Saturday, November 30, 2013

You Fool! (or why did I drive north for the winter?)

So, it's November 29, 2013.

Here is the 5 day temperature forecast for Los Angeles
High   64   74   78   79  66  61
Low   52    51  51    53  47  42

Here is the 5 day temperature forecast forAshland, OR

High 50    53   54    47  35  32
Low  30    34   34   27   19  14

I saw the pattern when I was in LA. Basically, the lows in LA are higher than the highs in Ashland. I was cold in LA already in the van in early November. I've been in Ashland more than two weeks now and have been cold every day---and so far the lows have not dipped below 28 or 29, but the next five days is even more scary---like New York & Philly Weather.... & I can't take it. Something happened to my nervous system...

was it the concussion? the stroke? the stress? the hopelessness? the homelessness?
and why oh why did I not heed the numbers that were plain to see?

I got out of Oakland, Ca. in 2012 to go south to LA, largely because Oakland was too cold and it contributed to health issues in the winter of early 2012. And since I was staying in the van, I thought LA would be significantly warmer. Even last winter in LA was too cold for my body, and the summer of 2014 was way too hot. That damn van accentuated the cold of the winter and the heat of the summer.

I knew I had to get out of the van, and couldn't afford a place...
the unemployment insurance ran out....and i've tried to scrimp so have some savings but not much
(and only coz i've sacrificed necessities like clothes and such...

So, as the teaching job prospects didn't come, the social security disability insurance didn't come,
the so-called democratic rock band recording project fizzled out due to the cancer-like spread of
the Cult Of the Individual Genuis, and the funding for the documentary never came through,
and the promise of a solo album that could lead to a publishing deal may not happen for a very long time, if ever....

An ex-student told me he was working on a APP project, in which I could be hired as a
CONTENT PROVIDER, writing about poetry, and he was convinced he could find funding.

In the meantime, I could stay with him, his wife and kids in Ashland, Or,
and we could brainstorm better on various projects.
Allegedly, small town easier to navigate, he said.
Maybe easier to get healthcare or social services,

He knew some of the OSF people.
I knew someone at SOU's English Department, but they too had a hiring freeze and were downsizing,
I could also work on my own writing in his garage-
I knew I couldn't write in his house, because I need to smoke to write.
And I was a little worried about the garage, because of the cold
but I figured with a SPACE HEATER, I'd be fine.
It seemed a little promising, after the hell of the last year

What was I thinking?
Certainly Ashland didn't seem as cold as New York,
but it was much colder than Oakland.

Nothing else was coming through, in LA....or anywhere else I was applying for a job
And obviously I felt ridiculous for moving to LA for the weather,
when I had no definite job lined up there either
(at the time of course I felt that my Ph.D & 25 years of experience
would make it easy to get at least one class at a community college)

So, yes, being colder but being in a nice warm house
seemed worth it...

I can't write in his garage. I can't concentrate to write in the cold without a smoke.

All I do is eat too much (I understand why Daniel Johnston got fat)
And watch TV (which I hate), and sleep more and wait and wait and hope something happens
(yes, I'm smoking less, but strange as it may sound,
I'm more healthy when I eat less and smoke more--
damn oral fixation...).
Gluttony and sloth does not help one's flagging self esteem...

It almost makes me nostalgic for the LA piano van thing,
or at least LA as a city
(but it was too spread out, unmanaeable, especially in the van--
see earlier journal notes, etc etc)...
or at least Glendale....cleaner, maybe even cheaper
if I can get more gigs doing commercial sounds....

I'm still scarred from 15 months of performing on a piano there,
but Ashland is dead....and the next 4 months are looking freezing and bleak
and I'm already going stir crazy trying to repress myself
to be somewhat civil to this beautiful hospitable family who tried to help--
I am really stuck....

There's another couple in New Orleans,
but they don't have a job prospect either...
and if I washed up on shore like a disabled BP-Oil-Stained Walrus,
I just don't know if I'd be even able to find a room of my own
to Squeeze out sparks in finishing a book
and if that book could find a publisher
and that publisher would have the clout
that would help me get that full-time academic job
in English/ Media Studies/ Ethnomusicology

or at least by time for this alleged solo album to come out
in Europe, and somehow lure a publishing deal
and unlock me so I can actually record with a band again
and yes combine the music with the book
in a project that could make a great film or something

a hope as real as a fear that death or abject absolute PURPOSELESSNESS is closer than ever...

oh dear g-d, help...
oh dear women who I've loved,
and friends from long ago and far away
(who seem closer and more present
 because of the illusion of Facebook),
yes I "reach out"---

I still have talents to give;
I think I gave at least a B+ performance
as a guest teacher/talker in Kasey Mohammed's class



I was gonna probably lose the van anyway...
didn't want to lose the piano,
but part of me felt I wasn't really making MUSIC anyway,
since I lost my Oakland studio access with Greg Ashley
and various drummers....