Posted by: Mark | April 20, 2018

Gerbil Jailbreak II

I didn’t exactly search every henhouse, every outhouse, and every cathouse yesterday when the gerbils chewed through their cage.

Last night about midnight one decided to start running around the living room. It wasn’t hard to catch but I realized that I never counted the gerbils in the cage to figure out how many escaped.

Later about 4:30, I heard one in my closet and realized I still hadn’t counted. I caught the third fugitive but without my contacts, I couldn’t tell how many were in the cage.

This morning they all seemed there but now I can’t remember how many were there to begin with.

If I lived in the DC Universe, I would be top pick to run Arkham Asylum.

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Posted by: Mark | April 19, 2018

Gerbil Jailbreak

Once again a gerbil chewed through the top of his cage and crawled out. It took a long time and moving furniture but I finally tricked him into the open and grabbed him.

If I have to buy another cage, I’m getting a boa constrictor.

Posted by: Mark | April 18, 2018

11th Resolution

I’m doing terribly on my 2018 resolutions but I finished the reading list. After a few setbacks, I decided to read Shirley Jackson’s The Lottery and Other Stories. I read “The Lottery” ages ago but haven’t seen any other stories in the book.

Posted by: Mark | April 17, 2018

Third Class

It was uneven and disjointed but I made it through class tonight.

I would feel better but my doctor sent me a survey about recovery and my results were very discouraging. I want a robot body.

Posted by: Mark | April 16, 2018

Resolution Update 15

Things look better.

1.   Run 730 miles: walked 3.9 miles for 16.4 for the year.

2.  5,000 push ups and 8,000 leg lifts: 421 push ups and 325 leg lifts. No change.

3.  Lose 26 pounds: lost a whopping 0.8 pounds.

4.  Send out 100 resumes: nothing.

5. Send out 50 manuscripts: four.

6. Write 60,000 words and five new stories: 8,682 words and three new stories.

7. Visit five new libraries: four–the Wyoming, Price Hill and Clifton branches of the Cincinnati Library, and the Alexandria branch of Campbell County.

8. Read ten new H.P. Lovecraft stories: Complete

“Celephais,”
“The Other Gods,”
“The Moon-Bog,”
”The Street,”
”The Doom That Came to Sarnath,”
“Polaris,”
“The Alchemist,”
“The Music of Erich Zann,”
“Dreams in the Witch House,” and
“The White Ship.”

9.  Read 12 works: Complete.

Finished James Joyce’s A Portrait of the Artist as A Young Man,
Shakespeare’s long poetry,
Ray Bradbury’s Dandelion Wine,
Virgil’s Aeneid,
Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God,
Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart,
Tennessee Williams’s A Streetcar Named Desire, and
Plautus’s Comedy of Asses, Curculio, The Pot of Gold,and The Captives

10. 301 blog posts: this is 70.

Posted by: Mark | April 15, 2018

Game Day

For the first time in a long time, I played many new games.

Say Anything – a little bit like Would You Rather , a player reads a question like “What would be the worst thing to shout at church, and the others come up with an answer. Easy to learn and play and fun.

Pipeline– ao why did we play a game for six-year-olds? I don’t know but it was the one game I won today.

Jenga Tetris – I like Jenga. I like Tetris. The first guy to try knocked the whole thing down. Made of plastic blocks, it seemed more slippery than the wood version. Five minutes of set up, less than two seconds of game play.

90s Trivia Pursuit – we quit after two rounds. Unless you’re a huge fan of the 90s, I wouldn’t recommend it.

Go Nuts for Donuts– by the same publisher as Sushi Go, it plays pretty much the same way but quicker and easier. I liked it more than Sushi Go.

Fuji Flush– probably the best game of the day, it plays like Uno but doesn’t create unstoppable urges of homicide like Uno. Good, fast-moving card game.

Posted by: Mark | April 12, 2018

Their Eyes Were Watching God

It’s been several weeks, a surgery, and a lot of medication since I finished Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God.

I’ve had near misses of reading it since high school but reading lists always changed so I never got to it.

For some reason, I had it in my mind that 100 Years of Solitude was about a single protagonist and Their Eyes Were Watching God was multi-generational.  It turned out I had things backwards. That bothered me a little with 100 Years of Solitude but, for some reason, it made me like Their Eyes Were Watching God more. I have no rational explanation for that reaction.

Along these lines, normally I don’t like dialogue in dialect. I haven’t read Mark Twain in a while for that reason but it didn’t bother me at all here. Again, I don’t know why.

I have read several books about race and gender in the South during the Jim Crow era and this seemed both deeper and more distant than others. Race relations didn’t come across as intense because white people came across as a far-off issue.

Hurston wrote that she didn’t want to make her novel into a lecture. That made feminist issues less prominent but the story felt more natural (at least to me).

I can’t explain why I reacted differently to this novel than to others. I enjoyed it but it left me with questions.

Posted by: Mark | April 11, 2018

Second Class

Today I bled from parts of me that I never wanted to see blood but last night I managed to last a full class. I’m hoping next week will be better.

Posted by: Mark | April 10, 2018

Resolution Update 14

I tried going back to work. I’m not up to it but financially I’m getting close to homeless, so I don’t have much of a choice.

1.   Run 730 miles: walked 1.2 miles for 12.5 for the year.

2.  5,000 push ups and 8,000 leg lifts: 421 push ups and 325 leg lifts. No change.

3.  Lose 26 pounds: no change since last week.

4.  Send out 100 resumes: nothing.

5. Send out 50 manuscripts: nothing.

6. Write 60,000 words and five new stories: 8,329 words and three new stories.

7. Visit five new libraries: four–the Wyoming, Price Hill and Clifton branches of the Cincinnati Library, and the Alexandria branch of Campbell County.

8. Read ten new H.P. Lovecraft stories: Complete

“Celephais,”
“The Other Gods,”
“The Moon-Bog,”
”The Street,”
”The Doom That Came to Sarnath,”
“Polaris,”
“The Alchemist,”
“The Music of Erich Zann,”
“Dreams in the Witch House,” and
“The White Ship.”

9.  Read 12 works: Complete.

Finished James Joyce’s A Portrait of the Artist as A Young Man,
Shakespeare’s long poetry,
Ray Bradbury’s Dandelion Wine,
Virgil’s Aeneid,
Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God,
Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart,
Tennessee Williams’s A Streetcar Named Desire, and
Plautus’s Comedy of Asses, Curculio, The Pot of Gold,and The Captives

10. 301 blog posts: this is 66.

Posted by: Mark | April 7, 2018

Dead Frog; Reading; Junk

Class on Tuesday was rough. I should be better next week. My incision points are infected, and, as predicted, the last of my frogs died.

On the brighter side, being confined gave me much more time to read. I hit my goal of finishing James Joyce’s A Portrait of the Artist as A Young Man, Shakespeare’s long poetry, Ray Bradbury’s Dandelion Wine, Virgil’s Aeneid, Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God, Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart, and Tennessee Williams’ Streetcar Named Desire. I had a book of Roman drama from the library and went through Plautus’s The Haunted House, The Comedy of Asses, The Pot of Gold, Curculio, and The Captives.

That’s more Roman than I intended but it was here and the other options weren’t. I’m thinking of new choices before I start wearing a toga.

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