Wednesday, December 31, 2008

No Yoga

No yoga yesterday on the penultimate day of a crappy year. Actually, it was crappy for just about everybody but me. The economy of the U.S. and world went in the toilet. Mom died. My sisters took mom's death really hard. There was barely any Christmas. But it was OK for me, because I made progress. Went almost all year without smoking. Recovery from divorce began. I made a yoga commitment -- really it's an education commitment.

So no yoga yesterday, on account of it was a crappy day anyhow. But there was a bright spot: Chris got those letters necessary to our doing business on mom's affairs, so today we're off to the races. I'm washing clothes and doing yoga. Got my Gibson out of storage and I'll try a few tunes.

Woke up at two in the morning -- power was down. It came back on after a few minutes.

And it looks like I'll be able to go to Sunny Caliphornia after all.

So things is notsobad, except in Gaza.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Mom Committed to the Earth

My sisters and nieces and nephews and grand-niece and I went to Washelli in Seattle today and committed our mom/grandmother/great-grandmother to the cold, damp, earth of the Pacific Northwest. Her ashes will lie right next to dad's.

The day was windy and blustery, with intermittent sun, clouds, and raindrops. "Unsettled" as they say. Ashes to ashes. A short prayer was said.

My sisters took it very hard, Me, not so much.

Other than that it was a yoga kind of day, with 27-1/2 breaths. I'm having problems with my back again, and cannot comfortably assume corpse pose. All the others I can do, although I'm registering some shoulder problems, right side.

On my way home, driving on dear old 99, the lawyer called, and that logjam is freed up. Chris and I can start work setting up the estate, and it will go easily. And I can probably go to California after all, weather permitting.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Casas Fabricada De Queso Amarillo

Estoy perdido. El gato es en la cisterna. Mi tio Crispin corres en la sala, y hablas a las policias. En la noche, Godzillo y Godzilla vanen en casa y cocinen comidas, pero ellos no comen. Es muy tarde a comen, pero ellos miran television. Es muy caliente, y ellos cocines los huevos en la calle. Ellos cocinen huevos y bibe cerveza.

Entonces, en la escuela, la maestra dice Ahora, alumnos, aqui es el mapa de Francia, un pais fabricada de queso, donde ellos comen pan y sal y hablan verdad. Y todas las mujeres es con bebe aqui, y todos los hombres es guapo. Y todas las casas es fabricada de queso amarillo. Y el presidente de la pais se llama El Queso Grande. Todos los infantes no tienen las blusas, y los perros tienen dientes sucios. Uno ladron famoso en Francia se llama Sucio Peludo.
Uno dia la nina llama Babosita corre a la casita escuela roja, con agua en sus ojos y manteca en sus ropas interiores. Babosita no tiene lapiz, y es muy mierda porque ella no tiene lapiz en la clase de Ingles libros. Una planeta mala es en su vida, y su luna es en Modesto.

Nicht Rauchen

Yoga yesterday, but none today. Went to Silverdale, but it was kind of a bust.

Drove to Port Townsend for no reason in particular. Came home and farted around.

No smoking. Time to bust out of the doldrums and get on with it.

Feel good. Think I'll eat an orange.

Saturday, December 27, 2008


My thinking when I took up yoga was that it would help me feel physically better, and also would please my daughter, the illustrious dancer and yogini.

But since then, I've discovered that yoga is a lot more than exercise: it's a philosophy, a spiritual discipline, an aesthetic, and a way of life. The thing I like most about it is that it's very old; nobody knows how old, but it's older than the industrial age by maybe a millennium or two.

Anything significantly older than the industrial age, if some remnant of its pure form can be recovered, might help deliver us from the insanity of modern times.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Hot Idea from Germany

German architects are building a new type of house so airtight it doesn't require a furnace to stay warm inside, even during the cold Baltic winters.

They stay warm mostly by utilizing the body heat of their occupants.

See today's New York Times for more.

I Left My Home in Georgia

What a fucked up day. Everything's up in smoke again. It's the revenge of the Marlboro Man (1954-1998).

Got mad at my daughter because she got careless and let her tax situation get out of hand, and now it'll cost her lots of time and money to get it back. I had to call her back and apologize profusely. Actually, I didn't have to, I wanted to.

Didn't exercise. Didn't shave. Screw it. Go Away. Don't bother me.

I think I'll see if I can salvage something positive by doing a good job of filling out those monster insurance forms. I wonder how long the insurance company will drag their feet to avoid giving us our money? Actually, if I do a good job on the forms, they'll procrastinate a lot less longer than they'd be able to otherwise.

My new job: do what's in front of you (as Janice always says). Don't complain; stop whining. Eat whole, raw foods, and legumes with vegetables. Put an extra blanket on the bed, either in the winter or in Washington State. Sleep with a light and you got it beat, as long as you remember to turn down the heat.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Shake and Take

Christmas day.

Ryan talked about how Charlie the cat defied heredity and several million years of evolution by never landing on his feet.

On a day like this you can choose to either take a shit or shake a tit.

In Transit

Travel day today. Ugh.

Got stuck in the snow but a nice guy with a pickup truck and a tow rope got me out, and I made it to my sister's house.

Snow has slackened now, and is starting to melt.

I don't know if I can handle all the drama here. Good thing I yoga'd this morning.


Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Accomplishment in Small Things

A good day, begun with a 26-breath pranayama after no yoga yesterday.

Quit smoking again, for the fourth time since October 10, 2007. There is a pack of Marlboro Light 100's in the bowl by the entry way if I should choose to open it and have one. I think I won't choose to do so.

Wrote an ambitious blog post for "Catboxx." It didn't turn out as awesomely as I hoped it would, but it says most of what I wanted to get across, somewhat clumsily in places.

Things are smoothing out.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


Regrets, I've had a few
But then again, too few to mention...
--Paul Anka
"I Did It My Way"

Mainlining nicotine (i.e., smoking cigarettes) is wonderful and terrible. The chronic depression suddenly lifts (and yes, I'm a chronic depressive -- I understand that now). The painful and dangerous attacks of colitis return.

So I quit again today, if I can through the snow and ice get to Target in Silverdale for patches. I'm condemned to the patch for the rest of my days. It's not as good as mainlining, but it gives me enough to get by. And here's another thing: since I started mainlining, I stopped shaking.

And I do have regrets. I should never have ruined D.'s life the way I did. She knew, even before we were committed, that when she played with me she was playing with destruction. She tried to break it off several times, but we were already in too deep.

And now my life is ruined too. "I'll never smile again..."

There are compensations. There's yoga and Rachel, fruit and eggs, optimal health and insight.

D. took my mom's death harder than I did, as if Dorothy were a fourth parent.

Monday, December 22, 2008


Samizdat udder one.

Up in Smoke

Even though I bought a pack of cigarettes yesterday and have smoked about half of them, I did yoga today.

Pranayama was Ok in spite of that, although the intake was a little short and I ended up with 29 breaths as opposed to the usual 25. Asana practice went well, with lots of joint and back popping.

Also, I was able to drive to Hadlock and go to the store. What a relief!

Tomorrow I'll go to Target in Silverdale, God willing, and get back on the patch -- it's kind of like methadone for nicotine addicts.

Sunday, December 21, 2008


After 40-plus years living with colitis, diverticulitis, and the kind of intestinal disability that makes life unlivable, I'm happy to say that finally, somewhat late in life, I'm enjoying optimal intestinal health.

I'll spare you the disgusting details, in the hope that you'll take my word for it.

I'm not cured, but this debilitating cluster of illnesses is in remission as long as I follow a few simple rules which consist mainly of (1) staying out of restaurants and (2) eating the right things. The cornerstone of this diet is the fruit, the daily orange and banana, and frequently half an avacado, along with a dose of metamucil. In the morning, a couple eggs with whole wheat toast. In the evening, some kind of beans or legumes cooked with a green or yellow vegetable and a trace of meat. That might be accompanied by some cheese and whole wheat crackers. Sometimes there's a baked potato.

Organic produce is best, when available.

I still drink too much coffee, and still take a little refined sugar in the evening (any of that stuff is too much), but I've cut way back on straight carbs, especially refined white flour carbs. The result of that major change? Goodbye gas.

I need to finish Michael Pollan's "In Defense of Food." I'd already begun changing my dietary life before I started reading Pollan, but he's conveniently vindicating everything I've done and that I continue to do. The book in a nutshell says "Eat food, not too much, mostly plants."

The dietary changes have been accompanied and strengthened by a personal yoga practice which ought to be daily but isn't yet (at this point it's about half time). So I'm going to remedy that by assuming the position right now and commencing pranayama, the breathing exercise that's the prelude to the asanas or postures.

Saturday, December 20, 2008


I've got such a bad case of essential tremor that I can't write by hand any more. There might be an effective physical therapy treatment, and I plan to investigate.

It's worse when I'm scared, and I'm scared right now. We're going to get a blizzard here tonight, and I fear a power outage.

I did yoga on the 18th, but none yesterday and probably none today. I've been housebound, beset by depression and lethargy. There's tons of stuff to do and I'm not doing any of it. Having the internet in the house is proving to be as much of a curse as a blessing, and I'm going to see if I can break away from it right now and do something to help myself.

Life is very rough at this moment, at precisely a time when I was expecting it to be much improved.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Since Late October

Left SoCal October 23 with the house unsold. Arrived here October 26 after a musical interlude in Woodburn and began taking care of mom. House finally closed the next week, and I got the money with no problem.

First three weeks was driving mom to the doctor, test, and procedures, doing the shopping, cooking, escaping the house for internetting 'cause I had no home connection. Nov. 13 I called the doctor's attention to lymph nodes in the lungs he had previously mentioned, went for a CT scan same day, got the lung cancer diagnosis that night.

Next day was full diagnosis (small cell cancer metastasized to liver), decision not to treat the disease, painkillers prescription. Next ten days, 11/14--11/23, saw mom declining rapidly. She began oxycontin, arrived at death's door on Nov. 24.

Next two weeks she was in bed dying, and finally passed on Dec. 7, twelve days ago.

Since then I've been kind of baffled by the enormity of the job in front of me, and also stuck contemplating my own fundamental unhappiness, dissatisfaction, and restlessness.

I'm lonely.