Monday, October 31, 2022

Chopin for Transposed Hands

 I had a dream last night where I was in the house where I grew up, my mother was there in the dream, and I was trying to play a piano piece I played many years ago. It was, I believe, a Chopin Prelude. The trouble is, it was just not working out. I thought I would be able to manage at least part of the piece, but something was just totally wrong. I seemed to have the idea of the thing, but it was not manifesting on the keyboard. Suddenly I realized what the problem was. I was trying to play the left hand part with my right hand and the right hand part with my left hand. Something like that. So I switched hands, or arms, or rotated the piano, or whatever, and the thing sounded a little better. Still not good, but vaguely recognizable. 

So what the heck does this mean? I always wonder what the heck things mean in a dream because I've always believed they're supposed to mean something--or at least I've believed it since college when I studied the psychology texts of Carl G. Jung. The idea is that meaning, wisdom, is arising from the self, making contact with the ego in a sort of coded language, and this should then be interpretable. 

So, what? I'm somehow doing things backwards? Or upside down? Or inside out? Ending up with confusion rather than the well-ordered composition, after the manner of Chopin? And what things? Surely, the things that were on my mind. But what things were on my mind? Jeeze, I don't know.

So it seems that Jung has so far availed me nothing of enlightenment in this case. Maybe the message will suddenly pop into my head, or rather my ego, tomorrow or the next day, if only I can change my right to my left and my left to my right. More probably, however, I will simply forget the dream altogether, thus making room for another dream to forget. Which is, if nothing else, at least a good way of preserving the purity of mystery.

Tuesday, October 25, 2022


 Awful lot of rain here in south Bali over the last couple weeks. Major flooding to the point where tourists are being "rescued" from their hotels. Someone may need to build an ark. 

Not really flooding where I am in Sanur. Only problem is that my toilet is acting up. Lol. Strange. When it rains a lot, the toilet will not flush. When it stops raining, the toilet is fine. This is all connected to a septic tank system, and I'm not familiar with those. My girlfriend sent me a couple of articles. Apparently, the septic tank can get full from the rain and unable to handle more water from the toilet. I did not know before this that the septic tank system "cleans" sewage and releases it back into the ground. I thought a septic tank was a totally closed metal receptacle. So it may be that the tank is just not able to handle all the rain, or it may also be that there is some sort of problem with the tank. I dunno. If there is a problem, they'll have to dig the damn thing up, which means breaking through the patio cement and all. Hopefully the situation is not so dire as that. 

I saw videos from nearby Renon where a knee-deep river was running down the street, motorbikes still trying to struggle through, and apparently, water had entered Plaza Renon mall, flooding the ground floor. 

My goodness, this is only the beginning of wet season. Wonder what else might be in store. 

Sunday, October 16, 2022

Mickey, Roger, Whitey, and Yogi

I've begun to enjoy watching baseball highlights of late, just as I have long enjoyed watching the NFL highlights. Every Monday morning (which would be Sunday night back there in the old country), I watch highlights from all the pro football games. I can't watch the full games, as that would require payment for a special package, but that's probably a good thing because that would have me sitting in front of the TV from sunup to sundown. At least. 

But the astounding thing about tuning in to the baseball highlights is the memory that is touched of watching in the living room of my childhood home with my brother and my father. Dad was a big Yankees fan, and so we were big Yankee fans too, and back then, in the 1960s, the Yankees always won. How wonderful it seems now to have watched Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris and Whitey Ford and Yogi Berra and Tony Kubek and Hector Lopez--these legends of the sport. Was I really alive in such a brave time? Yes, I was. And I remember it. I remember collecting the thin cardboard baseball cards, and chewing those thin squares of pink gum which came with the cards and seemed to me at that time what the baseball cards themselves must taste like, were one to chew them. I remember sitting on the floor at the foot of my father's chair, I near one leg, my brother near the other, the smell of my father's pipe tobacco, the smoke drifting between us and rising to the ceiling. It was one of the rare things we did together--I, my brother, and our father. We shared something, a brief camaraderie. We had this together at the height of the baseball season. And we had Mickey Mantle, Roger Maris, Whitey Ford and all the rest. We had them too, for a season.

Friday, October 14, 2022

Final January 6th Hearing

 Just got done watching "the final" installment of the January 6th Committee hearings. In fact, it may not be the final hearing, but it is the final hearing before the midterms at any rate. 

Of course, the evidence presented is irrefutable and quite damning indeed. Nonetheless, there are those who feel it is important to hear all of this evidence and that those guilty of insurrection and sedition should be held to account, and there are those who simply don't care. They don't want to hear it. In fact, they have not watched it and their favorite rightwing channels have not televised it. Their minds are made up, evidence or no evidence, hearing or no hearing. They feel that by not caring, they are "owning the libs". 

I see the strangest statements from these folks on Facebook responses. "It was a partisan committee! No Republicans were chosen to participate!" They seem not to have heard that Pelosi invited Republican nominees and merely rejected the unreasonable candidates put forth by the minority leader. McCarthy was perfectly free to nominate more serious candidates but chose not to do so. How have they not heard this? Well, I believe they have, but guess what? They don't care. 

"The hearing was a flop, they say. "Nothing was found!" How so? Well, because they did not listen to the hearing and the findings were not reported by their favorite "news" channels. 

But anyway, as I said, the die is cast. There are those who care and there are those who don't care. It's all pretty dreary, really. 

Thursday, October 13, 2022

A Bit of Venting

 My girlfriend, Eveline, was here this last week and we were able to spend seven days (and nights) together. During the last couple days of her stay, her sister also visited and so we got to spend time with her as well. Or rather, I got to spend time with her. Eveline of course sees her on a regular basis back home in Java. Since the weather was rather poor most of the time, we spent much more time in the house than we had during her previous stay and Eveline made use of this time by cooking for me--a rare treat for someone who has been generally cooking the most boring meals possible for the last few years just for simplicity's sake. I used to prepare full meals when I was married and when my stepson lived with us here, but on my own it just seems like a very tedious task, and an unnecessary one. That said, I should have been putting more effort into feeding myself. I started to get more serious about this after I last saw my doctor and got some blood tests that were fairly screwed up. Who knew that eating well can make a difference? Lol. So I had already begun to prepare fresh meats and vegetables and fruits when Eveline came, and then she took over and cooked a number of delicious Indonesian dishes for me. And even froze some of the offerings in little plastic bags so that I could continue to eat well for another week or so. A good woman can make all the difference in the world, right? 

But here's the bad thing about this good woman: her parents suck. 

Here's the situation. Back in central Java, her parents, who own a traditional market, pay Eveline an unusually large salary to work there so that Eveline can pay for her two daughters' college tuition and so on. Essentially, it is the parents who are paying the tuition, and just calling it Eveline's salary. (Were her daughters not in college, Eveline would make a mere fraction of her present salary). Perhaps they do this for tax purposes. I don't know. 

All well and good to this point. Nice parents, right? 


Because when Eveline suggested that she might want to move here to Bali, they answered that if she did so, they would no longer pay for the schooling. She must work at the store, receive the salary, and pay the tuition. 

It's extortion, right? Or something like that. Lol. Quid pro quo? If they are paying for the schooling anyway, what difference does it make whether Eveline is there in Java or working here in Bali? 

To me, it seems a matter of control. And it's not just money. In fact, Eveline must make up a lie whenever she comes here to Bali because her family would consider it a grave and unforgivable sin to be visiting a boyfriend. Horrors! Therefore, she cannot come here often. I last saw her some four months ago, I believe. Instead of being happy that she has found someone to love, they would consider it some sort of betrayal of them and of their own twisted sense of morality. And to be honest, it's not really about morality at all. It's about how they would look to their close-minded, cultish little community. It's not about Eveline. It's about them. What will the neighbors say? 

It's about selfishness. 

Yeah, so, quality time will have to do. The kids are, after all, of the first importance. 

There was some talk about the possibility of me moving to Jogyakarta, but that wouldn't really solve matters. We could see each other a little more often, though she would still have to travel some two hours to the city. Most of the time, though, I'd be stuck in the middle of depressing, repressive central Java with little to do in this sort of landlocked dungeon of a city. Her parents would still not pay for the schooling if she left her little town nor could we spend intimate time together, as such things are actually against the law in Java. Eveline's sister told a chilling story while she was here in Bali. A man and a woman were living together in a house in her neighborhood. One day a nosey, self-appointed morality policewoman came to her door to report this scandal. She was, she said, recruiting the neighbors for an en masse visit to the house of the two sinners. Eveline's sister said, "No thanks, I'm not interested," but the old biddy went ahead and gathered her mob which then descended on the unsuspecting couple. Ultimately, the police were called in as well. Need it be said that the young couple is no longer together? 

Where are we, right? The dark ages? Trapped in a Hawthorne tale? In a Shirley Jackson horror story? 

Good Lord. 

Speaking of whom, did he not say something about he who is without sin casting the first stone? Judge not lest ye be judged? 

Sounds familiar to me, but I guess some have not yet heard the good news.