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BY Michael

11/01 Direct Link
I think I have gotten ahead of myself here. Sometimes you get out of phase with yourself, and one version leaves the other version behind. That can happen on a wonderful fall day like this, and if I am lucky the park will be empty when I get done here and I can go for that walk I have been promising myself. I would rather do it outside. The basement and the treadmill are kind of depressing. With the concrete walls, concrete floors, and the bleak lighting. With the coating of sticky white dust from the anti-mold treatment of Concrobium.
11/02 Direct Link
Well, I am slow. Yes, I am slow. I am easily distracted. My brain is always willing to go somewhere other than where it already is. I take lots of breaks. Either intentionally or because I have been distracted by something else. So I am not able to complete as many tasks in one day as someone else might do. Also I am by nature a slow walking Joe. I walk slow. I talk slow. I even think slowly. There have been times in my life when I needed to move quickly, but that is not really my true nature.
11/03 Direct Link
WellÖ The President paused. His blue eyes lifted toward the far side of the room, but that was not what he was seeing. He was seeing a blue sky off in the distance, not a cloud in sight. There was a scent of sage in the air, and an unaccountable tinge of gun oil in the air. He could feel the breeze hot in his hair and on the back of his neck. His hair had been cut that morning. He remembered the feeling of the liquid the barber splashed on the back of his neck. What was that for?
11/04 Direct Link
I need a re-count here. Iím not sure things are adding up. True, the difference is small, but it is the principle of the thing. We must have principles, mustnít we? This great nation was founded on great principles, and to maintain those principles we must march forward as great men carrying our banners high. Iím not sure. I am not sure I can support a system in which I am not victorious. Perhaps I am victorious. Perhaps there has been some mistake. Or not. There was chicanery. Someone cheated. Thatís what they said about me when I was victorious.
11/05 Direct Link
With our eyes closed, we are not what we will be, what we will become. We are waiting, waiting to be seen. You writhe in solitude. You are eating the sun as she climbs in the sky and as long as you keep eating, she will not burn you; you will not cry. It is flames against your ears, flames against your eyes, and you hold her hot under your breath as she eats through your chest. Sure it hurts for a while, but life is pain. It aches and it is torn. What else could you have been born?
11/06 Direct Link
Itís dark outside and time is running out. Oh, that is nothing new. Time has been running out sicne time began, and in a sense it has been running out since before it began. Imagine we are out there out in that sense where time begins and ends in the same instant, where the universe collapses in against itself and is reborn on the other side. Hat is how it works, coming out the other side. I remember doing this before. I will be forced to do it again, to beat my fists against the cold steel door of pain.
11/07 Direct Link
Iím leaving in ten minutes. Itís hardly worth booting up the computer, but there is a chance that I can do 100 words in ten minutes. I mean, why not? I am meeting someone in Westland, about 50 minutes from here, one way to pick up something I saw advertised on Facebook Marketplace. These internet ads are always ify to respond to, but I did anyway, knowing there was no guarantee that what I would get would actually work at all, or even that I would not be hit over the head and robbed for the $100 cash I brought.
11/08 Direct Link
There is a whitish object hanging in the bushes outside my window. It could be a patch of snow, but it is too warm for that. Maybe it is a plastic bag arranged just so. It could be a dove. Some of them are a whitish grey. But I would expect it to move occasionally. Moving my head so I can see around my monitor, I see another whitish object. It is a little piece of decorative fencing that Roomie has put there. I see now that what I was looking at was actually the other side of her fence.
11/09 Direct Link
My discussion topic for the Koreans tonight is Presidential pardons. The past two presidents of South Korea, Lee Myung-bak and Park Guen-he, are both currently in jail serving what amount to life sentences for various crimes. Polls show that a majority of Koreans feel the two presidents should not be pardoned, yet the current president, Moon Jae-in, may find it politically expedient to pardon them before his term Is up. Past presidents, Chun Doo-hway and Roh Tae-woo have also been pardoned for various offenses. This makes me wonder whether Moon himself will need a pardon before things are over with.
11/10 Direct Link
Iíve been thinking about that small white object on the ground outside my window. I may have been too hasty in my evaluation of it. Suppose it was a more sinister object, say a spider web for a new species of leaping face-sized spider with wicked fangs and deadly poison. Hairy too. I really hate hairy spiders. And this, well this is some thing I can arrive at without even consulting the ideas people can conjure up about inter-planetary visitors, or inter-galactic, or, God help me, inter-fucking-dimensional visitors. I have clearly dismissed this apparition far too casually. It merits investigation.
11/11 Direct Link
I am not sure that The trick to writing is merely thinking of something to write. I have had satisfying writing sessions that I sat down to without any idea of what I was going to write, often up to the point where I hit the first key and the first word came out, and even then sometimes I donít yet know where the sentence was going. Is this true? Have I written a truth or did I plot that sentence for weeks, carefully laying out the premise and concatenating letters and words to represent conflicting ideas and subliminal messages?
11/12 Direct Link
The train just went by, throwing a wall of sound behind me on the other side of the door wall. There was a railroad a quarter mile from where I grew up. I could hear it too, although living here is a different experience. You get used to the sound, even the pounding of the heavy engines and cars. I think what impresses me most, especially at night, is the lights, the lights in the engineer's compartment. They move along by themselves, the engines and cars hidden in the dark. My neighbor next door used to be a railroad engineer.
11/13 Direct Link
The snow crept in last night on sock feet, carrying its shoes, and took a place on the couch without waking anyone. It lay there quietly all night beneath the short blanket it had found. It was still there this morning when I got up to make coffee, so it was my turn to go about the house quietly as it slept, to sit in my chair in the twilight of very early morning and consider the snow, its travels up to now, and the many things that had happened to it to bring it, once more, to my door.
11/14 Direct Link
I have learned that someone else turns the pillow and finds the underside cooler. I had thought it was my private invention. Why do you think we do that? Do we heat the topside with our heads? The head seems to function as a giant radiator. Mine does. How, do you suppose, we discovered the underside of the pillow? and come to use it in our sleep to cool off? Did we slide our hand under there one warm evening and find to our delight that it was cool? Were we trying to get the pillow to fit us better?
11/15 Direct Link
Going across the country used to be easy. You would just get in your car. If you got tired you stopped at a motel. You paid with a credit card. Likewise, if you got hungry you stopped at a McDonalds and you once again paid with a credit card. Things have changed a bit these days. There are not many cars that still work. Most travel is done on foot or horseback, and God knows there are probably still more cars to go around than there are horses, even old worn-out ones. Then you have to deal with endless checkpoints.
11/16 Direct Link
I think I am about to be ripped off by an invidious lawyer, one who has shown up uninvited and who has no interest other than extracting money out of a complicated situation that he alone has arranged. This is really bizarre and nothing quite like this has ever happened to me before. Apparently he talked the association president into hiring him, using money we had approved for road repairs, to sue someone else. From there, things went downhill, and without us even knowing what was happening, we are in the hole to this Meisner guy for a hundred grand.
11/17 Direct Link
I have, here, slipped onto another page. It is a clean white page, 8Ĺ by 11. A literal tabula rasa. I have been faced with this kind of thing before, and true, it has occasionally daunted me. But today I will not be daunted. I will not be delayed, held back, or slowed down. Today I will conquer the blank page. I will come out on top. I was about to say, ďEmerge victorious,Ē but, Jesus, that really sounds awkward. And I donít like to use complicated language to express a simple ideaóto say something simple. Yes, thatís better.
11/18 Direct Link
I was going to write about shoes? What made me think I had a hundred words in me about shoes? Good grief! That is really stretching things. Truly, I am wearing shoes just now. They are house shoes. My roomie doesnít like people to wear street shoes in the house. I agree with that. She thinks my feed should be protected. I agree with that too. So I have house shoes. Also, when I am working up here, my feet get really cold. I find it is much more comfortable, particularly this time of year, to wear the house shoes.
11/19 Direct Link
I was surprised by my entry for the 18th. I wrote a hundred words just starting with the word, ďshoes.Ē I am pretty darn sure I could not do that again. To be sure, I do have a favorite pair of shoes. They are slip-ons. I really like slip-ons. I do NOT like tying shoes. I do NOT like shoelaces that untie themselves as you walk. I vastly prefer slip-ons. My slip-ons are identical to the ones I wore out before them, and I am sure my next pair of slip-ons will be identical to the ones I now wear.
11/20 Direct Link
Wow! Two entries in a row about shoes! Who would have imagined I could do that? It is true that I have many different pairs of shoes, and it is also true that each pair of shoes has a story of its own. Take for example my Birkenstocks. I do not really like them that much. They are the sandals with the strap over the foot and strapless in back. A used pair of Birkeys will cost you twice as much once you opt for the strap in the back. These are comfortable until you accidentally step out of them.
11/21 Direct Link
When you step out of the back of a Birkenstock your foot lands on a ridge formed by the edge of the cork sole, and when you put your weight down on it, it hurts like hell. Every spring, I get my Birkenstocks out and actually put them on. I marvel at how comfortable they are, and then on the first or second day I step out of them accidentally and, OUCH! That hurts! I resolve to be more careful and continue. Then the next day I do it again when I will put them away until the following spring.
11/22 Direct Link
I think I started wearing Birkenstocks when I was given a pair by a friend, David. I donít remember why David gave me his pair. Perhaps he stepped out of them once or twice. I know that David later bought himself another pair. Maybe, these didnít fit him? Likewise I donít remember exactly what I did with these Birkenstocks. Perhaps I threw them away, or wore them out. At any rate I ended up buying another pair, the one I now have. I have considered popping for a pair with the strap in the back. Imagine Ė comfort and no pain.
11/23 Direct Link
In the summer, when Iím not suffering with the Birkenstocks, I wear my Eccoís. Like the Birkenstocks, they are sandals. Unlike the Birkenstocks, they do not have fatal flaws and I have worn this pair for several years. I love my Eccoís and would wear them year-round if I did not live in Michigan where it snows, and I might then if I did not suffer from perpetually cold feet. They hold up very well too. Every spring my g/f offers to buy me a new pair, and every spring I tell her the ones I have are just fine.
11/24 Direct Link
As a child Iím not sure what I wore. I remember something about Buster Browns and Tommy Hahnís shoe store in Downtown St. Paris. (Pop. 1,460). Having a shoe store is no longer a town like St. Paris can afford these days. These days they donít even have a grocery. When I was a boy, they had two groceries and a meat market. Things have changed. Tommy had one of those machines that would x-ray your feet. I think all of those machines have been gathered up and destroyed by men in black, or something. You donít see them anymore.
11/25 Direct Link
I remember that my fatherís feet were small, but wide. He wore an 8Ĺ EEE. He wore these heave ankle-length shoes we called brogans. When I do a search on the word, ďbrogan,Ē I get the right description, but I get a picture of something that looks little like the heavy leather lace-up boot my father wore. When he was younger he wore Romeos Ė low slung leather slippers popular back then. As he got older, he stayed with sock feet. He also had a pair of oxfords for church. However he never gave up the brogans as his go-to shoe.
11/26 Direct Link
I think I do not remember what shoes I wore growing up, although I remember a few specific pairs. There were the Army surplus high-top sneakers my father got me. I tried dying them red, but they turned purple. I got teased a lot at school for wearing purple high-tops. This was the sixties, not the nineties, so purple shoes were not cool. I remember wearing these shoes called pound-a-pair that my mother got me. Their ďthingĒ was that they were supposed to be light. Mother also bought me Wellington boots two times. For some reason I remember the Wellingtons.
11/27 Direct Link
Ahh, itís dark again. Christmas lights sparkle dimly in the distance. I donít think they are really sparkling though. It is an optical illusion caused by cataracts and by glasses that donít fix the problem. Then too, these lights are pretty far away, maybe a quarter mile. I know they are there. I have seen them up close before. They are the kind of lights that get left up on a house year round and only get turned on at Christmas. Itís that kind of neighborhood. I would be that kind of guy if I put lights up at all.
11/28 Direct Link
I get cold up here in the office this time of year. I should not, because it is 77 degrees in here. Nevertheless, I find I get cold. I am already looking around the room for my oversized Sherpa-lined cardigan to slip on to keep me warm. Iím normally not a person who gets cold. I am fairly good at withstanding cold temperatures. My feet, maybe not so much. I do have perennially cold feet. In the winter when I work in the barn, I have to wear those chemical foot warmers that stick to my socks inside my shoes.
11/29 Direct Link
It was a rainy day. Oh, not here. I donít think. It might have been here. I cannot tell. Itís too dark out there this time of day. This time of night. But it was a rainy day in this other place I am about to tell you about. It was out on the lake. I was out on the lake where you could see the drops of rain hitting the water. The lake was calm enough for that, not the storm churned thing it would become later. Each drop hit the water with precision pinging out perfect concentric ripples.
11/30 Direct Link
It was early dawn there, on the lake. Here itís not dawn. I donít know what has happened to the sun this morning here. It is just gone. There, on the lake, it was dawn. There was a mist in the air that was just starting to lift off the lake, and like smoke it left a clear patch of air about a foot off the lake. If you head down low enough you could see Lone Susan Island out there on the water. I was in the aluminum boat. They say aluminum boats make more noise than wood ones.