laszlo moholy-nagy_chx

Day Eleven

Thursday got odd. Usually when I take an afternoon nap it is unintentional, but Thursday afternoon around four o'clock I really couldn't keep my eyes open, even though I had only been up for about six hours and had gotten about seven hours of sleep. Given that, I thought I could just sleep for an hour or two and then wake up while it was still daylight. And I did wake up while it was still daylight, but found it very difficult to fully rouse myself, so I went back to sleep again and didn't wake up until almost nine o'clock.

I recall having had a rather interesting and pleasant dream when I first woke, which might have been a factor in my returning to sleep, but when I woke again I had been having a very strange and disturbing dream. That, coupled with waking after dark, which always leaves me morose, has kept me in a dismal mood ever since. Dismal is pretty much normal these days, though. I should be used to it by now.

There was a nice bowl of microwaved ramen for dinner, which did take a bit of the edge off of the sadness, at least while I was eating it. Maybe I could take the edge off again by eating more, but if eating becomes the way I deal with the current situation I soon won't be able to fit into my clothes, and I have no way of getting out to get bigger ones, so I should probably avoid that tactic. Too bad drinking also adds pounds, as I have a 1.75 ml bottle of Stolichnaya I could down, which would probably make me very happy, for a while.

There was a brief mockingbird concert Thursday morning, for which I had my usual front row seat. Those are probably the most enjoyable parts of my days anymore. It would be nice to see Taylor the lizard around again, but that hasn't happened in over a week now. Not much of interest happens around here. I really miss going to the Goodwill store and buying books I'll never live long enough to read. I'm missing Taco Bell's crappy burritos, too. Ah, the good old days, two weeks ago!

Day Ten, Dull Again

While it's very likely that I did stuff today, I find I can't remember what most of it was. One thing I do remember is fetching the wheelie bin in from the street, which I forgot to do Tuesday (or maybe I didn't do it because it was raining. Was it raining? I don't remember much of Tuesday either.) Anyway, I brought it in today, and also picked up the mail, which included the PG&E bill, which is down about ten bucks from last month thanks to the spells of warm weather we had.

There were a few sprinkles again today, but nothing spectacular. The small birds visited the backyard, but not the mockingbird. I did hear the bird that is probably a raven, somewhere across the bike trail, but I couldn't see it. It was probably perched in one of the pine trees over there. I listened for a few minutes, then went back indoors when a shower began falling, and when it was over and I went back out the croaking had ceased.

I made a modest actual dinner tonight, but might take a break from serious cooking tomorrow and just have some ramen again. Cooking gets tedious pretty fast for me, and the cleanup even more so. I'm sure it would drive me to drink, if I weren't already drinking quite a bit. Thursday should be cool and sunny, Friday cool and party cloudy, Saturday and Sunday chilly and rainy. It's all pretty much the same looking out at it from the windows. These cool days would have been great for getting out and walking around. I'm totally bummed out that I can't, or at least shouldn't.

Now dishes to wash, chocolate to eat, book to read, sleep to get back to. Somehow I don't feel excited about any of it.

Day Nine

What on earth am I doing? It's almost two o'clock in the morning. I don't go anywhere, I don't accomplish anything, and I still can't get a journal entry written before midnight. I did, however, manage to fix something resembling an actual dinner. I made tacos, with cabbage in place of lettuce. Not ideal, but adequate. I'll try not to use cabbage on them again. I prefer cabbage in just a big chunk. Very crunchy and refreshing, with a very slight bit of heat to make it more interesting.

My great-niece delivered some things for me today, but I forgot to ask her to pick up lettuce. She said the stores are less hectic than they were last week, but still out of toilet paper and various sanitizing items. I won't need TP anytime soon, since I buy it in 30-roll packs, and got one just a month ago, but my Lysol disinfecting wipes might run out. I don't have any hand sanitizer, but rely on washing with soap. The soap might run out in a couple of weeks too.

When I woke up today I was surprised to find the world wet. Now that I'm staying in, I often don't remember to check the weather forecast web site, so I had no clue that it would rain. I might have realized that the increasing cloudiness Monday evening was a clue, but I paid no attention to it. One cloud I watched floating by for a while looked like a giant turtle, but then one of its legs became detached and its head dissolved, which I found rather disturbing.

As it sprinkled or drizzled most of Tuesday afternoon, I got no visit from the mockingbird, and the small brown birds turned up only briefly between showers. The hundreds of white flowers on the bush along the fence dropped a lot of petals, and I tracked quite a few of them in, along with the wet leaves. There could be more rain today, then it should be cool and dry until Saturday and Sunday, when there could be more rain. It's nice to get the rain, but it's really too little too late. It's likely to be a nasty fire season, and it could start fairly early. April 1 is supposed to get up to 81 degrees. Things dry out fast around here when it gets hot.

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laszlo moholy-nagy_chx

Lonely LJ

My friends page has posts from only five other journalers tonight. There are usually at least ten or so. It's Monday. Where did everybody go? I guess I'll have to pad this thing out myself with a second post. I don't usually do memes, but I made this one myself yesterday, and I'm almost as proud of it as I am ashamed of it. Enjoy, and/or weep, as you see fit.

caillebotte_the orangerie

Day Eight, Still Not Late

This evening I took the wheelie bin out to the street at twilight, and the cool, fresh air was so delightful after being in the stuffy apartment most of the day that I almost decided to take a walk up the block. But I was still wearing my fuzzy pajama bottoms and my thin-soled house shoes, so I didn't. A strong breeze was blowing, as it has been most of the day and still is now. I think the air smells fresher because the traffic is down in the mini-metropolis. Except for the absence of pine resin it smells much like a mild spring night in Paradise used to smell before the fire. Of course I can't hear any frogs croaking here, and the city lights are still on so I can't see the stars. And of course I have no cats for company.

There was a brief visit from the mockingbird this afternoon, but the most consistent visitors were the small brown birds. They were here most of the day, pecking on the ground and at the leaves of the plants on the fence, which appear to be harboring an assortment tasty aphids. Now and then one or another of the birds would visit the end of the garden hose, from which I have a slight drip of water emerging. The end is slightly elevated so they can stand in front of it and drink. I didn't think to fill the seat of the broken canvas camp chair so they could use it as a bath. I've never seen any of them do that when it was filled, but if I keep filling it I suspect they eventually will.

My great-niece was unable to fetch things from the store for me today, but I'm sure she will soon have the opportunity to do so. I've been using a bit of whipping cream I had left as a substitute for the milk that went sour, but the cream itself is dated March 20, so it too might go bad by morning. I'll have to drink my tea or coffee without any dairy product in it (cheese of any kind, of which I have an abundance (for now), I suspect, would be a poor substitute.)

There are things I ought to be doing— filling out the census, which I will attempt to do online, and filling out something sent to me by the attorney who is running the class action suit against PG&E that I signed on to— but I have a hard time concentrating. I can almost feel the sand in the gears of my brain these days. I didn't feel like even attempting to cook anything for dinner tonight, and being tired of ramen I ended up eating half a bag of Bugles dipped in sour cream instead of a meal. Later I had a couple of slices of rye bread toast, with butter that tastes faintly of the rotting strawberries I forgot I had a few weeks ago, which had gotten pushed to the back of the refrigerator where I couldn't seem them. The rotting berries were disposed of a week ago, but their flavor lingers on in the butter supply. Annoying.

Let's see, what plans do I have for tomorrow... oh, right. I don't have plans anymore. I just hang around this place and rot away, like those misplaced berries. I wonder what I am stinking up? Whatever it is, I hope I'll soon be doing it in my sleep, because I'm quite tired tonight. And I hope I won't be having any weird dreams that I can recall only vaguely and for only a few moments on waking. Goodnight, dear Internets. You're almost the last fun I have, other than cheating death another day.
caillebotte_man at his window

Day Seven, Not a Heaven

Days of the week and hours of the days lost in this purposelessness, I do my routine tasks with no routine. As things fall apart and the center begins to lose its hold, I find nothing better to do than share memes on Farcebook. World ending with masses of whimpers, I chuckle at inane jokes, some of which I've made myself. Jokes I've made myself. Good image. Better to be the joke than the butt of one, I suppose, but I'll probably end up being that as well.

Boy, am I not in a good mood! Maybe I'll be happier tomorrow when my great-niece will drop off a few things from the store for me. But probably not. This mood might be terminal. Big mood. But at lest I'll have enough chocolate to last me another couple of weeks. And who knows, by the time it runs out I might not need it anymore.

The Los Angeles Times just crossed my mind. I loved that paper as it was in the 1980s. It's probably crap by now. I haven't seen it in years, and I haven't heard anybody praise it in years either. Why do things turn to crap? And so easily, it seems. My brain, for example. It used to work so semi-well, and now it hardly functions. It can't even keep track of days.

The mockingbird visited late this afternoon. Birds are untroubled by our problems, and it seemed quite happy. Now that's a gift. It's a gift for the bird, and for the moments I was able to hear it a gift to me. It put me in mind of the poem I'm going to post. I think I've posted it before, but not recently.

If you are not fond of traditional poetics, please forgive Thomas Hardy his lack of modernity. He was an old fashioned guy, and also a very good poet. He wrote this at the very end of the 19th century, the century in which our modern world really got underway. It was a century full of optimism and despair-inducing horrors. Hardy was more in tune with the latter, at least as far as the works of man were concerned, but he also, like all good poets, found some promise in the natural world. I've had enough pure despair of late, so I enjoyed recalling this bit of qualified despair.

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laszlo moholy-nagy_chx

Day Six, Still Not Sick

How did I lose track of time so completely? I thought it was about ten, and here it is approaching two o'clock in the morning. It's probably in part because I finally made up that lost sleep today, and din't get up until almost two in the afternoon. Everything has been off since. But I did hear my mockingbird this afternoon. In fact I heard two of them singing at once. There might soon be a new generation of mockingbirds on the way. Not long after that, I large black bird perched atop the telephone pole across the bike path and croaked at me. I'm pretty sure it was a raven and not a large crow. It had no white on it, so probably not a magpie. It flew off after a few minutes.

Because I got so distracted I forgot to eat any dinner. I just now stuck a bowl of ramen in the microwave, and it should be ready in three minutes or so. I didn't feel like doing any dishes tonight anyway. Actually I never feel like doing dishes, but tonight more than usual. I'm really going to miss being able to pick up a burrito at Taco Bell. As bad as they are, at least they are easy and I don't have to interrupt the myriad unimportant things with which my mind is over-occupied to cook anything.

There's the microwave bell. I need to eat before I faint. My plans for tomorrow today? HAHAHAHAHAHA! Just keep going crazy, I guess. Oh, by the way. Over the last couple of days the U.S. has zoomed past Iran and Spain, and Friday overtook China as the country with the highest rate of growth in now C-virus infections. Congratulations, America! We're back on top! Just like that guy with the Best Brain said we'd be! So much winning!
laszlo moholy-nagy_chx

Day Five, Still Alive

There are still no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Butte County, but there is a casualty nonetheless. Our local weekly free paper, Chico News & Review, has suspended publication, along with its two sister papers in Sacramento and Reno. It's not dead yet, but it's in a coma, and it would not surprise me if it never recovered. This is happening at free weekly papers all over the country. They all depend on advertising from shops, restaurants, bars, and night spots, and in many places most of those have been shut down, and so the advertising has dried up.

Most of these papers have very slim profit margins, and little capital, and I doubt many, if any, can survive a long hiatus. I expect this social distancing situation will continue for at least twelve weeks, probably longer in some places. We really started it too late, and with too little planning for the economic consequences. I'm not expecting Congress (well, the Senate) to pass any legislation that will provide sufficient, meaningful assistance to such enterprises as small, weekly papers.

Friday I made the mistake of looking at Safeway's weekly ad, seeing quite a few things I'd like to get, and now I really want to go. It's permitted, of course, but I've also gotten very skittish very fast and the thought of going has me worried as hell. In fact I've gotten as jumpy as a June bug over the last few days. I'm finding it very hard to concentrate on quiet activities like reading. It's like I've developed OCD and ADD at the same time, and they are fighting it out inside my head. I still haven't made up my recent lost sleep, which isn't helping, nor is not being able to go out walking, which is the way I usually burn up excess energy. I have no idea how I'll get through months of this.

Lots of little brown birds in the yard again today, but still no mockingbird, and no sign of Taylor, the lizard. I thought they might reappear when it got a bit warmer, as it did today, but they didn't. The traffic on the freeway finally seems to be easing up. I guess more people are cocooning. This is all so freaking weird. I ought to be writing something much better about it than this. It's an historic moment, and all I can put together is this dreck. Anybody still reading must be getting seriously bummed out by this gibbering by now, I certainly am.

Day What Four: Vernal Equinoxious

It warmed up a bit today, and lots of those little brown birds I can't identify came back into my yard (though still no mockingbird,) and so did my allergies. Between the allergic sneezing and the cough I've had ever since the fire, and the headaches I get from my neck not being regularly adjusted by a chiropractor, I'd be unable to tell if I got the C-virus, since I've already got several of its symptoms. And I won't know if I get a fever— unless it gets really high— because I have no thermometer.

This morning I woke up too early again and was unable to get back to sleep. At some point I'll get one of those days when I sleep eleven or twelve hours and make up for the loss, but for now all I do is feel the exhaustion. To sort of compensate I took a longer than usual shower this afternoon. It didn't help much, though. I'm still pretty tense, and being cooped up is undoubtedly part of that. Also I totally forgot to try the egg-balancing thing at the moment of the equinox. Ah, well, next year, if there is one, and I'm still around for it.

As of today there still were no confirmed cases of the C-virus in Butte County, but given the scarcity of testing equipment and the fact that the mini-metropolis is a college town with a lot of kids likely to have minimal or no symptoms, it's far from a certainty that there are none at all. Still, the news had me tempted to make a quick run to Trader Joe's. Not only would I really like to have some lettuce, but the last of my milk has gone sour, and I'm running low on chocolate. I opened a package of cookies to substitute for my donut today.

Then this afternoon Governor Newsom issued an order effective tonight for everyone to stay home as much as possible. Workers providing essential goods and services are excepted, of course, but everybody else can go out only to go to grocery stores or drug stores. The statistical projections based on the trajectory of the virus so far predict that 56% of California's population would become infected over the next eight weeks unless strong measures to curb transmission were taken. That's close to 25,000,000 people, and even if only five percent of those needed hospitalization, which would be conservative, the state's hospital facilities and medical personnel would be completely overwhelmed.

Meanwhile, Governor Asshole DeSantis— oh, what the hell, Governor Asshole of Florida said that beaches in that state would remain open for spring break. Several mayors of various Florida cities, including Miami Beach and Fort Lauderdale, quickly issued orders to close local beaches under their jurisdiction, but beaches in other parts of the state remain open, so partying kids can pick up the virus and then take it back to cities and towns across America next week. Thanks, Florida Man.

There's still an awful lot of traffic on that freeway. It makes things seem inappropriately normal.

Read. Sleep.

Day Three

So the sun never emerged today, but there was no rain to speak of. The ground was still damp from last night's rain, and the broken canvas camp chair still had a small pool of water in the seat, but no birds came to bathe in it. A few of the small brown birds that peck about in the dirt did visit the yard, but chose to drink only from the end of the hose, which I have adjusted to drip just a little bit for them. They were the only company I had all day. At least some of the other tenants are staying home, too, as I saw their cars in the parking area most oft he day.

For a while I was tempted to break my isolation and make a quick run to Trader Joe's, as I have no lettuce and I wan to make some tacos. Instead, I think I might wait and contact a nephew or niece and see, if they are going out to a store anyway, i they can bring me a few items. I don't want anybody making any special trips for me, especially since I read an article (in The Guardian I think) about how even though people in their twenties, thirties and forties are less likely to die from COVID-19 than older people are, they frequently do require hospitalization, an often need the ICU. I'm going to advise the kids (some of whom are in their fifties or older) not to go out at all if they can avoid it. Almost no testing has been done in California, so the actual rates of infection are probably much higher than we've been told. This is probably true of the whole country. It's been a massive screwup by the authorities.

I think I'll try to figure out a substitute for lettuce on those tacos. I've got some cabbage. Maybe I could shred some of that. Anyway, I made something else for dinner tonight (Wednesday.) Now it's Thursday, and guess what? Vernal Equinox! Day and night are to be of equal length. Also you're supposed to be able to balance an egg on its end at the right moment (8:49 PM here), but I don't know if that actually works. If I remember, I might be bored enough to try it.

Right now I'm really tired. But I think everybody is tired these days. I'm missing getting exercise. This place isn't long enough for decent pacing. I'd go out and walk up and down the driveway for a while, but it's too cold again tonight. It will be a bit warmer today than yesterday, so maybe the mockingbird will show up. I hope so.