Archive for October, 2017

Feels Like Fire, Isn’t Fire

Posted in Prose with tags , , on October 16, 2017 by sethdellinger

I was born and I’ll die.  This is shit you already know.  All of this—everything after this that I’ve written—is shit you all already know.  So, why bother?  Gotta do something, right?  Gotta do something. Mostly I think life is grand but sometimes I get melancholy.  I think it’s probably good to get melancholy sometimes, it sort of flushes your system out, presses some sort of existential reset button. I used to have a dog but he died recently.  One day he was there and the next day he wasn’t.  We paid a man in a white coat to give him drugs that made him die.  It was awful. I say again: it was awful.  Then we drove him into the country and buried him in a hole in the ground.  At night we used let our dog—Benji– out into the backyard. It wasn’t a very large backyard, but he stayed out there for as long as he could. He’d stay out there for hours if you let him. It looked like he was eating dirt but he was not eating during periods; he pulled at the ground with his paws, then flicked his tongue at it, again and again and again. I’m not sure what he was getting in there, but he was getting something. Some itty-bitty creature that was minding its own business. And probably scared the shit out of them and then killed them. Meanwhile Benji would have run away and never came back probably, if I opened the garage door and let him out. He’d been with us for years and was a member of the family, but still we held him hostage. In order for him to walk around the neighborhood he had to be put on a leash, dragged along behind us when he wasn’t not moving fast enough. What is all this? What’s going on here? Who are these animals, what are these critters, what are these lights blinking in the sky? It seems that everything is so far away from everything else. The things that are really close to you, like that glass on the kitchen counter, the magazine on the coffee table, are such a vanishingly small percentage of all the things in the universe, that technically everything in the universe is very far away from you. So far away from you you couldn’t even imagine it, and if you could imagine it, it would terrify you directly to death. Everything is far away from you and has no idea about you, no idea but your dog in the backyard eating moles or slugs buried underneath the dirt. Here on Earth there are immense caves, caverns deep beyond imagining, miles below the Earth’s surface, right now, as you read this, engulfed in a darkness beyond imagining, little tributaries or streams or even gushing rivers bounding through large hollow openings, intense chambers, drilling though soft limestone, they are there right now, incredibly far away from you. They must, despite their static nature, have some clue of themselves, some sense of awareness, an idea of their singularity. The timelessness, the long drawn-out affair of this plane, is it within them?  They don’t know anything about you though.  Somewhere a fifty-year-old newspaper deliveryman wakes up in the dead of night to put the papers in the bags, look at his new delivery list.  He gets in the car without a sound.  Rough tattooed men working in sewers for great pay light cigarettes.  A fourteen year old girl plays a piano in a suburban house all by herself.  This happens all the time.  Someone stands at the edge of a bridge, looking down, wondering what it would feel like, what it would look like, to leap, to soar, to fall, to end, but they don’t.  They don’t jump.  Elementary school kids stop their bikes in front of soda machines.  Other kids are out past curfew.  The professor imagines sleeping with the student, then on his way home, buys a diet soda at the gas station and pays in exact change.  Quiet dirgelike music plays in darkened living rooms, shades drawn, incense, incense.  Alleverywhere all over the world this is happening, so far from everything else.  The geese are eating the flowers, and why not.  The bills come in the house and flop down on the table. Yesterday I left the gas cap hang open on my car after I filled my tank, what a fool am I! Cosmic tomfoolery! The restauranteur arrives in their cold kitchen, turns the knobs on the flat grill, the pilot clicks, the gas whirrs.  Somewhere, lathes are expertly operated.  Sirens wail with someone behind a distant wheel.  Ships rise and fall in the bay.  The boy is made to mow the grass, he sweats.  A woman is flying an airplane, looks down, she sees a forest, she wishes she was in those trees, smelling it, smelling it all.  When I was young I used to have nightmares. They would repeat themselves, but they weren’t always the same, necessarily. There wasn’t anything inherently scary about these nightmares. In one, it would be me and strange people that I didn’t know, working feverishly to build a spaceship to win some sort of contest. The spaceships that we built were massive structures, disc-like in shape in most of my memories, and we would get up on scaffolding, pouring the cement to make them. That is about all I remember, except that somehow, also, this contest was accompanied by a constant persistent dread and sadness. I would wake up sweatier than you can imagine, lingering in the depth of my little kid’s psyche, not knowing why a dream about building a spaceship should be so sad. I would beckon my parents for what must be their superior insight to come but of course they could tell me nothing. Who could? Who could possibly understand such a thing? Nobody. Nobody could understand such a thing. Everything about us is a mystery, everything about the world around us is a mystery. Time marches on but it doesn’t. Of course time doesn’t march, the smartest people in the world can barely even accurately define time.  Everything lasts forever but it’s over in an instant. Everything is to be celebrated and joyous but ultimately is flat, only dreadfully horrifyingly sad.  Twenty years (or so) ago I thought I was going to die.  I was relentlessly addicted to alcohol and life was a blurred mess of agony, with an oddly high amount of joy thrown in for good measure. So many forgotten nights, so much haze. Some nights, though, I do remember.  Like a night a bunch of us drove to The Duck Pond.  The Duck Pond, the actual name of which is Children’s Lake, is a shallow, man-made lake in the scenic town of Boiling Springs.  It is about fifty feet across, and perhaps four-hundred feet long.  At its deepest point, it is perhaps five feet deep.  Large, multi-colored, boulder-sized rocks line its bottom.  It attracts a wide array of wildlife: ducks, geese, swans, turtles, beavers.  There are manicured walkways all the way around it, red park benches at regular intervals, and little vending machines that dispense corn, in case you may want to feed the ducks.  You are not supposed to go there at night, although I often have.  As my friends and I pull into the gravel parking lot, I make myself a fresh drink in the Super-Size McDonalds cup I always seem to have with me.  Someone retrieves a few beers from the trunk.  We all make sure we have our cigarettes.  We set off, to walk around the Duck Pond.  At night, you can hear the ducks, the geese, out on the water, but you can’t see them.  They aren’t very active at night, but every now and then, you hear a splash, the flap of a wing against the heavy air, a short quick quack.  It is melancholy in that worst way: dreary foreboding.  There is a place where the path kind of ends, and you are left to walk through grass for a bit, and under the canopy of some Willows.  In the sunshine, this part of the lake is the most beautiful.  At night, its majesty is lost.  You can feel the grass, and perhaps the spray of the dew against your shins, but the Willows are lost in the night.  The copse has disappeared.  If you were standing at this spot during the day, you would see that a narrow cement platform has been constructed, extending about fifteen feet into the lake.  This is like a small concrete dock, which serve as a place for the birds to hang out without being in direct contact with human passers-by.  During the day, this concrete dock is covered by birds; squaking, flapping, quacking birds.  During the night, it is abandoned, and is covered only in bird shit.  But it is truly covered in bird shit, like some foul Pollock.  As a group, we stop here.  We are mostly silent.  We are smoking, drinking, thinking.  I start to take my pants off.  Someone asks me, “What are you doing?”  “I’m going to run down that cement dock and jump in.”  They try to tell me not to.  They warn me that the water is very shallow here, and that the concrete dock is awash in bird shit.  I wave off their warnings.  Have these guys stopped wanting to see how far they can go?  I take off my shoes, my socks, my pants, my underwear.  I’m a naked man at the Duck Pond.  The guys have warned me, so they are no longer worried.  They are watching, smiling, ready to laugh and tell me they told me so.  I take a long sip of my drink.  I start running, down through the grass and then suddenly my feet hit concrete.  It is terribly slippery, and even while I am running, I can feel the bird shit sticking to my heels, squishing between my toes.  It is a gross feeling.  In this light, it’s not easy to see where the platform ends.  Just in time, I realize I can see the moon’s reflection in the water; I use this as a guide.  At the end of the platform, I jump hard and high, as if from a diving board.  I pull my legs up under my ass and clasp my hands under my shins: the cannonball position.  And I freeze there; I hover.  Time seemingly stands still.  See me from the back: my shaggy, rarely groomed brown hair, my pimpled back, a bit of flabby belly spilling over into view, my two half-moon ghost-white butt cheeks, and directly below that, the soles of my feet.  And in front of me, a nearly-black matte of stars, tree outlines and moony water.  Now, rotate around me, as if you were a movie camera.  Stop when you are beside me, at my profile.  My mouth, wide like Pac-Man, my ample gut, spilling forth like a sack of oatmeal, the curve of my haunches, my arms flung below me, seeming to hold me in place, to levitate me.  And behind me, a nearly-black matte of stars, tree outlines and moony water.  Now, rotate around me further.  Stop when you are in front of me.  See that look on my face?  That excruciating yawp of desperate living, desperate to feel these moony waters; see that fat, oatmealy belly, my hairy, caveman chest, nipples erect by the night wind, the pale fronts of my wobbly knees.  Now look behind me: look at those guys standing there, their faces frozen in various forms of laughter, disbelief, worry, apathy.  Look at those guys!  Oh, they are probably worried about so many things; I am sure they are worried that I am about to hurt myself.  Also, looking at the set of their mouths and the glint in their eyes, I’m willing to wager they’re worried about drowning in a ferry accident with two-hundred strangers in icy cold water somewhere, or whether they’ll ever get to walk the length of South America, or what they’d do if they found a dead body in a hotel hallway, or if they’ll keep having that dream where they show up to the wrong building for a college final exam, or if they have syphilis, or if they’ll ever be the father they want to be, or marry a woman as great as their mother, and in there somewhere are the realizations, too, the realizations we are having every moment of every day: the lines of morality and sanity we keep drawing and moving and drawing again with everything we observe, and the list of Hopes and Dreams that is under constant revision without us knowing, the importance of breath and bras and bicycles all neatly ordered and the smells we love so much like old books and stale cake and the things we know we’ll never do like fly a jumbo jet or hide in a refrigerator to scare the crap out of somebody and oh look at the list of regrets written all over these guys faces the women they wanted to fuck the cars they wanted to buy the movies they wanted to see as though they were already dead as though their whole story had been told but that’s not the truth now is it we lived, we were burning to live, we were burning to live!  And we did live, at least most of us, although now in our late thirties and early forites, a few of us have started to go. I have a thing like fire, but it isn’t fire.  It’s something I can feel on my skin, in my hair, even see it on my eyelids when I close them.  It flickers like flames and tingles like sparks, it’s love, truest love, and it burns like fire but isn’t fire, and it’s the only reason for anything at all, but I’ll be damned if I know what it actually is, from whence it comes or what it is made out of. But like I said, all those guys did live, even if maybe they were trying to die.  You can die really young, if you try hard enough.  I knew a girl from Chicago once. We met on the internet way back before that was the sort of thing that happened with any regularity. I was up really late at night, drunk of course, smoking cigarettes and using the different chat rooms available on America Online, back when chat rooms were the cutting edge of communication. I can’t remember what chatroom I found her in, but I’m sure it wasn’t anything incredibly respectable. Somehow we hit it off right away, finding a mutual interest in Pearl Jam, smoking cigarettes, and talking filthy. This is even before it was easy to send each other pictures, digital photography was just really something people had heard of, but nothing that regular people were doing on any grand scale. We chatted online quite a bit for a few weeks, then graduated to phone calls, and eventually she boarded a plane and came to see me. I picked her up at BWI and was immediately disappointed with her.  Something about how she wasn’t up to my standards physically. But I was not a cruel man, so I hid my disappointment as much as I could and spent the next few days with her. We had a fling, although I did not threw myself into it wholeheartedly, but almost out of a sense of obligation. I would spend the next few years basically dodging her, until for whatever reason I decided to take a trip to Chicago with another friend of mine, he knew a girl there that he was into, and I could see this girl from Chicago again. We took an over-land trip, he drove and I drank vodka the whole way. I remember almost nothing about the car trip. I remember talking about Stephen King and the band Red Hot Chili Peppers, smoking lots of cigarettes and crawling around in the backseat looking for a bottle that had somehow gotten back there. It was incredibly dangerous, but we did it anyway. Once we got to Chicago, I once again couldn’t really throw myself fully into the fling with this woman, we hung out in a hotel room with her, drank beer that was in the sink filled with ice. We watched the movie “At Close Range”, and talked like Christopher Walken. Then my friend and I drove home. I would talk to her off and on over the next few years, sometimes having phone calls frequently, oftentimes not talking for a year or more. Slowly we drifted into our thirties, becoming very different people as I emerged into addiction recovery and she drifted further into…everything else.  Her depression was immense.  We were very different people, ultimately, but once removed from our false fling we grew close, albeit from afar.  Suddenly in our mid-thirties she was calling me every day; she was falling deep into despair.  I had little advice for her.  After four or five days of phone calls, her Facebook profile lit up with her friends messages about how sad they were at her passing.  I guess she didn’t make it.  I’m too much about me, like to think about me, write about me, do my own thing, yada yada, et cetera et cetera, and on and on. Life is hard enough to figure out as it is, hard enough inside our own heads to figure out what is right, what it means to be a good and nice person who isn’t offensive without reason and who is kind and helpful without losing one’s authentic self, am I right?  Oh geez it’s complicated to even state the problem without creating a run-on sentence.  I mean it’s like, here we are, in our own heads, all alone, wondering what everyone else makes of us, worrying about all kinds of stuff we never say out loud like money and death (especially death) and how our breath smells and if we should cross the street yet or if we have some disease or are going bald or menopause is setting in and while we’re trying to silently figure all this out in our own heads all by ourselves we’ve got to interact with all these other damned people and you never really know (do you?) if you’re being nice or being a prick or hurting people unnecessarily or using guilt just to get your own way or maybe overreacting to other people’s harmless bullshit—and how can you figure all this stuff out?  How can you be nice and helpful without actually being someone else for a bit and observing how you are?  And then maybe it’s just your blood sugar, and you’re having a down day, and you need a nap, but who knows?  Maybe it’s more than that, maybe negativity has infested you, or you are finally and actually and once and for all egotistical—I mean, it happens to some people, right?  Why not you, why not me?  I think maybe it already happened to me, I think maybe I’m lost inside myself.  Once, when I was in rehab for not being able to stop drinking (the second time) the keepers ushered us outside to play kickball.  A bunch of grown or half-grown people who days or weeks before had been sleeping in our own vomit or living drowsy lives in crack houses were now being ushered outside to play kickball.  It was an unusually hot spring morning and I was a very unhappy man—I wasn’t quite done withdrawing yet and I hated everyone—and regardless of my mood, I was in no physical shape to play kickball.  I was quite overweight and hadn’t been eating anything close to a proper diet for years, in addition to smoking two packs a day and drinking a gallon of gin every two days.  My cardiovascular system was fucked, my vision still wasn’t right from all the drink and withdrawal and lack of proper vitamin absorption—that’s a real side effect of alcoholism, look it up— frankly I was having trouble sitting in a chair straight, and here I was being suddenly expected to play kickball.  Oh and one other thing: the woman I was in love with was in this rehab with me, at the same exact time.  I was head-over-heels for her (whatever passed for my head in those days) and despite my intense and fragile emotional and physical condition, I remained unable to extricate myself from those feelings—and from the macho bullshit that I thought was required of me in front of her.  She’d seen me crying almost endlessly for days since we arrived at the rehab (for reasons even I myself didn’t understand) but out here, on this sun-drenched kickball field, I was afraid I might not impress her with my physical prowess while playing a child’s playground game.  Needless to say, I did not excel that day.  Running to first base made me so winded I had to go out of the game.  I couldn’t coordinate my hands with my eyes to catch a lofty, slow-flying red playground ball.  I laid on the outfield grass and heaved breaths, sobbed for no discernible reason, was an unsolveable mess, and had to go back indoors before everyone else.  I thought I had failed as a man, that she would never want me (turned out she never did, but for reasons other than kickball).  There, then, at a moment in which I was almost completely divorced from my body and the pressures of the regular outside world, I remained unable to understand how others might perceive me, was unable to correctly order what was important from what was trivial and ludicrous, was so set in my mind how I viewed myself that I laid in the outfield grass not worried about why I could literally see my heartbeat in my thumb, but about appearing unmanly.  Damned idiot, always a damned idiot even when I’m just inside my head.  Is this what our lot is, as human, to be stuck in this vacuum tube of a skull and never know who or what we are?  Even now, almost two decades removed from that day on the kickball field and any bottle of any type, I don’t know what kind of a person I am. I have made strides toward goodness, oh I have made major strides, but I don’t know, at my core, what kind of person I am.  Do you?  I spend time being grateful for this wonderful little life I have all the time, and yet daily find myself drifting into needless trifles; how much is that magazine I want? Can that person actually park there?  Maybe I should shave this goatee.  What time is Walking Dead on?  Is that even on on Sundays?  I think it’s Mondays this season.  Do you think my high school teachers remember me?  Maybe I don’t make enough of an impression on people.  Or do I try too hard to make a good impression?  Maybe I’m over-bearing.  I need to work on that, start thinking about it more clearly, with more resolve.  Is that black mold over there?  I don’t know much about black mold, I should look it up.  In endless loops.  All that shit in endless loops and at the end of each day (if you measure your life in days) you are no closer to knowing if you are a good person, a good and true person who is true to yourself and doesn’t hurt other people.  How can you know?  How can you know?  I just got home from visiting my father, who still lives in the house I grew up in, in the rural central part of Pennsylvania—all rolling hills, clusters of trees, right at the foot of the Appalachians in the Cumberland Valley.  The house sits on a neat rectangular acre across the street from an expansive Mennonite farm.  It’s calm and still, and the days pass with mostly silence outdoors, the grass growing and the animals making noises in the brush, a car passing every five minutes, fading into the static as quickly as it came.  Dad has hummingbird feeders set up by the porch and we sit out there and watch them, their wings moving as fast as lightning, flitting to and fro, drinking, drinking, then buzzing off to some other urgent affair.  Occasionally one will rest on the pole that holds their feeders, sitting still for a few moments, its head moving up and down and all around, as if to contemplate the surroundings.  But we know better.  It isn’t contemplating a damned thing.  It’s just guarding its territory waiting to eat again, waiting to reproduce again, getting ready to fly again, just simply waiting to respond to impulses.  It’s a beautiful, adorable little creature, but it is not contemplating shit, and it doesn’t give a damn what you think.  What is an abyss?  Is there an abyss, beyond us?  If when we die, nothing happens, what does it look like?  Feel like?  I’ve opened a portal between this world and the next and it looks just like a big red door, a front door, you know, a house door.  What nonsense.  Christ, everything is nonsense.  How can there be meaning?  There is no meaning.  There can be no meaning.  It’s just atoms and electrons buzzing around, and they certainly do not mean a damned thing.  But can we arrange things just so? John Sloan and the ashcan school.  Now there is meaning.  Beautiful, dense paint thrown up on a canvas and arranged just so, just properly.  But if the electrons don’t mean anything how can we paint meaning?  All I know is The Wake of the Ferry makes me feel something, something primal despite not being primal.  I am not primal.  I am a soft man molded by the modern world.  Oh how I have tried not to be so.  I have labored with gusto to not be pampered by the time and place I was born but I don’t have the guts to do what it takes.  Instead I have allowed myself to be carried away by the world like a cow in a cattle chute—the poor thing like that mole my dog so callously eats—and made soft.  No, I am not primal.  I am secondary, and yet somehow The Wake of the Ferry—paint arranged on canvas—awakens something within me from when I was another species.  From when I grunted.  From when I howled.  It might even come from the abyss.  Holy crap where does it come from.  I sure do like blue skies, clear wide-open blue skies and the wind on my face.  Getting tan.  Getting tan is like taking the outside world into yourself and then shooting it back out.  And all those vitamins and good vibes.  Also I like movies.  I like watching movies in air conditioned rooms while sweat dries on my skin.  I like rice with salt on it, and dogs who smile.  Really, there’s just art.  Immense, wide skies with cumulus clouds to the horizon, the prairie spread out in the foreground.  A poem that makes you tear up, but not really cry.  That toe-tapping song, that movie that makes you feel afraid like you did when you were ten.  Shadows in the corner, a swirling dervish of a dance.  That’s really all there ever really is, just the art and some sort of meaning.  There’s not really a word for the opposite of loneliness, but that’s what I experience, all the time.  Not because there are so many people around me—there are often none.  And it’s not because I don’t feel lonely; that would just be the absence of loneliness.  No, it is the opposite of loneliness, a filling-up of things, a carrying of weight, a total contentedness with the order of things.  I also often feel the desire for time to stop.  I can have sickening longings for the past.  I am not afraid to grow old, nor do I wish to relive past experiences; but I miss eras, phases, periods of my life.  I miss the way your apartment smelled in the summer and I want to smell it again.  I was like a god, those days.  I don’t want you to live in that apartment again.   And then there was that time so many of us lived in like a five block radius of one another, and there were coffee shops and open mic nights and warm summer nights when the noises of different venues mixed on the streets with the smells of coffee beans and rum and cigarette smoke and Liz Claiborne perfume.  I don’t need to live it again.  Good lord, I don’t need to live it again.  Just let’s stop everything and smell it and look at it and grow old in that world, in that place, in that feeling.  Let’s have the rings of Saturn stand still for just an epoch.  Then we can start time again.  I live in the opposite of loneliness and I’d like more of it.  Also I don’t want to die, ever.  moonless dark country nights.  there’s a sound to it.  a cricket sound, a buzzing, a silent sheath.  the sound of the nights of my teenage years, accompanied by the smell of beer, loud talk, and the first Violent Femmes album, the one with Country Death Song.  nowadays I want to take pictures of everything.  I try not to but I do anyway.  I don’t know what the penalty is for allowing a beautiful moment to pass unrecorded but nobody is ever going to levy it upon me.  I wonder about things like the shape of the land, the hills, how much we made to suit our own purposes like roads and drainage and sewage and how much the earth made, how long was it like this, how did it get this way?  eventualities swirl around and around and around, and around yet.  I have very much to say about many things.  mostly I don’t say them.  often I will say two or three sentences but I know it’s more than most people want.  it is just as well.  I’m a prick with my ideas and opinions and there’s no need to spew them out entirely; the big old universe with its Saturn’s rings and open mic nights does not give one fig about what I am saying.  and so on and so on and so on.  dark country nights with their sounds and their memories and time stopping and who couldn’t be lonely in all this immensity, anyway?  it’s all so damned big and careless and spinning with no plan, so I say, so I think, if you really want to know, and the wind blows like a motherfucker and the flags are stretched out at the tops of their poles and we’re all so lonely and the opposite of lonely.  really, there’s just art.  immense, wide skies with cumulus clouds to the horizon, the prairie spread out in the foreground.  a poem that makes you tear up, but not really cry.  that toe-tapping song, that movie that makes you feel afraid like you did when you were ten.  shadows in the corner, a swirling dervish of a dance.  that’s really all there ever really is, just the art and some sort of meaning.

Posted in real life with tags , on October 16, 2017 by sethdellinger

I did a thing.

5k

Protected: I Am Out of Goodwill Puns, Here’s an Entry About Work

Posted in real life with tags , on October 12, 2017 by sethdellinger

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Fall Work, Ashcan, 5k, and Sandra Bland

Posted in real life with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 9, 2017 by sethdellinger

1.

Winter is coming and I hate winter.  But I am coming around a little more to the idea of liking fall.  For most of my life, I’ve been staunchly against fall, citing the fact that it is a sad harbinger of winter, and the end of summer, and the season where everything dies.  But the past few years I’ve started to feel I’ve just been repeating what I’ve always said, instead of being honest about my changing views.  Fall is kind of nice.  I like wearing longer pants and hoodies.  I like crunchy yellow leaves.  So yeah, another example of allowing myself to evolve here.  Granted not on any sort of major topic, but I wanted to make it public: sure, I like fall.

2.

Work is going terrific!!! I am back to working in Harrisburg and no longer doing my crazy commute.  I work (approximately) 8am-4pm Monday-Friday.  I’m having a blast!  I’ll have a more detailed password-protected blog about it within the next week, but I wanted to give that quick update.

3.

My favorite painting of all time is John Sloan’s “Sixth Avenue and Thirtieth Street”.  The reasons are many.  First, Sloan is my favorite painter overall: his pioneering “ashcan” style–which denotes his muted color pallet, a brush technique that was representational but bordered on abstract, and choice of subject matter–speaks to me and to my view of the world.  This painting in particular (which I’ve included below) hits me on a gut level.  The titular streets are in the “tenderloin” district of New York City, which is another way of saying the poor or “slum” area.  In this work, Sloan chooses to show us this area in broad daylight at a busy intersection.  We are looking at a corner business that is perhaps of some disrepute–a brothel or perhaps a burlesque theater?  There are some finely dressed folks around, but they are not the same kind you’d find down by Central Park.  The focus of the scene is on a woman in distress; she is in nightclothes and carries a pail, is obviously upset.  Most scholars of this painting suggest this woman is drunk and is emotional.  The passersby–especially the two finely-clad young women nearby who could not be more different than the drunk woman–look on with judgement and perhaps even amusement, but no one in the scene seems to have empathy or concern for this woman.

There is a lot more that could be discussed about the painting.  Sloan did not waste a centimeter of the canvas (a quick for instance–Sloan’s decision to place the drunk woman at the bottom of the canvas, rather than center her, leaving him space to paint lots of sky, whereas he could have provided more surrounding context of the city instead; an interesting topic of discussion, that one).

johnsloansixthavenueandthirthiethst

 

4.

I have made some mention on Facebook that I have begun running, and even signed up for my first 5k (this coming Saturday)! I’m super excited but also currently undergoing a substantial amount of worry as, just 3 days ago I did my longest outdoor run yet and have had some very minor signs of some stress fractures in my shins the past few nights.  Now, these symptoms are very minor and it is 100% possible I am inventing them.  Any way you slice it, I am running the 5K this Saturday and will keep training this week on elliptical machines to avoid high impact work, and should probably know after the 5k (because my body will tell me) if I have to take a break from running and maybe evaluate my running style, etc, moving forward.  But I want to be a runner super bad so even if I have to take a significant break and make some adjustments, I’m on it.  On a side note, the running has really been a key factor in helping me get close to my goal weight: before the weekend I was 144 (goal is 140)…the weekend saw a lot of eating so I’ll know where I’m at when the dust clears on Tuesday :)

5.

Police kill innocent black people with an alarming frequency.  You don’t have to eat animals or their secretions in this day and age.  America should be a country that welcomes immigrants.  Respect women’s reproductive rights and the rights of their bodies.  Resist any and all attempts to make our culture white, male-oriented–including the language you use.  Climate change is real. There is no need to wear wool or leather in this day and age.  Do whatever you want when The Star-Spangled Banner is playing, including eating food, walking to the bathroom, keeping your hat on (I mean really) or sitting or kneeling.  Fund art programs, NPR, Meals on Wheels, and Planned Parenthood.  Oh, and in Major League Baseball, the designated hitter rule continues to be an absolute scourge.

145

Posted in real life with tags on October 1, 2017 by sethdellinger

Weighed in at 145 pounds this morning, with a goal of 140.  Feeling pretty good!  I’m a little unhappy about the fact that I can’t do much strength training, due to my recent Carpal Tunnel surgery, so it is affecting how the fat is burning away from me–I have a little more belly than I have at 145 before.  But all in all–I am in a really good place (we ate out twice today though–I will not be 145 tomorrow!)

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