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

December 30, 2017 - 4:12 p.m.

That's Not Funny

I slept till after 11 today. This has upset my plans. I can now see that I'm not going to go out tonight even though it's my only chance to see Ruth Gerson for a year and it's extra special as her daughters are performing too. I need to go shopping and the weather outside is frightful but inside it's quite delightful, so I'm going to run to the stores, come home, and stay warm, dry, and comfy. For similar reasons I'm not going out for New Year's Eve even thought that means for the second year in a row I'm not spending it with Warren, Tina, and their friends, most of whom are my friends too. I'm not going to be social and go out again this year; I will go to Coco and Bruce's New Year's Day party. It takes just as long to get to, maybe longer, than to Warren and Tina's but it doesn't mean taking three buses home after midnight. I hate not seeing my friends that I don't see often, and it doesn't fit my self-image, but sometimes it's best to accept reality and not what you want reality to be. Not often, but sometimes.

I had no plans yesterday, my therapist is on vacation. I figured it would be a not getting out of my sweats day. Then in the morning I got a phone call from Jane. She had gone into the City, parked her car in a lot, and the discovered that she had left her wallet at home. Her car would be held hostage till she paid, and she didn't have her MetroCard so even if she wanted to take the three-hour round trip to home she'd have to borrow money for subway fare from someone. I came to the rescue. She was on 33rd street across the street from the Main Post Office. My plan was to take the 6 train to 51st street where I'd switch to the E. At 59th street I got ready to get off the train but when I got off the next stop it was 42nd Street. I'm not sure if I fell asleep or it skipped the stop and I didn't hear the announcement. It wasn't a big deal as I just took the shuttle over to Times Square, the 3 to Penn Station, and walked through Penn Station to 8th Ave. That was exciting as I discovered that they had started the work on moving parts of Penn Station to the Farley Post Office which is going to be the Patrick Moynihan Train Station. I was able to walk underground from 7th Ave to the west Side of 8th Ave. Jane was volunteering at Landmark. She said everyone would know her. It was all new volunteers, and nobody knew her. I did eventually find her and gave her the wallet. She then rewarded me by taking me out to dinner at my favorite diner in the area, the Skylight at 34th Street and 9th Ave. I heartedly recommend it. All I had was a cheeseburger and fries, but they were made perfectly. I could have hung around and waited for Jane to finish and have her drive me home, but she didn't know how long she'd be, so I headed home on the subway.

I went down into the subway, went to the uptown E platform and waited. A C train came by but no E. I waited a long time. Then I looked at a small notice, the kind they put up saying that there'd be a service change late nights or on the weekend. Instead it was saying that there was no E service the entire week. I decided to come home the way I came; good thing I have an unlimited MetroCard, so I didn't have to pay twice. When I exited the E train platform I saw there was a small sign off to the side about there not being an E train. That should have been huge. They often put up signs saying, "No E trains at this station!" I don't know why they didn't.

Yesterday I wrote about the marvelous concert by Dar Williams and Anaïs Mitchell. I deliberately didn't say anything about my usual digressions, food, commuting, and the circumstances of my writing. I wanted focus and apparently, I succeeded, at least to Michael. He linked to it on Facebook and said,

Here’s an unusual “review” by someone who was truly moved by the concert he attended last night. He captures that ineffable sense of meaning we sometimes get from the performances of artists who mean a lot to us. Here’s an unusual “review” by someone who was truly moved by the concert he attended last night. He captures that ineffable sense of meaning we sometimes get from the performances of artists who mean a lot to us.

Then in response to a joke comment by me he added:
Your review really captured that sense of how certain concerts just have enormous meaning for some of us because of the way the history of the artist and their music intersects our own lives so significantly. I think a lot of us feel that way with certain performers, or singer/songwriters especially, but we can’t really explain it to other people — but somehow what you wrote about last night’s concert captures that sense of personal significance that’s so difficult to express, but which keeps us coming back again and again to see certain people perform. We feel personally invested in them; the presence of them and their music in the world makes our own lives more meaningful, and seeing them in person has a touch of the sacred about it.
Now you want to read it, right? The TARDIS and the Fractal .

There was on important event at the concert I forgot to write about. Dar's tuner was wonky; she thought it was tuning half a step up. She said that she and her son talk about dystopic futures where AI goes out of control and that's what was happening. I shouted, "It's Russian Hackers!" She immediately laughed. The she said, "That's not funny." The story of my life. You don't believe me? This is what I wrote back on May 25, 2007, Rhapsody in Eyebrows

Jeremy, Kris's son, demonstrated the defining feature of my sense of humor. I said something, and his first reaction was to laugh. His next was to say, "That's not funny." That is me in a nutshell. Nobody wants to admit they find my jokes funny. You've heard of highbrow humor and low brow humor. My jokes are the humor of the people that have the disease where you don't have eyebrows at all.
I am cursed with self-awareness.

Now for some food I neglected to write about. I just checked, I didn't but it deserves a callback. On Christmas Eve Bernie made an exquisite prime rib. Jane and I talked about it over dinner yesterday. I can still taste it, perfection.

I'm going to save my philosophizing until tomorrow or maybe never. I put it in my diary ideas bin. Now to get up the energy and never to go outside in the cold and get the groceries I need. I could just walk a couple of blocks and get them on City Island, but I can't bring myself to do it. It is so much more expensive, and the quality is lower. I'll compromise and go to Stop & Shop even though Aldi is cheaper. Aldi also involves walking a mile and waiting for an extra bus. Most importantly Aldi and the City Island stores don't carry one thing I need. I knew I had a better reason for going there than to save a few dollars.

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 December 30, 2017
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