Heart Attack? Diary, 4/15 to 4/19/21

Text only copyright 2021 by Alan Carl Nicoll
All Rights Reserved


{4/15/21}  Weight 208.8 at 6:15 am.  Wow, four pound loss in two days.  The reasons will become clear below.

Today is Thursday.  On Tuesday I went to the V.A. clinic to get my second COVID vaccination, but after checking in, I was just sitting down to wait when I felt the now-familiar chest pain of a heart attack.  I told staff, was put on an EKG, was advised that the reading was abnormal and should they call an ambulance to take me to a hospital?  I said no, but eventually agreed.  I was taken to Bakersfield Memorial, was admitted and tested, eventually diagnosed with “stable angina pectoris” and advised that I had not had a heart attack, given a prescription, and released yesterday.  I had missed two meals and a lot of fluids, had three BMs, and so lost four pounds.  I will regain much of that by tomorrow.

My conclusion:  chest pain is not conclusive evidence of heart attack; I should eat four baby aspirin and look for the other usual symptoms before panicking.  [Blog readers please note that I am definitely NOT QUALIFIED TO OFFER MEDICAL ADVICE and this post should not be so construed.]

From Thom Hartmann’s newsletter yesterday morning:  “Discouraging Americans from getting vaccinated, and thus preventing President Joe Biden from getting the economy back on track, has been the first order of business for the GOP ever since Trump lost the election.”

Watched Disney’s Frozen on DVD last night around 11:30, thinking that I’d just catch a few minutes before bedtime, but to my astonishment I was drawn in and rather smitten by this beautifully crafted but often quite silly “modern comic opera.”  The beautiful voice and acting of Kristen Bell as the plucky heroine were probably the main factor; she’s an actress who has had a lot of exposure, I suppose especially through Veronica Mars, a series that seemed attractive at the time, but I never watched.  Nor have I seen any of her dozens of movies, until now.  The songs were really good, the animation often very beautiful, the moral lectures were generally sensible, so, a good movie.

Spoiler alert:  Less good was the second episode of Andromeda, a show previously dissed here (see 4/9/21), that Pablo and I watched last night.  I called it “nauseating” at the time, mostly because of the “inspiring speech” at the end that left me unconvinced and uninspired, but convinced the “bad guys” to switch sides and dedicate themselves to the restoration of “the Commonwealth,” I think it’s called.  The show lacks all originality, unless thorough shamelessness in copying previous entertainments can be called “original.”  Such copying can be the basis of a parody, but I can’t see Andromeda as a parody.  Pablo says we can enjoy ourselves by sneering at the show while we watch; at this point I’d rather not watch.

Gave him the copy of The Real Lolita that I received this week, since it offers nothing that would interest me and he digs “true crime” and gossipy stuff.

Watched Kathleen Turner gleefully portraying a serial killer in the black comedy from John Waters, Serial Mom.  Hilarious and gross; with a cameo by Patricia Campbell “Patty” Hearst.  Not nearly as funny was Nurse Betty starring Renée Zellweger and Morgan Freeman.  I didn’t watch the last 40 minutes.  These were two of the four movies I got [in one set] for cheap from Hamilton Booksellers.  I marked other DVDs in the Hamilton catalog I got yesterday, but won’t be buying them any time soon.

After dozing through two hours of Jimmy Dore I watched the rest of Nurse Betty.  Meh, though Zellweger was charming and excellent as always and Freeman was standard Freeman.

Bought three volumes of the Bent Life Histories (of birds) and The Portable Tolstoy from Thriftbooks, the last being free.  Received three books in the mail today, too:  The Portable Coleridge, the Peterson Field Guide to Western Trees, and Bertrand Russell:  Freedom Versus Organization.  Yesterday I received the Munz:  A California Flora.  I have no shelf space for these books, I’m already overloaded.  I may just buy more shelving.

Rereading my blog page, “Prison Diary: Mary Catherine Bateson:  Peripheral Visions:  An Extended Consideration.”  Currently relevant quotes:

“‘There are no whole truths,’ Alfred North Whitehead said. ‘All truths are half truths. It is trying to treat them as whole truths that plays the devil.’” p. 193.

“The world we live in is the one we are able to perceive; it becomes gradually more intelligible and more accessible with the building up of coherent mental models.” p. 213.

{4/16/21}  Weight 211.0 at 6:50 am.

{4/17/21}  Weight 213.0 at 6:25 am.  I’ve regained all the weight that I lost at the hospital.  Disappointing.  It seems that my standard breakfast, no lunch, pizza for dinner, and two modest desserts, is too many calories for one day.

Hemlock Club today.  Spent most of yesterday on Twitter.  Six pages of dictation.

Watched episode three of Andromeda with Pablo.  More lectures from the Captain about restoring the Commonwealth.  What fun.  Finished the first DVD.

Also watched part of the third and started the fourth of four movies in the package of “dark comedies”: Very Bad Things and Your Friends & NeighborsVBT I turned off after perhaps forty-five minutes because I was sick of watching five guys getting shitfaced and I could see how the rest was going to go; totally unamused and uninterested.  YF&N I’ll review after I watch the rest; substantially more interesting than the other, but so far little more than an exercise in patience.

And finally, watched a third episode of Michael Moore’s The Awful Truth; again hilarious, but otherwise meh.  In all the stuff I’ve watched in the new crop of DVDs, the only standouts have been Arch of Triumph, reviewed on 4/11, and the slightly better Frozen, reviewed 4/15; the standing-out is only relative, there’s nothing I’d recommend without caveats.

I got irate with Pablo last night when he blathered about Lolita being a “great work of literature.” [See my extensive review.]

Been having my usual left-eye irritation for about two weeks; I’m guessing either a slight pollen allergy or a reaction to pesticides.  Dehydration could also be a factor.  Maybe.

Pablo is fasting for Ramadan because of his current relationship with a geographically-distant “old flame.”  I’ve been somewhat astonished that he could stay with it this long (about four days).  Also surprising was the relatively elaborate nature of his daily schedule (apart from the religious duties), which I will not attempt to describe aside from noting that he writes three times a day.

I told him that I operate by whim; I’ve never been one for self-imposed routines, though I do have a slight “daily routine” because my whims are quite predictable.  I start with diary writing each morning, if only (like yesterday) just to record my weight.  This will soon be followed by checking Twitter, blog, and email, and (M-F) checking Thom Hartmann’s show at 9:00 am.  The rest of the day is less predictable, but my range of activities is very limited, limited both by COVID and by my being a sedentary intellectual.  I do not blush to call myself an intellectual because I am “a person with intellectual interests or tastes” and not because I see myself as “having or showing a high degree of intellect”—of course I think that, but I wouldn’t claim it.

{4/18/21}  Weight 215.2 at 4:30 am.  This is shocking, almost unbelievable.  214.6 at 5:50.

Watched some DVDs, bought cheap from Bookhounds, yesterday.  Falling Angels was good enough, though it depicts an unamusingly dysfunctional family and how the mother dies [this is not a spoiler, she’s in a coffin as the movie opens].  Three attractive teenaged daughters, two quite beautiful and all well-portrayed, provide the interest.

10,000 BC was also good enough for about twenty minutes, but I felt uninvolved, and a repetitious and unoriginal plot killed my hopes.

Finally, I watched the first episode of season one of South Park; I hadn’t expected much, but it was even less amusing than I’d anticipated.  I laughed exactly once, understanding the dialog was difficult, and on the whole it was unpleasant.  I may try another.

The Hemlock Club meeting was good.

On 4/10 (link) I wrote about abandoning my novel-in-progress, The Lolita Curse, because of my newfound disgust with the subject.  This is a surprising turn in my life, and the thought this morning is that working on the novel brought about the turn.  [My Prison Diary has a lengthy consideration of Lolita; here’s the link; recent diary posts—3/10, 3/27, 4/10, and 4/11—add more.]

Kick Me is as close as I’m ever likely to come to “bleeding on the page.”  I should get it out there ASAP, since I have no plans to work on it again (though an update covering the last five years would be appropriate).  My current thinking is to, first, print it out and reread it to see if any last-minute changes are needed; second, to give it to Nog to read and wait for his feedback if he’s willing; finally, to publish on Amazon as an eBook and on the blog with a request for donations.  If I’m going to do all this, I should also do a reading, i.e., turn it into a “book on tape” for Amazon.

{4/19/21}  Weight 215.0 at 6:20 am.

Having low expectations made Catwoman a surprising and delightful guilty pleasure last night.  Halle Berry has enough catrisma to make her catvorting and kicking ass a hoot; she can do no wrong, though cringes lurk under every sofa, mostly in the other characters and bits.  Berry is absolutely the whole show, and I can imagine young girls taking inspiration from her fighting back against her environment—though the effect as often will be in the wrong direction.

Next starring a subdued Nicky Cage, Jessica Biehl, and Julianne Moore, is a very exciting mind-bender that is missing the final chapter.  Cage can see two minutes into the future, and sometimes further; a Russian nuke is on the loose and the Feds desperately want his help.  Some clichés, but overall a winner if you can tolerate a lack of complete closure.

Catwoman gets 9% from Rotten Tomatoes, about the lowest score ever for a movie I mostly liked; Next gets 28%.  I guess it’s a good thing I’m not so critical about certain kinds of movie or defect or something?

[Description of Hemlock Club meeting has been posted previously, here.]

Text only copyright 2021 by Alan Carl Nicoll
All Rights Reserved

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