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 22, 2013 - 3:08 p.m.

From the ridiculous to the sublime

I am still living in my own subjective world of anxiety and existential dread. The thing is that I don't want to be a sensitive singer/songwriter and dwell on my feelings. I still have thoughts and experiences. I'll just discuss when meta then move on to other things. On Monday I told my therapist, "I'm not going to go down that road because that way lies madness." By which I meant I wasn't going to think about something that happened because I knew nothing constructive would come of it and I'd feel what I'm now calling existential dread. It's like skiing and coming to a fork between the bunny and expert slopes and not taking the expert when you are just a bunny. She thought it was my anxiety acting up while I view it as being smart. I am right, But then I came to a spot where without looking I got on the expert trail and have been paying the price struggling to keep my balance since then. I even know why it is so hard, the expert slope is right next to the happy thought I use to "awaken myself from the dragging nightmare (see the last quote at the top of the page.).

I so much do not want to be that guy. No not the one that wears the t-shirt of the band he's seeing but the one that goes on and on about how he can't communicate. If you can't communicate at least have the common courtesy to shut up.

So now on to my life. I gave a quiz Wednesday on using discriminants to determine the nature of the roots of a quadratic equation. I gave them 10 problems to do for homework over the weekend and we went over them on Monday. Some students had no idea what the question even meant. When I told them they were totally bewildered. They clearly had never listened the many, many times I discussed it in class and they did not do the homework. Why did they expect to understand it?

No on to something very pleasant. Last night I went to see the captivating Caitlin Mahoney. It was less than a year ago that I first saw the members of the Bangs Collective, Caitlin, Kat Quinn, and Jo Kroger. I had met Kat socially, she's a friend of Kathy's, and Caitlin and Jo played with her. The three of them back each other up. They quickly became part of my world, They are sort of a mini-chicks with dip. Seeing any of them is a home game but an odd one as they are pretty much disjoint from the rest of my musical social circle. I'm working on changing that. Kat played The Budgiedome and is going to open for We're About 9 next month at Gene and Isabel's house.

The thing is that I know that if I see any of them I'll feel good from both their music and their friendship. That is what I need now.

Caitlin have I seen you perform in this configuration before? She was accompanied by an electric guitar and electric bass on most songs. Caitlin is a rocker! Caitlin doesn't write "I'm a sensitive singer songwriter" songs. She doesn't crush the bird or let it get away. She did a cover. It's by Joni Mitchell (despite getting our hopes up that it would be Miley Cyrus). She said it was the best way she ever heard of saying "I love you" and that if you ever want to say it to her, that's how to do it. Go, what is the song? I got it first shot. As soon as she played a few notes on the mandolin I knew I was right. Got your answer? Yes it was "A Case of You.. That's my favorite Joni song which makes it somewhere in my top ten songs of all time. I'm not sure how many songs are in my top ten but I'm pretty sure it isn't ten.

She was joined on two songs by Jo and Kat. I love each of them alone but together it's special. They should be opening for Brother Sun, Yin to their Yang. Hey I just checked and Yin is female and yang male. Good guess. I had a fifty-fifty shot.

When the show was over I got some yin hugs and headed home. I managed to get home at a reasonable hour. For dinner I just microwaved the frozen Nathan's bagel dogs. Right now that will have to do for my cooking. I got some of the new fancy fries from Burger King. They are crinkle cut and have less fat. They cost more. I had to wait for them and they were just luke warm. Then they wouldn't admit they weren't hot. I have to write to Burger King now. They did taste better than the regular ones.

I got out of class and I'm having a Crohn's attack, or perhaps I had a Crohn's attack. I had to end early as I pretty much couldn't stay on my feet. I went straight to Duane Reade and filled my prednisone prescription. They were great, it was done in about 10 minutes. I always have to wait at least half an hour everywhere else. I got back my office, took the pills, and immediately had to rush to the bathroom. It was the end of the Crohn's attack intestine evacuation. There's nothing else quite like it. So the pills weren't really necessary. But I'm still feeling not right. Better but not strong. My head is still light.

Now it's time to go totally outside myself. It's the 50th anniversary of the assassination of John F. Kennedy. I am not going to make this personal at all. Im not going to tell you where I was and what I did. Instead I'll tell you what happened last night. I mentioned it to the bathroom Nazi who now has a crush on me and always wants to talk. She asked if JFK were really great. When I said he was great she asked what he accomplished. And you don't hear this nearly enough. What he did was not get us all killed and bring an end to civilization. During the Cuban Missile Crisis, everybody in the military and everyone in the cabinet other than RFK wanted to go to war. I spent my childhood afraid we were going to blow ourselves up, and as a New Yorker I'd get blown up, while the rest would live in radioactive waste. Kennedy didn't do it. He was flexible. He put up the blockade but pulled it back to leave time to negotiate. His one and only priority was to save the world. And he got just what we wanted. He didn't give in the Russians did. The missiles were withdrawn from Cuba. If Nixon had one the election I wouldn't be here to write this. You wouldn't be here to read it. If most of the people who became president afterward were in charge I have no confidence we'd have survived. If he did nothing else that made him great. But of course he got us to go to the moon. He started the peace corps. He revived the economy, and he said this.

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 22, 2013
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