gericault_the raft of the medusa 2

Reset Fourteen, Day Eleven

No long entry tonight. I felt extra crappy all day Tuesday, and it got worse after midnight. Stomach queasy and neck out of joint, with resultant headache. Nodding off in the computer chair didn't help. Almost fell out once. I don't think I'll even eat any chocolate tonight. Nausea. If I owned a bucket I'd put it next to the bed tonight. I should buy a bucket.
laszlo moholy-nagy_chx

Reset Fourteen, Day Ten

Having a case of the Mondays isn't what it used to be. These days it seems like every day is a Monday, except actual Monday is the day I have to put the wheelie bin out for the trash collector (seems like that would be the worst hobby ever) which makes actual Monday just a bit more exciting than the faux-Mondays the rest of the week. I guess that makes having a case of the Mondays a good thing now, relatively speaking. At least as long as I actually remember to take the bin out, which I did this time. This evening I'll get to bring it back in, which is a bit easier since the bin will be empty, so maybe having a case of the Tuesdays is even better than a case of the Mondays. But Wednesday will be such a letdown, since there will be nothing to do.

Actually there would be lots of things to do, but not doing those things doesn't lead to an overflowing wheelie bin, and so I have less incentive to do those things. For example, I suspect that the floor could use polishing, but my eyesight has gotten so bad that I can't tell for sure, I just guess it does because it's been a long time since I did that. But then I won't be able to tell if I'm doing it well or, once it's done, if it looks better, because my eyes are so bad. That's sort of a disincentive to polish the floor. Of such trivial concerns is my life now made. Pathetic.

My sleep schedule has exploded. Or imploded. One of those. I still haven't gone to bed tonight and it's almost morning. Sunday night's nap threw things way off. I didn't get to sleep until after dawn Monday, and then slept about five hours, and I've been awake ever since. Today could be strange. A strange Tuesday with a case of the Mondays and a probably dirty floor I can't see. With luck I will remember to bring the wheelie bin in, and might even remember to eat dinner. The weather might actually be rather pleasant, though odds are I'll sleep through it. It wasn't smoky Monday, and might not be today either, unless the continuing wind blows the fires into a rage.

But at the moment the worst of the fires are in Southern California. They got hit hard Monday, and one fire in Orange County has forced the evacuation of about 90,000 people from around Yorba Linda, Dick Nixon's birthplace. I don't think there's actual forest involved in this fire, just lots of scrub brush and scattered trees. I was familiar with the region many decades ago, before it got built up, and it's quite semi-deserty. This stuff can burn fast as hell, and a pair of these fires, the Silverado and the Blue Ridge, went from 0 to 10,500 acres before nightfall Monday. The wind is expected to diminish in the area today, and thus far catastrophe has been avoided, though there have been some injuries among the firefighters. The risk is always greater in fires that move as fast as these.

It's unlikely that the mini-metropolis will burn as I sleep today. Wind will be somewhat reduced around here today as well, though there will still be some, and it will surely come back stronger eventually. Autumn is a windy time of year in these parts. But at least it's not likely to get freaking hot again. Freaking hot days are not unknown in fall, but they are not the norm. There's nothing higher than 83 in the long-range forecast. But there's no rain in it either, so fire season continues. Let's hope it will be over by Christmas.
gericault_raft of the medusa 1

Reset Fourteen, Day Nine

It's very late, or very early, and I've eaten a bowl of ramen after sleeping fitfully for over four hours and having some weird dreams I partly remembered. Sunday was strange overall. Four new wildfires got started in Shasta County, driven by gusty winds, briefly triggering some evacuation orders which were later lifted as the fires were brought under control. For a while it was pretty scary, as one of the fires was rapidly approaching a built up area with several hundred houses.

The nap was very weird. Around eight o'clock in the evening I was getting ready to fix something to eat when I suddenly found myself unable to keep my eyes open. I curled up on the bed but left the lights on, thinking I'd nap for an hour or two, but the nap stretched out past midnight. I woke several times, but still felt exhausted, so went back to sleep each time. Each time I woke I recalled dreaming dreams that were part of a world I began dreaming about not long after I first moved to Paradise in 1986. The setting is a place that resembles Paradise in many ways, but isn't. I'm always wandering through this not-quite-recognizable place looking for something or someone of somewhere I can't quite remember. They aren't really nightmares, but they aren't anything I'd call good dreams. The sleep around them is never what I'd call restful, either.

As I still feel tired, I'll probably be going back to sleep again soon, or trying to, but I hope there aren't any more of those dreams. It's supposed to be a bit warmer today. Sunday's weather was cool and quite pleasant, though for some reason I didn't really enjoy it. Something I can't identify is still bothering me. That's probably what triggered those dreams. Maybe I've got un-diagnosed brain covid. At this point there's probably nothing that would surprise me.
caillebotte_man at his window

Reset Fourteen, Day Eight

Somehow I got a fly into the apartment this evening. I didn't notice it until after midnight, but it must have come in earlier. It wasn't around when I was eating dinner, but was apparently attracted by a slice of cheesecake I had later. It's been pestering me ever since. I'm hoping it won't come into the bedroom and pester me while I'm trying to sleep. Also I hope I don't have dreams about it. Insect dreams are bad, and even though I almost never remember my dreams I suspect that they impinge on my mood the day after. Some days I wake up with the feeling that something really bad has happened, but I have no evidence that it has. That could be unremembered bad dream residue.

We're having a chilly night tonight, but not as chilly as it will be Sunday night, when a record low temperature for the date is expected. I should probably dig out the electric blanket. I was going to wash it during the summer but never got around to it. The instructions say it should be hung out to dry, not put into a dryer, but I have no place to hang it. The only place it might fit would be over the bathtub shower curtain rod, but a wet blanket is so heavy I'm afraid it would damage the flimsy rod. I suppose I'll end up just letting it remain soiled.

Right now there is a very slight breeze, barely enough to rustle the leaves of the fence bush, but this afternoon it is expected to get very windy, with the wind coming from the northwest. That means it might get smoky again, since there is still good-sized fire in that direction. This will be the strongest wind yet this year, with gusts up to 70 mph in some areas, so the fire danger will be considerable. The wind will be only slightly less on Monday, but it should gt back down to something closer to normal by Tuesday, when it will also be getting hotter again, getting back up above 80 degrees. Residual summer clinging to our days like the faint smell of smoke clinging to our clothes.

I wonder if I'll be on edge today, as I was Saturday? It seems almost normal now, but I still don't like it. At this point I'm not convinced I'll ever be relaxed again. I barely remember what it was like.

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Reset Fourteen, Day Seven

Looking at the weather forecast, I'm guessing the furnace will have to come on Sunday night. It will be 72 degrees that day and will go down to 42 that night, so the apartment will undoubtedly get too cold. Last year I didn't use any gas until November. As of today, it's only been four days since I last needed the air conditioner, and Friday was only the second day that I didn't need to use the fan in the evening at all. This seems like an awfully brief autumn. But then it will be getting warmer again next week, and though the nights will be chilly, it might be that the days will be warm enough that I can capture sufficient heat to keep the apartment comfortable all night without the furnace. It's not as pleasant capturing warm air by day in Chico as it was in Paradise, as here the open windows also capture a lot of fumes from the freeway and the apartment parking lots. The traffic noise is annoying too.

Friday was another dull day I barely remember, except for the recurring backache. I miss having a chiropractor. I'll soon be missing having a dentist, too, as I'm starting to get twinges in one of the teeth that lost a crown. It's going to be difficult to yank out, as there's nothing left to grab on to. I'm pretty sure it can't be saved at this point. In fact the dental work I'll soon need is going to be a nightmare, and very costly. In the meantime, it's a good thing there's ramen, which doesn't require any vigorous mastication.

Birds have been visiting my backyard, but they take off as soon as they see me at the door, so I haven't been able to get a really good look at them. They have, however, more than once left droppings on the back of my best yard chair. The droppings are dark, so I think they've been visiting the yard to eat the dark berries that grow on a particular plant out there. The birds need somewhere other than that chair back to perch on, but I have no idea what would serve that purpose. Maybe a bit of clothesline strung somewhere that's not above a chair.

I'm nibbling some honey roasted peanuts, as my ramen dinner is wearing off. It's a fresh jar of peanuts, and they are always best when the jar is newly opened. I don't eat them fast enough, though, and by the time I get about halfway through a jar they are usually starting to taste a bit stale. I either need to eat them more often, or I need to find someone else to eat part of them. Maybe I could put some out for the birds. Perhaps peanut poops would be less offensive than berry poops.

Dishes to wash before I go to bed.
laszlo moholy-nagy_chx

Reset Fourteen, Day Six

When I woke up Thursday morning (well, early afternoon) there was no Internet. The phone and computer both said it was connected, but the web said no. It was all errors. Growing panic ensued, as for me no Internet=no life. The phone would fetch some Internet, but it's phone Internet and almost useless. As the phone was still functional, I thought about calling a mortuary to have my funeral arranged, but then the Internet started coming back. This is the second time the Internet has gone away for no apparent reason. Since it eventually came back both times, I probably shouldn't worry about it, but I will, and next time it happens (and I'm sure there will be a next time) I expect I will panic again, assuming I'm still around for it.

Tonight the temperature has dropped below 60 degrees for the first time in months, and it could get all the way down to 49. Today it is supposed to get backup to 80, so we are into that time of the fall when the diurnal range brings on something like a thermal whiplash. Though it hasn't even been very breezy in Chico there has been wind in the mountains, and Sunday and Monday we are expecting yet another major wind event. Since there still hasn't been any rain, the fire danger will continue to be great. The northwest is supposed to be getting some rain soon, but there's none in sight for California.

My Internet is still remarkably slow, so I haven't seen as much stuff as usual, and videos are terribly tedious to watch with all the interruptions. I'm thinking I'll just go read until I fall asleep. I'm no more energetic that I've been for the last several days, and my brain remains fuzzy. I don't want to goose it with alcohol, as I did a few nights ago, considering the fact that my hangovers now last more than a day. At least the grilled cheese sandwiches I made for dinner haven't given me a stomach ache. I hope I can stop yawning long enough to eat a chunk of my chocolate bar. AndI hope I have Internet when I wake up.
gericault_the raft of the medusa 2

Reset Fourteen, Day Five

Been sitting here staring at the page for several minutes with my brain wandering off through the blankness to one place or another I immediately forget. Reality Wednesday was just me not getting around to anything I'd intended to do. There was a slight smell of smoke in the air again, but the number of fires burning by day's end had dropped to twenty from twenty-two the previous day so progress. Right now P&E is cutting the power to many areas in case the wind that is coming up causes any of their lines to fall. So far these outages have not affected Chico. People in other areas are getting very tired of them, and I'm seeing loads of complaints on various web sites.

But I'm just tired in general, not of any particular thing, or maybe of too many particular things for any of them to stand out. Utterly without energy, I often go lie on the bed and read, which usually causes me to nod off within a few minutes. Then I semi-wake and go back to the computer to look at things I soon forget again. Days are getting rather dreamlike, and the dreams are both dull and possessed of a somewhat disturbing air. My actual dreams I'm not remembering.

It's supposed to get only up to 80 degrees today, 76 tomorrow, 70 Sunday. Maybe that will be pleasant, but it probably won't do anything for my stomach, which has decided to start getting achy frequently. I'd be willing to go back to hot weather if it would stop doing that. I had enough stomach aches when I was a kid and don't need any more. But maybe that's what being old is about— all the stuff you outgrew comes back to bother you again. Sort of like a recap, just before the end of the story. It's a dose of nostalgia I could have done without.

Reset Fourteen, Day Four

So on Tuesday I managed to devour the last of the four avocados I bought last... when was it? A week ago Monday, I guess. Oddly, only the first of them I ate was seriously overripe, and the other three were quite decent. Tuesday it was two avocado sandwiches on sourdough toast for a very late lunch, and then a bowl of popcorn for a midnight supper. There was a banana in there somewhere, too. Is that an acceptable diet? Hell if I know. Nutrition, like just about everything else, is a mystery to me.

The windy day brought 31 new wildfires to the state, most of which were rapidly extinguished or contained, though one down in Monterey County looks like it could lead to trouble. Most of the older fires are either contained or getting close to it, though the one in Fresno County is still a threat. Today the wind should die down, but it will return Thursday, so not much of a respite. All predictions of rain have been withdrawn but a 10% chance of showers Sunday and 10% again on November 4. At this point that might actually be a good thing, since all the denuded land will be subject to flooding in the first big storm, and the crews could use some time to get some of the most threatening fire debris cleared away.

Today I need to do something about getting an new mouse. There's a thing I got that requires a digital signature, and while I was able to (barely) do the last one I needed, since then the mouse has gotten a bit wonky and won't send a consistent signal to the computer, so it is impossible to do a digital signal. I've been planning on getting a new one but haven't gotten around to it, and now I'll have to rush. The perils of being unfocused. I might try to get ahold of a niece or nephew to take me to a store that sells such things. For some reason Trader Joe's doesn't stock them, and neither does the Dollar Tree or CVS. There's a branch of Aaron's in the plaza that might have them, but I doubt I'd have the energy to walk over there. It's going to be 80 degrees, which a few months ago wouldn't have bothered me, but my ability to deal with heat has quite vanished.

It's nice and cool out tonight, and I'm going to go sit in the back yard for a while before sleeping. The freeway hasn't been very loud so far tonight, and I can almost pretend there is no mini-metropolis surrounding me. Well, aside from the light-washed sky that hides the stars. I wish the crickets were still around.
gericault_the raft of the medusa 2

Reset Fourteen, Day Three

Monday amounted to me regretting the amount of vodka I'd imbibed Sunday night. I slept poorly and woke up later than the previous days, and dragged myself about with some difficulty. I remembered having dreams, but didn't remember the dreams themselves except for a few odd images that meant nothing to me; some tie tabs, a stray bit of flowered print fabric, and a hairbrush. I have no idea, and am rather glad of that fact.

A few tasks that have been piling up recently remain undone, and anew one arrived in the email, but they will all have to wait because I'm borderline comatose tonight. I managed to get the wheelie bin out to the street, and checked the mailbox, and then because I felt like I needed some actual food I managed to prepare a fairly normal meal of entree, two vegetables, and a leftover side dish, and later had the fourth slice of the six-slice cheesecake assortment I bought at Raleys way last Monday. It has remained fairly fresh in the refrigerator.

However, I haven't yet found the energy to do the dishes, though I do hope I'll find it before I have to sleep. I hate waking up to dirty dishes. Also I forgot to eat my breakfast donut, and thus didn't have my breakfast tea, so I've had no caffeine. When I don't eat my breakfast donut it's a definite sign that I'm totally out to lunch, inappropriately enough. What a day.

In fact I've been so out of it that I never got around to checking on the fires today, though I heard a few airplanes fly over the neighborhood. Another wind event is expected Thursday, and I'll probably be focused enough to pay attention by then. Monday I'm just writing off as a loss. Today is supposed to be hottish, at 91 degrees, but at least it's cool at night. Thursday we begin a string of days with highs in the seventies, and nocturnal lows in the high forties. It's going to be near-fall-like. I've been looking forward to that all summer, but now that it's really going to be here I don't expect it's going to make me feel much better. I no longer believe it will restore my energy to anything like the level I've had in the past. Over the last few months I think I've just aged out of that. Too bad I don't have a lawn I could yell at kids to get off of. The most enjoyable part of being an old guy will be denied me.

Oh, freakin' dishes.

Reset Fourteen, Day Two: Crazy Old Man Drinks; Leaps into Past

The re-sequestration is underway, and off to a dull start. The closest thing to excitement Sunday was when I went out to check the mail box, since I couldn't remember if I'd checked it Saturday or not. There was nothing. I got up way late again— 2:30, in fact. I had orange juice, and then some iced tea and a donut, but didn't eat late lunch, as I planned on having an early dinner, and then never got around to cooking anything. I just now found myself munching on popcorn, and really should go fix something more substantial, but doing any actual cooking has become such a chore. I should probably be in one of those care homes where they bring you awful meals at fixed times, and your cranky old roommate watches Fox News on television all day. I wish I could go die at a monastery instead, even though I'm not Catholic.

I need to stick my fingers inside my head and massage my brain, to see if any memories can be coaxed out. As if I could do that. I can't even reach my toenails to trim them anymore. They are getting longer and longer and the nails are starting to cut into their neighboring toes. A hell of a note. (Who said that? I can't remember, though it was current when I was a kid. Hey, something got coaxed out even without me fingering my brain.) Right now I'm thinking this weirdness is better than nothing. It is alcohol induced, I'll admit. A while ago I fixed a drink in preparation for calling someone who was showing signs of desperation on Facebook, and then I called and he said he'd call back but hasn't so far, and I've been drinking and starting to get just a bit not not high. Someone else probably saw the desperation first so I was superfluous. It's a good thing I'm typing and not talking because right now I couldn't pronounce superfluous, and the human voice has no pronounce-check on it. Thank goodness computers don't drink.

Goodness. Somebody used to say "goodness!" Yes, it was Roger. Roger the teenyboper, who was the only person under forty or so I can recall meeting who was actually named Roger. Roger was an old guy's name in those days (the later 1960s.) The Roger I knew was young, though he wasn't that much younger than me— perhaps five or six years— but at 21 or 22 five or six years seems like a lot. He was one of a group of kids who used to hang out in a donut shop I frequented, where I would write, and he recognized me one day as someone who had sometimes visited his older former next door neighbor from time to time a few years earlier. I was rather impressed that he remembered me, though I had no memory at all of him, so I would talk to him and his friends quite often instead of writing, and then write about him and his friends later, in notebooks that were in a drawer in my house in Paradise when it burned. Now I can't remember anything that I wrote about them, though I'm sure I mentioned the fact that when I said anything that amused or interested Roger he would say "goodness!" I liked Roger. I wonder whatever became of him?

But a donut shop as a place to write, yeah, that's a bit weird. But then I also used to write in the coffee shop of a bowling alley across the street from the shopping center the donut shop was in. Donut shops, bowling alleys, greasy spoon diners, just about any place I could buy a cup of coffee and sit at a counter or table on which my notebook could rest. This went on for a few years. Some places my peculiar behavior was not welcome, and I never returned to them. In one coffee shop a waitress scolded me for taking up counter space, saying "this is a place of business!" A bus station coffee shop in downtown Los Angeles lost my custom when a waitress, while I was writing, pushed my notebook aside saying "you cant do your homework here!"

Other places, they had no problem with it. The waitresses in the bowling alley coffee shop patiently refilled my ten cent coffee cup multiple times, never criticizing. One named Dolores was my favorite there. At a 24-hour greasy spoon not far from my house my favorite was a young waitress named Peggy, who sometimes read a few paragraphs of my writing when she had a bit of spare time. Downtown, where I didn't go too often since to get there I had to pay bus fare that cost me the equivalent of what is now almost four bucks in today's money, there was Dorothy, a middle-aged midwesterner who worked nights at a small counter coffee shop on Hill Street, and who liked the songs I played on the jukebox. I think I wrote about her in a livejournal entry many years ago, and how a few times I swept the sidewalk in front of the place for her, on the balmy Los Angeles nights when cars were few and the pedestrians even fewer. I wrote about her then, too, but can no longer recall what I said. That fire subtracted a lot of my memory.

Yeah, the donut shop. It was counter service only, so there were no waitresses to get huffy about my lingering, only the counter kids who couldn't have cared less. It was in a fairly new shopping center that had replaced a funky old market that had been built gradually and cheaply over many years, and they finally made enough money to build anew, and put up a basic big-box type place that was encrusted with faux-Victorian (very faux) details, and it was a delightful bit of tacky ridiculousness on the hodge-podge suburban boulevard along which the kids cruised on Friday and Saturday nights. The guy I was then had very mixed feelings about the area, but that didn't stop me from going there hundreds of times over the years. Oh, the years! And now I drink a little bit more than usual and the ghosts come back to haunt me. But they are so vague! And now is so strange! It's like standing in the dark on the edge of a cliff with a storm of colorful but old confetti swirling about me in a confusing, sad, fascinating blur. My feelings, I find, are as mixed as ever. And I still wonder whatever became of Roger. Perhaps it's best that I don't know, considering that I do know what has become of the world since then. His memory is better off there. So is mine.