02 January 2022

holidays and 2021 book learning

the covids have set us back in a number of ways, all of it made way worse by trump's politicization of the whole mess early on — i've had my vaccinations and booster, unlike the 40-fkn-%  who haven't gotten anything, which itself tells us nothing new about the mouth-breathers who are always all around us at any time and anywhere (read defoe's a journal of the plague year-1665) — i haven't been on a areoplane or even gone anywhere out of state since august 2019 and only one soccer match and virtually no eating out during that time — but we started up our 106 supper club again, i've met a couple of friends for lunch at manuels, and i see robt a few times a week — to be honest, i've enjoyed the enforced solitude 

but i'm glad i have the beagle, who wants nothing more than to be right where i am, which can get annoying sometime since i typically don't like clingy things — also too i know this juggler who is always wanting to show me his wares, as it were, and that is good, too, except that he also triggers those clingy issues, along with a number of others i didn't even know i have --- i continue to work on all of that

throughout i have not felt particularly productive, so i've been thrown into that briar patch of reading, with the dog curled up beside me, if not trying to get in my lap — the list below is in more or less the reverse order in which i read them — clearly i am a fairly indiscriminate reader, as long as it's history — i tried to pick a "best of" but could not, so the * system will have to suffice — i'm glad my eyes still work

in addition to the items listed below (which do not include all of those which i have started but not been called upon to complete), i re-read three volumes of ackroyd's history of england, and started a fourth, reading more or less continuously, unlike the brief fits and starts when i read them to begin with, which makes for a better experience — also too the john quincy adams bio, which was one of the best of the year, mentioned that he was in the habit of reading the bible through each year — so i started to re-read the bible (i read it once in my early years) and actually got through genesis and a little bit of exodus, but got tired of the incest, violence, genocide, and what not and had to quit — maybe i'll take up proverbs

Dan Jones, The Wars of the Roses: The Fall of the Plantagenets and the Rise of the Tudors (2014)

Ian Mortimer, Henry V: The Warrior King of 1415 (2017)

Helen Carr, The Red Prince: The Life of John of Gaunt, the Duke of Lancaster (2021)

Ian Mortimer, Henry IV: The Righteous King (2014)

Katheryn Warner, Richard II: A True King’s Fall (2017)

*Ian Mortimer, Edward III: The Perfect King (2018)

Marc Morris, King John, Treachery and Tyranny in Medieval England: The Road to Magna Carta (2016)

*Kathryn Warner, Edward II: The Unconventional King (2017)

Catherine Arnold, Pandemic 1918: Eyewitness Accounts from the Greatest Medical Holocaust in Modern History (2018)

**Heather Cox Richardson, Wounded Knee: Party Politics and the Road to an American Massacre (2010)

Michael Lewis, The Undoing Project: A Friendship That Changed Our Minds (2016)

**John T. Ellisor, The Second Creek War: Interethnic Conflict and Collusion on a Collapsing Frontier (2010)

***Heather Cox Richardson, How the South Won the Civil War: Oligarchy, Democracy and the Continuing Fight for the Soul of America (2020)

*Steven Palmer and Iván Molina, eds. The Costa Rica Reader: History, Culture, Politics (2004)

***Emily Carr, Klee Wyck (1941)

Roland Ennos, The Age of Wood: Our Most Useful Material and the Construction of Civilization (2020)

Peter Ackroyd, The History of England, Vol. VI: Innovation (2021)

Edward J Watts, The Final Pagan Generation: Rome’s Unexpected Path to Christianity (2020)

***William  J. Cooper, The Lost Founding Father: John Quincy Adams and the Transformation of American Politics (2017)

Bob Woodward and Robert Costa, Peril (2021)

*Tom Nichols, The Death of Expertise: The Campaign against Established Knowledge and Why it Matters (2017)

Tom Nichols, Our Own Worst Enemy:  The Assault From Within on Modern Democracy (2021)

Michael Lewis, Panic!: The Story of Modern Financial Insanity (2009)

**Michael Lewis, The Premonition: A Pandemic Story (2021)

***Nancy Marie Brown, Ivory Vikings: The Mystery of the Most Famous Chessmen in the World and the Woman Who Made Them (2015)

*Benny Morris, Righteous Victims: A History of the Zionist-Arab Conflict, 1881-2001 (2001)

Erin Stewart Mauldin, Unredeemed Land: An Environmental History of Civil War and Emancipation in the Cotton South (2018)

***Eric Foner, The Second Founding: How the Civil War and Reconstruction Remade the Constitution (2019)

***Martin Padgett, A Night at the Sweet Gum Head: Drag, Drugs, Disco, and Atlanta’s Gay Revolution (2021)

James Stuart and Nicholas Revett, Antiquities of Athens: Measured and Delineated by James Stuart, FRS and FSA, and Nicholas Revett, Painters and Architects (2007)

David Cannadine, Westminster Abbey: A Church in History (2019)

Victor Hugo, Les Miserables

John Goff, Salem's Witch House: A Touchstone to Antiquity (2009)

*William Cronon, Nature’s Metropolis: Chicago and the Great West (1991)

***Mark Peterson, The City-State of Boston: The Rise and Fall of an Atlantic Power, 1630-1865 (2019)

***Neil Price, Children of Ash and Elm: A History of the Vikings (2020)

Peter Frankopan, The Silk Roads: A New History of the World (2015)

***Virginia Postrel, The Fabric of Civilization: How Textiles Made the World (2020)

**William Cronon, Changes in the Land: Indians, Colonists, and the Ecology of New England (1983)

Graham Bush, Old London, Photographed by Henry Dixon and Alfred and John Bool for the Society for Photographing Relics of Old London

Wick Griswold, A History of the Connecticut River (2012)

William Wood, New Englands Prospect: A True, Lively, and Experimental Description of That Part of America, Commonly Called New England (1635)

William Henry Carpenter, The History of Connecticut: From Its Earliest Settlement to the Present Time (2018 reprint)

19 December 2021

transitions


 on this date, sixteen  years ago, i   transferred my belongings from   sinclair ave to peachtree street ---   except for hershey croaking, i have   regretted it not at all


04 November 2021

hallelujah


leonard cohen thought jeff buckley  did the finest rendition of "hallelujah," but pentatonix certainly does it justice 

20 October 2021

holy scripture

in olden times i read the bible all the way through, twice --- inspired by john quincy adams who endeavored to read it through each year, i started the same today --- genesis is a big old mess. what with lot's wife turned into  a pillar of salt and then his daughters getting him drunk so they could have his babies and what not --- plus multiple wives and concubines all over the place and wierd sacrifices and what not --- omg --- 

but the new english translation is a good one, a more intelligible version of king james --- i will continue

then robt walks in with dumpster books, including the "metaphysical bible dictionary" --- the sweet baby jesus is speaking to me!



18 October 2021

fresh times

it's been an excellent week, except for the terrible hangover yesterday --- saw dear friends almost every day --- also too roberto --- plus it got cool, finally
 

15 October 2021

the beagle

i forgot to mark the occasion at the time, but ten days ago was the second anniversary of kuntry kenny becoming a city dog — there have been challenges, but he turned out to be the perfect companion for the covid sequester and all the other bullshit of the last year or so


images from the past

i dragged out the mat cutter the other day and framed up several of the best images of those i've taken over the last few years  out of thousands taken, once in a while the sweet baby jesus and/or serendipitous circumstances lets me take a good one  i tried printing on coated canvas, which i like, but the effect is kind of lost when it's covered with glass  

07 October 2021

whiney me

all in all, the past few months have been a chore --- i fell into a black hole of despair, as usual for no particular reason that i can discern, but this one was especially dark --- i even spent most of more than one day in bed, which i have never done --- robt went back to work (after 18 months!), which was great, but suddenly i was alone most days with too much time to think  --- only later  did i discover he's found him a part-time squeeze, which is ok since we haven't had a sexual relationship in twenty years, but still a bit of a shock --- and i had two people call me an "arrogant asshole," which made me spend an inordinate amount of time trying to decide if that is true, which it might be to a certain extent, but basically decided there was a lot of emotional projection going on on their part --- plus trump and his minions are still not locked away in a dungeon somewhere, typical muggy miserable summer weather continues in atlanner, and two copperhead snakes at the river (first in decades of going out there) made me want to stay indoors with the a/c on all the time --- almost worst of all was the stupid "restless leg syndrome" which kept me awake all night sometime --- went to the doctor for that actually and got some xanax, which overwhelms the jittery legs, as well as b12 and magnesium --- talked to him about the depressive episode and he wound up prescribing prozac, another selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), which i had tried once before --- again i hated it and after two weeks reduced the dose to every other day --- when i saw him earlier this week, we agreed to end it entirely and max out my dose of welbutrin, which got me off cigarettes but is probably nothing more than a placebo at this point --- in the meantime, serendipitous, unsolicited, and in one case overwhelmingly effusive expressions of my worth as a human being had already combined with whatever else to put me in a better place --- i feel like my old self again

17 August 2021

lost causes

there is no sense of proportion or nuance in the campaign to rid public space of traitorous memorials to "the lost cause," a campaign i whole-heartedly endorse  --- and the latest, removing the lion of lucerne replica from oakland cemetery, makes me a little ill --- it is a giant tombstone for all the unknown confederate dead (and there were a lot of those poor fkrs), the unluckiest of those riled up to die in a poor man's fight in a rich man's war --- the traces of red paint when it was most recently vandalized only add to its story --- but they're removing it for safe-keeping, doncha know --- bullshit --- nobody wants to go to the trouble to interpret it properly 


29 July 2021

ancestry.real

my g-grandpa hart might not have been a visionary like finster or eddie martin, but he had his own special mix of preacher and artist --- born in 1857, died a hundred years later when i was eight years old --- i am glad our paths at least crossed in real time --- even if we never actually conversed, i feel like i know him, from old photographs, my grandma's reminiscences of their conversations, and most of all from his writing, which i am now tasked with preserving ---




96th birthday, may 1953 --- he's at center in this photograph and that's me at lower right

18 July 2021

debris from the gene pool

my dailey cousins have gifted me with an enormous pile of debris from gene-pool memorabilia, including much wonderful stuff from my g-grandpa hart (1857-1957) especially --- had to order more archival sleeves and what not --- i probly have most all of my grandma's early 20th century correspondence, including dozens of really wonderful postcards








 

07 July 2021

our heritage

i don't remember any mention of this year marking the bicentennial of the muscogee signing away title to over four million acres of land between the ocmulgee and flint rivers in the treaty of indian springs, which was signed in early january 1821 --- the territory was quickly organized into five large counties, and in may the legislature authorized the state's fourth land lottery to distribute the land to new white settlers --- the counties were surveyed into land districts “nine miles square, as near as practicable,” and each district was surveyed into land lots of 202½ acres, or a little over half mile square, a process that took most of that summer and fall to complete --- by the end of the year, the lottery was complete and white settlers were pouring into what is now the city of atlanta --- 

all of the survey field notebooks are online --- this page is from the 17th district survey, which began on 18 july 1821 just a few hundred feet south of the intersection of virginia ave and rosedale drive in va-highland


04 July 2021

urban renewal

cleaning out the closet:
i think of this project by central atlanta progress and the arts festival in 1980 as the genesis of the now out-of-control fad for painting masonry buildings --- it was great then as downtown was trying to deal with the raw facades left after adjacent buildings had been demolished --- now even the finest brick, stone, and concrete finishes are being ruined, with not a shred of artistic intent to mitigate the destruction






15 March 2021

coochee

seven years ago i commenced a most excellent project, a history of sautee nacoochee, coochee for short, commissioned by a wonderful community association that is trying to preserve one of the more beautiful places in the state — i had been wanting to write a history of a place literally from the ground up and had started the idea with midtown atlanta, but it got too complicated and i quit — these valleys in white county on the other hand . . . . they've gotten way more than they were expecting, and i made about a dollar an hour by the time it was done—but it's 130,000 words that i got off on writing and of which i am really quite proud 

it's not done, maybe, probably, since i'm not sure that they will follow through with their threat to publish it, but if they do i stand ready to endure a little more aggravation from my garrulous, overbearing editrix, but not much —

thank you chris brooks and judy barber for making it all possible in the first place