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

October 17, 2013 - 4:00 p.m.

Strained Relation

I had therapy at noon today and didn't have time to update before I left at 11 AM. I am not in my office and I have wasted at least an hour and a half before starting. I hate when I do things like that.

The plan yesterday after school was to go see Mia Dyson at Rockwood Music Hall at 6 PM. I raced down there and the room was packed but Mia was not in sight. I checked the schedule. Mia wasn't listed. I checked her website. She had a gig at Bowery Electric but it was at 10 PM. I do not know what happened. It's part of the CMJ festival and perhaps they changed things. I don't remember putting it on my calendar but I must have had a reason for saying it was where and when I did. I decided to drown my sorrow in food. I should have just eaten nearby but I'm there so often and I had a craving for chicken fried steak so I went up to Hog Pit NY in Chelsea. That did hit the spot. Then I went shopping at Pathmark I Fort Greene, then headed home. I did not have a day worth writing much about. What was my idiot story? Oh right. I bought markers to use in school as the Admin has been out sick and I couldn't get them from the closet. He is the only one with the key. Then I left them in my backpack and didn't take them to class. OK I just moved it into my briefcase. The nice thing about buying it myself is that I get pretty colors, not black. Sometimes it helps to color code things. Oh I also forgot to pick up my mail. I had not one but two packages waiting for me. I got them today. In fact that's why I'm in my office. I was in the neighborhood anyway. As long as I'm here I'm going to make up a quiz to give tomorrow when I'm done.

I taught my students the quadratic and cubic identities.

For reasons that I can't fathom some students just hate to learn these. I explain that not learning these is because you can get the answers by multiplying out is like not learning the multiplication table because you can do 35=5+5+5. I do many things to make it easier for them. I explain how all the identities are related and you really don't have to memorize much. But no, they don't want to learn it. I realized that is a good reason to make them memorize them. They have to learn that they can memorize things that they don't want to memorize. We all do. And they might even learn that it's not a very big deal. It takes just a few minutes of their time plus doing the homework and actually using the formulae.

In my last entry I spoke about feeling the same part of the elephant of reality. That was a reference, that I expect people to get, to the old story of the five blind men trying to describe an elephant. One feels the trunk and says "An elephant is like a snake" Another feels a leg and say, "An elephant is like a tree," etc. Does everyone know that story? I learned it when I was a small child and I usually assume that everyone knows everything I learned as a kid. But I never hear anyone else reference it so maybe I'm wrong. I don't know where I learned it. I don't think from my parents, it was either in school or TV. I'd like to think TV; one of those wonderful shows like Wonderama, Around the Corner, or Shari Lewis, that taught kids before PBS and people with degrees in education started designing educational TV. These shows were hosted by intelligent people who knew enough to treat kids as intelligent people. I learned about Mobius bands when I was eight or so on Around The Corner. I'll never forget watching the guy cut it in half and ending up with one band twice the size of the original. Then cutting that in half and getting two interlocking bands. It radiated sense of wonder and that's the way to teach.

I've been thinking a lot about a relationship I'm having problems with, me and WFUV. I have fallen out of love with it. I can no longer fool myself. I simply don't like the vast majority of what they play during the week. They have become very much like WNEW in 1989 the year I abandoned it for WFUV. There's classic rock, much of which I love, but which I don't need the station to hear. And I don't like what WFUV plays as much as I liked what WNEW played. There is no Zeppelin, or the Who, very little Bowie, and no prog rock. They'll play some crossover Americana like Mumford and Sons but I don't like that nearly as much as I liked Suzanne Vega and Tracy Chapman that NEW was playing back in the day. Most of what I hear goes in one ear and out the other. I sometimes go, "Oh that song" but I don't know what it is or who does it. They don't play any of the music I hear live. There is some new things I like but just not that much. The thing is that I still love the people that work there and I love volunteering. I just got invited to a supervisor's dinner on Monday and I'm looking forward to it. And I still love the weekend programming, the Irish shows and John Platt's Sunday breakfast and Bob Sherman's Woody's Children. I love Vin Scelsca too but he's on at a time that I'm never home. So what do you do when you find you aren't in love with your love? I'm staying loyal because that's what I do but if they ever dropped John Platt or he retired and wasn't replaced with someone playing the same kind of music then I'd cut down on my devotion and just volunteer for the Irish shows. If John was gone I can't see Bob Sherman still being there. I'd hate not having it in my life it would still be less frustrating. Now of course lots of things can happen. They might start playing more music I like. I might to like the music they are playing. It's like all relationship. You give them a chance and see if they magic returns. At least I've been honest with them. They know I don't like what they play. It isn't that it's bad it just doesn't do it for me.

Now I have an awkward amount of time to fill. I'm seeing Bobtown tonight on the upper west side at 7 PM. That's three and a half hours from now. If I hadn't wasted time I could have seen Gravity but if I hadn't wasted time I wouldn't be me. It's a beautiful day so I'll walk. It's a few miles away so that will take 40 minutes. I have to eat dinner, that's another half hour. I have to write a quiz and I can probably spend almost an hour on schoolwork. OK I should be able to fill the rest of the time. I can walk through the park or play online or take longer for dinner. I'll do something.

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 October 17, 2013
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