Diary, 1/2 to 1/14/21

Copyright 2021 by Alan Carl Nicoll
All Rights Reserved

{1/2/21}  Weight 208.0 at 6:00 AM.  Erk.

A pleasant discovery:  the Ralph Nader Radio Hour podcast.

{1/3/21}  Weight 208.0 at 6:30 AM.  Disappointing.

“56 new billionaires since the pandemic began.”

Here’s how I feel, expressed on Twitter after listening to Keith Olbermann’s two-minute rant:  “Where is the outrage? Do Democrats have balls? Twelve Republican traitor-Senators should be staring down the barrel of twenty years in prison. Why am I not hearing the word “traitors” hourly on .@MSNBC as Dem after Dem is interviewed? Simply installing Biden is NOT ENOUGH!”

{1/4/21}  Weight 206.6 at 7:00 AM. 

I think I see what I must do.  In the evening, after dinner, reading becomes impossible because I will doze off multiple times in trying to read a single paragraph.  So last night I watched a movie, not wanting to sleep before going to bed, which usually ruins my night’s sleep.  The movie, The Avengers, helped me stay awake while entertaining me.  The fact I deplore is that I had spent the whole day on Twitter and watching news on TV and the like, thus producing nothing and advancing none of my stated goals.  The thing I should do is to start the day with work, leaving the TV off and staying away from the Internet.  In the evening I can then turn in contentment to these entertainments.  If nothing else, assuming I can and will do this, it will lead to a clearer view of my goals and what I’m willing to do to pursue them.

{1/5/21}  Weight 206.6 at 6:00 AM.

Dictated into the laptop a page of my prison diary.  It went well, surprisingly easy compared to typing.  Of course, I have an elaborate macro to clean up the produced text; without that, it would be tedious and about as much trouble as doing the typing.  One down and 1499 to go, more or less.

Watched Joker last night, a DVD that I bought at Wal-Mart for $13.  See 10/16/19 entry for a review, and 12/23/20 for my Amazon review, which I like better because it’s less negative (though also less interesting).

My blog passed 3,000 “hits” today.  Someone clicked on “I Am the World’s Worst Clown,” a chapter of Kick Me.  Curious about my own writing and what the visitor had seen, I took a look and ended up reading the whole chapter.  It was entertaining.

Called Social Security today and got through, eventually.  I will start receiving benefits in late February, three months after my release from prison.  December didn’t count because I was released on December 1st, kind of a kick in the nuts.  They don’t pay for the first month of eligibility (in my case, January); they pay for February on the fourth Wednesday of the month.  If I had been released twelve hours earlier, December would have counted, and I’d get paid for January.  I can’t appeal any of this.  Fuck Social Security for their insane rules.

I’ve been paying $1,200 a month for rent and back rent; I now have about $1,300 in the bank.  In other words, I won’t be paying $1,200 for February, but just the normal $800.  In addition, I owe for a month’s [Social Security] overpayment, and they’ll be taking part of my money to pay that off over time.  Since I cleverly didn’t think about the call before making it, I didn’t ask what the amount of my payment would be.  I am going to be hurting for almost two months, while owing around $12,000 (mostly to my so-far-patient landlord).  Even groceries will be problematic.  No more book buying!  Or anything buying.

Meanwhile the country is falling apart and dying.  For once, other countries are doing better than we are—because Trump, the insane clown criminal.   The current situation is so fraught and frankly terrifying that it’s impossible for me to turn away from news and Twitter.  I’m not sure that the swearing in of Biden will ease my anxiety much.  Given the chaos in the Pennsylvania Senate today, civil war is looking rather less unlikely.

{1/6/21}  Weight 207.4 at 6:15 AM.

Insurrection started today.  I would have missed it if I’d been following my impulse to work on converting my prison diary to computer text, as I’ve worked on the last two days.  This is big.  This is one time I don’t mind the “wall-to-wall” coverage of MSM.

Both MSNBC and CNN have called the traitors “protesters,” though CNN also called the event an “insurrection.”

{1/7/21}  Weight 208.8 at 4:45 AM.  Damn.

{1/8/21}  Weight 208.4 at 8:00 AM.

I slept from 11:00 PM until 8:00 this morning with one interruption.  Guess I was tired.

Long argument with Pablo on the phone last night over politics, specifically #Fraud-Squad and progressive versus corporate Democrats.

Also yesterday, I received a bill for $137,177.96 from Adventist Health White Memorial.  Medicare is shown on the bill as paying $0.00.  Presumably, Medicare will actually pay most of the bill, but between a deductible and more, I’ll be owing another $20,000 or so and approaching $35,000 total for all unpaid bills.  Unless the VA picks up some of this, I’ll be paying this off throughout the rest of my life.

{1/9/21}  Weight 208.6 at 4:30 AM.

I had thought of yesterday’s meals as a baseline for calories.  I had my normal breakfast of eggs on toast, for late lunch I had a liverwurst sandwich, and for dessert after each I had a Klondike bar.  This plus a bigger-than-usual defecation results in a slight gain.  Pretty disappointing, because I was expecting a small loss.  Of course, I stayed home all day and did nothing more challenging than washing a few dishes.

My response to a tweet:  “If the Trump-incited mob had burned down the Capitol with their molotovs, killed dozens with their pipe bombs, or kidnapped or shot members of Congress, would you still be bleating about censorship? How many need to die before you change your tune?”

The banning of the President from Twitter was essential, if regrettable.

{1/10/21}  Weight 207.6 at 6:45 AM.  Yay.

Marvel Studios has produced many highly entertaining thrillers; topping them all is the culminating two-part conclusion of the “MCU” series of twenty-odd films, Avengers:  Infinity War and Avengers:  Endgame.  “Tears and laughter” is an expression I sometimes use in reviewing movies, but missing from this formula is “thrills,” which is what these movies have in abundance.  I feel uninspired this morning, unable to do justice to AIW, which I watched again last night.  I was entertained as few movies have ever entertained me, but I think there is something deeper here than “mere entertainment,” to use another cliché.  The characters are like friends.

My diary entry of 10/8/18 is more succinct and is based on seeing AIW in the theater:  “Avengers: Infinity War is more than just a movie. It is the Wagnerian Ring of the Nibelung of our time. It is Proust’s Remembrance of Things Past. It is Picasso’s Guernica. It is a pinnacle experience that has such brilliant work in all the arts as to bestride like a colossus.”

In searching for my original review, I found the entry of 5/3/18, which has some of my best philosophizing.  I need to review my “essays” to see if I made use of these thoughts.  This reminds me again of the importance of getting my prison diary into the computer, and rereading the entire diary to make use of those years of effort.  It would be well, also, to turn my blog into a podcast.

Today is Sunday, and Sunday morning has KPFK radio (KPFK.org) full of “essential” listening:  Alan Watts, “Antiwar Radio,” “Economic Update,” Chris Hedges, and Ian Masters.  Possibly I left a couple out.  If I listen to these things, it will “eat up the day.”  Yet these shows seem important, and are certainly “important to me,” when I’m not feeling like I am this morning:  eager to get on to bigger things, such as writing, blogging, and podcasting.

What if I gave a podcast and nobody came?

The excellent thing about all these shows is that I don’t have to listen to them this morning—they will be available for sixty days on the station’s archive.

Losing weight has apparently “cured” my prediabetes, by which I mean that I can eat mass quantities of sugar and not experience the nerve twinges that I had been suffering a year ago.  I had heard of this “cure” and anticipated that it might work for me, but it’s only since losing more weight last year that I “succeeded.”

{1/11/21}  Weight 208.2 at about 6:30 AM.

Watched Captain Marvel again yesterday, with commercials, and enjoyed it a lot.  It seems that Starz shows only DC movies, not Marvel.  I’ll likely watch Avengers:  Endgame tonight on DVD.  This movie watching is an indulgence, but I feel kinda wrung out at the end of the day, so I indulge.  Watching the end of the world on TV encourages this.

{1/12/21}  Weight 208.4 at 6:00 AM.

Emails from Pablo so stupid and annoying that I had trouble getting to sleep last night.  I wasted an hour trying to make sense of them and respond sensibly.

Working on getting the prison diary into the computer and enjoying the process.

“Unhealthful for sensitive persons” air quality today, perhaps explaining my perpetually runny nose and relentless eye irritation.  I sprang into action to buy filter replacements for my air purifier.  It’s supposed to arrive in two days.  I wish it were as easy to get back my specialized keyboard assignments, which I seem to lose every time I do something with a Word template.

Going to watch Avengers:  Endgame this evening.

{1/13/21}  Weight 208.4 at 6:00 AM.

{1/14/21}  Weight 208.2 at 5:30 AM.

Watched the DVD of Lucy (from Luc Besson) last night and was dazzled by it.  The science is preposterous (because I reject the thought that “we use only 10% of our mental capacity”) but I was more than willing to suspend disbelief.  Videohound gives it a ridiculous 2½ bones.  It’s as entertaining as hell while being a moderate thought-provoker.

Feeling very much that I need to focus on work (or “work”) and stop consuming so much news and political opinion.  What I’ve been doing both frustrates my “self-actualization need” and tends to depress me.

The “work” currently consists of dictating my prison diary and reading Maslow’s Motivation and Personality, both as preparation for my eventual podcast.  When I’ve finished with the Maslow—which was more interesting than I had expected—I’ll want to review the three books (Hari, McGonigal, and Carroll) and write a script.

I suppose the podcast will turn out to be a pipe dream (I know it’s a cliché, but I can’t think of a better way to say it); a surprising success is my lists on Twitter, which are attracting handfuls of followers.  The “Philosophers” list has 42 followers.  “Ancient Egypt” has only 5, but I created it just yesterday.  These aren’t translating into Twitter followers, however.

The events of 1/6 and after are alarming and ominous, respectively.  The vile repugliKKKans are revealed to be suicidally power-mad or just insane—there is no way for them to win, because a Hitler-like “win” will be a totally disastrous loss for everyone.  It’s the drowning miser clutching his gold.

We will get business-as-usual from Biden/Harris; if you think that’s good, shame on you.

I posted most of the above two paragraphs as Tweets.

I just now read my essay, “On Reading Charles Bukowski” on my blog site and found it quite as entertaining and interesting as anyone else’s essays.  I posted it in 2018.  I should have submitted it for publication somewhere, and so started “collecting rejection slips,” as a writing teacher at U. C. Irvine suggested I do.

Just before that I read the diary entry 1/11/19, curious why a visitor to the blog had landed there.  It’s interesting, a consideration of the muddle-headed versus simple-minded types, and comparing that to James’s tough-minded versus tender-minded distinction.

So, now we have another day to get through.

Read my “What is it Like to Be Me:  Philosophical Musings,” on my blog.  Really very good, I think.

Copyright 2021 by Alan Carl Nicoll
All Rights Reserved

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