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Monday, June 12, 2017

Initiating a Blog Format Change

Once my younger brother Mark was home from the bar quite early last evening, he fixed himself something to eat; and then after sitting in his favourite chair to watch the season premiere episode of Fear the Walking Dead that I was tuning in via our Android TV Box, I doubt that he was conscious a full minute later.

He only regained his senses towards the end of the episode, managing to speak out in questioning identification that it was indeed Fear the Walking Dead that was playing.

So he essentially missed out on the episode. But at least he was conscious for the next show I pulled in ─ the musical episode of Once Upon a Time that had the marriage of Killian (Hook) and Emma Swan late into the show.

It would have been better to have passed out during this feature. I have no idea why a musical episode is sometimes thrown into a series, just as happened on The Flash earlier this year. That particular episode was easier to watch than the one on Once Upon a Time, however. It may have helped with The Flash that not all of the songs were created for the episode and thus unfamiliar to viewers.

Mark topped off his evening of beer-drinking with a drink of Scotch, and so it kept him up a little later than usual. He never headed on upstairs to his bedroom until 10:40 p.m. That freed me up to turn off the T.V. and wend my way to bed as well ─ I was settled in by 10:50 p.m., at which time I don't think Mark had yet finished his pre-bedtime rituals of things like shaving and teeth-brushing. He doesn't like to have those things awaiting him when his clock-radio comes on at 4:20 a.m. to get him up for work.

My youngest stepson Poté was the last person still up.

It is rare that I hear anything of Mark getting up in the morning when he has to work, nor did I hear my eldest stepson Tho who does the same somewhat later than Mark. But of course, I usually wear earplugs at night.

It was 6:24 a.m. when I checked the time this morning and made the decision to rise. I certainly did not expect to later find that Poté was not present. He normally doesn't leave for work until after 7:00 a.m., and sometimes even after 8:00 a.m.

Or did he not even sleep at home last night? I have no idea.

The first thing I had to do this morning was write up a cheque for $1,102 to cover our annual home insurance, and then head out and get it mailed just about a block away. The payment is due on Wednesday, the 14th. So I am cutting it very close.

Mark had given me a cheque yesterday covering his half of the payment. We have the cheapest insurance that we know of, and have dispensed with coverage for anything like a flood or earthquake.

After mailing the payment and getting back here, I got to work finishing the post at my Siam-Longings website that has kept me involved for at least 10 days, and now it is published: Thailand Adaptor Plug.  

Awhile after it was published, I got around to making a return to bed to rest my weary eyes. I climbed into 'the sack' just ahead of 11:00 a.m., and was there nearly an hour. I am unsure if I actually napped, though. But it was the resting of my eyes that I truly required.

And that brings me to a decision I have made today concerning working on website posts as well as this personal blog. 

Where this personal blog is concerned, I spend far too much time involved in researching health-related topics ─ I have of late tried to include at least three such topics.

Well, I just cannot keep it up. My vision has become so poor now. 

I have known since 1997 that my worst eye ─ the right eye ─ is legally blind, according to one physician who tested my vision. But of late, I almost feel like that half of my field of vision whenever I am moving around is a darkened barrier or wall.

It is disconcerting.

And what have all the hours I spend each day blogging proven by way of any value? Today is the third consecutive day in which I haven't even earned a cent in my AdSense account.

Besides, most people know how to find information on the Web. No one needs or depends upon my sorry efforts at the impartation of such information ─ people can easily enough find what they are seeking without needing to refer to my amateurish blog.

Consequently, from this point until further notice, I am only going to deal with topics here that are of direct interest to me.

I do intend to keep posting entries from my old journal ─ I rather enjoy that, as a rule. I post an entry that matches today's date from exactly 41 years earlier ─ so at present, I am working on this date in 1976.

I started doing this with my first journal entry at (I think) the end of August 1971. In other words, I have been posting old journal entries in this blog since 2012, I guess.

But I will never live long enough to post the final entry from my journal. 

I had thought that my journal spanned 1971 to sometime in 1989. However, this afternoon while I was rummaging around in a storage room, I came across more journal binders, and they continue on into mid-1998.

If the World continues on as it is, and I was around to post the final journal entry 41 years beyond that date, the year would be 2039. The major problem with that is that I am presently 67 years old. In 2039 I would be 89 years old.    

I have long been questioning whether I can bear living to reach my 70th birthday, for this debt-ridden life that I lead which has me practically housebound is not the retirement I ever intended.

There is far too much disappointment in myself ─ destructive disappointment.

But that is fodder for a future post ─ I have no wish to become embroiled in an exploration and dissection of my darkness. Suffice to say that it sometimes seems odd to me that I live today, for I have contemplated suicide since back in the latter 1960s when I was a teen. In fact, an old friend ─ Philip David Prince ─ and I made an agreement with one another back then that we would try to wait until we were both 30 years old before calling it quits on life.

And here I still am.

Ill health and the abuse of downers and other medications ─ and cheap alcohol ─ claimed David in 1984 at the age of 35. 

He was found dead in the cheap Vancouver hotel room he was renting: #15 204 Carrall Street

Apparently it was the Glory Hotel, but David moved about from cheap hotel to cheap hotel. This just happened to be his final residence.   

As a teen at school, David was beautifully built, and an exceptional long-distance runner. But he was a loner, and never participated in school sports. The only time he would run was when it was obligatory in a gym class.

He was so impressive physically ─ and by reputation, for he had spent about half of his teen years in and out of a mental institution ─ that even the tough guys and bullies steered clear of him.

He was an avid reader of nutritional literature, and was responsible for my early interest in vitamins and so forth.

I became his sole long-term friend.

But getting committed by his parents in his later teen years was his undoing, for he took up smoking, and became deeply interested in medications that could alter the mood. It was in those years simple for him to obtain uppers like Ritalin.

That was to change with the advent of the 1970s, and it became almost impossible for him to get any such prescription. So he explored downers.

He let his superb health go. He no longer could easily run, and in fact disliked to even walk far.

It was almost a joke with us how regularly he ended up in some 'detox tank.'

I just never knew how seriously ill he was becoming. It turned out at his death that he was listed as having predisposing coronary atherosclerosis, but it was acute left heart failure that was listed as having taken him. 

I never even knew he had died, for I was staying out in Surrey at the time. It was likely at least a few weeks later while I was out on a long walk and was cutting through Newton with the intention of taking to the railway tracks and following them to the 88th Avenue & Scott Road area, I happened to cross paths with his mother ─ his family home was in the Newton area. 

She told me of his death, and I had no idea of how to respond ─ so taken off-guard was I. This was not anything that was supposed to happen to David. Neither of us were to have died unintentionally.

I find myself missing him now that I am into my old age. I have no friends to hang out with. The only people I am in touch with are via E-mail. My true or 'real life' social world is limited to just the people in this house: my younger brother Mark, my sometimes-present wife Jack, and her two sons (22-year-old Tho and 19-year-old Poté).

I wish that I could afford to regularly haunt a bar and get to know people like my working brother Mark has been doing for years, but my pension does not allow me that luxury. I can barely afford to keep myself in beer to have here at home.

And so I know no one.

It hardly puts a sheen upon living.

I don't drive, so I cannot get anywhere. There is nowhere near that I want to get to on foot. I am surrounded by miles and miles of busy streets in every direction, with buildings and houses, and of course hordes of people.

Peace of mind is rare ─ contemplation nigh impossible. And even shut up here at home as I tend to be, I am forced to often endure that damned noisy brown hound just beyond our backyard fence that has come close to driving me mad these past four or so years that it has been around. 

When it gets going, its barks and baying pound through every part of the house, and I have often been reduced to tearful impotent rages. Its owners have kept it as a house dog, so when they decide to keep it outside for whatever reason, the noise can go on for hours. 

And I can do naught but endure it. There is nowhere for me to go to escape, and no one I can visit for a reprieve. All I have are those busy streets and homes and strangers in all directions.

Am I still to be living here like this when I become 70? It is not a life I want.

Other matters, now.

The morning had been primarily overcast, but the afternoon was mostly sunny. I had a good workout in the backyard shed in the first half of the afternoon; and then in the mid-afternoon while I was slow-cooking some ground beef, I sat out in the backyard sunshine for just over 20 minutes.

Around 4:00 p.m. when I opened the front door to toss some date pits into a garden plot in the front yard, I noticed my youngest stepson Poté's car parked in its spot in the carport, but there was no sign of him. Did he maybe go off in a friend's vehicle?

Not much later, I noticed him in his bed. I no doubt had been prowling about the house talking to myself, and cursing aloud the barking and other noise-making that seem to be everywhere outside ─ all while under the assumption that I was still home alone.    

No matter. I already accept that I am partially mad. 

It is 4:53 p.m. at this point in my day. I am going to post a journal entry from exactly 41 years ago; and then if I have nothing else to report before the arrival of the evening concerning the present day, then my attempt at explaining the journal entry will conclude today's post.

Forty-one years ago, I was 26 years old and living in a basement housekeeping unit in New Westminster. I was renting the small affair in a house on Ninth Street, and maybe two houses up from Third Avenue.

My old friend David had been living in New Westminster for several years, too. His current room ─ he often moved ─ was in a large rooming house at 330 Fourth Street. So he was basically just over five blocks away.

I tended to avoid him, though, even though the poor guy was probably living in New Westminster because that is where I was. That realization bothers me now, but David could be quite a pest.

I see that I commenced this old particular entry exceptionally early, having been awakened in the night by another old friend who was also living in New Westminster, and maybe four blocks from my room: William Alan Gill. 

I had gone to bed around 10:15 p.m. the evening prior ─ a Friday.
SATURDAY, June 12, 1976

About 1:30 a.m. Bill got me out of a partial sleep to share a large beef & mushroom pizza with him. 

He said Cathy phoned him Friday morn inviting him out in the eve. He arrived to find them and Garry & Cathy drunk. I guess everyone wound up at Nell's ─ except Mark's Cathy, who stayed in the car for some reason (Bill mentioned a headache). However, she reverted, and stormed in, breaking up the party. Garry & Cathy left, and so did Bill, leaving Mark & Cathy sitting in their car. I suppose she would have been bawling over the Hellish life she is blamelessly burdened with.

I'm going back to bed about 2:20 a.m.

I arose for the day c. 7:10 a.m., my eyes feeling very poorly rested, though this shouldn't be.

I recall a dream in which I and the cutest of 3 young girls newly come to Nell's were attracted much to each other; such fantasy. I also recall an episode in which a helicopter in the night dropped from the sky and was without pattern bouncing mightily all about, threatening to crush David (?) and I, or else explode near us and blast us with flaming fuel; but it finally stopped safely, the pilot being still alive. I recall the great fear everyone must have felt of approaching the machine to extract the trapped fellow.

I finished a letter to Ron I began last night, and which I shall mail today.

I had a delicious breakfast about noon of a pint of boysenberry yogurt on a blueberry pie.

Bill a.m. said he'd come about 1:00 p.m. or 2:00 p.m. to take me with him roast hunting; I'm awaiting his coming. 

I did this resting.

At 2:30 p.m. I decided to go to his place. The dastard wasn't in. 

But he did come eventually, with his mother. And he ran all over the place dragging me along on their tedious, time-consuming errands. We stopped to put on my roast afore going to Whalley, but so much time was wasted ─ nearly 2 hours ─ that my vegetables were obviously ruined. 

I hate that.

Then Bill left me with his mother and ran off to Mark's.

Gee she can talk.

Cathy phoned me and gave me lots of hers, but it was a break, tho I regretted missing TV. We only broke off when Bill got home.

Shortly after 9:00 p.m. he left with his mother for a show. I watched TV in peace till 11:00 p.m.

Nest week-end I am definitely going to handle all my own meals. Tomorrow I have to share a roast with Bill, but no more. I prefer my own cooking anyhow.

Cathy said her divorce claim is being brought to court on the 23rd, so I guess drinking will be in order the 26th if all goes well.

Bed about 11:35 p.m.
Cathy was my younger brother Mark's long-term girlfriend of the time, Catherine Jeanette Gunther. Normally I adored and loved the beautiful young mum, but she could get into some incredibly hateful moods. She and Mark were renting a home together in Whalley ─ on Bentley Road

According to what I had written, Bill had gone to their place the previous evening, and found them hosting Mark's best friend for so many years, Garry Porteous ─ and Garry's girlfriend of the time, Cathy or Kathy.

For whatever reason, they all decided to go over to my maternal Aunt Nell Halverson's home ─ she always had a huge household, especially on weekends. The drinking would run from Friday through to as long as there was still anything to drink on Sunday. Sunday was usually the sobering-up day, for there were no public sales of alcohol hereabouts back then. Thus, if no beer or anything else had been stocked up on, then most people tended to run dry.   

That question mark beside my old friend David's name in the dream description must have signified that I was not entirely sure any longer that it was him who was in the dream with me.  

The letter I mentioned finishing composing was to an American pen-pal, Ron Bain.

As much as I loved Bill, he was scatterbrained and often unreliable. And his mother Anne Gregory practically lived with him on the weekends ─ she was renting her own suite off in Maillardville. Bill was hopeless where housekeeping was concerned ─ she had pampered him all of his life. So she came and did his cleaning, cooking, and she even went grocery shopping with him and selected most of what she thought he required.

At that time, Bill would have been 30 years old.

I guess that once Bill, Anne, and I finally had eaten for supper the overdone roast I had supplied ─ Bill was to provide the roast for the next day's supper ─ he just had to head on back to Whalley to visit my brother Mark and Jeanette again.

I enjoyed watching T.V. at Bill's bachelor suite because he had a fairly large colour model ─ and cablevision. I may have had a smaller black & white T.V. that only received five stations at most, so the pickings could be most slim.

However, it was not much of a treat trying to watch T.V. when someone like dear Annie was yammering away about practically everything that popped into her head. Bill had no doubt mentioned to Mark and Jeanette that I was back at his apartment, so sweetheart Jeanette decided to give me a call.

Sure, she would also have disrupted my television viewing, but it was essentially a hopeless proposition anyway. At least Jeanette would have been of considerable more interest for me to discourse with, since I loved the girl as I generally did.

Anyway, I would have watched T.V. at his apartment until 11:00 p.m., and then left for my room, locking his door behind me.

I never had my own functioning telephone, but there were times when she caught me at my mother's home when we would talk for several hours.

She meant a lot to me. 

Although she and Mark had been together for maybe a couple of years at this point, she still had not been officially divorced. That seems to finally be getting set to happen.

Well, it seems that there is something yet to mention concerning today.

My wife Jack phoned from Vancouver around 6:00 p.m. to ask me to get some sticky rice soaking for her to cook up later, so she intends to arrive at some point. 

And I may as well publish this now. 

By the way, yes, Bill actually would go to movies and even drive-ins with his mother.
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