Lost Day

Not really, but it feels that way now. I slept, after I wrote and posted yesterday’s blog post, Anniversary.

I wasn’t kidding about the pain This morning, I’m watching Paris, The Luminous Years, a show from PBS, that is heavy on the facts, light on the indoctrination. I suppose the producers were preaching to the choir.

There are lots of beautiful pictures. And the break from the art of earlier times, enabled a new aesthetic to come forth that defied comparison to the art of Giotto, or Michelangelo, or Rembrandt.

Now, I’m tired again. I went through a pile of papers on my side table. The crap once piled on the table, is now spread over the floor. I will eventually file it. And it will be filed away, until my estate executor will throw it away, hopefully in the very distant future.

The First World War has begun on the DVD. I suppose this is a good place to stop.

More later.

Anniversary

42 Years ago, coincidentally on the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, I married for the second time. I was 29.

Jimmy Carter was President, standing for re-election against Ronald Reagan. The issue, foremost in everyone’s mind, was the Iranian Hostage Crisis. The Shia Muslims led by The Grand Ayatollah Khomeini had overthrown the Shah of Iran, a US puppet. Eventually the Revolutionary Guard stormed the US Embassy and took hostages. Carter’s futile attempt to free the hostages through a bungled rescue mission, sealed his fate. The Reagan era would begin on 21 January 1981, my 30th birthday, with the freeing of the hostages by the Iranians.

I digress. I got married, as much to have guilt-free sex as anything else. I convinced myself I was in love with Ayer. I probably was, according to the primitive ideas about love that filled by brain.

The marriage revolved around alcohol, my failing career in commercial insurance, and attempts to have a child. Miraculously we adopted a newborn in 1988. Six years later, we got sober, then we divorced. I began a new life in sobriety.

Twenty one years later, Ayer would die of cancer. She was 66. That was November 2, 2015. Later that November, I would undergo a spinal fusion. I would never work again.

That’s a short version. That’s all I’m capable of right now.

The pain is still too great.

Update: New Hip. Same Me.

On July 14 , a surgeon cut the top of my femur off and replaced it with a piece of plastic that will fit into the socket of my pelvis. No more pain occurs when I walk or sit for too long.

Pretty amazing, huh? And I’m healing nicely, except I take an opioid, oxycodone, for pain management. That messes my head up. I sleep when others are awake. And I am awake at 2:20 AM. My world is topsy-turvy. Comes with the territory called healing.

This is how my world is supposed to be right now. Little things elicit profound gratitude. My son dropped by this afternoon and pruned my azaleas. My friend Scott texts me about baseball scores and what he ate for lunch. And these inconsequential topics suddenly take on great meaning because he is sharing his time with me. My wife J is either working, sleeping, watching TV, or sleeping with the TV on. I guess that last activity counts as multitasking.

I think about sex a lot. The physical pleasure is profound, as best as I can recall, but the intimacy, lying with a woman, after we’ve made love, and we are the only two people in the world, in that naked embrace, is the greatest feeling in the world. If only we humans could match our feelings and desires perfectly with our lovers.

No swimming until this wound from the surgery is healed, not just the scar on my thigh, but all of the muscle and bone beneath is healed.

That’s about it. I’ve avoided blogging, but I need to share my life with you people, who are my friends.

Home, With New Hip.

14 July had me in the hospital at 0600. Signing documents on an electromagnetic pad, or whatever one calls those things.

By 0700 I was in one of those gowns, my left upper leg shaved by this electric razor contraption connected to a mini vac, something like a DustBuster.Then they wheeled me into an operating room and knocked me out. I woke up being fed ice chips, being reassured I was still alive. There is a fancy bandage on my thigh, incisions held together with medical grade Crazy Glue.

It will take a while to recover. Oh well.

One More Day

Until I have my joint replacement surgery, for my left hip. I’m a little apprehensive.

After it’s over and I’ve healed, things are going to be different! Or so I’ve told myself.

I will no longer live in a rat’s nest. I will no longer hoard,. I will exercise every day. YADA YADA YADA.

There is a difference between acceptance and resignation. Exploring that distinction is no ordinary endeavour.

That’s enough resolving for the middle of the night, in the middle of the week, in the middle of the month, in the middle of the year.

Thoughts On Government

“Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.”- Lord Acton (1834-1902).

Back when I was in school, this one maxim about governance made the greatest impression on me. Drawing on the history of the Roman Republic, the founders of the United States of America, structured our government to reduce the possibility of the abuse of power. We have three co-equal branches of government, Executive (The Presidency), Legislative (The Congress), and Judicial, (The Courts). It also follows that the individual sovereign states have that sovereignty to check the power of the Federal Government.

So I get a little perturbed when demagogues rail against the Constitution and its built in safeguards against the accumulation and abuse of power.

Are these structural safeguards fool proof? Obviously, they aren’t. But following these precepts is the best chance we have to maintain our personal liberties against the overreach of megalomaniacs in government.

This republic has always been vulnerable to attack, from persons or institutions who want to nullify this system of limited government. Every four years, we elect a President who can issue Executive Orders, that circumvent the power of Congress, whose Constitutional mandate is precisely to make the laws. The Executive Branch enforces the laws that Congress enacts. A President or an unelected administrator (“bureaucrat”) cannot make up a law or embellish a statute. The Executive “executes” or carries out the will of The Congress, who makes the laws. We, The People, elect The Congress, who write the laws.

Congress also authorises the collection of taxes and issuance of debt to fund the activities of the Executive Branch, i.e. , the military, the National Weather Service, the FBI, The Departments of Education and Health and Human Services, etc, ad nauseum. Through the “power of the purse”, Congress has a check on the Executive Branch. The intention is limiting power to avoid tyranny.

At every level, petty individuals want to use government for personal enrichment. Corrupt city governments are numerous, from New York’s Boss Tweed in the 1870’s to Chicago’s Mayor Lightfoot today. So we teach Civics to educate the citizenry on the purposes and limitations of government.

Limited Government. That is the whole point of our governments in the United States. Limitations to power isn’t the guiding principle of the government of The Peoples Republic Of China, just to name one government among many.

Think about that.

The Birthday Girl

On July 6, 1919, my mother was born. She was born at home, in a Richmond neighbourhood called Fulton Bottom. It wasn’t the nicest neighbourhood, even then. It was near the Gas Works, where they burned coal to obtain coal gas, that they piped through town. With that gas, people heated their homes, cooked their food, and even lit their rooms. All that’s left of the Fulton Gas Works are the structural steel remnants of the holding tanks.

There was also the Fulton Yard of the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad. This is where my grandfather would pick up his train to go East to Newport News, West to Charlottesville or Lynchburg, maybe all the way to Clifton Forge. I don’t know.

Mother talked about the railroad, and how there were Summer excursion trains to Buckroe Beach (for White folks) and Bayshore (for Colored folks). By the time I came along, we drove to Buckroe.

Mother had a vast reservoir of memories. Street cars figured in. The Blizzard of 1940 and the street car figured in one story, where not even the streetcars ran. She loved the movies, with Clark Gable, especially.

The Depression hung over her childhood and her life. People would take jobs like turning Bull Durham Cigarette tobacco bags. People actually did roll their own cigarettes. It was piece work turning those bags. A good job was the brass ring to be grasped from the carousel ride of the Depression. And one day that dream came true for Mom.

She got a job at Reynolds Metals, when they moved from New York, because she knew how to type. She learned Spanish in high school, at a proficiency level that enabled her to translate for her boss.

The anecdotes about her alcoholic father were dark and told us much about her and her frequently dark moods. Clinical depression was what I grew up around. It took me years to understand that this environment was dysfunctional. And that I was scarred by her nightmare as well. Recovering from one’s family of origin is always a life long ordeal.

Happy Birthday, Mom.

You Can Drop Dead. Let The Babies Live.

Modern sexual morality is not a morality at all. Call me sexist, patriarchal, homophobic. I’m all of those and more. 

We’re headed to the ash heap.

Who will survive are the families who stay together, committed to serving each other, who procreate and rear morally upright children.

I just don’t care any longer what the Marxist, secular agnostic Left thinks and does any more. They will go extinct, from the choices they champion. Their social policies from contraception to abortion to euthanasia are suicide pacts, no voluntary genocide.

Have a nice day.