Day 10 Rice Fast completed

The weather blew from California:  wet and windy; laying down a coat of traction-able snow.  In this smoosh we drove to Best Buy for the last time; dropping off boxes of books as sort of a preview of  the next level of this purge begins.

Excelsior!!!  At last the technology I have been fussing with for this entire period finally works at least with the Blu Ray.  I have no comment on the stinkey snow leopard except, “Damn it’s spots.”.

After a break-fast dinner of  steamed broccoli, we watched a documentary on Enron in celebration …or preparation.

The market was again testy today.  I woke at 5AM today because I was so keyed.  I had plenty of time to watch the FTSE action (down 1.19%) and then the opening.   By the close it looked like a fierce meltdown in progress with plenty of bile to spew into the next week.

By any measure this fast has been the easiest, ever.  Maybe because it came as such a clear directive.  In my aimless state such clarity is rare. So, now this is over, the components work, the market is a mess ..What is next?  Next week, next month, the very future of  future is blank.  In this time between the lightning and the dark is mystery, perhaps a bit of panic.

The inspiration, an inspiration is off somewhere.  I am looking forward to the solitude of the weekend and a cup of coffee tomorrow morning.  And, that’s as far as I can see.  This ten day door closes and, so, whatever is next will be revealed .  I wish I lived backwards like Merlin or at least had a fortune cookie to guide me.

Day #9 Rice Fast

My nerves!  How can I explain this state?  I am giga-calm from not having any coffee for 9 days.  At peace in all my relations, having acceded to a request to create a “successful” Christmas by forgiving the only grievance that I was cherishing.

Even looking out on this wide valley under the hovering pewter sky is a comfort.  It recalls a depth of history: dinosaur days, indigenous peoples, conquistadors and the restless movement west.  My maternal ancestors made this trip with the railroads in the 1880’s.  I feel I inherited this place.  It’s pueblo atmosphere  recalls first memories walking towards Camelback mountain in a lower warmer desert.  Yep, I feel that I  belong here in some fictitious but nonetheless  profound way.  In the late sixty’s, I drove here in my hippy, painted Dodge station wagon bringing with me my neighbors and a white dog from Santa Cruz so that we would all avoid the “Big One.”  While taking a swim in a large pool, we were shot at by Tiorino and his gang and, after that,  the three neighbors and white dog retreated to California to collect food stamps.  (We all lived that way back then.)  I stayed behind at a commune near Taos before making my way to Colorado Springs. Living in an aimless way- much the way I do now – but with a lot more wild fancy going on.

I am even on the “right” side of the market having sold my impulse purchases out flat and reinvesting the proceeds into going short, only two days ago.  But, there is something very unsettling at the rate the market plunged and the way that the health care bill has gone the way of the dodo, like, overnight.  Yes, yes, I stand to make a good dollar on the upset, but, there is something deeper that seems to be roiling among us.  It is that the impinges on my smooth state.  As my friend John asks in derision, “How’s that hope and change working for you?”  Jeez, I don’t know.

Day Eight Rice Fast

What a nondescript day: gray and flurrious as I watched the market crater on schedule. And, dang, after screwing my courage to the sticking place, that 3x bear fund didn’t move up a wit–in fact, the bloody thing moved down. This makes me suspicious and “superstitious ’bout my jam and bread.” Is it the hand of Geithner punishing the fiendish shortseller? Oh, well, tomorrow is another day and China and India are fainting as this is written.

After market, I absently cleared bits of Arthur’s stuff –Moving some piles hither and thither to make way for photographs. Shot and photo-shopped the daylights out of a chair and a table – making ready for Craig’s listing.

It is evening and the moon is just a slim canoe aching for an owl and a pussycat. The sky in New Mexico is vivid and different from any I can recall. I can’t remember ever seeing just the bottom fraction of the moon lit.. Down in Corrales, the big dipper is distorted and about 3AM, here, Orion’s belt drifts at a jaunty angle slowly arcing northwest.

We did not make it back to Best Buy, today so no cranky philosopher from U. Texas in his music man suit is going to lecture about existentialism tonight. I sort of miss Sister Wendy and her artful nattering but mostly I miss the color and beauty as an antidote for cold and dark of January.

I think I miss coffee and wine more than food and continue to marvel at how otherwise un-hungry I am.   The idea of continuing beyond 10 days is therefore appealing and a possibility.

Still waiting for a “message.” of which way to go and when to.  “If a woman knows not what harbor she seeks,  any wind is the right wind.”  Seneca

Day Seven – Rice Fast

I suppose I should say something about the rice.  But, all that comes to mind is Werner Erhard’s saying: “Boredom is a high place.”  Although greatly energized and somewhat exercised (see below), I am hardly high.  Being at 7,000 feet does not count for squat.  But, gotta say that the snow this morning was glorious, deep and, like an excellent peppermint drop, evaporated by afternoon.  Not gone enough though– a slick of black ice set in after sundown.

As for how the day went, Arthur’s tech problems continued to daunt me.  So, today we rode to Best Buy, yet again,  to exchange the non Apple compliant Samsung for the more  malleable Sony.  At this rate, I expect the folks at Best Buy to phone to see if we are okay if we don’t come in once a day.

The bad news is that  tomorrow we will be there, again.  This time to return the Airport Extreme and exchange it for the Lynksys that is specified for the new box.  I knew within seconds of perusing the setup that something had gone bad-wrong… But, hey, troubleshooting  is what made me the big bux back when there was work.  And, best , the Lynksys is enough cheaper that it will almost pay for the gas expended on the back and forthing.

My only good news is that I bought FAZ ,a market shorting ETF, and if the mkt really rallied on health care stox, then tomorrow it should tank on the Coakley loss.  Granted: this is a bit of a bitter fruit.  Already facebook is abuzz with people threatening to ex-pat out of MA.  Some are even trying to get as far away as Paris.  I am surprized at how many of us are wishing to return to the old county or just be anywhere else but here.

that said, my thoughts turn to when I will leave the southwest and where to go next.  I am for the first time in my life without a front door key or any realizable ambition.  Somehow the idea of Haiti comes up and quickly gets suppressed.

What is a dragoness to do?

DAY SIX Rice Fast

There are six little R’s on Arthur’s calendar and we are over the hump of the easiest fast I have ever done.

This day included a visit to one of Art’s friends, Fran a keen octogenarian, Buddhist, animal activist and news hen.  The latter designation because she was a journalist before marrying Claude Bentley, a fine artist.  Early in our cozy, rambling conversation, she endearingly declared herself to be so far left that she is almost off the planet.  While she cuddled with a glorious demi-coon cat I admired displays of  her husband’s large, subtle abstracts,  precious textiles and pre-Colombian art pieces.   For me, the room was enlivened by a tiny portrait of Bentley – that Fran received posthumously from an fellow artist at last honoring an in-kind trade.  Her house is a masterpiece of southwestern style lovingly customized with Spanish corbels, spindeled wooden doors and unique window treatment.

We, then, took a drive up towards the ski areas through acres of wintering Aspens coating the mountains like a minimalist painting.  The threatening clouds hovered in the thin air and over the wild expanse of this valley that seems to stretch beyond Albuquerque.  At a lookout, three young men popped out of a fancy VW and asked me to take their picture.  As they turned to stuff themsleves into the cocked doors I read aloud from the driver’s t-shirt:  “Eat it, smoke it wear it.”  He motioned me to the window and passed a full pipe to me; making the ride back into the clutter very enjoyable.  We dragged out a particularly beat-up side table and burned lots of  paper.

We spent the evening re-rearranging the furniture and of course watching Sister Wendy.  Tonight she wound up the series with abstract expressionists and pop artist in New York.  That hard act to follow is now being followed by “No Excuses:  Existentialism and the Meaning of Life.

DAY THREE Rice Fast

Did not get up at night for a change.

Instead, I dreamed of Warren Buffet.  I was ushered into his office that looked as dull as a 1950’s office could.  He sat at one of those big, old fashioned desks but got up as I came in.  Not in response to me particularly but to go into another space through a transom door.  The view through the door showed Buffet getting his exercise by being at bat taking pitches from a man in long, gartered up, sleeves; wearing an old fashioned striped soft baseball hat . In the dream, I do not know how I go the appointment and so I am unsure of what I am doing there.  After his at-bats, Warren returned to his desk and motioned me forward to sit down on a bench covered with a crumpled blanket.  At this point, he was summoned by a young and pudgy Charlie Munger-ish character and they stepped out on Fifth Avenue to have a discussion; kind of like the old Godfathers in the Village — They spoke into their cupped hands while looking over their shoulders.  I wondered why the Oracle could not have his own building swept for listening devices.  Then, found myself considering if I should straighten up the blanket on the bench and wondering what Buffet did for the homeless.

Present, now, 1:29 est  I am switching back and forth between the Market and the BLOG.  My stock that does Foreclosures is up and that is good, so now I have leverage to buy Chevron while the market gets hammered as Arch Crawford told us yesterday..

The evening activity prior to our dose of Sister Wendy was a magnificent community exhibit at the Convention Center..  Valerie Martinez, Poet Laureate of Santa Fe had invited residents to create “Lines and Circles”  to celebrate their multiple generations in the city.  http://www.santafenm.gov/CurrentEvents.aspx?EID=2854  This was a moving installation where eleven families created displays charting their family’s lives — The amazing thing about this city as the Docent pointed our, is the amalgam of Spanish, Mexicans and homesteaders.   (Yes. this was a territory and homesteading ended in the 1930’s.)

Each family had a representative on hand to answer questions.  Early in 1930, the Jones Brown family was enroute to California from Chicago when baby, Florenceruth (Flossie) had to be hospitalized.  Her father, a newspaper man was reading the local papers when he saw post regarding homesteading deadlines.  As told us, “the light went on just like in the cartoons and Dad was off to the land office to put together the required number of land parcels for us to qualify.  He had pieced together almost the required acreage (about 6 times the size of parcels for homesteading in the middle west)and by luck he saw a lot on a hill.  Well, that hill property was the passageway for local sheepherders and there was some ruckus when the drovers came through and saw him putting up fencing.”  As an aside, Flossie, now 80 years old, let it be know that she had been the longest serving Attorney General in the state’s history. The mainstay of their exhibit besides was the Brown family tree made by her grandson a metal smith – it was a grand structure of twisted rusted wires on which she draped her mother’s black shawl (sent by a beau from France.)  In the album, Ms. Brown pointed to a photo of her mother wearing the floral and fringed treasure while sitting on a fence.

The Salazar family display was enriched by the genealogical research of Julia Celebration Salazar.  She proudly displayed photos of her two sons one of whom was appointed to Annapolis in their uniforms (they served in Desert Storm.)  I asked the younger one how it was that a kid from the desert became a sailor and he said that he loved the contrast to the desert..

At the entrance there was a series of mailboxes with letters back and forth from the current generation of Martinez Ridgely’s to their ancestors and a map of the route they took to their European origins in Spain and northern Europe to Santa Fe.

My favorite of the many poems was from the Ortiz Dinkel family.  The paeon, in praise of the oak dining table from the 1860’s, summed up their display of several dinner plates with photos individuals from the interwoven generations and one grand platter with the family tree.  Around the walls were tintypes of matriarchs who had been widowed many times and raised the children of their dead siblings, as good people did in those days.  The poem spoke lovingly and articulately of the long and dear conversations that had taken place around this table.

DAY TWO Rice Fast

I woke up slightly headache-y had a dream about my cousin Lousie D. Glasser, the lucky one who got her half of my Grandfather’s fortune.  I  have never dreamed of her before.  My first thought was she was appearing in order to GIVE m something.  My second thought on realizing how silly that was was tinged with rage…Where is justice? or at least revenge?  Maybe it was those people from Louise-ianna that triggered this.It makes me wonder why she appeared, now.

And, the dream woke me early at least earlier than when I usually get up.  So, I decided to take a shower.. In the stall was a scarey brown spider ( maybe a recluse?)  I took it as as much an omen as the dream fragment and did not want to touch or kill the creature.  But, I started the water and watched it skitter about — thinking any moment it would jump and bite me..  When it rolled into a ball I stepped in and carefully put a shampoo bottle on top of it as an “umbrella” or as an end.  When I got out I removed the bottle but the spider looked terminally damp and splayed.  A subsequent peek revealed my cousin, the spider to be lifeless. ye-ss-s-s-

Most of the day I fretted the markets – couldn’t find anything to buy.  further frets of threats came from reading about Arch Crawford’s dark view of the near term and Summer markets.. But, I was transfixed as usual by the flickering of down ticks…actually was distressed when I headed out for my walk at the close.

Noticed that I was furious as I tangled up my gear and grappled for scarf and coats.. Rather surprized at how triggered I felt.  But, I walked along the Old Sante Fe Trail and got calm and sentimental about being in the old-old west.  There is no mild sense of deja vu about this place.  It brings me back to my toddler Phoenix winters.  The adobe architecture is so enduring and its rounded corners and jutting vegas are very eye pleasing.  I walked along Guadalupe to the rail yard that also reminds me of my maternal ancestors, who came West with the Union Pacific and Santa Fe rails.

I was not at all hungry and ready to go to sleep when Arthur came in brandishing Sister Wendy goes to Lascaux and medieval destinations.