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 29, 2013 - 5:27 p.m.
OK, time to write. I haven't really updated today. I wrote what I posted before yesterday. So here's my Thanksgiving tale. I went up to the town of Stockbridge Massachusetts to spend Thanksgiving with Alice, her husband Ray and Fasha the dog. No that wasn't me. That was Arlo. Sorry, I often confuse us.
After much discussion with Marjorie I decided to say that I spent Thanksgiving with the people I spend Passover with and expect you to know what I'm talking about. The plan was to take the 12:08 train from Grand Central Station. I wanted to give myself 20 minutes to buy tickets. I figured there would be lines at the machines on Thanksgiving. According to Google Maps that meant leaving here at 11:14. I left at 11:09. It is one subway there so that should have given me lots of wiggle room. I want to the Utica Avenue Station to board the and find all the turnstiles blocked off. There were no signs. Someone who worked there said to get to Manhattan take the bus to the . Of course the is the West Side line and Grand Central is on the East Side. I said that he and said take it to 42nd Street then take the shuttle. I knew that but it's a roundabout route. I'm going as far west as the subway goes to then make a very long transfer, walking more than an avenue block, to get to the shuttle to take me crosstown. I asked if the was running at all and was told it started at Nevins. So I knew the fastest route would be to take the to Fulton where I could get the or . Because it meant changing trains and I had a bus ride first I knew I was cutting it close. I got to Fulton and a was pulling out of the station as I approached the platform. I had to wait for the and that was that. I got to Grand Central two minutes late. Fortunately there was an extra train at 12:39 that was express so I would be less than half an hour late. But then I saw the enormous lines for the rooms with ticket machines. I decided to pay the extra $5 and buy the ticket on the train or I'd miss the next one too. But then they wouldn't le me on the platform without a ticket. Just for Thanksgiving all passengers had to be ticketed. I have never seen it so packed. Grand Central Station was as crowded as Grand Central Station. I then did something stupid. I went back to the same line I saw before. I knew that one might be longer as it's on the same side as most of the subways. The other side is only the shuttle. But a nice person who worked for MetroNorth came over and told us to move to the shorter line. We did. It still seemed long and even though I had 20 minutes thought I'd miss the next train. I would have at Penn. But MetroNorth is much better run. At Penn Station you wait for one machine and if one person has a problem you're doomed. Here we all wait for a room of machines. We go through what seemed a long line in 5 minutes so I got on the train 15 minutes early and could relax. I didn't know it but as I said it was a special Thanksgiving train. They run it because of the parade and everyone going out of town. I knew about it because I just use the Right Track App on my phone. People who used paper schedules might miss it. So the train was not crowded. I had nobody next to me and got to relax and write Wise Madness on the way up. I brought my computer just for that. I wanted to be able to update when I got there or as I got there late, as soon as I got home.
I was picked up by the aforementioned Marjorie who came with Barbara who had come up on the previous train. The one I planned on. That one was packed.
OK let me give a rundown of the people I know best there. My sister Alison, her high school friend Louis his wife, Alison's college roommate Sylvia and their daughters Denny and the doubly aforementioned Marjoiie. Marjorie lived just a few blocks from me when I was in Fort Greene.
As we arrived late we ate almost immediately. We had a Thanksgiving dinner that couldn't be beat. No that's Arlo again. We ate at 1:30 so it was a Thanksgiving lunch that couldn't be beat. Not only that but it was Chanukah so we lit the candles at sunset. Yes I lit candles and said the baruchas and everything. Hey I got to play with fire. They collect menoroth so each family had their own menorah. I begged Alison to be the one to light ours. I'm 5.
The big news was that my nephew Max got engaged to Caila! So we called him and wished him a happy Thanksgiving and Chanukah and congratulated him. I am pretty sure I said mazel tov. I'm Jewish when it suits me. I knew I wrote that on Facebook which is how we knew.
It was a crowded house, 22 people for dinner and Denny's dog Matilda. I don't think we were ever all sitting at the same time. People had to get up to get food, drink, or serve others. Everyone spoke at once. You know the dinner scene from Annie Hall the Singers not the Halls, that was us but without the fighting. It was all peace love and understanding. I suggested that next year we either get a toy train to bring around the food or get servants in white gloves. Oh and next year in Jerusalem!
There was no chocolate covered Matsoh. Alison said it was because it wasn't Pesach but as I'm usually on there on Pesach I've come to expect it with the location. Nobody said I have to make sense.
in the early evening Barbara and I took the train back to Grand Central. We couldn't get seats together. I listened to music and relaxed. I of course just missed the train and had a 15 minute wait for the next.
I got home and planned to post my blog but horror of horrors, my computer wouldn't turn on. When I plugged it in, it still wouldn't! this happened one other time. I tried a different plug. No good. I disconnected and reconnected everything. No good. I gave up. Now there is nothing to do in my room, no tv, no stereo.. I should have read but I'm reading Gogol and that would have taken too much concentration. So I played on my phone and took naps and felt sorry for myself. I did finally manage to do one thing I've been meaning to do. I wrote a poem. God knows the last time I wrote one. I'm not publishing it here. I'm not convinced it's finished for one thing. I have to reread it now and find which words to change. I can always tweak a poem.
I read my old poems and would get embarrassed if I didn't think that you shouldn't get embarrassed about that sort of thing. So most aren't very good. Some are cute. And I realized why artists so often misjudge their own works. You value something based on how important the emotions you wanted to convey are, not the quality of the work. OK I don't do that when I blog. I like the funny stuff best. But I am that way with the poems. I shouldn't be. I knew there was one I really liked that I wrote for Carey. I forgot what it was and asked her. She told me and here it is
It takes a major effort of will to not write in quatrains. I bet that five line stanza took a lot out of me. Not that I remember it. I couldn't even remember the name. And I didn't just reread it because I was afraid that if I did I'd hate it.
This morning my plan was to go to Staples and buy a new charger. I'm sure that's where the issue is. I put my computer in my bag and was packing up the charger when I decided to give it one last try I took out the detachable cord from the charger and put it back in. I had tried that last night but I tried again. I plugged it into the computer still in my backpack. The light went on! So I have pretty much been attached to it since then.
I have been depressed so I made and administered an antidepressant. Here a time-lapse movie of the treatment. The music is by Bach and is performed by Evan Shinners. Yes you can try this at home. I think you should.
Brother Brothers in Arms - October 01, 2017
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