Shannon’s Super Sexy Blog. Music. Travel. Randomness. And a Lot of Wine.

Archive for the ‘How do we all stay grounded when the world is spinning’ Category

Cars and Stars

Friday, October 17th, 2008

Last night, I was finally at my tivo-less home to catch an episode of Spain, on the Road Again, the PBS series with Mario Batali, Gwyneth Paltrow, food writer Mark Bittman, and Spanish actress Claudia Bassols. I was really looking forward to this show – I love Spain, and anything that gets more people to pay attention to this overlooked (by Americans, at least) country is good in my book.

Unfortunately for Spain, and for us, this show is not really about Spain. I am sure they had good intentions, but something in the final editing went seriously amiss. OK, so I’ve only seen one episode so I could be totally wrong and it was a one off and all the others will be so fantastic everyone will want to book a ticket to Spain immediately (kind of like Jose Andres makes you want to do in another PBS series, Made in Spain, which is totally worth watching.)

On last night’s episode, the foursome heads to the Basque Country. Gwyneth and Mario head to Bilbao and the Guggenheim and have a really long conversation with Frank Gehry about pressed metal and stuff. Mark Bittman and Claudia head to sample some of the grilled masterpieces of Victor Arguinzoniz at Etxebarri. All fine and good, except that after leaving the Guggenheim, Gwyneth and Mario got into their fancy car and proceeded to sit in traffic for 10 minutes and talk about – get this – Dora the Explorer and Barney the dinosaur. I kid you not. You are in BILBAO, people. We don’t really care about what your kids watch, can we see the train station or something instead? I mean, really. And at the famous Etxebarri, we get to see some cool grilling of caviar and prawns, but the over-the-top “I wanna f*** you” vibe emanating from Bittman towards the young, hot Claudia is so gross that it was kind of hard to watch. Then they get into THEIR nice car, Claudia’s hair blowing in the wind (but so little that I think they were maybe doing 40, which may be why other cars kept passing them.) And the whole time, Mark Bittman is trying so hard to impress Claudia… dude, she is Spanish. Do you know who Javier Bardem is? Competition. I’m being totally theoretical, but still. Stop trying so hard and you might stand a chance.

After all this lameness and, more conversations driving around in their fancy cars, I am surprised I kept watching, but I did. Disappointment after disappointment. They all head to the Rioja and check into another Gehry building, the Marqués de Riscal hotel. Great! Can we go visit some towns now? No… Gwenyth and Claudia go off and lay in bathrobes and prepare to have a spa. Gwenyth asks Claudia where Mario and Mark went. Claudia says they went to the gym. Gwenyth says na ah! Claudia says un ha! No way! Yes way!

Of course Mario and Bittman did not go to the gym, they went back to Bilbao and proceeded to eat and drink a lot, which was awesome except for exchanges like this:

Mario: this sauce looks like the (spa) clay coming off Claudia’s legs right now.
Mark Bittman (lecherously): Now there’s an intriguing thought.

Gross. I think I have the actual words all wrong but you get the idea.

In the meantime, we get lots of shots of Gwyneth and Claudia doing their spa thing, soaking in a tub (G) and walking on rocks with a bathing suit on (C.) Um. There is so much more to the Rioja than this. Medieval hilltowns. Vineyards. Stews with pork products in them. And we have to watch this? Maybe this is what guys like Mark Bittman like in a travel show. I never thought I would say this, but I feel like watching some Samantha Brown.

Who knows, maybe it will get better. But so far, if I was one of the sponsors of this “travel” show, I’d want my money back.

Marlena’s Daughters and Energy’s Son

Friday, January 5th, 2007

Isn’t it weird when you meet people and it feels like you have known them forever?


This is Kasch and her daughter Antonia, my brother Tom’s new family from Berlin. I haven’t written too much about this because I wanted to make sure it was cool with them first. Basically, Tom met Kasch when he was on tour in Germany last summer, and now he is moving there!

Kasch and Antonia were here for a little over two weeks and now that they are gone there is a void. When my brother moves, there will be an even bigger void. Thankfully I myself am going to Berlin for two weeks in March, otherwise I would be hella bummed. I am sort of fantasizing about moving there myself, but of course I won’t. I don’t think. The problem is, I am an urban girl living in a beach town. I love my beach town, but I really get off on subways and outdoor cafes on big boulevards and bridges with statues on them and stuff. Though if I lived in a big city I would probably be fantasizing about sunsets and the smell of the sea and fried clams. Was it Hemingway that said, write about the summer in the winter, and the winter in the summer? That is the way I think, all the time. If you get my drift.

Anyway, I love Tom’s new family. They are both beautiful and, well, the epitome of cool. Kasch is already Cool Beyond Words and Antonia is The Coolest Chick In Town Waiting to Happen. For now though she is a Cool Little Girl. She loves, LOVES, my nephew Ryan. Here she is with Ryan and Ryan’s mama Carrie:


Speaking of Cool Little Girl Antonia last night was pretty funny. She hasn’t been speaking much to me since I can’t understand German, though I think she understands quite a bit of English. But last night, I went to Tom’s for dinner with Kasch and Antonia, Scottie Blinn (from the Mudsharks) and his wife Roxanne and kid Little Man Jackson. After dinner, the four other adults wanted to go down to Tony’s bar so I stayed with the kids. Little Man Jackson is basically a meteor trapped in a child’s body, and spent the first twenty minutes carreening off couches and walls like a pinball. It was some pretty intense energy expenditure, let me tell you. Antonia and I wanted to play Uno with the Hello Kitty Uno cards I got her for Christmas, so we kept asking Jackson but he was like, “no way, I ain’t playing with no Hello Kitty cards!” (Good boy, Scott would later say.) I finally talked him into it because you can’t play Uno with only two people so I was kind of desperate. Anyhow, I was like, “Jackson, you are CRAZY.”

Then, out of nowhere, Antonia says, completely deadpan, “Crazy Boy.” Then she proceeds to play Uno with us, SPEAKING ENGLISH THE WHOLE TIME. I was blown away, she just turned 10 but obviously has a mind like a steel trap.

Jackson continued cracking us both up, saying stuff like “I’m the weirdest!” and doing break-dancing moves on the floor when his energy got to be too much. Later, when his dad mentioned my blog Poptarticus, Jackson exclaimed “I’LL HAVE A BLOG TOO, AND I’M GONNA CALL IT FARTICUS!” Dude. I almost fell down laughing.

Antonia and Jackson got sick of Uno after three hands and started instant messaging each other on their little handheld Nintendos, drawing each other pictures and teaching each other words from their languages. It was really cool.

Kids. What a trip. FARTICUS. Too much. I wish I was that creative.

Flirting with the Pastor

Thursday, December 29th, 2005

I have been having the most insane dreams. I can’t even write about them here, they are just too sick. Mostly they involve doing bad things, the least of which is a lot of weird sexual stuff, which isn’t necessarily bad, but also stealing and lying. I don’t steal or lie in real life, but I am sure doing it a lot this week in that other reality. This morning I told a blatant lie that I was Jeff Tweedy’s girlfriend and spent the rest of the dream trying to figure out how I was going to get out of the lie. And I am not even into Jeff Tweedy that way! Where is Britt? Man, I wish Britt could appear in one of these dreams. Then it might all be worth it. But why Jeff Tweedy? Is it because I am feeling guilty that I’ve not yet bought Kicking Television? What kind of Wilco freak am I? The kind who already has a couple of live show bootlegs, I guess. I’m listening to the Madison Square Garden New Year’s Eve show right now, just to de-guilt a little.

So maybe it is the end of the year, so I am working stuff out in my head, or maybe I am just getting more sleep than I am used to. Too many people are getting sick around here and I cannot get sick. My party is this Sunday. Can’t, can’t, can’t get sick. Sleep is a form of prevention, but on the other hand, all these crazy dreams are, well, making me a little insane. I feel unbalanced by the symbolism that’s going on in my head. I don’t have time to understand it right now. The sex. The crimes. The getting back together with ex-husbands. Too freaky. How I wish for a couple of nights with no dreaming! Unless, of course, Britt Daniel is involved somehow.

I’m slowly getting ready for my party. Once again I am making massive quantities of food with absolutely no idea as to how many people will show up. This year’s menu:

Pate di Tonno con Capperi (a pretty name for tuna spread, heh heh, I even made it up)
A very colorful spread of antipasti
Little Weenies with Bourbon BBQ Sauce
Cheeses served with Mostarda I brought home from Venice last year
Cheese Date Biscuits
Bread with Chocolate, Olive Oil & Salt
Diva’s Pesto Siciliano
Scalloped Potatoes with Ham
Pasta e Fagioli
Chilequiles de Puerco (or, tortilla casserole with pork in it)
Salad (the one Green Thing)
Panettone Bread Pudding with some mystery sauce I haven’t yet invented

Even more than last year. That is scary. If you are reading this, and live near here, please come by and help eat some of this stuff. I promise to make your New Year’s Eve hangover go away, at least temporarily.

Smells Like Christmas Spirit

Thursday, December 15th, 2005

“He went to church, and walked about the streets, and watched the people hurrying to and fro, and patted children on the head, and questioned beggars, and looked down into the kitchens of houses, and up to the windows: and found that everything could yield him pleasure. He had never dreamed that any walk — that anything — could give him so much happiness. In the afternoon he turned his steps towards his nephew’s house.” – Charles Dickens, “A Christmas Carol.”

On this sort of eve of the week leading up to Christmas 2005, I sit here unaffected. Strange, really, as lit trees and egg nog have, in the past, made me excruciatingly happy. But this year is different. I’m not sure if it is the acceleration of time (Christmas just got here too fucking fast, I am still thinking in Summer-time) or the manipulation of the holiday by the media (holiday tree vs. Christmas tree, right wing Christian vs. Everyone, also SHOP SHOP SHOP motherfuckas) or age (Huh? What’s going on?) It could be age. It could be, that I am getting too old to enjoy things anymore. Wait, is that eggnog with brandy in it? I fucking LOVE that shit. OK, maybe it is not age.

I don’t like to be unaffected. The fact that I am unaffected is affecting me. I WANT the joy of the season to wash over me, but there is no joy. Oh. Maybe there is no reformed Scrooge kind of joy, period? Maybe I have been expecting joy when there is actually none except for the bought and manufactured kind? No, I don’t believe that either. Believe what? Here I fucking go, getting into fruitless arguments with myself again.

What is holiday spirit, anyway? What is TRUE holiday spirit? What is the point? Have I been buying in to the wrong thing all along?

Sometimes I have to breathe deep and remind myself, this is the 21st century. Most likely, you will have to deal with Walmart taking over the world and dudes in giant pickup trucks cutting you off on the 405 for the rest of your life. There is no Christmas, really, only life, and Walmart and assholes in giant trucks are a part of life now, regardless of the time frame. But when I breathe deep, it stinks. My Christmas wish is, that people could take an interest in the world around them and also, be a little nicer on the road. My Christmas wish smells like brandy laced eggnog. We are already hungover anyway, so any sweet, enebriating potion is welcome medicine, at least until January 2. And joy happens when you aren’t expecting it, and joy can’t be bought. Still, I wish I could look at my little tree and feel something there.

Maybe now that I have written this I will feel sorry for the tree and feel something. Or at least SMELL something. One can hope.

The Dream of the Motorbikes

Thursday, December 8th, 2005

First of all, I am TOTALLY IN LOVE with Elbow’s new record Leaders of the Free World. The first song is so totally epic, industrial, tripped out and cool… I love it when a record starts out with EPIC. Fuck waiting until the end for that. The rest of the record is killer, too.

I can’t stop listening to it… I know my life is hella boring. Just the way it is.

Also, I found out today that Sigur Ros is going to be in Austin, Texas at the end of February, at the same time I will! All of a sudden I am all excited about everything again. What is WRONG with me. I fear that I am hopelessly out of touch with anything resembling reality.

And I already have a ticket… more on that later. I was already so excited to go to Austin since it is the home of you know who but now I don’t even care about that! Well actually I do, but whatever.

So the other night I dreamed about Britt Daniel for the first time since, well, the first time. That I can remember anyway. I woke up right after in a sweat. The dream was perplexing, not like the first one. I was in a big lot, almost like a junkyard, and Britt was there too. We were both working on our motorbikes. We never spoke, though I was always trying to get his attention. He looked on with a detached, unconvinced air.

What is the symbolism of the motorbikes? That one is weird.


Sunday, November 6th, 2005

Once upon a time, in a different world, I had a conversation with someone who I’ll never forget but probably will never see again, and that conversation basically came down to this: my friend (who was extraordinarily bright) had once been institutionalized, and when he was in the loony bin, the feeling was that the INsane people were IN, and the other people, like the nurses and doctors, were OUT – or, as my friend said, OUTSANE. In this world, described to me so eloquently, the real world was inside the ward, and all the patients were the rational ones. The crazys and the true psychotics were the people on the outside. The Outsane.

I am not an outsane, or an insane, I don’t think. I guess I like to believe I am on the perimeter of something resembling sane. But what is sane? Lingusitics, basically. Insane? Outsane? How do you describe these, personally? The inability to deal with emotions, or the total lack of emotion? A blank stare? A careful answer? A raw look? A sharp fingernail in your jugular? Pissing in your cereal?

We are all capable of all of these things. We are all insane, and outsane. OK, maybe you are a little unsure that you would piss in someone’s cereal, and I agree – I am too outsane to ever do something like that. But what I think I really want to get at here is (getting back to ME), by spending too much time alone (which I have been doing alot of) I am cutting myself off from what makes me fucking write in the first place.

Tonight I met, out of the blue but kind of not, a man who told me so many things about his life that I felt I should be charging an hourly rate. But, his stories were well-told and sort of riveting. I asked him why he was telling me all this stuff, and he said, you never know where you are going to get information from. That, faithful reader, is what it is all about. WHERE is that random insight coming from? It could come from anywhere, it could shoot out from around a fake tree at a lame hotel, it could come from a busboy refilling your coffee in a diner in Nowhereville. It can come from anywhere. These total randoms don’t know how strong I am, they just see right through my shit. Yours, too. Don’t try to hide. Hiding is a human condition, and we are all guilty of it.

I ended up telling my stories too – brutal, harrowing, Iwassofuckedup stories. And in the end it came down to one thing, a response from a therapist to my new friend, in a cab in Milwaukee, to the question “what.” (I say, just “what,” because that is the question, basically. Just add on whatever you want to “what.”)

People just want to love, and be loved, is what the therapist said. It is easy to poke holes in this, as a single woman with no intention whatsover of getting into a relationship at the moment. But, there are alot of other kinds of relationships and alot of other kinds of devices to get love. Some of which I am guilty of, I think.

Is this what it comes down to? Loving and being loved? Probably, it is. When I think about love, the love I have for my family and my friends, or when some stranger in the bar reminds me about how important love is, I just want to lay down my sword – and it is big – and let love in. I’m not scared but, I AM scared. Life is scary, whether you are insane, outsane, or inbetween sane. Love, even if it makes people totally, uh, insane, is what holds us all together. It’s fucking crazy.

Fireman’s Call

Thursday, September 8th, 2005

I know you are all just dying to know if there were fireman at the Fireman’s ball. But seriously, my computer is overheating, and I am not sure I can make it that far. It doesn’t seem hot, but it IS. This morning when I went out for my morning walk I thought I was having a hot flash! But I think I am still too young for that. I hope. At any rate it really is hot. Flashingly.

The other day I posted an entry about the end of the world and I got a really heartfelt and time consuming comment from one of my readers. But, I had to pull the entry down, because it was pretty sad and negative and let’s face it, we don’t need that right now. We need to take the community feeling we’ve got going and intensify it – and not think about the future or lack there-of. Still, I felt bad deleting the comment more than the entry, because someone actually took the time to write that, for me and my other readers. It’s not so easy to write stuff like that, believe me. The cool thing is, this comment I got, and some comments from my mom, made me see through my own bullshit, whether or not I “had” to write it or not. This is the weird thing about having a blog. I mean, what the fuck is this thing? It’s not a music blog, or a travel blog, or a food blog. It’s ME. Everyday I look at how many people have had a look and think about the numbers, but holy cow, those numbers may be really reading what I am writing!

It’s really hard to be entertaining and to write kind of well and to not spill your personal anxieties and nastinesses all over, but it’s also almost impossible, since this is pretty much a diary written for the entertainment of others. Where to draw the line?

Since we are getting close again, I can say this: and I don’t care about fucking punctuation; sometimes it is so hard to be entertaining. But other times when I think I can’t write, like I felt tonight, I just sit down and write. And sometimes it works.

Well then. It’s still really hot.

On another note, and one that I am sure EVERYONE will be thrilled about, Spoon is COMING TO SAN DIEGO! That’s right, Britt Daniel will be here, and at Canes, a little postage stamp of a club right down the street in Mission Beach, where I can try not to get too close because I will just look like an aging groupie, even though everyone will try to talk me into talking to him. (I won’t talk to him. I’d be too scared, also I’ll most likely be drunk, and I know not to open my mouth in these situations. One of the good things about age.) I got FOUR tickets because let’s face it, one is not enough. The show is not until November 18, and my solemn vow is to not mutter one mention of Britt Daniel on this blog until at least October 3. Not one! Except this one:

The Dandy Warhols have a new album coming in a couple of days and the title is really stupid but the record is GREAT. It’s like the old Dandy’s, the Dandy’s of 13 Tales of Urban Bohemia, one of the best records ever made in, like, 2000. You can listen to the record before it is released here. I love it… and must really have Britt Daniel on my mind because in “All the Money or the Simple Life Honey” all I can hear is Britt Daniel’s voice… not Courtney Taylor-Taylor’s. Not ALL the lyrics, but for sure some of them… Courtney loves Britt too, I can see that. How could he not? YEAH. UH HUH.

Now I promise, not one word, until at least October 3, about Britt Daniel. Maybe, by then, I’ll have a different obsession. Sorry about the randomness, I must admit, I am getting a bit lax with the run-ons. But you can take it, or you wouldn’t have got this far.

Everything Hits at Once

Wednesday, August 17th, 2005

There are a few things I want to write about tonight. The first thing is the emails and comments I got from readers who have been following whats been going on this last week. Seriously, sometimes I have no idea who is reading this thing. Thank you to everyone who sent me, verbally or electronically, love and support. It is appreciated and, well, it just makes me feel good.

Now I am back in OB and the skies are clearing of fog, but it seems like Fall is here already. We’ve somehow skipped summer even though it is not over yet! And the noise level of the last couple of days had me thinking – is it a full moon?

Well, yes, as I saw tonight since there is no fog, it is indeed almost a full moon. During the full moon, the noise level rises, and the freaks come out. Last month was a record month for the freaks but this month the noise makers are winning.

I guess I have to vent a tiny bit here. A few months ago, a family from Texas moved in next door to me. There is a wall seperating us, but I might as well be living in their house. They have a dog that barks, a phone on the highest volume, and a daughter who, I kid you not, has the loudest voice in these United States. She is making my life hell and I am too nice to do anything about it.

Why is that? I just lay in bed at midnight suffering while she bellows “Daddy” and drones on about the most inane shit and I have to listen, listen, listen. It would be OK if it was more interesting eavesdropping. But it is eighteen year old (and the stupidest and lamest eighteen year old) complaining and whining. No good stuff in there. It just bugs.

Today I was working here, and I hear screaming over there. It went on for TWO HOURS. Homegirl got her car taken away, and she was SCREAMING at her mother about it. It went on and on. At one point, I screamed out my front door, into their house six feet away, “GIVE HER THE FUCKING CAR SO SHE WILL SHUT UP.” But they didn’t hear me! It’s useless dealing with the Clueless. But I am thinking of moving to Galicia in Northern Spain, and these people are helping me to make up my mind.

So what else? There’s that bad heroin that is killing youngsters in New York City. There are numerous plane crashes. And then there is the bling.

In the current issue of Rolling Stone, there is an article about bling with interviews with a bunch of hip hop guys. The amount of money spent on diamonds and gold (and cubic zirconia) is pretty astounding. What is up with these diamond teeth and shit? And these five pound diamond bracelets? I’d like to think everyone thinks it just looks ridiculous, but there is a whole group of people that think that shit is cool.

I’m not trying to diss on this whole bling phenomenon. I’m just thinking, and expressing. And here is what I think: that in a couple of years, the whole bling in hip hop thing will be over, the movement/fad/setback turned to dust by that new revolution – the hip hop folksters. I can see it now – the new talent of hip hop, pissed off and horrified by the excess and obnoxiousness of the current hip hop stars, getting back to the grass roots of music and forgetting the bling. I foresee a hip hop Ani DiFranco. Hippie Hop. The pendulum will swing, and Tiffany’s will be pissed. Well maybe not pissed but their stock will certainly go down. And then, real tits will be back in style. Watch. It’s right there, just waiting…

A Farewell to a Friend

Wednesday, August 10th, 2005

I lost a friend today. Really lost a friend – not through misuse, abuse, or long-term seperation. I lost this friend because she died today.

I’ve not much experience with this kind of thing. Family members and acquaintances, yes. But a friend – someone who wants to come to your party, even if it is in Sicily, someone who covers your back when it is needed, someone who will have an 11:00 A.M. prosecco with you – this I have not lost before.

So I am having a bit of a hard time even knowing what I am feeling, or feeling what I am knowing. For sure, there is a section of my gut that feels kicked in, deflated. And there is an emptiness where my friend once was, but not totally, because I have this crazy feeling she’s hovering, waiting to make sure there are plenty of cocktails at her memorial. Cocktails and maybe some serrano ham or good gorgonzola. She’ll want people to eat, to drink, and to raise their glass to the New Mexico sunset while a fire burns and her kids smile through their tears.

I’d like to write a bit about my friend Nancy. We meet lots of people in our lives. Some stay a couple of years, some split right away. Some are lifers. Some ease in softly, and ease just as softly out. Not Nancy. She barrelled her way into my life fueled by Italian cigarettes and Spanish brandy and a deep and primal love of life. She was a giant with a huge heart and a deep love of the space around her. I knew her in Florence, when she was a part of Florence and the life there, when she knew all the guys down at the San Ambrogio Market, like the guy with the best gorgonzola, or the guy who could maybe get her a big turkey for Thanksgiving, or the old man with the tastiest sausages. After, she’d head on down to the bar San Ambrogio, or one of the cafes in Piazza Santa Croce, for a glass of white wine or a Mojito. I bet they are still wondering where the hell she went, in the Florence neighborhood she loved.

Yeah. She blew into my life in Venice, blown by Botticelli’s winds and unseen forces, and immediately asked me to come down to Florence to stay with her cats while she went off to Sorrento, something I was more than happy to do. It was the beginning. When I met Nancy it was like I’d known her forever. Longer than forever. Even though she is not here now, that hasn’t changed. She was part of the fabric of my life – a friend of my best friends, a friend of my mothers. She was part of their fabric, and we were part of hers.

Just as she blew her way in, she blew out. In a heartbeat, she was gone. No real goodbye, just a wha-the-fa. Somehow, it’s how I knew it would happen, though that doesn’t change the shock of it all.

I’ll be there, come Saturday, with the biggest Mojito of all, raising my glass to that New Mexico sunset, raising my glass to Nancy. Crazy, fierce and totally unique Nancy. Smiling, through my tears.

1,225,675,932 seconds to go

Tuesday, July 26th, 2005

July has been a crappy month. Rent hikes and pay cuts, sickness and what seemed like a decade of fog. Every high must be balanced by a low, and June was so much fun I guess I had to pay for it somehow.

Last week I got the flu on the first really hot day of the summer. I was flattened on my couch with a fan blowing on me, too tired to even watch TV. It was the kind of heat where sweat drips on the backside of your knees. With a fever, well, let’s just say that was kind of knarly.

Whenever I get sick I get really freaked out about my mortality. I don’t know why because I believe in reincarnation and I am not so much scared of death as I am of my body failing. The day after the worst of it, when I was able to sit up again, I spent the whole day angsting out about all the horrible things that could be inside of me waiting to come out. It’s so hard to live in these times, when there are so many physical things to be frightened of. I thought myself into a corner, convinced I had a really scary disease. Sickness does bizarre shit to my brain. Especially when it happens in the middle of the summer when you aren’t suppose to get the flu. It must be something worse, but just SEEMS like the flu…

But of course it was not something worse and it was just the flu (I think.) It’s strange how being physically unbalanced can make your mind go a little batty.

During my temporary insanity, while I was looking for symptoms of all my new diseases, I found the Death Clock. According to the Death Clock, I will live until 2044. I have a lifetime subscription to Rolling Stone magazine, and they seem to think I am going to be around until 2054. While I’m not sure that is possible, it’s nice to know statistics are on my side.

It’s almost August, and believe me, I’d rather be writing about shows at the Hollywood Bowl with drag queens dressed as cheerleaders and quaking walls of sound. August, though it won’t be the killerfest June was, will definitely be better. Already, as I pet my new iPod my brother gave me today, things seem a little better. And for the moment, all thoughts of dying have gone into the fog at the back of my head, until the next time I can’t get off the couch.