Sunday, May 21, 2023

One Art

The art of losing isn't hard to master;
so many things seem filled with the intent
to be lost that their loss is no disaster.

Lose something every day. Accept the fluster
of lost door keys, the hour badly spent.
The art of losing isn't hard to master.

Then practice losing farther, losing faster:
places, and names, and where it was you meant
to travel. None of these will bring disaster.

I lost my mother's watch. And look! my last, or
next-to-last, of three loved houses went.
The art of losing isn't hard to master.

I lost two cities, lovely ones. And, vaster,
some realms I owned, two rivers, a continent.
I miss them, but it wasn't a disaster.

—Even losing you (the joking voice, a gesture
I love) I shan't have lied. It's evident
the art of losing's not too hard to master
though it may look like (Write it!) like disaster.

—Elizabeth Bishop

Tuesday, May 16, 2023

Companion Wanted

This post is quite different from any other that I've made. I have learned through experience that finding a suitable companion is extremely difficult. From my last few posts, you may have noticed that I am in need of one now. Since I have quite a few readers on this blog, I thought that, before using conventional dating websites, hanging out at bars, etc., I'd give this a try here. Interpreting the interest in this blog, it seems that there are very many unhappy women out there now. My most popular post is "The Monologue/The Woman Destroyed," which is being read regularly all over the world, presumably by women. Anecdotally, from observing some of the women in my immediate neighborhood, I can even see it locally. One of them, who is married and has two children, used to walk her dog enthusiastically every morning; now the dog is gone, and every time I see her she looks quite depressed, even when walking with her children and husband. I would guess that the pandemic, which caused people to become more isolated, along with the economic changes since 2020, have led many people to become somewhat disoriented. Then there is the internet background noise that continues to confuse everyone. For example, my younger sister is breaking up with her husband and has been under the illusion that Johnny Depp is interested in her. He isn't.

It's hard to say what my exact qualifications are as a potential companion. I am heterosexual and definitely prefer women. I like well-educated women who are interested in the arts and sciences and can discuss them intelligently. I don't like social climbers. Obviously, after my recent experience, I would prefer to avoid women with major psychiatric issues. In particular, I am not a fan of autism or bipolar II disorder at the moment. Physically, I seem to prefer women who have light-colored hair and are no taller than 5' 9". However, I am open to other physical characteristics. I am 5' 9" and used to have dark hair, which is now grey, with hair loss. Genetically, I am Scottish/English/Armenian/German, and I increasingly identify with my Armenian ancestors, since they had such good survival skills. As I've mentioned before, I've had a difficult time with American women. My recently-ended relationship was with an English woman. I'm not anti-English as a result, because I think that the main underlying problem was psychiatric. Theoretically, I might do well with non-English European women, but I have no experience in that. I guess women from other continents might be OK, but I have no experience in that either. I currently seem to be physically fit for my age and think that I can realistically expect to live for at least another twenty years.

Because I've already traveled a little, I'm not dead set on doing more of that. I've been to Europe a few times and liked it a lot, but don't feel a strong urge to return. I'm not that interested in exploring new cultures, though I like a lot about Asians. Actually, I'm completely sick of American culture and am increasingly avoiding it as best I can. It's a little easier to do in Vermont than other parts of the country, though this is hardly what I would call a utopia. My ex-partner was quite rigid about how to travel, and I wouldn't mind spending more time in Quebec, which is very close.

As far as habitation is concerned, I think that non-cohabitation is better than cohabitation as long as you see each other regularly. However, I am about to own my own house and would be open to cohabitation. If we don't live in the same house, ideally you would live nearby, i.e., you wouldn't commute from England or France every weekend. By the same token, I don't see myself commuting to England or France every weekend. Ideally, you would live in or near Vermont. I should also mention that I'm not multilingual.

I retired in 2007 and have experienced an unexpected financial setback recently, but, as it looks now, I shouldn't have much trouble financing the rest of my life.

As to whether you would find me desirable, I think that this blog says a lot about who I am and what my preferences are. If you just scan through a few of my posts, you can get a pretty good picture of what I'm like. This is a purely non-commercial website, and I'm not trying to lure people in to make a few bucks.

If you would like to contact me, try I will reply on my personal email if it seems appropriate.

Friday, May 12, 2023


I am reluctant to say much more about Anne at the moment, because, to most people, that would be boring and self-indulgent. Furthermore, without actually knowing me or Anne personally, a reader might be at a loss in determining whether or not my assessment is at all accurate. On a personal level, I feel as if I am living through the last days of an unpleasant relationship with a mentally ill woman, and this doesn't make for good reading and isn't quite politically correct. Of course, a fictionalized version could be made more appealing to a reader, but, because I value reason and science – and honesty – I have no desire to glamorize myself or Anne. Whatever anyone may think about me, I am firmly of the opinion that mentally ill people are generally an uninteresting topic, except as clinical subjects, because you can never escape the fact that some important dysfunction is guiding their behavior. In the case of these people, there is typically some sort of cognitive malfunction that interferes with their behavior and may be indicative of an inability to understand themselves, other people or the world in general. Take it from me: mentally ill people can be quite disturbing, and writers shouldn't distort facts to make them seem more appealing than they actually are. Generally, they are a burden on others, though, in some cases, they may possess special talents that can be considered useful. In the evolutionary process, some otherwise negative attributes may provide significant survival benefits.

On a more positive note, my house purchase is moving along smoothly. I have met the seller and like her. The closing date is currently May 31, but for technical reasons she won't move out until June 1. The property is so private that you could walk around naked in the large yard and no one would see you. I have just about finished packing and don't anticipate any moving issues. I should be all moved in by June 12 at the latest.

Because of my current circumstances, I have been more jittery than usual and have been having an even harder time coming up with new reading material. I've given up on two books and have ordered a two-volume anthology of American poetry which may provide some unfamiliar poems that I will like: we'll see. I have to say that, when I find a poem that I like, it can be deeply satisfying in a way that other written forms are usually not. A good scientific book is upcoming: Determined: A Science of Life Without Free Will, by Robert Sapolsky. This will be published in October. As a supporter of determinism, I think that Sapolsky has the best research credentials to argue against free will, and this could be one of the best books on the subject ever written. I increasingly find many arguments for free will, particularly those put forward by philosophers, completely unsatisfactory. Though Sapolsky's last book, Behave: The Biology of Humans at our Best and Worst, wasn't entirely satisfying to me, I think that Sapolsky is in a position to debunk many of the myths still circulating about human nature. This kind of research, along with developments in AI, could rapidly change the way we see ourselves – though there is still a lot of uncertainty about the broad outcome.

In the general news, I continue to be astounded that Donald Trump is still popular in the Republican Party. I don't think that he is likely to win the 2024 presidential election – he may even be a convicted felon by then – but this shows the extent of poor thinking by the public and how dangerous the political process has become in the U.S. Unfortunately, there aren't many good Democratic candidates in the political pipeline who are ready to take on Trump. He is popular because of his cult status rather than reason. Ultimately, his popularity is the result of the profitability that he has provided for the news media. While much of the blame goes to media such as Fox News, it is apparent that even more balanced media such as ABC, NBC, CBS and PBS have been remiss in exercising their journalistic responsibilities. They have all participated in the normalization of unacceptable behavior in politics.