Beginning the day…

… wake up at 2:00 AM for the bathroom… sleep fitfully, if at all, until 3:30 AM… i get up, Fiona hops off the bed, we leave the bedroom together… i weigh myself, 230.0 lbs, get dressed, follow Fiona downstairs… fill the kettle and put it on the stove… Fiona wants to go out, but because i now have to supervise her, she has to wait… clean the coffee pot, grind the coffee, take my medications, retrieve the cat food dish, clean it out, open a tin of cat food, dump it in the dish, return the dish to its stand at the top of the basement stairs… i go upstairs to get Chas… we return downstairs… the dogs and i go out the back door to the back garden… i follow Fiona to the way back, observe her peeing, we return to the back door where Chas is waiting… treats for the dogs when we come back in… then i go out the front door to put the garbage out to the street… on the way the smell of poop… when i return i flip the living room lights on and sure enough, a small pile on the rug by the gas fireplace… the coffee water is boiling, i turn it off and pour water over the coffee grounds then go to clean up the poop… while waiting for the coffee i read Heather Cox Richardson and find it at least not so depressing… apparently Biden has organized considerable financial pressure to be applied to Russia if Putin decides to invade Ukraine… Tucker Carlson is complaining that the Biden Admin is overreacting and that Russia is just beefing up defense of its borders… there was a time when few in positions of power and influence would support Russia, but Carlson has proven to be enameled of oligarchies and dictatorships… i imagine he wants to be dictator himself one day… there is a selfish streak in to much of the American population i have thought to myself… we emphasize individual liberty over the common good… it’s biting us in the ass right now… various actors in the previous administration are in a variety of phases of being cornered into testimony… will it all be done in time to make a difference?…

Beginning the day… i wake at 2:30 AM… stay in bed… get up at 3:30 AM… Fiona comes with me… i weigh myself, 230.8 lbs, get dressed, go down stairs, let Fiona out, fill the kettle, put it on the stove, take my meds and vitamins, feed the cat, let Fiona in, read HCR, which depresses me… she’s struggling with the idea that the game may be lost already, democracy may be on its way out… she is trying to have hope… i make the coffee, put a little cold water into my thermal mug, add a pinch of cinnamon, add a little agave, pour coffee into the mug, screw the top on, return to my studio/dressing room upstairs… Fiona is waiting for me on the studio bed… i start to settle down but Chas whines… i let him out of the bedroom where H is sleeping… Chas, Fiona and i return downstairs… i let them out… i read an article in The Bulwark arguing that Lauren Boebert should not be stripped of her committee assignments because of her Islamophobic comments aimed at representative Ilhan Omar… i am on the fence as to whether i agree or not… the author argues we should deplore and ignore citizen Boebert but we should not block congressperson Boebert from representing her 700K constituents… the dogs come back in, i give them and the cat treats, the dogs and i return upstairs… i let the dogs into the bedroom where H is sleeping and return to my desk… i spend the first 45 minutes organizing my journal… i have been reading through it at the rate of two weeks per day, which should have me finished by the end of the year…

… we are up with a start… Fiona sat up in bed, indicating she was preparing to dismount… we scrambled to set her down on the floor, whereupon she scrambled out of the bedroom and down the stairs before we could catch her and slow her down… she is not supposed to be running down stairs which she half did… sigh… gate at the top of the stairs tonight…

… in my sleepy stupor i scrambled to put clothes on so i could take her out for a walk… H asking me questions about her scramble downstairs… they are annoyed with me and the questions sound accusatory… what part of Fiona scrambled faster than i could did they not understand?… what’s happened has happened… let’s move on to taking her out which is what i did… took her a while but she had a wicked pee… we came back… H gave her treats and fed her water with a syringe… Fiona is still trying to figure out how to drink with the cone collar on… she will eventually…

… H, Fiona and Chas all downstairs napping… it is 5:17 AM, normal for me to be up but way before H’s normal wake time…

… feeling the need for a little spiritual calm i have recordings of Gregorian Chants going in my headphones… i am not religious, wouldn’t want to be catholic if i were, but it’s all in latin so i don’t understand a word and the chants are very soothing, like gentle waves lapping the shore of a beach…

… today will be about keeping Fiona still, monitoring her wound and taking her for periodic walks… there are too many stairs involved in letting her out in the back yard… and in any case, she would be want to chase squirrels back there… best to keep her on a leash to restrain her enthusiasm which clearly has returned…

… i was so upset yesterday with the bleeding and having to go back to the vet… it overwhelmed and in some ways immobilized me… thankfully H was coping better… 40 years as an ICU nurse gives you calm in the face of concerning situations… i also didn’t like seeing Fiona so knackered… barely able to move… only to changing position once in a while… such a vital and enthusiastic dog… particularly so in the hours leading up to her surgery… it worries me that if H ever got seriously sick i might loose it and be unable to be there for her… of course, my more confident mind says, yah, you might freak our here and there, but you will find a way to rise to the occasion…

An Attempt At Exhausting A Place In Paris, by Georges Perec, arrived yesterday… it turns out to be a small, slim, little book… it will be a quick read and i am anxious to get to it, but i have to finish The Journals of Denton Welch first and i have a little less than half the book to go…

… Georges Perec is known for the idea that one ought to pay close attention to the small, unremarkable-to-most-people details… i have to learn more about his reasons for this, but i am guessing they are similar to my own, which is that the bulk of creaturely awareness is about these small, seemingly insignificant, details… we live our lives in a sea of the quotidian… western society, Americans especially, is/are all about the climactic extreme experiences that are felt in intense bursts producing adrenalin rushes that forever sear the experience into our minds… the bigger and more impossible the challenge, the more an individual is valued for achieving it… i value the quotidian over the rush of the exceptional and extraordinary… though some of my clearest memories are of fleeting exceptional moments that surface randomly from the sea of the quotidian…

… the dogs wake up… i let them out of the bedroom… follow them downstairs… let them out… Chas seems particularly anxious to go out and is first, followed by a more lackluster Fiona… i wash some of last night’s dishes and wonder why i am not hearing whining at the door to come in… when i finish the dishes, i open the back door and Fiona strolls up the driveway, the stairs, and in… Chas is nowhere to be seen… i do a few more things around the kitchen then go back to check on Chas… he is waiting, but not whining… he walks in slowly, saunters into the dining room, then turns around and saunters into the kitchen… he is usually much more enthusiastic about the treats he gets in the morning… i offer him the aforementioned treats… he takes them but then spits them out… it appears he is not feeling well… refusing treats is extremely unlike him… we will have to keep an eye on him…

… today a new pair of flannel (or maybe fleece?) lined jeans will arrive… i have been looking for them all week, even though shipping information said firmly it would be today that they arrive… i chose the slow boat to save money… it amazes me how much we look forward to receiving the things we purchase online… it’s like little Christmases, birthdays and anniversaries all year long… ahh, the psychology of acquiring things!… i ordered these jeans to have a second pair to alternate wearing during the winter months…

… it strikes me that one of the reasons more people aren’t up in arms about the possibility of authoritarian rule is that things are largely behaving the way they normally do and “authoritarian rule” is an abstract concept… the majority won’t object strongly enough until it is too late…

First Thoughts

… HCR meter pointing downwards… discussion of conservative extremism as evidenced by policies against mask and vaccine mandates… it’s really bleak and threatening… at present, the only remedy appears to be some form of federal voting rights legislation which the Senate can’t pass without making a change in the filibuster… several moderate Democrats Senators have said they will not vote to change the filibuster… what’s most depressing and frightening is that both sides view the current situation as an existential threat… this is the kind of thing that has already and will continue to lead to bloodshed…

… no alcohol last night, in at 9:30 PM, up at 4:00 AM… 6.5 hours of sleep… yup, that seems about right…

… finished The Essential Haiku yesterday, started Conscious, by Annaka Harris… i read a Brain Pickings post about it a couple of days ago and decided to buy it… i am 25 pages into it and was thinking that the development of ideas about consciousness in the book seemed a bit confused and unsound… i know that the book is heading towards presenting the concept of panpsychism, because of the Brain Pickings post and because there is a chapter labeled “Beyond Panpsychism” about ¾ of the way through the book… an embrace of panpsychism would undercut some of the reasoning in the parts i have read so far, which flits around the trickiness of deciding when matter becomes “conscious”… the dividing lines are not clear and where we presently draw them doesn’t really stand up to scrutiny… so i am thinking the author is confused and muddled but it occurs to me that they are setting us up to introduce panpsychism as the resolution of the muddle… so i think i know why they are proceeding the way they are… at my present rate of reading, i will be done with the book in a few days…

… K comes today to continue with the weeding an mulching of the garden… i have done some work on the other side of the garden and it looks like we will be close to complete by the time H gets home…

… i am looking forward to driving down to Florida and back… the time spent there will be emotionally fraught as J will be frail and continuing on the path of heart failure, and C will be stressed out and sad, and my own emotions will be complex because of my poor relationship with J… so i focus on the three days of travel at either end… time to process… the possibilities of some minor adventures…

… i am feeling a little anxious about my skin exam next week, though i am not presently concerned about any skin anomalies… will be glad to have that past me…

… Chas to the vet yesterday… he’s gained a large amount of weight, 8 lbs according to the vet’s record… we decided to do a blood panel that included thyroid indicators… we’ve had several dogs in the pat with thyroid issues… fortunately, that is easy to treat… the visit cost nearly $470… we used to be able to get out of there for around $200… both Chas and Fiona got vaccinated for Bordetella, aka, Kennel Cough, yesterday… apparently it is going around… the vet says they have seen doggie patients at the rate of 1 per day that have it… it sounds like there is a cluster in one family in Beacon or Beacon vicinity…

03 Sleeping Dogs not Lying

… the dogs wake up… i get them and take them out… round and round the house we go… Chas does his business quickly… Fiona refuses to do anything… round and round, nothing… she’s always been this way… needs a long walk to get the pipes flowing… i don’t have time this morning… we come back in… it isn’t long before there is cleanup to do…