Star Wars - Fly away...

Coins, still

Two walks today. A relatively short morning one, after some light rain had fallen, and a longer evening one when it was comfortable and dry outside. I saw a couple of places open again, including the Pieper Café; I like supporting it, so I'll be back.

(The game store Red Castle Games has also opened its new location on Foster near 72nd, near the Portland Mercado if you know the neighborhood, so I let some gamer friends know. At-door pickup of games, for now, due to, well, Now.)

It's been a few weeks since I've done long, multi-mile walks, and tonight's walk wasn't as long as I can do, but it helped. I got up to an ATM in the shopping center at SE 82nd and Powell, wandered slightly more north, then started zigzagging obliquely towards home.

And I found coins. Three pennies, but those are three pennies I didn't have before. I know, it's not cost-effective picking up dropped change like that, but I still do it: it's an easy way to cut down on litter and no animals can accidentally swallow them. I'd noticed that lately, I'd found fewer coins; is that because people are handling less physical money or because I've been on shorter walks? Or both? I wonder about this.

Okay, THAT'S slightly cleaner

The rain came back. It always does eventually, this is Northwest Oregon. It never rained too heavily today, just steadily, and I've watched it from in here. Including this past hour, when clouds broke enough for subset light and colors to break through.

If I look in the same direction as the sunlight, I see my car. My car's had a fair amount of pollen dropped on it. Thanks, trees! You've been orgasming and money-shooting across many cars, which at least can't sneeze, but, still: pollen build-up.

Which inspired me just now to grab a couple of socks I no longer wear due to holes or such, get outside, shrug off the few drops of water still falling, and scrub a good amount of that pollen off, since it's a little easier when it's wet.

And doing so, I had a chance to look east-southeast and see the rainbow that we just got.

Now: back inside, warming back up and drying back up.

Ballot: DONE

Vote-by-mail. IT'S GOOD. (I've said that before. I really really mean it.)

I'd partially filled out my ballot a few days ago, but tonight I finished it: checking endorsements and reading the voters' guide. Some difficult choices, but I feel okay about my choices.

Next is dropping it off. It's too late for me to mail it, so I can go to either a county library — the book return slots that aren't being used for books at the moment are being used instead for ballots — or to a County Elections drop box, which I'd prefer to do this time. So I'll be driving at least once between now and Tuesday at 8:00 p.m., the latest I can drop it off. I'll drop it off sooner than that.

Meanwhile: Vote-by-mail. Good.
Captain Kris W'lash

A day of very little

I barely left my bedroom yesterday.

Never got out of the house at all; got to the bathroom a few times, the kitchen twice, the front of the living room in the evening (still wearing my robe like I was The Dude), but, otherwise: in my room, resting. I didn't shower, either.

I'm not sick, far as I can tell. I was unmotivated. Probably my least-motivated day in two months.

The most I did was read — a bit of John Gardner's Grendel, a bit of Neil Gaiman's Stardust, the rest of Nnedi Okorafor's LaGuardia — and at day's end watch the 1975 film Cooley High. I first wrote that "The most I could do was read," but that's wrong: I could have done more. I decided not to.

It didn't feel great to be so inactive, honestly. There was stuff that I could and likely should have done, so of course blowing off that stuff means I'll have to do that stuff later, lack of motivation be damned. And there's only so much time I can spend in bed before I start to get sore, and I hit that point last night (and was still at that point this morning).

People with chronic health issues, of course, deal with this all the time. Sometimes people have so little energy that just showering and eating can leave them depleted; they can't do more than that, on that day. And they deal with this on many days. I don't. I was wallowing. It helps for me to be honest, about that and other times I done up short.

I'm already ahead of all this today: I got out for a short walk then I showered. I scrubbed well.

And now I hope to be more productive. But yesterday I actually said, "I'll take the L."
Sally Salt Disgusted

A day of ugh.

Probably good that today I did not write anything of substance. Anything I would have written would probably have been angry. Maybe "me being an asshole" angry. Maybe "burn some bridges" angry.

I also remain very, very, very good at figuratively biting my tongue so that I don't say some of what I've considered saying.

What with tonight's mood, I was almost tempted to put in Smashing Pumpkins' Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness mainly to listen to the angrily-titled song "Fuck You (An Ode To No One)," but, but, I managed to decide not to go that far. Instead I have on the live CD from Tori Amos's To Venus and Back. The one recorded on the 1998 tour where I saw Amos, at what was then the Rose Garden (now the Moda Center) in Portland. And, soon, sleep. All of which I want to contribute to A BETTER MOOD.
NCC-1701 Nebula 1

Something else not for now

Walking while reading: I'm good at it. I'm practiced at it. Go outside, walk for a while, and have a book I can dip into, alternating between reading the words and looking around at the scenery — it's been a habit during my time in Portland and, occasionally, before.* It's good to have situational awareness while doing so: you don't want to walk into someone or walk into traffic or stumble on a sidewalk crack while your nose is buried in a book, or in your phone. Use your peripheral vision, but also read words: I'm glad I learned to do so.

It's something that, right now, I'm less likely to do. And I miss it.

If I head out, wearing a mask as strongly suggested (by the way, reminder: KEEP WEARING MASKS OUTSIDE AND KEEP SOCIAL-DISTANCING, THIS PANDEMIC ISN'T OVER), I'm making sure to have less stuff with me that I'd bring back into the house afterward, because what might be contaminated with COVID-19? I don't want to worry about virus riding on the book I'm reading, possibly getting on me or getting back on me.

Wearing a mask is awkward for that and for other things: the cloth masks I've improvised are fairly large, and stick out enough just below my eyes that a chunk of my peripheral vision is blocked. Meaning, the lower part. It's less easy for me to see the sidewalk right in front of me unless I look down, so I look down more to watch for uneven pavement or broken glass or dog crap or whatever could be in the way.

And since right now I'm much more likely to be reading ebooks on my tablet, I'm definitely not walking while tablet-reading. Years ago, I actually tried that, and that's awkward and challenging even in non-pandemic conditions. I don't want to drop or smash my iPad while reading something. That would be bad.

So. I can wait to read until I'm home, like right now. But walking and reading, instead of just walking, is one of the things I miss right now. And, maybe, honestly, this is one reason I've been less likely to go on long walks. (I'm also less likely to hop on a bus, go to some neighborhood, and walk around it for a while, because I want to limit my transit travel. I haven't been on TriMet since Tuesday, March 17th, nearly two months ago. SAVES ON FARE, but...but...)

Ah. Yet another something I'm missing. To misquote My Chemical Romance, welcome to the Lack Parade.

* If I remember correctly, I became more likely to walk and read after reading Stephen King's On Writing: a memoir of the craft in 2000. King said it had been a habit of his since the 1970s to do long walks (not Long Walk long walks) and have a book or magazine handy. He talked more broadly about giving yourself chances to dip into books, grabbing time to read a few pages while, say, waiting in a checkout line or sitting at dinner while other people finish eating. It helps him find time to read the 70 to 80 books a year he'd manage to get through. He didn't let nearly getting killed on one of those walks by that distracted driver stop him from doing so...
Oregon Coast 1

Quiet days, lately

Since "taking it easy" is probably a good goal (and job description) for me currently, I've been sticking at home or close to home. I'll go out tomorrow, at least to get the latest Willamette Week — and maybe for other reasons, I'll see — but a lot of Saturday through today has involved me sitting in the padded rocking chair near the front window, reading, watching the neighborhood, and thinking.

It's nice that Mr. X, the house cat who joined us last year, has spent a decent amount of time these past few days in my lap. He's been chilling, as many cats are good at doing.

The main excitement lately was fictional. Yesterday I watched the 1973 action film Coffy, starring Pam Grier as a nurse hunting down the men who got her younger sister hooked on drugs. Damn good, satisfying film, and it pairs well with a book I'm reading, Reflections on Blaxploitation.

I'm watching my health. Some sneezing, but nothing else, which makes me think it's the air, not me, that's causing the sneezing. I'm also eating okay. Today, as a treat, I broke out the frozen mussels I bought a few months ago, before all this, and had them for early dinner. I would have eaten a similar meal or two (or five) while I was at Lincoln City in March, but sheltering in place was more important so I ate just what I brought to town plus the one quick meal I got at McDonald's once I'd arrived. Hey, at least I got a Filet-O-Fish that time, in the spirit of having seafood at the Coast...

So. Thinking's still happening, which means more writing will be happening. Yesterday I also started notes to what might be the next poem.

Take care, as well as you can. Be well, as much as you can.

I've got a little list

Reading in fundamental. (It's fun and it's mental. Duh.)

...sometimes I'm not sure why sentences like this come out of me.

Anyway. I spent time this afternoon looking back through the lists I've saved to my blog of what books I've read. I've done this each year since 2004. I read a lot, and I don't want to lose track, especially when I'm reading a series. For the most part, I try to read series in order (though some I don't really need to, like Lee Child's Jack Reacher books), so: how far had I gotten into [this series] and [that series]? Now I have a cheat sheet: okay, I've read the first three Edgar Rice Burroughs Mars novels, for instance, and Sue Grafton's Kinsey Millhone books up to U is for Undertow, and the first two Easy Rawlins novels by Walter Mosley, and every Cherie Priest Clockwork Century book except the stand-alone Jacaranda, and four of six volumes of the comic book Axe Cop.

Also discovered, accidentally: I managed to read the same novel, The King of Elfland's Daughter by Lord Dunsany, twice eight years apart without realizing it. I read it in 2011 then again in 2019.

This list will help me plan some of my upcoming reading, so I don't inadvertently skip anything. (I thought I'd read the second Clive Barker Abarat book, part of a Young Adult novel series, but I'd just read the first.)

There. Here's one way I've been productive.