Times are rough, but Mary Alice has it worse

Remarkably good weather just now. Highs in the 70s, humidity at 40. Sunny with 5-10 winds. Must run, maybe ride too. Governors Island tomorrow morning, ferry terminal and marshaling. After this a long blank period till early August. Heavy schedule Aug-Oct.

It’s on my mind that perhaps I could be a cyclist for nruns. I think they are looking for some. I hold back because I haven’t been cycling and I don’t have a proper road bike. Cannot ride Moki’s because the crossbar is too high, and my lovely old Cannondale mountain bike may not really be the thing. If I got another bike, I would not have room to keep it here unless I got rid of Moki’s, which is a pointless accessory at this point. Has been for years. It was over five years ago he brought it back from the AC and stood it in the foyer. We were going to inflate the tires. He never did, I never did (because I didn’t understand presta). Then Jeffrey came over and we did a lot of tina for a few days. This is when I was obsessed with Orwell and the Marshall Plan.

My last on Orwell, a few days ago, was just a listicle about the Angry Young Men. I have two or three more substantial essays in me, maybe already partly written. And there’s the book.

Money. I have about zeroed out the Citi accounts, once the rent goes through, and now think about the $700 in the duck and the £1200 in London. A little in USAA. Did I pay Amazon card? I don’t remember.

The J-word. After Brian died, Moki urged me to get a job. Kept reminding me. I looked and had some pretty sorry prospects. Briefly hired by Google but that sank like a stone within a few days after I made a jokey email. A few months after that there was the mysterious Gatestone affair. For a few hundred here and there I felt strangely prosperous. At this point, nruns and nuggets from essays for CC and elsewhere are not going to make it for me. Over the next mountain range I have the VCF award awaiting, mainly, but I know enough not to expect that or anything else.

Sling. Must cancel it today, tonight. I am watching the postmortems on Fox News about the Trump-Biden debate last night. They say Biden was a disaster, but Biden was just being Biden. This sort of thing on Fox News is the only reason to hold onto Sling. What else do I get with Sling? Nothing, really. This was a $20 trial, but it goes to $45, I think, if I don’t cancel. That wouldn’t kill me, but add it to the Verizon ($80-$90) and we’re halfway to the disastrous level we were at with Moki.

Con Ed is threatening to turn the lights off if we don’t send them $1000. Or $300. I’ve tried to call them. They have no humans in their phone queues or chat lines. I actually got an email with a human name at the end yesterday. Probably a bot.

Did not go out at all yesterday. Was going to run in the afternoon, then evening, then not at all. Got caught up in fiddling with the old Pismo. If I start on the Clare drive (internal) there’s a working copy of Word, and I think Photoshop. Currently it’s running off the Firewire Pismo drive, which has PowerMail and lots and lots of iTunes. I was just listening to one of a number of Ricky Gervais Shows. Why would I have those? I think Steve Cottrell gave those to me, and similar stuff, way back around 2007.

I added the wide-screen ViewSonic monitor, partly just to get it out of the bin so I can put the stolid 3:4 monitor in there instead. The ViewSonic has ports for both VGA and the other thing, but the Pismo only has a VGA port. In the back of my mind I’m getting an inexpensive Mac Mini, and that will be its monitor. At that point I might be able to retire the poor old Pismo, finally, which is useful mainly because it still can run OS 9 thus is a nexus between current OSX and my old 68k/PPC machines.  Moki had this weird big-letter USB keyboard in his desk bottom drawer, and that works. As does a shiny, unused Apple mouse, which probably came with the iMac. So I could actually sit there in front of the Metro Shelving and write on Word. I have the internet connection figured out, too. I think. It wasn’t connecting for a while because the ethernet cable wasn’t being recognized. Anyway, it’s now leading from the Pismo to the Apple Express router. That router is of course attached to the Verizon extender.

I moved the wire shelving that Moki had next to his bathroom (and which he fell down with numerous times), and I moved beside his night table a couple of months ago, to the liv rm, in that corner niche right of the sofa and to the left of the armoire. When I did this I was thinking of putting the Verizon extender router on one of the shelves (there’s a long loop of coax there) but practically speaking that extender belongs at the far end of the room.

Track lighting. Very far down on my list of priorities. Cleaning up the Con Ed bill should be our first thought when talking about lighting. How and when exactly did Moki assemble this motley collection? Surely there should be at least another couple of light fixtures up there. He liked a dim space. I mean, it seems to have been designed with sex parties in mind. Back in the Seventies when he had his swinger groups. And later on, he had hooks put into the bedroom ceiling so he could hang a sling from them. The hooks are still there.

Another thing I did last night: I put the two matted-but-unframed Cruikshank engravings I’ve been sitting on for 25 years, into frames and hung them in the hallway. Today I added the Cruikshank “Scorpio: The Slanderer” below them. But I made a mess hammering in hooks and nails and ended up having to spackle and  paint. The picture hook remaining up top once held Judge Burns’s portrait. I should put up my Yale diploma or maybe Moki’s Holy Cross one. Meantime I found the Willie Rushton photo and framed it in the frame I was using for Moki and me, November 2012. That now hangs beside Claude Chabrol, who also has a new frame, as I used his glass 5 or 6 years ago to replace the shattered glass that came with the framed photo of Brian with Donald Trump and Melania.

 

North American Precis Syndicate. That’s what Sharlene worked for for years before she went with O’Dwyer. I never researched it at all. Yesterday I searched it. Brave browser has a terrible, annoying AI thing that gets in the way. It seems they produce bumf for filler, formerly for newspapers, now more for content farms. Written by yoomins, but almost indistinguishable from bad AI.

Sym@sk0. A hand-written, actually neatly printed, card from P3t3r Sym@sk0 yesterday, “signed” by him and his wife. After condolences about Moki’s death, we move on to talking about Maria’s sister. Maria is apparently Peter’s wife, someone I’d never heard of. In fact, I couldn’t tell you what Peter’s connection to Moki and me was, other than someone we met at the funeral reception in Winchester after Danny’s burial at Mount Auburn. Well it turns out that it’s a Kirby connection. Maria is the youngest, or one of the youngest, of the Kirbys. Her older brother Paul married Liz Burns, Danny’s elder daughter. Max Kirby, the arrogant blond snot I met back in 2015, is Liz’s son, the eldest of four. Liz died of cancer back in 2016, I think after obstinately insisting on going ahead with another pregnancy. (I get that from her younger sister Mimi.) There was also a Kirby girl whom I took to be the youngest in that generation, and she worked at the Jockey Club. So this is the full extent of what I knew about the Kirbys till a few days ago. Except I didn’t know about Maria. Anyway, Maria and Peter are now asking me if I have any help or suggestions about what to do with Maria’s sister Mary Alice. Mary Alice C00k3 has been though a disastrous divorce and is destitute. Has been living in one of their houses but the house is being sold. So can I find her a place to live? She wants just a bedroom, an attic maid’s room, whatever, for which she will do cooking and cleaning. While she finishes the book she’s writing.

Whoa, whoa. This is too much at once. The only possible option I can think of is A.T. She’s got those awful ignorant caretakers who tell me I’ve called the wrong number. But I have to talk to her and her mind is pretty far gone, according to Jamie. And I’d have to talk to Mary Alice too. An utter stranger. And even if it seemed right, I’d have to sell the idea to Alicia and Jamie. Another backup solution is with her niece Mimi, but that’s in a remote corner of Bucks County, so not quite the Falmouth/Southampton kind of venue she’s looking for.

Until this, the Kirby branch of the family tree pretty much ended with Paul. Paul and the late Liz, and their three or four sons. Paul’s antecedents and siblings were a mystery, apart from that young sister from the Jockey Club. So I persevered and finally got something. Not by Kirby-hunting which was always fruitless, but by finding Liz’s wedding announcement in the New York Times, back when she was a manager at Manny Hanny back in 1985.

Another joker in the deck here: Christopher Paul Kirby. Nowhere else do I see him called this. So Paul was son of Dr Francis A. Kirby and the former Mary Alice Mullins. (There’s your Mary Alice; we’re on the trail.) Then Francis’s and Mary Alice’s obituaries gave us some offspring names. One was Mary Alice Cooke. Very little substantive on her, other than addresses in Connecticut, Washington State, and Massachusetts. So finally I enter that name in a search engine, and I find a nightmare of litigation and bankruptcies going back at least till the early 90s. She had about four kids. And she has brothers and sisters. Peter (and Maria) say she can’t get help from her marriage family (divorced, and I guess alienated from her kids). Also she hooked up with a guy in Washington state for a while, and that’s where some of the kids are. I suspect other relatives live far away. I also suspect Mary Alice needs company and wants to live in some kind of busy town or habitable suburb. I imagine most of the Kirbys living in Florida, where everyone ends up.

So the obvious source of succor has to be what she’s had so far, which is her birth family. I suspect the reason she’s been with Maria and Peter. As a backup solution, I’m going to suggest to them that they buy her a house, a modest fixer-upper, which she can redo and then set about selling for a small profit. This will take a couple of years at least.

I go to Ancestry and it prompts me with this item from someone I’ve never heard of, but is distantly related to a distant relation of mine:

Born in 1898, and seemingly still alive when whoever it was posted this on Ancestry. Except he really died in 1947 in his vacation house in Madison NC. A dentist. Brother in law to Kitty Staples who was once married to the Father of Prostatology, Oswald Swinney Lowsley.

Raced in once.

eBay tells me it’s sent $105 to my bank account. That means they took quite a haircut on the original $135 for the two pairs of tartan Mayflys. Actually $125 since I paid $9+ for postage.

New in box, but there’s no bag here. I put the bag from the others in here and gave the other shoes a blue Mayfly bag.

Over $20 in fees. Because two transactions.

I am hardening to the idea of scratching Asbury Park. I have just enough time to get into 5k shape. Am in far better condition than I was three months ago, but I doubt very much I could run even a mile without stopping. Extra weight is a problem, but also the basic cardiovascular thing. But the big thing is money. It’s like $300 getting a hotel room for one night. I could conceivably reserve or even pay with the Moki Apple Card. That would truly be criminal if I ran up charges, even if I eventually paid. I ought to try one payment with that, just as a test. Say we buy some crypto. Then we hold it, watch what happens (we could just buy fiat with some of it), maybe cash out, pay back. The idea is attractive for its fiendishness alone. May also be a good incentive for pursuing the J-word.

I wonder why Joe Biden is holding a rally on Fox News, then I realize this is live. He’s building back better after a disastrous performance at the sole debate last night. How does he get an audience? How do they paper the house like that? Two dollars and a box lunch?

Downloading Cold Fusion from Adobe. Did I ever work with this at all? I must have. There were all sorts of deploying tools left over at F&W and T+L. One called Conan and one called Red Sonja, which I always heard as Retsona, like it’s a Greek shellac wine.

Drank a Resin the other night, decided I can’t drink much beer anymore. Counterproductive. Can’t lose weight drinking superbeers. Especially when you down it with a Marie Callender’s turkey pot pie. So bought a pint of Pinnacle last night with the $9 cash i had on me. That didn’t last long. I got very hungry late at night and cooked up spaghetti with the last of some jar sauce that’s been in the fridge since around Christmas. I smelled it. It was okay, and it wasn’t past its use-by date. I didn’t remember the spaghetti at all till I went to the kitchen and saw, along with five days’ worth of unwashed dishes, the red colander with a few dried strands inside. (I just found out I do not know how to spell collander. Collender? Collander? It’s colander.)

Was thinking of writing a piece for the Lothrop Stoddard birthday, but I’ll pass on that. It would be so forced. I did one good piece on him, and that was on a rather eccentric entry in the Stoddard corpus. I have other things on the back burner. The Charles Stuart case, oopsie! JPK, the wronged man. Why Toynbee tanked.

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Dream of abandonment, late morning

Happy to discover that it is only Sunday, not Monday. I thought time had gotten away from me and there was no way I could crank out an Orwell article for the 25th. I was up at 4 and 5 in the morning, fooling around with earphones and the battery pack for the iPhone. I think I fucked up that battery pack. The Lightning connector doesn’t seem to work. I may need to buy another. Also fucked up the old earphones that came with the Census iPhone 8, and which I’ve been using for nearly three years.

Slept fitfully with half a Trazodone. At ten or eleven a.m. I was sleeping and listening to the Michael Korda book (Alone, a very good, detailed description of the Battle of France, up to and just past Dunquerque), when I had a vivid and desperate dream. I belonged to a little publishing commune where I gradually had my toys taken away from me. Recording equipment, my hair-dryer brush, even the newspapers, which were cut off when most of the group went to New Orleans for a conference. I had an enemy in the bunch, a Matt Potter type. (SDR on my mind because I’d been discussing SDR days with Lawrence Osborne, openly on Facebook, giving info on Adam, Mary L., Abe, and others.) The group comes back, and the head is something like Greg J. Some mystery-meat slattern with bare breasts and a wrinkly tan is lying on a divan or floor cushions, and pooh-poohing my anxiety. Oh you don’t really need those things, you can manage on your own, right?

I don’t know what any of that meant, but I got up at a quarter to noon and imagined the phone was ringing, or the intercom, or the door was buzzing. I thought it was Monday. Out in the living room the past week came back to me. To the Mac repair guy and the Jap Bookoff store on Monday; Prospect Park for that long Tuesday with nruns, back to Mac guy on Wednesday and negotiating with Thierry for the two tartan Mayfly pairs, and finally discovering the loud squeal coming not from the street but from the radiator; to P.O. and not much else on Thursday; lying abed most of Friday and Saturday, I believe, wasting time on Twixer and FB.

Made spaghetti bolognese against last night, the good recipe from the Jap lady in Australia. I used shallots rather than regular onions, a beef/pork/veal pack for the meat, and lots of red wine. Really delicious. I stuffed myself last night and today.

Orwell and the Angries, and Colin Wilson this week.


 

P.S. 4pm. The battery-pack charger seems to be working now, have tested it on both iPhones. Also the old Census earphones are working. I’m going to look into other battery packs anyway. Also, Verizon is letting you trade in an iPhone for an iPhone 15.

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Not a bad day. Sunny, humid and hot.

Since Tuesday morning—that is, yesterday morning, when I was looking forward to the nruns 5k in Prospect Park—there had been a high-pitched squeal out the living room window. So high, like tea-kettle high, Moki wouldn’t have been able to catch it. Do you suppose it’s all over the building and the old folks just don’t hear it? I figured it was due to the workmen doing their endless makework out in Sixth Avenue. It never ends. They come here at 1am sometimes, weekends. I served them notice, so to speak, and called in the cops, in the wee hours about 8 years ago. They left. No one stands up to them.

And now here on a second morning the whine continues. I figure I’ll give it another day, then complain to building staff, who will have a lot on their plate where I am concerned.

In the evening, after a busy day otherwise, I traced the sound to the radiator. With the help of working gloves and a hex wrench (we have so many) I removed the front panel of the lv rm radiator. I found the sound was coming from a little yellow plastic box with a hole on the top like that of a pencil sharpener. A 12v battery inside. I’d seen one of these things before. One of the exterminators took one of them out of the radiator in the bd rm and left it on the windowsill. A useless doodad, I decided. Tossed it out. This one I left on the liv rm windowsill because it’s clearly some sort of alarm, warning about condensation, or battery running down, or Lord knows what.

Anyway, no more dog-whistle whine.

Early morning, there is a Frenchman in Portland, Oregon who wants to buy my Mayflys. The Scots Tartan ones. Not just the new-in-box ones without bag, but the other, slightly used ones. (What’s his game? A collector? A museum curator at Nike?) Through the day we negotiated on my basic 89.99 for the NIB ones, plus about $45 for the others. And I added the used ones to eBay so we’d be doing it within the rules. Didn’t take long. He’d bought them by evening, and they are now packaged up, waiting by the door for me to hike them down to Rockefeller Center PO. One single parcel, two packages, $9.10 postage for me. A good deal for him. He’s paying $135, free shipping. I would have loved to be on his end in the olden days.

These are the first shoes I’ve sold since early April.

This $135, minus postage, plus the $140 or so I will have made yesterday in Prospect Park for nruns will go quite a way to making up for the $270 I spent getting my Mac Air 13″ trashed and data-recovered by the odd Mediterranean or Near Easterner at 501 Fifth Avenue. He’s very friendly, very personable. Would go back in a heartbeat. Am backing up the data-recovery hard disk right now, on Moki’s less-than-reliable G Drive.

Thought of going to Pershing Square for refreshment afterwards, but decided against it. Up Madison Avenue in the scorching sun. Stopped at the old Natureworks for two tostadas. I’ve decided the tostadas are better than the soft tacos I always bought before.

Some revelations as I scrolled through the drive contents at home. A major transfer to the Mac Air, June 6th perhaps, was copying the Playhouse 90 Mike Todd party DVD. That may have been what did my poor laptop in, eventually, though it died slightly later. I was using Moki’s LaCie DVD drive. I burnt out, or something burnt out, the CPU of the Mac Air. So Apple Repair Club man says he can fix it with a new logic board AND recover my data for $279 + $189. I say no thanks (this is in txt) but do recover my data. This I say on Monday night (two nights ago).

The major impetus for getting the drive data back, I am sorry to say, is that I couldn’t find the Julie Haugh photo she sent me 25 years ago. Well it wasn’t on any of my laptop drives at all, as it turns out. It’s in the blarg.net scaffolding. JFH-BOY she called it. JFH circa 1994. And she scarcely looks like a boy.

We have to ask: why did she send it to me? Or us?

I doubted the Ratty connection until yesterday morning, because the current edition is skin-ravaged and of course much older. But there’s enough there now for positive identification. Austin TX, Milwaukee WI. She had a girlfriend, or rather a civil-union spouse, from a ceremony in Vermont. Alas, the spouse died a few years ago. And then JF took a job with J****on Controls in Milwaukee. I picked up CV data via Ancestry and LinkedIn. An Austin ID photo from maybe 15 years ago, with good skin:

So JF is definitely Ratty. I was very fond of her in days of yore. I bought her a swimsuit and she traded me some surplus gear. That too was in Wisconsin, March 1999. She has seemed very unhinged on Twixer, going through various identities (a short-lived one called Carol Bratslover got smoked out quickly because she was acting abusive to the same people she’d fought with before). Insulting poor Fiona, going after Gami, reiterating a hundred times that she has a female ‘Q angle’ and is some kind of intersex (sounds plausible). Then claiming to be Jewish, ferociously anti-Christian (endorses a crazy theory that the Church was a vast conspiracy by the tyrants of Ancient Rome), and telling impossible stories about how her mother married at 16.

I have to look past that, as she’s taken far too much abuse herself online and in real life, and her mind has been easily poisoned by all sorts of people, not the least of them The Egregious Nicki a quarter-century ago.

I thought Julie was blue-eyed. Apparently not. Anyway it was hard to square this present edition with the Geena Davis clone we knew and loved in the late 70s.

So the hunt for Julie was just a blessed maguffin forcing me to recover data. And there was plenty of precious stuff. Raw video files, for Ashley and for me. The various rewrites of Teentime from years ago. The Capt. P. C. Martin files. Etc. Etc.

I was very beat today, after yesterday’s festivities.My exercise consisted of going to 501 Fifth and back. I will get my paltry check in over two weeks. Then another $100-200 two weeks after that. August through October seem to be shaping up into intense months.

Before and after the repairman, I struggled to move Moki’s glass shelving. It also needed to be balanced. Hex wrench, screwdriver, level. Tall, wide etagere into the bedroom corner. That’s a success. I had to vacuum there, both vacuums. Lots of rat turds.

People will laugh, but it’s a day’s work and a great improvement.

Where does the smaller, narrower one go? I do not know. Has to be lv rm.

Drank a 12 oz Resin, then went to drug store for aspirin and a 20 oz Resin. After 10pm I went out to the fabulous liquor store at the corner of 58th St., which I’d never been to before. Tourist prices. $7.60 for a half-pint of Svedka. Guy there let me have it for seven dollars.

Watched a doco on Tubi about the making of GoodFellas. I’ve had that book by the colleague of Matt Zoller Seitz, the guy with the Irish name, and never really read it thoroughly. Glenn Kenny. Made Men. I shall take another look at it.

 

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Decent post-running euphoria. Two fried Mac Airs.

I still cannot easily JOG more than about 200m without stopping, walking, slowing down drastically. But the overall fitness improves gradually. Today was hot and moderately humid yet I enjoyed it. Jog/walk/run to the reservoir up the Bridle Path and back. With other walkings (to Midtown and post-run to Whole Foods) I logged about 8 miles today. Early afternoon I took the soft rolling Sureté knapsack suitcase to the Jap book/CD shop on W 45th. I got just over $25 for about 45 CDs, and a handful of rejects. That’s a record. While waiting for that I went to the guy at 501 Fifth, 6th floor, who repairs Macs. I fried both my old MacAirs last week, trying to use an outboard LaCie CD player I found in Moki’s lower desk drawer. After frying the first one, you’d think I’d be wary. But no, because I sensed both were failing. Then I killed an hour at the B&N on Fifth at 46th. Took a while to get in because the block was cordoned off there. Somebody was throwing debris off the top of the building, the building next to the Fred French building, or else someone was threatening to jump. Tape and cop cars all around. Finally I crossed the street to the B&N side and it was air-conditioned, pleasant, nostalgic. Most B&Ns have disappeared, but this is the one I used to visit 2 or 3 times a week during the AmexPub days. They still have books stacked on tables, still have gift books and CDs and DVDs upstairs. Then back to the Jap shop where I got my $25 after a long wait while they got their cash registers organized. Walked back home, killed an hour, ran in the Park. Whole Foods: corn, butter, radishes, arugula, a big frozen bag of shrimp grits which I couldn’t resist, so I bought it instead of a couple of other things. Remembers in the queue I wanted some Resin beer, and having forgot to get the 20oz ones from the fridge, I got a six-pack of 12oz’s from the wall next to the express queue. Rather heavy bag to carry back, you may imagine. The little foreigner at the Mac repair place tells me in text he can repair my 13″ Air and recover the data for $279 + $189 for the logic board replacement. The CPU is dead apparently. I say no, I can buy another of the same model for a lot less than that. He’ll recover the data for $270 cash, flat. Okay, fine. I gave him a drive of Moki’s to put the data on. Will have to pick it up Wednesday since tomorrow, Tuesday the 18th, I have to work 2pm-10pm for nruns. Nice hot day in Prospect Park. I am looking forward to it.

I bid on another A1369 Mac Air for about $50 on eBay.

I bought Erythromycin at Petsmart (near Flatiron) last Wednesday, also a Y cable (3.5mm to RCA plugs) at Best Buy, then got home and found I’d shat in my running shorts. I often leak but this was major. Pieces of feces left in the sink when rinsing it out a day later. More Erythromycin ordered and drop-dashed a couple of days ago. I’m putting it into capsules and swallowing it every day almost, to keep the infected tooth (#3) down. I went to Coliseum on the 5th, and while the dentist girl was pleasant, they couldn’t do a fucking thing for me. This was occasioned because I’d lost a big black inlay filling on the previous day. She wrote me a script for Amoxicillin. That’s weak. Hence Erythromycin. I’m looking for a serious dentist. There’s an appointment at NYU in mid-July. Also looking at Peter Farrington at CPS. And something called Tend. Tend says I’m out-of-network though my AARP Dental is supposedly Delta Dental PPO.

Hooked up the new Lepai mini amp last Tuesday, but it took a while to find a proper 12V 3- or 5-amp AC/DC converter. Not at Home Depot or Lexington Hardware. I get home and there is one, so far overlooked, on the Malayan rubberwood table (almost entirely covered with spaghetti cables). And then there are others, running the big outboard G drives for Moki and Tom Ashley. I hook up those orphan Sony speakers that were on Moki’s Metro Shelving, and attach to the Pismo. Voila. Music. The Pismo cuts out a lot, something with the sound board. Not working just now. But the system runs off the 3rd Gen iPod just as well. The reason I went to Best Buy the following day is that I thought I could get a better 3.5mm cable for a connection, but the one I had is fine, as is the one with the RCA plugs.

Impetus for setting up this mini amp system was that I’d seen a YouTube video about how to hook one up, and I’d just managed to move the Metro Shelving to where it belongs. For years Moki had it squeezed beside the leather sofa, with the sofa and Parsons table making most of two 24″ red bookcases inaccessible, particularly when we had the bicycles parked over there.

The melamine desk top and Natalie Wood are between the Metro Shelving and the wall, as pictured.

Terrible headache most of yesterday (Sunday). Didn’t run, didn’t go to Mass. I’d drunk a pint of vodka the night before. A bottle of Yellowtail cabernet the night before. Now, just the Resin beer. Two cans. Maybe a 3rd. I’ve been known to have two 20oz cans, perhaps I’ll move on to a 3rd 12oz. I think I hear a headache erupting behind the left ear.

K. Brown has dropped out of TwiXer and is posting more on her blog. Wonderful takeout on L. Conway, dead last week, whose sexual obsession and predation seem to resemble Anne Lawrence’s. When we had the Friends list back in 1998, and joined briefly, she early on treated us to a series of photographs in which she does a strip-tease out of a demure blue-patterned square-neck dress and shows off her quim.

Same dress as in the 1998 strip-tease, but this is 2000 after her Ousterhout makeover.

Those are archived with someone, no doubt, but I certainly didn’t save them, and the only one of the series I’ve seen around is the first, with her fully clothed. Or maybe it’s a later photo, same dress.

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Beautiful weather, hair done, bills almost paid up, steak and drinks with Dottie

The other day my Forerunner 410 slipped off my wrist and I couldn’t find it. It turned up near the coat-rack (I’d been taking my keys off the chain, as I was going out for a run in a while; though I didn’t go for long). In the meantime I identified the blob on the bedroom radiator as my missing Craft running gloves, which were wet and freezing back on Sunday the 12th, the rainy day on Gov Is. Thought they’d tumbled out and got lost in the lavatory at the culture center.

Mailed some new VCF papers at Radio City Station just before ten, then to Gracey at Timothy John’s for color and cut. I needed both. As it was my third visit, I got a “free” deep-conditioning treatment. Put $224 on the WF card and $27 cash in the little envelope. Then to Whole Foods, where I thought I might buy some flour to make bread. Instead I bought bacon and English muffins and avocados and sardines and salad greens and a Resin beer. Stole a cheap honey because the bar code did not scan on first pass. Washed some dishes at home, made myself two bacon-avocado sandwiches (filled me up for the day), drank most of the beer, took a nap mid-afternoon. Watching a Marg of Arg series with Claire Foy. It’s supposed to be Season Two of A Very English Scandal, and I stumbled into it because I found myself watching the final part of the Hugh Grant/Jeremy Thorpe thing from 2018. This is not nearly as good as that Season One story line. According to the credits, this is actually a standalone called A Very British Scandal.

Check to Con Ed and autopay to Verizon went through this week, and those with Gracey took up most of my funds in the Wells Fargo checking account. Rather magically, this had got to about $800 a week ago thanks to payments via Gusto last Friday and two weeks earlier. Money from home. But the first of the month is tomorrow and I won’t see another Gusto deposit until the beginning of July, and that will not be large. Very little nruns work coming up. Must write write write every day.

The other day I decided to try Sling TV. Back in 2012 or 2013 something called Slingbox was inquiring of me about a job. I didn’t get it, and it sounded flaky anyway. But it’s turned into Sling, one of a number of “streaming tv” products that act as a substitute for cable television. Not much different from Amazon Prime, except that Sling and Roku and the others offer you a variety of actual channels, not just an assortment of movies and TV series. So I have a trial deal for a month for $20. Twice that if I go on and subscribe. (Still a lot cheaper than what we were paying Verizon for unnecessary bandwidth and full-range cable.)

What attracted me was getting Fox News, and maybe Newsmax and OAN for a little more per month. Mr. Trump had the jury go against him on 34 (count ’em) felony charges yesterday, and while these will undoubtedly be thrown out in the coming weeks, the election season is shaping up into some interesting coverage. The sheer viciousness of these New York nigger judges and prosecutors amazes and appalls the world.

A fly in the ointment with Sling is that it does not work on our Samsung Smart TV. That device dates from 2011 or 2012, does not have the Sling “app.” This is a common complaint. There are workarounds. One is attaching a Roku box or Amazon Fire Stick. I bought a cheap “refurbished” version of the latter. Due to arrive in a couple of days. After clicking, I realized the thing may not work with my hardwire ethernet connection. Fire Stick et al. assume a wifi connection, though there are ethernet dongles as well.

Or would wifi work for us now, I wondered? Late 2020 our cable kept cutting out because it was riding on wifi. I thought to buy and attach a long RJ45 cable, and all has gone swimmingly since then, apart from the fact that I recently deep-sixed all the TV usage apart from what I could still get through Amazon Prime.

But, again, what about now? I recently downsized from 1gb mbps to 300 on Verizon, rather than severing it entirely and switching to Spectrum and paying nearly as much for all services, and meanwhile the 300 seems fine for everything. It even seems fine when I detach the ethernet and try the wifi again. A new router was put in, with extender box, on February 6, and this arrangement now proves more powerful on wifi than what we had a few years ago. Yesterday I disconnected the ethernet and connected the TV with the main Verizon router in the foyer closet, which is the closest signal we have. (There is also a ten-year-old Apple router running as a slave nearby that Verizon extender by the liv rm windows.) And it works fine. Strong signal. So the Fire Stick should get me Sling on our Samsung TV.

That 20′ ethernet cable from the TV will be useful when I am lying abed and writing and drawing on my old 13″ Mac Air, which has had a weak and wonky Airport connection ever since I zapped the machine with soup on 2014, and can no longer works with a USB wifi dongle because I foolishly deleted its extension a week or so ago, and the other ones I installed don’t work. I bought two more dongles on eBay last week. They work fine on the little, anemic 11″ Mac Air, which doesn’t really need one.

I made another batch of the lemon-orange-ginger-carrot-mint smoothie I did a couple of weeks ago, this time adding a bit of honey and ACV and rather more water than last time so it’s not all sludgy. Went out to Duane-Reade for some TP and paper towels and chocolate milk, and then to Shirley’s for a pint of vodka. Svedka this time. Have not had vodka in a week. Or more.

Last Saturday Dottie and I had an early Memorial Day celebration on her rooftop and in her apt. She got two kinds of steak and grilled them on an hibachi-sized Weber-type bbq grill. They were good, as were her lima bean and mushroom stroganoff side dishes. My contribution was $50 worth of Cointreau-type liqueur and quality tequila, with some limes from the big Wegman’s there (which Dottie absolutely swears by). She had ice and Himalayan salt and a blender, and I made margaritas.

 

Going down the escalator at Wegman’s, having just spent a half-hour in a nearby Dick Blick’s, looking for ink cartridges (they didn’t have ’em), I reflected on how my neighborhood used to have everything, now it has nothing…unless you go way the hell over to 9th and 10th Avenues, or east of Lexington, where again houseware and hardware shops abound. We lost a Best Buy and Bed Bath and Beyond around 62nd St and Broadway in the past year. But my old neighborhood, down along Third and Fourth and Second Avenues, Cooper Square, Stuyvesant Place…truly a delight.


 

Billy Flesch liked my Substack memoir of Cuffe. Looking forward to sequel. (FB comment.) I made a false start a few days ago, telling about how when I got back to NYC everyone was dead. That by itself is okay, but I have to get into Cuffe and Fehhrrgus Slloaan right away. And Gino. It was at Gino Restaurant (itself a good story of a couple hundred words) that Fergus, who always ordered the tricolore pasta salad and osso bucco, would tell stories about Cuffe and Gail Donovan. He didn’t think much of Sharlene Spingler, and he pranked us both. This should have led to endless enmity, but we got over it. That prank is the meat of the story.

Sharlene with her nutty Clark Rockefeller stories on the more obscure precincts of cable news, some 12, 13 years back. Sharlene with her immense mastiff mutt, bigger than her, taking up most of the oxygen in her tiny Tudor City apt. When she was prematurely old and dotty she’d show up at the Tap Room of the NYAC in a lopsided top hat that was out of 1950s Dr. Seuss. Looking through her FB account I see she collected funny hats like this, wore them to her Kentucky Derby parties. She was really sort of fashionable in her way. Back in 1998 worked for a hole-in-the-wall place called North American Precis Syndicate, which was just that. The kind of auxiliary-journalism outfit that thrived back in the 20s, when Haddon and Luce were founding Time. Thousands of papers, they had space to fill, here are your comics, your columns, your crazy out-of-town stories. NAPS must have gone under around 2004, because then she was at some place called O’Dwyer’s, a public relations firm of sorts.

After we became rather friendly we discovered through exchanges on Facebook that we’d both grown up or at least spent part of our minority in the Village, near Julius’ back when that was still at least a part-time family hangout.

It was after a bibulous lunch at Gino that Gail Donovan fell down on the sidewalk, I believe, and Cuffe said to leave her there. “Well she’s a real gobble and go,” he’d say of a doxy who ate a meal but didn’t do much else. After collecting a few of these stories, with Cuffe safely dead, I shot a proposal to Chris Buckley for FYI but he was mystified. “We provide service.”


 

COMIC IDEA for that old Hatlo parody notion I had 30-odd years ago, “There’s One Born Every Minute!” (Or maybe Minnit!)

Panel 1: Lefty lady telling well-armed Fashy lady, “How will you defend yourself with Armalites and AK-47s when the government has big tanks and jet fighters?” Tanks and jet planes in bg.

Panel 2: People with bags on their heads, gags, bound wrists, one holding newspaper with headline (TODAY’S NEWS), Fashy lady on oversize walkie-talkie like phone: “We’ve taken your whole family hostage. Maybe you’d like to test out your tanks and fighter planes?” Corner image of Lefty lady in cartoon shock.

 

 

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Eighty degrees out there and I have not yet run.

Eating cheese and crackers instead. Drinking coffee all day. I’ll go out in an hour or two. I don’t think the cheese and crackers will cause a problem unless I shit in my drawers. Prone to a lot of leakage these days. I’m going to have to go to the disposable diapers I bought for Moki a couple weeks before he died. Never used them.

This morning was back at rearranging the books. I decided to put the Brian/DJT picture and his big green books on the upper right shelf on the south side of the living room. I had all the banking and financial books there. Moved them to the north side. Miscellaneous books on bottom shelves from now on.

Back in 2012 Grimm arranged one narrow red shelf of mine as a display of Telegraph obituary books, adored by ceramic sheep and a Dresden tableau of 18th century billiard players. That is gone now, full of finance and business books.

A discovery I made while clearing out some shelves: the C. Brown book, paperback memoir, A Life in T—. Not a good book at all, but it was not available on Kindle and I was curious how she presented her apologia. I don’t think she got many buyers. I bought it last year (June 19, Amazon says) and wrote a vague review. Mine was the only one. A month or so ago I took it down. Did not want my name associated with a thing like that. And it’s a bad book. Amazing how ham-handed most people are when giving their life stories. They begin by relating the versions they habitually tell others, and fill up the gaps with rationalizations.

A question came up with comments on my Tom Wolfe piece, relating to Jerzy Kosinski. I excitedly wrote a long shaggy-dog answer about my own slight run-ins with him. This morning I thought better of it and struck out half of what I wrote.

I have not picked up the mail in 3 or 4 days. I’m always dreading something. I see the London Review of Books is in the pigeonhold. That’s not what I dread. I dread something legal about that judgment. Seizing all my bank funds, pitiable as they are. How could they find them all anyway?

Voicemail from Paul B. this morning, which I returned. Somebody from the Marc J. Bern office, that colored girl I spoke to last week, is contacting him to verify what I told her, and to let him know that he’ll be getting abbreviated transcripts to sign and return. I remarked that no one has ever used me as a referent for one of these things, at least no VCF claim attorneys have contacted me. Paul said Woodley might have. Woodley’s claim has been held up because he was treated (prostate) at St. Vincent’s Hospital, which no longer exists. The records are locked up in an Iron Mountain facility in New Paltz.

Finished listening to Shelby Foote’s The Civil War, Volume III, this morning. Need something new.

Blair Sabol makes me think of New York magazine. I once did a typing test typing up a nearly unintelligible draft by her. I read only one real article by her, a terrible thing uncharacteristically appearing in Esquire, in which she did a stint as an Ikette in the Ike and Tina Turner Revue. A few years ago the New York Social Diary guy got her together with photographer Harry Benson. She’s older. She was 18 in the Courreges dress and boots.

Was looking through my brother’s FB page last night. First time I’ve done that. His current profile pic isn’t bad. Some group shots are surprising. He’s got one from about 2010 or 2012 with his three sons, wife or ex-, and my sister, who really looked prematurely decayed. I shall have to download that and make a copy for my albums.

Oops, it’s dated Christmas 2019. McSorley’s. Still my sister looks terribly dessicated. How does that happen? Bonnie looks good. And who is this Avital? I think perhaps Avital took the shot.

Drink a lot of that amino shit, take some B complex, D3 and mag orotate, slip on harness and 410 watch, and go out in the heat, preferably in something tech and sleeveless.

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Warm day, high HR, a sudden trip downtown

I took a Con Ed bill (check for $147) to 51st Street to mail, after stopping off at the Donnell Library to return a Tom Wolfe book (Hooking Up) and Moki’s Elizabeth Hardwick collection, which I kept out when I returned his other ones in December and January. I had the idea I’d be interested in reading these old reviews from NYRB, but I never really got around to it. Something to fill idle moments when you’re stuck on a subway train.

Before getting out onto the street I slapped on the Forerunner 410 after holding it at the window to gain satellite reception. I was already wearing the HR monitor band. The 410 is the most complicated and irritating Garmin watch I’ve ever had. It was on deep discount when I bought it through the track team back in 2012. I immediately realized it was a dog and I should have bought something newer. However, there are still instructions online, so I was finally able to figure out why it was giving the wrong time. It was set for Central Time Zone. Why? A frequent complaint about the 410 is that it’s very easy to touch the bezel accidentally and change a readout or setting. But pressing both buttons locks the thing, so I’m not having a problem with that now. Also, when I have the chestband on and the satellites in gear, I can switch very easily from clock time/running time to HR, back and forth, until I lock it at one display, usually the HR. Astoundingly my heart rate was at 110-120 when I was out on the street. Why so elevated? Too much caffeine? Or the monitor is faulty? Eventually I switched back to the clock and pressed my carotid artery. 18-19 beats in ten seconds, which just about matched what the HR display was telling me.

I thought I’d go over to Staples to see if they had ink cartridges. They did not of course. If everyone doesn’t want it, nobody gets it. Then to the Art Students League art shop, a tiny little warren. They not only have no cartridges, they have no fountain pens (no Rotring ArtPens) and not much in the way of ink. Little bottles of Winsor Newton, and Sumi brush ink. Reaching Seventh Avenue I decided to head downtown to the Dick Blick place across from the old HRC on 13th Street. So down to Union Square on the Q train, and then a search-around for where I thought the old HRC was. It’s a bit farther west than I remembered, toward Fifth, and the navy HRC canopy is still there, though the club isn’t. But across 13th St, on the north side, there’s no Dick Blick. I walk over to Sixth to find that Indian stationers, Kooby & Looby or something, but they’re gone too. So back uptown on the F train.

I was thinking while going down the steps at West 4th St, I hardly ever leave the house now. That’s what nruns was good for. Could not escape subway and ferry rides to far, far away. If they don’t can me soon (the sort of thing always on my mind) then I’ll have a few more starting in a month.

These days I go out of the apartment mainly to buy booze or milk or maybe a snack at the drugstore. This morning, for the second time this week, I went to the drugstore for a quart of milk and two (2) little packages of Entenmann’s crumbcakes. Yesterday evening, when I should have been out on a run, I decided to try out a Chinese restaurant across 56th St. Blue Willow, so discreet I never noticed it. It has rave reviews. I ordered sesame noodles and a pork belly appetizer. Both excellent but this cost me $26. Can’t do that often. And then I bought the Tito’s at Shirley’s, came home and gave my Tom Wolfe piece a once-over before filing it. Checking Proton today I see Greg returned it because of an egregious typo toward the end. Last-minute changes are so fatal.


 

So now I’ve gone out for a beer and a Healthy Choice dinner from Klein’s (chicken marsala). No running just now. I got in my two or three miles of walking today. I’ve stuck my 410 in its charger and will be removing the chest strap.

Greg guessed the error, and fixed it, but I made a further alteration and have pasted it in. I can now start in on the Colin Wilson thing.

Lovely warm weather today. Manhattan is looking clean and tidy again. There’s a feel of 2015-2016 in the air. In fact, everywhere you go, including here in the bedroom, hearing traffic out the window, somebody is playing Taylor Swift’s 1989 album. I hear “Shake It Off” about three times a day, and a little while ago someone out on the street was playing “Blank Space.” Could be the pedicab people. So why not “Welcome to New York”? And what was the song where she wore the black Ava Gardner wig in the video, set in a Mogambo type of Africa?

Dick Blick, it seems, is all over. They moved their 13th St location around the block, to 12th St and 4th Avenue.They have an old Utrecht shop at 20th and Sixth as well. Someday, someday.

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Ill and worried, brooding over MP

I have to promise to pay back charges to Con Ed, about $900 or so, and send them something. I sent them about $70 last month, but they still have us on disco notice. (Oh! I get a couple hundred on Gusto in two days, Friday. Will ease my pain slightly.)

Sunday evening, after that half of Pinnacle, I went out to the Chinawoman’s and got another half, this time of Platinum. Felt pretty wasted on Monday morning. Monday evening I just had a big Resin beer. With a big Marie Callender’s pie. I had a gaggy, overfed feeling yesterday (Tuesday) morning.

Spent most of Monday meaning to get out to the Park and run with the 410 and HR monitor again. I did not. Nor did I Tuesday, yesterday. Instead I did some book shelving, put away the mousetraps that have been here for six weeks, and moved the Color Classic over by the Moki desk. And managed to write, to finish the long piece on Tom Wolfe’s The Painted Word. Gawd how I hated writing that. I don’t even recall sending it in last night, since I was probably halfway through a pint of Tito’s I bought at Shirley’s. It is now after eleven a.m., I should go check.

I am wearing the Chucklehead t-shirt, which I put on yesterday when I meant to go out for a run. I am wearing the Forerunner 235, which never seems to give me heart rate. An advice forum says it will pair with the HR chest strap, but I’m not getting it. I shall go out again with the 410, perhaps.

I keep returning to the MP pictures and videos I discovered a few days ago. GDS, one of the few classmates not to have turned into an unrecognizable whitehaired blob (with his salt-and-pepper hair and beard he actually looks much better than when he was 17), tells stories that are new to me and rather fanciful. He did JV baseball freshman year? He went to football camp in ’68 because Roback wanted him to? And embarrassingly tried to use the varsity locker room, to his eternal shame? He talks about what a good friend Brian Ameche was. At MP and in the early months at college. Now, that last bit is truly fanciful, as George only lasted a week or ten days at Yale, before feeling so alienated that he packed it in. Perhaps he met Brian there once, but in his recollection he’s got himself spending a full term or so in New Haven. Then there was the production of “Life with Father” senior year. At one point we were going to do Oklahoma! at Gilligan’s behest, partly directed (choreographed?) by Eileen Pohl, but it was too much for her so we went for a popular straight play from the same era. Bob Finlan, who looked like a cross between Wally Cox and a turtle, was director. George apparently played the William Powell (title) role. I can’t remember that at all. I think the younger Marlowe boy was one of the Day boys, the one who read The Youth’s Companion. And Kip was Clarence, Jr. And George as the father, seriously?

“Whatever thy hand findeth to do, King Solomon said, do thy damnedest.” I can hear that in George’s voice, but anyone could say it. Anyway George tells a story that most people were clowning around in the last two weeks of rehearsals but he was dead set on doing the play right. And so people tried to figure out ways of teasing him. During the dinner table scene, instead of prop food they put worms on the serving dish. I’m certain that I’d remember this if it happened. I mean someone would have told me, at least. Could it be that I was so distracted by thoughts of Yale (just accepted; fat envelope when I got home from one rehearsal in April) that nothing made any impression on me? I do remember putting red henna in their hair since they were all supposed to be redheads. I think they did it in the sink backstage, or in a lavatory. Gilligan said that when they put on Life with Father (was this college, or MP many years ago?) they all dyed their hair, literally dyed it red, professionally, everyone but the non-family members in the play. That would be Stephanie Tagye (long black hair) and some other girl. But hair dyeing simply was not on for us. Too drastic. And where would we go?

PJD appears a few time, plump and mustachioed and unrecognizable. It’s funny how these guys mostly disappear into a generic old-guy look when they get old. And they’re not that old. Smooth, clear skin, no wrinkled. Just fat and white-haired. Anyway PJD mentions Kip, as partner in mischief with McDonald. McDonald gets mentioned throughout these videos, and his photos are everywhere. But Kip! One of the towering figures of the class, and now completely vanished from memory, almost. A couple of pictures. And this one mention. Deaths of McDonald and Brian and others are mentioned, but no one mentions the mysterious Kip. I suppose we should be grateful for that.

Some of the participants are barely memorable, even as names. Abell? Who was Corcoran? Fickinger I remember because he was in sixth grade, along with Ameche and Sullivan. A good-looking blond-haired kid, I remember, floppy forelock. The old-but-fit (and unrecognizable) version tells a tale at the 2021 dinner of drinking warm cold duck with Steve Kreider and someone else. Kreider doesn’t like the bubbly so they persuade him to buy a six pack. They’re at some game, some championship being held at Villanova, and they hear there’s a liquor store up by Valley Forge Military Academy where you can just say you’re 21, and they’ll let you buy. And so Kreider does. And they get really drunk, Kreider drinks most of it, and Fr. Breslin nearly catches them. (Breslin, would have been a mostly offstage presence during this period, maybe 1970ish. He’d transferred to Villanova where he was “Dean of Men,” i.e., chief disciplinarian. He’d had a similar role at MP during their freshman year. Known as The Mouse because of his fondness for sneaking up on guys stealing a smoke down in the basement lavatory; also because he was a bit rodent-like in appearance. Breslin eventually defrocked himself, left the order, and became president of Drexel Institute of Technology. Some kind of scandal attached to his name there, or the next institution he ran. Have to look that up.)

Kreider was widely regarded as a tool, a butt of jokes, but at the dinner he’s remembered affectionately. He died in 2010 or 2011. Melanoma. Down at Avalon or Stone Harbor he’d burn himself to a crisp every summer. Then the skin cancer came on in middle age, and he’d have it cut off (Paul F gestures to his shoulders and back) but it got him in the end.

And then there’s Beebe. Doesn’t look anything like the GB of 55 years ago. Bald now, with white goatee. Cheerful and good natured.

A lot of the yearbook pictures were taken during the semi-vacation period between end of classes and graduation. I visited, probably to see GDS and McDonald. Here’s a photo of Eileen and Bill and Gilligan in the cafeteria. Bill is wearing the same striped t-shirt he wears in another yearbook picture or two, so I guess they gave their cameras a good workout that day. We had a professional photographer for many of them, but I think this may have been a McDonald. This one was a candid.

Everyone who mentions him eulogizes McDonald, but he could be a real stinker. He loved to tease and deride Kip, bring him close to tears. They were all supposed to have access to the darkroom (yearbook staff) but McDonald commandeered the keys, wouldn’t let Kip get in there. Kip did get in there once or twice, with George. Once complained to George about his mistreatment. George said, “Oh you should see the way he treats Joe Olsen.” Kip was suffering from brain fog, partly due to his ongoing condition, and

 

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Things on my mind; and a Better Attempt at ‘Running’

I have bought myself a half pint of Pinnacle for four dollars, at the Chinawoman’s, from Numbah Two Son.

I hope this will not leave me where the half pint of Smirnoffs left me three or four days ago, with an impossibly agonizing headache on the left side, that would yield to neither aspirin nor caffeine. (In the early 00’s I found that codeine and pseudoephedrine together were a foolproof specific, but I have no codeine these days.)

I have tried to sleep half the time lately, mainly listening to Grover Gardner reciting Shelby Foote’s The Civil War. I may still be exhausted from the last few weeks of nruns. But why? Why? Well I think it’s because I wasn’t in such good shape then. We’ll see when work heats up again in a month. Regarding which, I’ve had the inevitable sneaking worry that nruns is going to shelve me. Why? Because bottom-line analysis says half the paid part-timers have to go, and I’ll be in there. So instead of getting my $200-$800 per month, I have nothing.

I’m washing dishes in the sink, and will bring the houseboys up to fix the electricity by and by. I ordered some under-counter battery-operated lights the other day. We’ll see how they work. I’m getting by.

Odd things on my mind lately:

Moki’s USAA debit card. In Spring and Summer last year he’d always send me out to get him a sandwich or vodka (seldom both in the same errand). So I kept the card in the back of my mini-purse, along with the punch-card from the deli counter that gave you your tenth sammich free.

But then he’d go out to the Chinawoman’s for a liter. A liter of that nasty Vesica stuff with the metal top that often refused to open. And he didn’t have his card. Because I had it. This also happened when he went to Morton Williams, the grocery we usually called Norton Simon. In the case of the Chinawoman she’d let him write a check (if he had his checkbook); for Morton Williams I once went up myself and retrieved his bag of groceries. Somewhere along the line, possibly in June, I forgot I was using his card at Morton Williams. Entered my own PIN number three times, after which USAA blocked the card. It took some weeks before we got a new one, reactivated.

After Moki took to his bed permanently (this would be around August, though I managed to pull him out once or twice to show the newly cleaned kitchen floor, or a newly caught but not at all dead mouse), the card became a moot point. I continued to use it for a couple of weeks after he died—for vodka, for Verizon, for groceries—until USAA got the Veterans notice of death and deep-sixed it. I think it was December 8 that I got back home from the gym to return a phone call offering sympathy, but also the news that his accounts were now cut off. I’d written myself a check, which went through, but a later one did not, and I found when trying to pay for a pizza and salad at Mangia that this USAA debit card would be forever declined. I was ready for that.

Scaring Tom Wolfe. I don’t know when this was, exactly, sometime between 2006 and 2010 would be my guess, but I had some kind of appointment in the Grand Central area. The quickest way to get there is to cut across 56th or 55th St to Park, then parade down. On this afternoon, however, I was furious with my track coach or my husband or some family member, and was reading them all the riot act. Except I bumped into Mr. Wolfe who no doubt thought I was reading him the riot act. I remember the setting. It was that building on Park around 54th St. with the square pillars. Mr. Wolfe was resplendently dressed as Tom Wolfe. Anyway, I was colossally embarrassed, just as TW was alarmed.

Victor Faralli. For many years an orthopedic surgeon in Lebanon, PA. I found this out years ago and now he is semi-retired. He stands and talks exactly the same as when he was eleven. When I first discovered Vic was in Lebanon—many years ago, as I say—I thought, Holy Smokes! But I’ve since familiarized myself with the place, thanks to Colin. And that’s exactly where I’d like to go, or hide out. Fastnachts for everyone. And if I had ended up in medical school, I think orthopedics would be one ethically safe place to be. Why didn’t I go to medical school? Too complicated.

BUT TODAY I spent the morning sorting out Moki’s books. Pacific War books on one shelf, rivers and water policy on another, literature on another, banking debacles on another. Everything bball goes on bottom shelves.

I resurrected my Garmin 410, which seemed a bad purchase back in 2012, but today at least worked far better than the  235. With the chest strap it gave me my HR, which was perpetually elevated, from 61 to 159, as I moped about reshelving books,  and then going for a walk/shuffle/jog/run of perhaps 5.5 miles up the bridle path and around the Reservoir. Picayune, but more than I’ve done in maybe years. Afterwards I tried using the watch on a walk down to StP’s for mass, but again I can’t figure it out. The Garmin 410 had a short life, was soon discontinued, and I was most happy (late 2015, early 2016?) to move on the the 235.

Something else I did today was clean up start-up tasks on the old MacAir 13. The Monoprice usb wifi dongle no longer functions because I threw out a working driver. I am writing this on the crippled AirPort wifi, which was never fixed in October 2014 after I spilled soup on the computer.

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Too Sick for Gym

So I went to the gym and drank a Celsius and felt ill so packed up and went home. Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday. Need to walk/jog/run all days. At least 20 miles in there. I have postponed my hair appointment at Timothy John’s till the 31st, and by then should look great, in splendid shape…

You know, I have no shifts at nruns till mid-June. This is the time to write a lot and look for another job, perhaps a real job. Also draw, with a begging bowl. A few one-offs, otherwise Uncle Bill and Iggy.

Bought a half pint at Shirley’s on return from TMPL. That one little half, drunk in two goes, left me with a headache upon waking six hours later. I have to write the Tom Wolfe now but am thinking I am hungry and want to finish off the salmon and some of the spinach, but with rice. Some of the nice risotto in the cupboard. May do that. And coffee, to get the sinuses eased.

I put that heavy burnished aluminium lamp on top of the microwave today as a stopgap replacement for the nonworking fluorescent fixture.

I have given up on the dishwasher. Will wash by hand for a little while. Get the houseboys to fix the fluorescent fixture first.

Somebody from Marc J. Bern phoned me in the afternoon. Just preliminary information on the 9/11 business. I thought we were well past that. Will ring again in the morning at 11. At least that was my suggestion.

I need to phone MSK again. Couldn’t get through to a working human last time. I need my records from the dermatological oncology clinic. Supposedly that will speed things up. But perhaps the Bern concern has already submitted the request with HiPAA form? I’ll ask, but not expect a clear answer.

Heard back from that distant relative of LR on Ancestry. She knows nothing, less than I do. I have however confirmed that LR and brother Irwin were living in Conshohocken in the 1940s, something that does not come up independently on Ancestry, since they were in Florida for the 1940 and 1950 censuses. Found her 1971 book online, downloaded it in PDF. She mentions Irwin’s name and that her mother died rather recently (1967). The cringey gushiness of this “diary” no doubt is genuine but must have been reworked many times. I recall sending comments to Z about it years ago; suggesting that the LW doctor was Wollman, and another one was Rish or Wesser.

Found a wonderful MP 1971 site, with slides, photos from the yearbook, and videos. It’s funny how everyone who showed up in 2021 looks pretty much the same. Still in their 60s yet they’re mostly whitehaired, out of shape if not downright fat, often mustachioed. Except for VF I couldn’t possibly have recognized any of them.

Thinking about Marybeth McGurl. I thought I had blocked her on MD Twitter, but no I never did. Died in March 2020. Covid? Who knows? Sick enough to move back to family from Savannah. What a nasty piece of work. I found a drunk&disorderly arrest mugshot of her a few years ago, Savannah, but can’t find it online now. No doubt I saved it, perhaps screenshotted it, will stumble across it someday and wonder what it is.

At high school in Maine, 1976.


 

I keep a running list of dead people, listed my my discovery of them rather than death chronology. Last few run:

14 may 2024
dick foote
1 may 2023

28 feb 2024
Rob Dinsmoor on Feb 23

20 feb 2024
David Irving dead (oh no he’s not)

jan 31 2024
hoff

jan 1 2024
Mitchell Lash Adams
died 2020

sept 12 2023
David Springer, d. 2007
https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-xpm-2007-06-22-0706211018-story.html

sept 11 2023
Bob Slaughter (died in June)

timothy O’donnell (d. 2018)
teresa (terry) o’donnell plummer (d. 2020)
Mary Jane Bowersock d. 1993?


 

I affixed both bikes to the little vertical stands, late morning. Inspired to do this while checking the rain out the window. One stand was simple enough; you stick a wheel of the bike inside two metal frames that grip it. Ideally you use the back wheel, but I used the front. That’s Moki’s custom bike. The other stand mystified me initially. I decided a pedal crank (not the pedal itself) probably slid into the rectangular chamber, and that’s indeed how it works. There’s a vertical cut in the chamber so the pedal bearing slides down through that. Put my old Cannondale mountain bike in it. And there we are! They’re over by the liv rm window.

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