Diary, 1/22 to 1/31/20

Yesterday was unforgettable.  In the morning I ate at Lorene’s, not wanting to take the time to go to Macdonald’s, and not wanting to get that much sodium after yesterday’s high dose.  Then, walking towards Dagny’s for Shut Up and Write, I saw a well-built black man running along 20th Street in my direction.  I paused to let him pass, but he didn’t run past—instead, he punched me in the face while speaking loudly to me, words that made little impression.  I turned away...

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, 1/5 to 1/15/2020

I see here “Lisa Simpson observing the conjunction of the moon and Venus.”  I have subsequently realized that the moon is facing the wrong direction; that is, instead of “C” it should be “Ɔ”.  This “spooky” coincidence is the most surprising and remarkable I’ve ever experienced, I believe.  I see or assign no particular meaning to this “synchronicity.”

Diary, 12/12 to 12/20/19

Everywhere I turn today, it’s horrifying.  I mean the news, Twitter, and Z Magazine.  I’m finding it difficult to be specific, but the sense of dread regarding the 2020 election is pretty overwhelming, and the recent new projections of global warming are devastating.  The ignorance and befuddlement of the American people, fueled by religion, Russia, Trump repuglikkkans, corporate media...

Diary, 12/1 to 12/11/19

A bleak morning, thinking of the role the United States has taken in the world throughout my lifetime and before.  Thinking of the role the greedy rich have taken in the United States throughout my lifetime.  Thinking of the ineffectual Democratic Presidents, the hope-betrayers...

Diary, 10/7 to 10/19/19, biggest post ever

Lay in bed this morning half asleep, turning over in my mind several words: acicular, acuminate, corm, carom, and maybe some others. Oh, yeah, crom, which comes from Conan the Barbarian. I looked it up; under cromlech, I found that crom is Welsh for bent or crooked. On looking in the Scrabble dictionary, I found, to my surprise, many words beginning with bh…; the only one I’d seen before was bhakti. I think there’s a book by Joseph Campbell titled Bhakti and Baksheesh, about his time in India. I think I owned a copy for a while, started reading it, and gave it up...

Diary, 9/30 to 10/6/19

My recent episodes of binge eating and my reading of The Willpower Instinct suggest that I’m having willpower (“wp”) troubles. The thing is, I’ve been very good about some wp challenges, such as controlling my food shopping (except recently!) regarding sugar and sodium, and not overspending on books—always at best a partial success, and often a partial failure. So, I really need to work on the wp problem, and I think the easy solution, or better, the first easy test, is exercise. That, and continue focusing on cutting down sugar in my diet: no more binges (which always involve sugar), no more chocolate cream pie at Lorene’s, and keep my food shopping under control.

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, 7/24 to 7/31/19

I’ve been reading Richard Rorty: Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature, which I think of as “my next step in philosophy.” I read this once before with the feeling that it was rather over my head, and have occasionally reviewed my typed quotes. But the “Introduction” by Michael Williams seems very comprehensible and persuasive—if I can keep its lessons in mind, probably by periodic reviews, I can pretty much let the sticky parts go.

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, 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, 5/1 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, 4/27 to 4/30/2019

So I went to Reading Cinema to see Avengers: Endgame. I wanted to see it in IMAX, so I arrived an hour early in the hope of getting a decent seat. I ended up in “row B,” which is not decent seating, though it was passable. Before the show I sat at a table in the lobby and got into conversation with one “Pablo,” an old guy also attending solo. I’ll call him “Pablo2.” We agreed on just about all things Marvel, and in talking about Avengers: Infinity War I had a brainstorm and said, “Thanos could have just doubled the number of planets.” Pablo2 thought this a brilliant idea that he hadn’t heard anywhere before. I don’t know about that…it seemed pretty obvious (though it took me a year to come up with it, I suppose). We agreed to meet at the table after the movie.

Diary: 3/24 to 4/1/19

After listening to twenty minutes of discussion on Thom Hartmann’s program about Joe Biden’s behavior towards the woman who has come forward to complain, here’s the point that I haven’t heard made: Where has this fool been, that he is so out of touch with feminist opinion? If he had any sensitivity toward the man-woman issue, he would have stopped that hands-on business decades ago. That he needs to be educated now, after a lifetime in the Democratic Party, speaks volumes to me. Patriarchy runs in his veins, it seems, and so he is the last candidate we need now.

Diary, 12/30/18 to 1/1/19 & Free Book Offer

Reading Janet Malcolm: The Silent Woman: Sylvia Plath & Ted Hughes, Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 1994, hc. This is a book that I had taken to Dagny’s as a donation, never having read it (though I might have started it), then, on a later day, I retrieved it. It’s peculiar, as much about the writing of the book as it is about Plath & Hughes. Correction: about the researching, nothing about writing. Now, halfway through, I quite like it, and last night I even read three of Plath’s poems, the first three of Ariel. Her poems are like tea leaves...

My Diary, 12/23 to 12/26/18

There are some thoughts that are too horrible to be written down or even described. Some such thoughts came to me between 4:30 and 5:15 am this morning, thus I have no hope of getting back to sleep before I have to leave for the Hemlock Club at 9:00. Thus I again recognize my complete inability to control my own mind. At this moment, “free will” is (again) revealed to be a joke, an impossibility. This fact seems so certain and indubitable right now that I am forced to wonder why anyone ever believed in such a thing.

My Diary, 12/19 to 12/22/18

Writers Writing this morning was just me, finishing my first complete read-through/edit of my book-in-progress, Kick Me: A Lifetime of Humiliations. An easy milestone, but an important one. Next step is to edit the computer file, which will be harder and more labor-intensive. I’m hoping that that will be “enough,” but of course I’ll want at least one more reading before I’m done. It would help to get an impartial reader…