Tomorrow is “last day” at the Phoenix office, for we are moving. It’s about time. The boss-man has known about the necessity to vacate for nearly a year as the building has been sold. We are moving at the ‘last minute’ for the demolition starts 1 September.  Not trusting the hired movers, I have slowly moved my diplomas and bibelots home over the past few weeks. There is nothing to move other than a few pieces of furniture.

I am glad to be gone. To be blunt, the office was a dump. The bosses and house manager put no effort into to make it look tidy and professional. My old office with its three walls to the outside becomes a bakehouse in the hot Arizona summer heat which no amount of AC can cool.

I have fancied coming to work in cargo shorts and Ts.

I am excited about the new place. We are moving on up to a deluxe apartment in the sky. It is a suite – with balcony – located on the third floor. Mine is a corner office with windows on two sides. It is rumored to overlook Camelback Mountain. I am going to feel a proper professional.  I plan to have real furniture and artwork  – and no wire hangers, ever!  Perhaps I will dress better. I wonder if the suits fit.

Dame Rumor is running around the office telling usthe new place ‘needs work’ . The bosses plan to build some walls to create a conference room and a waiting room.  My north wall is going to move in by a few feet. This saves me the need to paint and put things in order right away. I just hope the bosses don’t drag their heels on these projects.

All the same, I will have a thoughtful pause and Spo-reflection tomorrow afternoon when I leave the old place knowing I am never coming back. I’ve spent ten years here trying to administer to the sick.

My old office – soon to be torn down – has a south facing window through which the sunbeam seeps from west to east like a sundial. At winter solstice the sunlight is low enough to reach across the floor into the hall. In summer there is no sunbeam.  This week the sunbeam is just starting to return as the sun sinks into the autumn zodiac.

But I won’t be here to see it’s return.


The Board of Directors Here at Spo-Reflections loathes my ‘word’ entries; I can’t quite ascertain their reason. I surmise they don’t understand the words to determine whether or not they are censorable. I have a terrible intuition TBDHSR are not interested in expanding their lexicon, which is limited to a handful of one syllable words and lots of body language.  Nevertheless I am willing to endure the waxing wroth of warrior editors for obscure words are jolly good fun.

Try using these lovelies in an email today.

quidnunc – a gossip or busybody.

“Oh that Doug, he’s quite the quidnunc, his nose is in everyone’s business – and then some”

gasconade – a boasting pompous style of speech or writing.

“Mr. Trump’s latest gasconade made Doug sick”

longanimity – a disposition to bear injuries patiently.

“Doug lamented how long to he must bear this longanimity called the pre-election.”

abulia  – an abnormal lack of ability to act or make decisions.

“The patient Doug reports having apathy, melancholia, and abulia. It’s Obama’s fault.”

crepuscular – of, relating to, or resembling twilight.

“After dinner Doug went out for crepuscular machinations in the dunes, hoping to remedy his abuilia.”

bloviate – (v)  to speak pompously

Mr. Trump bloviated on Fox News that Doug’s crepuscular actions is the main issue Americans are facing today.”

uhtceare – the angst experienced early in the morning when you wake with worrying.

“Doug woke at 4AM with uhtceare, wondering what Mr. Trump would bloviate about him today”

revenant – a person who returns; a person who returns as a spirit after death (a ghost)

“Doug the quidnunc learned last night in his crepuscular encounter that Mr. Trump is considering having the revenant Sarah Palin be his running mate.

This was written as we drove eight hours home from Santa Fe. I didn’t have time to read/write blogs while in Santa Fe, but now I have time for nothing else. Someone is driving,  lost in Fresh Air. 

I’ve been thinking a lot about weirdos and the archetype of the “Outsider”. “Weirdos” are the odd-balls and the eccentrics of life. These schizotypal types stand out readily by their dress and their behaviors viz. they are different.

Once upon a time the word weirdo was quite pejorative. It was used – shouted – by the mainstream to label them freaks and outcasts.  They were ostracized and (alas) the Weirdos agreed. They were ashamed.

Most of the time. There were always some weirdos who didn’t give a damn and who didn’t try to become “normal”.

Sometimes people look like ‘weirdos’ but these are not proper ones. Like pyrite to gold, they are purposely trying to defy the mainstream through dress or style. True weirdos seem born that way and have no choice for that is what they are.

I love weirdos. To be specific I like the ones who don’t give a f*ck what mainstreamers think of them. They are who they are and have no desire to conform. As a boy, I admired them, for I did not have the courage to do likewise.  Some examples, you ask?

“Auntie Mame” For Spo-fans who haven’t seen the Rosalind Russell movie version I implore you to see it. Like all weirdos, she continually clashes with the mainstream types, The Babbits, who find her queer and repellent. She never bows or conforms; she runs rings around them.  We love itwhen she drives The Upsons – the epitome of conformity – to distraction.

“Pee-wee Herman” – I am not a huge fan but he is Odd-ball incarnate. He doesn’t even seem to realize it, nor does he ‘worry’ what people think of him.


“The Addams Family”  who are the royal family of Weirdos.  Watch any episode; they revel in their style. Not once are they worried about what others think of them when a conventional runs out their door. Indeed, they pity those whom they see as insipid and deprived.


I am sure you can see where I am going with this. Weirdos are far more fabulous and interesting than the Conventionals.  Gay people were labelled as weirdos (and still are) but we are far more in touch with the Weirdo complex. In “Rent” there is a line where they sing  “Being an “us” for once, instead of a ‘them” – la via boheme! This allows us to access the psychic energies of the Auntie Mames and the Addams.

Through Weirdo energy we have the power to mock those trying to push us back into submission and normalcy.  And this is very ponderous power, indeed.  When the Westboro ‘church’ stages a protest, a serious counter-protest doesn’t fight back half so well as a mocking drag-queen disco party kiss-in with funny signs  saying“I’m with stupid”.

As I age I counsel more about not letting others define or shame you for who and what you are.

Get in touch with the Weirdo archetype. Its energy is not the path towards success in politics but it leads to a myriad of marvelous journeys.


Today is 20 August, which starts in the zodiac the Sign of Virgo (in the views or some). Virgos are in a perfectionistic lot who want constant improvement. When they comment on your being or dress it often feels like criticism but what they really mean is don’t you want to be better on principal? Virgo is a nice sign really; please don’t feed them buns and things.

This weekend is the annual trip to Santa Fe Opera. We are hearing two: the first is the premiere of “Cold Mountain” and the other is some Mozart pastiche (there’s as combination of you). I hope my coughing is down to a minimal by Saturday or it may be all a bust. It is the last of the summer holidays for us. Santa Fe has lows in the mid-50s which sounds positively Artic. For this alone I am much looking forward to getting out of town.

Office moving day is 28 August. I have slowly stripped my office down to mere furniture and computer. When the bare necessities are moved in and in place then I can tell what I want to replenish. As it is a ‘proper office’ (no rubbish indeed!) I want my new place to look as professional as possible. This means no plastic objects and no wire hangers!!   I am looking forward to leaving the current office, which was always a dump. I hope the Boss-Man feels enough vanity to keep the new place looking proper lest the neighbors talk. We are on the same floor as an accounting firm and a law practice. I hope they bring us a welcome cake rather than a subpoena.

Otherwise I lead a dull life. It is tedious to translate the charts over to the new system (this will take 3-4 months to complete) and it it too hot to exercise. I still get short of breath with exertion; I feel quite out of shape. After Santa Fe I hope to slowly restart exercise which will include yoga and stretching. After all it was my new years’ resolution.

The Board of Directors Here at Spo-Reflections is having some sort of identity crisis.** This is evident by their emails which are full of contradictory guidance and advice. In their opinion, I’m boring you silly with thoughtful Spo-reflections so I am to stick with humor – which in turn is critiqued by “please get serious” comments. Home and work life reports are approved one day only to be disapproved the next.  Their solution: a consultant is hired (out of Trondheim) for direction and redefinition of mission statement and general rapine. Herbert told to lock up the liquor for he’s a mean drunk.  And if Herbert is worried than I should doubly be so.

Meanwhile here is a bricolage of events, certain to please no one and entertain less.

I just hope my lungs are not removed tomorrow by truculent Kunsulent Sven….

Alas, I continue to hack. I feel better and my appetite is back but I continue to cough as if the lungs have nothing better to do or they didn’t get the word the pneumonia is over.

Temperatures have ‘cooled’ to mere 90 lows and 105 highs.  The AC is going allegro non troppo but I still sweat in the house. We are not sleeping well, given the heat. This weekend (health permitting) we plan to go to Santa Fe where lows are rumored to be in the low 60s. Positively Arctic.

I feel some fall melancholy beginning to emerge. This is not a good sign for it is only mid-August. Perhaps my mid-July Canada trip (normally at the end of August)  triggered it. Maybe it is merely a combination of pneumonia and cabin fever. The only thing at the moment of cheer is this pending move; I hope it is not a disappointment.

I am in the process of moving my office things home in anticipation of Moving Day 8/28.  The new place is on the third floor ‘with a view’. It sounds infinitely nicer than the dump we currently have. Rumor has it the previous tenants painted all the rooms burnt orange. “It looks like Halloween in there” says The Wonder Receptionist who apparently went poking about last weekend. How 70s. If this is true the first thing going into the new office is a bucket of paint.  I think patients sitting in burned orange will undo all psychiatric care.

**I will give them credit; I did not know they knew such words or the concept. Self-awareness is not normally on the minds of bellicose Nordic warriors-turned-editors.

Last week when pneumonia/flu/bubonic plague was more active I did not have the concentration, strength, or interest to keep up with my journals which sat unread in heaps.  I was about to throw them out en masse only to find among them a religious survey. It ended with the question: Have you ever considered becoming a Brother?  The notion is a fascinating one because I have no understanding what being a Brother really entails. All I have is a bunch of cliché fantasies that brothers are a collection of contemplative fellows in brown or black robes who chant and tend vegetable gardens without care.  This sounds attractive: locking myself away, raising tomatoes and singing Vespers and cutting out the crap. And no Donald Trump.

I wonder though if I would make a good monk. I am not good at sitting still, but I am good at being contemplative. I wonder if potential brothers/monks/friars candidates are screened for their capacity to ‘play well with others’ so they don’t get on each other’s nerves cooped up in a cloister. Group living can be harsh.  Having been recently ill giving things up like food, activities etc. sounded quite easy at the time. However, now that I am feeling well I have ‘desires’, as it were.  I wonder if the expression ‘more celibate than a monk” has any truth to it.

Oh well. I am happily employed as a physician so becoming a Carmelite is limited to opera and Gothic music recordings what Someone calls ‘old dead nuns”. Speaking of music, when I was in Ottawa I visited a renovated church in a museum that had in it several speakers set into a circle, each speaker playing one voice of the motet “Spem In Alium” by Tallis. Being in midst of this was rapturous.  There were no recruitment clergymen at the door waiting to pounce me in my theophany or I might have signed up. Instead I bought the CD in the gift department. It is lovely music to hear home alone after feeling the flu. A cloister for one.

It is really just too hot to do anything. The lows don’t dip down past 90; the highs are over 110.  The mantra – or defense mechanism – ‘it’s a dry heat’ is of no comfort at these infernal temperatures. Best thing to do is to stay indoors and don’t move. The only silver lining to his hellish climate is solar tea cooks in a jiffy. I needed oven mitts to retrieve the glass container from the backyard.

I haven’t been too much the fustiliarian. This morning I got a nice hair cut, beard trim, and a shave. I tend to go into a dwam during tonsorial maneuvers which is quite the treat. Afterwards I went to the gym for the first time in several weeks. I have dropped from 82kg to 77.5kg; it feels like I am starting from square one – again.  I did not push myself; it broke out some coughing.

On the way home I stopped at the mall store to my poster of “The Death of General Wolfe” from the National Gallery of Ottawa (merci, mon ami!) put into a frame.

I am quite cross for it seemed like the new electronic health records was working better than the old one, but when I pressed the ‘save” button all my work evaporated. Skunks.  I guess I will again try tomorrow.

It is not good for our budget but I insist we eat out tonight. It’s too hot to cook. I don’t care where we go, so long as it is sufficiently cool and there is wine and water glasses with masses of ice.

The evening looks pretty quiet. Nothing to be done. It’s too hot to do anything more. Even the pool is of no use. Having baked in the sun all week it is the temperature of bathwater.

I hope Spo-fans are keeping properly hydrated, which is the panacea of all ills in my alma mater medical school. Last week when ill I loathed fluids; today I can’t get enough of the stuff. I must have a wooden leg (or two) for there is no output.

Do tell me in the comments how warm it is there and what you are doing to beat the heat.

First of all I want to thank Spo-fans near and far for your words of encouragement and beneficence. I am most appreciative.

Recently I started listening to the podcast “The Sewers of Paris”. The host is a Matt Baume who interviews gentleman light in the loafers about the entertainment(s) that changed their lives. The guests have discussed movies (The Wizard of Oz, The Bird Cage), operas (Salome), and various TV shows (Will and Grace).

Mr. Baume has yet to call me for my interview, but I am well prepared with the entertainment that transformed me into one of Nature’s bachelors: “Bewitched”.


I’ve not researched it but I would bet anything that a bunch of closet (or not so closeted) queens dreamed up “Bewitched”  for no other type could make so perfect a gay-metaphor. The concept alone says it all: A man discovers in his house there is someone ‘different’ and he is horrified the truth will come out (pun intended). He asks – nay demands – his ‘different’ wife pass as normal and act like the neighbors. He is driven to distraction by this impossibility.

The ‘different ones’ aka the witch in-laws are a who’s who in gay stereotypes. Endora is drag queen. Maurice can be found at any opera among the A-listers. Uncle Arthur aka Paul Lynde aka flaming queer speaks for himself. Dr. Bombay says he is a nurse chaser, but when he suddenly appears his outfits immediately give him away for what we have long suspected: he is a daddy bear (with panache).


As a boy I was spell-bound (pun intended) but the show. I so wanted to be a member of Samantha’s family. I was completely bewildered why on earth Darrin the dimwit wouldn’t just go with the flow and allow his wife to be who she was and be at ease with his wife’s* relations were all absolutely fabulous. His life (the Tates, his parents) were dull as plainsong in comparison. It gave me comfort knowing those with secret lives were a) far more interesting really and b) could always get the upper-hand of the “Darrins” merely by being who they are: clever, talented, and oh so marvelous.

I have a confession: when I typing notes at work, I sometimes wiggle my nose while clicking the mouse pretending it’s magic that made things on screen suddenly appear or disappear. Another “Bewitched” movement is to flick my fingers out at the screen saying ‘go’ or ‘turn’ or ‘print’.  Aunt Clara would be proud.

Once on an application for something the bean-counters demanded I list five professional references. As I could only come up with four I listed Dr. Bombay as #5 (for he comes right away). I got the job.

So there you have it Mr. Baume. I am ready for my close up – which is another entertainment to discuss.


**Interesting: his wife is usually referred to as “Sam”

It is going on 10 days of illness. I am so wiped out from this. The coughing is the worst; it is nonstop despite different medication trials.

One of the more surprising symptoms of this nasty strain of flu/bronchitis/pneumonia is indifference. I have no desire to do anything. Normally a frequent flyer or FB, I’ve had no interest to go on the internet – or do anything really. The lack of appetite is amazing – I can go days without eating as there is no sense of hunger. All I want to do is not move and try not to cough.

I apologize for not reading any blogs or writing anything interesting. Even typing this out feels an effort.  No doubt this will pass in time and I will be well. Alas, it feels like waiting for Godot. It’s 8PM and I am off to sleep.

I will write when there is something to write.  Thanks for understanding.

sick-man-168077I am quite sick. It’s been ten days since I came down with the beastly thing. It seems to only get worse. The main symptom is coughing. Despite consuming hardly anything my nose and lungs produces an amazing amounts of fluid in a determination to drowned me. Everything points to flu. I’ve had zero energy to do anything (hence my absence from blog-land). After days without appetite I’ve gone from 82kg to 78kg. This is the silver lining to an otherwise inimical cloud. Illness is slimming.

I am no good at being sick. The main thing to do – sit still and no nothing – is challenging beyond measure. I don’t mind a few days of illness but two week’s worth seems mean. What I want is someone to mother me and tell me everything is going to be OK and fetch me things to eat (soup) and drink (tea). I get nothing like this. Someone basically goes on doing what he usually does and leaves me alone. When he does speak to me it’s to criticize what I am doing wrong (going to work, not eating anything, etc.)

Work piles up. Today I took the day off. I am paged anyway by patients demanding my services saying they can’t wait.

After being nagged by many I went today to see a ‘real doctor’. I didn’t want him telling me the obvious and I don’t want antibiotics for a virus. I hate antibiotics. I am not the type who demands them for every little fiddle-faddle I contract. Alas, The Good Doctor did NOT assure me this is merely a long nasty flu and hang in there but he thinks it may be bronchitis or even Legionaries’ disease. What on earth makes him think that is on the differential? Because I flew to some cities where they had recent outbursts of such that’s why.

My fabulous parting prizes included an antibiotic shot in the butt, a chest X-ray, vials of blood work (‘have you fasted? “Yes, for two days now”), ten days of nasty antibiotics, and a cough Rx with codeine.

So far the codeine is a disappointment that I am neither orbiting the moons of Jupiter nor cough free. I think the diseased demon possessing me is not going to be so easily exorcised by a mere 4t every 4 hours remedy. It want my lungs out and no mistake.

Updates: The Good Doctor just called to say there is a slight whisp on the x-ray that he’s calling this a pneumonia.

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