Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Evanston: weight loss; Mr. Magoolash; nightmare

        I have lost six pounds.  Three from my body, which didn’t need it.  Three from my devices, which did.
        The three from my body were an unintentional but now accepted consequence of my spending time on GANNET, where, although I workout less, I lead a naturally more active life than in Evanston, particularly in the winter, which hasn’t even started, despite the view from our windows of a thin layer of snow beneath a thick layer of low gray cloud.
        I expect to gain some of the lost pounds back over the holidays.
        I recently took a survey in order to obtain a slight reduction in our health insurance premiums.  At the conclusion it advised me that for my age and height, my waist could be up to 40” and still be considered normal.
        Even if I weren’t moving in the other direction, I’d have a long way to go.

        The three pounds from devices is more useful and comes from my MacBook Air weighing 2 1/2 pounds less than my MacBook Pro, and a new iPad mini weighing almost 3/4 pound less than my third generation full size iPad.  While the amounts are not great, the change in handling and feel is revelatory and dramatic.  
        The weight savings is in fact even greater for, although I can’t fit all my music on a 64 GB mini, and regret that I didn’t spend the extra hundred dollars for 128 GB, the mini instantly became my preferred device, replacing the full size iPad, a Kindle Paperwhite, and an iTouch.  I will keep all those as backup; but I am basically down to two:  the mini and the Air.

        Oddly, or perhaps not, considering, I, who have made a career of sorts talking about myself, come from a close-mouthed family who did not.
        I don’t know how any of my relatives met  and very little else about them, including why my father and mother separated before I was born or why he seven years later committed suicide.  
        As a matter of survival, young animals are sensitive to their surroundings, particularly to the adult members of their species present; and as a young child I knew something was wrong.  Only earlier this year, while having dinner with friends, did Carol hear me state what seems to me obvious:  my mother disliked me for the same reason my grandmother liked me:  I reminded both of my father.  I saw him for a few minutes twice and cannot judge.  
        So I was not close to my family, except that one grandmother, and tend to think of myself as springing full blown, if not like Athena from the head of Zeus, then from my own mind.
        However, a reader, Dave, who is interested in genealogy, has done some research into mine and revealed things about myself that I did not know, for which I thank him.
        I had thought that both sides of my family came from England, on one side before the Revolutionary War.  With one exception, particularly significant because it gave me my first name, that is true.  Dave has provided a family tree on my mother’s side that shows one great-grandfather, Sigmund C. Weber, was born in 1869 in Budapest, Hungary.  I had no idea there was a Sigmund in my family, nor a Hungarian.
        My vision has been impaired all my life, obviously worse in the past two years.  However, I usually read without my eyeglasses and sometimes get up without remembering to put them back on, which can result in my peering about nearsightedly in a fashion reminiscent of Mr. Magoo.  Now I discover that I’m really Mr. Magoolash.

        I continue to read IMMORTAL POETS a few poems at a time.
        Most of the poems are not new to me, but many I have not read for years.
        So far the most compelling have been by William Blake.  After reading his, I immediately bought the Kindle edition of WILLIAM BLAKE:  The Complete Illuminated Books.
        I was also surprised, even amazed by Coleridge’s ‘Rime of the Ancient Mariner’.
        The first part includes lines and images that have entered the tribal consciousness:  water, water everywhere, and not a drop to drink.  A painted ship on a painted sea.  An albatross around the neck.
        But it is the last part of the long poem that I had forgotten and which particularly impresses me.  Passages are nightmarish enough to have been written by Edger Allen Poe; though perhaps the nightmare is of the opium to which Coleridge was addicted.