February 26th, 2020

laszlo moholy-nagy_chx


Tuesday I managed to disappoint myself again by not getting to Safeway. Had I been a little bit faster, or gotten up just a few minutes earlier, I might have made it, but I overslept and then let myself be unfocused. I still might have made it had one or the other of the buses that go to one or the other of the Safeways been late, but they were on time so I missed both. It's all their fault for having been unexpectedly competent today, except insofar as it's my fault for not having gotten my act together, which means it was entirely my fault.

Maybe it was being disappointed in myself that made me so sleepy this evening, though having overslept enough to miss the bus but not enough to have actually had enough sleep to get my sorry ass focused might have played a role. Anyway, around seven in the evening I couldn't keep my eyes open, and rather than risk falling of the chair and cracking my head open on the hard floor and lying there for days before my rotting corpse was discovered, I decided to lie down on the bed for a while, and ended up sleeping until almost midnight. On the bright side, my skull is not cracked and there are, at least for now, no cadavers in the apartment, not even mine. That's a good thing, since it increases the chances that I or my heirs will ultimately get at least part of my security deposit back.

But after missing the last possible bus to Safeway and before taking that long, fitful nap, I rewarded myself for my incompetence by going to the Goodwill store where I found no fewer than five books, four of them quite large and three of those consisting mostly of pictures. Since I can look at pictures much faster than I can read, I consider picture books a much less wasteful purchase than books I will never get around to reading before I become the cadaver that will ruin my heirs' chances of getting much of my security deposit back. Of the three art-filled picture books, two are published by Thames and Hudson, London, and are called Medieval Panorama and The Panorama of the Renaissance. The third has a similar title, Panorama of the Enlightenment, but is published by the Getty Center. All three are quite lavish, an in very good condition.

The other large book is a library discard, though which library discarded it has been effectively concealed, yet is in remarkably good condition, so I doubt it was even thumbed through by more than a handful of people. It's part of the Facts on File Library of American History series, The Roaring Twenties, and though it is very text-heavy it nonetheless has quite a few black and white photos, many of which I've never seen before. It's an era that has long fascinated me, so many of its artifacts having still been present when I was growing up, and watching it slowly fade has been a background motif of my entire life. One of the thoughts that periodically comes to make me sad is that even the youngest of the flappers are probably all dead by now. R.I.P., Zelda.

The last book is a large paperback that somewhat surprised me. It's called The Most Typical Avant-Garde, and is subtitled History and Geography of Minor Cinemas in Los Angeles. Author David E. James is a professor in the School of Cinema and Television at USC, and the book is published by the University of California Press. It's one of those dense academic books which probably exists only because of the publish-or-perish system, and its subject is remarkably obscure, yet I'm surprised I've never heard of it since I have done quite a bit of research in that remarkably obscure subject (cinema theaters in Los Angeles) myself. I think I'll enjoy poking around in it to see if professor James knows much about it that I don't. The copyright page of the book indicates that the professor and I are about the same age, but the Internet indicates that he has accomplished somewhat more than I have. I wonder if I ever almost encountered him in one of those movie theaters we've both written about?

Ah, another reason for me to be disappointed in myself. Just what I needed. Given how messed up my sleep schedule is now it seems unlikely I'll get anything done tomorrow today, but maybe I can get my act together enough to do something by Friday. That would not be especially disappointing. Then if I die on Saturday I will leave a more accomplished cadaver to rot undiscovered here for days on end.

Did anybody notice that I'm not very cheerful tonight, but still have something resembling a sense of humor? Yay me?
laszlo moholy-nagy_chx

Scratch That

Well, crap, I'm being bitten by mosquitoes in February! I came in at dusk and felt an itch on my left cheekbone, and touched it and found that it is terribly swollen. There's another one on my forehead that feels like it's not quite as far along but soon will be. I was tempted to go out and sit in the balmy evening air, but now I fear that if I do I'll end up with even more bites. I do not approve of these goings on! Somebody needs to take this weather out back and slap it around like it was Alan Ladd in, well, pretty much any movie he ever made. If this mosquito stuff keeps up, my face will soon look like Alan Ladd's after the beating scenes in one of those movies.

Today I woke up early enough that I could have gone somewhere, but I didn't have the energy, so I futzed around looking for some insurance papers I need to find, and failed to find them, and then went out and finally crossed East Avenue and walked to the Walgreen's store which is over there on the wrong side of the street. It's not an enjoyable walk, but at least I now know it's doable. There's a big health food store and restaurant over there too, which I might want to go to sometime. Walgreen's doesn't have anything I can't get at the much nearer CVS.

On the way back I stopped at the Goodwill store and found two more giant books. One is a companion to the two British art books I bought yesterday, this one being Panorama of the Classical World, but it has more bare breasts and penises in it than the Medieval and Renaissance Panorama books. The other giant book I bought replaces six paperbacks I lost in the fire, being all six of Jane Austen's novels in one volume. It is an illustrated edition featuring over 60 color plates and over 100 drawings. Quite nice, really, and I can't find any copies for sale on the Internet for less than about sixty bucks including shipping, so the eight dollars (well. $7.20, since it was senior discount day) I paid was quite a bargain, even though I had to lug the bulky thing all the way home on foot. But I think I might need to get one of those slanted, swiveling wooden book stands they have for giant books in libraries in order to read it. The thing is enormous.

Anyway I'm home now and didn't feel like cooking again, so instead of making something semi-healthy like ramen with mushrooms and vegetables, I made nachos. As Beavis and Butthead have said, nachos rule. There's beer, too. Beer also rules. And after I eat I'm going to let the Internets go to sleep early and I'm going to go read until it's time for my cheese-induced heart attack. I'm counting on the heart attack to take my mind off of these damned itchy mosquito bites. They are driving me crazy. Curse you, unseasonably warm February!