Quantcast
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

I'm Watching Too Much TV

Over halfway through September. I can’t wait. I’m still stuck here in these dog days, maybe all of us are. My sentences are too long. I hear this from readers. On spell-check now I’m getting “Fragment.” I’m hitting “Ignore Rule” right now. Got HBO on in background. Starsky & Hutch, the movie with, you know, that guy. And the other guy.

Gotta start looking for apartment this weekend. Made phone calls. Went to one. How come there’s always a respectable-looking, elderly Asian couple looking much more eligible? I should go during the week, but it’s a weekend thing. Right?

Studio. Mission Hills. $750. Okay. Call. “You that guy…?”

Yeah. It’s a garage.

“Hey! Thank God for Friday, right?” Right.

National City. One bedroom. $800. Means trolley. Kids every Friday. Oh yeah, I might have a roommate. See what he thinks. Good guy. Old, like me. I’ve got too many books. Is there such a thing? Yep.

Gabriel García Márquez wrote a whole book, The Autumn of the Patriarch. One sentence. Maybe 80,000 words.

This is getting painful. My teeth hurt and I’m getting splinters somehow.

A World Fantasy Award–winning author, Richard Bowes, once told me my style was “like an infant examining his toes and fingers.” Loved the image if not the criticism.

Let’s see, looking for an apartment, and the words Mission Hills bring me back to my old house on Curlew Street, the one my wife and I bought when we made the final move out here. It looked like the Addams Family house. That was my joke at the time. My friend Gerry, Rick Bowes’s brother, called it “the Edifice Complex. Buy a house in California, fix it up, then get divorced.” Hilarious. Whoever bought it painted it a very nice lime-green, I guess you’d call it. I’m writing them a letter.

Apropos of nothing (this, I’m told, is what columnists do), there is a urologist in Arkansas named John Brizzolara. I wrote him a letter and he didn’t answer. I called his receptionist and she laughed, told me, “He figures you’re from the bad side of the family.” Okay.

I’ve got a lot of mosquitoes in the backyard where I’m living. I’m a hypochondriac, and I keep thinking about the West Nile virus and malaria. I’ve killed dozens, leaving bloody smears on the walls. I keep finding them and wiping them down, like Monk in that TV show. I’m going to call 888-551-INFO, this mosquito hotline. I require new and more ingenious methods, like mosquito-eating fish in the toilet bowl, maybe.

I’m watching too much TV. Well, not actually watching it. I’ve just got it on too much. It’s like a lava lamp for me. I tell myself it helps me think, but really, it is distracting at times. I find myself having imaginary conversations with actors I’ve never met, like Timothy Hutton and Tony Shalhoub. “Hey, I loved you in Turk 182 and The Dark Half,” or “That line of yours in Barton Fink was great, man. ‘Throw a rock in here and you’ll hit a writer. Do me a favor, Fink, and throw it hard!’ That was great, Tony. You got robbed at the Oscars.” Is this a common thing? I don’t do it out loud.

I should call my friend Cosmo. His mother was ill in Illinois last time we spoke but was getting better. Hey, Cosmo, by the time you read this we will probably have spoken, but I said a prayer just now, which got me thinking....

This is like one of my son’s ideas: What if God is constantly editing our experience and erasing memories so that we’re never quite positive that He exists. He does this intentionally in order to create, if not doubt, a certain creative tension in man’s universe, without which nothing. This can’t be an original idea. Maybe the French Jesuit Teilhard said something like it. Philip K. Dick certainly hit on something similar and repeatedly, just not in those words. I actually called up the Specialist in the middle of the night recently and told her, “I’ve got the Secret of the Universe. Want it?” She’s a great sport and said, “Sure.” Not much else except, “I don’t even know how the can opener works.” Maybe that was another time.

Actually, I have to meet the Specialist now. At Whole Foods. I’m more in the mood for some Half Foods, but I’ve got to eat something. Their butterscotch tapioca is like crack cocaine. My other friend Rick says that. Not the fantasy writer.

How do you hit “Ignore Rule” and keep it ignoring the rules?

Any suggestions?

Any landlords out there?

I’ve got a job.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Interview fashionista finds comfort in Abercrombie & Fitch, H&M

Claire still believes in wearing pants while working remotely

Over halfway through September. I can’t wait. I’m still stuck here in these dog days, maybe all of us are. My sentences are too long. I hear this from readers. On spell-check now I’m getting “Fragment.” I’m hitting “Ignore Rule” right now. Got HBO on in background. Starsky & Hutch, the movie with, you know, that guy. And the other guy.

Gotta start looking for apartment this weekend. Made phone calls. Went to one. How come there’s always a respectable-looking, elderly Asian couple looking much more eligible? I should go during the week, but it’s a weekend thing. Right?

Studio. Mission Hills. $750. Okay. Call. “You that guy…?”

Yeah. It’s a garage.

“Hey! Thank God for Friday, right?” Right.

National City. One bedroom. $800. Means trolley. Kids every Friday. Oh yeah, I might have a roommate. See what he thinks. Good guy. Old, like me. I’ve got too many books. Is there such a thing? Yep.

Gabriel García Márquez wrote a whole book, The Autumn of the Patriarch. One sentence. Maybe 80,000 words.

This is getting painful. My teeth hurt and I’m getting splinters somehow.

A World Fantasy Award–winning author, Richard Bowes, once told me my style was “like an infant examining his toes and fingers.” Loved the image if not the criticism.

Let’s see, looking for an apartment, and the words Mission Hills bring me back to my old house on Curlew Street, the one my wife and I bought when we made the final move out here. It looked like the Addams Family house. That was my joke at the time. My friend Gerry, Rick Bowes’s brother, called it “the Edifice Complex. Buy a house in California, fix it up, then get divorced.” Hilarious. Whoever bought it painted it a very nice lime-green, I guess you’d call it. I’m writing them a letter.

Apropos of nothing (this, I’m told, is what columnists do), there is a urologist in Arkansas named John Brizzolara. I wrote him a letter and he didn’t answer. I called his receptionist and she laughed, told me, “He figures you’re from the bad side of the family.” Okay.

I’ve got a lot of mosquitoes in the backyard where I’m living. I’m a hypochondriac, and I keep thinking about the West Nile virus and malaria. I’ve killed dozens, leaving bloody smears on the walls. I keep finding them and wiping them down, like Monk in that TV show. I’m going to call 888-551-INFO, this mosquito hotline. I require new and more ingenious methods, like mosquito-eating fish in the toilet bowl, maybe.

I’m watching too much TV. Well, not actually watching it. I’ve just got it on too much. It’s like a lava lamp for me. I tell myself it helps me think, but really, it is distracting at times. I find myself having imaginary conversations with actors I’ve never met, like Timothy Hutton and Tony Shalhoub. “Hey, I loved you in Turk 182 and The Dark Half,” or “That line of yours in Barton Fink was great, man. ‘Throw a rock in here and you’ll hit a writer. Do me a favor, Fink, and throw it hard!’ That was great, Tony. You got robbed at the Oscars.” Is this a common thing? I don’t do it out loud.

I should call my friend Cosmo. His mother was ill in Illinois last time we spoke but was getting better. Hey, Cosmo, by the time you read this we will probably have spoken, but I said a prayer just now, which got me thinking....

This is like one of my son’s ideas: What if God is constantly editing our experience and erasing memories so that we’re never quite positive that He exists. He does this intentionally in order to create, if not doubt, a certain creative tension in man’s universe, without which nothing. This can’t be an original idea. Maybe the French Jesuit Teilhard said something like it. Philip K. Dick certainly hit on something similar and repeatedly, just not in those words. I actually called up the Specialist in the middle of the night recently and told her, “I’ve got the Secret of the Universe. Want it?” She’s a great sport and said, “Sure.” Not much else except, “I don’t even know how the can opener works.” Maybe that was another time.

Actually, I have to meet the Specialist now. At Whole Foods. I’m more in the mood for some Half Foods, but I’ve got to eat something. Their butterscotch tapioca is like crack cocaine. My other friend Rick says that. Not the fantasy writer.

How do you hit “Ignore Rule” and keep it ignoring the rules?

Any suggestions?

Any landlords out there?

I’ve got a job.

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

De Anza Cove terrorized, La Jolla Cove cesspool, doomed life in Eastlake, South vs North Park, displaced persons in City Heights

Quirky San Diego neighborhoods
Next Article

Finding a different world inside Samarkand Uzbek Café

Don’t miss this overachieving tent restaurant tucked away in a City Heights parking lot
Comments
2

I read Autumn of the Patriarchs and I enjoyed it. Can you name any other book in which a character is given an inguinal hernia on purpose? Regarding the style, my guess is that Marquez did not want any of it excerpted in a college anthology. :-) But, seriously, although I read it 25 years ago, I do seem to remember a couple of periods, which means that each sentence was about 100 pages long. I thought it was great.

Sept. 17, 2008

Hey, John, have you ever listened to the full five minutes of the guitar solo on Free Bird? Gawd, it is awesome!! :-)

Sept. 20, 2008

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close