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Circa Easter

Monday 4/1/24

Wrote a couple of op-eds, both of which ran yesterday; a Beatles feature ran the other day. Summary of one of them to a friend: "You write certain things that are meant to lead humanity, where they say, get behind me, humans, I will lead us on, and this piece is like that."

On Thursday I ran 3000 stairs and did 100 push-ups; ran 6000 stairs and walked five miles and did 100 push-ups Saturday; ran 6000 stairs and walked three miles and did 300 push-ups yesterday, which also marked 2821 days, or 403 weeks, without a drink. I've kept to the new dietary approach. Gave up things like pizza and haven't had so much as a single skim milk hot chocolate since I started. Went to Trader Joe's for appropriate foodstuffs and also Haymarket. Did go to Bova's for some raisin bread.

On Saturday I went to the Harvard Art Museums, where I spent most of time in the abstract art galleries and with David Smith's sculptures.

For Easter I read M.R. James's "Oh, Whistle, and I'll Come to You, My Lad," and listened to Stravinksy's Cantata on Old English Texts for Soprano and Tenor soloists, Female Chorus, and Ensemble, and his Mass with the English Camber Orchestra and the St. Anthony Singers, Colin Davis conducting. Also listened to Black Rebel Motorcycle Club's Baby 81 and their new EP, Green Day's 21st Century Breakdown, the Libertines' Up the Bracket, and two episodes of Nightfall: "The Room" and "Last Visit." M.R. James always feels seasonally appropriate; you associate his ghost stories with spring and Easter, autumn, of course, Christmas, of course, and even summer with his protagonists off on their holidays or research and hobby jaunts.

Downloaded the recording of the Who's March 27, 1976 Winterland show--which a partial show--in better sound than what was previously out there. The Who did something at this concert I haven't heard them do elsewhere: They jam at the start of "My Generation" before launching into that attacking riff. You don't see the riff coming; normally it is this immediate thing, blasting out of what had been the silence (or the ambient sounds of the venue). All-out from the start. But here it starts in the middle of something else.

People say dumb things to me. I don't know if they actually think that dumb thing or they're so intimidated that they end up saying dumb things. Someone, for instance, told me you can't tell much about someone from a social media account. First of all, you can tell a lot about anyone from anything. Secondly, if I set out to communicate something, being who I am and with what I can do, I'm automatically going to fail in conveying fullness? Really? His words are just going to let old Colin down? I try to be gentle, but I have no patience for things like this. Then people will make stupid remarks about my productivity. They won't address what's actually there and its quality, of which they're certainly aware and are stunned by, because that is to give me credit, and that takes more courage for them and brains in the execution. In other words, that's a scarier proposition for them, so they leave it out and make me sound like some eager beaver who merely has a number of interests, at which they'll equate us, and it's like, "What on earth are you doing?" Again, not trying to be mean and that person may be perfectly nice, but one can surely understand why this would be unpalatable in the extreme to me.

Watched Edgar Ulmer's 1951 film, The Man from Planet X; sci-fi--with Gothic overtones--comes to the Scottish moors. Ulmer basically made the the picture--which used sets from the 1948 Ingrid Bergman vehicle, Joan of Arc--work with creative use of fog. And work it does. It's smartly directed, appealing, watchable, and rewatchable.

Downloaded a board tape of the Grateful Dead's June 22, 1974 Miami show. On Easter I make sure to listen to a Dead show from 1974. At this one, they sound like they're really playing for each other.


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