House-Sitting and Other Things (Long)

Yes, it has been a long time since I’ve blogged.

It’s a lovely morning here in Encinitas California. I’ll be house-sitting for quite a while. The house is lovely, and I have two pets to take care of. There’s a cranky older black and white cat. And there’s a Tibetan Terrier who just love love loves everyone. They also take the North County Times and the New York Times — Reading material!

I’ve set up my AirPort base station and connected it to their Linksys router so I can do work from my old clamshell iBook. So here I sit, enjoying the brownies that the owners of the house left for me. Keeping busy as much as possible and trying to eat right. I get occasional visits from my girlfriend, and from the neighbor, who brought the dog to me. I had put the dog in the backyard for a while, and, well, the dog is an escape artist.

It’s an old fashioned house to some extent, which is to say it has only one TV and no microwave. But it is comfortable, and there is art on all the walls. Much to look at in that vein. I’m trying to get my head screwed on straight. Quite a challenge these days, as I really feel like I don’t know what I’m doing.

It’s been a heckuva year so far. I hope so much that things settle down soon, but I think the stormy seas, for me, for my friends, for the country, for the world, will not abate anytime soon.

A week ago Sunday I helped a friend who had a person very close to them die. I’ve been loathe to blog about it. But I feel I must. I spent the day with said person, helping in the small ways I was able to. Death is so final. Life is so precious. More, there is so much stupidity. Why must the fun that can be had with the many substances the planet provides and that human hands can invent (I’m thinking here of drugs – alcohol, caffeine, fat, marijuana, opiates, hallucinogens) cause so much pain? How many people a year die in alcohol-related deaths? How many brain cells are killed with every toke?

I hear you. It’s easy for me to talk about these things, I’m a teetotaler. I abstain from drugs in the same way my hero Frank Zappa abstained (he did none except coffee and cigarettes).

Ever try to have a conversation with someone on drugs? It just doesn’t work.

And that’s my standpoint as well. Drugs are incredibly limiting of our minds. They seem to produce happiness, but in truth they are an escape from reality. I think the lesson is that we need to learn to live in our reality without anesthetizing ourselves to it.

I realize that this is not necessarily a popular stance.

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