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

November 27, 2012 - 12:56 a.m.

Conventional Wisdom

Wow, I conked out tonight. I got home sat at my computer and fell asleep. I didn't get much sleep last night so I'm not surprised. I didn't do much today but I've been thinking of a lot of things. Maybe I'll actually be able to think of some of them.

On Friday night I called in to renew my predisone prescription. I of course neglected to pick it up. I forgot about it on Saturday and I went on Sunday too late. The pharmacy department was closed. I did not have enough pills for today so I went to pick them up before school. I went in there and they couldn't find my prescription. Not only that but they couldn't find any record of me ever having been there. I started to wonder if I went to the wrong drug store. I didn't think so since I went to the closest one. As I was leaving she called out to me to come back. I was listed with my first and last names reversed. That happens to me a lot. I actually asked her to check that but it came as she was saying something and I forgot to make sure she did check it. It's a hazard of having two last names. Do any of you have the same problem with two first names perhaps?

I had hardly any sleep last night. First I had a rare night I couldn't get to sleep. Of course it's easy to fool yourself. I was sure I hadn't been asleep when I realized that I had been dreaming. Then I had bathroom issues and other physical discomfort and ended up not getting much sleep. I wasn't too bad at my first class because I had a large cup of coffee in my hand and then in my belly. I planned on getting coffee before my afternoon class but a student came in for help and I didn't have time. So during my second class I kept making arithmetic errors. That's what happens when I don't get enough sleep. I can do the problems but think 1+1 = 3. On the bright side they caught the errors. It keeps them on their toes. There are no mistakes only happy accidents.

I rearranged the curriculum and I'm jumping ahead to square roots and then to complex numbers. The book treats it idiotically. It never has the students solve quadratic equations with complex solutions. I want to make sure my students see that and absorb it. It's far more important than simplifying higher order radicals.

I did a math problem with me in it today. I was walking and swimming and had to diagram it. As always I used stick figures. I made it me by putting on a pony tail and I told them that. I wonder what they think of me. I seem to be getting along with my students pretty well this year. It isn't the struggle it often is.

After school I wanted to go to the Winter Festival at Lincoln Square but couldn't because of therapy. I could have but it would have meant racing downtown then racing back uptown and that was too much. Instead my entertainment was going back to the Holiday Market. I bought the hat I was looking at last week. I had gotten friendly with the sales person and even knew her name, Sarah. I walked in and said, "Hi Sarah, I'm back for my hat" I should have gotten a picture with it. I'll do that tomorrow. we started talking again. Her family is mathematicians even though she isn't. She wanted to know if I was related to John Nash, the guy from "A Beautiful Mind." I'm not. then somehow we started talking about music and she asked me if I wanted to contribute to a musical blog. I said yes. So I'll still write here of course in my personal way but write there purely on the music. You won't know what I ate or who I talked with but what I thought of the musicians. I don't have the details yet but I'll let you know when I do.

I went to the puzzle booth and got hooked there. I got in a discussion last week with the proprietor on the Tower of Hanoi. I told him that he didn't have the number of steps needed to solve it right. That if there are n disks it takes 2n–1 steps to solve it. Today he was talking to someone else and said the wrong number and the guy next to me said, "No it takes 2n–1 steps. We started talking. He's a; math/comp guy from NYU named Danny. I bet I spent an hour talking to him and the proprietor whose name I'm blanking on. The proprietor asked us to guess where he was from. I asked him to speak in his native language. I couldn't make anything out till I took my new hat off that covers my ear. Once I did I knew immediately it was Hebrew. He's Israeli. I meet a lot of Israelis. So now I've made two friends that work at the market plus Caitlin who I know from her singing who works at her fiance's booth and of course my chocolate guy from France. He hasn't been there when I was there. The market is a good place for me to socialize.

That wasn't what I was going to talk about but maybe it should be, how I socialize. It's something I do often think about. I have gone from someone who had no friends in high school to someone that has a million friends. It's allowed me to survive the troubles I've been having. I have lots of couches to surf. How has that happened? Part of it is finding my niche. One of the great divisions of humanity is what I call social enthusiasts. That's the people that go to events where you immerse yourself in a special interest; Science fiction conventions, music festivals, SCA, gamers, bridge tournaments, contra dancers, ComicCons, NERFA, Frucon, Radio Station Fundraisers etc. A disproportionate number of my friends do these sorts of things. I do these sorts of things. I've been Star Trek, Doctor Who, and Science Fiction conventions. I'm not just passive either. I've participated and run events. I play in bridge tournaments. I of course live for NERFA and Falcon Ridge. I help with the Budgiedome. Being an organized Fruhead on Fruhead dot com opened up new social worlds to me. I put myself in milieus where it was easier for me to succeed socially. That's a big part of the appeal of these things. They are filled with the unpopular kids from high school who are delighted to find their own kind.

I was talking to Larry and Diana about this on Thanksgiving. Larry said that most of the people he knows are amused to find out that these things even exist. And he's right. I bet most of My Gentle Readers live in this world, it's how you know me, but you know that you aren't like most people. Most people for entertainment watch tv, go to a movie, do things that are passive. That isn't for us.

And the thing is that living in this world gave me the confidence and social skills to get along to not be a wallflower in the outside world. Sure I'm still scared of people but I know that they usually like me. I can even be adorable in some people's eyes. I find ways to connect with strangers. I don't know how but I do. How did I bond with Sarah at the Nepalese hat stand over math and music out of simple conversations about hats? I have no idea but we did.

Wow it's late and I didn't get enough sleep yesterday. Tomorrow's mission is to set up my desktop computer. I miss it and have to find the energy to do so. Now I'm off to bed. Sorry I didn't talk about food today. Was there anything interesting? Yes there was! I got a hot chocolate at the holiday market from this Brooklyn based chocolate company. It was overpriced so I was hoping it would be special and worth it. It was orgasmic! That's pretty much what I was shooting for.

Home from the Holidays - November 26, 2017
The Horvendile Awakens - November 25, 2017
Thanksgiving and the Computer Crash - November 24, 2017
How Does Your Gardner Grow? - November 22, 2017
Attica! Attica! - November 21, 2017

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Horvendile November 27, 2012
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