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

February 05, 2014 - 10:39 a.m.

Ridiculous to Sublime

Hey I'm actually starting to write when I'm supposed to, 9:01. That's because I have to meet someone early this morning, 1 PM. I'm with Christine Lavin, I dedicated folk singer wakes at the crack of noon whether she has to nor not. OK I rarely sleep late but I always find it hard to actually get out of bed and get started moving. I'm actually helped because last night I had some trouble sleeping thanks' to having to run to the bathroom so I ended up reading much of the Times and my other early morning online activities.

Oh and of course my housemate once again woke up me with her middle of the night, usually between 2 and 3 kitchen visits. This is how murders get started. Every time I hear her stomping up the stairs like a herd of elephants in tap shoes I get a bit more homicidal. I am renaming her. As I don't share a bathroom with her anymore she is no longer the Shower Nazi, she is now the Stairway Stomper.

I really have to get out of here. So many things about the people annoy me. Why do they insist on collecting our kitchenware that we share in their rooms? I only recently found out that the mug, the only decent mug in the kitchen that the stairway stomper always uses is not her own. It is supposed to be shared but she just took possession of it. She always complains how selfish everyone else is.

I overslept yesterday. When I got my new phone I somehow missed putting Tuesday as an early day on my alarm. I awoke just as I should have been leaving. I could tell immediately, it just felt late. I was not late for class but it meant that instead of getting my sausage, egg, and cheese sandwich for breakfast I ate the peanut butter sandwich I bring for lunch on the train. I then just switched things around and had the sausage, egg, and cheese for lunch.

I broke my two week old tradition and did not go to the movies after school. Instead I went shopping. First I bought a tenderizing mallet at Bed, Bath, & Beyond. Then I went shoe shopping but the place I went to was too expensive. Money is nice. I fell in love with a pair of Clarks for $135. I'll have to see if I can find a good discount place in Brooklyn. My casual shoes are pretty much worn through and my school shoes need to be replaced too.

I needed the tenderizing mallet because for the first time in over a year I made canjun steak. I use eye round which is cheaper but a bit tough but it's great once I have pounded it into submission. It's one of my favorite meals and I have missed it. Even without a cast iron grill it came out great but I might have to get one anyway. Not sure if that's a wise expense. It's all about the cost/benefit ratio.

School went very well. I still don't have my text books but I have a
good report with my classes. That's surprising as they are too large. I never have to tell them to be quiet! They pay attention! They sometime even ask good questions.

So how come half my colleagues can't use the copying machine or figure out how to print things? We are talking math and science teachers.

After dinner I watched part 3 of Ken Burns' The Civil War. How did General McClellan keep his job as long as he did? Cowardice is usually not thought well of in a General. My takeaway is that he the North could have won the war several times in 1862 if he would have not been afraid to attack. He's bugs me as much as the Stairway Stomper. Part 2 got me thinking that there's a great movie to be made about the battle between the Monitor and the Merrimac. There's a great lead up with the eccentric inventor John Ericsson submitting his design for the Monitor and having it build in just 101 days. All the techies will love it, the Monitor was a innovative marvel. Then comes the actual battle two days of fighting so close that the ships collided 5 times. They were like two medieval nights engaged in single combat. No ship that wasn't an ironclad could resist them but they couldn't sink each other. To me it screams out "Make a film!"

Of course there is material for scores of films in the Civil War. There was so much of everything, there were horrors, heroism, idealism, brilliance, and stupidity. Stonewall Jackson was pretty much mad. Grant a story of redemption. And through it all the theme of ending slavery.

You might have picked up that I've been less than happy of late but perhaps I'm coming out of it. Years ago Joyous Joy told me that she loved that I lived my life with lan. And that has always been exactly my self-image. I might not have the best life but there are always good things in it and I don't want to waste a drop of that goodness. When I've made myself a good meal and I'm alone I will always lick my plate. My landlady's father commended me for it, "Our prophet did that too." I appreciated the irony that I was licking bacon and eggs. I don't think Mohammed would have approved of that. At least not in public. Of course he private he might have had the good sense to say, "But it's bacon!" And I'm off my point. I have not been appreciating things as much as I should. The thing is it isn't a matter of making an effort but simply thinking more about the wonders as they happen and remembering them afterward. Yesterday while teaching I looked out the window and saw how beautiful Central Park looked covered in snow. After class I went to my office and took some photos.

There's exquisite wonderfulness all around us and I have to remind myself to see it. Now I have to get going and eat some exquisite bacon and eggs. Last night I said I was making it I didn't. I had an omelet. Today I will. And then I'm off to meet a friend. We're just going to sit and talk over coffee but the point is I shouldn't have said "just." Quality time with a good friend is as good as it gets.

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 February 05, 2014
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