High Hopes: Diary, 2/28 to 3/4/21

Copyright 2021 by Alan Carl Nicoll
All Rights Reserved

“Today’s desktop” (5/2/18)

{2/28/21}  Weight 209.4 at 6:15 am.

It turns out that I have already completed, and had completely forgotten, “my philosophical project,” titled “The Bleak Philosophy:  A Preliminary Sketch.”

Paranormal Activity 4:  I’ve seen it all before.  Absolutely nothing new here, a completely unrewarding, unchallenging, unnecessary experience.  Kathryn Newton, however, is a very appealing and attractive teenager.

{3/1/21}  Weight 210.0 at 7:00 am.

{3/2/21}  Weight 209.6 at 5:45 am.  And I ate pizza for dinner, usually a bad thing.

Hemlock Club met on 2/28, an hour late (I was the earliest but also late), Nog and Pablo and I attending.  Much of the time was, for me, wasted by a discussion of The Lazarus Effect, which Nog had borrowed from Pablo, and Bible Codes, but Nog pleasantly surprised me by mentioning, and listing, Aristotle’s four categories of causation.  He also talked about the “water crystals” of Dr. Masuru Imoto, the Essene “gospel of peace,” Heraclitus, and some kind of party game (I guess) which is worth a description.  You have a small group of people, and each one in turn leaves the group to allow the rest to decide on one word to describe the absent member; when the member returns, that word is written on their forehead, but the member is not informed of the word.  I said that this would be a good idea for a short story or a scene in a novel, because it would lead to revelations about each group member, such as had been done in several movies.  A high level of trust would be required.

The Lazarus Effect is about prophecy and prayer.  I briefly related the story of Croesus and his consulting the oracle of Delphi, as described in Herodotus, and I prophesied the end of humanity:  “ten billion apes buried in their own excrement.”  Pablo said something about borrowed books that don’t get returned (for which he is notorious) and being interrupted while speaking (which frequently happens to him), provoking me into saying that “You never get to the point.”  We agreed to meet for a second time at Café Smitten instead of our usual Dagny’s.

Pablo came by yesterday, and of course we argued.  I said insulting things to him and he said insulting things to me.  I told him that he was filling his head with nonsense.  He said I was another L (our Holocaust denier); my comment was accurate, his was not.  What else is new?

I’m blowing a lot of time on Twitter recently, and not doing much book-reading.  I’d best reverse this trend.  Back to Wittgenstein.  More writing would also be good, even just diary stuff.

If I wanted to resurrect the Seff novel, would it be better as a “found” diary?  That would certainly give me the freedom to be completely self-indulgent, which I want and don’t want.  On the other hand, if I live long enough, I could write that novel, thus (hopefully) getting it out of my system, so I could move on to another novel.  Just because I write it doesn’t mean I have to publish it.  Of course, I already have plenty on my plate, if I want work to do.

I’m great at asking, what is the practical value to me?  Shouldn’t I ask this about the Wittgenstein?  Or even Rorty?  If I am going antiphilosophy, why would I read philosophy?  Of course, these guys are in the antiphilosophy camp, more or less; and my mind isn’t really made up on the question; so there’s that practical value, helping me decide.  But:  if I don’t decide, what difference would that make?  With whom can I discuss philosophy, much less antiphilosophy?  I do know of at least one philosophy discussion web site, of which I make no use whatsoever.  Isn’t this what I long for?  To what end?  No end, just endertainment.  I’ll consider it.

I’m sending a letter to X as follows, omitting normal salutation & signature (slashes indicate line breaks): [letter text omitted; I may provide it some day]

I’m just sending him the letter that I sent him on 9/2/2019, seeing no need to write it again.  It seems to me that it gets the job done as efficiently as I could desire.  [that letter was never delivered, the address was out-of-date.]

{3/3/21}  Weight 209.8 at 5:50 am.  BP 124/76, checked twice.

Tinnitus worse this morning, but it is tolerable.  Now I’m thinking that it could be a drug side effect, because it was not a problem before December 1st, and now it is.

Last night I read my rambling “essay,” “What is it Like to Be Me?”  Today, browsing in this diary, I found some good stuff on the same subject, at 2/23/20, where I review Chater’s book, The Mind is Flat.  Specifically, the idea that, when trying to decide “Who am I?” we clutch at specific memories, like straws in a hurricane, and are content (but not really).  So?

I have to go out today to mail letters and buy groceries.  I have neglected groceries for two days, and so I don’t have good choices for breakfast, which is not really true.

Yesterday was bad.  I got five letters full of disappointments—specifically, Social Security and Medicare have done nothing on my issues.  What’s the worst that can happen?  I won’t get my $800 back from SS; my medical bills will go to collection agencies, who will send me dire letters and I suppose make threatening phone calls, but being poor, I am virtually invulnerable.  At worst, some judge can decide to carve out a percentage of my income to pay to creditors while I struggle to pay my back rent (which Bob doesn’t even seem to care about—I guess he’s mentally written it off).  The past couple of months have shown me that I can survive essentially on EBT (“food stamps”).  Anyway, I have to file appeals in response to these letters, and wait another month, or who knows how long, to get responses—responses that will be ridiculous, probably.  Sometimes one does get more than one expects, as happened with EBT.  I guess I’ll just have to assume that these agencies (i.e., people) have been so corrupted and damaged by lack of funding and class war (Republicanism) that they no longer give a fuck.  Unfortunately, I see that Nordstrom’s may do the same thing, i.e., delay getting me my $1,000 until I’ve gone mad.

{3/4/21}  Weight 210.0 at 6:20 am.

Despite writing a note to myself to exercise, I have not.  Amazing.  [Written with an eye-roll.]

I found “windows idiocy czar” in my dictation; on the handwritten page it was “when those idiocies are.”  Pretty funny, but it’s also a lot of work to correct dictation.

Starting to watch The House with the Clock in the Walls and loving Cate Blanchett, though the movie not so much.  The Frighteners is on in about an hour, I’ll likely switch to that.  I’m also bingeing on cookies, having made the “mistake” of buying a bunch yesterday.  I’ll have a significant gain before they’re all gone, and I don’t really care because.

The movie urges me again to consider fiction writing.  I’m going to give it a go, because TV just isn’t getting it, and maybe I can come up with something that will be fun to write.  I resist the urge to put that exclamation into boldface.

I’ll start by reviewing my 100 Ideas notebook.  Though, come to think, if I want to write just entertainment, why not Hap?  Or Granny Jan and Alberto?  Can’t recall if that one had a title, surely I had a working title—was that “just entertainment”?  Maybe I should just start by reading the existing stuff.  But what’s most important?

Watched The Frighteners, a wild, impressive, finally over-the-top and excessive ghost story reminiscent of Ghostbusters.  Michael J. Fox looks a lot like Tom Cruise in this.  A lot of fun if you don’t take it too seriously.  Now on to Ouija, primarily for Olivia Cooke—can’t get enough of that girl.  Loved her in Bates Motel, a very cool series based on Hitchcock’s Psycho.  I’ve seen parts of Ouija before, never watched it from the start.  I recall it being disappointing, so I may not stay up ’til midnight to see the end.  The start is somber and dark and rather impressive, except for the cheap jump scares.

Got the email from Nordstrom’s, they’re returning the whole $1,000. So, a good turn, though all it does it get me back my own money–it’s just a bullet dodged.

So, a new direction, if I decide to stick with it: less philosophy reading, beginning work on a novel “to entertain myself.” I’ve never tried this before, so I have unrealistic high hopes.

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