Going to bed early, waking up early! It's been this way for a couple of weeks, probably longer. Funny, I thought this pendulum stopped swinging back and forth. It has been so long since it last swung this way. I thought it was my settled way of life and sleep to go to bed after midnight, sometimes after one, and waking up at 8:30. I suppose I prefer this way and to get a jump on the day, but the thing is, it is so tempting to go for an extra hour of sleep. But at seven, you finally give up, since you've really been up since six, as you continue to lie there in denial. And so you get that jump on the day, even though you feel more like a worm than the early bird. What's a little disquieting, I still cannot figure what it is that gets this pendulum to swing one or the other. Is it the seasons? My memory is too weak for me to tell. ... ... Between Mann's "Joseph" and the card-shuffling and the chess, I find my mind wandering back to the law school office where I did my work-study hours as an undergraduate when I was still just dreaming about law school and manhood. I have no idea why my mind wants to play there, except that it is at that critical point where my future was looking so promising and when my life was actually beginning to fall apart. I seemed to be at the cusp of two very different life tracks, and we know how that worked out. Nevertheless, no new insights are coming to me. It is all old, very familiar ground. Interestingly, that little mexican secretary is at the center of these recollections. The sister/mother woman who was actually hostile toward me. But like I said, I cannot make anything out of it. I don't know why my remembrances are focused on her. I am mainly struck by how old the thoughts feel - vintage, 1980s, having the aura of an old sit-com TV show. Maybe I am just feeling my age in a new, more striking way. ... ... I got a notice from Old Reader: after 62 days of inactivity, they clear our shit. I logged in, though I probably should let it go. It just has my old feeds from Tumblr, and I no longer trust those pictures anyway, as I have noticed them going blank on my porn blog, and it is not as though I am hurting for porn with Motherless. On the other hand, it only costs a few seconds of clicking to maintain my rights. ... ... The Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov has announced the “post-West world order”, apparently confident that President Chump with just drop his trousers and bend over whenever Putin wants it. [NYT] It's bad enough, of course, that Trump has opened the flood gates of white nationalism at home, but it's mind-boggling that he should also seek to be America's biggest traitor in the whole history of the country. Talk about 'Manchurian candidate'! You'd think that this stuff could only be found in pop-fiction trash. ... ... What a joke I've made of my life. Paige says, "What, just because you are having a bad run at Free Cell?" Well, it brings things into perspective. I mean, just the fact that I am spending my day playing Free Cell is suggestive enough. The fact that I am also losing it doesn't help. "But you ought to be wary of your almost bi-polar tendency to swing into extremes. At the very least, you've had a lot of help at being joke." Heh, yeah, I guess you could say I was born a joke. "That's the spirit! And think of this: would you rather spend the day mopping floors? or even refilling the ink of the office copy machine?" No. That would earn some money, but it's hardly worth it. Besides, I haven't lost this game yet. ... ... I opened an account at Dictionary.com, but I imagine that account will lie as dead as my Twitter account. You can make lists of words, but that's about it. I like the dialogue one can have at Vocabulary.com with their teaching program. I'm glad it's a woman's voice. It does help. ... ... Paul Krugman on the new Trumpian politics: "it's always about removing restraints on the powerful and protections for the weak." ... ... It's not even 10:30 yet, but after finishing my little dinner, I already feel like going to bed. I wonder if I can fit in another Hitchens essay as I wind down with the after-dinner clean-up and the teeth brushing and bed fixing, leavened with a little Solitaire and card-shuffling.