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, 11/1 to 11/6/19

910 words so far this morning on The New Book. So far it is a “book” of “thinking on paper,” and so far it is thinking about weight loss. Obviously, I don’t intend and could not think about weight loss every day to the tune of a thousand words; it would be nice, but I don’t expect this, if I could “think on paper” each day, thinking about self-mastery, and so get my book written.

Diary, 10/20 to 10/31/19

Watched Big Fish last night and fell in love with it a second time, perhaps again especially because of Alison Lohman. But it is a magical movie done absolutely right. There are too few such movies; The Wizard of Oz comes to mind as a comparison, though Fish is more about relationships and communication than Oz’s outright fantasy. One thing I absolutely hated about Big Fish that would not occur to many people, I think: the hero “falls in love at first sight” and spends three years laboring to find out who she is. This is pathological, yet a commonplace of “romance,” truly terrible behavior made to look supremely attractive, a complete mischaracterization of “true love”...

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, 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, 6/23 to 6/27/19

Even as I think of saying, “The world doesn’t need more contenders,” etc., another voice pipes up: “So you’re content to waste your gifts.” No, I guess I’m not content, it’s probably accurate to say that I’ve never been content, with the possible exception of the time after I had decided that I wanted to be a novelist. I quickly discovered that what I really wanted was to have the perks without doing the work.

Diary, 6/19 to 6/22/19

So, am I going to commit to writing, or not? Turning Pro? I think that I must—I think I’m at a “make or break” point in my life, and must make something lest I break something. It seems most natural to start each day with diary writing, unless some day I wake with an urgent need to work on another project. Of course, it would be a mistake to allow myself to be distracted by the diary to the point that I never work on anything else.

Diary, 6/9 to 6/11/19

A dream: it’s Final Jeopardy, but the middle contestant says that he doesn’t have a pen. Alex Trebek springs into action, going behind the contestant’s kiosk (lectern?) and pulls things out from underneath, including a ring about as large as a soccer ball. I think that he’s looking for a pen, but apparently not: he then rolls the kiosk away to allow another to be brought in, and I am surprised...

Diary: 5/26 to 5/29/19

Two dreams last night: First, four invisible men attempting to track a woman in a large building. Eventually the woman goes outside and somehow acquires a man in a wheelchair, which she is pushing along the street. Two invisible men are following, trying to separate the woman from the wheelchair by tripping her or causing her to bump into one of the men.

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: 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, 2/9/19 to 3/7/19

A most pleasant surprise: Black Book, a WWII thriller with a stunning, charming, gutsy performance by 30-year-old beauty Carice van Houten. Very tense at times, with lots of twists and turns, lots of death, lots of bare bosoms. Good recreation of ’44 Holland. Happily, no concentration camps. Directed by Paul Voerhoeven of Starship Troopers … fame? I picked up this DVD somewhere cheap, perhaps the last library book sale. This one really got under my skin, well, she did, especially.

Diary, 1/26 to 1/28/19

Watched Bram Stoker’s Dracula, finally, a very ambitious attempt to make people forget the 1931 Bela Lugosi classic. Director Coppola took the only possible approach to such an attempt, going back to the original book and trying to bring the essence of that masterpiece to fire-breathing unlife. In this he was mostly successful, but some choices seem regrettably silly. The Videohound review at two bones is ridiculous, and the criticism of Winona Ryder’s performance as “way over the top” is even moreso...

Diary, 1/12 to 1/14/19

My Writers Writing work this morning was also disappointing. I spent a lot of time struggling with MS Word, and a lot of time struggling with my approach to the material. I was alternately judgmental and defensive, and not happy with either approach. While talking to Pablo later about it, I recognized that I can make no judgment of myself in the book. Too harsh would be as unsuitable as too lenient, while a just judgment is impossible to me. I must avoid all judgment—that’s the only reasonable approach. Let the reader decide, which of course they will do in any case. Indeed, I think it best, now, to make no mention of my nonjudgmentalness. At any rate, I am past that sticking point, I hope.