Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Hallowe'en !!


Monday, October 30, 2006

Someone's Pumpkin

Every year I try to care different faces and pictures on my pumpkins.
In contrast, Someone always carves the same face - the one on the left.
I used to find this puzzling or even 'no fun' that he does the same face every year x 10 years.
Now I find it a comfort. I look forward to 'the face' as an annual event.
By the way, the two green monster like plants are little barrel cacti.
This is last year's pumpkins. Tonight we carve 5.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

James and I

Here I am just before going to Bell Choir today. I scandalized the Church by showing up in a bowtie with cats and broomsticks on it.
Hi! This is James! He is proud to be 60 days 'clean'. As you can see he is proud as are we.
It remains sunny and in the 80s here, so sunglasses remain important whether you are 44 or 300 years old.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Pumpkin Dip Recipe

We live in a social neighborhood. Soon after we moved in, the neighbors came over to introduce themselves and bring us a cake. There are block parties and seasonal get togethers. We have not ever felt excluded.
This year we gather again for a Hallowe’en block party and candy give away.

We’ll each bring a dish, make some drinks, and receive the visiting kids who ‘hit all the houses’ in one stop – buffet style.

Someone and I have 3 “grades” of candy.
The “A” candy is for really sweet/polite kids and fabulous costumes (This year the ‘A” candy are Hallowe’en PEZ dispensers).
The “B” candy is for the usual lot. It will be fun size Milky Way bars
The “C” candy is for the Impolite, the No Costumes, and Teenagers. One ‘Smartie’ each.

I am bringing my now famous Pumpkin Dip. I make it at Hallowe’en whenever a dish is requested. It is apropos for Hallowe’en, being made with pumpkin. It is also healthier than ‘bean dip’ dishes as the high fiber/vitamins rich pumpkin replaces nasty refried beans. Alas, it is not ‘lo-cal’ but this is a holiday dish dammit.

Pumpkin Dip

1 15oz. can of pure pumpkin
1 8oz package of softened cream cheese
2-3 tablespoons finely chopped sliced jalapenos from a jar
3 tablespoons of the jalapeno juice/water
1 cup (8 ounces) light sour cream
1 4 ounce can diced green chiles
¼ teaspoon garlic salt
1 can sliced black olives
¼ cup finely chopped red onion
2 green onions. Sliced
1 orange bell pepper
1 large tomato, diced
Tortilla chips

1- Combine pumpkin, cream cheese and jalapeno juice in a bowl. Spread into an 8 inch square dish.
2 – Combine sour cream, chiles, jalapenos, and garlic salt in a small bowl. Spread over the pumpkin mixture
3 – Top off with diced tomatoes, then top with diced black olives, diced orange pepper, green and purple onions.
3a (optional) – do a little jig 3x counterclockwise around the kitchen island and chant
“eye of newt and gopher knees; make this chip dip people please’ and cross your eyes and click your heels 3 times too.
4 – Refrigerate the dish for at least 2 hours. Serve with chips.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Morgen's Weird MEME

Dearest Morgen at Blog Eat Blog World is doing a fine job whipping up enthusiasm for a festive Hallowe’en. I’ve seen his Hallowe’en MEME circulate with success. Now he asks me to do a “Weird” MEME in the spirit of the season. I’ve been tagged.
I don’t have to look far for examples. When you are a shrink, ‘weird’ comes through the door all the time. Alas, I am not too ‘weird’. I often think I am rather bland. Here are some weird things about me<

Weird #1) I need to sleep holding a pillow. I don’t recall how/when this habit started but without a pillow to wrap myself around I can’t sleep well.

Weird #2) When a disgruntled female employee complained I had sexually harassed her, one of the items I had to defend/prove was I had NOT given her my gallstone as a paperweight. Lifting up my shirt for the medical board to show ‘no scars’ is more than just weird.

Weird #3) There are ~200 US citizens with my name. One of them is a doctor who practices in Arizona. His calls/prescriptions and referrals constantly get mistaken for mine. (he is OB-GYN MD, which is amusing at times).

Weird #4) I usually can’t be in the same room with the TV on as it funnels my attention whether I want it to or not. If I want to do something and Somone is watching TV, I go to the other side of the house.

Weird #5) My religious upbringing was determined because the wrong man came to the door; when my father went to register us at the parish, Fr. Somebody answered. My dad recognized and didn’t like him. So he turned around, came home, and asked my mother to take us to her church rather. So we were all raised Protestant.

Weird #6) I have arachnophobia; but scorpions, snakes, rats, and other nasty things that ought to evoke fear do not upset me.

Weird #7) My parents have never fought or raised their voices to each other. Even we children thought this weird.

Weird #8) I would love to be on a jury, and get excited every time I am summoned. I am always discarded.

Weird #9) I have worked in ERs, seeing and treating the most traumatic gore without flinching or being horrified, but I can not watch violent movies as they upset me.

“Weird with a beard” as we say in my house.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

How Does That Make You Feel?

It's time to play "How Does That Make You Feel?"

Christmas is less than 2 months away.

"Christmas is coming, it's practically here!"

How Does that Make You Feel?

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Carving Pumpkins

Getting pumpkins was a big to-do in our house. We would pile into the car, watch for fall colour, and stop at a cider mill for doughnuts and cider. That done, we went to ‘Pumpkin Alley” as my father coined it. It was a long road of farms, all selling autumn produce and pumpkins.
Even then I was particular about getting the ‘right’ pumpkin. Father made a game out of it, ‘which one was Peter Pumpkin?” meaning which one was the right one (made it sort of like letting a puppy pick you out of a litter of pups). Mother sometimes wondered why we could not have just one, but that we thought that silly. Each boy needed his own. Each potential pumpkin was examined for blemishes and for a ‘good side’ to carve. A stem was obligatory. Father usually chose an ‘odd’ one, in shape, size, or colour, probably to get us riled up with disapproval.
We would carve as a family, after dinner. Usually down in the basement or at the kitchen table. Newspapers were put down. Like father carving the Thanksgiving turkey, he opened them up. We kids would immediately stick our noses into the holes and inhale the aroma. This smell continues to induce nostalgia and euphoria. Mother would fret some if we made too much mess or weren’t putting the innards into the paper sack. She would toast the seeds while we ‘men’, father and 4 sons, did the carving.
The design of each brother’s pumpkin was drawn up weeks ago, and redone and edited many times. I insisted on a scary face. Jack-o-lanterns were supposed to scare away the ‘bad spirits’ on Hallowe’en night, so the scarier the better.
(An aside - My father has taken photographs of his family’s doings since his marriage in 1960. They are all on slides in carousels. A sort of ‘blog’ in itself, he has dozens and dozens of slide carosels. I suspect every costume we wore/every pumpkin we carved is in that collection.
One time I even found a shot of my parents in a Halloween costume party – mother was a clown and my father was IN DRAG! I nearly had a heart attack seeing this)
After the pumpkins were carved came the candles. Growing up we used long taper types.
These would constantly fall over, and had to be reinforced. Then, all the pumpkins would be lined up for the photograph.
We would guard the pumpkins on Devil’s Night to make sure they were not vandalized.
When Hallowe’en was over, I would blow out the candle in my pumpkin and declare the holiday done. I liked to leave out the pumpkin for the chipmunks to eat for their early Thanksgiving dinner.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Saint Ur-Spo?

I was in the process of throwing out the bad digital photos when I noticed this one more closely.
I have a halo -and it is a rainbow one at that. Or is it my aura? How curious.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

My Fagin Complex

In Dicken’s story “Oliver Twist” there is the villain Fagin, who goes berserk one night when he discovers Oliver observing him counting his hoarded treasures. Fagin reveals in this attack on Oliver that he is frightened – frightened of growing old and having nothing and no one to tend him “They’re for my old age!” he rages at Oliver.

“The Fagin Complex” is coined to convey an anxiety about not having enough money for the future.

In my daily doings I don’t deal much with the “Oedipus Complex” but I sure hear a lot of the “Fagin Complex”. People are very worried about their money, their retirement, their job/pension etc. Lately there are a lot of people worried about not being able to sell their house (meaning at a profit I suppose). I see many people at work who have had the misfortune to be ill, in pain, accidents etc. only to have the livelihoods and incomes wiped out. I routinely ask new patients “and how are the finances?” I usually get a tale of angst.

I too have a Fagin Complex. When anxious about ‘not putting away enough” I get cheap. We two are not lavish spenders or into expensive status symbols. We don’t buy trendy or new things very often. I try to live a more “Zen” life every year (out with the clutter!). Both Someone and I have good incomes but with house, insurance, and daily living expenses there seems to be little leftover to hoard away for ‘Fagin’s old age”. While I have a very nice investor at Merrill Lynch, I am pessimistic that stocks and social security will be there for me when I ask for it.

I need to be mindful of the Complex; not to let it take over me or prevent charity.

Anyone else have a bit of a Fagin Complex?

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Captain Caveman's Thank you MEME

Captain Caveman recently wrote a thoughtful blog entry in which he thanks some of his readers for being in his life. It was touching. He asks others to likewise. It is a good idea to bluntly say ‘thank you’ from time to time to people whose gifts are so obvious and ongoing that it often goes without saying.
My dilemma is I have 40 people to thank. I routinely go to the ones mentioned in my link - and a few more. They appeal to me in different ways. Some are outrageous; some are thoughtful; some are personal. They each have their appeal. I hesitated to follow up with Albert’s request as I didn’t want to thank all 40 as that would be a long entry.
Captain suggests we point out approximately six who have an extra connection or ‘pull’. I believe with the others 35 it is just a matter of time.

So I thank all my friends in blog-land first, and these six in particular –

Michael at Temporary Trouble Spots.
You would be the first to thank as you got me started in this hobby. Your passion and happiness from it inspired me to give it a try. You were very encouraging back in the winter/spring when I wrote and ‘no one came’. Blogging has become one of my favorite past times. I am indebted to you.

Matthew at Bear in the Box
You have becoming a spiritual brother. I sense we have a lot in common in tastes and thoughts. Of all the blogs I read I sense I have the strongest ‘bond’ to you.
I hope this grows.

Heather at Butterfly in Disguise
I am pleased and honored you drop by. At first glance we don’t have much in common, but our wit and our interests are similar enough that we ‘connect’. This connection in light of differences makes you special for me. I am glad you are visit the land of Spo.

Rodger at Rodger Dodger
You were one of my first readers. You are becoming special to me. Your photographs are brilliant. Through you I keep up my dormant hobbies such as gardening. Your gift of homemade jam was delicious and much appreciated. I look forward to more writings - you promised ‘this winter’.

Spider at Spider’s Web
You have a kind heart, not only for me but for so many bloggers. Every time I read your entries or comments I get a warm fuzzy feeling. You would be one of the ‘first of the 40” I would want to meet.

Kevin at Sorted Lives
Another dear heart from Florida (it must be the sunshine). Your pictures, wit, and personal matters make you one of my favorites to visit.

Joel at Would I?
Your passions, struggles, and joys – and your bravery to share them with all – are marvelous. I admire you for this. I appreciate your emails on top of the comments you leave at here.

Captain Caveman suggests you thank 5-7 people from you blog link/list too.

Friday, October 20, 2006

The New Christmas?

Scott at Purple Twinkie is one of my favorite blogs.
His links are comical; the title changes from time to time (go see them!).
Recently, the links are titled “Bloggers who think Halloween is the new Christmas”.
That hit home. That feels ‘right’ for me.

As a child, Christmas and Halloween were both magical and exciting for very different reasons. They made a nice bookend (with Thanksgiving in the middle). .

Working in a mental health field, I have seen the joy of Christmas time die. It is a time of too much pressure, too many expectations, loads of disappointments, and impossible demands to be too many places at once. All made worse by the pressure to purchase things/stimulate the economy. Then there are the dozens of patients with active depression or on the verge of killing themselves over a holiday. It is a good Christmas for me when no one kils themselves.

Halloween in contrast has no expectations or pressures. You can make it what you will. Historically, it is an accumulation of several ancient and recent cultures celebrations, like an ever growing river being fed by many tributaries. There is also the ‘spice’ of being in touch with something dark, ancient, and not conventional. The more I hear people howl for its banishment, the more it appeals. Ask a six year old, a teenager, a middle aged gay man what is ‘Halloween’ and you get very different answers.
Its’ anyone’s and everyone’s holiday, young and old. Or not. And little to no driving.

This year I will go to a Bear Club costume party. On All Hallow’s Eve I will hand out quality treats within a well decorated house. Tarot readings will be conducted. Pumpkin Ale will be consumed. I will read ghost stories, think of the dead, and recall the delights of Hallowe’ens past. I will make Someone a Hallowe’en dinner with the traditional flank steak (once a year for this meat).

Less than two weeks to go! Time to get out the trappings!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

How Does That Make You Feel?

It’s How Does That Make You Feel? Thursday.

Well, the aliens are back from their shopping trip to IKEA. They are somewhat cross as they have eaten too many breakfast specials. Trying to understand the concept of Hallowe’en has left them puzzled. They seem to have it ‘backwards’ that they rang my doorbell and gave me a treat –

The above brain is activated by movement and sound. It starts to hum pleasantly and then it moves forward.
Then it suddenly stops, splits open, and reveals a row of hideous teeth. It snarls and tries to bite.

How does that make you feel?

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Chastised and Corrected

On 13 October I posted an entry about my brother #4s wedding.
Brother #3 left this comment:

Bhagwanbill said...
Spo,You are twisting the facts like a FOX news reporter! If you stayed in touch with family instead of blogging so much, you'd know that the wedding has an option for the outdoors, but will likely be inside unless a Michigan Summer happens to roll-in. You keep your pants on and stick to the facts! Bhagwan Bill

I am contrite.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Patient Survey #3

I have more questions to ask all you ‘patients’ out there.
This is about return phone calls from the doctor.

As the number of patients grows at the clinic, I find it is getting harder to return phone calls.
I try very hard to return AM phone calls at the lunch hour; I return the PM phone calls in the early evening. Once in a while I have to call first thing the next morning (trying to get them before they get to work).
I thought this ‘very good’ but I hear complaints of:
A) this isn’t fast enough and
B) new patients show up because they were dissatisfied with their old doctor ‘he never returned my phone calls”.

So, 3 questions for you;
#1 – how quickly to you expect to hear back from your doctor?
#2 – how soon do you hear from you doctor?
#3 – have you had a doctor who did not return phone calls?

Thanks for your comments.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Grand Canyon II

Although The Grand Canyon was overcast and rainy, every cloud has a silver lining - in this case a rainbow or two!
Here is a photograph of Someone and me at the Grand Canyon with a rainbow each - he got the brighter one!

Grand Canyon I

We went for the weekend to the Grand Canyon. We drove to Flagstaff and then took a train to the Southern Edge. Now we can say we are truly residents of Arizona.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

27 Things about Spo

1-I never tire of pasta
2 -I avoid watching celebrity trials; I missed OJ, Michael Jackson etc.
3-I was punched only once in life; it was a patient.
4-Oatmeal is the breakfast of choice
5-I have never seen a professional football game other than TV
6-I born on the 7th day, of the 7th month and 7AM
7-I love to go to casino but I don’t gamble. I order a drink, read a book and watch the people.
8-Operas I want to see but never seem to find < Die Frau Ohne Schatten, Der Freishutz, The Hand Maiden’s Tale, and Orpheus in the Underworld.
9-I was 30yo when I first heard of Patsy Kline.
10-My grandfather had a cabin cruiser on which we traveled the Great Lakes. At 7 years old I though him, the boat and The Great Lakes larger than life
11-I have the double whammy of high cholesterol (mother’s side) and high blood pressure (father’s side).
12-Snowstorms and winter in general cheers me up – a sort of “antiSAD” wiring.
13-In 2007 we are likely to get a dog. After 15 years with cats, it will be a quite a switch.
14-My family had four dogs – all Schnauzers, all named Hans (Hans I, Hans II, Hans III and Hans IV) A sort of royal succession of pooches
15-I miss our black cat Tiberius. It doesn’t seem Hallowe’en without him to reign as king of the cats.
16-I was bullied and harassed throughout most of junior high school. I don’t know how I survived without going nuts or turning to drugs.
17-I was raised a Congregationialist. These are the direct descendants of the New England Puritans. I don’t have any negative memory for this church.
18-At last count I have done nearly 800 psychiatric evaluations since I started working in Arizona last year.
19-A neurosis of mine that won’t go away is the fear of not catching a flight.
20-“Eloise” by Kay Thompson was and still is one of my favorite books
21- I prefer the company of my brothers to most other people.
22-When I am in restaurants and they ask me ‘for my name’, I use Ralph rather than Michael. With so many Michaels I always hear Ralph it is called.
23-The year of my internship was so miserable that for years I used to say I was one year younger than I was, for I did not want to count it.
24-I have a minor case of Tourette’s Disorder. I have to be watchful that sudden blurts of statements and expletives don’t come out in inopportune times.
25-I drank beer for the first time in Junior year college. My microbiology partner was British and made his own ale. Having no reference, the dark Guiness like brew he made has been my ‘baseline’. So I prefer the dark ales.
26-Speaking of alcohol, my favorite wine is Stag’s Leap WineCellar from Napa
27-Cities I want to see someday < Paris, Sydney, Montreal, Athens.

Friday, October 13, 2006

White Wedding in November

Brother #4 is to marry this November.

His bride seems to be a bright and intelligent girl but she blew a fuse. She insists on an outdoor wedding for 4th of November. This would be OK if they were having the ceremony in the Caribbean. But this takes place in MICHIGAN! She can’t plead ignorance as she has lived there all her life. Perhaps she is merely possessed by demons. Or maybe she hopes the white of the dress will match the snow. I don’t know what the bride and groom will be wearing, but I have parka and long johns ready. I have visions of the ring bearer preceded by a man shoveling the aisle for the bride to walk down.

It could happen; and in November in Michigan, it is likely!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

How Does That Make You Feel?

Note - It has been an awful week between feeling sick/down and having an obscene workload. I've had no time; and my mind is fried. I couldn't think of anything clever for today's entry. So I am posting a 'rerun'.
I thought this one well done, but it was written at a time when few were dropping by.
Sorry for the lack of originality. Ur-Spo
How does that make you feel?

My mother is a very poor liar. I’ve seen her try to lie twice in my lifetime. Both times she stammered and looked obviously guilty. I’ve wondered if the ability to pull off a lie (or not) has a genetic component, as I haven’t had much success at it. Besides the moral disapproval, it is so hard to get it right.I hope some body can help me out on this, but I vaguely recall a movie in which an actress plays twins. When one drowns the other assumes the role of the deceased. It was tiring watching her attempting to remember which one she was. Recently I thought of this when I did something similar. The phone rang; it was a telemarketer. He asked if I was who I am and I said no, I was his friend. Then I tried to cover for myself. Then I took a message for myself. I was asked when I would be home. By then I was losing my grasp of my identity.

Afterwards I worried. I fretted not only about being a liar but the possible consequences. Since I sounded devious, he could have presumed I was a burglar and called the police. He may have leapt to the conclusion since I was away Someone was taking advantage of the situation to have over a stranger and our reputation would be in tatters. This would also make me look a fool.

I now regret I embarked on such a web of pretense. I should have been clean right up front with the telemarketer to go screw himself.

It is often unpleasant to be honest but it does save trouble in the end.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Curious Things Around the House #4

This is Claudius, AKA “The White Cat”.

He didn’t see Tiberius ‘go’, so I wonder what he is experiencing - he no longer has his companion of 15 years. He spends more time under the bed; perhaps he is fearful he too will be suddenly snatched away.

He recently took up singing – Arias by Puccini, although his favorite is “Nessun Dorma’ (“No one sleeps!”) from Turandot.

He practices it every morning at 530AM.

He also practices yoga. Claudius always comes out when I do my stretches and bends, figuring this is time for him. Meditation and stretches are a bit distractive when there is a white cat on your chest.

Monday, October 09, 2006


It was an exhausting week last week. Between the pace of work and having a cold I felt run down. I was looking forward to a weekend of sleep and ‘doing nothing’.
Instead, even more ‘work’ was done – we went to the grocery store, Costco, and the hardware store. We did massive amounts of laundry. The pile of ‘to iron’ shirts was finally tackled. I tried to get out some of the fall decorations. I had to do last week’s paperwork. So I start Monday no more rested and feeling again sleep deprived. I feel tired every day only to ‘wake up’ at 10PM each night. Apparently my mind doesn’t want me to go to sleep. I sense this is because I don’t want the next day to arrive and begin.
Last night we had a rainstorm. One of those Arizona storms that dumps a lot of water only to pass over and reveal clear skies. So I was able to go out to the hot tub and sit for a while. It was quiet, perfectly quiet. The full moon was bright but intermittently present by passing clouds.
It made me thoughtful. What am I doing? Where am I going? Why does nothing feel solid?
Everything what I do/who I am/where I am is in no way what I thought I would be. I can not remember what I thought I was to be. I once hoped of becoming a great psychoanalyst in Evanston Illinois, helping people delve into the Unconscious.
I am not unhappy but I am not at ease. Somewhere along the road I got lost, and I don’t even remember what Journey it was supposed to be.
Philosophers and psychologists and theologians may call this the “Dark Journey of the Night”. Jung called it Nekyia, or ‘Night Sea Journey” Although the impulse is to ‘get somewhere as soon as possible’ I am wise enough to let it be. When you are in the dark, running fast isn’t recommended. Better to 'be in it. Eventually I will get somewhere.

Saturday, October 07, 2006


Last August I saw a splendid production of Ibsen’s play “Ghosts”.
It was about being haunted – by people and deeds from times past, and the inability to escape their influence in the here and know.
October is a good time to think about ghosts. The original Hallowe’en or Samhain was a time when the spirit world and the mortal world were closest in contact. No lack of ghosts at Hallowe’en time!
I can think of nothing more everlasting in the human psyche than the belief of ghosts.
Samuel Johnson, the Rationalist, summed it up nicely<

“It is wonderful that five thousand years have now elapsed since the creation of the world, and it is still undecided whether or not there have ever been an instance of the spirit of any person appearing after death. All argument is against it, but all belief is for it.”

Reports of ghosts suggest they are dead souls still hanging around with a story to tell or in need of vengeance.
My old house in Chicago seemed a good candidate for a haunted house. It was old; it had a shady past; someone died in the basement in a grim way. But my 5-6 years residency there revealed no ghosts or hints of the supernatural.
I remember a Wiccan friend taking this situation in earnest. Very concerned, he came over one Hallowe’en season to perform a ‘cleansing’ of the newly purchased house. I was intrigued to see him do this. Very serious, he walked from room to room with burning sage trying to clean out the house of negative vibes and ghosts. He thought there was ‘something negative’ in the cellar’ but that was it. Next year he came back to do a ‘follow up’ but he found/sensed nothing was there. So that was that.

I should add that I love Ghost Stories. A good ghost story should give you a sense of the creeps. Roald Dahl (bless’em!) did extensive research by reading scores of ghost stories and published ‘the best’ in Roald Dahl’s Book of Ghost Stories.
They are superb and I recommend the book if you like that sort of them.


Thursday, October 05, 2006

Halloween Meme

Dear Morgen at Blog eat Blog World tagged me for a Hallowe’en MEME.

1 – What was the scariest movie you have ever seen?
I vote for “The Haunting”. What makes it so scary is really nothing actually happens that we know for sure is supernatural. Is the house haunted or is it all part of people’s paranoia? Scariest part – when Eleanor is tightly gripping the hand of Theodora only to realize Theodora was on the other side of the room! Chilling.

2- What was your favorite Hallowe’en costume as a child?
I have always gone for “Death” and skeletons or specters, keeping in touch with the original notion that this was a day of being in touch with the dead.

3- Given enough money what would be your fantasy Hallowe’en costume?
I want to be Pan, goat legs and horns and all. Playing my pan flutes and evoking desire in all who see and hear.

4- When was the last time you went trick or treating?
I did not want to give up ‘begging’ so I pushed it as far as I could – into junior High School. I last went as a ghost to cover up my age. It didn’t cover that I was taller than most.

5- What is your favorite Hallowe’en candy?
I like Sweet Tarts, more out of nostalgia. We lived on a cul-de-sac and there was a lonesome never seen woman at the end of the block. Naturally we made up all sorts of stories about her. But at Hallowe’en she was ‘out’, and a very sweet granny type – she always gave Sweet Tarts. I thought her a benevolent sorceress who gave us something magical to eat.

6- Tell us about a scary nightmare you once had
I recall a nightmare; it took place in the childhood home’s kitchen. While I was sitting at the table in this nostalgic and comforting setting, Psyche decide to spring up suddenly a sort of slasher/monster/crazy man with a long knife to attack me. He was so sudden, out of context and vivid I immediately woke up screaming and stood up in the bed.
I was in a room with 2 others, who woke with fright themselves!

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

8-What is your ‘creepy-crawlie’ fear?

9- Tell us a time you saw a ghost or heard something go bump in the night
When I lived in Chicago, I awoke at 2AM by a very loud explosion down stairs. 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.

10- Would you stay overnight in a real Haunted House? No. If ghosts are the spirits of negative people lingering around wanting someone to hear their tale or avenge them, I get enough of that is my day time job already.

11-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.

12- How much 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 Sitting Still”

Now to tag –
I pick Spider (as he likes to be tagged), Heather at Butterfly in Disguise (as she is already carving pumpkins), Stephen at Chez Stephen and Greg at A life in the Day (as I haven’t seen them post in a while!)

How Does That Make You Feel?

This ia a lyric from an "Enya' song. It has been on my mind lately:
how does it make you feel?

If I could be where you are

Where are you this moment? only in my dreams.
You’re missing, but you’re always
A heartbeat from me.
I’m lost now without you,
I don’t know where you are.
I keep watching, I keep hoping.
But time keeps us apart.

Is there a way I can find you
Is there a sign I should know,
Is there a road I could follow
To bring you back home?

Winter lies before me
Now your’e so far away.
In the darkness of my dreaming
The light of you will stay

If I could be close beside you
If I could be where your are
If I could reach out and touch you
And bring you back home
Is there a way I can find you
Is there a sign I should know
Is there a road I can follow
To bring you back home to me?

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Random Thoughts VI

I enjoyed my Chicago trip, but the travel and pace precipitated a cold. I normally don’t get colds, so it comes as an annoying surprise. It is has the usual symptoms of sore throat, congestion, cough, low grade fever, malaise and personal guilt for going to work. This is my first cold owning a hot tub, so I plan to use it every night. My skin may dry out but it feels good on the aches and muscles.

There has been no time or energy to get out the Hallowe’en props and decorations. It is hard to get into these seasonal holidays when the Arizona weather doesn’t change. Only sign of autumn is darkness when I get up in the morning. Otherwise the AC runs and it remains clear and hot. I miss fall colour. We hope to go north in a few weeks, to find some leaves and pumpkins.

Work has been unpleasant. Far too many people taking their medications irresponsibily and demanding more of them. One woman thought me unfair when I would not renew her Xanax only a week after she got a month’s supply. She ‘lent it out to others’ and therefore needed more. ‘Well, what are my family supposed to do? They take it as well!”

I am started the Spanish lessons with Rosetta Stone. These are fun to do. It is too soon to see if it is ‘sinking in’ or not.

In the evening when I write up progress notes, I record old cassette tapes into the laptop for future transfer to CDs or iPODs. It is cheery to hear old tunes I've not heard in decades. Some bring back good memories.

*This weekend the Bears of the West are doing a booth at a Rainbow Festival here in Phoenix. If any Phoenician blogggers are reading this, I will be there on Sunday morning until noon time.
Stop by, say hello, and let me meet you!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

37 Things about Spo

Here are 37 things about me I thought may be curious for Spo-fans to read

1) I was supposed to a “Martha” when I was born.
2) I am board certified in both Neurology and Psychiatry but I don’t do the former anymore. I started off in Cardiology.
3) These are careers I almost had < Astronomer, Animation/graphic designer for Walt Disney World (I would have lived in Orlando, Spider and Sorted!), Church Organist, and Professor of Botany.
4) I have arachnophobia. It’s greatly improved but tarantulas still give me panic attacks. When I knew I was moving to the Southwest, I went through a treatment called EMDR, which seemed to diminish the phobic reflexes.
5) My favorite city is Vancouver.
6) Twice in my life I have been a vegetarian, and I am slowly becoming one again.
7) I love storms, the worse the better. I sorely miss Midwest thunderstorms.
8) Apart from The Weather Channel, I don’t watch television
9) The majority of foods I eat as an adult I either hated or never heard of as a child.
10) I knew I was ‘different’ somehow at six years old.
11) Both of my parent’s paternal families go back 12 generations here on North America. (both sides came over to Massachusetts in early 1600s)
12) I did drag only once. A friend threw a “Come as your Mother” party. I came as Elizabeth I. The hoop skirt would not fix in the taxi, so I had to walk to the party. On Halsted St. in Chicago this didn’t get much attention.
13) Someone is my first real try at a relationship; next January it will be 10 years
14) I have never seen a ghost; this is a disappointment
15) I have been through 2 psychoanalysis; one Freudian, the other Jungian. I don’t recall any benefit to the first one, but the 2nd one was very therapeutic.
16) I very much want to see Ireland and Greece, even though I have no blood of either.
17) I can not eat cheesecake without becoming ill.
18) My Godfather is George. While I am a WASP turned Catholic, he is African-American and Lutheran. He is the closest man I know to be a Saint.
19) With few exceptions, I think men look better with whiskers.
20) Tea is my drink of choice – hot or iced; white, green, oolong, black, or red - it’s my elixir of life.
21) I fear being sued.
22) In my goal to see all of Shakespeare’s works, I am missing only “Love Labor’s Lost”
23) I am left handed
24) I can not throw a ball, which may be related to 23.
25) I want to meet every person on my blog link.
26) I hate cruelty; I still find it shocking even though I am never surprised.
27) I have never hit anybody.
28) Soup is my food of choice; so many soups, so little time
29) I have never smoked marijuana or tobacco or done XTC, or cocaine.
30) Six times in my life I thought I had a personal Armageddon, only to have survived each one.
31) When I am down or taking life too seriously, I watch The Marx Brothers
32) The worse pain I have experienced was a week’s worth of migraine headaches. They have never reoccurred.
33) All my family but one went to the University of Michigan (Go Blue!)
34) Vain about my skinny legs, I seldom if ever wear short pants in public. This is in contrast to my complete ease to be nude in clothing optional places.
35) Macaroni and cheese is the comfort food of choice.
36) Activities I miss doing < two stepping, growing tomatoes, using a fireplace with real wood, taking classes in a classroom with others.
37) I have never purchased a lottery ticket.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Some Birthday Boys

It is the birthday of both Graham Greene AND Groucho Marx!!

Act accordingly.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

October Shirt

It is October – the month for Hallowe’en.
This is the shirt I made last year. Over the years I have sewn banners, quilts, and costumes. The yoke is a quilt of these various Hallowe’en projects. It is one of my better made shirts. Now that I live in Phoenix I can wear this short sleeved shirt without freezing.

The Tarot Card of the month is The Devil. This warns me not to be taken in by illusions and woes that aren’t really that bad. Be wary this month of seemingly overwhelming demons.
At this time of year I break out the Hallowe’en Tarot deck and get a daily reading right up until the big day.

When I was a lad, Hallowe’en was just as important and exciting as Christmas. I took it very seriously. I have many positive childhood memories from this holiday. The school parades, the costumes, going ‘begging’ with my brothers and father. We kids would start to plan our costumes and activities as early as August. Being the oldest and the queer, I designed and created everyone’s costumes. .

Something archaic in me bubbles up at this time of year. It must be all my latent Celtic blood. It wants me to celebrate the ‘end of the year’ with feasting, decorating and solemnities.

No doubt I’ll write a lot about the holiday this month.
So that’s the October almanac.
Only 30 days to Samhain.