13 June 2013: Best to Go Out Dancing in Red Sox, with a Pound from the Poor-Box

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35 min workout first thing: 150 steps, 150 supine pull-ups, 10 minute walk included the recommended uphill from the residence building.

That oatmeal, sweet congee was served this morning. It is hard to finish because it’s rather cloying after one bowl and the Egg. The appearance of the dread Oatmeal just means that tomorrow’s Congee will be fluffy and made out of rice. Actually the dread Oatmeal ain’t bad when you grab it hot.

Bought plenty of chocolate for today’s shoot: Hershey’s Special Dark for taste, M & Ms peanut and plain for color. I will fill old Hershey’s Special Dark tins with them every time a visitor arrives to get started on returning that that was done for me last Feb and March when I was gorked out and dependent on the Kindness of Strange-ahs, as was prophesied in my 2010 Unknown Helper series.

To the Unknown Helper detail

Edward G. Nilges, grisaille study for the Unknown Helper. Oct 2010: pencil, pen and computer enhancement.

I have, owing to my addiction to 68% Cacao Hershey’s Special Dark, a lot of useful tins, useful for storing coins or as serving dishes.

And when I am discharged, these tins will be useful for storing medications in an organized way. One tin could hold all my meds for one day together with my prescriptions so I don’t get busted for carrying Fentanyl, a class A controlled substance. That is IF I have to continue on Fentanyl. I hope to cut back and eliminate it. Still need to talk with my physician about what’s planned.

This form of synthetic, powerful morphine is not “fun” apart from the genuine “high” of a relief from pain. Perhaps the impurities in the opium poppy gave the old addicts the pleasant dreams recounted as part of the experience: perhaps lives in Asia were so unimaginably harsh that elimination of pain was a high.

I have always had colorful and strange dreams. I often fly, starting out with standing around with friends and showing them how easy it is. Next thing you know I am cruising my air space with no flight plan on file.

The relativity, of pain and pleasure, and release from Suffering as named by the Buddha, bears examination. Orwell, in the Road to Wigan Pier, recounts how for some English men, merely taking an aspirin was recreational, something looked forward to at the end of another dark and drizzly day. Thailand was dug out of the jungle by hopheads.

But I have no excuse, having discovered endorphins. In fact, I am disgustingly chipper every morning here since pushing my envelope (increasing step aerobics on the bum leg, climbing more stairs, etc), resisting pain, creates an endorphin release and may be responsible for the Muscular Christianity of these texts. Of course, I am a Christian (at least if Papists are) and muscular, so there it is.

Photos are from my Theater Day in which I meet with the star of Glorious, the lovely and talented Jacqueline Gourlay Grant. Glorious is a gloriously funny and rather touching play about Florence Foster Jenkins, the 1940s soprano who thought she was great but actually, by most measures, save those of the truly *saelig* (holy, happy, silly and blessed), sucked. Big time. But she always got the top notes in Mozart’s aria *Der Hollle Racht* correct. None around those four but for sure those four.

Ms Grant as Florence Jenkins is supported in a folie a deux plus by the redoubtable actor Barry O’Rorke as her ever-supportive husband. Andrew Swift plays one Cosme McMoon, a real musician who falls under Florence’s spell. Nicola Rae stalks onto stage in a doomed effort to get Florence to realize that she sucks, only to bounce off the reality distortion field created by Florence, St Clair et al. Candice Moore directed. Wendy Herbert was magnificent as a Spanish speaking maid who won’t learn English any more than Florence will learn Spanish.

Two lovely and talented actress friends carted my sorry ass to the theater and to dinner afterward. It was a wonderful evening. I hope I enlivened it with scintillating conversation: suffice it to say one tries when at one of these bunfights with talented and interesting people!

Photo credits belong to Ines Laimins!

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Kant Update

Oops, no time to assemble yesterday’s rather intriguing notes about the “soul” encountered in Kant into a proof of its immortality.

I have thought in the past that the soul was an emergent quality, a holistic picture of a “man [or woman] in full”: the image of Eric Liddell, the Olympic star and missionary to China, throwing his head back in ecstasy as he wins the race. But if the soul is simple it represents pure hope.

You know, a baby who hasn’t yet had a chance to grow up to be a great lout full of wickedness. The “burning Babe” who appears in the poem by Southwell: “my faultless breast the furnace is”. The little kid in that forgotten movie who greats his father in heaven with his Speak and Spell in hand. My late son was, as I’ve said before, a gifted Speak and Spell hacker and I’ll never forget the time Eddie wanted to show me a new discovery but I had to get to the airport. Damn. (Note to self: prayer).

Anyway: to think precisely about things that matter.

Outline of a Critique of Assisted Suicide

Warning: I am completely against it, as was my life-loving suffering Father, as are the Confucian care-givers of Hong Kong who take in old bastards like me. If you allow assisted suicide I cannot live in your society. In Geneva I’d be a blot on the landscape and deported to the USA. Here I am given r e s p e c t. Something I am not used to but shall return along with payment of the bill here (have paid half already).

There was an article about it in the Paillative Caregivers’ journal. It appears that it has no chance of being approved here. Good. The older I get, the more I feel queasy, as did my father, when some slick New Age type (with those good looks my father associated with the Nazis) starts talking about organ donation [don’t do it] and assisted suicide.

To actually be valued as a resource when you’re a talkative old coot is wonderful. I shall try not to go overboard.

But now, incipit an outline of resistance to assisted suicide.

1. The paillative caregivers’ professional journal this month contains the story of a man who sought assisted suicide in Switzerland
1.1. Aleph: ah, Switzerland, yes. Every American white person thinks he secretly belongs there.
1.2. Beth: as soon as life ceases to be residence in an upscale university neighborhood do we pull the plug? As if we know that anything other than residence in an upscale university neighborhood (with few blacks to remind us, as James Baldwin said blacks remind whites, of night, the death and the devil, nacbt todt undt Teufel).
1.3. Ghimel: lost has become what Chesterton called, in his corny, rousing, and Politically Incorrect poem Lepanto, the very capability for laughter and surprise.
1.4. Heth: It is to me a category mistake to think I’m in control. In my way of thinking, a Power “greater than myself” is in the bus driver’s seat like that matey, friendly bus driver in Sydney Australia. In a Kantian sense, this Power (which-who has a sense of humor) likes to wallop me with “spontaneous” experience such as the doctor’s “I do not have good news” (wham!) to pain (ouch!) to my late son Eddie emailing me and saying you are a Grampa (bang!).

Best to go out roaring
Best to go out dancing in red sox
With a pound from the mission box

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Change Record
18 June 2013 Modified poem and title

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