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.
5th street los angeles 1905

Day In, Day Out

Given how crappy I felt Thursday I wasn't sure I'd be able to get to the stores on Friday even if my ride materialized. But it did, and I did, and so far I've survived the adventure. It was unpleasantly warm, and the task was tiring, and there was also a bit of disappointment in that I was unable to find a couple of things I wanted at Safeway, and CVS, which was the store I went to last since I was buying ice cream there, was out of the kind of beer I wanted. Had I not gone there last I could have picked some up at Trader Joe's instead, for a buck more per six pack, but by the time I was done as CVS I was just too exhausted to go back to TJ's.

How exhausted was I? Well, I still haven't arranged the groceries way the way I want them. I put away the stuff that needed to be in the refrigerator, and then pretty much collapsed in a heap and did nothing for over an hour. The speed with which my energy drains away anymore is appalling. While I'm hoping that the considerably cooler weather that's due in about a week will improve my condition, I'm not counting on it. It could be that I've finally turned that corner into actual old age and can't expect to ever be really energetic again. It would be nice if I could at least get energetic enough to walk to the nearby stores again though.

Now that I'm stocked up on stuff there are no plans for the rest of the month. Toward the end of October the forecast is predicting chances of showers again, all below 50%, but that could change. We might get lucky. We got lucky with the recent wind event, as it didn't cause any major flareups of the fires, or start any large new ones. No more high winds are predicted for at least a week, and by then most of the fires should be contained or nearly contained. It has also gotten too late in the season for any more dry lightning storms to be likely, so we probably won't get any more multi-fire outbreaks. Until next year, of course. All we have to worry about is one or more of the utility companies setting one off with their aged equipment, or if we get a crazy arsonist running loose.

Anyway. It's gotten late again, and I want to go out in the chilly night air for a few minutes before I go to sleep. The yakisoba noodles I had for dinner have settled down, but I don't think I'll put anything on top of them but a little bit of my replenished chocolate supply. There might be a swig or two of rum involved as well. After that strenuous day I think I deserve it.
laszlo moholy-nagy_chx

Interregnum Day Three

Tentative arrangements have been made to go to Safeway this afternoon, or if not then then Saturday. Of course there will be stops at Trader Joe's and CVS as well. Safeway has fewer things on sale this week that I want than they had last week, but there are a couple of decent bargains anyway. Plus I got more stuff at Raley's than I'd expected last Monday, so no dire need confronts me at this time.

Look at that elaborate verbiage being used to say nothing of any significance.

Right now I'm fuzzy and tired, and having a hard time remembering what happened Thursday. I'm pretty sure I got to sleep and woke up rather late again, and I know I took a shower, and then I made avocado sandwiches for dinner, and later had a slice of cheesecake and a glass of fancy rum and milk with a bit of Kahlua. Kahlua looks like it would be the name of a lesser Lovecraftian elder god, doesn't it? I can never remember how to spell it, but added it to my spellcheck dictionary.

Brain obviously slipping into oblivion. There wasn't any significant smoke in the air Thursday, and I heard the mockingbird, though it got a bit too warm for comfort in the afternoon. Right now there are too many tricks making noise on the freeway. The almond harvest is going on, so truck traffic is up. 80% of the world's commercial almond crop is grown in California, according to an article I ran across on the Interwebs. Water-hogging trees, they are. We'd be better off without most of them. Please don't drink almond milk.

What else was I thinking? Was I thinking anything? Hell if I know. I'm just some crazy old guy poking at a computer keyboard late at night on the blazing edge of the collapsing world. Don't expect me to make any sense. I have to finish making my shopping list. Look at the time! It's 2020 already!

Interregnum Continuing

Um, let's see.... Wednesday, wasn't it? Yeah. It got pretty breezy for a while this afternoon, but it was windier in other parts of town, and windier still in the mountains of course. I only heard one plane flying over, and that was before I finally woke up completely. It could be that wind conditions in the fire zones made using the aircraft too risky. Twenty-four new fires got started Wednesday, but all were quickly contained (multiple new fires every day is actually the norm this time of year, so that wasn't even a record.)

The total number of wildfires still burning in the state is twenty, with thirteen classified as major incidents. Over 11.000 firefighters are on the front lines, which is down quite a bit from the peak a few weeks ago, which was well over 20,000. The Zogg fire in Shasta County is now 100% contained, and the Glass fire in Napa and Sonoma counties is now 97% contained. All of the other fires in the north state but one are at last half contained, and several are very close to full containment, as are all the fires burning in Southern California. So as of this time the catastrophe looks like it's just about over— knock on wood, if you can find any un-burned.

I'm still planning on making another shopping trip soon, hopefully Friday, though I haven't checked Safeway's ad yet. CVS sent me another digital coupon for Ben & Jerry's ice cream cheap, and I want to get that, plus the last of my giant chocolate bars from Trader Joe's is almost gone, and that is one of my essential foods. I finally got around to making an actual dinner Wednesday night. I felt quite a bit less bad all day, and I think it's mainly because the wind blew the smoke away. The heat was not especially excruciating either, and it's only supposed to get a couple of degrees hotter today. It's supposed to remain windy through this evening, so maybe I can go on feeling less bad for another day.

Now I've lost track of time again, and I have dinner dishes not yet washed which I don't want to wake up to. I'll get those done now and hope I can get to sleep before five o'clock. It's possible I've gone back to standard time already, insofar as I'm on any sort of schedule at all. It really only feels like three o'clock to me right now.
5th street los angeles 1905

Day Out, Day In

Monday I did the banking and some of the shopping, and I had hoped to finish the shopping today but just couldn't summon up enough energy. That means I'll have to make a new list, since this week's sale ended today. Wednesday and Thursday are probably out for transportation, so maybe I'll get to Safeway on Friday, which unfortunately will be the peak of the current heat wave.

One of the things I did buy at the store Monday was a bottle of fancy rum. When I got home I decided to sample a bit of it, and I might have sampled a bit too much. After about half the drink I mixed I was feeling so good that I thought I might walk over to Trader Joe's to get a head start on the additional shopping I was hoping to do today. There was still an hour of daylight then, but by the time I was nearing the end of the drink the sky was much dimmer, and so was I, and I decided to simply take a nap.

So Tuesday was pretty much just recovering from Monday, and I don't recall much of it. I did remember to bring in the wheelie bin and check the empty mailbox, but I still haven't gotten around to updating my check register with all of Monday's transactions. I also haven't gotten around to fixing dinner, even though I've got stuff I bought for actual meals. Monday night all I ate was a bowl of spicy ramen, which left me feeling pretty crappy.

Overnight tonight the wind will be picking up, and is expected to become quite strong. For the next two days the region has a red flag warming for extreme fire danger in effect. Hot, dry, and windy is the worst kind of weather to have here in early fall. Fires are likely to get started, and when they do they are likely to spread very rapidly. Maybe Chico will burn down and I won't have to go to the trouble of making a shopping list for Friday, or getting my brain organized, or tidying up the apartment, or anything else.

There are much better things than this to write, but I can't write them anymore. My words are swallowed by mere facts. I'm sitting here looking at the cramped little kitchen, and the bags of groceries sitting in the living room because there's not enough storage space, and I'm making and correcting typos, and I'm trying to remember stuff that I can't remember, and being sad about it, and I'm remembering the Agatha Christie novel that I can escape into sitting by the bedside, and I'm thinking I will sample some more of that rum. Going nowhere, nowhere to go, in the sad nocturnal mini-metropolis of my discontent. So it is. So it has become. So ever it what.