Trump had his face put on quarters!).  Then he had himself made dictator for life, instead of his previous five-year terms.  Then, three days before he was to begin a new campaign in the Middle East, he was killed.  According to Grant, the final straw was that he would be ruling Rome in absentia, through his secretaries.  Another interesting point, which I had forgotten, was that he went to Egypt (thus Cleopatra) in pursuit of Pompey, whom he had just defeated at Pharsalus (48 BC).  A minor point that Shakespeare failed to mention (I think) was that Cleo was in Rome at the time of the assassination (which I had seen in the Liz Taylor movie, but had been doubtful about trusting—a question I had kept open in my mind, for decades; what kind of person am I?).

I’m feeling very hungry, but given the hour and my astonishing weight gains recently…hell with it, I’m gonna have a couple of cookies.  The very decision that keeps me fat.

Trump is such an embarrassment.  A self-proclaimed expert on every issue, who doesn’t know a damned thing about any issue.  “Climate change goes both ways,” he tells the Brits.  The Washington Post loses its mind and praises this “state visit,” which any normal person would consider a total humiliation for the nation; as they put it on Stephanie Miller, the Bloatus “kept stepping on rakes,” like “Sideshow Bob.”  Meanwhile, the Democratic Party leadership shows tremendous leadership in doing everything they can to squelch debate about climate change among the Presidential candidates.  I may just have to start calling them the “Democrat Party.”

Meanwhile, the actually important issue, my health, gets pushed back, day after day after day.  Next time I think of calling someone a moron, I should just STFU.  [The repetition of “meanwhile” was intentional, meant to be sorta funny.]

So, today I want to go to Dagny’s and (1) dictate Prison Diary pages, and (2) play chess by myself in the futile hope of teasing someone into a game and so discovering a new friend.  (3) would be the usual Internet stuff.  Not on the list:  tricycle!

I need to make these major changes to my life:  first, shut off the TV in the morning, except for Democracy Now!  Second, ride the G-D trike every morning.  Third, quit buying cookies.

But I guess I’ll just go back to bed, just after six in the morning.

Copyright 2019 by Alan Carl Nicoll
All Rights Reserved

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