We have landed on Tuesday, September 7, 2021. It’s not unexpected. Having been alive and conscious for most of the previous days, I have determined that the days follow a numbering sequence that begins when a new month arrives and then increases by one digit increments. As for the date, this society follows a norm that prescribed a standard order: Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. Once it reaches Saturday, the pattern begins again with Sunday. It can be quite complicated. Fortunately device and paper trails have been created to help us track these parallel systems. On top of those days and dates, there are twelve months. Twelve months comprise one year. Oddly, there are three hundred sixty-five days, which correspond to the planet’s trip around the sun.
Sunrise came yet later again in this area. Apparently, this is part of that journey around the sun. Sunrise was at 6:42 AM. Sunset, coming earlier, will be at 7:45 PM. This is an area which experiences warmth during this season of year. Temperatures will be in the low nineties. It would be pleasing, with the sun and clouds, were it not for the dense smoke and woody smell afflicting the nostrils and eyes when outside. Being free of smoke and pollution is taken as a given for so many; we don’t realize how spoiled we are until we lose it.
We went grocery shopping this morning. A big shop. Enough food to last for a few days. We went during vulnerable hours at Costco and Trader Joe’s. Picked up some favorites and restocked essentials. People were masked for the most part. One unmasked woman kept my wife’s attention. Said wife fumed at the women. Why is she shopping without a mask during the vulnerable hours. There are numerous reasons why she might not have be masked at the store at that hour. I didn’t comment.
“The Look” is drilled into my mental music streaming structure, insinuating itself as a loop. This came about because my wife gave the maskless female shopper “The Look”. My wife’s look isn’t anything like the look mentioned in the song. The bouncy song is about a young female’s mesmerizing ways. My wife’s look is more about driving a stake through someone’s heart. But when I saw my wife give it, I started thinking about the song. Now the 1989 song by Roxette is on infinite loop. To release it requires me foisting it off on another. Don’t know why; that’s just how quantum music works. Apparently, once a song is released, someone, somewhere, must be playing it either in their head or physically. The more popular the song, the greater number of people doing this. Consider it musical quantum entanglement.
Stay positive and test negative. Wear a mask and get the vax. If you don’t believe in masks and COVID-19 vaccines and believe you know better than medical professionals about how to treat your COVID-19 symptoms, please stay home and do it, then. Why entangle others with your pseudo-knowledge? Here’s the music. Back to my coffee. Cheers
Floofeopathy Therapy (floofinition) – Alternative medical principles practiced by animals based on theories that animals can detect illnesses and diseases and help other creatures fight their medical issues and recover.
In use: “She, being human, wasn’t familiar with floofeopathy therapy, but a few days before she went to the doctor and discovered she had breast cancer, her stripped tabby and her miniature collie came to her, settled on either side of the affected area, and stared deep into her eyes. They did this whenever she rested, a routine that persisted until the cancer appeared to go into remission.”
- Slippage in my personal use is about losing track. Time. Lists. Progress.
- Slippage is heavy when I’m writing. Clocks disappear from my LOS when I don the writing hat. I’m in that other world. Following characters. Contact tracing cause and effect. Studying dialogue. Typing, typing, typing, typing. Surprise overcomes me when I discover that I’ve been at it for an hour or two. My ass is sore. Numb. Coffee gone or cold. I’m hungry. Writing usurps everything. I feel satisfied when I’m done. And starving to do more. But other matters call.
- Because I have lists. Tasks. Chores. Necessary Actions for Modern Life. Balancing accounts. Paying bills. Buying food. Cleaning litter boxes. Talking to people. Socializing. It’s all so draining. Give me the damn keyboard and leave me alone.
- I tend to avoid writing long posts for these reasons. Keep it short and simple. Use energy for longer stuff for my writing projects.
- I feel like I’m suffering from low energy. Might have to do with the smoky situation outside. I peer outside the window and catch the sunshine and blue sky and become happy. Look forward to a walk. An hour later, the smoke has closed its tentacles on the street. Blizzard-like visibility develops. Step outside. Smell the stench. Feel the nostrils sting. The sinus headache begins. Eyes dry out. Energy fizzles. Spirit implodes.
- Could also have to do with COVID-19. We — our county — is one of the nation’s hotspots. As prominent anti-vaxxers and mask deniers sicken and die with COVID-19, my county’s citizens continue protesting. Masks are not effective, they claim. COVID-19 is not serious in their estimation. The vaccine can’t be trusted. These positions make going to the stores or anywhere else a daunting effort. We mask. Others don’t. Stores don’t enforce masks. They know they’re impotent against the unmasks’ illogical, contrarian positions. Wearying is an understatement.
- Beyond writing, struggling to do the things expected to keep the house and body clean and neat, and the modern demands of being responsible, I spend time reading. Finished Klara and the Sun (Kazuo Ishiguro) last week. I really enjoyed it. Loved the simplicity. The straightforward minimalism. Handed it off to my wife. She took it up and gave me the book she’d finished: The Mirror & The Light (Hilary Mantel). The styles between the books are so different. As are the stories being told. One is futuristic, science fiction. The other is historical fiction. Each are greatly entertaining. My wife wasn’t as fond of Klara as I was. Too much minimalism for her.
- Reading The Mirror & The Light keeps calling me back to C.J. Sansom and his Mathew Shardlake series. Not surprising in retrospect. Both cover the same English period from similar points of view. In many ways, it’s just like picking up two books of any other genre and reading and comparing them. Of course, that’s one reason why I like Lincoln in the Bardo so much or The Underground Railroad. Hard to find books that compare favorably with them. Likewise, how Louise Erdrich is able to tell stories with elegant prose and yet be gritty always amazes me. For crazy story-telling along the lines of ‘look-what-you-can-get-away-with’, I look to Lincoln & Childs and their Pendergast series.
- I’m also an information junkie. We subscribe to the NY Times and several other online periodicals. I must always be aware of time while pursuing information. It isn’t enough to just read their articles; no, I must find other opinions and sources to vet what’s being put out there. Then, of course, there are a dozen bloggers who I enjoy following. Always must track them and their latest.
- I have three cats. All ‘rescues’ or strays. Came to me for a visit and stayed for a life. Tried finding their people. In one case, Papi (our ginger tabby), we knew who the owners were. They left him behind when they moved. Deliberately. Cocksuckers.
- Boo, though, is problematic. Don’t know what went on in his past but it left mental and emotional scarring. Arthritis affects him. PTSD, too. Anything new – smell, sound, visitors, anything – sends him into a frenzy. He snarls and hisses at our other cats. His coat is matted. Embarrassing. Sure it’s not comfortable nor healthy for him. But we’ve only reached the point that he can be petted without hissing or snapping at us. Slowly introducing him to a brush. S-L-O-W-L-Y. Yet, he seeks me out. Sleeps against me. Comes to me for attention and food. Sleeps at my feet when I’m at my desk writing.
- TC — Tucker Cat — meanwhile has matured wonderfully. Went from battling with Boo to gracefully indulging his needs. Walks around him without disturbing him. He, too, sleeps with me. Loves it when I sit down to read. Is beside my laptop now as I type. Where he frequently is during the day.
- On my list of things to do is call my parents. They are divorced. Dad is remarried. Mom has a live-in fiancé . One lives in Pennsylvania. The other is in Texas. Both are retired with health issues. I worry about them constantly. They take appropriate precautions but still. You know, right? Yeah, you get it.
- My wife’s health also worries me. She’s suffered from RA for over twenty years. Wasn’t originally diagnosed, of course. No, that required over a decade of treatments, blood tests, imaging, and doctor visits. She loves exercising and dancing. She’s suffering a flare that’s truncated her ability to do those things. It also gives her foggy brain. She struggles to remember. Spell. Abstract concepts give her problems. So dismaying watching her decline. She’s more social than me. Since she can’t go out per usual (RA, smoke, COVID-19), I’m her conversation partner. I’m not particularly interested in socializing and conversing. Particularly when I’m writing. She’s become fond of Reddit streams such as Am I the Asshole and Facepalm. Feels compelled to share them with me. She’s also almost obsessive about local COVID-19 news and trends and must share them as well.
- Circumstances have curtailed my walking routines. Had a long streak of averaging 11.3 miles per day. I woas driving toward twelve. Then COVID. Then, smoke. I sometimes mask and go for a walk but always preferred walking when I had concrete destinations. Coffee shops to write was my standard. I do miss those days. My average has declined to nine miles per day. Most of it is running in place in the house, which just is not as entertaining.
- Enough of a break. Time to return to writing like crazy. But first, another cup of coffee, please. Black, of course. Cheers
Had happened before. Wouldn’t bet against it again. Always without a hint. Always from unexpected direction.
This time, it was below. A knee went off on an excursion. He was walking up steps. Not hurrying. Nothing special. But that knee took a detour to the right. An action that almost threw him back down the stairs. Made him grab the handrail and gasp. Pause to breath. Swallow pain. Yeah, and fear.
Others saw. “You okay?”
He nodded. Not sure what they saw. “Just.” Didn’t know how to explain it. Didn’t want to. “Caught my toe. Tripped myself.”
They were looking. Mute. Knew what had happened. Understood why he lied. Nodded. Accepting.
He followed. Betrayed by his body again. Worried that another betrayal was imminent. Maybe not a knee. Maybe memory. Or cognitive process. Damn body. No long trustworthy.
We were outside, on a wooden deck. Like a restaurant deck under blue sky. Three tables. Eighteen people. Men, women. No one I knew.
Women came among us dressed in purples, raspberries, golds and yellows, greens. Loose clothing. Skirts, blouses, and vests. We knew they were healers. Everyone was there because they wanted to be healed.
The women walked around us, checking everyone out. One, short and swarthy, with brown hair, came up to me and said with a friendly laugh, “Don’t worry. You’re okay.”
On the Oregon coast for today, Tuesday, August 17, 2021. Sunrise was at 6:20 AM. Sunset is at 8:09 PM.
Cool, here. Rained this morning. Ahhh. Rain and coffee. Is there a song for that? We expect a high of 64 degrees F. Brilliant, walking along in the cool, fresh air, going to a coffee shop in the early hours while the sun is still clearing its eyes behind a bank of clouds. Going into a funky coffee shop. Fantastic art by local artists on the walls. Fresh coffee. Fresh pastries. Fortunate to enjoy such things.
Back home, the woman staying in our house and taking care of the three amigos told us the smoke blew away after we left town. Yes, we’re taking it personally. The heat dome wandered on. Temperatures dropped by twenty degrees. Yes, we’re taking it personally.
Talking with friends about their lives, medicines, treatments, and ailments. Friend visited Pompei back in the mid seventies. I’m listening to the Bangles’ cover of “Hazy Shade of Winter” in my head. You know, “Time, time, time, see what you’ve done to me. While I looked around for my possibilities. I was so hard to please. Look around. Leaves are brown. And the sky is a hazy shade of winter.” It’s another terrific Simon & Garfunkel composition. Paul and Art released the original in 1966. The Bangles did their bang up in 1987. Here I am, thirty plus years later, listening via technology’s assistance. Do you have a preference between these two versions, or another?
Stay positive, test negative, wear a mask, get the vax. Here’s the music. Cheers
Sunrise, sunset, smoke, weak sun, high temperatures, COVID-19 spiking. Yes, this is Saturday, 8/14/21. Hope your Friday the 13th went well.
So the sunrise, sunset, air quality, and temperature numbers go 6:12 AM, 8:11 PM, 162 (very unhealthy) and 100 F, again. COVID-19 case numbers are in the hundreds in our county. Highest ever. Delta variant. Unvaccinated account fo over 98 percent, according one doc. Hospitals overcrowded. ICUs full. Emergency assistance sought from the state. Plans to put up field hospitals. COVID-19 deaths are also the highest ever in our southern Oregon county.
Our town, though, remains a small oasis. More were vaccinated. Wore masks. Took precautions. Most cases in the county originate in two towns that went heavy for Trump. Who eschewed masking with extreme contempt. Sneered at vaccines. Fighting to keep their children from being vaccinated or wearing masks. Yep, even while they have the highest COVID-19 case numbers in the state. I think there’s some moral there. If I could just put my finger on it.
Busy, busy, dream night. Cats contributed. Keeping two of the three in due to heavy smoke. Third, the youngest, is too adamant to be kept in. Paws at windows. Beats blinds. Screams for freedom. Raises a ruckus with the other two. Because I’m keeping the two older bois in, the pet door is closed. Hence my multiple sleep interruptions.
Anyway, while brewing desperately desired coffee this AM, I was pondering dreams. So real. Was that a dream or is that a memory? Wasn’t sure with some of them. Worried me about my state of mind. Anyway, from that arose a song by Mister John Lennon. “#9 Dream” (1974). When I heard it on the radio, I also heard the DJ saying that the song came to Lennon in a dream. But the word, “Was it in a dream, was it just a dream? I know, yes, I know, seemed so very real, it seemed so real to me.” Had never seen this video until today. Eye opening and thought provoking, IMO.
Study hard and stay in school. No, wait. Started on the wrong phrases, didn’t I? Guess it was a slip back to 1974. Test negative and stay positive. Wear a mask as needed and get the vax. Here’s the music. Cheers
Yes, it’s Friday the Thirteenth of August, 2021. The sun’s limp gaze — too much smoke for it to be noticed, really — came on at 6:15 AM. Sunset, which has been a succession of fiery red orbs sinking into a hazy red horizon this week, will come at 8:15 PM. Yes, we have less than twelve hours of daylight going forward. ‘The days are getting shorter’.
Might cool off some today. Might rain. Thunderstorms are in the forecast. Not good news. We’ll listen and watch with collective bated breath to see if new wildfires explode. Already have so many going. New ones would not be welcomed.
Today’s high will be about 100, again. The thing with the heat dome is that the heat stays longer into the night. Midnight found us at 86 F last night. But with that smoke — the AQI has been red or purple — unhealthy or very unhealthy all week — opening windows will funk you up. We’re sitting at purple, 205, very unhealthy right now. Visibility is struck down. Like we’re in a fog. Except it’s smoke. Can see about three hundred feet. No upper horizon. No sign of the mountains and forests. Better than being in the fire, though, knock on wood.
Embracing the day’s superstition, I’m channeling “Superstition”. A Stevie Wonder composition, he hit with it back in 1972. Several have covered it since then, including Stevie Ray Vaughn. I went with a video of Stevie Wonder with Jeff Beck at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 25th Anniversary Show.
Stay positive, test negative, wear a mask as needed, and get the vax. Cheers
Smoke blankets us. A heat dome squat over us. 102 to 114 F today. COVID-19 in our county are at their highest levels ever. Kind of puts me in the mood for “Eve of Destruction”. Too heavy handed, don’t you think? Would be like taking a howitzer to a mosquito.
Sorry, haven’t had my coffee yet. Feeling tetchy. Today is Wednesday, August 11, 2021. Sunrise came on at 6:14 AM. Sunset will be at 8:17 PM. The sunsets, watched from being windows and a smoky haze, are beautiful in their own red, hellish way. The sun glows a nuclear red. As it sets behind the hills, the red glow spreads across the sky, painting the parched, brown land in bright red tones. We could have called yesterday Redday instead of Tuesday. Yeah, not subtle. Our air quality sits at 256, the purple zone, which is very unhealthy. Advisories have been issued: it’s super hot, so don’t go outside. And it’s smoky and the air is unhealthy, so also don’t go outside. Keep your doors and windows closed. And if you do go in somewhere, wear a mask. Also, wear one outside.
Yes, the masks are making a comeback in Oregon. Not surprising. With ICUs filled and people being turned away, sixty employees of one local hospital are also COVID-19 positive. Not a fun month, August, 2021. Started out with a lot of promise and hope. Most of that’s been swallowed by heat, smoke, and COVID-19. Meanwhile, after the IPCC’s devastating report on climate change, WaPo has an opinion piece on why we shouldn’t give in to climate despair. Which of the other despairs should we give into?
All this leaves me feeling a little grungy this morning. Alice in Chains brings “Down In A Hole” (1992) to the mental concert.
Down in a hole and I don’t know if I can be saved
See my heart I decorate it like a grave
Oh, you don’t understand who they thought I was supposed to be
Look at me now I’m a man who won’t let himself be
Down in a hole, feeling so small
Down in a hole, losing my soul
I’d like to fly
But my wings have been so denied
That’s good car music, hey? Stay positive. Test negative. Wear a mask. Get the vax. Here is the music. That is all. Cheers