Wednesday, August 30, 2006

How Does That Make You Feel? Thursday

The aliens are back, and they are puzzled.

They are convinced that Bloggers are some sort of secret society whose mission is either to take over the world or redecorate it. The first hypothesis they find annoying, as that means competition. The later they think a fine idea, especially applied to certain areas of the Midwest.
So they don’t know if they should abduct everyone in Blog-land, or send them reams of fabric and new lamps.
Naturally they consult Eartha Kitt.
“What do bloggers really want?” they ask her.
Ms. Kitt suggested the following be posted as a sort of projective test ----

How does that make you feel?

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Patient Survery #2

When I went to medical school, I chose as my role models
Dr. Julia Hoffman, of Dark Shadows
Dr. Bombay, of Bewitched.
Whom would you have as your primary care physician, and why?

Monday, August 28, 2006

Curious Things Around the House #2

Out by the pool is a small statue of Pan. He used to sit in the garden back in Michigan. Now he sits poolside, playing the pipes while we swim.
I have always had a fondness for Pan. This little goat-man god has a lot of attractions. Like all Greek gods he has both positive and negative aspects. He is lusty, sensual, musical, and energetic. He can also be terrible; it is from Pan we get the word 'Panic' which he would evoke in people.
I am learning to play the pan pipes myself but I keep passing out from short windedness. I have to practice my blowing technique it seems.
In a week or so the Garden Gnome mentioned in last "How does that make you feel? Thursday" arrives. I hope these two will get along.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

A Feeling MEME

I composed a MEME.

The most joyful I have ever felt;
My first ‘sleep over’ occurred in college with my friend Dale. I was so excited/wound up I made quite a bungle of it. The next morning, he woke me by putting on a record of Jessye Norman singing Strauss’ Four Last Songs. Hearing this lovely song by this incredible woman at this ‘wake up’ time of my life; it wasn’t euphoria but a sense of bliss. My future was ahead of me. It was open. Anything could happen.

The most angry I’ve ever felt;
In the later 90s a female staff member at a hospital where I was working was a loose cannon. State Hospitals being what they were, it was impossible to be rid of her. However she started sending me notes and letters. This written evidence was enough to get her sacked. Afterwards she filed a complaint with the medical board, accusing me of sexual harassment of all things. I had to defend this. It took months to clear, and I still have to ‘explain’ this in every new job/form. So even though I was cleared her damage still haunts me. During this process I never felt such hatred at another person.

The most at peace I’ve ever felt;
In the mid 90s I felt like a glass bottle of evil, afloat in a sea of badness. I was asked if I was suicidal and I was most certainly not, for it I broke the container I would merge and be lost. I felt rejected by God, although he had not forgotten me. I was lost. It was never suggested that I was clinically depressed or nuts. I know all about depression and it is different than being in Hell.
It passed. I went through RCIA and rejoined Church (that is a story in itself). One day I knew that I was no longer alone. I didn’t have a sense of joy or ecstasy; rather a sense of comfort. It was like my desert was filling with water from a deep far away stream.
Never before or since then I have been that aware of the existence of God in that way but once in a lifetime is sufficient.

The most shocked I have ever felt;
At six years old, I was drawing pictures of some boys. As I drew I suddenly realized the contents were exciting to me. The penny dropped. There, without ‘thinking’ about it; I realized I different. My world crashed. I knew I had gone through some one way door and there was no turning back; there was no one to turn to to explain what had happened. It would take 20 years to come to grips with it.

The most embarrassed I have ever felt;
Being caught with my trousers down doesn't faze me. I suppose the most embarrassment was at my piano recital in grade school. I did not want to go on or perform. I played my piece in the teacher’s living room, surrounded by parents, family, and strangers. After our piece we were supposed to go back downstairs to the basement, the designated ‘green room’. After I played, I opened the door, walked in and found myself shut in the front hall closet. I heard everyone laughing at the mistake. They found it funny but I was ready to stay in there until puberty was over. A parent tried to open the door; I held the knob; we struggled; I eventually got out and bolted down the basement stairs. This doesn’t sound like anything now, but at 8 years old it was the end of the world.

The most sad I have ever felt;
As it remains vivid in my memory, it must be when my childhood dog, Hans the Schnauzer was run over. We took him to the vet, but it was too late. My grandfather proposed we bury him in the back yard. I can still remember choking back tears as I leaned over his dead body to kiss him farewell, wrapped in a blanket, before my father and uncle put him in the hole. It makes me teary still just to write it now.

The most frightened I have ever felt;
Ah, that one will have to wait. I am not brave enough to talk about that one yet.
A close 2nd is that same ‘sexual harassment’ woman showing up later on at a public lecture I was giving. I thought she was coming to shoot me, given she had ‘lost’ her case. She merely made me uncomfortable with her endless questions/asides – it ruined the lecture but I wasn’t killed.

So, that’s the ‘feeling’ MEME.
I don’t ‘tag’ anyone to do it, as it seems a lot to ask of somebody.
However, if you would like to do so, I would touched and promise to read yours.

Saturday, August 26, 2006


This is my 2nd attempt at writing, as the internet connection went kaput just as I pressed the publish post botton. Skunks.
We went to the Shaw Festival in Niagra-on-the-Lake. We haven't been here since 9/11. We saw Arms and the Man, and a Cole Porter musical High Society, based on the Philedelphia Story. After 6 heavy Stratford shows, these 2 were a treat.
So we finish our orgy of 8 shows in 2 companies in 1 week. I feel saturated.
The best of the bunch was Ghosts.
Now we are Niagra falls. Ever been on the Canadian side of the Falls? What a tourist trap! Every tacky thing is here.
Tomorrow we fly home to Phoenix, and back to the Salt Mines.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Friday Night

We have left Stratford, heading for Niagra-on-the-Lake.
Yesterday night we saw The Glass Menagerie. This was my first time seeing it done by a professional group. it was overall good. The southern accents weren't good. The acting was very good. Thomas was obviously gay; he resembled my cousin.
Friday was had a drink with one of the administration folks at the Festival. This is a sort of 'thank you for supporting us' and "please, keep supporting us'. I got to see behind the stage for the first time; a treat.
The afternoon performance was Coriolanus. This was very good; brutual and excellent sword fights. Martha Henry did an excellent job delivering a fantastic speech. She is a heartless woman who raised a heartless son, now pleading with the son to show mercy for the one time in his life.
Afterwards, I got to meet one of the actors, Bernard Hopkins. I have going to Stratford for about 25 years; he has been working there about the same. I wrote a 'fan letter'; he responded. So we promised to meet up afterwards. It was quite a treat. Half an hour ago this quiet pleasant British man had been on stage ruthless and shouting. Quite a contrast.
After 5 tragedies, we finished with Twelth Night, which they set in India. I haven't seen this play in years. It was a a nice way to end the season.
Overall the best of the 6 was Ghosts; it literally was haunting, and I want to write more about it some day.
But now it is midnight; we're in a seedy Howard Johsons. Tomorrow we drive to Niagra on the Lake to attend the Shaw Festival
I hope you all are doing well; I am thinking of you.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

How Does That Make You Feel?

You are driving down the road with your Someone, and he suddenly announces - out of the blue and out of context - that he wants to buy a garden Gnome. You can tell that he is dead serious and you are not to question this purchase.
You drive into the garden shoppe and before you is the pick. He asks you to help choose one.

How does that make you feel?

Update from Stratford

Stratford is known for its theatre, and for its swans. Beautiful birds but don't screw with them. They can be nasty. This year the swans all went 'PC'; signs are up telling tourists not to feed them buns and things but greens and corn pellets. Apparently old bread is not good for them. Like people though, they want the junk food and are not taking kindly to old spinach leaves.

The left hand photo above is Distinctly Tea of Stratford. They have 350 types of teas. I went on a shopping frenzy and bought a year's worth of oolongs, black, red, white and green teas. It cost me a couple of 100 dollars.

This morning got an email that I won 3rd place in their tea/food contest. My green tea custard recipe gets me a 25$ gift certificate there - for tea. Talk about poor timing!

The 2 plays were Ghosts, and The Dutchess of Malfi. Ghosts was fantastic. If you don't know about this Ibsen play, it is about how we go about shaking off the 'ghosts' of a lives; personal past matters, family matters, and even old society values that are long dead but still very much influencing our lives. It is a pessmistic play. Although the characters are trying so hard to create new selves and values and worlds; their pasts haunt them and won't let them escape.

The Dutchess was very long and done all in black. It is a story about a woman with two brothers, a Duke and a Cardinal who don't want her to marry. She secretly does, and to a commoner. The tragedy is watching them slowly torture her to insanity for her indepedence. Very long and very disturbing. Stratford throws in some nudity to keep every one awake.

Our friends Martin and Dale arrived, and we will spend the day shopping.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Henry IV and Bruchetta

We drove into Canada and over to Lake Huron. In our travels we have seen four of five Great Lakes! We are in a small town on the Eastern Shore of Lake Huron, called Bayfield. What a delight to see open water, and feel the waves onto the beach. This is where I grew up, where a branch of my father's side comes from. It feels like 'home'.
We are staying here at Bayfield as we are meeting some chums who wished to stay here. Tomorrow they arrive. One of them is a sort of celebrity; Martin Katz plays concert piano for some of the big name Divas; through him I have met Marilyn Horne and Renee Fleming. They may be bringing their friend David Daniels, who is a well known countertenor. Always a cool experience to rub elbows with Martin's world.
I have been going to Stratford since 1981 so this make 25 years in a row. The little town more or less stays the same. This is the first year though we are not staying in it.
One of our favorite places to eat in town is Down the Street Cafe. They have a bruchetta to die for. I look forward to it like some folks look forward to Thanksgiving Dinner; locally grown tomatoes cubed with a light oil and basil; on top of toasted rustic bread, spread with a mild dry smooth goat cheese. While it is actually an appetizer, I eat it as my dinner. It and a glass of red wine is food for the gods, or at least the demi-gods.
We saw Henry IV part one at the Patterson Theatre. We were in the first row, so we felt 'in' the show. We have seen the same actors over the years, some of them have been here as long as I have been attending. Mr. Blendik made a splendid Falstaff. On stage there was sufficient eye candy; and the battle scenes were quite butch. Some of the acting was over the top, so we thought it a 'mixed review'.
It is midnight, and I am pooped; too tired to check on everyone else's blogs and going on. I will do so tomorrow.
Oh, and it is 60 degrees! Loving that.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Buffalo New York

I've shuffled off to Buffalo, N.Y.
We woke at 4AM and got the Phoenix Airport with way too much time - we thought with the new regulations it would take a long while but at 430AM it was a breeze.
I had my first issue of my new GAMES magazine for the flight. Damn, I am not as quick to do the puzzles as when I was 20. I hope this is a sign of being out of practice and not early signs of dementia. Luv those cryptic crosswords. Did Sudoku for hours.
Stopped in Chicago, O'Hare, and saw Mr. Mahoney, the investment man from Merrill Lynch. He is a very amiable man and always seems to have assuring, although I can't understand a word what he says (investment people use a language and jargon all their own).
Now we are in a Fairfield Inn in Buffalo. Someone is already passed out asleep. I too am tire, although the laptop states it is only 630PM back home.
Tomorrow we drive to Canada, check in at the Bayfield Inn, and get to Stratford to see Henry IV, part one.
I am thinking or you all, and hope you are doing OK.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Pre-Holiday Preps and a Good Bye

Someone and I have to get up tomorrow at 4AM to get to the airport in time. So today is packing the bags, tucking in the cats, tidying up the house etc. I have never been able to leave on a holiday without 'paying for it' ie massive amounts of work to do before I go - I went to the clinic on Sunday morning prior to Mass to do all my notes and paperwork so there is NOTHING left to do. Oh, to get out of Arizona in August time!

We will see at Stratford-
Henry IV, Ghosts, The Glass Menagerie, Twelth Night, Coriolanus, The Duchess of Malfi (shocker)
At the Shaw -
Arms and the Man, and High Society.

Well gents, I don't know if I will have internet access for a week, so this may be my last entry for a week. We'll see if the airport people confiscate the laptop with the "Wet" - and we'll see if there is any access in Canada. (hey, Joel has it, right?)
I will miss checking in on you all; I'll be thinking of you!

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Canadian Holiday

Next week is the annual holiday to Ontario, to the Stratford Festival and the Shaw Festival.
Hurray! Theatre! Drama! Tim Horton Doughnuts!

A branch of my father’s side came from Goderich, Ontario, and we are descended from French Canadians that way. I am very proud of this branch. Growing up in SE Michigan, Canada is more accessible than the other states (Heavens, Canada is due SOUTH of Detroit). We grow up going over to Canada for holidays; we heard the CBC and watched Channel 9 from Windsor. I though we were the same country for a while, just different states. Later in life, I would go over on Friday nights to see what was then called the “Windsor Ballet”. (I wonder if they still perform?). For 25 years I have gone every year to Stratford, Ontario to attend the Festival. We will see 6-8 plays this year. I love Startford. The shows, the gardens and the town are lovely. Over the years I got to know some of the folks there, and consider them friends.
(I even had a rub with celebrity; back in the 80s. My friend there introduced me to Loreena McKennitt. I knew her for a while – now she is a well known singer and one of my all time favorite Divas. If you don’t know this wonderful Celtic singer, check her out!)

So this weekend we find the passports and the get out the loonies (that’s money, not patients) and pack our bags. My tea merchant resides in Stratford, so I will be coming back with a few kilos of tea.

Oooh, I love Canada!
There, my ‘ou’s drop a bit more than they already do.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Douglas, the new Blogger

This is Doug. He introduced me to Sudoku. In retalitaion I introduced him to blogging. That's turnabout!
Please visit his new blog Gossamer Tapestry
Some things you may want to know about him:

1) He is well over four feet.
2) He is a lepitdopterist. That is an expert on the butterfly.
3) He knows everything there to be known about science.
4) One of his favorite past times is hiking, where he hunts for bugs.
5) He married his long time BF AKA the Wild One, last year in Canada.
6) While his pink card is sometimes suspect - he doesn't know all the lines to "The Women" and he has never been to IKEA- he does make a killer salsa and dreams of having Jack Radcliffe fall on top of him.
7) If he squeals on me, I'll squeal on him.

Patient Survey #1

I need some input folks on an issue that concerns me.

I want to know from patients – not my own –how much listening is really going on in the examination rooms.

Here’s where I smell a rat:I have only 45 minutes to I see a new person. I need to get his or her present problems and symptoms, and get their psychiatric, medical, social, family, substance abuse, and prescription histories- and get some review of systems/mental status examination questions. AND
Make a diagnosis, give options, set up a plan – and explain it all.
I repeatedly feel this Burger King pace only gets me a tip of the iceberg in most people’s lives. I feel frustrated and incomplete in most evaluations. This is in direct contrast to many people giving me positive feedback, very pleased that I

-spent more time than they have ever had with a doctor

-got more history from them than anyone before me “Gee, my last doctor didn’t ask about x, y or z"

-gave them a clear diagnosis and explanation of the initial plan.

I’ve heard this enough to wonder and worry – Question; do most doctors

-really see new people only for 15 minutes

-make sweeping conclusions without establishing a baseline history

-don’t tell you what you have?

What has been your experience with a new doctor? Were they thorough, spent some time, and explained things?

Please tell!

Thursday, August 17, 2006

How Does That Make You Feel?

It’s time to do “How does that make you feel?” Thursday!

The aliens return, deciding you are their liaison to the planet (at least until they can reconnect with Eartha Kitt). This time they abduct and take you to IKEA for breakfast. Over the pancakes, you begin to realize that the titles of all the things for sale at IKEA are in the same language spoken by the aliens. The Swedish thing is a ‘front’. IKEA is their devious pseudo-Scandinavian plan to infiltrate the human culture prior to a hostile but fashionable takeover (you should have figured this out given some of the chair designs).
Discovered, they wipe out your memory of the day, but it removes your fashion sense and you’ll have to shop now at Sears.

Life without IKEA.

How does that make you feel?

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Far Too Serious

Some of my relatives, including my father, read my blog. So I have to be mindful not to post too much family “dirt” or shockers, lest I get email from kin, wondering what am I up doing out there in Phoenix?
One brother continues to plot to expose my childhood nickname on line if I don’t pay him off. My father had issue about the ‘How does it make you feel’ teddy bear vignette.
It’s nice to know that my family is close but it can be ticklish in blogging!

Lately one of them called asking about the latest entries; was I sad? Apparently the recent blogs have been ‘serious’; there was concern I was going down the tubes.
I’ve seen happen before when I sent out emails containing poetry. Any sad/dark poem got calls/emails wondering if I was depressed. (I was OK; once in a while I like a sad/dark poem)

So, the relatives are a sort of antithesis of Graham Chapman in Monty Python’s Flying Circus.
For those ignorant of MPFC; their comedy sketches would become more outrageous, only to have a British army sergeant walk on and announce the sketch was to stop, for it had become ‘far too silly’. It was an ongoing theme of the show - ‘Stop! Stop! This is becoming far too silly”
The anti-Chapmans are sending the feedback I am too serious.

You want silly? I give ya silly……

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

30 Friends

I read around 30 blogs. I try to read them everyday. The current ones I visit routinely you can see listed to the right of this column. (I finally fixed my template, so they are nicely in alphabetical order now). A few of them don’t seem to visit me (or if they do, they don’t leave comment). I am OK with that. Some of them seem to have dozens and dozens of readers so they can’t be expected to reciprocate all their readers.
The fact that anyone is reading my blog at all – and finding it worthwhile to revisit – is an honor.

No surprise to find that blogs are as various as the people who write them. Some blogs I skim once in a while as they don’t post often. There are a couple of blogs by younger men whose social life makes me feel nostalgic. Mostly I read blogs of other men in the ’40 over’ category to see what they are up to and going through. A few bloggers often make me laugh; a few make me think rather. (One or two I find risqué so I learned quickly to wait until I get home to go visit). The blogs of guys relatively early in their coming out process are intriguing to read for their process of how they are doing with this.
I look forward to the daily visits to these 30. I am growing fond of them and consider them a group of ‘friends’. In some ways they remind me of my pen pal, Marc. I have written letters back and forth to Marc for over 20 years. I know him better than anyone – and I have never met him.

In my tentative future travels to New York City, Florida, Canada, and even right here in Phoenix, I hope to meet some of them/you. I am looking forward to that.

Monday, August 14, 2006


Two of my favorite plays are “Angels in America” by Tony Kushner, and “Measure for Measure” by William Shakespeare. I’ve long wondered why these two plays are so attractive to me. I figured it out. It is because they are contain scenes of great Forgiveness.

For those who don’t know "Angels", the scene is nurse Belize calling in Louis to say the Jewish prayer for the dead, for Roy Cohn. Louis is appalled <

Louis: I’m not say any f*cking Kaddish for him. The drugs, OK, sure, but no f*cking way am I praying for him. My New Deal Pinko Parents would never forgive me, they’re already disappointed, “He’s a fag, he’s an office temp, and now look, he’s saying Kaddish for Roy Cohn.” I can’t believe you’d actually pray for him.

Belize: Louis, I’d even pray for you.
He was a terrible person. He died a hard death. So maybe…A queen can forgive her vanquished foe. It isn’t easy, it doesn’t count if it’s easy, it’s the hardest thing. Forgiveness. Maybe that’s where Love and Justice finally meet.”

And so Louis does, assisted by the ghost of Ethel Rosenberg,Roy’s most bitter enemy, whom Roy destroyed. We saw her ghost earlier in the play saying to the dying Roy that she could never forgive him.

In “Measure for Measure”, a young novice is asked to beg for the life of a man who blackmailed her into sleeping with him and then broke his promise, executing her brother anyway. (We find out these are not so, but at the time she doesn’t know this. All she knows is she is being asked by some one else to ask for mercy on him. And she does.)

I’ve been seriously hurt by at least 3 people in my life. And I am ashamed to say I once hurt some one very badly. At the time I was hurt I was angry, bitter and wished them as much ill as possible. One of the person's actions still ‘haunts’ me and will follow my career perhaps until the end. I don’t know how others can forgive more serious hurts.
The one I hurt is dead, and I hope he sits next to God and has long ago forgiven me.
I know that I struggle still to forgive the ones who hurt me. Only in doing so can I move on.
Forgiveness may be the highest test of being human.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

A Poem


Equal to the gods is
the man who sits
in front of you leaning closely
and hears you sweetly speaking
and the lust -licking laughter
of your mouth, oh it makes my
heart beat in flutters!

When I look at you
Brochea, not a part of my
voice comes out,
but my tongue breaks,
and right away
a delicate fire runs just beneath
my skin.

I see a dizzy nothing
my ears ring with noise,
the sweat runs down
upon me, and a trembling
that I can not stop
seizes me limb and loin,
oh I am greener than grass, and
death seems so near!

Friday, August 11, 2006

Random Thoughts III

Since I don’t take many photos, I don’t have a lot of home pictures to show people. This is too bad, as I am fond of blogs that have some photos. I hope to improve my photo skills.
This leaves me with writing. Again the Muses are out to lunch (This time with the Furies, as the Fates are on holiday, visiting the Graces). I can’t think of anything really to write that sounds clever or interesting. It could be that the Muses won’t visit, as the house is too cluttered; i.e. my head is stuffed with work related matters and there is no room for inspiration.

Like Mr. Sorted and Mr. Spider, I’ve had a busy week at work. The other doctor went on holiday, so I ‘covered’ for him. This is a bit like doing two jobs simultaneously, with a set of patients with whom you are unfamiliar. Mostly I put out fires and write prescriptions. Since he is a pediatric psychiatrist I must have done a 100 prescriptions for Adderall and Ritalin. I sense half the kids in Phoenix take speed. (the other half do ‘meth’ possibly).
So I go into the weekend with a pile of notes to write.
Still, it’s over, and I have a lot of brownie points – he has to cover for me in two weeks, which will be worse deal for him

We have no weekend guests this weekend, so Someone and I can do those put off chores around the house like gardening, cleaning up, and remembering who the other one is.

I look forward to reading the 30 blogs I visit/stalk to see what is up and going on in other people’s lives.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

"How Does That Make You Feel?"

It,s “How does that make you feel?” Thursday!

You are 5 years old. Your beloved teddy bear from birth is completely worn out from years of constant companionship. He is literally falling apart from being loved.
Your mother announces Teddy will go away to a Bear Hospital, where he will be restuffed, sewn up, and given a face lift. (A sort of botox andBetty Ford’s treatment for stuffed animals). You two put Teddy in a box and off he goes.
Three weeks later – he’s back and he’s stunning! The fur is all back! The ear and arms are sewn on! Eyes polished new! You are delighted.
(He doesn’t get too worn out this time, as you are older and won’t be sucking on the ears of bears again until you reach 35)

20 years later your mother admits she threw the old bear out and just bought a new one.
She made the whole ‘rehab’ up.

“And how does that make you feel?”

(P.S. this is a true story)

Wednesday, August 09, 2006


I got this Book MEME from Andrew, at “The Other Andrew”. His blog is one of my favorites. Please visit him if you have not already.

1. One book you have read more than once:
I reread many favorite books. They seem to say different things at different times of my life. Every few years I reread “Creation” by Gore Vidal. Not only is it a witty book in the “Vidal style”, it is chock full of ancient history. The main character is the grandson of Zoroaster dictating his memoirs in Classical Athens. In his travels he met the Buddha, Confucius, and other religious leaders, so it becomes not only a history book, but a exploration on religion and philosophy.

2. One book you would want on a desert island:
”Ulysses” by James Joyce – I could spend a lifetime rereading it and get more each time.

3. One book that made you laugh:”
Queen Lucia” by E.F. Benson. The ‘Lucia’ series must be the book equivalent of ‘The Women’. Set in England, two matrons battle it out over who will be prima donna of the small town. The ploys of Lucia versus Miss Mapp are hilarious.

4. One book that made you cry:
Most of Dickens. He is one of my favorite authors. I don’t break out into bawls, but I get watery eyes reading the pathos and suffering therein.

5. One book you wish you had written:The Harry Potter books, of course!
My title for the last book is “Harry Potter and the Obscene Royalty”.

6. One book you wish had never been written:
”Homosexuality; A Psychoanalytic Study” by Bieber. Published in 1962 it was the gold standard for the etiology and treatment of homosexuality. It set back mental health care for gay people by 10 years. To read it now is almost funny, if it weren’t completely serious (example; when all else fails to cure homosexuality, consider ECT).

7. One book you are currently reading:
”Nerds Who Kill” by Mark Zubro. He is a pal of mine who writes murder mysteries. He has a few series, and they are all set in Chicago; the main characters are gay.

8. One book you have been meaning to read:
I just finished it! “The Origin of Species” by Charles Darwin. If you want my thoughts on it, see my blog entry from 19 June titled ‘the Origin of Spo”.

9. One Book That Changed Your Life:
”The Phantom Tollbooth” by Norton Juster. This children’s book about going off into another world forever sucked me into the magic world of reading. It took me to the “Lands Beyond’ (please, please, read this book!)

10. Now tag five people:
Rodger at Rodger Dodger
David at David’s Blog
Eileen at Cliffie’s Notes
Joel at Would I?
Daniel at Daniel-Guy in the Desert.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Six Months Old!

Today is a mark of time for my blog – it is 6 months old.

What an amazing, fun filled, journey this has been!

I am most grateful and forever in debt to MichaelGuy at Temporary Troublespots for suggesting I give it a try. Big hugs for MG!

His advice was wise and excellent. He said to write, and keep writing, and don’t worry about how it looks/who is reading. Build it and they will come. Be myself and be true.

Over the months I learned some new computer skills, such as cutting and pasting pictures. I learned how to work the template. There are minor things perhaps but for me very rewarding to master.

Not knowing what I would do or write, I recently went over my blog’s contents. I saw it evolving, getting bigger and better. It amazes me that I dared to put up on line for all the world to read/see certain parts of my Self.

I’ve made a few errors, and blurted a few things I regretted later on, pissing off a few people. I was disappointed that certain people did not seem to return. I worried I would write and no one would read it.

Now, I read two dozen blogs on a regular basis, and snoop around a few more. I am beginning to know a new people, some I would like to call ‘friends’.

It remains just as exciting as when I first tried it. I hope it lasts. I hope to someday meet some of you readers/other bloggers.

What would I like to do next? I’d like to see more ‘flair’ in my format; I challenge myself to be more revealing and personal. Someday I hope to be as respected as some of the more experienced bloggers in my “links”.

“Would you tell me please, which way I ought to go from here?”

“That depends a great deal on where you want to get to”

“I don’t much care where-“
”Then it doesn’t matter which way you go.”

“-so long I as I get somewhere

“Oh, you’re sure to do that. If you only walk long enough.”

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Damn Cat

An hour before I was due to pick up my brother at the airport and six hours before company was to arrive for dinner, I discover the cat urinated all over the good chair in the living room. It was soaked. After hysterics, I got down to work trying to cleanse the chair and cushions. After several washes it still reeks. I fear the chair is too far gone.

I am very frustrated with the cat. He’s never done this before, so age (he is 15) may be the culprit, or he may have a UTI (urinary tract infection) or some other medical condition. Someone thinks he did it out spite, and I fear this is correct.

Never having owned a cat before, I am more worried about the situation continuing. Does it ever get to the point of putting down a cat merely because it is destructive? How the heck can I rid myself of a companion of 15 years merely because he has a bladder problem?. (I hope Somone doesn’t abandon me if such a case happened!).
Well, this is being written in a pique of emotions. Best not to do anything but calm down and try not to project too much onto a dumb animal that may be old or sick.

A Conspiracy Coda

Since the "Oz" conspiracy went over, here's another one I heard;

Athiest Flag-Burning Married Homos are going to make us all sing the National Anthem in Spanish!

Try to warn as many people as you can in town.

Saturday, August 05, 2006


I recently saw “The Wizard of Oz” for the umpteenth time, and it finally dawned on me why I’ve always had an uneasy feeling about the death of the Wicked Witch of the East.

Consider this: Seconds before the house falls on her, she was in charge and the Munchkins were allegedly in slavery.

The place looks pretty darn good for a country under tyranny.
The Muchkins look well fed and healthy.
Glinda arrives rather quickly.
Out of nowhere there is a well choreographed parade for Dorothy.
The coroner had the Death Certificate right there.

Could it be that the Wicked Witch of the East wasn’t all that bad?

She sure looks like she kept the place up, so maybe she was just obnoxious, whose thankless task it was to kick lazy Muchkin butts in line.

Did the Munchkins somehow manipulate things to have her conveniently bumped off?

It could happen!

Friday, August 04, 2006

Friday Evening

I want to thank the dozen or so fellows who stopped by and told me ‘how they feel’ in the last entry. I enjoyed your response! I will try it again next Thursday.

I have collected several blogger’s email addresses. I enjoy sending more direct/personal hellos in this way. I am a good responder if you would like to email me from time to time.

Someone was away this week on business to Napa valley. Bankers sure know how to have a meeting. He is bringing home a bottle or two of Napa wine – outrageously priced but oh so delicious. The label of one of my favorite is pasted above.
When he arrived home we went to a local art gallery’s open house and exhibit. I have not been to an art ‘do’ in ages; I was enjoyable seeing the objects d’art and patrons thereof.

Brother #3 is coming to town this weekend; I pick him up from the airport.
I have to be more careful what I put on line about “la Familia” as some of them read this blog. (“Is that a friend of yours?” one asked me, seeing the photo of Jack Radcliffe)
Brother #3 is threatening to disclose some of my nicknames in a ‘comment’ section, so I have to be extra nice to him lest submit to blackmail.

I am counting the days down to the annual trek to Canada and Stratford, Ontario.

I hope all have a pleasant weekend.
Is it still hot where you are? Here is it in the 90s, which is ‘cool’ by Phoenix standards.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

"How Does That Make You Feel?"

I thought of a ‘gimmick’

I have a dear friend who teases me about my line of work by often replying in our conversations with ‘And how does that make you feel?”.

Many folks think that is what I say all day long - that is ALL I say all day long.

Actually I don’t use that expression at all, particularly with men. Men (especially straight ones) have been badgered all their life to ‘get in touch with their feelings’ and for most of them they are clueless how. If they knew ‘how they feel’ they wouldn’t be in my office. Men feel of course, but for most it is not in the usual lexicon readily accessible by most women. It is language matter. Rather than asking “how does that make you feel?” to some reported situation, I ask ‘how did you experience that?”. Often I get the exact responses as if I asked “how did it make you feel?”

With that little introduction, I thought of “How Does That Make You Feel Thursdays

I bring up a topic and you give the responses.

Let’s give it a shot -

You were recently abducted by aliens but they didn’t subject you to a humiliating physical examination. Instead gave you a complete fashion make over and a good hair cut and reordered your kitchen – no one believes you.

How does that make you feel?

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Curious Things around the House #1

This mask is “Bookwus”, carved by Beau Dick (Kwakwaka'wakw)
It hangs in the alcove in my front hallway.

A Bookwus – or Bakwas – is a malevolent spirit in the Pacific Northwest Native American culture of the Kwakwaka’wakw. He is the keeper of drowned souls; he causes loss of reason and sanity; he lures people into the night woods; his victims survive by finding minimal sustenance in the forest.
He has a green hairy body, is nominally shy, and has a frightening, skeletal visage. The souls of those he captures are lost forever and become members of his retinue.

Bookwus is their explanation for depression and insanity. When mental illness happens, shaman healers will exorcise the depressive spirit via a medicinal ceremony.
This mask was actually used in the treatment of mental illness of First Nations people in British Columbia.
My art dealer, Mr. Reynolds, at, knew I would want it; being fond of the Northwest Art and being a shrink.

I used to hang it in the office at work but it was too effective; not only did it frighten away evil depressive spirits, it frightened away a few patients too.

So, Mr. Bookwus hangs in the foyer and keeps the house ‘clean’.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

August Shirt

August Almanac

It is 1st of August, a new month.

It is the traditional day in the Pagan Calander when autumn starts, ending with Samhain on 31 October. Chrisitianity incorporated it into Lammas, a celebration of the beginning of the harvest and Our Lady. Another example of 'if you can't suppress it, fold it in".
In relation to this, it was the traditional month when my brothers and I would start planning our Hallowe'en costumes and plans, driven by the Seasonal stuff already up in the stores.

It is the birthday of my grandfather, whom I admired greatly. He liked a dry martini. It is a tradition of mine to make a dry one and toast/honor my ancestors on this day. My martini will have 2 olives. It is also the month for birthday of my friend Rick, who has lived in Japan for over 10 years.

I associate August with the colour 'sky blue', so later on when the laptop is more cooperative, I'll post the 'shirt of the month', my sky blue one. I am wearing it to work today - no doubt shocking the patients and scandalizing the APA. With luck, I'll be arrested/dragged off for not being up to professional standards.

The Tarot Card for the Month is the "Empress' which hints of prosperity and bounty and the start of something wonderful.

It is the traditional month for shrinks to go away on a month's holiday. They told their patients and analysands to somehow endure without them. No one does this anymore I suppose.

This month I go with Someone to Canada for a week's holiday - we'll do the annual trek to Stratford Ontario, to see the theatre. We'll also go to Niagra-on the Lake to attend the Shaw Festival. We've not been there since 9/11.