Sunday, August 15, 2021

Sugarloaf State Park

And camping we went - two nights, three days of satanic heat, day hikes, cooking exclusively over an open flame, bike riding, walking dry creek beds, chatting around the campfire late at night before drifting off to our tent to read Harry Potter.

I took the first portrait of the boy that I have taken in a while. My interest in photography has lessened a bit during Covid. Or rather, my main subjects deserved a break from often having a camera pointed at their faces. It is the first portrait of the boy that I have liked in a while. 

That's about all that I got out of the weekend. The rest was work, lots of it. Setting up and breaking down a campsite with a nine year old boy is a lot of work, though there's really no need to mention the boy in that sentence. He spent most of the time playing with a bouncy ball wondering why it was taking me so long to load the car. 

That's it, I'm beaten by the chores of it all.


Friday, August 13, 2021

Viagra Falls

Alec Soth

The boy and I leave today for a couple days camping. Or, that is the plan. We go this morning to put our names on a waitlist at a state campsite about 45 minutes from here. It has been booked solid for many months, but they keep a few sites open and release them to those on the waitlist as they see fit, or as they become available. This plan has always worked for us in the past. So, fingers crossed in wanting witchery. 

Some people don't like camping.  That's okay, even understandable. The activity seems to work best when there is some partnership in completing the various burdens. A significant amount of the pleasure derived from the proceedings, I believe, can be found in just that: partnership can be satisfying, even when the specific leisure time involves labor. 

That's what I'm hoping for: that the boy and I find a pleasant way of working together and being buddies. The Covid-sheltering has been difficult on our relationship. It is challenging to be a parent, a teacher, and a friend, with very little clear delineation between those roles, all while trying to have some sense of space to yourself. 

Watching how our local school board has allowed teachers to call pretty much all the shots about how and when students will be able to return to school has somewhat soured my feeling of benevolence towards them, though I have no wish to live in Florida right now, either. It will be difficult for me to ever talk again about how hard their jobs are and how hard they all work and how much they care about the kids. The reality of Covid has disabused me of most of those unchallenged notions. 

Teachers are just like everybody else, you have no idea how hard their jobs are...
Cops are just like everybody else, you have no idea how hard their jobs are...
Etc, etc. Ad nauseam. 

Yes, they are like everybody else: incompetent when they're not too busy being lazy or corrupt. 

Sometimes I'll have Raquel get dressed up in a nurse's outfit just to reaffirm my faith in the working class. 


Thursday, August 12, 2021


I survived another night. I awoke again this morning feeling relatively well. We'll see how I'm doing by the end of the day. That has been the pattern so far - feeling okay in the mornings, then feeling drained and weak by evening time, with chills and floating phantasms. Perhaps I was bitten by a vampire - I crave life's essence as the night descends. My body has been shapeshifting for a couple decades now. I should probably read more inter-sectional feminism. If you have not already read my exhaustive post on the subject then do a Google search for: Succubus, come hither. Or: My succubus likes to ride on top. 

They were both written with the intention of being published in academic journals but all of my rejection notices were of the same kind: Dear Sir, Again we must remind you that our organization does not publish supernatural pornographic fan fiction. We ask you again to please stop sending draft revisions. 

Telle est la Mort.....


Wednesday, August 11, 2021


I have the strangest sickness. It arrives and departs approximately every 12 hours. This is its third day cycling through my life. Fatigue, chills, soreness, other maladies that I need not catalog. Tomorrow I am supposed to have an appointment with my dentist. I fear if I relay my condition I will be told not to come in. The next day I have plans to go camping with the boy. My wisdom teeth feel sore. If I press the sides of my throat they are both very tender, though it is not difficult to swallow. Earlier today the feeling in my chest made me suspect a heart attack. Though, if so, it was a very minor one. 

What do I know? Perhaps people die from miniature heart attacks all of the time. 

I slept an extremely long time last night - eight hours. That is nearly a miracle of my nights. Had a priest or nun blessed me the evening before I would be arguing right now in front of the Vatican cardinals for sainthood. Maybe it was only a normal night's sleep that made me feel as if the sickness had subsided. Fatigue has a different set of symptoms, though. I looked them up, along with those of the heart attack. I am nothing if not curious concerning the suspicions that will one day assert themselves upon me as more than intuition, refusing all offers for negotiation. 


My Supreme Opinion

Life is far more simple than people allow it to be. 

One should:

- Get lots of rest
- Drink lots of water
- Work hard
- Get married
- Don't beat your children or their cousins
- Have many strong, male offspring
- Pray every morning, every evening, and before lunch
- Handle poisonous snakes to demonstrate faith in God's power

One should never:

- Dawdle
- Affiliate with strangers
- Befriend neighbors who walk too close to your land
- Fall asleep with one hand below the covers
- Drink alcohol, do drugs, or receive anal sex
- Take the Lord's name in vain 
- Blaspheme the Holy Spirit
- Covet your neighbor's wife's ass, or that of the maidservant

If you can manage doing, or not doing, those simple things then you will be mostly fine and your rewards will be waiting for you after death. You will be stockpiling something that this world can not take away from you, in a faraway Kingdom of praise and joy and songs in major keys. If you choose to instead follow the path of the wicked then your rewards will be few and temporary. Every righteous soul already knows this. Only the wicked lament these truths. 

I ran out of new pictures and these came up in a social media feed a couple weeks ago. They are not that old, yet already they are of a time that is so distant that I'm surprised it can still be seen. That is the magic of photography, any other use of that form is probably from the devil's crimson eye. So, be wary of tricksters, particularly those that try to tell you that images include additional dimensions. That's the serpent's hiss, plain Beelzeblubbering for sure. 

If I've heard it once I've heard it whispered for all of eternity. 


Saturday, August 7, 2021

2017 Chateauneuf-du-Pape

We planned on a Tahoe weekend - mountain biking and boating - but now it is all cancelled. The fires in the region have destroyed any possibility of doing any of the activities that would bring you to a place like this. It relies on people being outdoors. The skies are filled with smoke and the Air Quality Index is at 268 - Very Unhealthy. Yesterday it was closer to 500. 

We spent most of the day indoors yesterday drinking expensive and delicious wines. I broke my nearly one month break from alcohol. Today I am feeling the repercussions. We did, at the very least, have a chance to spend some time with our friends and their new baby girl, Neeva. She is walking and beginning to talk now. The last time we visited them it was nearly a year ago and we could not go near them. They are here from Henderson, Nevada, and have rented a beautiful place in Incline Village for a month. They have been able to be at the house about half of the time. 

Last night we started talking openly in front of our son about the desire to move away from California. Raquel and I have some things to figure out between us. A move of that kind is a significant life change and it requires a type of teamwork that she and I only seem to ever possess in fragments. But life is just a series of fragments, ones that sometimes seem to re-occur. Don't trust anybody that tries to tell you otherwise. It is only a trick of the mind that creates the sensation and appearance of a continuum. 

Well, that is what three bottles of wine are whispering to me from the recent past. 


Tuesday, August 3, 2021

... could have flattened, could have left

CS/Metropolitan Museum of Art

I could have flattened the paper out more before taking this iPhone pic of the print, and I could have left the colors alone rather than letting the phone "correct" them, but instead I didn't do either of those things. CS sent it to me, telling me that it might not last or that it will not last. I forget if it has a chance or if it's doomed. At least it will now live here forever. 

Now or forever? 

I'm having a difficult time determining what I mean by anything any more. Perhaps it is the result of being manic-depressive, though that is an emotional disorder more than a cognitive one. It does wreak occasional chaos on declarative memory and executive function. I'm not sure how that explains or excuses the confusion of the previous words I've written, though.

I don't know why I came in here to write. I am not of a single mind tonight and can't seem to harness or create anything on this last final spot.