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 27, 2018 - 3:27 p.m.

What was I Thinking?

Let's see where my fingers lead this; I'm going in without a plan. Normally that's a bad idea but on something as personal as my blog it can work. I've done entire entries of free association; it's a better picture of what's it's like inside my mind, where I don't have everything carefully planned out. This will no be pure free association as I'm going to arrange it around my day.

As I do most Fridays I went to therapy. I had missed the week before because my therapist was sick; that means pent up demand. For the first time in a while Jane was able to give me a ride to New Rochelle, that saves me almost an hour. My timing was poor, and I had to rush on the way out; I forgot my portable battery charger and the battery in my phone was low. Good thing I carry around two backup batteries. We got to the train station about when the train was scheduled to arrive. I hadn't missed it, but I had forgotten to buy my ticket online and needed to do that, and I had to walk to the far end of the train. I bounced out of the car, in the process I forgot my hat. It looked like it would be one of those days.

I'm back. I know you didn't know I was gone but I signed the Pro Truth pledge. When I went on the internet to get that video I got lost in Facebook. Now I'm back to writing this and listening to Mozart; it's his birthday. Did you remember to sign his card?

When I get to therapy the first thing I do is check in with the receptionist, Diana. She was on the phone and couldn't talk but when I waved she waved back and gave me a big smile. Last time I was there she wasn't busy, and she thanked me for being so friendly to her. I thanked her for being friendly back. I look forward to seeing her even when we just wave. Seeing that she's happy to see me does wonders. I try to be friendly with people in positions like that. I'm friends with Mel, the bouncer/ID checker at Rockwood. Notice I know their names, they know mine. We take the time to talk to each other. It's not a deep relationship but it's treating each other as people, not just their function.

This is working out, I'm telling you what I think on a routine day. You'll learn something about me. I'm a person, not just a blogger/music enthusiast.

I told you about the letter I get every year from the IRS, High Anxiety. Read that but just in case you don't care if you break my heart and don’t, I'll give you the short version. My therapist threatened to cut off one of my fingers if I didn't take care of it before my next visit. I did but then the visit was canceled. I wanted to take advantage of the week to buy a rubber bloody finger and leave it on her desk. That was Jane's idea, she's evil. I didn't do it. I felt bad but made up with it by vamping. I love vamping. When I walked in the first thing she said was, "You know the first I'm going to ask you, right?" I did. I was prepared for it. I bend one finger, so it would look like it was missing from the back that I showed her. I said, "I didn't do what I was supposed to do;" her face fell. I continued, "I was going to buy a rubber bloody finger but never got around to it. I took care of the taxes." I wish I had a video of her changing facial expressions. I love that I have a good enough relationship with my therapist that she can threaten to cut off my fingers and I can pull a prank on her.

Most of the session was taken up filling out a treatment plan. That's paperwork and not therapy. We did use the time constructively as it meant discussing where I am now and where I want to be. I also got to correct her. She wrote, "He has less anxiety attacks." I said, "No, I have fewer anxiety attacks." I then explained the less versus fewer rule. It was not just being pedantic, it jarred me. I just didn't suppress my displeasure as I would with most people.

She gave me some extra time as I had something I needed to talk about but couldn't, while filling out the treatment plan. The day I played bridge I had a series of untriggered anxiety attacks. My heart pounded, and my pulse raced. That's a common anxiety symptom but not for me. I have triggers. One of them is remembering previous anxiety attacks. Part of that is anticipatory anxiety and part of it is that I have vivid sensory memories. My therapist has commented that when I talk about happy things in the past I get happy. I relive my emotions.

One thing that came up in conversation was people that are so prejudiced that they don't realized they are prejudiced. Think of Trump saying, "I'm the least racist person in the world." It happens in far less extreme cases and without the hyperbole. You must have seen people say things that are racist, anti-Semitic, misogynistic, anti-Muslim, xenophobic, etc., that seem to have no awareness of the import of what hey said. If you haven't then you are probably one of the people. Thinking about this I realized that even if you have seen it there's a good chance that you are one of the people. There's a decent chance that when it comes to some group most people might be like that. As a good atheist Jew, I have to monitor myself to not be that way about Christian conservatives. You should always be sensitive to the fact that you might very well do it too. It is the Dunning-Kruger effect, those with the least skill and knowledge, don't know enough to judge their skill and knowledge.

I have an idiot story on the ride home. I have to change buses in the middle of Pelham Bay Park. I had stopped to go shopping in New Rochelle, so it was dark, that makes it very easy to miss my stop if I don't keep alert. I was aware of that. The first part of the trip is in towns. I don't have to worry until I hit the park. I saw a post from a Facebook friend.

The title of my student’s essay is, Party Pooper of Death. Do you know how bad this essay will have to be to not get a good grade?
She is a college English professor who often has issues with her students. The biggest is that they the people I was talking about in the last paragraph; they don't realize how racist they are. Many don't know that slavery was a bad thing. One spoke of an owner "adopting a slave" that was bought. I felt the challenge to write an essay with that title that would get a bad mark. This is what I wrote.
Sambo was an African. He was taken to America and adopted by the kindly Colonel Sanders who bought him at the slave auction. Sambo was given the gift of civilization and allowed to work the Colonel's field. Sambo married the slave girl Jemima. She was a house slave, the personal slave of the Colonel's daughter, Scarlett. When the dashing young man, Beauregard proposed to Scarlett there was a big party. Scarlett told Jemima that she was to come with her when she was married. Sambo asked if he could come with her and was told no. He got down on his knees and pleaded. He made such a fuss that he ruined the party for everyone. Because he was so ungrateful he was killed. The end.
That was written on my phone. I'm not great with typing with my thumbs. When I was done I saw I was in the park. All I could see was trees, not where I was. I checked on Google Maps. I was well past the transfer point. I had to take the bus all the way to subway and catch the City Island bus there. It cost me half an hour. I thought it was worth it for the creative writing. It was but I'm disappointed that I didn't get one Ha-ha emoticon or even a like. That's a hint. Comment on this and say how it was the funniest most on point satire on racism you ever saw. Or at least, "that was funny."

What is funny that I gave myself no chance of getting a kick out of someone saying it was funny because I asked you to say it was funny, just to be funny. I'm caught in a joke loop, that's worse than a time loop. I should have saved that for February 2.

I have already written 1537 words about a day where I did nothing exciting. If had gone out last night I would have covered that in a couple of hundred words. I think I'll forego telling you about the rest of my day except for the cookies. Jane made chocolate chip cookies. My quota was two. I had to swear to not take any more. Jane left the cookies out and I was good and did not eat them. I was allowed two more today. I had them with brunch. I dunked them in my coffee. You might think that's unimportant, but you'd be wrong. Cookies are important. Cookies dunked in coffee are very important.

I was lazy and didn't go to Jersey City to see Scott Wolfson and Other Heroes last night. Tonight, I'm going to be lazy and not go to Hastings-On-Hudson where EFRAT and Aaron Nathans & Michael Ronstadt are playing. Don't make me feel guilty. I love the music and I love the people, but I'm allowed to take it easy now and then.

I signed the Pro-Truth Pledge:
please hold me accountable.

Brevity is the Soul of Wit - February 01, 2018
Knicks Make a Net Profit - January 31, 2018
Battlestar Letterman - January 30, 2018
Travelin' Man - January 29, 2018
Google Gets Me - January 28, 2018

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Horvendile January 27, 2018
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