Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Tuesday, February 21, 2017


More to do but, man, I am pooped. There's old age for you. It sucks.


Arranged final bills. Feeling more official all the time.

posted from Bloggeroid


A busy day. Switch the utilities, downsize dishware, which means struggling with H about what to keep ha ha. VA pickup tomorrow.

Sign Thursday. Buyers already signed. Close Friday.


Monday, February 20, 2017

Cheese bread

posted from Bloggeroid


From grad school ...

posted from Bloggeroid

Waiting room

H seeing her doc, get approved for continued driving.

Progress on house front. At last.

posted from Bloggeroid

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Friday, February 17, 2017

Tick tock

Trump's anti-press conference would be funny – if it weren't so scary


Wednesday, February 15, 2017

A literary giant

The fire this time – the legacy of James Baldwin


Copy this day!

Today is how I envisioned moving being ... both working, jazz playing, dinner cooking ... but today is the first, a FUN day. More ...

posted from Bloggeroid


What a busy, exhausting, productive day -- and it's only 2pm! But I am done and Harriet has gone to take a nap. We're old enough to have only a few hours in us, at least at a time, which is why we need all the time we can get to get out of here. It's all grunt work now, putting loose items in bags and boxes, but even this is enough for us. We are hopeless, remembering how we could work our tails off when younger. No longer. Amazing. Old is old, the new reality.

But today was great. The secret is to put these one after another. We don't have too much wiggle room if the deal goes through. It is not officially dead, as the buy still hems and haws as to buying a leaking basement. If he wants to come down, we can reject it, and he has the option to still buy at the original price. All the balls are in his court until a new offer, if one comes at all. We're down about as much as we want to go. What a mess.

What a mess. What a mess. I'm gone.

Good morning

Trying to get our taxes done, as well as continuing to pack as if getting out of here will happen sooner rather than later. I have no idea if that will happen. I have no idea about moving at all anymore. Nothing has been predictable and all surprises have been negative.

Reading Hofstadter again, I see that Trump comes from a long anti-intellectual tradition, he's just more extreme than most. But this kind of prejudice and ignorance is nothing new. A very unfortunate truth about American culture.

Man, I love this AS! I've said that before. Sure I'll say it again many times in the future. Writing here, and pecking on my Kindle, have absolutely nothing in common.

Harriet has gotten into gear, finally, and has worked on the house two days in a row, packing her antiques. Neither of us can work very long without getting tired and having to stop. That's why it takes us so long. We paid to get the basement downsized, several grand, and could pay several grand more to do this for us, and would if we were wealthy, but we're not and we also have time, so we keep plugging along.

I had to ask for my big deposit back from Russellville. They wanted us and did everything to get us there, but now I am thinking it is too expensive for us, given all the recent uncertainties. I still am driving a car whose transmission is about to go, according to our mechanic. I expected to happen by now. More uncertainty, more stress. If the car goes after we've moved, we still have transportation. Before, another expense and issue to solve. Knock on my wooden head. Which actually seems to accomplish zilch.

I reread KEROUAC'S SCROLL. Another strong novel. With SODOM, two novels any writer should be proud to have written. And I am. Each with almost no readers. Too bad. But I am not wasting my time by marketing anything. I live in a different universe with different value system.

I need to work on taxes today ... and the house goal is to organize the stuff left in the basement. Lots of work yet to do in kitchen and bathroom, getting loose stuff into boxes.

When I look around this house, I am overwhelmed by how much is left to do. Do we even have time if a quick sale goes through? And Harriet is no help, thinking there's no problem but at the same time doing precious little to help. I assume I have to do it all and be surprised otherwise, as in the last two days.

I am so eager to start a new life in a retirement community somewhere! So is she, actually. And she needs it more than I do. Her memory loss is a real personal setback.

posted from Bloggeroid

Tuesday, February 14, 2017


Mike Flynn might be done – but Trump's nightmare has just begun


The time is right ...

... to revisit Richard Hofstadter's classic, Pulitzer book ANTI-INTELLECTUALISM IN AMERICAN LIFE. I begin tonight.

Limbo fever

Call me Limbo. Jesus, what a transition! Every time I see light at the end of the tunnel, I get blindsided and blinded by an attack of bats.

But hey! I am not a refugee, I don't live in Aleppo ... AND I AM NOT A REPUBLICAN!

Whenever, wherever, I'd like to start, or get involved in, a readers theater group, and from that see if there are some old farts as radical as I to do a little political street theater in Pioneer Square. Something to look forward to.

posted from Bloggeroid

Monday, February 13, 2017

UConn women

So exciting to watch. In tight game tonight with SC.


But we continue to pack ... moving eventually.

posted from Bloggeroid


I'm writing now on the AlphaSmart keyboard, which I haven't done in too long. Who said you can't go home zgain?

I am going to start a short story, I think, just to have a project, a diversion, from the recent stress. And an excuse to write on this wonderful keyboard every day. This is the best writing tool on the market! Precious few agree with me, if they know about it at all, but if you want to WRITE, and not be tempted away by the Internet, and you want hundreds of portable hours for 3 AAA batteries, well, this is your baby.

I hope a sale happens soon.
posted from Bloggeroid

Saturday, February 11, 2017


Lots in flux but our attitudes are good. Details as appropriate.

posted from Bloggeroid

Friday, February 10, 2017

Good news

In the recent mess, some good news.

Finally got H's retirement payout set up right. Working on it since Dec.

The house finally got appraised, and higher than I expected.

posted from Bloggeroid

Sullivan on Trump

Andrew Sullivan: “Then there is the obvious question of the president’s mental and psychological health. I know we’re not supposed to bring this up — but it is staring us brutally in the face. I keep asking myself this simple question: If you came across someone in your everyday life who repeatedly said fantastically and demonstrably untrue things, what would you think of him? If you showed up at a neighbor’s, say, and your host showed you his newly painted living room, which was a deep blue, and then insisted repeatedly — manically — that it was a lovely shade of scarlet, what would your reaction be? If he then dragged out a member of his family and insisted she repeat this obvious untruth in front of you, how would you respond? If the next time you dropped by, he was still raving about his gorgeous new red walls, what would you think? Here’s what I’d think: This man is off his rocker. He’s deranged; he’s bizarrely living in an alternative universe; he’s delusional. If he kept this up, at some point you’d excuse yourself and edge slowly out of the room and the house and never return. You’d warn your other neighbors. You’d keep your distance. If you saw him, you’d be polite but keep your distance.”

“I think this is a fundamental reason why so many of us have been so unsettled, anxious, and near panic these past few months. It is not so much this president’s agenda. That always changes from administration to administration. It is that when the lynchpin of an entire country is literally delusional, clinically deceptive, and responds to any attempt to correct the record with rage and vengeance, everyone is always on edge.”

“There is no anchor any more. At the core of the administration of the most powerful country on earth, there is, instead, madness.”
posted from Bloggeroid

La de dah

I wonder what a day without surprises feels like.

posted from Bloggeroid

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Nighty night

Not quite official yet but the deal is very likely dead.

posted from Bloggeroid

Deal breaker?

After a foot of snow followed by two heavy rain storms, minor basement leak (our realtor's flooded!):


despite the news of the day
reporting the usual lies and atrocities
the wars, the crooked deals
the horrors happening to children
the collage of world suffering

and the lesser grief
in my personal plot of existence
the aches and pains of old age
the stress of finite finances
and always something going wrong
few surprises inviting welcome

the world going
"to hell in a hand basket"
and all that

despite it all

not one shred of horror
or grief or suffering
not one human complaint
not one human tragedy

compromises the joy
the wonder and the delight
the extraordinary gift of listening

to Gerry Mulligan's solo
on "My Funny Valentine"


Sometimes it feels as if the Universe is conspiring to keep me out of Russellville.

Tricks of the gods

Possible deal breaker appeared today. Realtor working to repair.

AMAZING!??! in a "toy thing of the gods" sort of way.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017


Saw our apt, it is GREAT. Knock knock etc.

posted from Bloggeroid

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

James Baldwin on America

From the new documentary ...

It’s not a question of what happens to the Negro here or to the black man here—that’s a very vivid question for me, you know—but the real question is what is going to happen to this country. I have to repeat that.

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In the years in Paris, I had never been homesick for anything American— neither waffles, ice cream, hot dogs, baseball, majorettes, movies, nor the Empire State Building, nor Coney Island, nor the Statue of Liberty, nor the Daily News, nor Times Square. All of these things had passed out of me. They might never have existed, and it made absolutely no difference to me if I never saw them again. But I had missed my brothers and sisters, and my mother. They made a difference.

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They don’t want to believe, still less to act on the belief, that what is happening in Birmingham is happening all over the country. They don’t want to realize that there is not one step, morally or actually, between Birmingham and Los Angeles.

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I’m terrified at the moral apathy, the death of the heart, which is happening in my country. These people have deluded themselves for so long that they really don’t think I’m human. And I base this on their conduct, not on what they say. And this means that they have become in themselves moral monsters.

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I have always been struck, in America, by an emotional poverty so bottomless, and a terror of human life, of human touch, so deep, that virtually no American appears able to achieve any viable, organic connection between his public stance and his private life.

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What I’m trying to say to this country, to us, is that we must know this… …we must realize this, that no other country in the world has been so fat and so sleek, and so safe, and so happy, and so irresponsible, and so dead. No other country can afford to dream of a Plymouth and a wife and a house with a fence and the children growing up safely to go to college and to become executives, and then to marry and have the Plymouth and the house and so forth. A great many people do not live this way and cannot imagine it, and do not know that when we talk about “democracy,” this is what we mean.

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To watch the TV screen for any length of time is to learn some really frightening things about the American sense of reality. We are cruelly trapped between what we would like to be and what we actually are. And we cannot possibly become what we would like to be until we are willing to ask ourselves just why the lives we lead on this continent are mainly so empty, so tame, and so ugly. These images are designed not to trouble, but to reassure. They also weaken our ability to deal with the world as it is, ourselves as we are.

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All of the Western nations have been caught in a lie, the lie of their pretended humanism; this means that their history has no moral justification, and that the West has no moral authority.

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The story of the Negro in America is the story of America. It is not a pretty story. What can we do? Well, I am tired…. I don’t know how it will come about. I know that no matter how it comes about, it will be bloody; it will be hard. I still believe that we can do with this country something that has not been done before. We are misled here because we think of numbers. You don’t need numbers; you need passion. And this is proven by the history of the world. The tragedy is that most of the people who say they care about it do not care.

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What they care about is their safety and their profits. The American way of life has failed— to make people happier or make them better. We do not want to admit this, and we do not admit it.

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In this country, for a dangerously long time, there have been two levels of experience. One, to put it cruelly, can be summed up in the images of Gary Cooper and Doris Day: two of the most grotesque appeals to innocence the world has ever seen. And the other, subterranean, indispensable, and denied, can be summed up, let us say, in the tone and in the face of Ray Charles.

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History is not the past. It is the present. We carry our history with us. We are our history. If we pretend otherwise, we literally are criminals. I attest to this: the world is not white; it never was white, cannot be white. White is a metaphor for power, and that is simply a way of describing Chase Manhattan Bank.

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What white people have to do is try and find out in their own hearts why it was necessary to have a “nigger” in the first place, because I’m not a nigger, I’m a man. But if you think I’m a nigger, it means you need him. The question that you’ve got to ask yourself, the white population of this country has got to ask itself, North and South because it’s one country and for a Negro there is no difference between the North and the South—it’s just a difference in the way they castrate you, but the fact of the castration is the American fact….If I’m not the nigger here and you invented him, you the white people invented him, then you’ve got to find out why. And the future of the country depends on that, whether or not it is able to ask that question.
posted from Bloggeroid

Peck's documentary on Baldwin

Just finished the screenplay. Brilliant, which is no surprise since the language is Baldwin's. The book adds essays by Peck and the film's editor.

No more important book for our troubled times. James Baldwin is our most prophetic writer.

posted from Bloggeroid

Olive bread

posted from Bloggeroid

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Super Bowl

Not much into it since my drinking days. Don't follow NFL or NBA. But no doubt I'll watch some of it.

More, hoping for a mellow day, making a little progress.
posted from Bloggeroid

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Deep breaths

One month to go, much work, potential stress, little help from H, really must focus, plan daily chores, hire help as needed, not get overwhelmed.

Beginning today.

posted from Bloggeroid

Friday, February 3, 2017

Pinching myself

Man. We caught a break.

posted from Bloggeroid


All is good! Mar 6 new moving date.

posted from Bloggeroid


posted from Bloggeroid


From realtor ...

the appraisal is out of final review and all is good! The value is supported and there are no conditions. Congratulations!

posted from Bloggeroid


Following Trump on the news. Wean myself from current affairs at R?

May have to push back move a week.

posted from Bloggeroid

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Guarded joy

If the unofficial becomes official, we're in great shape. And it's time to get serious.


"All looks good," says realtor. Official tomorrow or Monday.

Why Portland sucks

#4 nationally in rate of gentrification.

V. 1980s, "This is how Greenwich Village used to be."

But Russellville can be a hotel anywhere, like Switzerland, Europe, Denmark. I need to get there. Soon.

posted from Bloggeroid

Damn it!

Where's the appraisal? Can't step forward without it.

posted from Bloggeroid


Sourdough success.

posted from Bloggeroid

Sourdough #3

Best looking. Taste?

posted from Bloggeroid

25 days

We hope ...

Try again

Made croutons of #2. Try #3 with adjusted process.


Worse than first loaf. Back to drawing board.

Trepidation II

Best case: I rent our apt at R today.
Worst case: new negotiations after low appraisal
Alt: no news today

Ah, me. They configure this process for maximum stress.


Sourdough has different procedure, which I haven't mastered yet.

Second loaf about to go in.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017


The end of my story "The Epistemoligical Uncle":

And so — as the train pulled away past the encouraging and energetic waving of my parents, leaving Judy and the carefree idyll of my youth somewhere behind in the vast stretch of harvest-ripe golden grainland, and moved forward into the wind to begin the long journey to college — I settled into my seat, closed my eyes and for the first time began to realize how little I knew and how uncertain would be the knowing yet to come; so that by the time the train announced its departure from Adam, sounding like the howling of my Uncle Buck, "Do you really knoooooooooow?," I knew I didn't know what had really happened between Judy and me, or why Uncle Buck drank, or what was waiting for me at college.

I didn't know much of anything, though I didn't yet know that this itself was knowing.


Political pundits never seem to question their certainty.


We might be home free tomorrow. Or not.

posted from Bloggeroid


Has a 1 BR for us. Occupy late Feb, perfect. Waiting on appraisal report.

posted from Bloggeroid


If you look at the news from the point of view of a dramatist, it's very boring. Endless repetition. Verbs never change, only nouns. Zzzzzzz!

posted from Bloggeroid

Leading the dissent

posted from Bloggeroid


She doesn't give a shit about all the political hot air driving the main, alternative and social media. She presents an equal opportunity wrath and destruction. The final irony of the gods: we are indivisible.
posted from Bloggeroid

Hot air

Several years ago I made a short video about how global warming is caused by human hot air. I was on to something, which is worse now.

So many self-appointed political experts, left and right, expounding on abstract issues and defining blame while an historically urgent reality, a mentally ill man in the WH, screams for immediate focus and attention.

And some lefties still defend Russia! They need to listen to Pussy Riot!

Women need to step up and harness the energy of dissent. Men need to shut up and get the fuck out of the way.
posted from Bloggeroid



The women's march was extraordinary because of the images in this age of media. Huge numbers, widespread. This must be replicated to keep the pressure on and force Trump to over-react, losing supporters in Congress. One hopes.

Cooking fool

Over 4 hrs into day long tomato sauce ... ribs in Korean marinade for dinner tonight or tomorrow ... second sourdough loaf tomorrow and today sourdough blueberry pancakes for breakfast.

What else can I conjure up?

A farewell column

26 days

Started day long tomato sauce, will freeze some.

posted from Bloggeroid