written March 3, 2016
Everything is going fairly well. I will try to be more specific:
My schedule workng at the New Haven drug treatment facility called Turning Point is still midnight to 8 am on the mornings of Saturday, Sunday and Tuesday. I especially like the two weekend nights, as I am at an old Victorian house. Besides checking once an hour on the dozen or so clients, I do a fair amount of house chores. Some dishes, the trash, sweeping, a bit of bathroom upkeep, and a little rag and tablecloth laundry. But it really only takes about an hour if done with feeling. I have found that is best to wait a few hours, until about 4 or so, to do the chores, for something to do when I am most likely to drag, so the moving around wakes me up nicely. May got me a new iPhone for my birthday, and it has a music service on it, Spotify, that you can search for and store all of the music you could want or think of. So I listen to some jazz, or a film score, or a symphony while sweeping. I have been trying to be more familiar with classical. My favorite for many years has been the brooding Beethoven (the punk rocker of his day, I think), but I also most like Igor Stravinsky, Ralph Vaughn Williams’s English pastorals like “Fantasia,” and Tchaikovsky . Other than that my job with Turning Point is not unlike the common baby-sitter, to kinda just stay awake; so there I am, drinking coffee at 3 in the morning and reading a book. Morning seems to come sooner than in the first weeks I worked in New Haven, which is good. I am also getting used to the long, straight interstate-95 drives. This is mostly because I love driving my Audi. It is the most fun, and confidently responsive car I’ve ever driven. For the condition it is in vs. the price it was a steal. Thank you again. I wanted to send a second $100 to you earlier this week, but looks like I will have to draw it from my mid-month check this time ‘round. Expect it by the 20th or so. I am happy that I am quickly seeing my credit cards come down.
May and I went to see The Witch last Sunday, the 28th (very good! The most realistic depiction –dress, speech, their complex concept of the universe and God– of Puritan life I’ve ever seen). I haven’t seen any of the films that were nominated for Best Picture yet. The Sunday before, the 21st, we drove over to Essex, CT to test out the Audi and its sound system on a warm day and to have brunch by the fire at the Griswold Inn, that was built in 1776, with seafaring paintings and antique musket collections on the walls.
Most days I try to take a walk throughout Mystic; it is almost warm enough to finally begin to bike again, which is my favorite and much preferred exercise.
I finally have an eye exam tomorrow morning here in Mystic through my Husky plan (state Medicare). I’d like to get a new primary pair as well as get my current glasses tightened (they get lose over time and fall off).
I continue to follow the election. I feel fortunate to be able to witness what will, whatever else happens, be studied by political scientists and historians for a long time. And I don’t have the slightest clue what will happen next. Mitt Romney’s speech today was just the latest surprise. I thought it an excellent one, detailed in its argumentation but succinct as a whole, and perfectly delivered (at least for how I like these things to sound). Again with the history, which should be appreciated: there he is, the previous party nominee speaking out so forcefully against the current party front-runner, and then to have the 2008 party nominee quickly second it. Wow. But I think this speech will paradoxically work to both sides’ short-term benefit. The establishment can take heart in the moment, I guess, but on the other hand Trump’s supporters can simply see Romney’s scorn as further validation of Trump’s “us against the world” message. Have I said ‘Wow’ yet? 2016 is extremely peculiar in its own way, but it’s also good to know very goofy things have happened in the past, too. Here is just one example, the election of 1872:
*** As a way to explain the video a bit: The early Republican party (1860s, 1870s) was the nation’s forward-thinking, let’s-try-new-things-party (Emancipation Proclamation, 13th Amendment anyone?), while the Democratic Party of this time (sigh) was the traditionalist, keep-things-more or-less-as-they-are party– Don’t rock that boat! Republicans of this era even called themselves the “Radical Republicans” for how much they wanted to shake things up. Remember too the movie “Lincoln.” What a bunch of hippies, right? Hahaha… Anyway, when the video brings up that there was a splinter party for the election that year drawn from the Republican Party, and they called themselves the “Liberal Republicans,” this is meant in the traditional/historical sense, not the 20th century way. “Liberal” in the old, historical definition meant power of the citizenry (like the Magna Carta, the English Constitution), and “conservative” meant the traditional ruling structure (an all-powerful king guy).