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David (the dear!) suggested I answer a few questions he thought would promote writing and be entertaining. The Board of Directors Here at Spo-Reflections unanimously voted this as a splendid idea. That’s quite a compliment to David for they seldom agree on anything, usually resorting to fisticuffs and swordplay to clear things up.  They proposed I tackle the questions in a series of entries, so here is the first batch. Unfortunately these ancient and austere Norsepersons wanted to add a few questions of their own. I’ve interspersed them with David’s.

Spo-fans are encouraged to answer the questions themselves in the comment section.

What was the most brilliant idea you had last week.  I realized if I save signing off on sent prescriptions to the end of the day I can do that in one step, rather than a series of piecemeal sign-offs.

Who did you fight last and what damage did you do them.   I had a FB row with a cousin about Hurricane Harvey and whether or not this is G-d’s wrath.  No one was physically harmed in the battle.

Who was the kindest person.  Domani Dave, who sent me a book.  I was quite touched.

What made you laugh.  My new favorite podcast “The Magic Tavern” . For thems who don’t know this marvelous podcast, it is a cross between Firesign Theatre and Dungeons and Dragons.

In the past week which public building have you torched.   The Supreme Court in Washington D.C. but it was only virtually damaged.

What made you angry.  Hair Furor and his constant shenanigans and outrages.

What inn did you last pillage.  None, but this weekend I am staying at the Marriott in New Orleans, so I may be able to kill two birds with one stone but pillaging and torching it afterwards.

What made you want to cry.  Human ignorance, hate, and folly.

Where did you see attend the last blood eagle.  Does hearing about one listening to The Great Courses count?

Where are you/where do you want to be.  I am at work, goofing off during a ‘no-show”.  Where would I want to be? : under Jake Gyllenhaal.

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1 – What is your favorite movie to see at Halloween?

“The Haunting”. It is a tribute to the truism less is better. Is the house haunted or is it all part of people’s paranoia? No monster; no blood. Just the uncanny fear something is in the hall……

2- What was your favorite Hallowe’en costume as a child?

I have always went with the scary “death” costumes like skeletons or specters, keeping in touch with the original notion this was a day for being in touch with the dead.

3- Given enough money what would be your fantasy Hallowe’en costume?

Pan, with the goat legs and horns and all. I would play the pan flutes and evoke erotic desire in all who hear me.

4 – What is your favorite Hallowe’en candy?

Out of nostalgia, I like Sweet Tarts. Nowadays I prefer gummi-bears. I do not like coconut. Toffee-flavored penny sweets are right out.

5 – What is your supernatural fear?    Possession by evil spirits.

6 – Your ‘creepy-crawlie’ fear?   Tarantulas!

7 – Your ‘that’s gross” fear?    Trypophobia.  It makes me cringe!

8 – Have you ever heard a ghost or heard something go bump in the night?

Once upon a time when I lived in Chicago I awoke at 2AM to a very loud explosion from downstairs. My first thought was someone had smashed a window or shot a gun in the house, it was that loud. I ran downstairs to investigate. Nothing was out of place or askew. Even the cats were asleep as if nothing had happened.

9 -Are you a traditionalist or a creative carver of you Jack-o-Lantern?

I carve several pumpkins each year. One must have a scary face to frighten away the bad spirits. The others are creative, and getting more and more artistic as the years progress. I’ve been pleased with my artwork. However, Arizona living may stop this. Pumpkins shrivel literally overnight and the details go quickly. I may have to stay with simple patterns now.

10 – Do you know have a favorite ghost story?      Yes, I do. The Upper Berth

11 – Do you know someone who is “Anti-Halloween”?

I used to work with a woman who would not decorate her area as the others, nor would she even touch the candy and treats brought into the office. Even the trail-mix with candy corn was off-limits. I give her credit. She did not explain or defend herself, nor did she execrate others. It was a mere ‘no thank you’ – good for her!  I guess her strict Protestant sect thought it all Satanic.

12- Do you decorate the house at Hallowe’en?

As a kid I used a lot of store bought plastic stuff. Now I channel Martha Stewart. The inside and out of the house is tasteful but lavish.  My favorite decoration is to open a pumpkin from the bottom, clean it out, and drill it all over with holes. Then insert a light bulb. The dotty glow is both spooky and whimsical.

13- What do you want on your Tombstone?       “Finally Stopped Worrying”

For fun here is one of my favorite Halloween tunes from my youth. I worry now if it  has racist overtones. But as a boy I thought it innocent and absolutely delightful.  

Alas, my friend Karen does not blog anymore, but she stays in touch via FB. She posted this MEME.  It was light and whimsical, so I thought I would do it.  Spo-fans are invited to to likewise, if you fancy.

 

1. ARE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE?   Yes, from the song “Michael row the boat ashore’;  I was supposed to be Martha.

2. WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU CRIED?  It was so long ago I can’t remember.

3. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING? Yes, when I do it properly. I am especially fond of my “R”.

4. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LUNCH MEAT?  Nasty things and should be avoided.  I love good salami, no rubbish.

5. DO YOU HAVE ANY KIDS?  No.

6. IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS?    I doubt it.

7. DO YOU USE SARCASM?  Never.

8. DO YOU STILL HAVE YOUR TONSILS? Yes, despite repeated injury.

9. WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP? Oh, I can’t wait! (said with sarcasm).

10. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL?  Frosted Salami Flakes.

11. DO YOU UNTIE YOUR SHOES WHEN YOU TAKE THEM OFF? Sometimes, less than I should I dare say.

12. DO YOU THINK YOU’RE STRONG?  No.

13. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM FLAVOR?  Small chocolate cone.

14. WHAT IS THE FIRST THING YOU NOTICE ABOUT PEOPLE?  Their presence.

15. RED OR PINK?  Red, as incarnadine as blood.

16. WHAT IS THE LEAST FAVORITE THING YOU LIKE ABOUT YOURSELF?  My stomach.

17. WHAT COLOR PANTS AND SHOES ARE YOU WEARING RIGHT NOW? I am wearing neither.

18. WHAT WAS THE LAST THING YOU ATE?   Sunday brunch. It was fabulous.

19. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW?  Someone in the other room, watching TV.

20. IF YOU WERE A CRAYON, WHAT COLOR WOULD YOU BE?   Nattier Blue.

21. FAVORITE SMELL? A freshly carved pumpkin.

22. WHO WAS THE LAST PERSON YOU TALKED TO?  Does Harper count? If not, then that would be Someone, who is still watching TV. He asked me to make less noise.

23. FAVORITE SPORT TO WATCH? Depending on how you define ‘sport’ I vote for rolling down grass hills- in its way. It often injures the tonsils to do so.

24. HAIR COLOR THATS REAL? You mean mine? It is grizzled and au natural. I am thinking of dyeing it red or nattier blue.

26. DO YOU WEAR CONTACTS? No.

27. FAVORITE FOOD? Pizza still ranks #1.  A Chicago deep-dish pizza with spinach is my favorite, oh I miss it so.

28. SCARY MOVIES OR HAPPY ENDINGS? I am all for happy endings.

29. LAST MOVIE YOU WATCHED. The one about Florence Foster Jenkins. It was charming.

30. WHAT COLOR SHIRT ARE YOU WEARING? I am not wearing a shirt.

31. SUMMER OR WINTER.  Living in AZ as I do, winter wins.

32. HUGS OR KISSES?  Hugs.

33. FAVORITE SWEET FOOD?  Gummi-bears!

34. WHAT BOOK ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?  Spoon River Anthology.

35. WHAT IS ON YOUR MOUSE PAD?  Edvard Munch’s “The Scream”

36. WHAT DID YOU WATCH ON T.V. LAST? This too was so long ago I can’t remember. I believed I cried, or chocked on a salami.

37. FAVORITE SOUND? Water, in any form, whether in rain, ocean waves, or fountains.

38. ROLLING STONES or BEATLES?  Don’t like no Rolling Stones.

39. WHAT IS THE FARTHEST YOU HAVE TRAVELED?  London, U.K.

40. DO YOU HAVE A SPECIAL TALENT?  My Attic wit.

41. WHERE WERE YOU BORN?  In a hospital.

Tony (the dear!) doesn’t write as often as I wish him to do but when he does it is always well done and worth the waiting. He recently posted an essay “I used to think” in which he discusses philosophies and alleged truisms now discarded for something else or better.

It got me thinking (his posts do that) about what I used to think. The list is legion. As the Firesign Theatre used to say: “Everything you know is wrong”.  I would feel betrayed when one of my axiomatic beliefs was exposed as a sham, as if I had been deluded by a con artist. Nowadays when an apodictic thought falls flat I smile a bit as if I suddenly solved a crossword puzzle clue that had evaded me.

I used to think good people will be rewarded and bad people will be punished.  I learned this in Sunday school. Nowadays people are less likely to believe in a palpable god as in a nebulous ‘karma’ that will right all wrongs.  I almost think the opposite occurs viz. the more crap one gets in life is a sure sign you are doing well.

I used to think it important not to waste a single minute of the day but to be continuously busy doing meaningful jobs and productive tidy-ups and self-improvements.

Jessye_Norman_James_Alexander_570x300

I used to think Jessye Norman was the best.

I used to think every ten years I would quit my job and move to another place to have a life time of various careers in various locations.

I used to think the only successful and meaningful relationship is a monogamous until-death-do-you-part marriage.

I used to think if I was being emotional or irrational or illogical people would think I was a bad psychiatrist.

FantasiaFantasia2000_Photo_02-1024x788

I used to think the best movie ever was “Fantasia.”*

I used to think if I read and commented on every blog I visited they would reciprocate in kind.

I used to think I would live a long life. I am not so certain now I will and I wonder if I really want to.

I used to think I don’t deserve to be in the weight room with the ‘real men’.

I used to think everybody likes to learn and grow like I do.

image11

I used to think beards were disgusting.

I used to think I would be a paleontologist or an astronomer or an organist or a graphic illustrator for Disney or a pediatrician or a cardiologist.

I used think it OK to bite my nails

and

I used to think the Republican party best represented my welfare; I would always vote GOP.

ex_republican_ask_me_why_bumper_sticker-ra2776a344c324d8886852cc3a7724cda_v9wht_8byvr_210.jpg

 

 

 

*It’s still pretty good but hardly the best movie ever.

Everyone who has ever lived with another person knows each has certain quirks and traits that the other finds bewildering or frustrating – perhaps infuriating. They are along the line of ‘Why on earth do you keep doing that?” and can drive one to distraction. One naively hopes with encouragement or cajoling the offender can be reformed and these odd-behaviors will dissipate. No such luck. In time one realizes these behaviors are never going to go away, no matter how much one pleads or threatens.  Happily these are not ‘deal breakers’; they are the minor crosses one has to bear for living with another person.

Here is a little quiz. I’ve listed some irritants in the House of Spo and Someone. Despite decades of effort by the both of us,  these sixteen behaviors area remain indelible as ink spots.  Check off which ones you have (if any) and discover if you are more a“Spo” or a “Someone”?

1 Leaves the bathroom light on upon exiting.

2 Leaves the TV going when he is not in the room. 

3 Puts keys down next to the ‘key bowl’, not in it. The other fellow continually corrects this. 

4 Answers the phone (rather than screening calls) yet becomes annoyed it is a telemarketer.

5 Laundry is done infrequently, en masse, when there are no more clean garments, rather than in continual small loads.

6 Often eats standing up at the counter in order to watch TV rather than sitting at table with the other.

7 Throws out recyclables even though there is a ‘recycle bin’. The other man retrieves and puts them where they ought to go. 

8 Directly drinks out of the milk carton. Despite twenty years of mutual germs this action makes the other one not want to drink milk anymore. 

9 Leaves half-consumed beverages all over the house.

10 Saves even the smallest of leftovers ‘to avoid waste’ only to have them thrown out later when they go horrid.

11 Won’t watch something on TV without doing two or three other things as well, only to ask the other what is going on.

12  Plays Enya.

13 Uses 2-3x more pots, pans, and kitchen utensils than is necessary when cooking.

14 Clothes are folded first by sorting them into taxonomies rather than as they come out of the hamper. We’ve learned clothes folding is best done solo. 

15 Sleeps with the bedroom door open to the certain doom of us all.

16  Doesn’t put spices and herbs back to their original position which is ~ alphabetical order.

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Score:

1-8 are Someone

      9-16 are Urs Truly          🙂

keep-calm-lets-have-foursome

Will (the dear!) gave me inspiration for a meme entry just when I needed something….

Four names I go by:  Spo, Mike, Mick, and Doc Roc.

Four tunes I adore: “Beim Schlafengehen”, “Candle on the water”, “I’m still here”, “Stuck (Caro Emerald)”

Four things I hate: spiders, pop-up ads, rudeness, and the song “Don’t stop believing”

Four places I have worked: Jacobson’s, an Illinois State Hospital, a private practice in Evanston IL, and the Ram’s Horn restaurant.

Four things I love to watch: Youtube science vlogs, opera, sunsets, and woofy men in public.

Four places I have visited: Stonehenge, the most southern spots in the USA (Key West and the Big Island of Hawaii), an active volcano (Costa Rica), and the home of Charles Dickens.

Four things I love to eat: sockeye salmon, (nasty) chips, homegrown tomatoes, and Mother’s gingerbread cookies.

Four favorite drinks: Margaret’s Hope Darjeeling tea, Woodford bourbon, Pol Roger champagne, and Vernors.

Four shows/plays: Ghosts, The Bacchae, Waiting for Godot, and A midsummer night’s dream.

Four things I am happily anticipating: Mother’s birthday party, a possible trip to PEI, a Loreena McKennitt concert, and the opera “Elektra” .

Four things I am dreading: doing the taxes, a deposition, the Phoenix summer heat, and the presidential election.

Four items on my bucket list:  see the northern lights, visit a tea plantation, read Pepys diary, and ride a hot air balloon.

Four people I think will respond: Travel Penguin, Ron T,  Fearsome Beard, and AM Warrior Queen.

Now it is your turn.  Copy and paste the meme and put in your own answers.

Marx-Brothers

Sarah Palin

Waiting for the hot water to arrive in the shower

“Don’t stop believing” by Journey

Prior authorization forms demanding I justify why I keep prescribing patients medication they have taken for years.

Shirts that want ironing.

Sarah Palin

Pop-up ads telling me diet secrets

Mesquite tree droppings

Hyperbolic headlines about the weather

Hyperbolic headlines about Sarah Palin

“Family Circus” cartoons

TV everywhere I go

People at the gym talking on their phones while on the treadmill/elliptical/stairs etc.

Post nasal drip

Donald Trump no matter where I go on the internet

Phone calls from the A/C company asking us to call them for an overdue appointment when we have told them several times not to call us anymore.

Sarah Palin

Itches in the back just right out of reach.

Sarah Palin with Donald Trump

Dust dust dust everywhere

And

The expression ‘No problem!”

Fearsome (the dear!) recently wrote an entry with some lovely and thoughtful questions. He used them to lead into a very nice introspection about the new year.  I decided to pinch his twenty questions and create a meme out of them.

What did I do this past year? 

Mostly mundane daily matters of work, exercise and chores. The highlight was a lovely trip to Ottawa to meet three fine fellow bloggers (Will, Laurent, and Steve).

What didn’t I do? 

I did not keep many of my new years resolutions. I did not accomplish anything on my bucket list.

Did I forget something? 

I forgot to give to the food bank.

What was unexpected? 

Illness. I was wiped out in August for three weeks of pneumonia.

What did I accomplish? 

I made some shirts. 🙂  I read some books. I saw thousands of patients; I hope they are better of it

Where did I go? 

Flagstaff, Canada, Michigan, Utah, and New Mexico.

What was learned? 

Many new and fanciful words to swell my grandiloquence lexicon.

Any regrets? 

I did not take a vacation in February.

Do I owe an amends that I may have missed? 

I lost touch with many local friends.

Have I properly expressed gratitude? 

I believe I have. I try to do so in daily prayer or meditation.

Have I forgiven? 

I can not recall anyone in 2015 who hurt me bad enough to warrant forgiveness.  I probably have not forgiven myself for my shortcomings.

Did I love?     Yes.

Did I laugh?   Some but not nearly enough.

Where do I want to go?     Palm Springs

What do I wish to accomplish? 

I wish to lose enough abdominal fat to feel OK enough to go without a shirt this summer.

With whom do I need to spend time? 

Someone. Nowadays we spend so little time together what with work and all.

Whom do I want to meet? 

I want to meet at least two blogger buddies.

How can I best invest my time? 

Easy and difficult: turn off the iphone and turn off the laptop and I will have more time than I know what to do.

What do I need? 

Discipline. With discipline I can accomplish so much.

What do I want?

I want twelve months hence to have the feeling it was a marvelous year, full of growth,meaning and merriment – not just a sense of mundane survival.

I saw this at voenixrising.com.  It seemed a fun thing to try. Indeed there are a lot of non-sexual sensations that feel amazing.    Here are mine

20 Non-Sexual Amazing Sensations

  1. The taste of tea – hot or iced
  2. Removing tight-fitting socks at the end of the day.
  3. Apricity on a bright cold day in January.
  4. Flossing teeth and removing something irritating between the molars.
  5. The redolence of frying bacon.
  6. Rolling down grass hills (jolly good fun!)
  7. The sounds and warmth of a radiator.
  8. The musty, inky smell of an old book.
  9. Plucking chin whiskers.
  10. The sensation of a wooden backscratcher on the middle of the back.
  11. Spooning with the dog.
  12. Naps on a cloud rainy Saturday afternoon.
  13. Finding a few french fries in the paper bag after you finished eating.
  14. The chimes and ticking of an old pendulum clock.
  15. The quiet satisfaction of a cleaned wooden surface after you wipe off the dust.
  16. Having a feet rub.
  17. The scrape of a straight-edge razor on the nape of the neck at the barber shop.
  18. A very loud and long burp after drinking soda pop.
  19. Popping plastic bubble wrap
  20. Blowing out a large obstructive snot.

DG (the dear!) recently posted some ‘firsts’ in his life. I thought I would borrow the MEME and expand it a bit. Play along if you wish; I would be curious to read your take on it. 

My earliest memory 

I recall being in a crib and it was night. My nightlight “Mr. Blue” was shining making everything blue. Father came home and sat by me, talking. I don’t recall what he was saying. I think he was telling me about his day or relating a bed time story. I heard freighter signals out on Lake St. Clair. This is a very masculine yet tender memory for me.  I hope it isn’t a false memory.

First airline flight 

I believe it was a family vacation to Philadelphia. I remember I was very excited. The airline stewardess gave me fabulous travel gifts. This may have been the last time I flew with excitement.

First time ‘doing it” 

In the spirit of President Clinton, this depends how you define ‘doing it’. I suppose I was 12 years old or so.  It was a frightful bungle.

First surgery

Ingrown toenail, removed circa. 1988-89.  It is still not right.

First car

A burgundy thing, the make I can’t recall. It was a Ford product. It overheated the first time I drove it.  I should have bough German.

First death of someone close

1976 the death of my grandfather. This marks childhood’s end for me.

First drink

Sometime as a child I was allowed to sip the Thanksgiving Day Riesling wine the grownups were having with their meal. I thought it horribly astringent.  Now I find Riesling too sweet.

First regret

Going from junior to senior high school I did not stay with the French Horn.

First time rolling down grass hills

Oh! I was about six; it was behind the Methodist church in Grosse Pointe Farms. Jolly good fun!

First pet 

Hans I, the miniature Schnauzer. There were to be a succession of Hanses.

First time you knew you were different

The penny dropped around six years old. It was not a clear and conscious metanoia but I knew something had just fallen apart.

First presidential election

I voted independent.  I think his name was Anderson. Whatever happened to him anyway?

First time you felt you were an adult

Being dropped off at college.

First opera

It was “La Traviata”. It was a traveling production by the Met back when they toured each spring. It must have been 1976 or so. There were no supertitles then. I was bored to tears and I thought there was no way I would ever attend one of these silly dreary things again…..

First time out of the country

If Canada counts (and I believe it does), then this was in my infancy.

First job

Picture it : Busboy. Jacobson’s. Grosse Pointe Park.

First time you ate rats at Tewkesbury

Being obliged to play team sports in grade school.

First kiss

Charlie Thomas ~ ten years old.  It was another frightful messy bungle.

First realization of the axiom “life is not fair”

Being bullied by Amy who lived on the next street. I realized the bitch was going to get away with it.

First disgraceful behavior

With braggadocio I read as many books as possible in grade school in order to get more ‘stars’ than anyone for the reading chart. I surpassed everyone, many whom despise me to this day.

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