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

January 02, 2018 - 10:42 a.m.

The New Year in the County of Kings

Yesterday I made the trek to deepest lightest Brooklyn for the annual New Year's Day part at Coco and Bruce's. Even on a day following a night when I didn't get home till near 3 AM I was not going to miss this. That and the two hours it takes to get there did mean I wasn't the first one there.

I lived most of my life in Queens, now I live in in the furthest corner of the Bronx, but I consider myself a Brooklynite. Why? That's where my people live; if they don't live there, it's where they gather. Bev, Katherine, Carolann & Mark, their son, Aviv, Sharon & Shannon, Scott, Fred & Linda, were all there. The ones that begin with S live in Jersey, Fred and Linda on Long Island, the rest in County of Kings. The first five were all at my birthday party. This is a core group of friends.

It was cold, but I was dressed for it and didn't have to spend much time outside. I can time the bus from home perfectly, the other connections are indoors. There was just the walk from the subway. I took the Q train which goes across the Manhattan Bridge. I used to do that every day and appreciated it then. Now it's a rare treat. When I make the crossing, I feel I'm going home.

January first is Meg's birthday. When she lived in Brooklyn I'd usually go to her party too then we'd make our way over to Coco's. When Meg arrived we'd, all sing "Happy Birthday." Now that she lives in Brooklyn South, aka East Nashville, we call her and sing it to her. She's still part of the family. We couldn't get Facetime working so we just called. Next year we prepare this, so she can see us too.

The singing of Happy Birthday led to the start of the music. Scott and Aviv played guitar, Katherine uke, Mark, djembe, and someone we don't know, trumpet. I worked very hard on not throwing everyone else off with my offkey singing. It was cold, it threw me out of tune. Yeah, that's it. I'm a fine but delicate instrument. Singing with friends is one of my favorite things. When my friends are musicians it's even better. Shannon, Fred, Linda, Coco, and Bruce were the only non-musicians of my group of friends. There were far more people there, we aren't Coco and Bruce's only friends.

I didn't take any pictures this year. I should have. I considered bringing my camera. The way I always put it, is that the house looks like Christmas. The party is on New Year's Day, but it feels like Christmas. It's about friends gathering to make merry, not through drink, but through music and conversation. Was there no eggnog? Sorry, just thought of food and drink. That's always important. There was hot spiced apple cider. Am I the only one that loves straight eggnog, without alcohol? I'm making my way through a half gallon in the fridge.

Scott and I were the only ones going home by subway so when things broke up we went to the station together. We parted ways at DeKalb. I had terrible timing at Union Square, just missing the 4 and 6 trains. I had to wait 8 minutes for the 5. Then I had to wait 4 minutes for the 6. I suspect that was the 6 I had just missed, it's a local, the 4 and 5 run express. I lucked out with the bus. I had to run but just caught it. If I had missed it that would have cost half an hour.

I go to so few parties but most years I go to two in a row, to end one year and start the next. The parties are totally unlike. The friends are not totally unlike, they are both nerdy. Speaking of which, Scott is deluded; he thinks that all nerds have seen Real Genius despite the fact that Mark, Shannon, and I haven't. If you are a nerd comment on Facebook whether you've seen it. We'll see who is crazy. We know it's Scott, but I should sound unbiased. This is not commentary on the quality of the film. I haven't seen it, it might be great. It's if it's in the nerd cannon.

I don't have much on my agenda the rest of the week. I should make plans with one of the friends I have plans to make plans with. I often see friends in groups like at the party or seeing Dar, but rarely make plans with one friend. I need more of that in my life.

I finished this early today. It's 10:38, many days I haven't even started then. That's good. Now to post this and have breakfast. The year started on a good note. Let's see who long we can keep that up.


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Subway Therapy - January 07, 2018
A Tale of Two Drivers - January 06, 2018
Let Me Explain - January 05, 2018
Shopping Cart of Shove - January 04, 2018
From Heartache to God - January 03, 2018



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