Diary, 4/26 to 4/29/22: Rethinking Scott Ritter; server problem; dreams; Grace on YouTube; a popular blog post; sleep and melatonin; money; Doctor Faustus by Thomas Mann; boredom; a promise? Snap out of it!
Copyright 2022 (text only) by Alan Carl Nicoll
All Rights Reserved
The above photo from some years back shows, as most of her pictures do, the slope of her eyes: the outer corners are below the inner. Or perhaps it’s a trick; the lower lid is straight, the upper normally curved, but the peak of the curve is offset nose-ward rather than centered. Anyway, this adds considerably to the poignancy of her unhappy faces, and enhances the power of her smiles. The dazzling color doesn’t hurt, either.
Had some trouble getting web pages to load. I was in the middle of preparing a post for the blog, I opened a new tab to find a picture to include, when suddenly I kept getting the message “page cannot be loaded” or whatever. So I tried other pages, no luck. I tried the “Speedtest” app, which worked fine, showing a download speed of 200 kbps (I think it is), and so on. So I thought it might be MS Edge; I tried Firefox, got the same error message. I rebooted. I powered down and powered back up. Everything worked except that I couldn’t load web pages. So I went and watched TV and dozed for an hour, and now web pages work properly. My best guess now is that there was a problem with the server.
Watched another YouTube or two from Mckenna Grace. It wouldn’t be difficult to become obsessed with this natural, funny, adorable teen. This amusing “Secret Talent Test” video shows her, presumably, natural and “unscripted.” It seems that her years of acting experience allow her to be silly on camera without undue embarrassment. Of course, the video is edited, so anything too embarrassing would be cut. When talking about her music video yesterday, I didn’t mention that I like her voice and music very much and would buy a CD if it were available. I’m not saying that it’s anything “really special”; she has room to grow. I recall that I was super enthusiastic about Debbie Gibson a few decades ago, but totally forgot her after plunging on her first CD.
Four pages of dictation & cleanup. It would be nice if I could manage to do at least this much every day.
My latest blog post, titled “Scott Ritter on the Ukraine War,” has gotten seventeen views already today. It’s a pity that it’s mostly just a look at who he is, and a link to the video.
Worst night of sleep I’ve had in a long time, last night. I went to sleep at 10:30, woke around 1:00 am and couldn’t get back to sleep until after 2:00. Then awake again at 4:30 or so, and now it’s 5:15. Yikes. Of course, I’ll have a nap or two later, or perhaps go back to bed at sixish.
Forty-four views of my latest blog post, “Scott Ritter On the Ukraine War”—34 yesterday, 10 this morning. Most successful post ever—but only 3 “likes.” 63 views total for the two days so far.
Got paid today. Money has been tight, in part because I spent about $160 on books since last payday, and $78 at Wal-Mart, much of that for a blender. According to my spreadsheet, I have almost $400 “disposable” until next payday, but I need to get filters for my air purifier, $55.
I’ve started reading Doctor Faustus by Thomas Mann, which I got at the book sale on Monday. It’s pretty dull early on, devoting a chapter each to the father and mother of the eponym, and I think a chapter for the town he grows up in, etc. So, lots of description, little or no dialogue. We’ll see. I’m still plodding through Wittgenstein’s Philosophical Investigations and still enjoying the Highsmith.
But my days are dull because I’m not much interested in anything except sex; I have many unsexy DVDs recently acquired that I’m in no hurry to watch. I put on Puccini’s Fanciulla DVD last night but wandered off after the first act. That’s how it’s going. Maybe I should get more KenKen? I think I’m joking. The books I received from Thriftbooks yesterday included two that I should not have bought: Peterson’s Field Guide to Western Birds, the edition before the one I wanted, and Howard Zinn: Terrorism and War from 2002, pretty much “ancient history” now.
Well, I did go back to bed, and had a dream, of which I can remember mostly fragments: I was at a large gathering, like a restaurant perhaps, but most of the people seemed to be playing board or card games. I was with a woman who I didn’t know, and a male friend was also around. I think I had given her a cigarette, and I was smoking. She went off with the friend to play some game. She came back soon and I said “Back already?” I thought she had not had time to finish the game. Then the friend came back carrying a comically tall stack of game boxes, and on top was a silver laptop and it seemed very precarious. The woman thanked me for something (cigarette?) and said it was very good. It seems to me that I was anxious to make friends with her or to impress her or help her have a good time at the gathering, rather like with Hemlock Club meetings. That’s it.
Now it’s 8:24, so I suppose altogether I had a decent amount of sleep and will doubtless have a nap later. I’ll be doing some shopping today, and probably returning to the library book sale because it’s half-price day, and tomorrow will be taken by going to see Dr. Hill. I need multivitamins and have a long list somewhere of stuff and food that I want to get…
Activity continues high at the blog, with 20 views so far this early morning. Most of the viewers are from outside the U.S., and are arriving through search engines. Yesterday’s post has gotten 14 views today. This is cool but puzzling. Looks like I’ll want to include “Ukraine War” in the title of future posts.
Seventy-four views of that one stupid blog posting in three days, including ten this morning, with a “whopping” three likes. I won’t mention this again for a week, I promise; though I don’t promise not to break that promise. It’s very likely that a high number of hits will continue because the Ukraine war isn’t going away.
Had a waking-dream or something this morning; on waking I lay with my eyes closed, half-heartedly hoping to get back to sleep, when I began seeing things. I had an overhead view of a hospital situation—beds or gurneys with patients lying on them, or pieces of patients in a couple of cases. This was less disturbing than might be expected because I was enjoying the novelty of the process. There was more, and I tried to control the process, but it all soon was over and I can’t remember anything more.
At the library book sale yesterday I bought three things for seven bucks: Arthur Waley: Translations from the Chinese, the Rosetta Stone “Français” package, all five levels, and Bertrand Russell: The Conquest of Happiness, which I’ve previously read and mentioned here on 2/9/22 because I’d borrowed it from the library. I didn’t do anything with the library copy; now I can put it on the shelf and stop worrying about it, or continue the reading that I started on the bus home. The Rosetta Stone may end up either worthless or costing me more money (if I want to pursue it) because the system requires activation via the Internet and although the authentication card is included, it’s presumably been used. A cheap experiment at $2.50. No, of course I’m not going to learn French! But I have been curious about the famous Rosetta Stone system.
After some Internet this morning, now, again, no page loads. At least this time I know what to do: wait.
Browsing my blog this morning, I read a bit from early this month, again wringing my hands over “the end of civilization.” Despite the insight—Fritz Perls said that insight doesn’t really get you anywhere towards whatever “mental health” goal you’re seeking—despite the insight that my angst is “just like” the child learning that she will die, everybody dies, still the angst and low mood (“depression”) returns. Conclusion: snap out of it?
Had a good night’s sleep “for once”; two possible reasons: no real nap yesterday, and a new bottle of melatonin (5 mg., Nature’s Truth brand). And I had a dream:
The setting was a circus or something like it, and a woman was standing on an elevated platform, with a long pause to build the tension. Then she falls backward off the platform. Where she lands is hidden behind barriers, it’s like a deep pool. Then, within a minute, she’s up again, with all her arms and legs bandaged and splinted, a bandage around her head, possibly a body cast or brace. Ta da! Very silly for a circus act. Freud presumably would have said “wish fulfillment.”
Am I missing Pablo? Nope. I rarely think about him, with generally mixed feelings: not sorry that he’s out of my life, sorry that he will suffer and be apologetic and so on.
Today figures to be dull; what can I do about that? Go shopping! Wal-Mart! Yay. Or, maybe not.
Maybe I should read my own sources? The Wikipedia page on Scott Ritter reveals a problem: “Ritter was arrested again in November 2009 [ref omitted] over communications with a police decoy he met on an Internet chat site. Police said that he exposed himself, via a web camera, after the officer repeatedly identified himself as a 15-year-old girl. [Ref omitted] Ritter said in his own testimony during the trial that he believed the other party was an adult acting out her fantasy.” Now, anybody can be arrested, but he was convicted by a jury, and sentenced to four and a half years in prison, of which he served two.
I’m in no position to judge, but if anybody other than his doctor could talk him into exposing himself to a web cam for any reason, which he apparently doesn’t deny (!), I have to question his judgment, and thus, his credibility. Maybe he is a “useful idiot for Putin.”
Well. He damn sure is convincing when he talks about the Ukraine war, and he feeds right into my own prejudices and conclusions about U.S. foreign policy and government generally. There’s no doubt in my mind that our foreign policy is hypocritical and mostly ridiculous and has been for decades through multiple administrations, and if I were Putin, I’d be sweating bullets over the missiles we point at his country from Eastern Europe. But just because you’ve been banned from Twitter doesn’t mean you gain automatic credibility.
I do fear that, sooner or later, some hysterical Pentagon brass will talk some hysterical POTUS into pushing the button for a first strike. And I do fear that, sooner or later, Putin or some successor will make a mistake in judgment because we have kept him or her under intolerable pressure, or because he’s drunk again, or whatever, and launch what he thinks is a last-gasp counterstrike, or a first strike, and we’re all incinerated in an instant instead of choking on our own excrement along with ten billion other apes.
In other words, “the end is near.” I don’t write this blog to be optimistic—we have the Hallmark Channel and Presidents and MSM and so on to cheer us up.
And to think, I could have gone to Wal-Mart and spent money instead of doing the very little research I’ve done this morning. I’d be much happier if I had. Well, maybe a little happier.
Copyright 2022 (text only) by Alan Carl Nicoll
All Rights Reserved