All Manner of Confusion

The Times of London. That’s what I’ve called it for as long as I can remember. That is the title that appears in the list of links on my web-site “launcher,” the page I created as a personal convenience for quick access to media sites long before I moved from Dallas to Hot Springs Village. But I think of London may have been my personal addition to remind me of the newspaper’s geographic base. Today, when I look at the paper’s website, of London appears nowhere that I can find.  Not that it matters, except the addition of that little convenience seems to have convinced me that the paper’s name is longer and more restrictive than its creators and those subsequently responsible for its operations intended. The newspaper was founded in 1785 as the Daily Universal Register. I prefer its more recent title. And, though the paper is now paired with a separate one entitled The Sunday Times (formed as a separate publication in 1822), I consider the pair a single publication. But, when I learned that The Sunday Times supported Leave in the 2016 EU referendum, I was disappointed, inasmuch as I have always considered support for leaving the EU to be evidence of intellectual and moral bankruptcy—though that harsh assessment may be a bit over-the-top and may be informed as much by my own bias as by my fundamental understanding of the reasons for either maintaining EU membership or ending it. I could go on endlessly in an opinionated rant, but I’ll pause for now, opting instead to express my contempt for too-cool temperatures, too-grey skies, and ugly yellow pollen.


Too-cool temperatures, too-grey skies, and ugly yellow pollen are beyond contemptible. They collectively argue—persuasively—for the immediate annihilation of the universe. Let me just leave it at that. I remain tired. Sleepy. Needy of more nap time. Although cancer and drugs and the state of the world may contribute to that depressing state of affairs, there’s more to it than that. My oncologist’s senior nurse practitioner doubled my prescribed daily dosage of sertraline; still just a third of the typical upper limit of the drug’s dosage. Depression. Anxiety. OCD. PTSD. Etc. If any of those ail me, I may be in for an improved outlook on life.


I am not antisocial, but I tend to be a bit reclusive and introverted. Some people might think I am aloof. In some circumstances, I am sure those people are correct in their thinking. But I am not really detached or indifferent; I just prefer social engagements to be of limited size and duration. I can be gregarious when appropriate and/or necessary, but it is an attribute I tend not to cultivate. It is not that I dislike people; it’s more a matter of being far more comfortable in intimate gatherings than in larger groups. And, of course, those intimate gatherings are much more appealing to me when I am in the presence of people whose personalities match or pair well with mine. That’s probably true of almost everyone, though; isn’t it? Most people have a natural inclination toward engaging with other people whose personalities fit well with their own, I think. But it’s not just the fit between personalities; it’s similarity in interests, philosophies, and other traits that make the presence of other people more appealing. Psychologists have long explored the triggers for positive (and negative) social interaction. One day, their theories will become more than merely suggestions; strong evidence eventually will support them.


Time to take my damn pills. Not just take them, but fill week-long pill storage cases with dozens and dozens of pills of all sizes, shapes, colors, and intended purposes. I wonder how my body and my brain might react if I just stopped taking them? I haven’t taken gabapentin for a few weeks now, with no obvious ill-effects. But I have noticed that halving my blood pressure medication has coincided with a significant increase in my BP numbers. I probably should be judicious in self-medicating; or, rather, self-un-medicating. And I will be exercise caution. Because I am cautious by nature. Or can be.


I think it’s Saturday. I thought yesterday was Saturday. Did I think, yesterday, that today would be Saturday or was I convinced today would be Sunday? Naming time segments—seconds, centuries, minutes, hours, days, Mondays, weeks, years, Wednesdays, 2024, etc.—can cause all manner of confusion.

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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