02 September 2014

What I've Done and What I've Written About What I've Done With Mentions of Lebowksi, Bergman, Hendrix, My Dad and Other Stuff


"Creeping about looking in diaries" - Jack Kerouac in the Subterraneans. 

(This first bit was written on Labor Day evening.)

Nothing to eat now that I’ve finished a bag of chips. Could make scrambled eggs but there’s no bread. Simpson’s marathon still on TV but finishing tonight. Will miss it. Wife and oldest daughter took youngest daughter to university. So home alone. Not feelin’ it. Not without food. Not without a specific plan. Plus I’m tired. Not enough sleep again. Seem to be on an every other day sleep schedule. Coffee worn off. Feeling fat because of the chips. Fat but hungry. Glad I’m running tomorrow. Should probably go for a walk but not feeling it. Too something. Not depressed though. Nothing existential going on. Just here.

So I start to read and just manage a paragraph. Then I try to watch a movie and can’t pick one. Then I look for something else on TV to sink my teeth into and there’s nothing. Then I think about working on a project and then I stop thinking about working on a project. Then I think about doing research for my novel and scrap that. Then I think about taking a nap but can’t fall asleep. Then I think that just sitting around doing nothing is okay now and then and I shouldn’t worry about it but then I think that no I should be using my time wisely. Then I write this crap.

I don’t know. Maybe having done some reading, some writing, some household chores (cleaned the toilet! washed clothes, emptied and filled the dishwasher) and having watched a movie is enough for the day. Plus I’m too tired to do anything even so much as committing to watching another film, although I took the plastic wrapper of the last one I bought. But think maybe later. So this is what I write.

Oh yes and I check in on the baseball game in which the Giants blew a big lead fell behind late and now have tied it in the 9th though they were in trouble last I checked and its been too frustrating to just sit and watch having seen a big lead squandered especially with them being in a playoff push and all. Yeah see I checked and they lost and that ends their seven game win streak in a frustrating sort of way.

So I’m still here with the Simpsons except like now when a commercial interrupts which sucks unless its that new Carl’s Jr. one with that gorgeous Hannah Ferguson although she’s paired with Paris Hilton who I could do without.

(The rest was written today.)

I ended up watching The Big Lebowksi (1998). This was a good choice. ("The rug really tied the room together" you know.) Two thirds of the way into it wife and oldest daughter returned home. We exchanged hellos and updates. Then I finished watching the film and went to bed. I slept comfortably for nine hours with many interesting dreams although not interesting enough to recount here. Unlike some people I remember my dreams and mine tend to be quite interesting -- to me at least. I have sometimes told other people about a dream and have been asked: is that true? It's ridiculous to ask someone if they are kidding about their dream because dreams are weird enough that you don't have to make up anything. At least mine are. I do interpret some of my dreams, that is I try to, but really some just baffle me. Its easier to derive understanding from dreams when they fit a pattern. I have, for instance, a lot of dream in which I can fly. I have a lot of dreams with celebrities in them. Recently I had one in which Jimi Hendrix asked me to re-write All Along the Watchtower for him. In other words he asking me to re-write something originally written by Bob Dylan. The missus had a few days before told me that Dylan once said that the best cover of any of his songs was the Hendrix version of All Along the Watchtower. It's one of my favorite all time songs, period. I doubt I could improve on it. Silly of Hendrix to ask.

So this morning I went to the gym and by jingo it was great as usual. I'm sore and tired and want to collapse in bed now but that'll throw off my sleep cycle and I'll have a restless night tonight and screw that. Instead I watched Bergman's The Silence (1963) which I've written about here before. Like a lot of his films its about several different things depending on how you look at it. Not communicating for one thing. My odious step mother (departed from this Earth) used to complain that my late great father didn't communicate. Back when I was still drinking I got the notion to pass this objection on to the old man. I know he'd heard it before directly from the old bat's mouth but being in my cups as I was I must have thought that coming via me it might make an impression. I don't know why I would have cared come to think if it. So anyway I told my dad and he made a scoffing noise. He was good at making scoffing noises. A real expert. As I recall his scoffing noise included a sarcastic utterance of that very word: communication. It also included his waving his hand in derision.

My father was born in rural Finland in 1916. People born anywhere in Finland at anytime are generally loathe to do a lot of "communicating." I can dig it. I'm coming to see that there's way too much useless talking going on in the world. A lot of blah blah blah and yak yak yak that fills time like verbal empty calories. My step mother, as a matter of fact, was one of the great talkers of our time. I should say terrible talkers of our time because she had absolutely nothing to say and wouldn't shut up in proving it. Such a mouth you've never seen. She not only said nothing but she repeated it over and over. She found something she liked saying it and ran that observation into the ground. How my dad put up with it for the 34 years they were married I will never understand. Drove the rest of the family up the wall. Not so much my brother but I think that's because he had a hearing problem so could easily just tune the old windbag out. He probably turned his hearing aid off the minute he caught sight of her.

Dad was in the U.S. Army at the end of the war
In his later years my brother and I as well as the grandkids and other folks for that matter, would prod my dad into telling stories. He had a lot of them just from his time as a merchant marine, a time which coincided with World War II. Great timing there, dad. This included the time he was at the helm of a ship in the Arabian Sea that was torpedoed by a Japanese sub. He was the first to see the periscope and pointed it out to the first mate who poo poohed the idea that it was a periscope. He changed his mind about the time of the explosion. While this was the highlight of his stories, he had many others about sailing the seven seas and prior to that fighting in the Finno-Russian Winter War and prior to that the less violent experiences of growing up in Finland. Then there was his time in New York, meeting my mom, moving west and all the houses he built and all the athletic events he attended and raising two perfect sons (we were perfect to him, to others not so much). My dad was a stickler for the truth and this included his stories. It's not like they needed embellishing anyway. His stories were always consistent from one telling to the next but not perfectly so as is often the case with made up yarns. My point being that when my father spoke it was usually interesting. He also understood the art of listening, something that my step mother could never figure out to do. I'm not sure what her idea of "communicating" with my dad would have been but I'm sure it would have mostly consisted of her running her big fat mouth.

But my original point was about the Bergman film and communicating. It's a tricky subject because we always hold back no matter how much we open up. There are some things we have to keep -- as they would say on Seinfeld -- in the vault. No one needs to know or a few people or one person. The vault almost entirely opens up if you see a shrink or are at 12 step meetings, but even in those circumstances you've got a few things that it never seems quite appropriate to talk about at a given time. I, for example, have never told anyone about the incident with the badger, the hockey stick and my then girlfriend Mindy. Y'all just don't wanna know.

I don't think the concept of communicating is anywhere near as important as the idea of sharing. A word I like a lot better in this instance. To communicate can be to do the old yak yak blah blah but sharing ideas, feelings, observations and opinions is really giving something of yourself and receiving something of someone else. Depending on what you're sharing it can require a certain amount of trust. You start opening up and you make yourself vulnerable. I've noticed a few people at work and at previous workplaces who blab about everything in their lives -- or seemingly so anyway. Wisdom is finding the time and places to share certain things. When I used to consume barrels of alcohol in one sitting I would tell anyone anything and everyone everything. This was not just altogether unnecessary but almost obscene. Except of course for the fact that the people who I was talking to where generally so wasted that they either had no idea what I was talking about or were going to forget in five minutes. But to others who for whatever reasons were not getting blasted, a young man psychologically exposing himself like that must have seemed, well again I've got to go with obscene.

Nowadays there's a word for it: oversharing. Maybe it's two words, I don't know. It's the third person way to talk about someone going into too much detail or sharing stuff that is too personal. In addressing the person one often says TMI or too much information. In a way this is odd considering all the information people share about themselves through social media. I don't know about you but I passionately love/hate social media. It is destroying/bringing together our society. It sure as hell ain't doing one or the other.

Okay so I watched The Silence, then what. Stuff. Nothing interesting. You don't wanna know.


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