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
November 23, 2012 - 11:30 a.m.
Are you ready to hear of my Thanksgiving adventures in shallow light New Jersey? I had no plans for the holiday and on the advice of my therapist I invited myself over to Larry and Diana's. She really said that was OK. I obviously still have reservations about it. But right or wrong it made my day far better. I love spending Thanksgiving with them.
They live in Englewood and the first challenge was getting there. When I've visited before what I did was take the shuttle bus across the George Washington Bridge where they'd pick me up. Yesterday was a beautiful day and I realized that not only could I walk across the bridge but I should. Walking across all the major NY crossings that allow pedestrian traffic has become a project of mine. So far I've walked the Brooklyn, Manhattan, and 59th Street Bridges. This would not only put another notch on my belt but it would be by far the longest bridge I've crossed. It's actually the easiest suspension bridge to walk. By necessity they are built far above the water level which entails a long walk up to the span level from the ground. The George Washington Bridge crosses and honest to Slotibarfast fjord. The land on either side is quite high so there's only a short loop to get to the span level from the Manhattan side. The New Jersey side is into the Palisades and they actually had to cut a notch in the cliffs for the roadway.
There were not many people walking the bridge but there were a few groups. There were far more cyclists and they uniformly broke the rules. The walkway is narrow and they are supposed to go slowly and give pedestrians the right of way. Far to many did neither. Not one of them went slow.
The plan was for me to be picked up at the McDonald's on the Jersey side of the bridge. I used google maps to find it. It showed me a McDonald's on the New York side. I sort of knew where it was so I walked in the right direction and asked when I passed somebody. I timed it almost perfectly. I was a few minutes late as I underestimated how much time it would take after I crossed the bridge. I could have done the trip in far less time if I didn't take time out to gawk and take pictures.
Diana was already there and I hopped in the Jeep and we went back to their house. I was immediately happy as soon as I saw the food that Larry prepared. There were pigs in a blanket. That is pretty much enough to make satisfy all my culinary needs. Why would anyone want turkey when you can have cocktail franks is beyond me. There was also cheese sticks and tortilla chips and chunky salsa I wasn't sure I could eat because of my Crohn's. So what did Larry do? He pureed it! I have not only good friends but resourceful ones.
Diana and I played trivial pursuit on the Wii while Larry prepared the dinner. Diana won in as close a game as it is possible to have. I wish I kept track of something. I went about 20 turns after I had all the wedges and never landed in the center. If that estimate is true the odds against that are not nearly as low as I thought. It's one in 38. Unlikely but not ridiculously unlikely.
We talked, told stories, and then dinner was ready. The main course was, now get this, ham! They knew I didn't like turkey. Did I mention I was the only guest? There were mashed potatoes and rolls and fancy butter. It wasn't really fancy but from some joke of theirs it became known as fancy butter. You know I can't resist that sort of thing, For dessert there was what I'm insisting be called one cookies. The ingredients were all of the "one box of mix, one egg, one this one that" type so if a cake where you use a pound of everything is a pound cake this was a one cake. The consistency was like meringue or pumice, there was a lot of air. Larry added his own touch, mint. They were delicious. there was also coffee ice cream and of course, coffee. Sorry there was no bacon. Now I know my Gentle Readers expect me to write about bacon so I did make a bacon omelet for breakfast, I made the bacon in the microwave bacon cooker that Honor aka mini-Hagrid made me. See how I look out for you? I didn't want you to be disappointed.
After dinner we played games. Not monopoly type games where you fold the board in two but games players type games where the board folds in quarters. The gamers know exactly what I mean even if they never thought of that way before. We played Revolution. I had played that before. I don't suck. I came in last. Maybe I do suck. then we played a card game, Imp in the Bottle, based on the Robert Louis Stevenson short story. I lost that too, I should be a gamer but I'm not. There's an alternate universe where I rock at these things.
Diana told me about a trivia nerd underground convention they went to. All sorts of game show celebrities were there like Ken Jennings and Roger Craig. No not the pitcher on the original Mets. This might be a world I will enter. Not sure yet.
By the time we finished the games it was late, 9:30 and I headed back. With a little help from Google Maps we figured out where the entrance to the Bridge walkway was. Yes I walked back too. I wanted to see the bridge at night. The experience was quite different. the walkway was pretty much empty. There was one person walking in my direction that I played leap frog with. I caught up with him when he stopped to take pictures. He caught up with me when I stopped to take pictures. At one point we walked side by side but that was awkward as we were the only two people on the entire bridge so I stopped to gawk and let him ahead of me. When I reached the ramp on the Manhattan side two women pushing a stroller got on the bridge, the only traffic into Jersey I passed.
Here's a slideshow of the GW Bridge photos.
I'm so lucky to have friends that let me get away with inviting myself over for Thanksgiving. When I thanked them they said something to the effect of "of course we let you come over." There is no of course. Most people wouldn't do that. When I wrote them I gave them plenty of outs. I made sure they didn't feel pressured. I was fully expecting a "sorry we have other plans." They could have truthfully told me, "we aren't having any company this year and want a simple evening at home. But they didn't. They not only invited me but at the last minute through together a feast. They rock.
I have to figure out my plans for this weekend, I'm pretty sure I have concerts to go to but I don't know which ones. I've been a bit discombobulated. I think I want to do merch for somebody tonight too, It would help if I let him or her or them know, I really don't know why anybody puts up with me. I'm just thankful they do.
I almost forgot something very important, It's the day after Thanksgiving, You know what that is don't you? It's the beginning of Festivus!
Brother Brothers in Arms - October 01, 2017
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