And suddenly it was 2021

Hanging with our fellow isolating neighbor last night—he was our Thanksgiving partner too, and Christmas—drinking wine and smoking weed and after blasting some way old school punk rock like the geezers we are (Wire and the Vibrators, don’t ask) and the newer if defunct The Mallard (who are just as interesting as the articleless Mallard, actually, if not more so) he took us through bits of all kinds of weird recent science fiction shows. Watching The Mandalorian, one of those Lucasfilms Star Wars offshoots that grown ups for teens and their grown ups who couldn’t stand Star Wars (which, like KISS, I was too old for in the late 70s), in which there was this cutely ugly animated beast and damn were the vile little warlike Star Wars midgets doing a number on the poor thing. Shit, I heard myself say without even a trace of irony, the little munchkins are giving the critter a real hard time, I’d hate to have that motherfucker’s gig. I remember through the wine and weed being floored that I actually talk like that. Some kind of zany cool Brick jive. I don’t even think I realized it. For a moment there I thought I’d better make me a New Year’s resolution to straighten up the verbiage. Then I figured what the fuck for? Anyway, eventually we were watching Shanty Tramp, from 1967, which I can’t really recommend unless you’re into alabaster tits. Like floppy bouncy marble they were. The title anti-heroine had hers on display for half the inane movie. I’m sure it was quite the drive-in thrill wherever they actually ran the thing. Midway through where the plot should’ve been the hour struck twelve and we cracked open the champagne, wished each other a Happy New Year, kissed (well me and Fyl kissed) and sang the worst Auld Lang Syne you ever heard. Outside people howled and slurred their Happy New Years as a zillion fire works went off all over town. All in all, it wasn’t a bad little party for a pandemic.


Another clunk, another box blocking the doorway. This one from Sheboygan. Well, Sheboygan Falls, which isn’t quite as funny, no Conservatory of Music (good school), but does include the little exurban burg of Gibbsville, and the only thing besides barns and contented cows in Gibbsville is the world famous cheese factory. Gibbsville Cheese! I unseal the box to find pound sized blocks of cheese nirvana, four of them, in various degrees of cheddarness. Also some cheese food, which is what cheese eats, one of them infused with port wine, which is what cheese drinks, and some Gouda, which is, just in case you thought I was above that joke. They threw in a 20 oz summer sausage because Wisconsin. Ordinarily a bunch of this, like a bunch of the Usinger’s (see the previous post) would be put out at the party for the stoners. Not this year. Ah well, such are the times.


Big clunk on the wurstdeck and when I opened the door a huge box from Usinger’s blocked the way out. Surprise! The holiday gift from the Milwaukee in-laws. We dragged it in, sliced it open, pried loose the styrofoam lid, removed the dry ice and voila, a cornucopia of Wisconsin sausages, maybe a dozen variations on the wonders that Germans can do with meat bi-products. Everything was still frozen from the frigid icy blasts off Lake Michigan, but with a saw knife I was able to pry loose a big chunk of Braunschweiger and eat it like a liver popsicle. Yum.

Sprained ankle, a month later, I think

Put the crutch nearby, if needed, but using the cane now. A crutch feels much more manly and I can pretend it was an athletic injury, swaggering and hobbling, but a cane is certainly more dignified. I often forget it entirely, though, and wander about the pad and even about the deck canelessly till I teeter (drunks totter, I think, and the more advanced geezers, and Audrey). It’s been days since I last fell off the crutch like an idiot. The bruise on my forehead has turned a gentle greenish yellow and is fading. The ankle sometimes crunches deliciously, like someone nearby eating potato chips, but it’s merely a myriad ankle bones on a myriad ankle bones, as the ligaments (or whatever they are) are not quite up to par yet. But still, I do chores and carry things and push this and pull that and almost feel less a gimp. Not that I could do much anyway, as there’s a plague about, and I’m starting to feel like Vincent Price in The Masque of the Red Death, but much nicer.

Must have been something I said

Basically anything you say on Facebook this week will get you yelled at with an incredible ferocity by perfectly nice people. I realize it’s only a few days till the election and I’ve avoided saying anything political for a while now—I’d been exposed as a Trumper—and have steadily cut back on things to talk about or even mention. But this week a single word on any topic can unleash a molten thread of vituperation that it’s best to politely avoid if at all possible. Turning off notifications works, the thread is rendered invisible in your feed and you can proceed blithely on as if nothing had happened at all, though you may discover later that your sudden silence has taken on all sorts of ramifications and by thread’s end in your absence you’re a Trumper again. Just as likely, however, is that you may go back and the molten eruption has vanished, as if it had never been and you imagined the whole thing. That’s happened a couple times. An entire essay in two parts, hundreds of words to each of the parts, beautifully composed and all about the Eagles for some reason, was gone, poof, like a dream. I never even got to read the whole thing. I had gotten as far as Lyin’ Eyes and had to stop. A shame. It was a good piece. In analog times these things lasted. Now they’re just zapped into the corn field.

Anyway, let’s just pretend I never said Houses of the Holy.

Nuclear War

I remember in 1980 when the inconceivable happened and Reagan was elected we all assumed that made WW3 inevitable so what was the point? Any career planning went out the window and we did whatever we wanted. It seemed utterly pointless to think more than a couple years ahead when there were 55,000 H bombs in 1980, most of which would be exploded in the first few minutes of WW3. Once war began, nothing could stop its progression. Mutually Assured Destruction it was called. It was so hair trigger that a flock of geese misread on the radar could set it all off. None of this was secret either, we all knew this. At some point every single day we thought about this. It was always in the back of our minds. A thunderclap would wake us up and we thought it was the end of the world. That’s a special kind of terror, to wake up in pitch dark thinking an H Bomb had just exploded and this, at long last, was it.

I dreamed about nuclear war a few years ago. We were in a car fleeing the mushroom clouds in the rear view mirror. Then more appeared off to the west of us, then east of us, finally in front of us. I woke up in the dark in a cold sweat.

We’ve forgotten this now. Repressed it. Which is a good thing. I’d hate to have other generations live with that fear. I don’t wish that on anybody.

Sprained ankle

Sprained the fuck out of my ankle last week and since then I’ve had to buy three new outfits to match the shifting hues. The greenish yellow is challenging, especially getting a three piece suit that also works with yellowish green. It’s a shame that they don’t sell the argyle socks with matching jacket and two pair of pants, one pair greenish yellow, the other yellowish green. Or maybe just one pair of pants, one leg greenish yellow, the other yellowish green. It would save me money and if I just walked in one direction, nobody’d notice.

Limp in one direction I mean. I gave up walking a knee ago.

Anyway, I sit here staring at my crutches thinking of the things I could be doing but can’t do anyway. My crutches and me are old pals, going back decades, a lotta gimpery under the bridge. I have three crutches, actually, but that’s another story. Most people have no idea you can sprain a codpiece.

Say good night, Gracie.

Shame train


Managed to accidentally get about two weeks more free rental car from the insurance company than we were allowed. It’s a long, stupid story, but it really helps being an idiot sometimes and I cannot believe how much patience some people have. Ah well, no matter how much of an idiot I was, the free rental ran out and I just returned the car. Now we’re carless again. In L.A. One of those people. They call the bus the shame train.

Well, we’re just cheap. And careful. Dinged by too many catastrophes, we decided to wait till the big phat insurance check comes in the mail before getting another rental. We’ll need one then to find an old lady Lucerne. I figure we’ll trawl Palm Springs, all kinds of beautifully maintained, low mileage Lucernes out there. Death comes, Lucernes remain. Craig’s List seems bursting with them. We’ll see.

Craig’s List. There was a lady next door who used Craig’s List for other things. Her cries rent the still night air like wanton birdsong. Though actually I never heard them. My neighbors told me, whispering and giggling and tittering like children.

Which is off topic, I know.

Man vs quake

I’ve put hours and hours into cleaning up the heatwave caused eco disaster in the fish tank and it’s beginning to look gorgeous again. I was sitting on the couch watching it like it was television when the rumbling began. As it grew in intensity I just got mad, and madder, and finally yelled Don’t break my aquarium, goddammit! It subsided. The aquarium was fine. I realized I had just yelled at an earthquake.

Now they tell me

So apparently epilepsy and Benadryl don’t mix. Especially combined with lots of strong coffee, little sleep and a nasty sinus infection. Funny what you learn way past the age of being old enough to know better. Better now. A little more memory damage, more leery of writing than ever. Next time I pick an easier disability. Bone spurs, maybe.