Friday, February 16, 2007

I've been learning about a new sort of sadness, total, absolute, it comes and goes, always promising to come back soon. A desolation, a place where the bombs of my childhood dreams fell and kept falling, death a feeble Doppelgänger of clarity or understanding. I'm a mess.

That said, I was just out with Peretz exploring the plow-built snow piles, finding things, jumping around, nearly slipping on the ice, breathing the cold night air, looking at the stars. We're together on the couch now, him resting his head on my leg, looking into the distance, me crying.

Peace & love.
Taking a break from reading, helping Peretz with some drafting, he's working on plans for a rocket ship. The heavy use of sticks in the design makes me a little uncomfortable, but I imagine if he ever gets it built, I'll go along for the ride, nothing to lose, really.

Imaginary fun is the best kind it turns out, making plans for more of it.

Meanwhile, shipwrecked, walking up and down the beach looking for footprints, making occasional quick salvage trips out to the hulk.
Still not feeling my best, having more peppermint tea with honey. Pynchon book is an easier read than the last one, pretty enjoyable, expecting it to brighten up the next few days considerably. Eyes getting tired easily, hard to read for long stretches, so maybe it'll last longer than that.

Been figuring some things out, doesn't help that much but does some. Trying to think of new things to do with myself. Need to learn some new things, different sorts of things.

Back in the woods, where I belong probably, sniffing around, alive with fear.
Walked to town & picked up a copy of Against the Day and a book of Davidson essays. Read 'On the Very Idea of a Conceptual Scheme' over drunken noodles, will probably start in on the Pynchon in a bit.

"Charity is forced on us; whether we like it or not, if we want to understand others, we must count them right in most matters."

Big Other, big bother, Big Brother.
Heartbroken, grief-stricken, all very Germanic and proper, sudden looming darkness, Grundthema, Urworte.

"The doctor who had been summoned to help the baroness in her confinement declared that the critical moment had not arrived, and proposed to the baron that they play a game of cards in the adjoining room in the meantime. After a while the doleful cry of the baroness reached the ears of the men. 'Ah, mon Dieu, que je souffre!' The husband jumped up, but the physician stopped him saying, 'That's nothing; let us play on.' A little while later the woman in labor-pains was heard again: 'My God, my God, what pains!' 'Don't you want to go in, Doctor?' asked the baron. 'By no means, it is not yet time,' answered the doctor. At last there rang from the adjacent room the unmistakeable cry, 'A-a-a-ai-e-e-e-e-e-e-E-E-E!' The physician then threw down the cards and said, 'Now it's time'."

That Freud, quite the wag.

Nervously facing open time, thinking about the logic of the gaze, game theory, etc., etc. Wondering how formalism has been kept in a corner so long.
Self-loathing is a funny thing, I think I may give the impression of being full of it some of the time, I'm not really, there are some things about myself that I really dislike, but no more than I dislike things about other people I'm very fond of. Have been observing some genuinely deep self-loathing in action lately, it scares the shit out of me. Really, folks, I'm OK, you're OK. Let's sit down together and draw some diagrams.

Having trouble waking up, Peretz wants to go go go. Drinking some coffee first.

Thinking again about the Looney Tunes travesties of opera, there's not much better.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Making some pasta, hopefully it'll help. Too cold out for P, poor guy.

Whatever's wrong with me's hard to shake, useless blob of goo, sick of it. Taking tomorrow off, thinking about picking up a copy of the new Pynchon book, maybe getting a haircut, more likely won't do much of anything. Maybe just brood stupidly, sleep furiously, whatever.

The end is near.

Wonder if that guy who screams on the corner across the street from City Lights is still at it, an inspiration.
Spent the afternoon in a prone position reading documentation, still feeling shaky, not in an exciting rock and roll way either. Disappearing into computer world, pretty comfy, easy to deal with. Should probably eat something at some point.

Trying to cheer myself up by reading this, a hard case.

Take it easy on yourselves, you've probably done your best.
Started feeling too sick to be at work, working from home, need to take P out soon, having trouble staying upright.

Ahimsa, tell me another one.

Thinking about Abiezer Coppe, always cheers me up.
Woke with horrific pain in my left foot, muscle cramp, ow. Peretz wants out very badly, having trouble getting around the room.

Still pretty sick, trying to take care of myself, honest.

Woke from a dream in the middle of the night with 'My Pretty Snow Deer' playing in my head, lovely song.
Can't sleep, thinking about Benny Profane sitting on my parents' downstairs toilet, alligators, Virginia Dare.

"At the entrance to their land someone- not the children, they couldn't have done it- long ago built a road sign. It is a rotted log on which has been placed, carved from cherrywood, a book and a hand. The book is open and the hand rests on the book, one finger touching the single word carved in the open pages. The word is CROATOAN."

V is for venison.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Peretz is dreaming vigorously on the next couch, piping cascade of subvocalized barks, the occasional growl, very comforting.

Have chills, should be wrapped in blanket, would need to move to do that, cold radiating from the window. In retrograde, it's merely apparent.

The morning star is the evening star.
Again with the sicker and sicker, lying in a pile with P feeling feverish, lazily poking around on Internet, eating snacks, thinking about time. Sad, bored, sad, bored, sad, bored, sad. A nice rhythm, sort of relaxing.

Had 'Peppermint Twist' stuck in my head for a while, segued into 'Bristol Stomp' when I took the dog out.

Wet-footed marginal, best to stay that way. Be kind to your fine feathered ferns. It's a long way to Ivan Kupala Day.
Trying to do something beautiful and having it not work doesn't make the thing attempted any less beautiful, though it's easy to think so. It's something that happens a lot, tempting to give up, not going to, there's no point.

Cold, wet feet, started feeling sick again as the workday wound down, got some useful stuff done anyway.

Maybe a grilled cheese would be good.
Sleeting quite heavily, stings, was actually a bit of a challenge to walk home for lunch as the plows have made the sidewalks nearly impassable, need to take P out briefly, not really sure where it's going to be possible to walk. Not snow, but at least it's wintry.

Still fairly ill, stuck being the lone IT staffer at work due to road conditions, excessively busy, but that's not necessarily bad, possibly even good.

Should get more snow to go on top of the ice later, nice to be in an appropriate landscape.
Snow has switched over to sleet, P was still very excited to be out in it, did some impressive frisking and eating of snow. He's now sitting atop a pile of blankets, cleaning his paws, he's a bird dog. Gathering my thoughts, they keep suddenly bursting outward, startled.

"If the doctrine is true that says that feeling does not nestle in the head, that we experience a window, a cloud, or a tree not in our brain but rather in the very place where we see them, then we are also beside ourselves when gazing at our beloved. But here torturously tense and ravished. Blinded, the feeling flutters like a flock of birds in a woman's radiance. And just as birds seek refuge in the leafy recesses of a tree, feelings escape into the shadowy wrinkles, the graceless gestures and inconspicuous blemishes of the beloved body, where they can hide in safety."

On every bow the foules herde I synge,
With voys of aungel in here armonye;
Some besyde hem here bryddes forth to brynge.
The litele conyes to here pley gunne hye.
And ferther al aboute I gan aspye
The dredful ro, the buk, the hert and hynde,
Squyreles, and bestes smale of gentil kynde.

Me, I'm a sad duck.
Stayed up late watching snow, woke up early to look at it more, not as much as predicted, still a proper snowfall, lots of stuff closed. Feel like I should be watching Ralph Emery, hearing about the many fine products available in Carthage and Lafayette.

"The moon was rising just above the waves, and on the town which was still wrapped in darkness there glittered white and luminous specks:—the pole of a chariot, a dangling rag of linen, the corner of a wall, or a golden necklace on the bosom of a god. The glass balls on the roofs of the temples beamed like great diamonds here and there. But ill-defined ruins, piles of black earth, and gardens formed deeper masses in the gloom, and below Malqua fishermen's nets stretched from one house to another like gigantic bats spreading their wings. The grinding of the hydraulic wheels which conveyed water to the highest storys of the palaces, was no longer heard; and the camels, lying ostrich fashion on their stomachs, rested peacefully in the middle of the terraces. The porters were asleep in the streets on the thresholds of the houses; the shadows of the colossuses stretched across the deserted squares; occasionally in the distance the smoke of a still burning sacrifice would escape through the bronze tiling, and the heavy breeze would waft the odours of aromatics blended with the scent of the sea and the exhalation from the sun-heated walls. The motionless waves shone around Carthage, for the moon was spreading her light at once upon the mountain-circled gulf and upon the lake of Tunis, where flamingoes formed long rose-coloured lines amid the banks of sand, while further on beneath the catacombs the great salt lagoon shimmered like a piece of silver. The blue vault of heaven sank on the horizon in one direction into the dustiness of the plains, and in the other into the mists of the sea, and on the summit of the Acropolis, the pyramidal cypress trees, fringing the temple of Eschmoun, swayed murmuring like the regular waves that beat slowly along the mole beneath the ramparts."

Wrote a paper my first year at Hampshire tracing the strange associations between camels and ostriches in that book, sparrow-camel.

Waking slowly, don't seem as sick, will see how it goes. Peretz is very sleepy too, no rush to take him out into the snow, but I know he'll be excited to be in it.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Should be asleep, waiting for snow to start. Peretz got to play with a friend in a field, doesn't happen much this time of year.

Ate an avocado, then I had a glass of water, what's next?

Feeling really terrible.
Sick day scrapbooking continues:

"The art of losing isn’t hard to master;
so many things seem filled with the intent
to be lost that their loss is no disaster."

I hope it snows damn hard.
Secret signs, private language, closing doors, opens eyes. Regretting missing that showing of 'The High Sign' with live accompaniment last Summer and so much else.

(Rubs thumb quickly over curled index and middle finger)

Now some words from the infallible Pope:

There Affectation with a sickly Mien,
Shows in her Cheek the Roses of Eighteen,
Practis'd to Lisp, and hang the Head aside,
Faints into Airs, and languishes with Pride;
On the rich Quilt sinks with becoming Woe,
Wrapt in a Gown, for Sickness, and for Show.
The Fair ones feel such Maladies as these,
When each new Night-Dress gives a new Disease.

A constant Vapour o'er the Palace flies;
Strange Phantoms rising as the Mists arise;
Dreadful, as Hermits' Dreams in haunted Shades,
Or bright, as Visions of expiring Maids.
Now glaring Fiends, and Snakes on rolling Spires,
Pale Spectres, gaping Tombs, and Purple Fires:
Now Lakes of liquid Gold, Elysian Scenes,
And Crystal Domes, and Angels in Machines.

Unnumber'd Throngs, on ev'ry side are seen,
Of Bodies chang'd to various forms by Spleen.
Here living Teapots stand, one Arm held out,
One bent; the Handle this, and that the Spout:
A Pipkin there like Homer's Tripod walks;
Here sighs a Jar, and there a Goose-pye talks;
Men prove with Child, as pow'rful Fancy works,
And Maids turn'd Bottels, call aloud for Corks.

Safe past the Gnome through this fantastic Band,
A branch of healing Spleenwort in his Hand.
Then thus addrest the Pow'r-Hail wayward Queen;
Who rule the Sex to Fifty from Fifteen,
Parent of Vapors and of Female Wit,
Who give th' Hysteric or Poetic Fit,
On various Tempers act by various Ways,
Make some take Physic, others scribble Plays;
Who cause the Proud their Visits to delay,
And send the Godly in a Pett, to pray.
A Nymph there is, that all thy pow'r disdains,
And thousands more in equal Mirth maintains.
But oh! if e'er thy Gnome could spoil a Grace,
Or raise a Pimple on a beauteous Face,
Like Citron-Waters Matrons' Cheeks inflame,
Or change Complexions at a losing Game;
If e'er with airy Horns I planted Heads,
Or rumpled Petticoats, or tumbled Beds,
Or cause'd Suspicion when no Soul was rude,
Or discompos'd the Head-Dress of a Prude,
Or e'er to costive Lap-Dog gave Disease,
Which not the Tears of brightest Eyes could ease:
Hear me, and touch Belinda with Chagrin;
That single Act gives half the World the Spleen.

The Goddess with a discontented Air
Seems to reject him, tho' she grants his Pray'r.
A wond'rous Bag with both her Hands she binds,
Like that where once Ulysses held the Winds;
There she collects the Force of Female Lungs,
Sighs, Sobs, and Passions, and the War of Tongues.
A Vial next she fills with fainting Fears,
Soft Sorrows, melting Griefs, and flowing Tears.
The Gnome rejoycing bears her Gift away,
Spreads his black Wings, and slowly mounts to Day.

Kind of wanting to read this article, not worthy, apparently. Reading some Peirce instead, take that IEEE! Socko!
Thinking about 'The Sick Rose', Faulkner, the Zombies, etc. Are there any psychedelic songs inspired by Hemingway? A rose is a rose is a rose. Glow little glow-worm, glow.

Been gagging on mucus, life's rich pageant and all that.

Уже второй должно быть ты легла
В ночи Млечпуть серебряной Окою
Я не спешу и молниями телеграмм
Мне незачем тебя будить и беспокоить
как говорят инцидент исперчен
любовная лодка разбилась о быт
С тобой мы в расчете и не к чему перечень
взаимных болей бед и обид
Ты посмотри какая в мире тишь
Ночь обложила небо звездной данью
в такие вот часы встаешь и говоришь
векам истории и мирозданию
Finally figured out that P destroyed my sheet because I had brought blanket he likes to use for bed to living room and he turned to sheet as next best thing. So, like most unpleasant things, it's something I brought on myself through stupidity and lack of foresight.

Becoming congested, it's something that's been missing from my sick experience, now more total & fulfilling.
At work, feeling increasingly ill as the day proceeds, nor'easter supposedly on for tonight/tomorrow, maintaining a healthy skepticism.

Spent much of yesterday evening thinking about Donald Davidson, should read some of his stuff again, getting the impression that when I start thinking about certain sorts of things, I tend to reach conclusions similar to his more than I would expect to. Might be better to just not think about that sort of thing and steer clear of reading about it actually, enough challenges to mental health already in play. Might go either way, we'll see.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Feeling sicker and sicker as the evening wears on, shower helped for a while, sleep would help, can't sleep. Also feeling kind of nauseated, unrelated to being sick. Layered issues. Feeling pretty tired of everything, somehow still managed to get sucked into a discussion of complex networking problems a little while ago, pretty good distraction, could use more of those.

Keep having these moments of sadness, worse than I can really bear, then they go away again.

Why is there something rather than nothing? Trick question.
Drinking some of my new stock of cocoa, got a different brand, not naming any names but this one is sweeter and less chocolaty, still pretty OK. Peretz and I are now together in sleepiness, hope he stays that way for a bit, taking him out has been difficult. Drinking hot liquids really makes my head feel better, doesn't last. Should really take a very hot shower, afraid of the postshower chills.

Chatted with T for a little while, sounds like she's having fun, glad somebody is.
Reading about the John Milton Society for the Blind, apparently the Canadian branch ceased all operations a short time ago, was also reading some of Milton's shorter poems, quite lovely. Had to look up 'envermeil', I must be sick.

OK, dog needs out yet again.
Managed a quick trip to the market, it's really nice out, wishing I felt good enough to spend more time outside with P. Drive at work has been rebuilt, hopefully won't need to think about work again today. Nap would be nice, when I try my head seems to hurt even more, trying to keep myself amused with computer, it's not really working.

Wishing I were worse at getting perspective on things, think it might be better to be down in the thick of things, more engaging, less sad.
Having some peppermint tea with honey, need to go buy some envelopes, probably should get more tea, honey, maybe cocoa, maybe some other stuff. Time's going by very slowly, stuck in treacle, it's a familiar feeling, don't care for it much. Peretz seems glad of the company.

I've been directing an excess of concern toward things I can't do anything about, really need to drop it, reorient, move ahead, keep feeling like I've done that, keeps turning out that I haven't so much, it sucks.

Almost done with being 35, everything past that is a bonus, not the bonus I was hoping for, but a bonus nonetheless.
Made the mistake of going over server logs from home, ended up having to go in to swap out a failed drive, boss told me to go home & go to sleep, feel too shitty to sleep, will probably go over logs some more.

Just had to sign for a registered letter for T, lucky I'm sick, I guess.
Managed to take P out, now he wants to go out again for some reason, not sure how to get through day, best way I can, I guess.

Wishing I'd stayed asleep, was actually thinking about going to work, stupid stupid stupid. People are calling from there anyway, doing things remotely, hurrah.
Woke up feeling sicker, need to take the dog out, seems impossible, will do it in a minute. Really bad chills, any time away from blanket is difficult. Wish I could reach the emergency shutdown button on my back.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Called into work yet again about technical problem I know nothing about, getting a little frustrated with it. Flushed, splitting headache, eyes hurt, etc., etc. Maybe some juice?

Repetition, repetition.

Being highly stylized can be a drag, nothing I can do about it now.
Tried to take a nap, ended up getting called into work instead, life's a gas. Worried that bad feelings may be flu, not something I feel much like dealing with at the moment. Seem to get sick a lot when left by myself, social animal, ha. Had a healthful orange. Why do we have to carry on, always singing the same old song?

Wow, feel like shit.
Feeling steadily more ill, got myself a second blanket, no energy to go out for cocoa, made some tea with honey instead, Peretz is being pretty sweet, think he may not feel very good either, seems a little out of sorts. While getting second blanket, noticed that he destroyed another one of my sheets, good dog.

OK, going to get back to being stuffy headed scary monster wrapped in blankets.
Started feeling a bit ill a little while ago, wrapped in a blanket, shivering. Should really go get more cocoa, hard to leave blanket. Hot, dry eyelids, papery mouth, drinking water, still very thirsty. Wish I could fall asleep.
Just got off the phone with a friend who's having a rough time, a lot of that going around, people making things hard on themselves, sometimes it's organic, sometimes not so much, sucks all around. Not much point in triage when you can't do anything, crap. Being pinned down and tortured, maybe that's helpful? Not that I'm really willing to do any more of that, can't even suffer right, sorry.

Should probably open a soda shop.
Still have a thick head, should probably do something fun today, guess there's a show at Hampshire later, not sure I'm in the mood. Still pretty nice outside, maybe spend some extra time out with Peretz.

Have managed a fairly passable reconstruction of my former self, maybe I should pursue a career in the plastic arts. OK, time to don hoodie with teddy bear pin and shocking yellow hat and go out exploring with dog.
Managed to sleep in for once, felt great, a little foggy headed, that's also kind of great.

Disaster is an everyday fact of contemporary life, it's sort of surprising that it's still experienced as crisis, some things people can't uniformly desensitize themselves to, I guess. There's so much of it going on though that if people couldn't desensitize themselves at all, I'm pretty sure it would no longer seem like an emergency, that's where I'm at, pretty much, probably seems like apathy, isn't really.

Sometimes there's no fixing things, doesn't mean I wouldn't like to.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Even if the self lacks coherence as a concept, loss of it can be some scary shit, it's funny, my sense of self is very fragile, but my self is actually pretty solid, keeps on trudging along, anyway.

The only real problem facing the world today is a lack of imagination, sadly, it's insoluble.

Preparing to disappear is more fun than you'd think, becoming ever more minimal, dashing back and forth making quick last minute checks, brushing out the dusty corners.
Turns out I didn't feel like being out for long, home again with Peretz, sitting in the dark, it's lovely, peaceful. Feeling genuinely good for the first time in ages, it's pretty nice. Nothing like realizing something that's been upsetting you never had anything to do with you at all.

Thinking about doing some research on brainwashing techniques, seems strangely interesting all of a sudden.

Alone with my thoughts and Peretz, same as always.
Watching friends slip into madness is painful, had enough of it for now, I think. Picked up coffee, waiting for laundry to dry. Understanding things doesn't really help, my advice, don't bother.

OK, going to go check on laundry.
Went on long walk through the woods with Peretz, doing laundry, need to go buy coffee, take a shower, shave, etc. Sinking into the couch watching a kung fu movie instead, pathetic. Dry skin, feeling itchy, maybe shower would help.

Hope I remember to get coffee.

Drifting into formlessness, every time I turn my head, I'm someplace new.
Stopped into work to check on status of issue from yesterday, ended up having longish conversation more or less on the topic of late capitalism, funny stuff. Trying to figure out ways to make myself useful on a doomed ship, the things I was happy with doing haven't worked out, would still like to keep myself busy and interested till we all go under.

Not as cold today, should probably take a long walk, clear my head.

Just got word of a show tonight, it's early, maybe I'll make it:

Tonight @ Mystery Train Records
in amherst.

Closing Reception for Lauren Pakradooni.
Her Intaglio prints have been up in the store
for a couple weeks now, they totally totally rule.
come check em out!

Music section:

Anthro Rex! Dan's 10 year anniversary!
come see the man become a legend. special
release of a new cdr, re-issue of two tapes!

Steamrollers! (also a special surprise cdr release!)
eastern mass's best bar band back on a special one
show tour. remember to tip the bartender?

John Shaw! special solo performance! organ worlds
and his beard will show up and totally impress!

come at 6:30.
it's free!

Really like Lauren's work, maybe I can see about getting my Leiris books back.
Fell right asleep after getting back, had dreams but they were extremely scary rather than beautiful and sad, still wish I could sleep more. Getting sadder rather than less, wondering how long that'll go on.

Was sort of fun driving down to Bradley at 5, T asking about where the cars on the road were headed and what the deal is with Matabasset. It is mysterious. Intense wave of melancholy on crossing the Massachusetts border, thoughts got stuck somewhere unpleasant for a bit. Listened to classic rock station on the way back, they were playing Yes for some reason, that makes twice in a week I've heard that on the radio, not even the same song, don't remember them doing that before.
Took Peretz out for a quick pee, he found a piece of white bread frozen solid & ate it, very proud. Horrible pain in fingertips, icy haze over moon. Only slept for four hours, if I had any dreams, I can't remember them, will hopefully be able to sleep more once I get back.

with Ada.Text_IO;

procedure Hello is
Ada.Text_IO.Put_Line("Hello, world!");
end Hello;
Need to take T to the airport in a little while, making coffee, not very awake. Mysterious sore spot on my left thumb.

Feel like shit.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Tech finally showed up, let him in, showed him where stuff was, home again. Peretz is crying, we're a lot alike. Should probably be headed to bed, need to be up really early, probably going to wait up to hear if problem is fixed. Would like to be back with my dreams, only place I feel at home. Listening to "I'm a Poor Lonesome Fellow", ha ha.

Should start working on some stories.
Waiting to hear from tech, feeling pretty blue. T's accidentally making me upset, it's easy, try it and see.

Sitting with Peretz, would like to continue sitting with Peretz, it's not to be.
Recurring technical problem at work I know nothing about has again reared its ugly head, need to go back in in a while to let tech who does know something about it in, maybe it'll even get fixed. Making dinner, feeling irritated.
Just back from longish expedition with P, feet are freezing, trying to decide if lunch is worth the effort. Dishes, laundry, etc. piling up. Need to drive to Bradley really early tomorrow, like old times, maybe hit a breakfast bar after.

To try very hard never to say much in the way of bullshit and have people think what you say is bullshit is a big drag, frustrating, a waste of everyone's time, should be a special handshake or something. SYN, SYN/ACK, ACK and on to business.
Done with work for the week hopefully, going to spend some time shambling around in the wreckage of my life looking for cool stuff to play with, hunter-gatherer, that's my style, enough reflection, that's for downtime. Seems I can only protect people from real panthers, for imaginary ones they need to see a specialist.

Cold, wondering again if I'm exposed on a mountaintop, no little ones to tell of my marvelous visions, just you, stranger, but you're make believe, aren't you? I wish I could give you my eyes, I'm unlikely to be needing them, so many lovely colors.
Walked the dog in the brisk morning, have moved on to listening to Forever Changes, making me cry, so much does lately, maybe it seems pathetic, it's not. Feeling more like myself all the time.

Being an unknown quantity has its uses, capabilities that may surprise you. As a child I used to dream that I had woken to find that math wasn't as easy as I'd thought but was more like the unintelligible formulae on blackboards in cartoons. In fact, it is pretty easy, should get back to it.

Thinking about interface design, so many unsolved problems, amazing people can stand to spend so much time in such badly broken environments.
Coffee and shower taking me further away from my dreams, I don't really want to be separated from them, sailing off into the distance, waving goodbye, half moon in the blue morning sky, occluded by pale orange clouds.

There are things besides signs, between and behind them, making them go, making them one thing and not another, a cruel dynamism has taken hold in my proximity, it came from outside.
More sad dreams, they're actually very beautiful, oh hell. Everything beautiful's infected with sadness & death at the moment, still beautiful.

Listening to Up on the Sun, maybe we've got something to talk about.

Feeling less and less a creature of this world, seem to have misplaced my ray gun, sadly.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Went and had nice Chinese, now bored and sleepy, Peretz wants attention, out. Wrung out, walking dead, etc., etc.

Been listening to The Goon Show while falling asleep lately, it's something else, makes me feel better about things. Should maybe take the dog out then listen to some more of that.
Very tiring day, there's music later but I think I'll likely be too tired, going to go have some Chinese with T later anyway. Strapped to the wheel of karma, thwak, thwak, thwak.

To feel able to feel sad again is a big relief, still sucks. Had the saddest dreams last night, thinking about them is making me cry now, hell. Thinking about my grandma begging to die, Sophocles, etc. Catharsis, hah.
Working on shutting down EOLed systems, better from a security standpoint of course, still sad to see them go. Metaphor, it's all such crap.

Peretz & I are sitting on the couch, both a little nervous & sleepy, thinking about unfinished business.

Trying to understand the enduring fascination of fantasies of absolute, unassailable power- it's not achievable, folks, please give it up.
Thinking about insincerity and how sad it is, making me feel sick, talking to people without really meaning anything, nightmare. People are so afraid of one another, it's frightening.

Thinking about Melville's Confidence Man, the protagonist's long winded speeches about confidence, drunk novelists can be pretty fascinating. Here's a nice excerpt:

Upon this, indignation and abhorrence seemed to work by their excess the effect promised of the balsam. Roused from that long apathy of impotence, the cadaverous man started, and, in a voice that was as the sound of obstructed air gurgling through a maze of broken honey-combs, cried: "Begone! You are all alike. The name of doctor, the dream of helper, condemns you. For years I have been but a gallipot for you experimentizers to rinse your experiments into, and now, in this livid skin, partake of the nature of my contents. Begone! I hate ye."

"I were inhuman, could I take affront at a want of confidence, born of too bitter an experience of betrayers. Yet, permit one who is not without feeling -- "

"Begone! Just in that voice talked to me, not six months ago, the German doctor at the water cure, from which I now return, six months and sixty pangs nigher my grave."

"The water-cure? Oh, fatal delusion of the well-meaning Preisnitz!"


"Nay, an invalid should not always have his own way. Ah, sir, reflect how untimely this distrust in one like you. How weak you are; and weakness, is it not the time for confidence? Yes, when through weakness everything bids despair, then is the time to get strength by confidence."

Relenting in his air, the sick man cast upon him a long glance of beseeching, as if saying, "With confidence must come hope; and how can hope be?"
Wouldn't generally describe myself as overeager and overoptimistic, there's a first time for everything, I guess. A sad pall falling over things in accord with the aesthetic sensibilities of others, sort of tasteful in its own way, not really my thing, but I can appreciate why some might like it.

Still wish we were playing in the ruins, not draping them with black cloth.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Just finishing off my box of cocoa with mini marshmallows, should probably go get some more, cocoa is my friend these days. Fascinated by a pulsing darkness, a hole in the world, I could fall into it, but I think I'll just look and wonder. Time is moving gently again, slow waves of cold. Cocoa really helps.
Feeling a lot less frightened and a lot more sad, facing a narrowed range of possibilities, fewer funny corners for me to get trapped and tortured in, fewer magical conjunctures too, a vast expanse of gray, dark little old me floating out there, crying. Anyway, sad I can deal with, it's quiet and calm.

Another cold night.

Sitting with Peretz, thinking, he's cleaning himself, he's very warm.
At home for a while doing security audits, big fun. Once again, good to be away from my freezing cold desk.

Sleepwalking through the day, expecting to be hit by a bus any time now, feeling a little ambivalent about it.
At home for a quick lunch break between field trips for work, nice to be moving around, it's been freezing at my desk the past few days. Should probably actually eat some lunch, oh well.

Too long staring into the abyss, you know how that goes.

Sweet little schoolgirl nobody notices or loves sitting quietly planning improvements.
Trying to convince myself to eat some breakfast, it's not working. Feeling unconditional love for others isn't always easy, but it's always best, for me, anyway. Letting that work its evil magic inside me, perfect submission to reality, a floating eye, seems sinister with the trailing nerves, actually friendly, wishing you well.

A sincere love of beauty is bound to appear as a frightening negativity most of the time, sorry about that. I actually think you're great, buck up.
Spending the morning picking up bits of myself from around the house, pretty all over the place lately. Unreality's been on the march, periodically fading out, little bursts of static, rodents chewing through the wires.

Thinking about T's old rat, Kropotkin, good night, sweet prince.

What was that John Cale album I used to like listening to on long drives? Can't remember. I'll look it up. Music for a New Society, that's it. Contains such gems as:

The windows they were closed
And the midwives had locked their doors.
They didn't understand.

And after all what was there to understand?
But the angels, sheer choirs of angels,
In a friendship.
No, more than a friendship,
It was a marriage, a marriage made in the grave.

Lovely for pensive driving, love the choirs of angels bit, whenever they show up, I feel happy, like in that Erofeev book.
Trying to find a place to stop, get myself organized and set out again. Need to be more projected, less thrown, I've been pretty badly thrown lately, off kilter, head an echo chamber, compulsive analysis, yuck.

Remember an ethics class I was thinking about taking at Mt. Holyoke once, at the end of the first session, the prof read "The Hollow Men" aloud, as soon as she was done, a bunch of the students started discussing plans to make cookies over the weekend, they had the right idea.
Unsympathetic narrators, the accurate representation of boredom, repetition, cliché, total defeat, probably not the healthiest preoccupations. But wait, there's more...

It just gets worse actually, a desperate need to communicate despair, it's a disease. I don't know how much of it is a product of having just wanted to be left the hell alone when I was a kid, how much sheer perversity, how much a hatred of false hopes.

There's plenty of hope, just not for us.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Just talked to my mom on the phone, she's been in lots of pain, runs in the family, big family. Time isn't behaving very normally, sick of it, need something to engage my attention, pity nothing really does.

Thinking about documentary function of this thing, good if you need somebody to feel icy contempt for, I guess, can't imagine anybody's too short on those. If it comes in handy, though, feel free.

Consistently failing to grasp the obvious is one of my strengths. Better to make things too difficult than too easy.
Amazingly delivery arrived in a timely fashion, was expecting a giant hassle, wish our landlord had the sense to put numbers on the apartments. Home for lunch, had a piece of cake, listening to TVPs, should take P out.

Trying very hard to keep it together, it's a real problem, almost impossible to get through the day, every day. Work days are better than others, but they all suck.
Waiting for a FedEx delivery, drinking coffee. Had a pretty massive panic episode last night, didn't fall asleep till two or so, woke up early anyway, still feeling shaky.

Wish things being difficult would let up a bit, no sign of it.

Monday, February 05, 2007

More and more tired, becoming transparent, sinking into the earth, dream on.

Trying to find my way back to old quiet, alone with machines, peaceful. I went out into the world for a while, like in stories, it's a place to get hurt. No longer any good at being alone, used to like it most of the time, people are pretty tiring. Oh well, learned to do something once, can again.

I keep secrets, it's easy when no one wants to know about them.
Wrapped in a blanket, still feeling cold, icy feet, should make more cocoa, get another blanket, don't want to get up.

Really wish I could settle in to calmly doing nothing, can't calmly do much of anything unfortunately, a jittery mess, it gets tiring.

Cramp in one of my cold feet, ouch.
Unbearably cold in the server room today, doing the last of my daily chores from home where it's warm. Extremely tired, sick of things. Life is very frustrating.

Peretz paw weirdness appears to have been transient, trying to restrict his time outside as best I can, wish he could tolerate those dog booties.
Painful cold continues as does my worry about P's ability to handle it. About to go to Amherst to swap out a pc, hoping my car starts.

Feeling very distracted and out of sorts at work, still better than being at home.
Woke up really early for no good reason, wish that would stop happening, I've never wanted to be asleep more than I have lately nor can I remember having slept less, at least in recent years. It sucks.

Some strange goings on with one of Peretz's back paws had me worried last night- after a walk out in the cold, he was stumbling a little on one of his back paws, a little after that he squeaked in a very pitiful way while scratching himself with it, examined the paw, wasn't tender or anything that I could tell. Probably nothing serious, but it's nothing he's ever done before, so it kind of freaked me out. A little afraid to take him out this morning as it's substantially colder now.

Maybe I'll go into work early, have certainly had enough of being around the house.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

So, Wallace Stevens, I used to have an almost unhealthy preoccupation with him, all started with my dad's unusual interest in the following poem:

I placed a jar in Tennessee,
And round it was, upon a hill.
It made the slovenly wilderness
Surround that hill.

The wilderness rose up to it,
And sprawled around, no longer wild.
The jar was round upon the ground
And tall and of a port in air.

It took dominion everywhere.
The jar was gray and bare.
It did not give of bird or bush,
Like nothing else in Tennessee.

Being a tall, gray and uncanny thing from Tennessee myself, it's long strangely interested me as well.

I don't want to hurt anyone, but it keeps happening. Probably in need of some unknown form of miraculous help, recommendations?
Making cocoa, listening to Pleasures of the Harbor, reading a Vernor Vinge novel I picked up in town. Also got some more Delany, never did finish reading Dhalgren, it was making me feel horribly depressed.

Cocoa's done, waiting for it to cool.

Keep feeling so sad it's hard to see how to get through the rest of the day, just let it happen, I guess, drink some cocoa.

It's too cold out for Peretz, feeling sorry for him, he's sleeping now.
In accord with T's wishes have transitioned from Phantom Gourmet to Da Ali G Show, pretty funny, but perhaps less suitable to my mental state. Feeling really weird, keep thinking it's going to stop, but it hasn't, maybe it won't.
Phantom Gourmet's not really the same without Billy Costa, still beats thinking about my life. Lying in a pile with Peretz, keeping each other warm, he's a good dog.

Should probably be doing household chores, fuck it.

Thinking about heading out later to pick up some escapist literature, not sure what would fit the bill, reading anything remotely serious draws me back toward serious concerns which frankly, right now, are pretty unbearable. House is full of pretty serious books, a bunch of nonserious ones as well, but I've read all of those. Wishing I had some of those hardbound scifi omnibus editions my dad has so many of, they got me through some rough times as a kid.

Being a grown up sucks. Groan, upchuck.
Settling in for a Phantom Gourmet viewing marathon, headache that I thought sleep had banished showing signs of returning, wish I were still asleep. Three Stooges on before Phantom Gourmet, a lion is licking Moe's foot.

She cracked, I'm sad, but I won't.

The increasing relevance of Modern Lovers songs to my life is really pretty disturbing, I can't stand what you do, I'm in love with your eyes.
Cold morning, snow freezing Peretz's paws, hands hurt, thinking about things that are worrying me, trying to be less worried, doesn't seem to be much reason to be less worried apart from my inability to do anything about the things I'm worried about, trying to let them shift into the background along with all the other things that worry me that I can't do anything about, but as these are closer to home, it's more difficult.

Anyone's behavior can be interpreted as selfish, it's usually not very interesting to do so, it also tends to produce a very skewed view of what people are actually like. If one needs to radically alter one's conception of another's self to explain their behavior, it's probably a bad explanation & another one should be generated. Trying to hold on to my basic understanding of some people in the light of some very distasteful behavior, getting better at it, slowly.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Went shopping with T, had some nice Korean after, sitting around with a case of the fidgets, should probably take the dog for a walk or something. Maybe do laundry or take a nap. T's complaining about how she sucks at solitaire, know how she feels.
The effect of snow on my state of mind has been quite amazing, pretty much everything in my life has been seeming totally wrong lately, having the weather at least behaving appropriately is a comfort. Have been feeling like the world is broken, finding pretty much everything terrifying, slowly feeling more prepared to face things and do my best, everything still seems almnost unbearably difficult, but I seem to have reserves of strength I was unaware of, will see how they hold up under continued slings and arrows, I guess.

Been under a lot of pretty severe pressure to be something other than myself, been experiencing some breakdown of personality as a result, seems to be coming back together, you gotta eat your spinach, baby.

Speaking of Popeye has got me thinking of a controversy I read about years ago where some Quakers were offended by Quaker Oats's use of the character, strong to the finish 'cause I eat my Quaker Instant Oatmeal, I'm Popeye the Quaker Man, while beating the hell out of Bluto or some such, offended their pacifist convictions, apparently. Anyway, strong and peaceful is what I'm going for, I love you all very much, you can even take me seriously, if you want.
Slept late, old friend who I haven't talked to in a long time called me at 4 AM for some reason, thought it might be work, was too asleep to talk, weird. Snow on the ground making it very bright outside, should probably spend some time outside, let the light do what it likes with my brain.

T's watching some Russian romantic comedy from the mid-80s, nice wallpaper.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Went out with P in the snow again, he ate quite a lot of it, imagine another trip out will be called for soon.

I should make some cocoa.
Took a walk in the snow by myself, thinking about stuff, first of the year that actually looks like snow, everything blanketed, changed, trying to let that settle into myself, see what it does. T just walked out on the way to the gym, said, "Wow!"

Wishing things were different, maybe they are.

Signs, magic, trickery, sleight of hand, full moon, first snow.
Something like actual snow falling, just walked around in it some with Peretz. Watching Ali G with T, pretty amusing. Feeling pretty pathetic, it's a drag. Maybe more snow would help.

Feeling more stupid by the day, not really anything to do with me, it's an optical effect.
Managed to preemptively restock on coffee, dazzled? Purposefully listening to 'Alone Again Or', it really is a lovely song, does a marvelous job of focusing my attention. Should make myself a nice reflection and contemplation mix to listen to over and over, enjoy my reflection and contemplation, mostly.

Waves of confusion and perfect clarity washing over, getting used to the rhythm of it, a bit like being at the seaside. Little animal, big world.
As usual, spending my last hours of work of the week trying to remember what I've forgotten to do, don't usually come up with much, should probably stop worrying about it, can't.

Been generating some verse in my head, haven't been very happy with any of it, still better than not generating any, makes me feel more like myself. Why I would want to do that remains an open question.
Things have been going so badly it's been difficult to maintain my usual level of cheerful optimism, such as it is, trying hard to regain it, maybe very strong mind altering substances or a lobotomy would help, should look into it. Maybe one of those quickie lobotomies where they slip a pointy thing through the tear duct, like back in the 50s. My cheery sense of humor is slowly returning anyway, maybe that's enough.
Groundhog Day, weirdly a day of some emotional significance to me, complex, hard to explain. Waiting for coffee, Peretz is waiting to go out, we hate waiting. Sense of reality slipping a bit, all to the good, probably.

Nothing I say matters at all.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Watched the recent War of the Worlds movie with T, apparently when superintelligent, massively technically superior aliens attack, love and family will get us through, made me feel a lot better anyway. Keep a moon eyed child with you at all times is my advice.

Some crap on TV with the dude from Dr. Giggles, the doctor is out... of his mind.

Boy, do I feel stupid.
Days at work lately are starting strong, getting a lot done, very quickly, end up feeling foggy & useless by the end of the day, it gets really boring, glad the week is almost over. No weekend plans, no nothing, a lot of nothing stretching out in front of me in fact, not so abyssal as usual, just empty, time thick in its emptiness, a long slog.

Once again snow in the forecast, the dreaded dusting to 2 inches, trying to accept the low end as the likely outcome, lowered expectations suck, ready for a nice surprise.
No need to go in early today, woke up early anyway, creature of habit. Thinking about some things William James said about habit, interesting guy, William James. The following passage had quite the effect on me at an impressionable age:

"Habit is thus the enormous fly-wheel of society, its most precious conservative agent. It alone is what keeps us all within the bounds of ordinance, and saves the children of fortune from the envious uprisings of the poor. It alone prevents the hardest and most repulsive walks of life from being deserted by those brought up to tread therein. It keeps the fisherman and the deck-hand at sea through the winter; it holds the miner in his darkness, and nails the countryman to his log-cabin and his lonely farm through all the months of snow; it protects us from invasion by the natives of the desert and the frozen zone. It dooms us all to fight out the battle of life upon the lines of our nurture or our early choice, and to make the best of a pursuit that disagrees, because there is no other for which we are fitted, and it is too late to begin again. It keeps different social strata from mixing. Already at the age of twenty-five you see the professional mannerism settling down on the young commercial traveller, on the young doctor, on the young minister, on the young counsellor-at-law. You see the little lines of cleavage running through the character, the tricks of thought, the prejudices, the ways of the 'shop,' in a word, from which the man can by-and-by no more escape than his coat-sleeve can suddenly fall into a new set of folds. On the whole, it is best he should not escape. It is well for the world that in most of us, by the age of thirty, the character has set like plaster, and will never soften again."

One of the effects it had was to make me not want to live past thirty, but here I am.