December 16th, 2009


so. where could it be.

I'm up. I'm gonna have a cup of coffee first. Santiago and I had a very warm nap together. I wish Jackson would sleep on me. I have to sleep in my bed one of these days but sleeping in my chair is so convenient and I can almost always breathe. I'm pretty sure I have sleep apnea when I lie down but I don't have the resources to get it checked out unless the City of San Francisco will pay for sleep studies for poor people. it's supposed to be a serious medical problem but somehow I cannot imagine anyone getting a good night's sleep at SFGH unless one were suffering from an overdose of one kind or another but generally of the sedating kind. but maybe they give out some kind of mouthpiece first to try to head off expensive diagnostics. i suppose I should bring it up with my MD next time I see her.

but anyway Jackson will only sleep next to me but since the bed upstairs is warmer than next to my feet downstairs he sleeps upstairs and is alone when I sleep downstairs. so we miss each other and he jumps up as soon as he sees I am awake and comes and sits next to my computer and stares at me and purrs very loudly. it's kind of charming actually but of course I am expected to maul his head lovingly. which I've been doing in between sentences here. sweet old guy. next to Santiago he seems a paragon of stability and health even though he still coughs sometimes and is afraid of pretty much everything that is not at least a semi-permanent fixture in my room, the only safe place in the world.

he's sitting in a good spot. maybe..

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I found my birth certificate which is good in a general sense at least but they didn't ask to see it. I guess Social Security has a pretty good handle on who you are and where you came from once they match your picture ID with your name and number.

thanks for the good vibes. it was not nearly as painful as the one that was cut short last time; I knew what answers to give this time and the SSA people were kind enough to give me the gay clerk. not that he's necessarily the only gay clerk, but he was definitely gay and sort of bearish and mellow, if that's a category of gay. he wasn't snippity or uptight, is what I'm saying. ok I'll put my stereotypes away now. of both bureaucrats and gay men; he was refreshingly unbureaucratic without being too familiar.

so once it was over I decided I deserved a treat so I went outside and bought a $6 hematite choker from one of the table vendors out by the cablecar turnaround. I also went into Urban Outfitters and managed not to buy a pair of jeans that were almost too small but not quite and on sale. then I went to Borders across the street and carried around a number of books before putting them all back and walking out empty-handed. that was really difficult to do: putting them all back, that is. but I need to make some headway in the ones I've got plus I have been downloading public-domain material from Roman, Greek and Medieval European writers so there are lots of things for sale that you can really get for free. any classical writer's stuff will be available free online, although it may not be the latest and greatest translation. but if it is Greek or Roman you can go to the Perseus Digital Library and read parallel texts with Latin and Greek lexicons that can help you to suss out the original language yourself when you get to a term that gives you reason to be suspicious of the translation.

and I bet I can find the series of lectures given by a Dr. Bury in 1927 on the "Invasion of Europe by the Barbarians" [ed: found it!]--an odd way of putting it considering that "barbarian" was Greek for European peoples north of Greece. I think what the lectures meant to tell us about was the rupture of barbarians from both within and without the periphery of the Roman Empire, which did not extend across all of Europe. I'm looking at that period because it was in the middle of all that that Christianity was exported to Europe, and I think something profound happened then that is more interesting even than any apparently dichotomous conflict between reason and faith.

ok I will stop writing my book here. I am very glad the interview is over and I now am going to relax and go to bed early because starting the moment I wake up from my next long sleep I have a shitload of grading to do. wish me well on that too, if you have wishes left. it is not my favorite thing to do, to say the least. soon though it will be over and I can pretend I am on a vacation for a few days.

right now, though, short break.

stopped too soon

I meant to continue the narrative of hunting presents for myself rather than getting sidetracked into what books I did not allow myself to buy and why; after not buying anything but the choker, I came back to the Mission and got myself a salmon burrito. it was either that or walk to Rainbow in the rain to get frozen burritos enough for at least 24 hours (that would be 2-3 depending on type and size). a nice added benefit to getting the fish burrito was watching Santiago wolf down three small pieces of salmon and then beg for tortilla chips (he got one cat-sized chip: the corner of one of mine). I think he's doing fairly well.

Jackson got some too of course but he is old faithful, so I was just happy to give him a treat. for the truly curious, I poked at Santiago a little yesterday and his intestines seemed reasonably empty and not gassy at all, so I think things must be moving. I am not sure where to, but I haven't stuck my nose into the poop box in a couple of days. they have two boxes and they actually use one to pee in and one to poop in. with the fancy silica "crystal" litter, you can reuse the litter in the poop box almost indefinitely.

but I won't go into any more detail on that.

ok. question of the afternoon: chair or bed?