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
-Bertrand Russell

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

May 08, 2018 - 10:54 a.m.

Two Angry Men

I should not have had adventures yesterday, but I did. I had one, perhaps two confrontations with violent men. Spoiler alert, I didn't get killed. I didn't want you worrying. There might also be an idiot story; this is a judgement call.

I needed butter and decided that instead of just going down the street to Connie's I'd go to Stop & Shop where things are cheaper and pick up other items while I was there. Jane had mentioned that she didn't have anything in the house for dinner or time to cook, so I picked up a rotisserie chicken. That's a very good deal, a small chicken cooked for $5. I brought only one shopping bag and didn't want to put the hot chicken in the same bag as the cold ice cream, so I did what I usually avoid, I used a plastic bag from the store for the chicken.

Every time I get on the bus there I feel good; the bus drivers had not been picking up people at the stop right by the store. Instead they made people walk around to the second stop that isn't that close, and has no place to sit. I complained to the MTA and now they stop where they are supposed to. Sometimes the system works.

When I got off the bus and I had to cross City Island Ave. I had the light. A car came from my right and instead of stopping at the crosswalk, he continued till he blocked it. The light had not just changed. He could see me walking. I asked him, "Why did you block the crosswalk?"

He answered me with belligerence, "Did I do something wrong?"

We proceeded to argue. He continued to be belligerent. I got angry, you wouldn't like me when I get angry. I don't like me when I get angry. I didn't yell or threaten. I walked in front of his car and just stood there. When the light changed he couldn't move, or so I thought. After more yelling at me he inched the car forward and hit me. Not hard, it didn't hurt. But he still hit me. I told him that I'm calling the cops. He then turned the corner and got out of the car. That couldn't be good. I took a picture of his license plate. He ranted at me that I shouldn't mess with City Island people, I don't know what he thought I was. Then he moved on to being a Vietnam Vet and threatening violence.

I should have moved to defuse the situation. I'm good at that. Instead I took a stand, deliberately. I didn't move, I just stood there while he raged and looked him straight in the eye. He faked punching at my head and my crotch. He pulled up before making contact. I just stood without moving. That enraged him more. He was old, and a bit smaller than me and I didn't think I was in much danger but still couldn't be sure.

I came to my senses and turned to go home before the ice cream melted. He stayed where he was and kept screaming. I then realized he was no longer screaming at me but someone I couldn't see, standing in their yard or house. Whoever it was must have said something to him about calming down and that made him even more angry. I could still hear him when I got to my house a block away.

I'm not happy with how I acted. I should not have let it escalate. After asking him why he blocked the crosswalk and saw he was belligerent I should have shrugged and went home. I never should have stood blocking his car. The guy had anger management issues and I should have accepted that and moved on instead of trying to teach him a lesson. Next time I'll do better.

When I got home I started to unpack. I was about to say, "Bernie, I brought you chicken." When I realized I didn't have the plastic bag with the chicken in it. No! I realized what must have happened. When I was on the bus somebody hit me over the head and grabbed the chicken, which as I pointed out was in a plastic bag. I had left it at my feet. The blow to the head explains my poor behavior with the driver that followed. I guess there is a small chance that I'm an idiot and just forgot the bag on the bus, but doesn't that seem unlikely? I never do things like that. I'm never an idiot.

I made barbecue boneless ribs, which are not ribs, for dinner. That was supposed to be my dinner for two nights. I felt bad about not having the chicken. I had called Jane and told her I was bringing it home; I gave them half my ribs.

I made a baked potato for the first time in years. I couldn't make it in the oven as the ribs cooked at a different temperature. I put it in the toaster over. When I went to take it out it was cold and hard. The mark that shows which end of the temperature dial is the pointer has worn off. I thought it was at high and moved it back to 425. The reality was that it was at the lowest setting, Jane had used it to warm something up, and I had turned it back to off. I had to cook the potato in the microwave. It turned out surprisingly well. The main problem is that the skin doesn't get nice and crisp. I'm not sure if that counts as an idiot story. That makes two, the fate of the chicken and the temperature of the potato that I'm not sure count as idiot stories.

I started writing early today. I'm not sleepy. Maybe I don't have to accept that I'll be writing in the afternoon. I'm finishing this earlier than I usually start. It shouldn't but it makes me feel better about myself.

Now for some early breakfast and coffee. Tonight, I'm off to John Platt's On Your Radar.


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We're Right and You're Evil - May 15, 2018
Us and Them - May 14, 2018
Pesky Kat - May 13, 2018



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