It’s late 2:42. Tired but not sleepy.
Next day 11:15 AM
It’s 1:30 PM and I am finally getting my day started. Here’s today’s selfie. Carmen last night was (I need new words). The music of course which is really what opera is all about anyway was just delightful. In French not Italian. I watched some of it, some of it I just listened to from another room. Really excellent production. Most of them are. It echoes the themes of this blog and really my whole life — maybe all life. We’ll talk about that more when I can gather the words. But suffice it say for now “Maleness/Femaleness”. The battle of the sexes but it’s not really a battle. I need to find the right words. I will. There has to be an integration. But make no mistake, gender is a central theme to this opera and this blog. I don’t know which production of Lucia we will get tonight but I’ll be watching.
Getting stoned is for me very healthy because when I am stoned, I feel my body. I feel the tension in my body. I move, I stretch, I walk, and with opera I even dance a little. So the downside of being stoned is that I forget all the wonderful insights I think of but the upside which far outweighs the downside for me is movement, awareness of my physical presence. So with an opera on I can be stoned and enjoy the music at whatever level I want, watch or not, but then also to move and stretch and feel myself, my body for the 2 or 3 hours that it takes to complete the opera. Now do I wish I remembered what I thought of, sure, but I just let it go and if it comes back then great and if not then great. I tried to send Liz an email last night and I was fucked up so it was pretty incoherent. She still answered that she loved that my hair was all over the backyard and the birds would be building nests this Spring with interiors by Ned.
CIM Lesson 18 — I am not alone in experiencing the effects of my seeing.
3 PM — My quads are sore. Probably from squats and stretches last night. Just sat out of the deck for a few minutes. Not too cold today. 61. I drank a cup of hot chicken broth. Took it out of the freezer yesterday. When I make chicken broth I take the bones and stuff from a chicken (or a turkey carcass) break it all up so the marrow is exposed and then put it all in the Instant Pot. Instead of covering it with water, I cover it with those cartons of chicken broth you buy in the store. I’ll add carrot, celery, onion if I have it and then pressure cook it on high for about 4 hours. Once done, I drain it, throw out the bones, drain the fat off (I have a fat separator cup) and then freeze it and take it out when I need to make soup or like now just have a cup of broth. I use low salt or no salt broth and do not add salt to the broth at all. I salt it to taste when I use it. It was pretty good out there on the deck.
So Stephen called me the other night. Stephen is Jan’s oldest and has been going through some struggles of his own lately. He lives outside of Portland. We had a good chat and remembered the time he and 2 other nephews — Ronna’s 2 oldest — Daniel and Thomas came to Atlanta for the Olympics. I had a girlfriend at the time well really a year and half before the Olympics named Colleen. I’ll talk about her when I got to the post I will make about all the girlfriends. It’ll be best to just talk about them as a group. But Colleeen and I were pretty serious. We were getting close to getting married in the church. I got my marriage with Violet annulled and we had looked at house to move into and well, it was getting serious. I decided about a year and half before the Olympics here in 1996 that I would take 2 weeks off from work and buy tickets to something every day and take Colleen and other friends of hers and mine with us to whatever event we went to that day. Great plan. I bought 4 tickets to something every day of the Olympics but the Olympics were still a year and half away. Don’t know how much that cost — maybe 2 grand. But I decided to just throw myself into it. Other folks were renting their houses out and leaving town. Not me. I wanted to be in it. Well Colleen and I broke up before the Olympics. So now I’m sitting here with 4 tickets to something every day of the Olympics and nobody to go with. Well in 1996 I bought my house in Decatur from the Budnicks. They still live around the corner in a bigger house. But I wasn’t able to sell the house in the suburbs so I was carrying 2 mortgages for about a year there. So I made a deal with Stephen, Daniel and Thomas that I would take them to the Olympics IF they helped me move into the new house in Decatur. Violet had long left with her stuff and I’ll talk about that later too but I was still out there in the suburbs by myself and bored to death. Nothing but chain restaurants out there — Chili’s, Olive Garden, Red Lobster. And nothing for a single guy to do which is why I decided to move into town.
So here these guys are. Stephen is in the middle and Daniel is on the left and Thomas is on the right. Stephen and Daniel were 15 at the time, Thomas was 14. I couldn’t believe it the other night when Stephen told me he was 40 now. They made a cake for me for my birthday and they are displaying it in this picture. It says Happy Birthday Ned in M & M’s on top. Thomas and Daniel are (or were at the time) vegetarians but did you know sugar is a major part of the vegetarian diet of teenage boys. Actually all of them – they loved their sugar. They had raging hormones and even when we went to an event, their eyes were wandering at the the young ladies dressed for Atlanta summer weather. It was funny. One day we went to a handball match between Germany and somebody else. Now this isn’t handball you play one on one against a wall. This is a team sport like La Crosse but played with your hands and a smallish ball and goals at both end of the court. Well a few minutes after the match began, the German rhythm gymnastics team walks in en masse to cheer for Germany. I busted out laughing. These 3 had eyes turned right and missed the entire match as they ogled over these nubile teen age girls. It was that kind of 2 weeks. We all were teen agers running around all over town to all the different venues and checking out not just the sports but the scenery as well. I rememebr when I was that age how confused and aroused I was seemingly all the time. We did miss the bombing in Centennial Olympic Park but we were there earlier that day. So my deal was they had to help me move. Well, and I say this with utmost love, Stephen was the only one of the three that was worth a shit in terms of getting any work done. Stephen has a very strong work ethic which he gets from his dad. The other 2, not so much. Thomas has had struggles his whole life and continues to struggle. Good days and bad days. I don’t really know what’s up with Daniel these days.
Here is Daniel when he was about one month old. I went up to the Oregon coast to meet him and just talked to him over and over again all day long. Ronna said she learned a lot from listening to me tell him over and over again how much I loved him. He is the oldest of all the nieces and nephews. I think he has Stephen beat by about 6 months or so. When all this cancer and Covid is over I am going to take 3–4–5 months and drive to Chicago and see everyone there and then to Washington and see everyone there and then Oregon and then down to California and then back across the Southern route. With any luck, maybe this Fall. Or more probably next Spring. Of course a lot of that is in God’s hands whatever that means to you.
Here’s a nice picture of Ronna when she was younger either right after Daniel was born or right before. She is mother to both Daniel and Thomas. She and I had a good visit on FaceTime last Sunday and she sent another CARE package from Oregon if you know what I mean. She’s a love. Also just spoke with Jan, Stephen’s mother a few minutes ago and got caught up.
It’s 6 PM and I just laid down to rest my eyes and breathe with buddha sitting on my chest. I’m gonna let this fly and get something to eat, watch the PBS Newshour and then Lucia.