06/01 Direct Link
32 years. For a smoker such as I, that's a long time without a cigarette. If I found out I was going to die next week or next month I'd be on my way to buy a carton of Pall Mall unfiltered. I wouldn't drink, but I'd damn sure smoke.

Late tonight I met with Kyle, who got crushed a week ago, his woman waved him goodbye, totally blindsided him. I spent 90 minutes with him, helping to salve the ache a bit, though I was straight-up with him -- Time is the healer. No way out -- this stuff hurts.
06/02 Direct Link
So I rode the bike today. And practiced, I got onto that mat and move my body around, and prayed and meditated. What else? What did I bring to the table? What did I contribute to the common weal?

Well -- not a goddamn thing, actually. I was up til the dawn, well past the dawn, I drove to the grocery store in a good, soaking rain @ 6:30 AM, ate some breakfast, slept through til like four PM, and was awfully scratchy and dull in my head even after that.

If not for the bike, and that yoga mat: nothing.
06/03 Direct Link
Hell of a day! Mostly fun, as best I remember it.

Of course I was up all night and shamed myself over that; it's so difficult for me to just let myself be me for jesus christ sakes.

I lean towards being the guy who, if they see the sunrise, it's because he's still up, and not up early.

But after I got over that I made some coffee, and prayed, and meditated, and meditated some more, and moved into the day.

Coffee helps.

Had god wanted me to see the sunrise it'd have been scheduled later in the day.

06/04 Direct Link
Text msgs with my brother, a tenuous connection. A tenuous connection with all of my family, truth of it is.

Part of it is distance, a physical separation, but the most of it is the other distance, emotional distance.

I'm hard to be around, I'm hard to love, I'm edgy and prickly and I don't have all that much to offer to counter that.

Which is to say: I'm no bargain. Difficult at best.

And I've pulled back from them, over the years, more and more.

I doubt I will see any of them again, this side of the vale.
06/05 Direct Link
On my bike ride 'round Town Lake today I was so wishing you were with me. I just love so much the colors of the sky reflected and shimmering in the gloaming, so often it's this shimmering electric silver-blue that looks like fkn mercury -- you've seen mercury, right, broken open a thermometer or whatever? Well, in the sunset hour the water looks like that, often, and I look for it. I call it The Silver Hour, though it's not an hour, maybe like 20 minutes in the winter, maybe 40 minutes this time of year, or not quite that.
06/06 Direct Link
If I'm going to live in the US I'm going to live in Texas, and if I'm going to live in Texas I damn sure intend to live in Austin, because why on earth would I live anywhere else? Austin is a continually unfolding series of music festivals and hot-rod festivals and art festivals and motorcycle festivals and gay pride festivals and film festivals and high tech festivals and on and on and on. It's like living in this unrolling stream of festive happinesses, it unwinds right under your feet as you're walking; I call it Disneyland For Adults.
06/07 Direct Link
So besides the bike rides and the Ashtanga practice, I've also decided that I want to toughen up my feet. A few years ago a woman who lived here had unreal tough feet, she'd walk asphalt on a 100 F day and not even notice, she walked on rock trails no problem, whether the rocks were sharp and small or large or whatever. The soles of her feet were tough as the toughest leather. The only way I know to do that is to do that, gradually but certainly, keep walking on rocks and hot asphalt until they are tough.
06/08 Direct Link
Another day in the bag and nothing to show for it. I ate, I rode a bicycle, a friend paid me some money I'd earned installing a fence, I went to REI to pick up a water purifier that I am going to return because it's shown as one small piece when actually you need to carry four or five items and it's deceptive bullshit and I'm fkn surprised REI sells this shit, I prayed, I meditated, I read, I wasted a lot of time spinning my wheels reading mindless jive on the internet, I think I wasted this day.
06/09 Direct Link
Today would have been my brothers 69th birthday.

Parkinson's was nailing him but then lung cancer came sweeping in and took him fast.

With  dispassionate eye, it's easy to see that the cancer saved him from a horrific Parkinson's decline -- it was robbing him of so much, it so humbled him, and he a proud man.

Always mixed when thinking of him: there is the love that I know was there, but it's impossible to forget what a prick he was to me, how badly I got scarred by his words and actions. I'll never understand all of that.
06/10 Direct Link
A blood draw, a complete panel of information to be used for my yearly physicals, one with my MD, the other with my cardiologist.

I know that I am extraordinarily fortunate to have such good health care. Not only are these docs -- and my shrink, also -- not only are they remarkably competent, they all love me, too, and I damn sure love them.

I'm such a mess. They get a big kick out of me. I get a big kick out of them, also. These are great ppl.

Yet another reason to stay in Austin. This could not be replicated.
06/11 Direct Link
I staggered around this condo some. I made some coffee. I drank some coffee.  I think I prayed. I had a conversation with Matthew, long distance. I did a few loads of laundry, finally mostly got rid of the stains on that fkn white shirt.** I rode that bike, learning my body.

**Two more washings should get it; I can't believe how stubborn that fkn stain was. Is. I like white shirts because if they get stained I can bleach hell out of them and blow the stain into next month. I like black shirts because stains don't show.
06/12 Direct Link
This ain't no party, this ain't no disco
This ain't no foolin' around
No time for dancin', or lovey-dovey
I ain't got time for that now

Those lyrics have burned through my evening and night since hearing them quoted by an author of an essay on an Audible book I was listening to on my bike ride this evening.

They fit *exactly* how I feel since I've got this bike ride thing going, and this Ashtanga practice going also.

I could not do both of those if I had a job -- no way.

I love the fitness, the weight loss, the suffering even.
06/13 Direct Link
Hello J___ --

Let me preface this by stating that I loathe commercials. But if all commercials were like this, I would never, ever stop watching television.

I am assuming you have seen this. If you have not, get ready for real fun.

It took months and months to decide what to do, months and months more to figure out how to do it and to set it up, attempt after attempt to get it to all work in one take. The photography alone is spectacular, the lighting superb. It's unbelievably cool.
Every time I watch it, I become happy.
06/14 Direct Link
Books on my computer, and my phone, I've really come to dig hell out of it. Last three days, instead of music on that bike ride I've been listening to books. God, what a nice thing it is to be read to, a small luxury.

I can multi-task, be read to and do other things, though if it's a book I really want to get into I'll stop every other activity and luxuriate in being read to. Which is particularly good if it's the author reading -- Barbara Kingsolver is amazingly good. Bill Bryson, you can almost see him smiling....
06/15 Direct Link
A productive day, to say the least. Ready to head to San Antone tomorrow AM with Miss Carissa; I expect we'll have a time.

I'm toughening up my feet. I'm walking on hot asphalt and rock trails and whatever else -- I would love to have thick, calloused soles and the only way I know to learn to walk on sharp or hot surfaces is (drum roll) to walk on sharp or hot surfaces. I went too far today, maybe, burned hell out of soles of my feet. No blisters, just letting me know that 97F makes for warm asphalt. Fuck.
06/16 Direct Link
Exhaustion. I cannot sleep with any predictability, and that kicked my ass today, as I had commitment to be up and out and on the road with Carissa @ 10 AM. I slept about an hour and then popped wide awake again, only got another hour or two, and we drove on down to San Antone and went to the museum and -- was I tactful with my friend? I was just so goddamn tired and hungry and nothing made any sense at all but I've got to pretend all is okay, and that was my day today and it's fucking horrible.
06/17 Direct Link
Today started rough -- I was upwards of 17,493 ways of certain that I'd been a big dope yesterday, the day trip with Carissa.

All in my head, of course -- a bad neighborhood, one I oughtn't to enter, not alone anyways.

Somehow I calmed. the. fuck. down. and into the day, which turned out to be ever so grand.

I love even the **idea** of my bike ride in 97F blazing 7PM heat -- what a hoot !!! Everybody thinks I'm nuts (same as with winter swimming) but I've acclimated and it's No Problem, mostly. It's June. We're in Austin. It's warm.
06/18 Direct Link
And today, I slept.

Then slept some more.

Only after that long, long sleep did I begin to stir. And that stir was no fast stir, either.

I don't know what time coffee entered my system. And that was very weak coffee, and not much of it.

Probably if I did not have this bike ride thing going I would not have stepped outside my door. Period.

I didn't check the mail. I didn't see the sun. I didn't drive my truck. I pretty much didn't do a goddamn thing except read, browsing slowly online.

Not exactly a great day.
06/19 Direct Link
It sure was sweet.

Nothing big. Nothing huge. Just a nice rest last night and a nice awakening today, and ease in my heart as I lazed through this day.

Reading. Getting read to, Audible, this great book -- The Gene -- by Siddhartha Mukherjee. Mukherjee is one of the coolest sons of bitches that there is, such a fine writer, a brilliant man and a great storyteller, takes remarkably complex items and brings them to where we all can grok them.

And the bike ride -- just great.

And now? Brown rice and orange lentils cooking.

And then sleep -- big day tomorrow.
06/20 Direct Link
The summer solstice.

The longest day of the year. The shortest night.

It's my brother Phil's favorite day of the year.

My favorite day of the year is December 21. The winter solstice.

The longest night of the year. The shortest day.

It isn't that I dislike today, just that I prefer 12/21. Especially living in Central Texas, because the sky is so gorgeous in the gloaming, from mid-autumn through early spring.

And the air is generally crisp, though not cold. Nice for a coffee at an outdoor stand.

Tomorrow very full day, maybe East Texas on Wednesday?
06/21 Direct Link
I got the bike to REI just after noon, messed around with Andy and that beauty that works there now.

They got it fixed, though they are super concerned about the frame cracking and breaking and whatnot. They have so little faith in that bike. And they don't understand how much I love that fkr.


Hard to pick out the biggest/best piece of the day. It's *got* to be the bike. That's what keeps coming to me as I write. I do *not* intend to give up my bike. Too much good locked up in it. I love it.
06/22 Direct Link
There are days I just don't want to write here. It is those days that this commitment is so annoying -- Every day? Are you fkn kidding me?

Today is one of those days.

I'm writing about not wanting to write.

And -- it counts. As long as I spit out one hundred words, and enter them in before I fall asleep, well, I'm set. I've held to the commitment. I have done the deal. I can close my eyes, knowing that at least this is done, and done on time. I didn't blow my one "miss" day -- nope, tonight I wrote.
06/23 Direct Link
No sleep last night and only about an hour in the evening, prior to my bike ride. (It's strange; up until about four pm I was all twirly-headed and south-footed in my mind, then it's like I got a second wind.) The nap was great.

Even without sleep, my day was productive if not easy. Called about bicycle lock warranty, called my insurance company, got my truck inspected, checked out the new "Restore" on South First (it's cool) and then grocery shopping, HEB. ....

Got to finish here, keep drifting toward sleep, I hope that tonight I sleep deep.
06/24 Direct Link
It's amazing to me how much of a lift it is to get a note from someone I respect, a note telling me that they admire my writing. That's happened a number of times; always a lift.

It happened today, and I've kept the note open all day, re-reading it, thinking of how to respond.

I do not want to just dash off some horses-ass "Oh, gee thanx!" yet also don't want to write some massive missive, detailing the many and varied ways in which I respect them, and admire them, and want to wash their car, etc....
06/25 Direct Link
Oh man, what a day.

I laid low, laid up most of the day, as I was up past the dawn. (Again. And I'm headed in that direction again right now, as I key this in, 3AM. Damnit...)

So there's that. But by god once I *did* start moving, well, it was pretty damn good.

The bike ride -- it was cool and gray, not even 80F, unbelievable in a summer day in ATX.

And then I met with Jason, @ Westlake. He is doing so goddamn well. Hell of a man.

And then Josh, and Mickey -- these are great human beings.
06/26 Direct Link
It really hurts. Fuck. My goddamned elbow maybe is broken
It really hurts. Fuck. My goddamned elbow maybe is broken
It really hurts. Fuck. My goddamned elbow maybe is broken
It really hurts. Fuck. My goddamned elbow maybe is broken
It really hurts. Fuck. My goddamned elbow maybe is broken
It really hurts. Fuck. My goddamned elbow maybe is broken
It really hurts. Fuck. My goddamned elbow maybe is broken
It really hurts. Fuck. My goddamned elbow maybe is broken
It really hurts. Fuck. My goddamned elbow maybe is broken
It really hurts. Fuck. My goddamned elbow maybe is broken
06/27 Direct Link
I spent this whole day in lockdown, sleeping, resting, eating pain meds. By the time that it was time for my bike ride the pain had subsided considerably, and then on the ride it seemed to help as I warmed my body. The muscles in my back and neck needed it, probably it even helped my elbow, and hip, though they aren't so much muscle pain as it is bone pain. I bet if I'd gone to a doc they'd have sewed up my elbow, maybe four or five stitches; as it is, it's going to take longer to heal.
06/28 Direct Link
A slow day, an easy day, a long sleep after yet again being up all night, reading. Hope to break that tonight -- we'll see.

WAY less sore than yesterday, healing up nicely from that bike wreck. Still, it takes about an hour to bandage up after taking a shower, a real pain in the ass. Big, long scrapes that cannot easily be bandaged, takes time, patience.

With that big wreck, 3 years ago, it took over 90 minutes to bandage everything up, and that after a long shower, loosening up then sloughing off dead tissue, allow new tissue to grow.
06/29 Direct Link
Again and again I have almost fallen asleep. Which would have made this my "missed" day. But I want to write. So here I am.

I have been listening to two very good books, one on the bike rides, a different book at home. A small luxury -- interesting lectures and books read professionally. I love it.

The scrapes from the bike wreck are healing fast. I spend the time dressing them correctly, which cuts the healing time by at least 1/3. Or so I think. It takes right at one hour, twice a day.





06/30 Direct Link
Hell of a month of hundreds.

Three sets.

My Ashtanga practice could easily have taken over this set of hundreds -- it has done so in the past -- so it's got its very own hundreds.

The bike rides could easily have taken over this set of hundreds -- it was headed in that direction many days -- so that's got *its* very own hundreds.

Which puts me right here. And right now. I'm at the intersection of here and now, right in this sentence.

Now what?

How the fuck am I supposed to write my way out of that here and now sentence?