July 6th, 2021


Reset Twenty-One, Day Ten

Monday's high was less than 100 degrees, and tonight is supposed to get all the way down to 66, which is about the coolest it's been in a couple of weeks. It's already quite pleasant outside, and I've got my fan on and windows open, so I'm hoping I can get through several hours of the day before the air conditioning comes back on. It should be less than 100 again today, but tomorrow it starts inching up again and by the weekend two days with highs of 111 are predicted. If I survive those then I get to experience a few normally hot California summer days the subsequent week, with highs in the mere nineties. Hooray?

Despite the slight cooling I'm still lacking energy, and dinner was just some canned beans heated on the stove and some bread and butter, plus the ale that provided an inadequate substitute substitute for my traditional porter. I still have one bottle of the porter left, but I'm saving it for a special occasion, like a day when I actually feel like cooking something resembling a meal. It might be a while yet.

Tonight I haven't been hearing the mockingbird, and I'm hopeful that he finally found a mate, though it's rather late in the season, and I certainly wouldn't envy any baby birds hatching into the weather we're likely to be having in August. But I'm going to be selfish and hope, because I want to still be hearing mockingbirds next year, if I'm still around then. I do recall that the bird was silent one night a couple of weeks ago, and I thought then that he'd gotten lucky, but he was soon back to his nocturnal concerts, so that might be the case this time as well.

Recently YouTube gave me a suggestion for a song I hadn't listened to in a long time, Chris Whitley's 1991 recording "Poison Girl." I've been watching it repeatedly tonight, and am impressed with how well it still holds up. Despite the rock influence and the amplification, it harks back to the timeless, authentic blues songs of the earlier parts of the 20th century, rough and raw yet possessed of an ineffable beauty. Though released as a single it never made the Billboard charts, but I think it is one of Whitley's best performances, and it features some splendid work on his classic National guitar. He was only 31 when he made this video, and had only fourteen years left to live, dying of lung cancer far too young in 2005.