Walking in my neighborhood, I notice tiny red flowers on a gigantic stalk of giant thorns. I guess they need a lot of protection.
I read in the New York Times today that there are more guns than people in the USA. Some people with guns say they have them in case they need protection. Unfortunately these guns are often used aggressively towards people with no protection. Protection is a slippery slope.
Reading the news is bad for my mental health. Neuroscience can now prove the brain (thanks to the amygdala) will remember the bad things more than it remembers the good things.
My normal grocery list which contains lots of veggies, lots of fruit, peanuts, cashews, eggs, tuna fish (2) cans of soup (2) bread (the best) milk (gallon), peppermint tea (the big box), toilet paper, a small bar of soap one small yogurt, good olive oil, hummus, chocolate bars, honey, olives, pasta sauce, tofu, hummus, packaged slice of salmon, cheese, cinnamon sticks, fresh ginger,mayonnaise (for tuna fish) watermelon, dried apricots, sushi deli plate (I was hungry) and apple juice came this week to $230! I could hardly believe it. Perhaps I should fast a little.
This is getting crazy. Hey, it’s not getting crazy. It IS crazy. Already I have to limit the days I swim laps at the pool because gas is so expensive and I have to drive a bit to get there. I drive because I am addicted to an olympic size pool where I can always get my own lane. Outside. It’s only 13 miles one way of freeway driving but it adds up. Daily swim is out. I’ll have to bike for exercise on the non-swim days. As for food, I’m committed to buying organic. I browsed the non-organic and it isn’t that much cheaper. wow.
Pete’s large cappuccino is $6 plus tip so that’s out too
Perhaps Americans will lose weight and stop being so grotesquely obese. Perhaps something good can come of this. I’m looking for a silver lining. I don’t mind paying tons more for gas if it’ll help Ukraine, but does it? Are gas prices why airline prices are so high? I can’t figure any of this out. I just know I can’t afford the daily swim or going home to the east coast this summer like I was planning.
Bob Dylan: “Glad to see you’re still alive you’re looking like a saint”.
The Bob Dylan concert was everything I wanted it to be. I mean I got everything I wanted to get out of that night but what I thought I wanted him to do wasn’t what he did.
There was no guitar and for the few minutes he stood up it looked like he would fall down. He spent almost the entire time sitting at the piano. I was glad I bought the least expensive seats because even if you had the most expensive seats you still would not have been able to see him under his fedora hat looking down at the keyboard.
I realize this doesn’t sound exciting or powerful. What was exciting and powerful about that night was that this man is 81 and still writing poetry and still singing it loud and strong and raspy. I felt like it was an honor just to be in the room with him. I felt like it was an honor that he didn’t give a flying fuck about what any of us wanted him to sing. Instead he was the example he always has been of doing exactly what he wants to do. What he wanted was to sing his last album. Will it be his very last album? How long can this guy go on? This timeless man sings his “Rough and Rowdy” album with a picture that looks like it’s from the early 1960s of people dancing. Tight dresses showing tight asses.
Before the concert there was a guy outside selling a book he printed of the lyrics. Seemed ridiculous. After the concert I wish I had bought it. I had already bought four of my favorite songs from the new album. I had been listening to them over and over and over again. Some of them it seems are about dying or are singing about thinking about dying.
We went especially wild after some songs and he said, “Why thank you very much” which is the only time he said anything. He said it in an Appalachian gentlemanly way that seemed precious. The evening was in the Fox Theatre which is the most beautiful theater I’ve ever been in. We bought beers in the theater before he went on and took them to our seats. Loved that. We could have beers but we couldn’t have our phones. Loved that. Because I didn’t have a phone I had a hard time finding my concert buddy whose ticket I had. I wondered how we did things in the past.
The audience screamed with wild abandon the few moments he played the harmonica. Who else plays the harmonica? In thinking about the concert before I went I thought he probably will not play the harmonica because I’m guessing that takes more breath than to sing but he did play it and we went wild.
In the middle of the concert he introduced his three guitarists, one keyboarder and the drummer. After he played all the songs on the album, he left the stage with the introduced guys. We clapped & shouted & clapped. The audience of all ages stood up and cheered. However it was clear that this guy was not gonna get back on stage; this guy that only does what he wants to do. This 81 year old guy who plays night after night in different cities close to each other in small venues: Oakland, San Jose, Sunnyvale. And then off to LA. No encore here. Just as well with me. I am satisfied.
I draw a sketch with a pencil which gets photographed. That photo goes into the brushes app on the iPad where it gets digitally painted, generally with bright colors. I love coloring within my own lines. In drawing objects they take on their own personalities. The lotion tube becomes personified and is almost sexy. One can’t look at an object without associations. Therefore, drawing what is on a daily basis is anything but mundane. It is a recording of life on more than one level
January first is a beginning … of course I know that is not really true. But I guess all I ever want or need perhaps is a rationale – a validation – an encouragement. A carrot. So that I can. Get the horse before the cart. Again, to move
December 19 is my daughter’s birthday and December 25 is of course Christmas. The plan is that my son will fly in on the 19th. We are texting back and forth about who will pick up my daughter from the airport.
Logistics are important because we have planned to have a surprise birthday party for her. We need to keep her away from the apartment while decorations are made and people gather. He texts “we’ll see…” and explains that he has received a positive result from a home Covid test. He says that home Covid tests are unreliable and that he will do a test at an urgent care center in the morning. He says he will do the kind where he gets the results back in two hours. He is living on the other side of the continent, 3 hours ahead of me.
I wake up at 7 o’clock to a text from my son saying that he has tested positive for Covid. I call immediately. Sure enough he can’t come for Christmas. Fact is, even though all he has is a runny nose, you can’t get on a plane with a positive Covid test.
Quick to respond, I get all the presents out from under the tree to the post office within a matter of hours.
Later in the day, as I am driving to my elderly friends house in the country, I receive several texts from my daughter’s best friend. We have been texting quite a lot in the last week planning the surprise party. It is a lot of fun planning it and we have gotten closer doing it. Of course when driving on a highway I can’t read a text. I have to say “Siri, read me the latest text” and then I have to dictate an answer and I have to hope that auto incorrect hasn’t messed it up so badly that it is not understandable.
The text conversation on the highway is all about how my daughter has managed to plan her own birthday party. She has invited everybody she likes out to dinner on Saturday night. The people who can’t come to that, she invites to a picnic in the park on Sunday. Julia explains to me that to have the party on Sunday would be redundant as it would be the same people.
My daughter has an important stressful job where she works hard and she is not going to like having a repeat party so the Sunday night surprise party needs to be canceled, and it is.
However I have ordered ahead and bought a $50 very fancy cake that is my children’s favorite. I manage to get the cake to Julia so the young ones can enjoy it at dinner on Saturday night and at the picnic in the park on Sunday.
Before I give it to her, I slice off a little bit for myself and her father and her to have at the simple birthday dinner Sunday night (which was to be the decoy before the big party). I also slice off a piece for my son who can’t come for Christmas. It is cold out and it is colder in New York so I figure it will travel well.