Diary, 1/16 to 1/22/2020

So, the Women’s March yesterday was a much bigger event than I had anticipated, given that my expectations were for a slightly larger Kavanaugh protest, the last (and first) such event I attended.  It turned out that there were many vendors set up in this park on 21st Street.  The hours from 10:00 to noon were devoted to speakers who were always wanting the crowd to chant or make noise, so that was pretty tiresome...

Diary, 11/20 to 12/1/19

A week of HBO and Cinemax and stuff.  Watched maybe the first half of Aquaman, and turned it off at that point because it was so awful.  The man himself is good, but the story just sucks.  I expect it will have its fans among the younger set, like thirteen-year-old boys.  But, seriously, drinking and driving?  Heavy drinking for amusement value?  No and No.  The CGI is overblown; Atlantis would have looked better if...

Diary, 8/26 to 8/31/19

Lying in bed this morning, I recalled the names of two of the Pathfinder characters I played, so, a bit of reminiscence:

My first character was Fonk, a big green barbarian (half-orc). It took me a couple of minutes to come up with the name, which troubled me for a while. He eventually had a returning javelin that could carry a spell. This character involves several poor choices—a barbarian is more complicated to play...

Diary, 8/18 to 8/25/19

Well, I started a Pathfinder Meetup and acquired a group member within the first hour. I doubt that J or Pablo will be interested. If I can get just two enthusiastic members, well, that’s two potential friends. I’ve also discovered just a ton of stuff on the Internet, no surprise. I haven’t found any online play yet, but surely it’s out there. I’m not sure that I want that, because I’d then want home Internet…well, I wouldn’t necessarily fall into the same black hole that I discovered previously, i.e., something like “all Twitter, all the time.” But the real point of Pathfinder is, as always, new potential friends. I wonder ...

Diary, 8/11 to 8/17/19

Morita Therapy advises, “do what needs doing.” In my case, that would be housework. Is housework self-actualizing? Is housework flying high? Do I have any excuse for not doing housework? Yes, it’s called “housework be damned.” Housework is not my goal, it’s other people’s goal. It’s society’s goal for me. I say this even though I value accomplished ...

Diary, 8/5 to 8/10/19

Last night I started reading Mark Epstein, M.D.: Thoughts Without a Thinker: Psychotherapy from a Buddhist Perspective. I was unpersuaded by the author’s delving into “the wheel of life” for insights into human psychology; what I saw was obscure metaphor after obscure metaphor, nothing I could use or even understand. Buddhism offers a way to escape the otherwise endless cycle of reincarnation...

Diary, 7/15 to 7/23/19

I’m thinking that the reading I do, which I called “sifting” a while back, mostly doesn’t stick except in the form of externalized memory. That is, I highlight in books and/or type out quotes in my Collected Quotations book, but I don’t often review these products. So I sift out the gems, but don’t make much use of them. I need to make more use of them. Then I won’t be feeling like I’m just wasting time. In fact, the process, which grew by itself, seems efficient...

Diary, 6/15 to 6/18/19

I read some of Georges Bataille: Visions of Excess last night. As I expected, it’s quite weird, but much of it was also dull and obscure. I most enjoyed the selection “Sacrificial Mutilation and the Severed Ear of Vincent Van Gogh.” It tells not only of the famous Van Gogh incident, but also of a man who chewed off his own index finger, persons who put out their own eyes, and of human and animal sacrifice generally. The stories...

Diary, 5/13 to 5/18/19

To do news the right way is expensive and produces little return for great effort. Who does it right? “Breaking news” typically comes from newspapers: the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, and so on. “Muckraking” comes from Mother Jones, The Nation, and others I don’t even know. Rachel Maddow and Chris Hayes on MS NBC are pretty good about coming up with stories that others haven’t covered. And, of course, there’s Democracy Now, which I watch almost every day.

Diary, 5/6 to 5/12/19

At the last Hemlock Club, J said he doesn’t want to play board games, though he made an exception for Scrabble, “because it’s educational.” He was distinctly lukewarm about spending more time together. Also, when I brought out the puzzle box, and talked about it, neither of the “Hems” were the least bit curious about it. Clearly, I have mistaken my friends.

Diary, 5/1 to 5/5/19

My grandmother (father’s mother) once bought me an LP record of Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique, which came as a surprise and puzzlement, since I had never heard of the composer or the work. I think that I had just “gotten into” classical music, and maybe didn’t even have another record of same.

Diary, 4/20 to 4/23/19

If the last chapter is “pungent,” which I doubt, the Prologue is something else—astonishing and touching. It tells of Emerson disinterring the corpse of his late wife, who had been seventeen at their engagement and twenty at her death, disinterring her after a year and two months of deep grief, in some Poe-esque kind of exorcism-gesture. I don’t know what to call it, but it was striking and weird.

My New Diary, 11/29/2018

What did I want to say about Natalie Goldberg and meditation? Not much; more along the lines of “I have a great intolerance for boredom.” If I rush from book to book, seeking I know not what, how much more do I rush from entertainment to entertainment. I find it easy to lie in bed and let my mind roam where it will, for up to an hour; when I am up and about (which in my case means sitting in my best chair with my feet up), I must be mentally active, even if that only means watching Democracy Now or some stupid movie, or flipping through the cable TV guide trying to find some diversion. This is time wasting…but now I’m so hungry that I must interrupt this entry.