First thoughts…

229.8

… i am in a run where 6 to 6 ½ hours of sleep is sufficient… at some point i will need more, but for now, it’s good… i like getting up a little earlier… being at my desk by 4 AM…

… hotel bookings for the trip to Florida are complete… we found a cheap Red Roof Inn room in Savanah Georgia and booked it for two nights on the way back so we have a chance to see a little something of the city… looking forward to that…

… looking forward to visiting M except that i am increasingly anxious and angry about efforts of the far right to undermine democracy… lots of news stories yesterday proclaiming we are nearing the “break glass in case of emergency” point… some are saying we are past that… returning to M, as far as i can tell, they get their information entirely, or almost entirely from Fox News… i won’t be able to have a conversation with anyone who gets their information solely from Fox… most of my knowledge of the news comes from reading and i have both liberal and conservative sources…

… made a delicious mushroom cream soup last night… it turns out to be H’s favorite…

… after dinner we watched LoveHard and agreed it gets added to the Christmas rotation… it’s plot is predictable, it spoofs Love Actually a bit and is not as good, but, in the end, a satisfying Christmas romcom… i told H i was feeling a jones to watch Lars and the Real Girl and Hugo… she agreed with Hugo, was skeptical about LATRG as Christmas fare…

First thoughts…

… morning did not start well… very depressing post from Heather Cox Richardson, stopping just short of saying Democracy is dead in the United States… the urgency to protect Democracy that should be there, just isn’t… she quotes someone or writes that we need to imagine what actions are needed in a break the glass emergency… Democrats are faltering in a crucial moment… will they kill the filibuster and pass voting rights legislation?…

… and then there is this image from Representative Thomas Massie, ®KY:

… in what world, on what planet, is this an acceptable way to celebrate this Christmas Holiday?… i am not Christian, but i always thought this holiday was about peace and good will towards humankind?… no more…

… the best i have been able to do on break the glass planning is to consider how i might leave the country… immigrate just over the border to Canada, or something…

… i calmly think, ok, there is one voter in my life that i might have a chance to turn… how many of us turning one voter away from the authoritarian march would it take to halt the march?… not that many… so… i must try… but how to do it?… it largely consists in turning that person away from Fox News… i wonder if i can have a conversation with them that asks the question, what are you afraid of?…

First thoughts…

230.0

… i am up at 2:30 AM for the bathroom… back to bed… up again at 4:30 AM… a brief check of FB for comments on my post about our first viewing of Love Actually this holiday season… two comments about the same thing… i omitted a hyphen which transformed a comment centered around my second wife into a comment centered around my first wife… the first one to call it out was B, who rarely comments on anything i post… i am slightly annoyed because i think it slightly obnoxious… the second one is a pile on to B’s comment from an acquaintance who also happens to be a word nerd… both are annoying as they bypass the sentiment of the post and go straight to demonstrating how smart they are and (by inference) i am not… except their emotional intelligence is sadly lacking… everyone else ignored, if they even noticed, and dove into the spirit of the post… the hyphen comments have me thinking a little about my first wife and, for some reason, about the abortion we got when we were married… it was a sad day for us… i believe she came to blame me for it… for all kinds of things in the end… i hope she is doing well and found happiness… i have…

… i had a quasi productive day… things didn’t go together the way i hoped and i wound up with a couple of hours of unproductive time in the late afternoon… H needed some cookie tins, we went looking for them at Michael’s… didn’t find them… went to Adams… came home… i also wound up having to invest time in reprogramming my smart fixtures into smart home because it came undone for reasons i don’t quite understand, except an update to the app disconnected me from my account and i had no record of my account in my password app, so, new account requiring that fixtures be reconnected… the upside is that we are one or two lightbulbs short of having the basement lights on voice command… new bulbs are arriving today, along with a new dimmer switch for the dining room which will, i hope, put the dining room on voice command…

… a moment to get my studio lighting reconnected…

… HCR took the night off… on the politics side of things, a comment by Donny Deutsch on the Nicolle Wallace show has been spinning around in my mind… he did an informal survey of the crowd he travels with and discovered that they are not concerned with wether democracy lives or dies, only with how one thing or another hurts or helps them economically… DD travels with the wealthy, so, we know where the wealthy stand… the problem is, i don’t think enough of the rest of us who should care really think there is a major threat to democracy in this country… they either don’t believe it, are sticking their heads in the sand because it is too difficult to contemplate, or, they are part of the 25%-35% of us that think oligarchic/authoritarian/fascist government is what protects their interests and beliefs the best… it should be noted that this is largely the white patriarchal crowd…

… as i read DD’s Wikipedia article i wonder if the man can possibly be in touch with any kind of reality the majority of us live with… i agree with his views generally… at least the ones i know about… but it makes me mindful of “the club” of the wealthy that has a lot to say about how things will go in this country…

First Thoughts…

229.4

… when i weighed myself this morning i thought, we had soup for dinner last night… left over turkey soup… i thought, hmmm, soup, a good way to eat lightly for dinner, maybe i will develop my soup chops this winter… there is lots of variety and one can make lovely stocks to be the base of them…

… our new suitcases arrived yesterday… they seem like the perfect things… now we just need to be able to distinguish them… color coded luggage tags?…

… i listened to podcasts on the way up and back from Woodstock yesterday… one from Believer magazine and one from OnBeing, Krista Tippet’s production which used to be, Speaking of Faith… i have begun to dislike KT… i used to love her, but there is a kind of arrogance that has crept into her work… she has developed herself as a nexus of human wisdom and seems more caught up in that exalted position than in delivering meaningful understandings to people…

… the podcast i was listening to was positing that the key to wellness, planetary and otherwise, was to transform our hatred into love… i thought to myself, John Lennon had that astute observation decades ago, and of course, the New Testament teaches one to love their neighbors as themselves… the two guests on the program, one the Surgeon General of the United States, the other a neurologist and psychologist/psychiatrist… the program came across as a sort of new age babble that appeals to a well off and elitist sort of crowd but is a bunch of meaningless platitudes and politeness being offered up… all this new agey thinking and what does the world have to show for it?… right now, everything looks to be going to “hell in a hand basket” if i may appropriate a cliche… there is so much anger, resentment and outright hatred in the US alone… no wellness guru/program is remotely making a dent in it…

… the question is, how do you make a dent in it?… the people that presently matter… the people with power… don’t seem to give a damn so long as their wealth and power continues to accumulate…

… i have the impression of a volcano getting ready to blow… is it really that it must blow?… that thousands, hundreds of thousands, millions of people must perish before there is any kind of coming to the senses?… is this the only way to break the white euro-patriarchy (or establish it hegemony once and for all)?… how do we kill the euro-patriarchal beast once and for all?… i am afraid we will find out in the coming three years… why are we unable to stop raping and pillaging the planet and its peoples?… is it really as bad as it looks?…

… just now, the thought comes to me… we are looking at a world built on the mythology of mountain climbing… the mythic ideal of human success built around conquering mountains (literal and figurative) and then dismantling them for their raw materials and starting the next higher climb… i have written before that this is one mythic model that humanity follows… is is the one western civilization is built on… it operates on the principle of unending growth, the greedy and often violent appropriation of resources and the literal or virtual enslavement of people to extract, move and process those raw materials…

… another mythic principle we could operate on is the tail devouring snake… the ouroboros… the tail devouring snake… the ouroboros model is one of the continuous replenishing cycle of, birth, life, death, birth, life, death… a continuous cycle of consumption and replenishment… the ouroboric system is one of local economies, living in mutually beneficial relationship to the land and to other people…

… the odd thing is, we know we have lost our way, but we can’t help ourselves… something there is about a human being that doesn’t love regenerative cycles… we wish, above all other wishes, to escape them… prefers… prefers baubles, bangles, and power…

… and yet… and yet…

… i have the nagging feeling that humanity is inconsequential to the plans the cosmos has for intelligence… that we are a way station on the journey to some higher form of being… fodder really… some alternative and superseding intelligence… is that possible?… is my despair one that is trapped in the limitations of my species?… is it possible for me to understand what comes next as it may well be a level of intelligence that i can’t know, being composed of the billions of minds slinking around the planet?… is it that the choice is between annihilation and subsumption which is itself a kind of annihilation?… whither humanity?…

First Thoughts…

… our evening came to an abrupt end last night when, as H put it, a puff of wind came through and knocked out the power… we scrambled around a bit reorienting ourselves… i replaced the battery in the gas fire stove, found the camp lantern and determined it’s battery was not dead and thought to myself that i needed to do an inventory of preparedness for storm outages…

… when i got up this morning the lights were on again… the oven clock showed the power had been out for only 15 minutes… but not sure how that could have been… H came to bed saying the gas stove was not reigniting as i had hoped it would… it is our heat source when the power fails… it is our main heat source for most of the winter…

… this morning i will drive up to CPW to help them pack… they are moving from Woodstock to Kingston… one wonders if they will have to change their name as a result… i will work for about five hours helping them pack boxes and earn some credit towards future programming…

… the coffee tastes good this morning… it doesn’t always… more the result of a variability in my taste bud’s willingness to receive coffee than a variability in the coffee itself, which is made the same way with the same beans every morning…

… our new luggage system will arrive today… a couple of carry on bags from Timbuk2 and a couple of waterproof duffle bags from Mies for the top of the car… this should be enough capacity to get us to Florida and back with dogs and crates in the car…

… i miss some of the features of Feedly, one of them being the ability to set up boards around topic interest… but then i realize i can do that by clipping to Evernote and poof… desire met… i have been using Evernote practically from the day it arrived on the app scene… nothing has come close to replacing it… it’s had its ups and downs… but it has been reliable and the ability to have a clip shortcut on the browser tool bar is everything…

First Thoughts

Recently, Salon columnist Chauncey DeVega conducted an interview with Miles Taylor, the chief of staff to Trump’s Homeland Security secretary Kirstjen Nielsen who published a New York Times op-ed in 2018 as “Anonymous” claiming that he was part of a resistance movement in the Trump White House. Taylor told DeVega that Republican congresspeople are worried they will be attacked if they cross Trump. “I’m talking about former Cabinet secretaries, sitting members of Congress and others who personally confessed to me, ‘I don’t think I can join you in rising up against this guy because I’ve got to worry about my family’s safety.’” Taylor said. “I didn’t anticipate how much I was going to hear that as a response. They would say to me, “Look, I’ve got kids and this is too crazy right now.”1

HCR meter turned decidedly downward… the only thing that matters right now is passing voting rights legislation which, as far as she and i can tell, is on the back burner… the day is rapidly approaching beyond which it will be too late… that the Democrats can’t get their shit together to do the one thing that will preserve democracy and make anything else they want to do possible is utterly tragic… Rome is burning and even they are fiddling…

… i keep thinking about M’s belief that the insurrection wasn’t an insurrection… it makes me so angry because i know how uninformed they are about what is going down in the country because i know they principally watch Fox news… i am in despair about it because i love them and because they are representative of the damage Fox news has done in this country…

… i also marvel at this country’s inability to hold anyone significant accountable for misdeeds… it is beyond comprehension that our system should be so weak as to be incapable in this regard… was it ever strong enough?… or did it depend on the good will of it’s citizens to keep the rails up… and now they are divided and unable to do so…

… signs of the growing threat of authoritarian/fascist rule… a patriotic and militaristic mural painted on the side of a county building to honor veterans on veterans day… this year’s Christmas tree lighting ceremony opened with the National Anthem and closed with God Bless America… neither of these things have happened before during the 15 years we have lived here… my perception is they are happening now because of the growing threat from the right…

… i really dislike starting the day with these thoughts and feelings churning around in my mind… i would prefer something more optimistic…


  1. Richardson, Heather Cox, Letters from an American, November 29, 2021 [return]

First Thoughts

… long conversation with H at breakfast yesterday… went down a rabbit hole about their relationship with siblings and whether they wanted to see their brother while he was on the east coast… got in the middle of something i didn’t want to be in the middle of… the conversation so long and wide ranging that the day was permanently reorganized and no writing or photo editing was done…

… a bunch of grocery shopping followed, and then a couple of hours just hanging out waiting to do chicken chores because i wasn’t in the mood to do writing, reading or photography… once the chickens were tended to, i got us both a glass of whisky and more laying around and watching TV ensued… then dinner, which was a hamburger with bacon, swiss cheese and onion… no sides, that was it…

… today i will roast a turkey and we will have our second turkey day… H likes, especially, to have turkey leftovers for sandwiches etc…

… we have started to prep for the trip to Florida to see M… working out strategies for loading the car… ordering new suitcases… H got a couple of Timbuk2 roller bags for us… trying to decide if we should get a clamshell for top of car, or if we can even afford one… i had wanted something that wasn’t a big process to get in and out of… we are going to have to be very compact or we will need the shell… and can we even get it in time anymore?…

… continue to be in a pretty good mood… holiday spirit and all that…

… realize that i haven’t had notification of S’s fruitcakes available for purchase… hoping it is not too late…

… HCR about the Ahmaud Arbery case… how justice was done in this instance, but about how close it came to justice not being done… it was one of the accused that made and then released a video, believing it exonerated the three of them… it was what finally brought the case out in the open and ensured prosecution… one moment of justice in a sea of injustice…

… this makes me think about my feeling that we are still a long way from justice on 45’s shenanigans and my despair about ever getting there…

First Thoughts, remembering Thanksgiving…

… a good Thanksgiving… in attendance, H and me, M, L, S, B, J, M, W, G, and L, a friend of B’s(?)… L is a star of the afternoon show… vivacious, outgoing, attractive… we learn later in the evening that they are gay and recently out of a relationship that, i surmise, didn’t end well… L and B have a very warm connection to one another and spend part of the afternoon rendering show tunes, mostly from Rent… in fact, show tunes figure prominently throughout the afternoon…

… we brought the dogs with us but had to leave them crated in the car as no pets were allowed in the rental house… the dogs were very cooperative though not entirely happy about the situation… we did find out that they will stay nicely in the crates in the car for extended periods of time which might be useful Christmas Eve in Florida when we are scheduled to go out to dinner…

… L brought herbs they grew in their garden and everyone got some…

… i find out M is concerned about extremism (on both sides) but believes the population in the middle will get things back on the middle track… this conversation comes up as the result of their statement about how scary The Sound of Music was to them… M is Jewish and TSOM is about a Jewish family escaping Nazi Germany just before they are hauled off to a concentration camp… i asked M if they worried about fascism in this country which is when the middle-will-rescue-us thought was expressed… i think that would be true if the voting machinery wasn’t being bent to favor the extremist right… i think there is a very strong possibility for an authoritarian government to arise, possibly even fascist… the extreme right which is currently stacking the voting deck is, in significant portion, a white supremacist extreme right…

… the food was the standard American Thanksgiving fair and possibly a little less well prepared than in years past, but we were in a rented house and so not in anyone’s natural cooking environment… it was good enough… there was turkey of course, mashed potato, mashed sweet potato, rutabaga (i think), bread stuffing, sautéed fennel and leaks, green beans almandine, brussels sprouts with pomegranate, gravy… for desert, pumpkin, apple and pecan pies… i found myself wishing for some vanilla ice cream to go with the pumpkin pie i had…

… M wanted us to do a recognition of the fact that the land we were currently having our dinner on was originally Native American land and taken from them by the European settlers… i had mixed emotions about it… land has been ceded by weaker populations to stronger populations since the beginning of time, and i am not only talking about people… as Bertrand Russel once said, the goal of every living thing is to turn as much of the planet into itself as possible… my broad view is that the Euro descendent white patriarchy sucks and that the sooner we kill it and bring forth the multiarchy the better… M reminds me of J… so in earnest…

… i managed to escape a big weight gain, partly because i had no alcohol (i had to drive us back) and partly because i took small portions of everything and didn’t have seconds of anything, though i did have way more cheese, pate and crackers than i should have before dinner…

… i got very tired during the afternoon… to the point i could barely think straight and had trouble remembering the names of the most common things i might be talking about… later, when we were home and i had a brief cat nap, my lucidity came back to me… will have to remember to sneak off and do a quick nap in future… i found myself wondering if Prevagen, an over the counter product marketed as a brain function enhancer, works and whether i should try it… i don’t generally have trouble with my memory early in the day, so i am thinking it really is a function of being tired to the point of not remembering things…

… during the day i find myself wondering if S has a drinking problem and B is a little too fond of L…

… a slightly awkward conversation with M who wanted to know what H and I thought of Dia Beacon… they apparently went their and found it didn’t do a very good job of making the art “user friendly”… they had been a docent in a Chicago Museum and thought that museums had an obligation to make art accessible… it was really difficult to talk about it across the table… there was so much to say in answer… i pointed out that there were the equivalent of docent tours, (which they had not taken advantage of), that i personally did not require translation of what i was looking at (though i don’t object to getting other ways of thinking about the art i am looking at) and that their experience was their experience, neither right or wrong… there is a lot more i could have said… i would have liked to have the conversation with them… of note is that to the extent i understand what M does for a living, it involves the design and implementation of user experiences on the internet… so, you might say, that is their thing and possibly of more interest to them than the art itself?…

… the drive home was in the dark and on the Taconic Parkway… i was concerned about deer, it’s the time of year they are mating and more reckless, and there was at one point a buck grazing just feet from the edge of the highway, cars whizzing by… that was the only deer i saw and we arrived home safely…

First Thoughts

… i was hoping for a turkey icon to label this day’s folder, but alas, there was none…

… we drive north with the dogs to hook up with L, M, S, B, and five other family members… 11 of us all together… the dogs won’t be allowed in the house (rental, no pets) so we will keep them in the car with regular visits to be sure they are ok… don’t really like this but don’t like leaving them home either…

HCR meter, instructive, maybe hopeful… she gives us the history of Thanksgiving, which, in the most tenuous way, does go all the way back to the Pilgrims and Native Americans having diner together in the 1600’s… however, it didn’t become a thing until the Civil War when, in the states of the Union, it became a way to remember the sacrifices on the battlefield and give thanks for the strength and fortitude being shown by citizens of the Union in their struggle to preserve Democracy…

… i made two versions of the fiskepudding yesterday… i am perfecting my technique… perhaps we will have some for Christmas…

… i dived down a rabbit hole on the fiskepudding… was trying to find some historical information but none to be had easily… then i moved on to pickled herring and a search for salted herring which is used to make pickled herring… i will look for it in the local groceries first… Adam’s might have it… maybe fresh market…

… such a rabbit hole this AM… trying to find recipes for fiskepudding, i buy two cookbooks, one on Scandinavian cooking, the other on Norwegian cooking… the Norwegian one has the fiskepudding…

… time to move on to other things…

First Thoughts

… and so begins the day of purging… hardest part of a colonoscopy… the dreaded prep… perhaps the silver lining being that i will head into turkey day with some room to spare, ha, ha…

… i have the Gregorian chants going this AM… and i did my morning stretches which i had gotten out of the habit of…

… sleep last night was fitful… awake at midnight, awake at 1 AM, awake at 3 AM up at 4 AM…

… i am a little anxious, about the prep, about getting to the procedure, about what the procedure might reveal… each one of these things the necessary journey through the portal of having it done, hopefully for 5 years, at least for 3 years…

… HCR meter, broken but very necessary to be played again and again, record… Democracy is under threat… the struggle between the mostly white patriarchy and the rising multiarchy is real… and it is far from determined which will win… by 2024 we could be heading into autocracy or, worse, fascism… this is not the system i wanted to spend my old age in… and i shouldn’t forget the threat of war on the eastern front, Ukraine… will Putin attack?… will NATO assist Ukraine?… interesting times will continue… are we heading towards a blood letting?…

… i have decided the extra money i have accumulated will be spent to whatever degree it needs to be on making a nice Christmas… i am gathering ideas for gifts, planning ahead… i will work on a new computer in the new year…

… back to the political situation… i saw what all this was years ago… i saw the desperation of the patriarchy to secure control before their numbers were insufficient to do so… i knew the struggle would be very difficult but i had optimism that in the end they would not succeed… we should know that in the pretty near future… at this point, it all hinges on voting rights legislation… the infrastructure bills will be helpful in making people feel better about their economic lives… this is important, but not determinative by itself… it needs the assistance of voting rights legislation which requires that Manchin, Sinema and any other moderate democrat attached to the filibuster be willing to do a carve out, at minimum, on voting rights… my perception being that if this does not happen the game is lost…

First Thoughts

… some time spent exploring the possibilities of Drafts… my initial reaction is that it might be too complex for this daily journaling… i don’t know if i need all the bells and whistles but i will continue to play with it… Ulysses, i suppose, would become the polishing app if i went that way…

… Fiona seems to be ok… she scared me yesterday, H coming into the kitchen with concern on her face, i insisted she call the vet and describe what she saw… then she needed a picture… i helped her saw what her concern was about… i freaked out… i am usually a level headed person in emergent situations, but i kind of lost it and the day was tainted from there forward… i still managed to get most of what i had planned done…

… Thanksgiving week… also… colonoscopy week… Tuesday… clearing out the pipes for the TG meal… ha, ha… minor apprehension about it but i expect it will be ok… just the doctoring that needs doing if one is not to develop a serious problem…

… after this it will be on to the heart doctor…

… these last number of days have all started out very pleasantly… up until i get home from my walk, generally speaking, and sometimes well beyond depending on what happens during the rest of the day… i have had a general sense of happiness pervade everything lately…

First Thoughts

… frustrating morning… weight way up… computer crashed last night and needs to be rebooted… the rebooting takes time… is so slow… a new computer soon…

… a dog pooped in the living room, not sure which… one was lingering, eating the poop surreptitiously… life’s continuous chaotic mess, everything trying to fall apart and cover itself in dust… we, resisting the chaotic tide with varying degrees of success until we can’t anymore… our houses and things miss us when we are gone, but they quickly fall into the hands of new chaos resisters with new visions of the sea walls to be erected against the tidal flow…

… while waiting for my computer to boot up i start reading Shifting the Silence, by Etel Annan… i read some paragraphs yesterday and loved them… today, i read those same paragraphs and some beyond and it doesn’t really make sense… too dependent on what might be thought common knowledge but isn’t… personal reveries that seem pretty when read but don’t make sense when i try to unpack them… i come across a paragraph that someone has underlined, maybe several someones have underlined and i think… this reads like it sits on the edge of profound, but i can’t really make out its meaning… if there is a secret being shared, i have no idea what it is…

… i have to admit to myself that i may not be in a receptive frame of mind given the morning’s frustrations and disappointments… i should save if for later but then the “Creative Cloud Helper” needs to repair itself… i assume it is because Lightroom crashed last night trying to back up the catalog… i need a new computer capable of finishing the task… will J pay me soon?…

… i give up on Creative Cloud Helper… taking forever to load, on reloading it wants to repair itself again… it’s such a messed up program unit, why can’t they sort it out?… the problem it has is well known… there ought to be a way to permanently resolve it…

… it is already 6:20 and i feel i have made little progress in the normal morning rituals… sidetracked by technology that should work better but isn’t…

… HCR meter… it’s a wash… lots to celebrate in the House’s passage of the Build Back Better bill… though there will now be a process in the Senate and who knows if it will survive… the indicators suggest that it has been worked out to be largely palatable to the Senate Democrat moderates, so maybe… but then she talks about the Rittenhouse acquittal, which the right is trumpeting and which liberal pundits believe will lead to rifle toting thugs at any sort of demonstration, especially those by black people, brown people, women, etc… she raises the specter of the Civil War… everything in the news media i follow suggests that some kind of civil war is coming… Democrats are trying to head it off with money in peoples pockets, new roads and bridges, broadband for all… hoping enough people will feel enough better about things that they will turn away from the conspiracy theories, especially the lie that the election was stollen… 45’s own niece called him the most dangerous man on earth… well, the most dangerous to the country… for a while he had his finger on the triggers of nuclear Armageddon… but it was clear that he would be back, and if not him, some one of a horrible group of individuals who would burn it all down and claim what was left for themselves… remake it in the image of white men as it was meant, according to them, to be… liberals accused of reigning down marxism on the people with their efforts to spend money to make those peoples lives better!… and the people believing it!… three card monty with the hopes, dreams and fears of the people…

… i have only read two dozen paragraphs of Etel Adnan and already i write like she does… i am a mimic… i noticed this a long time ago as i spent time in places with accents different to mine… the south, Great Britain… i adjust myself to what i hear and read apparently… when i was reading haiku, i made micro poems daily… no longer reading them, i have lost the knack… now it’s a kind of prose poetry that amounts to a continuum of reverie about?… a long life coming to a close… this is the territory i am heading into… it seems unfair to be heading into it at a time when things could devolve into complete chaos… do we have the energy and resilience to survive?… do we want to?… shouldn’t we have been allowed to mellow out in our golden years?…

First Thoughts

… HCR Meter is confused… economy is booming, build back better act likely to clear the house, thought the Senate is another story… lots of reasons why people should be happy with Dems, but the polls don’t look good… there will likely be a Republican controlled house after the midterms and it will be a shit show… the Republicans are mostly a shit show now and it is clear that if they get back into control of things Democracy will be finished… i keep wondering what i can do, what do i want to do… i have no desire to live in a world run by these bat shit crazy conservatives and their lord DT… there is only hope if the Dems pass voting rights legislation… maybe even then there is no hope…

… i keep thinking that nobody of true consequence has been held accountable for anything… nobody… our system seems incapable of doing that…

… i have the Gregorian chants on… they are soothing and spiritual…

… who would have thought that a desperate white patriarchy could cause so much trouble and possibly succeed in seizing control of government?… i always thought it was going to be a brutal struggle… i saw it coming a long time ago… i didn’t have an imagination vivid enough to see how bad it would really be… i don’t comprehend them and i have no patience for them… D was one of them… D was awful…

… Shifting the Silence by Etel Adnan arrived on my kindle yesterday… another book in the long list of books to read… it will likely preempt the Bertrand Russel book that has been waiting in the wings for some time… i will perhaps read it together with the Georges Perc book… Adnan’s book was published either just before or just after they died… they pushed it out knowing they would not be around very much longer… an act of hope?, acceptance?, what?… will i work right up to the end that way?… will i ever publish anything?… then i tell myself, i am publishing… self publishing… daily… my production is enormous, prolific… but is it worth anything?… more moments of frustration that nobody comments on my posts in Micro.blog… this is likely due to my lack of commenting on others posts… if you want community you have to participate in community… do i need to set some time aside for community cultivation?… perhaps… i don’t know… it all seems so tedious and, in the end, not rewarding… pictures of cats and funny anecdotes about cats and dogs get all the attention… are we so uncomfortable with direct interaction with one another that we need these surrogates to get along in public space?…

… i have signed up for Literal, a new community of readers sharing the books they read with one another… an alternative to Goodreads… i am hoping for community there… but then, will i be willing to put in the interaction time… H interacts massively with her friends, mostly on FB… she spends a large part of the day doing that…

… i got my pre-colonoscopy covid test done yesterday… the procedure on Tuesday of this coming week… these things seem like portals in one’s life… we do these health portals to find out if there is anything concerning going on, so of course, if there has been anything concerning before, we fret about it a bit… the day arrives and we go through the discomfort of preparing and then undergoing and when we wake up the doctor comes to tell us what they found which hopefully was nothing to minimal… if something, hopefully it is dealt with during the procedure and nothing more to do for another few years until the next one… we are through the portal onto other concerns, happinesses, sadnesses… Thanksgiving this week…

… i keep thinking about G’s woman friend and wondering if they will be at Thanksgiving… they are very attractive and admired my sartorial style at M’s wedding… i shouldn’t feel this way and it will be a bit awkward with them because i do… primal me just can’t give it a rest… lusting all the time… the hardest part of a committed relationship is letting all the possibilities drift by without acting on any of them… it’s also the easiest… no chance to humiliate oneself which i did with some regularity in the younger days…

First Thoughts

… i am up too early… awake at 2 AM, then again at 3:15 AM… out of bed at 3:45 AM… Fiona acts like she will come with me then resettles on the bed… Chas stays asleep until after i am downstairs making coffee, feeding the cat, taking my BP meds… i hear the substantial thump of Chas jumping down off the bed… i put on a coat and shoes on in anticipation Fiona will come too and i will have to take her out for a walk, but she does not…

… i let Chas out… let Chas back in… give Chas some treats (what he really woke up for)… pour some coffee… we return upstairs and i quietly let him back into the bedroom… Fiona stays put… now, here i am writing in my journal, thinking i should put the garbage out…

… back from putting the garbage out…

… i think about Georges Perec, An Attempt At Exhausting A Place In Paris… i think about Denton Welch… i think about Proust… i think about this journal… i think about rendering life through the quotidian… i think about the differences between Perec, Welch, Proust and this journal… Perec chooses to maintain a clinical detachment from the details he notes and writes down (at first i wrote “details he describes” but then realized describes is an overstatement)… he doesn’t attach them to a human being, himself or anyone else… this is relative of course… one cannot be completely detached from ones direct experience…

… the result is the construction of a skeleton of happenings the reader will begin to flesh out by inserting the organs, muscles and skin of their own experiences… i wrote yesterday that i thought it would make a good “avant garde” play, a solitary performer, center stage, reciting the contents of the book… the audience is left to flesh out the skeleton with details remembered from their own lives…

… while i am very interested in reporting out on the innumerable quotidian nonevents, as Perec writes… i am not interested in detaching them from my subjective being or playing the clinician who’s job is to report experience with as little judgement about that experience as possible… what i am trying to do lies somewhere between the clinical reporting of Perec and the recording of the minute and personally grasped details in Denton’s journals… i am interested in what my preconscious self deems significant enough to do a double take on… i am interested in the feelings provoked by the scenes unfolding in front of my eyes, ears and nose… i am interested in the thoughts that flow through my mind as i see, feel, taste and touch the world around me…

… today i go for a covid test as prelude to a colonoscopy procedure next week… i also stop taking supplements, eating leafy greens, nuts, seeds… sadly, H just baked a loaf of bread encrusted with seeds which maybe i can cut the crust off of to eat…

… Notes On Attention Paid, the monumental writing effort that nobody will ever read end to end… few will even read small pieces of it… that nobody reads it was getting to me a little yesterday… i keep reminding myself that readership isn’t the goal… setting myself down in words and images is the goal… whether anybody reads or looks is distantly secondary…

… we are up with a start… Fiona sat up in bed, indicating she was preparing to dismount… we scrambled to set her down on the floor, whereupon she scrambled out of the bedroom and down the stairs before we could catch her and slow her down… she is not supposed to be running down stairs which she half did… sigh… gate at the top of the stairs tonight…

… in my sleepy stupor i scrambled to put clothes on so i could take her out for a walk… H asking me questions about her scramble downstairs… they are annoyed with me and the questions sound accusatory… what part of Fiona scrambled faster than i could did they not understand?… what’s happened has happened… let’s move on to taking her out which is what i did… took her a while but she had a wicked pee… we came back… H gave her treats and fed her water with a syringe… Fiona is still trying to figure out how to drink with the cone collar on… she will eventually…

… H, Fiona and Chas all downstairs napping… it is 5:17 AM, normal for me to be up but way before H’s normal wake time…

… feeling the need for a little spiritual calm i have recordings of Gregorian Chants going in my headphones… i am not religious, wouldn’t want to be catholic if i were, but it’s all in latin so i don’t understand a word and the chants are very soothing, like gentle waves lapping the shore of a beach…

… today will be about keeping Fiona still, monitoring her wound and taking her for periodic walks… there are too many stairs involved in letting her out in the back yard… and in any case, she would be want to chase squirrels back there… best to keep her on a leash to restrain her enthusiasm which clearly has returned…

… i was so upset yesterday with the bleeding and having to go back to the vet… it overwhelmed and in some ways immobilized me… thankfully H was coping better… 40 years as an ICU nurse gives you calm in the face of concerning situations… i also didn’t like seeing Fiona so knackered… barely able to move… only to changing position once in a while… such a vital and enthusiastic dog… particularly so in the hours leading up to her surgery… it worries me that if H ever got seriously sick i might loose it and be unable to be there for her… of course, my more confident mind says, yah, you might freak our here and there, but you will find a way to rise to the occasion…

An Attempt At Exhausting A Place In Paris, by Georges Perec, arrived yesterday… it turns out to be a small, slim, little book… it will be a quick read and i am anxious to get to it, but i have to finish The Journals of Denton Welch first and i have a little less than half the book to go…

… Georges Perec is known for the idea that one ought to pay close attention to the small, unremarkable-to-most-people details… i have to learn more about his reasons for this, but i am guessing they are similar to my own, which is that the bulk of creaturely awareness is about these small, seemingly insignificant, details… we live our lives in a sea of the quotidian… western society, Americans especially, is/are all about the climactic extreme experiences that are felt in intense bursts producing adrenalin rushes that forever sear the experience into our minds… the bigger and more impossible the challenge, the more an individual is valued for achieving it… i value the quotidian over the rush of the exceptional and extraordinary… though some of my clearest memories are of fleeting exceptional moments that surface randomly from the sea of the quotidian…

First thoughts:

… Fiona spay day… a little nervous… will be glad to have it over with… then on to the recovery and getting myself mentally and physically ready for a colonoscopy… a year overdue… a major step forward in the doctoring that needs doing…

… speaking of things intestinal… clearly had a bug yesterday of the sort that makes me pretty unhappy, not because of unfortunate bowl movements, but because of an all over achey feeling that really wears me down… a malevolent organism on the march… i feel better this AM… i also re-started my probiotic supplement this AM… the subscription came undone due to some rearrangement of my prime account at Amazon…

… colonoscopy, then thanksgiving next week…

… an edge of frustration that few people read what i write… i tell myself that isn’t the point… writing every day and publishing everyday is the point… a product of the now… every day… when i review it… i like what i have done… so, keep doing it…

… part of me thinks that my writing should be dense with profound understanding… that is not the point unless profound understanding is composed of the minutia of my life… that’s what this blog is about… the day in and day out record of some of what i pay attention to… an intentional recording…

… as i read Denton Welch’s journals, i find profound understanding largely absent… it is a detailed and well written account of what was important to him and much of it is pretty self centered… there is the occasional passage that dives a little more deeply into the broad human condition…

… is my writing as self centered?… it is to some degree but, i like to think, also big picture focused to some degree…

… i read a forecast in The Economist that indicated the most likely result of the midterms will be a Republican controlled house, Democrat controlled Senate… short of disaster… all the big stuff needs to get done in the next year…

… HCR meter mostly about the infrastructure package (a BFD) and how far right extremists are seeking to punish any republican that voted for it… there were 13 in the house who did… it is being portrayed as the another step in a socialist takeover of the country… one hopes the benefits will become apparent by the midterms and perhaps the house will stay under Democratic leadership… a fellow can dream…

First Thoughts…

… in bed by 9:30 PM last night… up by 3:30 AM… i am in a six hour per night sleep pattern stretch… this happens sometimes… my rhythms… then a night or two with seven our eight hours…

… no alcohol last night… no dinner either… we ate so much at Cafe Mutton due to the extra’s we were given… i hope the fish i had planned will last to tonight…

… Fiona has spay surgery tomorrow… i am a bit anxious about it… totally routine and better for her health in the long run, but she is the sweetest dog ever so it is hard to imagine putting her through any kind of misery, however temporary and however good for her…

… i have chicken coop cleaning duties today… i will do the small coup… the large one already done by L yesterday…

HCR meter pointing downward… it begins with a speech given by Flynn-the-disgraced in which he argues for one church under god… it moves on to the goings on in Europe… Democracy is under attack around the world… right wing conservatives in congress are hampering the Biden/Harris administrations to ability to counter by holding up diplomatic appointments… this weakens the administration’s ability to conduct effective diplomacy in places where it is badly needed… together with an article in The Bulwark about anti-democratic goings on in Georgia paint an increasingly bleak picture of world stability going forward…

… i make a note to myself to start reading The Economist magazine more regularly… i will get a better picture of world events…

… we did have a nice day yesterday, but then we got home and H got into a foul mood for a while… frustration over a missing cookbook which will reappear i am sure… really frustration with their poor eyesight which is likely getting worse with age… their eyes have been compromised since their premature birth…

… Chas has woken up and wants attention…

… dogs let out, treats distributed…

… opened up The Economist app and read some of the articles… echoing the world situation summed up by HCR and Bulwark…

… woke up at about 2:30 AM… tried to go back to sleep… stayed in bed until about 4:30 AM… not sure how much of those two hours was sleeping…

… my weight is up… a steady trend now… i have to turn it around… fewer carbs will do it… hard to do when your spouse’s pandemic skill is baking…

… dogs in a tizzy this AM… all ready to hunt… made me think they smelled something… they ran out barking and tonguing, but settled down quickly… i think the cat playing hide and seek with them got them going… glad there wasn’t anything in the back yard… they have been skunked before, though it’s a bit late in the season for skunks to be out and about…

… i reread something i wrote yesterday and think, yup, got that one right… well written too… i am getting good at leaving a record behind… a somewhat compelling one too… though the evidence that anyone reads it is slim…

… S’s swim team won the Washington State high school championship… they qualified for one of the race finals and came in 16th but still scored a point for their team which was, apparently, their goal… they are only a freshman and will get increasingly competitive as they progresses through the grades…

… we are thinking to go for a drive this afternoon… maybe stop at our niece’s restaurant for a late lunch…

… HCR crapped out, but not before relating disgraced General Michael Flynn’s statement questioning why we shouldn’t be a Christian nation, what is so special about our vaunted separation of church and state… we are being overrun by nitwits… i believe more than ever before that religious belief is a blight on humanity…

… we made progress on the house this past week… we ordered a new storm door for the front… been wanting to do this for some time but struggled to get clear pricing from the various lumber yards we went to… we found one yard in Newburgh that simply looked it up in a catalog that all of them must have, should have had… everyone else had to call their distributor to get pricing… the sale goes to the one who can tell us how much on the spot… H says the lumber yard has good reviews from its customers… so far, we are satisfied…

… Fiona will undergo spay surgery this week… we had been worried she was heading into heat, but that doesn’t seem to be the case… it’s hard to think about such a sweet and loving dog going under the knife, but we are obligated to the breeder to do it, it’s better for her long term health, and perhaps she will be a bit less of a flight risk going forward… she is quite the escape artist, finding holes in the back yard fencing as if it were swiss cheese…

… bought some haddock yesterday… going to make baked haddock in tahini sauce with golden onions… i take a detour to look up the author of the recipe i have settled on, Helen Graves… she doesn’t call herself a chef… she is a “freelance food and travel writer, recipe developer and editor”… doesn’t quite fit with a site titled Great British Chefs… whatever… i install her blog feed into feedbin… also the Great British Chefs feed…

… I came to dinner last night… i served a roast chicken (one i helped raise and slaughter), Emily’s English roasted potatoes, salad of frisée and lardon with bacon vinaigrette dressing… H made oatmeal cookies for desert… we had a good time trying to solve I’s struggles finding a suitable love interest… they are a particular sort of person… they are possibly commitment phobic… but they don’t want to be alone either…

… as generally happens when there is company, i had a little too much to drink… not feeling too much “the worse for wear” this AM… having climbed into bed at 10:00 PM i had hoped to sleep in a little but i came awake at 4:00 AM and never really got back to sleep… out of bed at 4:45 AM

… fog this morning… i wonder if it will persist past sunrise…

… i keep thinking we may be heading for authoritarian rule, or oligarchic rule… people around the world live their lives under such systems… does the average person do ok?… i don’t know…

… HCR meter this morning suggests the noose is tightening around 45 Administration officials… we are getting to the point of holding individuals accountable and i wonder if we will be able to… to this point, we have not… i fervently hope people start going to jail…

… went to bed a little after 9 PM last night… slept to about 4 AM with wakefulness at 2 AM… not feeling terrific this AM, but excess alcohol is not the culprit… only two beers last night… beer is looking more and more the route to go… that or no drinking at all…

… during the night wind and rain moved in… i especially heard the wind as i was trying to sleep…

… I coming to dinner tonight… planning to roast a chicken (that i helped raise and slaughter), fix some kind of potatoes and make a bitter greens salad, perhaps with the green olive anchovy dressing that is so yummy… might throw in a tomato or two from the garden… yes, we have some late harvest tomatoes that, miraculously, are slowly ripening… they don’t taste as good as those that ripen in August-September, but better than store bought…

… i am remembering that i should have gotten notification of a car payment due, but haven’t… will need to check on it today… there have been issues with payments set up to automatically draw from our bank account…

… just before going to bed, a story about Max Cleland on Rachel Maddow… war hero, triple amputee, by all accounts, a good person… the kind of politician that used to be more common, not as addicted to power, more interested in getting things done, serving his constituents… he was unseated by a Republican in a brutal campaign that accused him of cowardice… decorated veteran, triple amputee, accused of cowardice… that’s the sort of cynical politics that has me despising politicians in general… wherever there is power to be gained, the most despicable kind of behavior ensues… ethics and decency have no place in that world… is it any wonder the country is coming apart at the seems when we-the-people allow ourselves to be pushed into tribal silos that elicit the worst from us?…

… tribal silos, it appears, make easy sales targets in all sorts of ways… in big picture thinking, what does this mean about humanity in general that we are easily corralled into tribes that allow for pinpoint marketing?… and that making us angry about something is a very easy way to congregate and target us… is this a no longer useful appendage of human behavior… or is it the way we will be organized by the cosmos into a whole that is greater than the straight forward sum of the parts?… it is this kind of thought that makes me want to read Sex, Ecology and Spirituality again…

… i was recently thinking that i might want to get involved in helping out in elections in 2022… maybe help the Democratic party… but then i realized, i don’t want to be expected to be loyal to the cause… i want to be able to look at the ideas and policies and concerns of both sides and arrive at nuanced positions about the right way to proceed… i am simply not a my-tribe-right-or-wrong kind of person…

… i think i may have hit on something with no title posting… just notes, tagged for future revisiting…

First Thoughts

… up at 5 AM… an hour later than i like… this jams me up on the things i like to do prior to heading out for a walk…

… there is research that suggests there are heart benefits to going to bed between 10 and 11… i have been trying that but i am not sure it is working for me… i had been going to bed between 9 and 10 with the desire to be up by 4 AM… this gives me a good amount of time to write and read in the morning… so maybe that is my rhythm… i’ve always been early to bed and early to rise…

… an exhausting day devoted to errands for the household… i have been very frustrated with the way activities that are not photography, reading and writing are intruding an hours devoted to those things… it has been a real struggle lately to keep that from happening… today, J will claim a certain amount of my time… tomorrow, a friend for dinner, which will require an early start on dinner prep… sigh… there are times when i’d like to take off to a cabin in the woods and hibernate… i’m quite good at being alone…

HCR meter, ominous rumblings in Europe… Russia threatening Ukraine… Russia and Belarus pumping immigrants into Poland in an effort to inflame right wing dissidents and destabilize the region…

… i was thinking about the benefits of having lived in a pretty stable country… there have been times of unrest, but generally speaking, the average citizen could go about their business and depend on the world around them to behave pretty much the way it did the day before… there are so many people around the world for whom that isn’t true… what must be the loss in human product and accomplishment?… are we heading into a time where the world will twist and turn in ways we can’t possibly predict?… where faith in anything is impossible?…

… Cape Malay Pickled Fish for dinner last night… two days of marination in pickling juices… it was tasty… not clear that i would go to the trouble again… maybe…

… i did a search for recipes for CMPF and discovered a bunch of them… it appears i used the only recipe (from Martha Stewart), that fries the fish after marinating in the pickling juices for a couple of days… every other recipe cooks the fish before marinating… hmmm… i now have to cook this again…

First Thoughts

… this morning it starts to feel like the downhill race to Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year… the middle of Week 46, less than seven weeks to go…

HCR meter encouraging… the case for holding 45 accountable is being built, slowly, steadily… the Trumpublicans get crazier and crazier… Representative Gosar only the latest iteration of bat shit crazy with his tweeted anime wherein he decapitates(?) AOC… there is justifiable outrage… all the Trumpers in congress care about is disciplining the 13 congress men and women who voted for the infrastructure bill, a broadly popular bill that their states all desperately need… absolute loyalty to the party is all they care about… it is a necessary condition for authoritarian rule… this quote from Liz Cheney is amazing:

 “In this time of testing, will we do our duty? Will we do what we must? Will we defend our Constitution? Will we stand for truth? Will we put duty to our oath above partisan politics? Or will we look away from the danger, ignore the threat, embrace the lies and enable the liar?” she said. “There is no gray area when it comes to that question. When it comes to this moment, there is no middle ground.”1

… i am in love with Liz Cheney… a politician with strong integrity… i suspect i disagree with most of her politics, but on the issue of where we are and what we need to do she is bang on…

… i continue to struggle with refining what i am doing photographically… struggle is probably too strong a word… i am evolving and refining what i am doing…

… oh my, did i finally turn off autocapitalize?… it seems i did!… so exciting… no more having to escape capitalization!…

… back to what sort of photographer am i?… i have begun to center on the iPhone as my camera of daily choice… easier, lighter, and damn, image quality is getting so good!… this, coupled with the very easy workflow of native camera app to Ulysses to Micro.blog has pushed me in the direction of publishing photos as i go, without editing, without careful selection of images to include… photography (and writing) of-the-now… i am publishing photographs in color, some of which i later import into Lightroom, turn to black and white and edit more careful in general… i have decided to be increasingly selective with that group, while maintaining a broader selection on the iPhone photo app… in color… part of me wanted to share color photographs with the Salon last night… instead i prepared a selection of images in black and white from the past ten days… i did not present them as there were an abundance of photographers wanting to show their work, but i reviewed that set several times and i feel good about it…

… so, the practice is evolving as both an of-the-now practice and one that then filters the of-the-now body of work into a more considered body of work with a focused and edited sensibility to it… this is the body that will coalesce into portfolios, book projects, photo poems…

… H wound up in a much better mood yesterday afternoon and evening… they went for a walk with Chas, an idea they sneered at when i suggested it in the morning… “it’s boring, my back hurts” they told me… they did the dishes while i was Zooming with my Salon buddies… i have this nagging question about yesterday morning… did they, for some reason, conscious or not, feel the need to torpedo my good mood and high spirits?… they did an excellent job of it… i can’t help but wonder…

… on the alcohol front… last couple of nights i have limited myself to beer… this seems to be working out… no mildly debilitating effects the morning after… for some reason, perhaps its volume of liquid, i am not as prone to overdoing it with beer… and last night’s meal was kielbasa roasted on a bed of onion, red pepper and red cabbage, glazed with peach preserve and mustard, served with mashed potatoes… beer was a perfect accompaniment, though Corona might not have been the perfect beer for the meal…


  1. Via Letters from and American, November 09, 2021, Heather Cox Richardson. [return]

First Thoughts

… frustration and irritation yesterday… too many intrusions on time set aside for writing and photographing… too much to do to acquire groceries, cook meals, maintain house and yard… too little help from H… i am determined to hold my creative time sacred and inviolable…

… and, on the creative front… i am moving towards something new yet old, something i know the broad outlines of, if not the specifics… i am continuously refining it… making clearer what i am doing… the major elements of it are the Notes On Attention Paid blog, the concentration on the phone camera as principle camera… the development of a new workflow centered on the smartphone, Micro.blog, Ulysses, a writing, walking and reading practice… working against that system is my weakening eyesight… what i really want to do is edit on the iPhone exclusively, but it is difficult with my aging eyes… i have grown tired of the cumbersome Lightroom… i have begun thinking that editing photographs to the nth degree is a waste of my time in the system of make and post possible with the camera phone… i have all of this camera equipment that i no longer seem to need… this new way of producing and delivering is, interestingly, allowing me to bring to fruition what has been at the core of my effort all along… a daily cataloging of observation… nothing more… nothing less… and it is rendered on the www… the complex of tools has finally fallen into place for a seamless and efficient workflow…

HCR meter, the shit show that is the Republican Party… generally it is a race to see whether they implode or seize control of the government for the rest of my life… Big Bird is a villain for promoting vaccinations for children which they have done since the 70’s… conservatives are currently dying from COVID at more than three times the rate of liberals… the result of conservative anti vaccination stance… i wonder if it will have any impact on elections?… conservatives are already dealing with a minority of the population for support… justice department announces indictments on ransome ware criminals and seize their ill gotten gains… it is one year until the midterm elections and there is so much to do… will voting rights ever become a priority?…

First Thoughts

… i am up at 3:30 AM… the effects of the daylight savings change… it will settle out, but i again ask why do we do this to ourselves?… an article on whether DST saves energy is inconclusive… it saves electricity consumed for lights, but may increase electricity and other fuels consumed to heat and cool… is it worth the disruption of sleep cycles?… can’t we find another way to adjust ourselves?… like start work an hour earlier and stop an hour earlier?… don’t most of us work 24/7 anyway?… aren’t more of us working from home now?…

… i read an article that suggests 45 is the odds-on favorite to win the presidency in 2024… dear god how is it possible?… bookmakers, please check your calculations again… i really don’t know what i will do if that happens…

… are we really being pushed to authoritarianism because it is more efficient?… were the Middle Ages really efficient for humankind?…

… an article discussing Texas law SB8… something about judicial immunity from law suits hampering the clear cut argument that the vigilante provisions of the law are a dangerous precedent that has the potential to undermine constitutional rights in a variety of ways… something about enjoining their clerks from working on enforcement of the law rather than judges… i didn’t completely understand…

… all of this on top of not feeling well… kind of tired… maybe it’s alcohol, though i don’t believe i overindulged last night… it does seem to sap me… just doesn’t agree with my system anymore?…

… started watching Rake, an Australian series featuring a rakish lawyer surrounded by a complex of beautiful, smart and accomplished women who frequently bare their breasts (along with the men in the show, but a man’s bare breast is way less interesting than a woman’s to me)…

… if i am honest, i am in it for the beautiful women characters who bare their breasts first, the story telling second… did i mention that the women characters are also smart and accomplished?…

… the story lines are interesting, the main characters all have redeeming virtues to balance their flaws, and there is a gamut of reasonably well rendered human complexity offered up… but denying i am powerfully attracted by the titillation is the same as saying one buys Playboy for the articles (does anyone still say that? Does Playboy still exist in any meaningful way?)… yes, there may be good articles, but really, it’s the tits and ass that matters…

… i come up against this uncomfortable truth over and over and over again… to the point where i throw up my hands in frustration at what to do… i know that society’s continued emphasis on women’s bodies is a mess of objectification that does women general harm in their efforts to be taken seriously as smart and accomplished individuals… but there is this primal thing… i am hardwired to be sexually attracted to women i think are beautiful… the mechanics of it are different for the two sexes (and i will leave aside for the moment all the gender fluid nuances that exist), but the bottom line is primal attraction is primal and it is not possible to eradicate it from my being…

… i can try not to be drawn into programming and imagery that gets my libido going, but why?… i enjoy having my libido engaged… it feels good… as long as it involves adults portrayed consensually and in consensual engagement, and as long as i am able to separate fantasy from reality, i set myself free to be titillated without guilt…

… i am coming to the conclusion that it is best not to try to ban libidinous reactions from my mind (not that i have ever really tried)… nor do i think i should be embarrassed by it (which i sometimes am)… instead, i need to acknowledge to myself how powerful they are, take note of when and how they are activated, then let them move through like clouds in the sky, enjoyed simply for what they are…

… what matters to me is how i treat women (all human beings really, but women are the focus here)… acknowledging my initial primal reaction (to myself) and then letting it pass through is, as far as i can see, my best strategy for moving on to a more respectful and satisfying relationship with the women i share the planet with…

First Thoughts

… the clocks set back an hour last night… an extra hour of sleep… that used to be more meaningful when working full time… less so now… still, i took advantage of it and feel groggy this morning…

… dogs let out, treated, watered… they have gone back to bed with H…

… i crank up Bach’s Goldberg Variations… played on harpsichord by Maggie Cole… i think about C, who’s partner is a highly trained classical musician… i think about the northwest and about the book Analogia, by George Dyson… i think about mysterious things happening in wild cold forests…

… not a huge fan of the harpsichord… but it’s ok this morning… i am actually liking it… most of the time it seems a bit shrill and fussy to me… i like the rounder tones of the piano better…

… i read about Maggie Cole… white woman looking slightly aristocratic… am i thinking so because she is a classical musician and classical music is of the white patriarchy, aristocracy?… in addition to harpsichord she plays the pianoforte and the piano… she teaches… she performs… she records… the Goldberg Variations are a specialty…

… i think about zeroing in on the harpsichord, and then the Goldberg Variations (or was it the Variations first, the harpsichord second?) for expertise development… what must it be like to live this music in your head all the time?… what must it be like to find yourself in the settings conducive to its practice and performance?… the cosmos accessed through a narrowly defined pathway… what has she come to understand about all of it through the music?…

… M texts… they are up early… the time change… habits need to shift… sunrise earlier… sunset earlier… no, those things happen on the same schedule all year round cosmically… it is the humans that don’t… the humans adjust their time keepers to shift their relationship to sunrise and sunset… all things are relative to the earthly clock!… the reason, apparently, is to save energy… i am not clear how it does this… couldn’t we more naturally adjust ourselves to come and go during the available daylight?… i could do without it… it seems an unnecessary inefficiency in the human condition…

… did some cleaning up of the planter tanks yesterday, installed a hoop system that will be covered with frost protective fabric for the winter… will also mulch things in a little… hoping to preserve the herbs through the winter… the sage, thyme and oregano all made it through the winter last year… rosemary is new as is tarragon… hoping i can get them through this winter…

… i also swept up the natural detritus in the driveway, bagged it and put it out at the curb for the town to pick up… and, importantly, i reinforced the fence line where Fiona has been finding her way out of the yard… i have done this for a quarter of the perimeter of the yard at least over the past year…

… today i am thinking i will work on finishing the back stair…

… there is also the daily walk, the farmer’s market, the weekly family zoom…