Storm

Jul. 15th, 2017 07:34 pm
monk222: (Default)
Now that was a storm! If the ground had not been so dry, I'd probably be looking out at a lake and a pond, the back yard and the front. It fell with a full-throated roar, too, so that even Ash did not dither about coming inside the house this time. The wrath of God can sound like a very big dog.

Pop got caught in it, making it back home not long after the storm started. He didn't want to leave the car. I didn't think anything of it at first. He might be talking to somebody on the phone (better, for me, in the car than in the kitchen!) or playing around online. But after about fifteen minutes, I decided to call him on his cellphone myself.

"Don't you have an umbrella in the car?"

"It's in the trunk."

"That's great, Pop."

He is prepared to wait it out longer, but I come out in my long coat and bring him an umbrella. He also had some groceries that I carried. With all this father-son bonding, I'm feeling kind of married, in a sexless old-couple kind of way.
monk222: (Mori: by tiger_ace)
A magazine is filling its space by writing about Stephen King's touted selection of 82 books that he recommends for aspiring writers. I give it a look, but am chagrined to think, at this point, I can no longer honestly be considered 'aspiring' at anything. Mine is more the age for retiring and expiring.

Trump

Jul. 14th, 2017 03:53 pm
monk222: (Noir Detective)
"The Constitution anticipates a President like this. It does not anticipate a Congress so indifferent to a President like this."

-- Jeff Yarbro

It also could be that we are undergoing a constitutional revolution.

Weather

Jul. 13th, 2017 04:00 pm
monk222: (Little Bear)
The darkened sky looks like it wants to rain again. A funny week in July with these afternoon showers. We could have used a lawn-flooding storm, but these showers are helping to pull us along, saving me from having to water. And anything to cut down this savage July heat and civilize it! Make it a place where you can walk your dog, a place you can more fondly call home.

Quote

Jul. 13th, 2017 03:45 pm
monk222: (Default)
"We’re losing more people to the sweets than to the streets."

-- Black activist

~ ~ ~

“The aim of the wise is not to secure pleasure, but to avoid pain.”

-- Aristotle

~ ~ ~

"Only in the stream of thought and life do words have meaning."

-- Ludwig Wittgenstein

~ ~ ~

“It’s amazing what you find out about yourself when you write in the first person.”

-- Doris Lessing

Friends

Jul. 12th, 2017 09:29 pm
monk222: (Mori: by tiger_ace)
E-Friends do a lot for you. Those virtual conversations seem to provide a good deal of the nutrient values of real friends and real talks.

It's been a few months since I gave up on LiveJournal and the last remnants of a socially active e-life, and I think I am suffering withdrawal symptoms. I haven't had one comradely word since. Maybe I shouldn't have turned away old Pig Shit like I did, racist or not. At least he wanted to play the friend. He would pretend to be interested in my quotes and book excerpts, and I would pretend to be interested in his music videos, and we would gawk together at girlie pictures. Hardly much, but something, something more than this void I am stuck in now, stuck in again, presumably stuck in for good.

Over the past week, I have been playing harder on Twitter, hoping to find some friendly chatter back and forth, and I suppose that I am feeling all the more depressed because I am about as much of a hit as I was in high school and college. I think I am going to give up on 'retweeting' and 'liking' as well as commenting. What is the point of trying hard to be visible if nobody will see you?

I. Just. Don't. Got. It.

I tell myself that my books can give my mind enough to play with, but I am beginning to feel the lie in that. I can practically feel something shriveling up in me, maybe it's my brain, or an important part of it.

Funny. Maybe the main problem is that I have been trying to hang out with the smart set all my life when I should have been making friends on the short bus and with the retards. It's not just about ugliness, though it obviously doesn't help.

And maybe there is a God, and maybe it is a loving God, and maybe this is just God's way of helping me to accept the end, letting me see that life is not so great, not my life anyway. I shouldn't be scared about letting it go. "You won't be missing anything."

Quotes

Jul. 12th, 2017 10:13 am
monk222: (Effulgent Days)
“I think I’m really from the first porn-saturated generation.”

-- Nicholson Baker

~ ~ ~

"Here is a good rule of thumb for dealing with Donald Trump: Everyone who gives him the benefit of the doubt eventually regrets it."

-- Ross Douthat at NYT

~ ~ ~

“The idea is to perceive your invention as a reality that can be understood as a dream.”

-- Philip Roth

Rainbow

Jul. 11th, 2017 10:04 pm
monk222: (Default)
I was mowing the front. Quite a bit of cloudiness above, but I didn't think anything of it, except that I was little lucky in it, as it cooled the weather a tad. Then the winds started whipping up. What the fuck! Rain? a storm? That's impossible. It might as well snow in Hell. Looking up, I am a little stunned and impressed to see a clear broad rainbow arching above between the clouds. I cannot recall ever seeing a rainbow before a rain, but there it was, one of the grandest ones I ever saw, and moments later fell the rain.

* * *

"You want to go out, huh?" I say to the cats. They rush to the door, showing that they really can understand me, but only when they want to. The sky is fairly clear, and the rain didn't amount to more than another summer shower. If only for some peace & quiet, I gladly let them go out, let them annoy the neighborhood dogs and birds for a change.
monk222: (Bonobo Thinking)
"Reduced choice beef"? That doesn't sound very appetizing. Pop came home with some discount steaks. It looks a lot like the real thing. Well, I am sure it will do. It's probably better than a hamburger, right? And I need a break from chicken. I just wouldn't choose it for myself. I prefer mystery in art rather than in my meat.

Quote

Jul. 11th, 2017 09:26 am
monk222: (Little Bear)
“I don’t do drafts, I just noodle forever, and the word processor is ideal for endless noodling.”

-- Luc Sante

~ ~ ~

“Isn’t that what life is, after all? Missing something that’s right there before you?”

-- William Gaddis

~ ~ ~

"If our reality is a computer simulation, then clearly the overlord left their laptop open and their cat is mashing the keyboard."

-- Melissa Martin

~ ~ ~

"I don’t know what writers of stories, novels and essays eventually discover for themselves, but I can say that sooner or later poets figure out that there are no new ideas, only the same old ones — and that nobody who loves poetry reads it to be impressed, but to experience and feel and understand in ways only poetry can conjure."

-- Matthew Zapruder

Chores

Jul. 10th, 2017 06:35 pm
monk222: (DarkSide: by spiraling_down)
6:32. I am working up my courage, breathing in, breathing out, heavily. I am going to mow. The lawn needs it, and since it is also Grocery Week, I cannot put it off. I got to start on this today, tonight. It is brutal-hot out there. And I just don't feel like working. After the misadventure with the water heater, I feel like I deserve a couple of days of me-time. Fuck, I got to work and strain my muscles, get dirty and sweat, and have to take a shower. Uuugh...
monk222: (Default)
Some treatment of Hannah Arendt

~ ~ ~

In 1963, The New Yorker published five articles on the trial of Adolf Eichmann, the Nazi chief of Bureau IV-B-4, a Gestapo division in charge of “Jewish Affairs.” Written by political thinker and Jewish activist Hannah Arendt, the articles and ensuing book, "Eichmann in Jerusalem", unleashed what Irving Howe called a “civil war” among New York intellectuals. While some reviews cursed Arendt as a self-hating Jew and Nazi lover, the Jewish Daily Forward accusing her of “polemical vulgarity,” Robert Lowell termed her portrayal of Eichmann a “masterpiece,” and Bruno Bettelheim said it was the best protection against “dehumanizing totalitarianism.” Across the city, Arendt’s friends chose sides. When Dissent sponsored a meeting at the Hotel Diplomat, a crowd gathered to shout down Alfred Kazin and Raul Hilberg—then the world’s preeminent Holocaust scholar—for defending Arendt, while in The Partisan Review Lionel Abel opined that Eichmann “comes off so much better in [Arendt’s] book than do his victims.”

In the years since that fiery time, "Eichmann in Jerusalem" has remained something to condemn or defend rather than a book to be read and understood. I therefore had some fears when I heard that German director Margarethe von Trotta was making a film about Arendt’s coverage of the trial. But "Hannah Arendt" accomplishes something rare in any biopic and unheard of in a half century of critical hyperbole over all things Arendt: it actually brings Arendt’s work back into believable—and accessible—focus.

-- Roger Berkowitz in Paris Review

Lorie

Jul. 10th, 2017 03:57 pm
monk222: (DarkSide: by spiraling_down)
Lorie came over. That means the bar is open. And it's not just beer or wine, but they hit the hard liquor, the whiskey, like they are in their early 20s in college and just discovering drunkenness, one of the last rites of passage to adulthood.

But they are in their 70s now. Maybe they just like it.

It might not be so bad if they were in their 40s or 50s. They would be merely annoying then. At this point, though, I cannot help fearing that Pop might never come back from it, that he won't have to worry about waking up with a hangover, that maybe he just won't wake up, ever, as I find him on the bathroom floor.

It is with this in my mind, as I am getting my dinner in the kitchen, with them sitting at the table, of course, drinking

that Lorie asks me to take her phone number and give her a call when Pop dies, like it's just an ordinary favor. I try to treat it straight. 'Yeah, sure, sure, just give me a card or something.' But she keeps pressing the issue, repeating herself, wanting something, apparently, more reassuring from me.

At one point, I stop playing nice.

"Why care now? The way to show you care would be to stop encouraging Pop to drink so heavily." This actually leads to a bit of an argument. She says to Pop, who can barely keep from sliding off his chair, "He blames me!" I try to repair that provocative piece of 'reality construction'. I say, "It's not about blame. You're adults: you can do what you want. But why act like you care so much, even as you toast him into his grave!?"

I suppose I struck a chord. This could have gotten nastier. For one thing, although Pop is barely conscious, he could have gone against me. Lorie was certainly trying to lead him that way, but Pop actually fixes on a key point: that she was the one who had to get all emotional about wanting to be called when he dies. And this eases us past this awkward episode.

I feel touched. I know how much he likes Lorie, and it is not always that he is on my side.
monk222: (Default)
“This is the disgusting, stinking world of medieval Vienna. The darkness of this world is absolutely necessary to the meaning of the play…When this play is prettily staged, it is meaningless — it demands an absolutely convincing roughness and dirt.”

-- Peter Brook on "Measure for Measure"

Trump

Jul. 10th, 2017 12:55 pm
monk222: (Bonobo Thinking)
Jamie Kirchick said, "Yes. Trump is guilty of being an unscrupulous, unpatriotic jerk. Not sure there's a federal statute against that though."

David Frum said, "If people beholden to Russia command the American state, there are more urgent questions than: Which law did they break to get there?"

[Twitter]
monk222: (Default)
It sounded in my ears like a gently falling rain, plopping and plinking on a hot July evening, kind of sweet and musical.

But I looked out the window, and then out the door, and there is nothing of rain out there. It's just hot and dark, the unrelenting heatwave rolling on like a never ending freight train through a one-horse town.

Still, walking around the house, winding down the day, I would hear that ploppy-rainy melody, like something is catching the falling rain just right, maybe the way it is rolling off the roof eaves.

What is it?

Then I stepped in it, soaking my sock on the carpet, and it felt like I fell through a hole in the floor in this breaking-down house with my broken down life. "No, not the air-conditioner. Not again!" Our lifeline to civilization, our tiny piece of the American dream!

Like a little boy I run to Pop and cry the alarm, "We're leaking, we're leaking! The sky is falling, it's the end of the world! Can you still pull out your magical credit cards and make these dragons go away!? Can't we live out one more summer, one more time, live our lives just a little longer?"

* * *

Going to sleep was going to be hard on this night, but when it came it came with a vivid, somewhat lurid dream. Pop and I were lying in bed together talking. There was a somewhat sexy black prostitute in the room with us, or more with Pop. He was saying, most enthusiastically, almost whistling, that she was such a joy, especially "the way she dresses". He says he gladly pays his six-hundred dollars to go a round with her. I don't say anything, but he then speaks to my unspoken thought: he couldn't let me do what he does and pay for me to go a round with her, "That is too illegal!" The way he plays me, the way he sees me, as though I am five years old.

* * *

It's not over for us yet - life as we know it, such as it is. The problem wasn't even the air-conditioner. It was the water heater, and it was just a hose gone bad.

It was still a bit of an ordeal, though. We had to cut off the water to the house. Fortunately, Pop was able to get somebody to fix it the next day, another acquaintance of Lorie's (she may have married Anglo, but she connects well with latino laborers), but it still ruined our night and day. And I also have to deal with this soaked carpet, inconvenient and smelly. Between this and the a-c leak last month, this carpet has been watered more this summer than a good part of our lawn.

At least our pleasant-enough lives get to go on. This isn't the disaster that breaks us. We really have been pretty lucky, going on as we do for as long as we have. It's just that you know the end is not that far ahead: it could even be tomorrow. But at least today is still mine.

Quote

Jul. 9th, 2017 01:19 pm
monk222: (Default)
“When you start putting a higher value on works of art than people, you’re forfeiting your humanity.”

-- Woody Allen
monk222: (Noir Detective)
Rex Parker said, "There's a whole wide world where women are friends with women and men with men and that's all and I don't live in or understand that world."

Bill Kristol said, "I don't live in that world either, but it's called much of human history.'"

[Twitter]

Blurty

Jul. 8th, 2017 01:10 pm
monk222: (Bonobo Thinking)
Going through some old journal entries, I came across some Blurty stuff and thought I'd check it out and see if the old website and my first Internet home away from home is still down, which it is: that server upgrade is still in progress, two or three years down this road, so we're told. However, Cheever has put up a new notice in place of the old. There's no new news on it. It's only more dressy and snazzy. And updated. There are now icon-links for Twitter and Facebook. Why do that if you are just going to let the site die and bury it?

When I first saw this new notice, I thought, "But I'm not going to leave Dreamwidth." Not with their reliable service, that comforting sense of stability. Then it hits me. I remembered. In looking up Blurty, I am not looking for a new home for my blog. I want access to those hundreds, if not thousands, of journal entries that are trapped on Blurty's servers, those journal entries that I did not back up.

Yet, if Blurty did come back online, I might cross-post, live there a little. I still feel a lot of sentimental value for that place. It is the place that helped me to feel human again, like I might be somebody likeable, maybe even fuckable. In terms of social life, it was more like 'the college experience' to me than my college experience. I mingled better, flirted with the girls more successfully. It was, remember, a virtual reality - just my words without my face & body. That was how that trick worked. Perhaps my username should have been Cyrano de Bergerac.

Well, no point in getting excited. I would not bet money on ever seeing my old Monkey-Knight blog ever again. Though, the odds have gone up a little.

Trump

Jul. 8th, 2017 09:36 am
monk222: (Strip)
Trump let his hottie daughter Ivanka sit in at a G20 meeting for him. Bill Kristol quips, "It's going to be great when Trump decides to resign and tries to hand the presidency over to Ivanka."

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