Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Good News * Bad News * No News

The Good News!

I am NOT a hypochondriac. In spite of all my fears, tut-tutting myself over such silly symptoms (it must be a cold, it has to be a sinus infection, it can't be anything serious) and secretly terrified of bronchitis or COPD (which killed my mother), it was NOT all in my imagination. That's good news.

The Bad News!

I have bacterial pneumonia and quit my job at Panera's. I'm apparently contagious and must not serve the public or handle food.

No News!

Not a peep from the interview I had for a job that would be pretty nifty, if I got it. But my vibes are not singing on this one.

UPDATE: More good news

Just one day of meds have made the desire to continue breathing return~! Bless modern medicine~!


Friday, April 25, 2014

Journal Entry and Golden Door

I lasted exactly 53 minutes on my work shift today. Cancelled tomorrow's shift and headed back home to bed again. This is the 5th straight day of being brought down by the dreaded vertigo/flu/sinus infection/cold/ whatever-the-fuck-it-is,-too-miniscule-to-matter,-too-awful-to function disease of mine.

It IS getting better. It was just so bad that better is still not close to functional.

The GOOD news is that I have an interview on Monday for another job. A sit-at-a-desk-with-a-calculator kind of job. Oh Lordy, let it be a good one.

This being-in-bed business has only one up side. It's so boring that even bad movies on my Roku hold some appeal. In the past five days, I've snoozed through a LOT of them. But today I actually watched one that really caught my mood, my attention, my sensibility. A really GOOD film.

It's an Italian film called "Golden Door" (but should have been translated "New World" from "Nuovomundo" )directed by Emanuele Criasese. This is the synopsis online:

Desperate and poor Sicilian family seeks a way out, and, having heard reports of rivers running in milk and coins falling off of trees, leave their stony rural cottage and buy passage to America. The trip to the boat, aboard the boat, and at Ellis Island is one of wonder and hope and usually very little dialogue. A magical movie that succeeds in illustrating the other, humble, ordinary and tough passage to the new world without mafia dons or violence. The huge disadvantage of illiteracy is beautifully illustrated here, and the risks associated with leaving behind everything. Amazing, touching, real. The customs and rules of early 20th century already seem archaic, even though it was less than 100 years ago.

For example, in the film, single women were not permitted entry into the US, which is why Lucy was seeking a man to marry.

What made the film magical is that it was a film of visuals, using the camera to convey the magical realism that exists in people's heads, like the pictures above/below. The Sicilian kids believing that American produce is GARGANTUAN and that rivers are filled with milk.

Agnes Godard uses the power of cinematography in ways that are thrilling and charming. A visual feast. One of my favorite scenes was the ship pulling away from the harbor (on its way to America). The deck is crammed with immigrants and the wharf is crammed with the people left behind. They face each other, are crammed together seemingly, a sort of gray portrait of faceless masses facing each other, huddled masses, if you will -- and THEN the ship slowly pulls away from the dock...and the division of the two groups slowly unfolds, and just strikes the right chord for a dozen different emotions about leaving the old country, about separation from all they knew, about the luck of the draw, about the great divide in all of our lives...well, it was just one of those moments!

Well, you might think I've ruined the film for you, with too much information. But, no. Rent it immediately. It's a little treasure.

Or I'm just so damned sick that something that's not mediocre really rocks my universe!?

But someone else liked it too: Here's a much better review than mine! Wesley Morris says it with the reverence I feel! Review online ##

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Millay Sonnet

What lips my lips have kissed, and where, and why

Millay in Paris 1921

What lips my lips have kissed, and where, and why,
I have forgotten, and what arms have lain
Under my head till morning; but the rain
Is full of ghosts tonight, that tap and sigh
Upon the glass and listen for reply,
And in my heart there stirs a quiet pain
For unremembered lads that not again
Will turn to me at midnight with a cry.
Thus in the winter stands the lonely tree,
Nor knows what birds have vanished one by one,
Yet knows its boughs more silent than before:
I cannot say what loves have come and gone,
I only know that summer sang in me
A little while, that in me sings no more.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The Loose Fish is swimming upside down

Well, we all knew that the loose fish is a sick fish, but that's just metaphorically speaking...but this time it's upper respiratory. Started with vertigo...Doc says "pathology on the balance test." Silly Balance Test, twisting my head this way and that, with my eyes following moving lights. But still no mention of cures. I see her again on May 12th.

Meanwhile, started taking allergy pills for a sinus infection (which I suspect is the culprit in the vertigo) and Wham, they knocked me out. For two days I have slept uncountable hours. I found some very old antibiotics in the medicine cabinet and started those. It worked, as the hideous infection behind my nose moved into my throat and chest and head and feels more normally like the worst kind of cold. But I'm still sleeping.

Cancelled bowling.

Cancelled work shift tonight.

Cancel Christmas for all I care.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Honey Badger Houdini

The Loose Fish endorses this. My nickname was "Badgie." I kid you not.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Journal Entry

The air conditioning in this new house has never been terrific, and the heat didn't work at all. I found a treasure of a handyman who used to work for a big A/C company and already repaired the heating problem for $25. The A/C was a bit of a mystery, so it cost $100 to find the root of the problem. The unit I have requires a 14" duct-- and a 10" duct had been installed instead. It didn't sound like too major a problem, but apparently it's very dirty work under these old mobile homes, but my treasure needed the money, so he gave me a good price. I'm talking about the duct that carries hot air OUT of the house.

Today's the A/C repair day, and the poor man is crawling around my house, getting filthy dirty and getting crap in his eyes, in spite of the safety glasses. He's an interesting looking man, rather handsome with a look of Greece or the Mideast about him. He's about the same age (I'd guess) as my last lover, who was 55. Plus he's nice. I like it when workers are nice, and I've been told his price is unbelievably cheap, so I'm holding my breath. And trying not to flirt.

I just got the news from him that the big duct that carries cold air INTO the house has fallen apart and is not really attached to the house. How I have been getting ANY cool air at all is a total mystery. I got on my belly to look under the house, and sure enough, it's hanging there, semi-attached but not really connected. But because it's a tiny house, somehow some air has been filtering in, but just not enough to be properly cool. So my handyman is going to have to repair that too, and reports some really ugly news about things falling apart under the house. Well, this house dates back to 1979, so I'm not surprised.

I was trying hard to save money for my trading fund. But it is clear to me that this job is likely going to take all of my meager savings. I'm still buying lottery tickets.

People may wonder why I'm grumpy, out of sorts. Unhappy. I try not to be, but it's more energy than I have.

When I asked this guy what I could do to help, he said, "oh yeah. I'm supposed to have a permit and everything to do this, which would cost you a lot more money, so if anyone from the county stops by, just be sure to say that you're my mother, okay?"

Now, that's more than funny.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Getting There (poem)

I am drowning in consciousness.
Who was the fool that said we
should be awake for our lives?
It’s all weedy lawns and empty sugar bowls.
I am so awake I can watch my brain
Knead dough, that mess of memory, synapses,
Gray quantum, this way and that, trying
Hard to make it “right.” I am good. I am smart.
I am healthy. I am not to blame. I am not the idiot
Everyone knows me to be. But the transparency
Of the mechanics is making me insane. Literally.
This is how it starts. Losing it. In wakefulness.
What a joke. We think we want to lose the lie,
but it’s the truth we want to bury .
Nirvana isn’t what it’s cracked up to be.
The truth is a lie that’s’s been raped, pummeled and
Made to walk backwards until its feet bleed.
When you can go no further,
You know you have arrived.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Sunday Morning (Poem)

At the door, she bellows “Quiet!”
The two Mexicans clatter up and down
stairs, chatter loudly in Spanish,
heave the heavy Sunday papers
against apartment doors.

“Don’t you know people are sleeping?”
she hisses through the screen. They do not turn
their heads, but go silent, circle the pool,
duck behind the palms and leave the building
under a foggy California dawn.

Through her window,
she sees them jump into their truck,
their teeth gleam white in brown faces
in silent laughter. Her heart snags.
Their big arms bulk out of thin cotton shirts,

grown men, not like the paperboys
of her childhood. She drinks her tea but leaves
the news by the door. Ritual in ruin,
she scolds herself for growing old and cross.

A mourning dove struts across the
veranda. She remembers the night
in Guadalajara, many years before Sunday
was for reading--when an early moon hung
over a glistening beach, and “Si” was
whispered, then written on the sand.

Photo by "the_swede"

Saturday, April 5, 2014


My home has always meant a lot to me. Not the bricks and mortar, the size or cost...but the visuals, the "connectedness" to me, which accounts for myriad "details" that I have in way of mini-collections, or simply objets posed and placed for my visual satisfaction. I actually commune with them, in a way. My own private version of meditation, some might say. Almost every art object in my house, and many of the practical things as well, have a story attached to them. That's what gives them personal meaning to me.

There are stories behind almost every thing I keep for very long (aside from necessities and electronics). Other people walk into my home and do not really "see" my stuff. The stories are not known to them, and there is too much of it sitting around without meaning to anyone but me. Nobody's really interested and I have no one to tell the stories to, but I decided to shoot some of it and post it anyway. The details of my life. It takes my mind off the more important things I could and should be doing.

This last little painting which currently hangs in my bedroom has a very long story with it, and I'll share just a bit of it. It was painted by a man who has been dead for many years. He was always terrified of dying young like his father did at 45. On the week of his 45th birthday, he too died of a heart attack (or fear.) Oh dear, the dead really are haunting me this year.

He was a graphic artist professionally, but his private work was whimsical and sometimes religious (Jewish) in nature. He did a lot of what he called "dog people" and illustrated biblical children's stories using dog people. Prints of his "Happy Birthday, Baby Jesus" are still available online. This painting however is his take on the Duchess of Alba, done exclusively for me. (I spent time in Madrid and we shared a love of Goya's work). I'm showing Goya's original beneath it in case you don't know the classic work. This shows the reference, and the joyful fun of his work. His name was Kenneth Munowitz and I have treasured this little gift for decades.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Sick and Tired

This morning I had the energy and time to focus on trading futures (online) and have earned $690. (paper money) from 8:30 am to 12:30 pm. - 4 hours. I am SICK that I don't have a trading fund and this isn't real money.

This evening I shall go to Panera's Bakery and work as a cashier and food server for $8.50 an hour, totalling gross pay earned of $34. - from 4 pm to 8 pm - 4 hours. I am TIRED just thinking about it.

I need to win a small lottery to save myself.