No one’s life is entirely perfect. Each of us has his share of things and circumstances he simply can’t possibly be expected to handle very well. That happens to me occasionally too. When I have that kind of trouble one of the very first things I try to do to alleviate the problem is to try to have as much peace and quiet as possible. Unwelcome noise, unwelcome sound in general, has always struck me as quite difficult to take. Especially now, in the era of cell phones, we’re incessantly bombarded with it. Of course things most certainly don’t have always to be entirely silent. I enjoy good music too. Everyone knows, by now, of my notorious interest in the songs of the 1960’s, but I spend a lot of time listening to quite a wide variety of music from all eras and genres and it always helps to alleviate any troubles I may be experiencing. I don’t like any current or recent pop music though. I even play the guitar too. The reason noise bothers me so much is because it’s such an unwelcome intrusion into the environment. With me it all comes down to a question of control. Another way I can alleviate my blue moments is by way of watching a really good television show or movie. Since I generally tend not to enjoy any recent shows or movies either, yet again I usually go to those of previous eras. I have quite a large collection of records and tapes, CD’s and DVD’s to keep me occupied. Besides the fact that these provide me with a perfect means of lifting my spirits, they can also be quite an endless supply of conversation pieces. I also enjoy solitude. Other people’s company can be very interesting and beneficial but when I’m having a very hard time I frequently enjoy being left alone. It helps, once in a while, not to have to deal with all the entirely ordinary predictable circumstances that transpire when others are around. Lately because of problems with my car insurance, I walk back and forth each morning to 9:00 a.m. Mass at St. Mary of the Isle Parish. Although it’s quite frustrating to be without transportation, the walk each day, with all its attendant peace and quiet, does me quite a lot of good. Another way I can alleviate my troubles is by reading. As I’ve said before I have such exceptionally discerning tastes in reading material and tend to be a bit of a literary snob. I read things ranging from Sir Thomas Malory’s “Le Morte D’Arthur” to Sigrid Undset’s “Kristin Lavransdatter”. My taste in literature, besides being quite a nice antidote for the blues, can also lead to some especially interesting conversations every once in a while. Food and drink, including coffee and tea, can do wonders for putting up a fight against life’s troubles. Over the course of the past few months I’ve gotten into the habit, especially when I’m alone, of having a cup of hot tea with a fluffernutter. Everyone knows how good marshmallow Fluff is. I’ve also gotten into the equally predictable habit of going to the Coffee Nut Cafe, on Park Avenue, immediately after Mass six days a week, and on Saturdays too, to have a hot flavored espresso or cappuccino. By now I’ve become quite a familiar character there and all the ladies who work there have gotten used to seeing me each day. They have a variety of international coffees available. Unfortunately the only foreign country I’ve been to is Canada and they have nothing Canadian. They have a flavor named Queens Madness, though, and I’ve most certainly been to Queens. Life is frequently overwhelmingly tough but these kinds of things can do each of us a lot of good in the never ending battle to avoid being discouraged.