Posts Tagged ‘Morpheus’

Letter from Claverack 08 11 2017 Wanting to be home before the apocalypse…

August 11, 2017

As is not unusual, jazz is playing in the background as I am sitting at the kitchen table of my brother and sister-in-law’s home in Bloomington, MN.  Last night, after my arrival, a magnificent thunderstorm slashed across the sky and I sat for a while, watching out the window.  In a strange way, it felt warm and comfortable, evoking some good childhood memory.

Sleeping in later than usual, I found myself feeling plastered to the mattress from a heavy sleep that had wrapped itself around me.  Morpheus kept blowing tenderly on my face.

The weather today promised more thunderstorms though none arrived, though the sky is mostly leaden and threatening.  Soon a friend from high school will pick me up and we’ll go off to see other friends.

When and how I return to the cottage is undecided.  I arrived by train and maybe I will train back, maybe fly or drive or…

For reasons I don’t understand but which I accept, I am wanting not to feel boxed in by a defined schedule even though I am scheduling lots of time with family and friends.

Ah, I looked up and a soft rain has started.  Best I take my umbrella this evening.

This morning, I deleted every email that contained news.  I didn’t want to know until after a couple of cups of coffee because our world does seem more and more unsettled.  A few minutes ago, I opened Google News and the top story was “Meet Kim Jung Un, A Moody Man with a Nuclear Arsenal” from the New York Times.

Well, as I pondered whether I was going to click on the link, I thought of our president, who I think of a as a moody man and he has a bigger nuclear arsenal than Kim Jung Un and I just don’t know what to think any more about much of anything.

As I am away from my home as I write this, I jokingly [but not totally] said to a colleague, I want to be back home before the apocalypse.

The president has raised the verbal ante and has declared we are “locked and loaded,” which, according to reports from retired generals, we are not anywhere near.

China has declared it will remain neutral if North Korea strikes first and not if we do.  Russia is saying we are both being belligerent and they’re right.  We are. Well, President Trump is being belligerent; everyone else is trying to keep things calm.  I feel sorry for John Kelly, now Chief of Staff.  What a job he has! And not one I would want.

The president is taking on Mitch McConnell, which pundits are saying is not a wise move.

And do we expect wisdom from this president?

Not now, not ever, I am sad to say.

 

 

Letter From Claverack 03 07 2017 A day late but not necessarily a dollar short…

March 8, 2017

Written yesterday, having fallen into the arms of Morpheus before I could post or email…

This has been a very hygge kind of day.  There is a document I need to deliver to the Miller Center and I have been cozied up in the cottage all day working on it.  Outside, it has been drear, chill and damp.  Inside, it’s been warm and comfortable.

Waking, I started a fire in the Franklin Stove to help take the chill off the cottage.

Yesterday, I had started working on a document I owe the Miller Center on the Presidency and today I worked to complete the first draft so I could hone it tomorrow and send it off to them.

Since 7:00 this morning, I have been working.  First, I curled up in bed and handled the voluminous number of emails I receive. Then I made coffee in my Clever Coffee Dripper, a new investment on my search for a great cup of morning coffee. [Not bad…]

Since 9 this morning, I have been huddled over my laptop, working, sorting through a variety of documents, making sense of thoughts I’ve had.  It’s been good, exhausting but good.

It’s lovely to stretch my mind and this has been one of the greatest stretches of my recent time, putting together media recommendations for the Miller Center for the Presidency at this exact moment in time.

Wow! Juicy good.

Every morning I wake up and wonder what has happened while I’m asleep.  While it makes some of my friends crazy angry, I can’t do that.  It’s more like: Wow! At least to me.

There is a new Republican plan to repeal and replace Obamacare and in reading articles right now, it seems DOA.  Conservative Republicans hate it; Democrats despise it and to some it doesn’t make much sense.  The games have begun and we’re off to the races.

Yikes.  It’s a mess.

As is the claim by President Trump that former President Obama ordered wiretaps on Trump Tower.  The President has offered no back-up to his claim and has, per Sean Spicer, no regrets about his tweets.

Oh, dear.

Some of my friends wake up apoplectic about all of this.  I don’t.  History is playing out and I am very curious about history will play out.  It is incredible what is happening.

While the Trump allegations are playing out, Wikileaks has dumped a huge amount of information which lets us know that the CIA has been monitoring us through our Smart TVs, our phones and our cars.

We can’t blame this on Trump.  This has been going on before him.  Call me shocked.  What’s been going on?  Glad I don’t have a Smart TV but I do have a Smart Phone.  Wonder what they know about me?

This feels very “1984,” a book by George Orwell that became very popular after the Trump election.  All of this, though, started before that.

I, Joe Average Citizen, and I am a Joe Average Citizen, seem to have discovered my government is routinely spying on me and I am perturbed by that.

Really perturbed…

What world am I living in?  Has the CIA become the Stasi?  I am immensely confused by the world I am living in as it is not the world I expected.

Call me naïve. Call me stupid.  The CIA is watching our Smart TV’s?  My Smart Phone?

Wowza, that scary sci-fi future is here.

And so I am at home, doing my best to assimilate all this and also doing my best to be very hygge.  And it has been a hygge kind of day.

Great jazz.  Working on a project for which I have passion, fire in the Franklin Stove, watching the gray day slip by.  That has been hygge.  We need it, I suspect, in a world that seems to have gone mad around me.

Electing Hillary Clinton would have carried us safely down the stream for a while.  Donald Trump is forcing us to confront our democracy.

Oh, dear.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Letter From Saba 02 18 2017 When Morpheus departs…

February 18, 2017

It is still pitch dark outside; a few buildings are illuminated at the foot of Mt. Scenery.  From my balcony, a cock crows in the distance, harbinger of the coming dawn.

For reasons unknown, I woke an hour ago and discovered Morpheus had fled and I was now a participant in the day, whether I wanted or not.

It’s fine.  If I am tired later there is nothing keeping me from napping.  It is my last day on Saba before I return home to the cottage.  This a rock of an island and doesn’t sport the voluptuous beaches of other Caribbean islands and I have grown, in a few days, quite fond of the place and hope I get to return this side of paradise.

Yesterday afternoon, I almost felt I lived here.  Donna, the taxi driver, took me on a tour of the island and then left me in Windward Side to do some shopping.  By the end of the tour, Donna felt like my new best friend.

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As I strolled around, Hemmie, who owns the hotel where I am staying drove by and gaily waved at me as did several people I had seen in restaurants.  Recognition deserves friendliness here.

It is almost but not quite chill this morning.

It is also probably chill in quite a few places back in America, where everyone, it seems, is talking about President Trump’s Press Conference.  One of the best takes on it is from Shep Smith on Fox News.  If interested, you can find it here.

Because I am on a spec of an island in the Caribbean with not much to do but enough that I’m not following every step of President Trump’s progress – or lack thereof, I saw only bits and pieces, most of them disturbing.

In the pre-dawn darkness, with cocks crowing the coming dawn, seated on my bed, I am thinking that I am living the Chinese curse:  may you live in interesting times.   For these are “interesting” times.

In the White House sits a man who seems disconnected from reality, incapable of telling the absolute truth, also incapable of spinning a good untruth.  The Russian questions aren’t going away until they’re answered and calling them “fake news” is only going to make more of us want to know what the “real news” is about what was going on while Trump’s folks were apparently cozying up to Russian officials.

It is disturbing to watch.

Mr. Trump proclaimed his administration is acting like “a finely oiled machine.”  Oh, please, Mr. Trump…

Ah, but here I am on the island of Saba, part of the Netherlands, which is having its own struggle with the “alt right” movement.  And that seems far away to the inhabitants of this little island which seems to want nothing more than to live in harmony with each other as best they can.

There was a murder here back in 1989 and not another one until 2015, which happened at the medical school that’s here, educating men and women who want to be doctors and who couldn’t find slots in the States.

Donna told me she’s never fearful about wandering around on the island and I haven’t locked my doors since I arrived.  There is a lock; I just haven’t used it.  I don’t feel the need.

And that’s very hygge.

Just as this moment is, sitting on my bed, typing away, feeling a little sleepy again and thinking that when I am finished, I’ll see if Morpheus will return to my side and give me an hour or two more rest.

Letter From New York 05 13 15 In search of laughs but not snark…

May 13, 2015

As the workday draws to a close in New York, I am preparing to go to see “The 39 Steps” Off Broadway. A few weeks ago I made a pledge to myself that I would work to do one cultural thing a week for myself. Two weeks ago I went to “It’s Only A Play” on Broadway with Matthew Broderick and Nathan Lane and Stockard Channing. The following week I went to a screen of the new film version of “Far From The Madding Crowd,” the rom com version according to some reviewers. And I went to the new Whitney Museum.

Tonight, it’s “The 39 Steps” a lighthearted take on Alfred Hitchcock’s movie of the same name. Earlier today I was seeking out what I might do next week. Maybe a morning at another museum?

What has been dominating headlines and my email today has been the tragic Amtrak crash last night just outside of Philadelphia, killing seven at the last account and injuring many dozens. I could almost visualize the spot where the train left the track. I don’t know how many times I have traveled that route, coming and going between New York and D.C.

My nephew, Kevin Malone, phoned me last night to see if I was all right when I didn’t respond to two texts. I was already in the soft arms of Morpheus when they came in and didn’t hear the alert sound. Several other friends checked in on me today, all knowing that the route is one of my regular trips.

It now appears the train was traveling at near 100 MPH when the curve is supposed to be taken at 50 MPH.

There are about 100 of us who are regular commuters on the Empire Line, which runs from New York to Albany. We have a Google groups mailing list and it has been very active today. It feels as if distant members of our “family” have been involved.

In what may have been inappropriate or at least awkward timing, a Committee in the House voted today to cut funding for Amtrak.

As a regular consumer of Amtrak, I am a big supporter and can’t believe that we are allowing our rail infrastructure to slip the way it is. But then I am boggled at the way we are letting all our infrastructure crumble. I think about it every time I cross a bridge; thousands of them are not up to snuff.

The peevish and pudgy North Korean dictator has apparently executed the number two man in the army for falling asleep at one of his meetings. He had him shot with an anti-aircraft gun, certainly a way of making sure the job was done thoroughly. Probably he didn’t sleep through that.

A number of North Korean officials have simply disappeared and he is said to have had his aunt poisoned after ordering his uncle, her husband, killed.

Still awake is George Lucas, who is celebrating his 71st birthday. Happy, Happy to the man who gave us “Star Wars.”

In what is probably no surprise to anyone who follows the tech world, Facebook and Instagram are the two top social apps for mobile users. Facebook owns Instagram. The Zuckerberg juggernaut plows forward.

The Verizon purchase of AOL is continuing to be parsed in the press, with bits of snark attached to many such as: this will be the second time AOL has been involved in the world’s worst merger.

On the campaign trail, the big story today is that Jeb Bush fumbled a question about the Iraq war and that has created a discomfort among his supporters and an opening for his rivals.

In Iraq, the defense ministry is claiming that Abu Alaa Al-Fari, second in command of IS, has been killed in an air raid on a mosque. The U.S. cannot confirm the death but does confirm the mosque was bombed.

Fourteen months ago, MH370 disappeared into the ocean and has not been found. Searchers did find an unidentified shipwreck. It shows the equipment is working well though still not find the missing plane.

In the South China Sea, the Chinese are building some islands. Their position is that the extension of the islands increases the area of their international waters. The U.S. doesn’t agree. Nor do Japan and the Philippines.   A U.S. warship sailed through those waters and the Chinese are upset, sounding warnings about playing nice in very strong words.

I am off to catch my play, with hopes of a bit of food before the curtain rises, looking forward to an evening of laughs not snark.