I had meant to get up and spend the whole day at the cabin (my first visit on my own since November), but I had work I needed to get done first. Don't get me wrong, I'm pleased to have income in an America with the highest unemployment rate in a century, and I'm especially fortunate since no business in their right mind would ever hire me.* But it took a lot longer to get going than I anticipated. I hoped to be out by eleven or so, then at noon, and then set the goal for one. But it was two by the time I hit the post office, and then I grabbed lunch at the East Bay Burger King.
To my surprise, their lobby was open, and as I was about to go inside, I saw the sign posted on the door (there's a single glass door, and it was marked "Entrance Only," which was vexing) that said that both gloves and masks were required inside. I went back and grabbed my mask, and went in, seeing a handful of customers eating, but none of them had gloves or masks (how on earth would you eat with a mask on anyway, I wonder**).
|Burger King (or Queen!)|
I hadn't eaten in a restaurant since March, possibly the trip to Las Vegas, when my nephew got a call that school was cancelled. It felt . . . I dunno, kind of decadent and immoral, like when my roommate John and I walked past a strip club once and dared each other to go in (neither of us would). I've cut down on fast food greatly this year--partly for the same reason I try to drink Coke Zero instead of the regular stuff, partly because of lack of opportunity--maybe I'll do it as a social thing only, once it all opens up again.
I drove up the canyon and for the long drive, tried listening to the audiobook I got from the library (I just wasn't feeling it, finding it a little too formulaic, and getting angry at all the ridiculous names like Freya and Fatima and Issa and Thea that she's saddled the characters with), but I probably won't stick with it.*** I have another audiobook in the car ready to go, and it's one of those multi-disc bastards that take me a whole season to get through.
I was surprised to find that it was eighty-five degrees in the little town that is the last remnant of civilization before you go up to the cabin. Not a complaint--I love the heat, as you may know, and marvel at how much people around here like to bitch about it, yet I wouldn't dream of bawling about the cold of winter to strangers, because I wouldn't want to sound like a spoiled baby, which is exactly how they sound--but as I drove up the mountain, the degrees began to drop off, and it was seventy-three here, which is pleasant.
I didn't need to build a fire, and the heavy pajama bottoms that I made sure to bring along were unnecessary for me. My three goals in coming to the cabin by myself are to write, edit, and read. I also brought a DVD to watch for Marshal and my movie review show, and I found a spot on the floor to do some sit-ups. I spent a while answering an email to Gino Moretto about the state of America this week and his point of view down there in New Zealand. There was no way to send the email, so I saved it in a text file . . . and that turned out to be wise, because the computer crashed in the morning the next day, and everything that was open--including my word count and the first version of this blog post--was wiped out.
This is one occasion where working with Google Docs would not have saved me, since there is no internet at the cabin. Luckily, it was not the first time (or the fifth) my laptop has crashed on me, so I had saved my work last night before I went to bed (er, couch). I only ended up losing a page or so of work.
Sit-ups Today: 100
Sit-ups In June: 350
I got some writing done--quite a bit of writing, the Rowan story is inching along, and I opened up "Podcatcher" just as the sun was getting low on the horizon. Then I decided to try my run again. Last week, I was unable to make it even a quarter mile without gasping and heaving, and I blamed it on the altitude, so this time, I drove my car out to the dam that goes alongside the lake (I think they built it around 2015 or so) because it's fairly flat on the top, even though it's not paved. I started up some song--"Happy Hour Again" by the Housemartins--meaning to at least run until it ran out . . .
. . . and I could only barely make it. It has to be the altitude. After three or four minutes, I was as winded as if I had been running as fast as I could, or doing the steep stairs at the park. But, I paused for a minute, selected another song, and ran back to the car.
Then I grabbed my camera, and did a Serenade in front of the lake, only realizing halfway through that I should've been filming the sunset, which wasn't visible anymore when I turned the camera. Even so, it should replace the "Electric Blue" one as the video with the prettiest background, in October or so when I release it.
I finished the song--doing only one take because of the fading light**** and headed back to the cabin, hoping that it at least looked good, if not sounded good.
Then, before it got fully dark, I wrote a bit more on "Podcatcher." Because I had been influenced by the protests and outrage of this week, it affected the scene I wrote. The character who I wrote as black just for the novelty of it became relevant in my current mindset.
I debated using the n-word again, which I don't tend to even consider including, and haven't since "A Sidekick's Journey," but I felt like I needed to, because the whole reason for writing that particular scene was the tolerated racism that has existed in this country throughout the 20th (and now 21st) century. I'll try and find somebody to ask about it, but I felt it needed to be there, to make a point about what blacks have suffered because of hatred, religion, and generational racism.
Look, I don't know how "Podcatcher" will end, or if it even will, so it's doubtful anybody will ever read it, so it's all probably a moot point.
The first time I wrote this blog, I didn't mention that part, focusing more on what the cabin and the forest looked like, and it is beautiful, but hey, you get what you get with me, and it's on my mind lately. It's on everybody's mind.
Writing Today: 1621 Words
Words In June: 3556
**I'm reminded of a Seventies Star Wars comic I read as a child, where Carmine Infantino had drawn Darth Vader with a cup of coffee in his hand, talking to Imperial Officers. Even as a kid, I wondered how that would work.
***I have a personal policy of always giving every audiobook a chance to hook me: I'll listen to the entirety of the first disc (unless it's "Tick Tock" by Dean Koontz, of course), and then I will take it back, if it doesn't improve or catch my ear. The first disc is like the first episode of a TV show--its job is to get you to want to watch the rest by introducing the characters, the world, and the situation. That reminds me, I spoke to a lady last week about "Star Trek: Discovery" and she just went on and on, sacrificing a good long stretch of her morning to tell me about it (which does NOT happen in my social life, ever), the things that made it "Star Trek," the things that made it unique. She told me she liked it better than "Picard," and that it's her favorite Trek series. That made me want to give that show another chance, but everything I have heard about it, over the last three or so years (I don't know how it could have had two short seasons but been on since 2017, but that seems to be the case) tells me it is not for me. And I did watch the pilot of that one, and wanted nothing more to do with it beyond that (Chelsea, the lady I was talking to, did say that one of the things I didn't like about the pilot--that the Michael Burnham character flaunted the rules and her orders--is one of the things she loves about the show, so we may just be too different). But after that conversation, I did talk to my cousin about it, who has been bugging me for at least two years about giving the show another chance.
****I often have some kind of mishap that requires me to start again, whether it's a car alarm going off, something falling from the stack in the storage unit, the camera falling off the stand, the entire tripod falling over, discovering I've left my pants off, or most often, me forgetting the words. I'll then have to go over, delete the file, and try to do it again. Every once in a while, if somebody drives by or honks, or gunshots ring out (not an Elton John fan, I see), or I stumble, I'll just keep going, and that's why you get the occasional jumpcut in my videos. But I'm not a fan of those--my favorite YouTube has around a hundred jumpcuts in every one of her videos, and I always wonder just what the devil she's cutting out all the time (probably just "ums").