I became insane with long intervals of horrible sanity.
Edgar Allen Poe
The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one's time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all.
- H. L. Mencken
Many people would sooner die than think; In fact, they do so
What I have been telling you, from alpha to omega, what is the one great thing the sigil taught me — that everything in life is miraculous. For the sigil taught me that it rests within the power of each of us to awaken at will from a dragging nightmare of life made up of unimportant tasks and tedious useless little habits, to see life as it really is, and to rejoice in its exquisite wonderfulness. If the sigil were proved to be the top of a tomato-can, it would not alter that big fact, nor my fixed faith. No Harrowby, the common names we call things by do not matter — except to show how very dull we are ...
-James Branch Cabell
September 27, 2017 - 11:38 a.m.
I went to a birthday party yesterday, my birthday party. This might confuse some of you; my birthday is in July and I had a party the following weekend. That was one of my best birthday parties ever but Anna couldn't make it so she invited me for a mini-birthday party with a mini-birthday cake, a cupcake. It just took us this long to find a time we could both make. The party was at her apartment and the only other attendee was her three-year-old daughter. I considered making the lede that I had a date with two girls whose combined age is about two-thirds of mine; I resisted Give me a cookie.
When I write about a concert I tell you about the musician but when I socialize with a friend I don't tell you about the friend. That's usually works as I write about them often enough that you can pick up who they are by osmosis but I don't see Anna that often since she had her daughter so you need some back story. Anna is one of the Chicks with Dip and took part in the 40th anniversary of Joni Mitchell's Blue project. She's a pianist that's been working on string quartets of late. I never saw her often but when we talk we have content heavy conversations, not small talk. OK, now back to my day.
Anna lives on the Upper West Side, I live on the Upper East Side … of the Bronx. I thought of several possible routes but Google maps suggested one I was surprised at; two buses straight across the Bronx till the last stop on the 1 train in Manhattan. That seemed crazy but it said the alternative routes, the 2 train or the 6 to a bus across Manhattan from Lexington Ave would take longer. Google knew best; the trip was not sure but very easy.
The apartment is on the 5th floor. I didn't see an elevator so I walked. I used to walk up to my office on the 6th floor just for exercise so it's not bad. When I got to the top I saw the elevator directly across the hall from the stairs. It was one of those old elevators where you have to open a regular door with a knob to enter. I thought it was an apartment on the first floor. I'm an idiot, but an idiot that got some exercise.
The party was eating cupcakes that Anna got a great local bakery and hanging out. I like that kind of party. I could have had fun just playing with her daughter's toys, a doctor's kit, Duplo, toy piano, zither (that I thought was a hammer dulcimer) and two glockenspiels; not that she is trying to influence her daughter's interest in music. There's also a grand piano but I'm pretty sure that's Anna's.
We started with the cupcakes. Anna offered me a drink, just what I wanted, milk. Hey, it's a cupcake, the proper pairing. Watching her daughter stare at the cupcake was worth the trip. From the moment it was put in front of her she didn't take her eyes off it. I'd be the same way if it were socially acceptable. Now I want a cupcake. Who is going to bring me the one I get as a reward for my restraint with the lede?
I played with the piano and got serenaded on the glock. The kid is three and better than I am. I did entertain her when I played my kazoo. I didn't bring it to entertain her, I always carry a kazoo. Everyone should, it's part of the basic survival kit.
Her daughter getting tired was my signal to leave. I go out all the time but I don't get enough time to just sit and talk with someone I can have fascinating conversation with.
I was already on the 1 line so I headed down to Trader Joe's on 72nd street before heading home. I have not been going there nearly as often as I used to. The justification used to be that the eggs were so much cheaper there but now Stop & Shop is just as cheap and takes me a third the time to get to.
I'm furiously watching Gotham in an effort to catch up to the current season. I haven't checked what the Fox system is for watching online. Most networks post the last 3-5 episodes online. I'm two thirds the way through season 2, I have to finish season 3 before I start watching new episodes.
The depression came back last night right before I went to sleep. I'm at the point where I can observe it from the outside. I went to bed and meditated. I know that's not how other people meditate but it works for me. Laying down, staring at the inside of my eyelids, and listening to myself breathe deeply relaxes me. At some point a switch in my head is pulled and my entire body relaxes. I do it on my side and my shoulders and arms stop fighting gravity and flow down towards the mattress. Then I can fall asleep. When I woke up I thought about the thing depressing me and didn't have the visceral reaction. This is a useful skill; right up there with playing the kazoo.
Tonight, I'm going to the last Met home game of the season. I love going to home openers and closers. Opening day is the best day of the year, anything is still possible, the last game is often bittersweet, but without it you couldn't appreciate the promise of next season.
Scott, Other Heroes, and The Shining One - October 02, 2017
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