Thursday 19 May 2016

I'm at Jalisco's on North Ave., finally trying out the $7.99 lunch buffet—if it was $4.99, okay—or if it was better—or if you were going to eat a real lot. But frankly, it's pretty gross. Well, that's what I get, coming by mid-afternoon—of course the shit has been sitting there. (Idea: Buffets should get cheaper the later it gets!) The good thing is, the guy working is really nice—and there are three booths near me with two women each—so it's actually a really nice atmosphere for being 3:30 on a Thursday—so that's a plus... AND, the guy brought me extra napkins without me asking—and that's a serious extra star—in the Michelin Guide.

Anyway, I'm pretty depressed today. I'm going to a movie at Downer Theater in a bit. Not excited about it. I'm trying to give away my TV on Craigslist—got two replies already—so that's promising.

Wednesday 18 May 2016

I'm at Nana, Asian Fusion restaurant in Shorewood on Oakland, for their lunch special—I'll see how cheaply I can eat here. Brent and I came here for dinner, and it's good and very gluten-free attentive—so I want to see how cheaply I can eat lunch here, and what else it on the menu! Five pieces of sushi and a roll, miso soup, and salad—for $11—that's good (and they don't charge for the green tea!) It's my last day cat-sitting at Anne's place—it's been kind of fun, and a nice vacation—really—though I haven't gotten very much writing done. But I'm just not going to worry about stuff like that anymore! The most important thing to me in life is taking a walk and getting a good feeling from taking a walk—when it happens—and you can't beat that.

My phone went from 67% to nothing in like a minute—I think I need a new phone! I need a new computer. It's all kind of overwhelming. I need to clean my apartment most of all. I'll start getting things in order soon I guess.

Friday 13 May 2016

I'm at Maxfield's Pancakes on Friday, same as last Friday—kind of crazy—I didn't realize it was Friday I was here last. It's a really nice morning—the air is clear and smells good—low humidity—which always makes me feel like I'm on vacation. I'm still cat-sitting for Anne's cat, Patty, and so I'm kind of feeling on vacation still for that reason anyway. I had to go back home last two days for details and stuff, tax lady (Glenda), office mail, etc.—so I rode my bike last two days—not a ton, but it feels like good exercise—after Tuesday—when it rained all day and I stayed inside (should've got out—at least briefly—should never stay in all day).

I talked to Nick yesterday about Talkhouse stuff—it's nice it's still a possibility—but it comes down to—I have to write stuff! Can I even fucking write anything anymore—or should I just give it up? It was so hot in here I took my shirt off! Ha! That helped—then they turned the AC on.

Saturday 7 May 2016

I'm switching around notebooks a lot—hoping that will inspire me and also get me to work on my new novel—K2—as I have ten K2 notebooks that can also function as daily journals. Plus, this extra carry-around journal, a little one, which is nice because it fits in a pocket of a jacket—so it's nice if I'm traveling light.

Anyway, I'm at Anne Leplae's house cat-sitting for this cute boy cat, Patty, who is dark orange/brown tabby—on an orange tabby/light/dark scale—it's like this: lighter—KO—Louis—Patty—darker (three orange cats). I'm over here in Shorewood, a nice neighborhood—kind of treating this as a vacation (with no cessation in work—but that's okay—work for Chris—since it's part-time, for sure—20 to 25 hours a week). So this is kind of interesting, being over here. Today is: Day 4—of Shorewood vacation (Day 1 being May 4, when I came over). Now I'm going to look at my last entry (in this notebook, anyway) and see how my to do list is going.

Friday 6 May 2016

I'm at Maxfield's Pancake House—first time of the season! Everything is the same here—that's good. I've been cat sitting for Anne Leplae—her cat Patty—since Wednesday—I guess this is Day 3—it already seems like longer! Things like “going somewhere new,” moving somewhere, or vacations—the time is always weighted on the beginning—that is, the first day is epic—the next day is, too—and then time speeds up and you're right back to speedy time as usual. Why is that?

Anyway, it's interesting being in Shorewood—totally different feeling than my house, my neighborhood. You wouldn't think so. The first day, Wednesday, I rode over in the afternoon, got settled, and then went to Benji's (two blocks away!) for lunch. Then yesterday I went back home, got some more stuff—on my bike—and then later took a long walk up to Whitefish Bay Library. It's amazing how little I know the area! I've driven around there a lot, but not walked. I guess people who just drive all the time, never walk, just don't know their home!

Thursday 28 April 2016

I'm at the Bollywood Grill for lunch—I came here quite impulsively on the spur of the moment—which is often the best way to do things. I was going to go to Benji's yesterday but didn't, so I don't feel bad about spending the money—even though I'm trying not to spend too much—since all these things have come up—health insurance premium every month now—expensive!—and my renter's insurance—and life insurance—and tax prep payment—and federal income tax—it's insane! But maybe it'll level off. Plus, I need to buy a new computer!

Anyway, lot of REX work lately—and I keep fearing it'll get to be too much—but hopefully we'll be able to talk about it at some point—me and Chris—and it'll all work out. Really—I worry too much—that is my biggest problem of all! Why can't I deal with that—HUH?! Anyway—my main concern is always—Do I have enough time for my own stuff? But, however, I spend a lot of time each day doing nothing—I don't know what—probably looking at crap on the internet. Maybe it's all worthwhile—but a lot is not, really—like I just read an article about racism—interesting—but another person's opinion, really—but about things where I don't feel like I need a re-orientation, or attitude adjustment, or a re-schooling, really—while I just go on worrying too much—and that is where I should be spending some time—concentrating on that area of change and hopefully improvement.

I guess there was some kind of official? Un-official launch today (?) We'll see what that means. Hopefully something positive.

I went over to Anne Leplae's house last night—in Shorewood—to talk to her about cat sitting—I'm going to stay over and take care of the orange boy cat Patty—two weeks in May. Hopefully it'll be nice—and a change of scenery—and a kind of vacation!

Sunday 24 April 2016 – Sunday Project

I'm at the Pfister Cafe for breakfast on a Sunday as part of the Sunday Project! Maybe I was supposed to use a different notebook—it's going to be a challenge later (probably will never happen) (looking up the dates, and putting them in chronological order—since I'm using 12 notebooks simultaneously!)

It's funny, at one time I felt I kind of had a dilemma about my Sunday Project—like, is it part of the journal—or separate from? As if, anyone is going to read them anyway! Anyway, now—the way I'm going to deal with my notebooks, as in use them—is to put them totally in chronological order... from earliest up to this I'm writing right now (& the future)... going back to... I don't know really—and extending through all the years, writing a lot of years and not writing much of the time, I guess!

So—I've been working on my new website—it's been kind of a trial—just the indecision—fear of the unknown—terror of technology—etc. But I finally feel like I've gotten somewhere and the website is live—I decided to just get a new domain name, even—rspeen.com—which I'll try to keep ongoing—we'll see. Anyway, the part of this new website I'm most excited about for whatever reason is the journal part—which I'm calling (for now)—Memoir (just because it's not, and that's funny). Probably the journal part is least interesting to anyone on the site, but most interesting to me. That's okay! I am starting with my 1972 trip to Florida/Autotrain notebook! Which I still have—after that—do I have any school journals? I don't know—what will be next? What do I still have? Will the Garbage Memo work its way in? Trips across the country? NYC 1985? We'll see what I can find. (I might continue my blog/Notebook Journals project, simultaneously, too—just to have a little more.) Oh, and 1989.

As far as the Sunday Project, here at the Pfister, more of the same—a decent place to sit, perfect for this project—really—though the place is really kind of full of dull people...

Saturday 16 April 2016

I'm at the Prime Minister Family Restaurant in Thiensville on about the first nice day we've had—and I took my old bike to the Bikesmith bike shop yesterday and got a new back rim, instead of fixing the spokes—not much more to do that $—to fix spokes and replace rim—similar price—so whole new rim. I took it in Thursday—then today already they called—while I was trying to figure out what I'm gonna to do—go to a movie or a walk or to office—so I walked up there—and got bike. Then on a test ride—it feels very comfortable—so I started riding up north—thought I'd try to go to Maxfield's, if I could make it up there—and then I decided to try out the new trail thru Whitefish Bay—and it's amazing! It cuts a diagonal up to the Brown Deer Trail—it's a major shortcut and all on trails! So I got carried away and came all the way up to Thiensville, to the Prime Minister—and I'm having big lunch special—roast pork on sauerkraut with potatoes and corn and salad and rice pudding! For $8.99.

Tuesday 12 April 2016

I'm at The Plaza Cafe for breakfast on a sunny 30 degree day in the middle of April, too cold to ride my bike yet. Plus I've been too busy! A lot of REX work and stuff for Chris—not making me too happy because of the slippery nature of my expectations, his expectations, etc.—not well defined. I've gotten over some of my main anxieties—got colonoscopy, went to new dentist, and got new health insurance—and still I feel unhappy—so now I've got to realize it's me, not this external bullshit. So I've got to try to adjust how I think without psych drugs or therapy, if possible! I've got a few more problems to solve—but they should be kind of fun if I let them be—like: new website. Then I've got to try to make something every day—chapter, collage, monkey, journal entry, draw!

As far as the confusing evolution of my notebook journals goes—I'm using various notebooks for my new novel—K2—and in each of these there is also a continuing journal (always with the date!) (It's so I don't have to carry around multiple notebooks!)

Anyway, this time three years ago I had just moved away from New York—to Cleveland—I think—2013—yeah—and I think it was this week—like second week in April when I moved—packed on a weekend after I quit my job (I gave them an extra week in April to train the new dude)—then drove on a Monday—I think—got to Jeff Curtis' house not too late—unpacked—took back car next a.m.—then went to breakfast—maybe at the Coffee Pot, on Madison—and started exploring the neighborhood. It was really a sad time, of course. (But then not even close to as sad as later, when Cindy died, a year and a half ago, or so—which I have not gotten over—I guess I never will...) Anyway, that was a pretty exciting time, too, exploring a new place—Lakewood. A drag looking for jobs and temp places—but great fun discovering bike trails and restaurants. Thinking about Lakewood makes me very nostalgic now—and I kind of realize I should move again—but maybe the time isn't right—right now—and hopefully I'll get a chance to move again, some day.

I walked over by the park overlooking the lake this morning, and felt different just doing that—I should do stuff out of the ordinary every day—I decided—and get out early. Even briefly, when possible—especially in spring—and exercise more, of course, and go to the lake more—go to that amazing Juneau Park—3 blocks away, a.m. & p.m.!

Friday 8 April 2016

I'm at Bollywood Grill for lunch buffet. It's snowing out...

I have been dealing with with utter bullshit of health insurance... mine is cut off because my income increased... NOW I have to find a new health insurance company or plan and PAY a lot—and if it's more than what my pay increase is, I'm screwed. Also, I'm dealing with being overwhelmed by shit... I need to continue with my spring cleaning... and maybe get life in order—or move, and/or find a job. But the most important thing is (end of entry)

Tuesday 5 April 2016

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!

Thursday 24 March 2016

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.”)

Tuesday 15 March 2016

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.

Sunday 13 March 2016

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!

Thursday 10 March 2016

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...

Saturday 6 February 2016

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!!!

Thursday 4 February 2016

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?

Saturday 30 January 2016

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!

Thursday 28 January 2016

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.

Sunday 17 January 2016

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...