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 17, 2017 - 12:11 p.m.

the Ugly, the Bad, and the Good

Good morning My Gentle Readers. It doesn't look good outside and I have nothing good planned but I'm going to be an optimist. I'm also going to be optimistic about thinking of something to write about.

I can always start with dinner. I made gnocchi with white sauce. I used to just use a mixture of melted butter and milk. The only difference here is that I add flour. It makes a difference. The viscosity makes it better. As does the garlic salt and MSG. They make everything better, the foundation stones of my cuisine.

I still have mental health issues but let's look on the bright side. I have read every email from this year. I have thousands of unread emails from before then going back years but now I read my emails every day. I'm even starting to look forward to it. I check multiple times every day. Valentine's Day is coming up, maybe someone will send me one.

There is one area where the meds are having a noticeable effect, depression. I always thought I wasn't depressed. I had depressive episodes but it wasn't my ground state. As I've often said, I'm a cheerful hobbit. I am a cheerful hobbit but I am prone to those episodes. Some incidents are triggers that cause me to obsess. I call it cycling, I go through a series of negative thoughts over and over. The meds stop that. I used to struggle with them using cognitive methods. They would sometimes work. With the meds, there's no struggle. I had a typical trigger incident. It's an ongoing thing, I keep getting reminded. The other day it went up another notch. And I'm not obsessing. I have been thinking about it but that's because I wanted to write this here. It's something that would have sent me to me doldrums but now it just stings a bit. It's not that it's unimportant, it's very important. But it's something I can't do anything about.

I'm more upset that I can't see the Bombadils tomorrow. They are at Rockwood Music Hall, but they don't go on till 11 AM. I would have to take a cab home and it would be ridiculously late. They are a Canadian duo that I love but have only seen at NERFA. They named themselves for one of my favorite characters from Lord of the Rings so you know they are my people. That isn't why I love them, it's because they make great music. If you live somewhere you can get home from Rockwood at midnight you should see what I mean.

I found something in my list of diary ideas that fits my current mood, most were too heavy. I don't want to lecture on politics or cognitive errors. I don't want to lecture, just make observations.

The Facebook news feed is an emotional rollercoaster. Most posts don't affect me at all, this coaster has flat sections, but others can make me feel the full range of emotions. Some will anger me. When people say they need a break from social media, these are the posts that drive it. If you have been reading Wise Madness closely you'll have noticed that my anger is often not directed at someone's beliefs but their logic. It's just like the pain of grading tests and getting inside my students' minds.

But it's worth going through the painful posts and comments to get to the ones that give me joy. The best are the little unexpected ones that make me feel kinship with the poster. There are some people I hardly know that I love reading. They make little jokes with my sensibility. It feels so good to know that there are other people from my planet here on Earth.

Some posts just puzzle me; usually of the form, "You actually care so much about that?" At a friend gets excited over something of no consequence to me. I bet a lot of people feel that way about my posts.

Sometimes I read something and thing, "She's a much better person than I am." Even tougher is "she's a much better writer than I am." Remember I always use "she" for indefinite pronouns. Some of those shes are men.

I used Snopes as a verb today, twice. Like the verb, Google it's very useful. It roughly means fact check but so often that amounts to going to Snopes. People really need to Snopes more often. If there is a picture with a quote always Snopes it before posting. Do you know the first-time Google was used a verb on TV? It was by Willow on Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Now for breakfast. I have no idea what I'm making. I'll figure it out when I get down there.

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

Memories: Not that Horrid Song - May 29, 2018
Wise Madness is Now In Session - May 28, 2018
The NFL and the First Amendment - May 27, 2018
On The Road Again - May 26, 2018
Oliver the Three-Eyed Crow - May 25, 2018

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Horvendile January 17, 2017
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