Record high tempertures still invade Albany, and around the country the weather is much worse.  I heard that Chicago reached record heat yesterday, Texas still has a major drought on its hands, and rainstorms pummeled Washington D.C., Virginia, and West Virginia – not to mention the wildfires in Colorado.  If there’s an apocolypse coming then this may be proof that we are indeed in the midsts of it all.  But I am not worried.  I know already from past experience that the media likes to increase this nationwide sentiment of paranoia, as though the country is continuoulsy under threat either by political and economic forces or something catastrphic as really bad weather.  There’s an apocaplypse brewing at every November election, and oddly enough, any time I watch the news – death, destruction, and violence always seems to capture their headlines.  I used to be quite a news junky, so I know what it feels like to carry that kind of  fear in one’s heart.  The key is to limit oneself from watching all of these news programs and just aim for enjoying life as much as possible.  A happy man with a love for humanity at heart will always win out over the man who harbors baseless fear of the end of the world, anger, jealousy, rage, et cetera.

I am, however, very concerned about the reaction the New Surrealist Institute had to Dan Wilcox’s review of our reading the other day.  Even though they didn’t admit it, I do believe that they are still taking it hard.  I think I wrote in my last journal that poets and writers and incredibly sensitive people, especially when it comes to their own work.  I can understand how my fellow NSI poets feel about the review, but at this point it is really a much better idea to take the criticism with a grain of salt with the understanding that we will continue to deliver our readings.  In a quick note to me, Dan wrote that he felt that there was an aura of pretention about our group which set him off into writing the negative review.  I kind of see what he means, as Dan was not invited to join the NSI for some reason, and also because my fellow poets really delivered, what in my mind, were exceptional readings that approached the top eschelon of how the major poets write these days.  Nevertheless, it is still shocking for the other poets, and we will definitely continue, because we are bound to continue.  I’m glad we’re starting to turn the corner at the NSI and simply continue without any more insults hurled in Wilcox’s direction or negative reviews aimed at our direction.  I do think of Dan as a good friend, and perhaps there is a conflict of interest here, but just to smooth over the waters between our two camps is something that interests me a great deal, which is why I emailed him in the first place.

In the meantime, I wrote another work of flash-fiction, or in this case, a very short story.  I must have twenty or thirty of them so far, and one day I will make a book out of them.  But first I’m waiting to fill out a good healthy resevoir of them so that a book could one day be created out of them.  I’m also glad to hear that my good friend, Hans Laverge, has finished editing the behemoth manuscript that he was so kind to begin looking over several months ago.  It’s now a question of revising the long manuscript, and I am a bit concerned about that, because deep revision is not my specialty at all.  I usually write the piece, drop it, return to it sometime, and see if the work makes any sense.  That’s about all I can do with the lastest novel that I have on my hands, and it will take a while to publish a couple of novels that haven’t seen the light of day yet.  So there is a lot of editing and revision to go.

In other news, I’m playing softball again this afternoon with a few people that I know, and we’ll be playing as the temperatures reach 90 degrees – hazy, hot, and humid, was the weatherman’s predicton.  Eva will be there, and I have kind of a crush on Eva.  She so friendly and nice that it is hard not to have a crush on her.  I also have a crush on another woman I’ve been seeing lately, but our relationship is just supposed to be friendly, as she insisted after our first date.  This afternoon or sometime later next week, she wants to have lunch and then play chess in the park.  Just yesterday a friend of mine took me to a mini-golf course just outside Albany International Airport.  The place also has go-karts.  I’m thinking that this will be the perfect date – but for whom I’m not sure – Eva, or this other woman who just wants to be friends.  I find myself lacking experience with this kind of circumstance, as I have now stopped drinking alcohol for quite some time and so don’t know how to be so outgoing as I used to be.  I’m sure things will develop and work out when the time comes for them to do so.

I also quit drinking Diet Pepsi and smoking cigarettes for a month, but a couple of days ago I returned to it, because I felt like I was losing my mind.   I had so much free time as a result of ending my thinking-man’s smoke breaks, and drinking Diet Pepsi and Diet Coke in the place of the healthier alternative, which is bottled water, that I really thought that I should be taken to the hospital.  Luckily it didn’t come to that, and so I survived through it even though my lungs are really starting to take a hit lately.  I’m definitely going to try again, because now I know what to expect when I stop taking these two complimentary addictions.

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