If I were a paid writer, if there were any profit in this at all, I'd have time to follow up on yesterday's post. It was well-liked. But I would have to do some research into the next part. Were I paid, I'd spend the day working at it. But I'm doing this for free. Spending a beautiful January day looking through my books and across the internet wasn't completely appealing, so. . . you get what you get, random thoughts and misdemeanors.
What I DID do yesterday was begin to change my life a bit. I've been in a rut for far too long, and not the period of sexual activity in deers and sheep and goats and their kind. No, mine has been the pattern of behavior that is dull and unproductive. I sit, I eat, I drink, I sulk. . . I become corpulent. To wit: I'm doing a dry January. I'm switching to a plant based diet. I'm getting out of the house day and night. If I don't, I'm afraid of what will happen. Terribly frightened. For you see. . . I've not been happy.
Now I know that REAL travel will be out of the question for me for awhile. According to the Times, Covid cases have increased 948 % in the last two weeks in my own home state. I know some healthcare workers who have gotten Omicron even though they were vaccinated, and as they report, it has not been fun. Milder cases, they say, but milder than what? Milder than death. They say the effects of the virus seem to hang on. They are worn out and can't seem to recover fully. Unlike many of you, I'm taking precautions. Spending money on travel while taking precautions just isn't my idea of real fun. I want to be able to go into places and talk with the locals. I want to sit and eat and drink in neighborhood cafes. Otherwise, travel is like being a fish in a bowl looking out at the landscape.
That doesn't mean I am staying home, however. I am getting out, just not into crowds. I've been eschewing the gym for the past couple weeks and exercising outdoors. It is refreshing. I've taken to eating lighter, grilling vegetables and tofu and the like. Last night, after speaking of fried fish, I cut up and powdered some halibut that I cooked in oil until it was crunchy. It went over broccoli and rice and was covered in a mix of soy sauce, sesame oil, honey, and water. Jesus it was good.
After dinner, rather than having that first scotch, I've been taking a walk. Last night, I went to the neighborhood dock. I haven't walked down there for a year. It was dark. No one was out. I could hear something splashing around in the shallows near the shore. I sat for awhile contemplating nothing really, then made the return walk home.
Maybe I'll get a boat, something small and easy. I'm going to begin hiking local winter trails. Yesterday, I pumped up the tires on my bike and took a slow tour. In the course of it, I ended up at a warehouse that used to be a fish market. I've seen the doors open from the street. Lots of plants, but no sign. I rode up. It was a surprising wonderland of a find, a huge space full of indoor plants and terrariums and small home items. It was like something you'd stumble into on a trip to Berkeley or some other hip small town in Cali. I was more than happy.
Old habits are hard to break. There is nothing that competes with habit, as the song goes (and I know it's neither deep and tragic), but I've always maintained you can replace routine with ritual. And now, that is what all the hip cyber companies like Zoom are saying, too, though they use the already cliched phrasing like "mindfulness." This, say all the current psychologists, is the way to change behavior.
I'll stick with ritual.
Who knows if I can stay dry for a month, but I've done it before, and I wasn't even a corpulent tub of guts then. I've looked in the mirror. I've seen the photos. I have real motivation.
You can join me if you like. You're only a couple days behind.
Perhaps it was yesterday's post that got me psyched for change. I could go looking for the old Florida, places that have not been completely overrun by invaders, places that have yet to be Disneyfied. I might even get a new fishing pole!
I may stay with my Florida theme for awhile. I DID do some research yesterday. I came across a link to the Sheriff's Star, a publication put out by the Association of Sheriffs in my state. It is archived back to the 1950s, and I'll tell you I got lost in reading through them. Oh, man, "Cool Hand Luke" was not an exaggeration. Each county had a sheriff, and sheriffs had a tremendous amount of power--and the whole state was as crooked as a dog's hind leg. But not much has changed, really, except that everyone has gotten more photogenic. Yea. . . those sheriffs were pretty hard to look at, and all the school principals and sports coaches around the state were mini copies of them. Looking back, there is no wonder at all why a generation rebelled.
But that's a story for another time. That and the history of how the state was developed. I've read some fascinating books on the topic, and though I don't plan to go back and pour through them to get all the details, I have an impressionistic memory of it all, and that is surely what you will get.
Now, it is time to get moving and get outdoors. Sitting and thinking gives way to moping and moping leads to all sort of destructive behaviors.
Just a small boat, maybe. Just something to take into the lakes and down the rivers and into the intercostal waters. Wouldn't that be something.