Saturday, December 4, 2010

December Days -OR- "Don't Know Why"

"Sunshine in an empty place": My shadow in the stairwell of the office building where I work by Elephant L'Enfant Plaza, Washington, D.C., 10:55AM, Dec. 3, 2010.


OK, this entry is a reposting of what I wrote on my Arcturus blog, although adapted somewhat, and with some new / additional / rearranged pictures pictures. If you read that blog -- and I know a few of you do -- this entry will be redundant.

I'll start out with a political discussion and segue into the personal topics. This is because I "enjoy" complaining about the political stuff.

This is because we are living in such an offensive time with the Empire in serious decline while (to borrow some Marxist terminology) the forces of oligarchical reactionary intrigue plunder everything, unknowingly aided by their bribed tools ...

... in the form of crazy Teabaggers, the religiously insane (to the extent they are distinct from the former), utterly ineffectual and badly compromised Democratic leadership (including President Obama and pussy Senate Democrats), and a clueless and passive larger public.

Of course, I really am not making any big and positive changes to the world, not even close -- all I can do is talk and bitch about it (or maybe "bear witness" in more poetic terms).


But maybe writing all this stuff is a bad idea. Leaving aside the fact most of my (few) readers aren't really interested in reading about it (at least not in this forum and with my views) ...

... I mean, why rage and foam in an apoplectic rage over the condition of this country and world? It has been as such since the dawn of the human species, and it will be so until such time that the species ceases to exist (to be replaced by whatever).

Nevertheless, I have to say that it is painful to watch what a slow-motion sad disaster is this presidency as Obama bafflingly continues to cave in on EVERYTHING -- often EVEN BEFORE the Republican Party / Fox News Ministry of Propaganda / Vast Rightwing Conspiracy (VRWC) central politburo has even threatened anything.

Sometimes in my gloomier and/or angrier moments, I'm half - convinced that Obama is just a GOP plant. More likely, though, he's just not up to the job of being president in a time such as this.

To quote the inestimable and invaluable Paul Krugman in his Friday New York Times column:

"...Mr. Obama almost seems as if he's trying, systematically, to disappoint his once-fervent supporters, to convince the people who put him where he is that they made an embarrassing mistake.

Whatever is going on inside the White House, from the outside it looks like moral collapse — a complete failure of purpose and loss of direction. "

--Freezing Out Hope by Paul Krugman, New York Times, Dec. 3, 2010.

I also sometimes think that in order to be an "effective" leader nowadays in the U.S., at least for a short period of time, you actually need a George W. Bush ... or, yes, even a Sarah Palin -- they'll just take you over proverbial Niagara Falls in seconds, no hesitation, full speed ahead.

Here Karel Soucek and his barrel at the precise moment they tumble over the edge of Niagara Falls on July 3, 1984. He lived to tell the tale -- but, alas, died the following year in another stunt gone wrong.


As it is, Obama the Chosen but Wholly Unprepared One has led his followers -- eyes wide shut -- into a swamp and brier patch all surrounded by jackals, all in one.

Obama means well but he's just out of his league and incapable of recognizing what he is up against. It's just not in his world view or mindset -- which is a remarkable fact given that he has risen to the level of president.

This is why Hillary should have been the Democratic nominee. Alas, that appears as if it is never to be.

Ha ha -- and, yes, that is a pun on "cloaking" and "cloturing," although "cloture" is a Senate parliamentary move, not a House one.


As for Paul Krugman, he is part of my daily reading, including his Monday and Friday columns and his New York Times blog.

The opposite extreme is the excreable Washington Post, in particular its rotten editorial board and op-ed pages.

I really wish The WaHoPo, as some of us call it, would go bankrupt. True, POLITICO is even worse -- sort of its distilled nihilistic essence -- but it has far less influence.

Creepy Don Graham sez: "A-hehehehe ... War is good for business."


I also very much like Glenn Greenwald, although it is frustrating to read him too much given his endless jeremiads.

His current two -- about the screaming bloodlust of the VRWC and whore media for the immediate execution of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange -- are worth reading here and here.

They paint a familiar but still disturbing picture of the propagandists of the right and the inability of the corporate media to function in any way except as servile vassals to the Empire and its ever-metastasizing into a Surveillance / Corporate / Military Industrial Complex.

Unsurprisingly, the Empire itself has struck back rather brutally in the past week in trying to silence Assange.

But it is impossible to maintain such a level of anger and even survive, esp. since it is all so far beyond one's control.


I know this personally -- I've been so apoplectic so much of the time, and it only adds to the extreme stress and depression I have felt about my mostly pointless D.C. life.

In fact, my health appears to have been suffering lately with all kinds of headaches, pains, and tingling, pulling, and tightening feelings in my heat and chest, not to mention feeling vaguely dizzy.

Oh, and there is also the problem of clenching my teeth when I'm angry (and the need to keep a towel handle to bite down on it instead.

The Smithsonian Metro station platform, Washington, D.C., 6:27PM, Dec. 1, 2010.


I've started a 14 day regimen of Prilosec (twice a day) since I think some of these pains are acid reflux, which I have had in waves of agony at times in the past. This is probably both due to stress and the fact that I tend to eat much too fast -- wolf down food like a refugee on the run, or a savage.

In any event, my life is not where it should be.


Yours truly in the mirror at 1:15AM, Dec. 4, 2010.


When I wrote this entry on Thursday, I was (as I am now) listening to my easy listening station -- Music Choice Channel 891 on RCN -- as I write this. At that point, it was the Steve Hall / Steve Donovan instrumental version of Don't Know Why, performed most famously by Norah Jones several years ago.

Norah Jones performing "Don't Know Why" back in 2006.


I really need to get more sleep and I need to curtail even more than I have on drinking.

Just one night of "too much" drinking leaves me reeling and feeling like a heart attack or other fatal condition is minutes away.

I'm 41 and not young anymore, and I live alone with no companionship -- and the things that used to bring me such joy (hanging out with my friends) is also mostly just unpleasant now. It usually ends in a sad and dissatisfying way.

Plus I feel as though every vodka drink is putting more weight on my sadly flabby self that I have to hide in lots of clothing. Yeah, I could finally rejoin a gym but I just can't quite seem to do it. I don't know.


There are good things, though, such as my job and that I have a good relationship with both my parents these days. Maybe I should have started this entry with the previous sentence.

Macy's at Metro Center, Washington, D.C., 6:37PM, Dec. 1, 2010.


Turning to a bigger and more amorphous topic I've been thinking about lately, I think I'm finally starting to see the contours of where and how my life will finally play out.

Upriver take-off from National Airport in Aug. 2006 (internet photo).


This (reasonably) assumes no gigantic improvements in my D.C. life because, while, yes, I'm happy with my job and it does have the potential to turn into bigger and better things (of the sort I should have done in my 20s, and certainly by my early 30s, but I was too screwed up to do it at the time), nevertheless there is a decent chance it won't since "past is prologue" -- I have decided that I really do want out of D.C. and its ways.

St. Dominic Catholic Church on a brisk, cloudy fall day down in a forlorn part of Southwest, Washington, D.C., 1:47PM, Dec. 3, 2010.


Again, this assumes that things in 5 to 10 years are not materially (or maybe spiritually) better than they were 5 to 10 years ago, and that is a good bet. In that case, I really should just drop out of here and live with my dad -- who will be in his mid to late 70s by that point -- and be by the ocean.

He is planning on moving next year (2011) to the Rehoboth Beach area, back up north after his now nearly 18 year sojourn across Florida, the North Carolina Outer Banks and Myrtle Beach, S.C. And I'm hoping my mom and Ray move to the South Jersey shore area (Cape May or near Wildwood) in the next 5 years just a Cape May - Lewes ferry ride away.

Riding aboard the Twin Capes from Lewes to Cape May across Delaware Bay on a summer evening ferry ride, 8:07PM, Aug. 14, 2010. I was with Gary and LP going to Wildwood, N.J.


Now I realize none of this may happen but I'm just looking ahead and surmising / speculating.

The bottom line is that whatever happens, I simply cannot and will not be 20 years hence a 61 year old man living alone in Washington, D.C. -- my parents probably gone, alone in life with no family but distant cousins I never see and friends from whom I should have long since parted and they from me. In truth, I'd burn out and die before that.

The surf at Wildwood Crest, N.J., 3:21PM, Aug. 18, 2009 (a year earlier from previous trip with Gary and LP).


This is about where I finished the main part of the entry. I also said I plan to write shorter entries on my Arcturus blog since I simply cannot spend six hours one night on one blog and then six hours the next night on the other blog. It's just too much.

Besides, the whole reason for keeping that blog is admittedly odd.

Illuminated outdoor Christmas decorations in the yard of 1768 T Street, N.W., Washington, D.C., 11:01PM, Nov. 30, 2010.


On a positive note, I really do like this time of year between Thanksgiving and Christmas. And I hope we get some snow this year, too. After last year's massive amounts, I'm assuming this year will feature zilch. Statistically, it's a good bet we will get very little.

Speaking of snow, I'm not buying this 18Z 04 Dec 2010 GFS run for hour. This is valid at hour 204 (Dec. 13, 2010 at 0600Z) showing 850mb temp, MSLP, and 6 hour precip.

More immediately, there may be some flurries tonight in D.C. -- but any steadier snow will be well to the southwest across central and southern Virginia as a weak clipper system swings through that region.

Of note, there was snowfall -- whether trace or measurable -- at National Airport (DCA) for each of the previous five years, 2005 - 2009, inclusive, between the period of Dec. 3rd - 7th. I wrote about it last year here.

However, with the radar looking like this (as of 939PM EST), I rather doubt it will happen tonight:

LWX radar 9:39PM EST, enhanced base mode reflectivity, Dec. 4, 2010.

As for last year, I couldn't ever enjoy it because of that nightmare Japanese turkey farm place in Bethesda where I was enslaved. The woman for whom I worked was, well, a kind of amoral she-bitch Godzilla.

Wait -- that was rather negative, and I don't want to end on a negative note.

View from my apartment during the second of the three blizzards last winter, Washington, D.C., 9:52AM, Feb. 10, 2010.


OK, I think that's all for now. I'm probably not going to update this blog until Wednesday. Right now I'm watching the Everybody Loves Raymond reruns on TV Land but I'm supposed to meet Gary and Chris T. at Larry's Lounge. I'm actually not feeling that well tonight: I may have caught that cold or flu that one of my coworkers had this past week. I'm feeling that early stages of vaguely swore neck glands or whatever it is.


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