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 21, 2013 - 12:42 p.m.

Merry Christmas War is Over

It's the first day of winter. Now is the winter of our discontent made glorious summer by this sun of New York. Hey its 54˚ and I have no problem taking credit for it.

I was sort of good yesterday. I made it up to school in plenty of time to go to the post office and print out my grade book and attendance and hand them in. I went to the post office and did not get the package I was expecting. But I did mail out something with only one trip back to the office because I forgot part of what I was mailing there. Have I mentioned that I'm an idiot? I am pretty sure that I have once or twice.

Then I headed down to the Arch at Washington Square for my recently revived tradition of caroling with Terre Roche. Last year I brought Fred. This year Fred and Katherine. Well OK I didn't bring either, they met me there, but if it wasn't for me they wouldn't be there.

I got there twenty minutes early. I amused myself for a while then Maura spotted me. Amazingly this is her first time Caroling with Terre. She just heard about it yesterday or the day before. Genie or is that Jeanie or Jeannie was there too. Funny how I don't think I've ever typed her name before I must have here. I might have just guessed at the spelling.

Katherine arrived not too much later and Fred right before we started. This has always been magic for me. I've done it with just the Caroling Carolers and a smattering of other people. I've actually stood with the carolers and shared a lyric sheet. I've been there with small crowds. Yesterday it was warm and there was the biggest crowd I've seen for it. But it was still small enough to be intimate. I listen to a lot of music but this is different. This is something I'm taking part in as an equal. Sure I can't sing but that doesnt make a difference. It's the glorious bonding of singing together and that's even better than everyone singing along with a band. We did a pretty good job. You can judge for yourself.

Did you see me? See Maura, Fred, and Katherine?

You're lucky you couldn't hear me. You're unlucky that you couldn't hear Katherine. I love doing this sort of thing with people that can really sing.

the most impressive was The Hallelujah Chorus. We didn't have lyrics for that and there are parts where people sing different things at the same time. But somehow with no rehearsal we sorted things and out and it came out beautiful. Handel is almost as good as Love Handel.

After the caroling Maura and Fred made like bananas and split. Katherine and I thanked Terre then went off for our annual tradition of going for a post caroling drink. Yes a drink, I had a beer. It's tradition! The tradition just started last year but you might have noticed that I am an iconoclast individualist that loves tradition. It just can't be imposed on me.

Every year Fox News and their allies herald the War on Christmas! We have to defend ourselves against the godless barbarian hordes hell-bent on destroying the holiday and preventing anyone from celebrating it. I'm part of the horde. I'm certainly godless, a devout atheist with a Jewish upbringing. I not only celebrate Festivus but I proselytize for it. I've had friends who thought it was about mocking the holidays. But of course it isn't. Katherine is an agnostic, part of the godless horde too. And there were standing by a Christmas Tree and singing songs celebrating Christmas. And it wasn't just of the having winter fun type. Both songs that Sandi posted were of the rejoice in the birth of Jesus sort. And we sang them with feeling. The music is beautiful. Sharing it with friends is beautiful. Sharing it with strangers is beautiful. If that isn't the Christmas spirit what is. We aren't against anyone celebrating the holiday as they wish. We wish joy to the world. And we aren't the exception. This war is all on one side, theirs. And it isn't even about the leaders being offended but by them wanting to fuel hate to energize their base to carry out their political and economic agenda. As for us hippies, all we want to peace, love, and understanding. I know how to keep Festivus in my heart if any man knows the secret. And I'd be very happy if people said of me; "He became as good a friend, as good a master, and as good a man, as the good old city knew, or any other good old city, town, or borough, in the good old world." Except you can leave off the master. Shalom, pax, peace.

I'm now reading Mission of Gravity by Hal Clement. It started a line of thought that lead me to watch Cyrano de Bergerac (1950). God I love that story. I first know it through the Mr Magoo's classis version. But I've seen it on Broadway with Derek Jakobi and read the play and of course have seen the Jose Ferrar film. I have always identified with Cyrano. I told you that deep inside I'm a swashbuckler. But he's also a poet, a philosopher, playwright, and a shining example of the age of reason. There's a speech in the pastry shop when he explains how he will not make moral compromises to make his life easier that we'd all be better to listen to.

In the middle of the night I got a sharp pain on my right side of my back. I recognized it immediately, a kidney stone. I don't have insurance but I do know what to do short of lithotripsy, drink plenty of water and wait for it to pass. This time I also had a wave of nausea, that bothers me more than the pain. I'm very good with pain. You'd think I'd be good with nausea after a lifetime of Crohn's disease but I'm not.

So you know how passing a kidney stone is incredibly painful, like childbirth? Well not for me. Once again I passed the stone without feeling a thing. How do I know I passed it? The pain in the kidney went away. Last time I went to the hospital and knew the stone was tiny. It must have been tiny again. Now I'm just tired as I didn't get a lot of sleep. Good thing I'm made of rubber, I always bounce back from pain both physical and emotional. It's how I remain a cheerful hobbit.

People often remark and wonder at how open I am here. And while I try it isn't always true. So much of what is most important leaves but a small trace here. There are lines scattered here and there that tell me the story but care hidden from the rest of the world. Sometimes people can decipher parts of them. Sometimes I leave them for others to decipher. But there's a whole other world going on.

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 21, 2013
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