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small gray square Feeling quite lousy, although it's all in my head. Somehow being in Los Angeles brings back my grief for David's death, which happened in November (six years ago). At one point on Monday I passed the hospital where he died, not intentionally, but there it was. Also a year ago today my cat Boris was found dead (by P - he'd been living with them at the beach for years) so I feel his loss, too. Adding to the gloomy feel is the weather - gray with scattered showers - and the wind is COLD! I've fallen into one of those dim phases of recollection, focusing on single tragic episodes years in the past - usually some boneheaded, inappropriate behavior blunder - an action (or inaction) of my own which, if preformed differently <1>, would've made me truly happy then, and thus my whole life afterwards would be different-better and I'd be truly happy now. In other words I'm increasing my misery by dwelling on past mistakes. Do others do this too, or am I specific and unique in my mental illness? According to Spalding Gray, journals are useful here: one records the precise feelings at the time; they're an assistance later when, looking back, regret is rendered invalid when full memory of the true feelings of those past moments is recalled. (Or something.) Intellectually I know I'm being ridiculous, that it's history, and things would've wound up pretty much the same no matter what had happened, and so what anyway.

small yellow square Finally finished Under The Volcano - I try to read one certified "great book" every year, and this time it was that saga of Hugh, Yvonne, and Geoffrey the alcoholic Consul: Mexico and the Day of the Dead in the shadows of Popocatepetl and Ixtaccihuatl. Interesting, but way too wordy. I can tell this "Berlin Noir" trilogy I've started (gumshoe antics by Philip Kerr, set in 1936 Berlin) will be the more usual speedy read. My nominal rate of book absorption is a novel every week or two.

small green square Walking around outside, en route to my apartment building's exterior laundry-machine niche, I inhale the rich smell of wood smoke in the very brisk air, as a CalTrain whistle moans softly in the distance. I breathe in the sweet air, gazing up at the near-full moon overhead, and I think about how the old name is coming back into use: this place where I live now used to be called the "Valley Of Heart's Delight". The new awareness is perhaps due, in part, to David Beers' Blue Sky Dream. Back in the early 1950s Silicon Valley was full of blossoming fruit trees, like plums and cherry, but the orchards were all cut down for suburban development.

small blue square Links of the day:

  • __ Japanese Candy
  • __ National Gallery Exhibits
  • __ Virtual Edo
  • __ Mittelwerk and Lager Dora
The middle ones due to the new exhibit of Japanese artifacts just opening at the National Gallery, which I'll have the pleasure of inspecting in a couple weeks. The last one from a search prompted by news reports (triggered perhaps in contrast to the ISS construction work ongoing in orbit overhead now) about how (and more specifically, where) slave laborers built the first rockets (explore the site to find info on all other kamps). Doesn't it seem odd how much old war news we hear nowadays? Always some mention of the Holocaust, its perpetrators or victims. This also seems true about the slavery and civil rights eras. History's okay but this is more like obsession.

ISS - International Space Station
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<1> If only! and the correct move so easy to see now!