11 March 2019

11 March 2019

 11 March 2019 is Commonwealth Day for members of the Commonwealth of Nations (which is what we call the ghost of the British Empire today). Apparently it started as a celebration of Queen Victoria’s birthday on 24 May, and somehow mutated to a celebration of the Commonwealth on the second Monday in March. If it keeps on backing through the calendar at this rate it will end up colliding with the Yuletide festivities in a century or so.

10 March 2019

10 March 2019

 10 March 2019 is Harriet Tubman Day in the United States, in honor of her work on the underground railroad and in fighting slavery generally. It doesn’t seem to have much of any other significance, and once again I’ve got absolutely nothing to add to a lackluster day. Well, “Sunday is the dullest day,” as the poet says, “treating | Laughter as profane sound, mixing | Worship and despair, killing | New thought with dead forms.” Maybe it’s simply what we have coming. Solis or dimanĉo, Κυριακή or Pazar, dimanche or Sonntag, it all comes down to the same thing—the day of preparation for the horrors ahead.

09 March 2019

9 March 2019

 9 March 2019 is Ornette Coleman’s birthday. It’s also Bobby Fischer’s birthday, as well as the birthday of P. Z. Myers. The day’s saint is Catherine of Bologna (1413–1463), patron saint of artists, against temptations, and of Bologna.
It snowed again last night in Portland, enough snow that the neighbors were building snow men and erecting snow walls. It is rapidly melting away, but I’m frankly amazed it had the temerity to stick around this long this late in the season.

08 March 2019

8 March 2019

 8 March 2019 is International Women’s Day. While it is a major holiday in much of the world, here in the United States it is largely overlooked, although it seems like a perfect opportunity for people to send cards or other tokens of appreciation to significant women in their lives—and thus keep our capitalist economy humming. Still.
In international news the failed peace talks between Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump have heightened the likelihood of conflict between North Korea and the United States—or more likely U.S. allies like South Korea or Japan. At any rate the North Koreans have not stopped building nuclear weapons at any point during this alleged peace process, and Trump (of course) has no plan in place for discouraging them. To the contrary, the only thing so far that has brought a sitting U.S. president racing over to pay court to the tinpot dictator is his possession of nuclear weapons. It is hard to imagine the circumstances that would induce him to give them up.

07 March 2019

7 March 2019

 7 March 2019 is, as far as my calendar knows, no holiday at all. It is Rik Mayall’s and Arthur Lee’s birthday, however, so it’s not a total loss. I’m feeling really crappy, which is but one reason this entry is so goddamn late in the day, and I’m sort of feeling that the end is somewhere up ahead almost in sight. Premonition? I don’t believe in them, but doom-shaped clouds lurk ahead, and my course is set, like it or not.

06 March 2019

6 March 2019

 6 March 2019 is Ash Wednesday. It is the birthday of Michelangelo, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Ring Lardner, and Will Eisner. And it is also the anniversary of the famous last stand at the Alamo. And today it’s snowing right here in Portland.
And that’s about what I seem to have today. The news is boring, and I don’t have the energy to put out anything of any substance. I’ve got to get some sleep before nightfall.
Had he lived, my father would have been ninety-four today. I suppose even if he’d beaten that giant cell arteritis a couple decades back something would have likely gotten him by now. Still, ninety-four is by no means out of reach. I don’t expect to see it myself, but almost certainly some people who were born when I was will.

05 March 2019

5 March 2019

 5 March 2019 is Shrove Tuesday, alias Fat Tuesday, a.k.a. Mardi Gras. In Vermont it is Town Meeting Day. It is the last day to live it up before the horrors of Lenten austerity descend.

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