Diary 2/1 to 2/8/2020

Copyright 2020 by Alan Carl Nicoll
All Rights Reserved

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{2/1/20}  Weight 213.6; cardio:  131/82, 64; second test 135/84, 70.

Quotes from Khalil Gibran:  The Prophet, Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 1980:

“For even as love crowns you so shall he crucify you.  Even as he is for your growth so is he for your pruning.”  p. 11.

“Work is love made visible.

“And if you cannot work with love but only with distaste, it is better that you should leave your work and sit at the gate of the temple and take alms of those who work with joy.

“For if you bake bread with indifference, you bake a bitter bread that feeds but half of man’s hunger.”  p. 28.

“Much of your pain is self-chosen.

“It is the bitter potion by which the physician within you heals your sick self.”  p. 52.

I find this book to be a waste of time, all paradox and vagueness, though I do like these quotes.  Admittedly, some of the language is rather beautiful.  But, meh.  The last quote could have been an inspiration for my book.

So the two letters I sent to X have come back.  This is disappointing, but less so than believing that they had been delivered but not answered.  Back to square one.

I am not finding the Bullet Journal to be at all helpful so far.  It’s just extra work, which had been my initial thought about the method, now apparently confirmed by experience.  Part of the problem perhaps is that I don’t do some of the tasks that I set for myself, such as vacuuming.  So they just sit and sit on the Tasks list.  And part of the problem, a larger part I’d say, is that I’ve been sick since the 6th.

{2/2/20}  Weight 212.6 (I think); cherry pie diet.

{2/3/20}  Weight 211.6.  Being sick is a great aid to weight loss.  The cold or flu is definitely winding down, but is still not completely gone.

{2/4/20}  Weight 212.0.  I started the year at 217.8.

I dreamt this morning that I was setting up a web site for Bernie Sanders, but I ran into trouble because I didn’t know enough HTML.

{2/5/20}  Weight 210.8.  This is too easy.

Thoughts and dreams this morning, about old magazines I’ve sold for good money, what I might do when my brother dies (assuming he beats me to it), what I might do with a car, and other nonsense.

The State of the Union address yesterday was horrifying, but then, anything out of the mouth of the Bloatus would have been horrifying, even a resignation speech.

{2/6/20}  Weight 210.6.

Dreamt about a chess position.  Possibly, Homer Simpson was involved.

Shut Up and Write meeting this morning.  I’m going to fall back on typing the Prison Diary, or possibly trying the idea of taking a quote and reacting to it, for ASS.

{2/7/20}  Weight 212.8.  Overindulged in chips, hence, sodium.

Shut Up and Write was meaningless yesterday, but it’s good to get out of the house.  I spent half the time on Twitter.

I finished reading Lane Moore:  How to Be Alone:  If you Want to, and Even If You Don’t, the Katy-Perry-Firework of memoir-autobiographies (though it’s advertised as “essays”).  She tells of a truly horrifying childhood, living in her car fresh out of high school, struggling with poverty as she interns with The Onion, teaching herself to sing and succeeding with a band and as a standup comedian/enne, messy and unrewarding relationships, and continually beating herself up, while making it hilarious, touching, vulnerable, and, in the last essay, cheering.  It’s very personal, anything but abstract/
intellectual.

Culled from the Bullet Journal:

  • 2/4: I can’t take my ‘depression’ seriously because it’s not justified by my life, because it doesn’t last, and because I don’t deserve any better.  I don’t deserve joy.
  • 2/6: I’m carrying a fuckton of well-earned guilt.  What to do?

And noted while reading Moore:  I can improve myself for myself alone.  External validation is not necessary.

A disaster discovered:  the file of Collected Quotations I’ve been working with is an old version that I picked up somehow, probably from the generated list in Word.  It is now the only version I can find, so I’ve saved it over any and all other versions that might have been around.  The file is four months old, so any quotes I typed during those months are now gone.  That includes many, many quotes from I To Myself, which is selections from Thoreau’s journal.  This is disastrous, because I likely no longer have the scrap of paper on which I noted passages that I wanted to copy.  It was a lot of work that I will never repeat.

I may be able to recover the McGonigal quotes…yes, it’s in a separate document, “Willpower Quotes,” which also has Hari, Perls, and others.

In future, I think the thing to do is to never save over anything; that’s the only way I can thoughtlessly avoid this error in future.  It does mean, however, multiplying copies of all documents that I edit frequently.

Much gnashing of teeth.  I am reconstructing the “current” file from an “older” file, discovering much missing text; there’s still about 1500 words (less than 1%) missing from the “reconstructed” file compared to the “older” file; but in fact, the “current” file also has some new quotes not in the “older” file, so there is no simple description.  It’s coming down to a page-by-page comparison, very tedious.

{2/8/20}  Weight 211.8.

Watched The King of Masks last night, a sentimental tale of a lonely man, a street performer with a unique skill in old China.  This has been on my Top Ten list for many years, but then I haven’t updated that list since Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings.  It wouldn’t make the cut these days, given the Marvel phenomenon, but I enjoyed it very much.

“I don’t deserve joy”—I didn’t quite believe that when I wrote it, and I don’t really accept it now, but the proper assessment of the human species, and this particular example of it, are questions beyond my wisdom, perhaps beyond human wisdom.

Watching Now, Voyager this morning, intermittently, on TCM.  This movie has been at the top of my Top Ten list for just about ever—it meant much to me at one time and still does, because I identify strongly with ugly duckling Charlotte Vale who finds a kind of imperfect happiness.  Of course, Bette Davis, after her transformation, is beautiful, while I’ve never been much other than a garden gnome, a description that fits me now better than ever, so an imperfect happiness is the best I can hope for.  Because, unfortunately, I’ve many burned bridges behind me.

I’ve grown old watching this movie through the decades.  I just love Claude Rains in any role, too, and the soundtrack.  Above all, I’m a sucker for the “impossible love”—like Cyrano de Bergerac and the Beauty and the Beast (TV series).

Copyright 2020 by Alan Carl Nicoll
All Rights Reserved

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