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I slept in to 730AM today, which is the most of I have ever done in ages. The Midwest Protestant in me immediately remonstrated me for such reprobate living.  I tried to atone for my sins by doing some aperwork. But I soon got “A” vs. “B” mixed up and had to abort dictations. Phooey.  I went to the gym and had a splendid workout.

I started to work on a Christmas shirt:


It is a marvelous feeling to realize I don’t have to get up tomorrow and do anything.  It is a rare treat indeed, having ‘no plans’ to upset my sleep or require a 530AM alarm. I can sleep until 9AM if I fancy; I will let my body determine this.

Now that Thanksgiving is over and done, I can turn to Someone’s birthday (15 December) and Christmas time.  I need to get cracking on the gettings prizes for the nieces and nephews.

It’s Friday night, although it feels like Saturday night or perhaps Sunday – given the disruption in my usual workweek I have a sense of timeless discombobulation. I wonder if this is what retirement is like: a sense of all days being blurred without a sense of order. I should retire for there is nothing which requires my staying up. I can go to sleep without guilt or needs to wake.   A marvelous rare situation.  I don’t want to miss this.

Good night.

It is 5AM and I am wide awake. Tai (the dear!) sent me a lovely holiday greeting which appeared at 430AM. I woke instantly thinking it was a page. Having retired early last night, I am now bright eyed and busy tailed; all dressed up but nowhere to go, as it were.

I sent off a handful of holiday greetings and I just played my best move in Scrabble (93 points).

I’m still recuperating from the flu; Someone is coming down with it. We are going to spend the day more or less as invalids. The Lovely Neighbor is out of town, but she sublet her house to the neighborhood’s handyman. He and his wife – and 30 of their relations – have invited us over today. We will probably make a cameo appearance* and call it a day. This isn’t the most memorial of thanksgivings, but on the positive, we start the holiday season without all those obscene calories (PV is only a few months away after all).

On this day many bloggers compose an entry listing all the people and things for which they are thankful. I think I am very good at with being grateful everyday;  I shan’t list them all here.

In summary I am indeed quite thankful for all the people I have encountered through blogging e.g. my fellow bloggers, the “lurkers”, and Spo-fans far and wide.

Happy Thanksgiving !


Medical reports tell me if a patient takes more than three prescriptions or supplements things begin to bungle. Even the best and the brightest become bewildered with whether or not they took their medicinals. This often leads to skipping or (worse) double dosing. The best way towards better adherence is to have a wonderful/caring nurse manage your meds for you:


If you are bereft of said nurse, studies show packing a pill box is pretty good (1).  I take a plethora of pills.  I have my prescriptions for blood pressure and few for cholesterol. I also take a multivitamin and vitamins D and E.  Then there are the ‘snake oil supplements’ consisting of fish oil capsules (four), calcium/magnesium (when I don’t have yogurt) along with a daily aspirin and co-q-10 to postpone the inevitable heart attack.  Even Urs Truly can’t keep these sundries straight.  So once a week (usually Tuesday night) I get out my weekly pill box planner and pack’em.


“It’s pill packing night!” I announce to Someone and Harper whose enthusiasm words can not adequately convey. Then its off to the medicine cabinet and bathroom shelf to gather up the goodies.

Pills can be more slippery than catfish in vaseline; a few invariably drop into the wrong box, or (worse) slip down the waste pipe. (2)  It’s enough to turn Christian Scientist.

Taking pills is a drag. I am continually tempted to stop them (particularly the supplements, towards which I have dubious doubts) but since ‘all is going well’ my inner-Midwestern protestant tells me not to upset anything or risk it. Plus, I am a good patient; I would never stop anything without my doctor’s consent. (3)  

If I am going out, the daily oblong white box is too bulky to carry around in my pocket. (4)  So I have these ‘day pass’ versions:




So now I have to stop blogging and go pack my pills. Otherwise I will forget and remember only when I am at work tomorrow around 10AM and have to call Someone would you please be a muffin and bring me my felodipine and the Whole Foods Multivitamin for Spos.

He charges exorbently for delivery, but I always try to give him a big tip.


(1) But not as fun.

(2) Patients frequently call me to lament while packing their pillboxes they lost all their valium or xanax or klonopin down the sink.  Not just some, but ‘all of it’. Tranquilizers gravitate to drains which act like black holes. Only controlled substances are effected so.   No one calls to report they lost all their lithium this way.  Amazing.

(3) In contrast my patient continually stop and start things without my input or advice.  Naughty.

(4)   “Are you happy to see me or are you merely hauling your vitamins?”


The Personal Trainer advised me to eat a lot of eggs in order to put on bulk.  This modest proposal simultaneously conjured horror and exhilaration. It is as if my primary care physician gave me  the green light to eat as many (nasty) chips as I pleased. I love eggs, but they were on the ‘verboten’ list, given my history of high cholesterol. I knew elevated cholesterol has more to do with the amount of saturated fat in one’s diet, but I was dubious to be a guinea pig to uphold the theory.  Trusting he knew what he was doing, I started consuming some nearly every day (along with some egg whites),  served with oatmeal (eat your oatmeal!) to bind and flush out the bad cholesterol.

On a diet of 2-3 eggs/day I’ve managed to cut my total cholesterol from over 300 down to 140.

Poor eggs. They can’t get over their bad press of being ‘high in cholesterol’.   This is too bad, for they are a good source of protein without much fat, and they have good vitamins too boot.  Breakfast isn’t  a proper one unless there is an egg dish with it.

Normally I quickly grow tired of eating the same thing over and over, but happily not so with eggs.  I like them fried, scrambled, hard or soft boiled.  For my morning ablution I use the ‘organic’ brown type of eggs, which have been squeezed out the backside of pesticide free cage free chickens at 3AM by third generation Amish.  Freshly ground pepper is a must; as is some habanero salt to give them a bit of a kick.  Hard boiled eggs made into deviled eggs are my favorite.

Someone doesn’t care for eggs. When we go to a fast food joint he’s the one ordering the breakfast sandwich ‘without egg’.  And he’d sooner eat rats at Tewksbury than a deviled egg.  Sometimes when I whine for him to make me some scramblers I moan ‘Eggs!” ala “Pink Flamingos” using my best Edie Massey voice.  This is ironic for Miss Massey as an actress turns my stomach. **

So all hail the incredible edible egg. I may not have gained much bulk but it is a pleasure feeling guilt-free to consume them.

**We have a recording of Edith M. singing “Big Girls Don’t Cry” which is jolly good fun.

I was pleased as punch to see the blogger meme generated many comments and got some takers.** I read the bloggers who did the meme are sensible sorts who blog first and foremost for themselves.  Nevertheless, I thought I would expand on the ‘advice for bloggers’ question, particularly ‘writing for others’.

This is when I/you consciously write with “I am writing this for my audience” in the back of your mind.

Comments are curious critters. Despite the intellect, comments still illicit in me “the whole blogging community loves me” when they are numerous and “the whole blogging community hates me” when they are not.

Knowing you have some readers presses one (me) to write regularly. I am a firm believer if I can’t think of anything, I will not write. However I get 3AM guilty visions of disgruntled Spo-fans shouting over the internet: “More blogs!” “More shirts!” “More Notes from the Office!” (and probably) ‘F*ck the Board of Directors, we want some filth!”

Built into running a blog is the neurotic worry you will run out of ideas.  “Damn. I just used my last idea” was said after my tenth entry, back in 2006.  “Damn, I just used my last idea” was said after I posted #3000.  This doesn’t go away, but I’ve learned to ignore it.
Sometimes I wish I were told what to write, as I have no control of The Mercurial Muses. The Board of Directors Here at Spo-Reflections is all to happy to give me a fixed schedule but when I get ideas from others I rarely use them – although they make me see more clearly my own ideas. This is the paradox of ‘You ain’t the boss of me!’


These matters are probably what a ‘proper writer’ experiences: he/she feels great to be his/her own creator, with his/her own schedule and being his/her own boss, while simultaneously anxious when will it all dry up and end.  Happily, blogging is my hobby, not my career. It’s one thing to endure a stressful job but a stressful hobby makes no sense.  If you are not happy with it, then put it down.

Just don’t go away!



** I was more than a little disappointed about the lack of empathy for aardvarks, but one can’t have everything.

Video Snapshot

I am not in good shape at the moment. I’ve had a very nasty URI (upper respiratory infection) for what seems like forever but in fact is lasting a fortnight. It was a “souvenir from Philadelphia”.  Happily it is ‘from the neck up’ i.e. it hasn’t invaded my lungs. My tonsils are dissilient. Worse, there is a scratchy feeling in the back of my throat, a sensation of a lodged popcorn kernel, which triggers paroxysms of coughing (which doesn’t help). I am only now finally beginning to be getting my voice back.  No fun, this.

I am using up the half-empty plastic shampoo bottles I’ve accumulated from hotel stays. I don’t like waste, so I bring them home along with the barely used bars of soap. Unfortunately this virtuous Protestant move is not being rewarded by heaven as my scalp itches. I need get my usual ‘tar’ shampoo after all. It leaves my hair feeling like dead grass but at stops me from scratching.

Between itchy scalp and scratchy throat my head is a mess.


There is nothing so inconvenient than an old queen with a head cold. My malady is thwarting many activities some of them I sorely miss. I am feeling a ‘withdrawal’.  I want to get to the gym. In matters of other missed activities Someone says we just have to wait. And there is little to do but wait. As they say in “Waiting for Godot” there is nothing to be done.  I have “ODed”on Nyquil and have replaced it with hot toddies. This may not shorten the duration of the disease, but it makes the time less unpleasant.

pencilUrs Truly has made a MEME about blogging.  These questions are a conglomerate of questions bloggers and nonbloggers have asked me over the years.  To get the ball rolling I provide my own answers.   I hope you find this interesting enough to try it yourself.

What you like most about being a blogger?

When I started blogging 6-7 years ago I liked how it gave me a channel to express myself through creative writing. Now I like it most for the people I meet along the way.

How many bloggers have you met?

Before March 2013, I had met maybe a dozen, if I count the ones no longer blogging. After “The Delaware soiree” my dance card swelled to over three dozen.

Do you ever go back and read your old entries?

I try not to do this, for I want to edit and ‘improve things’, which is an endless task.

Do you share your job skills here?

Yes, I write about psychiatry and psychology  in the hopes of helping others.  It is part of the ‘job description’ of being a Healer.

Have you changed your views about anything thanks to blogging?

Yes. I am no longer opposed to the legalization of marijuana, although I find it loathsome.

Do your coworkers know about your blog?

Not that I know. I had one patient announce she/he had found my blog. It was a reminder to be quite thoughtful before I push the ‘publish’ button.

What advice would you give for successful blogging?

This depends how we define ‘successful’ of course. I think one should blog first for yourself, not for an audience or to get warm fuzzies.  Nothing attracts readers like self assurance.

What is your opinion of aardvarks?

I have a great respect for them; I try to transform into one on a regular basis.

Do you publish everything you write ?

Nearly everything. Sometimes I will write out an idea, work on it and discover it is boring or dated. I then delete it.

If you could make ‘three rules’ for blogging, what would they be?

1# Readers should leave a comment to tell the blogger they were there and this acts as a thank you for your work.

2# Bloggers are not allowed to ‘disappear’; they must give notice of a pending closing down.

3# If a blog ‘goes private’ this should also be announced.  I dislike showing up suddenly to a ‘locked door  without being told ahead of time or at least offered an invite to come in.

Do people help you write your blog?

Sometimes I run an idea by Someone or ask his advise.  I don’t ask anyone else.

Who are your blogger super-heroes?

Mitchell is Moving is my current ego-ideal and role model. His blog is consistently entertaining and beautifully illustrated with the most colorful photos.

Gambrinous with griffonage is also “top of my list” when it comes to fabulousness.

Final question (if you dare!) :

Have you slept with any of your fellow bloggers?

Does ‘In my dreams” count? 😀


The Board of Directors Here at Spo-Reflections would like to apologize to everyone in the world about the latest entry. We are shocked and dismayed to discover the simple commission to write about oral hygiene was twisted into a lascivious dither filled with lewd suggestions and innuendo which was no means the point of the entry so be assured The Board of Directors Here at Spo-Reflections believes wholeheartedly in good clean family oriented entries as well as daily flossing. The writer has been thoroughly reprimanded for his scabrous scribblings and we assure you it will never ever happen again for we have his guarantee he is all contrite and filled with compunction if not he will have his tongue scraped with more than a mere plastic brush thank you very much and not with toothpaste but a strong liquid laundry soap so please don’t bother to send remonstrative e-mails for we are quite sorry really we are and it will never happen again we assure you or the author will be forced to eats rats in Tewksebury.


I came home from PA last weekend with a nasty cold. I took the Christian Scientist approach and tried to ‘unsee it’ but the virus has been vigorous and it refuses to ‘unsee’ me. In its departure it is giving me a Parthian shot of larygnitis. My throat is dancing a waltz, going from soreness to coughing to loss of voice. When I speak at all I sound like Harvey Fierstein; most of the time I speak in only a whisper.  This makes my job difficult, for I ask a lot of questions throughout the day. Alas, only a few of my patients know ASL, and even less appreciate my attempts at communication through the means of interpretative dance.

Speaking of my mouth, last weekend I purchased a tongue scraper. It was recently brought to my attention a) the mouth is full of bacteria (which I knew) and b) the tongue’s crevices are full up with dross (which was news to me).  So I thought I would give it a try.  I discovered putting a stick down my pharynx evokes instant and profound gaging . I was mildly surprised I have a gag reflex anymore. But practice makes perfect. With regular insertions I am no longer choking. Each morning my tongue is brushed, followed by a good scrape. It brings up something and I admit it looks unpleasant.

So far I haven’t noticed any change in my breath or improvement in my taste abilities, but it is jolly good fun.

Since I am on the topic of oral hygiene I am experimenting on what works best for a sore throat.  Listerine doesn’t seem too efficacious at deadening sore tonsils, but there is a grim satisfaction knowing I am killing some of the bacterial bastards.  A shot of more concentrated alcohol (did someone say bourbon?) seems to deaden the throat pain better, but it is an awful waste to use single malts as a mouthwash. Someone’s mother’s panacea for most ills was gargling with warm salt water. I have tried this a few times and I judge it better than Scope or Seagram’s by a country mile (although it ranks lowest for taste).

I am looking forward to the return of my voice and my throat to normalcy. Add to the recipe a cleansed tongue and a lessened gag reflex and my mouth will be ship-shape and ready for action.

I have thought of editing that last sentence for it sounds slightly suggestive. But I decided not to do so; I thought it oddly lovely.


I have run out of clean underwear. What this sordid statement means is I tend to buy garments en masse – socks, shoes, khakis etc.  – and wear them out at the same time. They reach senescence simultaneously.

derek-rose11Derek Rose makes quality underwear; boxers are the official Spo-drawers. Alas, even they don’t last forever. I need to get a drawer full of new drawers.

I suppose I could use this opportunity to translate to something new and adventuresome, but when it comes to garments I am a creature of habit. I get the same shoes, the same trousers, etc.  I am consistent, not fashionable.

m7TkOZMp8W77A3YLnScsv1wI once came home from a business trip with Jockey briefs which weren’t in my suitcase when I had departed. Someone’s eyebrows were raised and questions were asked. But the mundane explanation was I needed more appropriate undergarments for walking and the gym.*  These cringe in a corner of my underwear drawer, away from the hostile vibes of the Derek Rose boxers.



IMAGEEquipoTribalTrunk1Last Christmas Someone gave me some special knickers made by Equipo.  He thought I would like them as they carry a sort of Pacific Northwest design. They are made of some sort of silky fabric; they make me wildly body conscious. Alas, in them I don’t look or feel anything like the hairless, gutless models in the advertisments. Rather, I feel fat, old and pilose. But they are quite motivating to slim down. They are in another corner, daring me.

So I go to the gym, where I take off the Derek Rose boxers and put on the Jockey briefs so that some day I can wear the Equipos.

Underwear is rather complicated – and they all need replacing as I have already mentioned.

Perhaps I can save money and scandalize the world by simply not wearing any undergarments.  This “style” seems to be more frequent than not among my fellow LA Fitness locker room companions. But as they are my age or over, it doesn’t look ‘’sexy’ but an early sign of dementia.



* Boxers are not conducive for jumping around at the gym.  Things can be jostled and want out, as it were. There have been some near disasters, especially when lying on the mat doing stretches.

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November 2013

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