A week from now I go on the annual AIDS walk here in town. Once upon a time I used to do these to commemorate the friends who had died in the past year since I last attended. Thanks to research supported by these walks, things have improved. I can not remember when last anyone I know – friend or patient – has died of AIDS. They are living, some of them long enough to be blessed with the usual matters of growing older like any other. Alas, the need for help has not diminished – merely shifted. So – I walk, and I will continue to walk until there is no more need. I walk alone but I carry with me the souls of the dead and of those living with HIV. 

I would be most grateful to you my marvelous Spo-fans if you would pledge something. Someone has included a link at the end of this entry for your convenience.  Five dollars is fine; more is marvelous.  For munificent amounts who knows what I may do for you? 

I will bless you, The Board of Directors Here at Spo-Reflections will bless you, and it will do a lot of good. 

Thank you,

Urspo. 

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https://support.auntritas.org/fundraiser/1486019

 

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Note – this is another entry that perturbed The Board of Directors Here at Spo-Reflections. As is sometimes the case they think the contents are literally true and I/they will quickly get slapped with orders of protection from irate podcast hosts. 

I promised them I would write a prologue telling people if they can’t figure out this is humor they can lump it. – Spo

 

Last night while preparing supper I said:

“My boyfriend said something interesting today…” to which Someone interrupted:

“Which one?”  he said.

“Which something?” I replied.

“No, which boyfriend”.

He has a point; I have several.  After some friendly intercourse with one or more of them afterwards I try to tell Someone all about it usually while is trying to eat dinner or watch TV in peace.

Now before Spo-fans go into a swivet, let me explain. I have a handful of handsome hombres (all well over four feet) who host – podcasts that is.  They continually feed me lovely educational tid-bits which I devour with relish. I’ve never met any of them of course but with regular listening I’ve grown into the delusion we have an intimacy of intellect etc.  As we say in my field I am suffering from auditory hallucinations for it is their voices that make me smile etc. Thanks to these lovelies I regularly receive virtual love-letters in the guise of education and hypothetical meet-ups. I’ve always been fonder of facts than fondants.

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Paul Anthony Jones of “Haggard Hawks”  feeds me fancy fustian words oh I love him so.  He has fifty posts on Youtube as well which I sometimes watch just to groan at his awful puns.**

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Aaron Mahnke of “Lore” regularly serenades me via his three podcasts and books and – soon baby! – “Lore” TV series debuting 19 October!  He is also on Twitter.  Only George Takei and Bette Midler tweet more than AM about the nasty president.  He tells ghost stories; he certainly gives me the shivers etc.

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“Myths and legends” podcast is hosted by Jason. He tells me stories every Monday. He is a dear; please don’t feed him buns and things.

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Mr. Savage of “Savage Love” (the dear!) keeps me coming back for the sex. I like to hear the presented problem, pause the podcast, and ponder how I would advise the caller before hearing Dan the Man give his answer.

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If you enjoy history Mr. Mike Duncan is your man over at the “Revolutions” podcast. What a scholar!  One regret: I can’t watch him give the podcast. On second thought that would be bad I wouldn’t listen very well.

I also have a couple of fantasy three ways:

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The fine fellows at “Omnibus” and “Stuff to blow your mind” are two sets of hosts who explore curious things in a well-organized and detailed, cholarly manner. Omnibus is more humorous while SBYM is more scholarly.  Oh to be between either pair to discuss things etc. !

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I also have a couple of girlfriends as well. Tracy and Holly at “Stuff you missed in history” are awesome gal-pals as well as major scholars.  They have a post daily and a weekly too. This week they are giving the history of Charles Addams. Oh the ecstasy!

 

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**I realize Mr. Jones is not a podcaster; he is on Twitter, Youtube, and haggardhawks.com  I had to include him though.   Please don’t write in.

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Last night Someone became vexed that he heard the ‘bing’ announcing a door or window had been opened. He feared a break-in for there is a history of such. I did not hear this bing nor did I think there was an intruder as Harper didn’t move a muscle. A careful inspection of the portals found nothing moved or stolen.  We concluded it was the wind blowing a door shut. I held my tongue to say what was really the matter: Henrik the Ghost has returned.

One of the many reasons I liked “Bewitched” was Samantha’s relations who would literally pop in for a visit without warning. I never could understand why Darrin would be upset by this as his in-laws always brought merriment to brighten what was otherwise a mundane existence. I very much wanted someone similar to pop in to my life.  Many people will not live in a house allegedly haunted but I would have moved into one quick as a quarter note. Indeed I probably would have scared off any ghost  and not the other way around with my enthusiasm to have them drop in for tea and chinwag.

I remember in my youth inventing a group of six wizards who had determined I was their missing seventh mage. They would periodically pop by to convince me to drop out of junior high school and join them. I imagined doing my homework minding my own business only to have one of them appear through the keyhole or suddenly speak through the cassette tape player. I guess they gave up on me as I haven’t heard from any other them since I was 14.

I hear seasoned Spo-fans raising their hands about now saying ‘Wait a minute! What about Henrik?” It is just my luck when I finally get a haunt he is nothing like what I envisioned. It’s like waking up on Christmas morning wanting black cha-cha heels only to be disappointed Santa Claus brought you oh-so-practical brown penny loafers. Yes, Henrik fulfills the criteria of popping in unexpectedly to startle my routines but he does so without flair and he certainly doesn’t bring with him entertainment value. Mostly he just creeps around halls sneaking up behind me and gets on my nerves. It doesn’t help Someone and Harper have never felt his presence. H is a sort of Snuffleupagus rather than an Uncle Arthur or Cousin Serena, worse luck.

Beggars can not be choosers; I should be grateful I have someone or something at all after all these years of posting the position for a pooka. I haven’t heard from Henrik in ages so it is sort of sweet he reappears just in time for Halloween. Last night I got a parcel of candy from Canada, so it may be he was longing for something sweet. Whatever the reason it’s kind of nice to have him back.

 

officeThroughout each day we are continually asked things to which we need to respond with yes or no. There is a careful craft to knowing which response is right. In my line of work I see a lot of people who don’t do well with this viz. they often say yes when they should say no and vice versa. They blurt their response without pause or thinking.  Some learn to ‘play it safe” by responding nearly always with “yes” as“no” as panacea for all inquiries. Both ways are bad.

Thems who say ‘yes’  often are sometimes too impulsive: “Would you like try smoking this?” The ‘yes’ people often believe succumbing to another’s wants will make the other(s) like them or say yes to avoid friction/keep the peace.

Thems who use ‘no’ a lot often do so out of fear. “Wanna try something new this weekend?” “No” often deprives us of new opportunities.

I try to train patients to pause whenever they are asked anything, from a small request like “Do you want fries with that?” to the more ubiquitous “Will you do this for me?” In the pregnant pause they should do some self-analysis. I want them to consider the pros/cons of saying either answer. I am keen on intuition and ‘gut-responses” but these are raw and usually driven by habit and neurosis. Adding a bit of thinking before speaking can help us not walk into a regret.

When we say ‘yes’ to something this means saying no to something else. We should ask ourselves what am I indirectly saying no to here and is the trade-off worth it?

Does saying yes personally excite me or am I saying so for some external reason like ‘people will like me if I say yes”.

Is this opportunity wasn’t handed to me would I spend time creating it myself?

I think the propensity towards saying no is less nuanced. When we are confronted with something new, unknown, and out of our comfort zone we become wary or fearful.  To avoid such we often just say no. Our monkey-brains are wired this way. Before saying ‘no’ to someone ask yourself am I afraid of something here? If fear isn’t a factor would I say yes?  Is there a change to the opportunity to make it a yes?

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It’s  been a while since I made a shirt. I just checked – the last one made was done in June!  Sewing is a sort of seasonal hobby; it is too warm in summer to sew. Talk about working in a sweat shop!  Then there are the cares of work and daily doings that get in the way. This weekend has been quiet enough to finally finish one.

The fabric has folded shirts, making this another “Shirt of shirts” shirt. Say that six times very fast why don’t you.  I can never predict how I will like a completed shirt. Sometimes the fabric is ‘great’ or ‘meh’ only to have it come out either a winner or a disappointment.

Shirts fall into two categories:  thems I make for others and thems I make for myself. This one is for me – I think. I am not certain yet

I’m not too enthused by this one. I suppose because of its color. It isn’t as loud, bright, and bold a shirt as I usually like them.  I shall see in time if becomes one of the ‘frequent wearers’ or it ends up hanging in the back waiting for its chance to go out.

Christmas is coming. The next few made will be for others.

For the past 48 hours or so it’s been raining, a continuous quiet gentle downfall the type that makes you want to nap. You would think the Sonoran desert would suck up rain like a dry sponge but this is not the case. Any rain quickly becomes flood water and blocks the intersections as there is nowhere for the water to go. People around here drive like panicked idiots even in a mere sprinkle . It’s best to stay home and I have done so.  In a way I have no choice.  I have no car.  Someone is away, working of course. The laundry and ironing is nearly completed – temporally. This sh-t never ends. Siphysus’ punishment shouldn’t have been a rock but an ironing board.

Insanity

For the past hour I’ve been waiting for someone anyone to send Brother #2’s address. Every October I send the niblings each a tin of  popcorn. I thought to include Brother #2 who is living in exile somewhere in the faraway kingdom of Wisconsin. Text messages to every brother have gotten no response. I even called the parents who promised to email the address ‘right away’ but so far nothing. I daresay Father got distracted by the U of M game and he forgot.

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Spo-fans (some of them) have inquired after the 2018 Halloween goodies project asking how is it progressing. I need the Fright Night equivalent of stocking stockers viz. sweeties to fill up of the little black cauldrons so they look full.  I’ve bought a big bag of Hershey’s kisses wrapped gay colors of purple, green, and black foil. This solution is cheap, filling, and familiar – like my men.  Plus, they add a bit of chocolate to what is otherwise all corn syrup in various forms.

I have an evil urge to stock the cauldron with the following:

Brussel Sprouts wrapped in gold foil to resemble chocolate truffles.

Ghastly toffee things wrapped in orange and black paper. 

Small tubes of toothpaste.

Chick publications. 

Swedish Fish.

Lorazepam 0.5mg tablets

Trojans.       Insanity

 

Can you imagine????

 

 

P.S. Brother #3   just texted me with Brother #2’s address. Just in the nick of time.

 

Note: This entry is written as satire or at least tongue-in-cheek. The Board of Directors Here at Spo-Reflections didn’t find it funny. Rather it was seen as quite serious. As is their wont, when The Board gets confused by contents they either order me to write an introduction or they go set fire to a village.  I am going with the former.  No buildings were burned in the process – Spo.

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Halloween 2018 trick-or-treat is a work in progress. My Martha Stewart vision was to fill little black witches cauldrons  with rare hard candies of gay colours.  The beggars would oh and ah at the sudden surprise realizing they weren’t going to get yet another fun-size Milky Way. I ordered the cauldrons from amazon.com and the candies came from oldtimecandy.com  The box arrived this week, full up with pink Dubble-bubbles and green Jolly Ranchers and red Atomic balls.  Alas, when I put the six separate sweeties in a test cauldron it looked a disappointment. I suppose it was the size of the thing, which was smaller than I envisioned. The exquisite candies look like dainty little old lady candies. I worry now the kids will see this as cheap. The candies are individually wrapped yet will the parents look upon this candy collection as an object of suspicion?  The rainbow assortment of sweets – will it be interpreted as subconscious recruitment of the innocents and my windows soaped or a cross burned on my lawn?  

Happily I have two weeks to figure out what to do. I suppose I can load up the cauldrons with even more sweets – there is room after all.  Rumor has it some Canadian friends of mine are soon sending Kerr’s Halloween candy. I thought this would be the proverbial cherry to top my Halloween sundae but now I wonder. As no American child has ever seen such will theses molasses treats be merely thrown out? Talk about casting pearls before swine! 

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Perhaps I should break down and go to Costco and get some Snicker bars so the kiddies get something mundane and familiar. I shall eat the imperial tid-bit candies myself including the Kerrs.  Hmmm. I am thinking now it may be Smarties for the ingrates…….. 

Father’s PSA level (a measurement for prostate cancer) recently spiked although it’s been 20-30 years since his prostate was removed, leaving the question ‘why’. It is most likely some sort of return of cancer. The scans and x-rays show nothing. More tests need to be done.  Meanwhile his numerous progeny – children and childrens-in-law as well – started conversations in criss-crossing texts and calls along the theme ‘dear dear whatever shall we do with Father?”.  Imperturbable Father hasn’t been asked what he wants to do but I suspect he will do the next round of tests, hear the results and recommendations, and say ‘count me out” to radiation or chemotherapy or whatever they do these days for this sort of thing.  We shall see. The incentive to try maybe to do so for Mother’s sake as ‘Mother as widow’ would be harder than ‘Father as widower’.   Another what-if scenario my siblings and I are starting to process is what do we with the one when the other one dies. We like the notion of having him or her travel between their children changing kiddos every 3-4 months with Urs Truly for the winter months to avoid the gray and cold and snow.

All this hypothetical talk is rawther academic as neither parents has any desire to wander between children’s homes ala King Lear, nor do they want to leave their house. The dynamics of grown children and their parents can be awkward when the kids take on the parental role causing the latter to dig in that they are fine where they are and no help is needed thank you very much.  Mother would have more sense to see she can’t live alone but Father would probably wander about the House of the Ancestors eating out of tins and not changing the sheets.

As they say in Monty Python “I’m not dead yet!” and there are too many alternative timelines to try to prepare for all of them – or any of them. Best to take things one at a time. The next step is for Father to get a PET scan. Let the children plot til their pates peel as P&M ain’t moving anytime soon.

Pokemon

Seasoned Spo-fans know I have a long time ongoing hobby to collect every imaginary person, place, and object and put them all into one fantasy map.* Under the category ‘Imaginary beasts’ a friend suggested I include Pokemon.  I am only vaguely aware of Pokemon. I think is it is a stuffed animal or a game that for awhile gummed up public places. So I wrote down the word and started my research.

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I suppose I am the last person on Earth who doesn’t know Pokemon and hasn’t been sucked up into its multi-billion dollar business. ‘Pokemon’ (for thems who don’t know) means ‘pocket monsters’ and they are legion – over 800 or them.  The yellow rabbit-like one is named Pikachu – not Hello, Kitty as I once thought. If ever there was a wolf in sheep’s clothing it is this cloying character. I didn’t get too far into my research before I became overwhelmed and had to slam shut this Pandora’s box lid as quickly as possible. I suppose I could ask my niblings what’s it all about but I suspect they will think me hundred years old and  too out of touch. 

The jury is still out but I am betting Pickachu et. al. won’t be invited to join The Timeless Lands of Erehwon. I fear if I write them in (Limbo or The State of Chaos) they will take over like The Huns. Happily there is no opposing group to claim discrimination to my decision.  Sometimes it is good to be Emperor. 

On the other hand I am slightly curious to try Pokemon Go! but then again perhaps not. It sounds an awful lot like being curious to try cocaine. Rumor has it the game has already come and gone. Once again I am late to the party. 

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*Well, not everything. I admit I make arbitrary decisions  on what goes in and what does not.  My immigration policy don’t have much rhyme or reason to it. For example ‘Middle Earth’ is included while ‘Westeros’ is not.   Please don’t write in. 

It’s Sunday afternoon and we wait for our flight to Phoenix. The anticipation of the flight home  has all the dreariness typical of the  ‘having to go home and back to work’ stage of a holiday trip.  It feels depressing which it bad given the state of the union and the state of my psyche.  I won’t blog about either which doesn’t leave me with much to blog about does it. What to do? Spo-fans have assured me they are NOT bored reading  ‘what I did on my vacation” entries so here goes on. Please leave lot comments to assuage the angst of TBDHSR.

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“Eating a mangosteen” was been a long time bucket list. We visited the Cleveland market when lo! in front of me were some for sale!  Down the hall was a cheesemonger who had Danish Blue for sale, which is on the Monty Python Cheese Sketch list.  I bought a pound of it.  The cheese was delightful; it tasted like a better blue cheese should. Think of a homegrown tomato compared to one bought in the grocery store. How to describe the taste of mangosteen?  The white fleshy fruit tastes sort of a like a banana and a kiwi with……   I dunno. In brief: it takes like a mangosteen.  Try one sometime if you can find one.  

 

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Another bucket list item of mine now completed is the Cleveland Symphony. The building where they play is quite resplendent. The Symphony did not disappoint.  Mahler’s #2 remains one of my favorite symphonies.  

 

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I had hoped to board the William Mather but the museum was closed for the day given the next door football game ( bad planning on our part).  I took a few photos to send to Father, who is a boat nerd AKA a freighter freak.  He has a bit of this boat in his garage. 

 

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In the SWA magazine I found this recipe. Talk about your different cup of tea!

 

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The highlight of the day was Breakfast with Blobby. I have not seen him in years it seems. He remains well over four feet. The brazen Buckeye purposely wore this awful jersey to annoy me. Regardless of his impudence he was excellent company. Thanks Robert !

 

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