Diary, 12/27 to 12/29/18

Copyright 2018 by Alan Carl Nicoll
All Rights Reserved


{12/27/18}  Weight 219.0.

Spent $136 on Amazon for two bike alarms and a lock.  The latter was the expensive item.  So now I am committed to buying a tricycle, from which I’m expecting great things.  I’m going to need one more item:  a cover.  And that won’t be easy.  [Now I’m thinking trash bags.]

Made the mistake of letting Pablo name which movie to see yesterday.  We met for breakfast, and, happily, he brought a few of the bike accessories that I wanted—the pump and the helmet.  We went to breakfast, and, seeing nothing much to do with our day, I suggested a movie.  Since there was nothing out that I was eager to see, I let him pick, and he chose Welcome to Marwen.

I asked him what it was about, and he said it was about how someone retreated to a fantasy world at times.  Turns out that he had that right.  I knew that it was a movie I had decided that I didn’t want to see, but I was feeling generous because I’d collected $300 in cash from the bank that morning.  And one never knows what might happen.

Well, I often like sappy movies, but, as I said on Twitter, this was “A Sap Too Far.”  I couldn’t root for the protagonist, and, despite many “action” scenes (between dolls of doll-like character), it often dragged.  In short, it was terrible, though Pablo liked it well enough.  [27% at RottenTomatoes.com]

My grammar checker allows several responses; unfortunately, “You’re an idiot” isn’t one of them.

I have a note that I wrote while reading the Writer’s Digest “annotated” edition of Jane Eyre, a book that I decided I needed to get rid of because of shelf space.  It ended up in the trash because it was among the books that were infested.  So, those months ago when I selected it to be sold, I believed that I would never want to read it again, meaning that edition, not necessarily the novel (which I adore).  Now, looking at that note to see if I can toss it, I want to read that edition again, or at least, review the parts that I noted.  It’s not worth buying again, but a copy from the library would be enough.  But the library doesn’t have it.  < sigh >  I tossed the note, lest I be tempted to buy a used copy.  At the time I read it, I was not much impressed by the annotations, though apparently impressed enough to buy the book by the annotator on how to write a novel.  I don’t think I have that book any more, either.

Browsing Amazon for philosophy books, I came across one called Practical Stoicism which makes me think that there might be room and an audience for “my philosophy book.”  Philosophy books can become best sellers; at least, the “philosophy” books that Amazon has in their best seller lists.  I had said to Pablo that I like to shop at Barnes & Noble because there I can find new books that interest me, but the Amazon lists, I see, can fulfill that function.

Now, I opened the diary to consider, what questions would I want to answer about philosophy.  I have previously assembled notes like this, but now I’m considering writing in this vein.  I don’t always want to be posting “just diary entries” on my blog.

But the immensity of the labor required puts me off.  And I need to work on Kick Me.

Thinking this afternoon, “I’ve always been a little sad” and “I never really got over the death of my father.”  But both are false statements; the former is simply not factual, the latter I believe is false because I have also been very happy, and at one time wrote in my diary, or perhaps told someone, that “I’m happy and I’ve always been happy.”  That last statement is clearly false, but how could I ever have thought such a thing without getting over the death of my father?”  It seems that if I could be that happy, that by itself constitutes the “getting over.”

I tried to work on Visual Basic but found it confusing, trying to modify someone else’s code.  So I picked up Camus’s Notebooks to read something light and easy while waiting for Chris Hayes on MSNBC.  But the Camus (p. 112-113) provoked reflections on my life, and led to the above paragraph.  Meanwhile, I’m playing Shostakovich’s 14th symphony as background—pretty gloomy stuff, which is what I love about it.

Picked up Steven Pinker:  The Sense of Style, to see if I could get rid of it.  After reading the “Prologue,” I’m persuaded that I not only need to keep it, but to read it as well.  In that short chapter, Pinker takes both Strunk & White and George Orwell to task for advising against the use of the passive voice, in sentences that use the passive voice.  Other stuff also looked good.

Getting rid of books is difficult, but I am determined to keep within the number of bookcases I now have—though I also bought three books today from Thriftbooks.com:

Lin Yutang:  The Wisdom of Confucius
W. Bartley, III: Wittgenstein
Bertrand Russell:  The Problems of Philosophy

Good deal for twelve bucks.  I’ve read the Russell several times before, but I need a copy on my shelf because I want to read it again, this time with highlighting and so on.


{12/28/18}  Weight 218.6.

Well, here I am again at 3:00 am.

I got to thinking, a few minutes ago, that when I was a young teen, I found it easier to assault girls than to say “Hi” to them.  The assault I quickly gave up, which left me no way at all to interact with the most desired objects in my environment.  Somewhere along the next 55+ years I lost my terror of the opposite sex and am now able to speak equally to either, though younger women would still be somewhat intimidating unless there were some obvious pretext in the environment to make a comment plausibly unthreatening.

Spent about 90 minutes on Twitter last night; now it’s 8:30 am.  I weighed myself last night before bed and it was 221.4, I think, but I was up and down several times to urinate.  I say urinate and not pee because there’s no reason to use the “crude” word.  Don’t know why I mention the fact, however.

Traffic at the blog over the holidays has been very slow.  Likewise Twitter.


{12/29/18}  Weight 219.2?

Saturday, which means Writers Writing day.  It’s 28 degrees outside at 6:15 am, and I am scheduled to leave the house at 7:30.  Brrr!  I’ll be standing at two bus stops, waiting for the buses to take me downtown to Dagny’s for my morning “writing,” which in this case will be rewriting Kick Me, based on my previous notes.  The cheering prospect is latte and a chocolate chip cookie as my pre-breakfast breakfast.  I don’t expect anyone else to show up, but that is almost beside the point, which is:  dedication.  And my Saturday morning excursions are little enough.

Went to Pablo’s house yesterday about 2:00, anticipating a relaxed chat with him and J before heading home.  I stopped at a convenience store and picked up Cheetos and ice cream sandwiches and a diet 7-Up and walked over to the place.

I was to be disappointed.  J was fixated on stringing together a rather ugly wind chime, but Pablo didn’t like the way he was doing it.  There followed essentially a two-hour-long argument, which ended with Pablo going in the house for half an hour (we had been sitting outside) to work on the wind chime, while I sat outside with J.  It was shady and cooler than I liked, but the birds were interesting.  So, a couple of hours wasted.

I am seeing J in a rather diminished light as a result of this stupid squabble.  Not only was the disagreement the result of his fixation on work rather than socializing, and work on only the particular job in hand, but he also kept dropping things (tools, parts, Cheetos) because he was placing them insecurely on the porch swing.  Eventually he also spilled a fresh cup of coffee there as well.

This bodes ill for the future of the Hemlock Club, but we’ll carry on as though nothing had happened.  [Meaning that I will.]

There is something sublime about standing at a bus stop at 7:40 am at 28 degrees, waiting to go to your morning’s important work, while reading Spenser’s Faerie Queen.  [The book shows “Qveene”; Benet’s shows “Queene,” so I’ll be going with that in future.]  At the second bus stop, same business, but comes a couple, and the first thing I hear out of the man’s mouth is “mother fuckin’ shit.”  Bye bye sublimity.

Copyright 2018 by Alan Carl Nicoll
All Rights Reserved

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