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Come with me
All Hallow’s Night
We’ll frighten everyone in sight
such pranks, for once,
are justified
and fun and frolic amplified

19th century Hallowe’en postcard.

Happy All Hallow’s Eve !

Happy Samhain !  May this Celtic New Year be a blessed one!

Trick or Treaters who come to our door will be greeted by Urs Truly in Viking attire.

Someone has the front yard bedecked with orange lights and corpses hanging in the trees.

Our “A” candy this year is Snickers – proper size.   “B” candy: hodge  podge of fun  size sweeties.  “C” candy : traditional “Smarties”.

For dinner we will have Fritz’ cheese soup with the traditional grilled flank steak, followed by pumpkin swirl brownies.

Then I do the Tarot reads for those Spo fans who requested a reading on this Night of Mystery.

I will hear some ghost stories, and go to sleep with the door locked……..

Sleeping at the Spo House is a restless endeavor. We are not still sleepers.  Most nights sleep is a complicated set of moves resembling a chess game played out between Mr. Sandman and his sister Sue.

The main bed has Urs Truly on the port side, Someone on the starboard, and Harper in the middle. Harper, who sees me as The Other Dog, is often in my spot when I come in to bed. I lean over and say “Move your brown butt!”, which she does, but then she plots. It is not uncommon to wake in the night to discover she is in the original spot, with me pushed aside her in a “C” position.

A good rule of sleep hygiene is to leave the bed after 15 minutes if you can’t fall asleep, so when I can’t sleep, I go to the guest bedroom.  Sleeping on the west side of the house can be unsettling, for I never know when Henrik* may creep up. I usually wake about 4AM to go back to the Master Bedroom (Harper permitting).

On the whole I generally sleep better than Someone. Someone’s “other bed” is the living room couch. He often falls asleep there, then comes to bed when I am asleep. He also gets up earlier than I do and he goes back to the couch. This means I seldom fall asleep or wake up with him beside me. It’s like he was never there. Like Cupid and Psyche.

I think we would both sleep better if we tidied up our night time habits. I drink too much water after 6PM: Someone loves his diet colas.  Harper constantly tries to train us to get up to let her out whenever she wants.

I like white noise. My iphone plays several types. This is another curious difference between us: Someone readily falls asleep in front of TV while TV thwarts my own beim schlafengehen.  Audio-lectures make us both doze. The light from my iphone mars Someone’s sleep.

Neither one of us likes to hold the other. I need to clutch a pillow in order to fall asleep; a long time habit without which I can not sleep. If there is no extra pillow, I make one out of rolled up blankets.

So that’s the sleeping arrangements.

As they say in Cabaret:

“I sleep in the middle.”

“I’m left”

“And I’m right!”
“But there’s room on the bottom if you drop in one night ! “  

Oh, but I do talk scandal sometimes !

* Friends of Henrik:  he hasn’t been heard from in ages. I dare say he’s flown the coop. On the other hand I’ve had this lull before only to have him startle me in a ‘He’s back!’ fright.  Stay tuned.

Saturday nights are when I feel the most uncool. Blogger-buddy Eric asked me what I typically do on Saturday night. Answer: I dictate charts and do housework tasks. I surf the internet; I read blogs.  Sometimes I chat with Scruff buddies.  Someone watches TV and usually falls asleep in front of it.

Reprobate living, at its worst.

I imagine everybody is out making merry at those parties I was not invited to attend. If they are not at parties, they are in the pubs, roaring with laughter over their cups.  Then they all go home and ‘get some’, most likely with someone handsome, new, and adventuresome.

It is disappointing to have reached so quickly the age when the night is for sleep.  Living in Phoenix doesn’t help; I have to drive a long way to get anywhere, and then the parking is difficult. Best to just stay home with a wee droppie and Youtube. Then it is no bother to doze off by ten.

One of the ironies of  blogger buddies far and wide is we have no local chums to have over for cards, gossip, or whatever. I don’t mind too much, but Saturday nights make me feel it more.

It’s about 11PM and I am already nodding off.  I am falling asleep on my Youtube teacher and virtual boyfriend Ralfy. He is teaching “Whisky Review 209”, which is ironically about how to hold a whisky tasting party. He warns of having only proper chums who are serious about whisky tasting, and not just those wanting to get pissed.  He calls these sordid sorts ‘bawbags’.  I had to look this up.  I will gladly forgo all charting, household tasks, and Ralfy too to have a few bawbags over next Saturday.

Yikes! My “There is work to be done!” list of chores is as long as my arm.  

I don’t know when I will have time to write a proper post. Between now and tomorrow I need get a lot accomplished.  

 

So I pause and promise to return anon.  

And on and on and on. 

It’s been a difficult week, one that has left me cross.  I am amazed how quickly little things throw me into a sententious and irascible mood.  I blame the workload, which has left me with little if any time to do anything other than write and dictate notes.

The coup de grace occurred today when I advised a patient to call me this Thursday and tell me how he is doing. He pointed out today is Thursday. I thought it was Tuesday. Where on earth did this week go?  In the opera “Der Rosenkavalier” the Marschallin sadly ponders her fleeting youth “Die Zeit, die ist ein sonderbar Ding“.  She states sometimes in the middle of the night she gets up and stops the clocks hoping to prevent the progression of Time. I appreciate her efforts. Time is accelerating and I can’t keep up with it.

In the Red Queen hypothesis you have to run as fast as you can to just stay where you are :

“Well, in our country,” said Alice, still panting a little, “you’d generally get to somewhere else — if you run very fast for a long time, as we’ve been doing.”

“A slow sort of country!” said the Queen. “Now, here, you see, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that!”

We are going faster and faster – towards what?  No good – that’s for certain.

I have a list as long as my arm of things I want to do; very little of it is getting accomplished. Hallowe’en is less than a week away, and we just got out the trimmings.

Tonight I am on strike. I am not going to do a drop of dictation but finally read blogs and write comments. I might even go to bed at a decent time. For all I know, I will wake up tomorrow morning to find it is already Monday, or (worse) Christmas time.

Of course, it has been Christmastime for some time already: the stores have already put out their Christmas trimmings.  If, on November 1st, I come to work and hear the radio playing carols I will go barking mad.

Rick asks ‘What is the fuss?” about Hallowe’en. He wants to know what is the attraction; why this holiday continues to be attractive.. I thought I would reply. There are many reasons why Halloween remains popular, despite it never being officially declared as a national holiday.

I think the number one reason why it keeps on going is it touches upon the archaic. We need rituals that deal with the dead and the dark and the unknown. For many millennia people in the Northern hemisphere have had some sort of ceremony involving the death of nature tied in with the death of people. Despite our modern ways, the archaic is never far below the surface. Our psyches need something like Hallowe’en. Even Christianity could not eliminate it, but white wash it.

Another attraction of Halloween is it has no fixed rules, no ‘should statements’, and no demands of how it should be. If you want, you don’t even have to celebrate it. After thousands of years this holiday has evolved and incorporated numerous festivities and rituals from many cultures. With no expectations, it retains all the fun and revelry other holidays have lost. Think of Christmas. Most people find the Christmas season demanding, depressing, overwhelming, and full of ‘should statements’. In my psychiatric practice, I get many patients stressed or depressed around Christmas and Thanksgiving. Nobody comes in feeling these things about Halloween.

Holidays traditionally had a sort of rebellion to them, a time for revelry when the usual rules were thrown out. One of the reasons the Puritans outlawed Christmas was it was too riotous. This is reflective in having ‘sober’ Christmases and the discouragement of drinking or eating  excessively.  Hallowe’en hasn’t been tamed as much.  Interesting!  While Thanksgiving and Christmas are known for  excessive drinking, Hallowe’en is not. Perhaps because there is no need for alcohol to loosen up our inhibitions; at Hallowe’en we act them out rather.

Hallowe’en has a healthy dose of sticking its tongue out at custom and convention. The costumes reflect this  in becoming something or someone outrageous and unconventional.  Ironically, as the Fundies work to banish Hallowe’en as Satanic, the more anti-establishment become the costumes.  It is a holiday that doesn’t seem tameable like Easter, Thanksgiving, or Christmas – the modern Puritans can’t lick it.  I enjoy seeing something that refuses to be fenced in and tied down.

The Board of Directors Here at Spo-Reflections sent a note today telling me there is far too many silly entries and it was time get serious. Brother #3 sent me a link to Monty Python’s ‘Spot the Looney”.  Indeed, I prefer zany humor to subtly. If I was in Greece I would do the Satyr plays over the Satires. Nevertheless, zany humor is a lot like curry powder; a little is good but too much overpowers the dish.

So it is back to the mundane and the prosaic.

Between Election matters and my lack of weight loss it’s a depressing time. I just want to crawl in a ball until all this election crap is over.  I feel despair even more than when Bush was elected how nasty and vile the country will be if Mitts is elected. My one consolation: if elected he will be just what this country deserves.

My failure to keep up exercise and stay away from ‘cheating foods’ makes me ashamed; I sense I’ve had no progress this year viz. I weigh the same amount as on January 1.  It’s my own fault of course; I want ‘real food’ and I enjoy my weekend cocktail and wine with dinner – it all adds up. So I have only myself to blame.

But enough sour bits. Hallowe’en is coming up, and I need to get cracking on preparations for the annual Hallowe’en feast. It gives me great pleasure to conjure it up; I change my mind over and over. Here is the tentative menu:

Pumpkin Martinis

Black bean/yellow and orange pepper salsa with orange/black chips. 

Fritz’ Cheese soup with bat shaped crackers, with black vodka chaser

Ghoulish stew with ghostie mashed potatoes, with Vampire Wine. 

and 

Some sort of dessert, like pumpkin/chocolate layered cake. 

So much for the diet, but what the hell, Hallowe’en comes once a year.

Today’s AIDS Walk was a success!

I thank the Spo-fans who either gave emotional support or pledged us money.

The later gets extra karmic kisses and virtual hugz.

Here is Urs Truly, dressed in the height of fund-raiser fashion.  

On the way to the race, we were shocked shocked SHOCKED to encounter a grove of nymphs, not even clothed with a blush.

Don’t they know Arizona is a Red State, and the UV levels are off the charts to boot?

Always the gentleman, I tried to escorted them to safety.

But I was soon under the spell of their intoxicating music and I joined the Bachannal.

The Nymph and Satyr dance is very good for the back.

We pride ourselves in “Supporting the Arts”.

So – we had a good time raising funds, getting some exercise, and seeing the sights.   Jolly good fun !

I continue with the two axioms of psychiatry:

“Laughter is the best medicine”.

and

“A little nonsense now and then is cherished by the wisest men.”

At least the Spos.

I’ve had a fun-filled weekend of ‘goofing off’, which is a lovely thing indeed.  I’ve been poking Someone to take me to Flagstaff for I want to see some fall colour. We were to drive up Saturday morning but then we realized the AIDS walk is bright and early Sunday morning, so we went up Friday night rather. At the fabulous Starlight Pines Bed and Breakfast, I had a pleasant fireside chat (with a fire of real wood crackling, warm, and remarkable) with Richard, Inn Host.  We had Maker’s Mark #46 bourbon, which was new experience for both of us. The temperature outside was down into the 30s. In such pleasant circumstances, I slept quite well thank you.

Today we drove around and saw the bright yellow aspens and birch, in the bright Libra Sun.

I meant to do some shopping while in Flagstaff, but what we didn’t know was Northern Arizona University had its homecoming today. The shops were closed, but the streets were full. All the college students were out and about, many quite stinko.

A rather sweet talking sales lady (whose hair was the colour of Froot-loops) said I must must MUST have some goggles. At first I said I would not have those on my head, but she said ‘But wait until you put them on!” and ‘If you ask me those goggles are ‘You’, and besides you won’t meet yourself coming or going” (or words to those effect).

I certainly did NOT meet myself coming and going, but with every one running around looking like Hallowe’en -come -early, no one batted an eye. I got a few high-fives. A young man with a T-shirt saying ‘Tight a-hole‘ said something slurred I took to be complimentary.

In the NAU parade there was a float for the GLBT students. One of them came right through the crowd to me only, to give me a ticket invite for the November 1 drag show.  Now how did she deduce I might be interested?

I was to work this evening dictating charts, something I normally do Friday evening and/or Saturday morning, but lo!  The system is down for six hours, thinking no one would be working on a Saturday night for pete’s sake.  So I get to further my do-nothing weekend by catching up on blogs.

Tomorrow is the AIDS walk; I plan to wear these fabulous goggles to keep out the glare of the hot Arizona morning sun.  I fancy I will also wear my Viking helmet. I certainly can’t wear the Statue of Liberty crown as I did last year. People would talk.

 

**At the time of this post, it looks like Larry AKA Cubby pledged the highest amount for the AIDS Walk. Thank you to all! Congratulations Larry!   You win a Spo-Shirt or 6 months of Rice-o-Roni your pick. 

What goes around comes around: what was ‘out’ is ‘in’ again.

I recently read an article written by a younger man for his ilk on the topic of f ‘Old man cologne’.  His point:  the inexpensive colognes our fathers and grandfathers used are still available, inexpensive and – who knew?! – not bad.  I had a good laugh. I remember as a boy associating “Old Spice” with

a) my father

b) being old

and

c) being totally uncool.

No way would I wear such a thing. It would be like wearing braces, oxford loafers, or (shudder!) boxer shorts.  Since all of these clothing items are now integral parts of my wardrobe, call me “Old Man” and let’s get me some Old Man cologne to match.

The article recommended I check out names I recall from my childhood but never encountered, other than on the dresser tops of my agnates:

Aqua Velva

Brut

English Leather

Old Spice

and
Pinaud Clubman   (which smells like an old time barber shop)

One cologne he recommended is Hai Karate. Alasyou can’t get it anymore. Someone recognized it right away.  Last night I spent some fun moments watching old TV commercials for these colognes. Mr. Namath looks quite young (and quite ‘70s’) in the Brut ads.

If Hai Karate is anything like its advertisements, no wonder it went out of style:

Next time I am in CVS I hope to find a bottle of English Leather. This one sounds more like my style.  It starts out with a citrus like scent and fades to wood and leather. ( am fond of wood and of leather)  As the day goes on it is reportedly “baby powder” like. On the other hand, the ad makes me dubious :

“All my men wear English Leather  ????

This makes her sound a bit of a slut.

I don’t want that association, do I ?    🙂

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