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

April 22, 2014 - 12:44 p.m.

Diary of a Mad Diarist.

This might be interesting. It might also be a disaster; Pretty much like my life.

If you've been following along I'm not doing very well. I'm caught up in existential angst a fancy way of saying, , well you know something, I don't know a simple way of saying it. That's why I use existential angst. So here's the idea. I'm going to try and be my own concept of what it means to be me. Part of that is finding the humor in everything including my unhappiness. Thomas More is one of my heroes. He's an odd choice as he died for his strong religious beliefs. But I give him tremendous credit for his honor in the best sense of the word, for his bravery, and his conviction. But more than anything for making a joke at his execution. When being led to the scaffold for his beheading he said, "Can you help me up? I won't need any coming down." That's how I want to go.

I had therapy yesterday. It was my worst session. I was looking forward to it so much. When I walked in I told her. I've had a really tough time and I just need to talk about it. I'm not going to work on my problems, I don't want to be analyzed, today I just need to talk about what's bothering me. She then proceeded to keep interrupting me to analyze what was going on. The kicker was her analysis was way off base. To a man with a hammer everything looks like a nail. To her everything has to go back to childhood. She doesn't know the difference between a temporary situation and constant condition. Yes I've gone through this before but it's not the way I usually am. This is not how my life usually is. I haven't been where I am now since the 90s. My talk to Brianne was far more helpful.

So since therapy didn't make me feel better I went to the strong stuff, medication, strong medicine. Who knows that that means? Why do I always see the same hands up? It means Max Brenner's Chocolate. I went to sit at the counter like I usually do but was told I had to be seated by a hostess. Well once I had to go through that I sat at a table. They added some new items to the menu so instead of getting my usual chocolate-peanut butter-banana crpe I got this.

That was amazingly good. I call it chocolate with chocolate with more chocolate, on chocolate. I thought I'd miss the variety of flavors in the crpe but I didn't. This is my new favorite. It really worked. For a while I was happy and content.

I went shopping afterward then went home and graded tests. The grading was actually a relief. Yes it's frustrating dealing with the students' mistakes and terrible communication skills but it kept my mind off of other things.

The students not only can't communicate effectively they don't see the need. They do the mathematical equivalent of texting with misspelling, instead of writing in complete sentences. When I teach I emphasize, "this is the way you have to write it." Then they don't. So to show them that it's important I wrote this. I'm going to hand it out before I hand back the test.

weigh pRe-znt thNgs mayks diff. Yu undr stnd butt wood want 2 REED ths?

I didn't eat dinner till I finished grading. Then I made myself a treat, a small Cajun steak, a chicken Italian sausage, and roasted blue potatoes with apple cider to drink.

A student walked into my office after class. He missed class and didn't know there was a test. I announced it last week. He said he didn't know and was unprepared. I made him take it now. Ugh.

I told you that I'm reading The History of the Hobbit Part 1: Mr Baggins. I keep forgetting to mention some weird stuff. In the original draft the Wizard wasn't named Gandalf, he's Bladorfin. Doesnt that just seem wrong. He's Gandalf and Gandalf means him. And to make things more bizarre, Thorin wasn't called Thorin. He was called, hold on to your hat, Gandalf!

And now something which remained Tolkien's perception that I got wrong and I bet you did too. Picture Gandalf in your mind. You're imagining someone quite like Ian McKellan in the film right? Tall and imposing. That is wrong. This is how Tolkien describe him late in his life.

.,. a figure strongly built with broad shoulders, thought shorter than the average of men and now stooped with age, leaning on a thick rough-cut staff as he trudged along Gandalf even bent must have been at least 5ft. 6 Which would make him a short man even in modern England, especially with the reduction of a bent back. I have not internalized that yet.

OK back to me. There is pressure building up inside me. Talking to Brianne was a safety valve releasing some pressure. Usually therapy is too. Chocolate is different it's lowering the fire and making less steam. What I'm worried about is the vessel rupturing releasing the water inside which will land in the grease heating it with this as the result.

I'm afraid I'm of the line of Manuel of whom Cabell said:

The comedy is always the same. In the first act the hero imagines a place where happiness exists. In the second he strives towards that goal. In the third he comes up short or what amounts to the same thing he achieves his goal only to find that happiness lies a little further down the road.

But I'm a cheerful hobbit and I find it hard to give up. Like Cabell's hero Jurgen I'm a monstrous clever fellow, even though cleverness never was the main thing. But then again there's nothing that Kochei the deathless, who created all thing, can give you that you can't get on your own with youth and audacity. I'm cute in a spiny anteater sort of way. Someone who knows me well said I was bloody adorable. And I'm a damn good teacher so if anyone can teach a horse to sing it's me. I mean it's not like I'm trying to do the impossible and teach me to sing.

That's me all over the place. Here's to me not duplicating Mythbusters.

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 April 22, 2014
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