You are currently browsing the monthly archive for February 2007.

Cases from work:

  1. Message from a woman which states her dog ate her Xanax.
  2. Young man adamantly against prescription medications for depression as they will f*ck his mind over. He smokes 3 joints a day for the past 5 years.
  3. Man having crying jags at a drop of a hat, not unlike seizures, very embarrassing at  the board meetings.
  4. Woman dragged in my office by her spouse. She is seeing things in the house and car such as mistresses/troops of homosexuals and other people. All delusions, but she is telling all to the church congregation. Oops.
  5. Snowbird from the Midwest trying to escape seasonal affective disorder only to have new onset panic attacks on the
    Arizona freeway system “my goodness people are awful here”
  6. Rich person in a bout of mania hired a private jet, flew overseas for a spending spree and divorce. Now divorced and facing bankruptcy, ‘down’ and the ex doesn’t want this person back for some reason.
  7. Woman too anxious to not to take Rx but all Rx when taken make her more anxious. (confused? I too).
  8. A man realizing he too has ADHD as his boy has the diagnosis/in successful treatment/they are two peas in a pod. As usual, when pressed, he admits he’s tried his son’s medication and it works for him too.
  9. Yet another woman with an unexpected pregnancy not sure what to do now about her medication. (these are tough cases). 

And

  1. Favorite chief complaint of the week: “I am depressed. But I don’t want to get too much  better, it gives me something to do.”

Spider’s recent post on friendships got me thinking about friends.

We’ve been in Phoenix for about two years. So far we have not been successful at making local lasting friends. Phoenix is rather spread out and getting to places to ‘meet people’ seems more challenging than when we lived in Ann Arbor MI. Another factor is at the end of most workdays we are pooped and at the end of most weeks we have errands to run. Both lead to ‘let’s stay home’ moods rather than going out.

We joined a local Bears club. This is pleasant fun. We have met several new people but so far none have turned into friends. Nice people, glad to see them again – but apparently not enough for either party to call and arrange an outing or get together.

I would like some nearby chums.

Once in a while, an out of state friend has a friend move to Arizona. That person or couple are introduced to us. We meet for dinner and talk about the mutual friends. I think we have done this 3x now. Alas, none of these dates have lasted.

We have another ‘date’ this weekend; a gentleman caller who is a friend of a couple back in Michigan. These two friends are known for their bright, friendly chums, so hopes are high again.  

I am glad that far away friends keep in touch. And I am also glad for my blogger buddies. Some day I should like to meet a few of them too.

read.jpgRecently I’ve been tooting a horn about a book called “The Phantom Tollbooth’ and about Pacific Northwest Art. There is a connection for me. Like Milo, I too had a journey to the Lands Beyond. It took me through time and space to another land and place and state of being.

.

When I was a boy, my grandparents’ house had a 3rd floor, which was used for storage and attic stuff. I recall it had hoards of furniture, and trunks of books; it seemed a treasure trove.  Thinking of C.S. Lewis or Lewis Carroll, I spent some time looking for secret tunnels or passages that may lead me to other places.  I did find one – in a pile of old magazines.

In the attic were stacks of LIFE, Boy’s Life, and Walt Disney Comics. I thought them ancient, but they were mostly from the 40s and the 50s. The astonishing ads and the articles sometimes seemed beyond my understanding. I felt like an archeologist discovering the scrolls of some ancient culture, a rival to Ancient Egypt or some other long ago civilization.  

Every time we visited my grandparents I would visit the attic and sit and read these magazines. The Boy’s Life seemed to call me. I was intrigued by the squeaky clean 50s boy scouts in their khaki uniforms, doing all sorts of butch scouting activities. I was in scouting myself, and it amazed me some of the same cartoons and features were still running 20 years later.

I kept returning to a cartoon series called “Kam, of the Ancient Ones”.  It was about a young Native American from the Pueblos of the Southwest. In his adventures he travels the western half of the pre-Columbian North American continent. The magazines were not in order. One issue would have Kam on the prairies of Montana, and in the next magazine he is seal hunting in Alaska. (I wasn’t bright enough to put the magazines in order, or the ‘where will be this time’ took precedent over logic).

Kam goes to the Pacific Northwest and lives there for awhile with the various peoples of that region. This riveted me. I somehow connected to these people and their ideas and culture  – and most of all – their art style.

To this day the Native American Pacific Northwest draws me. In my analytical work I used Raven and the Mythos of the arear to work through some archetypes. “Apparently these relate to your more than the Greek (myths). You must have been Haida once upon a time” said one professor.

Regardless of what really happened in that attic in northern Michigan 30 years ago, I am grateful for being in the Land of Pacific Northwest, or at least in spirit. I thank you Kam for being my guide to some of the Lands Beyond, mentioned in the Phantom Tollbooth.

dick_transformation_open.jpg

This is a mask, carved by Beau Dick, a Native American artist of the Pacific Northwest. I have a few of his works. It is a Transformation Mask. When closed it looks like Raven; open, it reveals this inner mask surrounded with a halo.

It recently became available for purchase.

Spo Fans: Please tell me a good reason why I need to buy this/deserve this.

The person who comes up with the best rationale will win my undying gratitude and a year’s supply of mood stabilizers.

I am feeling better. I no longer lie down every 15 minutes. I am hungry again, so the nasty souvenir from  Costa Rica is passing.  For a more lasting memory of the trip, Someone bought a rather attractive bowl while we were in  Central America.

It sits under the Bookwus (see blog entry 8/2/06).

From what I tell, not one of our 30 postcards got to their destinations.

Life feels unsettled at the moment. Someone is very unhappy in his job; he is pursuing a change. Recruiters and resumes are going out. One possible outcome is a move out of  Arizona to yet another state.

I find myself not making long time plans (gardening and other house projects) thinking we may soon scram. 

While it will be very good for Someone’s well being, it is bad timing for the housing market. We moved to Phoenix during a crazy buying frenzy. That’s past. The house two doors down has been on the market for months with no signs of selling. We will probably loose money on a house sale.

Finding a new job for me is not a problem; there are no unemployed physicians. However I dread the nightmare to get a license in a new state. Last time I did this I did not work for six months.

In contrast to these future “what-ifs”, our present, daily life is not very interesting. I’m not up to going to the gym or anywhere else for that matter. I anticipate another weekend of chores – the disposal needs replacement, we have no groceries. I need to do my taxes.

Heigh-ho the glamorous life.

So I follow the intriguing lives of my blogger buddies.

Has Matthew at Bear in the Box had a change in fortune?

Will Maddog survive Iowa?

Will Mr. Sorted find true love?

How goes Michael Guy’s move?

What new diva is David adoring in the UK?

And are those in the North (Maggie, Laurie, Steve O, and Albert) cracking up from the winter?

 Etc.                                                          

Have a pleasant weekend, all of you.

bleak-house.jpg                            Greg of Life in a Day inspired this one.

I love books.
Reading is one of my favorite past times. I am thinking about books that changed me. I can think of lots of books to recommend as excellent or moving, but I am talking about books that somehow made me a different person for reading them.  These books may not be ‘my favorites’ or even books I read anymore, but they transformed me.

The Phantom Tollbooth

This marvelous book about a boy who goes into ‘The Lands Beyond’ was the first book that transformed me in some way. I read many books before this one came along, bt it was this book that evoked a desire to read it,  again and again. I felt a emotional elation for being in it. It did something indirectly:  it turned me into a reader. I wanted more books like this. It started me on my journey of reading.

The Thurber Carnival

When I was little I found this book in my grandfather’s library. I liked it for the cartoons. As I revisited the book it slowly dawned on me he was a ‘writer’, someone who wrote for a living. It was my first realization some people were ‘writers’. There was a whole world of people like this.

As You Like It

We read this in junior high school, prior to attending a performance. It was my first  Shakespeare play. I am sure the high school production we saw was amateur but I found it hilarious and intoxicating. Reading this play  I realized writing could be lovely as well as interesting. I’ve been hooked on Shakespeare ever since.

The Oxford Book of Short Stories

This one is rather arbitrary. We read several collections of short stories in high school. But it through these I was introduced into the realm of the short story. It was my launch pad into the worlds of Mansfield, Flannery O’Connor, James Joyce, Nabokov, Eidth Wharton etc.

The Left Hand of Darkness

It was certainly not my piece of first science fiction. I took a ‘great book’ course in college. It included The Illiad, the Odyssey, Don Quixote, Huckleberry Finn, Watership Down – and the Left Hand of Darkness. What was this last book doing here?

I include this book as it made me realize not only can science fiction be good literature, it could be moving. Sci-Fi isn’t just shoot outs in space.

Bleak House

I remember reading Dickens in high school. Being forced to read classics at that age made me resist the contents (how impudent was this:  I actually wrote a paper to prove he was a bad writer. I got an F and richly deserved!) Later, I read this work by Dickens on my own. By doing so I was reintroduced to one of the geniuses of literature.

I don’t think we are in Kansas anymore

Eric Mordden’s short stories about gay life in NYC and
Fire Island was read at a time of my life when being gay meant sex. His stories let me know there can be relationships, both joyful and sad. My goodness, gay people really are like other people in their hopes, fears and dreams and daily doings.

urspo1.jpg Step 1 is done! I figured out how to post a photograph.   Babysteps…..

Today in many Christian faiths the season of Lent begins.  For those who may not know about it, it is a 40 day period of relative modest living with emphasis on charity, prayer, and self reflection.

I like the notion there are times in the calendar for relative peace and quiet.  I think the ‘down times’ make the ‘up times’ more ‘up’. Different modes of living appeal to my sense of balance. There is a sense of rhythm to it; a period of fasting goes into a period of feasting. It is the same fast/feast but has a sense of novelty to it.

“Giving up something for Lent’ used to be popular. Being ill this month I have given up a lot, so there is hardly anything left to give up for Lent. I feel like a sinking ship with no freight to throw overboard.

There is more emphasis now on taking up something positive – and keeping it going, like a daily prayer or a visit to an elderly person or volunteering, or some other deed that benefits others.

“Given up chocolate’ has a ring of self absorption and that doesn’t do your fellow man any good.  

I think I will try to pick up some more charity towards others this season, both in financial giving and in ‘giving some slack’. I’ve gotten cheap (again) as of late, and should help others more. I also need to be less emotional when I sense I am being exploited at work.

Anyone giving up/taking up something this Lent?

Life is no fun when you are ill.

I’ve been excited to decorate up the blog site, as its preliminary look is plain and dull compared to the others.  I feel plain and dull too. I want to post photos and make the header look lovely. I want to get back to some Jungian topics, some “curious things around the house’ and my other usual topics. However, I simply don’t have the energy to do much these days but the day’s basics. So WordPress, Spo-Reflections – and I – will have to wait for better days.

Listening to people’s ailments and symptoms can be tedious, so I don’t want to go there.  I won’t give a daily report that way.

Summary< things seem to be settling but I have long road of mending to travel.

Today is Mardi Gras. No party here. It feels more like Shrive Tuesday.

Mardi Gras never was a big day for us, growing up in the Midwest. I grew up Protestant, and Mardi Gras was probably deemed too ‘Catholic’ of an idea. Or maybe it is merely the Protestant suspicion for anything with revelry.  I remember some Polish folks bringing to school/work huge sugar fried cakes of death on this day. That was about it.  

I wish everyone out there a happy Tuesday. For those out carousing, please have one for me.

OOXX 

Quote of the day:  “Can’t we raise my medicine some more? I still have feeling.”

It’s been difficult getting back into blogging. Actually it is difficult to get back into everything. I am too tired from sickness.

I had a setback over the weekend, so I don’t have much energy to do anything, let alone write. I feel very old. I’ve decided not to go into gory medical details about my condition. It is enough to say my body seems to be on a mission to refuse all food/fluids and flush out everything inside.  At this rate I will be 20lb down. So much for ‘bear’ status.

This Wednesday is Ash Wednesday to remind me I will someday be dust. No need for this reminder.

Today was overcast, and it reminded me of when I lived in the  Midwest. February was one long, bleak, weary month of gray. It is a month for patience: waiting for the winter to finally show some signs of let up. This February I have the same ‘wait’ towards health. Thank goodness February is the shortest month.

Well, that’s about all I can say today. Keep well, dearies.

Hanuman (the Dear!) asked me to go to the nearest book and pick out particular sentences from page 123.

Here is what I retrieved.

It is from “The Phantom Tollbooth”, and if you have not read this amazing book I can not recommend enough. It is a classic.

The last colors slowly faded from the western sky, and, as they did, one by one the instruments stopped, until only the bass fiddles, in their somber slow movement, were left to play the night and a single set of silver bells brightened the constellations. The conductor let his arms fall limply at his sides and stood quite still as darkness claimed the forest.

“That was a very beautiful sunset,” said
Milo, walking to the podium.

“It should be,” was the reply; ‘we’ve been practicing since the world began.”

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