I'm at the Blooming Lotus Bakery—after I just was at the Whole Foods after I was just at the Library, after I was just at the DeWan dentist—so I guess I must be in a big spending mood because I bought $320 of dental care and then some organic broccoli and some organic bananas and some organic or not local cheddar cheese and coffee and some fancy pants patchouli mint soap, supposedly on sale, but it still cost $5.75 for a bar of soap! But I'm sure it's good soap, but maybe even not. Anyway, here I got a coffee and a cupcake, also $5.75, which is chocolate and insane!
This is the third (after “Memoir” and “Notebook Journals”) online journal consisting of entries typed from notebook pages. Presented here in chronological order, starting at the beginning of 2016 and continuing on, until death do us part.
(Please Note: This is in "Blog" format, so to read journals in chronological order, start at the bottom, with the oldest post first, and read upward.)
I'm at the Bollywood Grill on Thursday afternoon—late in March—it's raining out—non-stop, since yesterday—and windy—not so cold, but it might snow—hopefully! Anyway, I had a weird day so far—I had to go over to the social services office—not something I like to do—to report my income and where I live (proof of residence—which the woman in the Plaza office won't give me—for some reason!)—and what's depressing is my income has gone up so now I'll probably get no food stamps or way less—I might even have to pay for insurance—I'll see how it all comes together—anyway—I need another source of income!
Then I went to the office—I got mail, and the bank—got totally soaked in the rain. But anyway—now, warm, had a bath, Indian food—and I'm going to write about the “Iris” part of my new novel, K2, in the front of this notebook! And now it's totally snowing out!
(Note: from here I go onto a lot of notes for my in-progress novel, Iris, but I'm not including them here; it's all fragmented notes and “shop-talk.”)
I'm at Emperor of China in the middle of the afternoon on a Tuesday—it's empty (just me and one couple) but open—and that's a cool thing—people are working, bar is open—it feels okay. This place is dark, darkest restaurant in Milwaukee yet—also, it feels kind of old school Chinese restaurant. Moo Goo Gai Pan. Dinner prices okay—a lot of other stuff with white sauce I can eat here. Looks exactly how I remember—what?—ten years almost ago—really a good look and atmosphere. Good tea, too, heaviest teapot ever—iron. Food is good.
It's a weird day—warm out—but fog rolls in every day at this time—and now a thunderstorm is looming, already.
I'm at the Cafe at the Pfister! AKA Cafe at the Hotel Pfister or the Pfister Hotel Cafe—or maybe I should make up my own name for it! Anyway, this is the new start of Sunday Project—and even though I was here a month ago (oh, that was Saturday)—really, I have not gone to breakfast much on Sunday lately—maybe Saturday—most often to the Ma Fischer's—which is a nice morning walk—but also tends to bum me out—I'm a little bit over Ma Fischer's for the time being—anyway—I had totally forgotten about Sunday Project for awhile—it's an old concept—never really resurrected it in New York. Last regular Sunday Project place was the Astor Hotel Cafe—which was before I moved to New York. Anyway, what is Sunday Project? The basic idea is to go to breakfast, alone, to some breakfast spot (hopefully well-populated with people) on Sunday morning—but the crucial point is to go repeatedly to the same place. (It's okay to skip a week or several—but should be fairly consistent). And then compare and observe and write about and notice the qualities and nuances of that place and the workers and the food and the space and the customers, over time. It's a relationship, essentially. What do I learn about a place—do I get to like it better or do I get sick of it? Do they get to know me? Does it become more comfortable, or less comfortable?
And writing about my observations, how I feel—how does writing about it change it—and what do I write about? Usually I write about Sunday Project. But also, it's just a journal.
Anyway—it all started in 1987—when I lived in Kent and went to the Country-something Family Restaurant (where I later worked) Sunday after Sunday (always ordering sausage gravy and biscuits) and writing about it—in a sense—I've always just been trying to relive that! Over the years—here and there—it's never the same, but—The Astor was pretty good for awhile. I was considering going back there—I stopped in yesterday—talked to the guy running the bar there—but no breakfast now, at this time. I considered Watts Tea Room—that might be cool—but they are not open on Sunday. I guess I'll see how it goes here for awhile—then maybe try somewhere else. Maybe Zak's might be okay. Or somewhere on my bike (in warm weather).
Okay—mostly this notebook is supposed to for my novel K2—the Frisland book—which it is. It starts and stalls—maybe that's okay—my idea lately being—make a lot of events happen! Don't delay—don't get bogged down—be concise—that's the idea of K2—10 books—10 novels in one—each can be shorter (thus quicker than a regular novel)—get on with it! Get to the action—and move on!
I'm at the Bollywood Grill—I came here impulsively—which I can do if I want! Putting off getting tax stuff ready—what I want to do every day is work on my Coen Brothers article—kind of putting off my novel—it is hard—but still fun—still going okay. I did essentially three hours of REX work by noon or so today—listened to podcasts—tiny bit of K2—wrote an email—read a little—did dishes—and read some Coen stuff (about Schrodinger's Cat/Quantum Theory) and made notes—not bad. Now lunch—read more—get taxes together—clean, straighten? Walk somewhere! Maybe in PM—(wish Art Museum was open late) and then movie tonight and maybe more writing...
I'm at the Pfister Hotel Cafe, which is actually bigger than I recall. Breakfast on Saturday. Open 'til 2pm (close)—weekdays is probably earlier, Sunday is brunch—(not sure if you can get regular breakfast on brunch day). It's really a pretty comfortable place—and not too stuffy—really, no more expensive than the Plaza—maybe smaller portions. Though really—the Plaza is nicer! I wonder what is happening with the Astor Cafe, if that'll ever be a place to go again—or that other place down the street—Knickerbocker—I should check that out—and the Irish place, early. (And I should go there for dinner sometime.)
I had some kind of weird, undefined dream that seemed to be influenced by the movie I saw yesterday, Hail, Caesar! The movie made me excited about The Doughnuts—especially the next part—The Conways—all that! So I should get to work on that! And quit being afraid of the process—I've done it before and I can probably take it down and change it! Okay—also--my dream made me think about my screenplay idea/heist movie, etc. So! Work on that! Need: title!!!
No human contact today except discussing with Jeff his idea for Buddy Holly movie—it's good—afraid someone might have thought of it—but hell—no one's done it yet, I know of.
Anyway: One. If you feel like eating somewhere—go alone and write. Two. Joan Didion—Georgia O'Keefe article (in White Album book)—made me look at G. O'Keefe paintings differently. (A lot at art museum.) Three. Listen to B. Easton Ellis/National singer, Matt B.—I should play music—might be important to do so. Four. The Doughnuts—Table of Contents—Don't need it in book—first that occurred to me (reading self-pub. Book). 5. Should keep name Randy Russell for author name, domain name (unless I'm in total hiding) (I'm not famous—need all the help I can get—and probably try Wordpress for website—or website—can I keep domain name? That might be criteria—or get a new randyrussell site name? *(probably am holding on to old website 'cause Cindy made it—time to let it go!) *Most important part of new website: Notebook Journals! Other criteria: hosting options—connected? Ease? + price. Simple/photos/+”blog.” Not fancy.
+screenplay – Heist/carnival: 1. Bearded Lady (man). 2. Old crusty hustler/magician – games. 3. Clown – happy. 4. Dude – ventriloquist – tall. Nightclub singer – woman. Police Detective – man or woman? Private eye – sleazy – man or woman?
I'm at Ma Fischer's for breakfast on Saturday, last Saturday in January—it's a zoo here today—but no one at the counter, so the counter is nice. It's spring-like outside so everyone has gone nutso, outside—driving, of course, no one ever walking—well, a few. It's not that warm, upper 30s, sun came out.
I can't figure out if I've been depressed or not—I guess feeling okay—it's dead of winter, after all—a lot inside, a lot dark, not enough exercise—but anyway—I've been getting done some writing—that's something—not enough—some reading—not enough—going to movies—plenty. I'm trying to figure out how to make a website—how to publish Kindle stuff—it's kind of overwhelming—plus, all this doctor stuff—dentist—eye doctor—too much to do. Why do I have so much less time?
People have been complaining about too little time my whole life—I remember when Jacquie or Sally said something to that effect—wish they had more time (it was like a revelation to me at the time). But I was what, like seven?
You have to ask yourself—if this is always a problem—always a lament—then it is the norm—so why not just accept it as things are and not have it be a problem? Which is probably what most people do! Just think about what I do get done and do more and be happy about that and think about what I want to do in a positive way—I guess what maybe most people do is think short sided—and about less big ass work projects—oh, well—change the way I think! It's possible—not easy.
Dave Wilner contacted me from Minneapolis—where he moved. Trying to get into a dialogue with him about Minneapolis! That might be fun. Maybe he will visit Milwaukee—and I can take the train up to Minneapolis!
El Local restaurant and Seafood with Brent, 11th Street and Mitchell—write about it while fresh in my mind! I had Huevos rancheros all day—it's was huge! A huge mess. Also, Botanas—Monday or Tuesday, with Frankie and Bob—lunch special—reasonable—1 taco, 1 enchilada, rice and beans, and bean soup—huge—for cheap—also, great waiter—“Radar O'Reilly”—and good bathroom—mural.
I'm at the Plaza Cafe on a Sunday in January, the coldest day of the winter so far, it's 9:30 AM. Below 0 this morning, but worse, windy, so wind chill is minus 26 degrees—last I checked—but also worse, bright sun—so I bet a lot of people are going out unsuspecting—it looks warm out. Actually, people are such morons—I bet a lot of them won't even notice that it's cold, they'll just see the sun and think it's warm, then wonder why their face hurts as they walk half a block to their car. It does actually look warm out. It's really not even the below zero, it's the 20 miles plus wind. I hit a block full in the wind—way back from the art museum last week that was just painful—into the wind—got a headache in one block!
Anyway, it's the perfect day to come here to the Plaza Cafe in my building—hotel—and not go out all day—though I am thinking maybe the art museum—or a movie with someone in a car...
This is—continuing my K2 notebook series—this is my Frisland notebook (#20B). It's now 2016—it has been a successful notebook journal so far—though it occurred to me that I should be doing the journal back to front—as is my habit—but for some reason went front to back—oh well—when this journal space is filled up, I'll go to #20C—which is Land of Love notebook (not sure what 20A is—I think this small, red, carry-around notebook). Anyway—after a break from writing over the holidays, I feel like I'm back into it last couple of days, which is good. I might go ahead and jump to The Melded Coins, too, since I feel inspired to. Also—I got the idea to write a movie script—we'll see how that goes—and I got the idea to put out a record—which is possible—but it's the distribution that's hard—also, I got the idea to—make a new website—this is a huge thing and an ongoing dilemma—how to do it—so many options—also, maybe Etsy store for monkeys—really, just so much stuff I want to do, but all of that stuff is good—so whatever—do as much as I can. I just want to read more, first of all, and exercise more—but this last week I spent a solid 8 hours a day doing this REX data entry—which was kind of a drag—but it's got to be better than going to an 8 hour a day job, right? I don't know. I'm hoping I can get paid a little more—I could really use a little more money just to make things a little easier—like going to the dentist, where I have to pay—since my health insurance sucks.
Sometimes I get too many inspirations all at once and try to work on too many things at once—but just so I'm getting something done—it's not a bad thing at all, if I work on something and abandon it. It's the work that makes me happy. Just so I do finish something once in awhile...
I'm back in Milwaukee—and I'm at Benji's! This place is the best. I kind of got down on it when I lived in Milwaukee before—when I liked Irina's Hoppel Poppel better than Benji's—but Irina's is gone—this place has a much better atmosphere, anyway—it's a diner. It's a deli—it's been around forever—it has a good feeling. No TV or music (at least today)—a huge plus. I guess I was upset after they remodeled it—it definitely went downhill in how it looked—remodeled for the worse—but now I've forgotten the old look and the new has gotten old—and it's visually pleasing—a diner—booths, tables, counter—good counter. Since coming here with Brent I realized what is the best breakfast—it's Super Hoppel Poppel—but a half order. It's the perfect size and about $8—plus, today, major waitress crush, or at least potentially—well, I've never seen her before and she's interesting—well, they are always good here, actually—and everyone working here is cool—never saw this woman, and she's a little older—closer to my age—can't get a crush on 20 year olds! But maybe it's time to rethink this whole waitress thing—I mean, formally—in something I'm writing—maybe it's fucked up... or maybe it's fucked up thinking it's fucked up.
Anyway—my trip to Sandusky was long—a long visit—but fun—it went too fast. The worst thing, as usual, was no exercise—nowhere to walk—long walk—around there! Plus, too cold. I already feel better walking from the train to Roy's house (cat sitting) and home. I was all worried about the stupid dentist appointment this morning (always anxiety about dentist!)—and getting there—but it was a nice hour and 15 minute walk up Humboldt (except for the part on Capitol, which sucks!) (and ice, occasionally). But got there, filled out shit—then they said (another subject) my health insurance was no more! So now I have to find out if my health insurance is fucked or they are fucked and back to square one!
This is the third (after “Memoir” and “Notebook Journals”) online journal consisting of entries typed from notebook pages. Presented here in chronological order, starting at the beginning of 2016 and continuing on, until death do us part. I take full responsibility. —Randy Russell, 2018