Saturday, November 27, 2004


I suppose that the absence of my family has given me the opportunity to learn how much I would sleep if there were no other forces acting upon me. It's about nine hours. And also it has given me a chance to listen to my body and it's symptoms, without the distraction of performing without listening, because there is work to do.

And it has given me the chance to do touchup painting, more of which I did today.

My email filter is great. I set it so that any mail from someone not in my address book or in my sent-to addresses goes to the Junk folder. I even made it play a different sound when that happens.

Now the man who in his last post strongly hinted that movies were not worth watching, must tell you that he rented two more: Bandits (with Cate Blanchett), and Dr. Strangelove (I never have seen it). I did this based on the advice of the young woman at the video store, who says that The Gift is another good Blanchett film.

Rather than drive, I walked the nine or so blocks to the video store, because the sky is so crisp and blue, with lovely white clouds swirling in it.

What can I say about my walking? It's different. I wouldn't say challenging, but something you gotta keep your eye on. You know how, after you've been working out, maybe running, playing soccer, or dancing, and your muscles are really tired (but happy), and your gait is a little wobbly? Mine is like that.

I have always been a fast walker, and ALS hasn't changed that tendency. But half the way home I noticed that I was pushing too hard, and made a conscious effort to slow down.

How odd that in the old days I could run to the video store and back, and not feel that I was warmed up yet. And then go for a real run. Could I still jog? I bet I still could.

Maybe today, or maybe tomorrow, I plan to walk/jog down to the gym and lightly move some weights around.

Are you worried about me? I say, don't be. What else can be done? Every known thing that can be done, we are already doing. It's not as though some emergency operation, or a lotion, or ingesting ground marmot teeth will make this stop. The only thing to be done is to slow it down. Slow it down. By being happy, positive, healthy, and not worrying! Let's count our blessings, not fret our losses.

I'm going to have a big fat turkey sandwich soon. And watch these movies. While the paint dries.

2:00 PM: Now THAT was worth watching! "Bandits" is fun, and a smart movie. Cate is fantastic, and Billy Bob does a very good job. It's a comedy, and yet serious. A+ for this film. I liked Billy Bob's cornocopia of symptoms, particularly when he loses control of his legs and tries to climb back into his chair. Which reminds me, later, when I get more rubbery, I am going to be a LAUGH RIOT. People are uncomfortable with disability, and fear fuels humor, and I got it baby, so you all better wear diapers so you don't pee yourself laughing.

Favorites lines:

"You know the hardest thing about being smart? I always pretty much know what's gonna happen next. There's no suspense."

"I'm feeling very fragile at the moment, and I don't think I should be alone."

Two wonderful friends from out of town stopped by today and we went to a nice cafe and had wonderful extended intellectual discussions. Sometimes, in recent years, I wondered if I really was an intellectual, or if that was just a self-flattering label that I had adopted merely because I am smart, follow current events, read books, and apply philosophical and analytical reasoning to almost every question. Maybe, I thought, to be a real intellectual you have to argue about Kant's influence on Marx, and have a PhD. But I no longer wonder about that.

8:05 PM: Dr. Strangelove: The comic special effects in which the B52 bombers flick through the sky with no apparent aerodynamic impediments, and the ground rushes by, while the B52 casts the shadow of a B17, are highly gratifying. As are all the performances. Favorite quote:

"You can't fight in here, this is the war room!"

This film was released in 1964 and pokes fun at the reigning paranoia of that time. Only one question, where is the Dr. Strangelove film of OUR age?
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