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
December 23, 2012 - 11:58 a.m.
Here it is Sunday morning and I'm just laying in bed listening to John Platt. I should also be writing. I know everyone is on tenter hooks waiting to hear what's going on in my life.
Yesterday I never put on my shoes as I never left the Last Homely House West of the Mountains. Bilbo said ""a perfect house, whether you like food or sleep, or story-telling or singing, or just sitting and thinking best, or a pleasant mixture of them all." I was going to go out but couldn't get myself to leave my comfy seat by the hearth. I got up the nerve to read my school email with the expected complaints from my students. They actually did pretty well. The median grade in the early was between a C+ and B- and it was a C in the late class. That's good for a required math course.
One student who failed was disappointed that she failed even though she only passed one test and had one grade in the 30s and the other in the 20s and a 51 on the final. I asked Arwen the resident college student at the Last Homely House what she thought of that. That innocent question led to a three hour discussion of literature, theater, history, and television ranging from Jane Austen to the Black Adder. I even forgot to eat dinner. So I ended up eating the one food item I brought from Hogwarts. Who knows me well enough to know what it is. One hint, it wasn't bacon. What is my ultimate comfort food? Yes it was peanut butter.
Today I'm planning on going out for a double header. First I'm going to Rockwood to hear Jo Kroger. I have only heard her sing with Kat Quinn. She sounded good, was fun to talk to, and is bringing her home made cookies. That's enough for me. Tonight I'm going to hear Winterbloom at Union Hall. I don't have tickets but I've never seen a sold out show there. I'll get there early.
I had a lazy day with not much to write about so it's time to wax philosophical but I'm going to keep this short. You might have noticed I make a lot of fantasy references. I read a lot of fantasy. Of the 688 on my Goodreads Bookshelves 139 are fantasy. I often feel like I'm just a visitor and my home is somewhere beyond the marches of reality; a land nestled between Middle Earth, Narnia, and seacoast Bohemia. A place that has not had to suffer the wears and tears of actual existence. Whatever it is it is where I find my most apt comparisons and extended metaphors.
Which brings us to Santa. I'm a Jewish atheist. I have pretty much always been a Jewish atheist even as a little kid. I can't remember believing in Santa but I always enjoyed the idea of Santa. As kid we'd go to my parents' friends house where Santa would leave us our presents since they were catholic and we were Jewish. I didn't actually believe it but it was the running joke and nobody would ever let on that it was a joke. That's exactly the kind of thing I still do. It is central to my sense of humor. If I have a long running joke with you that's a big sign of affection on my part.
Now back to the literary track. I haven't told you what I'm reading, the further adventures of that paragon of naval virtue Horatio Hornblower. The book is "Lieutenant Hornblower." I thought I had read it but I hadn't. It's one of my favorite of the series. It has an unusual format. It is told from the point of view of Lieutenant Bush who we know later becomes his first mate but is now his superior officer.
Now I have to eat and get moving.
Brother Brothers in Arms - October 01, 2017
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