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

November 29, 2017 - 1:03 p.m.

The Shot in the Arm I Needed

Yesterday there was nothing I wanted to write about; today I want to write about everything. I'd say, "welcome to my brain" but I suspect most people's brains work that way.

Yesterday's adventure was in two parts. I'm going to start with the second as I will segue from the first. Last night was the last of Abbie Gardner's residency at Pete's Candy Store in Williamsburg. The dynamic was quite different. Last week I was the only there that Abbie knew, this time there was Michael, who produced her album that is going to be released soon, Janice, and some guy, Craig Akin, who claims to be Abbie's husband. Abbie also claims to be his wife but as I wasn't at the wedding and didn't see the paperwork I can't vouch to it.

I had planned on doing a Facebook live from the show. When I started I got a message that the connection wasn't good enough to go live. It was also sideways. I should work on my FB live skills. I had it down for a while then stopped doing it. On the way home I saw that people had liked and commented on it, so FB lied, and it did go live; for all of 15 seconds before I stopped it. You didn't miss anything; I deleted it. I will try and remember to go live more often.

I always find it creepy when FB says, "So and So was live 20 minutes ago." My reaction is, Zhe isn't alive now? So and So died? Poor So and So, zhe left before zer time. Are people getting used to my gender-neutral pronouns?

Abbie did a lot of songs off the new album, I should know the title, I held it in my hand. She did songs newer than the new album. She did songs from the new album that she totally changed since the album was recorded. In 25 years those will be bonus tracks on the Silver Anniversary edition. I was disappointed as she gave no recipes or Kung Fu lessons. I suggested that she add recipes to the album packaging. They can be an insert. Seeing Abbie solo used to be a regular part of my life. I'm glad it's becoming that again. Even when it takes over an hour and a half to get there it's still a home game.

Now for the first part of the adventure. CVS sent me a text that my prescription was ready. I wasn't sure if it was the wrong prescription that they sent me a text about renewing over the weekend or the correct one which I hoped my doctor had called in yesterday. I didn't know if she had, I just left a message on her voice mail telling her I needed it. As I was going past the pharmacy anyway, it's right by the subway, I stopped in to find out. It was the correct ones. They seemed to have worked things out. Whew. Then I overcame my anxiety and asked about a flu shot. There is a sign at the register saying, "get your flu shot here." I was told I had to go to the drop off counter to get it. I walked over there and gave them my info. My anxiety started rising. What if they charge me? How much would this cost? Would it automatically come with my Medicaid? My forebrain told me, "of course." My amygdala told me, "they are going to charge you." Stupid, mean amygdala. I was afraid of the paperwork. That was simple, I just filled out a form saying I don't have any of the conditions that would preclude me getting the shot. It even said to answer, "are you pregnant?" only if you were a woman. I'm not a woman and I'm not pregnant; abstinence works. Then somewhere I saw the sign that said, the shots were free. I could have been getting them all the years I didn't have insurance. I'm an idiot but that's anxiety induced idiocy, so I'll forgive myself. The shot was administered by a pharmacist. She had a gentle touch, I hardly felt it; not that I was worried about that. My anxiety has nothing to do with the medical procedures; it's all about the finances.

Today the spot where I received the injection is sore to the touch; the only reason I know this is I pressed on it to find out. If I hadn't I would consider the shot to have no consequence whatsoever.

I did have a bad vision morning. I didn't start writing this till after breakfast because I couldn't see well enough to type comfortably. My vision is still not back to my normal blindness. Some people are saying, "See! You had an adverse reaction to the shot." No, I frequently have bad vision days; it's from the cataracts. The fact that it happened the day after I got a flu shot proves nothing. I don't want to hear any stories that go, "My friend got a flu shot and then got sick." Of course, that happens. People get flu shots all the time. People get sick all the time. If nobody got sick in the two weeks after getting a flu shot that would be a miracle. They would prescribe flu shots whenever it was important for someone to not get sick for two weeks, like before a space mission or a wedding. They do massive amounts of testing and know that the adverse reactions are far less frequent than the number of people that would get the flu without the shots. The problem is that when something does happen, even it has nothing to do with the shot it goes deep into people's psyche. For most people much deeper than reading statistics. It's not that different from me not getting flu shots because I was afraid of being charged all those year and was too afraid to even investigate. I'm not the only one with an amygdala.

Other people are saying, "See you were afraid of nothing, it's always that way. Things always work out." No, they don't. Sometimes things come out worse than I fear. Sometimes they come out better but still bad. My fears aren't irrational, it's my reaction to the fears that is. I do try and learn from this. I know my therapist will tell me to remind myself of this next time I'm in a similar situation. She's right and I will. It's not that things always work out; it's that they sometimes do.

Yesterday I wrote about the futility of trying to change people's minds. Thinking about statistics and anxiety I realize that I was thinking about it incorrectly. Of 100 people that read my arguments 99 will be unswayed, but one might be. That's accomplishing something. Maybe I won't even sway that one person, but it will be one step in that person's opinion changing. I'll never get feedback about that, so I won't know. What I do know is that it happens with me. Sometimes well after I read or hear something, something else will happen that makes the first thing click into place. It helped prepare the way. It was John the Baptist to Jesus. I can accept being John as long as someone doesn't serve my head on a platter. Salome, I'm looking at you.

I had lots to write about today, but this worked out nicely, I used the events of the day as a teachable moment. I can write about other things tomorrow. Today's plan is simple, I'm going shopping and watching the last two parts of the Arrowverse Crisis on Earth X.

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 November 29, 2017
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