I was a little upset with myself for harvesting so much more basil than I was actually going to use. Then I remembered that I have artisan-made glasses. This should keep in the refrigerator for a while. And, it should make a nice submission for Random Photo Day.
There is a delightful restaurant in the Hyde Park area of Austin called Hyde Park Bar & Grill. It opened around 1982, when Austin was still undeniably weird. The landmark fork in front came about (according to their website) in response to a sign ordinance. The Fork has since taken on a life of its own, with different objects being used in conjunction – most notably the French fries, because their French fries are legend.
Since the idea of selfies have become a part of our nation's fabric (for better or for worse), they have installed a selfie stand, which is designed to allow people to take a picture of themselves with the fork. Pretty engenious, if you ask me.
It's unfortunate that the hash tag they chose seems to be making a disparaging remark about their fork in Spanish. But, oh well.
I'm reading a book. It's almost eleven at night and I should be sleeping, but I'm not. Why? Because my sheets are drying. I have new sheets and I used them before washing them, which probably just made some of you cringe physically. But, at the time I needed to change my sheets, and I didn't have time to wash. So, I just accepted that they were clean because they were new and I went with it.
Putting the new sheets back onto my bed, I saw that the seam in the top fold was terribly loose. The needle holes were so big I could see through them. Now, I just physically cringed. All the way across the top I could see through the holes where the thread passed through and I'm no longer confident that I will be able to use these sheets after all. As I look closer, I realize that it is intentional – a sort of decorative feature. The tiny holes are finished almost as much as a buttonhole would be. That makes it somewhat better.
I have what is known as trypophobia. What is that, you ask? Is it an automatic revulsion to seeing typos published? That's what I initially thought. But, if you did think that, you were wrong. I would encourage you to search the internet for the word. You'll surely find more illustrations than you could ever want to see. Frankly, one is more than any human would probably want to see. My problem was that, like a terrible car accident, I couldn't look away.
Trypophobia is an irrational aversion to repeated patterns, particularly those found in nature. Yes, being boring and slightly hypochondriacal is no longer just for the well-to-do. For example, I haven't checked the mail in ten years. I don't know if there is a name for this or not. I've read other people's accounts of the affliction, and it generally ties back to a traumatic event. At one point, when I lived alone, the post office apparently decided that I had moved without leaving a forwarding address and began returning all mail back to the sender. It used to be that only people who didn't have to work 16 hours a day (or to put it another way, those who didn't have to work for a living) could have the luxury of such an irrational problem. Now, look at me. I'm right up there with them.
And, with trypophobia, leisure is mostly what started it in the first place. I don't know that it ever raised its ugly head before a product called Photoshop hit the market, and even then the product had to saturate the market to the extent that people with time on their hands could learn how to use it. (Or, people who knew how to use it had time on their hands? Not sure which.) Photoshop is a software that allows people to emulate an actual photography lab. You can tweak the exposure of an image, play with contrast, and then when you're really bored you can merge a lovely lotus pod with somebody's elbow making it look like that person has a horrific disease. And, why wouldn't somebody do that?
Once you've seen enough images like that – lotuses, natural sponges, other random textures merged into human skin – any sort of texture or pattern becomes slightly repulsive. Maybe I'll recant my earlier encouragement to search the internet for this mental plague. You probably have better things to do with your time, and you don't need to spend the next thirty years of your life wincing at the sight of a lovely flower pod. Having this phobia is not all it's cracked up to be.
Something happened this week. It's worth mentioning that a social media guru that I follow (Kristen Lamb) has warned writers against posting about politics, unless they specifically want to be political writers. Her reasoning is sound – if you want to be known as a mystery writer, then that's the sort of image you should be developing for yourself. It's about branding and what people thing about when they see your name. Do they think about interesting places and intriguing thoughts, or political rants? So, I try to restrain myself. But something happened this week. To me it seems like something huge; it feels huge. I am glued to the radio and I find that I can't sleep at night.
My younger brother, who lives and breathes politics, seems to treat it as insignificant – something to laugh about, and an opportunity to be amused by the people who are upset about it. I try to temper my response, to measure myself against him to make sure I'm not overreacting.
I'm not good at politics.
I am usually good at writing. But, when my brain is consumed by something like this, I find it difficult. The President of the United States fired the director of the FBI, James Comey, as Comey was in the middle of an investigation into Russian meddling in our 2016 presidential election, as well as possible collusion with the president's campaign. Reasons have been put forward and then contradicted, and it all feels very much like the original Watergate investigation. This is not small, and thanks to social media I can get updates as they happen, which is all day every day. I don't want to, but I can't stop looking at this train wreck.
I try to do other things. I listen to my own music, but I get emails on my phone from news outlets and I can't bring myself to turn them off. I tried listening to the Sam's New Thing podcast, hosted by Sam Sanders of NPR (one of the original co-hosts of the NPR Politics podcast.) I thought it was supposed to be about art, culture, music and other interesting things, but even in this forum he and his friends discussed this topic for the first half of the show.
I can't seem to get away from it. I am unable to write, or to read or to paint or draw. I am unable to do the things that could help me cope with this uneasiness. Also, it leaves me to wonder what I would be writing for. If I published one of my usual blog posts, it would be drowned by everything going on with the FBI issue. If I can't concentrate enough to even read a novel, would everybody else be as consumed?
Agador, I need some Pirin tablets. Quickly
I've mentioned before, here at bemol Ardiente, that my life has basically been a musical. Right now, it sort of looks like this. I've talked myself out of trying for over 40 years. I'm not giving up this time.