I'm surprised you hadn't read Harry Potter already. My son has read
them all, though he is not much of a reader, and of course so have I.
You aren't the only reader who has been surprised. One
even offered to send me all of the books. Considering
how much money I have spent on them in the past few days,
I should've said yes.
I suppose for his generation it is more or less like the
Wizard of Oz for yours.
Yes, the comparison to Oz is more apt than to Tolkien.
The holiday weekend was dominated by Harry Potter, but I did take a break
to listen to La Boheme, a touching performance from the
Metropolitan Opera. They reported that Puccini wrote after attending a
production "I was weeping like a child" at the death of Mimi. He
wasn't the only one, but then tears started to flow through most of Act 3.
And on Monday I joined Helen R. to see the new Keanu Reeves movie,
Well, it was certainly good to see Helen, as always.
"Nice clothes!" Tanioka said when I crossed paths with him in the pre-dawn
hours. I rather agree, but they could use a wash. I'd just buy new ones
as replacements but the store doesn't have them anymore. Dark brown
"cargo pants" and a surprisingly close match of dark brown in a cotton
flannel shirt. The shirt is from Land's End, the first garment I've owned
from them, and I was pleased to find it since they've long been a sponsor
of Prairie Home Companion, one of my favorite radio shows. Dark
brown is even better than black at not looking dirty.
Many, perhaps most, series novels start off fine and gradually become
weaker, repetitive, dull (witness Robert Jordan). The Potter books are
the reverse. Each one gets bigger and better. I'd like to survive until
July to read the next one.
A reader wrote: No comment on the death of Hunter S. Thompson?
I didn't comment on Arthur Miller, either, although I was much surprised
when the BBC World Service opened their evening broadcast with a report of
his death. (I do think Death of a Salesman is one of the great
American contributions to world theatre.)
Miller waited till he got an invitation to go through the door of the
Final Exit. Thompson crashed the party. No blame, no shame, as I see it.
I certainly consider it often, and have all my long life.
Thompson was always an outlaw, a delightfully cynical writer who gave me
much pleasure and tried to tell this weird country things many inhabitants
of it didn't want to know.
The Waianae Werewolf missed the Full Moon this time but as expected he did
arrive on the last day of February. The Sleeptalker, unusually, had a
monthly bus pass. He ignored the question when I asked how he'd gotten
it, but I thought he'd probably use it one last time for a trip into town.
Dame Fortune was kind because I was leaving campus when our paths crossed
in a place where we were both surprised to see each other.
I've been quite lucky with books from the dollar-book-shelves at the mall
but had gotten a total loser. I can't imagine why any publisher was dumb
enough to print the thing and threw it into the trash after about twenty
pages. So I was on my way to buy replacements.
At the store, the Sleeptalker suggested many options, most of which I've
already read, but I did select a couple of things and then tried to take
him to the Mai Tai Bar for a drink. Of course, they wanted ID. Oh well,
to the supermarket for two beers and to L&L for take-out meals which we
enjoyed in the sunset bench area.
I asked him what he's doing out in the country and he said "just wandering
around". He's sleeping under a bridge, complained about the difficulty in
getting to the spot which evidently involves climbing over rocks.
Even though it's certainly the most physically uncomfortable place I've
found during this phase of my silly life, I do love the luxury of solitude
at the Dark Corner. And for the first time since my days of being an
office drone, I look forward to weekends. No early wake-up from newspaper
deliverers, no checking my watch every quarter hour or so to make sure I'm
out of there before the man arrives to open the place. (So far I've only
slipped up once and quickly exited when he drove his truck into the
Mad as a March Hare. That's me. And the Sleeptalker.
I know that you don't really care what I think you should do. And, I
absolutely respect that.
However, I am sure that there are many readers, besides me, who would
like to know how you are feeling.
Would you be so kind as to give us an update on your current state
of "well being?" What's going on with your hand and arm?
Another reader wrote:
My kinisithirapeute asked about you. He was glad you could write
again, even if not very well, said you had great chances to recover
your normal capacities if you had improved so soon.
I think that weird word translates to physiotherapist.
The right arm and hand seem to have regained full strength and dexterity
but there is still some lack of fine control. I did manage to write a
postcard but I'm afraid it may have been so inelegantly done that Felix
will worry. I'll keep trying.
The reason I saw no reason to consult a physician was because I knew what
the advice would be. Stop smoking, reduce (or even eliminate) alcohol
consumption, possibly take some drug for high blood pressure. The first
two I have no intention of doing, the third I don't want to spend money
on, as I'd have to as a senior citizen in the United States of America.
Like I said, I don't want to have bits of my body incapacitated, just give
me a massive stroke and get me out of here. If it happens while I'm
sleeping, all the better. Except, of course, for the nuisance to the
proprietors of the Dark Corner. I'd rather die there than at the Black
I felt like I'd stepped into the Twilight Zone on Thursday evening. I
went to the supermarket to buy my sunset beer, a bowl of soup and some
buttermilk biscuits. The young man at the check-out tried to charge me
$5.99 for the soup, instead of the $2.99 it should have been. He
evidently thought I'd had enough beer already and just hid the bottle
somewhere, ignored it. I disputed the overcharge on the soup. He
corrected it, put the soup and the biscuits in a bag and went to the next
customer. I said "what happened to my beer?" and he again just totally
ignored me. I wish they'd stop hiring Mormons at that store.
So I went and got another bottle of beer, took it to a different clerk and
got my sunset repast.
This is really so stupid:
Beach homeless hit road
as police evict campers in Ewa Beach
The Sleeptalker, of course, is familiar with the area and was much
surprised when I told him the news.
I talked with Pedro for awhile. Although he has no solid evidence, he
thinks Joe Guam is dead. I think either dead or in the hospital. If he'd
finally gotten to the point of returning to Guam, I'm sure he would have
mentioned it the last time I saw him.
Now the Duchess has disappeared. After seeing her for so many years
sitting in the early morning on the same bench outside McD's, it's a
strange feeling to see the bench empty.
I don't understand your health system. Why do you have to pay more
when you get older ? Because now you have a pension ?
Until you reach 65, poor folks are covered by the national program,
in some states, including Hawaii, by state programs. These permit visits
to doctors, optometrists, dentists (although only for extractions in the
latter case), and free prescription drugs. At 65, you switch to Medicare.
It covers expenses for any
health problem which involves hospitalization, but that's about it. I'm
wondering if I should have a sometimes-troublesome molar eliminated this
month, while Medicaid will pay for it. I think I am also eligible
for some services at the Veterans Hospital, but haven't really
investigated it. (I know the Old Guitarist got free eyeglasses from
them.) According to the information booklet provided by Medicare, some
states do provide additional assistance for the indigent. Perhaps I'll
find out details when I have my annual review for foodstamps in July.
I should have maintained my British residency. Then I'd have free service
for everything. But then I'd have to put up with the gloomy British
winters and would probably die sooner from depression than from limited
medical care in the U.S.
Speaking of foodstamps, I'm grateful any unused portion carries over to
the next month, else I would have had to do some heavy food shopping. I
had more than fifty dollars carryover this cycle, the most ever. (Being
silly and treating myself to hot food instead of using the stamps to buy
boring sandwiches and other cold stuff.)
I didn't see the film, but Homer Hickham's October Sky (originally
published as Rocket Boys) is a wonderful autobiography. Thoroughly
They had an illustration of an older woman on the TV news the other
They said that police were seeking the identity of the woman who was found
dead at a bus stop near Ala Moana. I immediately thought of "Dutchess."
was about a week ago, maybe less.
I am sure that was the Duchess. How sad. Although her life, or at least
the final years of it, seemed to be rather sad, too. Every day, a bit
after sunset when it became dark, she would leave the mall and sit on the
same bench at the covered bus stop and sleep in a sitting position.
Between five and five-thirty in the morning, she would return to the mall
and sit on a bench outside McDonald's, although she very rarely went into
the place. In fact, I almost never saw her drinking or eating. I never
saw her doing anything but sitting on a bench. She was the most
consistent enigma of all characters in the Tales. I just don't understand
how anyone could live like that. Without books, without radio, without
conversation, I would definitely get suicidal.
The Tales have gone on so long its characters are dying.
Covered bus stops. There was one across from the State Library where
there were usually three or four men sleeping each night. Despite the
police saying "no sleeping at bus stops", I don't think there is (yet)
actually a law against it, and certainly not if one is sleeping in a
sitting position. Perhaps that is why they suddenly removed the whole
covered structure there. (It's also across from Honolulu Hale, the city
hall.) So to get rid of a few homeless sleepers, everyone else has to
wait in the rain for a bus?
This is a crazy town.
Vog stands for volcanic fog ?
Or volcanic "smog". It is fortunately fairly rare but sometimes the wind
blows in such a way as to bring all the stuff the Big Island volcano
ejects to smother Oahu. Last week's attack was one of the worst I've seen
although it mercifully lasted only one day. There was so much junk in the
air, Diamond Head seen from the university was a vague outline and the
towers of downtown were almost invisible.
This is a crazy town.