Books, brooks, a sudden savant

Books and Brooks by Melanie

Diana de Avila.Uranium Glass
Uranium Glass. Copyright 2020, Diana de Avila. Used by permission.
Because I’m so old-fashioned, when I woke up in the middle of the night, I updated my blogroll. I mean, what else does one do with a foot cramp at 2 a.m.?

I started with adding some folks who were on my previous blogroll. Some, I discovered, were defunct or inactive.

And I’ve added a new one, Books and Brooks. The title comes from As You Like It: Act II, Scene 1 by Billy Shakes. “And this our life, exempt from public haunt, Finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks, Sermons in stones, and good in everything.”

This blog is by Melanie, whose previous blog I had discovered quite by accident and followed regularly. Unfortunately, it came down, not by her doing.

Melanie was crucial in helping me discover my biological grandfather and has provided me in additional genealogical tips. We’ve never met in person, but she’s has been a great friend.

Synesthesia

Someone I HAVE met in person is Diana de Avila. When I first saw her one New Year’s Eve, she was playing Celtic Snare with Albany Police Pipes and Drums. She became a friend of a friend. Her other relationship went by the boards, but Diana and I kept in touch.

She was/is a fascinating person, a military veteran and a former nun. We’d drink tea or coffee in some hangout on Lark Street in Albany and solve the problems of the world. Briefly, we were even neighbors.

When she moved away, we kept in touch sporadically. Among other things, she was an early tester of Google Glass, which I found fascinating.

And now, I’ve just discovered Diana has Acquired Savant Syndrome. She is one of only 319 people “added to a registry.” She notes, “There are a few things that make my case even rarer: 1) I am a female, 2) mine is accompanied by Synesthesia. 3) I don’t have Autism and am not on the spectrum – mine arose from brain injury.”

The Synesthesia somehow makes sense to me. Many years ago, she and another friend were in the house of my soon-to-be wife reading auras and seeing colors the rest of us were not connected to. It’s not the same thing, of course, but it resonates similarly to me.

You should read this article about Diana, which touches on other aspects of her life including her health. And check out her website.

I’m lucky to have Melanie and Diana in my life.

January rambling #2: Jerks on the Loose

The Wife and I saw Something Rotten at Proctors Theatre in Schenectady.


‘Doomsday Clock’ Moves 30 Seconds Closer To Midnight

From the Barmen Declaration: 8.18 We reject the false doctrine, as though the Church were permitted to abandon the form of its message and order to its own pleasure or to changes in prevailing ideological and political convictions.

“I was a stranger and you did not welcome me.” and What the Bible Says About How to Treat Refugees

Christians’ Call to Speak Truth to ‘Alternative Facts’

Crowd statistics worldwide, 21 January 2017

If you’re looking for those climate change and LGBT rights and Native American pages on whitehouse.gov that disappeared on January 20, know that they are archived at https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/
Continue reading “January rambling #2: Jerks on the Loose”

What have I learned in 2016?

The cost/benefit analysis of singing in the choir mitigates in its favor

Melanie, who got married recently – congratulations, you’ve made an honest man out of your honey! – asks:

What was the most important thing you learned this past year?

That I REALLY have to be more selfish. I find this, at some level, to be an anathema to me. There’s all this service that needs to be done, people to be helped, tasks to be fulfilled.

And I get this message not from my church, though it emphasizes it, but from deep within me. It was modeled by my father and I understand its import.

But Continue reading “What have I learned in 2016?”

Always look on the bright side of life

always-look-on-the-bright-side-of-lifeHey, I’m working on it, looking for the moments with a positive outcome. I got the idea from Ken Levine’s post, Those little pleasures, about which he notes: “Especially now, I’ll take all the pleasures – little or otherwise – that I can get.” Especially since Post-election stress is a big problem (and not just for liberals).

ITEM: My friends Broome and Penny became grandparents last month. Anna, who is partially named after me, and Will , are proud parents of Connor, born November 18.

ITEM: I’ve mentioned my late friend Vito Mastrogiovanni, who died from AIDS back in 1991. His sister Lisa befriended me on Facebook. We started reminiscing about her brother, and Vito’s friends Jane, Harry and Donna all chimed in with Vito stories.

She mentioned that she and Vito had seen me in Boys in the Band back in 1975 in Binghamton. The director was named Charlie, but none of us could remember his last name. I posted the question to a Binghamton FB site and a guy came up with Charles Dietrich, who is now a professor of theater at Baruch College in New York City.
Continue reading “Always look on the bright side of life”

February rambling: expats, and the end of “Parenthood”

dance_as_tho

How America’s Sporting Events Have Turned into Mass Religious Events to Bless Wars and Militarism. Amen.

The Weekly Sift analyzes what the Atlantic article “What ISIS Really Wants” gets right and gets wrong. Also, ISIS Bans Teaching Evolution In Schools in Mosul, as well as art, music, history, literature and, of course, Christianity.

American ISIS: The Domestic Terrorist Fallout of the Iraq War.

Melanie: A Modern Day Scarlet Pimpernel and Human Trafficking.

Something most Americans no little or nothing about: The Trans-Pacific Partnership is the latest trade deal being cooked up in secret by big corporations and their lobbyists.
Continue reading “February rambling: expats, and the end of “Parenthood””