What’s top of my mind: My health. There was bad news at The Good Doctor last week. The blood work shows I am on the brink of pre-diabetes. There is no family history for DM, so this is due to diet or covid19 inactivity or both or the work of demons. I was perturbed by this news, much. I was told to seriously get cracking on diet, exercise, burning sage – whatever I can – or I be put on meds for such. Since the news I’ve been better at going to the gym and cutting out eating between meals. My fingers are crossed the non-Rx interventions can reverse the course.

Where I’m going: Nowhere. This category is again a bust. In covid-times I don’t go out. I have plans for October and November but not last week or next. I thought to write Car Repair Shop, but that is Someone’s job; he takes the cars in for these sorts of endeavors. The car needs a routine check up. I hope its labs are better than mine.

Where I’ve been: The pharmacy, to get my shingles shot. The Good Doctor also said I am to get three shots: shingles; covid19 booster; flu. Last Sunday I got the first of two shots for the prevention of shingles. As a boy, I loathed chicken pox. Even then I was thinking like a scientist, wondering why on earth don’t we have a vaccine for this loathsome virus. I got the shot on a Sunday afternoon, and by evening I had chills, mild fever, restlessness, and general malaise. I did not sleep a wink. I was pleased as Punch though: the flu-like symptoms were a good sign my body was reacting as it should to the shot. One lousy night seems a genuine bargain for not getting the shingles. I’ve known countless patients and friends who have had the shingles and sooner I’d eat rats at Tewkesbury than have a case of my own. Next month I go get the flu shot. I have never had a bad reaction to any flu shot. The covid19 booster is due in November ~ 6 months after the first set was done.

What I’m watching: The history of the Medici. On Saturday at supper Someone and I watched another episode of ‘The history of the Medici’. Lorenzo M. was banished from Florence (sensible!) but he’s back and ready to retaliate. It all sounds depressing and familiar. It reminds me of the Mary Oliver quote: “All history is current”. The professor ended the episode with lurid promises of more Game of Thrones shenanigans ahead. Artists and Popes are coming up – also with big egos. This sh-t never ends.

What I’m reading: “Delusional disorder vs. conspiracy theorists: how to tell the difference”. This eye-catching title and article is in the most recent edition of ‘The Psychiatric Times”‘ The article gives some tips on how to discriminate between the patient who believes someone is regularly breaking into their house from the patient who believes in the basement of a pizza joint is a child-trafficking business run by Hilary Clinton. Frankly, I don’t see why it’s necessary to discriminate the two types. Delusional disorders are the most incalcitrant illnesses in the DSM; they do not respond to medication, logic, attempts at reshaping their approach, or even evidence. I don’t see believers in ‘Pizza-gate’ any different. The difference, I suppose, is thems with delusional disorders often have depression/anxiety and they want help with that, which is why they see me. In contrast, thems that believe in conspiracy theories never see themselves as ill and thus would never see a psychiatrist. In a way I’m grateful.

What I’m listening to: Molly’s soliloquy. Whenever I have insomnia, I listen to a recording of the last chapter of James Joyce’s “Ulysses”. For thems unfamiliar with this lofty tome, in this chapter the reader is privy to a woman named Molly, who falls asleep while she thinks about her day, her life, and her future. It is one long free-association and it goes on for pages.* She falls asleep at the end, but I never make it that far. I am usually out long before she arrives at ‘and yes I said yes I will Yes’. Spo-fans who know this story: Someone and I do not sleep head to toe, but I do say ‘patience above!” a lot.

What I’m eating: Manhattan clam chowder. I like Manhattan clam chowder but I am often disappointed in the soups I am served. They seem like watery vegetable soups in which someone has tossed in an opened tin of clams. Oh the pain. I recently found a recipe that makes a thick, flavorful, ‘clammy’ chowder. No rubbish indeed! I am pleased as Punch to report my chowder was delicious. Usually my first attempts at recipes are fair at most, but this was spot-on. The only altercation to make next time is to chop the cubes of potatoes smaller in size and use less of them.

Who needs a good slap: The Maricopa election recall count. Speaking of delusional conspiracies….. for the third time the county’s votes were recounted. Not only did Trump lose again (3rd time) this time, he lost buy a few more votes. This sordid shenanigan has cost the county a lot of time and money. When Someone was working for the county his telephone-based job was continually interrupted by calls from out of state Trump supporters who were beyond the pale in angry expletives, tying up the lines, blocking proper Maricopa county citizens needing service. And the recount did no good. It didn’t do anything to appease the ones hell-bent on their beliefs the election was a fraud (see above: the Delusional disorder etc.).

I give these villains 5 slaps (on a 1-5 scale)

What I’m planning: Making cookies. October is my month for Halloween-based goodies. First on the list to make are snickerdoodles, an autumnal favorite. I don’t make just any snickerdoodles! no rubbish-types! I make pumpkin pie snickerdoodles. Alas, Babylon! I am not allowed to eat any (worse luck!) so I will bring them to work where all will be bedazzled by my culinary craft.

What’s making me smile: “Good Omens“: This book/made-into-a-series is a story of Good vs. Evil. The angel Aziraphale and the demon Crowley are assigned to earth at its creation.** They are supposed to be adversaries, but they both end up ‘going native’ as it were, and over the millennia they become close friends. Many have pointed out they resemble a staid old gay couple. The Tube of Yous has this lovely compilation of their more funny and touching interactions. This makes me smile, often. My favorite line starts around 11.00. Enjoy!

**Molly’s soliloquy consists of eight enormous “sentences.” When written, this episode contained the longest “sentence” in English literature, 4,391 words.

*21, October 4004 B.C. at 9:13AM. The whole business with the fossilized dinosaur skeletons was a joke the paleontologists haven’t seen yet.